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Contrasts of New Zealand

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Tour Style: First Class
12 Days from $2,768 per person

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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  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!
  5. Today 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, sourced from fresh locally-grown produce, at the Red Barn on their beautiful Waikato dairy farm (from April 1 2018). This evening enter the traditional world of the Maori for a unique Cultural Insight. Enjoy a Hangi Regional Meal with wine, and a powerful and entertaining cultural performance, at the Tamaki Family Marae.
    meal(s):BB, BG, RM
  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.
    hotel:Novotel (Distinction from April 1 2018)
  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, RM
  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 perhaps ride a gondola to the Skyline Restaurant for dinner.
  11. You'll be awestruck by the sensational alpine landscape of Mt. Cook National Park. You may wish to take an Optional Experience scenic flight over Mt. Cook (weather permitting). See Lake Pukaki, and at Tekapo you'll stop to view the charming Church of the Good shepherd. Later, you are welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor to enjoy a Be My Guest lunch in their 600 acre garden and gain an insight into the day to day operation of farm life. Then travel over the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, where you'll join your Travel Director and new-found friends this evening for a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):BB, BG, FD
  12. Your vacation concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).

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.

  • 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

9 nights, 9 hot buffet breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners , On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasures

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Be My Guest

  • Meet Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan for lunch on their dairy farm in the beautiful rural setting in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand. Join Angie and Stan Taylor in their 600-acre garden at Morelea Farm in the Canterbury region


Cultural Insight

  • Gain an insight into their indigenous culture and traditions at the Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Rotorua

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Auckland including harbor cruise
  • Visit a geothermal valley, Franz Josef Glacier
  • Cruise on Milford Sound
  • View native flora and fauna, jade carving in Hoktika, Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
  • See Mt. Cook, waterfalls, lakes, rivers
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
15 Nov 17 26 Nov 17 checkmark $3,350pp Request Quote
22 Nov 17 3 Dec 17 checkmark $3,350pp Request Quote
6 Dec 17 17 Dec 17 checkmark $3,350pp Request Quote
20 Dec 17 31 Dec 17 checkmark $3,350pp Request Quote
27 Dec 17 7 Jan 18 checkmark $3,350pp Request Quote
3 Jan 18 14 Jan 18 checkmark $3,350pp Request Quote
10 Jan 18 21 Jan 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
17 Jan 18 28 Jan 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
24 Jan 18 4 Feb 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
31 Jan 18 11 Feb 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
7 Feb 18 18 Feb 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
14 Feb 18 25 Feb 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
21 Feb 18 4 Mar 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
28 Feb 18 11 Mar 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
7 Mar 18 18 Mar 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
14 Mar 18 25 Mar 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
21 Mar 18 1 Apr 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
28 Mar 18 8 Apr 18 checkmark $3,350$3,015pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
4 Apr 18 15 Apr 18 checkmark $3,175$2,858pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
11 Apr 18 22 Apr 18 checkmark $3,175$2,858pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
25 Apr 18 6 May 18 checkmark $3,175$2,858pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
23 May 18 3 Jun 18 checkmark $3,175$2,858pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
13 Jun 18 24 Jun 18 checkmark $3,075$2,768pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
11 Jul 18 22 Jul 18 checkmark $3,075$2,768pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
22 Aug 18 2 Sep 18 checkmark $3,075$2,768pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
29 Aug 18 9 Sep 18 $3,075$2,768pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
12 Sep 18 23 Sep 18 checkmark $3,075$2,768pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote
26 Sep 18 7 Oct 18 checkmark $3,075$2,768pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote

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.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. 

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.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • 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 48 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.


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