This is the perfect introduction to the spectacular natural attractions of New Zealand’s North and South Islands and a cultural heritage dating back to the country’s first human settlement in the 13th century. Beginning in Auckland, head north to the turquoise waters of the sub-tropical Bay of Islands. Overnighting back in Auckland, strike out for the Bay of Plenty and the mountains, lakes, geothermal geysers and mud pools of Rotorua. Your next stop is the sophisticated capital Wellington, before crossing Cook Strait to South Island.
From the Garden City of Christchurch, explore the valleys, gorges and glaciers of the Southern Alps and visit picturesque Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. An overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound and a visit to the underground caverns and waterfalls of Glow Worm Caves are rounded off by a city tour of Dunedin and a last supper at Christchurch before heading home.
Days 1-2: UK/Auckland
Fly from the UK to Auckland.
Day 3: Arrive Auckland
On arrival into Auckland, transfer to your hotel and meet your travelling companions over a complimentary pre-dinner drink.
Day 4: Auckland/Bay of Islands
Enjoy an Auckland city sights tour before travelling to the Parry Kauri Park for a stroll among the native trees and shrubs. Continue through Whangarei to the Bay of Islands for a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British was signed.
Day 5: Bay of Islands
The following morning take a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock; keep on the lookout for bottlenose and common dolphins. The afternoon and evening are at leisure, with optional activities including a tall ship sailing experience, a scenic flight or a relaxing dinner cruise.
Day 6: Bay of Islands/Auckland
Drive south via Whangarei and Dargaville for a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum. Enjoy a free afternoon in Auckland, exploring the picturesque waterfront, rural vistas and superb museums of the City of Sails.
Day 7: Auckland/Rotorua
Depart Auckland and drop in at Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15-kilometre journey back in time on a beautifully restored steam train. Travel through magnificent countryside to Longlands Farm & Restaurant for a delicious home-cooked lunch hosted by a New Zealand family. Continue to Rainbow Springs Nature Park and visit the kiwi nursery and hatchery.
Day 8: Rotorua
Next morning, head for the Skyline Rotorua for breakfast with champagne, spectacular views, and a thrilling luge ride. Take in a farm show at the Agrodome then visit Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and geysers. Your evening meal is a Maori hangi, followed by a concert.
Days 9-10: Rotorua/Wellington
Take the Thermal Explorer Highway via the spectacular Huka Falls and continue to the magnificent Lake Taupo. Travel though Tongariro National Park and along the Kapiti Coast to the bustling capital. Explore the Gallipoli – a Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, and enjoy an extensive city tour. Dinner is included on day 10 only.
Day 11: Wellington/Christchurch
Board the Interislander ferry, cross the Cook Strait and pass through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. You’ll then join the Coastal Pacific on a truly spectacular rail journey that follows a thin wedge of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikoura Ranges. Your coach then awaits for the journey across the Northern Canterbury Plains to the garden city of Christchurch.
Day 12: Christchurch
Visit the International Antarctic Centre followed by an introductory city tour of Christchurch. Take a trip on the Christchurch Tram and seek out one of the excellent restaurants near your hotel.
Day 13: Christchurch/Arthur’s Pass/Fox Glacier
Board the TranzAlpine for one of the great train journeys of the world. Crossing over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges, you’ll climb to Arthur’s Pass in the centre of the Southern Alps. Continue to Hokitika, famous for its greenstone jewellery, and visit Fox Glacier where time is available to experience a spectacular scenic flight.
Day 14: Fox Glacier/Queenstown
Marvel at the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south along the West Coast. You’ll continue past Haast Pass to the Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown before you arrive at picturesque Queenstown, a year-round resort on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. The evening is free for you to dine out at one of the city’s many fine restaurants.
Day 15: Queenstown
The following evening, board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station for a gourmet barbecue dinner.
Day 16: Queenstown/Doubtful Sound
Travel via Te Anau to Manapouri and cruise across the glacial lake. Afte...
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust