20 Day Essence of New Zealand

20 Day Essence of New Zealand

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

EXCLUSIVE SAVINGS! – Save up to 5%
Book an APT tour with Relaxing Journeys this month and SAVE!

Tour Info

Tour Type: Premium Coach Tour
From: Auckland
Departures: Oct 2019 to Sep 2020
Price: From (NZD) $9400 per person
Tour Operator: APT Tours
Duration: 20 Days
Tour Code: nzca20


19 nights in premium accommodation
36 meals – 20 breakfasts (B) & 14 dinners (D)
Discover Australasia's highest peak in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
Cruise the full length of Milford Sound
Marvel at the impressive icy contours of Franz Josef Glacier
Ride on the famous TranzAlpine train
Savour local produce during a Taste of Marlborough dinner
Cruise to the North Island aboard the Interislander ferry
Enjoy a delicious Art Deco high tea in Napier
Immerse yourself in Māori culture at a hāngī feast in Rotorua
Look out for dolphins on a magical Hole in the Rock cruise
Freedom of Choice Touring in Auckland, Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Queenstown, Te Anau, Dunedin and Aoraki Mt Cook

EXCLUSIVE SAVINGS! – Save up to 15%
Book an APT tour with Relaxing Journeys this month & SAVE!

* Single pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please enquire for Prices.

= Guaranteed Departures

Chat Request Callback

Day by Day Tour Itinerary

View Tour PDF
Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

On arrival, be met at the airport and transfer to your hotel where you have the afternoon to relax. Enjoy a Welcome Drink and Dinner tonight.

Stay: Rydges Latimer, Christchurch (D)

Day 2
Christchurch - Aoraki Mt Cook

Traverse the Canterbury Plains to visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, perched on the shores of Lake Tekapo. Built of locally gathered stone and oak, this charming church was erected as a tribute to the early pioneers of the region. Journey into Aoraki Mt Cook National Park to view Australasia’s highest mountain and admire the sublime alpine scenery that abounds here. This evening, get to know your APT Tour Director and fellow travellers during a special welcome dinner.

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

Day 3
Aoraki Mt Cook - Dunedin

Set out along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Oamaru. Continue to Koekohe Beach to view the unusual spherical-shaped Moeraki Boulders. Arrive in Dunedin this afternoon and enjoy time at leisure before dinner.

Stay: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (B, D)

Day 4
Dunedin - Te Anau, Freedom of Choice

This morning, 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 and taste the local brew that has been produced on this site since 1876. Alternatively, nature lovers can either visit an albatross colony, see penguins, or take an off-road tour of the Otago Peninsula. This afternoon, traverse the rolling countryside of the spectacular Southland region and delight in the picturesque landscapes of the tranquil lakeside settlement of Te Anau.

Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas. (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 5
Te Anau, Freedom of Choice

Today, choose from an exciting range of included activities in Te Anau. Perhaps explore an incredible underground network of limestone caves, lit by thousands of glowworms, or embark on a Doubtful Sound wilderness cruise. Equally tempting is the option to sit back and relax with a glass of wine whilst you enjoy a film featuring Fiordland’s breathtaking landscapes. The rest of the day is then free for you to relax, wander about, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere. (B)

Day 6
Te Anau - Milford Sound Cruise - Queenstown

Witness the incredible diversity of New Zealand’s landscapes as lush rainforest meets snow-capped mountains in Fiordland National Park. Experience one of the world’s most spectacular alpine drives along Milford Road. Wind down the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys then travel through the Homer Tunnel to be met by the majestic sight of Mitre Peak, rising 1,692m from the ocean floor. Continue to spectacular Milford Sound where you’ll cruise along the full length of this beautiful fiord, then continue to Queenstown where you’ll stay for three nights.

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

Day 7
Queenstown, Freedom of Choice Touring

Choose from a range of activities today. Lord of the Rings fans will jump at the chance to visit key filming locations, whilst thrill seekers can try the exhilarating Shotover Jet or a Skippers Canyon adventure. Why not tour the country’s premier wine producing region, or explore the surrounding wilderness on a bird walk or garden tour? Perhaps a zipline ride above the Kawarau Gorge is more your style. Or, you may like to join a double decker bus sightseeing ride. This evening, select from a range of Freedom of Choice Dining inclusions. Seafood lovers will be tempted by Finz, whilst 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 stylish hotel restaurant. (B, D)

Day 8

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)

Day 9
Queenstown - Wanaka - Franz Josef

This morning, view historic mining sites as you travel through beautiful Kawarau Gorge and meander through the picturesque scenery of Cromwell. Skirt around the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, taking in the dramatic vistas and surrounding mountains that seem to shift mood with the seasons. Cross spectacular Haast Pass and into Westland Tai Poutini National Park, home to Franz Josef Glacier. Check in to your luxury eco-resort this afternoon, located within pristine rainforest, before enjoying a spectacular four-course degustation dinner.

Stay:Te Waonui Forest Retreat (B, D)

Day 10
Franz Josef - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Join the TranzAlpine train and experience one of the world’s greatest train journeys. Travel across the magnificent Southern Alps within Arthur’s Pass National Park and into Christchurch.

Stay: Rydges Latimer, Christchurch (B, D)

Day 11
Christchurch - Kaikōura - Blenheim

Follow the rugged east coast of New Zealand’s South Island to Kaikōura. While here, perhaps enjoy a scenic whale watching flight (own expense). Later, traverse the picturesque Marlborough region to Blenheim where you’ll delight in fresh regional flavours during a special Taste of Marlborough dinner tonight.

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

Day 12
Blenheim, Freedom of Choice

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 13
Blenheim - Wellington

Traverse the picturesque Marlborough region where world-famous wines are produced, then cruise across Cook Strait on the Interislander ferry to the North Island. This afternoon, take part in a fascinating city sights tour of Wellington.

Stay: InterContinental Wellington (B, D)

Day 14
Wellington - Napier

Drive through the Remutaka Ranges on your way to Napier today. On arrival, set off on a tour of the city then enjoy a delicious Art Deco high tea. Dine at your hotel this evening.

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

Day 15
Napier - Taupō - Rotorua

Journey through Esk Valley and Te Pohue, stopping at the charming town of Taupō situated alongside New Zealand’s largest lake. Then enjoy a taste of rural life with a tour and dinner at Longlands Farm in Matamata. Travel to Rotorua after dinner, the geothermal capital of New Zealand. Tonight at the Tamaki Māori Village, experience dance, music and culture as you enjoy a traditional hāngī feast.

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

Day 16
Rotorua, Freedom of Choice

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 enjoy a Redwoods Treewalk high off the ground amongst these forest giants. (B)

Day 17
Rotorua - Auckland

This morning, travel through Waikato’s farmland to Cambridge and Auckland. Afterwards, enjoy your selected sightseeing activity. Perhaps take a cruise on Waitemata Harbour, head off on a Waiheke Island wine and olive tasting tour, or explore the Auckland Museum. Alternatively, get up close to the marine life at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, or set off into the Waitakere Rainforest.

Stay: Crowne Plaza, Auckland (B,D)

Day 18
Auckland - Bay of Islands

Continue north of Auckland. Follow the east coast Pacific Ocean Drive to Paihia in the spectacular Bay of Islands.

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

Day 19
Bay of Islands, Freedom of Choice

The Bay of Islands is home to an incredible 144 islands. After breakfast, choose your preferred Freedom of Choice 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,D)

Day 20
Bay of Islands - Depart Auckland

After breakfast travel from the Bay of Islands back to Auckland where your tour will conclude. (B)

Enquire about our 20 Day Essence of New Zealand

20 Day Essence of New Zealand
Premium Coach Tour
Tour Code: nzca20
From (NZD) $9400 per person
Save (NZD) $495 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Oct 2019 to Sep 2020

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

Regions Visited

Click on each area to view more information.

Like this tour?

Upgrade this tour by adding one of our carefully selected optional tours & activities or go ahead and request a quote to guarantee your spot.

Custom Itinerary

You can also create your dream holiday by using our custom itinerary planner.
Create your Custom Itinerary