16 Day Ultimate Explorer

16 Day Ultimate Explorer

Luxury tour both New Zealand islands at an affordable price with an ultimate coach to view the magical natural beauty of snowy mountains, volcanoes, boiling mud pools, sandy beaches, fiords, wilderness lakes and mighty glaciers - all on your 16 day small group holiday. Most costs are covered including 15 nights premium accommodation, 4 cruises and 30 meals including several speciality evenings.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Small Group Tours
From: Christchurch to Auckland
Departures: Sep 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $7609 per person
Tour Operator: Grand Pacific Tours
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 16 Days
Tour Code: GPNZ16UE

Inclusions

15 nights premium hotel accommodation including hotel porterage
15 cooked breakfasts, 12 sumptuous dinners including 3 specialty dinners
Guided Tour of Larnach Castle
Milford Sound Cruise & Lunch
Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
Lakes District Museum
Coast to coast TranzAlpine Train journey through the Southern Alps
Te Papa, New Zealand's National Museum
Skyline Gondola & Luge Ride
Rainbow Springs & Kiwi Encounter
Thermal Mud Pools & Geysers Guided Tour
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Dolphin & Hole in the Rock Cruise
Kauri Museum
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

On arrival in Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. Meet your travelling companions over a complimentary pre dinner drink.

Stay: The George (D)

Day 2
Christchurch - Mt Cook

After an introductory city sights tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, visit The Church of the Good Shepherd and view the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps.

Stay: The Hermitage Hotel (B, D)

Day 3
Mt Cook - Dunedin

Depart Mt Cook and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy an informative city tour followed by some free time to explore at leisure. The sweet tooth might like to tour Cadbury World (optional) whilst others might be interested in a tour of the Speight’s Brewery (optional).

Stay: Distinction Dunedin (B, D)

Day 4
Dunedin - Te Anau

This morning travel out along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland and your overnight stay. Tonight you may like to visit the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves (optional).

Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas (B, D)

Day 5
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a nature cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Stay: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (2 nights) (B, L)

Day 6
Queenstown (Free Day)

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown at leisure. Your Grand Pacific Tours Local Host is available to assist with the many sightseeing options available, whether it be the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour to Skippers Canyon or getting up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. On arrival sit back, relax and enjoy a gourmet barbecue dinner which the chef will prepare in front of you at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown. (B, SD)

Day 7
Queenstown - Fox Glacier

Travel to Arrowtown, an old goldmining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel north to Fox Glacier. Time is available (weather permitting) to experience a scenic flight (optional) over the spectacular glaciers before continuing to your hotel.

Stay: Distinction Fox Glacier (B, D)

Day 8
Fox Glacier - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue into Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to the elegant city of Christchurch. On arrival your coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

Stay: The George (B, D)

Day 9
Christchurch - Picton - Wellington

Travel along the East Coast to the seaside village of Kaikoura. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you travel through Marlborough Country, famous for its food and wine. Continue to Picton, where you will board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington.

Stay: InterContinental Wellington (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10
Wellington

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. (Exhibition will run until April 2018, Departures in May will receive a Guided Tour as alternative). Other Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for a city tour. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements. (B)

Day 11
Wellington - Taupo - Rotorua

Depart Wellington and view the snow capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as you travel to Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls, then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

Stay: Regent of Rotorua (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 12
Rotorua

Today begins with a Gondola ride at the Skyline Rotorua for breakfast, spectacular views and also time for a thrilling luge ride! Travel to the Agrodome for an action packed hour of farming entertainment and education that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before. Continue to Rainbow Springs, spanning 22 acres of native trees. A highlight will be the Kiwi Encounter experience which offers a unique behind-the-scenes tour of a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Some free time is available before travelling to see the boiling mud pools and the awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening you will experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert. (B, SD)

Day 13
Rotorua - Auckland - Bay of Islands

This morning depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Continue through Whangarei to the Bay of Islands. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands, Deluxe Rooms (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 14
Bay of Islands

This morning cruise through the beautiful Bay of Islands on board a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins before returning via Russell to Paihia for a free afternoon. A range of optional activities are available or you may choose to relax and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront. This evening is also free and you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional). (B)

Day 15
Bay of Islands - Auckland

Depart the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland for a city sights tour. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including selected beverages with your newfound friends.

Stay: Crowne Plaza Auckland (B, SD)

Day 16
Depart Auckland

Time to say goodbye. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday. (B)

4.8/5.0

There are 8 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
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Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

5
15/04/2018
Outstanding tour. Saw NZ from top to bottom. Paul an excellent driver and guide. Meals and hotels quite good overall. Lots of driving involved but the elegant coach made it quite comfortable. With only 20 people, everyone became pretty friendly during trip.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
04/05/2016
We were very surprised to find a large, specially designed coach with amenities with only 20 independent leather seats. Being specifically designed for luxury touring the coach had plenty of room for hand-held baggage to be tucked away under tray with cup holder and headphone/USB facility. Our driver, Dave, was a careful, considerate and personable driver who knew his country's history and was full of interesting local stories. He kept the coach immaculate during our tour. A valuable company asset - (the driver as well as the coach!!). The hotels were first class, although we did much prefer the smaller boutique hotel like that in Rotorua. Food provided was plentiful and well presented and we had plenty of stops to purchase food and drinks not included in our itinerary. All activities were extremely interesting; thoroughly enjoyed The Kauri Museum (magnificient); the Gondola and Luge (even enjoyed by us 'oldies'); Bay of Islands (we had a wonderful sunny day); Milford Sound (even though it was quite misty); even the Interislander ferry was a great experience, calm weather and even a designated area for Grand Pacific patrons! All very much appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed. There were couples and singles (ladies) on the coach and we all became very good friends by the end of our two island tour. An emotional end to a fantastic experience - one a lot of us will remember when reminiscing about our tour to NZ. Would recommend this company to anyone wanting just that little bit extra from their NZ holiday.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
13/02/2016
We had a great time. The coach was superb and Paul was so nice and helpful. The weather in Milford Sound was bad but we got to see many waterfalls. Could not do Haast River due to the high water. Mother Nature did not cooperate those days. The least favorite was Fox Glacier but for the most part the trip was great. Thanks for all your help. Smoothest trip ever.
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5
13/02/2015
It was a bit hectic but very enjoyable and I was delighted to see all the sights and experience the culture of New Zealand. Hotels and meals were first class. Good guide and enjoyed meeting the fellow travelers.
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4
31/01/2014
Very well organised and thought-out route. There was too much time on the coach for me - but how else are you going to see so much?! Our driver/guide, Malcolm was excellent and you always felt safe in his hands. I would have preferred this to be 21 days and have additional time in places such as Queenstown, Rotorua, Bay of Islands etc. Great group on the bus (most of us first timers on coach trips). I have found the places I would like to go back to in New Zealand next time I visit family in Australia and I think you gave us a great snapshot about what your big little islands are all about! Weather wasn't that good, but a darn site better than in the UK!! Personal thanks to Toni, who is efficient, friendly and bubbly!
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4
28/10/2013
All in all an excellent tour, made such not in small part by an experienced driver and guide. About the only modification I would consider worthwhile would be 'less' fancy meals, at least part of the time. After riding all day sitting twice, once for as much as two hours for dinner, and eating food is a bit more than we needed. The option of a quick buffet on a few of the stops instead of a full meal, which would allow more time to wander around before time to go to sleep and repeat it all the next day, would have been welcome. Don't get me wrong, the food was generally great, we just didn't need that much!
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5
07/05/2012
The whole experience exceeded our expectations in almost every way. The only disappointment was that it was too dark to see anything when we got to the geyser and mud pools at the cultural centre at Rotorua; the same applied to the trip on the steam ship Earnslaw at Queenstown. The coach was fabulously comfortable and our driver (Chris) was fantastic. His commentary was really interesting and his driving was very professional. The people in the group were really compatable and we made some great friends. All the attractions included in the trip were relevant and informative. The comfort stops were all really clean and well timed. We had such a great time - thank you!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
13/03/2012
Accomodations were excellent. Driver was very knowledgeable and kept us on schedule. Would have preferred a bit more free/unscheduled time although we wouldn't have seen as much if that were the case. The best part of the tour was the 'ultimate coach' - we never want to ride any other coach in the future!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

Enquire about our 16 Day Ultimate Explorer

16 Day Ultimate Explorer
Small Group Tours
Tour Code: GPNZ16UE
From (NZD) $7609 per person
Save (NZD) $890 per person
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Departures: Sep 2018 to May 2019
Rating:
8 reviews (4.8/5)

Luxury tour both New Zealand islands at an affordable price with an ultimate coach to view the magical natural beauty of snowy mountains, volcanoes, b... Read More

Itinerary Map

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16 Day Ultimate Explorer
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