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Set out on a New Zealand adventure and get a true taste for the country on an escorted New Zealand Wonderland tour. Spend 17 days discovering incredible landscapes, intriguing culture and adventure-filled towns and cities.

Well-known for its adventurous spirit, New Zealand is also a land of peace. With the power to choose your activities, you can discover whatever aspect of the country calls to you. One of the least crowded places in the world, New Zealand is the perfect place to find a touch of tranquility or adrenaline-fuelled fun. You won’t have to look far far either; it’s there in the alpine lakes, the breath-taking fjords, and its towering mountain peaks.

Alongside your fellow travellers, you’ll uncover a land of history and culture on the North Island, with a glimpse into the culture of the indigenous Māori people. Visit museums, historic sites and cities that shine a light on the history of the land, and immerse yourself in the Māori culture as you feast on a dinner of authentic Māori food and delight in traditional dance performances.

Across the water of the mesmerising Cook Strait, the spectacular landscape of the South Island calls. Climb aboard the TranzAlpine train and experience a magical journey across the Southern Alps and the Canterbury Plains, marvel at the breath-taking Franz Josef Glacier, and cruise along the serene fjord of Milford Sound.

One thing is for sure: New Zealand truly is a wonderland. Travel this breath-taking country from north to south and discover its spellbinding magic for yourself.

Duration

17 Days

Guide Price

£6,495 pp

Recommended For

Adventure, City, Couples

Best Time to Go

December to February

Options

Private basis

a large green field with trees in the background

Trip Highlights

  • Set off on one of the world’s greatest rail journeys aboard the TranzAlpine train
  • Experience the wonder of Milford Sound on a luxury cruise on the fjord
  • Take to the water on a dolphin-watching cruise to Cape Brett, and experience the stunning Bay of Islands
  • Get a taste of authentic Māori culture as you enjoy a traditional Hangi feast

Start your Journey

Day 1

Arrive in Auckland

When you touch down in the city of Auckland, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. Once you’ve settled in, choose from a range of activities and start exploring the city.

  • Suggested Accommodation Grand Millennium Auckland
Day 2

Auckland to Bay of Islands

Leave Auckland behind this morning as you cross the city’s Harbour Bridge and make your way along the Hibiscus Coast. Visit the Kauri Museum in the village of Matakohe and learn about the pioneering history of the region. 

Afterwards, continue your journey to the Bay of Islands, with one last stop to visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, which once saw the signing of the treaty between the British and Māori people. Explore the Waitangi Treaty House, Māori Meeting House and War Canoe, then continue onwards to Copthorne Hotel, your base for the next two nights. 

 

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Copthorne Hotel and Resort
Day 3

Bay of Islands

Today is all about discovering the stunning Bay of Islands. Get a taste of some of its 144 islands as you choose how you want to experience the region. Set out of a Cape Reinga Day tour and travel along the Ninety Mile Beach, or perhaps take to the water aboard the R. Tucker Thompson, a traditional gaff-rigged schooner. 

 

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation Copthorne Hotel and Resort
Day 4

Bay of Islands - Auckland

Spend your morning aboard a cruise boat exploring Cape Brett and the iconic Hole in the Rock. When you reach solid ground again, leave the Bay of Islands behind and enjoy the coach journey back to Auckland. 

Settle back into Auckland’s Grand Millennium Hotel, where you’ll spend the night, and enjoy a special dinner. 

 

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Grand Millennium Auckland
Day 5

Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua

Head to the village of Waitomo this morning for a guided tour of its underground limestone cave system and awe-inspiring Glowworm Caves, lit up by enchanting glowworms.  

Journey onwards to the town of Rotorua, renowned for its geothermal activity, and get ready to immerse yourself in authentic Māori culture as you enjoy a traditional Hangi feast, accompanied by song and dance performances. 

After a delicious dinner, spend tonight at Rotorua’s Millennium Hotel. 

 

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Millennium Rotorua
Day 6

Rotorua

Today, experience the best of the city as you make your choice of activities. Take the weight off your feet and enjoy a relaxing spa treatment in mud from the geothermal region that surrounds the city, or explore the Te Puia Thermal Reserve. 

Spend another night at Millennium Hotel or opt for a Country Home stay tonight.

 

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation Millennium Rotorua
Day 7

Rotorua - Wellington

Set out on the journey from Rotorua to the city of Wellington today. Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway, gazing out of your window at the passing magnificent views of Wairakei Steam Valley. Visit the stunning Huka Falls and Lake Taupo, before reaching Wellington.

Settle in and spend the night at Wellington’s Intercontinental Hotel.

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation InterContinental Wellington
Day 8

Wellington

Once again, today you’ll have the choice of how to spend your day. Explore the city of Wellington on a highlights tour, or discover some of the iconic places behind the Lord of the Rings films on a wonderful Lord of the Rings tour.

This evening is yours to sample some of Wellington’s best restaurants, before resting your head at the Intercontinental Hotel once more.

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation InterContinental Wellington
Day 9

Wellington - Kaikoura - Christchurch

Today, you’ll leave New Zealand’s North Island behind as you step aboard the Interislander ferry. Take in the majestic views as the ferry crosses the Cook Strait and cruises through the Marlborough Sounds, arriving on the South Island at Picton.

Your first stop on the stunning South Island is Kaikoura, a fishing town famous for its whale watching. Continue your journey and arrive at Christchurch, before spending the night at the Commodore Hotel.

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation The Commodore
Day 10

Christchurch - Franz Josef

As you leave Christchurch, get ready to embark on one of the world’s most incredible rail journeys. Board the TranzAlpine train, sit back and enjoy the spectacular vistas that pass you by; gorges, rivers, valleys and the peaks of the breath-taking Southern Alps.

When you reach Arthurs Pass, leave the train behind and continue the journey to Franz Josef by coach, then spend your night at the wonderful, eco-hotel of Te Waonui Forest Retreat.

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Day 11

Franz Josef - Queenstown

Today, you’ll travel from Franz Josef to Queenstown. Follow along the Hasst River and soak up the views of the Haast River Valley. Formed by glaciers, the valley boast vistas of breath-taking peaks, tumbling waterfalls and verdant rainforest.

When you arrive in Queenstown, choose from a variety of incredible dining experiences for dinner, then spend the first of two nights at Novotel Lakeside.

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Day 12

Queenstown

Choose how you want to experience this exciting city today. You might like to take a Shotover Jet Boat ride across river canyons, or indulge in a winery sightseeing experience and try some of Central Otago’s finest wines.

As evening sets in, take your pick from Queenstown’s culinary scene with a delicious dinner in the city.

  • Meals Breakfast
  • Suggested Accommodation Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Day 13

Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau

Experience the wonder of Milford Sound today. Enjoy the journey from Queenstown, soaking up the stunning views as the drive takes you down Eglinton Valley and Hollyford Valley and through the Homer Tunnel, with the sight of the mighty Mitre Peak awaiting you.

When you reach Milford Sound, experience this magnificent fjord in all its glory as you cruise across its waters.

Afterwards, take to the road once more and enjoy the drive to Te Anau and check into your hotel, Distinction Te Anau, your home for the night.

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Day 14

Te Anau - Dunedin

Say goodbye to the stunning Fiordland region this morning and journey to Dunedin. Pass by the South Island’s beautiful rolling countryside, and arrive on the east coast in the city of Dunedin.

When you reach Dunedin, choose how you wish to spend your afternoon. You might like to visit New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle, or journey along the Taieri Gorge Railway into rugged countryside.

This evening, relax as you spend your night at Scenic Hotel Southern Cross.

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Distinction Dunedin Hotel
Day 15

Dunedin – Mount Cook

Take to the road this morning and travel along the coast. Make a stop to marvel at the Moeraki Boulders, impressive large spheres boulders that lay along Koekohe Beach, then carry on to Mount Cook National Park.

Home to Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in Australasia, this national park is yours to explore how you wish today. You might like to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, or set out on a guided nature walk and take in the majesty of the mountain.

After a day of exploring, spend tonight at Hermitage Hotel.

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation The Hermitage Hotel
Day 16

Mount Cook – Christchurch

Leave the towering Mount Cook behind today and make the journey to the beautiful Lake Tekapo. Stop off at the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, which sits on the lakeshores and is built from locally-gathered stone as a tribute to the region’s early pioneers.

After exploring the church and taking in the stunning views across the lake, board your coach once again and continue onto New Zealand’s Canterbury region. Spend the last night of your New Zealand adventure in Christchurch’s Rydges Latimer hotel. Rest up and reflect on this incredible journey.

  • Meals Breakfast & Dinner
  • Suggested Accommodation Rydges Latimer Christchurch
Day 17

Depart Christchurch

Spend one last morning relaxing or exploring at your leisure before being driven to the airport to catch your flight home. Alternatively, you may wish to continue your adventure. Your Hayes & Jarvis Destination Specialist will be able to help guide you.

  • Meals Breakfast

Includes

  • Board basis is Half Board, with 16 breakfasts and 11 dinners
  • Cost of accommodation for a total of 16 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • All transportation by spacious luxury coach with modern amenities and professional driver
  • Transfers and luggage porterage
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your tour
  • Expert English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary, and an APT Tour Director
  • APT’s Enriching Signature Experiences
  • APT’s Freedom of Choice concept, where you have the flexibility to tailor your sightseeing and dinner options in select locations, at no additional cost
  • Overseas transfers and luggage porterage

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