23 February 2017
If you are travelling all the way to New Zealand you must make every minute count while you are there. And there is no better way to do this than by taking our 16 day Highlights of New Zealand tour which packs in all the highlights of both the South and North Islands that make up this beautiful country. Beginning in the lovely city of Christchurch you will visit Queenstown, Dunedin, Milford Sound, Fox Glacier, the Southern Alps, Wellington, Rotorua, Auckland and the Bay of Islands seeing stunning scenery along the way. So welcome to Lord of the Rings country.
Your tour begins in Christchurch where you will be met at the airport by one of our representatives and taken to your nearby hotel. Here you can relax after the journey and hear about all the places you will be seeing and the things you will be doing over the next 16 days.
After an introductory city sites tour you leave Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, visit The Church of the Good Shepherd and view the Sheep Dog Statue. Here you can marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available today for you to take an optional scenic flight over the Southern Alps before travelling to Omarama.
Depart Omarama and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. You then continue south to Dunedin, a well preserved Victorian city that is more Scottish than Edinburgh! Enjoy an informative tour including a visit to Olveston House, a prestigious historic home and tonight you will be treated to a Scottish evening complete with bagpipes, great food, special Haggis Ceremony and a gift.
This morning travel out along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you hear of its tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Visit Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens and view the superb collection of flowers, followed by a delightful morning tea. Then say farewell to Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland and your overnight stay. Tonight you may like to visit the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.
Today you leave Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.
Today is a free day for you to explore the adrenaline junkies' capital of the world at leisure. Your Coach Captain will help with the many sightseeing options available, whether it be the thrill of a jet boat ride, whitewater raft or bungy jump, a heritage tour to Skippers Canyon or the helicopter ride of a lifetime. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station where you are treated to the best of New Zealand’s high country cuisine in the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then rejoin the Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.
Leave Queenstown this morning and travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the mighty West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel to Fox Glacier. Here time is available for you to experience an optional scenic flight over the spectacular glaciers.
Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory then continue into Arthur’s Pass and board The TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to the elegant city of Christchurch. On arrival your coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
Its an early start as today you travel via the Lewis Pass to Picton with a stop for lunch ( we no longer visit Kaikoura due to the road closure) Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you continue through Marlborough Country, famous for its food and wine. When you reach Picton you board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington, on the North Island.
Today explore this exciting region and enjoy an extensive city tour which explains the history and culture on show in New Zealand’s capital city. A highlight will be a guided tour of Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum, with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views of the land, environment and people. Enjoy some free time to explore at leisure this afternoon. This evening is also free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.
Leave Wellington this morning and as you travel north see the snow capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro on your way to beautiful Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua where you stay tonight.
Today begins with a Gondola ride to Cableway Restaurant where a buffet breakfast and spectacular views are on offer. Travel to the Agrodome where you see performing sheep, a shearing display and sheep dog trial. Next visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout. Some free time is available before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome Geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and concert.
This morning you depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Continue via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy an introduction to the Bay of Islands, location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British
This morning travel aboard a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and see the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottle nose and common dolphins before returning via Russell to Paihia for a free afternoon. A range of optional activities are available or you may choose to relax on a beach or enjoy the lovely atmosphere of the waterfront.
Leave the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland, the City of Sails, for a sightseeing tour. This evening you will be treated to a farewell dinner and have the chance to say goodbye to your new found friends.
Today your wonderful Highlights of New Zealand tour comes to an end. Time for some last minute sightseeing or shopping before you are taken to the airport for your onward flight or journey home taking with you so many great memories from Lord of the Rings country.
Superior fr £2804pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated