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Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Ultimate New Zealand

22-day small-group tour from £7,015 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

Travel by road, rail and cruise, taking in all the major attractions of the North and South Islands

Highlights

  • Explore New Zealand by luxury coach, complete with all-window fully reclining leather seats
  • Take an overnight cruise on tranquil Doubtful Sound on-board the Fiordland Navigator
  • Experience five spectacular rail journeys, including the world-renowned TranzAlpine
  • Contrast New Zealand's North Island volcanicity with the South's mountains and glaciers

In Brief

  • 1 Night Auckland
  • 2 Nights Bay of Islands
  • 1 Night Auckland
  • 2 Nights Rotorua
  • 2 Nights Wellington
  • 2 Nights Christchurch
  • 1 Night Fox Glacier
  • 2 Nights Queenstown
  • 1 Night Doubtful Sound
  • 1 Night Te Anau
  • 2 Nights Dunedin
  • 1 Night Christchurch

About

Recommended for:
Natural world | Rail journey | Small group

Travelling by coach in the company of an expert driver-guide thtoughout, this is the perfect introduction to the spectacular natural and cultural attractions of New Zealand’s North and South Islands. Beginning in Auckland, you'll head north to the turquoise waters of the sub-tropical Bay of Islands before taking in the lakes, geothermal geysers and mud pools of Rotorua. Then, having explored the sophisticated capital Wellington, it's time to cross the Cook Strait to the South Island, where you'll contrast the Garden City of Christchurch with the spectacular Southern Alps, picturesque Queenstown and magnificent Doubtful Sound, which you'll explore on an unforgettable overnight cruise. Finally, it's on to Dunedin, where you'll be treated to an Ultimate High Tea in the Grand Ballroom of Larnach Castle before heading back to Christchurch for a farewell dinner.

Day by day itinerary

Days 1-2
UK/Auckland

Fly from the UK to Auckland. 

Day 3
Arrive Auckland

On arrival into Auckland, transfer to your hotel and meet your travelling companions over a complimentary pre-dinner drink.

Stay: Crowne Plaza Auckland (Superior)

Meals: D

Day 4
Auckland/Bay of Islands

Enjoy an Auckland city sights tour before travelling to Matakohe for a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum. Continue through Whangarei to the Bay of Islands for a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British was signed.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 5
Bay of Islands

Today is left free for you to explore, perhaps on a dolphin-spotting cruise or a visit to the impressive Ninety Mile Beach. Whatever you choose, you'll be treated to gorgeous views of this dramatic archipelago. Perhaps the most atmospheric option is a dinner cruise.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 6
Bay of Islands/Auckland

You'll be treated to a true trip highlight today, with a trip aboard a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock formation. Keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins before you return south, pausing at the Parry Kauri Park to see its magnificent Kauri Tree and ending back in Auckland.

Stay: Crowne Plaza Auckland (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 7
Auckland/Rotorua

Travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway this morning for a nostalgic 15-kilometre trip back in time on a beautifully restored vintage steam train. You'll then head through a magnificent landscape of green pastures and dairy farms, arriving Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you'll visit the world’s largest kiwi hatchery for a unique behind-the-scenes tour.

Stay: Regent of Rotorua (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 8
Rotorua

Next morning, head for the Skyline Rotorua for breakfast served to spectacular views, followed by a thrilling luge ride. Take in a farm show at the Agrodome then visit Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and geysers. Your evening meal is a Maori hangi, followed by a concert. 

Stay: Regent of Rotorua (Superior)

Meals: B D

Days 9-10
Rotorua/Wellington

Take the Thermal Explorer Highway via the spectacular Huka Falls and continue to the magnificent Lake Taupo. You'll then head through the spectacular Tongariro National Park and along the Kapiti Coast to the bustling capital, Wellington. Here, you'll have the chance to explore Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, and enjoy an extensive city tour in the company of an expert guide. A speciality dinner is included on day nine.

Stay: The InterContinental Wellington (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 11
Wellington/Christchurch

Board the Interislander ferry, cross the Cook Strait and pass through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. You’ll then join the Coastal Pacific on a truly spectacular rail journey that follows a thin wedge of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikoura Ranges. Your coach then awaits for the journey across the Northern Canterbury Plains to the garden city of Christchurch.

Stay: The George, Christchurch (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

Day 12
Christchurch

Visit the International Antarctic Centre followed by an introductory city tour of Christchurch. Take a trip on the Christchurch Tram and seek out one of the excellent restaurants near your hotel. 

Stay: The George, Christchurch (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 13
Christchurch/Arthur’s Pass/Fox Glacier

Board the TranzAlpine for one of the great train journeys of the world. Crossing over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges, you’ll climb to Arthur’s Pass in the centre of the Southern Alps. Continue to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone, before continuing on to Fox Glacier where you'll have time for an optional scenic flight, weather permitting.

Stay: Distinction Fox Glacier Hotel (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 14
Fox Glacier/Queenstown

Marvel at the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south along the West Coast. You’ll continue past Haast Pass to the Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown before you arrive at picturesque Queenstown, a year-round resort on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. The evening is free for you to dine out at one of the city’s many fine restaurants. 

Stay: Heritage Queenstown (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 15
Queenstown

Today is left free for you to explore the myriad delights of Queenstown at your own pace. Then, in the evening, you'll board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw for a cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner. After dinner, enjoy a short farm tour then rejoin the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.

Stay: Heritage Queenstown (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 16
Queenstown/Doubtful Sound

Travel via Te Anau to Manapouri and cruise across the glacial lake. Then, following a short ride over the Wilmot Pass, you'll board the Fiordland Navigator for an incredible overnight cruise. It all begins with a delicious picnic lunch as you take in the world-famous beauty of Doubtful Sound, your expert guides pointing out any passing wildlife. Finally, as evening falls, you'll be treated to a delicious carvery buffet, prepared by the ship's chef.

Stay: Fiordland Navigator (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 17
Doubtful Sound/Te Anau

After breakfast, head back to Deep Cove for the trip back to Te Anau. Then, with an afternoon at leisure, you might choose to add on an optional trip to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves – spectacular limestone cave system on the lake's western shore.

Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas (Superior)

Meals: B D

Days 18-19
Te Anau/Dunedin

Today's scenic drive will see you to Pukerangi, where you'll board the Taieri Gorge Limited for a journey through spectacular mountain scenery only accessible by rail. You'll arrive at Dunedin's Edwardian railway station before transferring to your central hotel. The next day, you'll be brought out to the gorgeous Otago Peninsula for a tour of historic Larnach Castle, taking in its Garden of International Significance and followed by an Ultimate High Tea served in its Grand Ballroom. You'll then return to Dunedin for a guided tour of the city.

Stay: Distinction Dunedin (Superior)

Meals: B D

Day 20
Dunedin/Christchurch

After travelling to Oamaru, famous for its limestone, continue north to Pleasant Mount Museum for a short rail experience and lunch. It's the chance to explore the perfectly preserved heritage of the South Canterbury railway before you end with a farewell dinner, with select beverages.

Stay: The George, Christchurch (Deluxe)

Meals: B L D

Days 21-22
Christchurch/UK

Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Map

Pricing

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

Accommodation rating: Superior

22-day small-group tour from £7,015 incl. flights

Superior

Low Season

from £7,015 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £7,630 pp. incl. flights

Includes:

  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return International flights from London, between Auckland and Christchurch
  • 19 day premium small-group guided tour, staying in 4/4.5* (Superior)  hotels including breakfast, dinner & lunch on selected days, transfers, 5 rail journeys and 4 cruises
  • Luxury 20-seater coach with fully reclining leather seats, panoramic views, timber tray table and cup holder, personal audio control unit with music channels, USB port for mobiles/cameras, refreshment area with fridge, onboard restrooms and complimentary wi-fi

Touring highlights include:

  • The iconic Doubtful Sound overnight cruise
  • City tours of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch & Dunedin
  • Afternoon tea at Larnach Castle
  • Christchurch tram experience
  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu
  • ...and much more!

Please note: tour is based on set departures

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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