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New Zealand Wonderland

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Enjoy 17 days exploring New Zealand.

Enjoy a fabulous journey through beautiful New Zealand. Experience the amazing culture in the north island then the natural wonderland of the south island. View complete itinerary

Trip code: NCC17
Duration: 17 days
Accommodation: Premium Hotels and Resorts
Journey: Auckland to Christchurch
Travel style(s): Escorted Vacations
Meals included: 28

Itinerary

Day 1. Auckland, Freedom of Choice

Discover the ‘City of Sails’ this morning. Perhaps climb Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, visit Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium, cruise Waitemata Harbour or enjoy a relaxing head, neck and shoulder massage - the choice is all yours.
Stay: Auckland, Rendezvous Grand Hotel

    Day 2. Auckland, Bay of Islands

    Cross Auckland’s Harbour Bridge and travel along the Hibiscus Coast to Matakohe’s Kauri Museum. In the Northland region, visit the Waitangi Treaty House, and the War Canoe.
    Stay: Two Nights: Waitangi, Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Bay of Islands
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 3. Bay of Islands, Freedom of Choice

    The Bay of Islands await your discovery today as you choose from a range of sightseeing inclusions. Perhaps drive along the sands of Ninety Mile Beach on a Cape Reinga Day Tour, or enjoy the R. Tucker Thompson sailing adventure. This evening, you have the option to enjoy an included overnight cruise
    on the Bay of Islands (must be pre booked).
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast

    Day 4. Bay of Islands, Auckland

    Begin today with a dolphin-watching cruise to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock. See the incredible array of birdlife and marine wildlife here. Back in Auckland tonight we enjoy a delicious dinner at our hotel.
    Stay: Auckland, Rendezvous Grand Hotel
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 5. Waitomo, Rotorua, Hangi feast

    The Waitomo region is home to the famous glowworm caves, where thousands of tiny luminescent creatures radiate an unmistakable glow. We discover this natural wonder on a guided tour, before continuing to Rotorua. This evening, the Tamaki Maori Village welcomes us as we experience the dance, music and fascinating culture of the Maori people at a traditional Hangi feast.
    Stay: Two Nights: Rotorua, Holiday Inn
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 6. Rotorua, Freedom of Choice

    Indulge in a relaxing spa treatment using the mud from Rotorua’s geothermal region, or experience the icons of Rotorua at Te Puia Thermal Reserve. Alternatively, take a ‘Hobbiton Movie Set’ tour or a thrilling 4WD bush safari. Perhaps spend tonight on a Country Homestay (enquire for details, must be pre-booked).
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 7. Wellington, Freedom of Choice

    Today, travel through a region abundant with geothermal activity, crystal clear lakes and streams, natural spas and rich Maori culture. Visit Lake Taupo and thundering Huka Falls. Then continue on to Wellington. Tonight, enjoy a choice of dining options.
    Stay: Two Nights: Wellington, Amora Hotel
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 8. Wellington, Freedom of Choice

    Today choose from a selection of activities including a Wellington sightseeing tour, an enthralling visit to Zealandia: Karori Eco Sanctuary, or a visit the Carter Observatory and Planetarium with a return trip on the Wellington cable car.
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast

    Day 9. Cook Strait, Kaikoura

    Named after Captain James Cook, Cook Strait separates the North and South islands. The Interislander ferry journey is one of the most picturesque cruises in the world. Once in Picton, we travel to Kaikoura, famous for its whale watching, before arriving in Methven.
    Stay: Methven Resort
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 10. TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef

    Rated as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world, the TranzAlpine Train takes us through gorges, river valleys and across the magnificent Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass. Re-boarding our coach we drive down the west coast to marvel at Franz Josef Glacier.
    Stay: Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 11. Franz Josef, Queenstown, Freedom of Choice

    Enjoy a day of incredible scenery as you travel along the Haast River, capturing views of the massive glacier-formed Haast River Valley; towering peaks, waterfalls and rainforest. In Queenstown, choose from a delicious range of included dining options.
    Stay: Two Nights: Queenstown, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 12. Queenstown, Freedom of Choice

    Tailor your sightseeing today in Queenstown. Options include a thrilling Shotover Jet boat ride deep into river canyons, indulging in some of Central Otago’s finest wines, or perhaps exploring your favourite scenes from the famous ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy on a Safari of the Scenes tour.
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast

    Day 13. Milford Sound, Te Anau

    We journey along the Milford Road this morning, through the Eglinton and Hollyford valleys. Witness the dramatic scenery as we exit the Homer Tunnel. Cruise the full length of pristine Milford Sound - a highlight of any visit to New Zealand, then continue to Te Anau.
    Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 14. Te Anau, Dunedin, Freedom of Choice

    Leaving the Fiordland region, our journey takes us through rolling Southland countryside to Dunedin. Later, choose your sightseeing activity. Perhaps visit New Zealand’s only castle, journey aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway, or enjoy a brewery tour and tasting.
    Stay: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 15. Mt Cook, Freedom of Choice

    We travel north along the coast and stop to view the unusual Moeraki Boulders, before continuing to Mt Cook National Park. Here, perhaps visit the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre, or enjoy an up close iceberg encounter.
    Stay: Mt Cook, The Hermitage
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 16. Mt Cook, Christchurch

    Leaving the snow-capped mountains of Mt Cook National Park, we travel by coach to Lake Tekapo. Here, we’ll visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, a tribute to the region’s early pioneers.
    Stay: Christchurch, The Ashley Hotel
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast
    • • Dinner

    Day 17. Depart Christchurch

    Enjoy the morning at leisure before an included transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
    • Daily Meals Included:
    • • Breakfast

    Trip Highlights

    • Bay of Islands - Look out for dolphins on a cruise to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock
    • Rotorua - Enjoy a truly authentic Hangi feast at the Tamaki Maori Village
    • Darfield - Experience the rail journey of a lifetime aboard the TranzAlpine Trai.
    • Milford Road - Take in the scenery along this breathtaking alpine drive
    • Franz Josef Glacier - Experience the majesty of one of the world’s most spectacular glaciers
    • Mt Cook National Park - Witness incredible landscapes and see New Zealand’s highest peak

    Map

    Photos

    Learn of the rich Maori art and culture when you tour New Zealand with APT.

    Click for larger version

    Included Experiences

    • Arrival and departure transfers in New Zealand
    • All sightseeing, excursions and entrance fees as outlined in the itinerary
    • 28 meals - enjoy 16 Breakfasts and 12 Dinners
    • The services of a dedicated Tour Director and professional Driver
    • Stay in quality accommodation throughout New Zealand
    • Gain the insight of local guides with a range of included Maori Cultural Touring
    • Witness the majesty of Franz Josef Glacier
    • Cruise stunning Milford Sound
    • APT Highlight: Stay at the Hermitage Mt Cook with alpine views

    Freedom to Choose

    • Personalise your holiday with a choice of activities in Auckland, Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin and Mt Cook
    • Enjoy an expanded selection of dining experiences in Wellington and Queenstown

    Trip Notes

    • Land content only
    • International / domestic flights not included in tour price
    • Please speak to your travel consultant to arrange the best available fares
    • Triple rooms may include a roll-away bed. Please check details at time of booking

    Enjoy 17 days exploring New Zealand.

    Enjoy the wonderous sights of New Zealand, when travelling with APT.

    from $5,645 USD per person

    Enjoy a fabulous journey through beautiful New Zealand. Experience the amazing culture in the North Island then the natural wonderland of the South Island. View complete itinerary

    Trip code: NCC17
    Duration: 17 days
    Accommodation: Premium Hotels and Resorts
    Journey: Auckland to Christchurch
    Travel style(s): Escorted Vacations
    Meals included: 27

    View departure dates & prices

    Itinerary

    Day 1. Arrive Auckland, Freedom of Choice

    On arrival into Auckland, be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the opportunity to discover the ‘City of Sails’ as you choose from a range sightseeing inclusions. Perhaps take a cruise on Waitemata Harbour; head off on a Waiheke Island wine tour; or explore the Auckland Museum. Alternatively, get up close to marine life at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium; indulge in a head, neck and shoulder massage; or set off on a Wilderness Adventure into the Waitakere Rainforest. Or, you may like to climb Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.
    Stay: Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland

      Day 2. Auckland, Bay of Islands

      Cross Auckland’s busy Harbour Bridge this morning and travel along the Hibiscus Coast. Stop at Matakohe’s Kauri Museum for an insight into the rich pioneering history of New Zealand’s Northland region. Continue to the stunning Bay of Islands and visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the original treaty between the British and Maori people was signed. Here, you’ll also enjoy a visit to the Maori Meeting House and War Canoe.
      Stay: Two Nights: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands, in a room with harbour views
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 3. Bay of Islands, Freedom of Choice

      Today, discover this spectacular region with a choice of activities. Perhaps take a day tour to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northernmost point; experience life aboard
      a tall ship; embark on a dolphin watching adventure; play a round of golf at Waitangi; take a mini-tour of Russell; or a sightseeing tour to the town of Kerikeri.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 4. Bay of Islands, Auckland

      This morning after breakfast, explore the spectacular Bay of Islands on a dolphin watching cruise to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. In these deep-sea fishing grounds, dolphins are frequently seen. Meander through the inner islands, admiring the picturesque sandy beaches and rocky outcrops, then relax in a secluded bay. This evening, after travelling back to Auckland, you’ll be treated to a special Pacific-themed dinner with quality New Zealand produce at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel.
      Stay: Rendezvous Grand Hotel Auckland
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 5. Auckland, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua, Hangi Feast

      Leaving Auckland today, travel to Waitomo, home to the famous glowworm caves where thousands of tiny luminescent creatures radiate an unmistakable glow. Discover this natural wonder on a guided tour, before continuing to Rotorua, the geothermal capital of New Zealand. This evening, immerse yourself in Maori culture as you enjoy a traditional Hangi Feast and performance of song and dance.
      Stay: Two Nights: Holiday Inn Rotorua, overlooking Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 6. Rotorua, Freedom of Choice

      Following breakfast this morning, enjoy your chosen Freedom of Choice Sightseeing Inclusion. Perhaps experience the icons of Rotorua at the Agrodome Farm Show and the Te Puia Thermal Reserve; make your way to Rainbow Springs Nature Park to see a working Kiwi nursery and hatchery; or unwind during a round of golf. Alternatively, take a ‘Hobbiton Movie Set’ tour for an enthralling insight into the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy; embark on a thrilling 4WD bush safari through native rainforest; take a drive through forest and farmland to visit New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and colourful hot springs; or discover the local art, history and culture at Rotorua Museum.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 7. Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, Freedom of Choice

      Follow the Thermal Explorer Highway to the heart of the North Island and view the Wairakei Steam Valley. Visit Huka Falls and Lake Taupo, before travelling across the vast volcanic plateau of World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park to Wellington. This evening, discover the tantalising flavours of New Zealand with a choice from three tempting restaurants in which to dine.
      Stay: Two Nights: Amora Hotel Wellington
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 8. Wellington

      Discover the delights of the New Zealand capital with an extended stay. After breakfast, set off on a sightseeing tour taking you to the city’s best-loved landmarks and sights, including New Zealand’s national museum - Te Papa Tongarewa. Afterwards, ride Wellington’s iconic Cable Car, gaining a fresh perspective on this coastal city.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 9. Wellington, Kaikoura, Christchurch

      This morning, step aboard the Interislander ferry to cruise across Cook Strait and through the stunning waters of Marlborough and Queen Charlotte sounds to Picton. Rejoin your coach and travel to the quaint fishing town of Kaikoura, famous for its whale watching. Continue travelling along the central east coast, to Christchurch.
      Stay: Christchurch, Heartland Hotel Cotswold
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 10. Christchurch, TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef

      Board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world’s greatest rail adventures. Journey through the striking patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, before travelling across the Southern Alps. Disembark at Arthur’s Pass and travel by coach to Hokitika. Here, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to see Pounamu (jade) being skillfully carved into pieces of jewellery. Afterwards, continue along the dramatic New Zealand west coast to Franz Josef, where you’ll have the opportunity to take in the dramatic terrain and icy surrounds of striking Franz Josef Glacier. Check in to your luxury eco-resort before enjoying a spectacular four-course degustation dinner this evening.
      Stay: Franz Josef Glacier, Te Waonui Forest Retreat
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 11. Franz Josef, Queenstown, Freedom of Choice

      Enjoy a day of truly breathtaking scenery as you travel along the Haast River, capturing views of the massive glacier-formed Haast River Valley, towering peaks, rushing waterfalls and lush rainforest. Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s ‘adventure capital’, where this evening you’ll choose from four tempting restaurants in which to dine. Perhaps sample the delicious fresh produce at waterside Finz seafood restaurant, or take a scenic gondola ride to the Skyline Restaurant. Alternatively, you may prefer to cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamboat, or dine amid the stylish surrounds of the Elements Restaurant.
      Stay: Two Nights: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 12. Queenstown, Freedom of Choice

      Enjoy the opportunity to personalise your Queenstown experience by selecting from one of our Freedom of Choice activities. Perhaps embark on a Safari of the Scenes tour, and visit several local sites where the popular ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy was filmed. On it, you’ll experience the great affinity between the cinematic landscape of New Zealand and that of Middle-earth. Alternatively, you may prefer to take an exhilarating ride on the famous Shotover Jet Boat. New Zealand is rightly famous for its wines, and a tour of the country’s premier wine producing region is a tempting option today. Perhaps a thrilling zip line ride above the Kawarau Gorge is more your style. Or, you may prefer to board a Double Decker Explorer, and discover the beauty of Queenstown and nearby Arrowtown.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 13. Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anau

      Embark on one of the most scenic drives today as you journey along the Milford Road. Wind down the Eglinton and Hollyford valleys, then drive through the Homer Tunnel to be met by the majestic sight of Mitre Peak. Continue to spectacular Milford Sound, where you’ll enjoy a cruise that explores the full length of this pristine fiord. See towering mountains climb straight out of the sea, be entranced by the verdant rainforest as it clings to sheer rock walls and watch in awe as cascading waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into the sea below. Afterwards, enjoy a drive through picturesque countryside to the lakeside settlement of Te Anau. Take time to settle in to your hotel before enjoying dinner with your fellow travellers this evening.
      Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 14. Te Anau, Dunedin, Freedom of Choice

      Leaving the Fiordland region, journey through rolling Southland countryside. Travel via Lumsden and Gore to the east coast and Dunedin. Known as the Edinburgh of the south, the former goldmining town was once New Zealand’s largest city thanks to an influx of miners during the goldrush. This afternoon, choose your activity. Perhaps tour Larnach Castle, and learn of its intriguing history. You may prefer to visit Olveston House, or head to Dunedin’s beautiful railway station and board the Taieri Gorge Railway for a journey into the rugged countryside. Those who enjoy a beer might like to tour Speight’s Brewery. Alternatively, nature lovers can either visit
      an albatross colony, see penguins or take an off-road tour of the Otago Peninsula.
      Stay: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 15. Dunedin, Mt Cook, Freedom of Choice

      Journey north and stop to view the large spherical Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach. Continue to World Heritage-listed Mt Cook National Park, where you can choose your activity. Perhaps visit The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, or join a guided nature walk. You may prefer to participate in a stargazing session this evening. Alternatively, during the summer months, board a MAC boat and get up close to icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. This evening, relish your stay at one of the region’s premier properties, set in the shadows of magnificent Mt Cook.
      Stay: Mt Cook, The Hermitage Hotel
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 16. Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch

      Leaving the spectacular snow-capped peaks of Mt Cook National Park behind, travel to the picturesque Lake Tekapo. Here, you’ll pay a visit to the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd. Built of locally gathered stone and oak, this charming church was erected as a tribute to the early pioneers of the region. Later, travel through delightful scenery along Burkes Pass to Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a memorable Farewell Dinner at your hotel.
      Stay: Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 17. Depart Christchurch

      Today, your tour concludes after breakfast with a transfer to the airport.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Trip Highlights

      • Arrival and departure airport transfers in New Zealand
      • Travel aboard a spacious, luxurious coach
      • Dedicated APT Tour Director and professional Driver
      • The additional services of expert local guides in select locations
      • All sightseeing, excursions and entrance fees as outlined in the itinerary

      Map

      Photos

      Learn of the rich Maori art and culture when you tour New Zealand with APT.

      Click for larger version

      Included Experiences

      • Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds
      • Look out for dolphins on a magical Hole in the Rock cruise
      • Immerse yourself in Maori culture at a Hangi Feast in Rotorua
      • Cruise to the South Island aboard the Interislander ferry
      • Ride on the famous TranzAlpine train
      • Marvel at the impressive icy contours of Franz Josef Glacier
      • Cruise the full length of Milford Sound
      • Discover Australasia’s highest peak in Mt Cook National Park

      Freedom to Choose

      APT’s Freedom Concept allows you to tailor your holiday to suit your interests and tastes.  

      • In Auckland, Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin and Mt Cook - See your Freedom of Choice selections here. Check the specific itinerary details for the Freedom of Choice Touring activities on your NZ holiday.

      Dining

      • Includes 27 meals - 16 Breakfasts, 11 Dinners
      • A Welcome Dinner at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel, Auckland
      • A Farewell Dinner the Copthorne Hotel Commodore Christchurch

      Additional Information

      Optional Country Homestay

      • On Day 6, you may prefer to experience warm New Zealand hospitality on a Rotorua Country Homestay. Enjoy delicious home-style cooking and a few good yarns. Replaces Day 6 accommodation. Enquire for further details and pricing.

      Trip Notes

      • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
      • Prices are for land content only. International/domestic flights not included in tour price
      • Triple rooms may include a roll-away bed. Please check details at time of booking

      Request a Brochure

      View a brochure online or request it be posted to you.

      Current Local Weather

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        Auckland15°C | 60°F
      • Sunny
        Christchurch14°C | 58°F
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