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Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

New Zealand Highlighter

14-day escorted tour & rail journey from £5,305 pp incl. flights


Short description

A escorted tour taking in the best of New Zealand’s North and South islands

In Brief

  • 1 Night Auckland
  • 2 Nights Wellington
  • 1 Night Christchurch
  • 1 Night Franz Josef Glacier
  • 2 Nights Queenstown
  • 1 Night Te Anau
  • 1 Night Dunedin
  • 1 Night Mt Cook
  • 1 Night Christchurch


Recommended for:
Activity adventure | City | Escorted tour | Food & wine | History & culture | Rail journey

See the geothermal wonders of Rotorua and partake in a traditional Maori feast; ride the TranzAlpine Train through the glorious Southern Alps from Christchurch to Greymouth; marvel at the icy contours of the Franz Josef Glacier; cruise the full length of Milford Sound, where waterfalls cascade into mirror-calm waters; and see mighty Mt Cook, Australasia's highest peak, before ending in the 'Garden City' of Christchurch.

You'll be accompanied throughout by you're friendly and professional APT Tour Director, while enjoying signature touring and dining experiences at selected destinations throughout your holiday. What's more, APT's 'Freedom of Choice' dining and touring concept allows you to tailor your holiday to suit your own interests, while still enjoying the benefits of travelling as part of a group.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Auckland, Freedom of Choice

Arrive in the beautiful harbour side city of Auckland, known as the City of Sails, where you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your city centre hotel.

Spend the rest of the day exploring Auckland, with a choice of exciting excursions. Begin with a city tour, followed by either a cruise on Waitemata Harbour; a visit to Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium; a tour of Auckland Museum; a Bush & Beach Wilderness Adventure*; or a relaxing reflexology treatment at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

This evening you'll join your fellow travellers and APT Tour Director for a welcome dinner.

*Bush & Beach Wilderness Adventure is a full-day tour and cannot be combined with the Auckland City Tour.

Stay: Grand Millennium Auckland

Meals: D

Days 2-3
Auckland, Waitomo, Rotorua

Leaving Auckland after breakfast, travel to Waitomo, home to the famous glow worm caves where thousands of tiny luminescent creatures radiate an unmistakable glow. Discover the magical natural spectacle of Waitomo Caves with a local guide before continuing to the geothermal capital of New Zealand, Rotorua. Visit Te Puia, New Zealand's premier cultural centre and enjoy a guided tour of the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute. You will also see the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley and witness the phenomenal natural spectacle of erupting geysers and bubbling mud pools. Enjoy a Maori Hangi Feast with performances of song and dance at Te Puia tonight. Delight in the opportunity to dine and interact with locals who will enchant you with their customs and cheerful hospitality.

Next day your sightseeing continues with a visit to one of New Zealand's best-loved attractions, the Agrodome, with its entertaining sheep shearing demonstration, dog trials and animal nursery. Later, perhaps enjoy an optional helicopter flight for views over the active White Island volcano (own expense).

Accommodation: Hioliday Inn Rotorua

Day 4
Rotorua, Taupo & Wellington, Freedom of Choice

Your journey continues through the North Island today as you follow the Thermal Explorer Highway past beautiful Huka Falls, Lake Taupo and the dramatic volcanic landscape of the Tongariro National Park to the capital Wellington, on the shores of the Cook Straight. This evening you'll be able to choose from a number of the city's best restaurants.

Stay: Amora Hotel Wellington

Meals: B D

Day 5

Spend today on a sightseeing tour of the city, taking in its best-known landmarks including Te Papa Tongarewa – the Museum of New Zealand, before enjoying a ride on the city's famous cable car, a funicular railway that takes you from the shopping district of Lambert Quay to the hillside suburb of Kelburn, from where you'll enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the city and Cook Strait.

Stay: Amora Hotel Wellington

Meals: B

Day 6
Wellington, Kaikoura & Christchurch

Board the Interislander Ferry this morning for your journey across the Cook Strait to the town of Picton, located at the very tip of New Zealand's South Island. On arrival you'll rejoin your coach and journey through the beautiful Marlborough region, passing the picturesque coastal town of Kaikoura on the way to Christchurch where you'll spend the night.

Stay: Heartland Hotel Cotswold, Christchurch

Meals: B D

Day 7
Christchurch, TranzAlpine Train & Franz Josef

This morning sees you transfer to the railway station in Christchurch where you'll board the TranzAlpine train for an unforgettable journey across through the spectacular landscapes of the Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass. Disembark and continue your journey to Hokitika, where you'll see Pounamu (jade) being carved into beautiful jewellery. From Hokotika you'll head south along New Zealand's west coast, passing vast glacial landscapes and ancient rainforest, to the town of Franz Josef. Check into your luxury eco lodge, located in the shadow of the Franz Josef Glacier, before enjoying a sumptuous four-course degustation dinner.

Stay: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef

Meals: B D

Day 8
Franz Josef to Queenstown

Your journey along New Zealand's rugged west coast continues today as you travel south through the small town of Haast, before heading inland to Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital. Tonight, choose from four superb dining options.

Stay: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Meals: B D

Day 9
Queenstown, Freedom of Choice

Spend a full day experiencing the delights of Queenstown, with a selection of exciting touring options to choose from, including a Lakeshore, Forest and Bird Walk; a thrilling jet boat adventure on the Dart River; an adrenaline-pumping Shotover Jet boat ride; a tour of the region's vineyards; a tour through the breathtaking river gorges of Skippers Canyon; a Lord of the Rings "Safari of the Scenes" tour; or a Double Decker Explorer bus tour of Queenstown and Arrowtown - a nearby gold mining settlement.

Stay: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Meals: B

Day 10
Queenstown, Milford Sound & Te Anau

Follow the line of The Remarkables mountain range from Queenstown to the Fjordland National Park in the south-west of the country. Journey along the Milford Road before boarding a boat for a cruise along the full length of Milford Sound, home to some of New Zealand's most dramatic coastal landscapes. Later in the afternoon you'll head to the pretty lakeside town of Te Anau where you'll spend the night.

Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Meals: B D

Day 11
Te Anau & Dunedin

Spend today travelling through the stunning landscapes of southern New Zealand to the city of Dunedin. Here you'll have a choice of excursions including a tour of Larnach Castle; a ride on the scenic Taieri Gorge Railway; a trip to the stunning Otago Peninsular, where you'll have the chance to see albatross, penguins and enjoy an off-road nature tour; or an afternoon tour and tasting at Speight's Brewery.

Stay: Scenic Hotel, Dunedin City

Meals: B D

Day 12
Dunedin & Mt Cook, Freedom of Choice

This morning you'll visit the spectacular Moeraki Boulders at Koekohe Beach before heading north to the Mt Cook National Park, home to Australasia's highest peak. Here you'll have a choice of touring options, including a visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre; a guided nature walk; a Glacier Explorer Cruise; or a nighttime stargazing experience.

Stay: The Hermitage Hotel

Meals: B D

Day 13
Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo & Christchurch

Travel from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo, where you'll visit the famous Church of the Good Shepherd - a tiny chapel on the shores of one of New Zealand's most beautiful lakes. From Lake Takapo you'll head to Christchurch for a final farewell dinner.

Stay: Copthorne Hotel Commodore, Christchurch

Meals: B D

Day 14

Transfer to Christchurch Airport in time for your onward flight.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

14-day escorted tour & rail journey from £5,305 pp incl. flights

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