16 Day Ultimate Explorer
Explore the majestic South Island and diverse North Island in style.
See the very best of Aotearoa, traversing the country and experiencing a fabulous array of activities and sights that will stay with you forever.
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The following are included in your package tour:
Here are just a few highlights of this tour:
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Dinner on Day 1 is not included for anyone arriving into Auckland later than 8.00pm.
Conditions: Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission (Jun 18) but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel 1 Sep 18 to 31 May 19. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.
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Day 1: Arrive Christchurch
On arrival into Christchurch you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Meet your travelling companions over a complimentary pre-dinner drink.
Day 2: Christchurch, Aoraki Mount 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 memorial. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps.
Day 3: Aoraki Mount Cook, Dunedin
Depart Aoraki Mount 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. You might be interested in a tour of the Speight’s Brewery, or a visit to the Royal Albatross Centre to see these majestic seabirds in their natural habitat.
Day 4: Dunedin, Te Anau
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by a high tea in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland and your overnight stay. Tonight, you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).
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 town that 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.
Day 6: At leisure in Queenstown
Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown at leisure. Your host is available to assist with the many sightseeing options available, including 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. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a gourmet barbecue dinner that the chef will prepare in front of you at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then re-board the TSS Earnslaw for a sing-a-long by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.
Day 7: Queenstown, Fox Glacier
Travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining 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 the township of Fox Glacier. Time is available (weather permitting) to experience an optional scenic flight over the spectacular glaciers before arriving at your hotel.
Day 8: Fox Glacier, Christchurch
Travel to Hokitika and visit a pounamu (greenstone) factory. Continue to 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.
Day 9: Christchurch, Wellington
Travel through the Lewis Pass and enjoy the spectacular scenery as you continue to Marlborough, famous for its food and wine. Continue to Picton, where you board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Straight to Wellington.
Day 10: Wellington
A highlight this morning will be to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand. Cutting-edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Re-board your coach for a city tour. Enjoy free time this afternoon, and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements.
Day 11: Wellington, Rotorua
Depart Wellington and view the snow-capped peaks of Mounts Ruapehu and 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.
Day 12: Rotorua
Today begins with a gondola ride at Skyline Rotorua for breakfast with champagne, spectacular views, and time for a thrilling luge ride! Next stop is 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 that offers a unique behind-the-scenes tour of a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Some free time is available before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori hangi and concert.
Day 13: Rotorua, Bay of Islands
This morning, depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland to the Parry Kauri Park to see magnificent examples of our native kauri trees. 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 people and the British.
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).
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.
Day 16: Depart Auckland
Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.