18 Day Best of New Zealand
18 Day Best of New Zealand
Experience New Zealand's North and South Island on the 18 day Best of New Zealand coach tour, AAT Kings' most extensive tour covering the whole country. Highlights include dining at the top of the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere – Auckland's Sky Tower, a unique Māori culture experience with the Realm of Tāne in Rotorua, cruising on the Milford Sound, and time to discover Franz Josef Glacier in all its glory.
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|Tour Type:||Premium Coach Tour|
|From:||Auckland to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Mar 2019 to Mar 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $6940 per person|
|Tour Operator:||AAT Kings Tours|
|17 nights accommodation in superior hotels|
|17 fully cooked breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L) and 12 dinners (D)|
|Cruise through Hole in the Rock in the spectacular Bay of Islands|
|Discover Waitomo and its famous Glowworm Grotto|
|Immerse yourself in rich Māori culture at Tamaki Māori Village|
|Take your pick of a selection of included experiences in Rotorua, Dunedin, Queenstown and Bay of Islands|
|Journey through the magnificent scenery of Tongariro National Park|
|Explore Te Papa Tongarewa, 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 ItineraryView Tour PDF
On arrival at Auckland Airport you’ll be met and transferred by private car to your hotel. The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore Auckland. You could visit the Sky Tower for amazing views of the city, Viaduct Harbour and surrounding volcanic hills. Perhaps visit the Auckland Museum or go shopping in stylish Parnell. This evening meet your Tour Director for a welcome reception.
Stay: The Cordis Hotel, Auckland
Travel through Orewa and the scenic Hibiscus Coast. Take a walk among the kauri trees at Parry Kauri Park. Explore Whangarei, the northernmost city in New Zealand, and then it’s off to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Experience natural wonders and spectacular scenery as you cruise to Cape Brett and through the Hole in the Rock. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.
Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort (Water View) (2 nights) (B, D)
This morning relax with your Breakfast of Choice. Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Perhaps go on a dolphin watching cruise, journey around Kerikeri on a wine tasting tour, or take a guided walk through Russell – New Zealand’s first capital. This evening sail aboard a historic tall ship as the sun sets, or glide down the Waitangi River for a sumptuous dinner cruise. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences. (B)
This morning you have free time to relax in the Bay of Islands and this afternoon you’ll return to Auckland. Tonight’s highlight dinner with wine is at Eight Restaurant, located at The Cordis. Eight offers the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouthwatering seafood and desserts.
Stay: The Cordis Hotel, Auckland (B, D)
A city sights tour will start your morning in Auckland. Travel around the waterfront to Mission Bay, with a stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial for stunning photos of Auckland and surrounds. Follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves. Tour the amazing limestone caverns and sail through the still waters of the sparkling Glowworm Grotto. Then cross the rolling hills of King Country to Rotorua, where your orientation tour takes in spectacular views of Lake Rotorua.
Stay: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua, (2 nights) (B)
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 Polynesian Spa. Maybe ride the amphibious Rotorua Duck, or the luge at Rotorua Skyline. Tonight an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at Tamaki Māori Village. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Māori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic hāngī meal, steamed underground in the traditional way. (B, D)
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 in a broad panorama of Lake Taupō, New Zealand’s largest lake. You’ll 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, and enjoy an exclusive after-hours guided tour of Te Papa. Before leaving there, top off the night with a highlight dinner.
Stay: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington (B, D)
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. Cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. The village of Picton is next, then it’s on to Blenheim for a sightseeing tour. Tonight, enjoy a highlight dinner prepared from local produce and matched with fine Marlborough wines.
Stay: Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim. (B, D)
This morning stop to meet some New Zealand fur seals at Ōhau 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)
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, and have the chance to experience sheep shearing and farming demonstrations before enjoying a BBQ lunch. Just 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 the 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)
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)
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)
You’ll 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 Lakes, 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)
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 gondola to to the top of Bob’s Peak. Perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon or go to a wildlife park and see Aotearoa’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)
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, the stone fruit capital. 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)
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.) It’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walk. Then 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. You will stay in an eco-resort right on the waterfront.
Stay: Punakaiki Resort (B, D)
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)
Your tour concludes after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)
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Experience New Zealand's North and South Island on the 18 day Best of New Zealand coach tour, AAT Kings' most extensive tour covering the whole countr... Read More
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