Our ‘Discover New Zealand’ itinerary explores both islands of New Zealand at a leisurely pace with 3 multiple night stays and 3 days of leisure. This tour stays in central visitor locations using quality accommodation. Key attractions are visited to mention a few; Hole in the Rock Cruise, Sky Tower, Waitomo Caves, Geothermal Rotorua, Maori Culture, Napier & Nelson, TranzAlpine 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 – BAY OF ISLANDS (BD)
Departing Auckland you travel north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to first of all visit the Parry Kauri Park. Here you will view some fine examples of Giant Kauri Trees. Continuing you then visit the Matakohe Kauri Museum, at Otamatea. Here you will gain an insight to the early New Zealand Pioneer History, which helped form the New Zealand that we see today. Continuing your journey you reach Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where you’ll take a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House where New Zealand’s history began.
- 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. 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.
- BAY OF ISLANDS – AUCKLAND (BD)
This morning board a luxury catamaran to cruisethe Bay of Islands to Cape Brett before making a passage through the Hole in the Rock. After your cruise you travel south following the Twin Coast Discovery Highway to arrive in Auckland, whereon arrival you experience a highlights tour of Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’ including 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.
- AUCKLAND – WAITOMO – ROTORUA (BD)
This morning you visit the Auckland Sky Tower – at 328m tall 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 to 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 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 your 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, 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 continue to the ‘Fruit Bowl’ of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay – Napier.
- NAPIER – WELLINGTON (BD)
Before departing Napier take a city sights tour, featuring beautiful Art Deco buildings to give you an insight of why Napier is known as the Art Deco capital of the world. This afternoon you continue south to Wellington to 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 Marlborough 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 the coach continue to tour through to Pelorous Bridgewhere you can walk through the Beech and Podocarp Forest as well as view the many sculptured boulder’s in the Pelorous River. Continuing on for a tour of Nelson – this being our first city of New Zealand.
- NELSON – CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
After departing Nelson this morning, you pass through Brightwater, the birth place of Lord Rutherford, the New Zealand science pioneer who split the atom. Then travel through the Golden Downs Forest to Murchison, through the Maruia Forest, over the Lewis Pass and then into Hanmer Springswhere there is time to soak in the mineral pools (at own expense) before joining
the upper reaches of the Canterbury Plains. On arrival in to Christchurch, enjoy the sights of the ‘Garden City’ also known as “the most English city outside of England”, en-route to your accommodation.
- CHRISTCHURCH – FRANZ JOSEF (BD)
From Christchurch 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 the coach to continue your journey to the West Coast – or just “the Coast” as locals call it – stopping in Hokitika where a visit is made to the Greenstone and Glass Blowing factories. Further south 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 your 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 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 popularLake Wanaka, the starting point of the mighty Clutha River. This afternoon you travel via Cromwell, following the Kawerau Gorge Road, into Queenstown. Tonight is free for you to explore the local restaurants, cafes and bars.
- QUEENSTOWN (B)
Today is at leisure. Visit the Remarkable’s or Coronet Peak. Experience the thrill of a jet-boat ride along the Shotover or Kawerau Rivers. Perhaps take a scenic 4 wheel drive excursion through Skippers Canyon, it’s up to you. Your Optional Touring Booklet will give you plenty of options for how to spend your time. This evening take a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station to dine at the Colonel’s Homestead.
- QUEENSTOWN – MILFORD SOUNDS – TE ANAU (BD)
Leaving Queenstown you skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third largest lake, and travel via Te Anau to reach the beautiful Eglinton Valley. Then climb 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. Returning to Te Anau you reach your 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 your arrival into Dunedin, you have the opportunity to board an optional train ride – the Taieri Gorge Train Excursion – from the historic Dunedin Railway Station. This is a scenic train ride through the spectacular Taieri Gorge to Pukerangi and return.
- DUNEDIN – OMARAMA (BD)
This morning 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. After this, continue to take in the some more of the sights of this old Scottish City before departing for Omarama. On the way travel through Oamaru where there is time to look at the ‘White Stone City’, known as such because the old buildings were constructed with the local limestone. In 1882 New Zealand’s first shipment of frozen mutton was sourced from Totara Estate, Oamaru and sent to the other side of the world on the SS Dunedin from Port Chalmers, Otago. Oamaru is the birthplace of New Zealand's billion dollar frozen meat industry. Travelling inland through Benmore and Otematata, then through Sailors Cutting you arrive at Omarama.
- OMARAMA – CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
A day for spectacular sights! 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 will witness the magnificent blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Here 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)
- Select group economy flights
- Meet and Greet on arrival in New Zealand
- New Zealand Airport Transfers on commencement and completion days (unless additional accommodation is booked through Leisure Time Tours)
- Quality hotel accommodation, twin/double rooms, (single rooms available with single supplement) all with private facilities
- Cooked Breakfasts (B) and Dinners (D) where indicated on the itinerary, including 2 Highlight Meals: Maori Hangi and Concert – Rotorua, Walter Peak Dinner at the Colonels Homestead – Queenstown
- Tour Admissions as per itinerary, including 4 Scenic Boat Cruises: The Hole in the Rock, Cook Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound, TSS Earnslaw Cruise on Lake Wakatipu and Milford Sound Cruise
- Touring in a modern air conditioned coach and where possible we will provide a complimentary Roadside Morning Tea from the coach
- Complimentary Travel Kit including, Travel Bag, Travel wallet, Name Bar, Luggage Labels, and New Zealand Map