Upon arrival, you’ll have a few hours to relax before meeting your Travel Director and your fellow group of travellers for a welcome reception.
Overnight: Ibis Hotel Christchurch or similar
Christchurch – Franz Josef
Today you will board the renowned TranzAlpine train, journeying across beautiful scenery and through Arthur’s Pass. You’ll stop at Hokitika to learn all about the fascinating New Zealand greenstone (jade), before continuing on to Franz Josef.
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing) or similar. (Breakfast and dinner included)
Franz Josef – Queenstown
Your journey will take you over the jaw-dropping Haast Pass in the morning, travelling past Thunder Creek Falls and the tranquil Lakes Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan. Your adventure includes a quick top in the small town of Cromwell to relish a taste of the juicy stone fruit, before moving on to the historic gold mining settlement, Arrowtown.
Once you’ve arrived in Queenstown, you’ll be treated to an orientation tour of the city, including seeing the soaring mountain ranges that frame Lake Wakatipu.
Overnight: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown or similar (Breakfast included)
The daytime is free for you to explore Queenstown as your own pace. Whether you fancy sipping divine wines on a vineyard tour, hopping on board a jet boat ride, or even white-water rafting, the adventure capital of New Zealand has plenty to excite you. In the evening, you’ll be enjoying a cruise along Lake Wakatipu onboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw. Your cruise will take you to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a decadent barbecue at the Colonel’s homestead.
Overnight: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Queenstown – Te Anau
Your coach will take you over the famous highway known as Devil’s Staircase today, travelling along the stunning shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. Your journey takes you through the lush rainforests and jagged mountains of Fiordland National Park before boarding a cruise to Milford Sound. From there, you’ll drive through hand-hewn Homer Tunnel, past the awe-inspiring Mirror Lake, past Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley, Mirte Peak and Bown Falls, and on to Te Anau.
Overnight: Distinction Luxmore Hotel or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Te Anau – Dunedin
In the morning, you’ll drive through the plush sheep grazing country and make your way to Dunedin. Once there, you’ll enjoy a riveting city tour before being treated to some spare time to explore the streets yourself. There’s plenty to do here, including riding the historic Taieri Gorge railway or embarking on a wildlife cruise.
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Dunedin – Omarama
Continue your journey on to Oamaru, a large town characterised by its tree-lined streets and white limestone buildings. You will pass by the monumental Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Omarama is a gorgeous small township in the Waitaki District, with striking mountain views.
Overnight: Heritage Gateway Hotel or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Omarama – Christchurch
Your drive is a very scenic one today, travelling through the astonishing Aoraki Mt Cook National Park with the option of stopping for an amazing scenic flight. Next up, you’ll travel past the regal Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, before stopping to enjoy the views of the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd. Your drive ends with a drive through the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.
Overnight: Ibis Hotel Christchurch or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Christchurch – Picton
Day nine will see you travelling along the rocky Pacific Ocean coast to Kaikoura, where you’ll hopefully spot sperm whales – there’s a fantastic option of a whale-watching flight if you fancy. You’ll then pass the pretty pink-hued crystallisation ponds of the Lake Grassmere Salt Works, before travelling to the picturesque coastal village, Picton.
Overnight: Picton Beachcomber Inn or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Picton – Wellington
The day begins with a calm cruise across Queen Charlotte Sound, before crossing the Cook Strait to Wellington. Once there, you’ll be taken on an interesting city tour before enjoying some time for yourself. In the afternoon, you’ll meet again to visit Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, giving you the chance to discover it’s though-provoking exhibits that reveal New Zealand’s history, culture, natural heritage and art.
Overnight: Travelodge Wellington or similar (Breakfast included)
Wellington – Rotorua
Today you will drive alongside the beautiful Kapiti Coast, travelling through dairy-farming country to reach Tongariro National Park and the snow-capped Mt Ruapehu. Throughout your journey, you’ll be treated to sensational views of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in Australasia, and you’ll also discover the cascading Huka Falls and the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station. This evening enjoy an entertaining cultural experience at the Tamaki Maori Village. Experience a powerful Haka challenge, witness a concert showcasing Maori culture and dine at a traditional Maori Hangi feat dinner.
Your packed lunch today is special as it will also feed a Kiwi child who may otherwise go without, through the charity 'Eat My lunch'.
Overnight: Ibis Rotorua Hotel or similar (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Today explore Rotorua at your own pace. We’d recommend exploring Rainbow Springs Nature Park to see the famous New Zealand kiwi birds, or perhaps you’d prefer to discover the Te Puia thermal reserve.
Overnight: Ibis Rotorua Hotel or similar (Breakfast included)
Rotorua – Auckland
Today will be spent driving to Auckland. The day’s itinerary includes travelling through Waikato farmland to see the breath-taking Waitomo Caves, discovering the incredible underground Glow worm Grotto by boat and walk through the fabulous limestone caverns, all before driving along the Waikato River into Auckland.
Overnight: VR Queen Street Hotel & Suites (Breakfast included)
Auckland – Bay of Islands
Your trip out of Auckland involves crossing the impressive Harbour Bridge, before driving through Orewa, along the Hibiscus Coast, and over to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Once there, you’ll board an incredibly scenic cruise to Cape Brett, where you’ll discover on the New Zealand’s most iconic landmarks known as the "Hole in the Rock'.
Overnight: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Room or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Bay of Islands
The whole day is free for you to explore and do your own thing. The Bay of Islands present a whole array of delightful experiences to discover, including sailing on a tall ship, exploring the region’s first capital – Russell – or driving further on to Cape Reinga via the peaceful 90 Mile Beach.
Overnight: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Room or similar (Breakfast included)
Bay of Islands – Auckland
The morning is at your leisure, before heading back to Auckland. Take an orientation tour of the city before joining your Travel Director for a farewell dinner.
Overnight: VR Queen Street Hotel & Suites or similar (Breakfast and dinner included)
Today marks the end of your tour. Transfer to the airport for your onward travel.