Contrasts of New Zealand

11 Days from $3,250 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Active

The icy fingers of the Franz Josef Glacier will almost have you in their grip as you explore its frosty wilderness en route to the warmth of New Zealand's geothermal wonders, the magical Milford Sound and a mouth-watering Hangi feast shared with a local Maori family.

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Overview

The icy fingers of the Franz Josef Glacier will almost have you in their grip as you explore its frosty wilderness en route to the warmth of New Zealand's geothermal wonders, the magical Milford Sound and a mouth-watering Hangi feast shared with a local Maori family.

  1. Board your overnight flight to New Zealand (not included).

  2. Cross the international date-line.

  3. Welcome to Auckland! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 4pm). The afternoon is free for you to explore the city. You could visit the Sky Tower for amazing views of the city. Perhaps visit the Auckland Museum or go shopping in stylish Parnell. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and dinner at your hotel.
    meal(s):WR, DW
    hotel:Stamford Plaza
  4. Start the day with a sightseeing tour. You'll see Bastion Point, the War Memorial, Viaduct Harbor, the Auckland Harbor Bridge and more. Later, board your cruise on Auckland's Waitemata Harbor. Sit back and relax, the time is yours, it's the best way to see Auckland, the City of Sails!
    meal(s):BB
  5. You’re invited to a Be My Guest lunch at the home of Lance and Bridgette O’Sullivan, New Zealand horse racing royalty. Enjoy a sumptuous country-style lunch at the Red Barn on their beautiful Waikato farm. This evening enjoy a traditional Hangi Highlight Dinner and cultural performance at the Tamaki Family Marae.

    meal(s):BB, L, D
    hotel:Millennium
  6. Your morning sightseeing tour includes a visit to Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where with a Local Specialist you will discover native bush, ferns and trees that grow around the crystal clear mineral water springs. You may even spot a kiwi, New Zealand's national icon! From here you'll visit Te Puia (New Zealand's Maori culture and geothermal experience). A Maori Local Specialist will escort you through the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve with its mud pools and geysers. In the afternoon you'll fly to Christchurch.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Distinction
  7. Start the day with a spectacular train journey on the TranzAlpine from Christchurch through the Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass. At the small town of Hokitika visit a New Zealand greenstone (jade) factory for a jewelry demonstration with a Local Specialist. Next you'll arrive at the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier. You'll have the opportunity to see it from the air on an optional scenic flight (weather permitting).
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Te Waonui Forest Retreat
  8. Get your camera ready today as you'll experience some spectacular sights. Drive over the Haast Pass, past Thunder Creek Falls, Lakes Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan. Enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell, the stone fruit capital. Next you'll visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown before arriving in Queenstown, where an orientation tour completes your day. This evening join your Travel Director for dinner at The Boatshed set in the historic New Zealand Railways Shipping Office built in 1936. Restored and relocated to its lakefront setting, The Boatshed, with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range, is the perfect venue for your exclusive Regional Meal with wine.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Millennium
  9. Journey over the Devil's Staircase and along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau and its lake, the largest in the South Island. Travel through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges. Drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the numerous photo opportunities afforded by the Mirror Lake, Pop's Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls before reaching mystical Milford Sound. Enjoy lunch while you cruise on this wonder of nature. Return to Queenstown this evening.
    meal(s):BB, L
  10. Today you may like to consider taking one of our Optional Experiences. You could ride the Shotover Jet boat, cruise across Lake Wakatipu onboard the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue dinner, take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon or just explore Queenstown on your own. This evening, join your Travel Director for dinner at the BoatShed. Set in the restored historic Railway Shipping Office and relocated to its lakefront setting in 1936, The Boatshed with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, it is the perfect venue for your exclusive farewell dinner.   

    meal(s):BB, DW
  11. Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. Transfers to Queenstown International Airport are available. 

    meal(s):BB
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
10 Oct 18 20 Oct 18 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
14 Nov 18 24 Nov 18 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
21 Nov 18 1 Dec 18 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
28 Nov 18 8 Dec 18 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
5 Dec 18 15 Dec 18 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
26 Dec 18 5 Jan 19 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
2 Jan 19 12 Jan 19 $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
9 Jan 19 19 Jan 19 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
16 Jan 19 26 Jan 19 $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
23 Jan 19 2 Feb 19 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
30 Jan 19 9 Feb 19 $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
6 Feb 19 16 Feb 19 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
13 Feb 19 23 Feb 19 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
20 Feb 19 2 Mar 19 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
27 Feb 19 9 Mar 19 $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
6 Mar 19 16 Mar 19 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
13 Mar 19 23 Mar 19 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
20 Mar 19 30 Mar 19 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
27 Mar 19 6 Apr 19 $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $1,015.

Triple Room Discount: Save up to $165 p.p.

Air: Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Land Only price requires the following intratrip flights to be purchased separately in order to fulfill the trip itinerary: Day 6 from Rotorua to Christchurch - NZ5785/5787. Grand European Tours guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

8 nights, 8 hot buffet breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Auckland including harbour cruise
  • Cruise on Waitemata Harbour and Milford Sound
  • View native flora and fauna, jade carving in Hokitika and the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
  • Visit Te Puia Thermal Valley and Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Highlights

  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most regions or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • Porterage, local tips and charges
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver, Driver Guide only on Mini-Stays
  • All hotel charges and local taxes Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
  • VIP entry to many sights
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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  • U.S. citizens traveling to New Zealand must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens to enter New Zealand.

  • You will be using the New Zealand dollar on your trip. You can use your debit or credit card for purchases. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • Food in New Zealand is innovative and diverse. As island nations with strong agricultural traditions, culinary traditions here are guided by local ingredients and seasonal variations, as well as international influences. You’ll find a variety of seafood including fresh oysters and crab, grilled steaks and lamb chops, meat pies, and fish and chips.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable, lightweight clothing that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Sturdy walking shoes are important. Insect repellent and sunscreen may come in handy, as well as a light jacket and reusable water bottle. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • It is not customary to tip at restaurants in New Zealand. If you would like to reward good service when dining out it’s appropriate to leave 10 percent gratuity for your waiter.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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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.

Franz Josef Glacier

Haast River Safari

Adult Price: $NZ 109 | Child Price: $NZ 59

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.

Franz Josef Glacier

The Helicopter Line - Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40Mins

Adult Price: $NZ 460 | Child Price: $NZ 322

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.

Franz Josef Glacier

The Helicopter Line - Twin Glacier Flight 30Mins

Adult Price: $NZ 315 | Child Price: $NZ 220.50

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.

Franz Josef Glacier

The Helicopter Line - Neve Discoverer Flight 20Mins

Adult Price: $NZ 245 | Child Price: $NZ 171.50

Lift off and fly up over the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier to land amongst this alpine wonderland on a 20-minute scenic flight. Highlights include landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier and a snow or icefall landing.

Queenstown

Kiwi Birdlife Park

Adult Price: $NZ 48 | Child Price: $NZ 23

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!

Queenstown

Shotover Jet

Adult Price: $NZ 149 | Child Price: $NZ 79

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)

Queenstown

Appellation Central Wine Tours - Boutique Wine Tour

Adult Price: $NZ 199 | Child Price: $NZ 139

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.

Queenstown

Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour & Jet Boat

Adult Price: $NZ 195 | Child Price: $NZ 115

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.

Queenstown

Lakeshore, Forest And Bird Guided Walk

Adult Price: $NZ 109 | Child Price: $NZ 69

"The 'Lakeshore Forest and Bird' guided walk is a unique nature interpretative experience. Taken at a leisurely pace through native beech forest, with morning or afternoon tea/coffee on the lake-shore where you stop and enjoy views across the lake to The Remarkables and Cecil Peak. The walk begins in native shrub and beech forest, and the track leads down through the forest to the edge Lake Wakatipu. Great views can be had looking out through the trees and over the water to the mountains beyond. Return transfers from your Queenstown accommodation are included. "

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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