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North to South Island Kiwi (Small Group Tour)

14 nights from £3,739 per person

  • Included:
  • Accommodation
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
  • Internal travel
  • Sights and excursions
  • Tour guide throughout
  • 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
Click here for Pricing & Dates

Overview

A mixture of exciting destinations and experiences are blended into one on this exhilarating small group trip – with only 10 to 18 people in a group, this tour is sure to feel intimate and special, offering a personal touch and lots of flexibility. Start your adventure in Auckland, before travelling through Rotorua and continuing on to Napier, Wellington and beyond. You’ll see a wealth of fascinating and world-famous sights along the way, from Mt Cook to the Pancake Rocks, making this a truly memorable experience. (MOA)

Prices are quoted per person on a twin-share basis and do not include international flights.

Highlights

  • Take a ferry ride across the Cook Strait to Blenheim
  • Admire the mountainous scenery of Mt Cook National Park
  • Appeal to your thrill-seeking side in Queenstown
  • Take a boat tour across Milford Sound
  • Visit Franz Josef and the beautiful glacier
  • Private lunch at Pounamu Lodge with local hosts David and Karen Walmsley
  • Tour through Napier’s Art Deco architecture

Details

Day 1

Auckland

On day one you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, before spending the rest of the day exploring the city. Your hotel will be walking distance to the shopping district which has cafes lining Viaduct Harbour and Princes Wharf close by too. There’s also the option of taking a ferry to Devonport, a quaint seaside village, or a ferry to Waiheke Island known for its beaches and boutique wineries.

Overnight: Sebel suites

Day 2

Rotorua

Today you’ll drive over Bombay Hills and across the broad Hauraki Plains, before stopping at Karangahake Gorge to walk beside the river to the gold mining relics. You’ll then continue through Te Puke nestled in the heart of Kiwifruit county, before boarding a luxury catamaran ‘Tiua’ to sail Lake Rotoiti and visit the geothermal natural hot pools. For the next few hours, you’ll be able to soak in the pool and enjoy the scenery - a memorable end to a fantastic day.

Overnight: Novotel Lakeside (Breakfast included)

Day 3

Rotorua

Your morning will be free for you to relax, perhaps take a stroll down to the Lakeside, just minutes away from your hotel, or enjoy a guided tour of the attractions. You'll then be driving to Lake Tarawera for a private lunch at the famous 'Buried Village of Te Wairoa' with local hosts David and Karen Walmsley. After lunch, you’ll have more time free to explore the town – the museum is nearby and features brilliant Maori art exhibitions. Later learn all about the national icon - the Kiwi bird - you'll be amazed how big they are!

Overnight: Novotel Lakeside (Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 4

Tongariro National Park

Your first port of call is Wai-O-Tapu, a geothermal landmark featuring silica terraces and mud pools - a must see in this area. Afterwards you’ll discover the cascading Huka Falls and stop at Taupo overlooking three active volcanoes – Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruepehu. You’ll then have the afternoon to explore the short scenic trails in Tongariro National Park and arrive at your grandeur home for the night, right at the foot of Mt Ruapehu.

Overnight: Chateau Tongariro (Breakfast included)

Day 5

Wellington

Our day starts in style, with breakfast at the historic Chateau Tongariro nestled at the base of the mountains. This is the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, from this volcanic plateau we make our way across the high country and down to our capital Wellington.

We stay two nights in Wellington as we reckon you can’t miss "the coolest little capital in the world". We’ll check out the city's sights and head up Mt Victoria for the stunning views over the harbour before getting settled for the night. We’re right in the heart of Wellington's vibrant hub of museums, theatres, galleries, boutiques and cafes. Looking for some local flavour? Ask for one of Wellington’s trendy craft beers with your dinner (our pick – Tuatara).

The Bolton Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 6

Wellington

Leave Napier and drive south through the farmlands and the sweeping plains of the Wairarapa, passing through the small farming towns and vineyards of Norsewood and Dannevirke. Soon you’ll arrive in Greytown, featuring a main street of wooden Victorian buildings dating back to the 1880s. This is the centre of the premium wine-growing region, so go on, grab a glass with lunch, you're on holiday!

The afternoon will be spent driving across the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington, the country’s capital city. You’ll spend a few hours exploring Wellington’s waterfront, before driving up Mt Victoria for brilliant harbour views.

The Bolton Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 7

Nelson

Today you’ll catch the Interislander ferry and cruise for three hours across Cook Strait and up Charlotte Sound to Picton. First point of call will be the Allan Scott's vineyard for wine tasting and lunch, today you're in the famous Marlborough sauvignon blanc region, offering some of New Zealand’s most exclusive wines. After lunch travel to St Anaud, a small hamlet in the middle of Nelson Lakes National Park and cross the Pelorus River Bridge (featured in the Hobbit movies). From here continue onto Nelson where you'll spend the next couple of nights.

Overnight: Trailways Hotel (Breakfast included)

Day 8

Abel Tasman National Park

Today will be a highlight of the tour for many, you'll be spending the day in the stunning Tasman National Park. Here you’ll have a choice of a full scenic cruise or a part cruise and part walk along the stunning Abel Tasman coastline. Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest National Park, with gorgeous coastlines, estuaries, and golden sand beaches. Lie on the beach, go for a swim and keep an eye out for dolphins who often make an appearance here. After a magical day out you’ll return to Nelson for another night.

Overnight: Trailways Hotel (Breakfast)

Day 9

Kaikoura

Today you'll pass through Pelorus Bridge and River (Scene of the Barrel Run from the Hobbit) and further along the rugged coastline between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikoura Ranges as we head south with spectacular scenery. Your afternoon is free to explore Kaikoura’s bountiful marine wildlife - a result of the ocean canyon close offshore.

There are many optional excursions including the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway to whale watching cruises and flights. One of the many highlights is viewing the seal colony with a backdrop of the Kaikoura mountains and coastline.

Overnight: White Morph Inn (Breakfast included)

Day 10

Mt Cook

Continuing down the highway and along the coast, you’ll reach the famous Canterbury Plains and the Akaunui Farm homestead. It is here that you’ll enjoy a deliciously fresh lunch with the owners, Di and Ian Mackenzie, taking in the surroundings of their Canterbury heritage building and the huge gardens. You will experience a tour of the building which is over 100 years old. In the afternoon, make your way through the rolling hillsides as the mountain scenery opens up ahead. On the edge of Lake Tekapo, the quaint church and famous statue of a sheep dog make great photo opportunities.

The Hermitage Hotel (Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 11

Mt Cook/ Queenstown

Today you'll awake at the foot of Mt Cook - New Zealand's highest mountain and the home ground of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Take your pick from exploring the picturesque valleys and dramatic landscape on an easy walking track around the village or take an optional boat cruise, flight or hike up on the Tasman Glacier!

From here, you will make your way down the Mackenzie Basin and over the Lindis Pass – one of the highest roads in New Zealand – to Queenstown. Along the way, the natural beauty of the Kawerau Gorge will surround you and makes for great vistas. Ride the Skyline Gondola for an amazing overview of the resort then make the most of your hotel’s prime location, just moments from the town with views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Range.

Overnight: Scenic Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 12

Milford Sound

Today travel alongside Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau and the one and only Milford Sound, situated deep in the Fiordland National Park. The journey along the Milford Road is studded with mirrored lakes, glaciers, rugged mountains and waterfalls – the landscape in this region is remarkable.

Upon arrival at Milford, you’ll head out on the water for a boat cruise tour with a nature guide who will showcase the beauty of this famous attraction which is dominated by Mitre Peak. As you approach the point where the Sound meets the Tasman Sea, you’ll find seal colonies lounging on the rocks and pods of dolphins along with various other birds and wildlife. Return to Queenstown afterwards with a magical scenic flight over the Southern Alps for a great way to top of the day’s sightseeing excursions - sea, air and land!

Overnight: Scenic Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 13

Queenstown

Spend the day at leisure today, making the most of your time in Queenstown. Your guide will be on hand to recommend a choice of activities, whether you want an active day or a relaxed experience. One activity that is highly recommended is an optional jet boat ride excursion on the remote Dart River, surrounded by the Lord of the Rings scenery. Alternatively, if you’re seeking a thrill-seeking adventure, go white water rafting down the Shotover River. Queenstown has numerous shops and boutiques, as well as the Botanic Gardens, if you want something more sedate for the day. In the evening enjoy dinner at one of the award winning restaurants on the waterfront.

Overnight: Scenic Suites (Breakfast included)

Day 14

Queenstown

Today your New Zealand tour will end. After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be picked up from the hotel and transferred to Queenstown Airport.

 

  • Accommodation (13 nights)
  • Internal Travel, air-conditioned coaches
  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches
  • Excursions as listed: cruise Lake Rotoiti on luxury yacht, Tiua, to soak in the mineral pools, Wai-O-Tapu, Art Deco Tour in Napier, cross the Cook Straight from the North to the South island on the Interislander ferry, wine-tasting tour in Malborough, cruise to Abel Tasman National Park, Skyline Gondola in Queenstown, Milford Sound, scenic flight over the Southern Alps

Please note - International flights and domestic flights throughout New Zealand are not included in the price shown.

Local 2018 Departure Dates: Oct 14, Oct 28, Nov 4, Nov 11, Nov 18, Nov 25, Dec 2, Dec 16, Dec 23, Dec 30

Local 2019 Departure Dates: Jan 9, Jan 13, Jan 16, Jan 23, Jan 27, Jan 30, Feb 3, Feb 6, Feb 10, Feb 13, Feb 17, Feb 24, Feb 27, Mar 6, Mar 10, Mar 17, Mar 24, Mar 31, Apr 7, Apr 14

 

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Excellent holiday and it was all very well organised! - Julie Hayward

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