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  • Taste of New ZealandTaste of New Zealand

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Taste of New Zealand

Get a real feel for the Kiwi way of life with Taste of New Zealand, an all-encompassing tour of both islands. On the North Island, one-of-a kind adventures are abundant. Check out the Waitomo Caves, subterranean limestone caverns known for the glowworms that give light to this underground world. Eat up at a traditional Hangi dinner and concert, a spiritual and cultural Kiwi experience. On the South Island, beauty is crystal clear in the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, and in the stunning countryside at Milford Sound. Let your heart rate rise as you take a jet boat down the maze of channels on the Dart River. Finish up in Christchurch and visit Akaroa, cruising along the volcanic harbor. Natural beauty is all around you as you get a true taste of New Zealand.

Trip Type: Adventure, Romance & Honeymoon, Wildlife

MapTaste of New ZealandTaste of New Zealand

Day By Day

Day 1 – USA to Auckland
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price. 

Day 2 – Cross the International Date Line
Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole - and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.

Day 3 – Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand
On arrival into Auckland, collect your rental vehicle from the airport depot and self-drive to your accommodation. 

Auckland, 'City of Sails'. located between two stunning harbors, enjoys a mild year-round climate. Auckland is the country's most visited region and largest urban area, offering exciting activities and great shopping.

The city lies across a 7-mile wide volcanic isthmus separating two harbors. The Waitemata to the east opens into the Hauraki Gulf, and to the Pacific Ocean. The Manukau Harbour to the west offers many estuaries and surf beaches and opens to the Tasman Sea.

Starting Accommodation: Rydges Auckland

Day 4 – Auckland to Rotorua via Hobbiton
Enjoy a magical journey through Middle-earth to the Hobbiton Movie Set from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy for a fascinating guided tour. Travel south from Auckland over the Bombay Hills to the rich farmland of the Waikato region. Travel through the heritage town of Cambridge where tree-lined streets add to the English-style atmosphere. From here, the journey continues through undulating green hills, reminding you that you are approaching Hobbiton Shire. On arrival at Shire's Rest, embark on a Hobbiton movie set tour. This location is the largest "green set" in the world and the only place where you get an emotional response with a movie set in a natural setting. There are 44 hobbit holes, the Mill and double arch bridge, the party tree and the Green Dragon Inn. At this stunning location, guests may take photographs at the door of Bilbo's house, "Bag End," and look out over the whole set to the hills in the distance. After the tour, lunch is available for purchase at the Shire's Rest Cafe before joining the shuttle to transfer you to Rotorua.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Day 5 – Rotorua City Tour
See the highlights of Rotorua - this tour shows you the best of Rotorua's natural and man-made attractions. Your half day tour includes a visit to Rainbow Springs and Rainbow Farm for a sheep show and working sheep dog demonstrations. Continue to Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve to see bubbling mud pools, steaming geysers and intricate Maori wood carvings.

Hangi dinner and concert
This Twilight Cultural Tour offers transport to and from a Marae by coach. Tonight is a spiritual experience you will never forget with Marae protocol, entertainment, Maori culture and feasting.

En route to the Marae, the guide explains the protocol to take place. The group on board is prepared for the wero (challenge) and welcome to the Marae. Upon entering the exquisitely carved meeting house, you will hongi (greet - pressing of noses) with your host. The tradition means you are a friend and may consider yourself one of the family. Now sit back and enjoy the culture of the Maori people. See the fierce Haka (war dance), twirling of poi balls, stick games and other entertainment.

From here we move to the Hangi pit to see the traditional Maori method of food preparation before heading into the dining room for a Hangi (feast). After the feast, you are transferred back to your Rotorua accommodation by coach.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Rotorua Lakeside (D)

Day 6 – Rotorua to Queenstown (Via Christchurch)
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Queenstown. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Nestled beside the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, at the foot of the Remarkables Mountain Range, Queenstown is a year round resort, where you can be as active as you want, or just leisurely enjoy the magnificent scenery.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Day 7 – Milford Sound Tour
An early start as you leave your hotel and coach through some of the most beautiful countryside in New Zealand. On arrival at Milford Sound, board the vessel for a leisurely cruise along the sound to the Tasman Sea. The vessel stops at various points and plenty of time is available to view waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and seals. You may even see dolphins frolic alongside the boat. A picnic lunch is included during the cruise.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside (L)

Day 8 – Dart River Jet Boating
Transfer from Queenstown by coach to Glenorchy and the mouth of the Dart River. Here we board the 18 foot specially prepared jet boat and thread our way through a maze of channels between river flats in only inches of water. Snowcapped mountains surround you as you view the World Heritage Grandeur, and waterfalls cascade into the lush bush clad valleys – a magical, untouched place.

Your guide shares his knowledge and explains all about the area, then pulls into a bank so that you may explore the area by foot. This optional 30-45 minute guided walk takes you into the native forests at an area called Paradise in the spectacular Rees Valley. You will then be collected by the 4 x 4 coach to take you back to Glenorchy, before transferring back to Queenstown. Trip duration is 6 hours.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Day 9 – Coach from Queenstown to Christchurch
Travel from Queenstown to Mount Cook via the Lindis Pass and then down the Southern Alps to the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch. Lunch is included en route.

Starting Accommodation: Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch (L)

Day 10 – Akaroa Tour
On this amazing tour, visit the extinct volcanoes of Banks Peninsula and view the beautiful harbors & green farmland. Make photo stops at scenic places and enjoy morning & afternoon teas and a cheese tasting at the Barry's Bay Cheese Factory.

Once at Akaroa, included in your tour is a nature and harbor cruise on the Canterbury Cat. This cruise explores the volcanic harbor and sightings may be made of the world's smallest dolphin - the Hectors Dolphin, NZ Fur Seals and numerous seabirds.

If time allows, stroll through the village and along the waterfront, taking in the quaint French charm which is unique to Akaroa. Lunch is included today, and the return to Christchurch is around 5.30pm.

Starting Accommodation: Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch (L)

Day 11 – Christchurch to USA (Via Auckland)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Auckland. On arrival, make your way to the international terminal for your departure flight to the USA.

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Included Activities

Akaroa Tour
Akaroa Tour
Length: Full-day
Dart River Wilderness Safari
Dart River Wilderness Safari
Length: Half-day
Milford Sound Tour
Milford Sound Tour
Length: Full-day
Rotorua Highlights
Rotorua Highlights
Length: Half-day, Full-day


AucklandRydges AucklandSKYCITY Grand Hotel
RotoruaNovotel Rotorua LakesidePeppers on the Point
QueenstownNovotel Queenstown LakesideSofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa
ChristchurchRendezvous Hotel ChristchurchThe George


Please note all prices listed below are approximations and subject to current rate of exchange adjustments. Each itinerary can be fully customized to your interests and needs.

Twin Share
10/1/2020 - 11/30/2020$2,935$5,760
12/1/2020 - 1/31/2021$2,915$5,775
2/1/2021 - 3/31/2021$2,955$5,800
Single Traveler
10/1/2020 - 11/30/2020$4,350$10,300
12/1/2020 - 1/31/2021$4,275$10,300
2/1/2021 - 3/31/2021$4,350$10,350

Add internal air to this package from $485*

Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: www.swaindestinations.com/terms