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New Zealand Uncovered

17 Day New Zealand Tour of Auckland

17 Days
1 Country

New Zealand

11 Cities

Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Twizel, Dunedin, Te Anau, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Punakaiki

30 Meals

1 Welcome Reception, 16 Breakfasts, 2 Be My Guests, 3 Regional Dinners, 6 Dinners, 1 Lunch, 1 Farewell Dinner

Active

Faster paced with mix of 1 and 2-night stays in each destination. Requires walking to participate in top sites.

Average group size average 40-45
Tour brand Trafalgar

Trafalgar

If you like hassle free travel with everything handled for you – looking to meet great people, eat great food, enjoy great sightseeing, and have immersive experiences, Trafalgar is for you.  From the iconic not-to-be-missed to one-of-a-kind local experiences, including Be-my-Guest dining and stays with stories, you’ll connect deeper to your destination, and every tour has at least one MAKE TRAVEL MATTER immersive impact experience included advancing one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), offering you the chance to take a deep dive into culture and community. As the world’s leading tour company and trusted by more than 5 million guests, Trafalgar tours are simply the best value for your vacation dollar.

View all Trafalgar Tours

The perfect New Zealand tour to bring New Zealand’s North and South Islands to life across land and sea, taking in both cities and small towns. You’ll traverse epic landscapes, indulge in fresh food and delicious wine, experience farming and Maori culture firsthand, and meet welcoming locals with stories to share.

Reviews
2
Average group size
average 40-45
Tour brand
Trafalgar
Globe

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Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Auckland

Welcome to Auckland, the “City of Sails,” and a beautiful jumping off point for your 17-day New Zealand tour (flights to arrive prior to 4pm). You’ll meet your Travel Director and travel mates over a Welcome Reception at The Grill.

View of Auckland, New Zealand
Accommodation Horizon by SkyCity Auckland
Included Meals Welcome Reception

Day 2

Sights of Auckland, City of Sails

Your perfect start to your time in this this seafaring city, begin your day diving into Auckland’s maritime history over an exclusive America’s Cup tour at the New Zealand Maritime Museum with a Local Specialist before it opens to the public. Now that you’ve got your first taste, learn even more your beautiful surrounds on a city highlights tour from the heart of the city at the Auckland Waterfront. Continue to Mission Bay, historic Bastion Point, and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial keeping your camera at hand to capture the Auckland skyline, and Waitemata Harbor. Then spend the rest of the afternoon exploring on your own. Why not take a stroll down Queen Street to Viaduct Harbor’s main shopping precinct and enjoy a glass of New Zealand’s crisp Sauvignon Blanc? Or you may like to take a cruise to see Auckland like the locals do, by water.

Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand
Accommodation Horizon by SkyCity Auckland
Included Meals Breakfast
Optional Experiences Enjoy All Black Rugby Experience in Auckland New Zealand
All Blacks Experience - Guided Tour & Interactive Zone

The All Blacks Experience is an introduction to “kiwi culture” through the lens of our national sport. An immersive and emotive state-of-the-art gu...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Ted Ashby Scenic Cruise in Auckland, New Zealand
Ted Ashby Scenic Cruise

Set sail on our heritage scow, TED ASHBY, for an hour-long cruise in Auckland's Harbor. See the city skyline, Sky Tower and Auckland Harbor Bridge from the sea.

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences

Cruise on the 40-minute passenger ferry to Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Golf.  The Waiheke Island Hop-On Hop-Off Explorer Bus is a brilliant way t...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences

Cruise on the 40-minute passenger ferry to Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Golf.   On arrival meet the Hop-On Hop-Off Explorer Bus to travel to your ...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 3

Rotorua, Center of Maori Culture

Leave Auckland behind and journey into the countryside for an exclusive family-style Be My Guest lunch in the Red Barn on a working dairy farm. Prior to your farm to table lunch prepared by the onsite chef, get a feel for country life as you're invited to roll up your sleeves and make your own butter - butter churners, tiny mason jars and all! The next hot-spot on your NZ holiday – in every sense of the word – is Rotorua. Visit Te Puia to see and support Maori artisans at work, then continue your Rotorua tour at the steamy Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, a staggering valley where geysers pop and thermal springs jettison skywards.

Visit Whakarewarewa Living Village in Rotorua, New Zealand
Accommodation Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Included Meals Breakfast, Be My Guest
Be My Guest Join The O'Sullivan's for lunch on thieir farm in The Waikato District, New Zealand
Lunch on a Dairy Farm

Enjoy farm-to-table fare at a Be My Guest lunch on a Waikato dairy farm in the North Island.

Included in Trip

Be My Guest

Day 4

Experience Rotorua for Yourself

Today, choose your own adventure. We have plenty of ideas for the paths you might follow. Optional Rotorua tour sightseeing experiences include zipping across Rotorua’s three lakes in an amphibious WWII-era Duck. There’s also the option of relieving NZ holiday-weary limbs in the thermal waters of the Wai Araki Hot Springs & Spa. The decision is yours. Tonight, dive deep into Indigenous culture and traditions at Te Pa Tu Maori Experience with culture and kai (cuisine). Hear about Māori history, traditions, and future aspirations across four hours of celebration and feasting. Enjoy forest kai horotai (seasonal canapés) and chef choice aperitif, followed by a seasonal three-course dinner.

Poi performance in Rotorua, New Zealand
Accommodation Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Included Meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
Optional Experiences Enjoy the Canopy zipline tour in Rotorua, New Zealand
Canopy Tours - The Original Canopy Tour

Canopy tours zipline adventure activity is an experience of a lifetime. You’ll be transported to a long forgotten ancient forest just like the whol...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Hobbiton movie set in Matamata, New Zealand
Hobbiton Day Tour - Ex Rotorua

Travel from Rotorua to Hobbiton. Experience the real Middle-earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set, where, in the heart of the Waikato region, you can ste...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences
Wai Araki Hot Springs & Spa

A multisensory experience for the body, mind and spirit, The Restorative Journey is a unique spa experience of rejuvenation and cultural immersion....

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Enjoy a duck tour of Rotorua, New Zealand
Rotorua Duck - 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...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 5

Wellington the Cool Capital

Say goodbye to Rotorua and hello to the raging rapids of Huka Falls, where 220,000 litres of water barrel over this massive waterfall every second. Your outlook then unfolds into the dreamy landscape of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in the country. Traverse the volcanic Central Plateau to NZ’s cool little capital of Wellington, set on a pretty harbor.

Huka Falls in Taupō, New Zealand
Accommodation Rydges
Included Meals Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Wellington, Yours to Explore

Your day in Wellington should – must – begin with a coffee. The city is known for its uber-cool cafés and with coffee in hand you will head out on city sights tour to take in highlights such as its iconic cable car, parliament, and Mt. Victoria  This afternoon is yours to discover Wellington. Your tour ends at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, where you may choose to visit the groundbreaking exhibitions on offer. Later you may decide on an optional tour. Lord of the Rings fans will rejoice with a special tour and visit to Weta Workshop. Or the first urban completely fenced ecosanctuary of Zealandia, where the biodiversity of 225 hectares of forest is being restored. Tonight, there are so many restaurants and bars to choose from. Ask us for recommendations or explore at your leisure. Because every NZ holiday needs a little down time.

Cable Car in Wellington, New Zealand
Accommodation Rydges
Included Meals Breakfast
Optional Experiences
Zealandia

ZEALANDIA has some of the most unique biodiversity and advanced conservation techniques in the world. Join an experienced guide on an engaging and ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences
Movie Locations & The WETA Workshops

An epic journey through Middle-earth. Visit Movie locations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and explore the stunning Wellington Region that inspir...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 7

Kaikoura on the Coast

This morning cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound from the North Island to the South, through a maze of arms and inlets into the sleepy seaside village of Picton. Continue to Kaikoura, where Sperm Whales, dolphins and fur seals can often be seen not far from shore. On arrival you'll will be treated to a biodiversity talk from the founder of Kaikōura Wildlife Center Trust, Sabrina Leucht, at a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Sabrina's ambitious goal is to implement a world-class wildlife hospital in this biodiversity hotspot. Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation is a critical conservation tool, providing treatment to injured and ill animals, ensuring at-risk native species have a chance at recovery and return to the wild. Tonight, you'll dine at Hiku. Hiku celebrates what Kaikōura is all about - kai moana, fresh produce, marine life, and dramatic sea and mountain scapes.

See dolphins in Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand
Accommodation Sudima (Kaikoura, New Zealand)
Included Meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® See birds in Kaikoura wildlife hospital, Canterbury, New Zealand
Hear about work being done to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife

Your visit to the Kaikoura Wildlife Center contributes towards the creation of a wildlife hospital in this biodiversity hotspot.

Included in Trip

MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®

Day 8

From Country to City, Christchurch

Enjoy a relaxed start this morning or sign up for one of several local wildlife Optional Experiences. Choose from an scenic flight over dramatic beaches framed by turquoise ocean where whales are regularly spotted, or perhaps you’d prefer a cruise to site pods of dolphin which are prolific in the area, or a kayaking tour of the coast to get up close and personal with seals basking on the rocks. You won’t be disappointed. Follow the coast and Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, home to some of the country’s most innovative architecture, art institutions and restaurants. We can help you make a booking in any number of the latter.

River Avon in Christchurch, New Zealand
Accommodation Distinction Christchurch Hotel
Included Meals Breakfast
Optional Experiences
Wings Over Whales - Whale Watch 30min tour

Depart from the Helipads straight over the Kaikōura Whale Sanctuary to view some of nature's most amazing marine life. Kaikōura is located on the m...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences
Wings Over Whales - Whale Watch & Scenic tour 45mins

Our 45 minute Whale Watch Ocean Safari incorporates the Explorer experience viewing the local sperm whale population, with additional time to enjoy...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences
Kaikoura Kayaks Wildlife Tour

This adventure around the beautiful coastal waters 100% guarantees seal viewing and takes in the breath-taking views of sheer cliff faces, craggy r...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 9

Through Breathtaking Scenery to Twizel

Kick off a big day with a short overview of Christchurch sites including the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Earthquake Memorial, Bridge of Remembrance, and streets lined with bars, cafés, and riverside markets. Then it’s off to the country stopping in the quaint farming town of Geraldine for an independent lunch in one of its cafés and perhaps Talbots Forest Cheese for complimentary samples. Continue your journey over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo where you will stop at the little stone hewn Church of the Good Shepherd. From there its a short hop to the home of retired farmers Angie and Stan Taylor on the shores of Lake Tekapo. Enjoy real New Zealand hospitality at a Be My Guest afternoon tea as Angie invites you into her kitchen as she prepares the New Zealand specialty dessert, Pavlova. Watch and learn her special recipe and enjoy this favorite treat. Your sweet tooth satisfied, you'll arrive in your destination, Twizel. This cute town and popular holiday destination is the perfect place end the day. Pulling into the hotel, kick back and enjoy classic New Zealand cuisine overlooking the garden before another day of exploration.

Lupine field in Twizel, New Zealand
Accommodation Distinction Mackenzie Country Hotel Twizel
Included Meals Breakfast, Be My Guest, Dinner
Be My Guest Join your hosts Angie and Stan Taylor in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Visit Retired Farmers at Lake Takapo

Join your hosts, former farmers Angie and Stan Taylor, for afternoon tea in their home on the shores of Lake Tekapo.

Included in Trip

Be My Guest

Optional Experiences Enjoy a 45-minute scenic glaier flight in Franz Josef, New Zealand
Air Safaris - 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, T...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 10

Dunedin, City of Scottish Heritage

Begin your journey to the Edinburgh of the South traveling along the Waitaki River en route to Oamaru. This quirky town of tree-lined streets, white limestone buildings, and 19th century architecture is known for its Victorian style. Feel like you’re stepping back in time browsing shops and galleries of traditional crafts, and perhaps refresh with a morning tea. Get ready for a change of scene in your next destination of Scottish-inspired Dunedin. You have the rest of the day free to stroll the streets of this vibrant university town and 'mini-Edinburgh'. Or explore more of the area visiting the famous Speight's Brewery, or touring New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle. Recap the day’s adventures with your travel mates over dinner at the Scenic Southern Cross Hotel. In the heart of Dunedin and blocks from the waterfront, here you’ll feast on local meats and produce.

Houses in Dunedin, New Zealand
Accommodation Scenic Hotel Southern Cross Dunedin
Included Meals Breakfast, Dinner
Optional Experiences
Lanarch 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 ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences
City to Sea Tour

Meet our unique local wildlife and discover why Dunedin is NZ’s nature capital. Enjoy a special wildlife experience around Taiaroa Head and out to ...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Visit Speight’s Brewery in Dunedin, New Zealand
Speights Brewery - Guided Tour

No visitor to Dunedin should leave without taking the Speight’s Brewery Tour. Since 1876 the brewery has been proudly producing Speight’s legendary...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences
Bread to Bottle Tour "MTM Experience''

Visit Dunedin Craft Distillers, the first distillery in Aotearoa New Zealand and one of only a handful worldwide, to produce botanical spirits from...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Enjoy a Monarch Wildlife Cruise in Dunedin, New Zealand
Wildlife Cruise & Larnach 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 ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 11

Te Anau, Gateway to Fiordland

Today you’ll head out of Dunedin through farmlands to Te Anau. Your first stop is Gore, a hot spot for country music fans, and all who appreciate nature and simple rural charm. Journey through sheep-filled farming land winding your way up into the Fiordland National Park and the South Island's largest lake to Te Anau. A truly memorable thrill awaits you next, exploring the islands on a jet boat ride down the Waiau River to Lake Manapouri savoring its many tranquil spots. Take in the birds and swimming trout as you learn about this unique environment’s history. This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience is not only scenic but supports the Pomona Island Charitable Trust’s conservation efforts to restore the largest inland island in New Zealand to its natural state where native birds can thrive. This afternoon is yours to stay in or opt to explore the fascinating, glittering glowworm caves before dinner at the Distinction Hotel.

Lake Te Anau, New Zealand
Accommodation Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Included Meals Breakfast, Dinner
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Explore Fiordland National Park by jet boat in New Zealand
Pure Wilderness

Contribute to the restoration and conservation of Pomona and Rona Islands as sanctuaries for native plants and animals.

Included in Trip

MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®

Optional Experiences Tour Te Anau Glow Worm Caves in Te Anau, New Zealand
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, wate...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 12

Queenstown, Adventure Playground

Today you're bound for New Zealand’s adventure capital with a drive of stunning scenery along the way. Journey through Fiordland National Park past native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats, and meadows. Passing Mirror Lakes, catch the reflection of mountain scenery shimmering in the water. Then continue through Homer Tunnel, an attempt to tame the sheer rocky ranges, emerging in the Cleddau Valley. Take your exploration to water as you cruise the tranquil waters of the Milford Sound/Piopiotahi filled will plenty of photo ops - keep an eye out for fur seals basking on the rocks. See the breathtaking sites of Bowen and Stirling Falls plummeting from hanging valleys into the sea and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak rising from the deep waters of the fiord. After a spectacular afternoon on Milford Sound, you’ll arrive in adventure-lovers Queenstown at your picturesque hotel on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

View of Milford Sound, New Zealand
Accommodation Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Included Meals Breakfast
Optional Experiences Enjoy a scenic flight from Milford Sound to return back to Queenstown, New Zealand
Air Milford - Milford Sound Flight Back To Queenstown

A scenic flight from Milford Sound to return back to Queenstown. During the 35 minute flight take in panoramic views of spectacular scenery includi...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 13

Queenstown Free Time, Your Time

Discover for yourself why Queenstown has earned its reputation as New Zealand’s adventure capital with a full day to explore. You could join an Optional Experience riding the adrenaline pumping Skippers Jet or tour through Skippers Canyon. After a big day of adventure, it's time to Dive Into Culture on an evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Here at the Colonel's Homestead, you’ll feast on a gourmet barbecue dinner piled high with ribs and fresh vegetables before an entertaining after-dinner farm show - offering a glimpse into high-country farm life. After you’ve seen the sheep dogs in action and gotten a feel for life on the homestead, cruise back to Queenstown, joining in a chorus or dancing across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw.

Pouring white wine in Queenstown, New Zealand
Accommodation Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Included Meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
Dive Into Culture Visit Walter Peak High Country Farm in Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand
An Interactive Farm Experience

Get up close to sheep and working dogs with a farm show at Walter Peak on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the New Zealand high country.

Included in Trip

Dive Into Culture

Optional Experiences Vineyard in Queenstown, New Zealand
Appellation Central Wine Tours - 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 w...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Visit the stunning locations from Lord of The Rings in Glenorchy, New Zealand
Pure Glenorchy - Lord Of The Rings Scenic Tour

Lord of The Rings Scenic Tour: Visit the stunning locations from The Lord of The Rings. Encounter lsengard, Lothlorien Forest, The Misty Mountains,...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Pouring white wine in Queenstown, New Zealand
Altitude Wine Tours - Queenstown Wine Sampler Tour

Did someone say Queenstown wine tour? It’s time to pinot! On this 6 hour tour travel in premium Mercedes vehicles visiting four of Central Otago’s ...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Kiwi park Queenstown Wildlife Sanctuary, New Zealand
Kiwi Park

Kiwi Park is a wildlife sanctuary found in the heart of Queenstown. It holds and displays over 20 species of native NZ wildlife in a 5 acre park, a...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Kjet boat tour in Queenstown, New Zealand
KJet

Take on the mighty Shotover River with Kawarau Jet (KJet) – Queenstown’s original Jet boat ride. Only KJet offers a 60 minute Queenstown Jet boat e...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Enjoy The Skippers Canyon scenic and jet boat tour in Queenstown, New Zealand
Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour & Jet Boat

Experience a spectacular guided tour of Skippers Canyon followed by a thrilling jet boat ride through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River. ...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 14

Franz Josef, Untamed Natural Wilderness

Leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind and begin your adventure through Central Otago and out to the West Coast. Stop in the restored gold-mining settlement of Arrowtown strolling its tree-lined avenues and 19th-century wooden buildings, feeling as if you’re in a movie set. Then journey to Cromwell on the sparkling shores of Lake Dunstan to stop at Mrs. Jones' fruit stall, connected to a local orchard, for a taste of some of the town's juicy stone fruit including apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums. More gorgeous lakes call as you travel further into Central Otago to take in the vivid blue waters and willow-lined shoreline of Lakes Hawea and Wanaka. Follow an ancient greenstone trail, cross Haast Pass, and exchange the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes for the rainforests of the wild West Coast. Your destination, and worth the journey, is the famous Franz Josef/Waiau, home to Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere, where you’ll have an opportunity to take an Optional helicopter flight for views you’ll never forget.

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Accommodation Scenic Franz Josef Glacier
Included Meals Breakfast, Dinner
Optional Experiences
Haast River Safari Jet Boat

Travel on a purpose built fully enclosed river jet boat with front-loading access. Great visibility is ensured, yet you remain warm, dry and comfor...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Optional Experiences Enjoy a 40-minute scenic mountain flight to Franz Josef Glacier and Mt. Cook, New Zealand
The Helicopter Line - Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40Mins

Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox snowfields on this 40-minute scenic flight. Cross the main divide for breathtaking views o...

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Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 15

Punakaiki, Home to a Coastal Forest

Sleep in or take the morning to explore the small but lively Franz Josef/Waiau village - perhaps visiting the West Coast Wildlife Center, before venturing to Hokitika, home of the native jade greenstone. From natural jewelery to natural surroundings, you’re off to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Stand at the edge of the water and take in these eroded limestone foundations - they really do look like pancakes! - which began forming 30 million years ago. Imagine the water and wind forming this pancake-like stack of limestone but be sure to listen closely. When you hear a 'whoosh' of water, you can be sure a burst of sea spray is coming through the blowholes. After a spectacular day, spend the night at the eco-friendly, waterfront Scenic Hotel Punakaiki, dining on local specialties with wine and views of the thundering surf just steps away.

Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, New Zealand
Accommodation Scenic Punakaiki
Included Meals Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16

All Aboard the TranzAlpine

It’s your last full day in New Zealand and it’s a big one full of local tastes and sights. Travel to Greymouth’s Monteith's Brewery where a Local Specialist will share the heritage and rich stories of this national icon since 1868. You'll get to taste ever-changing and innovative brews like summer ale and crushed pear cider before enjoying a pub-style lunch. Now that you’ve wet your whistle, board the famous TranzAlpine train to Christchurch on one of the world’s most scenic train trips through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges, and river valleys. This 223-kilometer journey across the South Island along the Waimakariri River and across the Southern Alps is a grand finale to the landscapes you’ve come to love. Celebrate the highlights of your trip joining your Travel Director and new friends for a Farewell Dinner showcasing food from the Canterbury region.

Tranz Alpine Train in Christchurch, Australia
Accommodation Distinction Christchurch Hotel
Included Meals Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell Dinner

Day 17

Farewell Christchurch

Sadly all good things must come to an end as your New Zealand tour concludes this morning after breakfast. After a fond farewell, you’ll be transferred by to Christchurch Airport (flights anytime).

Cable Car in Christchurch, New Zealand
Included Meals Breakfast

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Included Highlights

Top rated highlights

Learn more about the landmarks, history and culture that makes your destination special.

Be My Guest
Lunch on a Dairy Farm

Enjoy farm-to-table fare at a Be My Guest lunch on a Waikato dairy farm in the North Island.

Included in Trip
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®
Hear about work being done to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife

Your visit to the Kaikoura Wildlife Center contributes towards the creation of a wildlife hospital in this biodiversity hotspot.

Included in Trip
Be My Guest
Visit Retired Farmers at Lake Takapo

Join your hosts, former farmers Angie and Stan Taylor, for afternoon tea in their home on the shores of Lake Tekapo.

Included in Trip
MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®
Pure Wilderness

Contribute to the restoration and conservation of Pomona and Rona Islands as sanctuaries for native plants and animals.

Included in Trip
Dive Into Culture
An Interactive Farm Experience

Get up close to sheep and working dogs with a farm show at Walter Peak on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the New Zealand high country.

Included in Trip

About this trip

An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
Porterage where hotels provide this service
Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
All land transport shown. All transfers shown
Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
Optional Experiences and free time

What to expect

Explore the Pounamu Pathway in Greymouth with a Local Specialist
Discover Auckland, Wellington, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Queenstown, and Dunedin
Visit Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley in Rotorua
View the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
Scenic Cruise on the Cook Strait, Lake Wakatipu, and Milford Sound

Optional Experiences

Sign up on tour for additional experiences that have been curated by your Travel Director from their own in-depth local knowledge.

Optional Experience
All Blacks Experience - Guided Tour & Interactive Zone

The All Blacks Experience is an introduction to “kiwi culture” through the lens of our national sport. An immersive and emotive state-of-the-art gu...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Ted Ashby Scenic Cruise

Set sail on our heritage scow, TED ASHBY, for an hour-long cruise in Auckland's Harbor. See the city skyline, Sky Tower and Auckland Harbor Bridge from the sea.

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Canopy Tours - The Original Canopy Tour

Canopy tours zipline adventure activity is an experience of a lifetime. You’ll be transported to a long forgotten ancient forest just like the whol...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Hobbiton Day Tour - Ex Rotorua

Travel from Rotorua to Hobbiton. Experience the real Middle-earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set, where, in the heart of the Waikato region, you can ste...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Wai Araki Hot Springs & Spa

A multisensory experience for the body, mind and spirit, The Restorative Journey is a unique spa experience of rejuvenation and cultural immersion....

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Rotorua Duck - 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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Zealandia

ZEALANDIA has some of the most unique biodiversity and advanced conservation techniques in the world. Join an experienced guide on an engaging and ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Movie Locations & The WETA Workshops

An epic journey through Middle-earth. Visit Movie locations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and explore the stunning Wellington Region that inspir...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Wings Over Whales - Whale Watch 30min tour

Depart from the Helipads straight over the Kaikōura Whale Sanctuary to view some of nature's most amazing marine life. Kaikōura is located on the m...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Wings Over Whales - Whale Watch & Scenic tour 45mins

Our 45 minute Whale Watch Ocean Safari incorporates the Explorer experience viewing the local sperm whale population, with additional time to enjoy...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Kaikoura Kayaks Wildlife Tour

This adventure around the beautiful coastal waters 100% guarantees seal viewing and takes in the breath-taking views of sheer cliff faces, craggy r...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Air Safaris - 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, T...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
Lanarch 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 ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
Optional Experience
City to Sea Tour

Meet our unique local wildlife and discover why Dunedin is NZ’s nature capital. Enjoy a special wildlife experience around Taiaroa Head and out to ...

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Optional Experience
Speights Brewery - Guided Tour

No visitor to Dunedin should leave without taking the Speight’s Brewery Tour. Since 1876 the brewery has been proudly producing Speight’s legendary...

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Optional Experience
Bread to Bottle Tour "MTM Experience''

Visit Dunedin Craft Distillers, the first distillery in Aotearoa New Zealand and one of only a handful worldwide, to produce botanical spirits from...

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Optional Experience
Wildlife Cruise & Larnach 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 ...

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Optional Experience
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, wate...

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Optional Experience
Air Milford - Milford Sound Flight Back To Queenstown

A scenic flight from Milford Sound to return back to Queenstown. During the 35 minute flight take in panoramic views of spectacular scenery includi...

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Optional Experience
Appellation Central Wine Tours - 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 w...

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Optional Experience
Pure Glenorchy - Lord Of The Rings Scenic Tour

Lord of The Rings Scenic Tour: Visit the stunning locations from The Lord of The Rings. Encounter lsengard, Lothlorien Forest, The Misty Mountains,...

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Optional Experience
Altitude Wine Tours - Queenstown Wine Sampler Tour

Did someone say Queenstown wine tour? It’s time to pinot! On this 6 hour tour travel in premium Mercedes vehicles visiting four of Central Otago’s ...

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Optional Experience
Kiwi Park

Kiwi Park is a wildlife sanctuary found in the heart of Queenstown. It holds and displays over 20 species of native NZ wildlife in a 5 acre park, a...

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Optional Experience
KJet

Take on the mighty Shotover River with Kawarau Jet (KJet) – Queenstown’s original Jet boat ride. Only KJet offers a 60 minute Queenstown Jet boat e...

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Optional Experience
Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour & Jet Boat

Experience a spectacular guided tour of Skippers Canyon followed by a thrilling jet boat ride through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River. ...

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Optional Experience
Haast River Safari Jet Boat

Travel on a purpose built fully enclosed river jet boat with front-loading access. Great visibility is ensured, yet you remain warm, dry and comfor...

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Optional Experience
The Helicopter Line - Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40Mins

Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox snowfields on this 40-minute scenic flight. Cross the main divide for breathtaking views o...

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New Zealand

  • Official Languages across New Zealand: English the official language of New Zealand.
  • Currency used in New Zealand: The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar ($).
  • Capital Cities:: The capital of New Zealand is Wellington.
  • Time Zone(s) in New Zealand: New Zealand operates on New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) during most of the year. During daylight saving time, the clocks are advanced by one hour, and the time zone is known as New Zealand Daylight Time (NZDT).

USA passport, visa, and entry requirement information for US citizens.

  • Passport: Your passport should have at least two blank pages for entry stamps. Your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the conclusion of your trip
  • Visa Requirement: A visa is not required to enter New Zealand.
  • Entry Requirements: You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to getours.com/travel-requirements-restrictions.

New Zealand has a temperate maritime climate, characterized by mild temperatures and high rainfall throughout the year. The country experiences four distinct seasons, with summer lasting from December to February and winter from June to August. The North Island tends to be warmer and milder than the South Island. The country is influenced by the prevailing westerly winds, resulting in varied weather patterns and rapid changes in conditions. The diverse geography of New Zealand contributes to a wide range of microclimates, from the subtropical climate in the north to the alpine climate in the Southern Alps.

Luggage on Tour

Traveling with GET entitles each guest to travel with one suitcase per person with the dimensions of 30” x 18” x 10” and weight not exceeding 50 lbs due to the limited space on the coach. Carry-on/hand luggage is restricted to one piece per person, not exceeding 12”x11”x6” to fit under your coach seat or in the small overhead compartment.

For safety reasons, small rolling suitcases are not permitted inside the coach. As our coaches have large windows, there is minimal space to store them securely overhead or under the seat. The suggested carry-on is a soft-sided bag similar to a backpack, tote bag, etc.

So your driver and the hotel porters can safely lift and transport your suitcase throughout your vacation, we strongly recommend that you test the weight of your baggage prior to travel. You should be able to lift and comfortably transport it for short distances.

Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.

Packing Tips for Your Tour

When packing for a guided tour, it's essential to consider the local climate, cultural norms, and the activities you'll be engaging in. Here's a suggested packing list:

Clothing

  • A range of shoes. New Zealand offers a vast array of terrains. To make the most of your trip, it is important to pack shoes that can cater to all your activities, from strolling busy city streets to exploring vineyards, hiking in the mountains to dinner in a posh restaurant, and even enjoying sandy beaches. We suggest comfortable walking shoes, flip flops for beach days, a formal pair for nights out, and good hiking boots if you plan on hiking.
  • Lightweight, breathable, all-climate clothing: Pack clothes suitable for the season. Bring a mix of short-sleeved tops, lightweight pants or skirts, and a few long-sleeved options for cooler evenings for the summer months, and long-sleeved and heavier layers for early Spring, Fall, and Winter. It's important to remember that New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere. So, when it’s winter here, it’s summer there. Make sure you pack accordingly.
  • Layers: To ensure you're ready for any situation, it's wise to pack adaptable, layered clothing. We advise you bring a light jacket or sweater and a scarf for layering, especially in Spring or Fall. We also suggest packing a portable umbrella or light rain jacket to prepare you for unexpected rain showers.
  • Modest attire: Sometimes modest clothing is required. For women especially, we suggest packing a shawl or scarf to cover your shoulders or legs when/if necessary.
  • Nice evening wear: You may wish to wear a dressier outfit if you plan on dining in an elegant restaurant, for example. Smart-casual clothes are usually acceptable attire for all included daytime and evening activities throughout your tour.

Accessories

  • Sun Protection & Reef-safe Sunscreen: New Zealand is known for its harsh sun, so we always recommend carrying sun protection, including a hat, sunglasses, and UV-protective clothing. Make sure to bring reef-safe sunscreen formulated without harmful chemicals known to be damaging to coral reefs and marine life. Traditional sunscreens often contain ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have been found to contribute to coral bleaching and negatively impact marine ecosystems. Reef-safe sunscreens should also be biodegradable and free from chemicals that can harm marine life. Look for sunscreens with certifications such as "Reef Safe," "Coral Safe," or "Ocean-Friendly" to ensure their environmental friendliness.
  • Daypack or tote bag: A small backpack or tote bag will be handy for carrying essentials during your explorations.
  • Travel adapter, voltage converter, and charger: Ensure you have the appropriate adapters for power outlets and a charger for your electronic devices. (See Electricity, Adapters & Air Conditioning

Miscellaneous Items

  • A camera: You’ll see some of the world’s most extraordinary sites in New Zealand. So that you don't miss a single moment, bring a trustworthy camera. You can also use the camera on your phone, but you might want to zoom in or capture moving objects. A camera is your best bet for this.
  • A new, blank journal to document your trip. Don't know your travel journal style? Find out here!
  • A small travel alarm
  • A travel iron if you like your clothes to be pressed
  • A washcloth and carry bag
  • A travel pillow

Electricity

  • American appliances run on 110 volts, while the standard voltage in New Zealand is 230-240 volts at 50 hertz (Hz).
  • New Zealand primarily uses Type I power outlets. Type I outlets have three flat pins in a triangular pattern, and the plugs are specific to this region.
  • For US travelers, a travel converter or adapter is necessary to use their electrical devices in New Zealand.
  • A travel adapter allows you to physically plug your devices into the Type I outlets. However, it does not convert voltage. Most modern electronic devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and cameras, are dual voltage, which means they can support both 110-120V and 230-240V. In such cases, you won't need a voltage converter, but you will still need an adapter to fit the power outlets.
  • For devices that are not dual voltage (e.g., some hairdryers, curling irons, and electric shavers), you will also need a voltage converter to adjust the voltage from 230-240V to the voltage supported by your devices (usually 110-120V). It's essential to check the voltage specifications on your electronic devices' labels or in the user manuals before traveling to New Zealand.
  • We recommend purchasing an adapter with a voltage converter so you can pack less. Also, pick up any necessary adapters or converters for your electronic devices before departing on your guided tour and bringing them with you.

Hair Dryers in Your Hotel

Hair dryers are common accessories in hotels. Should you want to bring your own, though, you will need to bring an adapter and voltage converter or make sure it is dual voltage by checking the label for INPUT AC 120V - 240V or a switch that can be set to 125V or 250V. Many devices have this feature, so it's worth checking before you travel. If you specifically need a hair dryer during your trip, but can't find one in your hotel room, you can inquire with the hotel staff. Many hotels will be able to provide a hair dryer upon request, either at the front desk or through housekeeping.

Air Conditioning

  • Air conditioning is commonly available in New Zealand hotels, restaurants, and public spaces, especially in major cities and tourist areas, but it is worth noting that the settings will differ from what you are used to in the USA.
  • However, it's important to note that not all accommodations or historic buildings may have air conditioning, particularly in more traditional or rural settings.

Traveling by coach

Our modern air-conditioned coaches have been selected with your comfort in mind. Your Travel Director will familiarize you with all the onboard features, including a washroom fitted for your comfort. Regular stops are made to stretch your legs, take refreshments, fill up your water bottles, and use the facilities.

Airport transfers

Transfers will depend on the trip you choose and vary among destinations. In general, if you are joining or departing your guided vacation on the first or last day, return transfers between the airport and hotel are included. You’ll find specific information on your itinerary page.

To enable you to personalize your tour experience, you will find a number of Optional Experiences designed to complement the itinerary. These are designed to offer a deeper insight into the culture and character of the areas to be visited and provide some wonderful highlights to your travels. The optional program is designed to let you experience more of what interests you and to get the most from your vacation without replacing or overlapping with anything included in an itinerary.

The majority of Optional Experiences will be offered to you by your Travel Director at the beginning of your trip. Some may be subject to change, depending on the time you are traveling or local circumstances, including weather and days of the week. Your Travel Director will provide further information.

Usually, most Optional Experiences will be priced in the local currency, but please read through the details of individual optional experiences for specific information. Exact payment options will be advised locally by your Travel Director/Local Representative for each Optional Experience, but in many cases, cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted.

It is recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses while abroad.

In order to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, we strongly suggest that you pack a plentiful supply of any medication you may need while on vacation. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with medications.

Prior to traveling, please notify GET of any disability requiring special assistance or any specific dietary needs that you may have, and we will strive to accommodate these.

When traveling with GET, baggage handling at hotels, service charges, and tips for hotel wait staff (for included meals) will all be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are, however, a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.

Local Specialists

It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity of $1-2 per person per half day.

Your Coach Driver and Travel Director

The trip cost does not include gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver. At the end of your trip, you may express appreciation to your Travel Director and Driver for their excellent service and the personal attention you received. Gratuities are given at the discretion of each guest, and a suggested amount per person/per day is listed in your travel documents.

For your convenience and ease, there is an option to pre-pay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver at the time of booking.

Hotel services

Tipping hotel staff for room service delivery is customary if a charge needs to be added to the bill.

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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Chandulal Changela
Review date: Monday, March 20, 2023
Service
It was ok at first
Vacation
Had a great time with Trafalgar
Yvonne Hagood
Review date: Friday, March 17, 2023
Service
Skyler was very pleasant, answering all my questions and working all out our details. When we invited another couple to go with us, she worked with them and helped us make sure we had the same flights and close accommodations.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We couldn't be more pleased to see that everything went smoothly from beginning to end. We love hearing about your experiences and thank you for taking the time to share them.
Monday, April 10, 2023
Vacation
The tour guide, Isobel, brought the country to life with wonder stories and information and recommendations for all kinds of goodies. The driver, Stu, kept our coach spotless and was so good we never worried about driving. Every need was anticipated so we always felt cared for and safe.
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