Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Auckland.
Day 2 International outbound flight
On-board your international outbound flight to Auckland.
Day 3 Auckland
On arrival in Auckland you will be met and transferred to your luxury hotel in the centre of town where you can drop your luggage and refreshen up before your half day tour of Auckland. Spend the morning taking in the sites of Auckland and the western coast of the North Island. In the afternoon you will return to your hotel to relax.
Day 4 Auckland
Today is at leisure in Auckland for you to recover from your flight and settle into the relaxed pace of life here in New Zealand. Why not go for a stroll along the waterfront or adventure up the Sky Tower to see the spectacular views of the city and bay.
Day 5 Auckland
Today you will enjoy a wine tour of the renowned Waiheke Island in Auckland Harbour. After crossing over by ferry in the morning, you will tour a number of the island's vineyards and wineries. You'll learn all about the wine produced in the region and of course be treated to some tastings too.
Day 6 Rotorua
Today you will depart Auckland by coach and head toward Rotorua. En route, you'll stop and visit the fascinating Waitomo Caves for a boat ride through the spectacular caverns that are illuminated by thousands of glowworms. After this you will visit Hobbiton and explore the beautiful farm which was transformed into the Shire for the Lord of the Rings movies. After your Hobbiton tour you will be taken to Rotorua where you will arrive in the early evening, in time to check in to your hotel and go for dinner.
Day 7 Rotorua
Today, you'll be able to enjoy a guided tour of all of Rotorua's top attractions from the breathtaking geysers and mud pools to steaming cliffs and silica terraces. Enjoy a walk through the Whirinaki Rainforest to see a variety of tree species and bird life.
Day 8 Wellington
This morning you'll be collected from your city accommodation and transported to the airport in time for your flight on to Wellington, New Zealand's capital. On arrival in Wellington either take the bus or a taxi to your hotel, both are very easy to do. After checking into your hotel in Wellington, we recommend heading across the street to Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand which offers a wealth of information on the country's natural, Maori, and European history. Head to Cuba Street for dinner tonight, there are lots of lovely restaurants here to choose from.
Day 9 Blenheim
Heading to the South Island today you will take a short taxi ride to the ferry terminal for your ferry to Picton through the surreal Marlborough Sounds. Upon arrival, disembark the ferry and meet your private transfer to Blenheim in the heart of New Zealand's winelands. You'll then have the afternoon at leisure to begin exploring or simply relax and enjoy your surroundings. There are several wineries within walking distance and the Vines Village is just across the road from your hotel with various cafes and souvenir shops, well worth a look.
Day 10 Blenheim
New Zealand's Blenheim and Marlborough regions are highly renowned for their wine production. Grown on rich volcanic soil, the Sauvignon Blanc made here is considered some of the best in the world. Spend today enjoying a gourmet tour of the area's best wineries, learning of the area's history and development of its wine production.
Day 11 Kaikoura
After a leisurely morning, you will be transferred back to the train station to meet your train to Kaikoura. Take this beautiful journey, travelling along the east coast of the South Island. When you arrive in Kaikoura, you will have the afternoon to explore the quaint beach and mountain town.
Day 12 Christchurch
This morning is at leisure to explore Kaikoura. In the afternoon, return to the train station to catch your train to the centre of Christchurch. You will be met by a seat in coach who will transport you to your city accommodation. We recommend punting on the River Avon and going to see the 'container city' shopping mall, part of the Christchurch earthquake rebuild. Perhaps have dinner on the Tramway restaurant tonight, a great way to see the city whilst eating some delicious New Zealand cuisine as the tram trundles around. This does need to be booked in advance though so please speak to your specialist if you are interested.
Day 13 Christchurch
Today you will head out on a full day trip to Arthur's Pass National Park. This dramatic mountainous area was one of main filming locations of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Be sure to keep an eye out for the playful kea bird, New Zealand's parrot. After your train journey up to Arthur's Pass you will enjoy a short walk in the high country and lunch at a high country hotel before being driven along the Arthur's Pass Road to see some natural sights and will be dropped back at your accommodation this evening.
Day 14 Queenstown
After a leisurely morning in Christchurch, take a taxi to the airport for your flight to Queenstown. After settling into your hotel in the centre of town, you will have the rest of the day at leisure to explore or relax as you please. Perhaps take the gondola up Bob's Peak to see the magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range.
Day 15 Queenstown
Today you will head out on a Dart River Wilderness Safari which includes an exhilarating jet boat ride followed by a short guided walk and scenic 4x4 trip through the wilderness. You'll learn about the local flora and fauna as well as local Maori and colonial history before heading back to Queenstown.
Day 16 Manapurui
Today you will be collected and driven to Manapouri, where you will meet your tour to doubtful Sound. After a boat journey across Lake Manapouri, you'll meet another coach which will take you across Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound itself. Here you will board the Fiordland Navigator and spend a magical night in one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
Day 17 Queenstown
After completing your cruise today you'll head back across Wilmot Pass and Lake Manapouri to Queenstown. Spend this evening relaxing and looking back over the wonderful experience of the last few weeks.
Day 18 Queenstown
For your very last day in Queenstown, the day is at leisure for you to do as you wish — perhaps join a tour which is very easy to do if you visit the Queenstown i-Site, or perhaps go walking for the day. This evening you'll board the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship, and cruise across the lake to Walter Peak farm where you'll enjoy a gourmet barbecue dinner and learn about farm life.
Day 19 International return flight
This morning you will be dropped off at the airport for your onward flights.
Day 20 International return flight
Arrive home today to complete your journey.
Highlights of New Zealand (non-driving)
- Explore Rotorua's geothermal delights.
- Experience the famous Blenheim winelands.
- Enjoy the beautiful scenery of New Zealand's South Island.
- Take an overnight cruise around the spectacular Doubtful Sound