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.
Please Note: - For all departures from April 2020 onwards, there are some minor changes to the tour itinerary. Your Relaxing Journeys consultant will advise of changes at time of booking.
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|Tour Type:||Low Cost Coach Tour|
|From:||Christchurch to Auckland|
|Departures:||Oct 2019 to Mar 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $5460 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) and 9 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|
|Gondola ride and dinner at Stratosfare Restaurant on Bob's Peak, with spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu|
|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
Board your coach to see the extensive work carried out to rebuild Christchurch after the devastating earthquake of February 2011. Later, see Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd before soaking up the sensational alpine landscape of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel, Ōmarama (B, D)
Your day starts along the Waitaki River with the Waitaki hydro scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through Ōamaru with its famous white limestone buildings to Dunedin, where you’ll tour the city. Then visit New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle, and its stunning gardens.
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 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)
Soak up the scenic wilderness of the Heritage Highway through the impressive Buller Gorge and the Kahurangi National Park before arriving in Nelson. This afternoon you’ll visit the World of Wearable Arts and Collectable Cars.
Stay: Grand Mercure Monaco Resort, Nelson (2 nights) (B, D)
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 and cruise on tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound before you head across Cook Strait to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. Enjoy a city sights tour before you visit Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand, where you’ll explore Aotearoa’s nature, art, history and cultural heritage.
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. Enjoy a city walking tour with a local guide and learn how Napier was rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1931.
Stay: Scenic Hotel Te Pania , Napier (B, D)
Travel past Lake Taupō, the largest lake in New Zealand. Visit the Huka Falls and then it’s on to Rotorua, where a sightseeing tour will include views of Lake Rotorua.
Stay: Hotel Ibis Rotorua (2 nights) (B)
Visit the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute at Te Puia. A tour of Rotorua’s geothermal fields follows, with bubbling mud pools, spectacular geysers and crater lakes. This evening enjoy a hāngī feast and concert at Tamaki Māori Village. (B, D)
Visit the Agrodome Farm Show, the multi-award-winning stage show, to gain an insight into agriculture in New Zealand. You’ll see the art of sheep shearing, sheepdog demonstrations, cow milking, bottle feeding of lambs, and an exciting sheep auction. Visit the farming community of Matamata to experience a farming demonstration before lunch at Longlands Farm. Continue to Auckland where your city sights tour takes in Bastion Point, Viaduct Harbour and the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Stay: VR Queen Street, Auckland (B)
Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You’ll be transferred to Auckland Airport for your onward flight. (B)
There are 2 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.5 out of 5.
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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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