New Zealand Splendour

 

Duration: 15 Days | 14 Nights

Auckland to Christchurch

 

Tour Code: TT050

 

See New Zealand’s splendour on a 15 day North and South Island First Choice guided expedition. Be amazed by the Bay of Islands, Waitomo Caves, Wellington, Franz Josef Glacier, Mt Cook, Queenstown plus more.

 

Day1: Welcome to Auckland

On arrival at Auckland Airport you’ll be transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and Highlight Dinner at The Langham. Your personal degustation is prepared for you from the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouth-watering seafood and delicious desserts. (HD)

 

Accommodation: Langham Hotel, Auckland

 

Day 2: Auckland - Rotorua

After a sightseeing tour of Auckland, head south to trace New Zealand’s longest river, the Waikato, to the Waitomo Caves to visit the amazing Glow Worm Grotto. A local guide will lead you through the grotto by boat and you’ll walk in the limestone caves. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. You’re invited this evening to the Tamaki Maori Marae for a very personal and exclusive cultural evening. You’ll be greeted by a powerful Haka challenge and spine-tingling Karanga. Spend time in their village of old experiencing Maori life. Enjoy a Maori Hangi feast with local wine and a concert in their private dining room. (BC, L, D)

 

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

Day 3: Rotorua

Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Join the Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, discover Maori culture at Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, see the Agrodome Farm Show, relax in the seclusion of your own hot mineral pool or unwind with a facial treatment in the Lake Spa Retreat at the Polynesian Spa. Maybe ride the amphibious Rotorua Duck or the luge at Rotorua Skyline. (BC). Stay at your hotel tonight or opt for a Farm Stay Experience including dinner. (BC)

 

Day 4: Rotorua - Wellington

Travelling from the mountains to the sea, you’ll view Huka Falls and drive along the shores of Lake Taupo. Discover the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park and the dairy farms of Manawatu. Continue along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington. See the city from Mt. Victoria on your sightseeing tour. (B, D)

 

Accommodation: Hotel James Cook Grand Chancellor, Wellington

 

Day 5: Wellington - Blenheim

Visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, with time to discover it yourself. Later, cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. The seaside village of Picton is next, then Blenheim for a city tour on arrival. (B, D)

 

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel, Blenheim.

 

Day 6: Blenheim - Christchurch

En route to the whale-watching haven of Kaikoura, you’ll pass the Grassmere Salt Works and see New Zealand fur seals up close at Ohau Point. Travelling onto Christchurch you’ll see the extensive work carried out to rebuild the city after the earthquake of February 2011. (B, D)

Accommodation: Hotel Novotel, Christchurch

 

Day 7: Christchurch - Twizel

You’re invited to enjoy a taste of country life at a barbecue lunch on Morelea Farm, a typical working sheep farm. You’ll be welcomed into the home of your hosts Angie & Stan Taylor and their 240 hectare garden. On your way to Twizel, see Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the alpine scenery of Mount Cook National Park. (B, L, D)

 

Accommodation: MacKenzie Country Inn, Twizel

 

Day 8: Twizel - Dunedin Included Choice

View the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through Oamaru to Dunedin for a tour of the city. This afternoon choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Tour Larnach Castle, ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway or take the Monarch Wildlife Cruise. Or choose from a visit to Cadbury World or Speight’s Brewery. (B, D)

 

Accommodation: Langham Hotel, Auckland

 

Day 9: Dunedin - Te Anau

A day to explore the delights of this alpine resort at leisure. We recommend the world famous Shotover Jet Boat ride, take a Gondola ride to the Skyline high above the resort, a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon, white water rafting or browse in the many shops and galleries. (B, D)

 

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Te Anau

 

 

 

Day 10: Te Anau - Queenstown

See rainforest, ancient glaciers, mountain ranges and the hand-made Homer Tunnel. Pass the Mirror Lake, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Your cruise on mystical Milford Sound will take you past Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Afterwards, travel over the Devil’s Staircase, along the shores of Lake Wakatipu on your way to Queenstown, where an orientation tour finishes this highlight day. (BC)

 

Accommodation: Millenium Hotel, Queenstown

 

Day 11: Queenstown Included Choice

Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Ride the Thunder Jet on Lake Wakatipu, join a wine tour, play a round of golf or take a gondola to the Skyline Restaurant for dinner. Perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon, relax with a spa treatment at Millbrook Resort, go horse riding or explore Queenstown on a Segway. For more information see pages 10 & 11. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station for a carvery Highlight Dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. (BC, HD)

 

Day 12: Queenstown - Franz Josef

Visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River. Enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell, the stone fruit capital. See a trio of lakes, Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka. Travel over the Haast Pass and view amazing Thunder Creek Falls. Then it’s on to Franz Josef Glacier, the world’s most accessible and still advancing glacier.

 

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

 

 

Day 13:Franz Josef- Punakaiki

 See Franz Josef Glacier from the air or take a glacier hike (both optional). Depart for Hokitika, home of the greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.

 

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

 

Day 14: Punakaiki - Christchurch

Travel via Greymouth to Arthur’s Pass where you’ll board the TranzAlpine train to travel through the Southern Alps to Christchurch. You’ll join your Tour Director and new-found friends this evening for a Farewell Dinner.

 

Accommodation: Hotel Novatel, Christchurch

 

Day 15: Depart Christchurch

Your tour concludes this morning after breakfast. You'll be transfereed to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)

 

 

 

 

Inclusion

 

Travel by luxury coach

Quality accommodation

Experienced Tour Director and Driver

Breakfast of Choice (4) BC

Full Buffet Breakfasts (10) B

Special lunch (L) and Dinner (D)

Highlights Dinners (2) HD

Hotel Dinners (7) D

Farewell Dinner (1) FD

Airport transfers (2)