Classic New Zealand Explorer (17 Days)

Day 01 – Arrive Christchurch

Welcome to New Zealand! A Tours representative will greet you at the airport with transport waiting to take you to your hotel.

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Sudima Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 02 – Christchurch / Mt Cook / Omarama

A brief tour of Christchurch and its surrounds before travelling across the Canterbury Plains into MacKenzie Country. View the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog statue at Lake Tekapo before continuing to Mt Cook National Park. Admire the majesty of Mt Cook before travelling on to Omarama. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Heritage Gateway Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 03 – Omarama / Dunedin

Pass large hydro lakes as you travel down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru and Dunedin, the “Scottish” city. A visit to the historic Olveston House before the afternoon is at your leisure. Your Coach Captain will be able to assist in arranging your afternoon activities. We recommend you visit the Octagon in the city centre, or why not take a tour of the famous Speight’s Brewery. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Cargills Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 04 – Dunedin / Te Anau

This morning visit Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle, with spectacular views across the Otago Peninsula. Heading inland we then cross rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden before arriving at Lake Te Anau. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Distinction Luxmore Hotel 4-Stars

Day 05 – Te Anau / Milford Sound / Queenstown

Follow the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys, pass through the Homer Tunnel and descend into the Cleddau Canyon to reach majestic Milford Sound, dominated by Mitre Peak. A launch cruise takes you to the open sea and the Bowen and Stirling Falls. Return to Te Anau and on to Mossburn, then skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu to reach Queenstown. Dinner tonight is at the Skyline Restaurant where both the dining and the views are unsurpassed. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Rydges Hotel 4-Stars

Day 06 – Queenstown

Today is at your leisure whilst in the adventure capital. You can either sit back and relax or your Coach Captain is available to assist with any optional activities you would like to do. (B,D)

Did you know?
The Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown was so named in 1857 by a surveyor Alexander Garvie who called it that after seeing the dramatic razorback mountain range in all its glory at sunset. The view across the lake to The Remarkables has now become one of the most photographed in the Southern Lakes region. It is one of only two mountain ranges in the world to run directly north to south (the other is the Rockies).

Overnight accommodation: Rydges Hotel 4-Stars

Day 07 – Queenstown / Haast Past / Fox Glacier

Pass picturesque Lake Hayes, on to an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the goldmining era, and then to Lake Wanaka. Pass Lake Hawea and the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka to Makarora, cross the Haast Pass into the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks. Drive north along the coast to the magnificent Glacier region. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier 3.5-Stars

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Day 08 – Fox Glacier / Greymouth / Christchurch

Snowcapped Southern Alps dominate the skyline as you pass dense bush, tiny landlocked lakes and small pockets of farmland. Visit a Greenstone (Jade) gallery where craftsmen cut and polish giant boulders to create fine jewellery. Join the TranzAlpine train in Greymouth and travel through rainforests to Otira, snowcapped peaks of the Southern Alps, the rugged Gorges of the Waimakariri River and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Sudima Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 09 – Christchurch / Kaikoura / Blenheim

Join the Coastal Pacific train for a kaleidoscope of scenery across fertile Canterbury farmland through the Hundalee Ranges. Follow the Pacific coastline, with the Kaikoura Mountains forming a rugged backdrop to the west. Arrive in Blenheim early afternoon. A short tour of the area includes a visit to Brancott Estate Winery. Enjoy a hosted tour of the winery, learn about and taste a range of the famous local wines (purchase if you wish). (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Scenic Hotel Marlborough 4.5-Stars

Day 10 – Blenheim / Picton / Wellington17-days-classic

Drive to Picton, nestled on the shores of the Marlborough Sounds, to board the Interislander Ferry. Sail through picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound, across Cook Strait and into Wellington Harbour for spectacular views of New Zealand’s Capital City. A city tour will incorporate the summit of Mt Victoria for panoramic views of the city and harbour, the Houses of Parliament and the distinctive “Beehive”, Wellington Cathedral, city centre and Oriental Bay. Also explore the city yourself. Don’t miss Te Papa, the “Museum of New Zealand”, situated on Wellington’s waterfront, or take a ride on the famous Cable Car. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Bay Plaza Hotel 4-Stars

Day 11 – Wellington / Taupo / Rotorua

Drive to Paekakariki with views of Kapiti Island and on a clear day, the South Island. Cross rolling farmland to the central North Island National Park, dominated by the volcanic cone of Mt Ruapehu. Follow the Desert Road to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, which is famous for trout fishing. Stop at Huka Falls and skirt past massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, centre of Maori culture. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua 4-Stars

Day 12 – Rotorua

A sightseeing tour visits the Agrodome Sheep show and then a visit to Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Crafts Centre and Thermal Reserve, with boiling mud, silica terraces and Pohutu Geyser. Time for optional activities this afternoon before a Maori hangi (meal) with a selection of traditionally prepared meats and vegetables plus conventional dishes, followed by a concert featuring Maori songs, chants and the stirring haka. (B,D)

Don’t miss the Polynesian Spa, Rotorua
New Zealand’s leading internationally acclaimed spa, providing a unique thermal spa experience on the shores of Lake Rotorua.
The spa offers a choice of 26 hot mineral bathing pools and an enticing array of spa therapies. Enjoy views and tranquil bathing amongst native flora in the four hot mineral rock pools of the deluxe Lake Spa.

Overnight accommodation: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua 4-Stars

Day 13 – Rotorua / Waitomo / Auckland

Cross the Mamaku Ranges to the Waikato region, noted for dairy farming and world famous horse studs. At Waitomo, a guide will escort your group underground to the limestone caverns and glowworm grotto. Travel north to reach New Zealand’s largest city – Auckland. A city tour will visit the summit of Skytower, at 328m the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, for superb city and harbour views, the downtown area and Waterfront Drive. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Rydges Hotel 4.5-Stars

Day 14 – Auckland / Bay of Islands

Cross Auckland’s Harbour Bridge and drive north to Matakohe, home of the Kauri Museum. Learn about the Kauri tree and the history of the regions early settlement. Continue north to Paihia where our local Maori guide, a descendant of the original settlers to the region, greets you. A self guided tour through the famous Treaty House, the Maori Meeting House and giant war canoe. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Tanoa Hotel – Paihia 4-Stars

Day 15 – Bay of Islands

Today is at your leisure, take the time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Bay of Islands. If you want to take advantage of your time here your Coach Captain will happily assist with arranging activities for you. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: Tanoa Hotel – Paihia 4-Stars

Day 16 – Bay of Islands / Auckland

Sit back and relax as a launch cruise takes you across the Bay and world acclaimed fishing grounds to Cape Brett and the famous “Hole in the Rock”. Returning to Paihia, board your Coach for the journey south through Whangarei and Warkworth, passing the satellite tracking station. Shortly Auckland city and harbour come into view. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Rydges Hotel 4.5-Stars

Day 17 – Auckland / Home

It is farewell to your travelling companions. You will be transferred to Auckland International Airport to join your flight home. (B)

Highlights of this trip

bullet_point 16 nights accommodation bullet_point Brancott Estate Winery Tour & Tasting
bullet_point Dining inclusions – 16 Breakfasts, 15 Dinners bullet_point Interislander Ferry Crossing
bullet_point City Highlights Tours in Christchurch,
Wellington & Auckland
bullet_point Te Papa Museum
bullet_point Brief tour of Dunedin bullet_point Visit to Huka Falls
bullet_point Olveston House bullet_point Agrodome Sheep Show
bullet_point Larnach Castle bullet_point Te Puia Thermal Reserve
bullet_point Milford Sound Cruise bullet_point Authentic Maori Village, Hangi & Concert,
Rotorua
bullet_point Skyline Skyride & Dinner, Queenstown bullet_point Brief Rotorua Tour
bullet_point Brief tour of Lake Wanaka bullet_point Waitomo & visit to Glowworm Grotto
bullet_point Visit Fox Glacier bullet_point Entry to Skytower
bullet_point Visit to Greenstone (Jade) Gallery bullet_point Kauri Museum
bullet_point TranzAlpine Train Journey bullet_point Wonderful Bay Of Islands
bullet_point Coastal Pacific Train Journey bullet_point Waitangi Treaty Grounds
bullet_point Brief Tour of Blenheim bullet_point ‘Hole in the Rock’ Cruise
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