Tour overview

Image_001 Exploring New Zealand Featuring the North & South Islands

From geothermal springs and ice fields to stunning fjords and Maori culture, experience New Zealand at its best. Spend two nights discovering the sun-soaked Bay of Islands. Stand in awe of the giant kauri tree. Take in the well-preserved Art Deco architecture in Napier. Admire the ice fields and glaciers surrounding Mt. Cook. Stay in Dunedin, a little slice of Scotland in the South Pacific. Cruise Milford Sound in dramatic Fiordland. Savor a captivating 3-night stay in Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital of the World.” The vibrant lifestyle of the Pacific Islands welcomes you.

Meals
29 Meals
19 Breakfasts
2 Lunches
8 Dinners

 

Tour Activity Level

 

Included

  • Day 21 - it’s your choice! You may go bird watching at the Kiwi Birdlife Park -OR- take a gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for stunning panoramic views of the region.

Not Included

  • Visa
  • Travel Protection
  • International and internal airfare
  • Baggage Fees
  • Airport to Hotel Transfers

Daily Itinerary

Pre Night
Rydges Auckland
A refreshing haven from the bustle of downtown Auckland, Rydges Auckland has the heart of the city at its front door. With smiling, attentive staff who put your needs first throughout your stay, you are sure to enjoy a unique and refreshing hotel experience. The newly revitalised rooms at Rydges Auckland are designed to exude warmth and comfort. More than a just hotel, Rydges Auckland is a welcoming hub for your time in Auckland.

Days 1 - 2
Depart from Home
Cross the International Dateline and begin the adventure of a lifetime by skipping a day ahead.

Day 3
Dinner High 66° Low 56° 3" Rydges Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand - Tour Begins
Your tour opens in Auckland, the “City of Sails,” consistently rated one of the best places in the world to live. Auckland’s Polynesian population instills into its chic atmosphere the vibrant feel of the Pacific Islands. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.

Day 4
Breakfast High 66° Low 56° 3" Rydges Auckland
Auckland
Come to know the best of Auckland during a panoramic city tour featuring the America’s Cup Village, the War Memorial, bustling Queen Street and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The afternoon is yours to explore New Zealand’s largest city on your own. Perhaps you will choose to go on an optional America’s Cup sailing experience.

Day 5
Breakfast & Dinner High 68° Low 57° 3" Copthorne Hotel And Resort Bay Of Islands
Auckland - Bay of Islands
Depart Auckland and travel north to the Bay of Islands, your home for the next two nights. This sun-soaked region boasts more than 144 islands and warm waters with abundant marine life. Visit the Waitangi Treaty House, the site where Maori and British leaders signed the 1840 treaty establishing New Zealand as a nation.

Day 6
Breakfast High 68° Low 57° 3" Copthorne Hotel And Resort Bay Of Islands
Bay of Islands
Begin the day with a cruise that features the bay’s famous Hole in the Rock and a stop off at picturesque Urupukapuka Island. Relax on the beach or walk to a higher elevation to enjoy 360° views. Look out at the Cape Brett Lighthouse, standing nearly 500 feet above sea level at the edge of the Cape Brett Peninsula. The rest of the day is yours to independently explore Paihia – the quaint town known as “the jewel of the Bay of Islands.”

Day 7
Breakfast & Dinner High 65° Low 45° 4" Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Bay of Islands - Matakohe - Rotorua
Leave the sparkling waters of the Bay of Islands behind and head to Matakohe in the heartland of the North Island. Make a stop at the Kauri Museum and come to know the stories surrounding the giant kauri tree that can live for 2,000 years. Discover how the early settlers used this abundant tree to build a life for themselves. Later, continue on to the town of Rotorua, known for geothermal activity and Maori culture.

Day 8
Breakfast & Dinner High 65° Low 45° 4" Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Rotorua
Today, find yourself amid the dramatic geothermal landscape of Rotorua. With over one-third of its population boasting Maori roots, this city is known as the Maori capital of New Zealand. Visit Te Puia, New Zealand's premier Maori cultural and geothermal experience. The National Carving School and National Weaving School are located here, passing on age-old customs by teaching the tribal youth these traditional skills. Enjoy the chance to view the Kiwi bird and learn what is being done in an effort to remove this marvelous creature from the endangered species list. In the evening, experience ceremonial Maori rituals at an authentic Hangi dinner and performance.

Day 9
Breakfast High 65° Low 51° 2" Scenic Hotel Te Pania
Rotorua - Taupo - Napier
Travel through the North Island’s rolling countryside to Taupo, a lakeside town situated in a natural caldera. Stop for a morning tea at a working art glass studio. See the artists work their craft before exploring the colorful sculpture garden. Continue on to Napier, a quaint harbour town situated on the shores of Hawke’s Bay.

Day 10
Breakfast High 65° Low 51° 2" Scenic Hotel Te Pania
Napier
Start your morning with a guided tour of Napier. Venture along some of the world’s greatest Art Deco architecture and learn why the city took on such an eclectic design style. Take advantage of an afternoon at leisure, perhaps strolling down the oceanfront promenade or relaxing at an open-air restaurant.

Day 11
Breakfast & Dinner High 61° Low 53° 3" Novotel Wellington
Napier - Wellington
Continue your way south through rural vistas. The rugged Rimutaka Range slowly gives way to Wellington, a coastal city nestled against the mountains. Embark on a tour of New Zealand's capital city, known as the “Windy City.” See the Beehive – New Zealand’s Parliament; historic St. Paul’s Church; and the Old Government Building, the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere.

Day 12
Breakfast High 61° Low 53° 3" Novotel Wellington
Wellington
Enjoy a day at leisure to relax or explore Wellington. You may want to visit the Te Papa Tongawera Museum, a fascinating center dedicated to art, history and the Maori culture, or perhaps ride the Wellington Cable Car to the suburb of Kelburn for stunning panoramic views of the city.

Day 13
Breakfast High 62° Low 46° 2" Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Wellington - Picton - Christchurch
Board a ferry and sail across Cook Strait. Experience what has been called “the most beautiful ferry ride in the world.” Arrive in Picton on the South Island where you will have free time for lunch. Continue along the breathtaking east coast to the largest city on the South Island, Christchurch.

Day 14
Breakfast & Dinner High 60° Low 47° 6" The Hermitage
Christchurch - Mt. Cook Region
The Maori word for Mt. Cook is Aoraki, which means “cloud piercer.” Journey through New Zealand’s unspoiled wilderness and arrive at the Mt. Cook region, where permanent ice fields and glaciers blanket the ragged peaks. This is where famed New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary honed his skills before conquering Everest. You may choose to take a nature walk, enjoy an optional glacier flightseeing tour (weather permitting), or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps.

Day 15
Breakfast High 59° Low 45° 2" Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
Mt. Cook Region - Dunedin
Travel to Dunedin, on the southeast coast of New Zealand. One of the earliest European settlements on the islands, Dunedin holds proudly to its Scottish heritage and traditions.

Day 16
Breakfast High 59° Low 45° 2" Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
Dunedin
This morning's panoramic drive reveals Larnach Castle as well as Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest public road. Later, visit the Royal Albatross Centre, the only mainland breeding location in the world for these magnificent birds. Their epic wingspan can reach nearly 10 feet!

Day 17
Breakfast & Dinner High 59° Low 42° 3" Distinction Te Anau Hotel Villas
Dunedin - Manapouri - Te Anau
Make your way through lush farmland and quaint villages to the lakeside town of Manapouri. Stop at a working Alpaca farm and get up-close to these domesticated animals. Meet with a local artist and gain insight into what it’s like to live in remote New Zealand. Continue on to the lakeside town of Te Anau, a quaint village nestled against the entrance to Fiordland National Park. Indulge in the bountiful local produce in a special “Taste of Fiordland” dinner.

Day 18
Breakfast High 52° Low 37° 4" Distinction Te Anau Hotel Villas
Te Anau
Take a short walk to the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre. This site is your gateway to the natural beauty of New Zealand’s fjords. An expert guide will provide information about the natural and human history of the region, as well as ongoing conservation projects. With the rest of the day at leisure, perhaps you will hike through the park, visit the Te Anau Bird Conservation Center, or take an optional tour to the Waitomo Glow Worm caves.

Day 19
Breakfast & Lunch High 52° Low 36° 2" Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown
During a cruise of the beautiful Milford Sound, you will see why this fjord is one of the most visited sites on the South Island. With rock faces that rise nearly 4,000 feet on either side, the scenery will take your breath away. Depart Milford Sound and enjoy the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley and the Homer Tunnel as you head to Queenstown, a mountainside town set against the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Day 20
Breakfast High 52° Low 36° 2" Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Queenstown
Take advantage of a full day at leisure to enjoy Queenstown. The town has earned the nickname of “Adventure Capital of the World” due to its rugged terrain and the adventurous Kiwi spirit. With the Remarkable Mountains surrounding the town and adjacent lake, there is no shortage of natural beauty and outdoor excursions.

Day 21
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner High 52° Low 36° 2" Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Queenstown
Journey into the heart of New Zealand’s high country to visit an authentic, family-owned merino sheep farm. En route, enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Bob’s Cove and Mt. Earnslaw as you cruise across spectacular Lake Wakatipu to Mt. Nicholas High Country Farm. During your exclusive, behind-the-scenes visit, follow the journey of merino wool from mustering sheep through the creation of modern wool garments. Enjoy a freshly prepared farmer’s lunch before sailing back to Queenstown. Later this afternoon, it’s your choice! You may go bird watching at the Kiwi Birdlife Park -OR- take a gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for stunning panoramic views of the region. Gather for a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.

Day 22
Breakfast
Queenstown - Tour Ends
Your adventure comes to a close today, leaving you with many pleasant memories of a wonderful trip.

Post Night
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Located in one of the most picturesque settings in the world, Novotel Lakeside is in the very heart of Queenstown and nestled beside the beautiful and tranquil lake on which Queenstown sits. This property is only a minute's walk from the center of Queenstown shopping, restaurants, nightlife and other activities. Novotel Lakeside is a fresh and modern hotel which offers guests superb and uninterrupted views of the lake, mountains and adjoining gardens.