23 Day Magnificent New Zealand

23 Day Magnificent New Zealand

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

Tour Type: Premium Coach Tour
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Oct 2018 to May 2019
From (NZD) $10340 per person
Tour Operator: APT Tours
Duration: 23 Days
Tour Code: nzacs23


22 nights in premium accommodation
36 meals – 22 breakfasts (B), 7 dinners (D) and 7 feature dinners
Look out for dolphins on a magical Hole in the Rock cruise
Immerse yourself in Māori culture at a hāngī feast in Rotorua
Enjoy a delicious Art Deco high tea in Napier
Cruise to the South Island aboard the Interislander ferry
Savour local produce during a Taste of Marlborough dinner
Journey on the famous TranzAlpine train
Marvel at the impressive icy contours of Franz Josef Glacier
Cruise the full length of Milford Sound
Discover Australasia's highest peak in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Arrive in Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’, where 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)

Day 2
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)

Day 3
Auckland - Bay of Islands

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)

Day 4
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)

Day 5
Bay of Islands - Rotorua

Follow the Pacific Coast Highway down the east coast 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, Tamaki Māori Village welcomes you as we experience dance, music and culture at a traditional hāngī feast and village experience.

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

Day 6
Rotorua - Freedom of Choice Touring

Choose your activity today. Enjoy a farm show at the Agrodome followed by a kiwi encounter and a visit to Te Puia, 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)

Day 7
Rotorua - Taupō - Napier

This morning you will depart Rotorua and stop at the charming town of Taupō, set alongside New Zealand’s largest lake and boasting stunning views. After taking in the surrounds of Taupō, 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)

Day 8
Napier - Wellington - Freedom of Choice Dining

Today’s drive takes you through scenic Waipukurau and Woodville and over the Remutaka Ranges. Travel past the historic towns of Greytown and Masterton then arrive in New Zealand’s vibrant capital city – Wellington. This evening, you’ll 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)

Day 9
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. (B)

Day 10
Wellington - Blenheim

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

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

Day 11
Blenheim - Freedom of Choice Touring

Choose from three exciting sightseeing inclusions in Blenheim today. Perhaps learn about historic aircraft on a tour of the Ōmaka 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)

Day 12
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)

Day 13
Christchurch - TranzAlpine Train - Franz Josef

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 and river valleys, and across the Southern Alps within Arthur’s Pass National Park. Re-board your coach at Arthur’s Pass and set out for Hokitika. Here, see pounamu (jade) being carved into jewellery. Later, continue along the dramatic west coast into Westland Tai Poutini 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: Te Waonui Forest Retreat (B, D)

Day 14
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)

Day 15
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, 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 Stratosfare 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)

Day 16

Immerse yourself in beautiful Queenstown as you enjoy a full day at leisure in this exciting resort town. 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)

Day 17
Queenstown - Milford Sound - 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)

Day 18
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)

Day 19
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 gold mining town was once New Zealand’s largest city thanks to an influx of miners during the gold rush. This afternoon, choose your Freedom of Choice activity. Perhaps tour Larnach Castle, visit Olveston House, or ride the Taieri Gorge Railway. Those who enjoy 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.

Stay: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (B, D)

Day 20
Dunedin - Aoraki Mt Cook

Today, travel north via the Waitaki Valley and Ōamaru. 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 diameter. Follow the shores of blue Lake Pukaki before entering spectacular Aoraki 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: The Hermitage Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 21
Aoraki 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. Aoraki 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)

Day 22
Aoraki Mt Cook - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

This morning travel to beautiful Lake Tekapo and visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd perched on the lakefront. 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)

Day 23
Depart Christchurch

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


There are 1 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

Very 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.
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Enquire about our 23 Day Magnificent New Zealand

23 Day Magnificent New Zealand
Premium Coach Tour
Tour Code: nzacs23
From (NZD) $10340 per person
Save (NZD) $455 per person
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Departures: Oct 2018 to May 2019
1 reviews (4/5)

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

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23 Day Magnificent New Zealand
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