Spend 11 days exploring the North and South Islands of this small country packed with wonders. Travelling by train, gondola, boat, and plane, connect with locals in artsy beach towns, walk through an ancient rain forest, and learn about local legends and cuisine from the Maori. Take a deep breath to fill your lungs with the impossibly clean air here – and fill your soul with the legendary Kiwi spirit.
Day 1 Auckland
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Auckland (1B)
Enjoy a morning orientation walk before catching a ferry to Waiheke Island. Visit two local wineries to learn more about New Zealand’s burgeoning wine industry and the history of wine production in the country while sampling some of the local blends, of course.
Day 3 Auckland/Raglan (1B, 1L)
Drive a scenic route, visiting an eel farm which focuses on developing sustainable aquaculture. Enjoy lunch, featuring food which has been sustainably produced on the farm. Continue to the artsy town of Raglan, stopping at Bridal Veil Falls en route, and enjoy a cruise on the stunning harbour.
Day 4 Raglan/Rotorua (1B, 1D)
Drive to Rotorua, stopping for an excursion at Waitomo Caves where you’ll take a boat ride through the cave and see thousands of flickering glowworms lighting up the walls.
This evening visit Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy a private welcome and talk from a “Kaumātua” (an elder in Māori society). After, enjoy an extravagant performance about local myths and legends while dining on traditional Hangi cuisine.
Day 5 Rotorua/Christchurch (1B)
Enjoy free time this morning in Rotorua before catching a flight to Christchurch. This afternoon, meet with a local guide and take a unique walking tour of the city.
Day 6 Christchurch/Franz Josef (1B)
Enjoy one of the world’s great scenic train trips on the TranzAlpine train, crossing the scenic Southern Alps to New Zealand’s glacier region. Disembark and finish the journey over the highest pass in the Southern Alps in a private vehicle before transferring to a beautiful rainforest lodge, our home for two nights.
Day 7 Franz Josef (1B)
Options are plentiful. Choose from a helicopter hike, ice walking on the glacier, or soaking in the hot pools amongst the stunning scenery.
Day 8 Franz Josef/Queenstown (1B)
Travel through the rugged rainforest along the west coast to Queenstown. Enjoy an evening gondola ride with spectacular views of the city.
Day 9 Queenstown/Fiordland National Park (1B, 1D)
Embark on an amazing wilderness cruise through Fiordland National Park. Led by onboard naturalist guides, we have the chance to see dolphins, fur seals, birds, and penguins along with an option to kayak. Spend the night onboard in comfortable cabins with time to relax on deck, stargaze, and enjoy some New Zealand wine.
Day 10 Fiordland National Park/Queenstown (1B)
Enjoy morning wildlife viewing along the fiord as we cruise back to port, then return to Queenstown for the final night. Opt for a farewell dinner with your group.
Day 11 Queenstown (1B)
Depart at any time.
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