19 Day Ultimate Discovery

19 Day Ultimate Discovery

Discover the best of New Zealand's North and South Islands on this all inclusive small group holiday. You will experience a blend of culture and cosmopolitan living in the North Island and then be overwhelmed by the awe inspiring beauty of the South Island. Enjoy 36 sumptuous meals including a range of specialty evenings, 18 nights of premium accommodation including 4 two night stays and an endless range of pre-paid attractions. All the iconic experiences are included ? a Maori Hangi and Concert, the TranzAlpine Rail Journey and the Milford Sound Cruise.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Small Group Tours
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Sep 2018 to Apr 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $8364 per person
Tour Operator: Grand Pacific Tours
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 19 Days
Tour Code: GPNZ19UD

Inclusions

18 nights premium hotel accommodation including hotel porterage
18 cooked breakfasts including a specialty breakfast at Stratosfare Restaurant in Rotorua
15 sumptuous dinners including 3 specialty dinners: Maori Hangi & Concert - Rotorua, Walter Peak Homestead - Queenstown, Farewell Dinner with selected beverages - Christchurch
Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour
Dolphin/Hole in the Rock Cruise
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour& Lunch
Skyline Gondola & Luge Ride
Thermal Mud Pools & Geysers
Hawke’s Bay Express Napier
Te Papa, NZ’s National Museum
Marlborough Wine Tasting
Coast to coast TranzAlpine Train journey through the Southern Alps
Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
Milford Sound Cruise & Lunch
Larnach Castle Guided Tour
Kauri Museum Guided Tour
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 Auckland

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

Stay: Crowne Plaza Auckland (D)

Day 2
Auckland - Bay of Islands

Board the luxurious Ultimate Coach, depart Auckland and travel to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum in Matakohe, then travel via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands. 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 3
Bay of Islands at Leisure

Today is a free day. Choose from the many optional activities available, including the Cape Reinga coach trip via Ninety Mile Beach, a day trip to Kerikeri or a spectacular scenic flight. The choice is yours and your Coach Captain will be available to assist. This evening is also free and you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional). (B)

Day 4
Bay of Islands - Auckland

This morning travel aboard a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins before returning to Paihia. Travel south via Whangarei to Auckland.

Stay: Crowne Plaza Auckland (B, D)

Day 5
Auckland - Rotorua

This morning enjoy a city sights tour including a visit to Sky Tower, one of New Zealand’s most spectacular attractions. Continue through the picturesque countryside to Hobbiton for a buffet lunch. This is followed by a guided tour of the Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Your guide will recount details of how this beautiful piece of farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle Earth.

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

Day 6
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. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before travelling to Te Puia 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 7
Rotorua - Napier

Depart Rotorua and travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to Huka Falls and Lake Taupo. Continue to Napier known as “The Art Deco Capital”, where a city tour will showcase the most comprehensive collection of art deco buildings in the world. Enjoy a tour on board the Hawke’s Bay Express and hear informative commentary on the city’s fascinating history. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to explore the MTG Hawkes Bay or to take a guided walk at your leisure (optional).

Stay: Scenic Hotel Te Pania (B, D)

Day 8
Napier - Wellington

Travel south this morning into Wellington, then enjoy a city tour of the nation’s capital which will highlight the history and culture on show here.

Stay: InterContinental Wellington (B, D)

Day 9
Wellington - Picton - Blenheim

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 untill April 2018, Departures in May will recieve 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. This afternoon board the Interislander Ferry and enjoy the scenery as you travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton where you board your Ultimate Coach for the short journey to Blenheim. This evening sample some of the local wines from the Marlborough region.

Stay: Marlborough Vintners Hotel (B, D)

Day 10
Blenheim - Christchurch

Today’s travel takes you through the alpine village of St Arnaud, the enchanting beech Maruia Forest and the scenic Lewis Pass. Continue South to the garden city of Christchurch for an introductory city sights tour.

Stay: The George (B)

Day 11
Christchurch - Arthur's Pass - Fox Glacier

This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before continuing via Franz Josef to Fox Glacier where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.

Stay: Distinction Fox Glacier (B, D)

Day 12
Fox Glacier - Queenstown

See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you continue via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into picturesque Queenstown, a year round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening is free and you may choose to dine out at one of the many fine restaurants.

Stay: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (2 nights) (B)

Day 13
Queenstown at Leisure

Today is a free day. There are plenty of sightseeing options and your Grand Pacific Tours Local Host is available to assist. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour of the scenic Skippers Canyon or get 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 14
Queenstown - Te Anau

Enjoy a leisurely start before travelling to Arrowtown to visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland. This evening you may like to visit the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves (optional).

Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 15
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau

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 onboard. This afternoon return to Te Anau where some free time is available. (B, L, D)

Day 16
Te Anau - Dunedin

Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin known as the “Edinburgh of the South”. 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 17
Dunedin - Mt Cook

Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle, hear the tragic and scandalous stories on a guided tour with time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea served in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel to Oamaru famous for its limestone. Follow the Waitaki River and see Lake Benmore as you travel to Mt Cook.

Stay: The Hermitage Hotel (B, D)

Day 18
Mt Cook - Christchurch

This morning marvel at Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps. Continue to Lake Tekapo and view the brilliant turquoise water, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue before arriving into Christchurch. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including selected beverages with your newfound friends.

Stay: The George (B, SD)

Day 19
Depart Christchurch

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

4.9/5.0

There are 8 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.9 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
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Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

5
22/04/2018
Small group and Ultimate Coach, the only way to travel. The tour beyond our expectations and our driver/guide/"nanny", Davis Underwood was the very best with a wealth of knowledge, wonderful sense of humor and an excellent driver to boot. Both islands are stunning and we were very happy with the selected optional tours.
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4
28/01/2016
I have mainly praise. The 19 day Ultimate New Zealand utilized the best accommodations in the towns we stayed in (which of course necessarily varied with the community's size). For some reason however there was dim lighting in every room we stayed in. The food was above average, with a few exceptions (an overcrowded noisy buffet dinner at the Hangi dinner in Rotorua, and two absolutely chaotic meals featuring pushing and shoving whilst at Heritage Mt. Cook). Our guide (Rod Harris) was extremely knowledgeable and excellent. The itinerary selection was good, although perhaps there was a bit too much time riding on the coach. Perhaps eliminate Mt. Cook and/or Dunedin, while lengthening the stay to two days in places like Napier or Blenheim. By the way, we actually liked the North Island as well or better than the South Island. Outstanding events: hole-in-the-rock cruise in Bay of Islands, riding the luge in Rotorua, visiting Napier, riding the jet boat on Haast River, taking a helicopter ride and walking on the glacier at Fox Glacier, the visit to Longlands Farm, and the visit to the Walter Peak farm whilst at Queenstown. I want to note that since it is calendar year 2016, I was shocked to find that there was not free wireless availability at every location (rather there was pay-to-go at Queenstown, Wellington, and Mt. Cook). This is not an unreasonable request when every cheap backpacker hotel and most coffee shops and cafes in New Zealand offer it. The lack of free wireless will be a deal-breaker for me in the future - as staying in touch with my family and business is essential. Ironically charging for such a commonplace amenity occurred in the most upscale accommodations, which amounts in my opinion to chiseling. (RJ. It's taking a while for all the accommodation providers in NZ to provide Wifi for free. There are still a few holdouts, but the majority have changed their policies in the last year! We expect within the next 12 months it will be a rarity for Wifi not to be included in all hotels.)
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5
27/09/2015
Absolutely loved, loved everything about this trip. We went directly on a 30 day cruise and I talked to a lot of people about this trip, several asked for your information. We can't recommend this trip highly enough. Our tour guide Linda was great, knowledgeable, helpful and kept us all organized without what appeared to be any effort. There was just enough free days, and plenty of stops, we never felt like \"Are we there yet\". You guys have this down to a fine art. Only comment, I would strongly recommend that someone review the final nights dinner and Grand Pacific Host in Christchurch. The restaurant service was surly, extremely slow and some of the food provided certainly didn't match the menu selections. Talk about people with an attitude - this was the only restaurant where we felt the services were lacking. As for our Grand Pacific Host she was as flighty as could be. She was certainly chatty but over all we all felt she was useless. She couldn't help any of us and anything she promised would be handled with respect to departures the next day proved totally unhanded. Some people had problems with billing and she'd talk to them at great length, go away and tell them what they already knew, then later she'd come up and talk to them again and then would tell them the same things they already knew and she would confuse people and couldn't seem to remember what she was doing next. We all didn't feel like she was Grand Pacific's best representative.
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5
23/04/2015
This was a GREAT tour. The small group size, 20, was perfect. The coach, single seats on each side with music and USB ports. It takes 19 days to do both islands justice. The lodging, food and included tours were great. We had 4 Americans, an English couple and 12 Australians. We all got along amazing well. Since I already knew the Americans, I now have 16 new friends. I think you should try and market to the USA. We told Peter that. They were filming for some new Australian commercials and he said they planned to.
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5
27/09/2014
A wonderful experience. 1st class coach, driver, hotels and meals. The 20 seat coach was marvelous offering excellent visibility no matter the seat and the driver Rod was a wealth of information on NZ. We would do it again.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
27/09/2014
Tour delivered as advertised. Coach was very comfortable. Group size was great. Rod Harris did an excellent job as director and driver.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
27/09/2014
We decided just before booking our tour to upgrade to the Ultimate Small Group tour and we were not disappointed. Grand Pacific Tours and in particular the small group package they offer is considered the best available and we experienced that first hand. Everyday during this trip something occurred that made us feel special in some way. The hotels and tour providers appeared to go out of their way to accommodate the guests of Grand Pacific Tours. The coach drive/tour guide (Rod Harris) and ultimate coach designed for only 20 passengers were the best! This tour offered higher end accommodations and gourmet style dinners. On the west coast of the south island, accommodations were closer to average than high end, but for the most part that was offset but the location and the exceptional service provided (Te Anau is one good example of this statement). The gourmet dinners were good but general rich and likely relatively expensive. We would have preferred some lighter meals with more salads and fresh vegetables. While there were many days when we felt that we would like to spend more time in certain areas or to slow down and relax a bit, the relatively quick tour pace was necessary in order to see and do as much as we did. The 2-night stays offered a good opportunity to relax a little and see more of those areas. Overall it was a good balance. The Grand Pacific arrival gifts were nice but it would have been better to receive those before arriving. We had to return some of these gifts because we could not fit them in our luggage to take home. The only problem with the Ultimate Small Group tour is that the standard has been set high and there is no going back!
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5
14/02/2011
Wanted you to know that our just completed tour of New Zealand exceeded our expectations and that we are very pleased with our choice. The booking experience was thorough, courteous and you were patient with my endless questions. The choice of the 20 passenger coach has spoiled us for further coach travel and whatever we do will have to be held to the high standards of luxury and convenience that Grand Pacific provided on this tour. And, if you Grand Pacific don't not have a company full of Chris Hannahs, they should endeavor to make it so. He proved time and again to be the right mix of information, cheerfulness, schedule-keeping and an encyclopedic amount of facts and history. He is the kind of fellow you want as a friend and neighbor as well. Thank you for the thoughtful assembly of the sights, sounds, tastes and history. More than a few of our friends here in Carlsbad, CA and across the U.S. will be encouraged by us to join your tour.
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Enquire about our 19 Day Ultimate Discovery

19 Day Ultimate Discovery
Small Group Tours
Tour Code: GPNZ19UD
From (NZD) $8364 per person
Save (NZD) $1035 per person
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Departures: Sep 2018 to Apr 2019
Rating:
8 reviews (4.9/5)

Discover the best of New Zealand's North and South Islands on this all inclusive small group holiday. You will experience a blend of culture and cosmo... Read More

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19 Day Ultimate Discovery
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