17 Day Kiwi Odyssey

17 Day Kiwi Odyssey

Step outside your comfort zone! Experience a New Zealand that is magnificent, wild and authentic on this 17 day independent coach tour. From the magical Waitomo Glowworm Caves to the cool blue splendour of glacial towers, with an evening Maori village experience in Rotorua, a wine tour in the famous Hawke's Bay region, explore the magnificent Milford Sound included. Then finish your trip with a terminal lake tour of the Tasman Glacier!

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your independent coach tour price for this month

Tour Info

Tour Type: Independent Coach Tour
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $4640 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 17 Days
Tour Code: RJ317

Inclusions

16 nights accommodation
All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers
Optional Breakfasts
Daily Departures
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Maori Village Experience, Hangi & Concert in Rotorua
Te Puia Geothermal Experience
Rainbow Springs Nature Park
Agrodome Farm Show
Afternoon Hawkes Bay Wine Tour
Scenic Interislander Cruise
Abel Tasman National Park Walk & Cruise (including lunch)
Shotover Jet in Queenstown
Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)
Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake Tour

Conditions

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 May 2018 – March 2019. 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.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your independent coach tour price for this month

* Note: Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling). Prices are valid for travel until March 2019

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland! Pass through customs, collect any baggage 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.

Day 2
Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

With an early morning departure from Auckland you will be travelling southbound towards the Waitomo Glowworm Caves 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’ll experience a boat trip like no other, journeying through the starry expanse of the Glowworm 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 “thermal city” of Rotorua. Tonight, you’ll be treated to a Maori feast, as Te Po’s cultural experience promises hours of fun, thought and Maori kai (indigenous food). After a formal Maori 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 Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and an essential hot chocolate. (D) (2 nights)

Day 3
Rotorua

This morning you will experience Maori culture and the amazing thermal wonderland at Te Puia. Te Puia is also home to the Arts and Crafts Institute where the ancient teachings of Maori ancestors have been preserved and continue to thrive. Experience the raw power of the Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley with bubbling mud pools, steaming vents and the world famous Pohutu Geyser. 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.

Maybe you would like to scale the side of Mt Ngongotaha via a new 8-seat gondola, and give yourself a moment with Rotorua’s most spectacular views. When you’ve dazzled your senses enough, take a luge ride down to the bottom where you can relax at the Polynesian Spa – you have the choice of 7 hot mineral spring pools.

Day 4
Rotorua - Napier

Depart Rotorua and travel South to Napier. You will take a refreshment stop at the lakeside town of Taupo before continuing on to Napier. Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake and a popular hotspot for sight-seeing, picnicking and camera-snapping moments. Make sure to stop at the to the mighty Huka Falls on the Waikato River along the way.

Continue onto the Art Deco capital of Napier. The drive alone is worth writing home about, as the varied scenery passes through the volcanic plateau, across mountains and into the valleys of the Hawke’s Bay region. On arrival, you can include the Guided Art Deco Walk in your itinerary which will recount the city’s fiery destruction in 1931 and its subsequent rebuild into a place of Art Deco splendour. (2 nights)

Day 5
Napier

This afternoon join a fun filled wine tasting tour in the sun driving through absolutely stunning scenery. Meet like – minded people and share an appreciation of this region’s fantastic wine. You will visit four to five wineries and enjoy a cheese platter in the grounds of Ngatarawa Vineyard beside the lily pond. On the tour you will taste around 30 different wines including the main varieties, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Pinot Gris, Viognier and the lesser known aromatics such as Gewurztraminer and Riesling.

Day 6
Napier - Wellington

Today you will be travelling south to the Wairarapa, a rural retreat in the very heart of New Zealand. Stop in at Martinborough, a unique wine village with over 20 boutique vineyards before continuing onto Wellington, the nation’s capital.

Day 7
Wellington - Interislander Cruise - Nelson

This morning you will travel across the Cook Strait, the stretch of water that separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Pass through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds and make sure to include some wildlife spotting on the trip to see if you can spy seabirds, dolphins, seals, whales and even orca. On arrival in Picton, make the short journey to Nelson where you will enjoy two wonderful nights in this tranquil destination. (2 nights)

Day 8
Abel Tasman National Park

Drive through Motueka to Kaiteriteri, boarding your boat and waiting in anticipation. Once you’re on the water, you’ll be free to relax in style as you cruise the stunning golden inlets of the Abel Tasman coast. Laze on an idyllic beach or choose a walk exploring the beaches and forests. There are various walks available from 2 to 6 hours in length. Rejoin your cruise back to Kaiteriteri and return to your hotel late afternoon. (L)

Day 9
Nelson - Punakaiki

Head south through Murchison today, making your way to the West Coast.  At Hawks Crag, the road has been hacked out of solid rock – be ready for the dramatic overhang, lending shade and character to the route. The road to Punakaiki hugs the coast, providing spectacular views of wild beaches and the tempestuous Tasman Sea.

Punakaiki is best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. The best time to visit the blowholes is at high tide when they are at their most powerful. The Truman Track is a short walk worth doing while you’re here – nearing the coast it passes through typical West Coast flax flats before emerging onto a sprawling headland with stunning views up and down the local shoreline.

Day 10
Punakaiki - Franz Josef

The morning is at your leisure. Enjoy a walk along the beach this morning before heading down the West Coast. Home to towering rainforests, mountains and glaciers, tranquil lakes and rushing rivers, this coastal paradise is steeped in history dating back to the gold rush era of the 1860’s. Tonight you stay at Franz Josef – unique in the fact that the glacier descends from the Southern Alps to just 240 metres above sea level, amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest. (2 nights)

Day 11
Franz Josef

Today you have a whole day at leisure. Perhaps enjoy a guided walk, a heli-hike or a scenic flight from the Franz Josef township. If you’d prefer a relaxing day, head to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools that are nestled amongst the lush rainforest of the glacier country or meander through the village where you will find a wonderful selection of gifts, artwork, merchandise and cafes.

Day UP
Glacier Upgrade Package

Treat yourself and upgrade your accommodation in Franz Josef to the 5 star Te Waonui Forest Retreat, a luxury lodge hotel nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest. Our upgrade package includes luxurious accommodation, dinner on the first night – an indulgent 5 course degustation menu in The Canopy Restaurant, and a la carte breakfast both mornings. We’ve also included a stunning Franz Josef Heli Hike to help you make the most of your time in the region. Ask us for a price!

Day 12
Franz Josef - Queenstown

Farewell Franz Josef and travel down the West Coast, alongside braided riverbeds, native forests and roadside waterfalls before climbing up over the Haast Pass and through Mount Aspiring National Park. Travel along the shores of Lakes Hawea, it is a short drive to arrive at the water-side playground of destination of Wanaka. Travelling through Wanaka sitting at the foot of the Southern Alps your next stop is Queenstown, which is the Southern Hemisphere’s premiere four season alpine lake resort town. (3 nights)

Day 13
Queenstown

Enjoy your day in this picturesque alpine resort town that lies at the outlet to Lake Wakatipu, one of New Zealand’s most scenic lakes. Today we have included the world famous Shotover Jet Boat – enjoy this unique breathtaking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons as you hold on tight for Queenstown’s only exhilarating full 360° spins. Afterwards, you can stabilise your heart rate with a leisurely stroll around this picture postcard town whilst browsing through the eclectic array of galleries, gift shops and book stores.

Join a tour (own expense) for an afternoon of fine wine and food in Central Otago’s wine country or perhaps explore landscapes only accessible by 4WD vehicles while discovering exciting Lord of the Rings film locations. Whatever your interests are Queenstown is sure to deliver.

Day 14
Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown

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)

Day UP
Milford Sound Return Flight Upgrade Package (From NZ$395pp)

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 – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35mins)

The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.

Day 15
Queenstown - Mt Cook

Leaving Queenstown you will soon reach picturesque Lake Hayes and travel through Kawarau Gorge, home of award winning wineries and the famous Kawarau Bungy bridge. You will travel past the township of Cromwell and its many orchards before crossing Lindis Pass and into the Mackenzie Country. Arrive at Mt Cook National Park a World Heritage listed site. Mt Cook is Australasia’s highest mountain at 3764 metres. The park covers over 70,000 hectares of breathtaking alpine scenery and is also home to the Tasman Glacier, the longest in the Southern hemisphere. The afternoon is free to explore the area and take one of the many short walks starting from Mt Cook Village.

Day 16
Mt Cook - Glacier Explorer - Christchurch

This morning you will embark on a fascinating tour of the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. An experienced guide will whisk you away in a stable MAC Boat to explore the melting ice-face of the glacier. Touch and taste 400 year old icebergs that have been carved into the murky waters of the lake. This afternoon re-board your coach northbound for Christchurch. Before leaving Mt Cook National Park, be sure to stop and view the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, built on the lake’s edge of local stone and oak in 1935. Leaving the High Country, cross the vast Canterbury Plains to the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch.

Day 17
Depart Christchurch

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.

4.7/5.0

There are 3 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

4
14/09/2015
All that you did was perfect! No glitches or mistakes. Always on time and a few times we called the shuttle and they gave us satisfactory information. The only problem is that we are used to much modern and comfortable coaches (with standing toilets, stewardess serving refreshments, two drivers, more confortable seats, etc). But we understand that the coaches you offered us are the best in your market. Thank you for your fine work.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
24/02/2014
We picked Relaxing Journeys to organise our tour by sticking a pin in a list and have no cause to regret our choice. From initial enquiry through to confirmation of our itinerary the service provided was first class. All our choices of places to visit and things to do were included and we also received suggestions as to alternatives. All in all the planning stage was very positive. The organisation was faultless - everything went like clockwork. We have no hesitation in recommending Relaxing Journeys to anyone who is considering their services. Our thanks go to them, and Toni in particular, for a memorable holiday. (Ed. Share that pin around! Many thanks).
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
17/12/2013
Good accomodations. Good balance between gorgeous scenery and cities and towns. Good balance between planned items and time to ourselves. All travel occurred on schedule. The tour guides were courteous and helpful and provided valuable background information.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

Upgrades

Optionals

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).

Enquire about our 17 Day Kiwi Odyssey

17 Day Kiwi Odyssey
Independent Coach Tour
Tour Code: RJ317
From (NZD) $4640 per person
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Terms and conditions apply. Please see tour overview for more information.

Rating:
3 reviews (4.7/5)

Step outside your comfort zone! Experience a New Zealand that is magnificent, wild and authentic on this 17 day independent coach tour. From the magic... Read More

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17 Day Kiwi Odyssey
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