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Lake Wakatipi, Queenstown, New Zealand

Ultimate New Zealand

22-day escorted tour from £6,400 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

A road, rail and cruise escorted tour taking in all the major attractions of the North and South Islands

Highlights

  • Small group tour in luxury coach with all-window fully reclining leather seatsv
  • Overnight cruise on tranquil Doubtful Sound on-board the Fiordland Navigator
  • Spectacular railway journeys through amazing countryside and the Pacific coast

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:
Escorted tour | Mountains | Natural world

This is the perfect introduction to the spectacular natural attractions of New Zealand’s North and South Islands and a cultural heritage dating back to the country’s first human settlement in the 13th century. Beginning in Auckland, head north to the turquoise waters of the sub-tropical Bay of Islands. Overnighting back in Auckland, strike out for the Bay of Plenty and the mountains, lakes, geothermal geysers and mud pools of Rotorua. Your next stop is the sophisticated capital Wellington, before crossing Cook Strait to South Island.

From the Garden City of Christchurch, explore the valleys, gorges and glaciers of the Southern Alps and visit picturesque Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. An overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound and a visit to the underground caverns and waterfalls of Glow Worm Caves are rounded off by a city tour of Dunedin and a last supper at Christchurch before heading home.

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.

Meals: D

Day 4
Auckland/Bay of Islands

Enjoy an Auckland city sights tour before travelling to the Parry Kauri Park for a stroll among the native trees and shrubs. 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.

Meals: B

Day 5
Bay of Islands

The following morning take a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock; keep on the lookout for bottlenose and common dolphins. The afternoon and evening are at leisure, with optional activities including a tall ship sailing experience, a scenic flight or a relaxing dinner cruise. 

Meals: B

Day 6
Bay of Islands/Auckland

Drive south via Whangarei and Dargaville for a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum. Enjoy a free afternoon in Auckland, exploring the picturesque waterfront, rural vistas and superb museums of the City of Sails.  

Meals: B D

Day 7
Auckland/Rotorua

Depart Auckland and drop in at Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15-kilometre journey back in time on a beautifully restored steam train. Travel through magnificent countryside to Longlands Farm & Restaurant for a delicious home-cooked lunch hosted by a New Zealand family. Continue to Rainbow Springs Nature Park and visit the kiwi nursery and hatchery.

Meals: B D

Day 8
Rotorua

Next morning, head for the Skyline Rotorua for breakfast with champagne, spectacular views, and 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. 

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. Travel though Tongariro National Park and along the Kapiti Coast to the bustling capital. Explore the Gallipoli – a Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, and enjoy an extensive city tour. Dinner is included on day 10 only.

Stay: The InterContinental Wellington (Deluxe)

Meals: B D

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 jewellery, and visit Fox Glacier where time is available to experience a spectacular scenic flight.

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. 

Meals: B

Day 15
Queenstown

The following evening, board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station for a gourmet barbecue dinner. 

Meals: B D

Day 16
Queenstown/Doubtful Sound

Travel via Te Anau to Manapouri and cruise across the glacial lake. After a short ride over the Wilmot Pass, board the Fiordland Navigator for an amazing overnight experience. As you cruise through the pristine beauty of Doubtful Sound, expert guides point out the resident wildlife.

Meals: B L D

Day 17
Doubtful Sound/Te Anau

After breakfast, head back to Deep Cove for the trip back to Te Anau. Cruise across the lake to visit the Glow Worm Caves’ incredible limestone caverns and waterfalls.

Meals: B D

Days 18-19
Te Anau/Dunedin

Head via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin for an informative city tour, before boarding the Silver Fern railcar for a journey along spectacular cliff tops overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Blue Skin Bay.

Continue along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour and high tea in the Grand Ballroom. Return to Dunedin where you might choose to board the Taieri Gorge Limited to explore the Otago countryside.

Meals: B D

Day 20
Dunedin/Christchurch

Visit Olveston House, a prestigious historic home, before travelling to Oamaru, famous for its limestone, then enjoy a farewell dinner at The George with your fellow travellers.         

Stay: The George, Christchurch (Deluxe)

Meals: B 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 escorted tour from £6,400 incl. flights

Superior

Low Season

from £6,400 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £6,780 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* (Superior) & 5* (Deluxe) hotels including breakfast, dinner & lunch on selected days, transfers, 3 rail journeys and 5 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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