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  • New Zealand Highlighter

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New Zealand Highlighter

Beginning in the North Island, wind your way south taking in New Zealand’s premier attractions along the way. See the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, cruise Cook Strait and Milford Sound and absorb the majesty of Franz Josef Glacier.

Trip Type: Cultural, Guided and Group

New Zealand HighlighterNew Zealand HighlighterNew Zealand Highlighter

Day By Day

Day 1 – Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand
Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. From there, set out on your selected activity. This evening, enjoy a special Welcome Dinner.

Starting Accommodation: Grand Millennium Auckland (D)

Day 2 – Auckland, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua
Heading out of Auckland you’ll make a stop at Waitomo, home to the famous glowworm caves where thousands of tiny luminescent creatures radiate an eerie glow. Discover this natural wonder on a guided boat ride through a grotto lit by these magical creatures, before continuing to Rotorua.

This evening, immerse yourself in Maori culture as you enjoy a traditional Hangi Feast and a lively performance of song and dance.

Starting Accommodation: Holiday Inn Rotorua (B, D)

Day 3 – Rotorua Sightseeing
Today, enjoy the opprotunity to choose your activity. Perhaps experience the icons of Rotorua at the Agrodome Farm Show, then make your way to Rainbow Springs Nature Park to see a working kiwi nursery and visit the Te Puia Thermal Reserve. Alternatively, join a Hobbiton Movie Set tour for an insight into the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy; take a drive to visit New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and hot springs; tour the Rotorua Museum; or explore Redwood Treewalk with a Maori guide.

Starting Accommodation: Holiday Inn Rotorua (B)

Day 4 – Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington
Follow the Thermal Explorer Highway through the glorious landscapes of the North Island. Gaze out over Huka Falls and the tranquil setting of Lake Taupo, then cross the volcanic plateau of Tongariro National Park on your way to Wellington.

This evening, In Wellington, choose where to dine from a selection of restaurants around Wellington.

Starting Accommodation: Amora Hotel (B, D)

Day 5 – Wellington Sightseeing
Set off on a tour taking you to the city’s best-loved landmarks and sights, including New Zealand’s national museum - Te Papa Tongarewa. Afterwards, ride Wellington’s iconic Cable Car, gaining a fresh perspective as you gaze out across this spectacular coastal city. The afternoon and evening have been left free for you to enjoy discovering Wellington at your own pace.

Starting Accommodation: Amora Hotel (B)

Day 6 – Wellington, Christchurch
Step aboard the Interislander ferry to cruise across Cook Strait and on to Picton at the tip of the South Island. Once on the South Island, rejoin your coach and travel via the stunning landscapes of Marlborough to Christchurch.

Starting Accommodation: The Commodore (B, D)

Day 7 – Christchurch, TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef Glacier
Take a journey aboard the TranzAlpine Train. Disembark at Arthur's Pass and continue to Hokitika. Onwards, view the ancient glacial scenery of the Franz Josef Glacier. Tonight at your luxury eco-resort, enjoy a four-course degustation dinner. 

Starting Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat (B, D)

Day 8 – Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown
Enjoy a day of truly breathtaking scenery as you travel along the rugged west coast, past the Haast River, on your way to Queenstown.

This evening you can choose from four restaurants in which to enjoy dinner in Queenstown.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside (B, D)

Day 9 – Queenstown
Personalize your experience today with a preferred sightseeing activity. Perhaps visit several local sites where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filed. Thrill-seekers may enjoy an exhilarating ride on the Shotover Jet, a Skippers Canyon adventures, or a river safari along the Dart River. 

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside (B)

Day 10 – Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anau
Journey along Milford Road, then cruise the full length of Milford Sound. Later, travel to the lakeside town of Te Anau. This evening you will sample the flavors of the South Island during a Taste of Fiordland Dinner.

Starting Accommodation: Distinction Hotel (B, D)

Day 11 – Te Anau, Dunedin
Travel to Dunedin on the island’s east coast and this afternoon, choose your activity. Tour Larnach Castle and visit Olveston House, or head to Dunedin’s beautiful railway station and board the Taieri Gorge Railway. Alternatively, tour Speight’s Brewery, visit an albatross colony, see penguins or take an off-road tour of the Otago Peninsula.

Starting Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (B, D)

Day 12 – Dunedin, Mt Cook
See the spectacular Moeraki Boulders today then travel to Mt Cook National Park. Perhaps visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, including a visit to the planetarium and a stargazing session with an astronomer. You may like to join a guided nature walk. Or, during summer, board a MAC boat on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake.

A highlight of today is viewing Australasia’s highest mountain, Aoraki (Mt Cook), and the alpine scenery in World Heritage-listed Mt Cook National Park.

Starting Accommodation: The Hermitage (B, D)

Day 13 – Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch
Travel to Lake Tekapo to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, erected as tribute to the early pioneers of the region. Head to Christchurch for a Farewell Dinner tonight.

Starting Accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (B, D)

Day 14 – Christchurch to USA
Today concludes your tour through New Zealand. Transfer to Christchurch airport for your onward flight. (B)

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AucklandGrand Millennium Auckland
RotoruaHoliday Inn Rotorua
WellingtonAmora Hotel
ChristchurchThe Commodore
Franz JosefTe Waonui Forest Retreat
QueenstownNovotel Queenstown Lakeside
Te AnauDistinction Hotel
DunedinScenic Hotel Southern Cross
Mount Cook and Glacier RegionThe Hermitage
ChristchurchThe Commodore


Pricing for this package is on request. Please call a Swain Destinations Specialist to customize this journey.

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