Arrive in Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city, bordered by two stunning harbours. Make your way to your accommodation and explore the city.
Stay 2 nights in Auckland.
Experience the best of Auckland’s city highlights with a half-day scenic tour, followed by a trip up the famous Auckland Sky Tower.
Travel around the city centre and over the Auckland Harbour Bridge with its stunning views of the harbour and city skyline. Visit the Viaduct Harbour and Auckland’s famous Queen Street, and enjoy the lush grounds of the Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park.
Pause for morning tea (own expense) in charming Parnell Village, a historic suburb which has been transformed into a unique boutique shopping experience. The tour continues along the waterfront to the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park, named after a much-respected Prime Minister of New Zealand. With panoramic views of the harbour and beautiful formal gardens, it’s a great spot to take photos.
After a scenic trip back along Tamaki Drive to the city, arrive at Auckland’s Sky Tower, the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand at 328 metres high. Prepare yourself for breathtaking 360 degree views from the observation deck of this Auckland landmark. On a clear day you’ll be able to gaze as far as 80 kilometres (50 miles) in all directions – it’s the perfect way to get to know the city of Auckland and its surroundings. Includes collection from your accommodation in the morning.
Setting off from Auckland, travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions, enjoying your driver guide’s entertaining and informative commentary.
Take a guided tour of the famous Hobbiton Movie Set, located inside a picturesque 1,250 acre sheep and beef farm near Matamata. Here, the village of Hobbiton was carefully created in amazing detail as a film location for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies.
During your guided tour of this amazing location you’ll see sights like Hobbit holes, the Mill and the Green Dragon Inn, and learn how farmland was transformed into a living, breathing piece of Middle-Earth. After exploring Hobbiton, tuck into a delicious lunch at the Green Dragon Inn.
At the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves, take a 45 minute guided tour through impressive underground caverns and learn how stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone structures were formed over millions of years. Your tour includes a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto – glide silently along an underground river as you gaze at the twinkling glowworms overhead.
After visiting Hobbiton and Waitomo, continue to Rotorua, arriving in the early evening.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
The Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park is Rotorua’s most active geothermal area featuring a walkway lined with unique geothermal wonders and interactive opportunities. Experience the geothermal features with a self-guided map to show you around or join a guided tour of the reserve to learn more about the history, features and uniqueness of the geothermal area.
See bubbling mud pools, steaming craters, mineral pools, learn about New Zealand’s history and culture, and even try Maori weaving and wood carving! After this, the geothermal waters of the Hell’s Gate Sulphur Spa will rejuvenate and refresh you, as you relax and take in the surreal surroundings of the wondrous geothermal landscape. Includes shuttle pick up and drop off from accommodation.
In the evening, ride the gondola up to the Skyline Complex, where you will enjoy a buffet of epic proportions. Tiered seating guarantees excellent views from every table!
Today, board a domestic flight from Rotorua to Christchurch (price of flight not included in holiday package). Please enquire for flight options and approximate costs.
Arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City”, and make your way to your accommodation. In the afternoon, explore the downtown.
Stay 2 nights in Christchurch.
Experience the best of Christchurch with the Christchurch Grand Tour! You will be collected from your accommodation in the morning to begin your iconic Christchurch tour. Your fully-guided day tour includes a romantic punting trip down the Avon River; a tour of Christchurch’s famous Botanic Gardens; panoramic views over the city on the Christchurch Gondola; a visit to the quirky, independent seaside township of Sumner; and a ride through the central city on the Christchurch Tramway.
Train travel Christchurch to Greymouth 223 km / 138 miles, 4.5 hours
Board the TranzAlpine Train today for an unforgettable alpine journey. Pass through the fields of the Canturbury Plains, a landscape of picturesque farmland, before entering the mountains. From your carriage you’ll see lush beech rainforest, the spectacular Southern Alps, and the gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. All carriages include both one-way seating and tabled group seating, allowing you to experience the amazing views while enjoying the company of other passengers on-board. An open air viewing carriage allows you to get even closer to the stunning scenery. The trip is 223.8 kilometres long and takes just 4.5 hours. There are 16 tunnels and 5 viaducts, the highest being the ‘Staircase’ standing at 73 metres.
When you arrive in Greymouth, your bus connection will take you south to Hokitika, a small town famous for its arts and crafts. The West Coast still has a “Wild West” atmosphere, with fiercely independent locals and vast wilderness surrounding the small settlements.
Stay 1 night in Hokitika.
Continue your journey south today as your coach takes you along the West Coast to Franz Josef, home of New Zealand’s most famous glaciers.
While in Franz Josef you may wish to soak in the Glacier Hot Pools, nestled in lush rainforest in a haven of natural tranquility. You can walk to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier to take a look at the ice, or enjoy one of the local walks. In Franz Josef township you have the chance to see New Zealand’s rarest kiwi at the West Coast Wildlife Centre, a unique and interactive experience that brings together nature, conservation, and wildlife all under one roof.
Stay 2 nights in Franz Josef.
If you like adventure, today you will get a chance to explore the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier on a heli-hike. Take a short helicopter ride up to the Pinnacles area of Franz Josef Glacier, where you will explore a world of towering ice formations and shimmering blue caves. Afterwards, soak in the Glacier Hot Pools to warm up after a fantastic day on the ice.
If you would rather sit back and enjoy the views, you will experience the best of the Southern Alps on the Grand Tour helicopter flight, which encompasses Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, and Mt Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain). Top off the flight with a snow landing!
Take a sightseeing day tour from Franz Josef to Queenstown and discover the beauty of Haast Pass Highway. Leaving Franz Josef, travel by luxury coach through the stunning scenery of the South Island. Your driver guide will provide entertaining commentary and point out sites of interest as you pass the ruggedly beautiful West Coast landscape of vast rainforests, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped mountains.
You’ll travel through the Haast Pass, journeying through native beech forest and over the Southern Alps, before emerging in the Queenstown-Lakes region. Enjoy a morning tea break in Makarora on the border of Mount Aspiring World Heritage Park. You’ll pass by the crystal clear waters of Lake Hawea, Lake Wanaka, and Lake Dunstan before arriving in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.
Stay 5 nights in Queenstown.
Venture deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mount Aspiring National Park today on the Dart River Jet Wilderness Safari! The sheer diversity of what’s on offer means you experience a unique combination of breathtaking scenery matched with exciting jet boating on braided, glacier fed rivers. Highly informative guides add the personal touch, revealing fascinating stories about the area’s history, the Greenstone trail, and the local Maori legends. Walk amongst ancient beech forest unchanged for 80 million years and view the scenic backgrounds for many Lord of the Rings scenes on your authentic New Zealand experience in an untouched world.
Today you might like to catch a bus to Arrowtown. You’ll be enchanted by historic Arrowtown, a New Zealand treasure located 20 minutes from Queenstown. Arrowtown is charming and quirky – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. The heart of its history is Buckingham Street, a procession of heritage buildings that stretches into a tree-lined avenue of tiny miner’s cottages. The buildings in this lovely precinct house shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants – many classy, most individual, and not one from an international chain.
Embark on a scenic coach journey through heartland New Zealand to reach Milford Sound, where you will enjoy a 2.5 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise. As you cruise through the spectacular fiord, you won’t be able to tear your eyes from the wonders of Milford Sound! Sheer cliffs, towering snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, hanging valleys, sub-tropical rainforests, marine life… words just don’t do it justice, you have to see it for yourself! After your cruise, relax while your coach returns through stunning scenery before delivering you back to your Queenstown accommodation.
Enjoy your last day in paradise! Add on a cruise and high country gourmet meal with the TSS Earnslaw to celebrate the end of a fantastic holiday, or simply relax and soak in the stunning views.
Make your way to Queenstown Airport and depart Queenstown at your leisure.
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