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new zealand touring

New Zealand is a land of remarkable contrasts. The North Island offers subtropical forests, thermal geysers and golden beaches while the South Island’s mountainous peaks, majestic fiords, ancient glaciers and tranquil countryside complete the picture.
No other country in the world has so much to see – so much to do – all in such a small area.
Everywhere there is an abundance of pure fresh air – and very friendly people.
Ecotourism! Adventure Tourism! Our clean, green environment is an outdoor activity paradise – from bush treks and whale watching to cycle touring and bungy jumping.

Southern World New Zealand has more than 30 years’ experience in arranging New Zealand holidays for visitors from around the world. We know that no two holidays are the same and that everybody has difference priorities, budgets, preference and time frames.

Itinerary and holiday options can include:

  • Seat on coach & coach touring
  • Rental cars and self drive
  • Motorhome vacations
  • Guided walking experiences
  • Flight linked city stays

We have included here a few itineraries from which we hope you will draw inspiration. We’d love to help you make the absolute most of your New Zealand visit by extending your Christchurch stay to include the rest of New Zealand. Let us create a custom made New Zealand itinerary to suit your needs.

Contact Southern World New Zealand for further information or to book.

11 Day North Island

On arrival at Auckland International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Auckland, the City of Sails, and nestled between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the sparkling harbour, picturesque bays, and other features of this vibrant, bustling and multi-cultural city.
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Day One – Arrive Auckland

On arrival at Auckland International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Auckland, the City of Sails, and nestled between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the sparkling harbour, picturesque bays, and other features of this vibrant, bustling and multi-cultural city.


Day Two Auckland – Paihia

Collect your Compact automatic vehicle with standard insurance. Travel north from the city, crossing the harbour bridge and passing through the North Shore suburbs. The road then takes you along the Hibiscus Coast before arriving in the city of Whangarei. Continue through farmland and coastal regions before arriving in Paihia and the Bay of Islands.


Day Three – Paihia

This morning cruise through the sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands on Dolphin Seeker, a purpose built dolphin and whale watching catamaran. Enjoy the large outdoor viewing decks as we cruise past the islands of the Bay. Keep a look out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life as we get you up close to the action from the comfort of Dolphin Seeker. Our catamaran is licensed by DOC (the Department of Conservation) for dolphin viewing. Enjoy the views as you cruise past the Cape Brett Lighthouse, before arriving at the majestic Hole in the Rock – hold your breath as the skipper navigates through the narrow space and admire the rock walls which soar above you. Take in the Grand Cathedral Cave before heading back into the sheltered waters of the Bay and an island stopover at the historic Urapukapuka Island reserve.

Take time to relax on the beautiful sandy beach or broaden your experience of the Bay of Islands with a Te Rawhiti guided walk of the island. Learn about the spirit world of Maori, their values and way of life. Ask the crew for details on how to book this added experience. The afternoon is at leisure.


Day Four – Paihia – Auckland

Today retrace your journey back to Auckland.


Day Five – Auckland – Waitomo – Rotorua

Today’s journey takes you south and over the Bombay Hills to the province of Waikato and Waitomo where the famous glow-worm caves are located. Admission to the caves is included. Continue on to Rotorua – a city with awesome geothermal activity and also the heartland of Maori culture.

Travel to a traditional Marae, a sacred meeting place just outside Rotorua’s city limits. By the time you arrive you will have been prepared for the spine chilling “WERO” and welcome on to the Marae. Upon entering the exquisitely carved meeting house you will “HONGI” (greet) with your hosts. The tradition of pressing noses means you become “friend” and you may consider yourself as one with the family. Then you will experience the unique culture of the Maori people including fierce haka’s (war dances), action dances and stick games. As one, you will all then move to the opening of the authentic ”HANGI” (feast) pit where you will see the traditional Maori method of food preparation. After a short time of socialising you will be seated to a “HANGI” of delicious foods – potatoes, kumara, pork, lamb, chicken and vegetables, followed by dessert. Vegetarians are also catered for. Then you will be returned to your hotel.


Day Six – Rotorua

This morning you will be collected for your half day Eco Thermal Tour. You will be driven through forestry and farmlands to New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and a series of colourful hot springs at Wai-o-tapu. See the Lady Knox Geyser erupt before moving on to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Here, your guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption which blew open this spectacular, bush covered, geothermal park. The afternoon is at leisure.


Day Seven – Rotorua – Napier

Travel through vast planted pine forests until steam clouds rising in the distance will indicate your arrival at Wairakei where deep subterranean bores have been harnessed to provide electricity. A short distance further is the town of Taupo, situated at the northern end of New Zealand’s largest lake. From Taupo head in a southeasterly direction and after passing through part of the vast Kaingaroa Forest into the Kaimanawa Range, the road descends to the fertile Hawkes Bay Province and the city of Napier. The warm climate of Hawkes Bay makes it a travel destination suitable for all seasons. The region boasts a lively arts scene, rich cultural heritage, fine wine and lifestyle, and the world’s most concentrated cluster of Art Deco architecture.


Day Eight – Napier

This afternoon, join your Premium Reserve Wine Tour. Sit back, relax and experience a range of wineries & food attractions. During your tour, visit 3-4 Wineries for wine tastings (including Premium Vineyard & Wine Making Tour) and one specialty food outlet. You will also enjoy a gourmet Hawke’s Bay tasting platter.


Day Nine – Napier – Wellington

Leave Napier and travel through some of the best grape growing regions in New Zealand. Reach Hastings and Masterton and then continue over the rugged Rimutaka Ranges to Upper Hutt and then Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.


Day Ten – Wellington

This morning, join your City Tour and visit all the must-see sights and attractions, as well as venturing out for a leisurely cruise around our rugged Southern coastline. Make the most of your time in Wellington on this popular tour – A short yet thorough overview. Highlights include city, harbour and hill views from some of the city’s most spectacular vantage points, as well as visiting many of Wellington’s most famous sights, landmarks, and icons. These include: The famous Beehive and Parliament Buildings, Old Saint Paul’s Cathedral, the finest example of Revival Gothic architecture in the Southern Hemisphere, Exquisite Lady Norwood Rose Gardens, The largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere, Various buildings exemplifying classic early Wellington architecture. Enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of Wellington City, hills and harbour from the summit of Mount Victoria, and drive around the rugged and pure scenic bays of Wellington Harbour. A ride on the historic cable car is an optional extra but well worthwhile. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.


Day Eleven – Depart Wellington

Today, return your rental vehicle to Wellington Airport and connect with your onwards flight. Your travel arrangements will conclude today.

close

11 Day South Island

On arrival at Christchurch International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, you will be met by our representative and assisted with the collection of your rental vehicle.
Collect your Compact automatic vehicle with standard insurance.
Often referred to as the ‘Garden City’, Christchurch features many majestic trees and extensive parks and gardens, the most notable of which is expansive Hagley Park in the heart of the city. Bordering the park you will find the botanical gardens and the Gothic revival building which houses the Canterbury Museum.
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Day One – Arrive Christchurch

On arrival at Christchurch International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, you will be met by our representative and assisted with the collection of your rental vehicle. Collect your Compact automatic vehicle with standard insurance. Often referred to as the ‘Garden City’, Christchurch features many majestic trees and extensive parks and gardens, the most notable of which is expansive Hagley Park in the heart of the city. Bordering the park you will find the botanical gardens and the Gothic revival building which houses the Canterbury Museum. The Avon River gently winds its way around these inner city landmarks and out through sprawling suburbs to the Pacific Ocean. In contrast to this flat cityscape and the surrounding Canterbury Plains, the skyline to the south is dominated by the tussock and rocky outcrops of the Port Hills. The hills separate the city from the volcanic Banks Peninsula and Lyttelton Harbour, where English settlers arrived by ship in 1850 to establish New Zealand’s first city. Visitors to Christchurch today will witness a virtual rebirth of the city as demolitions, repairs and rebuilding occurs following several earthquakes in late 2010 early 2011.


Day Two Christchurch – Kaikoura – Blenheim

Soon after departing Christchurch today, you will cross the Waimakariri River which meanders its way from its origin in the Southern Alps, through gorges, across the plains and exits at the Pacific Ocean. The river is also noted for its trout and salmon. Travel through many small towns heading northward along the eastern coastline passing the seaward Kaikoura Ranges to Blenheim. Today orchards, vineyards and horticultural products benefit from the sunny climate. The country’s most extensive area of grapes is planted in the Wairau Valley and has earned international acclaim.


Day Three – Blenheim

Today is at leisure, to explore the wineries.
Optional Sightseeing: Marlborough Icon Tour – Wine & Cruise (see pricing) Head out into the stunning Marlborough wine region to sample the world famous Sauvignon Blanc. Marlborough is renowned as the wine capital of New Zealand with over half of New Zealand’s wine grown in the region. Marlborough has gained a reputation as one of the finest wine-growing regions in the world. See why our Sauvignon Blanc is world famous, try the aromatic Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer or sample the complexities of our Merlot and Pinot Noir. After a morning of wine tastings, travel to Havelock, the gateway to the Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds. Time to enjoy a nice lunch (own cost) at the Slip Inn Cafe before boarding the Marlborough Travel launch for the Greenshell Mussel Cruise. As we cruise out into the Marlborough Sounds you will be taking in the natural beauty and tranquility of this stunning area. Your experienced skipper has a wealth of knowledge about the Marlborough Sounds and the people who live here. His informative commentary will keep you entertained as you cruise through the inner Pelorus Sound and into the Kenepuru Sound.
During the cruise you will get to visit a Greenshell Mussel farm where your skipper will explain the intricacies of growing this delicacy in the Sounds. Learn the history of aquaculture in the Marlborough Sounds and the history of the pioneers who created the industry. See the Mussels growing on longlines in the clean waters of the Marlborough Sounds. While at the mussel farm your Skipper will serve freshly steamed mussels and serve them with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.


Day Four – Blenheim – Nelson

Depart Blenheim and cross over the Wairau River. Follow the Kaituna and Pelorus Rivers on to the beautiful bush surrounding Pelorus Bridge. Over the bridge, the road becomes hilly and sweeps up and over the Rai Saddle and Whangamoa Hill before running down to Tasman Bay and the city of Nelson.

 

Day Five – Nelson

This morning, make your way to Kaiteriteri beach, which is an entry point to the Abel Tasman National Park. Abel Tasman is New Zealand’s smallest but most beautiful national park and is famous for golden-sand beaches, bush walks and sea kayaking. Today, we have included a cruise/walk pass – where you can choose from a full day cruise or take the shorter cruise with time for a leisurely walk along part of the walking track from Torrent Bay to Bark Bay. Board your vessel this morning and cruise into the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. The cruise gives you the opportunity to see beautiful stretches of coastline which are not always visible from the walking track. Your vessel’s shallow draughts allow it to be taken in close to shore, giving an excellent view of dozens of sandy coves as the history of the area and points of interest are explained. A picnic lunch is included today.


Day Six – Nelson – Franz Josef

Journey into the fertile farmlands of pine forested hills around Murchison. Pass through the mighty Buller Gorge which is the gateway to the West Coast and from there it is on to the incredible drive down the coast. The mighty rollers from the Tasman Sea crash and thunder endlessly onto the rocky shore. We pause to view the geographical oddities of the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki, where countless years of wind and water have weathered the coastline into pancake-like formations. Dairy farms scatter the countryside as you travel south to the town of Hokitika. From here you enter the Westland National Park where you will view spectacular rain forest and mountains as your approach Franz Josef Glacier township.


Day Seven – Franz Josef

This morning, join your guided for this relaxing, interpretive walk to the glacier. This is a perfect opportunity to learn the role of the Franz Josef Glacier in shaping this remarkable landscape. After a short walk through the regenerating rainforest, the trip continues along the glacier valley with your guide calling stops to explain the unique features of the Franz Josef Glacier and its surroundings. With the emphasis more on geographical information and the glacier’s history, you’re able to venture beyond the public barriers and right up to the dramatic terminal face of this advancing glacier with your experienced and knowledgeable guide. The afternoon is at leisure. We suggest visiting the Franz Josef Hot Pools for a hot soak (admission not included).

 

Day Eight – Franz Josef – Wanaka – Queenstown

Depart Franz Josef heading through a mountainous section of road before entering Fox Glacier. Cross the Cook River Bridge and travel through forests of red and white pine to Bruce Bay, an old goldmining settlement. Continue through attractive bush scenery until you pass tranquil Lakes Paringa and Moeraki, the haunt of the fabulous White Heron, to the township of Haast. From here, drive through the Haast Pass Highway, viewing en route Mount Brewster, towering 2423 metres and the Brewster Glacier. Descend 82 kilometres, past the Lake Hawea Dam, water storage for the Roxburgh Hydro Electric Station, to Wanaka. From Wanaka, travel to Cromwell and through the spectacular Kawarau Gorge to follow the river into Queenstown. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu Queenstown is a year-round alpine resort that caters for all interests. It enjoys a magnificent setting amid steep mountain ranges and pockets of native bush with the jagged peaks of the Remarkables Range rising from the lake.


Day Nine – Milford Day Trip

Depart Queenstown and skirt Lake Wakatipu in the shadow of the rugged Remarkables. Drive to Te Anau, gateway of the Fiordland National Park then follow Lake Te Anau to the valley of the Eglinton River. Pass through magnificent beech forests before a gradual descent into the precipitous Hollyford Valley. Climb steadily to the gigantic Cirque and the Homer Tunnel. Pass through the tunnel and down to the Cleddau Canyon where you will catch your first glimpse of Mitre Peak before finally emerging into the open at Milford Sound. This afternoon, join your Milford Sound Scenic Cruise and cruise the full length of Milford to the Tasman Sea. The luxury vessel stops at various points and offers excellent viewing of waterfalls, rainforest and wildlife. The cruise is accompanied by comprehensive commentaries. Complimentary tea and coffee are available onboard and a picnic lunch is included. Following your cruise, rejoin your rental vehicle and return to Queenstown Please note, the drive between Queenstown and Milford Sound is approximately 5 hours each way, making this a very long day. If you prefer to upgrade to a day trip which includes coach transfers or scenic flight options then please see us for pricing.


Day Ten – Queenstown

A free day at New Zealand’s premier resort and an almost overwhelming selection of attractions to choose from. There are over 70 different activities available: including the Shotover Jet, bungy jumping, horse riding, golf, parapenting, gondola and luge.


Day Eleven – Depart Queenstown

Today, return your rental vehicle to Queenstown Airport and connect with your onwards flight.

close

15 Day North & South Island

On arrival at Auckland International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Auckland, the City of Sails, and nestled between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the sparkling harbour, picturesque bays, and other features of this vibrant, bustling and multi-cultural city.
next

Day One – Arrive Auckland

On arrival at Auckland International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Auckland, the City of Sails, and nestled between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the sparkling harbour, picturesque bays, and other features of this vibrant, bustling and multi-cultural city.


Day Two – Auckland

Discover first-hand why Auckland is regarded as one of the best places in the world to live! This half day tour takes you around the central city, experiencing many of its best and most scenic sights. Explore Auckland’s famous Queen Street followed by the history of Karangahape Road. Discover the vibrant culture of Ponsonby Village with its boutique eateries and retail stores before making your way over the Auckland Harbour Bridge for stunning views over the glittering Waitemata Harbour back to the city. Returning over the Harbour Bridge we visit the Viaduct Harbour before continuing on through the Auckland Domain. With its classic charm the Auckland Domain is the city’s oldest and one of its largest parks, situated on a 62,000 year old volcano. Following our visit to the Domain we continue to Parnell Village for our morning tea stop. The historic buildings of Parnell have been transformed in to a trendy shopping area featuring many boutiques, antique, craft and specialty shops. Following this, our tour will then take you along the stunningly scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive to the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park, in Mission Bay. Michael Savage is often regarded as one of New Zealand’s greatest and revered Prime Ministers, and was given the title of ‘New Zealander of the Century’ by the New Zealand Herald in 1999. The memorial Park has beautiful panoramic views over Whenua Rangatira, Auckland city and Waitemata Harbour. This park is a popular wedding venue, with its formal gardens and tranquil atmosphere. Next we head towards Mission Bay, the popular seaside suburb which was once home to a Melanesian Missionary school. Enjoy the beach and promenade – popular with Aucklanders and visitors alike. The tour will then take you back along the waterfront before returning to downtown Auckland. The afternoon is at leisure.


Day Three – Auckland – Paihia

Collect your Compact automatic vehicle with standard insurance. Travel north from the city, crossing the harbour bridge and passing through the North Shore suburbs. The road then takes you along the Hibiscus Coast before arriving in the city of Whangarei. Continue through farmland and coastal regions before arriving in Paihia and the Bay of Islands.


Day Four – Paihia

This morning cruise through the sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands on Dolphin Seeker, a purpose built dolphin and whale watching catamaran. Enjoy the large outdoor viewing decks as we cruise past the islands of the Bay. Keep a look out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life as we get you up close to the action from the comfort of Dolphin Seeker. Our catamaran is licensed by DOC (the Department of Conservation) for dolphin viewing. Enjoy the views as you cruise past the Cape Brett Lighthouse, before arriving at the majestic Hole in the Rock – hold your breath as the skipper navigates through the narrow space and admire the rock walls which soar above you. Take in the Grand Cathedral Cave before heading back into the sheltered waters of the Bay and an island stopover at the historic Urapukapuka Island reserve. Take time to relax on the beautiful sandy beach or broaden your experience of the Bay of Islands with a Te Rawhiti guided walk of the island. Learn about the spirit world of Maori, their values and way of life. Ask the crew for details on how to book this added experience. The afternoon is at leisure.


Day Five – Paihia – Auckland

Today retrace your journey back to Auckland. Today’s journey takes you south and over the Bombay Hills to the province of Waikato and Waitomo where the famous glow-worm caves are located. Admission to the caves is included. Continue on to Rotorua – a city with awesome geothermal activity and also the heartland of Maori culture. Travel to a traditional Marae, a sacred meeting place just outside Rotorua’s city limits. By the time you arrive you will have been prepared for the spine chilling “WERO” and welcome on to the Marae. Upon entering the exquisitely carved meeting house you will “HONGI” (greet) with your hosts. The tradition of pressing noses means you become “friend” and you may consider yourself as one with the family. Then you will experience the unique culture of the Maori people including fierce haka’s (war dances), action dances and stick games. As one, you will all then move to the opening of the authentic ”HANGI” (feast) pit where you will see the traditional Maori method of food preparation. After a short time of socialising you will be seated to a “HANGI” of delicious foods – potatoes, kumara, pork, lamb, chicken and vegetables, followed by dessert. Vegetarians are also catered for. Then you will be returned to your hotel.


Day Seven – Rotorua

This morning you will be collected for your half day Eco Thermal Tour. You will be driven through forestry and farmlands to New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and a series of colourful hot springs at Wai-o-tapu. See the Lady Knox Geyser erupt before moving on to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Here, your guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption which blew open this spectacular, bush covered, geothermal park. The afternoon is at leisure.


Day Eight – Rotorua – Nelson

Today return your rental vehicle to Rotorua Airport and connect with your domestic flight to Nelson. (flight & tax not included). On arrival at Nelson Airport, collect your South island rental vehicle and make your way to your accommodation. The Nelson region combines the finest elements of the New Zealand experience and delivers them across stunning geography, beaches and lakes, spectacular national parks, vineyards, cafes, artists, and galleries that offer a uniquely Nelson way of life.


Day Nine – Nelson

This morning, make your way to Kaiteriteri beach, which is an entry point to the Abel Tasman National Park. Abel Tasman is New Zealand’s smallest but most beautiful national park and is famous for golden-sand beaches, bush walks and sea kayaking. Today, we have included a cruise/walk pass – where you can choose from a full day cruise or take the shorter cruise with time for a leisurely walk along part of the walking track from Torrent Bay to Bark Bay. Board your vessel this morning and cruise into the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. The cruise gives you the opportunity to see beautiful stretches of coastline which are not always visible from the walking track. Your vessel’s shallow draughts allow it to be taken in close to shore, giving an excellent view of dozens of sandy coves as the history of the area and points of interest are explained. A picnic lunch is included today.


Day Ten – Nelson – Franz Josef

Journey into the fertile farmlands of pine forested hills around Murchison. Pass through the mighty Buller Gorge which is the gateway to the West Coast and from there it is on to the incredible drive down the coast. The mighty rollers from the Tasman Sea crash and thunder endlessly onto the rocky shore. We pause to view the geographical oddities of the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki, where countless years of wind and water have weathered the coastline into pancake-like formations. Dairy farms scatter the countryside as you travel south to the town of Hokitika. From here you enter the Westland National Park where you will view spectacular rain forest and mountains as your approach Franz Josef Glacier township.


Day Eleven – Franz Josef

This morning, join your guided for this relaxing, interpretive walk to the glacier. This is a perfect opportunity to learn the role of the Franz Josef Glacier in shaping this remarkable landscape. After a short walk through the regenerating rainforest, the trip continues along the glacier valley with your guide calling stops to explain the unique features of the Franz Josef Glacier and its surroundings. With the emphasis more on geographical information and the glacier’s history, you’re able to venture beyond the public barriers and right up to the dramatic terminal face of this advancing glacier with your experienced and knowledgeable guide. The afternoon is at leisure. We suggest visiting the Franz Josef Hot Pools for a hot soak (admission not included).


Day Twelve – Franz Josef – Wanaka – Queenstown

Depart Franz Josef heading through a mountainous section of road before entering Fox Glacier. Cross the Cook River Bridge and travel through forests of red and white pine to Bruce Bay, an old goldmining settlement. Continue through attractive bush scenery until you pass tranquil Lakes Paringa and Moeraki, the haunt of the fabulous White Heron, to the township of Haast. From here, drive through the Haast Pass Highway, viewing en route Mount Brewster, towering 2423 metres and the Brewster Glacier. Descend 82 kilometres, past the Lake Hawea Dam, water storage for the Roxburgh Hydro Electric Station, to Wanaka. From Wanaka, travel to Cromwell and through the spectacular Kawarau Gorge to follow the river into Queenstown. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu Queenstown is a year-round alpine resort that caters for all interests. It enjoys a magnificent setting amid steep mountain ranges and pockets of native bush with the jagged peaks of the Remarkables Range rising from the lake.


Day Thirteen – Milford Day Trip

Depart Queenstown and skirt Lake Wakatipu in the shadow of the rugged Remarkables. Drive to Te Anau, gateway of the Fiordland National Park then follow Lake Te Anau to the valley of the Eglinton River. Pass through magnificent beech forests before a gradual descent into the precipitous Hollyford Valley. Climb steadily to the gigantic Cirque and the Homer Tunnel. Pass through the tunnel and down to the Cleddau Canyon where you will catch your first glimpse of Mitre Peak before finally emerging into the open at Milford Sound. This afternoon, join your Milford Sound Scenic Cruise and cruise the full length of Milford to the Tasman Sea. The luxury vessel stops at various points and offers excellent viewing of waterfalls, rainforest and wildlife. The cruise is accompanied by comprehensive commentaries. Complimentary tea and coffee are available onboard and a picnic lunch is included. Following your cruise, rejoin your rental vehicle and return to Queenstown Please note, the drive between Queenstown and Milford Sound is approximately 5 hours each way, making this a very long day. If you prefer to upgrade to a day trip which includes coach transfers or scenic flight options then please see us for pricing.


Day Fourteen – Queenstown

A free day at New Zealand’s premier resort and an almost overwhelming selection of attractions to choose from. There are over 70 different activities available: including the Shotover Jet, bungy jumping, horse riding, golf, parapenting, gondola and luge.


Day Fifteen – Depart Queenstown

Today, return your rental vehicle to Queenstown Airport and connect with your onwards flight. Your travel arrangements will conclude today.

close

24 Day North & South Island

On arrival at Auckland International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Auckland, the City of Sails, and nestled between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the sparkling harbour, picturesque bays, and other features of this vibrant, bustling and multi-cultural city.
next

Day One – Arrive Auckland

On arrival at Auckland International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Auckland, the City of Sails, and nestled between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the sparkling harbour, picturesque bays, and other features of this vibrant, bustling and multi-cultural city.


Day Two Auckland

Discover first-hand why Auckland is regarded as one of the best places in the world to live! This half day tour takes you around the central city, experiencing many of its best and most scenic sights. Explore Auckland’s famous Queen Street followed by the history of Karangahape Road. Discover the vibrant culture of Ponsonby Village with its boutique eateries and retail stores before making your way over the Auckland Harbour Bridge for stunning views over the glittering Waitemata Harbour back to the city. Returning over the Harbour Bridge we visit the Viaduct Harbour before continuing on through the Auckland Domain. With its classic charm the Auckland Domain is the city’s oldest and one of its largest parks, situated on a 62,000 year old volcano. Following our visit to the Domain we continue to Parnell Village for our morning tea stop. The historic buildings of Parnell have been transformed in to a trendy shopping area featuring many boutiques, antique, craft and specialty shops. Following this, our tour will then take you along the stunningly scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive to the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park, in Mission Bay. Michael Savage is often regarded as one of New Zealand’s greatest and revered Prime Ministers, and was given the title of ‘New Zealander of the Century’ by the New Zealand Herald in 1999. The memorial Park has beautiful panoramic views over Whenua Rangatira, Auckland city and Waitemata Harbour. This park is a popular wedding venue, with its formal gardens and tranquil atmosphere. Next we head towards Mission Bay, the popular seaside suburb which was once home to a Melanesian Missionary school. Enjoy the beach and promenade – popular with Aucklanders and visitors alike. The tour will then take you back along the waterfront before returning to downtown Auckland. The afternoon is at leisure.


Day Three – Auckland – Paihia

Collect your Compact automatic vehicle with standard insurance. Travel north from the city, crossing the harbour bridge and passing through the North Shore suburbs. The road then takes you along the Hibiscus Coast before arriving in the city of Whangarei. Continue through farmland and coastal regions before arriving in Paihia and the Bay of Islands.


Day Four – Paihia

This morning, cruise through the sheltered waters of the Bay of Islands on Dolphin Seeker, a purpose built dolphin and whale watching catamaran. Enjoy the large outdoor viewing decks as you cruise past the islands of the Bay. Keep a look out for common and bottlenose dolphins, whales and other marine life as we get you up close to the action from the comfort of Dolphin Seeker. Enjoy the views as you cruise past the Cape Brett Lighthouse, before arriving at the majestic Hole in the Rock – hold your breath as the skipper navigates through the narrow space and admire the rock walls which soar above you. Take in the Grand Cathedral Cave before heading back into the sheltered waters of the Bay. The afternoon is at leisure.


Day Five – Paihia – Auckland

Today retrace your journey back to Auckland.


Day Six – Auckland – Waitomo – Rotorua

Today’s journey takes you south and over the Bombay Hills to the province of Waikato and Waitomo where the famous glow-worm caves are located. Admission to the caves is included. Continue on to Rotorua – a city with awesome geothermal activity and also the heartland of Maori culture. Travel to a traditional Marae, a sacred meeting place just outside Rotorua’s city limits. By the time you arrive you will have been prepared for the spine chilling “WERO” and welcome on to the Marae. Upon entering the exquisitely carved meeting house you will “HONGI” (greet) with your hosts. The tradition of pressing noses means you become “friend” and you may consider yourself as one with the family. Then you will experience the unique culture of the Maori people including fierce haka’s (war dances), action dances and stick games. As one, you will all then move to the opening of the authentic ”HANGI” (feast) pit where you will see the traditional Maori method of food preparation. After a short time of socialising you will be seated to a “HANGI” of delicious foods – potatoes, kumara, pork, lamb, chicken and vegetables, followed by dessert. Vegetarians are also catered for. Then you will be returned to your hotel.


Day Seven – Rotorua

This morning you will be collected for your half day Eco Thermal Tour. You will be driven through forestry and farmlands to New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and a series of colourful hot springs at Wai-o-tapu. See the Lady Knox Geyser erupt before moving on to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Here, your guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption which blew open this spectacular, bush covered, geothermal park. The afternoon is at leisure.


Day Eight – Rotorua – Napier

Travel through vast planted pine forests until steam clouds rising in the distance will indicate your arrival at Wairakei where deep subterranean bores have been harnessed to provide electricity. A short distance further is the town of Taupo, situated at the northern end of New Zealand’s largest lake. From Taupo head in a southeasterly direction and after passing through part of the vast Kaingaroa Forest into the Kaimanawa Range, the road descends to the fertile Hawkes Bay Province and the city of Napier. The warm climate of Hawkes Bay makes it a travel destination suitable for all seasons. The region boasts a lively arts scene, rich cultural heritage, fine wine and lifestyle, and the world’s most concentrated cluster of Art Deco architecture. This afternoon, join your Premium Reserve Wine Tour. Sit back, relax and experience a range of wineries & food attractions. During your tour, visit 3-4 Wineries for wine tastings (including Premium Vineyard & Wine Making Tour) and one specialty food outlet. You will also enjoy a gourmet Hawke’s Bay tasting platter.


Day Nine – Napier – Wellington

Leave Napier and travel through some of the best grape growing regions in New Zealand. Reach Hastings and Masterton and then continue over the rugged Rimutaka Ranges to Upper Hutt and then Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.


Day Ten – Wellington

This morning, join your City Tour and visit all the must-see sights and attractions, as well as venturing out for a leisurely cruise around our rugged Southern coastline. Make the most of your time in Wellington on this popular tour – A short yet thorough overview. Highlights include city, harbour and hill views from some of the city’s most spectacular vantage points, as well as visiting many of Wellington’s most famous sights, landmarks, and icons. These include: The famous Beehive and Parliament Buildings, Old Saint Paul’s Cathedral, the finest example of Revival Gothic architecture in the Southern Hemisphere, Exquisite Lady Norwood Rose Gardens, The largest wooden building in the Southern Hemisphere, Various buildings exemplifying classic early Wellington architecture. Enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of Wellington City, hills and harbour from the summit of Mount Victoria, and drive around the rugged and pure scenic bays of Wellington Harbour. A ride on the historic cable car is an optional extra but well worthwhile. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.


Day Eleven – Wellington – Picton – Nelson

Today, return your rental vehicle to Wellington ferry terminal and connect with the Interislander Ferry to Picton. Enter the unchanged wilderness of the Marlborough Sounds, a popular resort for holidaymakers during the summer months, and haven for boatowners. Cruise through spectacular scenery into the small, picturesque settlement of Picton. At Picton, collect your South Island rental vehicle and travel to Nelson. Your route passes through Blenheim, a country town that supports the many vineyards in the region. Continue onto to Pelorus Bridge, a popular recreation stop for walkers and swimmers and then cross over the Rai Saddle to Nelson. The Nelson region combines the finest elements of the New Zealand experience and delivers them across stunning geography, beaches and lakes, spectacular national parks, vineyards, cafes, artists, and galleries that offer a uniquely Nelson way of life.


Day Twelve – Nelson

This morning, make your way to Kaiteriteri beach, which is an entry point to the Abel Tasman National Park. Abel Tasman is New Zealand’s smallest but most beautiful national park and is famous for golden-sand beaches, bush walks and sea kayaking. Today, we have included a cruise/walk pass – where you can choose from a full day cruise or take the shorter cruise with time for a leisurely walk along part of the walking track from Torrent Bay to Bark Bay. Board your vessel this morning and cruise into the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. The cruise gives you the opportunity to see beautiful stretches of coastline which are not always visible from the walking track. Your vessel’s shallow draughts allow it to be taken in close to shore, giving an excellent view of dozens of sandy coves as the history of the area and points of interest are explained. A picnic lunch is included today.


Day Thirteen – Nelson – Kaikoura

Today retrace your journey through to Blenheim and travel south down the east coast as spectacular coastal scenery unfolds before you with the majestic Kaikoura mountain range, snow capped for much of the year, reaching down to the ocean. Arrive in the seaside town of Kaikoura – loosely translated from Maori this means ‘to eat crayfish’. True to its name, Kaikoura boasts a diverse and abundant population of marine life.


Day Fourteen – Kaikoura – Christchurch

Every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience and the sightings vary. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year-round residents. A typical Whale Watch tour may encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales. Kaikoura often hosts the world’s largest dolphin – the Orca – and is home to the world’s smallest and rarest – the Hector’s. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of Albatross, 14 varieties of Petrels and 7 types of Shearwater. Depart Kaikorua and climb over the Hundalee Hills and before descending into the Waipara Valley, one of New Zealand’s finest and most rapidly expanding wine areas. Continue over the rolling patch worked countryside of North Canterbury, noted for its sheep and cattle farming, through a series of small satellite towns, over the Waimakariri River and arrive into Christchurch on the northern motorway.


Day Fifteen – Christchurch – Greymouth – Franz Josef

Your rental vehicle will be collected from your accommodation. This morning transfer to the train station and connect with the Tranz Alpine train, which journeys’ between Christchurch and Greymouth. 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 before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth. The trip is 223.8 kilometres long and takes just four and a half hours. There are 16 tunnels, and 5 viaducts, the highest being the Staircase standing at 73 metres. Once at Greymouth, collect your Intermediate automatic rental vehicle. Dairy farms scatter the countryside as you travel south to the town of Hokitika. From here you enter the Westland National Park where you will view spectacular rain forest and mountains as your approach Franz Josef Glacier township.


Day Sixteen – Franz Josef

This morning, join your guided for this relaxing, interpretive walk to the glacier. This is a perfect opportunity to learn the role of the Franz Josef Glacier in shaping this remarkable landscape. After a short walk through the regenerating rainforest, the trip continues along the glacier valley with your guide calling stops to explain the unique features of the Franz Josef Glacier and its surroundings. With the emphasis more on geographical information and the glacier’s history, you’re able to venture beyond the public barriers and right up to the dramatic terminal face of this advancing glacier with your experienced and knowledgeable guide. The afternoon is at leisure. We suggest visiting the Franz Josef Hot Pools for a hot soak (admission not included).


Day Seventeen – Franz Josef – Wanaka – Queenstown

Depart Franz Josef heading through a mountainous section of road before entering Fox Glacier. Cross the Cook River Bridge and travel through forests of red and white pine to Bruce Bay, an old goldmining settlement. Continue through attractive bush scenery until you pass tranquil Lakes Paringa and Moeraki, the haunt of the fabulous White Heron, to the township of Haast. From here, drive through the Haast Pass Highway, viewing en route Mount Brewster, towering 2423 metres and the Brewster Glacier. Descend 82 kilometres, past the Lake Hawea Dam, water storage for the Roxburgh Hydro Electric Station, to Wanaka. From Wanaka, travel to Cromwell and through the spectacular Kawarau Gorge to follow the river into Queenstown. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu Queenstown is a year-round alpine resort that caters for all interests. It enjoys a magnificent setting amid steep mountain ranges and pockets of native bush with the jagged peaks of the Remarkables Range rising from the lake.


Day Eighteen & Nineteen – Queenstown

A free day at New Zealand’s premier resort and an almost overwhelming selection of attractions to choose from. There are over 70 different activities available: including the Shotover Jet, bungy jumping, horse riding, golf, parapenting, gondola and luge.


Day Twenty – Queenstown – Milford – Te Anau

Depart Queenstown and skirt Lake Wakatipu in the shadow of the rugged Remarkables. Drive to Te Anau, gateway of the Fiordland National Park then follow Lake Te Anau to the valley of the Eglinton River. Pass through magnificent beech forests before a gradual descent into the precipitous Hollyford Valley. Climb steadily to the gigantic Cirque and the Homer Tunnel. Pass through the tunnel and down to the Cleddau Canyon where you will catch your first glimpse of Mitre Peak before finally emerging into the open at Milford Sound. This afternoon, join your Milford Sound Scenic Cruise and cruise the full length of Milford to the Tasman Sea. The luxury vessel stops at various points and offers excellent viewing of waterfalls, rainforest and wildlife. The cruise is accompanied by comprehensive commentaries. Complimentary tea and coffee are available onboard and a picnic lunch is included. Following your cruise, rejoin your rental vehicle and return to Te Anau.


Day Twenty-One – Te Anau – Dunedin

Leave Te Anau and drive through farmland and tussock country before arriving at Lumsden. Travel south through the Waimea Plains to Gore a town that serves the rich agricultural area of Southland. Continue on through farmlands to Balclutha where you will cross the Clutha River, famous for its alluvial gold. From here, travel north through Milton, across the Taieri River and on to the city of Dunedin.


Day Twenty-Two – Dunedin

This afternoon, join your afternoon Peninsula tour which combines tourism and conservation in a symbiotic relationship and provides absolutely unrivalled viewing of estuarine and marine wildlife. Our knowledgeable guides will inform you of activity being viewed and visit places where the best possible viewing of Hooker’s Sea lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins, a breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and Royal Albatross can be had. A further 25-30 other estuarine and marine bird species are seen during the experience. Close up unobtrusive viewing from beach locations and strategically placed observation hides is guaranteed.


Day Twenty-Three – Dunedin –Christchurch

From Dunedin travel to Moeraki Boulders, located just 40 kilometres south of Oamaru. The boulders are a geological curiosity, formed on the sea floor some sixty million years ago. In the larger boulders cracks have filled with yellow calcite crystals. According to Maori legend, the boulders were gourds and seed kumara, scattered when the great canoe ‘Araitauru’ from Hawaiki was wrecked at Shag Point. Continue north to Oamaru. Many of the handsome buildings found in this city are constructed from Oamaru stone which has led to its nickname ‘The White Stone City’. En route to Timaru, a very popular seaside town, pass the 45th Parallel – halfway between The Equator and the South Pole. Pass through Temuka, Ashburton and over the mighty Rakaia River, famous for its salmon fishing. Continue across the farmland of the Canterbury Plains and through the military township of Burnham to Christchurch, known as ‘The Garden City.’


Day Twenty Four – Depart Christchurch

Today, return your rental vehicle to Christchurch Airport and connect with your onwards flight. Your travel arrangements will conclude today.

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