18 Day Essence of New Zealand
18 Day Essence of New Zealand
Discover New Zealand's essence on an 18 day AAT Kings Best Buys guided expedition. Experience the wonders of Queenstown, Milford Sound, Nelson, Napier, Rotorua, Auckland, and more.
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|Tour Type:||Low Cost Coach Tour|
|From:||Christchurch to Auckland|
|Departures:||Oct 2020 to Mar 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $5820 per person|
|Tour Operator:||AAT Kings Tours|
|16 nights accommodation in superior hotels and 1 night on an overnight cruise|
|17 fully cooked breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (L) and 6 dinners (D)|
|See mighty Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain|
|Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo|
|Tour the sights of Dunedin|
|Explore New Zealand's only castle – Larnach Castle|
|Overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner|
|Explore the Te Anau Glowworm Caves|
|Two days at leisure in Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital|
|Visit historic Arrowtown|
|Stay at spectacular Franz Josef Glacier|
|View the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki|
|Watch artisans carving pounamu (jade) in Hokitika|
|Free time in Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park|
|Cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound from Picton to Wellington|
|Visit Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand|
|Enjoy a city walking tour in Napier|
|Immerse yourself in Māori culture at a hāngī feast and concert|
|Enjoy the Agrodome Farm Show|
|Explore the geothermal valley at Te Puia in Rotorua|
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Day by Day Tour ItineraryView Tour PDF
On arrival at Christchurch Airport you’ll be transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers for a welcome reception and dinner.
Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch
Drive over the rich alluvial farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki. Pause to view the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd before revelling in the alpine landscape of Mt.Cook National Park.
Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel, Ōmarama (B)
Travel via Oamaru, with its famous white limestone buildings, to Dunedin, a region of unique landscapes and fascinating cultural history, for an orientation tour.
Stay: Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin (B)
Today is a feast for the senses. Travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. You’ll be awestruck by the World Heritage Fiordland National Park, New Zealand’s largest. See rainforest, ancient glaciers and mountain ranges, and drive through the Homer Tunnel. Pass Lake Matheson, Pop’s View Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm, before arriving in Milford Sound for your overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner.
Overnight Cruise: Milford Mariner, Milford Sound (B, D)
Note: Milford Mariner does not operate 21 May – 15 September. During this period there will be a day cruise on Milford Sound and accommodation in Te Anau or Queenstown.
This morning depart for Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake on the South Island. Explore the Te Anau Glowworm Caves before travelling to the adventure capital of Queenstown.
Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown (3 nights) (B, D)
Explore exciting Queenstown your way, all day. Take it easy with wine and garden tours or walk on the wild side with jet boat rides and white water rafting. Whatever you choose, Queenstown will surprise and exhilarate. (B)
Another action-packed day or time to relax – tailor your own agenda to suit! (B)
First stop today is the gold mining village of Arrowtown, a colourful township steeped in local history. Next is Cromwell and its sensational stone fruit. Then it’s a trio of lakes – Lake Dunstan, Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. Travel through Haast Pass which winds its way through Mount Aspiring National Park and dramatic mountain and forest scenery. View the amazing Thunder Creek Falls and continue north along the coastal road to Franz Josef Glacier – a rare, still advancing glacier.
Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing), Franz Josef (B, D)
You can see Franz Josef Glacier from the air or take a glacier hike (both optional). Depart for Hokitika, home of pounamu (jade), for a studio visit and carving demonstration. Later travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront. Enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your doorstep!
Stay: Punakaiki Resort (B, D)
The Heritage Highway leads you through a scenic wilderness to the plunging Buller Gorge and pristine Kahurangi National Park before arriving in Nelson.
Stay: Rutherford Hotel, Nelson (2 nights) (B)
You’ll have the option to journey to the top of the South Island and enjoy a relaxing cruise in the Abel Tasman National Park, or perhaps take a short bush walk, relax in sunny Nelson or explore the many arts and craft shops. (B)
Visit the seaside village of Picton with free time to explore. Cruise on tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound before heading across Cook Strait to the North Island and Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. Enjoy a city sights tour
before a guided tour of Te Papa Museum of New Zealand.
Stay: Travelodge, Wellington (2 nights) (B)
Wellington is celebrated as the country’s creative and culinary capital and today is yours to explore the city at your own pace. You might like to take an optional experience tour of Parliament, or the Weta Workshop, creators of special effects for The Lord of Rings and The Hobbit films. (B,D)
Travel through the dairy farming land of Manawatu to Napier. Your special packed lunch today won’t only be wholesome, it will also feed a Kiwi child who may otherwise go without, through the charity ‘Eat My Lunch’. Traveling to Napier, a city whose unique concentration of beautiful Art Deco architecture is due to its rebuilding after the 1931 earthquake. Enjoy a walking tour with a local guide.
Stay: Scenic Hotel Te Pania , Napier (B, L)
Journey to Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand, and then visit mighty Huka Falls on your way to Rotorua, where a sightseeing tour will include views of Lake Rotorua. Visit Te Puia, the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute. A tour of Rotorua’s active geothermal fields follows. Gain insight into traditional Māori culture this evening
while you enjoy a Highlight Dinner at the Tamaki Māori Village.
Stay: Hotel Ibis Rotorua (2 nights) (B, D)
Today is yours to explore at your own pace. (B)
Travel through the lush dairy-farming district of Waikato en route to Auckland, where you’ll take a tour of the city.
Stay: VR Queen Street, Auckland (B)
Your holiday comes to an end this morning after
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Discover New Zealand's essence on an 18 day AAT Kings Best Buys guided expedition. Experience the wonders of Queenstown, Milford Sound, Nelson, Napier... Read More
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