Day 01: Auckland
Welcome to Auckland City. On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.
Rest of the day is at leisure to relax
Day 02: Auckland (B)
Morning Auckland city tour. Discover first-hand why Auckland is regarded as one of the best places in the world to live, with a half-day tour of its scenic highlights. Travel through the city centre, including Auckland’s famous Queen Street, Karangahape Road with its chequered past and eclectic vibe and fashionable Ponsonby. Cross over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, enjoying views of the Hauraki Gulf and city skyline, and visit the Viaduct Harbour and the revitalised Silo Park waterfront precinct. See historic buildings around the University of Auckland before continuing over Grafton Bridge to the Auckland Domain. The Domain is the city’s oldest park and, at 75 hectares, one of its largest. Developed around an extinct volcano, it features tropical gardens, duck ponds and public art, and is also home to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. After visiting the Domain, the tour continues through the boutique shopping area of Parnell Village, where you’ll stop for a short morning tea break (own expense) and along the scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive. Your Auckland city tour ends with a trip back along the waterfront, finishing in downtown Auckland.
Afternoon will be free
Day 03: Auckland – Waitomo – Rotorua – Auckland (B/L)
This full day sightseeing tour has it all! Experience magical glowworms and world-famous limestone formations at Waitomo Caves, as well as the rich cultural heritage and geothermal bounty of Rotorua.
Leaving Auckland in the morning, we travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. Your experienced local driver guide will provide entertaining commentary and point out historical sites of interest including Rangiriri, the location of a major battle in the Māori Land Wars in 1863.
On arrival in the small town of Waitomo, enjoy a 45-minute guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves with their amazing stalactites, stalagmites, towering caverns and other rock formations. Formed out of limestone over 30 million years ago, the caves were first discovered in 1887 and are now one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. Your tour finishes with a short but magical boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto – an underground cavern illuminated by the twinkling lights of thousands of tiny glowworms.
Leaving Waitomo, enjoy a delicious picnic style lunch (vegetarian and other dietary options available on request) en route to Rotorua, in the heart of the Central North Island. Visit the Agrodome on the outskirts of Rotorua and take a tour of an organic working farm in all terrain vehicles. Get an insight into farming life in New Zealand as you see sheep-shearers in action and view a live sheep dog trail.
At the conclusion of the Agrodome tour, we make our way to Te Puia, one of New Zealand’s foremost cultural venues. At Te Puia’s marae (meeting house) you will receive a traditional welcome and be invited to experience a Māori cultural performance, in which ancient and modern stories are told through song, dance, poi and stick games. You’ll gain an understanding of this unique culture and its history and be thoroughly entertained by the talented and charismatic performers.
Next, venture into a landscape unlike any other with a guided tour of the bubbling mudpools and active geysers of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. See the world-famous Pohutu geyser unleash vapour jets up to 30 metres high. The tour also includes a visit to Te Puia’s woodcarving and weaving schools, where apprentices are trained in these traditional skills by master carvers and weavers.
After your full day Waitomo and Rotorua tour, board the coach for the return journey to Auckland. A delicious afternoon snack, including traditional Maori bread, can be enjoyed en route.
Day 04: Auckland – Wellington (B)
You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Auckland Airport for your flight to Wellington.
On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Wellington accommodation
Day 05: Wellington (B)
This morning you will be taken for Wellington city tour. Take in Wellington’s most scenic highlights on a half-day tour of the city and its surrounds – the perfect way to get your bearings in New Zealand’s capital city.
See Wellington’s beautiful waterfront from some of the city’s most picturesque viewpoints, like the summit of Mount Victoria, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city, its hills and harbour.
Wellington has many fascinating examples of classic architecture – see the iconic Beehive, New Zealand’s main parliamentary building, and the Old Government Buildings, the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere. Visit Old Saint Paul’s Cathedral, a fine example of Revival Gothic architecture.
Take in the beauty of the Wellington Botanic Gardens including the Lady Norwood Rose Gardens and native bush, and drive around the rugged Wellington coastline discovering hidden bays and some of Wellington’s most popular beaches.
As you travel around the Miramar Peninsula and southern bays, you’ll see the picturesque seaside suburb of Seatoun, as well as Pencarrow and the Baring Head Lighthouse, while enjoying unobstructed views of Wellington’s harbour entrance. On a clear day you can see all the way across Cook Strait to the Kaikoura Ranges in the South Island.
Afternoon will be free
Day 06: Wellington – Christchurch (B)
You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Wellington Airport for your flight to Christchurch
On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Christchurch accommodation.
Rest of the day is at leisure to explore city on your own
Day 07: Christchurch – Mount Cook – Queenstown (B)
Experience the beauty and grandeur of the Southern Alps on a sightseeing day tour to Mount Cook.
Leaving Christchurch in the morning, we travel through the fertile farmland of the Canterbury Plains to the shores of the stunning, glacier-fed Lake Tekapo, where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd and take in the sights of the spectacular Southern Alps. We then continue to the location of New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook, situated in a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site. Rising to 3,724 metres high, Aoraki certainly lives up to its name, which in Māori can be translated as ‘cloud piercer’. Legend tells of a young boy named Aoraki who was stranded with his brothers when their canoe struck a reef. As it tilted, the brothers climbed to the high side, where they were frozen by the south wind and turned into stone. Aoraki and his brothers now form the Southern Alps.
Enjoy lunch (optional extra) at the famous Hermitage Hotel in Mount Cook Village. After lunch you’ll have time to explore the village and soak up the view. Alternatively there is time to experience a scenic helicopter or ski plane flight for incredible views of mountain peaks and glaciers (additional cost, weather permitting – this flight can be arranged with your driver guide on the day).
The tour continues south, past Lake Pukaki and through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route, enjoy afternoon tea (own expense) in the quaint village of Omarama and if time permits, visit the Jones Family Orchard near Cromwell. Your tour concludes in the evening upon reaching Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.
Day 08: Queenstown – Milford Sound – Queenstown (B)
Today you will be taken for Milford Sound Nature Cruises. Return luxury coach transport from Queenstown to Milford Sound, with an extended 2.5 hour Nature Cruise along the full length of the fiord. On board a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. The coach driver provides an informative commentary. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board the Milford Mariner for a leisurely extended cruise of the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rain forest, mountains and wildlife with extensive commentary by the on board nature guide. Includes picnic boxed lunch.
Day 09: Queenstown (B)
This morning you will be taken for Walter Peak Farm Tour by TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruises,
Farming in the New Zealand high country is a way of life – and it’s one you can get up close to at Walter Peak.
Situated on picturesque Lake Wakatipu’s south-western shores, Walter Peak High Country Farm is an idyllic place to spend a relaxing few hours. The farm tour itself is a wonderful, interactive experience, with something to keep everyone entertained and happy.
You will be greeted by our rural host upon disembarking the TSS Earnslaw, who will take you to the sheep shearing demonstration and where you will watch the remarkable skill with which the farm dogs round up sheep from the paddocks.
You will have time for a walking tour of the farmyard, visiting the holding pens, where you can help feed the sheep and deer and even get up close to the Scottish Highland Cattle. Then a stroll to the charming old wool shed for morning or afternoon tea. You may have time to stroll through the lakeside gardens before you re-board the TSS Earnslaw for your cruise back to Queenstown.
Things you should know
- Includes return cruise on board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw to/from Walter Peak High Country Farm
- Includes a guided walking tour of the farmyard to view and feed sheep, deer, cattle and alpacas
- Demonstrations of sheep dogs working and sheep shearing
- Enjoy morning or afternoon tea including scones, cakes and slices freshly baked at the farm
- There’s time to relax in the lakeside gardens, in the sunny courtyards or peruse the gift shop for a memorable take home souvenir
Rest of the day will be at leisure
Day 10: Queenstown (B)
Full day is at leisure to explore this beautiful town on your own. You can go for the walking tour through its streets, Wakatipu Lakefront, Queenstown Gardens, etc.
Day 11: Queenstown – Auckland (B)
You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Queenstown Airport for your flight to Auckland
On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Auckland accommodation
Day 12: Auckland (B)
Today transfer to Auckland Airport for your return flight
Inclusions: 11 Nights accommodation in Hotels including breakfast, other meals as specified in the itinerary, Airport transfers in a private car, tours & excursions on shared basis with local English speaking guide, monument entrance fees and domestic flights.
Exclusions: International flights, Visa, Insurance, meals not included above, beverages during meals included in program, gratuities and any expense of personal nature.
Note: Price Quotation on request