15 Day New Zealand Splendour

15 Day New Zealand Splendour

Discover the best of New Zealand's North and South Island on AAT Kings' 15 day New Zealand Splendour. Highlights include touring the Waitomo Caves, a unique Māori culture experience with the Realm of Tane in Rotorua, cruising on Milford Sound, and plenty of free time to discover the Bay of Islands, Queenstown, Wellington, and historic Dunedin.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Premium Coach Tour
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Sep 2019 to Mar 2020
Price: From (NZD) $6580 per person
Tour Operator: AAT Kings Tours
Duration: 15 Days
Tour Code: zaacz


14 nights accommodation in superior hotels
14 fully cooked breakfasts (B), 2 lunches (L), and 11 dinners (D)
Discover Waitomo and its famous Glowworm Grotto
Cultural experience and hāngī feast at Tamaki Māori Village
Take your pick of a selection of included experiences in Rotorua, Dunedin, and Queenstown
Journey through the magnificent scenery of Tongariro National Park
Explore Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand
Savour a delicious Kiwi BBQ at Morelea Farm
Cruise on the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station
Travel past ancient glaciers, spectacular mountains and magical rainforest en route to Milford Sound
Taste Central Otago stone fruits at a local orchard
Discover fascinating Franz Josef Glacier
Visit a pounamu (jade) studio and marvel at artists at work
Walk around Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Auckland

After arrival in Auckland, the afternoon is at leisure for you to explore this vibrant, multicultural city. You might like to amble down Queen Street to the main shopping precinct, or on to Viaduct Harbour. This evening, meet your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and dinner at your hotel.

Stay: Stamford Plaza, Auckland (D)

Day 2
Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

Join your Travel Director to discover the must-see sights of the city, including panoramic views from the Sky Tower, 328 metres above the city. Then cross the rolling hills of King Country to Rotorua, where your orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Visit Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, where talented students carry on age-old traditions of wood carving and weaving. A tour of Rotorua’s active geothermal fields follows: see bubbling mud pools, spectacular geysers and crater lakes.

An evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Maori Village. Learn about Maori art forms and traditions and enjoy an authentic Hangi Highlight Dinner

Stay: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua, (2 nights) (B,D)

Day 3
Rotorua (Included Choice)

Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to join the Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, discover Māori culture at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, see the Agrodome Farm Show, relax in the seclusion of your own hot mineral pool or unwind with a facial treatment in the Lake Spa Retreat at the Polynesian Spa. Maybe ride the amphibious Rotorua Duck or the luge at Rotorua Skyline.(B)

Day 4
Rotorua - Wellington

Say ‘haere ra!’ (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a little hidden spot, Huka Falls. From here the road unfolds to a broad panorama of Lake Taupō, New Zealand’s largest lake. You will then journey south over the Central Plateau, New Zealand’s main volcanic area. Travel along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, where you will enjoy an exclusive after-hours guided tour of Te Papa. Before leaving the museum, top off the night with a highlight dinner.

Stay: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington (B, D)

Day 5
Wellington - Blenheim

Why not discover more of Wellington this morning? There’s time to visit the Parliament Buildings and the Beehive, home to New Zealand’s government. Later you’ll visit Te Papa and explore the fascinating exhibits at your leisure, including the unique marae and wharenui (meeting house). Cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. The village of Picton is next, then it’s on to Blenheim for a city sightseeing tour. Tonight, enjoy a highlight dinner prepared from local produce and matched with fine Marlborough wines.

Stay: Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim. (B, D)

Day 6
Blenheim - Christchurch

This morning stop to meet some New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point and watch as they frolic and play in the tidal currents. Take a helicopter flight out of Kaikōura (own expense) for whale and dolphin viewing or stop in at one of many local eateries and sample a Kaikōura seafood delight, crayfish. This afternoon’s journey follows the Pacific Ocean coastline where roaring sea meets enormous bush-clad mountains. Travel across the Northern Canterbury Plains and into Christchurch. Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Christchurch’s inner city.

Stay: Distinction Hotel, Christchurch (B)

Day 7
Christchurch - Twizel

Visit Morelea Farm, a typical working sheep farm where you’ll get a taste of traditional New Zealand country life. You will be welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor and their 240-hectare garden, with the chance to experience sheep shearing and farming demonstrations before enjoying a BBQ lunch; wait until you try Angie’s famous pavlova dessert! Listen to the family’s story of growing up in rural New Zealand and their challenges of farming in the foothills of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Later see Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on your way to Twizel.

Stay: Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel (B, L, D)

Day 8
Twizel - Dunedin (Included Choice)

View the Waitaki hydro scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through Ōamaru, with its limestone buildings, to Dunedin. Choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Tour stately Larnach Castle, ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway, take a wildlife cruise, or an interactive tour of Speight’s Brewery. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, Dunedin (B, D)

Day 9
Dunedin - Te Anau

Today, travel across farming land to the village of Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the South Island’s largest lake. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas (B, D)

Day 10
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

You will be awestruck by the magnificence of the World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park. Amazing photo opportunities await you today as you see rainforest, ancient glaciers, mountain ranges and the handmade Homer Tunnel. Pass the Mirror Lake, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Your cruise on Milford Sound will take you past Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Afterwards, travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu on your way to Queenstown, where an orientation tour finishes this highlight day.

Stay: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (2 nights) (B)

Day 11
Queenstown (Included Choice)

Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to ride the Shotover Jet, experience farm life in the high country, or take the Skyline Gondola to Stratosfare Restaurant for dinner. Perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon or go to a wildlife park and see New Zealand’s own kiwi bird. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue highlight dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. An entertaining farm show provides a glimpse into high country farm life. (B, D)

Day 12
Queenstown - Franz Josef Glacier

Visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, previously one of the world’s richest rivers. Enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell. See a trio of lakes – Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka. Travel over the Haast Pass, view amazing Thunder Creek Falls, and take a small rainforest walk. Then it’s on to Franz Josef Glacier, the world’s most accessible glacier.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier, (Douglas Wing) (B, D)

Day 13
Franz Josef - Punakaiki

There is time this morning to explore Franz Josef Glacier. You can see it from the air on an optional flight (weather permitting) or take a glacier hike! (Both optional.) Then it’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walk. Depart for Hokitika, home of pounamu (jade), for a studio visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Tonight you will stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.

Stay: Punakaiki Resort (B, D)

Day 14
Punakaiki - TranzAlpine - Christchurch

Travel to the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914 and is rated as one of the word’s most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. Join your Tour Director this evening for a farewell dinner with wine.

Stay: Distinction Hotel, Christchurch (B, D)

Day 15
Depart Christchurch

Your tour concludes after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)

Enquire about our 15 Day New Zealand Splendour

15 Day New Zealand Splendour
Premium Coach Tour
Tour Code: zaacz
From (NZD) $6580 per person
Save (NZD) $345 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Sep 2019 to Mar 2020

Discover the best of New Zealand's North and South Island on AAT Kings' 15 day New Zealand Splendour. Highlights include touring the Waitomo Caves, a ... Read More

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15 Day New Zealand Splendour
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