18 Day Royal Tourer New Zealand

18 Day Royal Tourer New Zealand

Begin in Auckland and travel to the subtropical Bay of Islands, before making your way through Rotorua and across the picturesque Marlborough Sounds to the South Island with APT.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Premium Coach Tour
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Sep 2018 to Sep 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $8040 per person
Tour Operator: APT Tours
Duration: 18 Days
Tour Code: ncc18

Inclusions

17 nights in premium accommodation
29 meals – 17 breakfasts (B), 5 dinners (D) and 7 feature dinners
Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Explore the stunning Bay of Islands on a dolphin watching cruise
Enjoy a traditional Māori hāngī feast in Rotorua
Cruise aboard the Interislander ferry to the South Island
Ride on the famous TranzAlpine train through the Southern Alps
Cruise the full length of Milford Sound
Discover Aoraki Mount Cook, Australasia's highest peak

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Your journey begins today on arrival into Auckland. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your stylish and comfortable hotel.

Stay: Grand Millennium Auckland (2 nights)

Day 2
Auckland - Freedom of Choice Touring

After a morning at leisure, enjoy your selected sightseeing activity in the ‘City of Sails’ as you choose from a range of exciting sightseeing inclusions. Perhaps take a cruise on Waitemata Harbour, head off on a Waiheke Island wine tour, or explore the Auckland Museum. Alternatively, get up close to the fascinating marine life at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, or set off on a wilderness adventure into the Waitakere Ranges. Others may prefer to take a trip to the harbourside suburb of Devonport, which has great views of the city. (B, D)

Day 3
Auckland - Bay of Islands

Cross Auckland’s busy Harbour Bridge this morning and travel along the Hibiscus Coast. Stop at Matakohe’s Kauri Museum for an insight into the rich pioneering history of New Zealand’s Northland region. Continue to the stunning Bay of Islands and visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the original treaty between the British and Māori people was signed. Here, you’ll also enjoy a visit to the carved meeting house and ceremonial war canoe.

Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands, in a room with harbour views (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 4
Bay of Islands - Freedom of Choice Touring

Today discover this spectacular region with a choice of activities. Perhaps take a day tour to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northernmost point, or maybe experience life aboard a tall ship. You could embark on a dolphin watching adventure or take a mini-tour of Russell. Alternatively, return to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for an enriching guided tour. (B)

Day 5
Bay of Islands - Auckland

Explore the spectacular Bay of Islands on a dolphin watching cruise to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. In these deep-sea fishing grounds, dolphins are frequently seen. Meander through the inner islands, admiring the picturesque sandy beaches and rocky outcrops, then relax for some time in a secluded bay. This evening, back in Auckland, you’ll be treated to a special Pacific-themed dinner with New Zealand produce at the Grand Millennium Auckland .

Stay: Grand Millennium Auckland (B, D)

Day 6
Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua

Travel to Waitomo, home to the famous glowworm caves where thousands of tiny luminescent creatures radiate an eerie glow. Discover this natural wonder on a guided tour before continuing to Rotorua. This evening, immerse yourself in Māori culture as you enjoy a traditional hāngī feast and performance of song and dance.

Stay: Holiday Inn Rotorua, overlooking Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 7
Rotorua - Freedom of Choice Touring

Following breakfast this morning, enjoy your chosen Freedom of Choice sightseeing inclusion. Perhaps discover the icons of Rotorua at the Agrodome Farm Show followed by Rainbow Springs Nature Park, a kiwi encounter, and a visit to Te Puia. Alternatively, experience Middle-earth during a tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set and gain an enthralling insight into the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Other options include a drive through forest and farmland to visit New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and colourful hot springs, or learning about the local art, history and culture at Rotorua Museum. (B)

Day 8
Rotorua - Wellington - Freedom of Choice Dining

Follow the Thermal Explorer Highway to the heart of New Zealand’s North Island this morning. View Wairakei Thermal Valley then Visit Huka Falls and Lake Taupō, before travelling across the vast volcanic plateau of World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park to Wellington. This evening, after checking in to your hotel, discover a range of tantalising local flavours with a choice of three tempting restaurants in which to dine.

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

Day 9
Wellington

Discover the delights of the New Zealand capital with an extended stay. After breakfast set off on a sightseeing tour taking you to the city’s best-loved landmarks and sights, including New Zealand’s national museum – Te Papa Tongarewa. Afterwards, ride Wellington’s iconic Cable Car, gaining a fresh perspective of this coastal city. (B)

Day 10
Wellington - Kaikōura - Christchurch

This morning, step aboard the Interislander ferry to cruise across Cook Strait and through the stunning waters of Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds to Picton. Rejoin your coach and travel to the coast as you head for the quaint fishing town of Kaikōura. Continue travelling along the central east coast to Christchurch.

Stay: Commodore Hotel, Christchurch (B, D)

Day 11
TranzAlpine Train - Franz Josef

Board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world’s greatest rail adventures. Journey through the striking patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, before travelling across the magnificent Southern Alps within Arthur’s Pass National Park. Disembark at Arthur’s Pass and travel by coach to Hokitika. Here you’ll enjoy the opportunity to see pounamu (jade) being skilfully carved into pieces of jewellery. Afterwards, continue along the dramatic West Coast to Franz Josef, where you’ll take in the dramatic terrain and icy surrounds of the striking Franz Josef Glacier. Sitting at just 250m above sea level, Franz Josef is quite unique as it is one of just three glaciers in the world that descends into temperate rainforest. Its low altitude creates a spectacular environment, where stunning ice formations are juxtaposed against the lush canopy of the surrounding forest. Arrive later at your luxury eco-resort where you will enjoy a delectable four-course degustation dinner this evening.

Stay: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier (B, D)

Day 12
Franz Josef - Queenstown - Freedom of Choice Dining

Enjoy a day of truly breathtaking scenery as you travel along the Haast River. Arrive in Queenstown, the country’s ‘adventure capital’, where you’ll choose from four tempting restaurants. Perhaps sample the delicious fresh produce at waterside Finz seafood restaurant, or take a scenic gondola ride to Stratosfare Restaurant. You may prefer to cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamboat, or dine amid the stylish surrounds of Elements Restaurant.

Stay: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 13
Queenstown - Freedom of Choice Touring

Today you can personalise your Queenstown experience with our exciting touring options. Perhaps embark on a Safari of the Scenes tour and visit several local sites where the popular Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed, as you discover the great affinity between the cinematic landscapes of New Zealand and that of Middle-earth. Thrill-seekers may enjoy an exhilarating ride on the famous Shotover Jet, a Skippers Canyon adventure, or a river safari along the shimmering waters of the Dart River. New Zealand is rightly famous for its many vineyards and rich wines, and a tour of the country’s premier wine-producing region is a tempting option. Other activities include a 4WD experience at Mount Nicholas, a bird walk through surrounding wilderness, or the leisurely Million Dollar Cruise across the shimmering waters of Lake Wakatipu. (B)

Day 14
Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau

Embark on one of the world’s most scenic drives today as you journey along the Milford Road. Wind down the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys then drive through the Homer Tunnel to be met by the sight of Mitre Peak. Continue to Milford Sound, where you’ll enjoy a cruise that explores the full length of this pristine fiord. Afterwards, enjoy a picturesque drive to the lakeside settlement of Te Anau. Tonight enjoy a Taste of Fiordland dinner.

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

Day 15
Te Anau - Dunedin - Freedom of Choice Touring

This morning journey through rolling Southland countryside. Travel to Dunedin on the island’s east coast, a city known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. This afternoon, choose your activity. Perhaps tour Larnach Castle, visit Olveston House, or head to Dunedin’s beautiful railway station and board the Taieri Gorge Railway. Those who enjoy a beer might like to tour Speight’s Brewery. Alternatively, nature lovers can visit an albatross colony, see penguins, or take an off-road tour of the sweeping Otago Peninsula.

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

Day 16
Dunedin - Aoraki Mount Cook - Freedom of Choice Touring

Journey north and stop to view the large spherical Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach. Continue to World Heritage-listed Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, where you can choose your activity. Perhaps visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, including a visit to the planetarium and a stargazing session with an astronomer. Alternatively, during the summer months, board a MAC boat and get up close to icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake.

Stay: The Hermitage Hotel (B, D)

Day 17
Aoraki Mount Cook - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

Travel to picturesque Lake Tekapo today, where you’ll pay a visit to the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd. Later, travel through delightful scenery along Burkes Pass to Christchurch. In the evening you will enjoy a memorable farewell dinner at your hotel.

Stay: Rydges Latimer, Christchurch (B, D)

Day 18
Depart Christchurch

Today your tour concludes after breakfast, with a transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

4.6/5.0

There are 16 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

4
05/02/2016
An excellent holiday for those with limited time wanting to see as much as possible, at sometimes quite hectic and early morning starts a necessity. A reasonable degree of fitness is needed to make the most of the daily excursions. We would have liked more information about the Freedom of choice excursions (eg a train journey took 5 hours too long) All the hotels were of a good standard and beds very comfortable, the food varied some of the dinners were extremely good, we didn't go hungry. Our driver was excellent with so much local and historical knowledge making each day very interesting. The tour director inexperienced, her first trip. We understood that maximum no of passengers to be limited to 40 but for the South Island there were 44.
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4
19/12/2014
The pace and the coach were nice. I loved the freedom of choice options - it cost more but provided flexibity for a tour group that had a couple of teenagers to individuals into their late 70s. My only frustration was that I chose that tour due to a visit to Hobbiton and due to the holidays it was closed and I didn't find out until 28 November - 3 weeks after I had to pay for the tour. There were about 15 people on the tour in the same situation. One good thing is that since we were all so disappointed - the tour guide helped those of interested to get a LOTR tour in Wellington which included Weta studios. That was great, but since it was not included in the original set of freedom of choice options it did cost extra but it was a cool tour.

I recommend that you inform individuals that there are opportunities to do laundry and pack as little as possible due to weight and number of bag restrictions on flights and buses. Bring a great camera with an extra battery and storage. Those that tried to get by on smart phones or tablets ran out of storage space and had to start deleted apps but in two cases it didn't work and they were very disappointed. Only half of the hotels offered unlimited wireless the rest were pay or receive 20 mins free in lobby and often Internet was slow. All that said - it was a great trip and the pace worked out well staying in two nights in most places and all the countryside was gorgeous. It was pretty relaxing overall.
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5
10/01/2014
Jan, our tour guide and Rob, our coach driver, worked so well together that they made our tour very informative and smooth. The trip was a pleasure. This was the best way to see New Zealand.
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4
10/09/2011
It was a trip of a lifetime. We were able to see the entire country and had many pleasent experiences. The tour guide and bus driver was a real plus. They knew the country side and were able to tell us many stories about your country. I have to say that this was the best coach trips we have ever taken. During our visit we were able to see the opening of the World Cup of Rugby. Being from the United States and never understanding what the game was all about, we became overnight fans and were able to see one of the matches on the trip. Our tour guide was able to take care of the entire process for us. I would highly recommend the NZ Wanderer for people who really want to experience New Zealand and the great people who live there.
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5
09/03/2011
We thought the tour went very well, especially given the difficult circumstances at the beginning with last minute hotel changes and so on due to the quake. The only disappointment was the weather in the Bay of Islands, but we won't hold you responsible for that! The tour manager, Laurie, and driver, Ian, were especially good, funny, helpful and informative.
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4
06/02/2011
Thank you for this opportunity to express our views on the tour. We had a wonderful time on our tour overall, some places and meals better than others but nothing that was absolutely awful. We really enjoyed the itinerary although we have decided if we come back that maybe a longer tour that incorpoates some more rest days may be better. However I think we both found the staff and the people in general were so helpful everywhere that we went. The scenery was spectacular and I have so many pictures to paint I don't know where to start. We would like to say a very special thank you to our tour director Barry Owen who's commentary and anecdotes made everything so very interesting and especially for all his patience when things got so chaotic after the eartquake at Christchurch. Also to our driver Royal from Johnsons who was an amazing driver all the time but excelled himself when getting us out of the earthquake area. APT did a magnificent job of getting us accommodation at short notice when we missed our flights and Air New Zealand pulled out all the stops to get us home. We really cannot thank everyone enough. Please could you pass on these thanks to the relevant people. It was certainly a holiday that we will never forget for so many reasons and we look forward to travelling with you again, as we intend to go to Australia in 2013.
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4
29/01/2011
We really enjoyed the trip, with a great tour guide, Glynnis, and Denny our driver. Denny and I shared the vietnam experience as combat vets...so got along famously. After getting home i realized that we may have had the same commanding officer. The itinerary was great , scenery even better, and the options what we wanted. The reason that we took this particular trip was that many of the activities were optional, and as i had been a military pilot , had already been whalewatching, jetboating, diving etc. Some of the 'main events' did not interest us, yet it covered the country and gave us choices. (we opted for a wine tour instead of bungee jumping etc). New Zealand had been on my bucket list since serving with anzus forces in vietnam. Highlights for us were the Bay of Islands, Maori culture, Milford Sound, Mt Cook, and I would have to say, Picton also. I thank you for the input to stay an extra day on each end. Some potential improvements - we had expected more fresh fruit for breakfast, with New Zealand being the garden nation. We had lots of tinned fruits, but much fewer fresh ones. Real eggs were a treat vs the processed scrambled variety. The full British breakfast was pretty much the same every morning and something we were not really used to , so maybe an american thing :) On the positive, I love lamb shanks, and had some great meals of them, done up right. All in all pleased with your people, and tours. Keep it up. I would recommend to others. Our best wishes, and hope that none of your people were hurt in Christchurch, we left there 4 days before the quake. Our heart goes out to them.
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5
24/12/2010
Our trip in New Zealand was wonderful. Both the coach driver, Dennis and the tour guide, Arthur, were amazingly knowledgeable and gave us a real insight into the way of life in NZ. We learnt so much about your beautiful country, hotels were good and very good and food mostly good too. Many thanks for a memorable and relaxing holiday.
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5
09/04/2010
Kia Ora! We had one of the most memorable trips!! Very good accomodations and coach driver! Of course, Laurel MacDonald was FABULOUS!! Always there when you needed her and full of extra information about the country and the people. Very responsible, and responsive individual who made us feel right at home in her country. We have already told a lot of our friends to book thru 'Relaxing Jouneys' and of course to talk to Craig! Thank you for giving us a marvelous experience in beautiful New Zealand!! We Loved it!!
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5
10/02/2010
Where do I start, the South Island is incredible! We had such a fantastic time on our tour, the hotels were good, food was good, only a couple of minor issues that were easily sorted. The organisation and the itinerary were well planned and we managed to do a couple of extra things too. We had a great driver, Paul, who is part Maori. He was able to give us a good insight into his culture and he was able to give us a balanced view too. The only drawback was in some places we did not have enough time, but this is not the fault of the tour, it is because to spend enough time in each place you would have to spend more than the 19 days on the tour! The tour is supposed to be an overview and it did that. All it means is we have to go back to New Zealand to spend more time there, which I for one, am happy with!
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Enquire about our 18 Day Royal Tourer New Zealand

18 Day Royal Tourer New Zealand
Premium Coach Tour
Tour Code: ncc18
From (NZD) $8040 per person
Save (NZD) $355 per person
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Departures: Sep 2018 to Sep 2019
Rating:
16 reviews (4.6/5)

Begin in Auckland and travel to the subtropical Bay of Islands, before making your way through Rotorua and across the picturesque Marlborough Sounds t... Read More

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18 Day Royal Tourer New Zealand
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