Natural beauty and culture are in full effect on this Kiwi adventure, a 10 night itinerary showcasing the highlights of the Kiwi way of life. Envelope yourself in culture with a “Hangi” dinner and concert and a Twilight Cultural Tour. Become one with nature as you transcend into the grand Waitomo Caves filled with phenomenal glowworms, marvel at the overwhelming beauty of the glaciers at Franz Josef and take in the sweeping vistas at Milford Sound. Get adventurous as you journey through Kiwi Highlights.
Trip Type: Adventure, Family, Romance & Honeymoon, Wildlife
Day By Day
Day 1 – Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand
Upon arrival into Auckland, you will need to clear customs and make your way into the main arrivals hall from where you will be met and transferred to your accommodationStarting Accommodation:
Day 2 – Auckland Highlights
See the highlights of Auckland City in one great half day Auckland experience. Your guide will show you the most iconic highlights of Auckland City; see beautiful beaches, panoramic views of several volcanoes, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Westhaven Marina and the Auckland Domain all in a few hours. See Tamaki Drive with sweeping views across the Waitemata Harbour towards Bastion Point and Mission Bay, Auckland City’s most well-known beach. Marvel at Auckland’s icon, Rangitoto Island, as the youngest and largest volcano in the Auckland Volcanic Field.
Drive over the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge, spanning the sparkling blue waters of the Waitemata Harbour dotted with white sails, from which you can marvel at the iconic view back to Auckland’s skyline. Visit the Auckland Domain with views of Auckland Museum, one of the New Zealand’s architectural icons. See the suburb of Parnell, restored in the old colonial style and with many beautiful mansions. See see what makes Auckland so unique and why it is known as one of the most beautiful cities and regions in the world. Return to your accommodation at the conclusion of the tour.
Your tour includes travel in a private luxury vehicle, an experienced driver-guide, complimentary snacks and water. Please bring outdoor clothing for the day’s weather conditions and sensible flat walking shoes, sun hat, sunscreen, your camera and a smile. Entry to any optional attractions will be at additional cost to be paid direct.Starting Accommodation:
Day 3 – Travel to Rotorua via Waitomo
Depart Auckland early this morning on board the Great Sights motor coach for your ride south to Hamilton. Travel through the rich Waikato area, famous for its dairy farms, kiwi fruit orchards, thoroughbred horses and the Waitomo Caves! You will enter subterranean limestone caverns to view the Glow Worm Grotto. Surely one of the wonders of the world. Then, you'll continue over the bush-clad Mamaku Ranges to Rotorua. A picnic lunch served on board the coach is included, with arrival to Rotorua in the afternoon.Starting Accommodation:
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside Meals:
Day 4 – Half Day Eco Thermal Park Tour and Marae Hangi & Concert - Journey Of Ages
Depart from your Rotorua city accommodations for this small-group half-day tour of Rotorua's most natural and popular geothermal parks. Today's tour will visit Wai O Tapu and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. The two parks offer a variety of thermal activity: at Wai-o-tapu, the colorful hot springs are the key features along with the famous Lady Knox geyser. At Waimangu Volcanic valley, the guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption that blew open this now spectacular, bush covered geothermal park. The local naturalist guide will explain the volcanic processes of Rotorua and New Zealand while you have the opportunity to view the volcanoes, geysers, New Zealand's largest boiling mud pool, and hot springs.
Tonight you will experience the warmth of the Maori people during an evening of ceremonial rituals, powerful cultural performance, storytelling and hangi feasting. This Twilight Cultural Tour offers transport to and from a Marae by coach. En route to the Marae, the guide explains the protocol to take place. The group on board is prepared for the wero (challenge) and powhiri (ancient ceremony of welcome) before you will be invited into the Pre-European Maori village nestled within the native Tawa forest. Enter the living village, as it comes alive with the sights, sounds and activity of days gone by, including facial tattooing, weaving, carving and demonstrations on how food was cooked and preserved many years ago. At the heart of the Village, enter the ancestral Meeting House and relax as the families entertain you with a powerful Cultural performance, including action songs, poi, stick games and the famous 'haka' - Maori War Dance. The sharing of food is an important part of Maori custom - join in the traditional hangi buffet feast, followed by New Zealand dessert. The evening draws to an end with the Poroporoaki - the official closing ceremony, before you are safely transferred back to your Rotorua accommodation by motor-coach.Starting Accommodation:
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside Meals:
Day 5 – Travel to Queenstown
Takeoff to Queenstown on the next stage of your adventure.Starting Accommodation:
Day 6 – Milford Sound Nature Cruise
On board the 'Real Journeys' luxury glass roofed coach in Queenstown (hotel pick-up included), you are treated to a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option to purchase refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way, and the coach driver provides an informative commentary during the 3.5-4 hour ride.
On reaching Milford Sound, board the vessel to cruise the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea with a nature guide. The vessel provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. Complimentary tea and coffee are available during the cruise.
Return to Queenstown is again by luxury coach, providing passengers with time to reflect on the beauty of the afternoon scenery. Tour duration is 12-13 hours when travelling by road in both directions. Fly back options are available with all daytime and overnight cruises (weather permitting) for additional cost. You may book this on the day or ahead of time prior to leaving for your trip.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Dart River Wilderness Safari
Transfer from Queenstown by coach to Glenorchy and the mouth of the Dart River to board the 18-foot specially prepared jet boat. The Wilderness Safari takes you on a spectacular 90-minute jet-boat journey through the Dart's ever-changing braided river system where you'll be surrounded by snow-covered peaks, hidden valleys and waterfalls.
The tour includes an easy guided 30- to 40-minute walk through the 'Heritage Trail' at Paradise where your knowledgeable guide will enliven your walk with an informative and entertaining commentary about the ancient native beech forest, the unique flora and fauna, as well as the fascinating Maori and colonial history of the area. You'll also journey by coach via a scenic back-road route, while hearing stories about the surrounding countryside and stopping to view scenery that has formed the epic backdrop for many international films, including 'The Lord of the Rings'.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Travel Queenstown to Franz Josef
Take a sightseeing day tour from Queenstown to Franz Josef and discover the wild beauty of New Zealand's West Coast.
Leaving Queenstown, travel by luxury coach through the stunning scenery of the South Island. Your driver guide will provide entertaining commentary and point out sites of interest as you pass by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Dunstan, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea.
After a morning tea break in Makarora on the border of Mount Aspiring World Heritage Park, you'll travel through the Haast Pass, journeying through native beech forest and over the Southern Alps, before emerging on the West Coast. This remote area has a ruggedly beautiful landscape of vast rainforests, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped mountains.
Skirt the coast and see waves crashing on rocky beaches before returning inland. Pass tree-fringed lakes and stop at a boutique salmon farm on the Paringa River, before arriving in the afternoon at the small village of Franz Josef. From here you can explore the world famous Franz Josef Glacier.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Glacier Valley Walk and Franz Josef at Leisure
Franz Josef Glacier at its most dynamic! The Glacier Valley Walk takes participants alongside the mighty Waiho River bed, following the glacier's path of retreat in this remarkable landscape. Here, learn about the glacier's history, see what is left behind by this majestic giant, and learn the legend of Ka_ Roimata o Hinehukatere. Near the terminal face, cross over the public barriers, and after a brief climb, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the rapidly changing terminal face of the glacier. There has never been a more extraordinary time to visit Franz Josef Glacier.
Located in Westland National Park, the Franz Josef glacier region is one of only two places in the world where you can witness fingers of ice touching temperate rain forest. Hike past icy rivers as they meander down rugged mountains and lush valleys towards the sea. Explore this arctic playground from the skies and watch the sun dance along glacial lakes. Only in Franz Josef can you enjoy such a stunning array of natural highlights in such close proximity. From the dramatic alpine environment of the Southern Alps, including New Zealand's highest peaks and glaciers, to Westland's tranquil wetlands and rugged coastline, be sure to include a visit to this wondrous region in your travel plans. You can take a glacier walk of 4 or 8 hours as well as heli hike to the higher levels of the glacier, which takes about 2 hours. The town is quite small and can easily be walked. The Blue Ice cafe is great for light foods and for a superb 5-course dinner; or stop by the Canopy Restaurant at The Te Waonui Forest Retreat.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Travel to Christchurch
Board the Tranz Alpine train at Greymouth and farewell the glacier country as you travel through the rugged mountains of the Southern Alps to the Canterbury Plains and on to the 'English' city of Christchurch. The train features panoramic windows for scenic views and a restaurant car to purchase snacks and drinks. This train is one the most beautiful journey's in New Zealand so have your camera ready!Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Akaroa Day Tour
On this amazing tour, visit the extinct volcanoes of Banks Peninsula and view the beautiful harbors and green farmland. Stops are made at scenic places and include morning and afternoon teas and a cheese tasting at the Barry's Bay Cheese Factory. Once at Akaroa, enjoy a shared 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 that is unique to Akaroa. Lunch is included today, and return to Christchurch is in the evening.Starting Accommodation:
Fable Christchurch Meals:
Day 12 – Departure Christchurch
Please wait for your driver in your hotel lobby for your transfer to Christchurch airport by private vehicle.
Package Level: Superior
|Please note all prices listed are approximations and subject to current rate of exchange adjustments. Each itinerary can be fully customized to your interests and needs.|
|11/1/2021 - 3/31/2022||$3,860|
|11/1/2021 - 3/31/2022||$5,800|
Add internal air to this package from $300*
Terms and Conditions
Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Price does not include airfare unless otherwise stated. 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