28 September 2016
17 nights fr £3999ppIncludes flights
Discover the very best of New Zealand on this 18 day guided tour
You will certainly discover the very best of New Zealand on this wonderful guided tour. Over 18 days you travel along the scenic Hibiscus Coast to the magical Bay of Islands, see the historic Waitangi Treaty Reserve before dining at The Langham in Auckland, see the amazing Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, enjoy the hot springs at Rotorua and experience a Hangi feast and concert. Then leave the North Island and cruise the Cook Straits to the South Island where you visit Queenstown, Dunedin and Lake Te Anau, sail along the spectacular Milford Sound and cross the stunning Southern Alps by train into Christchurch.
On arrival at Auckland Airport you’ll be met by one of our tour representatives and driven by private car to The Langham Hotel. The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore Auckland. You could visit the Sky Tower for amazing views of the city, Viaduct Harbour and surrounding volcanic hills. Perhaps visit the Auckland Museum, go shopping in stylish Parnell, take a walk across the coat hangar bridge and visit the modern waterfront district. This evening meet your Tour Director for a welcome reception.
Today you say goodbye to Auckland and travel through Orewa and the scenic Hibiscus Coast, stopping along the route to take a walk among the Kauri trees at Parry Kauri Park. Explore Whangarei, the northern-most city in New Zealand and then it’s off to the Bay of Islands. Here you will experience natural wonders and spectacular scenery as you cruise to Cape Brett and through the ‘Hole in the Rock’. This evening enjoy dinner with wine back at your hotel, the Copthorne Resort.
A whole day today to explore the beautiful sub-tropical Bay of Islands. Included in your choice of sightseeing opportunities is a trip to discover Kerikeri's local arts and crafts scene, a tour to historic Russell, the chance to go sailing in a Tall Ship or you can take a popular dolphin watching cruise out in the bay. Today you can also play golf or enjoy a dinner cruise down the Waitangi River. Then spend another night staying in the Copthorne Resort where dinner is included.
This morning you have free time to relax in the Bay of Islands seeing more of the sights and topping up your tropical tan. Then this afternoon you will be picked up from your hotel to begin the drive back to Auckland for another stay at The Langham Hotel. See more of the city sights then return to your hotel for tonight’s ‘highlight dinner’ at The Langham where your personal degustation menu is made from the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouth-watering seafood and desserts.
After another sightseeing tour of Auckland this morning seeing more of the iconic sights you trace the Waikato River to the famous Waitomo Caves to sail through the fascinating Glow Worm Grotto and discover the limestone formations. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Then tonight enjoy a memorable Maori Hangi feast ‘highlight dinner’ and concert and get a great insight into Maori culture, at the Tamaki Family Marae.
Today you have a choice of sightseeing experiences. You can join the Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, discover Maori culture at Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, see the Agrodome Farm Show, relax in the seclusion of your own hot mineral pool or unwind with a facial treatment in the Lake Spa Retreat at the Polynesian Spa. Tonight you have the option of staying at your hotel or on a nearby farm where a warm welcome awaits you. Enjoy dinner and breakfast, a farm tour and comfortable accommodation in the farm or cottages.
View the mighty Huka Falls and drive along the shores of Lake Taupo. Discover the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park and the dairy farms of Manawatu. Then visit Shenandoah for a unique experience. The historic villa’s owners, Simon and Claudia, will show you around their property, which includes a unique collection of Harley Davidson motorcycles. Enjoy afternoon tea in their garden then take a tour to see the local wildlife. Continue along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington and view the city from Mt. Victoria on your tour.
Discover more of Wellington this morning when you will have time to visit the Parliament buildings and the Beehive, home to New Zealand’s politicians. Then stop at Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand and look at the fascinating exhibits at your leisure, including their unique Marae (Meeting House). Later cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. The village of Picton is next, then it’s on to Blenheim for a sightseeing tour. Tonight enjoy a five-course dinner prepared from local produce and wines of the Marlborough region.
Leave Blenheim this morning and on the way to the whale-watching haven of Kaikoura, you’ll pass the Grassmere Salt Works and see New Zealand fur seals up close at Ohau Point. Then travel on to Christchurch and see the extensive work carried out to rebuild the city after the earthquake of February 2011. Tonight you are staying in the Novotel with only a breakfast included, so its worth going out on the town and experiencing one of the great restaurants and the buzzing nightlife.
Today you are invited to Morelea Farm, a typical working sheep farm, where you’ll get a taste of traditional New Zealand country life. You’ll be welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor and have the chance to experience sheep shearing and farming demonstrations before enjoying a BBQ lunch. Listen to the family’s story of growing up and their challenges of farming in the foothills of the Southern Alps. See Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki and visit the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd on your way to Twizel where you stay tonight.
Today after breakfast at your hotel in Twizel you drive off to the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Then travel through Oamaru, with its limestone buildings, to Dunedin for a sightseeing tour of this very Scottish of cities seeing the iconic railway station, with its beautifully tiled waiting rooms, and possibly taking a walk, or if you are very fit a run, up the world's steepest street. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross,
This morning choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to tour Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle, ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway or take the Monarch Wildlife Cruise. Or you can opt for a tour of Cadbury World or Speight’s Brewery. Later, travel across farming land to the village of Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the South Island’s largest lake. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.
You’ll be awestruck by the magnificence of the World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park today. Amazing photo opportunities await as you see rainforest, ancient glaciers, mountain ranges and the hand-made Homer Tunnel. Pass the Mirror Lake, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Your cruise on Milford Sound will take you past Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Afterwards, travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu on your way to Queenstown, where an orientation tour finishes this special day.
You are in the Adrenalin Junkies capital of the world and the choices for adventure today are endless. You have the option to take a ride in a Shotover River Jetboat, try a bungee jump, go whitewater rafting or take the gondola to the Skyline Restaurant. Perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon or go horse riding. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue at the Colonel’s Homestead. A fun farm show provides a glimpse into high-country life.
Leave Queenstown this morning and travel through magnificent Lord of the Rings scenery to visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, then enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell. See lakes Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka before driving over the Haast Pass to see the impressive Thunder Creek Falls. Then it’s on to Franz Josef Glacier, the world’s most accessible and still advancing glacier. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.
It’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Then you can have great views of Franz Josef Glacier by taking an optional scenic flight or a glacier hike, Then you’ll depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort, right on the waterfront with dinner and wine included.
Today you tavel to the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914, and is rated as one of the world’s most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. On arrival back in Christchurch check into your hotel then join your tour director this evening for a farewell dinner with wine.
Your wonderful Discover New Zealand tour comes to an end today. Say farewell to new found friends and see some more of Christchurch, perhaps staying on for a few more days, before heading to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey home. This comprehensive tour of both the North and South Islands of New Zealand is a great way to get to know the country and see lots of the special highlights in a comparatively short time.
First Choice fr £3113pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated