- 9 days/8 nights
- 8 nights’ accommodation as indicated or similar
- Maori dinner & concert
- Milford Sound Cruise
- Touring & transfers as listed
Essential New Zealand Tour
Combining the best of north and south, this 9 day trip is the perfect introduction to picturesque New Zealand.
New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland seduces visitors with its laid back pace, world class museums, galleries and gardens. Enjoy spectacular city views from your included visit to Mt Eden, as well as historic Parnell Village. You’ll also explore some of the surrounding rainforest, including the black sand beach where ‘The Piano’ was filmed.
The North Island of New Zealand is a geology geek’s paradise. Believed to be over two million years old, the Waitomo Caves are a major draw for visitors fascinated by their large population of glowworms and beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations. You’ll have the chance to explore them on your way to Rotorua, where spouting geysers and boiling mudpools showcase geothermal New Zealand at its best. An included tour of this area includes Rainbow Springs, Te Whakarewarewa thermal reserve and Te Puia Rotorua. Cap off your sightseeing with a traditional Maori concert and Hangi (feast) for a taste of New Zealand’s indigenous culture.
A Mecca for skiers, Queenstown puts you in the heart of the South Island’s mountain landscape. Less active travelers can enjoy an optional scenic helicopter flight, jetboat trip or Gondola ride to take in the sights. An included day trip takes you to Milford Sound, a breathtaking, 16km long fjord carved by glaciers out to the Tasman Sea. Your onward journey to Christchurch also passes Lake Wanaka and includes a stop at majestic Mount Cook, known to the Maori people as ‘Cloud Piercer’.
Christchurch was devastated by four large earthquakes between September 2010 and December 2011. But while some areas and attractions remain closed for repairs, there is still plenty for the visitor to do and see if time allows. The Air Force Museum will thrill military history buffs, while the Canterbury Museum provides a fascinating look at New Zealand history. Or take a tour of sites affected by the quakes for a glimpse of a resilient, rebuilding Christchurch.
*Ask your travel team agent to build your dream adventure 800-788-0829
*Accommodations may differ depending on if choosing, Economy, Moderate or First Class Option
*Itinerary shown is for the Moderate class option
Day 1: Auckland Airport to Auckland City Hotel
Duration 30 Minutes
Scenic Hotel Auckland
The Scenic Hotel Auckland is conveniently located on Queen Street in the heart of Auckland’s Central Business District. The hotel’s superb location puts some of the city’s best attractions at your doorstep, such as the Edge Entertainment Centre, Town Hall, Aotea Centre and the Civic Theatre. In addition, the hotel is a leisurely walk to the dynamic waterfront and the downtown shopping area. The hotel has 100 rooms, which has a modern apartment style, yet carry the art deco theme through in the finer details such as the eye-catching black and white artworks that complement each room. Stay: 2 Nights Scenic Hotel Auckland
Day 2: Best of Both Worlds
Experience the best sights of Auckland City in the morning combined with an afternoon Wilderness Experience — a day of contrasts. Auckland is set on 52 dormant volcanic cones and between two harbours, the sparkling Waitemata and the brooding Manukau. Known as the City of Sails, it’s New Zealand’s largest and busiest city. The morning tour is a journey of discovery designed to explore the history and sights as well as see how Aucklanders live and play.
A 30 minute drive from downtown Auckland brings you to the Arataki Centre, the gateway to the rain forest, where the sweeping decks give breathtaking panoramic views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Absorb the local history and admire the traditional Maori carvings that stand guard there. Head further west and experience the power of the wild and rugged west coast. Feel the black sand beneath your feet as you stroll along some of the most awe-inspiring beaches the world has to offer.
With your knowledgeable and experienced guide, your eco-tour continues on to the lush rain forest where you hear native birdsong as you walk the easy bush tracks amongst New Zealand’s famous kauri trees and giant tree ferns. Duration 8 Hours
Day 3: Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo incl Lunch
Travel south from Auckland, through the rich farmland of the Waikato, and onto Waitomo. Here you will enjoy a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the world famous Glowworm Caves. Your tour continues with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto, illuminated by thousands of tiny lights from the glow worms suspended from the cave ceiling. Following your tour there is time for lunch (included). You will then continue to Rotorua by coach. Duration 6 Hours
Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
Set on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua, Sudima Lake Rotorua is the largest hotel in Rotorua. Adjacent to the world famous Polynesian Spa, Rotorua Museum and Government Gardens, the hotel is a short stroll from Rotorua’s vibrant city centre, Convention Centre and the Energy Events Centre. Sudima Lake Rotorua offers 250 guest rooms in a range of accommodation options, many with superb views across Lake Rotorua. Stay: 2 Nights Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
Day 4: Discover Rotorua Morning Tour
Today on your morning tour you will visit Te Puia and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute where you can view mighty geysers, boiling mud pools, and the traditional arts and culture of the Maori People. You will also experience Rainbow Springs which is a unique showcase of New Zealand’s flora and fauna including New Zealand’s national icon, a kiwi bird. Last but not least, you will have a hands on experience at the Agrodome Sheep Show, giving you an animated insight into New Zealand’s farming history.
Rotorua Journey of Ages
This evening you will engage in a wonderful experience at the Tamaki Maori Village. Enroute your guide will instruct you on the rules and protocol for visiting Marae (meeting grounds). On arrival at the venue, nobody must enter the fortified village until the Powhiri (formal welcome) has been performed. The host tribe will send out a toa (warrior) who will challenge the guests, via their elected chief to ascertain if they come in peace. A Teka (peace offering) is placed and received by one of the visiting chiefs. At the Village, the Karanga, or “welcome call” will echo across the courtyard, followed by the Powhiri (welcome dance). You will then be able to enter onto the village grounds where the Tangata Whenua (people of the land) will demonstrate different activities such as poi twirling, hand games, weaponry displays, reciting chants and displaying activities of an era gone by.
The buffet style dinner will be held in the meetinghouse dining hall and will have everyone enjoying a succulent Hangi feast. The evening ends with the Poroporoaki, the official closing ceremony and you will be safely transferred back to your accommodation.
Duration 3 Hours
Day 5: Rotorua City Hotel to Rotorua Airport
Queenstown Airport to Queenstown City Hotel
Duration 30 Minutes
Heartland Hotel Queenstown
Heartland Hotel Queenstown is perched just above the town centre – an excellent vantage point where you can feel tucked away’ and enjoy magnificent views, yet you are only a few minutes walk to the town centre. With 81 comfortable, well-appointed guest rooms, including five family rooms, Heartland Hotel Queenstown provides all you need for a comfortable rest at the end of another action-packed Queenstown day. Stay: 3 Nights Heartland Hotel Queenstown
Day 6: Discover Milford Sound Coach Cruise Coach incl Lunch
Travel by luxury coach on an unforgettable journey from Queenstown into Milford Sound. Located within the World Heritage Fiordland National Park, this region is rich with dense rainforest, lakes and waterfalls cascading from rugged mountain peaks. Journey through the Southern Alps via the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km tunnel drilled through a solid mountain of rock. Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board your Red Boat vessel for a spectacular cruise where you will see the wonders of Mitre Peak, glacier scarred rock walls that rise 1,200m vertically from the sea, and waterfalls that tumble from hanging valleys and crash into the sound far below. Return by coach to Queenstown.
Day 7: Day at Leisure
Today is totally free and at leisure. You can take advantage of any optional activities available or simply relax.
Day 8: Queenstown to Christchurch incl Lunch
Depart Queenstown and travel through the rugged and beautiful landscape of Otago. Cross the Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country to visit Mount Cook Village at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki / Mount Cook. Here there is time to experience an optional scenic helicopter or skiplane flight with a snow landing (weather permitting). Continue your journey with a stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo, before continuing to your destination of Christchurch. Duration 8 Hours
Heartland Hotel Cotswold
Full of character, Heartland Hotel Cotswold is warm and welcoming, and the perfect place to relax during your visit to Christchurch. The hotel has 77 spacious rooms and its spacious grounds feature award-winning gardens. Located on the edge of the central business district it’s an easy stroll to boutique shopping at Merivale Mall, Christchurch Casino and the beautiful Hagley Park. Just a 20 minute drive from Christchurch airport Heartland Hotel Cotswold is well-positioned for travellers visiting Christchurch. Stay: 1 Night Heartland Hotel Cotswold
Day 9: Christchurch City Hotel to Christchurch Airport
Duration 30 Minutes
*Additional travel dates are available, Call a Travel Team Agent at 1-800-788-0829 for details
Your Travel Team agent can easily add extra days or even cities to this package
Or, call 1.800.788.0829 to speak with one of our travel experts.
- Land only package, ask your travel team agent to easily add airfare
- Prices in US dollars unless otherwise noted
- We have limited space on this package and it is subject to availability and prior sale
- All package prices are per person based on double occupancy unless otherwise noted
- Prices reflect cash discount
- Due to constantly changing policies to baggage restrictions, please check with your airline directly for latest updates and restrictions
- Information, including prices are subject to change without notice
- Restrictions and change and/or cancel penalties apply