Our ‘Panoramic New Zealand’ tour explores the Geothermal and Culturally Rich North Island and the contrasting Natural Beauty of the Scenic South Island of New Zealand. On tour we include key visitor attractions including Waitomo Caves, Geothermal Rotorua, Maori Culture, Napier & Nelson, Tranz Alpine Train journey, Queenstown, the stunning natural beauty of Milford Sound and more. City tours are included in Auckland, Rotorua, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, & Dunedin.
- ARRIVE AUCKLAND (D)
Welcome to New Zealand! You are met on arrival at the Auckland International Airport before being transferred to your hotel.
- AUCKLAND – WAITOMO – ROTORUA (BD)
This morning you visit the Auckland Sky Tower– at 328m tall it is one of the tallest buildings in the Southern Hemisphere offering you outstanding views of the Auckland CBD and the surrounding region. Departing Auckland you travel south crossing the Bombay Hills through the dairy rich Waikato countryside you arrive at the famous Waitomo Caves. Here a guide will take you underground to view the amazing limestone caves featuring stalagmites and stalactites, which have taken centuries to form. Continue to walk down to an underground stream to board a small boat to view the glow-worm grotto – an underground cavern featuring millions of glow-worms. From Waitomo you travel to the thermal wonderland of Rotorua, the Sulphur City. Rotorua has the most energetic thermal activity in the country with bubbling mud pools, gushing geysers, beautiful coloured hot springs and terrace formations created by mineral water. Rotorua also has a large Maori population whose cultural activities are interesting and accessible as will be witnessed tomorrow evening. This afternoon you enjoy a relaxing guided walk through Rainbow Springs, a specialist garden featuring spring fed pools full of Rainbow & Brown Trout and New Zealand native flora and fauna including the iconic New Zealand Native Kiwi Bird.
- ROTORUA (BD)
Today is at your leisure. Your Optional Touring Booklet will give you plenty of options on how to spend your time. This evening you will be treated to a traditional Hangi (feast) and Maori Concert. You are transferred from our hotel to visit Tamaki Maori Village for a Cultural Experience and Hangi Dinner. Experience the warmth of the Maori people during an evening of ceremonial rituals, powerful cultural performance, storytelling & hangi feasting. Enter the pre-European Maori village, witness the earth being scraped carefully away from the hangi pit and enter their ancestral Meeting House to relax as their family entertain you with a powerful cultural performance before dining on the traditional hangi buffet dinner(Maori feast) cooked the traditional Maori way in an earth oven.
- ROTORUA – NAPIER (BD)
This morning visit Te Puia – The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley featuring the famous Pohutu Geyser. Departing Rotorua you travel via New Zealand’s largest pine tree forests to Taupo. En-route, you make a visit to the Wairakei Geothermal Steam Field. This was a world-first, generating electricity by tapping a natural steam field then channelling the steam to a nearby power generation plant. Continuing you view the mighty Huka Falls. Huka in Maori translates to “snow” as the water here has the appearance of snow falling as it is forced along from Lake Taupo through the falls on its journey along the Waikato River. This afternoon you continue to the ‘Fruit Bowl’ of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay – Napier.
- NAPIER – WELLINGTON (BD)
Before you depart Napier you take a city sights tour, featuring beautiful Art Deco buildings to give us an insight of why Napier is known as the Art Deco capital of the world. This afternoon you continue south to Wellington where you spend the rest of the day enjoying an informative sightseeing tour, including a visit to Te Papa, (Our Place) New Zealand’s national museum.
- WELLINGTON – NELSON (BD)
Today begins as you cruise the Wellington Harbour out onto the Cook Strait on the Interislander and through New Zealand’s only true sounds, the picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound into Picton. The bustling port of Picton is the terminal for inter-island ferries, and gateway to the ‘Mainland’, the South Island’s self-proclaimed nickname. Reboarding our coach you continue to tour through to Pelorous Bridge. Here you can walk through the Beech and Podocarp Forest as well as view the many sculptured boulders in the Pelorous River. Continuing on for a tour of Nelson – this being the first city of New Zealand.
- NELSON – CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
Passing Brightwater, the birth place of Lord Rutherford, the New Zealand science pioneer who split the atom, you travel through the Golden Downs Forest to Murchison through the Maruia Forest over the Lewis Pass then into Hanmer Springs. Time out here for lunch in this lovely alpine village (at own expense) before joining the upper reaches of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch where you enjoy the sights of the ‘Garden City’ also known as “the most English city outside of England”, en-route to our accommodation.
- CHRISTCHURCH – FRANZ JOSEF (BD)
From Christchurch you traverse the Southern Alps aboard the famous Tranz-Alpine rail journey to Arthurs Pass. From your carriage you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps. Once you have crossed into the Southern Alps you are met at the village of Arthurs Pass by our coach to continue our journey to the West Coast – or the Coast as locals call it, stopping in Hokitika where a visit is made to the Greenstone and Glass Blowing factories. Further south you tour the Westland National Park, the home of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. On arrival, time is available for optional scenic flights, before continuing onto our accommodation for the night.
- FRANZ JOSEF – QUEENSTOWN (B)
Driving towards the southern end of the South Island’s West Coast Road, there is a strong sense of entering a primeval land, and a feeling of total isolation. Arriving at Haast, you are surrounded by a landscape of rainforest, wetlands, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. This wilderness forms part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, so designated because South Westland and Fiordland have some of the most dramatic forest and mountain scenery and natural resources in the world. From the Westland National Park you travel through the Haast River valleys and over the Haast Pass to Makaroa and onto the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka. Travelling past Lake Hawea you reach the popular Lake Wanaka, the starting point of the mighty Clutha River. This afternoon you travel via Cromwell following the Kawarau Gorge Road into Queenstown. Tonight is free for you to explore the local restaurants, cafes and bars.
- QUEENSTOWN (BD)
Today is at leisure. Visit the Remarkable’s or Coronet Peak. Experience the thrill of a jet-boat ride along the Shotover or Kawarau Rivers. Perhaps a scenic 4 wheel drive excursion through Skippers Canyon, it’s up to you. This evening you take a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station to dine at the Colonel’s Homestead
- QUEENSTOWN – TE ANAU (BD)
Leaving Queenstown you skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third largest lake. Travelling via Te Anau you reach the beautiful Eglinton Valley climbing to Homer Tunnel before descending through the spectacular Cleddau Canyon to reach Milford Sound where you enjoy a cruise of the Sound. The Sound is dominated by the grandeur of Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls.From Milford Sound you return to Te Anau reaching our overnight accommodation.
- TE ANAU – DUNEDIN (BD)
Departing Te Anau you travel through some of New Zealand’s most populated sheep country through to Lumsden and onto Gore before arriving in Dunedin – “the Edinburgh of the South”. Upon our arrival into Dunedin, you have the opportunity to board an optional train ride - the Taieri Gorge Train Excursionfrom the historic Dunedin Railway Station for a scenic train ride into the spectacular Taieri Gorge to Pukerangi and return.
- DUNEDIN – OMARAMA (BD)
This morning you visit Olveston House – an impressive turn-of-the-century house that is still home to all the lavish furnishings and art collections that have been collected from all corners of the world. You continue to then take in the sights of this old Scottish City before travelling onto Oamaru where you have time to look at the ‘White Stone City’ where the old buildings have been constructed with local limestone. It was from Oamaru that New Zealand’s first frozen meat was shipped in 1882 taking over three months to reach England, and thus began New Zealand’s most important export industry. Travelling inland through Benmore and Otematata, through Sailors Cutting you arrive at Omarama.
- OMARAMA – CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
A day for spectacular sights. You head north to skirt the shore of Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Time is available to enjoy an optional scenic flight over the ancient rivers of ice and the West Coast Glaciers (weather permitting – a highly recommended option). Travelling to Tekapo you witness the magnificent blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Here you visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and the statue of the Collie dog, before travelling the vast Mackenzie Basin, over Burke’s Pass through Fairlie, Geraldine, Ashburton and across the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch.
- CHRISTCHURCH – HOME PORT (B)
Farewell from New Zealand. After breakfast you will be transferred from the hotel to Christchurch International Airport for your flight back home.