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Contrasts of New Zealand

9 Days from $2,903 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Active

From the Icy Fingers of Franz Josef Glacier to the warmth of Rotorua's Geothermal wonders, New Zealand will have you in its grip. Explore the magical Milford Sound and indulge in a mouth-watering hangi feast shared with a local Maori Family.

Travel to New Zealand from the USA requires crossing the International Date Line. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1. Ensure your flights are booked two days prior to the start date of the tour itinerary.

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Overview

From the Icy Fingers of Franz Josef Glacier to the warmth of Rotorua's Geothermal wonders, New Zealand will have you in its grip. Explore the magical Milford Sound and indulge in a mouth-watering hangi feast shared with a local Maori Family.

Travel to New Zealand from the USA requires crossing the International Date Line. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1. Ensure your flights are booked two days prior to the start date of the tour itinerary.

  1. 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 settle in to one of the world's most liveable cities. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and dinner at your hotel.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Stamford Plaza
  2. Immerse yourself in Auckland's intoxicating charm this morning as you embark on a city sightseeing tour to Mission Bay. Ascend to Bastion Point to admire views of the city skyline and Auckland Harbour, which you'll have an opportunity to explore later on board a cruise. Sit back and relax, as you experience first-hand why Auckland justifiably earns its reputation as the City of Sails.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  3. Your tour highlight today is a visit to Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan's dairy farm, where you'll connect with locals and discover New Zealand's horse racing traditions over a sumptuous country-style Be My Guest lunch. This evening, dive into culture at the Tamaki Family Marae, complete with a tasty Hangi Regional Meal with wine and powerful Māori cultural performance revealing the rituals and traditions of this ancient culture. 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):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Regional Meal
    hotel:Millennium
  4. Encounter New Zealand's indigenous creatures that find sanctuary alongside the crystal-clear mineral springs of Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Join a Local Specialist who will help you spot shy kiwi amongst the native bush, ferns and trees. From here, dive into culture when you journey to Te Puia to meet the local Māori community at Whakawerawera for an introduction to their gift from the gods—the bubbling geysers, mud pools and thermal springs of Rotorua. A Māori Local Specialist will show you New Zealand's largest geyser before you board your flight to Christchurch.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Distinction
  5. Journey across the Canterbury Plains and snow-capped Southern Alps on board the TranzAlpine, one of the world's most scenic rail journeys. Admire the vivid hues of greenstone (jade) during a visit to Hokitika for an exclusive jewelry carving demonstration with a Local Specialist master carver. 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).

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Te Waonui Forest Retreat
  6. Journey across Haast Pass, along the pebbled shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and past Thunder Creek Falls. Savor the juicy flavors of apricots, peaches, plums in Cromwell, New Zealand's stone fruit capital, then visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown before arriving in Queenstown, where an orientation tour completes your day.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
    hotel:Millennium
  7. 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.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  8. Push your boundaries and indulge your inner adventurer on an Optional Experience. You could ride the Shotover Jet boat, take a minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon or simply explore Queenstown on your own. 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 Farewell Dinner.  

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  9. Your vacation concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Queenstown Airport for your onward fight (flights anytime).

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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    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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  • Important Note: This departure is subject to price, itinerary and hotel modification.

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 $1,065.

Air: Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Land Only price requires the following intra-trip flights to be purchased separately in order to fulfill the trip itinerary: Day 4 from Rotorua to Christchurch - NZ5785. GET 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 hot buffet breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect with Locals

  • Join the O'Sullivans in the North Island for lunch at the Red Barn on their beautiful dairy farm in the Waikato region.

Dive into Culture

  • Immerse yourself in Māori culture and enjoy a traditional Māori feast at the Tamaki Māori Marae.

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Rotorua.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Auckland, Christchurch
  • Cruise on Aukland Harbor, Milford Sound
  • View native flora and fauna, jade carving in Hokitika, the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
  • Visit Te Puia Thermal Valley, Franz Josef Glacier
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.

Print Itinerary

Reviews

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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.

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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