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Welcome to the New Zealand's invigorating North Island hub. On arrival in Auckland, transfer to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 4pm) and spend the rest of the day at leisure. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception and dinner at your hotel.
Immerse yourself in Auckland’s intoxicating charm as you embark on a city sightseeing tour to Mission Bay. Keep your camera at the ready to capture spectacular panoramic views of the skyline, sprawling North Shore and Waitemata Harbour from Bastion Point and Michael Joseph Savage Memorial. Spend the afternoon as you wish.
Cross the rolling hills of King Country to Rotorua. Encounter New Zealand's indigenous creatures that find sanctuary alongside the crystal-clear mineral springs of Rainbow Springs Nature Park. 'Join Trafalgar' and learn how your visit supports the conservation of the native bird, the kiwi. A 'Local Specialist' will help you spot shy kiwi amongst the native bush, ferns and trees. This evening, Dive into Culture' at the Tamaki Maori Village, complete with a tasty Hangi Regional Dinner with wine and powerful Māori cultural performance, revealing the rituals and traditions of this ancient culture.
Spend time at leisure this morning or consider joining an Optional Experience to Te Puia to meet the local Māori community for an introduction to their gift from the gods – the bubbling geysers, mud pools and thermal springs of Rotorua. Later, we fly to Queenstown.
Travel south over the Devil's Staircase and along the tranquil shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau, the gateway to South Island's spectacular fiords. Continue through the ancient forests of Fiordland National Park, driving past peaks and glaciers and through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to capture the startling natural beauty of Cleddau Valley and Mirror Lake. A journey filled with pinch-me moments awaits as you take to the tranquil waters of Milford Sound, enjoying a soul-stirring encounter with this wonder of nature and lunch on board before returning to Queenstown for an evening at leisure.
Your final day in Queenstown could see you take an Optional Experience on the Shotover Jet boat or a cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue lunch. 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, is the perfect venue for your exclusive Regional Dinner.
Before departing Queenstown, you'll visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, then savour the juicy flavours of apricots, peaches, plums in Cromwell, New Zealand's stone fruit capital, near the pristine waters of Lake Dunstan. Journey along the pebbled shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea across the Haast Pass and past Thunder Creek Falls. Continue to the luminescent icy depths of the Franz Josef Glacier, which you may choose to explore by air on an Optional Experience scenic flight (weather permitting).
Admire the vivid hues of greenstone (jade) during a visit to Hokitika for an exclusive jewellery carving demonstration with a 'Local Specialist' master carver. Continue inland to the small settlement of Arthur's Pass to board the TranzAlpine, one of the world's most scenic rail trips, for the journey across the Canterbury Plains and snow-capped Southern Alps to Christchurch.
'Connect With Locals' Isabelle and Tim Weston in their home, a former horse stables, for a 'Be My Guest' morning tea. Ask them to tell you the story behind the Britten V1000 motorcycle, which was designed and built by Isabelle's father in the garage at Britten Stables. This evening, join your Travel Director and new-found friends for a Farewell Dinner.
Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).
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