16 DAY CLASSIC NEW ZEALAND
- ARRIVE – CHRISTCHURCH (D)
Haere mai, Kia Ora! Welcome to New Zealand! Today you are met on arrival then transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.
Quality Elms Hotel – 2 nights
- CHRISTCHURCH – FOX GLACIER (BD)
From Christchurch we 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 we have crossed into the Southern Alps we are met at the Village of Arthurs Pass by our coach for us 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 we 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.
Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier
- FOX GLACIER – QUEENSTOWN (BD)
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 we 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 we reach the popular Lake Wanaka, the starting point of the mighty Clutha River. This afternoon we travel via Cromwell following the Kawerau Gorge Road into Arrowtown for a look at this old Gold Mining settlement. From here we continue on to Queenstown. Dinner tonight is enjoyed at our hotel.
Tanoa Aspen Hotel– 2 nights
- QUEENSTOWN (B)
Today is a day at leisure. Visit the Remarkable’s or Coronet Peak. Experience the thrill of a jet-boat ride along the Shotover or Kawerau Rivers. Perhaps a scenic 4 wheel drive excursion through Skippers Canyon - it’s up to you. Please refer to your Leisure Time Tours Optional Touring Booklet (which you will receive with your final documents) for plenty of ideas on how to spend your day, plus take advantage of the discount coupons provided only to our passengers. This evening you could take a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station to dine at the Colonel’s Homestead or you can just explore the local restaurants, cafes and bars.
- QUEENSTOWN – MILFORD SOUND – TE ANAU (BD)
Leaving Queenstown we skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third largest lake. Then travelling via Te Anau we reach the beautiful Eglinton Valley climbing to Homer Tunnel before descending through the spectacular Cleddau Canyon to reach Milford Sound where we enjoy a cruise of the Sound. The Sound is dominated by the grandeur of Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls. Returning to Te Anau we reach our overnight accommodation.
- TE ANAU – DUNEDIN (BD)
Departing Te Anau we 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 Excursion from the historic Dunedin Railway Station for a scenic train ride into the spectacular Taieri Gorge to Pukerangi and return.
The Victoria Hotel
- DUNEDIN – OMARAMA (BD)
This morning we 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. We then travel onto Oamaru where we have time to look at the ‘White Stone City’. 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 we arrive at Omarama.
Heritage Gateway Hotel
- OMARAMA – CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
A day for spectacular sights. We 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 we witness the magnificent blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Here we 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.
Quality Elms Hotel
- CHRISTCHURCH – WELLINGTON (BD)
Travelling along the rugged coastline through Kaikoura to Picton, keep an eye out for the seals sunning themselves on the coastal rocks. We board the InterIslander crossing Cook Strait to Wellington, where we enjoy a sightseeing tour of New Zealand’s Capital city.
Bay Plaza Hotel
- WELLINGTON – ROTORUA (BD)
This morning we leave the Hawkes Bay to travel to Taupo, stopping at the mighty Huka Falls and the Wairakei Geothermal Steam Field before continuing onto Rotorua which 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.
Ibis Rotorua Hotel – 2 nights
- ROTORUA (BD)
This morning we visit the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley featuring the famous Pohutu Geyser before we head back to Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park. The reminder of your afternoon is at your leisure. Rotorua has many options for visitors to New Zealand. Your Optional Touring Booklet will give you plenty of options on how to spend your time. Tonight we will be treated to a traditional Hangi (feast) and Maori concert.
- ROTORUA – WAITOMO – AUCKLAND (BD)
Today we depart Rotorua crossing the Mamaku Ranges travelling to the famous Waitomo Caves. Here a guide will take us underground to these amazing limestone caves featuring stalagmites and stalactites, which have taken centuries to form. We 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. We then continue north through the Dairy Rich Waikato Region crossing the Bombay Hills into Auckland.
Copthorne Hotel Auckland City
- AUCKLAND – BAY OF ISLANDS (BD)
Departing Auckland we travel north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to first of all visit the Parry Kauri Park. Here we view some fine examples of Giant Kauri Trees which once dominated the landscape. We then visit the Matakohe Kauri Museum, at Otamatea. Here we have an insight to the early New Zealand Pioneer History, which helped form the New Zealand that we see today. This afternoon we reach Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where we enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House where New Zealand’s history began.
Tanoa Paihia Hotel – 2 nights
- BAY OF ISLANDS (B)
Today is a day of leisure. The Bay of Islands has so many options for you to discover - perhaps a day trip to the light house at Cape Reinga the most northern tip of New Zealand, followed by a safari along 90 Mile Beach on the way home. Maybe try your luck at deep-sea fishing, or take the plunge swimming with the dolphins or just take time out to relax within Paihia or Russell - New Zealand’s first Capital.
- BAY OF ISLANDS – AUCKLAND (BD)
This morning board a luxury catamaran to cruise the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett before making a passage through the Hole in the Rock. After your cruise we travel south following the Twin Coast Discovery Highway to arrive in Auckland, where on arrival we experience a highlights tour of Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’, exploring the lively waterfront area. Enjoy the relaxing views along Tamaki Drive, which runs east past peaceful sheltered bays to Auckland's most expensive real estate.
Copthorne Hotel Auckland City
- AUCKLAND – HOME PORT (B)
Our last morning together. There will be time to relax before being transferred to Auckland International Airport where we connect with our outbound flight.