23 Day By Land & Sea
23 Day By Land & Sea
Tick New Zealand off your bucket list after completing this tour by land and sea over twenty three days. 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 night each at Lake Wanaka & Lake Te Anau.
|Tour Type:||Independent Coach Tour|
|From:||Auckland to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Feb 2018 to May 2019|
From (NZD) $5238 per person
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|22 nights accommodation|
|All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers|
|Entrance to Waitangi Treaty Grounds|
|Cape Brett Hole in the Rock Cruise|
|Cathedral Cove & Hot Water Beach Tour|
|Maori Village Experience, Hangi & Concert in Rotorua|
|Te Puia Geothermal Experience|
|Rainbow Springs Nature Park|
|Agrodome Farm Show|
|Wellington City Sights Tour|
|Scenic Interislander Cruise|
|Abel Tasman National Park Walk & Cruise (including lunch)|
|Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)|
|Half Day Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise & Tour|
Content for top of pricing tab can go here (optional).
* Note: Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling). Prices are valid for travel until September 2018
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
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.
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. (2 nights)
This morning make your way to the Paihia wharf to board your morning cruise which will take in the inner and outer islands of the Bay to the beautiful scenery of Cape Brett. Observe a variety of marine wildlife – seals, dolphins, penguins and other sea and bird life – that are often viewed from the vessel. Weather permitting, the crew will steer the vessel through the ‘Hole in the Rock’, presenting stunning photo opportunities. On returning to dry land you may wish to disembark at the pretty town of Russell, New Zealand’s first capital, and return to Paihia by ferry later in the day.
This morning your coach will depart Paihia for your journey south to Auckland. Sit back and enjoy the drive through the north’s delightful rural and coastal landscape and country towns. On arrival in Auckland you’ll be transferred to your accommodation.
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. (2 nights)
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!
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) (2 nights)
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.
Drive south to Wairakei – wreathed by steam, then to Taupo. Skirt Lake Taupo, and cross the volcanic landscape of the Desert Road past the majestic peaks of Tongariro, Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu. Continue across the fertile plains of the Manawatu and along the rugged Kapiti coastline to Wellington. (2 nights)
This morning a half day tour of the city will take in the Parliament Buildings and ‘Beehive’, Old St Paul’s Cathedral, panoramic views of the harbour and city from Mt Victoria and a ride on the cable car (optional). This afternoon is free, perhaps to visit Te Papa Museum or the Museum of City and Sea.
This morning you will board the Interislander which will ferry you across Cook Strait and through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds before docking at the picturesque town of Picton. Make the short journey to Blenheim. This afternoon is at leisure surrounded by vineyards that have built a well-deserved international reputation for wine and given Marlborough’s Sauvignon Blanc its super star status. Blenheim is the perfect place to enjoy the local wines on offer together with fresh local produce served in the many friendly cafes. Take the oportunity to join a wine tour around the region!
This morning is at leisure. Early afternoon you make the short journey to Nelson where you will enjoy two wonderful nights in this tranquil destination – the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. (2 nights)
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)
Up early this morning as we head off to the west coast glacier region. Travel through Murchison, the scene of a massive earthquake in 1929, and on through the Buller Gorge to Westport on the West Coast. The road to Punakaiki hugs the coast, providing spectacular views of wild beaches and the tempestuous Tasman Sea. You arrive in the Franz Josef township in the early evening. (2 nights)
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.
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 prices!
Today your coach will take you south along the west coast towards Haast Pass as you enjoy views of dense coastal forest, crystal clear waterfalls and wind swept sand dunes. Once at Haast Pass, the southernmost pass between the East and West Coasts of New Zealand, you will head east and experience more spectacular views of the Lake Hawea before arriving in Wanaka in the early afternoon.
A free morning in this peaceful and popular resort. In the early afternoon rejoin the coach for a scenic drive through the rugged Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown for a two night stay. (2 nights)
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 and enjoy several walking trails in the town area. For sheer excitement there is white-water rafting, helicopter rides, the famous jet boats, bungy jumping to pump your adrenalin, and offroad 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings. There are cruises on the lake and a visit to a high country sheep station, and wine tasting tours. You can visit nearby Arrowtown where the main street has been preserved since the 1860’s gold rush days and you can try your luck and pan for gold in the adjacent Shotover River.
An early start takes you alongside the lake to Kingston, then to Mossburn and Lake Te Anau. Soon you plunge into the beech forests of the beautiful Eglinton Valley then it’s on through the Homer Tunnel to the awesome Cleddau Canyon and the steep descent to Milford Sound. A cruise on the Sound to Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak with picnic lunch is included. Later today your coach climbs back over the divide and returns you to Te Anau. Overnight in Te Anau. (L)
This morning cross the Waimea Plains towards the farming community of Gore, then continue across the rolling hill country of Southland and South Otago to Dunedin. Second largest city in the South Island, the cityscape glitters with gems of Victorian and Edwardian architecture – the legacy of the city’s gold-rush affluence – First Church, Otago Boys High School and Larnach Castle. Other prominent buildings include Olveston and Dunedin Railway Station. Arrive early afternoon for a 2 night stay in Dunedin. (2 nights)
Cruise the length of the beautiful Otago Harbour. Experience unrivalled viewing of the exciting diversity of wildlife which abounds on spectacular Taiaroa Head; the only mainland nesting place for Northern Royal Albatross in the world, and home to NZ fur seals, and eight other nesting bird species. You may also see, dolphins, sea lions and a fascinating array of rarely seen ocean birds including other species of albatross, penguins and marine mammals in their natural environment. Enjoy a scenic Peninsula tour by coach before returning to the city. The rest of today is at leisure.
Leaving Dunedin, sit back and enjoy the scenery as you drive up the rugged Otago coastline passing Moeraki Beach, resting place of some incredible boulders – giant rocks the size of cars and as symmetrical as pearls. Travel on through Oamaru with its whitestone buildings, Timaru and on past Temuka, home of famous pottery and over braided snow fed rivers reaching 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.
There are 2 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 5 out of 5.
Apart from those problems, everything else went exactly to plan. The accommodation was generally pretty good. Some of it was outstanding, like the Bolton hotel in Wellington where we had a full suite, within ten minutes walk of the city centre. The standard of the B&B's was uniformly excellent, and the people running them (usually emigre Brits, and in one case, emigre Swiss) were all very welcoming, friendly and helpful. The excursions planned all went well. I would recommend the Te Anau glowworm caves to anyone - spectacular! A couple to add to the list are the Lord of the Rings Movie Tour in Wellington, Below Zero Ice Bar in Queenstown, and the Segway on Q also in Queenstown. Never having been on a segway before, it was really fun and a great way to see quite a lot of Queenstown in a short time, certainly a lot more than you could have done on foot. The only caveat on the whole trip was that, had we known, we would have planned in a couple more rest days. After Auckland, the longest we were in any one place was about 36 hours, and in many places it was just overnight. While that was appropriate in some places, I think we could have enjoyed an extra day in some places such as Rotorua (to spend a bit more time in Taupo), Wellington, and particularly Queenstown, which, as you probably know, is a pretty fun place to spend time. Being constantly on the move can be rather tiring and a bit disorienting (take into account that we are both in our 6th decade!).
Anyway, overall it was the holiday we had dreamed of and we have brought back some great memories of places we particularly enjoyed - Whangarei, Paihia, Rotorua, Napier, Wellington and Queenstown especially. Having everything arranged in advance can be a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can relax because you know where you are going and when. On the other hand, you can't relax because there are places you have to be at particular times! A bit of a paradox. But, we both felt that the arrangements made the trip much easier than it would otherwise have been, and the quality of the arrangements was excellent. So, thanks again for that. I don't know if we will be back in New Zealand again - of course, you should never say, never - but if we do come back we will definitely contact Relaxing Journeys again for help organizing everything. I hope the above comments will be of some use to you in helping other travellers to New Zealand. Sorry if the first bit seemed a bit negative, but it might help other people making the same sort of trip as we made. I hope so, anyway.
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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Tick New Zealand off your bucket list after completing this tour by land and sea over twenty three days. We've included many multi-day stopovers to ke... Read More
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