The Overlander - Sky Tower, Auckland
Bay of Islands
Sailing in Nelson, New ZealandNelson, New Zealand
Sunset in Nelson, New Zealand, Vacation PackagesNelson, New Zealand
Queenstown, New ZealandCity Highlights Tour
Bob's Peak, New Zealand, Vacation packagesQueenstown, New Zealand
Franz Josef, New ZealandAir Safaris Grand Traverse, New Zealand
Te Weheka New Zealand, vacation packagesFox Glacier, New Zealand
- Accommodation - Queenstown (3 Nights), Mt. Cook (1), Christchurch (2), Kaikoura (2), Nelson (3), Punakaiki (1), Franz Josef (1), Auckland (3)
- US Domestic Flights - not included (as per your own arrangements)
- International Flights - Los Angeles to Auckland (Return)
- New Zealand Domestic Flights - Auckland to Queenstown, Christchurch to Auckland
- Day Tours - Queenstown: Gondola Ride, Scenic Milford Sound Experience; Christchurch: Akaroa Whaling Depot and Sights; Nelson: Abel Tasman Beach, Kayak & Walk; Auckland: Rotorua Geothermal & Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
- Shuttle Transfers - Queenstown Airport to Accommodation (Return), Auckland Airport to Accommodation (Return)
- Car Rental: 11 Days Car Rental, Pick up in Queenstown, 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.
18 Days / 16 Nights – New Zealand
First stop is 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. You can also visit one of the local wineries, play a round of golf with breathtaking backdrops, or take a cruise on Queenstown’s iconic vintage steamship believed to be the only coal-fired passenger-carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere.
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.
Few places in the world can boast of such natural wonders as those offered by land and sea in Kaikoura. The seaside settlement is located on a rocky peninsula, protruding from lush farmland beneath the mountains. In the waters off the peninsula, a complex marine system provides an abundantly rich habitat for marine mammals and seabirds making it an ideal place for getting ‘close to nature’.
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.
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.
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.
Travel by New Zealand domestic air from Auckland to Queenstown (South Island).
Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Queenstown, 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.
Travel to your accommodation in Queenstown, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 3 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.
Visit one of New Zealand’s unmissable destinations with a day trip to Milford Sound, and a magical cruise on the fiord.
You will depart Queenstown and pass through some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world – gaze out at panoramic views of the mountains, valleys and waterfalls of Fiordland National Park as you travel in our glass-roof coach and hear entertaining commentary from your local driver guide. Keep your camera at the ready as your guide will stop along the way at some truly stunning photo opportunities.
There are so many things you will see during your Milford Sound cruise – landmarks of Milford Sound include Mitre Peak, waterfalls that hurtle through native bush into the fiord, and sheer cliffs created by ancient glaciers. Wildlife in Milford Sound can include seals, penguins and even dolphins, so keep an eye out during your cruise.
After your cruise, step back on board your coach for the return journey to Queenstown.
Departs: 7:20 am
Returns: 7:45 pm
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
This jet boat adventure offers your senses a feast of spectacular natural beauty on a journey into the wilderness of a World Heritage area.
Your day begins with 1.5 hour journey on a jet boat through the Dart’s river system. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful snow-covered peaks, hidden valleys & waterfalls. Your day includes a guided walk (30-40 minutes) along the ‘Heritage Trail’ at Paradise. Your guide will provide you with informative & entertaining commentary about the ancient native beech forest. The forests of this region sit within a World Heritage Area, one of the only natural sites of its kind that is accessible to the public.
Your guide details the fascinating history of this area from the days of Gondwanaland, to quests by Maori for prized pounamu, to the present day efforts of New Zealand’s department of conservation for the preservation of the area. The day ends with a 4WD coach drive along a scenic back road. You will be entertained with stories of the countryside. On the ride home you will stop to view the scenery made famous by Peter Jackson in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogies.
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
Welcome to Shotover Jet Country, Queenstown New Zealand.
Get ready for the World’s most exciting Jet Boat ride! Acknowledged as the World’s most famous Jet Boat operation, many imitate Shotover Jet but for sheer excitement, no one comes close.
It’s a thrilling ride – skimming past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet ‘Big Red’, as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breath taking speeds. And a major highlight – hold tight for the world famous Shotover Jet full 360º spins!
No visit to Queenstown is complete without “Catching the Canyons” with award winning Shotover Jet, “the World’s most exciting Jet Boat ride” and the only company permitted to operate in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons.
Shotover Jet operates every day of the year (weather and river conditions permitting) except Christmas day.
Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Queenstown, New Zealand, to the Airport.
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.
Discover New Zealand as you travel by rental car for eleven 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.
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 2 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 offer 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.
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.
Visit the beautiful unspoiled old French whaling depot of Akaroa and swim with the smallest dolphin species in the world.
Board the jet powered catamaran for your 2 hour cruise inside a sheltered harbour to swim with the world’s smallest, rarest & friendliest dolphins – the Hector’s dolphin.
Your small group (approx 10 people) cruise includes a full briefing with a highly trained crew, wetsuit, masks, snorkels, a hot shower, a hot drink and a gift pack leaving you with a great souvenir of your swim. Just bring your swim costume, a towel, sunscreen and a camera!
Visit the beautiful unspoiled old French whaling depot of Akaroa. The charm and serenity of Akaroa will relax and amaze you.
This morning you will be collected from your accommodation, to travel to Akaroa via Sign of Takahe, Sign of Kiwi, Governers Bay, Gebbies Pass, Lake Forsyth and Little River. Stop at the Hill Top to experience panoramic views of Akaroa Harbour. Visit the Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory and sample some fine New Zealand cheese
Lunch will be taken at Bully Hayes a popular restaurant on the water front in the heart of Akaroa with a wide choice of New Zealand food available. Following lunch, enjoy a two-hour cruise on the Canterbury Cat exploring the delights of Akaroa Harbour and sighting dolphins, penguins and seals.
On the return journey to Christchurch a stop will be made at Birdling Flat on the Kaitorete Spit. This stony beach at the entrance to Lake Forsyth provides a commanding view of the southern facing cliffs of Banks Peninsula. An interesting selection of pebbles and semi-precious stones can be found on the beach.
Today enjoy your self drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura.
The coastal journey between Christchurch and Kaikoura is filled with road trip hot-spots and breathtaking scenery. Winding through surf beaches and the scenic Canterbury Plains, this road passes through an up-and-coming wine region, splendid cafes and unbelievably photogenic views at every turn.
Places to Eat
Grab a bite to eat as you make your way out of Christchurch at one of the sensational cafes lining the Christchurch Northern Motorway to Kaikoura.
Brickmill Café is a popular spot for its all day breakfast menu and excellent coffee in a cozy, rustic setting.
Further along north in the township of Amberly, Nor’Wester Café is a destination eatery with a bright menu featuring simple yet delectably presented dishes to accommodate all diets.
For a light bite with your coffee fix, stop by Little Vintage Espresso and see why New Zealand’s coffee culture is among the best in the world.
Get a taste of New Zealand’s craft brewing culture at Brew Moon Brewing Company, the only craft brewery in North Canterbury serving up delicious pizzas with a range of crisp pale ales and seasonal brews.
Wine & Dine
Forty minutes out of Christchurch you’ll reach the Waipara Valley wine region, dotted with dozens of wineries and cellar doors.
Pegasus Bay Winery offers impeccable food featuring locally sourced ingredients beautifully presented with wines to match each dish. For $5 you can sample up to 12 wines, complimentary if dining in the restaurant.
Torlesse Wines offers a welcoming wine tasting perfect for casual wine enthusiasts curious to try something new and different.
Greystone Wines are a consistent favorite with its friendly and knowledgeable staff, breathtaking views and white wines that fly off the shelf. Tastings come at $5, waved if you buy a bottle.
Black Estate Wines is the perfect venue to kick off your New Zealand trip, boasting top shelf food, first class red wines and captivating views across the valley.
2 Hours 18 Minutes – 181km
Travel to your accommodation in Kaikoura, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.
Your boutique luxury guest lodge located in a tranquil rural setting, surrounded by groves of native trees and bush, with spectacular views of the Kaikoura range mountains and beyond to the Pacific Ocean. A peaceful haven at any time of the year. Featuring the very latest in ‘In-room Technology’.
The lodge is located near some great wilderness walks and just minutes from the beaches and coastal scenic reserves of Kaikoura. Photography workshops available as part of your stay but must be pre-arragned. Neil, the owner, will take guests to places off the beaten track, or
combined with whale watching, dolphin and albatross encounter tours in Kaikoura
Picnic breakfasts for early morning excursion departures, picnic lunches by arrangement. A range of fine dining dinner options and evening snacks by prior arrangement. Wine list available.
Complimentary tea and coffee.
Enjoy whale watching offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale at all times of the year. Whale Watch scheduled tours operate daily.
Explore whale watching from the town of Kaikoura – a scenic two and a half-hour drive north from Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island. Kaikoura is a special place of lush pastures and towering, snow covered peaks that fall to the sea. This rare magic continues just offshore where a deep undersea canyon combines with unusual sea currents to attract an extraordinary abundance of marine life, the most famous being the Sperm Whale.
Today enjoy your self drive from Kaikoura to Nelson.
Enjoy a scenic self drive from Kaikoura to Nelson.
2 Hours 58 Minutes – 243km
Travel to your accommodation in Nelson, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 3 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
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.
All in one day: Kayak and Cruise, then Walk or Relax.
Paddle the sheltered southern coast in the morning, then cruise to the golden expanse of Anchorage Beach. Relax with some quality beach time, or take a walk up to 1 hour 30 minutes to stunning Te Pukatea cove.
Return to Kaiteriteri in time to catch connecting coaches, if required.
Beginning your day with a guided kayaking trip to Split Apple and explore the spectacular Kaiteriteri coastline. Stop on a golden-sand beach for a short break. After you return to Kaiteriteri by 12 noon say farewell to your Guide and have some lunch on the beach.
Next swap your kayak for walking shoes, and join the 1:00pm Vista Cruise to the golden sands of Anchorage Beach. Disembark and take a leisurely stroll to Te Pukatea Bay and return, or walk via the Pitt Head loop Track (¾hr to 1¼hr walk depending on the route taken).
Rejoin the Vista Cruise from Anchorage to return to Kaiteriteri before heading back to Nelson.
Operation: All Year round except Christmas Day
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!
Punakaiki’s top attraction is the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
The Pancake Rocks that Punakaiki is famous for, are limestone formations that began forming 30 million years ago, when lime-rich fragments of dead marine creatures were deposited on the seabed, then overlaid by weaker layers of soft mud and clay. The seabed was raised above sealevel by earthquakes to form the coastal cliffs and coastline. The sea, wind and rain have since etched out the soft layers to form the unusual rock formations we see today.
Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand
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
4.5 hour self-drive across the South Island of New Zealand
Travel within New Zealand from Christchurch to Auckland (North Island).
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.
Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 3 nights.
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.
Visit one of Auckland’s many attractions.
Fly a kite or throw a Frisbee in the beautifully landscaped Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park. Critique a giant selection of both traditional and contemporary art at Auckland Art Gallery. Take a walking, swim or hike through any of Auckland’s 25 Regional Parks. Have a laugh at The Classic Comedy and Bar in Queen Street, New Zealand’s home of live comedy. Take the bus over to Eden Park, New Zealand’s largest stadium. In the evening you can join the dancing on K’Road and party on till the wee hours at one of the many nightclubs. Or maybe you would rather visit the trendy suburb of Ponsonby and enjoy delicious cuisine, superb lattes or cocktails if more to your taste. And if it is cafes, bars and restaurants you’re after, the Viaduct Harbour has a great selection.
Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand – Julian Apse
Marvel at spectacular coastal scenery including the Hole in the Rock, Cathedral Cave and the inner islands while aboard a luxury catamaran. Also see the historic Waitangi Treaty House and a ‘waka’ (Maori war canoe).
Travel north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and enjoy spectacular rural & coastal scenery enroute to the Bay of Islands via Hibiscus Coast and Whangarei. Bay of Islands is one of the most picturesque and popular vacation sites in New Zealand and was the site of the earliest contact between the indigenous population and European settlers. Take a trip into the past and visit such historical places as the Waitangi Treaty House, see a traditional Maori Meeting House and a huge ‘waka’ (war canoe), Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Flagstaff Hill and the oldest building in the country (Kemp House) along with the oldest Church. In the early afternoon at Cape Brett, board a luxury catamaran for your cruising adventure through game fishing waters as you cruise past the Cape Brett lighthouse to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’. The excitement grows as you make a passage through the Hole and then continue on to the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave. On your return journey relax and enjoy subtropical paradise views with your favourite drink as you meander through the inner islands back to Cape Brett which are world renowned deep sea fishing grounds where porpoise (dolphins) and schools of fish are frequently seen. With the Bay of Islands’ combination of great fishing, diving, sailing and other water sports with some of New Zealand’s most significant historic sites you will be sure to have fun!
Includes: Pickups from accommodations, admission to Waitangi Treaty House, a Cape Brett cruise and boxed lunch.
Photo Credit: Destination Northland
This stunning island just off the Auckland coast boasts 92 square kms of beautiful beaches, vineyards, olive groves, native bush and laid back seaside villages. It’s a great day out from Auckland as well as a superb holiday destination or a weekend getaway.
Be introduced to Waiheke on the Waiheke Explorer Tour, a picturesque 40-minute boat trip followed by a 1.5 hour scenic highlights tour of Waiheke’s stunning locations. Cruise to Waiheke through the glorious Hauraki Gulf and on arrival you’ll be met by an experienced guide who will give you a taste of the views, culture and history that make up the diverse island of Waiheke.
On conclusion of the tour, take advantage of the complimentary All Day Bus Pass allowing you to either return to a destination visited on the tour, or discover the island further on scheduled public bus services.
Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand
This day trip from Auckland visits the Waikato region, the heritage town of Cambridge, the Shire’s Rest, and concludes at the Green Dragon Inn.
This tour is an easy day trip from Auckland. Let us take you on a magical journey through Middle-earth to the Hobbiton Movie Set from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” films for a fascinating guided tour.
Travel south from Auckland over the Bombay Hills to the rich farmland of the Waikato region. You travel through the heritage town of Cambridge where tree-lined streets add to the English-style atmosphere.
From here your journey takes you through undulating green hills reminding you that you are approaching Hobbiton Shire.
On arrival at Shire’s Rest you embark on your Hobbiton movie set tour. This location is the largest “green set” in the world and the only place where you get an emotional response with a movie set in a natural setting. You see 44 hobbit holes including Bilbo’s house, “Bag End”, the Mill and double arch bridge and the Party Tree. At this stunning location you can take a photo at the door of Bag End, looking out over the whole of Hobbiton to the hills in the distance.
The tour concludes with a visit to the Green Dragon Inn where you will enjoy a complimentary ale, cider or ginger beer.
After the tour your lunch is included at Shire’s Rest Café before heading back to Auckland.
Visit a true thing of beauty and cruise the sparkling waters of Waitemata Harbour!
Head out on this one and a half hour tour to see the Devonport Naval Base, travel past the township and North Head, then cruise towards the iconic Rangitoto Island as you pass the historic Bean Rock lighthouse. You’ll pass under the Harbour Bridge twice and then off to Westhaven Marina to catch a glance at the viaduct harbour bustling with super yachts!
Daily at 10:45am & 1:45pm. Tours do not operate on Christmas day.
On your vacation travel by deluxe luxury coach to the Waitomo Glow-Worm Caves and the spectacular geothermal regions of Rotorua, New Zealand.
Depart Auckland: Travel the main Southern Highway through small rural townships steeped in early pioneer history. Your host serves morning tea during this sector.
Waikato: Travel through New Zealand’s largest dairy and sheep farming province. Travel the outskirts of Hamilton City via the small farming settlements towards the King Country, birthplace of the Maori Monarchy.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Join a guided tour through this world-famous cave formation, climaxed by drifting silently in a boat through a glow worm cavern lit up with thousands of tiny glow worm lights.
Light Lunch: Served on-board as we make our way to Rotorua through magnificent rural farmland with its vast numbers of grazing animals.
Rotorua: New Zealand’s highest city, 305 meters (1000 feet) above sea level, located inside the rim of a volcanic crater. An area of great geothermal activity. We visit the following attractions:
Agrodome Farm Tour: An introduction to New Zealand farming, with a 45-minute tour of an authentic working farm in all-weather, all-terrain vehicles. Watch a sheep being shorn and hand-feed the animals.
Lake Rotorua: Drive through the foreshore park past the hundreds of ducks and swans. Then through the beautiful historic Government Gardens.
Te Puia Insitute (Maori Arts & Crafts & Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve): One of Rotorua’s most famous attractions. See woodcarving, weaving displays, Maori village and the thermal valley with the famous Pohutu Geyser, fumaroles, colourful silica deposits and boiling mud pools.
Return to Auckland: Your attraction-packed day concludes as the coach travels through the beautiful horse breeding district of Matamata and the pastureland of the Hauraki plains. A light snack is served on this sector.
Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, to the Airport.
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||$3,419||$5,246||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)||$4,565||$6,393||
Jul 24 2019 - Jun 28 2020|
USA Departures: 24JUL - 17SEP, 01NOV - 10DEC 2019, 17FEB - 28JUN 2020. Expires 31JUL
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)||$5,509||$7,337||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)||$5,716||$7,544||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)||$6,234||$8,062||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)||$8,486||$10,314||Premium Economy Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Change and Cancellation Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.|
|Business Class||$10,200||$12,028||Business Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.|
|First Class||$29,963||$31,791||First Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.|
- a) All prices are USD$/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.