24 Day Grand New Zealand

24 Day Grand New Zealand

Relaxing Journeys Independent Coach Tour starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch. ick New Zealand off your bucket list after completing this grand tour over twenty four days around both islands. We've included many multi-day stopovers to keep the tour at a relaxed pace with plenty of time on your own to explore New Zealand in your way. Highlights include a cruise in the Bay of Islands, Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach guided tour, Abel Tasman National Park walk & cruise, wildlife cruise on the Otago Peninsula, Milford Sound cruise and a fantastic train journey on the TranzAlpine.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Independent Coach Tour
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: May 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $6229 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Relaxing
Duration: 24 Days
Tour Code: RJ318

Inclusions

23 Nights Self Catering or Hotel Accommodation
All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers
Optional Breakfasts
Daily Departures
Entrance to Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Hole in the Rock & Cape Brett cruise in the Bay of Islands
Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour
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)
Akaroa Day Tour & Harbour Cruise (including lunch)
Half Day Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise & Tour
Taieri Gorge Train Journey
Shotover Jet in Queenstown
Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)
TranzAlpine Train Journey

* Note: Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling). Prices are valid for travel until September 2018

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
ARRIVE IN AUCKLAND

Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city and a hub for shopping and dining. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. Spend the remainder of your day relaxing or take time to explore the city. Perhaps a visit to Auckland’s vibrant waterfront and a ride on the Dockline Tram. All within walking distance from your accommodation.

Day 2
AUCKLAND - BAY OF ISLANDS (2 NIGHTS)

This morning you will depart from central Auckland travelling north through spectacular scenery of native forests and sub-tropical bush to the foreshores of the National Maritime Park. On arrival at the small seaside township of Paihia in the Bay of Islands, you will visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for a unique insight into New Zealand’s early history.

Day 3
CAPE BRETT AND THE BAY OF ISLANDS AT LEISURE

You can relax today and enjoy the Bay of Islands in a number of ways. We’ve included a cruise to the famous Hole in the Rock & Cape Brett for you this morning. Board the luxury catamaran which will whisk you on a journey out through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse. Next is Motukokako Island and the famous “Hole in the Rock” where we make a passage through the Hole and on to the Grand Cathedral Cave. On the return journey the cruise takes its time and meanders through the inner islands. View sandy beaches, beautiful bays and marine wildlife as your skipper gives an informative commentary. Included is an island stopover on beautiful Urupukapuka Island. As your catamaran docks at the Historic Otehei Bay, enjoy the white sandy beach, picturesque views and its rich archaeological landscape.

Day 4
BAY OF ISLANDS AT LEISURE - AUCKLAND

You have a few hours at leisure before you afternoon departure back to Auckland. We’d suggest taking a short ferry trip to Russell to enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch. Make this your main meal for the day as your journey south to Auckland arrive back in the late evening (around 8pm). On arrival you’ll be transferred to your accommodation.

Day 5
AUCKLAND - COROMANDEL PENINSULA (2 NIGHTS)

Join your coach this morning for your scenic drive to Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula. Leaving Auckland behind, you will climb over the Bombay Hills and onto the alluvial flatland of the Hauraki Plains at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula. Your coach will make a short stop in Thames so you can stretch your legs before you embark on the wonderful coastline drive overlooking the ‘Firth of Thames’. Pass through the old gold mining township of Coromandel before climbing over the peninsula to the stunning views of the Whangapoua Harbour. Continue on to Whitianga through the rugged and wild landscapes of craggy mountains and native flora.

Day 6
CATHEDRAL COVE & HOT WATER BEACH TOUR

This is a great way to explore the most popular natural attractions on the Coromandel Peninsula. From the beach town of Whitianga you venture off and discover the beauty of the surrounding coastlines. From Hahei, walk to Cathedral Cove, an idyllic beach framed by a massive natural rock arch. You can enhance your experience on this pristine Marine Reserve by choosing one of the optional activities: kayaking, snorkelling, diving or glass bottom boat (additional fares apply). Next stop visit Hot Water Beach where you can dig into the sand and sit in naturally heated pools!

Day 7
COROMANDEL - ROTORUA (2 NIGHTS)

Board your coach this morning and relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery on your journey to Rotorua. Pass through the quaint town of Paeroa “world famous in New Zealand” and the home of the L&P softdrink, unique to NZ. On your journey you will pass through Matamata well known for its thoroughbred industry, dairy farming heritage, and more recently as one of the locations for the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. You will arrive into Rotorua at midday for your two night stay. Tonight you will attend a hangi (feast) and concert, an authentic and intimate Maori experience. (D)

Day 8
ROTORUA

Rotorua captures the best of New Zealand all in one place. 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. 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.

Day 9
ROTORUA - NAPIER (2 NIGHTS)

Depart Rotorua and travel South to Napier located in the Hawke’s Bay. You will take a refreshment stop at the lakeside town of Taupo before continuing on to Napier. The city of Napier was rebuilt into a place of Art Deco splendour following a massive earthquake in 1931 The Art Deco walk or guided tour (own expense) is an exceptional way to experience the city’s elegance.

Day 10
NAPIER AT LEISURE - AFTERNOON WINE TOUR

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 regions fantastic wine. You will visit four to five wineries and enjoy a cheese platter in the grounds of Ngatarawa Vineyard beside the lily pond. 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 11
NAPIER - WELLINGTON

Depart Napier and travel to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city located on the Southern tip of the North Island. Wellington is also New Zealand’s capital city for arts and culture. Wellington is an urban paradise surrounded by a glistening harbour on one side and rolling green hills on the other.

Day 12
WELLINGTON - INTERISLANDER CRUISE - NELSON (2 NIGHTS)

This morning you will board the Interislander which will ferry you across Cook Strait and through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Make the short journey to Nelson where you will enjoy two wonderful nights in this tranquil destination.

Day 13
EXPLORE ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK

Travel through Motueka to Kaiteriteri where you board your launch. 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. Rejoin your cruise back to Kaiteriteri and return to your hotel late afternoon. (L)

Day 14
NELSON - BLENHEIM - CHRISTCHURCH (2 NIGHTS)

This morning board your coach and enjoy a mixture of forest, farmland and hill country as you travel through a string of settlements to Murchison, originally a gold rush town and almost completely destroyed by a huge earthquake in 1929. Continue south through the Maruia Forest and the Lewis Pass to Christchurch. Possessing a stable sunny climate Christchurch’s parks and gardens are a key attraction year round and are renowned for their beauty, especially in spring.

Day 15
AKAROA DAY TOUR

Travel to Akaroa over the beautiful Banks Peninsula, to Akaroa village, the only French settlement established in New Zealand. Visit the Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory for a cheese tasting of locally made cheeses, enjoy the quaint colonial style architecture and wander around the charming 150 year old French harbourside village of Akaroa with it’s museum of settlers’ history, art and craft shops and studios, cafes and wine bars. After lunch you join the Eco-marine Nature & Harbour cruise on the Akaroa Harbour. Your cruise is packed with highlights including the rare, NZ native dolphin – the Hector’s Dolphin, as well as penguins and other sea birds. Each cruise is fully narrated by your skipper who has extensive knowledge of the nature, wildlife and history of the harbour. (L)

Day 16
CHRISTCHURCH - DUNEDIN (2 NIGHTS)

Depart Christchurch and head south through the vibrant seaside town of Timaru and onto Oamaru known for their creamy limestone buildings. Pass Moeraki Beach where perfectly rounded boulders are embedded in the sand. Arrive early afternoon.

Day 17
DUNEDIN AT LEISURE - WILDLIFE TOUR & CRUISE

Today you have some time to explore the charming city of Dunedin. Sitting in the Otago Harbour, Dunedin is a fantastic “small city” and an important centre for learning, heritage, arts and culture in New Zealand. The Harbour is the gateway to the Otago Peninsula and today we have included the excellent ½ day Peninsula Cruise. Explore the length of the beautiful Otago Peninsula and a wildlife cruise of spectacular Taiaroa Head where you’ll experience Albatross, Fur Seals, Yellow Eyed Penguins, and Dolphins just to name a few.

Day 18
TAIERI GORGE TRAIN & COACH - QUEENSTOWN (3 NIGHTS)

Board the Taieri Gorge Train at Dunedin’s historic railway station. Journeys through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge, across wrought iron viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago, to Pukerangi. A full commentary is provided and there are plenty of stops for photo opportunities. On arrival back into Dunedin, board your coach and journey to the alpine resort of Queenstown – exciting, sophisticated and fantastically serene.

Day 19
QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE

Enjoy your day in this picturesque alpine resort 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 breath taking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons & hold on tight for Queenstown’s only exhilarating full 360° spins. 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 20
MILFORD SOUND CRUISE & TOUR

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 breath taking 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 and crash into the Sound far below. 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 (NZ $395 PP)

Return to Queenstown on a scenic flight 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 21
QUEENSTOWN - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER (2 NIGHTS)

Depart Queenstown this morning, travel along the shores of Wanaka and Lake Hawea to the Haast Pass, gateway to World Heritage Westland National Park. Then continue up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to Franz Josef Glacier.

Day 22
THE GLACIERS AT LEISURE

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
GLACIERS UPGRADE PACKAGE (2 NIGHTS)

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.

Day 23
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER - TRANZALPINE TRAIN - CHRISTCHURCH

Board your coach and head north through Hokitika and into the small town of Greymouth where you will stop to stretch your legs before boarding the renowned TranzAlpine Train for one of the world’s great scenic train trips to Christchurch. Experience the beautiful Lake Brunner, spectacular viaducts, 8.6kms in the lengthy Otira Tunnel, ice – fed rivers, patchwork farmland and the tussock landscape of the Canterbury Plains. Arrive at approximately 6:05pm in our most ‘English’ of cities, Christchurch.

Day 24
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.

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Tour Reviews

5
26/02/2017
Brilliant way to discover this beautiful country: if you can't or prefer not to drive, do choose the 'relaxing' approach! Everything is booked for you: hotels, coaches, shuttles, a great selection of tours and all went like clockwork leaving plenty of time for you to admire the spectacular scenery and enjoy the food and wines. From our first contact with the company, Toni our consultant, was at hand to help us with her expertise and infuse us with her enthusiasm. Many thanks
Overall Tour Rating

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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
02/02/2016
Everything ran like clockwork. Our Tour Consultant (Toni) was a \"Gem!\" She couldn't do enough for us and addressed all issues with aplomb! Good on you \"Relaxing Journeys NZ\", no hesitation of recommending you to any future clients!
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4
20/02/2014
My husband and I just returned back to India after a fantastic 24 days in NZ. When I researched details and tours in New Zealand, we realized that there was so much to see. Every day I read about places that I just had to see. Also we wanted to stay at least 2 days in each place. Most of the escorted trips had a few places that we were not interested in and just overnight in some. So, reading about Relaxing Journeys I emailed Kirby and got started on our Independent tour by public transport. Kirby was very patient as she answered my constant barrage of queries. NZ is a nature lovers paradise and we wanted to make full use of our time to see and explore. We were interested in mountains, lakes forests glaciers and wild life and Kirby managed to give us what we wanted. Closer to the end, Leanne took over and efficiently continued to knit it all together. Even just weeks before the trip we asked for a change and it was done. When we landed in Auckland , all the vouchers were given to us at Quest. Welcomed at an unearthly hour of 2 a.m. Everything neatly arranged. The shuttle services were excellent. Most times on time, connecting us to our onward journey. The drivers of Intercity and Great Sight buses kept us entertained by their informative and funny narration. Twice when they couldn't drop us back at the motel (running late) they were kind enough to arrange a taxi. So we didn't have to stand and wait. We found NZ people so kind and helpful. Gorgeous scenery and lovely people.

The accomodation level we chose was mid range, and they were very comfortable and clean. Here too the lady at the reception was always very kind. They would do some calls for us to confirm our trips. Internet was free and just enough in most places. Supermarkets were walking distance. We loved every place...the surreal landscape in Rotorua, the infinite variety of coastal walks with fantastic rocks and massive seaweeds, the lazy seals, the bluest waters, the island trip in Wanaka, the magical walk thru fern forests in a drizzle in Hokitika Gorge with Kea tours, the exciting Fox Glacier walk, Dart River wilderness trip to Glenorchy, the drive to Milford Sound as exciting if not more than the Sound itself, Kaikoura, Dunedin with albatross floating by looking majestic. Every trip so wonderful. Our trip to Mt cook was an awesome drive with Kim of Iconic Tours, Dunedin. What's more we had lovely weather most days...only wish we had stayed a day longer at Mt Cook. We also didn't get to meet Leanne to thank her personally. Thank you, dear Leanne, there was not one hitch anywhere! We felt that NZ was Paradise itself! Greetings from Bangalore!
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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 24 Day Grand New Zealand

24 Day Grand New Zealand
Independent Coach Tour
Tour Code: RJ318
From (NZD) $6229 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: May 2018 to May 2019
Rating:
3 reviews (4.7/5)

Relaxing Journeys Independent Coach Tour starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch. ick New Zealand off your bucket list after completing thi... Read More

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