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15 Day New Zealand Experience

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

Tour Description

Enjoy New Zealand's south Island on AAT Kings' 15 day New Zealand Experience, see Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown, cruise on Milford Sound and the thermal Reserve Rotorua.

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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
First Choice Tour Inclusions
  • AAT Kings "First Choice" Coach Holiday
  • Tour by luxury air-conditioned coach with 2-door access, restroom, seatbelts, reclining seats, panoramic windows
  • Tour with an experienced, professional Tour Director and Tour Driver
  • Twin share rooms with private facilities in quality hotels
  • View All First Choice Tour InclusionsTotal 6 Items
  • Admissions Outlined in the Itinerary
  • Private car airport transfers on arrival and departure (see flight information below)
Included Meals
  • Breakfast of Choice (4) (BC)
  • Full Buffet Breakfasts (10) (B)
  • 'You Are Invited' Lunch (1) (YL)
  • 'You Are Invited' Morning Tea (1) (YM)
  • View All Included MealsTotal 7 Items
  • Highlight Dinners (4) (HD)
  • Dinners with Wine (6) (DW)
  • Farewell Dinner (1) (FD)
  • Welcome Reception
  • Travel Wallet, Luggage Tags & Map of New Zealand
  • Hotel Porterage Included
  • Included Choice Experiences
Arrival & Departure
  • Day 1 from Christchurch Airport - Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm
  • Day 18 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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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!

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  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 11 Feb 2018 End Date: 25 Feb 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Sold Out
  • Guaranteed Departure Start Date: 25 Feb 2018 End Date: 11 Mar 2018 Brochure - Twin Share: Brochure - Single: Our Savings: Our Price: Sold Out
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  • Guaranteed Departures. We will confirm tour availability in your quote along with all applicable discounts & specials.

Tour Itinerary - Day by Day
  • Day1

    Welcome to Christchurch

    On arrival at Christchurch Airport you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers for a welcome reception and dinner.

    Stay: Novotel, Christchurch (DW)

  • Day2

    Christchurch – Punakaiki

    Start the day with a spectacular train journey on the TranzAlpine from Christchurch through the Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass. View the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes on arrival in Punakaiki, where you'll spend the night at your exclusive resort right on the waterfront. Enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your doorstep!

    Stay: Punakaiki Resort (B, DW)

  • Day3

    Punakaiki – Franz Josef Glacier

    Travel via Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast, to Hokitika to visit a New Zealand native greenstone (jade) factory for a jewellery demonstration. Explore life among New Zealand's native giants with a stroll along the board walks of the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Your final destination is Franz Josef Glacier, the world's most accessible and still advancing glacier. You can see it from the air on a scenic flight or take a glacier hike (both optional).

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

  • Day4

    Franz Josef Glacier - Queenstown

    Some spectacular sights are in store for you today. Travel via the Haast Pass, take a short rainforest walk, and see Thunder Creek Falls then a trio of lakes, Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan. Enjoy the tastes of sumptuous stone fruit at a local orchard in Cromwell. Discover the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, previously one of the world's richest rivers before arriving in Queenstown.

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

  • Day5

    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 gondola to the Skyline Restaurant for dinner. Perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon or go to a wildlife park and see NZ'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. (BC/HD)

    View Included Choices [+]

  • View Full ItineraryTotal 15 Days
  • Day6

    Queenstown – Milford Sound - Te Anau

    Today you'll want to have your camera battery charged, and ready to go! You will stop at Mirror Lakes and then it's on to the Homer Tunnel, man's attempt to master the sheer rocky ranges. Marvel at the stunning Cleddau Valley, stop for a little walk to the Chasm, and then it's on to Milford Sound, where you'll cruise on the waters of this natural wonder. Your cruise takes in the Bowen and Stirling Falls, glacial hanging valleys, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak. Travel back through the steep, rocky mountain crags of World Heritage Fiordland National Park to the South Island's biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

    Stay: Distinction Hotel, Te Anau (BC, DW)

  • Day7

    Te Anau – Dunedin (Included Choice)

    Cross the rich, fertile farming land of South Otago, through to Dunedin, a City founded by Scottish settlers. This afternoon choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to tour Larnach Castle, or perhaps take the Monarch Wildlife Cruise to see penguins and albatross. you could sample a local brew at Speight's Brewery or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway. Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel. Stay: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, Dunedin (BC/DW)

    View Included Choices [+]

  • Day8

    Dunedin – Twizel

    Enjoy free time before you continue your journey to Oamaru, famous for its white limestone buildings, and then along the Waitaki River past the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam to Twizel. Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

    Stay: Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel (B, DW)

  • Day9

    Twizel – Christchurch

    Mount Cook National Park is today's highlight. An optional scenic flight over Mt. Cook is available (weather permitting). See Lake Pukaki and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo. 'You're invited' to enjoy a taste of country life at a barbecue lunch on a working farm. You'll be welcomed into the home and 240 hectare garden of Angie and Stan Taylor to gain an insight into the day to day operation of farm life. Later, travel over the colourful patchwork of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

    Stay: Novotel, Christchurch (B, YL)

  • Day10

    Christchurch – Blenheim

    Travel along the rugged East Coast to Kaikoura, where you'll have the chance to enjoy an optional whale watching flight (own expense). You may see New Zealand fur seals up close at Ohau Point. Pass the Grassmere Salt Works and arrive at Blenheim. Tonight enjoy the flavours and local taste of the Marlborough region with a special wine-matched 'highlight dinner'.

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

  • Day11

    Blenheim – Wellington

    Venture across Marlborough, to the sleepy seaside village of Picton. Cruise on the Interislander through tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound, across the Cook Strait to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. A city sights tour takes in New Zealand's parliament buildings, then enjoy some free time. Sample Wellington's renowned coffee culture, or take a walk along Lambton Quay and visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, with time to explore the many interactive displays depicting Maori and modern New Zealand culture. Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

    Stay: James Cook Grand Chancellor, Wellington (B, DW)

  • Day12

    Wellington – Rotorua

    After departing Wellington, this morning we travel north up the Kapiti Coast to the gorgeous historic villa, Shenandoah. 'You're invited' to join Simon and Claudia, who will show you their home which includes a unique private collection of Harley Davidson motor cycles. Enjoy morning tea in their garden, then take a walk around the property to meet the animal members of the family. Journey north over the tussock plains of the Central Plateau through Tongariro National Park, view Lake Taupo and Huka Falls on your way to Rotorua. Tonight an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at a highlight dinner at the Tamaki Maori Village. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi meal, steamed underground in the traditional way.

    Stay: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua, (2 nights) (B, YM, HD)

  • Day13

    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 Maori culture at Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal 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. Tonight you have the option of staying at your hotel or on a nearby farm. (BC)

    View Included Choices [+]

  • Up

    Optional Choice Farm Stay

    Included Choice Farm StayA warm welcome awaits you on your New Zealand farm stay and your hosts will provide you with the wonderful Kiwi hospitality that really makes you feel 'at home'. Enjoy dinner and breakfast, a farm tour to introduce you to the way of life and comfortable accommodation in the farm home or cottages. You may choose to meet the animals, including sheep, cows, deer and many others, or simply relax and enjoy the company of your hosts and the scenic surroundings.

  • Day14

    Rotorua – Auckland

    Say Haere Ra (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey to the amazing limestone caverns that make up the Waitomo Caves. After a guided walk through the caves, board your little boat and glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. Follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, where your city sights tour takes in Bastion Point, Viaduct Harbour and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. From fresh sushi to mouth-watering seafood, from authentic Indian curries to decadent desserts, your highlight dinner at Eight Restaurant at The Cordis Hotel will satisfy any and all dining cravings.

    Stay: The Cordis Hotel, Auckland (BC, HD)

  • Day15

    Farewell from Auckland

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

  • Click here to download the 15 Day New Zealand Experience PDF

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Tour Reviews

View all 2 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.5 out of 5.

  • 5New Zealand was great. The tour, the time with local residents, all the arrangements and the tour guide Sarah Carter (Astros) was excellent.

    • Overall Tour Rating
    • Value For Money
    • Accommodation
    • Tour Pace
    • Relaxing Journeys Experience
    - 15/01/2017
  • 4I spent a week before the tour staying with friends in Auckland and meeting a cousin who runs a pub there, So I had guidance for local events before heading to meet the tour group in Christchurch by trains and ferry stopping in Wellington. I phoned ahead to the hotel in Christchurch as we were delayed by hot tracks and an earthquake in Christchurch but the hotel did not pass on my messages to Tanya the tour director. Other than that the hotel was fine. I selected a stopover hotel in Wellington which was OK but perhaps I needed guidance. The tour was interesting taking me to many places I would not have seen. The driver Monica was excellent. We had lunchtime stops both as a visit to a farm and sometimes just a stop in town maybe to allow the driver a rest. Some fellow tourists moaned about the wasting of time but it did give time for shopping and bank transactions as often there was no shopping near the hotel chosen for the night. The coverage of South Island was fine and I feel no urge to go back to try to find other tourist attractions.

    North island was more skimpy made more attractive by my having a planned meeting with a friend from London before heading north. In Auckland the hotel was quite a way from the ferry end of Queen St and the places of attraction were out of reach for those who did not know the crudest geography of the town although the hotel was fine and had a shuttle with an early evening stop. I might visit North Island again to see my friends and cousin in Auckland but otherwise would have to be selective about tours as many are over hyped as well as interestingly priced. The way options were offered was rather confusing and I felt I needed a printed list of included and optional extra tours and how they might knit into a timetable with times and duration's; it seemed the tour director was negotiating with sites as we headed there and with other tour coach directors to keep a well spaced schedule and this might have made it hard to stick to a prepublished timetable but many fellow tourists expressed frustration which Tanya did well to relieve.

    • Overall Tour Rating
    • Value For Money
    • Accommodation
    • Tour Pace
    • Relaxing Journeys Experience
    - 14/02/2016

Like this Tour?

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

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