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Exploring New Zealand’s Wonders Featuring the North & South Islands

See the Incredible North and South Islands of New Zealand. From geothermal springs and ice fields to stunning fjords and Maori culture, experience New Zealand at its best. This unforgettable 16-night tour starts in Auckland, New Zealand and concludes in Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital of the World."

Exploring New Zealand’s Wonders Featuring the North & South Islands

- SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
DEPARTURE DATE: October 9, 2024
Countries Visited: New Zealand

OVERVIEW

From geothermal springs and ice fields to stunning fjords and Maori culture, experience New Zealand at its best. Spend two nights discovering the sun-soaked Bay of Islands. Stand in awe of the giant kauri tree. Spend 2 nights in Christchurch and see how the city is reinventing itself. Admire the ice fields and glaciers surrounding Mt. Cook. Stay in Dunedin, a little slice of Scotland in the South Pacific. Cruise Milford Sound in dramatic Fiordland. Savour a captivating 3-night stay in Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital of the World.” The vibrant lifestyle of the Pacific Islands welcomes you.

Travel Dates & Pricing

TRAVEL DATEPRICETYPE
October 9, 2024from $8,199 CADPer Person

What's Included

  • 16 night escorted coach tour from Auckland to Queenstown
  • 16 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • Choice on Tour Options - Go bird watching at the Kiwi Birdlife Park -OR- take a gondola to Bob’s Peak for stunning views of the area
  • Must-See Inclusions: Relish a breathtaking cruise through Milford Sound fjord; Cross the Cook Strait by ferry; Explore Whakarewarewa, a Maori cultural and geothermal experience.
  • Cultural Experiences: Cruise through the Bay of Islands’ famous “Hole in the Rock.”; Overnight in the spectacular Mt. Cook region where permanent ice fields and glaciers blanket the ragged peaks; Visit Walter Peak High Country farm for a sheepdog demonstration.
  • Culinary Inclusions: Experience an authentic Hangi dinner and learn about Maori culture; Enjoy a BBQ on the western shore of Lake Wakatipu.
  • Taxes

Itinerary

DAYDATEPLACE
1Wed Oct 9Auckland, New Zealand - Tour Start Date
2Thu Oct 10Auckland, New Zealand
3Fri Oct 11Auckland - Bay of Islands
4Sat Oct 12Bay of Islands
5Sun Oct 13Bay of Islands – Matakohe – Rotorua
6Mon Oct 14Rotorua
7Tue Oct 15Rotorua – Wellington
8Wed Oct 16Wellington
9Thu Oct 17Wellington – Picton – Christchurch
10Fri Oct 18Christchurch
11Sat Oct 19Christchurch – Mt. Cook Region
12Sun Oct 20Mt. Cook Region – Dunedin
13Mon Oct 21Dunedin
14Tue Oct 22Dunedin – Queenstown
15Wed Oct 23 Queenstown – Milford Sound – Queenstown
16Thu Oct 24Queenstown
17Fri Oct 25Queenstown

Day 1 – Auckland, New Zealand – Tour Begins

Your tour opens in Auckland, the “City of Sails,” consistently rated one of the world’s best places to live. Auckland’s Polynesian population instills into its chic atmosphere the vibrant feel of the Pacific Islands. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.

Day 2 – Auckland, New Zealand

Come to know the best of Auckland during a panoramic city tour featuring the America’s Cup Village, the War Memorial, bustling Queen Street, and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The afternoon is yours to explore New Zealand’s largest city on your own. Perhaps you will choose to go on an optional America’s Cup sailing experience.

Day 3 – Auckland – Bay of Islands

Depart Auckland and travel north to the Bay of Islands, your home for the next 2 nights. This sun-soaked region boasts more than 144 islands and warm waters with abundant marine life. Visit the Waitangi Treaty House, the site where Maori and British leaders signed the 1840 treaty establishing New Zealand as a nation.

Day 4 – Bay of Islands

Begin the day with a cruise that features the bay’s famous Hole in the Rock. Look out at the Cape Brett Lighthouse, standing nearly 500 feet above sea level at the edge of the Cape Brett Peninsula. The rest of the day is yours to independently explore Paihia – the quaint town known as “the jewel of the Bay of Islands.”

Day 5 – Bay of Islands – Matakohe – Rotorua

Leave the sparkling waters of the Bay of Islands behind and head to Matakohe in the heartland of the North Island. Make a stop at the Kauri Museum and come to know the stories surrounding the giant kauri tree that can live for 2,000 years. Discover how the early settlers used this abundant tree to build a life for themselves. Later, continue on to the town of Rotorua, known for geothermal activity and Maori culture.

Day 6 – Rotorua

Find yourself amid the dramatic geothermal landscape of Rotorua, known as the Maori capital of New Zealand. Visit Whakarewarewa, a Maori cultural and geothermal experience. Explore an authentic Maori village where people live using natural geothermal resources to cook, bathe and heat their homes as they have done for centuries. In the evening, experience ceremonial Maori rituals at an authentic Hangi dinner and performance.

Day 7 – Rotorua – Wellington

Today we travel to Wellington, a coastal city nestled against the mountains. Embark on a tour of New Zealand’s capital city, known as the “Windy City.” See the Beehive – New Zealand’s Parliament; historic St. Paul’s Church; and the Old Government Building, the largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere.

Day 8 – Wellington

Explore the Te Papa Tongawera Museum, a fascinating center dedicated to art, history, and the Maori culture before enjoying an afternoon and evening at leisure. With your free time, perhaps you’ll consider a ride on the Wellington Cable Car to the suburb of Kelburn for stunning panoramic views of the city.

Day 9 – Wellington – Picton – Christchurch

Board a ferry and sail across Cook Strait. Experience what is considered to be one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world. Arrive in Picton on the South Island where you will have free time for lunch. Continue along the breathtaking east coast to the largest city on the South Island, Christchurch.

Day 10 – Christchurch

Christchurch, the “Garden City,” is recreating itself after a devastating earthquake in 2011. See firsthand how this city is evolving on a sightseeing tour that highlights the city’s magnificent gardens and elegant park district. Pay a visit to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, a leader in the conservation of New Zealand species. Here, you’ll have the chance to view New Zealand’s “Big 5” – kiwi, kaka, tuatara, kea, and takahe – up close and personal.

Day 11 – Christchurch – Mt. Cook Region

Journey through New Zealand’s unspoiled wilderness and arrive in the Mt. Cook region, where permanent ice fields and glaciers blanket the ragged peaks. The Maori word for Mt. Cook is Aoraki, which means “cloud piercer.” This is where famed New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary honed his skills before conquering Everest. You can take a nature walk, enjoy an optional glacier flightseeing tour (weather permitting), or simply meditate on the beauty of the Southern Alps.

Day 12 – Mt. Cook Region – Dunedin

Travel to Dunedin, situated on the southeast coast of New Zealand. One of the earliest European settlements on the islands, Dunedin holds proudly to its Scottish heritage and traditions. Enjoy time to explore this cultural city on your own.

Day 13 – Dunedin

Start your morning with a panoramic tour, visiting Larnach Castle and Baldwin Street – the world’s steepest public road. Later, spend time at the Royal Albatross Centre, the only mainland breeding location in the world for these otherworldly birds. Albatrosses are the focus in many seafaring myths, and their epic wingspan can reach nearly 10 feet.

Day 14 – Dunedin – Queenstown

Enjoy the rugged grandeur of the Hollyford Valley and the Homer Tunnel as you head to Queenstown, a mountainside town set against the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The rest of your day is yours to explore the city dubbed the “adventure capital of the world.”

Day 15 – Queenstown – Milford Sound – Queenstown

During a cruise of the beautiful Milford Sound, you will see why this fjord is one of the most visited sites on the South Island. With rock faces that rise nearly 4,000 feet on either side, the scenery will take your breath away. On your return to Queenstown, perhaps you will consider an optional scenic flight, allowing you to see the landscape from an entirely new perspective.

Day 16 – Queenstown

Cruise Lake Wakatipu surrounded by Queenstown’s stunning landscape aboard an iconic coal-fired steamship. Then, enjoy a BBQ lunch lakeside followed by a sheepdog demonstration before sailing back. Later, it’s your choice! Go bird watching at the Kiwi Birdlife Park -OR- take a gondola to Bob’s Peak for stunning views of the area. Gather for a farewell dinner and enjoy a locally sourced meal.

Day 17 – Queenstown – Tour Ends

Sounds Like Your Kind of Trip?
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