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23 Day Magnificent New Zealand

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

Tour Description

Immerse yourself in stunning scenery, vibrant cities and natural beauty as you explore magnificent New Zealand from north to south on this comprehensive escorted journey.

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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.
Trip Highlights
Included Experiences
  • A maximum of 40 guests on each tour
  • Freedom of Choice Touring in Auckland, Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Wellington, Nelson, Mt Cook, Dunedin, Te Anau and Queenstown
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers in New Zealand
  • Travel with a maximum of 40 guests
  • View All ExperiencesTotal 8 Items
  • Journey aboard a spacious, luxurious coach
  • Dedicated APT Tour Director and professional driver
  • The additional services of expert local guides in select locations
  • All sightseeing, excursions and entrance fees as per the itinerary
Fine Dining
  • Includes 36 meals - 22 Breakfasts, 7 Dinners and 7 Feature Meals
  • Welcome Dinner at the Crowne Plaza, Auckland
  • A Taste of Marlborough dinner in Blenheim
  • Four Course Degustation dinner at Te Waonui Forest Retreat
  • Farewell Dinner at The Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook
Outstanding Accommodation
Trip Notes
  • Itinerary and inclusions shown apply to departures from September 2018 onwards.
  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Supplements for solo travellers are available on application
  • Tour operates in reverse
  • View All Trip NotesTotal 7 Items
  • Te Waonui Forest Retreat is subject to seasonality
  • Triple rooms may include a roll-away bed. Please check at time of booking
  • Prices are for land only. Flights not included

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Tour Itinerary - Day by Day
  • Day1

    Arrive Auckland

    Arrive in Auckland, 'The City of Sails'. You'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of today is at leisure to relax and settle in, or begin exploring this wonderful city. This evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your APT Tour Director and fellow travellers.

    Stay: Crowne Plaza, Auckland (2 nights) (D)

  • Day2

    Auckland, Freedom of Choice Touring

    Enjoy the freedom to choose from a range of included sightseeing activities, with a sail boat cruise on the harbour or a visit to the fascinating aquarium being just a taste of the exciting options available. (B)

  • Day3

    Bay of Islands, Hole in the Rock Cruise

    From Auckland, enjoy a scenic drive to Paihia. Upon arrival, step aboard a catamaran and cruise to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Hear about the ecology and history of the area as you keep an eye out for local marine life, including common and bottlenose dolphins.

    Stay: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (2 nights) (B, D)

  • Day4

    Bay of Islands, Freedom of Choice Touring

    The Bay of Islands is home to an incredible 144 islands and is a wonderland for lovers of all things aquatic. As 'the birthplace of New Zealand', the area teems with history. After breakfast, enjoy your selected sightseeing activity. Take a tall ship sailing adventure, embark on a dolphin-watching cruise, or cruise to Russell to see New Zealand's first European settlement. Others may prefer to discover the northernmost point of New Zealand at dazzling Cape Reinga. (B)

  • Day5

    Bay of Islands, Rotorua

    Follow the east coast Pacific Ocean Drive from Paihia through Whangarei and head south through Warkworth. Admire the breathtaking view over Waitemata Harbour as you cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Travel through the lush Waikato farmland to Cambridge and then continue south to Rotorua. This evening, the Tamaki Maori Village welcomes you as we experience the dance, music and culture of the Maori people at a traditional Hangi Feast and village experience.

    Stay: Two Nights Millennium Hotel Rotorua, located on beautiful Lake Rotorua (B, D)

  • View Full ItineraryTotal 23 Days
  • Day6

    Rotorua, Freedom of Choice Touring

    Choose your activity today. Enjoy a sheep show at the Agrodome followed by a kiwi encounter and a visit to Te Puia Thermal Reserve, or visit Wai-O-Tapu. Alternatively, see some of the sets from the Lord of the Rings or learn about the region's history at the Rotorua Museum. (B)

  • Day7

    Rotorua, Taupo, Napier

    This morning, you'll depart Rotorua and stop at the charming town of Taupo, set alongside New Zealand's largest lake and boasting stunning views. After taking in the surrounds of Taupo, continue through Esk Valley and Te Pohue to the seaside city of Napier. Here, you'll take a step back in time and enjoy a 1930s Art Deco High Tea experience, complete with vintage table settings and delicious treats.

    Stay: Scenic Hotel Te Pania Napier (B, D)

  • Day8

    Napier, Wellington, Freedom of Choice Dining

    Today's drive takes you through scenic Waipukurau and Woodville and over the Rimutaka Ranges. Travel past the historic towns of Greytown and Masterton then arrive in New Zealand's vibrant capital city - Wellington. This evening, you'll be able to discover the tantalising flavours of New Zealand with a choice from three tempting restaurants in which to dine.

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

  • Day9

    Wellington, Freedom of Choice Touring

    Today, you may like to visit Zealandia, a premier eco-attraction and restoration project. Perhaps visit the award-winning design studio behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar, take in the city's highlights on a guided tour, or visit some of the locations that feature in the Lord of the Rings movies. Another option is a fascinating evening tour at Zealandia. (B)

  • Day10

    Wellington, Blenheim

    This morning board the Interislander ferry and cross Cook Strait. This ferry journey is one of the most picturesque cruises in the world. Disembark in Picton on the South Island and continue to the picturesque Marlborough region to Blenheim where you'll delight in fresh regional flavours during a special Taste of Marlborough Dinner tonight.

    Stay: Blenheim, Scenic Hotel Marlborough (2 nights) (B, D)

  • Day11

    Blenheim, Freedom of Choice Touring

    Choose from three exciting sightseeing inclusions in Blenheim today. Perhaps learn about historic aircraft on a tour of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. You may like to enjoy the natural beauty of the Marlborough Sounds during a greenshell mussel cruise, or visit some of region's best wineries on a half-day tour. (B)

  • Day12

    Blenheim, Christchurch

    Continue to Christchurch this morning. Proudly holding the colloquial title of the Garden City, Christchurch is known for its English heritage and botanic garden areas.

    Stay: Rydges Latimer, Christchurch (B, D)

  • Day13

    Christchurch, TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef Glacier

    Today is sure to be a highlight of your holiday as you join New Zealand's famous TranzAlpine train. Prepare to experience one of the world's greatest train journeys as you voyage from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass. Journey through the striking patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, before travelling through deep gorges, river valleys and across the Southern Alps within Arthur's Pass National Park. Reboard your coach at Arthur's Pass and set out for Hokitika, a town rich in jade greenstone. Here, see Pounamu (jade) being carved into jewellery. Later, continue along the dramatic west coast into Westland National Park, home to the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier. Take in the stunning alpine scenery in this impressive World Heritage Area. Check in to your luxury eco-resort before enjoying a four-course degustation dinner this evening.

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

  • Day14

    Franz Josef, Wanaka, Queenstown

    Enjoy a day of truly breathtaking scenery as you travel to Queenstown. This morning, cross the spectacular Haast Pass and skirt around the shores of lakes Wanaka and Hawea. See the vistas and surrounding mountains that shift moods with the seasons. View historic mining sites as we travel through the beautiful Kawarau Gorge and meander through Cromwell. Pass the incredible orchards and vineyards that have been inspiring artists for decades before arriving in Queenstown where you'll stay for three nights in comfortable and stylish accommodation.

    Stay: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (3 nights) (B, D)

  • Day15

    Queenstown, Freedom of Choice Touring

    Today presents the opportunity to indulge your interests with our wide selection of Freedom of Choice activities. Lord of the Rings fans will jump at the chance to visit key filming locations, while thrill-seekers may enjoy an exhilarating ride on the Shotover Jet Boat, a Skippers Canyon adventure or a river safari along the Dart River. Others may prefer a leisurely cruise on the shimmering waters of Lake Wakatipu. Why not tour the country's premier wine-producing region and savour the local offerings? Nature enthusiasts might fancy a 4WD experience at Mt Nicholas or a bird walk through the surrounding wilderness.

    This evening, select from our Freedom of Choice dining inclusions. Seafood lovers will be tempted by Finz, while the panoramic views from the Skyline Restaurant, reached by gondola, are hard to beat. Cruise aboard a vintage steamer to Walter Peak High Country Farm, or dine at your hotel restaurant. (B, D)

  • Day16


    Immerse yourself in beautiful Queenstown as you enjoy a full day at leisure in this exciting city. You may like to use this time to take a relaxing stroll along the tranquil shores of Lake Wakatipu, browse through the stores in the bustling central shopping district, or perhaps take advantage of being in the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and indulge in the thrill of a lifetime. (B)

  • Day17

    Queenstown, Milford Sound Cruise, Te Anau

    Embark on one of the 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 majestic sight of Mitre Peak. Continue to spectacular Milford Sound, where you'll enjoy a cruise that explores the full length of this pristine fiord. See towering mountains climb straight out of the sea, be entranced by the verdant rainforest as it clings to sheer rock walls and watch in awe as cascading waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into the sea below. Afterwards, enjoy a drive through picturesque countryside to the lakeside settlement of Te Anau, set against the backdrop of Mount Luxmore and the Murchison mountains. Settle in to your hotel before enjoying dinner.

    Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotels and Villas (2 nights) (B, D)

  • Day18

    Te Anau, Freedom of Choice Touring

    Today, choose one of our exciting included activities in Te Anau. Perhaps explore an underground network of limestone caves, lit by thousands of glowworms, set off on an incredible wilderness cruise on Doubtful Sound, or take an exciting jet boat ride along the Upper Waiau River. Equally tempting is the option to sit back and relax with a glass of wine while you enjoy a film featuring Fiordland's beautiful landscapes. The remainder of the day is free for you to soak up the peaceful atmosphere. (B)

  • Day19

    Te Anau, Dunedin, Freedom of Choice Touring

    Depart the lakeside settlement of Te Anau and traverse Southland to Dunedin, a university town that was planned in Scotland and still maintains its Victorian and Edwardian heritage. Known as the Edinburgh of the south, this former goldmining town was once New Zealand's largest city thanks to an influx of miners during the goldrush. This afternoon, choose your Freedom of Choice activity. Perhaps tour Larnach Castle, visit Olveston House, or ride the Taieri Gorge Railway. Those who enjoy a beer might like to tour Speight's Brewery. Alternatively, either visit an albatross colony, see penguins or take an off-road tour of the Otago Peninsula. Afterwards, absorb the breathtaking scenery as you traverse the rolling countryside of the spectacular Southland region. Continue to the tranquil lakeside settlement of Te Anau.

    Stay: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (B, D)

  • Day20

    Dunedin, Mt Cook

    Today, travel north via the Waitaki Valley and Oamaru. See the unique collection of elegant Victorian-style architecture here, as we follow the coast to view the mysterious Moeraki Boulders along Koekohe Beach. These unique formations are concretions that formed in ancient sea floor sediments around 60 million years ago. Some of these incredible boulders are up to three metres in diametre.Follow the shores of blue Lake Pukaki before entering spectacular Mt Cook National Park. Here, appreciate the sheer magnitude of Australasia's highest mountain, Aoraki (Mt Cook). A favourite challenge for mountain climbers, the sight of it is truly awe-inspiring.

    Stay: Mt Cook, The Hermitage Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

  • Day21

    Mt Cook, Freedom of Choice Touring

    Following breakfast this morning, enjoy the opportunity to choose from a range of included sightseeing options. Perhaps visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, including a visit to the planetarium and a stargazing session with an astronomer. Mt Cook National Park is home to some of New Zealand's most spectacular landscapes, so you may like to join a guided nature walk and discover the native flora and fauna. Alternatively, during the summer months, board a MAC boat and get up close to icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. With some time at leisure after your activity, perhaps take a stroll through the lovely alpine town. This evening, enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travellers. (B, D)

  • Day22

    Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch

    This morning travel to beautiful Lake Tekapo and visit the Tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, perched on its shores. Built of locally gathered stone and oak, this charming church was erected as a tribute to the early pioneers of the region. Absorb the serenity of this magical area before continuing to Christchurch, the South Island's largest city for the final night of your luxury holiday.

    Stay: Rydges Latimer, Christchurch (B)

  • Day23

    Depart Christchurch

    After breakfast, your New Zealand adventure comes to an end with a transfer to the airport. (B)

  • Click here to download the 23 Day Magnificent New Zealand PDF

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Tour Reviews

View all 1 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.0 out of 5.

  • 4Very enjoyable in every way, our tour guide Karen and driver John, friendly travelling companions, destinations and weather. Only one accommodation criticism, the Scenic Hotel in Queenstown was too far out of town given the steep hill and lacked the first impression of other hotels stayed in by the "car park" style of entry into different blocks.

    • Overall Tour Rating
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    - 21/02/2018

Like this Tour?

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