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- Accommodation - Auckland (1 Night), Rotorua (2), Napier (1), Wairapa (1), Wellington (1), Nelson (2), Punakaiki (1), Franz Josef (1), Queenstown (2), Mt. Cook (1), Christchurch (1)
- US Domestic Flights - Not included (as per your own arrangements)
- International Flights - Los Angeles to Auckland (Return) (Not included, but can be included upon request)
- New Zealand Domestic Flights - Christchurch to Auckland
- Day Tours - Auckland: Waitomo Glow Worm Caves; Rotorua: Te Puia Maori Institute & Geothermal Reserve; Wellington: Ferry Ride from Wellington to Picton; Queenstown: Gondola Ride
- Car Rental: 6 Days Car Rental, Pick up in Auckland, drop off in Wellington; 8 Days Car Rental, Pick up in Picton, drop off in Christchurch
- Rental Car (Base rate only) does not include taxes, insurance, fuel levies, drop off fees, or environmental fees.
- All Other Day Tours are Optional and not included
- Visa only required for some South Pacific countries; $15 visa fee per person where applicable.
- 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.
16 Days / 14 Nights – New Zealand
Arrive in Auckland, and enjoy the city’s blend of landscape, Polynesian culture, glistening harbours and modern city environment creates an unbelievable lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world. Not only is Auckland close to the beaches but it is also close to over twelve different Islands. There are 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands in the Auckland region. It is the largest city in New Zealand claiming one third of the entire population of the country.
Next is Rotorua, an exciting city with a vast history, tradition and culture. It is surrounded by volcanoes, lakes, parks and is a great place to go hiking or to view native birds and animals. The surrounding areas are a geothermal wonderland, with geysers, boiling mud pools, and steaming craters. Rotorua is also a showcase of Maori cultural activities and a place of exceptional natural beauty.
Napier inner city is one of the country’s most exciting city centres to explore. The layout is compact and very close in proximity to the sea and the picturesque seafront walkway. The palm tree lined boulevards and strip malls are home to an inviting mix of stylish and artistic specialty boutiques sprinkled amongst national chain stores. Many of the shops are locally owned and operated and the products on offer are often not found in other centres. The city is also recognised for its appealing, vibrant alfresco caf? scene. Savour the aroma and taste of freshly ground coffee beans while admiring the internationally renowned and impressive Art Deco architecture on surrounding buildings.
Wairarapa is a region of big skies, wide valleys and small towns full of character. The coastline is dramatic and comes complete with two lighthouses! With three major forest parks Wairarapa offers plenty of options for outdoor adventure. Enjoy the great caf?s, restaurants, olive groves and vineyards all within an hour’s drive from Wellington.
Travel to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, also known as the arts and culture capital. It has a special blend of heritage buildings, museums and galleries, fine food and live entertainment. The central city is nestled between a beautiful harbour and forested hills. Wildlife sanctuaries, islands, seaside villages, ocean beaches and regional parks provide huge scope for outdoor fun.
Nelson is a lifestyle; that’s the best way to describe it. Sitting at the top north-west corner of the South Island, it’s the sunniest region in New Zealand with a geography which captures everything from the long golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains. Perhaps it’s the sun, perhaps it’s the location, but Nelson has long been a magnet for creative people. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, traditional, contemporary and Maori. Visit their studios and find a unique piece to take home with you.
The west coast settlement of Punakaiki is on the doorstep of the Paparoa National Park, which is full of secret caves, disappearing streams and river gorges. Punakaiki is also the closest population centre to the amazing Pancake Rocks and accompanying blowholes.
Franz Josef is a small town in the West Coast region of the South Island of New Zealand. The town is named after the Franz Josef Glacier – itself named by Julius von Haast in honour of the Emperor of Austria Franz Josef I of Austria. The glacier’s terminal face is 5km from the town and its accessibility makes it a major tourist attraction and the reason many people visit Franz Josef. The town has a population of about 320 people and is 20 minutes walk from the Westland National Park.
Then to Queenstown, which is known as the Adventure Capital of the World. A reputation earned through the actions of a number of locally residing thrill seekers who have developed several unbelievable, adrenaline stirring, sanity-reducing adventures in a wildly exciting environment. Queenstown has, over the years, quietly expanded into all sorts of attractions, including new wineries, art galleries, and challenging golf courses.
Aoraki Mount Cook is New Zealand’s highest mountain, with a height of 3,754 metres. At the foot of the mountain sits the village of Mount Cook – a comfortable haven in one of the most unforgiving parts of New Zealand. On every side, the Southern Alps scrape the sky. There are various alpine walks beginning near the village, all about three hours return.
Christchurch is next, known as the “Garden City”, located on the east coast of the South Island. Christchurch – just like the rest of New Zealand – is a city of contrasts. It is a place where its residents continue to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment world-renowned for its beauty. A growing cosmopolitan ambience also adds a touch of excitement without overt flashiness. Everywhere there is an understated elegance that speaks of times gone by and promises a future where anything is possible.
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 airlines at Check-in that they have all your Frequent Flyer information on record.
Discover New Zealand as you travel by rental car for six 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.
Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.
Auckland is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world– renowned as that ‘City Of Sails.’ Dramatic landscapes and seascapes provide a diverse playground in which a compelling range of attractions are available. Visitors come to enjoy an array of exciting entertainment, leisure, culture and dining possibilities in New Zealand’s largest city.
Today Self Drive from Auckland to Rotorua (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.
Take a journey into the heart of the Central North Island, visiting scenic highlights like the Waitomo Caves and the Hobbiton Movie Set on a full day sightseeing tour from Auckland.
Leaving Auckland in the morning, travel by deluxe coach through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. Your experienced local driver guide will inform and entertain you, pointing out sites of interest including Rangiriri, the site of a major battle between British forces and local Maori in 1863.
In Waitomo, enjoy a 45-minute guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Explore the underground caverns and learn how stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone structures were formed over millions of years. The Glowworm Grotto is a magical way to end the cave tour, as you travel by boat through a cavern lit up by thousands of twinkling glowworms.
Enjoy a delicious picnic-style lunch (vegetarian and other dietary options available on request) en route to Rotorua, where you will transfer onto the Hobbiton Movie Set coach tour and enjoy a scenic drive across the Kaimai Ranges to Matamata, a rural Kiwi town well-known for its thoroughbred industry and dairy farming. Just outside the township is the picturesque 1,250 acre farm where scenes from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies were filmed. The charming countryside of The Shire, as described in JRR Tolkien’s books, was carefully created on this working sheep and beef farm. The home of the heroic hobbits Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin has been preserved since filming wrapped, and now draws visitors from around the world.
On your guided Hobbiton Tour you will see where the movie magic was created. You’ll get the chance to see Hobbit holes, the Mill, the Green Dragon Inn and many other structures created for the films, and learn how farmland was transformed into a living, breathing piece of Middle-Earth. After your movie set tour, spend some free time in Matamata, before boarding your coach for the return journey to Auckland.
Travel to your accommodation in Rotorua, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.
Located on the shores of Lake Rotorua your accommodation is only a short walk to the city centre, convention centre, cafes and restaurants. Here in the heartland of New Zealand’s Maori culture you’ll experience an enveloping warmth, proud spirit, deep sense of history and a quick humour. Picturesque cobbled and lantern lined streetways and striking Tudor architecture celebrates New Zealand’s significant colonial history. Travel the region by mountain bike or participate in local bush walks.
Upgrade Available (extra cost):
Lake View Room
At this maori tourist attraction step into an ancient valley where geysers, mud pools and boiling waters still play after 40,000 years.
As direct descendents, your Maori guides will offer insight into their heritage, pride and values, that no other tour in New Zealand can match. Your guide will re-tell stories that have been handed down for generations while you experience a visual gallery of the myths and legends of the region. Make your way to the carving school where you are able to see and speak with the Maori students at work.
As the Kiwi bird has been at home in New Zealand for over 70 million years it is a fortunate experience to visit the specially designed Kiwi House, which takes part in the successful national breeding program, whilst listening to other song birds of the valley. Next you will be transported back to pre-European times as you walk through the recreation of a typical Maori village amoung a forest setting including the weaving house, sleeping and food storage houses, weapons and implements necessary to pre-European life. Lastly, enjoy a raw and powerful journey into a thermal wonderland some 40,000 years old as mud pools, hissing steam and geysers pay tribute to Mother Nature.
This morning self 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)
Enjoy your stay in the Wine Region of South New Zealand for 1 night.
A great climate with day upon day of sunshine makes Napier a year-round tourist destination and you will quickly feel relaxed as you wander through the streets amongst the splendour of the Art Deco buildings. Stop by the National Aquarium and get splashed by the dolphins and seals at Marineland of New Zealand. Visit one of the many wineries on a wine tour. Or choose from one of the many other activities in Napier – from a early morning hot air balloon adventure to an art deco walk.
Your vacation accommodation is within strolling distance of the CBD, shopping area and all the attractions Marine Parade has to offer. The Hawkes Bay Wineries are just a short drive away. Your accommodation offers an internet café, fitness centre, free car parking, guest laundry and comfortable units with a double bed with single bed, Sky TV, ceiling fan, hairdryer and iron & ironing board. Coffee and tea making facilities are available in some rooms. (Please ask about upgrades to a King or Queen bed room. These are available at an additional cost)
Photo Credit: Chris McLennan; Tourism New Zealand
Travel to your accommodation in Wairarapa, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for one night.
Nestled amid the native bush, vineyards, mountains, beaches and rural grasslands of the vibrant Wairarapa region is a place where a unique experience awaits… enjoy a true escape at one of Wairarapa’s most luxurious hotels. The Copthorne Hotel and Resort Solway Park is set in 24 acres of landscaped parklands, native bush and fragrant gardens, on the outskirts of Masterton, Wairarapa’s largest town.
Enjoy a scenic self-drive from Wairarapa to Wellington.
Travel to your accommodation in Wellington, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.
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
Visit Parliament to discover our buildings and heritage, to see what happens when the House sits, and to learn about New Zealand’s democratic processes. Whether you visit in person in Wellington or take a virtual tour, you can visit Parliament for free.
Free, daily, one-hour guided tours of Parliament begin on the hour at the Visitor Centre in the foyer of the Beehive (Executive Wing). Take a tour with one of our trained guides to visit key parts of Parliament’s buildings and learn about our parliamentary processes.
The Stagecoach City Circular bus runs at regular intervals, seven days a week. This bus stops close to the lower gates of Parliament grounds.
It is easy to find Parliament on foot from the main bus depot – just walk towards the city centre from the bus depot and you will see Parliament Buildings immediately ahead of you.
Parliament grounds are close to nearby Thorndon and most of the inner city. To find the Visitor Centre, walk across Parliament grounds towards the main Parliament entrance and follow the signs.
There’s a wide range of information about Parliament available at the Visitor Centre. If you want to visit the public galleries to watch the House in session, ask for directions from the Visitor Centre staff. We suggest you check the House sitting programme first to make sure that the House is sitting at the time of your visit.
Tour Times: Monday to Friday 10:00am-4:00pm; Saturday and most public holidays 10:00am-3:00pm; Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm (Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, 2nd January, Waitangi Day (February 6th), Good Friday.) Additional tours are offered during school holidays and other busy periods. Tour times are occasionally subject to change.
The Wellington Cable Car is one of Wellington’s oldest & most popular tourist attractions.
The cars run from Lambton Quay in the heart of the central business district and within 5 minutes whisk you from under the corporate towers of The Terrace past Kelburn Park and Victoria University to the top entrance of the Wellington Botanic Gardens with its magnificent lookout over the City and harbour – Te Whanganui-a-Tara (The Great Harbour of Tara).
Other attractions immediately accessible from the top station are the award winning Cable Car museum situated in the old cable car winding room and the newly opened Carter Observatory. For those wishing to explore further, Kelburn village with its shops and Cafes is a short walk and an ideal stopping off point on your way to Zealandia. There are also easy downhill walks through the Botanic Gardens to Thorndon or back to Lambton Quay via the historic Bolton Street Cemetery and the Beehive.
A fully escorted tour of Wellington’s Cable Car and Museums is available. First stop the Museum of Wellington for the inside story on Wellington’s intruiging past. A short escorted walk along Grey Street then all aboard the Wellington Cable Car…to the top for the best views in Wellington. Learn more about these ‘Relentless red rattlers’ at the Cable Car Museum. The tour ends with tea/coffee and a homemade muffin at the Skyline Restaurant with its commanding views of the city. Take time to explore Kelburn Village or the Botanic Gardens before returning to Lambton Quay on the Cable Car.
Includes return trip on the Cable Car, guided tours and refreshments.
Departs from the Museum of Wellington at 10:00am. (Other times by arrangement) duration up to 2 1/2 hours. Bookings by 5:00pm the day before. Please make your bookings at the Museum of Wellington or at Wellington I-Site corner Victoria & Wakefield Streets Civic Square.
The Cable Cars run every 10-minutes; 7:00am to 9:00pm on Monday; 7:00am to 10:00pm on Tuesday through Friday; 8:30am to 10:00pm on Saturday and 9:00am to 9:00pm on Sunday & Public Holidays (Closed Christmas Day)
Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand
Explore New Zealand’s nature, art, history, and cultural heritage at Te Papa.
The tiny Colonial Museum opened behind Parliament Buildings shortly after Parliament moved to Wellington in 1865. Te Papa is situated in Cable Street on Wellington’s waterfront.
First-time visitors, don’t miss our exhibition highlights from the story of Maori in New Zealand to the interactive exhibition OurSpace. Te Papa’s user-generated interactive exhibition – contribute your photos and videos from home and, once here, get creative on our interactive wall.
Explore New Zealand’s culture and geography with the interactive map and adrenalin-pumping High Ride. Plus climb aboard a submarine simulator to explore a virtual undersea volcano. Discover the world of Maori as tangata whenua – the first settlers of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Shake things up in the Earthquake House! Discover the powerful geological forces that shape New Zealand’s landscape. See the heaviest colossal squid ever caught and the only complete one on display in the world.
Build a virtual squid from home and then come and find it in exhibition.
From kiwi to kauri, explore the variety of New Zealand’s animals and plants. Enter a junk shop that transports you through 100 years of New Zealand history on film. Visit the unique Marae (communal meeting place), designed and created by leading Maori artists. The Marae embodies the bicultural partnership at the heart of Te Papa.
For private study and research purposes only, you can photograph, film, or video: people in the Museum, general Museum scenes, the building itself. However, you must not sell or publicly display these images, for example, on the internet.
You are not allowed to directly photograph, film, video, or otherwise copy any works on display in the Museum, including: display cases, paintings, objects, taonga (Maori cultural treasures). In some exhibitions, photography, filming, and videoing are completely prohibited. A sign at the exhibition entrance will make this clear.
With helpful Hosts, cafes and shops, a library, and an onsite multimedia database, Te Papa looks after you well. Access and help for people with disabilities is provided, plus rooms for parents with young children.
Te Papa offers a range of tours, including daily tours and private group tours. We also provide a visitor booklet and an audio guide.
Free entry, though charges apply to some short-term exhibitions and activities. Open every day of the year, including public holidays. Hours: 10:00am-6:00pm Friday-Wednesday and 10:00am-9:00pm on Thursdays.
Zealandia: The Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Experience is a protected natural area where the bio-diversity of a square mile of forest is being restored.
Zealandia is a world-first conservation attraction where a unique protected natural area is being patiently restored. Some of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered wildlife has been released inside the sanctuary like the little spotted kiwi, tuatara, saddleback, stitchbird and kaka.
Stroll leisurely around natural bush, lakes and historical buildings at your own pace or book a guided tour during the day or night. You can walk across a unique historic dam, see a 19th century goldmine carved deep into the hillside, take a scenic ride on an electric boat or picnic on the lawns by the wetlands. All only 2.5 kilometres from Parliament Buildings.
The Visitor Centre is at the end of Waiapu Road, Karori (first left after the Karori tunnel).
Open Daily 10am – 5pm
Tours Are Not Included (Pay As You Go).
The 92 km journey across Cook Strait between Wellington (North Island) and Picton (South Island) takes only 3 hours and has been described as “one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world”.
The vessel offers a stunning view of the South Island’s Kaikoura ranges and the opportunity to spot dolphins and sea birds.
In addition to the beautiful views the vessel offers Comfortable Passenger Lounges, Food Court, Bar, Coffee Counter, Children’s Area, Nursery, Outdoor Observation Decks, Workstations, Movie Theatre and Souvenirs Shop.
Upgrade available to Premium Plus Lounge, with complimentary Wi-Fi, Food and Beverages, available.
Discover New Zealand as you travel by rental car for eight 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.
Drive time: Approx. 1 hour 45 minutes
Upon exiting the Interislander Ferry, depart Picton for Nelson.
The drive to Nelson first takes you to the town of Havelock, which is known as the Green Shell Mussel Capital of the World. Nearby Canvastown is a place to explore old gold mining fields—thousands tried to get rich here in the 1860s. At Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve you can enjoy a bush walk or a swim, depending on the time of the year. And if you’d like a glimpse of local life in 1890, Rai Valley has a beautifully preserved cottage museum.
Travel to your accommodation in Nelson, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.
Located just minutes away from the heart of Nelson, with views stretching across the Waimea Inlet to the mountains of Kahurangi National Park, this accommodation is the perfect retreat.
What’s more, once you arrive you won’t need to go far, as the resort provides all the comforts and conveniences you could hope for.
There’s plenty on offer, including award winning restaurant, health and beauty spa, pool, gym, purpose built conference facilities and even a craftsman jeweller and a hairdressing salon onsite.
This hotel can accommodate up to 280 guests, with 20 hotel rooms, 42 one-bedroom cottages and 38 two-bedroom cottages.
Photo Credit: Nelson Tasman Tourism
Spend a day to relax or explore the “lifestyle” of Nelson, New Zealand
Perhaps it’s the sun, perhaps it’s the location, but Nelson has long been a magnet for creative people. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, traditional, contemporary and Maori. Visit their studios and find a unique piece to take home with you.
Walk the sun drenched sands of Golden Bay or head inland to Takaka and see the impossibly clear waters of New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs. Walk the Abel Tasman track – it’s a three to five day walk – or, for a different view, take a sea kayaking tour around the coast and see a seal colony and little blue penguins bobbing in the water.
Or just relax. Sit in the sun, sip a wine from one of the local vineyards, and dine on the famous Nelson Bay scallops.
Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand
Sit back and relax as we depart from picturesque Kaiteriteri Beach on a scenic cruise into the majestic Abel Tasman National Park.
View world-famous Split Apple Rock, fur seals, golden sands and the crystal-clear waters of Torrent, Bark, Tonga, Awaroa and Totaranui Beaches before you return to Kaiteriteri. A great 3 to 4-hour cruise for all ages.
Upon the conclusion of your cruise, you will arrive back into Kaiteriteri where you can take in all this attractive beach town has to offer on your 4-hour self-guided exploration. You may choose to relax and take a leisurely walk on the beautiful golden sand beach as you gaze out onto the clear blue-green water. Grab some souvenirs and keepsakes from the quaint shops and enjoy a delicious lunch, own expense, at one of the restaurants or cafes specializing in fresh seafood.
This trip includes a 4-hour self-guided scenic tour of Kaiteriteri, return transfers from Nelson to Kaiteriteri and round-trip cruise from Kaiteriteri to Totaranui with no Walking!
Cruise the spectacular granite coastline to the golden beaches of the Marine Reserve.
Land at Tonga Quarry and walk 15 minutes to the golden expanse of Onetahuti Beach where your Guide will introduce you to your stable, double kayak with full instructions and safety brief. Then it’s on to the water to enjoy exploring some of the best sea kayaking territory on the Abel Tasman coast.
Your Guide will design each day to suit, depending on tides, weather conditions, your interests and abilities. Weather permitting, paddle out to view the antics at the Seal Colony on Tonga Island. Watch out for sea birds and you could see a Little Blue Penguin. Return to the mainland and relax on a golden sand beach, take a short bush or beach walk (optional) before paddling south to Bark Bay. (Approximately 2.5 hours paddling)
In the summer months (8 Oct – 18 April) the Cruise schedule allows an extra 2 hours at Bark Bay to explore the wide, sandy estuary, walk to Bark Bay Falls, swim or laze on the golden sand.
(Full Day Tour)
Picnic Lunch Provided
Höglund Art Glass Studio & Gallery is one of Nelson’s iconic tourist attractions.
Internationally renowned glass artists Ola & Marie Höglund welcome you to experience the art of glassmaking. The gallery presents a wide range of handblown platters, vases, bowls, goblets, perfume bottles and glass jewellery. Open 7 days. Visitors welcome 10am – 5pm.
Drive time: Approx. 3.5 hours
Depart Nelson for Punakaiki via Westport.
Westport is known as a coal mining town, but it’s also a base for outdoor adventures. Visit the local coal mining museum, then strap on your walking shoes to investigate the seal colony. Black water rafting, jet boating, horse trekking and surf rafting are other opportunities for outdoor excitement.
The road to Punakaiki hugs the coast, providing spectacular views of wild beaches and the tempestuous Tasman Sea. At Charleston, formerly a prosperous gold town, you can arrange underground rafting and cave exploring trips.
Travel to your accommodation in Punakaiki, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.
A modern accommodation complex located on Punakaiki Beach near the world famous Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes on the West Coast of the South Island. The resort has been designed to maximize the surrounding environment with beautiful ocean and rainforest views of the Paporoa National Park. Any closer to the sea and we would be floating!
Drive time: Approx. 3 hours
Depart Punakaiki for Franz Josef. It’s a stunning trip where you have the wild Tasman Sea on one side, and the snow-capped Southern Alps on the other.
Activity suggestions: Be sure to check out the Punakaiki rocks – a pancake like rock formation; Around the town of Greymouth you’ll find galleries specialising in pounamu (New Zealand jade); Visit The Hokitika Gorge and view the vivid turquoise water surrounded by lush native bush.
Travel to just outside the main Franz Josef Glacier village, your Accommodation is the ideal base for you to enjoy your vacation and everything the Glacier region and the glorious New Zealand West Coast has to offer.
Franz Josef Glacier, a perfect paradox. This remote village is set on the six hundred kilometre coastline in the tranquility of Westland National Park and yet offers rest and recreation at city levels amongst some of the wildest scenery in New Zealand. A wonderful relaxing bush environment with one of only two glaciers in the world that descend from crisp, clear snowfalls into lush, temporate rainforest.
New Zealand’s West Coast in the South Island rises from sea level through luxurious rain forest to a breath-taking high country that draws visitors from all over the world on an all-round pilgrimage for the uncluttered and unspoilt beauty that it offers.
Heli-hike on the glacier; take a guided walk; jet boat; go hunting and fishing or take sedate walks. We can make arrangements for all your vacation needs.
Photo Credit: Gareth Eyres; Tourism New Zealand
The 5 hours drive from Franz Josef to Queenstown is visually spectactular and an easy drive.
Enjoy waterfalls and river scenery as you arrive in rainforest country. The vineyards of the Gibbston area and bungy jumpers at the Kawarau River Bridge are interesting distractions along the way. Be on the lookout for the famous bra fence; it started as a joke, but it’s become a local legend.
The lakeside resort town of Wanaka can provide you with an appealing mix of fine living, family fun and adventure. It has a high concentration of cafes, restaurants and interesting shops.
The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. It’s the place to source almost any kind of adventure, including bungy, jet boating, horse trekking, rafting and river surfing. It’s also a destination for luxury experiences , gourmet food and wine, spa treatments and leisurely games of golf.
Travel to your accommodation in Queenstown, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.
It’s all about location! Your 4 star accommodations sits in a tranquil lakefront setting only a minute’s walk from the heart of Queenstown with shopping, restaurants, nightlife and activities all within easy reach. This fresh, modern hotel features rooms and facilities furnished with the finest comforts and conveniences. A place where you can relax with superb uninterrupted views of the lake, mountains and adjoining gardens. Comfortable and serene you will surely enjoy your stay here!
Upgrades Available: Garden View Room, Lakeview Room
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, New Zealand. 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 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.
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
When you discover Doubtful Sound you will be struck by its silence, a silence broken only by birdsong, or maybe the rushing of a distant waterfall.
On boarding a luxury coach in Queenstown, travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Manapouri. Then cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri to West Arm before boarding a coach and crossing the alpine route of Wilmot Pass through some of Fiordland’s most dense rainforest. On reaching Deep Cove, board a modern catamaran vessel, the Patea Explorer for a three hour cruise exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord.
There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and mountains all the way out to the Tasman Sea. It is home to bottlenose dolphins and fur seals and when in season, the rare Fiordland crested penguin. An onboard nature guide with specialist knowledge of the region’s history, flora and fauna provides detailed interpretation in English with a roving microphone. On the return cruise, the vessel’s engines are turned off and passengers are treated to the ‘sound of silence’. There is also a visit included to the Manapouri Power Station by coach before returning to Queenstown. Manapouri Power Station is an impressively large underground hydroelectric power station on the western arm of Lake Manapouri in Fiordland National Park. Lunch options and complimentary tea and coffee are available on the vessel.
*A picnic lunch can be pre-ordered before your tour for an additional cost. There is also a selection of cafe food aboard the vessel for purchase.
Tour departs at approximately 7am and returns at approximately 8pm (seasonally adjusted). Photo Credit: Tourism Media
Take in the breathtaking sights of the land around Queenstown with time spent at ‘Lord of the Rings’ filming locations.
On this half day tour you will take in gorgeous mountain and forest views along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Your Lord of the Rings set locations include Isengard, Ithilien Camp, beech forests used for Lothlorien and the Seat of Seeing/Battle of Amon Hen.
*This tour is available both morning or afternoon
*Wakatipu Tour may be added to create a full day tour
Relive the elegance of bygone days with a 1.5 hour cruise aboard a vintage steamship.
What better way to view the magnificent scenery around Lake Wakatipu (Queenstown) than by taking a cruise a board the last remaining coal fired passenger carrying vessels operating in the southern hemisphere.Affectionately known as the Lady of the Lake, this vessel has a special place in the hearts of Queenstown people. She has been transporting goods to remote settlements and conveying passengers on beautiful Lake Wakatipu since 1912.
Photo Credit: Real Journeys
Enjoy an afternoon exploring some of the award winning wineries in the Queenstown region.
Your tour operates with small groups (maximum of 22 people) that are suitable for first time tasters or wine connoisseurs. You will experience an in-depth introduction to four Queenstown wineries and an underground wine cave tour. Friendly, knowledgeable guides offer an understanding of the unique Central Otago wine growing conditions and wines offered. Travelling time is kept to a minimum, the pace is relaxed and wine always superb.
Tour Includes:Pick up from accommodation or central Queenstown; Tasting at the four wineries visited; Wine tasting in the unique underground wine cave; View of Queenstown’s original bungy jump
Time for optional lunch (own expense) at Gibbston Valley Winery.
Departs 12:30pm daily. All year round. Allow 5 hours
Photo Credit: Southern Public Relations
Enjoy a scenic self-drive from Queenstown to Mt Cook.
Leaving Queenstown you travel through the Gibbston area known for it’s vineyards. Past Meg power station in the Kawarau Gorge. Passing through the Cromwell and Lake Dunstan, before the drive throught beautiful Lindis Pass.
Omarama is known for its giant merino sheep statue. This area’s unique geography has made it a magnet for gliding enthusiasts. The northwesterly wind blows steadily to form the famous Northwest Arch, a thermal that can take the glider pilots to 10,000 metres.
Twizel is a well-placed base for mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horse trekking and hiking. It’s also a place to spy on the rarest wading bird in the world, the Black Stilt.
The road to Mt Cook follows the edge of Lake Pukaki. The exquisite opaque turquoise colour of this lake and others in the area is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles held in suspension. The landscape is a mixture of high country tussock, farmland and snow-capped mountains.
The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park includes the highest peak in Australasia (Mt Cook – 3755m). The region attracts mountain climbers, hikers and scenery fanatics. Heli skiing, heli hiking and aerial sightseeing provide visitors with amazing memories. A variety of walking trails begin in or near Mount Cook Village, most take only a couple of hours.
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
Enjoy a scenic self-drive from Mt Cook to Christchurch.
Leaving Mt Cook, the road to Lake Tekapo takes you down the Tasman Valley to beautiful Lake Pukaki. The opaque turquoise colour of this lake and others in the area is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles held in suspension. At the southern end of the lake you’ll turn left and drive through golden tussock land to Lake Tekapo.
The settlement of Lake Tekapo is at the southern end of the lake. The Church of the Good Shepherd and the sheepdog statue are great photo opportunities.
Arrving into Christchurch the largest city on the South Island. Old English gardens contrast with pop-up bars and container-based shopping malls in this enduring centre, which is rebuilding itself after a damaging earthquake in February 2011. Favourite activities include punting down the Avon River, visiting Sumner Beach, or taking a day trip out to the French colonial settlement of Akaroa.
Enjoy your 1 night stay in Christchurch, New Zealand.
No other hotel in Christchurch enjoys such a location just two minutes or 700m from Christchurch International Airport. Spacious hotel rooms offers the ideal Christchurch accommodation for singles, couples, families and large groups. You can take a refreshing dip in the outdoor swimming pool. Enjoy a hearty breakfast or a sumptuous dinner in the Lobby Restaurant. Relax with your favourite drink in the Lobby Lounge Bar or have something delicious delivered to your room.
Rooms Include the following:
24-hour room service, 24-hour reception and 24-hour airport shuttles
All rooms feature ensuite bathrooms, with complimentary toiletries
Swimming pool and BBQ area
SKY TV and internet access from all rooms
Shuttle Transfers to/from Hotel provided.
The Ko Tane The Maori Experience includes a Maori Welcome, Maori Village, Maori Interactive Performance, and Hangi Dinner (4 course meal).
The blowing of the Putatara (conch) starts your evening. The conch was used as a form of communication over great distances to inform of intruders or visitors.
Your guide will explain the night ahead, with stories that have been passed down through the generations.
Come face to face with the wildlife. The guide will explain the relationship between Maori, wildlife and conservation.
Be guided through and welcomed onto the Pa (village) with a powerful challenge by their fearsome warrior. The Wero or Challenge is where the warrior or most skilled warrior displays a number of movements to distinguish the intentions of the visiting parties. (Do you come in peace or to fight?)
This will be confirmed by the picking up of the TAKE laid by the warrior for the chief of the visitors. Once this gift has been accepted visitors will be allowed to enter onto the next stage.
Inside the village the chief will speak words of welcome to the visitors and thank the chief of the visitors for accepting the challenge to come in peace.
The pressing of noses (hongi) is the final part of the welcome process this is the sharing of life between the two parties and must be done between the two chiefs.
The Village: Here your guide will discuss the lifestyles, including some of the hunting techniques, of the Maori people. The village is a papa-kainga or hunting village. There were around 1,400 of these types of sites in and around the pre-European Canterbury region.
The hunting and capturing of bird species was a specialised skill with different types of birds serving different needs. The easiest birds to hunt for food were the flightless kiwi, weka and the large moa which were trapped with snares.
Flax was the most important fibre to Maori as it was used to bind buildings & boats, for clothing, hunting snares, rope & fishing nets. One of the traditional uses for musical instruments was to duplicate communication with the birds to trick the bird into a trap.
A Performance: Haka (war dance) the haka is a preparation for war. This is a dance usually for men however there are some haka where women participate, the first haka of the evening will be one such haka.
Poi dance (swinging ball): The poi was a flax ball commonly used to store food for long distance journeys. Other uses included training for warfare where the balls use was to assist with the strengthening of elbow and wrist joints to aid in greater flexibly for the heavy short and long club weapons
Waiata ringa (action songs with a hand display) spoke about events and family members of great mana (prestige). It also helped to record and preserve historical events.
Hangi Meal: After the performance you will move into the Restaurant where you will be served a 4 course dinner with Hangi cooked mains. There is a fully licensed bar.
This will conclude your tour. Click Here to View Map
Travel within New Zealand from Christchurch to Auckland (North Island).
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.
|Approximate Pricing||Double Occupancy||Sole Occupancy||Permitted USA Departure Dates & Fare Rules|
|Land Content Only||$2,450||$4,087||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)||$3,213||$4,850||
Feb 15 2019 - Dec 10 2019|
USA Departures: 15 FEB - 21 JUN, 24 JUL - 17 SEP & 01 NOV - 10 DEC. Expires 25 MAR 2019
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)||$4,541||$6,178||Basic: 24JUL-21SEP 2018 and 1MAY-8JUN 2019. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability|
|Shoulder (Economy Class)||$4,748||$6,385||Shoulder: 9JUN-23JUL 2018, 22SEP-8DEC 2018 and 1FEB-30APR 2019. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability|
|Peak (Economy Class)||$5,265||$6,902||Peak: 9DEC 2018 - 31JAN 2019. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply) Subject to Availability|
|Premium (Economy Class)||$7,517||$9,154||Premium Economy Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Change and Cancellation Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.|
|Business Class||$9,231||$10,868||Business Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.|
|First Class||$28,995||$30,632||First Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.|
- a) All prices are USD$/person (including all Taxes). Subject to availability. Other Conditions Apply (see Terms and Conditions).
- b) Land Content Only represents the pricing for the full itinerary as detailed, except the International Flights from the USA (and return) are NOT included.
- c) An Infant (Lapchild) must be less than 2 years old on the date of departure. Infant must travel with at least one adult. An infant with a seat pays the price of a Child.
- d) A Child must be aged between 2-11 years on the date of departure. Child must travel with at least one adult.