(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 Hotel.
This Auckland property is located near Auckland High Court, Queen Street Shopping District, and Sky Tower. Additional nearby points of interest include Auckland City Hall. In addition to balconies and kitchenettes, guestrooms feature DVD players and refrigerators. Bathrooms come with designer toiletries and hair dryers. Recreational amenities at The Quadrant Hotel Auckland include a spa tub, a steam room, and a fitness facility. Other amenities include a restaurant, a concierge desk, and a bar/lounge.
This morning enjoy an Auckland Highlights tour. This tour makes stops along the way at some of Aucklands most interesting places including Queen Street, a pass through the Auckland University grounds which features some historic buildings, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and Ponsonby Road. A visit to the Domain Parks and Gardens and the waterfront streets of Paritai Drive and Tamaki Drive is also scheduled.
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.
Enjoy a full day of touring around Waitomo and Rotorua. Begin by travelling south past Auckland, through the small rural townships of the early pioneer times, before stopping briefly for a morning tea. Continue travelling through the rich farmland of the Waikato towards the King Country (birthplace of the Maori Monarchy) before arriving in Waitomo. Join a guided tour through the enchanting Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, which is climaxed by a boat ride through the Glow-worm Grotto, a cavern system illuminated by thousands of tiny lights from the glow-worms suspended from the cave ceiling. After, lunch is served before re-boarding the coach making route to Rotorua. Upon arrival in Rotorua take a soak in the award-winning Polynesian Spa, voted one of the world's top 10 day spa resorts. Enjoy tranquil bathing and lake views in four shallow alkaline rock pools, each with different temperatures ranging from 36°C to 42°C. The pools are filled with soothing alkaline mineral water leaving skin soft and supple. Surrounded by the lush native New Zealand flora, natural rocks, and the sound of two waterfalls, this experience will truly revitalize one’s body and mind. The tour continues with a visit to the Te Puia Arts & Crafts Institute, Maori Village and some local boiling mud pools. The day concludes as the coach travels back to Auckland through the horse breeding district of Matamata and pastureland of the Hauraki Plains where a light snack is served.
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 savour the hotel's luxury facilities.
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 Centre, 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.
Enjoy an evening cultural experience at a local Maori concert. It is a feast of cultural storytelling, entertainment and Maori kai (indigenous food). Feel the spirit of Te Puia at night and experience the heritage - a living legacy of people, culture and place. Feeding guests is regarded by Maori as an honour 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 flavour.
A privately driven vehicle will provide a transfer between the airport and hotel today.
Flight is required, currently not included in the quote.
A private vehicle will provide a transfer between the airport and your hotel.
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 hoteloffers 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.
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.
Prepare 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 tree's 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.
Depart Queenstown by coach at 7:40am 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.
Punga Grove offers stylish motel accommodation in the heart of Franz Josef Glacier village. Perfectly positioned in a beautiful rainforest, set amongst native forest against a stunning backdrop of high alpine peaks, Punga Grove is your natural West Coast accommodation choice for your stay in Glacier Country in New Zealand.
Prepare for a fantastic introduction session into an enthralling world of ice, traversing spectacular tracks of only moderate difficulty. This hike travels along the impressive terrain on the lower reaches of Franz Josef Glacier. After a short walk through regenerating rainforest, the trip continues along the glacier valley with the expert guide providing information about the unique features of the Franz Josef Glacier and its surroundings. After equipping a pair of crampons, make route up the terminal face of the glacier, where pre-formed tracks make exploring the lower reaches of the glacier achievable for most agile people. The terrain can look daunting, but the huge effort the guides put into creating extensive trails, allows for further travel and more to see. Afterwards - enjoy a soak at the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
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.
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 travellers here on business or for leisure.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the airport and hotel.
VISA/PASSPORTU.S. and Canadian citizens eligible for a visa waiver do not need a visa for tourist stays of three months or less.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of New Zealand for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/new-zealand.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Wellington. Government: Constitutional monarchy since 1907. Language: English is the common and everyday language, but other languages are also spoken, including Maori, which is New Zealand’s second official language (spoken by the indigenous Maori people who constitute approximately 15% of the population). Religion: 55% Christian: Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Methodist are all represented. Time: New Zealand: GMT + 12 (GMT + 13 from the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April). Chatham Island: GMT + 12.75 (GMT + 13.75 from the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April). Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Most hotels provide 110-volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only. Telephone: Country code: 64. Most public phones take cards purchased from bookstalls; some also accept credit cards, but very few still accept coins. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good. Internet: There are Internet cafes in cities and smaller town central business districts. Travelers may access the Internet at many hotels and youth hostels.
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