AUCKLAND TO CHRISTCHURCH
Your Included Insider Experiences
• Look out for dolphins and other marine life on a Hole in the Rock cruise
• Visit the mesmerising glowworm caves at Waitomo
• Experience the vibrancy of Maori culture at a traditional Hangi Feast and performance
• Take a scenic cruise on the Interislander ferry across Cook Strait
• Unwind during a two-night stay at the Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
• Enjoy a full-length cruise along the magnificent Milford Sound
• Discover the rugged landscapes of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
• Stay on the shores of Lake Tekapo at Peppers Bluewater Resort
• Enjoy a dinner of fresh, local produce in Lake Tekapo
Day 1. Arrive Auckland.
Be met on arrival into Auckland and be transferred to your hotel.
Stay: Rydges Auckland Hotel.
Day 2. Auckland, Bay of Islands.
Journey north to the Waipoua Kauri Forest Reserve. Here, see the giant kauri tree, called Tãne Mahuta or ‘Lord of the Forest’, the largest and most celebrated kauri tree known to stand today. Continue to the Bay of Islands. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Dinner.
Two Night Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands, in a room with garden views. B, FD
Day 3. Bay of Islands.
The Bay of Islands is home to 144 atolls providing a stunning aquatic playground off the north coast of the North Island. After breakfast today, you’ll enjoy a full day at leisure to explore the idyllic subtropical surrounds. Perhaps relax on a pristine beach, explore the stunning wilderness areas via one of the many walking tracks, or set off into town and dine at a local restaurant. B
Day 4. Bay of Islands, Auckland.
Explore New Zealand’s finest maritime park on a cruise to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. This captivating coastline provides sheltered waters for dolphins, whales, seals, penguins and other marine life, so keep a look out while enjoying the scenery. Continue to the Hole in the Rock, which defines this remarkable coast. Later, return to Auckland by coach.
Stay: Rydges Auckland Hotel. BD
Day 5. Auckland, Waitomo, Rotorua.
Leaving Auckland after breakfast, travel to Waitomo, home to the famous glowworm caves. Discover the magical natural spectacle of Waitomo Caves with a local guide before continuing to the geothermal capital of New Zealand, Rotorua. Visit Te Puia, New Zealand’s premier cultural centre, and enjoy a guided tour of the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute. You’ll also see the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. Enjoy a Maori Hangi Feast with performances of song and dance at Te Puia tonight.
Two Night Stay: Rydges Rotorua. B, FD
Day 6. Rotorua.
Your sightseeing continues with a visit to one of New Zealand’s best-loved attractions, the Agrodome, with its entertaining sheep shearing demonstration, dog trials and animal nursery. Later, perhaps enjoy an optional helicopter flight for views over the active White Island volcano (own expense). B
Day 7. Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington.
Farewell Rotorua and enjoy the scenery as you travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to Lake Taupo – the largest freshwater lake in Australasia – and thundering Huka Falls. Continue south across the vast volcanic plateau of World Heritage listed Tongariro National Park to Wellington. The evening has been left free for you to explore the vibrant dining scene on your own. From seafood cafes to cosy wine bars and spectacular fine-dining restaurants, you’ll see that New Zealand’s wild and fresh produce is showcased on a plate here in Wellington.
Stay: Travelodge Wellington. B
Day 8. Wellington, Cook Strait, Christchurch.
Enjoy one of the world’s most scenic voyages as the Interislander ferry traverses Cook Strait through the Marlborough and Queen Charlotte sounds. Weave through unspoilt islands and admire coastlines defined by tiny coves on the way to Picton. Continue to Christchurch via Kaikoura.
Stay: Christchurch, Quality Hotel Elms. BD
Day 9. Christchurch, Fox Glacier.
Commence your ascent into the Main Divide. Then, sit back and enjoy the vistas as you journey through the Southern Alps. Be sure to keep watch for the icy crests of Fox and Franz Josef glaciers as you travel through Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Over thousands of years, these natural wonders have created immense glacial valleys.
Stay: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier.
Day 10. Fox Glacier, Queenstown.
Journey through Haast Pass, skirting the tranquil shores of lakes Wanaka and Hawea to the wonderful alpine resort of Queenstown. Settle in for a two-night stay overseeing the calming blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, all the while admiring the dramatic backdrop of towering mountains capped in snow. Delicious food is always on the menu in Queenstown as it is renowned for its world-class culinary scene and energetic nightlife. This evening, you may like to dine at one of the many local restaurants in town.
Two Night Stay: Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview. B
Day 11. Queenstown.
With an entire day at leisure, you have the freedom to simply relax amid the beautiful lakeside setting or pursue your interests and choose one of our exciting optional experiences. You may wish to step aboard the 100-year-old TSS Earnslaw steamship for a relaxing cruise to Walter Peak Station, or perhaps take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak for spectacular panoramic views over Queenstown (both at own expense). Alternatively, if you’re more of a gourmand, perhaps choose to set off into the Central Otago region independently – one of New Zealand’s foremost wine-producing areas. B
Day 12. Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anau.
Enter Fiordland National Park along the Milford Road, on one of the world’s best alpine drives. Board a boat and cruise the full length of Milford Sound, a magnificent fiord with views of cascading waterfalls, dense rainforest, sheer cliffs and the surrounding mountains of this World Heritage-listed area. Afterwards, make your way to your hotel and enjoy dinner with your fellow travellers.
Stay: Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau. BD
Day 13. Te Anau, Dunedin.
Enjoy a tour of Dunedin, then head to the nearby hills to take a tour of Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. Steeped in scandal and tragedy, it is filled with antiques and offers breathtaking views. Enjoy some time at leisure before dinner this evening.
Stay: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City. BD
Day 14. Dunedin, Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo.
Journey along the east coast to see the Moeraki Boulders. These large spherical stones were formed more than 60 million years ago and can be found along a stretch of Koekohe Beach. Continue to Oamaru to see some of New Zealand’s finest 19th century architecture. Later, en route to Lake Tekapo, journey into Aroki Mt Cook National Park to view Australasia’s highest mountain, Aoraki (Mt Cook), and admire the sublime alpine scenery. Arrive this afternoon at your wonderful hotel, situated on the shores of Lake Tekapo. This evening, dine on fresh local produce at your hotel’s restaurant during a memorable Farewell Dinner.
Stay: Lake Tekapo, Peppers Bluewater Resort. B, FD
Day 15. Lake Tekapo, Depart Christchurch.
Awake to vistas of Lake Tekapo just beyond your window. Pay a visit to the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd. Transfer to Christchurch airport, arriving at 3pm. You must book your international flights to depart after 5pm, or 4pm for domestic flights. B
Your Value-Plus Escorted Vacation Includes
• Immersive Insider Experiences
• 14 breakfasts (B), 5 dinners (D) and 3 feature dinners (FD)
• Expert Tour Director, plus local guides in select locations
• Arrival and departure airport transfers in New Zealand
• Luggage porterage and tipping
2017/18 Dates & Prices
(CA$) Per person, twin share
| 15 DAY VALUE-PLUS
| All Breakfasts
3 Feature Meals
| With meals
|Sept. 3^, 17^.||$4,145||$4,395|
|Sept. 29^; Oct. 10, 15^, 22, 27^.||$4,595||$4,895|
|Nov. 5^, 12, 19^, 24, 26^; Dec. 3, 17^.||$4,595||$4,895|
|Jan. 5^, 9, 14, 16^, 23, 26^; Feb. 2^, 7, 11,
13^, 18, 25^; Mar. 2, 6^, 11, 13, 20^, 27.
|Apr. 8^, 22.||$4,395||$4,695|
|Sept. 2, 9^, 16, 23^.||$4,395||$4,695|