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Southern Spectacular

10 Day New Zealand South Island Tour

10 Days
1 Country

New Zealand

7 Cities

Christchurch, Twizel, Dunedin, Te Anau, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Punakaiki

18 Meals

9 Breakfasts, 1 Be My Guest, 5 Dinners, 1 Regional Dinner, 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

Just like the name suggests, the New Zealand South Island tour showcases this spectacular island in-depth. Find yourself exploring South Island’s cities, gliding across Milford Sound, seeing the beauty of the wild West Coast, topped off with the TranzAlpine train and beyond in 10 incredible days.

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Average group size
average 40-45
Tour brand
Trafalgar
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Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Christchurch

Welcome to Christchurch! (Flights to arrive prior to 4pm). Kick off your New Zealand South Island tour in this city that is rebuilding itself after the devastating 2011 earthquake. There’s plenty to see and your hotel near Cathedral Square in the heart of the city is the perfect jumping off point. Meet your Travel Director and travel mates for drinks before a free evening to get to know Christchurch as you like, perhaps exploring the Avon River, Botanic Gardens, Christchurch Casino, and Cashel Mall.

River Avon in Christchurch, New Zealand
Accommodation Distinction Christchurch Hotel

Day 2

Through Scenic Wonderland to Twizel

Begin your day with a sightseeing tour of Christchurch featuring the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Earthquake Memorial, Bridge of Remembrance, and streets lined with bars, cafes, and riverside markets. Then go from city to country as you make your way to the quaint farming town of Geraldine. Grab a tasty sample at the famous Talbots Forest Cheese, sit down for lunch, and pop into the cute shops before journeying through the Canterbury Plains to the shores of Lake Tekapo. Afterwards, make a scenic stop at the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd. Next up, you’re in for a treat as you pull into the lakeside home of Angie and Stan Taylor for a Be My Guest experience over afternoon tea, scones, and stories. Enjoy the Taylors’ insights from a lifetime of farming as well as a bit of real New Zealand hospitality as Angie invites you into her kitchen. You’ll get to watch and learn as she prepares the New Zealand specialty dessert, Pavlova before having a taste for yourself. After this sweet visit, you'll arrive in Twizel for the evening. Soak up the vibe of this cute town and popular holiday destination dining on classic New Zealand fare.

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

Day 3

Dunedin, City of Scottish Heritage

A day of epic natural landscapes and cute colonial towns await you on your journey to Scottish inspired Dunedin, traveling along the Waitaki River en route to the quirky town of Oamaru. You'll feel like you’re stepping back into the Victorian era as you stroll the tree-lined streets past white limestone buildings and 19th century architecture. Take a tea break and browse the shops and galleries of traditional crafts before continuing your journey to the city of Dunedin, built as a 'mini Edinburgh' and vibrant university town. You have the rest of the day free to explore more of Dunedin town, or select from some tempting Optional Experiences. You could visit the famous Speight's Brewery, or tour Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. Later tonight swap stories with the group over dinner in the heart of the city where you’ll be spoilt for choice of fresh seafood or a specialty from the butcher’s block.

Beer tasting 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 ...

See More
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...

See More
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...

See More
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 4

Te Anau, Gateway to Fiordland

Enjoy plenty of stunning scenery as you make your way through farmlands to Te Anau. Travel through sheep farms into forested, rugged mountains 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. If you’re still keen to see more, you could learn more about the area on an Optional Experience to the fascinating, glittering glowworm caves before ending a delightful day with dinner at your 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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 5

Milford Sound Contrasts With Queenstown

Begin your day traveling through Fiordland National Park past native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats, and meadows. Passing Mirror Lakes, catch the reflection of the surrounding mountains shimmering in the water. Wind your way through the Homer Tunnel, where the sheer rocky ranges have been cut through, to the Cleddau Valley. Then get right in the middle of the stunning scenery cruising the tranquil waters of the Milford Sound/Piopiotahi. Watch Bowen and Stirling Falls cascade from hanging valleys into the sea and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak rising from the deep waters of the fiord. With photo ops at every turn and maybe a fur seal or two popping up, it’s a gorgeous afternoon on Milford Sound and a must-do experience on your New Zealand South Island tour. On arrival, excitement is sure to be at an all-time high as we arrive in the adventure capital of 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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 6

Queenstown, It's All Yours

Explore Queenstown that you’ve been dreaming of today with plenty of adventure-filled Optional Experiences to choose from. Join a tour to Skippers Canyon, or go for maximum adventure riding the adrenaline pumping Skippers Jet. This evening it’s time to relax and Dive Into Culture on a cruise aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm. You’ll be warmly greeted at the Colonel's Homestead by a gourmet barbecue dinner piled high with ribs and fresh vegetables. Sit back and be entertained by an after-dinner farm show, complete with sheep dogs in action, that will give you a glimpse into high country farm life. After a fun-filled evening at the homestead, board the Earnslaw and head back to Queenstown, maybe taking a spin on their polished wooden dance floor.

Enjoy a cruise aboard the iconic steamship the TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu, 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...

See More
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,...

See More
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 ...

See More
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...

See More
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...

See More
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. ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 7

Spectacular Franz Josef

It’s a day of epic scenery into untamed wilderness as you head through Central Otago to the West Coast. Your first stop is the restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. As you walk down its tree-lined avenues and have a look at the 19th-century wooden buildings, you’ll feel as if you’re in a movie set of the Old West. You’ll then travel to Cromwell on the shores of Lake Dunstan for a visit to Mrs. Jones' Fruit Stall. Take a break sampling of some of the town's juicy stone fruit including apricots, nectarines and peaches before journeying further into Central Otago where the vivid blue waters and willow-lined shoreline of Lakes Hawea and Wanaka call. Take to an ancient greenstone trail, cross Haast Pass, and bid farewell to the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes as you meet the rainforests of the West Coast for the first time. Stunning scenes await as you approach your destination of the famous Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Perhaps join an optional helicopter flight for unforgettable views of take in its majesty from the ground.

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...

See More
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

Optional Experiences

Day 8

Punakaiki, Coastal Forest

Awaken to a day filled with natural and man-made beauty. You have time to explore Franz Josef/Waiau, perhaps visiting the West Coast Wildlife Center to see kiwi birds, before traveling to Hokitika for a lunch break. Then soak in the natural surroundings as you head to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Standing at the water’s edge, you’ll be amazed at how these eroded limestone foundations that began forming 30 million years ago really do look like a stack of pancakes! As you marvel at nature’s creation, listen closely for a 'whoosh' of water - that's a burst of sea spray coming through the blowholes. Take in the sights, sounds, and sea air before making your way to the eco-friendly, Stays With Stories waterfront Scenic Hotel Punakaiki, where you’ll dine on seafood and local specialties and wine as the surf rolls and churns just outside your window.

Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, New Zealand
Accommodation Scenic Punakaiki
Included Meals Breakfast, Dinner
Trafalgar Difference Stay at The Punakaiki Resort in Punakaiki, New Zealand
Scenic Hotel Punakaiki

Situated on idyllic Punakaiki Beach, the environmentally friendly retreat offers views of the ocean and rainforest. Designed in harmony with the en...

See More
Included in Trip

Trafalgar Difference

Day 9

Christchurch, City of Contrasts

The grand adventures continue on your last full day in New Zealand. Begin at Greymouth’s Monteith's Brewery where a Local Specialist shares the history and stories of this iconic brand founded in 1868. Sample some of their ever-changing, innovative brews like the summer ale and crushed pear cider before sitting down to a pub-style lunch. Full and happy, it’s 'all aboard' the scenic TranzAlpine train to Christchurch - one of the world’s most famous train trips. This 223-kilometer journey across the South Island along the Waimakariri River and across the Southern Alps takes you through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges, and river valleys. What better way to conclude your scenic travels across the South Island? This evening, celebrate a wonderful journey through the South Island at a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and travel companions.

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

Day 10

Farewell Christchurch

It’s been a beautiful time but sadly all good things must come to an end. Your New Zealand South Island tour concludes this morning after breakfast with a fond farewell before your transfer to the 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
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
Trafalgar Difference
Scenic Hotel Punakaiki

Situated on idyllic Punakaiki Beach, the environmentally friendly retreat offers views of the ocean and rainforest. Designed in harmony with the en...

See More
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

Lake Manapouri around Pomona Island, and a brewery in Greymouth
Lake Manapouri around Pomona Island and and the Ponaumu Pathway
Christchurch, Dunedin, and Queenstown
Visit Franz Josef/Waiau, historic Arrowtown, and the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki
The Southern Alps, Lake Tekapo, and Lake Te Anau
Cruise on Milford Sound, and Lake Wakatipu, and journey on the TranzAlpine Train

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
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 ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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 ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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,...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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 ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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. ...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies
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...

See More
Additional Cost Applies

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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