14 Day New Zealand Escape
14 Day New Zealand Escape
The Land of the Long White Cloud is teeming with precious jewels, from coast to coast and island to island, prepare your senses as well as your camera memory for an unforgettable getaway. Starting in Auckland, this 14 day itinerary will include a visit to the magical Waitomo Glowworm Caves, geothermal Rotorua, stopovers in the cities of Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, continuing on to the breathtaking Milford Sound, with a last stop in Queenstown before returning to Auckland.
|Tour Type:||Coach & Fly Tour|
|From:||Auckland to Auckland|
|Departures:||Jan 2019 - March 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $4019 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|13 nights accommodation|
|All coach, ferry and rail transport and transfers|
|Waitomo Glowworm Caves|
|Māori village experience, with hāngī and concert|
|Te Puia geothermal experience|
|Rainbow Springs Nature Park|
|Agrodome farm show|
|Wellington city sights tour|
|Milford Sound day tour and cruise (including lunch)|
|TranzAlpine train journey|
|Internal flight from Wellington to Christchurch|
|Internal flight from Christchurch to Auckland|
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
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 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, 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 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.
Drive south to Wairakei, wreathed by steam, then to Taupō. Skirt Lake Taupō and cross the volcanic landscape of the Desert Road, past the majestic peaks of Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu in the dual World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park.
Take the southern road to Wellington and wind your way through a river-sprung landscape. Break up the drive with a few strategic stops, the first in Shannon for a short hoot at the owl sanctuary, followed by the majestic Mangaweka Gorge.
Wellington is compact, cultured, and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for exploration on foot. Enjoy cafés, restaurants, museums and all kinds of shops. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty. (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, perhaps to visit Te Papa or the Museum of City and Sea.
This morning you’ll 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 the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch. On arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation.
What should you do with the rest of the day? Take it slow, sit back and relax; we suggest punting down the River Avon through the stunning Botanic Gardens.
Depart Christchurch, heading south through the vibrant seaside town of Timaru and on to Ōamaru, known for their creamy limestone buildings. Pass Koekohe Beach, where the mysterious, spherical, 60-million-year-old Moeraki Boulders are embedded in the sand. Arrive early afternoon.
Dunedin is teeming with scenic walks and easy trails, as short tracks criss-cross the Otago Peninsula and the town belt… and let’s not forget Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest street! Don’t cheat yourself out of curious paths and sights that don’t make it into many guide books – ask a local for the inside story.
This morning is at leisure to explore Dunedin, and the Otago Harbour deserves to be on every bucket list. Book your spot on 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 afternoon, travel by coach across fertile farming land and pass by spectacular mountains to the beautiful shores of Lake Te Anau. You will arrive in 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. Upon arrival, 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)
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, from 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 droves.
Depart Queenstown this morning, travelling along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. If you have time, make a short stop in Makarora for a short walk along the Blue Pools Track nearby, then continue over the Haast Pass, gateway to World Heritage-listed Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Reaching the West Coast you will travel past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to Franz Josef Glacier. (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 Glacier Hot Pools that are nestled amongst the lush rainforest 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 a price!
Board your coach and head north through Hokitika to the small town of Greymouth, where you will stop to stretch your legs before boarding the renowned TranzAlpine train. The TranzAlpine is described as ‘The Great New Zealand Rail Adventure’, and rated one of the top six scenic train journeys in the world.
Ascend through lush beech forests past beautiful Lake Brunner, over massive viaducts, and through the spectacular Southern Alps before reaching the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass, situated 737m above sea level. Descend through spectacular river gorges and follow the stunning Waimakariri River before arriving in Christchurch.
Today you will be met at your Christchurch 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!
There are 17 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 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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The Land of the Long White Cloud is teeming with precious jewels, from coast to coast and island to island, prepare your senses as well as your camera... Read More
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