New Zealand Splendor
Take a Milford Sound cruise and view the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier in this Discoveries trip.
Set your course from the glistening glow worms of the north to the vibrant green jade south - your epic adventure through New Zealand's landscapes will take you past spectacular glaciers and alpine landscapes, culminating in a vintage encounter with T.S.S. Earnslaw as she steams her way across Lake Wakatipu.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most regions or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
- 14 nights hotel accommodation
- 26 meals (14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 11 dinners)
- City tour in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch
- Cruise on Cook Strait, Lake Wakatipu and Milford Sound
- View the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
- Visit the Tamaki Family Marae in Rotorua, historic Arrowtown and Franz Josef Glacier
- An expert Travel Director and separate Driver, Driver Guide only on Mini-Stays
- VIP entry into many sights
- Porterage, local tips and charges
- All hotel charges and local taxes
- Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
Day 1 - Arrive Auckland
Welcome to Auckland! On arrival at Auckland Airport you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 4pm) and spend the day discovering why this North Island hotspot has justifiably earned its reputation as the City of Sails. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and Regional Meal at your hotel. (D)
Day 2 - Auckland - Rotorua
After a sightseeing tour of Auckland, head south to visit the amazing Glow Worm Grotto. A Local Specialist will lead you through the grotto by boat and you'll walk in the limestone caves. Continue to Rotorua where you'll take an orientation tour against the backdrop of Lake Rotorua. (B)
Day 3 - Rotorua Sightseeing - Rural Homestay
Today your choice of sightseeing: unwind at the Polynesian Spa; visit Te Puia and tour through the Whakawerawera Thermal Reserve; take a fascinating tour of the Hobbiton movie set or explore Rotorua and its three lakes in an amphibious WWII era Duck. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking your choice of sightseeing. (B, D)
Day 4 - Rotorua - Wellington
Cross forest-clad landscapes and lush farmland to the raging waters of Huka Falls, which feeds New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo. Continue your journey south, over the central plateau and along the rolling Kapiti Coast to New Zealand's capital city, Wellington. This evening, you'll 'Dive into Culture' during an exclusive guided tour of Te Papa Museum of New Zealand followed by a Regional Meal savouring local flavours. (B, D)
Day 5 - Wellington - Blenheim
Explore the Capital of Cool on your terms this morning with some free time to see such highlights as the Parliament buildings or savour the aromas of Welly's coffee culture. This afternoon, take to the tranquil waters of Queen Charlotte Sound after crossing Cook Strait. You'll visit seaside Picton and stop in Blenheim where this evening your Regional Meal is prepared from local produce, paired with the delicate Sauvignon Blanc flavours that have made the Marlborough wine region famous. (B, D)
Day 6 - Blenheim - Christchurch
Delve into the whaling heritage of Kaikoura, where sperm whales can often be seen not far from shore. Journey along the Pacific Ocean coast and across the colourful Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, a city revealing an effortless fusion of modern verve and the elegance of yesteryear. (B)
Day 7 - Christchurch - Twizel
Join us for a taste of country life at a Be My Guest barbecue lunch on Morelea Farm. You'll be welcomed into the home of your hosts Angie and Stan Taylor and their 600 acre garden. Later, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the alpine scenery of Mount Cook National Park. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Twizel - Dunedin Sightseeing
Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, and a photo stop at the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through the township of Oamaru with its famous white limestone building and then on to Dunedin. This afternoon your choice of sightseeing: tour Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle; ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway; take the Monarch Wildlife Cruise or a tour of the Speight's Brewery. (B, D)
Day 9 - Dunedin - Te Anau
This morning enjoy a chance to explore Dunedin. Later, travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land to the village of Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the South Island's largest lake. Tonight consider an Optional Experience out across the lake to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves. (B, D)
Day 10 - Te Anau - Queenstown
Amazing photo opportunities await you as you see rainforest, ancient glaciers, mountain ranges and the hand-made Homer Tunnel. Pass the Mirror Lake, Pop's Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Your cruise on mystical Milford Sound will take you past Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Afterwards, travel over the Devil's Staircase and along the shores of Lake Wakatipu on your way to Queenstown. (B)
Day 11 - Queenstown sightseeing
Today your choice of sightseeing: ride the Shotover jet boat, visit a high country farm, ride a gondola to the Skyline Restaurant for dinner, visit Kiwi Birdlife Park or take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Regional Meal at the Colonel's Homestead. Then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing a glimpse into high-country farm life and later return to Queenstown to sample the festive nightlife. (B, D)
Day 12 - Queenstown - Franz Josef
Visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown. Later, enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell, the stone fruit capital. See a trio of lakes, Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka and travel over the Haast Pass to view amazing Thunder Creek Falls. Then it's on to Franz Josef Glacier. (B, D)
Day 13 - Franz Josef - Punakaiki
Depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade), for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration with a Local Specialist. Travel to Punakaiki next, to see the limestone Pancake Rocks and Blowholes channelling the force of the Tasman Sea. This evening, you'll stay at an eco-friendly resort on the waterfront. (B, D)
Day 14 - Punakaiki - Christchurch
At Arthur's Pass board the TranzAlpine train to journey through the Southern Alps to Christchurch. Celebrate your trip this evening at a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director. (B, D)
Day 15 - Depart Christchurch
Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime). (B)
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