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Best of New Zealand

Operated by: Trafalgar

18 Days from $5,333 per person
Queenstown, New Zealand

Countries Visited

New Zealand

Locations Visited

Te Anau, Queenstown, Dunedin, Twizel, Franz Josef Glacier, Christchurch, Pu… more Te Anau, Queenstown, Dunedin, Twizel, Franz Josef Glacier, Christchurch, Punakaiki, Blenheim, Wellington, Rotorua, Auckland, Bay of Islands
  1. Day 1 Arrive Auckland

    Welcome to Auckland, one of the world's most liveable cities. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 4pm), then spend your day at leisure before joining your Travel Director for an evening Welcome Reception.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel The Cordis
  2. Day 2 Auckland - Bay of Islands (2 Nights)

    We journey north through lush farmland to the Bay of Islands, where we'll cruise the game waters once plied by Māori fishermen. Delve into the legend of the 'Hole in the Rock' (weather permitting), visit historic Cape Brett and sail past the deserted beaches and secluded coves that dot the bay as you return via Paihia to the mainland.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Copthorne Resort (Water View Room)
  3. Day 3 Bay of Islands Sightseeing

    Today, your choice of sightseeing: explore the Waitangi Treaty Reserve grounds; enjoy a day of sailing aboard a historic tall ship; embark on a relaxing tour of Kerikeri with wine and chocolate tasting or venture to Russell for a Mini Tour to learn more about the settling of the Bay of Islands.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
  4. Day 4 Bay of Islands - Auckland

    Indulge in some me-time this morning before returning to Auckland. Your journey takes you to Whangarei, New Zealand's northernmost city, before continuing to Parry Kauri Park, where you'll have an opportunity to walk amongst the Kauri giants that have towered over the forest floor for millennia. This evening, join your Travel Director for a Regional Meal at your hotel.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
    hotel The Cordis
  5. Day 5 Auckland - Rotorua (2 Nights)

    Gain a deeper understanding of why Auckland justifiably earns its reputation as the City of Sails, then head to Waitomo for an encounter with the iridescent occupants of Glow Worm Grotto. Navigate its dark depths with a Local Specialist and walk through the limestone caves with their dramatic formations. Continue to Rotorua.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
    hotel Millennium
  6. Day 6 Rotorua Sightseeing

    Embark on your choice of sightseeing: unwind at the Polynesian Spa; visit Te Puia and tour through the Whakawerawera Thermal Reserve; tour the wizardry of the Hobbiton movie set or explore Rotorua and its three lakes in an amphibious WWII-era Duck. Dive into culture' this evening when Māori culture takes center stage this evening as you visit the Tamaki Māori Village for a traditional Hangi Feast Regional Meal.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
  7. Day 7 Rotorua - Wellington

    Travel through pine forests and farmland to the raging Huka Falls, which feeds Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. Continue south over the central plateau and along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington. Dive into culture and gain insights into New Zealand's nature, heritage and art during an exclusive guided tour of Te Papa Museum, then conclude your day with a Regional Meal which reveals Wellington's reputation as the country's culinary capital.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
    hotel James Cook Grand Chancellor
  8. Day 8 Wellington - Blenheim

    Embrace your inner hipster this morning and immerse yourself in your cool surrounds during some free time to explore the Capital of Cool on your terms. This afternoon, prime your sea legs for a cruise through the Cook Strait into the quiet waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. Journey to seaside Picton, then Blenheim, where tonight you'll enjoy a Regional Meal prepared from local produce and paired with the local Sauvignon Blanc for which the Marlborough region is famous.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
    hotel Chateau Marlborough
  9. Day 9 Blenheim - Christchurch

    Travel to Kaikoura and delve into its whaling heritage, keeping a keen eye for Sperm Whales that can often be seen not far from shore (an Optional Experience whale-watching scenic flight is available). Continue along the Pacific Ocean coast and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, the Garden City of New Zealand.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
    hotel Distinction
  10. Day 10 Christchurch - Twizel

    Join us for a taste of country life at Morelea, where we'll connect with locals over a Be My Guest barbecue lunch and enjoy home-grown hospitality in the home of Angie and Stan Taylor. Journey past Lake Pukaki and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo. Your encounter with the arresting beauty of New Zealand's South Island continues in Mount Cook National Park, our last stop today before arriving in Twizel.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MacKenzie Country Inn
  11. Day 11 Twizel - Dunedin Sightseeing

    Journey along the Waitaki River, stopping briefly at the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through to the township of Oamaru with its famous white limestone buildings and then on to Dunedin. This afternoon your choice of sightseeing: tour Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle; ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway; take the Monarch Wildlife Cruise or embark on an interactive tour of Speight's Brewery.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Scenic Southern Cross
  12. Day 12 Dunedin - Te Anau

    Connect with the Scottish heritage of Dunedin with some free time to explore the city this morning. Later, journey through pastural landscapes dotted with sheep before arriving in Te Anau on the shore of Lake Te Anau, the gateway to Milford Sound's tranquil waters. Enjoy time at leisure this evening for a tour highlight—an Optional Experience cruise across the lake to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Distinction
  13. Day 13 Te Anau - Queenstown (2 Nights)

    Immerse yourself in the startling natural splendor of the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Take a nature cruise, slicing through the mystical Milford Sound, past such highlights as Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Journey over the Devil's Staircase later, and along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, bound for Queenstown.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
    hotel Millennium
  14. Day 14 Queenstown Sightseeing

    Dive right into the adventure capital today with your choice of sightseeing: ride the Shotover Jet boat; take a gondola to Bob's Peak for thrilling luge rides; visit Kiwi Birdlife Park or take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon. This evening, cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Here you'll indulge in a gourmet barbecue Regional Meal at the Colonel's Homestead. Then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing insights into high-country farm life.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
  15. Day 15 Queenstown - Franz Josef

    Visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown before continuing your journey to Cromwell to savor the flavors of delicious stone fruit. See a trio of lakes, Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka, then travel over Haast Pass and on to the luminescent white wilderness of Franz Josef Glacier.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Scenic Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)
  16. Day 16 Franz Josef - Punakaiki

    Spend some free time this morning exploring the icy depths of the glacier. Later, travel to Hokitika, renowned for its exquisite greenstone craft, where you'll visit a factory and admire a jewelry demonstration by a Local Specialist master carver. Continue to the limestone Pancake Rocks and Blowholes of Punakaiki, before spending the night at an eco-friendly resort on the waterfront.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Punakaiki Resort
  17. Day 17 Punakaiki - Christchurch

    Board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world's most scenic journeys through the Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, a city rebuilding itself from the ruins of a tragic earthquake. Celebrate an epic journey at a Farewell Dinner with newfound friends.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel Distinction
  18. Day 18 Depart Christchurch

    Your vacation concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).

    meals Buffet Breakfast
ZABC-best-of-new-zealand-map-tt-19.jpg

Meal Summary

17 hot buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch, 12 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect with Locals

  • Join Angie and Stan Taylor at their home Morelea, and listen to the family's story of growing up in rural New Zealand.

Dive into Culture

  • Visit Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, and gain insight into the traditions of the Māori.

Stays with Stories

  • Stay on South Island's wild west coast at Punakaiki Resort near the famous Pancake Rocks.

Local Specialist

  • with a jade (greenstone) carver, an expert guide in the Waitomo Glow Worm Grotto.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Auckland, Wellington, Blenheim, Dunedin, Christchurch
  • Cruise in Bay of Islands, on the Cook Strait, on Lake Wakatipu, on Milford Sound
  • View the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
  • Visit Waitomo Glow Worm Grotto, the Bay of Islands, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, Franz Josef Glacier
Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
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  • Important Note: This departure is subject to price, itinerary and hotel modification.
Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Auckland

Dune Rider Cape Reinga Via 90 Mile Beach

This is a full day to explore the magnificent natural wonders of the North. Visit the ancient Kauri Kingdom workshop, Cape Reinga lighthouse and the magnificent 90 Mile Beach. Experience the rush of speed as you sandboard down white sand dunes at Te Paki stream on a boogie board. Includes a lunch.
Adult Price: $155.00

Discover Kerikeri

Enjoy a relaxing tour of Kerikeri, showcasing the rich history of the North. This tour takes a look at the importance of wine-growing in the region and visits a small family-run boutique vineyard, Ake Ake to sample some of their organic wine. And then take a step back in time with visits to the Historic Stone Store and Kemp House. And then conclude the tour with a stop-off at the local chocolate factory – Makana – where you can watch the delicious chocolates being made, and of course, taste a few samples!
Adult Price: $60.00

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Take a wander through the grounds of New Zealand’s most important historic site, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, rich in history and stories of the momentous events which shaped a nation. The grounds are where Maori chiefs first signed their accord with the British Crown – the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document. Visit treasures such as the Treaty House, Meeting House, Flagstaff and Ceremonial War Canoe. Roam the grounds on your own, or enhance your visit with a guided tour. Many of the guides descend from signatories to the Treaty which will give your visit a personal connection to Waitangi.
Adult Price: $45.00

Wellington

Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park

Set in 22 acres of beautiful native trees and streams, Rainbow Springs is home to a huge variety of New Zealand’s most precious inhabitants. Experience the adrenalin rush of The Big Splash, explore the many free flight aviaries, come face to face with pre-history in the eyes of the tuatara, and experience the wonder of the bird show featuring some of the funniest feathered performers you will ever see.
Adult Price: $50.00

Rotorua Tarawera and Lakes Tour

Discover Rotorua’s spectacular lakes area from the comfort of a fully restored World War II amphibious vehicle, able to travel on land and water. A 90 minute fun-filled and scenic journey that ventures onto the three Rotorua lakes, and is accompanied by an entertaining and informative commentary.
Adult Price: $89.00

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Discover the real Middle-earth on the most picturesque private farmland near Matamata in the North Island of New Zealand, where you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in a fascinating two-hour guided tour.
Adult Price: $119.00

Blenheim

Weta Wellington There And Back Again Tour

This movie-based experience provides a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse of Weta Workshop, the home of the special effects wizards whose work features in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies. The tour invites you to view the creative processes of a Weta technician and to touch, feel, and hold real props, weapons and models from the films the creative Weta team have worked on. Return transfers from the Wellington i-Site are included.
Adult Price: $65.00

Dunedin

Grand Traverse Scenic Flight

Explore the alpine wonderland of the Southern Alps’ highest peaks and glacial lakes on this 45-minute scenic flight, including Murchison Glacier, Tasman Glacier, Main Divide, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, westland coastal rainforests and Mount Cook.
Adult Price: $395.00

Te Anau

Monarch Wildlife Cruise

Cruise the length of the beautiful Otago Harbour, passing by the historic fishing village of Careys Bay and the working port of Port Chalmers. Then continue your tour out to the tip of the Otago Peninsula, enjoying unrivalled wildlife viewing. See what cannot be seen from land – Albatross, New Zealand Fur Seals and up to 20 species of bird and marine life in their undisturbed and otherwise inaccessible environment.
Adult Price: $150.00

Taieri Gorge Railway

Taieri Gorge Railway is one of the world’s great train trips, taking passengers from the hustle and bustle of Dunedin’s city centre to the rugged mountain interior of Central Otago, and back. Travel in comfort, cross magnificent stone and wrought iron viaducts, travel through a series of tunnels with rock walls only inches from the side of the train.
Adult Price: $105.00

Larnarch Castle Tour

Let your local driver take you on an exciting Otago Peninsula drive to New Zealand’s only castle. Your guided tour of the Larnach family home will give you insight into not only the architecture and style of the stately building, but also into William Larnach’s family life and the restoration done by the current owners during the past three decades. Enjoy views from the tower and marvel at the immaculate gardens before your return to Dunedin.
Adult Price: $76.00

Queenstown

Te Puia

Take a wander through Te Puia, New Zealand’s Maori Culture Centre, where you will have the opportunity to view the awesome power of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley… and much more!
Adult Price: $56.00

Te Anau Glow Worm Caves

2.5 hour tour incorporating a cruise across Lake Te Anau to Cavern House. Enjoy a guided tour (in small groups) through the limestone caverns, waterfalls and the glow worm grotto. Complimentary tea & coffee is available at Cavern House
Adult Price: $98.00

Punakaiki

Kiwi Birdlife Park

The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a wildlife sanctuary found in the heart of Queenstown. They hold and display over 20 species of native NZ wildlife in our 5 acre Park, all of which are part of nationally managed programmes. Your entry fee supports their conservation work. They offer guaranteed kiwi viewing in our specially constructed nocturnal houses, audio tours (available in English and Japanese; allow 45min), Conservation Shows (11am, 3pm; allow 30min) and Kiwi Feedings (10am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 4.30pm; allow 15min). They offer an all-day pass and the park can be enjoyed in all weather. Experience conservation in action!
Adult Price: $48.00

Shotover Jet

Enjoy a 30-minute jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River and through Shotover Canyon with the only company permitted to operate in this area. A major highlight is experiencing the famous “Shotover Jet Turn” where your boat spins through a full 360 degrees turn. Includes return transfers from Queenstown. (Duration: 1.5 hours in total)

Boutique Wine Tour

An afternoon amongst the boutique vineyards and splendid alpine scenery of Central Otago. Taste wines at 4 premium vineyards over two contrasting wine regions, learn about the wine and pioneering history and visit the Historic Precinct of Old Cromwell. Includes a delightful platter lunch and a glass of wine with lunch.
Adult Price: $199.00

Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour and Jet Boat Ride

Skippers Canyon Jet are the only company to offer a complete 4WD tour of Skippers Canyon and access to the unique mining relics available in the Sainsbury gold claim museum. Following the winding, yet majestic Skippers road, which carves its way down from the Coronet Peak ski road, over the saddle and down “Long gully” through to Skippers Canyon; your guide will detail the history of the road, hardships of the miners and how many miners were killed building the road over a century ago.
Adult Price: $195.00

Christchurch

Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight

Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox snowfields on this 40-minute scenic flight. Cross the main divide for breathtaking views of Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Highlights include a snow landing, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and Mt Cook.
Adult Price: $460.00

Twin Glacier Flight

From a mantle of pure white snow, massive rivers of ice wind their way down glacier valleys. Explore the glaciers, an incredible natural phenomenon on this 30-minute scenic flight. Highlights include a snow landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.
Adult Price: $320.00

Haast River Safari

Travel on a purpose built fully enclosed river jet boat with front-loading access. Great visibility is ensured, yet you remain warm, dry and comfortable, making this a unique and safe experience suitable for anyone of any age to participate in and enjoy.
Adult Price: $109.00

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Service
the tour was rated Comfortable. In actuality it was a rugged pace with too many activities crammed into one day. It was exhausting for people our age---and others, younger than us, also complained. Tour Director and Driver were exceptionally good. Accommodations fine although I wish we had been forewarned about the lack of air conditioning in places.
Vacation
Certainly saw a lot of New Zealand and it was quite staggeringly beautiful.
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