18 Day Best of New Zealand
AAT Kings’ Cost Saver Best of New Zealand, see the north & south island including Bay of Islands, Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch, Queenstown, Milford Sound & more.
- Visit the Bay of Islands
- See the sights of Auckland
- Cape Brett 'Hole in the Rock'
- Tour the Glow Worm Grotto
- Maori Hangi feast and concert
- Agrodome Sheep Show
- Visit Te Papa
- Stay in beautiful Christchurch
- Church of the Good Shepherd
- Cruise on Milford Sound
- Day at leisure in Queenstown
- Spectacular Fox Glacier
- TranzAlpine Train Option
- INCLUDED Maori Cultural Experience
- ‘You are invited’ experience
PREMIUM HOLIDAY INCLUSIONS
» Tour also available in reverse: Christchurch to Auckland » Click here to view the tour
Day 1: Arrive Auckland
After your airport transfer and hotel check-in, explore Auckland your way. Evening welcome drink with your Tour Director and fellow passengers.
Hotel: SKYCITY Grand Hotel, Auckland.
Day 2: Auckland – Bay of Islands
Depart Auckland and travel along the Hibiscus Coast to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Take a scenic cruise through game fishing waters to Cape Brett and, weather permitting, through the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ formation. The return cruise to Paihia meanders through picturesque islands – see deserted sandy beaches and secluded bays and keep your eyes peeled for the marine life.
Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort (Garden View), Bay of Islands, 2 nights. BC D
Day 3: Bay of Islands ‘Free Time’
Explore the Bay of Islands. Dolphin watch, catch a ferry to Russell, drive along the Ninety Mile Beach, sail or sea-kayak. BC
Day 4: Bay of Islands – Auckland
This morning visit theWaitangi Treaty Reserve which is of great historical importance, as this is where New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed. You will have time to explore the Reserve and take in highlights such as the magnificent Maori War Canoe and Meeting House (Marae). This afternoon enjoy the lush farmland scenery as you return to Auckland.
Hotel: SKYCITY Grand Hotel, Auckland.B HD
Day 5: Auckland – Rotorua
AAfter a sightseeing tour of Auckland, head south to trace New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato, to the Waitomo Caves to visit the amazing Glow Worm Grotto. A local guide will lead you through the grotto by boat and you'll walk in the limestone caves. Your journey continues to Rotorua. On arrival an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Tonight experience The Realm of Tāne and then you are invited to a Maori Hangi feast and concert at the Tamaki Family Marae.
Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua, 2 nights. BC D
Day 6: Rotorua
We visit the Agrodome Sheep Show then enjoy an afternoon of ‘Free Time’ – visit Rainbow Springs, abundant with rainbow trout and native fauna including the kiwi orTe Puia, where a local Maori will guide you through the Geothermal valley with its mud pools and geysers. BC
Day 7: Rotorua – Wellington
View the Huka Falls, visit Taupo and drive along shores of its lake. Discover the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park and the dairy farms of Manawatu. Travel along the Kapiti Coast into Wellington, for a city tour.
Hotel: James Cook Grand Chancellor, Wellington.B D
Day 8: Wellington – Blenheim
This morning you can explore Wellington before you visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, with time to discover it yourself. Later, cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. The seaside village of Picton is next, then Blenheim for a city tour. Tonight you'll enjoy a tasting, tour and Highlight Dinner at Georges Michel Wine Estate, a family owned and run winery in the heart of the Marlborough region.
Hotel: Scenic Hotel Marlborough, Blenheim. B D
Day 9: Blenheim – Christchurch
We’ll get up close and personal with some New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point, watch whales at Kaikoura, (optional scenic Whale Watching flight available) and travel across the colourful Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.
Hotel: Novotel, Christchurch. B
Day 10: Christchurch – Twizel
Enjoy a leisurely start to the day in Christchurch. Later we’ll see Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the alpine scenery of Mt. Cook National Park (optional Mt. Cook scenic flight available).
Hotel: MacKenzie Country Inn, Twizel. B L D
Day 11: Twizel – Dunedin
Our day starts along the Waitaki River with the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. We travel through Oamaru with its famous white limestone buildings to Dunedin, where we tour the city. Then you’ve got the afternoon to yourself – take a Wildlife Cruise, visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.
Hotel: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, Dunedin. B D
Day 12: Dunedin Included Choice
After a free morning, we’ll cross sheep- filled farming land to the South Island’s biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. Optional Glow Worm Caves tour tonight.
Hotel: Distinction Hotel, Te Anau. B D
Day 13: Te Anau – Queenstown
Journey from Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound, where you will cruise on the waters of this natural wonder. Witness Mirror Lake, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy a Queenstown orientation tour on arrival, followed by dinner with views over Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables.
Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 2 nights. BC
Day 14: Queenstown ‘Free Time’
Explore exciting Queenstown your way – from wine and garden tours to jet boat rides and white water rafting. For dinner you have the option to dine at the Skyline Restaurant on Bob’s Peak. Access is via the steepest Gondola in the Southern Hemisphere.Dinner option includes the Kiwi Haka Maori Show. BC HD
Day 15: Queenstown - Franz Josef
Visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, previously one of the world's richest rivers. Enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell, the stone fruit capital. See a trio of lakes, Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka. Travel over the Haast Pass, view amazing Thunder Creek Falls and take a small rainforest walk. Then it's on to Franz Josef Glacier, the world's most accessible glacier.
Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef. B D
Day 16: Franz Josef – Punakaiki
There is time this morning to explore Franz Josef Glacier. You can see it from the air on an optional flight (weather permitting) or take a glacier hike! Depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade), for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You'll stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.
Hotel: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki. B D
Day 17: Punakaiki – Christchurch
Enjoy some free time before travelling via Greymouth to Arthur's Pass where you'll board the TranzAlpine train, one of the top six train journeys in the world, to travel through the Southern Alps to your accommodation in Christchurch. Join your Tour Director and new-found friends this evening for a Farewell Dinner.
Hotel: Novotel, Christchurch. B FD
Day 18: Depart Christchurch
You are transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. B