18 Day New Zealand Grandeur

18 Day New Zealand Grandeur

Be inspired and embrace the wonders of New Zealand as you discover the true essence of this breathtaking country in genuine comfort and style on this luxury Platinum small group tour.

EARLY BIRD – Save up to 10%
Book a Kirra tour with Relaxing Journeys and SAVE! Book and pay in full by 30th June 2019, Applies to all coach departures travelling from 1 September 2019 onwards – Discount has been applied to below prices.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Small Group Tours
From: Christchurch to Auckland
Departures: Oct 2019 to Mar 2020
Price: From (NZD) $9310 per person
Tour Operator: Kirra Tours
Duration: 18 Days
Tour Code: NZG


16 nights premium hotel accommodation
Overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound
Breakfasts (17), Lunches (2) & Dinners (10)
Maximum group size 24 guests
Famous TranzAlpine Train
Stargazing tour, Mt Cook
Guided Tour & High Tea at Lanarch Castle
Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre guided tour
Exclusive Lake Rotoiti cruise
Authentic Maori Hangi (feast) & Cultural Performance
Entry to Franz Josef thermal pools
Entry to Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre
Te Puia Thermal Reserve
Treetop eco-walk amongst the Redwoods
Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tour
Wine tasting, Martinborough
Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo
Guided Tour of Te Papa Museum

EARLY BIRD – Save up to 12.5%
Book a Kirra tour with Relaxing Journeys and SAVE! Book and pay in full by 30th June 2019, Applies to all coach departures travelling from 1 September 2019 onwards – Discount has been applied to below prices.

* Single pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please enquire for Prices.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

‘Kia Ora’. Welcome to New Zealand. A Kirra representative will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner and drinks.

Stay: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (D)

Day 2
Christchurch - TranzAlpine Train Journey - Franz Josef

A short drive brings us to the tiny train station of Springfield, gateway to the majestic Southern Alps. Board the award-winning TranzAlpine train for the spectacular rail journey to Arthurs Pass, the South Island’s highest altitude settlement. Enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River and traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape will take your breath away at every turn. On to the west coast glacial village of Franz Josef where you can relax and soak in the thermal pools after an invigorating day and sumptuous dinner.

Stay: Te Waionui Forest Retreat (B, D)

Day 3
Franz Josef - Wanaka - Queenstown

Before our departure this morning, there is the opportunity to experience an optional scenic flight over this remarkable region (subject to weather conditions). Later, view incredible scenery as you travel past the untouched wilderness and pristine lakes of the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks. There is time to wander around the popular lakeside township of Wanaka before stopping at the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, once a haven for the gold prospectors of the 1860’s and home to a fascinating collection of mining cottages.

Stay: Heritage Queenstown (2 nights) (B)

Day 4
Queenstown at Leisure

Queenstown is regarded as New Zealand’s premier holiday destination and today is free to experience this magnificent alpine resort. Queenstown boasts an incredible array of adventure and leisure activities and your Coach Captain can assist with any optional activities you would like to do. Experience the thrills of riding on the world famous Shotover Jet Boat, perhaps cruise Lake Wakatipu on the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, take a 4WD tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon or for the adventurous, try white water rafting. Alternatively, browse in the many shops and galleries. (B)

Day 5
Queenstown - Overnight Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

Skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu and travel through lush farmland to Te Anau. On to Manapouri, where you enjoy a leisurely cruise across this picturesque lake to West Arm. This is followed by a short coach trip on New Zealand’s most expensive road, travelling over Wilmot Pass and pausing along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. At Deep Cove, your crew and the “Fiordland Navigator” await. Designed along the lines of a traditional scow, the “Fiordland Navigator” blends old world charm with modern comfort and as you cruise through some of the fiord’s most stunning scenery, knowledgeable and friendly nature guides will share with you their passion for the region through their commentary. After dropping anchor in a sheltered cove, you can choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat or you can simply relax on board. As the majesty of Doubtful Sound unfolds before you, you will be struck by its silence … a silence broken only by birdsong or the rushing of a distant waterfall. Its beauty and vastness will take your breath away

Stay: Fiordland Navigator (B, L, D)

Day 6
Manapouri - Dunedin

Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning before exploring other parts of the fiord. We retrace our steps back to Manapouri where you rejoin your coach for the journey to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South.

Stay: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 7
Dunedin - Wildlife Cruise - Dunedin

This morning enjoy spectacular views travelling along the Otago Peninsula to Wellers Rock where you will board a Monarch Wildlife Cruise. On the cruise watch out for NZ Furseals & NZ Sealions on their breeding rockeries as well an abundance of other wildlife such as Penguins, Dolphins and Albatross. Afterwards travel to Larnach Castle for a guided tour learning about its tragic and mysterious history before enjoying a High Tea in the Grand Ballroom. The afternoon is yours at leisure to explore Dunedin and experience optional activities. (B)

Day 8
Dunedin - Moeraki Boulders - Mt Cook

Stop to view the mystical Moeraki Boulders before travelling up the Waitaki Valley to Omarama. Your journey continues into the World Heritage Mt Cook National Park, with its 70,000 ha of breathtaking alpine scenery. After dinner, enjoy a guided tour of the Digital Dome Planetarium before your astronomy guides take you to their outdoor stargazing site where you explore different elements of the spectacular southern sky.

Stay: Hermitage Hotel Mt Cook (B, D)

Day 9
Mt Cook - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

At Lake Tekapo, stop to view the Church of the Good Shepherd. Then cross the fertile Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

Stay: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (B)

Day 10
Christchurch - Picton - Wellington

This morning you will travel north along the scenic Kaikoura coastline on to the charming fishing village of Picton where you board the Interislander Ferry and cruise through the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound into Cook Strait. Enjoy stunning views of New Zealand’s capital city as you arrive into Wellington Harbour.

Stay: The Bolton Hotel Wellington (2 nights) (B)

Day 11
Wellington at Leisure

Today is a free day at leisure to explore the nations capital. There is plenty to see and do around this vibrant city such as riding the famous Cable Car up the hill to Kelburn for amazing views or a visit to Zealandia Eco Sanctuary. Another very popular excursion is a visit to the Weta Workshop, a world-leading design and special effects facility for major Hollywood film makers. (B)

Day 12
Wellington - Martinborough

This morning enjoy a guided tour of Te Papa Museum followed by a city sights tour of Wellington. The town of Martinborough is located at the centre of the Wairarapa wine region and because of its close proximity to Wellington, makes it a popular weekend destination for locals. Many boutique wineries are within an easy walk of the town square and the region is particularly well known for its production of Pinot Noir wines.

Stay: Peppers Parehua (B, D)

Day 13
Martinborough - Pukaha Mount Bruce - Tongariro National Park

This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre, a captive-breeding sanctuary for some of the country’s most threatened birds and home to the only white kiwi in captivity. Continue north along the Desert Road to Tongariro, New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage area.

Stay: Chateau Tongariro (B, D)

Day 14
Tongariro National Park - Taupo - Rotorua

First stop today is Taupo where you will enjoy time to stroll around this popular lakeside resort. View the mighty Huka Falls & Wairakei Geothermal Project before arriving at the geothermal resort of Rotorua. This evening, we enjoy a tour of Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and are treated to a traditional Maori hangi (feast) and cultural performance featuring Maori songs, chants and dance including the stirring haka.

Stay: Millennium Hotel Rotorua (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 15
Rotorua - Lake Rotoiti Cruise & Redwood Treetop Walk - Rotorua

Today’s highlight is an exclusive cruise across the serene, clear waters of Lake Rotoiti. Explore native bays and coves of the lake under sail on our luxury catamaran and bathe in the thermal waters of the Manupirua Pools, accessible only by boat. Later, enjoy a suspended treetop eco-walk amongst Rotorua’s gentle giants in the Redwood Forest and get a unique bird’s eye perspective of these 110 year old trees and the lush flora below. (B)

Day 16
Rotorua - Hobbiton - Auckland

Cross the Mamaku Ranges this morning and leave Rotorua behind, travelling into the lush farmlands of the Waikato, a peaceful and idyllic area noted for dairy farming and its horse studs. Arrive into Matamata and meet your guide who will escort your group on a fun and interesting Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour, taking in the picturesque set locations and providing a deeper look behind the scenes of the filming for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Later travel onto Auckland the “City of Sails” for a City Sights Tour before arriving at your hotel for an evening at leisure.

Stay: Pullman Hotel Auckland (2 nights) (B, L)

Day 17
Auckland at Leisure

With a full day to explore the vibrant city of Auckland why not take a stroll and check out the cafe culture evident in the city’s winding laneways or the fabulous Viaduct precinct. No visit would be complete without a trip to the summit of the magnificent Skytower, at 328m the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, for superb city and harbour views. This evening, join your friends for a farewell dinner with dinks and relive the many great experiences of the last eighteen days. (B, D)

Day 18
Depart Auckland

Sadly, your holiday ends after breakfast this morning. Here we bid you farewell and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay. (B)


There are 2 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.5 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

This was our first ever escorted tour, and much of it was superb. Pre-trip arrangements through Marie were great. The Kirra trip captain was outstanding, the accommodations were excellent (except for a couple) and the included meals were over the top (again, with an exception or two). An introductory dinner on night 1 would have been helpful, as well as a listing of tour participants - perhaps just names and where from. Kirra Tours letter indicated a morning get-together for breakfast and a briefing on Day 2, but there was none-- only "please board the bus" and then a 1 minute intro of trip captain. Internet service was extremely spotty at a couple of locations. 18 days on a coach became quite weary, particularly those days with a lot of driving and not much else. Thought the nights in Hanmer Springs and Martinsborough were somewhat ho-hum. Not much to do in either. Also thought the Taieri Gorge railway excursion was overrated-- 4 hours on a slow train for 20 minutes of scenery; would have rather had time to explore Dunedin more. Thought the Maori experience in Rotorua was much too touristy and commercialized. Good meal, but a cattle car experience. High points were Doubtful Sound, Mt. Cook, catamaran sail on Lake Rotoiti, and Hobbiton. 2 nights in major cities also appreciated. All in all 9 out of 10. Definitely would recommend to others.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
Kevin our tour captain made the trip. Very knowledgeable about the history, geology, social issues, you name it, he could tell you about it.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

Enquire about our 18 Day New Zealand Grandeur

18 Day New Zealand Grandeur
Small Group Tours
Tour Code: NZG
From (NZD) $9310 per person
Save (NZD) $1035 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Oct 2019 to Mar 2020
2 reviews (4.5/5)

Be inspired and embrace the wonders of New Zealand as you discover the true essence of this breathtaking country in genuine comfort and style on this ... Read More

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18 Day New Zealand Grandeur
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