New Zealand Splendour

Description

Setting out from Auckland and wending your way to Christchurch, this tour takes you through some of New Zealand's most breathtaking scenery, from golden beaches to lush forests, past cascading waterfalls, rugged mountains and spectacular geysers and glaciers. It's an excellent way to explore this beautiful part of the world, making sure you see all the sights yet still have plenty of unstructured time to relax.

Day 1
Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula

You'll begin your adventure by heading south from Auckland towards the Coromandel Peninsula. Along the coast of the Firth of Thames, you'll pass through the township of Thames, which dates back to the gold rush of 1867. From here, it's a short trip over the Coromandel Range to the upmarket beach town of Pauanui.

Day 2
Coromandel Peninsula

You'll spend today in the Coromandel Peninsula, with plenty of free time to explore the lush forests, picturesque beaches, rugged coastline and swimming holes.

Day 3
Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua

This morning you'll continue south, past beautiful beaches and the township of Tauranga, one of the North Island’s largest ports. You'll pass through the kiwi-fruit country around Te Puke and then on to Rotorua, famous for its thermal activity and as New Zealand's cultural centre. Rotorua is on the central North Island volcanic plateau, which creates the spectacular geysers, pools of boiling mud and water, steam vents and terraces of silica at the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve.

Day 4
Rotorua to Tongariro National Park

Today you'll travel to the township of Taupo, beside Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Here you can try your hand at a whole range of watersports, including trout fishing, sailing, waterskiing, windsurfing, canoeing and white-water rafting, as well as horseriding, sky-diving and bungee jumping. Just north of Taupo, you'll want to visit to the dramatic Huka Falls, before driving along the east shore of Lake Taupo to Turangi, then onto State Highway 47 into Tongariro National Park.

Day 5
Tongariro National Park to Wellington

Today you'll continue to Wanganui, on the banks of the Wanganui River. From here you'll travel down the west coast to Wellington, New Zealand's capital, which sits on a beautiful harbour, overlooked by Mount Victoria.

Day 6
Wellington to Nelson

This morning you'll drop off your car and catch the ferry from Wellington to Picton on the South Island, relaxing and enjoying the scenery as you cruise through the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound. After picking up your next car you'll drive around the area before travelling through Havelock to Nelson, a pretty city flanked by the sea, golden beaches and hills.

Day 7
Nelson

Today you're at leisure to explore the Marlborough and Abel Tasman region around Nelson.

Day 8
Nelson to the Glacier Region

Today you'll continue further south-west to Westport, wedged between the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. You'll drive through the rugged and densely forested Buller Gorge, along one of the most impressive scenic drives in New Zealand, then continue down the coast, through Punakaiki and on to Greymouth and Hokitika, and visit the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers within the Westland National Park.

Day 9
Glacier Region to Wanaka

Today you'll continue south-west on State Highway 6, turning inland along the Haast River, in the region of Central Otago, past Lake Wanaka to the town of Wanaka.

Day 10
Wanaka to Queenstown

From Wanaka you'll either follow the main highway further inland through Luggate, Lowburn, Cromwell and back west to Queenstown, or take the Crown Range road via Cardrona, following an old gold-mining route.

Day 11
Queenstown

Today you're at leisure to explore Queenstown and the surrounding areas. If you’re feeling adventurous, in Queenstown you can take a heli-jet ride on the Kawarau River, try white-water rafting, take a helicopter trip or go bungee jumping. If you'd prefer something more relaxing, take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu or just enjoy a picnic lunch in these beautiful surroundings.

Day 12
Queenstown to Te Anau

This morning you'll leave Queenstown and travel south along Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau, on the outskirts of the Fiordland National Park. At 1.52 million hectares, this is the largest national park in New Zealand and one of the largest in the world. You'll also have the chance to admire Milford Sound, one of the grandest of the fiords along this coastline. It runs past one of New Zealand’s most famous landmarks, Mitre Peak, which rises 1,692 metres almost straight up from the water.

Day 13
Te Anau to Dunedin

Today you'll travel east, via Lumsden and Gore, renowned for its brown trout fishing, to the university city of Dunedin, on the Otago Peninsula, which is indented with bays, providing many picnic and swimming sites. At the tip of the peninsula is Taiaroa Head, a special reserve which includes the only mainland nesting site of the magnificent royal albatross.

Day 14
Dunedin to Christchurch

Today you'll pass through Palmerston and Oamaru in the region of North Otago, then travel inland via Omarama, Twizel, Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, a spectacular turquoise glacial lake. You'll stop for a picnic lunch at the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, then continue on to the Canterbury Plains, the widest area of flat land in New Zealand, and into Christchurch.

Day 15
Christchurch

You'll spend today exploring Christchurch, one of New Zealand’s historic cities, which is currently reinventing itself after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. Among the city’s popular sights are RE:Start, a retail and café precinct built from shipping containers, and the fascinating Transitional Cardboard Cathedral. Today your tour comes to an end, as you travel to the airport for your onward journey, or to your hotel if you're extending your stay here.

Special offers including flights

Save £250pp

Embark on a 15 day self-drive tour & enjoy the scenic beauty

14 nights fr £2449pp

Save £250pp

PLUS Boutique hotels

New Zealand Splendour

Embark on a 15 day self-drive tour & enjoy the scenic beauty

14 nights fr £2449pp

Includes flights
:

Tour details 15 days

Standard - No car fr £995pp
Superior - No car fr £1372pp
Boutique - No car fr £1780pp

Tour Highlights

  • Auckland
  • Coromandel Peninsula
  • Rotorua
  • Tongariro National Park
  • Wellington
  • Nelson
  • Glacier Region
  • Te Anau
  • Wanaka
  • Queenstown
  • Dunedin
  • Christchurch

Included:

  • 14 nights accommodation
  • Interisland Ferry Wellington - Picton
  • Boutique Option inc 6 breakfasts

Not included:

  • Car hire
  • Meals unless stated

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My Thanks to Richard and the team for helping with all my queries and concerns. The hotel recommendation 'Quay West Suites' in Melbourne was perfectly located.

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