Delve into the scenic delights of New Zealand with a small group of explorers.
Combine natural beauty with creature comforts as you overnight in the rainforests of Franz Josef at the foothills of Mt. Cook, sleep among the treetops in the Coromandel Ranges and journey into the deep south to the wild and pristine landscapes of Stewart Island.
You will fly over the international date line on your way to New Zealand.
You will fly over the international date line on your way to New Zealand.
On arrival at Christchurch Airport you'll be transferred by private car to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the International Antarctic Center or Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand's only open range zoo. In the evening meet your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Dinner with wine.
First up it's all aboard the TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world's great scenic railway journeys, you'll travel in the comfort across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You'll stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront. Enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your doorstep!
Visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural center of the West Coast, and meet a local greenstone (jade) carver for a jewelry demonstration. Then visit the West Coast's Treetop Walkway, where you may take a stroll through the canopy of this lush rainforest. Now you're off to the gold-mining town of Ross before arriving at Franz Josef, where a glacier guide explains the history behind the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, perhaps enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or indulge in a massage.
Today travel over the Haast Pass and along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, stopping at Makarora at lunchtime. You'll also stop to explore the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, followed by an orientation tour of Queenstown.
Today is free for you to explore New Zealand's adventure-capital at your leisure. Perhaps play a round of golf or indulge in spa treatment at your resort. Tonight ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob's Peak for dinner with a view overlooking stunning Queenstown, the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.
Today is free for you to explore Queenstown at your leisure. Why not take a trip to the Gibbston Valley Winery, take a jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River, or get wet white water rafting down the Kawarau River? Tonight you can dine at one of the many local restaurants and cafés in town, or simply relax at your resort.
Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Lake Te Anau, the largest in the South Island. Head through World Heritage Fiordland National Park's rainforest, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges. Drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to a photographer's paradise surrounded by Pop's Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the amazing Mirror Lake. Afterwards walk to see the impressive Chasm waterfall. The best way to experience Milford Sound is on the water, so take some time to kayak this majestic fjord. As night falls, cruise the length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea with plenty of time to view waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife.
Enjoy the many early morning activities on board. Later, continue to the southern-most city in New Zealand, Invercargill. You'll board a ferry at Bluff to cruise to Stewart Island, the 3rd largest island in New Zealand, for a wondrous experience. With its clear, clean waters, lush rainforest, sweeping sands, flora and fauna and unspoilt natural beauty, you'll get a glimpse into an enviable simpler, slower lifestyle.
Sightseeing this morning takes you to see the villages and bays. Later cruise on Paterson Inlet to see remote sandy beaches and beautiful wildlife. Stop at Ulva Island and take a tour with a Local Expert from the Wildlife Sanctuary. Learn about native birds like the Weka and spend time up close to native flora and fauna – a day of exploration and education. Tonight try your hand at a bit of kiwi-spotting in the native bush near your hotel.
This morning you'll board a ferry and journey across Foveaux Strait, making your way back to the New Zealand mainland. Admire the rural farming views of Southland and the spectacular alpine scenery of the Southern Alps. Venture over the Lindis Pass and along the shores of Lake Pukaki into the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere, helped Sir Edmund Hillary hone his climbing skills in preparation for his conquest of Everest. In the evening, enjoy dinner with a breathtaking mountain view.
See Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, where you'll stop to view the Church of the Good Shepherd. You're welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor to enjoy a barbecue lunch in their 240 hectare garden. Then travel along the Canterbury Plains to the Garden City of Christchurch. On a sightseeing tour, see how Christchurch is being rebuilt after the earthquake of 2011.
Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast to Kaikoura, famous for its whales. There's time, if you wish, to take a whale-watching flight. See New Zealand's fur seals at Ohau Point, then travel to the seaside town of Picton. Cruise on Queen Charlotte Sound and across Cook Strait to Wellington for a city sightseeing tour.
Today is free for you to explore Wellington. Perhaps join a tour of New Zealand's Parliament buildings and the ‘Beehive' or take a ride on Wellington's famous cable car from the central business district to the Kelburn Lookout for stunning views of the city. You may want to experience Weta Cave, home of the creative wizards behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, or you could learn about New Zealand's history and culture with a visit to Te Papa, New Zealand's incredible national museum and art gallery. Your Travelling Concierge will assist you in booking your chosen experience.
Travel along the rugged Kapiti Coast, past the dairy farms of the Manawatu through to the striking three active volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park rising starkly from the surrounding plateau of tussock and near-desert. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo awaits you. Before arriving at the hotel, you will stop in to view Huka Falls.
In the morning, explore the township of Taupo, or perhaps try your hand at trout fishing? In Rotorua, experience the local customs like the Hongi greeting and learn some customary phrases. Gain an insight into local Maori culture and history with a Maori show. Savor the unique flavours of a traditional Hangi dinner, a meal cooked in the ground using geothermal steam.
At the Agrodome, sample Kiwi farm life including the art of sheep shearing, sheepdog demonstrations, cow milking, lamb bottle feeding and an exciting sheep auction. Your next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you'll discover the native beauty around the crystal clear mineral water springs. Take a ‘behind the scenes' tour through a working kiwi nursery and hatchery dedicated to the conservation of the national icon. Next, visit the Whakarewarewa Living Village set amongst a highly active landscape erupting with geothermal activity.
Begin with a visit to Waitomo Caves to see the incredible glowworms, which are unique to New Zealand, with our Local Expert at Footwhistle Cave. Nest visit the dairy farming community of Matamata and enjoy a delicious lunch at Longlands Farm country-style restaurant. This evening in the Coromandel Ranges, stay in Tree Hut Chalets, set among the native bush.
Later in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour and a free afternoon.
Travel to Orewa and the scenic Hibiscus Coast. Then continue to the Waipoua Forest, a sanctuary that is home to many native trees including the largest Kauri tree in existence, Tane Mahuta (over 2,000 years old). A Maori guide will walk you through the native bush and explain the history and legend behind the mighty Kauri. Head to your waterfront resort in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands.
In the morning you'll take a ferry across the harbor to historic Russell for a walking tour of the first European settlement and capital of New Zealand. The rest of the day is at leisure. Perhaps take on a dolphin watching cruise, experience sailing aboard a historic tall ship, enjoy wine tasting around Kerikeri, or join a jet boat Heritage Cruise and learn a little more about the settling of the Bay of Islands.
This morning cruise through the Bay of Islands Maritime Park to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock', see the historic Cape Brett lighthouse, and explore some of the 144 islands in the bay. Later you'll have some time in Paihia to check out the local craft shops or go for a walk along the beachfront. This afternoon head through the small towns of Northland, over the Harbor Bridge and into Auckland city. Toast your tour together tonight at a Celebration Dinner.
Your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Auckland Airport for your onward flight.
1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 21 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 3 Lunches (L), 1 Dinner (D), 8 Dinners with wine (DW), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD)
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|14 Oct 17||6 Nov 17||$9,375pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|11 Nov 17||4 Dec 17||$9,375pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|18 Nov 17||11 Dec 17||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|9 Dec 17||1 Jan 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|16 Dec 17||8 Jan 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|6 Jan 18||29 Jan 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|13 Jan 18||5 Feb 18||$9,375pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|20 Jan 18||12 Feb 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|27 Jan 18||19 Feb 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|3 Feb 18||26 Feb 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|10 Feb 18||5 Mar 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|24 Feb 18||19 Mar 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|3 Mar 18||26 Mar 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|10 Mar 18||2 Apr 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|17 Mar 18||9 Apr 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
|24 Mar 18||16 Apr 18||$9,375pp||Request Quote|
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 repellant 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 Australia and 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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