(Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Christchurch)
This is a great introduction to the highlights of the North and South Island, designed for people who must be conservative with their time and money. Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. Join an evening harbour cruise where you will enjoy sunset views of the skyline, and a delicious Kiwi dinner! Enjoy a city tour of Auckland and a special treat (seasonal) with the America's Cup sailing. The following day travel overland from Auckland to Rotorua by coach, stopping along the way to visit Waitomo. Take a guided tour through the galleries and lofty chambers of the caves, and a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto. Once in Rotorua, spend a leisurely spa day at the Hells Gate Geothermal reserve, where you will experience the unique mud and water baths that this region is famous for. Attend a Maori Hangi and concert, where you learn about traditional Maori customs and beliefs and finish it all off with an authentic hangi dinner! Fly to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Embark on a day trip to Milford Sound, where you will take a cruise through this important New Zealand landmark. You will travel by coach back to Queenstown where you will enjoy the afternoon exploring this beautiful and vibrant city. You will do the Famous Routeburn hike at your own pace, doing anywhere from 6kms to 18kms. The scenery will take your breath away. You will board a coach and travel to Franz Josef glacier amongst some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. Spend the night at the base of the glacier and then travel to the small town of Greymouth by coach where you will catch the TranzAlpine train. This journey is sure to be a highlight listed as one of the top train journeys in the world. You will arrive in Christchurch and fall in love with this old English city. Enjoy boating on the Avon or browsing in the beautiful boutique shops.
You will not want to leave this incredibly beautiful country.
*** Due to fluctuating costs, the flights are not included in this itinerary. Air New Zealand offers great rates for this routing. You may also wish to speak with your travel agent about including domestic air with your international ***
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the Auckland airport and your hotel.
You will receive a welcome package on arrival which will include a welcome letter, detailed itinerary, vouchers for each service, supplier contact list as well as various brochures of the destinations you will be visiting. This will be available at your first service.
See first hand why Auckland is known as the City of Sails as you enjoy a trip over the Harbour Bridge. Visit the Famous Auckland landmark of Mount Eden, a dormant volcano whose summit offers excellent panoramic views of the city and harbours. From the fantastic vantage point you will see evidence of Auckland's volcanic history, the most significant being the youngest volcano of Rangitoto Island at the entrance to the Waitemata harbour. This tour also takes in the Auckland Domain, the city's oldest park which is situated on a 62,000 year old volcano. In addition to these natural features you will be taken to the trendy shopping are of Parnell Village with its historical buildings that have been transformed into boutiques, antique and craft specialty shops. Your tour will then take you along the scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Dr. before returning to Downtown. This private tour takes approximately 4 hours.
The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest and most prestigious sporting trophy and ultimate yachting accomplishment. Usually the domain of billionaires and elite professional yachties, this activity provides a very unique opportunity to participate in sailing on these grand prix racing machines. A must do attraction in Auckland and a unique opportunity to participate as crew on an actual America’s Cup yacht. The experience varies per person: take the helm, exert energy on the grinders or sit back, relax and enjoy the sail, a once in a lifetime experience. The trip is subject to route alterations as well as wind and weather conditions. The trip departs from the Viaduct basin Downtown Auckland. The group size may vary between 8 and 30 passengers. Departure times from November until March are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and from April to October 1 p.m.
Enjoy this sightseeing, shared coach-transfer from Auckland to Rotorua. Your first stop along the way will be in Waitomo, where you will enjoy a guided tour through the famed Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Next you will continue to the Agrodome on the outskirts of Rotorua where you will be transferred onto the Hobbiton, for an exclusive "Lord of the Ring Movie Set" coach tour. Upon completion of this adventure you will be transferred to Rotorua.
Today, visit Hells Gate & Wai Ora Spa in Rotorua, New Zealand’s most unique geothermal, cultural, health & spa experience. Home to New Zealand’s most active geothermal field, this fascinating area showcases a large variety of volcanic features such as exploding geyser, steaming fumaroles, pools of boiling mud, the only accessible mud volcano and the largest hot waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. Set amongst the active geothermal reserve is the Wai Ora Spa and Wellness Center, where visitors experience the unique geothermal muds and sulphurous geothermal waters in the Hells Gate Mud Baths. Each mud bath contains an excess of 100kgs of the finest geothermal muds in both a suspended and solid form. Each spa contains pure sulphurous water drawn directly from the geothermal valley. Unaltered, the water cleanses tones and heals broken skin, just as it was used in ancient times by the local Maori people. The recommended time at the Wai Ora Spa and Wellness Center is 2.5 hours.
Enjoy a guided tour of the valley with one of Te Puia's world renowned guides. As part of the tour you will visit New Zealand's national carving and weaving schools and witness these disciplines in practice, under the guidance of full-time master carvers and weavers. You will visit award winning interactive galleries, see a kiwi bird up close, and most importantly, hear stories as told by the descendants of the valley. To conclude the tour you will visit the geyser and mud pools and then be invited to have a short rest prior to the beginning of the evening experience. Traditionally, Te Po is an intimate time for sharing knowledge. Te Po is also Te Puia's authentic evening cultural experience a feast of food, culture and friendship. It begins every night at Te-Heketanga-a-Rangi (The Heavenly Origins). The space comprises twelve monumental carvings reaching skywards, each one representing a Maori deity. Hear the stories of the past and see how these traditions live on today. Feeding guests is regarded by Maori as an honor and a sign of a tribe's mana (standing), So a sumptuous banquet is provided during the evening. This banquet combines contemporary cuisine with a traditional hangi (earth-cooked oven meal), where kai (food) is steam-cooked by hot rocks in the earth, giving it a delicious smoky flavor.Following dessert, you will be transferred to the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley to enjoy the spectacular lighting. Guests can wander around the illuminated natural attractions, including Pohutu geyser. This tour can accommodate 160 guests.
A privately driven vehicle will provide a transfer between the airport and hotel today.
Flight is required, currently not included in the quote.
Meet your diver for a private transfer between Queenstown and the Domestic Airport.
Travel by luxury coach on an unforgettable journey from Queenstown into Milford Sound. Travel from Queenstown along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and through rolling countryside to Te Anau. After a short break at Te Anau, continue via the spectacular Milford Road, to Milford Sound. Board the Milford Mariner for a relaxing cruise of Milford Sound. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. An on board nature guide provides interpretation in English only. Experience stunning surroundings at the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. In Maori legend, the fiords were created not by rivers of ice, but by Tu Te Raki Whanoa, a godly figure who came wielding a magical adze uttering incantations. Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) is without doubt his finest sculpture. Luxuriant rainforest clings to sheer rock walls washed with waterfalls. In the foreground stands Mitre Peak, dominating the skyline. Whatever the fiord’s mood, teeming with rain or with sun glistening on deep water, it will inspire you. A return transfer by luxury coach to Queenstown is provided. The tour departs at 7 a.m., takes approximately 13 hours and can accommodate up to 120 guests.
Today you will be collected from your accommodation at approximately 8.00 a.m. for a full day walk within the ancient Beech forest of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Start the tour with a scenic drive to the northern end of Lake Wakatipu and into the Routeburn Valley. The high snow-capped mountains provide a magnificent backdrop for the walk up this beautiful river valley. A journey along the edge of the lake from Queenstown, to the head of Lake Wakatipu is the ideal preparation for the splendour of the world-famous Routeburn Track. The walk begins amongst the towering trees of the ancient Beech forest, making route gradually through blankets of forest moss and ferns. The woodland eventually parts to reveal the rich grassland of Routeburn Flats, overlooked on all sides by cloud-scraping mountains, some so high they have permafrost and small glaciers. These flats provide the perfect location to enjoy a well-earned lunch, before heading to the next stop at Routeburn Falls. The tour takes approximately 9 hours with a walking time of 3 to 5 hours (optional). The distance is 16 kilometers on an easy hiking path. The group size is varying between 2 to 6 participants per guide. Please wear closed toe trainers or boots (no sandals or jandals), a hat, sunscreen, insect repellant, waterproof/windproof/warm clothing for changeable weather and a small daypack. And remember to bring you camera and a smile!
Depart Queenstown by coach at 7.40 a.m. passing through Cromwell, Wanaka and Hawea before travelling over the magnificent Haast Pass into Westland. A local shuttle is available to take you to the glacier base (own arrangements, weather permitting). Spectacular photo opportunities abound of these huge ice masses. Watch out for Keas (native parrots) and their inquisitive cheeky play. Please note this is a commuter service with many stops and limited commentary.
This 4 hour adventure is a fantastic introduction to an enthralling world of ice. A short Heli hop from the township of Franz Josef takes you into the remarkable Pinnacles area of the glacier. Here an experienced guide will navigate you through a maze of ice and explain the dramatic environmental changes over the last few years. You will explore the awe-inspiring landscape in this incredible experience through Franz Josef Glacier. The Ice Explorer hike includes entry into the fabulous Glacier Hot Pools. All visitors and guides are equipped with the best in quality gear. Breathable Rain Jacket, Waterproof over-trousers (if required), Socks and sturdy boots (or you have the option to wear your own hiking boots), Crampons (with small waist bag) for superior glacier grip, Woollen hats and gloves (if required). On this trip you will enjoy a small guide to customer ratio (max 1:11). Departure times are 8.15 a.m., 9.00 a.m., 10.40 a.m., 11.25 a.m.
Join your coach and continue to Greymouth, the largest township and port in the area, rich in gold and coal mining history.
The TranzAlpine scenic train journey travels between Greymouth and Christchurch, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you’ll see the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River fields, followed by the Canterbury Plains and farmland . Your train climbs into the Southern Alps through lush beech rain forest from the West Coast town of Greymouth. Our train journey finishes in Christchurch - New Zealand's largest city on the South Island. 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.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the train station and your hotel.
You will be collected from you hotel for you 3 hour sightseeing tour of Christchurch by private vehicle and guide. During this orientation tour you will learn about the central city highlights including Cathedral Square, Victoria Square, the Avon River, Town Hall, Christ`s College, Museum, Botanical Gardens, Arts Centre, Worcester Boulevard, the Bridge of Remembrance, Mona Vale Gardens and Hagley Park..
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the airport and hotel.
Centrally located in Auckland, this property is near Queen Street Shopping District, Sky Tower, and Auckland City Hall. Additional nearby points of interest include Auckland War Memorial Museum. Guestrooms have premium bedding, air conditioning, and slippers; rooms also include refrigerators, separate bathtubs and showers, and bathrobes. At Stamford Plaza Auckland recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a sauna. The property also provides a business center, a concierge desk, and a porter/bellhop.
Escape to The Regent of Rotorua, Rotorua’s newest designer 5 star Boutique Hotel & Spa offering stylish luxury accommodation, restaurant, wine & cocktail bar, all with a touch of glamour. An oasis of understated hip contemporary elegance and comfort amidst the exciting attractions and experiences Rotorua has to offer. Step out of the calm of your gorgeous room or suite and stroll to the vibrant restaurant zone or lakefront area - or simply stay in, relax and savor the hotel's luxury facilities.
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is the most centrally located 4-star hotel on Queenstown's lakefront. Step outside your door and into the heart of Queenstown with easy access to all that this premier Four Season lake and alpine resort has to offer. The hotel has delicious New Zealand influenced dining options, WIFI access and complimentary Apple Mac stations, a spa pool as well as professional and friendly staff that make Novotel Queenstown Lakeside the perfect hotel for your Queenstown visit.
Opened in December of 2013, the Aspen Court Franz Josef provides luxury accommodation within Glacier Country at an affordable price. A half-minute walk from the Glacier Hot Pools, the motel is set amongst native bush providing a very peaceful ambience. Internally the units are large, practical and modern with all containing quality furnishings and fittings.
Heartland Hotel Cotswold is warm and welcoming, and the perfect place to relax during the visit to Christchurch. The spacious grounds feature award-winning gardens, and there is always a seat waiting for guests in the Earl of Essex Bar. The 3 star-plus Christchurch hotel is located on the edge of the CBD. It’s an easy stroll to boutique shopping at Merivale Mall, Christchurch Casino and the beautiful Hagley Park. Just 20 minutes drive from Christchurch airport, and very close to the CBD, Heartland Hotel Cotswold is well positioned for travelers here on business or for leisure.
Australia & Pacific
December 12, 2014
"We have used a number of small group travel companies and Kensington is the one we would recommend. All details of the trip to New Zealand went as planned. It was the trip of a lifetime. Our travel consultant Daniel did a great job, both pre-trip and post-trip. We will certainly use them again."
Australia & Pacific
Susan Pope ,
April 21, 2014
"The arrangements all worked out very well, especially the drivers picking us up from airports and hotels. The hotels, although all in different categories, were mostly excellent. We were happy to see so many different areas of New Zealand and experience everything from glow worm caves to fjords to a Maori hangi and geothermals."
Australia & Pacific
Sharon Weckenbrock ,
May 15, 2013
"We are safely back home but still on Cloud 9 from the fabulous trip that you helped to put together for us! Everything worked just as I had hoped it would and in many cases, exceeded all expectations.
We have definitely been recommending you and your company to anyone asking our advice and again, we can't thank you enough for a trip of a lifetime!"
Australia & Pacific
Donna Brennan ,
April 18, 2013
"The trip was great we all loved the Saint Regis Hotel. It was incredible! Thank you for helping me plan the trip the group was very impressed.
Thank you again,
Australia & Pacific
Paula McNally ,
April 24, 2013
"The trip was wonderful!! . That resort is absolutely beautiful. We had good weather -- hot and humid. The people were very nice everywhere we went. "
Australia & Pacific
Marcia Nunn ,
April 01, 2013
"Candace and I are back in Michigan today after a wonderful trip to New Zealand. You and she did a great job in organizing this trip. Couldn't have been better. In particular, the Wilderness Lodge is a very special place. "
Australia & Pacific
Cindy Burns ,
April 04, 2013
"Miranda is the best, I would recommend her and we plan on contacting her in the future. The hotels were all excellent and the guides knowledge & Service were excellent"
Australia & Pacific
Sheila Black ,
April 08, 2013
"We had the best time you could imagine and it was all based on your planning-thank-you so so much!!
Every hotel was located just where we would have wanted-all so lovely and we loved the buffet breakfasts!! The Grace is a beautiful hotel and everyone was very helpful-we could walk to the main areas and Darling Harbor and we just loved being in Sydney-Norm even got in a game of golf!! Every tour was wonderful. We are so glad you switched us from the large bus Blue Mountain tour to the boutique tour-we heard others talk of the Blue Mountain tour in that it was a long drive, crowded and they did not seem to have a great day. We LOVED our boutique tour-we had a super driver (Cliff)who really really tried to find every animal in the wild he could-we saw kangaroos, emu, wombats and even a koala-it was a wonderful day-we got back about 11;30 pm and because of that we saw so many of the nocturnal animals-he was so accommodating-just a great day!!
The Pullman in Cairns was just gorgeous-and we could walk to the water-we had a perfect(calm!!) day on the reef and we loved the trip to the rainforest-all in all a wonderful few days there. Our weather for the whole trip was also perfect!!! How did you do that!!??!!
We thank-you so much, Louise, for helping us-you take full credit for this holiday and we so often spoke of you there “thanks to Louise for another great day” we would say!! Every tour worked out perfectly-the flights were just great and the timing super-and we really felt you listened to what we ‘thought ‘ we wanted to do and you just seemed to know what would be right for us. We packed some Canada pins and tee shirts and gave them to our tour drivers and they seemed to love that!!
We came home happy and relaxed and so thankful-I will send you a few pictures for certain.
Australia & Pacific
Josie Rodriguez ,
March 19, 2013
"Thank you for all your help arranging a wonderful Australian tour for us. There was a lot of anxiety/reservation arranging a tour on line, not meeting the other person on the other line but it all ended well and we had a fantastic experience. Please thank also Ruby for us for arranging our domestic flights. The two of you did a very good job in coordinating/planning everything.
For sure I will use you again in our next trip which will be in September. We would like to go to St. Petersburg, Malta and Sicily.
Again, thank you!
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