Classic New Zealand Panorama (18 Days)

Day 01 – Arrive Auckland

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 – Rydges Hotel – Auckland 4.5-Stars

Day 02 – Auckland / Bay of Islands

Drive north to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Meet your local Maori guide who will provide an insight and history of the Bay of Islands before a visit to New Zealand’s birthplace, Waitangi. A self guided tour through the Treaty House, the Maori Meeting House and war canoe. This afternoon enjoy a launch cruise to the Cape Brett Lighthouse and “Hole in the Rock”. (B,D)

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

Day 03 – Bay of Islands

Today is at your leisure, take the time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Bay of Islands. Your Coach Captain will happily assist with arranging activities for you. Why not try a full day tour to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northern most point and Ninety Mile Beach. Alternatively, explore historic Russell, New Zealand’s first settlement and visit it’s original Church, Mission House and Museum. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: Tanoa Hotel – Paihia 4-Stars

Day 04 – Bay of Islands / Rotorua

Today we travel south through the city of Whangarei to Warkworth and onto Auckland with its majestic harbour. A visit to the summit of Skytower, at 328m the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, for panoramic views across the city and its two harbours, the Domain and the central city area. Cross the Bombay Hills to the lush farmlands of the Waikato noted for its horse studs and the bush clad Mamaku Ranges to Rotorua, the centre of Maori culture. (B,D)

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

Day 05 – Rotorua

A sightseeing tour visits the Agrodome to see a display featuring New Zealand’s various sheep breeds and sheep shearing and Rainbow Springs to see Rainbow and Brown trout and native birds including the Kiwi. The spectacular Skyline Gondola offers superb views over city, lake and mountains and for a little excitement try a Luge ride with our compliments. There will be time this afternoon for optional activities. This evening enjoy a Maori hangi (meal) with traditionally prepared meats and vegetables followed by a concert featuring Maori songs, chants and the stirring haka. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua 4-Stars

Day 06 – Rotorua / Napier / Masterton

Skirt some of the worlds largest pine forests to Wairakei where natural steam is harnessed to generate electricity. View the Huka Falls where the Waikato River pours through a narrow chasm and pause at Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Continue across to the Hawkes Bay region and Napier, claimed to be the world’s art deco capital. Orchards and vineyards give way to farmlands as you pass through Hastings then to Dannevirke and Woodville for a stop at Mangatainoka, home to Tui Brewery, before continuing on to Masterton for the night. (B,D)

Don’t miss the Art Deco capital, Napier
Following a huge earthquake (7.9 on the Richter scale) on the morning of Feb 3, 1931, fires destroyed most of the commercial heart of Napier. The city was rebuilt in the style of that era and by the end of the decade Napier was the newest city on the globe. Today the town is famous for its themed buildings and is known as the Art Deco capital of the world.

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Copthorne Hotel & Resort Solway Park 4.5-Stars

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Day 07 – Masterton / Wellington

A leisurely day as we travel south over the Rimutaka ranges into the Capital city, Wellington. A city tour includes the summit
of Mount Victoria for views over the city and its harbour, the Houses of Parliament and “Beehive”, Wellington Cathedral, the central city and business area and Oriental Bay. Also explore the city yourself, don’t miss Te Papa, the “Museum of New Zealand” or take a ride on the famous Cable Car. (B,D)

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

Day 08 – Wellington / Picton / Blenheim

Join the Interislander Ferry for a scenic cruise to the South Island with views of the city and its hillside suburbs. Cross Cook Strait into the sheltered waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. In Picton, you are welcomed by your South Island Coach Captain. Explore Picton then drive to Blenheim for an afternoon’s sightseeing and a visit to the Brancott Estate Winery for a complimentary tasting. (B,D)

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

Day 09 – Blenheim / Kaikoura / Ashburton

Past Lake Grassmere then follow the coastline to Kaikoura, an area noted for whale watching. Over the Hundalee Ranges and onto the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Visit the International Antarctic Centre and enjoy a brief tour of Christchurch and its surrounds before heading to Ashburton for the night. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Hotel Ashburton 3.5-Stars

Day 10 – Ashburton / Mt Cook / Omarama18-days-classic

Cross the broad Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps to the west. Enter the foothills near Geraldine to the barren MacKenzie Country. View the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog memorial overlooking the milky blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Visit Mt Cook National Park, with time to enjoy the scenic majesty of New Zealand’s highest snow capped peaks and a visit to the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre before travelling around Lake Pukaki to Twizel and Omarama. (B,D)

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

Day 11 – Omarama / Dunedin

Pass large hydro lakes as you travel down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru and Dunedin – the “Scottish” city. An early arrival allows the choice of excellent optional activities, your Coach Captain will be able to assist with these. This evening prior to dinner you will be treated to a traditional Scottish Haggis Ceremony, complete with piper, address to the Haggis and gift. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Cargills Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 12 – Dunedin / Te Anau

Visit historic Larnach Castle on the Otago Peninsula looking back over Dunedin and set off across rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Distinction Luxmore Hotel 4-Stars

Day 13 – Milford Sound Day Trip

Follow the Hollyford Valley where the beech forests reach to the roads edge and snow capped peaks tower above. Descend into the Cleddau Canyon to Milford Sound, the worldrenowned natural wonder, dominated by Mitre Peak. Luxuriant rainforest clings to sheer rock walls and waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres to the sea below. A launch cruise takes you to the open sea and shows such highlights as the Bowen and Stirling Falls. Walk into the rainforest to visit The Chasm, a spectacular waterfall, then pause at the Homer Tunnel. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel 4-Stars

Day 14 – Te Anau / Queenstown

This morning we drive north to Kingston and around the shores of Lake Wakatipu to picturesque Queenstown. This evening, cruise
across the lake aboard the steamship TSS Earnslaw, showcasing some of Lake Wakatipu’s most beautiful alpine scenery, before reaching the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak High Country Farm for dinner. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Rydges Hotel 4-Stars

Day 15 – Queenstown

Today is at your leisure whilst in the adventure capital. You can either sit back and relax or your Coach Captain can assist with any optional activities you would like to do. We recommend the world famous Shotover Jet Boat ride, take a gondola ride to the Skyline above, a tour to the goldmining area of Skippers Canyon or for the adventurous – white water rafting. Alternatively, browse in the many shops and galleries. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: Rydges Hotel 4-Stars

Day 16 – Queenstown / Haast Pass / Fox Glacier

Pass picturesque Lake Hayes on to an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the goldmining era, to Lake Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Pass Lake Hawea and the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka to Makarora into Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks. Drive north along the coast to the glacier region. (B,D)

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

Day 17 – Fox Glacier / Christchurch

Heading north along the coast, visit a Greenstone (Jade) gallery and watch craftsmen cutting and polishing giant boulders to create fine jewellery. Cross the Otira Gorge and Arthurs Pass to the Canterbury Plains and into Christchurch. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Sudima Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 18 – Christchurch / Home

Today is goodbye to all your new found friends before you make your homeward journey. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport to join your flight home. (B)

Highlights of this trip

bullet_point 17 nights accommodation bullet_point Visit the Wairarapa region
bullet_point Dining inclusions – 17 Breakfasts, 16 Dinners bullet_point Te Papa Museum
bullet_point City Highlights Tours in Auckland, Wellington
& Christchurch
bullet_point Interislander Ferry Crossing
bullet_point Wonderful Bay Of Islands bullet_point Brancott Estate Winery Tour & Tasting
bullet_point Entry to Waitangi Treaty Grounds bullet_point International Antarctic Centre
bullet_point ‘Hole in the Rock’ Cruise bullet_point Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre
bullet_point Entry to Skytower bullet_point Church of the Good Shepherd
bullet_point Brief Rotorua Tour bullet_point Scottish Haggis Ceremony
bullet_point Agrodome Sheep Show bullet_point Larnach Castle
bullet_point Rainbow Springs Park bullet_point Brief tour of Dunedin
bullet_point Skyline Skyrides & Luge Ride bullet_point Milford Sound Cruise
bullet_point Authentic Maori Village, Hangi & Concert,
Rotorua
bullet_point Cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm &
Dinner, Queenstown
bullet_point Brief Lake Taupo Tour bullet_point Brief tour of Lake Wanaka
bullet_point Visit to Huka Falls bullet_point Visit Fox Glacier
bullet_point Visit the Art Deco Capital, Napier bullet_point Visit to Greenstone (Jade) Gallery
bullet_point Tui Brewery & Museum
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