11 Day New Zealand Discovery Loop
11 Day New Zealand Discovery Loop
Experience New Zealand's scenic majesty in only 11 days on this independent tour of both islands of New Zealand. You will be travelling down the east coast and exploring the country by coach, rail, cruise and ferry. Visit the magical Waitomo Glowworm Caves, the geothermal city of Rotorua, spectacular Milford Sound, and finally Queenstown.
|Tour Type:||Coach & Fly Tour|
|From:||Auckland to Auckland|
|Departures:||Jan 2019 - March 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $3219 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|10 nights accommodation|
|All coach, ferry and rail transport and transfers|
|Waitomo Glowworm Caves|
|Māori village experience, hāngī and concert|
|Te Puia geothermal experience|
|Rainbow Springs Nature Park|
|Agrodome farm show|
|Wellington city sights tour|
|Internal flight from Wellington to Christchurch|
|Internal Flight from Queenstown to Auckland|
|Milford Sound day tour and cruise (including lunch)|
Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel January 2019 – March 2020. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Welcome to Auckland! Once you’ve moved through customs and collected your baggage, you will be met by our friendly representative and transferred to your accommodation. You’ve landed on the doorstep of New Zealand’s largest city, an idyllic setting overlooking the forested Waitakere Ranges, the sheltered Manukau Harbour and the island-studded Hauraki Gulf to the north. No wonder over a million people choose to live here!
Beautiful beaches and dreamy offshore islands are just half an hour from the city. In fact, the sea is so much a part of the place that an unusually high number of people own their own boats, giving the city its moniker of the ‘City of Sails’.
With an early morning departure from Auckland you will be travelling south to reach the market garden area of Pukekohe. Continue through Hamilton, New Zealand’s fourth largest city, and the fertile Waikato region to arrive at Waitomo.
For over 100 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves have attracted millions of people from all over the world. The moment you enter this subterranean wonderland you’ll discover an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos. You will experience a boat trip like no other, journeying through the starry expanse of the cave while your way is lit by a multitude of tiny glowworm lights. On completion of this tour, continue over the forested Mamaku Ranges to reach the geothermal city of Rotorua.
Tonight you’ll be treated to a Māori feast, as Te Pō’s cultural experience promises hours of fun, thought and kai (indigenous food). After a formal Māori welcome, relax and enjoy a captivating performance by the local people, including traditional songs and the renowned haka. Following a truly delectable dinner, you will be transported by people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the geothermal Te Whakarewarewa Valley and an essential hot chocolate. (D) (2 nights)
This morning you will experience more Māori culture and the amazing thermal wonderland at Te Puia. Te Puia is also home to the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, where the ancient teachings of Māori ancestors have been preserved and continue to thrive. Continue on to the Rainbow Springs Nature Park, an attraction like no other. Set in 22 acres of beautiful native trees and streams, you will see a huge variety of New Zealand’s most precious inhabitants including the Kiwi Conservation Centre. New Zealand’s thriving agricultural industry is on show at the Agrodome, where you will witness a sheep shearing display and sheep dog trials. The afternoon is at leisure.
You will be travelling south to Wairakei today, then on through Taupō. Skirt Lake Taupō and cross the volcanic landscape of the Desert Road, past the majestic peaks of Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu. Continue across the fertile plains of the Manawatū and along the rugged Kāpiti coastline to Wellington. Arrive late afternoon. (2 nights)
This morning a half-day tour of the city will take in the Parliament Buildings, the ‘Beehive’, Old St Paul’s Cathedral, panoramic views of the harbour and city from Mount Victoria, and a ride on the historic Cable Car (optional). This afternoon is free, and we highly recommend a visit to Te Papa or the Museum of City and Sea.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport to board your domestic flight (included in your tour cost), which will take you across the Cook Strait and down the east coast of the South Island to Christchurch. On arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation.
Depart Christchurch and head south through the vibrant seaside town of Timaru and on to Ōamaru, known for their creamy limestone buildings. Pass Koehohe Beach and look out for the mysterious, spherical, 60-million-year-old Moeraki Boulders embedded in the sand. Arrive in Dunedin early afternoon.
What to do when you arrive? The Otago Harbour deserves to be on every bucket list. Board a Monarch Cruise vessel and savour an unrivalled view of Taiaroa Head, the only mainland nesting place for northern royal albatross in the world and home to New Zealand fur seals. Don’t be surprised if you spot dolphins, sea lions and countless ocean birds, including penguins!
This morning is at leisure to explore Dunedin. This afternoon, travel by coach across fertile farming land and pass spectacular mountains to the beautiful shores of Lake Te Anau. You will arrive into the township of Te Anau, the hub of the Fiordland region, in the late afternoon.
Travel through the breathtaking Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. Journey through majestic forests, past immense waterfalls, and through towering snow – capped mountains. Great photo opportunities abound en-route.
On arrival at Milford Sound, board either the Milford Mariner or Milford Wanderer – specifically designed fiord explorers – and settle in for a 2.5-hour cruise. Milford Sound is nothing short of heart-stopping, inducing subconscious smiles in the hard to please and easily bored almost instantly; it’s simply magnificent. Keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins.
Board the coach for Queenstown, arriving in the evening. (2 nights) (L)
Upgrade your itinerary to return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park. (Duration 35 mins.)
The flight shaves approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is, however, very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.
Today is completely at your leisure to enjoy the many sights of this alpine resort situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown offers something for everyone – you can enjoy the quiet beauty and tranquility of this mountain retreat or several walking trails in the town area. For sheer excitement there is white-water rafting, helicopter rides, the famous jetboats, bungy jumping to pump your adrenalin, and off-road 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings.
There are cruises on the lake and a visit to a high country sheep station, as well as wine tasting tours. You can visit nearby Arrowtown where the main street has been preserved since the 1860s gold rush days, and try your luck panning for gold in the adjacent Shotover River.
Today you will be met at your Queenstown accommodation and transferred to the airport for your included domestic flight to Auckland. From Auckland you may choose to stay an extra night at one of the airport hotels, or you can organise your flight home to link up with your arrival back in Auckland. Have a safe trip home!
New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).
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Experience New Zealand's scenic majesty in only 11 days on this independent tour of both islands of New Zealand. You will be travelling down the east ... Read More
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