Tour 403.    Discover Beautiful New Zealand

AUCKLAND - WAITOMO CAVES - HOBBITON - ROTORUA -  WELLINGTON - CHRISTCHURCH - LAKE TEKAPO - MT COOK - QUEENSTOWN - TE ANAU - MILFORD SOUND - QUEENSTOWN. Optional extensions to Franz Josef Glacier and Nelson, OR Queenstown - Dunedin - Christchurch  

Departs Auckland DAILY year round except Christmas Day. Extend your stay at any point. 

Please Note: to minimise our carbon footprint, keep your costs low,  and guarantee departures for a minimum of 2 this tour uses Great Sights and intercity coaches for transportation between cities and local operators in each area for sightseeing. Intercity coaches do not provide commentary and transfers from depots to hotels are not included although we use hotels handy to the centre of each city and bus stations.  


Depart Auckland 7.45am and drive south over the Bombay Hills and along the banks of the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves for a guided tour through the main limestone cave and cruise through the glowworm grotto. (45 minute tour). 

Visit Lake Karapiro, home of New Zealand rowing, and the Karapiro hydro dam on the Waikato River, at 425 km this is New Zealand's longest river.

Continue to Hobbiton and the Shires Rest to join your guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie set, made famous by "Lord of the Rings, and "Hobbit" films. Drive through part of the picturesque 500 hectare (1,250 acre) sheep and cattle farm and your guide will escort you through the 10 acre Hobbiton site. See the Hobbit Holes, Bag End (Bilbo and Frodo Baggins home), Party Tree, Lake, The Mill, and the Green Dragon Inn, and learn how this Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle Earth. Enjoy a cold drink from the Green Dragon Inn and continue to Rotorua.

Day 2.              ROTORUA              (BD)          

This morning enjoy  a guided tour of the Waiotapu and Waimangu thermal areas and this afternoon Te Puia thermal area to see bubbling mud pools, famed Pohutu geyser, and to visit the Maori carving and weaving school. Continue to Lake Tarawera. Optional evening introduction to Maori culture with an exciting concert, and hangi steam cooked dinner - extra cost

Day 3.              ROTORUA - WELLINGTON   (B)

8.50am. Join Intercity departing at 8.50am and scheduled to arrive Wellington at 5.45pm. We recommed an extra day in Rotorua to enjoy motre of its attractions or take a later coach depatrting departing 1.05pm arriivng Wellington 8.30am with one change of coach en route). Travel south through part of the Kaiangaroa forest to Taupo. Continue around the shores of Lake Taupo and across the Desert Road with fabulous views of the central North Island volcanoes in fine weather. (Please note Intercity provide a comfortable scheduled coach service but no commentary or photo stops).

Day 4.          WELLINGTON            (B)                   

Explore the capital city on our included tour. Visit Oriental Bay  and enjoy part of the beautiful Marine Drive.  Enjoy a guided tour of  Weta Workshop and visit Seatoun and  Mt Victoria for a panoramic view over the city, the Botanical Gardens (optional cable car ride - extra expense), and a guided tour of Parliament Buildings. (Tour ends at Parliament Building. If you do not wish to enjoy the tour of Parliament our vehicle can drop you off at your hotel or Zealandia or Te Papa). Free time to explore at your leisure.

Day 5.                WELLINGTON - PICTON - CHRISTCHURCH  (B)

Transfer to the Interislander terminal departing at 8.45am for the scenic 3.5 hour cruise across Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton . Your bags will be checked in Wellington to Christchurch and a short walk in Picton will bring to the Railway Station to join the "Coastal Pacific" train departing at 1.40pm for the very scenic ride down the Kaikoura Coast and through  Norh Canterbury to Christchurch.  (travel from Picton to Christchurch will be Intercity coach 06 May - 19 September)  Arrival is scheduled for 7.30pm and you will be transferred to your accommodation.  


Drive across the fertile Canterbury Plains and over Burke's Pass to Lake Tekapo. See the sheep dog monument and Church of the Good Shepherd. Accommodation is at Bluewater Resort Tekapo or Hermitage, Mt Cook. Optional Dark Sky Experience at Tekapo - extra expense. This is a fabulous introduction to the heavens in fine weather!.

3 star hotel.       Bluewater Resort hotel. MT COOK. Hermitage standard Mt Cook View

4 star hotel.     Bluewater Resort Superior Lakeview   MT COOK. Hermitage premium room

Day 7.           TEKAPO - MOUNT COOK – QUEENSTOWN   (B)

People staying at Tekapo monday night travel along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Free time for alpine walks, scenic flights or visit the National Park headquarters. You have 5-6 hours at Mt Cook .

People staying at Mt Cook monday night have free morning to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and optional activities. Maybe take a hike in the Hooker Valley or we recommend the following options (all options should be pre booked as space is limited).

Glacier cruise among the icebergs at the base of the Tasman Glacier $170 - summer only.

Ski plane or helicopter flight with glacier landing, 25 mins $299, 35 mins $359, 45 minutes $499,  Grand Circle 55 minutes - the ultimate sightseeing experience $599. Prices subject to confirmation.

Glacier helihike $585

We depart early afternoon and drive through the Mckenzie Country and over the Lindis Pass to Lake Dunstan and the fruit growing region of Cromwell and on through the Kawarau Gorge arriving Queenstown late afternoon.

3 star. Heartland or similar

4 star: Millennium, Heritage, or Rydges

Day 7.     QUEENSTOWN.   (B)

Day 8.     QUEENSTOWN.    (B)

Two free days for you to plan and enjoy the beauty of Queenstown and the many activities available. We recommend a Shotover Jet boat ride, Skyline gondola and luge, and a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the historic steamer "Earnslaw" to the Walter Peak sheep station. Maybe take a journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to beautiful Glenorchy.  All activities today are  extra expense.

"Earnslaw" cruise and barbecue at Walter Peak. Lunch cruise 12pm -   3.45pm.   $175............ Dinner cruise 5pm - 9pm , or 6pm-10pm.  $189

Milford Sound Option -  Drive to Te Anau and enjoy a day of magnificent scenery driving through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys and Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. Visit the Mirror Lakes and Roaring chasm en route. Enjoy a leisurely cruise to the head of the Sound under majestic Mitre Peak and see the Bowen as well as many other waterfalls. Picnic lunch included. Return to Queenstown mid evening.  6.55am - 7.30pm $290.

Doubtful Sound option - Drive to Manapouri and cruise across the bush fringed Lake Manapouri to West Arm then drive over the Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound. Cruise the length of the Sound to the Tasman Sea and return to Manapouri and Queenstown.  Picnic lunch included. 6.55am - 7.30pm. $514

Overnight cruises: Summer depart Queenstown most days 9am  - return 3.30pm next day.  DOUBTFUL SOUND. $899 - $999 twin. $1299 - $1899 single. MILFORD SOUND. $809 - $859 twin. $2385 single.

May 2024 special with 2 night cruise on Doubtful Sound.  Depart Queenstown  May 03, 06, 10, 12, 19, 24, 26.      

These cruises are very heavily booked during summer. Early booking is esential. 

Day 9.          QUEENSTOWN DEPART.   (B)

Transfer to the airport for departure.



Great Sights coach arrives Tekapo 11am and departs at 11.30am. You are welcome to depart Christchurch earlier (Great Sights operate daily from 01 October, 2023 - April 2024), or shorten your stay in Queenstown, and stayover for a night or two however breaking the journey does increase travel costs by $120 per person. You can arrange your own accommodation through, or direct. We do recommend a visit to the Dark Skies project and Mt John observatory but unfortunately we cannot guarantee clear skies!! Book your experience at



Great Sights coach arrives Mt Cook at 12.50pm and departs at 2.25pm. You are welcome to stopover at Mt Cook as well as, or instead of, Tekapo. Extra travel cost is $120 if just stopping at Mt Cook or $150 if stopping at both Mt Cook and Tekapo. The Hermitage offers a variety of accommodation options including at the iconic Hermitage Mt Cook View standard rooms, Premium Rooms, and Lodge rooms (15 minutes walk from Hermitage) plus  motels, and chalets. Other options can be checked on Hermitage requires a minimum of 2 night stays 24 December - 06 January.

Optional activities if overnighting at Mt Cook 

Free time to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and optional activities. Maybe take a hike in the Hooker Valley or we recommend the following options (all options should be pre booked as space is limited).

Glacier cruise among the icebergs at the base of the Tasman Glacier $170 - summer only.

Ski plane or helicopter flight with glacier landing, 25 mins $299, 35 mins $359, 45 minutes $499,  Grand Circle 55 minutes - the ultimate sightseeing experience $599. Prices subject to confirmation.

Glacier helihike $585



These tours use Intercity coaches and "Tranz Alpine" which do not have daily departures and have limited photostops and commentary. Operating days


Queenstown - Franz Josef Glacier. Monday, tuesday, thursday, saturday. Depart 8.10am - arrive 4.28pm

Franz Josef - Glacier - Hokitika - Greymouth - "Tranz Alpine" to Christchurch OR Intercity to Nelson

Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday. Depart Franz Josef 9.15am, arrive Hokitika 11.45am - depart 12.20pm, arrive Greymouth 1.15pm. "Tranz Alpine" departs  2.05pm arrives Christchurch 7pm. Intercity departs Greymouth 1.30pm, stops at Punakaiki, and arrives Nelson at 7.15pm. 


'"Tranz Alpine" operates Christchurch - Greymouth - Christchurch Friday - Monday 07 May - 19 September and daily from 22 September during summer. (Occasionally closed for track maintenance).



Christchurch or Nelson to Franz Josef Glacier

Christchurch - Greymouth. "Tranz Alpine" departs 8.15am and arrives Greymouth 1.10pm. 

Nelson - Greymouth. Intercity departs Nelson 7.15am - arrives Greymouth 1.15pm Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday..

Greymouth - Hokitika - Franz Josef Glacier

 Intercity coach departs Greymouth 1.30pm arriving Hokitika 2.10pm departing  at 3.00pm arriving Franz Josef at 5.05pm.Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Franz Josef Glacier - Queenstown. 

Intercity coach departs 7.35am arriving Queenstown at 4.30pm. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.



Northbound:  Queenstown - Dunedin - Christchurch

Intercity departs Queenstown 7.45am arriving Dunedin at 12.45pm daily

Intercity departs Dunedin 7.30am arriving Christchurch 1.50pm daily and 1.15pm arriving Christchurch 7.40pm daily except saturday


Southbound: Christchurch - Dunedin - Queenstown

Intercity departs Christchurch 7.45am arriving  Dunedin 1.50pm daily and departs Christchurch 2.25pm arriivng Dunedin 8.20pm daily except 

Intercity departs Dunedin 2.30pm daily except saturday arriving  Queenstown 7.13pm.

3 day/2 night package including 2 nights hotel and breakfast in Dunedin. Our morning tour with local guide includes Dunedin's iconic sights - Dunedin Railway Station, Octagon, Heritage churches, University of Otago, Worlds steepest street (walk it if you can!), plus St Clair and St Kilda beaches in South Dunedin. This afternoon visit Larnachs Castle including the Castle, Gardens, grounds, and historic stables. Continue to the Royal Albatross Colony for a 60 minute wildlife experience. View Albatross and their nests from the centre and its exclusive glassed observatory, A Monarch wildlife cruise can be taken instead of the Royal Albatross Centre if you wish but must be specified when booking.

Package cost per person 3 days/2 nights Christchurch - Queenstown or vice versa.

2 per room   $890.   Single room   $1,140


WEST COAST SMALL GROUP DRIVER ESCORTED TOUR departs Queenstown every wednesday for minimum of 4.


Depart 9am to the historic gold mining centre of Arrowtown. Visit the remains of the Chinese village and you have time to visit the museum and shops before continuing  north to Lake Wanaka for a brief stop (optional admission to Puzzling World - own expense)  before heading over the Haast Pass to the rainforest of the West Coast. Continue north with  amazing vistas of the coastline and a photo stop at Knights Point. Continue to Fox Glacier and visit beautiful Lake Matheson then on  to  the Franz Josef Glacier lookout car park and it is about a 30 minute return hike to the glacier lookout (limited views). Shorter walks available.  Optional scenic helicopter flights whihc is now really the only way to see Franz Josef Glacier. Overnight Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.

3 Star. Scenic Franz Josef Hotel - Graham Wing

4 star. Scenic Franz Josef Hotel - Douglas Wing

Day 6.  Thursday.  FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – HOKITIKA        (B)

Drive north to Treetops for an exciting walk above the forest canopy and enjoy an eco cruise on the Lake Mahinapua waterways. Continue to Hokitika. Usually jade carvers and maybe a glass blower will be at work. Optional scenic flights to land on the glacier if you were unable to do them at Mt Cook. (Accommodation Beachfront Hotel in Hokitika or some groups may stay at Punakaiki Resort)


Drive north to the beautiful Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Explore the area before returning to Greymouth for a short tour and visit the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown to ride the steam train and pan for gold.  Drive over spectacular Arthurs and Porters Passes and the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Arrive Christchurch airport about 5.00pm and Christchurch city about 5.30pm with drop off at any city accommodation.  

Option to travel on the "Tranz Alpine"  train if you wish from Greymouth to Christchurch departing Greymouth 2.05pm and arriving Christchurch 7.00pm. For best fares book on www web site. 

Tour cost $1,690 2 per room, $1,950 single room.




Day 8.             MILFORD SOUND EXCURSION          (BL)
A day of magnificent scenery as we drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and across Southland farming country to Lake Te Anau for a brief stopover then on into the heart of the Fiordland National Park travelling through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys. Visit the Mirror Lakes and Roaring Chasm and drive through the Homer tunnel before we arrive in Milford Sound. Board your cruise to travel the length of Milford Sound under majestic Mitre Peak. See the seal colony and Bowen Falls before retracing our steps to Queenstown. Lunch is included during your cruise. 
Enjoy Doubtful Sound instead of Milford sound. cruise across Lake Manapouri and drive over Wilmot Pass to cruise the length of Doubtful Sound before returning to Manapouri and Queenstown - extra cost $255

Please note: travel to Milford or Doubtful Sounds today may be in a big coach with the cruise operator.


9 days/8 nights. Auckland to Queenstown.  

Departs Auckland DAILY year round except Christmas Day. (minimum 2 passengers)      



*  Auckland 

*  Waitomo Caves    

*   Hobbiton Movie Set Tour 

*   Rotorua including Waiotapu

*  Lake Tekapo  

*  Mount Cook 

*   Queenstown   

Options to Franz Josef Glacier, Hokitika, "Tranz Alpine, Nelson, or Dunedin available.


Tour cost per person 

2 per room..... $3,700 

Single room....$4,900 

Tour cost includes     

** Arrival and departure transfers at each point 

** All travel from Auckland to Queenstown including air Rotorua - Christchurch

** 8 nights accommodation and breakfast at 3 or 4 star hotels. All rooms have private bathroom, TV, tea and coffee facilities etc.    

** 8 breakfasts,1 hangi dinner  

** Sightseeing admissions to Waitomo glowworm cave, Hobbiton Movie Set, Te Puia and Whakarewarewa thermal area, Hangi dinner and Maori concert,

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