Mount Cook, New Zealand

New Zealand Getaway

Our New Zealand Getaway tour is a superb choice for first timers wanting to get a taste of the delights of New Zealand, as well as for those who want to revisit the attractions all over again. This 15 day tour encompasses the country’s must see destinations, including the mighty geysers of Rotorua on the North Island and the dramatic cliffs of Milford Sound on the South Island. Admire incredible glaciers and indulge in fascinating Māori culture on this authentic New Zealand adventure.

Begin the tour in cosmopolitan Auckland, which is home to a wealth of waterfront dining, designer shopping, a plethora of water sports and iconic sights, including the famous Sky Tower and the stunning harbour. Admire the beautiful Bay of Islands before heading off to visit the spectacular Waitomo Caves. Immerse yourself in Māori culture in Rotorua before travelling on again, this time via Wairakei Steam Valley to Lake Taupo and the majestic Huka Falls. Next is exciting Wellington and the Cook Strait, passing impressive mountains and seaside towns. View the striking Franz Josef Glacier before stopping off at the alpine Queenstown. Other delights include cruising Milford Sound and the exquisite Lake Tekapo before heading home from Christchurch.

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Waitomo Caves
  • Rotorua Hangi Forest
  • Southern Alps
  • Milford Sound cruise

Sample Itinerary Summary

We can tailor any part of this itinerary or create a new one just for you.

Duration
15 days
Guide Price
£4,849 per person
Price based on
Departures from London Gatwick with Emirates, based on the 13th November 19. Includes 14 nights accommodation with breakfast on an escorted APT Tour.
Our guide price gives you an idea of pricing which will vary depending on exchange rates, accommodation, duration, dates, airline and cabin class.

Itinerary Breakdown

Start your tour in the exciting city of Auckland, staying at the central Rydges Hotel. The city’s famous harbour will dazzle you with its array of waterside bars and restaurants, and there are also plenty of shopping malls and designer boutiques. Known as the “City of Sails” due to its affection for the water, Auckland will spoil you with its range of Watersports and excursions, including swimming with dolphins, or a relaxing cruise around the harbour.

Head to the top of the Sky Tower or take a trip to the Waitakere Ranges and embark on a walking trail through lush rainforest, home to rare flora and fauna, stunning waterfalls and streams. Waiheke Island beaches and wineries are also worth a visit.

Leaving Auckland you will travel north to the eye catching Waipoua Kauri Forest Reserve, just north of Dargaville. Here you can admire the fascinating 2,000 year old giant Kauri Tree Tane Mahuta - known as the “Lord of the Forest.” Wander through natural gateways made from kauri ferns and towering trees and see exotic birds and wildlife in beautiful surroundings. Continue on to the inspiring Bay of Islands, which is the birthplace of New Zealand and offers a chance to journey through the country’s fascinating history.

Spend the day at leisure in the Bay of Islands; home to 144 islands which can be enjoyed as a day excursion or upgraded to an overnight cruise. Explore this spectacular maritime park where you can book a dolphin spotting tour to Cape Brett and cruise through the renowned Hole in the Rock.

Explore the Cape Brett Lighthouse or head out to the historical Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Gardens. For an unmissable Bay of Islands experience, visit the exquisite Rainbow Falls. The boutique towns of Paihia, Opua, Kerikeri and Russell are also worth a visit.

Discover the delights of New Zealand’s finest Maritime Park, cruising through the game fishing waters to the Cape Brett lighthouse and getting up close and personal with the impressive local marine life. Then make your way back to Auckland where the next instalment of your tour begins.

Departing Auckland, you will navigate south through the gorgeous Waikoto Province to the famous Waitomo Caves. Here you can discover a maze of underground limestone caves and will enjoy a guided tour lit by thousands of glow worms. Travel through the extensive cave systems on foot or by boat and witness spectacular waterfalls and impressive limestone formations. During the afternoon you will arrive at Rotorua for an exciting two night stay, where you can immerse yourself in authentic Māori culture. Start by joining the Hangi Feast, where you can indulge in local cuisine, song and dance.

Spend the day at your leisure, exploring one of New Zealand’s most popular attractions, Rotorua, which is at the heart of Māori culture. Take a trip to a traditional village and learn the famous Haka with a backdrop of majestic mountains, spouting geysers and crater lakes.

The Agrodome is a must see attraction - a working farm where you can interact with the animal residents, enjoy a guided tour and witness wool demonstrations and shows. Ride Rotorua’s Skyline up to Mount Ngongotaha for panoramic views of picturesque landscapes. In the afternoon, relax and unwind at Te Puia Thermal Reserve and enjoy a guided tour through the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute.

Leaving Rotorua, travel through Wairakei Steam Valley to stunning Lake Taupo and the mighty Huka Falls. Swim, paddle and immerse yourself in the warm geothermal waters of Lake Taupo before taking a stroll over the footbridge to witness the thundering Huka Falls.

Continue travelling across the volcanic plateau of the world-heritage listed Tongariro National Park, before arriving in the country’s capital city of Wellington. A superb place to visit first is Te Papa, the fascinating Museum of New Zealand, which will take you on a journey through art, culture, history and nature.

Spend the morning on a city tour of Wellington, or visit some of its popular attractions. Highlights include the unique Beehive Parliament Building and the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary where you can appreciate the country’s spectacular flora and fauna.

Oriental Bay offers an inner city beach, in addition to art galleries, museums and theatres. Lord of the Rings fans will enjoy a tour of Middle Earth. Alternatively, cruise across the Cook Strait and take a scenic drive between the Kaikoura ranges and the Pacific Ocean via the seaside town of Kaikoura at the foot of the snow-capped mountains of the Canterbury region.

Leaving Christchurch, venture across the Canterbury Plains and their picturesque farmland towards the Main Divide. Cross over the exquisite Southern Alps and take in the beautiful Alpine scenery. You will then travel through lush green rainforest and arrive in Westland National Park.

The highlight of today will take you further along the west coast to the stunning Franz Josef Glacier. Explore this spectacular World Heritage area and view the impressive glacier from the dedicated lookout points to witness your surroundings in all their glory. There are also waterfalls, lakes and rainforests to discover.

Your day begins with a journey through the snow white mountains of the Southern Alps and across the famous Haast Pass. Enjoy one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in the world before venturing on to Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, which can be found nestled at the foot of the mountains.

At the end of this spectacular journey you will arrive in Queenstown, which enjoys an enviable position on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. Spend the evening sampling delicious local cuisine while taking in the impressive mountain and lake views.

There is something for everyone in Queenstown; whether you’re seeking adventure or a leisurely tour. Join the TSS Earnslaw for a cruise and tour of Walter Peak Station. For the best views of the city, take the Skyline Gondola over Lake Wakatipu up to Bob’s Peak. At the top, relax and enjoy the view or follow a cycle or walking trail to witness its natural beauty.

Adventurers may prefer to take the cable car up the mountain and take on the Skyline Luge. The Stratosphere Queenstown Restaurant is the perfect place to admire the sights while appreciating fine New Zealand cuisine and the Harrison Observatory is a must for those interested in seeing rare corals, anemones and a variety of fish species.

Start your day travelling through the vast Remarkables mountain range and the exquisite Lake Wakatipu to the majestic Fiordland National Park. From here you will journey along one of the best alpine drives, Milford Road to Milford Sound. Here you can embark on a cruise along this striking fjord, where this is also ample opportunity to admire the magnificent waterfalls, majestic mountains and thick rainforest that make up this impressive World Heritage-listed region, where mountains and valleys collide.

Leaving the charming Fiordland region, you will continue travelling through the picturesque Southland countryside until you arrive in Dunedin. Take a tour of this exciting city, where attractions include a visit to the only castle in New Zealand, Larnach Castle. Explore the historic castle and take a stroll in the pretty gardens created by politician and businessman William James Mudie Larnach. As evening draws in, indulge in the Scottish culture of Dunedin, including a Scottish themed dinner featuring bagpipes, haggis and kilts.

Leaving Dunedin, travel along the scenic coastline to Koekohe Beach where you can witness the magnificent Moeraki Boulders. From there, journey to Oamaru which is renowned for its impressive limestone architecture. Beautiful Victorian architecture awaits, alongside native little blue penguins.

Travel further into the National Park where you’ll find Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand - standing at over 3700 metres - alongside stunning glaciers and peaks. Continue on to Lake Tekapo, where you can enjoy dinner under the stars on the shores of the delightful lake.

Before leaving Lake Tekapo, visit the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, which is nestled on its shores. This picturesque church was built as a memorial to the pioneers of the Mackenzie Country and is surrounded by natural beauty and the vast snow capped mountains.

Then continue your trip across the impressive Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, renowned for its English heritage. The largest city in the south island allows you to take a punt on the Avon River, wander around the Botanical Gardens, visit Hagley Park or explore the Canterbury Museum. Your tour ends with a transfer back to the airport.

 

  • Auckland

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Harbour
    • Sky Tower
    • Waitakere Ranges
    • Waiheke Island beaches and winery
  • Waitomo

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Waitomo Caves
    • Hangi Feast, Rotorua
    • Agrodome, Rotorua
    • Te Puia Thermal Reserve
  • Lake Taupo

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Wairakei Steam Valley
    • Lake Taupo
    • Huka Falls
    • Tongariro National Park
  • Wellington

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa
    • Beehive Parliament Building
    • Oriental Bay
    • Middle Earth
  • Kaikoura

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Interislander cruise across the Cook Strait
    • Scenic drive through rugged Kaikoura Ranges
    • Seaside town of Kaikoura
    • Canterbury Plains
  • Fox Glacier

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Main Divide
    • Westland National Park
    • Franz Josef Glacier
    • Haast Pass
  • Queenstown

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Cruise and tour of Walter Peak Station
    • Skyline Gondola ride to Bob's Peak
    • Skyline Luge
    • Harrison Observatory
  • Te Anau

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Fiordland National Park
    • Milford Sound
    • Larnach Castle, Dunedin
    • Scottish themed dinner
  • Mount Cook

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Moeraki Boulders
    • Oamaru
    • National Park
    • Church of the Good Shepherd
  • Christchurch

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Botanic Gardens
    • Hagley Park
    • Canterbury Museum
    • Punt on the Avon River