27 October 2016
This fully-escorted 19-day tour of New Zealand really is the holiday of a lifetime. Taking in some of the world's most spectacular train journeys, as well as sightseeing flights and a steamship cruise, and with the chance to visit spectacular landscapes as diverse as fiords, mountains, caves and beaches, it's a trip you'll never forget.
Your adventure begins as you arrive in Auckland, to be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Today you'll leave Auckland and travel to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree, one of the world's tallest and longest-living tree species. After a visit to the Kauri Museum in Matakohe you'll head to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British, for a guided tour.
Today you're at leisure to explore the Bay of Islands or to choose from a range of optional activities, including a coach trip to Cape Reinga via Ninety Mile Beach, or perhaps a spectacular sightseeing flight. This evening you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (also optional).
This morning you'll board a luxury catamaran and set sail for Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock, keeping an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins along the way. Afterwards, you'll leave the Bay of Islands and drive south via Whangarei, Wellsford and Warkworth to Auckland’s north shore, where you'll have the afternoon at leisure. It's a great opportunity for a stroll to the nearby beach to admire the views of Rangitoto Island, Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.
Today you'll head for Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a trip back in time on a beautifully restored vintage steam train. Afterwards you'll travel through picturesque countryside to Longlands Farm and Restaurant for lunch before continuing on to Rotorua and visiting the Paradise Valley Springs wildlife park, where you can hand-feed rainbow trout.
Today gets off to a spectacular start with a gondola ride to Cableway Restaurant to enjoy a buffet breakfast and spectacular views. Afterwards you'll travel to the Agrodome to see performing sheep, a shearing display and sheepdog trials. Then there's time to relax before you head to Te Puia to see its boiling mud pools and geysers. This evening you'll experience a Maori hangi and concert.
Today you'll travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the spectacular Huka Falls, then continue to Lake Taupo, where you'll have some free time before your journey continues via the Tongariro National Park to Southward Car Museum and on to Wellington.
This morning you'll enjoy a tour of the New Zealand capital, including Te Papa, the National Museum, with the afternoon and evening at leisure to explore further, pick up some souvenirs and make the most of the city's excellent restaurants.
This morning you'll board the Interislander Ferry, cross Cook Strait and travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Here you'll join the Coastal Pacific train for a spectacular journey to Kaikoura. Sit back and enjoy the view from your windows, with the Kaikoura mountains on one side and the rugged coastline on the other.
After a leisurely morning relaxing in this tranquil location you'll travel south to Christchurch for an introductory city tour.
This morning you'll board the TranzAlpine, one of the world's great train journeys, which will take you over viaducts, through river valleys and across spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass in the centre of the Southern Alps. Here you'll board a coach to Hokitika and Franz Josef, where you have the option of an unforgettable scenic flight over the spectacular glaciers.
Today you can admire the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south via the Haast Pass to picturesque Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
Today you're at leisure to explore Queenstown, either by yourself or on one of several optional tours. This evening you'll board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station, with a delicious dinner of New Zealand high-country cuisine on board. You'll then enjoy a short farm tour before reboarding the TSS Earnslaw for a singalong by the piano on your return cruise.
This morning you'll travel to Arrowtown and visit the Lakes District Museum before continuing via Te Anau to Milford Sound and boarding the Milford Mariner for a spectacular overnight cruise. Along the way you'll see the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife – keep your eyes open for seals, dolphins and penguins. You'll also enjoy a delicious carvery buffet.
After breakfast you'll spend the morning exploring the fiord before returning to the wharf for the scenic drive to Te Anau. This afternoon you'll enjoy a cruise across Lake Te Anau to the Glow Worm Caves to admire the limestone caverns and waterfalls.
Today you'll travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin for a city tour. This evening's entertainment has a Scottish theme, including bagpipes and a Haggis Ceremony.
Today you'll travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle, where you'll enjoy a guided tour before a visit to Glenfalloch Restaurant for morning tea. Back in the city, you'll have some time at leisure before you board the Taieri Gorge railway for a journey through spectacular scenery that's only accessible by rail.
Today you'll travel to Oamaru and explore the Victorian Precinct, including the auto museum, galleries and the penny farthing shop. This evening you'll enjoy a farewell dinner.
It's time to say a reluctant goodbye as you're transferred to the airport for your flight home.
Ultimate fr £5772pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated