New Zealand Highlights (18 Days)

Day 01 – Arrive Auckland

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

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Mercure Windsor Hotel Auckland 3.5-Stars

Day 02 – Auckland / Bay of Islands

Depart Auckland and drive north to Paihia where our local Maori guide will provide a comprehensive insight into the Bay of Islands before a visit to Waitangi for a self guided tour. Learn about the history of the region and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. This afternoon, sit back, relax and enjoy a launch cruise to the Cape Brett Lighthouse and famous “Hole in the Rock”. (B,D)

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

Day 03 – Bay of Islands

Today is a day free for you to relax and enjoy the many optional activities available, your Coach Captain will happily assist with details. Why not try a full day tour to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northern most point and enjoy a drive along Ninety Mile Beach. Enjoy amazing views and see where the Tasman Sea collides with the Pacific Ocean. Or you can choose to explore historic Russell, New Zealand’s first settlement and visit its original Church, Mission House and Museum. (Dinner is not included on day 3, allowing you the opportunity to dine at a restaurant of your choice.) (B)

Overnight accommodation: Tanoa Hotel – Paihia 4-Stars

Day 04 – Bay of Islands / Rotorua

Head South to Auckland then cross the Bombay Hills and travel through Waikato and the bush clad Mamaku Ranges to the thermal city of Rotorua, the centre of Maori culture. Tonight’s dinner is at your leisure; explore the many restaurants and bars that Rotorua has to offer. (B)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Kingsgate – Rotorua 4-Stars

Day 05 – Rotorua

A sightseeing tour visits the Agrodome, Rainbow Springs & Skyline allowing for some free time this afternoon. Explore this thermal city or take advantage of the many optional activities. A great option is to sit back and relax in a picturesque, tranquil setting overlooking Lake Rotorua at Polynesian Spas. Visitors can enjoy a wonderful fusion of relaxing hot spring pool bathing, sumptuous spa and massage therapies and picturesque lake views. This evening enjoy a Maori Cultural Performance and traditional Maori hangi (meal). (B,H)

Overnight accommodation: Kingsgate – Rotorua 4-Stars

Day 06 – Rotorua / Wellington

This morning we depart the thermal city and drive past the world’s largest pine forest to Wairakei where natural steam is harnessed to generate electricity. Stop to view the powerful Huka Falls where the Waikato River pours through the narrow chasm and pause at Lake Taupo. Continue south to the Capital City, Wellington, where you will take a tour of the city before having an opportunity to explore the city yourself. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Hotel Ibis – Wellington 3.5-Stars

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Day 07 – Wellington

Today is a free day for you to explore New Zealand’s capital. Your Coach Captain will happily assist with arranging activities for you. We recommend that you explore Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, set in a breathtaking location on Wellington’s beautiful waterfront. Ensure you make a stop at Cuba Street, a haven for coffee lovers. It also boasts the finest bars and restaurants in New Zealand and is home to the two most recent winners of the prestigious Cuisine New Zealand Restaurant of the Year supreme award. Tonight’s dinner is at your leisure. (B)

Overnight accommodation: Hotel Ibis – Wellington 3.5-Stars

Day 08 – Wellington / Picton / Christchurch

Board the Interislander Ferry for a cruise across Cook Strait, into Queen Charlotte Sound and finishing in Picton. Shortly after arrival you transfer to the Coastal Pacific Train which takes the scenic route along the coastline to Christchurch, where you will be met by your South Island Coach Captain. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Elms Hotel – Christchurch 3-Stars

Day 09 – Christchurch / Mt Cook / Omaramanewzealand-highlights

Cross the Canterbury Plains and enter the MacKenzie Country. View the Church of the Good Shepherd, which offers awe inspiring views of Lake Tekapo and mountains through the altar window, and the Collie Dog memorial. Visit Mt Cook National Park before travelling on to Omarama. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Country Time Hotel 3-Stars

Day 10 – Omarama / Dunedin

Travel down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru and Dunedin. Enjoy the many optional activities available to you this afternoon, your Coach Captain will happily assist with details. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Kingsgate – Dunedin 3.5-Stars

Day 11 – Dunedin

Today is at your leisure, your Coach Captain will be able to recommend to you many optional activities. We recommend that you visit the Octagon in the city centre, or why not take a tour of the famous Speight’s Brewery. You could even choose to play a round of golf at St Clair, the course offers spectacular views of the city, its beaches and harbour and the rugged southern coastline. Tonight’s dinner is at your leisure, explore the many restaurants and bars that Dunedin has to offer. (B)

Overnight accommodation: Kingsgate – Dunedin 3.5-Stars

Day 12 – Dunedin / Te Anau

Travel the peninsula before visiting Dunedin’s famous Larnach Castle and Gardens and then cross rich farmlands to Gore and Lumsden. Visit Lake Manapouri (time and weather permitting) before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Kingsgate – Te Anau 3.5-Stars

Day 13 – Te Anau / Milford Sound / Queenstown

Follow the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys before descending into the Cleddau Canyon and Milford Sound. A launch cruise takes you to the open sea and shows highlights such as the Bowen and Stirling Falls. Time to relax and appreciate your surroundings. Walk into the rainforest to visit The Chasm, a spectacular waterfall, then pause at the Homer Tunnel. If conditions permit, your Coach Captain may take a short drive into the Lower Hollyford Valley. After your cruise you drive north to Kingston and around the shores of Lake Wakatipu to picturesque Queenstown. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 2 Nights – Tanoa Aspen Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 14 – Queenstown

A day to explore the delights of this alpine resort at your leisure. Your Coach Captain will happily advise on the many sightseeing activities available. We recommend the world famous Shotover Jet Boat ride, take a Gondola to the Skyline high above, a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon or for the adventurous – white water rafting. Alternatively, browse in the many shops and galleries. Tonight is free dining but we recommend that you take the iconic ‘Lady of the Lake’, the TSS Earnslaw, across Lake Wakatipu and dine in the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak High Country. (B)

Overnight accommodation: Tanoa Aspen Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 15 – Queenstown / Wanaka

Head back in time as you travel through areas steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era. First stop Arrowtown, then travel past picturesque Lake Hayes and pay old Cromwell a visit before arriving at Lake Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. This afternoon is at your leisure and we recommend, if the weather is good, you take a cruise on the lake or take a walk to explore the town. Your Coach Captain will be there to assist with optional activities. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Wanaka Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 16 – Wanaka / Hokitika

Today takes you to 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 magnificent glacier region. Continuing north, you visit a Greenstone (Jade) gallery where you can see craftsmen cutting and polishing giant boulders to create fine jewellery. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Beachfront Hotel 3.5-Stars

Day 17 – Hokitika / Christchurch

Setting off back to Christchurch, cross the Otira Gorge and travel through Arthurs Pass until you eventually meet up with the famous TranzAlpine track that leads you through the Canterbury Plains and into Christchurch. On arrival why not take the time to explore the City of Churches one more time before you head home. (B,D)

Overnight accommodation: 1 Night – Elms Hotel – Christchurch 3-Stars

Day 18 – Christchurch / Home

You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport to join your flight home. (B)

 

Highlights of this trip

bullet_point 17 nights accommodation bullet_point Interislander Ferry Crossing
bullet_point Dining inclusions – 17 Breakfasts, 11 Dinners bullet_point Brief Tour of Picton
bullet_point Auckland City Highlights Tour bullet_point Coastal Pacific Train Journey
bullet_point Explore Bay Of Islands bullet_point Visit Lake Tekapo & the Church of the Good
Shepherd and Collie Dog
bullet_point Waitangi Treaty Grounds bullet_point Visit Moeraki Boulders
bullet_point ‘Hole in the Rock’ Cruise bullet_point Larnach Castle
bullet_point Day at leisure in Paihia bullet_point Day at leisure in Dunedin
bullet_point Thermal Reserve Rotorua bullet_point Explore Te Anau
bullet_point Agrodome Sheep Show bullet_point Milford Sound Scenic Cruise
bullet_point Skyline Skyrides & Luge Ride bullet_point Explore Lake Wakatipu
bullet_point Rainbow Springs Park bullet_point Day at leisure in Queenstown
bullet_point Visit Huka Falls & Lake Taupo bullet_point Visit Cromwell
bullet_point Authentic Maori Village, Hangi & Concert,
Rotorua
bullet_point Explore Lake Wanaka
bullet_point Tongariro National Park bullet_point Fox Glacier & Franz Josef Glacier
bullet_point Wellington City Highlights Tour bullet_point Visit to Greenstone (Jade) Gallery
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