This is a 19 day small group tour that travels both islands of New Zealand, starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch.
Board the luxurious Ultimate Coach and enjoy a city tour of Auckland, dubbed the ‘City of Sails’, before travelling to Matakohe to enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum. Travel via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Mãori tribes and the British.
This morning you will explore the scenic beauty of the Bay of Islands including an island visit aboard a luxury catamaran. Cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’, keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. On return to Paihia, travel south, returning to Auckland. This evening is free to dine at leisure.
This morning travel to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15 kilometre trip back in time on a beautifully restored vintage steam train including a delightful morning tea. Depart Glenbrook and travel through magnificent countryside of rolling hills and green pastures famous for dairying. Continue to Rotorua to visit the National Kiwi Hatchery, for a unique behind the scenes tour of the world’s largest kiwi hatchery.
Today begins with a gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Rotorua where spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a thrilling luge ride! Enjoy some leisure time in the geothermal capital before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Māori Hāngi and Concert.
Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the spectacular Huka Falls. Continue to Lake Taupo for some free time to enjoy this scenic lakeside town. Travel via the Tongariro National Park and then continue south to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.
A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your Ultimate Coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also at leisure.
This morning board the Interislander Ferry and experience the comfort and intimate setting of the Premium Lounge**. Enjoy breakfast as you travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Join the Coastal Pacific, a truly spectacular rail journey that follows a thin wedge of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikōura Ranges. Meet your Ultimate Coach in the fishing village of Kaikōura for the journey to the garden city of Christchurch.
Today visit the International Antarctic Centre designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This is followed by an introductory city tour of Christchurch. This afternoon includes a journey on board the Christchurch Tram at your leisure. This evening is free to enjoy one of the many eateries near your hotel.
This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your Ultimate Coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before continuing via Franz Josef to the township of Fox Glacier where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.
See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south along the West Coast. Continue via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into Arrowtown to visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue to picturesque Queenstown, a year-round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening is free and you may choose to dine out at one of the many fine restaurants.
Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown with many optional activities available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.
Today travel via Te Anau to Manapouri. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you cruise across this glacial lake. A short ride over the Wilmot Pass brings you to the boarding point to join the Fiordland Navigator for an amazing overnight experience. As you cruise through the pristine beauty of Doubtful Sound, naturalist guides will provide commentary and point out the resident wildlife. When evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared by the onboard chef.
Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back to Deep Cove for the trip to Manapouri. Return to the wharf and meet your Ultimate Coach for the journey to Te Anau where you will enjoy an afternoon at leisure. You may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).
Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin, famous for its stunning Edwardian and Victorian architecture dating back to the gold rush of the 1800’s. Enjoy a city tour of New Zealand’s oldest university city.
Travel along the picturesque Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle. On a guided tour you will hear the tragic and scandalous tales which make up the castle’s history. There is time to explore this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea served in the Grand Ballroom. Return to Dunedin for some free time. Optional activities to consider include a wildlife excursion to observe animals in their natural habitat or a guided tour of Olveston Historic Home, containing a wealth of treasures of a bygone era.
This morning travel to the city of Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue north to Pleasant Point Museum and Railway for a short rail experience followed by lunch and time to explore the preserved heritage of the South Canterbury railway. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with selected beverages and your new friends.
Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.
** Premium Lounge only included in 2024-2025 departures.