Best New Zealand Road Trip [ST-NZ20] - About New Zealand
 
 
23 Days: Best New Zealand Road Trip [ST-NZ20]
New Zealand Travel Deal

Book By: April 11, 2024

Starting at
$4,704
Per Person
View Details
Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Auckland (2 Nights), Rotorua (2), Napier (2), Martinborough (2), Wellington (2), Christchurch (2), Mt Cook (1), Queenstown (2), Te Anau (2), Stewart Island (2), Dunedin (2)
  • US Domestic Flights are not included (Please check quote for inclusion)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Auckland (Return) (Not included, may be included on request)
  • New Zealand Domestic Flights - Wellington to Christchurch, Dunedin to Auckland
  • Shuttle Transfers - Auckland Airport to Accommodation
  • Car Hires - 9 Day Car Rental, Pick-Up Auckland City, Drop-Off Wellington Airport; 12 Day Car Rental, Pick-Up Christchurch Airport, Drop-Off Dunedin Airport
  • Rental Car Hires are base rate only and do not include taxes, insurance, fuel levies, drop off fees, or environmental fees.
  • Day Tours Included - Auckland: Taste of Auckland - City and Wine Tour; Waitomo: Waitomo Glowworm Caves Entry & Guided Tour; Rotorua: Te Po Indigenous Evening Experience; Stewart Island: Port William Guided Walk
  • All other Day Tours listed are Optional (Not Included)
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
Itinerary Details
(Day 1) - Hometown to Los Angeles (Please check quote for inclusion)

Travel by domestic air to your destination.

If you request US domestic air pricing, this inclusion will be reflected in your quote.

(Day 1) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Auckland (Check quote for inclusion)

Shortly after departing Los Angeles you will be served dinner and you will be given breakfast before landing in Auckland.

Relax, watch some movies, and try to get some sleep!

Please confirm with the airline at check-in that they have all your Frequent Flyer information on record (if applicable).

(Day 2) - Shuttle Transfer, Auckland Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand.

Please note: For airport transfers – 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc – $5.00 each.

(Days 2 to 4) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Auckland

Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Enjoy your stay in Auckland’s tallest residential building with breathtaking bold views. Stretch out in the suite life beside Albert Park and inhale the sea air. You will feel at home in a downtown haven full of freedom and convenience. Take time to pause for a moment of ‘Wow’ as you walk through the lobby, a sleek century-old courthouse transformed for an impressive arrival. Once climbed by legendary French Spiderman Alain Robert, your towering hotel takes the meaning of ‘home away from home’ to new heights. Above it all, slide into a contemporary vibe and discover Auckland from the city centre. You have got culture, entertainment and the great outdoors on your doorstep!

Insider's Tip: Auckland City Explorer Bus

Take a unique, fun and informative tour of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city on the Hop on Hop Off Auckland City Explorer Bus!

Nestled between two harbours, this beautiful and vibrant city has a diverse mix of culture and landscapes. Something for everyone – attractions and activities, shopping and eateries, events and adventure – you can explore it all this 24 hour Hop on Hop off bus pass.

Unique Vehicles with Fantastic Views: Discover the true magic of city sightseeing onboard our unique, classic and new, double decker buses. With a mix of open and closed top buses, you will ride in comfort and style, enjoying spectacular views from the top deck.

Entertaining ‘Live’ Commentary: Our friendly local guides provide a ‘live’ fun and informative commentary throughout your journey. Multi-lingual commentaries are also available on the central tour.

Hop-on Hop-off and Visit Auckland’s Best Attractions: As you circumnavigate the city, visiting historic landmarks and all the ‘must see’ attractions, you can hop on and off at your leisure to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

Devonport Ferry Trip Visit this historic suburb and browse boutiques for unique gifts, indulge at a restaurant or cafe, go to the beach or climb North Head for harbour views. Tickets are valid for sailings between 9:00am-4:30pm Monday to Friday, and all weekend sailings.

Includes
-Red and Blue Tour Routes
-Devonport Ferry

Day 3 - Day Tour, Taste of Auckland - City and Wine Tour

Spend the morning exploring the city on a small group tour and then from midday, taste some of New Zealand’s best wine, eat local food and drink in the dramatic scenery of Auckland’s west coast.

After pick-up from your city accommodation, you travel up Queen St, through Auckland’s central business district, past Auckland University before a photo stop in the inner city park, known as The Domain. You continue on through the picturesque suburb of Ponsonby, known for its historic buildings, before heading over the Harbour Bridge to the North Shore.
You stroll on Narrow Neck Beach in historic Devonport before continuing up to the summit of Mt Victoria where there are stunning panoramic views of Auckland city and the Waitemata Harbour. Then travel back over the Harbour Bridge to Westhaven Marina, one of the largest marinas in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the afternoon, leave behind the bustle of Auckland city and head northwest to taste the flavours of Kumeu Wine Country, Auckland’s Heritage Wine Region. Enjoy lunch at a contemporary vineyard restaurant, sample world renowned wines and marvel at the rugged surf-fringed coastline nearby.
Your first stop is at Soljans Vineyard. Soljans has won many awards for their wines and they are also widely acknowledged in New Zealand as being an expert producer of methode traditionelle (bottle-fermented) sparkling wines.

Enjoy lunch and a wine tasting at Soljans Winery restaurant. The winery is built with sunshine in mind and serves Mediterranean-style food with a New Zealand twist, showcasing fresh seasonal produce from around the region.

Next to tempt the taste buds is West Brook Winery. The West Brook cellar door looks across an idyllic duck pond and terraced picnic area to row after row of vines. The wines reflect true varietal character and their unique regional origins. Without exception they are premium quality and have won numerous awards.

Your final tasting is at Coopers Creek vineyard which offers outstanding wines from New Zealand’s best regions. Coopers Creek produces a wide variety of wines and are adventurous in their choice of grapes and blends. Your tour will finish at your Auckland accommodation.

Operates
Daily
Departs 9:00am, Returns 5:15pm (approx.)
Tour does not operate Christmas and New Year’s Day

Includes
– Auckland city tour
– Vineyard lunch with a glass of wine
– Wine tastings at 3 vineyards
– Knowledgable English-speaking driver / guide
– Pick up and drop off at inner city accommodation

Need to Know
– Due to the weather damage from Cyclone Gabrielle, Muriwai visits will not be available until further notice
– Please bring a water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat
– Please wear comfortable walking shoes and weather appropriate clothing (lighter clothing in the warm months, heavier clothing in the cooler months)
– This experience can be catered to your dietary needs. Please advise of any special dietary requirements when completing your Traveler Information Form.

(Days 4 to 12) - 9 Day Car Rental, for Auckland to Wellington

Discover New Zealand as you travel by rental car for nine days.

Take the opportunity to explore parts of New Zealand at your own pace by car. Please bring a valid American driver’s license with you and be aware that in New Zealand people drive on the left hand side of the road.

*Upgrade available to include GPS navigation system (additional cost).

Base rate only paid by About Australia. Insurance, Premium Location Surcharge, Fuel and Fees to driver’s credit card.

(Day 4) - Self-Drive from Auckland to Rotorua

Today drive from Auckland to Rotorua approximately 4 hours.

North New Zealand Self Drive:
Auckland to Hamilton (2 Hours), Hamilton to Waitomo Caves (1 Hour), Waitomo Caves to Rotorua (3 Hours)

Today begin your self drive from Auckland to explore the Waitomo Caves and Rotorua. From Auckland travel to Hamilton via HWY 1 (78 miles) Hamilton city highlights include Hamilton Gardens with themed displays of trees, flowers and exotic plants, The Waikato Museum of Contemporary Art and History, as well as The Hamilton Zoo, which provides native birds with enormous freedom in a walk through free flight aviary. Continue on HWY 3 until you reach The Waitomo Caves District (48 Miles). Beneath the surface of this limestone region is a series of vast cave systems decorated with speleotherms (stalactites and stalagmites) and glow worms. Black water rafting is an intriguing way to appreciate the underground splendours of Waitomo, you’ll be drifting along subterranean streams on your own personal raft. Next travel on to Rotorua (97 miles). Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so the volcanic activity is part of the city’s past and present. Overnight in Rotorua.

(Day 4) - Day Tour, Waitomo Glowworm Caves Entry & Guided Tour en route to Rotorua

Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveller. Enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 120 years of cultural and natural history.

Discover an ancient world 30 million years in the making and marvel at Mother Nature’s light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. Experience the serene ambience as you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights. The glowworm (Arachnocampa Luminosa) is unique to New Zealand, making the Waitomo Glowworm Caves an absolute must-do. See thousands of these tiny creatures as they radiate their unmistakable luminescent light in a subterranean world.

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves tours are made up of two levels. The upper being dry and decorated with stunning, delicate cave formations and the lower level consisting of stream passages, glowworms and the Cathedral, the tallest chamber in the cave.

Many of the guides are direct descendants of the Maori chief who originally explored the cave, bringing the cave to life through story-telling and explaining the history, features and legends of the world-famous cave.

Operates
Daily except Christmas Day (25 Dec)
Departs every 30 minutes from 10:00am to 3:30pm and lasts 45 minutes (approx.)

Includes
– Boat tour through Glowworm Cave
– Expert commentary

Need to Know
Please wear comfortable shoes and bring a warm jacket. Cave is accessible to those with reasonable mobility and has handrails and walking paths. Please bring money for purchases at the cafe and gift shop. Photography is not permitted inside the Glowworm Cave.

Upgrades
Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Cave Combo, Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Aranui Cave, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, or Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave Combo

(Days 4 to 6) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Rotorua

Travel to your accommodation in Rotorua, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Your luxury accommodation is perfectly located on the edge of the CBD overlooking mystical Lake Rotorua. Just a brief stroll to the Rotorua town centre, Polynesian Spa and other key tourist activities.

Offering modern comfort, these rooms are decorated in inviting tones and hues providing our guests with an enjoyable and relaxing stay. Featuring marble bathrooms and in-room amenities including air conditioning, mini bar, refrigerator, tea and coffee making facilities, internet access, Sky TV, personalised message & wakeup service, work desk, radio/alarm, hairdryer, in-room safe, iron and ironing board.

(Day 5) - Evening Event, Te Po Indigenous Evening Experience

Te Po is an authentic, one-of-a-kind evening event. It is a feast of storytelling, entertainment and Maori cuisine like no other you’ll ever experience.

The Te Po  Indigenous Experience begins with a mouth-watering buffet at the world famous Pataka Kai Restaurant, Bar and Cafe. With locally sourced cuisine and an authentic Maori twist in each dish, it is guaranteed to be a favorite with your group.

Following this, you will be led to view an exhilarating cultural performance which takes place in the beautifully carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua. It will include a Pohiri (Traditional Maori Welcome), Waiata (Song), Moteatea (traditional chant), Poi and Haka.

Afterwards, enter the geothermal valley on a waka (people moving vehicle) and discover one of New Zealand’s most magnificent geothermal wonderlands – featuring dramatic geysers, bubbling mud, and beautiful native bush. For generations Te Puia has welcomed manuhiri (visitors) from all over the world to explore the magic hidden within Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. During this experience, you will be viewing the valley afterhours and resting with a hot chocolate upon naturally heated rock seating beneath the powerful Pohutu Geyser.

Operates:
Daily 5:30pm-8:30pm

Includes:
– Return transfers from your Rotorua CBD accommodation
– Buffet dinner
– Maori cultural performance
– Hot chocolate
– Guided tour of the geothermal valley

Need to know:
Please advise of dietary requirements.

(Day 6) - Self Drive from Rotorua to Napier

This morning drive from Rotorua by Lake Taupo and on to Napier, Hawkes Bay.

Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so volcanic activity is part of the city’s past and present. Explore the geothermal areas and discover the unique culture of New Zealand’s Maori people. Rotorua is entertaining in any weather, at any time of the year.

The road to Taupo will keep you entertained with its unusual, volcanic geography. Stop on the drive to Taupo and walk over the Huka Falls lookout bridge. Take a jet boat ride to experience the scenery of the mighty Waikato River and the stunning Tutukau Gorge.
You’ll also drive through large tracts of plantation pine forest.The resort town of Taupo sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake, which is well stocked with sizeable trout.

The major entertainment on the road from Taupo to Napier is the fantastic scenery. There’s a bit of everything – rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and huge vistas. At Tarawera you can walk to the hot springs, which are above the Waipunga River. You might also want to stop at the Waiarua Falls lookout, to view the twin waterfalls.

The town of Eskdale heralds your arrival in Napier. In 1931 a devastating earthquake nearly levelled this city. It was rebuilt in the style of the times, and is now considered the Art Deco Capital of the world. The vineyards of Hawke’s Bay are all within easy reach of Napier. Another attraction is the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.

Rotorua – Taupo 1 Hour Taupo – Napier 1.75 hours
Jet Boat Ride 3 hours (Recommended Not Included)

(Days 6 to 8) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Napier

Enjoy your stay for 2 nights in the Wine Region of South New Zealand at your quality 4 star plus accommodation of an international standard.

Enjoy sweeping views out over the water. A fresh, contemporary style hotel, the property is just a short stroll from Napier’s main art deco style street. If you fancy waking up to serene ocean views, this is the perfect place to start your day in Hawke’s Bay. Simply leave the curtains open, roll over in bed, and soak it all in.

The hotel features 24 hour reception, guest laundry, guest car parking, tourist information & booking service. Enjoy fully air-conditioned superior rooms and suites with modern décor, excellent natural lighting and quality room amenities. All rooms include Sky TV, high-speed internet access, minibar, fridge, hot drink making facilities, iron & ironing board.
The convenient, central location means many of Napier’s best local attractions are within a few minutes walk. Enjoy excellent dining at the on-site bar & restaurant, which highlights local food and wine and offers indoor and al fresco dining.
Photo Credit: Chris McLennan; Tourism New Zealand

(Day 7) - Free Day to Explore Napier

Enjoy some free time to Explore the Napier/Hawke’s Bay Region!

You can discover over 30 wineries open for wine tasting. Many also offer alfresco and restaurant dining. If you prefer not to drive, cycle from one winery to the next on a hired mountain bike. Visit the traditional farmers market in Hastings, for the freshest produce and organic foods. Enjoy local seafood in restaurants throughout the region. Try an orchard, farm, honey, cheese or chocolate tour. Learn more about the olive growing and oil pressing process. Or you can even time your trip to coincide with the Harvest Hawke’s Bay festival in early February!

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Napier Wine Tour

Travel through absolutely stunning scenery and visit three wineries of this fantastic region. You will taste several different wines including the main varieties, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, paired with delicious culinary delights. Learn all about the winemaking process with a tour of a working winery, and get a taste of wine directly from the winery tanks!

Join our professional local guides, who have an extensive knowledge of Hawke’s Bay wine, scenery and history. Enjoy our fantastic wines and food without having to worry about driving. Because we know the best wineries to visit in Hawke’s Bay, you will get the most out of your visit to the region. No rush just relax unwind and enjoy the beautiful Hawkes Bay.

(Day 8) - Self Drive from Napier to Martinborough

Today self-drive from Napier, Hawkes Bay to Martinborough.

Start your self drive from Napier to Hastings. Hastings was devastated by a huge earthquake in 1931. As a result, the city has a great deal of remarkable Art Deco and Spanish Mission-style architecture. Fabulous parks and delicious ice cream are two other reasons to visit Hastings. In the apple and pear season, there’s no better place to be. Hastings is New Zealand’s leading pipfruit region.

On the drive from Hastings, you’ll encounter a wildlife sanctuary at Mt Bruce and the legendary town of Eketahuna (in kiwi slang Eketahuna is the archetypal hick town). The Tararua Windfarm (it makes electricity out of thin air) is a little further north to see it, follow the road to Ballance. After the antique shops of Woodville you can inspect locally made knitwear in Dannevirke, a town originally settled by Scandinavians. The rural service towns of Waipukurau and Waipawa both have historic buildings to view.

Every year in March, Masterton hosts the international Golden Shears competition. Sheep shearing in the Wairarapa is both a sport and an art form. The town’s main park has an aviary, aquarium, deer park and a small boating lake. Or you could rediscover your childhood at the local toy museum.

Enjoy the clean, green scenery as you drive north through the friendly townships of the Wairarapa. In Featherston you’ll find an interesting locomotive museum. Greytown has many beautiful examples of Victorian architecture and a quaint museum take yourself on a self-guided walk. Carterton is a good place to shop for paua shell souvenirs it’s also a place to enjoy daffodils in the spring.

In recent years, Martinborough has become the gourmet capital of the lower North Island. It is home to over 25 boutique vineyards, several fabulous restaurants and a number of upmarket bed and breakfast establishments. From the charming town square, you can walk to most of the local attractions.

Napier to Hastings 45 Minutes
Hastings to Masterton 2.75 hours
Masterton – Martinborough 30 minutes

(Days 8 to 10) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Martinborough

Travel to your accommodation in Martinborough, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Your vacation accommodation offers you the opportunity to experience to a historic retreat offering luxury, boutique accommodation in the heart of one of New Zealand’s finest wine growing regions near Wellington. Established in 1882, the hotel offers character, comfort and old style personal attention making it ideal for a romantic weekend away, an indulgent escape or accommodation as part of a holiday or vacation. Diners can enjoy classic New Zealand country cuisine and a wide range of excellent wines in the spacious bistro, which spills out under the verandah onto the historic village square. A cosy open fire keeps pub-goers warm in the hotel’s friendly “local” and the evening sun goes down in the garden and petanque pitch set among climbing roses and old fashioned box hedging.

(Day 9) - Free Day to Explore Martinborough

Enjoy this free day to exploe Martinborough. It is all about food, wine & having a fine time. Park yourself in a character cottage and discover the vineyards and restaurants.

Bring your appetite to Martinborough, where Pinot Noir and excellent restaurants promise to ease you into a very happy state of mind. From Martinborough’s village centre you can stroll to any or all of the 30 local vineyards. Pick up a map from the visitors centre. If you can’t find the time or energy to wander from vineyard to vineyard, there’s a wine centre where you can sample many wines under one roof.

(Day 10) - Self Drive from Martinborough to Wellington

Take a short-drive from Martinborough to Wellington approximately 1 hour.

After the town of Featherston, which has an interesting locomotive museum, you’ll climb up and over the Rimutaka Range – great views in every direction. Once the mountains are behind you, it’s easy driving for the rest of your journey. You’ll wind through the picturesque Hutt Valley then a fast moving motorway will whisk you into the city.

Wellington is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Enjoy cafes, restaurants, museums and all kinds of shops. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty. As New Zealand’s capital, this city is rich in political history.

(Days 10 to 12) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Wellington

Travel to your accommodation in Wellington, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Your 4 Star vacation accommodation is located conveniently in the heart of Wellington, New Zealand. It is a short walk from Westpac Stadium, Te Papa Museum and the waterfront. Your vacation hotel has a direct elevator to Lambton Quay via a shopping arcade. Travel to New Zealand’s top wine regions, Wairarapa and Marlborough, which are only a short drive away. Or participate in adventure activities such as mountain biking, sailing, bushwalking and much more.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

(Day 11) - Free Day to Explore Wellington

Wellington, voted the ‘Coolest Little Capital in the World’ offers the visitor heaps of cool things to do that just happen to be free.

New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, sits nestled in a natural amphitheatre around the harbour. It is easy to explore on foot and there are heaps of great things to see and do that don’t cost a cent.

Visit the dynamic and interactive National Museum of NZ – Te Papa on the waterfront. Get your city bearings and some of Wellington’s best views at the Mount Victoria Lookout. Ride the historic Wellington Cable Car to the Botanic Garden. Four Wellington restaurants have won NZ’s Best Restaurant in the last five years. It’s safe to say you’ll be eating very well while in Wellington! Hear the birdsong and spot a tuatara as you walk through ZEALANDIA: The Karori Sanctuary Experience. Get an inside peek into Wellywood at The Weta Cave in Miramar. Go stargazing and check out the amazing planetarium show at Carter Observatory. Seeking hidden treasures? Many of Wellington’s best night spots are tucked away for your finding, such as Motel, Library or Duke Carvell’s Swan Lane Emporium. Head to Cuba Street for a slice of Bohemia, boutique shopping and some of the best coffee in town.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Optional Evening Event (Not Included)- Zealandia by Night Tour (2.5 Hours)

Discover Zealandia Te Mara a Tane – an ecosanctuary of lush forest and home to over 40 rare species of native wildlife in the heart of Wellington.

ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. The 225-hectare (500+ acre) ecosanctuary is a groundbreaking conservation project that has reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife back into the area, some of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years. 

With its 8.6km fence keeping out introduced mammalian predators, birds such as the tui, kaka and kereru, once extremely rare in the region, are all now common sights around central Wellington. Other vulnerable native species such as tieke, hihi, little spotted kiwi, and tuatara remain thriving safely in the sanctuary.

With everything in ZEALANDIA living wild, your nature-guru guides will use their knowledge of birdsong, habitats, and local flora to track down even the rarest of animals.

Explore the sanctuary by torchlight as your guide leads you in search of some of the more distinctive sights and sounds of New Zealand’s native forest. Experience many of the rare and endangered species and see those which only come out at night – such as weta, glow worms, and tuatara.

You may see some of the 150 little spotted kiwi who call ZEALANDIA home – sightings of kiwi are common on these tours (about 80%), but are not guaranteed. Gain insights into New Zealand’s natural history and the significance of the unique species within Maori culture. The tour will end with a replenishing cup of hot kawakawa (bushman’s tea) in the Visitors Centre. 

Operates:
Nightly
Departing at dusk (2.5 hours in length)

Need to Know:
Tours operate in most weather conditions, so please dress to the conditions and wear comfortable shoes. Special requirements for mobility or accessibility can be catered to when disclosed at time of booking. Max 12 people per tour. Minimum age is 12 years old. Tours take place on a range of tracks including some steep slopes and steps.

Upgrades:
Private tour available.

Optional Day Tour (not included) There & Back Again at Weta Workshop

Get ready to let your imagination run wild as you explore filmmaking up close in the world of Weta Workshop with a guided round trip tour from downtown Wellington.

Weta Workshop is home to a community of artisans who’ve brought life to such films as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies, King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, and many others. Weta Workshop is your gateway to filmmaking creativity as you learn about the making of movie effects, from armor to weapons, creatures to costumes, make-up to miniatures, and more!

Journey from downtown to Weta Workshop in your dedicated shuttle. Your friendly driver will point out iconic landmarks along the way.

Arrive at Weta Workshop for a guided tour of this famous special effect workshop. From The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to Avatar and District 9, learn about props, costumes and creatures created for your favorite films. Interact with cool stuff from the creative departments and catch an artist at work.

Discover the filmmaking technique of miniature effects and learn how they are built for hit TV and film productions. Wander through monumental miniatures from Thunderbirds Are Go and see an entire island, cityscape, and mansion fit under one roof!

Explore the retail shop full of collectibles, books, swords, games, merchandise and more, and look through the mini museum.

Operates:
Daily, except Christmas Day 8:45am-5:30pm

Includes:
– Return Transfers from Wellington Visitor Info Centre
– 90-minute Weta Workshop Experience
– Gift bag

Need to Know:
Photography is strictly prohibited whilst in tour spaces.

Upgrades:
Offered as a private tour. Can add lunch to your tour.

(Day 12) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Wellington to Christchurch

Travel within New Zealand by domestic air from Wellington to Christchurch (South Island).

(Days 12 to 23) - 12 Day Car Rental, for Christchurch to Auckland

Discover New Zealand as you travel by rental car for twelve days.

Take the opportunity to explore parts of New Zealand at your own pace by car. Please bring a valid American driver’s license with you and be aware that in New Zealand people drive on the left hand side of the road.

*Upgrade available to include GPS navigation system (additional cost).

Base rate only paid by About Australia. Insurance, Premium Location Surcharge, Fuel and Fees to driver’s credit card.

(Days 12 to 14) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Christchurch

Travel to your accommodation in Christchurch, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Your 4 Star vacation accommodation in Christchurch, located on New Zealand’s South Island, offers a stylish boutique hotel, just metres from Cathedral Square, major business houses, convention facilities and prime attractions. The city, also known as the “Garden City” offers many opportunities to either rest from your travel or explore the city. Consider traveling to Arthur’s Pass National Park, which has an incredible diversity of flora and landscape. Experience a breathtaking journey aboard the TranzAlpine Train winding its way through New Zealand’s magnificent Waimakariri Gorge.

(Day 13) - Free Day to Explore Christchurch

Spend a day to relax or explore diverse Christchurch.

Christchurch is a beautiful lifestyle city, set on the expansive Canterbury Plains between the wide sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean, the spectacular snow-capped Southern Alps and the volcanic hills of Banks Peninsula. The city is interwoven by two rivers linking parks, gardens and avenues.

Browse the galleries and weekend markets. Savour local cuisine and award-winning wines and beers at the myriad of bars, cafes, restaurants and wineries.

Photo Credit: Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Discover Christchurch on a Double Decker

Discover Christchurch on New Zealand’s Only Top Double Decker Day Tour!

This tour takes place on a 1960’s London Open Top Double Decker bus for a fun and informative tour of Christchurch. Learn about Christchurch’s fascinating history from the pioneering days through to modern day times and learn how Christchurch is recovering from the devastating February 22 earthquake which has now become a major event in New Zealand’s history.

On tour, you will view some of the areas affected by the earthquakes, see how Christchurch is preserving some of its iconic heritage buildings and hear about the exciting vision to rebuild and restore the inner city.

Your experience includes a 1 hour Tour around central Christchurch on New Zealand’s only Open Top Double Decker and a 2 hour Tour on a closed top Double Decker visiting places of interest in greater Christchurch.

Open Top Bus highlights: Hagley Park and Antigua; Boatsheds; Botanic Gardens and The River Avon; Canterbury Museum and Arts Centre; Christchurch Art Gallery; Provincial Chambers; Catholic Basilica; Bridge of Remembrance and Friendship Corner; Cashel St ReStart Shipping Container Mall; Christchurch Cathedral and new Cardboard Cathedral; Art Deco New Regent Street; AMI Stadium and much, much more!

Closed Top Bus highlights: Picturesque Seaside Sumner – Visit the quaint seaside village of Sumner, here you will have time to explore the beach while taking in the beautiful views of the sea towards the Southern Alps. Port Hills/Sign of the Takahe – Travel up the Port Hills to the sign of the Takahe for breathtaking views overlooking Christchurch City, the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps. Mona Vale Gardens – At Mona Vale you will enjoy a casual stroll through one of Christchurch’s most famous and spectacular gardens.

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Optional Day Tour (Not Included), Christchurch Tramway Dinner

Experience the luxury of our air-conditioned, colonial style dining tram and be treated to the finest service, cuisine and beverages New Zealand has to offer.

Incorporate fabulous dining with a sightseeing tour showcasing Christchurch’s inner city vibrancy and heritage – truly a mix of the old and the new. The Christchurch Tramway Restaurant dinner tour is the only Restaurant Tram in New Zealand and a unique activity not to be missed.

The Tram Restaurant is not suitable for children under 10 years of age.

Departs daily at 7pm. Customers must arrive at the departure point by 6.50pm.

(Day 14) - Self Drive from Christchurch to Mt. Cook

Today enjoy your self-drive from Christchurch to Mt.Cook

Drive inland through beautiful rural townships of Ashburton, Geraldine and Fairlie. Pass Burkes Pass to Lake Tekapo. A stop at the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd is popular. Continue to Mt Cook and enjoy the views of the surrounding Southern Alps. An optional scenic flight or a helicopter flight onto a glacier is available (own expense, subject to weather conditions). When you reach magnificent Mt. Cook, the country’s highest peak, skirt Lake Pukaki to view more of the glacial grandeur of the Southern Alps.

332 km / 206 miles Driving: Approx 4hours 50minutes

(Days 14 to 15) - 1 Night Accommodation in Mt Cook

Travel to your accommodation in Mount Cook, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Mt Cook National Park is a World Heritage-listed area and is home to Australasia’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook Mackenzie – New Zealand’s treasure highland. Clear starry nights, brilliant sunny days, remarkable turquoise blue lakes, valleys of emerald green, snow-capped mountains and glaciers all contribute to a truly breathtaking experience. The Mackenzie Country landscape is spotted with glacial lakes and the bold man-made canal system which delivers hydro-generated energy to the cities and towns of New Zealand. Scenic flights from Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook afford breathtaking views over the Southern Alps and countryside, with ski-plane landings on the Tasman Glacier providing an unforgettable experience. All ski options are available, including heli-skiing and ski touring, and guides are available for climbing, tramping, snowboarding and glaciers exploration. Other activities include: golf, cycling, horse riding, hunting, fishing, boating, kayaking, mountaineering, heli-biking, bird watching, farm visits, garden tours, star gazing and more. Or maybe you’d just prefer a quiet place to sit and enjoy the view.

Photo Credit: Tourism NZ

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Mt Cook Ultimate Experience (55 Min)

Based at Mt Cook airport, this tour offers spectacular scenic flights throughout the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. This experience is privileged to be able to land at a number of locations on the Tasman glacier and throughout the National Park. Join on a trip of a lifetime!

This flight is the ultimate way to view Aoraki/ Mt Cook and the spectacular surrounding National Park. Flying around the top of Aoraki Mt Cook viewing the unbelievable scenery that unfolds from the top of New Zealand’s highest peak. Combine this with landing on the Tasman Glacier and experiencing the -natural silence- of this very special place with so much to offer, hanging glaciers, rivers of ice and views of the incredible West Coast and Tasman Sea. Flying over the calved icebergs of the Tasman Terminal Lake on your return flight you will have experienced Aoraki Mt Cook at its finest. Doesn’t get any better than this!

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Tasman Glacier Experience

Tasman Glacier terminal lake and its icebergs experience

An amazing encounter with New Zealand’s largest glacier, the Tasman Glacier. Explore and learn about the ever-changing glacial landscape as you journey across the terminal lake in our custom-built boats with your experienced guides. Icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the face of the glacier into the rapidly growing lake. Lateral moraines rear up almost 200m to remind us of the scale and greatness that the glacier has reached in previous times.
With the effects of global warming and other climatic processes taking their toll on New Zealand glaciers, their retreat is imminent. Now approximately 27km long and 600m deep, the Tasman Glacier is melting and calving at an exponentially increasing rate. In recent years the Tasman Glacier has changed from a ‘melting’ to a ‘calving and melting’ terminus, resulting in a terminal lake that is rapidly increasing in size.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Big Sky Stargazing

Mt. Cook Stargazing.

The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is a “gold-rated’ reserve, meaning the darkness of our night skies is almost unbeatable!

Receive an introduction to the spectacular southern night sky with our informative astronomy guides. Using the naked eye, high powered binoculars and state-of-the-art telescopes, you will tour the Milky Way and beyond. Unleash your imagination as you explore our neighborhood in the universe including the Southern Cross, star clusters, planets, moons and distant galaxies.

(Day 15) - Self-Drive from Mt. Cook to Queenstown

Today enjoy your drive from Mt. Cook to Queenstown.

Snow capped mountains, lush greenery and piercing blue waters set the backdrop for the drive. Take advantage of those views and stop on the way to soak up the beautiful surroundings.

(3.5 hours)

(Days 15 to 17) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Queenstown

Travel to your accommodation in Queenstown, New Zealand where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Enjoy your stay at this stunning four star resort style accomodation where every room has been thoughtfully designed to take in Queenstown’s serene surroundings. Offering panoramic lake and mountain views the resorts onsite facilities include a suauna to soothe aching muscles after a full day of activities, a gymnasium, landscaped landscaped courtyard with BBQ facilities, underground car parking, complimentary city shuttle bus service and a guest laundry service. There’s also the convenience of a tour desk for booking local attractions.

*Ask your destination specialist about upgrading to a self contained apartment. Many of the spacious apartments boast kitchen and laundry facilities, gas fireplaces and open onto balconies with panoramic lake and mountain views.

(Day 16) - Free Day to Explore Queenstown

Spend a day to relax or explore dynamic Queenstown.

This region is renowned for its incedible adventure activities and spectacular outdoor terrain. You could try skiing, snowboarding, bungy jumping, paragliding, jetboating, sky diving and more! Or, if you want something a little more relaxed, you can choose from numerous family activities, nature experiences, tours and beauty spas. One hundred and forty years after our establishment as a gold mining camp, central Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath majestic mountains. There’s a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you’ll find a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Queenstown Highlights - Half Day

There’s so much to do in Queenstown it’s hard to know where to start. See the area in comfort and style with this half-day chauffeured tour showing the highlights of Queenstown.

Your fun-filled morning in Queenstown begins with a visit to Arrowtown, a charming town founded during the 1860s gold rush. Your knowledgeable guide will share fascinating stories about the town’s rich past. Then, you’ll watch bungy jumpers at the Kawarau Bridge, followed by a visit to a top winery to sample local wines with stunning lake and mountain views. The tour ends with a visit to iconic Lord of the Rings filming locations, providing plenty of opportunities to take in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds Queenstown. With an educated guide and a small group, this fun-filled morning is a memorable experience for the whole family.

Operates
On Request
Departs 9:30am, Returns 12:30pm (approx.)
Tour does not operate Christmas, December 26th, New Year’s Day, January 2nd, Good Friday, and Easter Monday

Includes
– Transfers to and from your hotel
– City tour in a premium sedan
– Local driver commentary

Need to Know
Please bring a camera and umbrella if it is raining. Please wear weather appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes.

Upgrades
Limousine tours available

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Gondola Ride

One of the first sights to captivate visitors to Queenstown is the distinctive outline of the Skyline complex high above town.

Located an easy 5 minute walk from central Queenstown and exclusively accessed by scenic gondola, Skyline Gondola, Restaurant & Luge is a must-see attraction during your visit to Queenstown. The best views in the region are found here, spread out in a spectacular 220 degree panorama, with breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkable mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. It’s truly magnificent and awe-inspiring!

Of course there’s more to do than just admire the view! For an additional cost you can:

  • Enjoy a dinner or relax in the bar in the Skyline Stratosfare Restaurant. Casual dining is also available during the day in the Cafe.
  • Thrill seekers can hurtle down the winding downhill Skyline Luge. Purpose built Luge carts put you in complete control as you take on a half-mile of banked corners, tunnels and dippers. Once you’ve conquered the course, hop on the chairlift and do it all again, and again, and again! Gentle and leisurely or steep and adventurous, you’ll be hooked.
  • Explore the southern night sky of Queenstown with a guided tour of the galaxy and learn about the stars, nebulae and planets that make up our solar system and beyond.

Ask your Destination Specialist about available combo packages to make your day at Skyline more enjoyable.

Various walking tracks can also be accessed from Skyline, from an easy 30 minute walk to a full day hike.

Operates
Daily. Stratosfare Restaurant closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Gondola rides operate from 9:30am to 8:30pm Monday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday. Gondola rides operate from 9:30am to 6:30pm Tuesday & Wednesday. Saturday operation hours are 8:50am to 8:30pm.

Includes
– Gondola ride

Need to Know
Gondola ride is approximately 7-10 minutes one way.

Upgrades
– Add a thrilling luge ride to your Gondola experience.
– Add the Taste of New Zealand buffet at Stratosfare Restaurant
– Stargazing evening event

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Half Day Tour, Safari of the Scenes - Glenorchy

Spend the day taking in the breathtaking sights of the land around Queenstown; with time spent at ‘Lord of the Rings’ filming locations.

For true Lord of the Rings fans, this is the trip where Nomad Safaris really does take you There and Back again. This scenic sightseeing tour includes recognizable filming locations and stunning natural scenery. The Glenorchy Safari of the Scenes takes you from Queenstown to Glenorchy stopping at breath-taking viewpoints. 

En route from Glenorchy follow the Dart River to the spectacular filming location for Isengard. This location offers stunning views of Mt Earnslaw. Heading to Paradise discover the location for the Forrest of Lothlorien. Leaving Glenorchy and heading towards Queenstown you will stop at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp. This tour also includes locations from X-men Origins: Wolverine, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Operates
Daily
Departs 8:00am or 1:30pm, Returns 12:30pm or 6:30pm (approx.)

Includes
– Return transfers from your hotel or information center
– Visit filming locations
– Beautiful views
– Gold pan in the Arrow River
– Safari vehicle is a 4WD Land Cruiser or Rover

Need to Know
You have the option of staying in or near the vehicle for any of the stops on the tour.

Upgrades
Private tours available
Full Day Lord of the Rings Tour

THE LORD OF THE RINGS and the characters, places, events and items contained therein, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Middle-Earth Enterprises, LLC and are used under license by Rings Scenic Tours Limited and Wingnut Film Productions Limited, which are independently owned and operated.

(Day 17) - Self Drive from Queenstown to Te Anau

The drive from Queenstown to Te Anau is about 2 hours long, but heavy traffic in the summer months can cause delays.

Follow the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Kingston with the Remarkables Mountain Range ever present on your left- hand side. Continue on to Lumsden. Todays drive is through undulating hill country dotted with sheep farms.

High country landscapes and trout fishing rivers are features of the road to Te Anau. The first part of your drive clings scenically to the edge of Lake Wakatipu. The Remarkables Mountain Range will be ever present on your left hand side. Continue on to Lumsden and go west to TeAnau.

Te Anau township sits on the shores of Lake Te Anau. From here, the delights of the Fiordland National Park are within easy reach, including the start of the Milford Track. Cruise on the lakes, walk the tracks and visit the Department of Conservation wildlife centre. The Te Ana-au Caves are an excellent adventure.

If you have time, there are quite a few great places to stop along the way. View our map for some ideas.

-One of the best hikes in Queenstown, the Wye Creek Track, takes about 4 hours for advanced hikers.
-A quick stop for a great photo can be found at Devil’s Staircase Lookout
-Grab a cup of coffee at Kingston Café Bar
-Check out the very cute Garston Hunny Shop
-See some art and have some great food at Five Rivers Café and Art Gallery. Plus there is an amazing view!

Click here to plan find travel times, roadwork information and road condition updates.

(Days 17 to 19) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Te Anau

Tucked away on the shores of New Zealand’s second largest lake, Te Anau is an inviting South Island town.

Te Anau is your gateway to the walking capital of the world. Discover the internationally renowned walks of the Milford Track,the Routeburn, Hollyford,Kepler Track and many more. Cruise the remote depths of Milford and Doubtful Sounds, visit the spectacular lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri, experience Te Anau’s magical glowworm caves. In Fiordland you can go hiking, caving, boating, diving, biking, play golf, go fly fishing, sky dive. Soar over the wilderness on a scenic flight, explore the water on a kayaking adventure, breathe in the scents of native forest on a guided walk .Cruise the beauty of Milford or Doubtful sounds or simply enjoy a round of golf.

Whatever your desire, whether it be leisure or activity you crave, there’s plenty to see and do.

*Optional Upgrade Available to Lakeside property (Pricing Upon Request)

Photo Credit: Destination Fiordland

(Day 18) - Free Day to Explore Te Anau

Relax or explore in and around Te Anau!

The attractive town of Te Anau lies nestled on the edge of this beautiful lake, with a spectacular backdrop of Mt Luxmore and the Murchison mountains.

Te Anau is the ‘Gateway to Fiordland’ being the closest town to Milford Sound, with a scenic 2½ hour drive. The proximity of 3 of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks places Te Anau firmly on the map as ‘The Walking Capital of the World’. Fiordland is home to The Milford Track, Kepler Track and Routeburn Track.

Photo Credit: Destination Fiordland

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Milford Sound from Te Anau - Full Day

From thundering waterfalls to sky-high mountains and lush rainforests, Milford has it all. Experience the spray of a waterfall as you cruise close to sheer rock faces. Informative, participative, and relaxed, this is the perfect way to experience Milford Sound to the fullest.

Enjoy a spectacular day in the Fiordland World Heritage Park including a cruise of the famous Milford Sound. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. The road to Milford Sound passes through rural towns and skirts around the shores of picturesque lakes backdropped with magnificent mountains. Enjoy some of the most stunning scenery to be found anywhere in the world including towering snow-capped peaks, magnificent rainforests and spectacular waterfalls. On arrival at Milford, board the luxury vessel for a two-and-a-half-hour cruise and view the famous Mitre Peak.

Cruise in style on board the newly refurbished Milford Haven. More than a boat, the Haven is a cruising bar and restaurant. Enhance your cruise with something from the café-style menu and pair it perfectly with a fresh craft beer or local wine (Own expense). The Milford Haven boasts a large rooftop deck with 360-degree views of the fiord. You can also choose to explore the fiord from the comfort of the cozy lounge, or there is a window seat for everyone in the café. Following the cruise, return to the Te Anau Visitor Centre.

Operates:
Daily
Departs 10:00am, Returns 4:45pm (approx.)

Includes:
– Return transfers from the Te Anau Visitor Centre
– Fjord cruise
– Complimentary on-board tea and coffee
– Insightful commentary

Need to Know:
Check in is 20 minutes before departure. Wear waterproof/warm clothing and non-slip shoes. Please bring sunglasses, sunscreen and camera.

(Day 19) - Self Drive from Te Anau to Bluff

Today enjoy your drive from Te Anau to Bluff.

Take a scenic 2.5 hour drive from Te Anau to Bluff. And remember if you are continuing your adventure on to Stewart Island, leave enough time to to catch the ferry in Bluff! Don’t worry, your rental car is also coming with you on the ferry.

(2.5 hours)

(Day 19) - Ferry Transfer, Bluff to Stewart Island

During the one-hour ferry crossing between Bluff and Stewart Island keep a look out for wildlife, including seals, dolphins and sea birds. The friendly staff provide informative commentaries and point out highlights.

Luggage restrictions 2 bags per person (1 stowed and 1 small carry-on). Additional baggage is by prior arrangment.

(Day 19) - Self Drive, Bluff to Stewart Island

Arrive in beautiful Bluff and make your way to the Stewart Island Ferry for a trip to New Zealand’s third largest island.

You’ll park your rental car (own expense) and board an express catamaran for a scenic cruise out to Stewart Island.

This off-the-beaten-path island is a 20 mile hop over the Foveaux Strait. Stewart Island is a nature lovers paradise with dense forest, beautiful sand beaches, untouched, rocky coastline and and haven for marine and bird wildlife.

If you’re in to a bit of tramping (that’s Kiwi for hiking!), an extensive network of trails holds plenty of great bush walking.

Photo: Real Journeys

(Days 19 to 21) - 2 Nights Accommodation on Stewart Island

Stewart Island is perfect for a day excursion or an extended stay.

With georgous bays, beautiful sand beaches and densely forested hills, Stewart Island has a combination of landscapes. Stewart Island has been named `The Home of the Kiwi.` It has the highest number of accessible species in New Zealand.In just one day, one can usually access over 30 species. Bonus sitings can be, Bottlenose Dolphin, Fur Seal, Sealion, the occasional Sea Elephant and whales. A visit to Stewart Island isn’t complete without a browse through the Rakiura Museum. The museum has a collection of items and photographs of Stewart Island`s history. For example the Maori settlement, muttonbirding, fishing, timber milling, mining, boat building, schools and churches.

An optional activity Helicopter ride is available on request, this is a great way to see the amazing scenery and the best locations the island has to offer (book in advance, or pay as you go subject to availabilty).

Your accommodation is located right in the centre of Halfmoon Bay within easy walking distance of all amenities: shops, restaurants, post office, gym, museum, information centre and booking office for local day tours and island activities.
Photo Credit: Gareth Eyres; Tourism New Zealand

(Day 20) - Day Tour, Walking Tour around Ulva Island

A 3 – 4 hour quided walk around Ulva Island; a unique experience, learning about native flora and fauna from a Maori and local Stewart Island perspective.

Located in Waka o te Wera or Paterson Inlet, with 11km of coastline, Ulva Island is a scenic gem of unsurpassed beauty; an open predator free bird sanctuary. Ulva Island is easily accessed by a short watertaxi ride across Paterson Inlet from Golden Bay. With easy walking tracks, we take time to enjoy and discover our luxuriant green mantle of podocarp forest. Ulva Island is rich with mosses, ferns, liverworts, filmy ferns and native orchids.

Our guides are experienced birding, wildlife and natural history specialists; they bring their love of this special Island to ensure our visitors receive a memorable experience. Discover our rare and endangered birds and plants at close quarters and take away the knowledge that you have glimpsed a part of a unique and primeval world.

You will encounter rare and endangered bird and plant species in this paradise for birds and bird lovers, only 266 hectares with great walking tracks, located in the southern-most island of New Zealand, Stewart Island.

(Day 21) - Ferry Transfer, Stewart Island to Bluff

During the one-hour ferry crossing between Stewart Island and Bluff keep a look out for wildlife, including seals, dolphins and sea birds. The friendly staff provide informative commentaries and point out highlights.

Luggage restrictions 2 bags per person (1 stowed and 1 small carry-on). Additional baggage is by prior arrangment.

Optional Evening Tour (Not Included) - Wild Kiwi Encounter

See endangered Kiwi in the wild on a 4 hour tour.

At dusk, depart Halfmoon Bay in a catamaran for a cruise across Paterson Inlet to Little Glory Cove. During the cruise pass Ulva Island (a predator-free sanctuary) and learn about Stewart Island’s rich history. Once at Little Glory Cove, disembark onto a wharf at the southern part of the peninsula known as The Neck.

The walk, led by your nature guide, is on a well-formed track across the peninsula, through spectacular coastal forest to a secluded sandy beach.

As dusk sets in and daylight diminishes, venture by torchlight through the native forest with the stars and forest night sounds around you. The walk will take about 45 minutes one-way and the track emerges on to Ocean Beach. This wide sandy beach is where kiwi are often found feeding among the grasses and seaweed.

Here in the darkness you will get to see the Southern brown kiwi (Rakiura Tokoeka) – often searching for food.

Afterwards retrace your steps through the forest to Little Glory Wharf for your catamaran ride back to Oban.

  • Scenic evening cruise across Paterson Inlet
  • Experienced nature guide
  • Guided walk (approx. 2 hours)
  • Complimentary tea & coffee on board
  • Small group – 8 per guide, max 16 per night
  • Departs: Stewart Island Experience, Main Wharf, Oban
  • Departure times: These vary each month, according to dusk times
  • Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
  • Suitable for all ages 15 years and over
  • 100% money back kiwi guarantee – any individual in the group who does NOT see a kiwi, we will refund 100% of the Wild Kiwi Encounter price.
(Day 21) - Self-drive from Bluff to Dunedin

Upon exiting the Scenic Ferry from Stewart Island, pick up your rental car in Bluff and continue your vacation by making your way to Dunedin.

The drive to Dunedin is the perfect way to take in sights of iconic New Zealand hills and lush farmland.

Pit-stop at Invercargill Brewery to pick up some local New Zealand brew to take to your accommodation in Dunedin. A tasty reminder of your drive through the Southern New Zealand tip.

Head north-east for a scenic route along Highway 90 through New Zealand’s Blue Mountains. This route offers up an amazing look at beautiful forest and the turquoise waters of the Clutha River. Beautiful native plants and bright yellow wildflowers line this pristine, hilly drive.

If you have a bit more time, first head east and bee-line for Caitlins Forest Park. This stunning park contains some of New Zealand’s best nature, wildlife and scenic places, including Whitehead Cliffs, Matai Falls and Nugget Point, featuring one of New Zealand’s oldest lighthouses.

If you’re craving a bite to eat, stop at Cafe 55 en route through Otago. This quirky coffee shop and diner serves local favorites, homemade pastries and strong coffee. The perfect stop to recharge and become one with the locals on your drive.

(3.5 hours)

Photo: Venture Southland

(Days 21 to 23) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Dunedin

Travel to your accommodation in Dunedin, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Welcome to Dunedin’s only garden hotel, located within two acres of beautifully kept garden, and just a six-minute drive from the city centre (or seven, in rush hour). Neighboring the Dunedin Botanic Garden, you will be a short stroll to Otago Museum and the University of Otago. Forsyth Barr Stadium is also within easy walking distance. The unique surroundings make for a truly relaxing place to stay, no matter how busy your visit might be.

(Day 22) - Free Day to Explore Dunedin

Rest, Relax or Explore Dunedin.

There is so much to do in Dunedin. Visit the city centre – which is shaped like an Octagon and see the 100 year old statue of poet Robbie Burns. Enjoy the architecture, especially the Old Railway Station a couple of blocks from the city centre. Dunedin Botanical Gardens – occupying over 123 acres in the north end of the city is an excellent place for a several-hour stroll.

Baldwin Street is located in Dunedin’s North East Valley suburb. According to the Guinness Book of Records it is the steepest street in the world. Take the ten minute walk to the top or drive up to enjoy the view looking down! There is a drinking fountain at the top. Don’t forget Larnach Castle, the only castle in New Zealand; it’s very pretty but technically only a manor house.

See the visitor’s centre in the Octagon for further information.

Photo Credit: Dunedin NZ

(Day 23) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Dunedin to Auckland

Travel by air today from Dunedin to Auckland, New Zealand.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Castle & Wildlife Tour - Half Day

Take part in a wonderful journey back in time with a visit to New Zealand’s castle, followed by a special wildlife cruise experience.

You will see the magnificent carved ceilings, antiques, and painstakingly restored original features of Larnach Castle. Hear the scandalous and tragic history of the original owner, William Larnach and climb the spiral staircase to the rooftop tower for stunning 360-degree views of the Otago Peninsula. Take a short walk around the beautiful gardens, recognized to be of international significance, before heading off on your exciting wildlife cruise.

The boat will travel around Taiaroa Head, home of the world’s only mainland nesting place of royal albatross. Watch as these huge birds glide in from the ocean and soar high above their hillside nests. You’ll cruise beneath a historic lighthouse, perched high above volcanic cliffs. Watch as fur seals play and swim near their breeding colonies below. Then it’s a short way out to sea where you will spot other species of albatross, cormorants, petrels and other rarely seen ocean birds. Occasionally you might spot blue penguins, dusky or hectors dolphins, or a large sea lion.

The day concludes with a relaxed drive back to the city, following the Otago Harbour along the Low Road. In the winter months you will cruise back to the city along Otago Harbour. Once back in the city, you will be dropped off at your accommodation.

Operates
Daily
April 1st – September 30th: Departs 11:30am, Returns 5:00pm (approx.)
October 1st – March 31st: Departs 10:30am, Returns 3:30pm (approx.)
Tour does not operate on Christmas and New Year’s Day

Includes
– Tour of Larnach Castle
– Wildlife cruise
– Pickup and drop off at accommodation

Need to Know
– Tours have limited availability. Please book early to avoid missing any requested dates
– Please pack a lunch and snacks
– Please bring a water bottle, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses
– Please wear weather appropriate clothing (lighter clothing in the summer months and heavier clothing in the winter months)
– It is recommended that participants have at least a medium level of fitness for the castle tour
– Tour may be changed or cancelled due to weather or any unforeseen circumstances

Upgrades
– Include a visit to the Penguin Place Conservation Reserve (additional cost applies)

(Day 23) - International Flight, Auckland to Los Angeles

Today depart Auckland and fly to the USA. Enjoy an in-flight dinner and movie with arrival in the USA. Note: you will be traveling back across the International Date Line. Gain that day back you lost on the way over, you actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Auckland.

Note: Flight may include a stop over in Australia.

(Day 23) - Los Angeles to Hometown (Please check quote for inclusion)

Travel by domestic air to your destination.

If you request US domestic air pricing, this inclusion will be reflected in your quote.

 
Detailed Pricing
Approximate Pricing Double Occupancy Sole Occupancy Permitted USA Departure Dates & Fare Rules
Land Content Only $4,704 $7,421 International return flights from the USA are not included. Please see detailed itinerary (above) for more information on inclusions. Itinerary can commence any day (subject to availability).
Special (Economy Class) $6,122 $8,839 Feb 17 2024 - Nov 28 2024
USA Departures: 17FEB - 28JUN; 24JUL-17SEP or 16OCT-28NOV24. Expires 11 APR 24
International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable, Non-Changeable. Other Dates may also apply. For details phone Toll-Free: (888)359 2877
Basic (Economy Class) $6,795 $9,512 Basic: May 1 - Jun 8 & Jul 24 - Sep 21, 2022. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability.
Shoulder (Economy Class) $7,002 $9,719 Shoulder: Feb 1 - Apr 30, Jun 9 - Jul 23 & Sep 22 - Dec 8, 2022. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability.
Peak (Economy Class) $7,519 $10,236 Peak: Dec 9, 2022 - Jan 31, 2023. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.
Premium (Economy Class) $9,772 $12,488 Premium Economy Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Change and Cancellation Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.

Packages by About New Zealand, a subsidiary of About Australia, a fully bonded and ARC Accredited travel company.