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21 Day Spirit of New Zealand

Please ask us about the FREE nights’ accommodation either before or after the tour.
AAT Kings Low Cost Coach Tour starting in Christchurch and finishing in Auckland

Tour Description

Take in the spirit of New Zealand on a 21 day AAT Kings Best Buys guided expedition. Be amazed by Milford Sound, Queenstown, Punakaiki, Napier, Rotorua, Bay of Islands and more.

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Tour Info
Regions Visited
Special Offer
  • Please ask us about the FREE nights accommodation either before or after the tour.
  • Must deposit this month to qualify.
  • Applies to new bookings only.
Sightseeing Highlights
Best Buy Holiday Tour Inclusions
Included Meals
  • Full Buffet Breakfasts (20) (B)
  • Exciting Highlight Dinners (2) (HD)
  • Hotel Dinners (12) (D)
Plus
  • Welcome Reception
  • Travel Wallet & Map of New Zealand
  • Hotel Porterage Included
Arrival & Departure
  • Day 1 from Christchurch Airport - Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm
  • Day 21 to Auckland Airport - Flights anytime
Trip Notes
  • Itinerary and inclusions shown apply to departures from September 2017 onwards.
  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Disruptions to itinerary may occur

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EARLYBIRD SAVINGS!Save up to15%
Save up to 15%

Book your NEW 2018/2019 AAT Kings tour & receive an EARLYBIRD discount of 15%. When you Book and Pay by 27 Apr 18. Valid for Departures from Oct 2018 onwards. Deposit this month to qualify!

KINGS CLUBSave 5%
Save 5%

Have you travelled with Inspiring Journeys, AAT Kings (or it's sister companies) before? Save an additional 5%. Read more.

FREQUENT TRAVELLER SAVESave 5%
Returning customers SAVE!

Ask your Relaxing Journeys consultant about our Return Customer Savings. Read more.

BEST PRICE GUARANTEE!Best Price!
Best Price!

Relaxing Journeys offer a 'Best Price Guarantee' with 'No Credit Card or Service Fees' & we will beat any quote worldwide! Read more.

2018

  •   Start Date End Date BrochureTwin Share BrochureSingle Our Savings Our Price Check Availability
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 01 Feb 2018 End Date: 21 Feb 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Sold Out
  • Start Date: 08 Feb 2018 End Date: 28 Feb 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 15 Feb 2018 End Date: 07 Mar 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Sold Out
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 01 Mar 2018 End Date: 21 Mar 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Sold Out
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 15 Mar 2018 End Date: 04 Apr 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 25 Oct 2018 End Date: 14 Nov 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 29 Nov 2018 End Date: 19 Dec 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 20 Dec 2018 End Date: 09 Jan 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote

2019

  •   Start Date End Date BrochureTwin Share BrochureSingle Our Savings Our Price Check Availability
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 03 Jan 2019 End Date: 23 Jan 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 31 Jan 2019 End Date: 20 Feb 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 07 Feb 2019 End Date: 27 Feb 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 21 Feb 2019 End Date: 13 Mar 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 14 Mar 2019 End Date: 03 Apr 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 12 Sep 2019 End Date: 02 Oct 2019 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Request Quote
  • Guaranteed Departures. We will confirm tour availability in your quote along with all applicable discounts & specials.

Tour Itinerary - Day by Day
  • Day1

    Arrive Christchurch

    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 (D)

  • Day2

    Christchurch – Omarama

    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 Mt Cook National Park.

    Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel, Omarama (B, D)

  • Day3

    Omarama - Dunedin

    Your day starts along the Waitaki River with the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through Oamaru 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, D)

  • Day4

    Dunedin – Overnight on Milford Sound

    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, mountain ranges and drive through the Homer Tunnel. Pass Lake Matheson, Pop's 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.

  • Day5

    Milford Sound - 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 Glow Worm Caves, before travelling to the adventure-capital Queenstown.

    Stay: Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Queenstown (3 nights) (B, D)

  • View Full ItineraryTotal 21 Days
  • Day6

    Queenstown ‘Free Time’

    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)

  • Day7

    Queenstown ‘Free Time’

    Another action-packed day or time to relax. Tonight you'll ride the steepest Gondola in the world for a buffet 'highlight dinner' at the Skyline Restaurant. (B, HD)

  • Day8

    Queenstown - Franz Josef Glacier

    First stop visit 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 & 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 (Graham Wing), Franz Josef (B, D)

  • Day9

    Franz Josef – Punakaiki

    You can see Franz Josef Glacier from the air or take a glacier hike (both optional). Depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade), for a factory visit and 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)

  • Day10

    Punakaiki – Nelson

    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)

  • Day11

    Nelson ‘Free Time’

    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)

  • Day12

    Nelson – Wellington

    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, the Museum of New Zealand, where you'll explore New Zealand's nature, art, history and cultural heritage.

    Stay: Travelodge, Wellington (2 nights) (B, D)

  • Day13

    Wellington ‘Free Time’

    You have free time to see the sights of your choice. Perhaps take a tour of Parliament or one of the Lord of the Rings movie tours, or even a cruise to Somes Island in Wellington Harbour. (B)

  • Day14

    Wellington – Napier

    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)

  • Day15

    Napier – Rotorua

    Travel past Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Visit the Huka Falls and then it's on to Rotorua. On arrival an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. This evening enjoy a Maori Hangi feast and concert at the Tamaki Maori Village.

    Stay: Hotel Ibis Rotorua (2 nights) (B, HD)

  • Day16

    Rotorua Sightseeing

    Visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. See volcanic craters, steaming ground, hot thermal springs and bubbling mud pools on an exclusive guided tour of the geothermal valley. You'll also see the world-famous Lady Knox Geyser erupt! (B)

  • Day17

    Rotorua – Auckland

    Visit the Agrodome Sheep 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)

  • Day18

    Auckland - Bay of Islands

    Depart Auckland over the Harbour Bridge through Orewa and along the scenic Hibiscus Coast. Walk among the Kauri trees at Parry Kauri Park. Explore Whangarei, the northern-most city in New Zealand, and then it's off to Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a scenic cruise to Cape Brett and the famous 'Hole in the Rock' formation.

    Stay: Copthorne Hotel & Resort (Garden View), Bay of Islands (2 nights) (B, D)

  • Day19

    Bay of Islands ‘Free Time’

    Today is free for you to experience the beauty of the Bay of Islands at your own pace – Perhaps go dolphin watching, take a coach trip to Cape Reinga, via idyllic 90 Mile Beach or a day of sailing or even a guided sea-kayaking trip. Tonight is at leisure so why not dine at a local restaurant. (B)

  • Day20

    Bay of Islands -Auckland

    Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Reserve, where New Zealand's founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed. Later, return to Auckland. Celebrate your trip at a Farewell Dinner with your Tour Director and new-found friends.

    Stay: VR Queen Street, Auckland (B, FD)

  • Day21

    Depart Auckland

    Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You'll be transferred to Auckland Airport for your onward flight. (B)

  • Click here to download the 21 Day Spirit of New Zealand (2017/2018) PDF

Like this Tour?

Start your booking process by selecting one of our available departure dates.

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Tour Reviews

View all 8 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

  • 5Fabulous tour enjoyed every minute of it.

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    - 09/11/2017
  • 3Overall the tour was amazing. As I haven't done a coach tour before I found the pace tiring but the extra days in one place kept it all in balance. I wanted to see as much as possible in the time I had and it certainly delivered. The organisation was great, accommodation ranged from good to just ok (ibis not good especially in Rotorua). Boat trip on Milford Sound was amazing only disappointment was sharing 4 to cabin (not made clear on booking) when had opted for twin share. Inclusive visits all good. Extra excursions great but more info on what is available if you don't partake would be useful.

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    - 02/03/2017
  • 5The tour was amazing, with diversity of areas and relaxing breaks.k

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    - 01/09/2016
  • 5A great trip overall! My main criticism related to the tour director: her delivery was rambling, confusing and difficult to follow with essential information frequently hard to understand. Her manner was often abrasive with often deprecating/insulting answers to basic questions. On the other hand our driver was superb - very helpful and an excellent driver. Hotels were generally extremely good, though (as expected) the Ibis hotels used were only average and the Kingsgate Hotel in Dunedin was awful - appalling food and virtually no internet access.

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    - 04/02/2016
  • 5If you have 21 days, do this tour. You will not be disappointed. It's truly spectacular ... and it just keeps getting better and better. The drive to and overnight cruise on Milford sound is awesome. You will never forget the view from your Queenstown hotel. The optional Skippers Canyon scenic tour and jet boat ride is a ton of fun. The west coast drive to Nelson is unbelievably beautiful. We almost skipped the Abel Tasman scenic cruise and hike. That would have been a huge mistake. It is indescribable. Wellington is very nice, as is the Thermal Wonderland. The Hobbiton excursion out of Rotorua is magical. The Bay of Islands is exceptional. Sky City and the ride up the tower is the highlight of Auckland. If you do this tour, you will come away having seen almost ALL of New Zealand. It is exceptional.

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    - 19/02/2015
  • 5Hubby and I enjoyed our tour. What a land of epic scenery and wildlife - even got to enjoy slightly out of season snow and generally a bit colder than expected. Tour really well organised and made more pleasurable by Vale and Monica who went out of their way to make every person welcome and individually catered for as far as possible within the time constraints of the tour. Good pace of tour and included activities were great with quite a bit of scope for personal choice on free days. Loved overnight on Milford Sound and Glowworm Caves and all the special places in between destinations that we would never have known to go to had we been driving ourselves. Hotels were generally good and some were really lovely in scenic locations. I was surprised by the many opportunities to do laundry- you really could pack less! How wonderful it is when everything is taken care of- where to stay, eat, do! Easy and sweet as!

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    - 13/11/2014
  • 5Very good, comprehensive tour with excellent driver (Trent) and tour director (Ted). Liked the fact there were less than 30 in the group so everyone got to know each other. The places visited were all enjoyable though many felt they would have liked longer in some e.g. Dunedin and Napier. The accommodation and food were almost all excellent except for the Ibis in Auckland which was very tired and disappointing. The staff, too, were unfriendly in stark contrast to every other hotel we had stayed in where everyone was greeted very warmly. The service from Relaxing Journeys was first class. Thank you!

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    - 16/10/2014
  • View All ReviewsTotal 8 Items
  • 5We had the best tour guide - Ted, and an excellent driver for most of the tour. The 2 of them certainly bounced off each other and made it for a humorous atmosphere at times. Their local knowledge of culture, history and photo stops etc. were certainly beyond excellent. I learned so much from them. We went to some of the most amazing sites and land features and had some amazing experiences. I would highly recommend the 21 day tour, I cannot imagine trying to experience what we did in a shorter time. We were told that we had covered over 3,500 kms. during the tour. Ted marked our maps with the route we had travelled, which is a help when we are unfamiliar with NZ Maori place names. Downside: Some of the accommodation venues were too far away from town, especially on a multi-day stay. The room we had in Ibis in Christchurch was very pokey. It was hard trying to live out of a smallish suitcase for 21 days... given the requested case size, yet others ignored this. With souveniers etc. we bought, we had to buy an extra carry bag. Overall, well and truly enjoyed our trip.

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    - 04/09/2014

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