Exploring New Zealand
From $6,139* pp | 19 Days • 30 Meals *Rate is per person, land only, double occupancy.
Explore New Zealand’s many sides, including the geothermal landscape of Rotorua and the temperate glacial landscape of the Franz Josef Glacier.
- Traverse the heart of the Southern Alps aboard the famous TranzAlpine train.
- Get to know a local New Zealand family during a memorable authentic experience of dinner and the choice of an overnight farm stay.*
- Enjoy a tasting and lunch at one of New Zealand’s stunning wineries.
Lose Yourself in this Kiwi Adventure
From the steaming geothermal vents of Rotorua, to the ice sheets and temperate rainforest of Franz Josef Glacier, to the genuine warmth of a farm stay with a local family, experience all of New Zealand’s many facets on this 19-day journey. Cruise Milford sound in dramatic Fiordland. Sip wine at regional vineyards in Otago and Marlborough. Stay in Dunedin, a little slice of Scotland in the South Pacific. Overnight at the foot of massive Mt Cook. Dine in a restored Christchurch mansion. Immerse yourself in the Maori culture. Witness the famous Haka war challenge, followed by a Hangi feast.
Day 1. Auckland, New Zealand – Tour Begins
Your tour opens in Auckland, the “City of Sails,” consistently rated one of the best places in the world to live. Auckland’s Polynesian population instills into its chic atmosphere the vibrant feel of the Pacific Islands. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner.
Dinner High 22 Low 16 Citylife Auckland
Come to know the best of Auckland during a panoramic city tour featuring the America’s Cup Village, the War Memorial, bustling Queen Street, the Auckland Harbour Bridge and spectacular views from the harbour side. Next, depart Auckland and travel north to the Bay of Islands, your home for the next two nights. This sun-soaked region boasts more than 144 islands and warm waters with abundant marine life. Visit the Waitangi Treaty House where Maori and British leaders signed the 1840 treaty establishing New Zealand as a nation.
Day 3. Bay of Islands
We begin the day with a cruise through the bay’s famous Hole in the Rock and view the Cape Brett Lighthouse which stands nearly 500 feet above sea level at the edge of the Cape Brett Peninsula. The rest of the day is yours to independently explore Paihia – the quaint town known as “the jewel of the Bay of Islands.”
Day 4. Bay of Islands – Matamata – Farm Stay*
Leaving the sparkling waters of the Bay of Islands behind, head to Matamata in the agricultural heartland of the North Island. This idyllic landscape inspired the producers of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films and is sure to inspire you when you visit Hobbiton, the only outdoor filming location still in existence, for a guided tour. Make yourself right at home this evening when a New Zealand farm family welcomes you into their household for the night!* This is sure to be an unforgettable experience as you make new friends, learn about the customs of the “Kiwis” and enjoy a home-cooked meal.
Today, find yourself amid the dramatic geothermal landscape of Rotorua. With over one-third of its population boasting Maori roots, this city is known as the Maori capital of New Zealand. Visit Te Puia, New Zealand’s premier Maori cultural and geothermal experience. The National Carving School and National Weaving School are located here, passing on age-old customs by teaching the tribal youth these traditional skills. Enjoy the chance to view the Kiwi bird and learn what is being done in an effort to remove this marvellous creature from the endangered species list. Tonight, experience an authentic Hangi dinner celebration where you learn about the warm-hearted Maoris and their lives before European colonists arrived in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and since. Enjoy an immersive experience featuring authentic entertainment such as the poi dance and the famous “Haka” war challenge
Day 6. Rotorua – Napier
Journey into the Hawke’s Bay region. After arriving in the city of Napier, which boasts some of the greatest Art Deco architecture in the world, enjoy a guided tour and learn why Napier took on such an eclectic design style. A visit to the New Zealand Wine Centre, housed in its own historic Art Deco building, will showcase some of the region’s renowned wines. This afternoon, take advantage of time at leisure to stroll the ocean front promenade and simply soak up the atmosphere.
During your panoramic sightseeing tour of Wellington, view the Beehive, New Zealand’s Parliament; historic St. Paul’s Church; and the Old Government Building – the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere. Following the tour, visit the Te Papa Tongawera Museum, a fascinating centre dedicated to art, history and the Maori culture.
Day 9. Wellington – Picton – Christchurch
Board a ferry and sail across Cook Strait to experience what has been called “the most beautiful ferry ride in the world.” Arrive in Picton on the South Island. Discover why the Marlborough area is one of the world’s best wine regions when you tour a local winery. Later, arrive in the historic city of Christchurch. Devastated by an earthquake in early 2011, see first-hand how the “Garden City” is recreating itself.
Day 10. Christchurch – Franz Josef Glacier Region
All aboard! Take in the marvellous snowcapped peaks and beautiful river gorges during your travels across the Southern Alps, winding your way past waterfalls and rugged mountains on the famous TranzAlpine train for a truly inspiring trip through this glorious scenery. Next, meet the skilled carvers who work with West Coast pounamu, New Zealand greenstone, at a local jade factory. You’ll end your day at the Franz Josef Glacier Region which offers travellers a rare opportunity to experience a living glacial landscape in a temperate environment.
Day 11. Franz Josef – Queenstown
Before departing Franz Josef, if the dynamic New Zealand weather cooperates, you may opt to see this beautiful glacier region from a bird’s-eye view during a flightseeing tour. En route to Queenstown, watch as the amazing landscape unfolds before your eyes as you pass through the rainforest, bordered by the Southern Alps and the twisting coastline. After crossing the Haast Pass, arrive in Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s prettiest towns.
Day 12. Queenstown
Enjoy a leisurely day of touring as we set off for the beautiful 19th-century gold rush settlement of Arrowtown. Take time to explore its quaint, historic streets. The Central Otago region is where some of New Zealand’s best wines are grown and produced. During a stop at a local winery, visit the underground storage cave – the largest in New Zealand – for a tasting of their award-winning wine. Follow this unforgettable experience with lunch at the winery’s fabulous restaurant. Later, return to Queenstown and enjoy some leisure time.
Day 13. Queenstown
A full day at leisure in Queenstown offers several options to enhance your dream trip. You may shop or people-watch in the village. Or, join the optional “Journey through Middle Earth” tour which takes you through the majestic Remarkable Mountains and the breathtaking Queenstown countryside showcasing many of the spots where the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed.
Day 14. Queenstown – Milford Sound – Te Anau
En route to Milford Sound, enjoy the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley. You’ll travel through ancient beech forest via the Homer Tunnel. During a cruise of the breathtakingly beautiful Milford Sound you will see why this fjord is one of the most visited sights on the South Island. With rock faces that rise nearly 4,000 feet on either side, the scenery will take your breath away. Following your cruise, enjoy an overnight stay on the southern shores of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake on the South Island. Indulge in a special “Taste of Fiordland” dinner showcasing the bountiful local produce.
Day 15. Te Anau – Dunedin
Travel to Dunedin, on the southeast coast of New Zealand. One of the earliest European settlements on the islands, Dunedin holds proudly to its Scottish heritage and traditions. Visit the Royal Albatross Centre, the only mainland breeding location in the world for these magnificent birds. Their epic wingspan can reach nearly 10 feet!
Day 16. Dunedin
This morning’s panoramic drive reveals Larnach Castle and Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest public road. Later, you may choose to embark on an optional trip on the spectacular Taieri Gorge Railway. This line was begun in 1879 to serve the inland region of Otago and includes 10 tunnels and 35 bridges.
Day 17. Dunedin – Mt. Cook Region
The Maori word for Mt. Cook is Aoraki, which means “cloud piercer.” Journey through New Zealand’s unspoiled wilderness and arrive at Mt. Cook National Park, where permanent ice fields and glaciers blanket the ragged peaks. This is where famed New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary honed his skills before conquering Everest. You may choose to take a nature walk, enjoy an optional glacier flight seeing tour (weather permitting) or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps.
Day 18. Mt. Cook – Christchurch
As you return to Christchurch this morning, pause to pay a visit to a working farm. Watch a skilled New Zealand “strong eye” sheep herding dog at work, followed by a sheep shearing demonstration. Get to know these New Zealand farmers over a home-cooked morning tea. Later, enjoy some free time to explore Christchurch on your own. Stroll the city’s magnificent gardens or learn its more recent history at the Quake City exhibition at the Re:Start Mall. Tonight, visit the region’s earliest home, Riccarton House, and enjoy a farewell dinner.
Day 19. Christchurch – Tour Ends
Meals as per itinerary
Activities as stated
Please note: Accommodation is subject to change.
Meals not indicated on the itinerary
Comprehensive travel insurance
Items of a personal nature – laundry, telephone, room service
Tips and gratuities
- All cities on this tour are 2 hours ahead of Australian Eastern Standard Time.
- The highest elevation on tour is 2,500 feet above sea level.
- The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar.
- New Zealand uses 230 Volts, Type I plug.
- Why not consider a pre and post tour extension. Start and end your holiday rested.
This tour requires average physical activity. You should be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, possibly over uneven ground and cobblestoned streets.
Mar 3 – Mar 13. $3,079
Mar 10 – Mar 20. $2,829
Mar 17 – Mar 27. $2,829
Apr 7 – Apr 17. $2,949
Apr 14 – Apr 24. $2,949
Apr 21 – May 1. $2,949
Jun 6 – Jun 26. $3,979
Jun 20 – Jul 1. $3,979
Jul 18 – Jul 29. $3,979
Aug 8 – Aug 19. $4,299
Aug 15 – Aug 26. $4,299
Sep 5 – Sep 16. $3,979
Sep 12 – Sep 23. $3,979
Sep 26 – Oct 7. $3,979
Oct 10 – Oct 21. $3,979
Nov 7 – Nov 18. $3,469
Mar 13 – Mar 24. $3,469
Mar 27 – Apr 7. $3,599
Apr 3 – Apr 14. $3,729
Apr 24 – May 5. $3,729