15 Day New Zealand Explorer

15 Day New Zealand Explorer

Explore New Zealand over 15 fantastic days, experiencing must-see destinations and enjoying unique activities.

Special highlights include Christchurch, Aoraki Mt Cook region, Dunedin, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Marlborough wine region, Wellington, Rotorua, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and the Bay of Islands. During the course of the tour you will also have free time in Dunedin, Queenstown, Rotorua and Paihia (Bay of Islands) to experience some of the unique optional sightseeing activities.

SUPER EARLY BIRD – Save up to 12.5%
Book a Kirra tour with Relaxing Journeys and SAVE! Book and pay in full by 31 March 2019, Applies to all coach departures travelling from 1 September 2019 onwards – Discount has been applied to below prices.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Premium Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Auckland
Departures: Dec 2018 to Dec 2020
Price:
From (NZD) $6054 per person
Tour Operator: Kirra Tours
Duration: 15 Days
Tour Code: sx

Inclusions

14 nights accommodation in superior hotels
14 fully cooked breakfasts (B), 1 lunch(L), and 12 dinners (D)
World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum
Agrodome Farm Show
Te Puia
Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour
Sightseeing tours of Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland
Visit Lake Tekapo, the Church of the Good Shepherd, and Lake Wanaka
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation and activity vouchers, and local travel guides

SUPER EARLY BIRD – Save up to 12.5%
Book a Kirra tour with Relaxing Journeys and SAVE! Book and pay in full by 31 March 2019, Applies to all coach departures travelling from 1 September 2019 onwards – Discount has been applied to below prices.

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

= Guaranteed Departures

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

Haere mai! Welcome to New Zealand. A Kirra Holidays representative will greet you at the airport with transport waiting to take you to your hotel. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a welcome cocktail party.

Stay: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

Day 2
Christchurch - Aoraki Mt Cook - Ōmarama

After a brief tour of Christchurch, cross the Canterbury Plains into the Mackenzie Basin. View the Church of the Good Shepherd and the sheepdog memorial at Lake Tekapo. Visit Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, a World Heritage-listed site covering over 70,000 hectares of breathtaking alpine scenery, before travelling on to Ōmarama. Optional ski-plane and helicopter flights are available, subject to weather conditions.

Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel (B, D)

Day 3
Ōmarama - Cromwell - Lake Te Anau

Begin the assent over the Lindis Pass to the township of Cromwell then continue on to the historic village of Clyde, nestled in a sheltered basin at the foot of an immense and crooked gorge. Stop for lunch at Alexandra, located on the banks of the mighty Clutha River, then travel across the farmlands of Central Otago to the township of Gore before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park.

Stay: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (B, D)

Day 4
Te Anau - Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise - Queenstown

After breakfast, travel to Manapouri and enjoy a leisurely cruise across this picturesque lake to West Arm. Travel over the Wilmot Pass and pause to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. Board ‘Patea Explorer’ for a three-hour cruise through this pristine fiord. During the cruise, knowledgeable and friendly nature guides will share their passion for the region through their commentary. They will answer questions, point out landmarks, and provide you with information about the varied wildlife you may encounter like dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin. As the majesty of Doubtful Sound unfolds before you, its vastness will take your breath away. Later this afternoon travel on to Queenstown, regarded as New Zealand’s premier holiday destination, and enjoy dinner at your hotel on arrival.

Stay: Copthorne Lakefront Hotel and Resort Queenstown (2 nights) (B, L, D)

Day 5
Queenstown

Queenstown boasts an incredible array of adventure and leisure activities in all their various forms, and your Coach Captain will happily recommend and assist with any optional activities you would like to do. Alternatively, you may prefer to browse in the many shops and galleries. Tonight ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak, where both the dining and the views are unsurpassed. (B, D)

Day 6
Queenstown - Arrowtown - Franz Josef

This morning we visit Arrowtown. Set beneath the rugged Crown Range, this historic village was once a haven for the gold prospectors of the 1860s and features a fascinating collection of mining cottages with an atmosphere straight out of last century. Stop at Wanaka, a picture-postcard resort on the lake’s edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. View the untouched wilderness and pristine lakes of the Mt Aspiring and Westland Tai Poutini National Parks before arriving on the rugged and wild West Coast, home to the twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (B, D)

Day 7
Franz Josef - Hokitika - Punakaiki

Before our departure this morning there is the opportunity to experience an optional scenic flight over this remarkable region (subject to weather conditions). At Hokitika we stop to visit a pounamu (jade) studio. Pounamu is considered a treasure in Māori culture and is seen as a sign of status and power. At Punakaiki, marvel at the bizarre limestone landscapes of the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Tonight’s stay is at a friendly eco-resort located only a stone’s throw from the beach in the Paparoa National Park.

Stay: Punakaiki Resort (B, D)

Day 8
Punakaiki - Murchison - Nelson

Skirt the western coastline before heading inland to Murchison. Travel north through the Nelson Lakes National Park before arriving at Nelson, a city of charm based on a harbour that is the busiest fishing port in New Zealand. This afternoon, visit the World of Wearable Art and Classic Car Museum.

Stay: Heritage Rutherford Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 9
Abel Tasman Cruise

Enjoy a scenic cruise of the famous Abel Tasman National Park, calling in to picturesque beaches and coves. Pause to view Split Apple Rock and the antics at Tonga Island’s seal colony. An optional coastal walk may be available for those wishing to spend time ashore; your Coach Captain will be happy to provide you with details. (B)

Day 10
Nelson - Picton - Wellington

A short drive brings us to the picturesque fishing village of Picton. Board the Interislander ferry and cruise through the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound into Cook Strait. Enjoy stunning views of New Zealand’s capital city as you arrive into Wellington Harbour. Enjoy a city tour taking in all the major sights and then there is free time for exploring on your own. Situated on the Wellington waterfront, a visit to Te Papa is highly recommended.

Stay: Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay (B, D)

Day 11
Wellington - Taupō - Rotorua

Leaving the city behind we travel through rolling farmland as we enter the Tongariro National Park, dominated by the volcanic cone of Mt Ruapehu. Follow the Desert Road to the popular lakeside resort of Taupō, located on the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake. Stop to view the mighty Huka Falls and travel past massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, centre of Māori culture and famous for its geysers, boiling mud pools, and steaming craters.

Stay: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 12
Rotorua

Today begins with a visit to the Agrodome to see a unique New Zealand farm show. This is followed by a visit to Te Puia, home to the geothermal Te Whakarewarewa Valley and the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute. Here you will witness all of nature’s thermal wonders including silica terraces and the famous Pōhutu Geyser. Enjoy some free time this afternoon for optional activities before visiting Tamaki Māori Village for an evening of fun and culture. You will experience a traditionally prepared hāngī feast followed by a cultural performance featuring Māori songs, chants and dance, including the stirring haka. (B, D)

Day 13
Rotorua - Hobbiton - Pauanui

Cross the Mamaku Ranges to the Waikato region, noted for dairy farming and world-famous horse studs. At Matamata a guide will escort your group on a Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour. Enjoy a visit to the set used in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. On to Pauanui, a favourite New Zealand holiday beach resort, for our overnight stay.

Stay: Grand Mercure Puka Park Lodge (B, D)

Day 14
Pauanui - Coromandel - Auckland

The Coromandel Peninsula is a beautiful, rugged area fringed with dozens of excellent beaches, and is a place where many Kiwis choose to escape the hustle and hype of city life. After breakfast you will travel on to Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’, and enjoy a city sights tour and entry to the famous Sky Tower. Tonight you will celebrate a farewell dinner with your newfound friends.

Stay: Rydges Auckland (B, D)

Day 15
Depart Auckland

Sadly, your holiday ends today and you will be transferred to Auckland Airport to connect with your onward flight. (B)

4.6/5.0

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

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
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Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

4
28/10/2018
The tour lived up to its description and we were lucky to have a small and compatible group with a great tour guide/driver.
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5
05/03/2017
The tour exceeded our expectations. Kirra Tours did a fantastic job from picking us up at the airport, busing us around both islands to bringing us back to the airport safely. The fact that David was both driver, guide and our sole contact during the trip, made our sightseeing and excursions easy and very informative. He was an excellent driver, very knowledgeable, funny, calm, and at the same time let us sit back and enjoy the surroundings.
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4
23/02/2017
Whilst overall the tour with Kirra was excellent and all the hotels and food very good, it was extremely disappointing to have all three rail journeys cancelled due to acts of Mother Nature. The coach driver did his best to compensate but it meant spending more days in the coach than we had anticipated and some of the days were very long and tiring leaving no time to explore new areas. It also meant that some of the promised activities were impossible due to time restrictions, i.e. the vineyard visit in Marlborough. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Kirra Tours but would hope that Mother Nature behaved herself better!
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5
13/11/2016
At the beginning I was afraid if I have chosen the right tourist company for my trip in New Zealand I have dreamed two years long about. But short time after we have started to communicate together I was sure you are a seriously company. The trip through South and North Islands in New Zealand was very, very well organised and everything was on a good level. Hotels are ok in good places, coach (captain) attended to everybody on the group, every day was full with visiting new interesting sightseeing. The atmosphere between us in the group was very friendly. I want to express my thanks to you and I could say that New Zealand I will keep in my heart as a treasure memory in my life. You have to be proud to live in one wonderful country kissed by god. I have already visited 52 countries and I tell you really, New Zealand is a jewel of the world. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!
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4
19/04/2015
I was very happy with the planned places to visit. I took in an overall picture of New Zealand with the terrain, sights, people and history. Our Coach driver, Trevor, was organized, polite, patient, knowledgeable and a good story teller. The accommodation varied but overall was excellent. We had a couple of drizzly days but then it was NZ! (Ed. Ouch! Lol)
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4
04/01/2015
We had a great time with Kirra Tours. The driver was so good and very knowledgeable. Our first hotel in Christchurch (Sudima) was way out by the Airport, so a little hard to access downtown. The hotel is under renovations, our first night there was not real pleasant, no air conditioning, the bed was not very comfortable, and the carpets were filthy. Our second stay there was much better. Newly renovated room. I think Kirra has to make sure they get the best available rooms for the group, not necessarily accepting second best. Our hotel in Auckland had great rooms, but the food services were very slow. Fore the most part it was a great tour with lots of great included activities.
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5
09/03/2014
Thank you for your email. And the opportunity to give feedback. I have to admit that we were rather nervous about booking a coach tour so far away, but with Kirra Tours I think we made the right choice! The tour was well planned & the pace comfortable as stated! The tour 'captain' 'Andrew' was very professional & made sure that we had the best time! He simply was a 'tonic' he came across as a person who cared for & truly loves his country! And we feel privileged that we were there to be part of it. He is a source of information. We thoroughly loved New Zealand & we definitely will be back hopefully. Thank you again Mani & Kirra tours.
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4
23/02/2014
A good way to see everything in New Zealand, but not really enough spare time for us to do things. Guess you cannot have everything. All hotels clean but some very tired and more like 1960's motels. Some were great eg Auckland. Food good in some places but only adequate in others. Wifi was a real pain in some hotels - even if you could get access, it was flaky or some things didn't work. Rydges hotels very good for wifi. Hotels in NZ really need to join the 21st century. Included tours generally very good and interesting, and Kirra don't try to charge commission on the optional items. Driver very knowledgable about NZ culture and history, but Kirra expect him to drive and organise - this did lead to some confusion at times as it was too much for one person. Would visit NZ again but would probably do our own thing, focusing on the places we liked on this trip. At least you drive on the correct side of the road.
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5
15/09/2013
This was a well organised, well thought out tour. The 'Coach Captain' Trevor was a great source of local knowledge and extremely capable at the unassuming management of any issues as they arose. It was disappointing that Hasst Pass was closed, precluding the trip through it to Fox Glacier, the glacier tour and especially missing out on the Transalpine Rail trip - but we have to accept being subject to matters out of our hands. The touring group was a nice mix of people with no 'problem' characters - leading to a pleasant time on the coach and at other times. Thank you for a very satisfactory and reasonably priced experience.
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5
15/09/2013
This tour is ideal for seniors. Our coach captain, Trevor, was excellent, having great knowledge and patience. He added his own personal touch to the tour making the experience most entertaining. All accommodation was very good at all locations, and the meals were top class! We felt pampered! We were disappointed to miss out on Haast Pass, the Fox glacier and the Trans-Alpine train due to a land slip.
Overall Tour Rating

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Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

Enquire about our 15 Day New Zealand Explorer

15 Day New Zealand Explorer
Premium Coach Tour
Tour Code: sx
From (NZD) $6054 per person
Save (NZD) $685 per person
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Departures: Dec 2018 to Dec 2020
Rating:
16 reviews (4.6/5)

Explore New Zealand over 15 fantastic days, experiencing must-see destinations and enjoying unique activities. Special highlights include Christchu... Read More

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15 Day New Zealand Explorer
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