DAY 1: ARRIVE AUCKLAND
On arrival be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. The rest of today is at leisure in beautiful Auckland.
DAY 2: AUCKLAND, BAY OF ISLANDS
From Auckland travel north to the Waipoua Kauri Forest Reserve where you’ll view the giant Kauri tree Tane Mahuta, ‘Lord of the Forest’. Continue to the Bay of Islands, the birthplace of the nation and full of New Zealand history.
DAY 3: BAY OF ISLANDS, DAY AT LEISURE
The Bay of Islands is home to 144 islands and known as a playground for lovers of anything aquatic. Today enjoy a full day at leisure or perhaps upgrade to an overnight cruise (enquire for further details and prices).
DAY 4: BAY OF ISLANDS, AUCKLAND
Explore New Zealand’s finest national maritime park on a dolphin watching cruise to Cape Brett and cruise through the famous Hole in the Rock. Cruise through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett lighthouse, before returning to Auckland.
DAY 5: AUCKLAND, WAITOMO, ROTORUA
Leaving Auckland travel south through the Waikato Province to the Waitomo caves, where you experience a guided tour of the underground limestone caverns, lit by thousands of tiny glow-worms. This afternoon arrive in Rotorua ready for a two night stay. Tonight immerse yourself in Maori culture with a Hangi feast and performance of song and dance.
DAY 6: ROTORUA, DAY AT LEISURE
Today experience the attractions of Rotorua. Visit one of New Zealand’s most loved attractions; the Agrodome and continue to Te Puia Thermal Reserve for a guided tour through the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute. The remainder of today is at your leisure to relax. This evening perhaps enjoy a Country Home stay (enquire for details).
DAY 7: ROTORUA, TAUPO, WELLINGTON
Depart Rotorua to travel via Wairakei Steam Valley to Lake Taupo and thundering Huka Falls. Continue south across the vast volcanic plateau of the World Heritage Tongariro National Park on the way to Wellington, the national capital. On arrival, enjoy a visit to the Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa; exploring nature, art, history and cultural heritage.
DAY 8: WELLINGTON, COOK STRAIT, CHRISTCHURCH
This morning enjoy a city sights tour of cosmopolitan Wellington, before joining the InterIslander to cruise across the Cook Strait. Continue along the spectacular scenic drive between the Pacific Ocean and rugged Kaikoura Ranges. Travel via the seaside town of Kaikoura, nestled at the foot of majestic mountains, which are snow capped for most of the year, continuing into the magical Canterbury region.
DAY 9: CHRISTCHURCH, FOX GLACIER
Cross the vast patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains before climbing up into the Main Divide. Enjoy stunning scenery as you journey across the magnificent Southern Alps. Continue along the dramatic coastline through dense rainforest to Westland National Park. Enjoy the grand scenery as you travel along the west coast, viewing Franz Josef Glacier.
DAY 10: FOX GLACIER, QUEENSTOWN
Cross the snow-capped Southern Alps and travel through Haast Pass. Trace the shorelines of lakes Wanaka and Hawea to the alpine resort of Queenstown on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. Delicious food is always on the menu in Queenstown - tonight enjoy one of the many choices (own expense).
DAY 11: QUEENSTOWN, DAY AT LEISURE
Queenstown is perfect for adventurers and leisure seekers alike with endless attractions and activities on offer. You may wish to join the TSS Earnslaw for a cruise and tour of Walter Peak Station or perhaps take a gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak for an amazing view over Queenstown (own expense).
DAY 12: QUEENSTOWN, FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK, TE ANAU
Today follow the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu to Fiordland National Park. Journey along the Milford Road, renowned as one of the world’s best alpine drives, en-route to Milford Sound. Board your boat for a cruise along the full length of this beautiful fiord, with the opportunity to view cascading waterfalls, dense rainforest and towering mountains of this World Heritage-listed area.
DAY 13: TE ANAU, DUNEDIN
Leave the Fiordland region, and journey through rolling Southland countryside to Dunedin. Enjoy a city tour on arrival before visiting Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. Tonight absorb the Scottish flavour and character of Dunedin and enjoy a Scottish-themed evening at your hotel, complete with bagpipes, kilts and haggis.
DAY 14: DUNEDIN, MOUNT COOK, LAKE TEKAPO
Journey along the coast and see the incredible Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach, then stop at Oamaru, known for its limestone architecture. Continue into the national park at Mount Cook, before dinner on the shores of Lake Tekapo.
DAY 15: LAKE TEKAPO, DEPART CHRISTCHURCH
This morning continue to see the famous little Church of the Good Shepherd. From here, travel across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. This afternoon your tour concludes with a transfer to the airport.