9 Day North to South Explorer
9 Day North to South Explorer
If your time in New Zealand is limited, this 9 day independent coach tour takes you to many of Aotearoa's most popular destinations. Visit the magical Waitomo Glowworm Caves, geothermal Rotorua, New Zealand's adrenaline capital – Queenstown, and Australasia's highest mountain – Aoraki Mount Cook. Including a domestic flight, you will also be treated to a cruise on awe-inspiring Milford Sound.
|Tour Type:||Coach & Fly Tour|
|From:||Auckland to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2020 - March 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $2799 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|8 nights accommodation|
|All coach, ferry and rail transport and transfers|
|Internal flight from Rotorua to Queenstown|
|Waitomo Glowworm Caves|
|Māori cultural experience, hāngī and concert in Rotorua|
|Te Puia geothermal experience|
|Rainbow Springs Nature Park|
|Agrodome farm show|
|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 2020 – March 2021. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is required at time of booking.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Haere mai, welcome to Auckland! Pass through customs, collect any luggage, and be met by one of our friendly representatives ready to whisk you away to your city accommodation. After checking in and getting yourself settled, turn your roving eye outside and enjoy a free afternoon in the ‘City of Sails’. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, with plenty of sights, shopping and street appeal for even the pickiest of travellers.
With an early morning departure from Auckland you will be travelling southbound towards the Waitomo via the city of Hamilton, which sits on the banks of the Waikato River. 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, a cultural experience which 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 as well as 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 can explore some of Rotorua’s natural wonders and scenic highlights by visiting the internationally renowned Whirinaki Forest, fringing the Te Urewera National Park. You will follow a pristine river path through towering rimu, tōtara and kahikatea trees, reaching an impressive waterfall and breathtaking canyon.
This morning you will be transferred from your accommodation to the Rotorua Airport for your southbound flight to Queenstown. Your flight is included in the tour price. Be sure not to miss the stunning scenery as you descend into Queenstown; it really will take your breath away. After arriving into Queenstown you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. Your afternoon is at leisure. (3 nights)
It’s an early departure today as your coach follows the southern arm of Lake Wakitipu to Lumsden, and onward to Lake Te Anau. The scenery changes dramatically from tussock covered grasslands to glacier-hewn valleys as you enter the Eglington Valley and travel through the breathtaking man-made Homer Tunnel before reaching Milford Sound.
Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board your launch for a spectacular cruise where you will see the wonders of Mitre Peak, glacier-scarred rock walls that rise 1,200m vertically from the sea, and waterfalls that tumble from hanging valleys to crash into the sound far below. 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!
On completion of your cruise you will return to Queenstown by coach, arriving in the evening. (L)
Upgrade your itinerary to include a return scenic flight to Queenstown 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.
It’s time to make memories in Queenstown. Pick and choose from a long list of adventures – from thrilling funyak tours along the Dart River to horse-riding in Glenorchy, panning for gold in Arrowtown to taking a tour of Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw, there is certainly something for every speed.
If you’re not ready to break the spell of the last few days a scenic walk may do the trick, exploring the diverse range of stunning trails the region delivers in troves.
Leaving Queenstown you will soon reach picturesque Lake Hayes and travel through Kawarau Gorge, home of award-winning wineries and the famous Kawarau Gorge bungy bridge. You will travel past the township of Cromwell and its many orchards before crossing Lindis Pass and into the Mackenzie Basin. Hydro-electricity canals and glacier-fed lakes will guide you into the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Aoraki Mount Cook is Australasia’s highest mountain at 3,764m. The national park covers over 70,000 hectares of breathtaking alpine scenery and is also home to the Tasman Glacier, the longest in the Southern Hemisphere.
This morning is at your leisure. Hike around one of the walking tracks, take one of the scenic flights to get up close to Aoraki Mount Cook and the Southern Alps’ magnificent glaciers. You also have time to explore the Tasman Glacier via the terminal lake. This afternoon you’ll travel down the Tasman Valley past Glentanner Park, Lake Pukaki and Tekapo, where you can view the Church of the Good Shepherd by the lakeshore. The altar window offers awe-inspiring views of the lake and mountains.
The coach then continues on towards Fairlie. Continue your journey through diverse farmland and descend to cross the Canterbury Plains before arriving in Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city.
Sadly your trip has come to an end. We hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed your experiences in New Zealand. Today you will be met at your accommodation and transferred to the airport for your onward journey. Have a safe trip home.
There are 4 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.5 out of 5.
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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If your time in New Zealand is limited, this 9 day independent coach tour takes you to many of Aotearoa's most popular destinations. Visit the magical... Read More
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