16 Day Discovery Trail
16 Day Discovery Trail
A complete New Zealand tour including 5 days in the North Island and 11 days in the South Island. Visit all the top tourist sites. Features almost a complete circuit of the Southern Alps.
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Auckland to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2020 - March 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $1975 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|15 nights self-catering and/or motel accommodation|
|Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges|
|Te Po - Maori cultural experience with traditional hangi|
|Milford Sound Nature Cruise|
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
Welcome to Auckland! After clearing customs and collecting your luggage – it’s time to start your holiday. Your rental car is ready to whisk you away to your centrally located 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.
Travel south through lush Waikato farmland, perhaps via Waitomo Caves, on your way to Rotorua, a region steeped in Maori culture and history. This evening experience Te Po, Te Puia’s cultural experience. It is a feast of cultural storytelling, entertainment and Maori kai (indigenous food).
After a formal Maori welcome, relax and enjoy a performance including the beautiful songs, haka and poi dance. After dinner you will be transported by people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and hot chocolate. (2 nights) (D)
You have a day free to explore this exciting thermal region – there are many activities to enjoy. Perhaps visit the Agrodome to see a display featuring New Zealand’s various sheep breeds and sheep shearing.
Other options include the Buried Village, Polynesian Spa or the Skyline Gondola which offers superb views over city, lake and mountains and for a little excitement why not try a Luge ride while you are there?
Drive south through to Hawke’s Bay which is one of New Zealand’s largest and longest established wine growing regions to Napier. In 1931 a devastating earthquake nearly levelled this city. It was rebuilt in the style of the times, and is now considered the Art Deco Capital of the world.
It is also a region where local produce reigns supreme, from its award-winning wines to the freshest range of quality primary produce you will find anywhere. Overnight in Napier.
Pass the many vineyards and orchards of the Hawkes Bay, as you make your way south to our capital city, sprawled over the hills surrounding Wellington Harbour. Overnight in Wellington.
Cross the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand on the Interislander Ferry, to the Marlborough Sounds and Picton. The 92 km journey takes 3 hours & is one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist experiences.
Once on terra firma, continue past vineyards built on rich alluvial plains, which produce world class wines, to Nelson. (2 nights)
A full day to explore the Nelson area. The nearby Abel Tasman National Park offers opportunities to walk or cruise its beautiful coastline. Water taxi companies can provide a personalised mix of sightseeing by boat and track walking. A number of kayaking companies run guided tours from Marahau and Kaiteriteri.
Travel through the Buller Gorge to Westport, and down the coast to the famous Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Continue past Greymouth to the glaciers. We recommend a guided walk to the terminal face of a glacier. Overnight at either Fox Glacier or Franz Joesf township. You may wish to add an extra day here if you wish to hike on the glacier.
Continue south into dense rain forest broken by rugged coastal vistas. Reach Lake Wanaka in the early afternoon. Pass through the rugged Kawerau Gorge to Queenstown. (2 nights)
A day free for you to enjoy this fabulous Alpine resort. There are dozens of optional activities as well, from thrilling jet boat rides to leisurely lake cruises, 4WD safaris, bungy jumping. We recommend the world famous Shotover Jet boat ride, take a Gondola to the Skyline high above, a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon or for the adventurous – white water rafting. Alternatively browse in the many shops and galleries.
Drive south following the dramatic southern shores of Lake Wakatipu to reach Te Anau, then travel through pristine beech forests and the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. We have included a cruise to enable you to appreciate the majesty of Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Return to Te Anau.
Drive across the Waimea plains towards the farming community of Gore, then travel through the rolling hill country of South Otago to Dunedin. (2 nights)
Known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, take time to enjoy the rich historical architecture and abundance of wildlife to be found in this fascinating area. Perhaps you’d like to join a cruise of the beautiful Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head, along with a scenic bus tour of the Otago Peninsula with Monarch Harbour Cruises.
You can also include a guided tour of the award-winning Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve or Royal Albatross Centre. Enjoy the historic and scenic Taieri Gorge Train excursion or explore the city only a few minutes walk away.
Let us know if you’d like any of these activities included in your quote.
Drive north to historic Oamaru and turn inland. Cross the barren MacKenzie Country to reach the glacial lakes at the foot of the Southern Alps. Visit Mt Cook National Park, with time to enjoy the scenic majesty of New Zealand’s highest snow capped peaks before travelling around Lake Pukaki to Twizel.
Travel north across through Fairlie and Geraldine, and on to view the Church of the Good Shepherd dedicated to the early pioneers of the region. Then across the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch. Overnight in Christchurch.
Sadly your holiday comes to an end today. Return your car at the airport in time to catch your onward flight.
There are 35 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 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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A complete New Zealand tour including 5 days in the North Island and 11 days in the South Island. Visit all the top tourist sites. Features almost a c... Read More
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