Tour 404. Highlights of New Zealand
AUCKLAND - WAITOMO CAVES - HOBBITON - ROTORUA - QUEENSTOWN - TE ANAU - MILFORD SOUND - MOUNT COOK - CHRISTCHURCH
Unsolicited comment from past passengers:
Thank you for the fantastic trip you planned out for us. Both Paddy and I enjoyed every minute of the trip. We had a memorable trip to New Zealand. You took good care of us like family members. Please feel free to use our reference if anyone seeks it. We will recommend you highly to all our friends and family who might visit New Zealand in the future.
Just a quick word of thanks for the quality tour that you offered M and C at such short notice. They were enthralled with what they did and saw in New Zealand. I will recommend you to others. (Travel Agent. California USA)
Day 1. AUCKLAND ARRIVE
Arrive Auckland International Airport to a greeting from our driver and you will be transferred to your accommodation
Arrivals before 3pm receive a complimentary tour of introduction to Auckland including the summit of Mt Eden for a panoramic view over the city, Domain and pass the museum, Rose Gardens, Tamaki waterfront Drive, Mission Bay, downtown area, Albert Park, and University area.
Day 2. AUCKLAND. (B)
Free day to explore New Zealands largest and most vibrant city or take a day tour to the Bay of Islands, or Coromandel.
AUCKLAND COMPREHENSIVE tour instead of introductory tour. Includes all the features of the introductory tour plus admission to Auckland Museum, Kelly Tarltons Sealife Aquarium and Antarctic Centre including the live penguins, Skytower (main observation platform) for a panoramic view over the inner city, light lunch by the waterfront, and 1.5 hour harbour cruise including Westhaven Marina, cruise under the Harbour Bridge, pass the naval base at Devonport, and enjoy a brief stopover at the volcanic island of Rangitoto. Extra cost $240 per person. Tour ends at the cruise wharf about 3pm.
Day 3. AUCKLAND - WAITOMO CAVES - OTOROHANGA KIWI HOUSE - HOBBITON - ROTORUA (BL)
Depart Auckland 8.00am and drive south over the Bombay Hills and along the banks of the Waikato River to Visit Otorohanga Kiwi House to see our unique endangered native kiwi birds at feeding time, the ancient Tuatara reptile, and walk through the largest dome aviary in New Zealand to see our native Kereru (Wood Pigeon) Kakariki (Parrot), and other native birds
Continue to Waitomo Caves for a guided tour through the main limestone cave and cruise through the glowworm grotto. (45 minute tour)
Options - must be requested with your tour reservation.
1. Add Aranui Cave INSTEAD of lunch - 1 hour tour - no change in cost
2. Tour Ruakuri Cave instead of Glowworm Cave and Lunch 2 hour tour - no change in cost.
3. Small group experience (maximum 11 participants) in Footwhistle Cave among the limestone formations and get up close and personal with the myriad of glowworms as well as see ancient Moa bones from our extinct native birds and visit the bush tea house to sample unique tea from the Kawakawa tree, used by by Maori for healing purposes. (75 minute tour - no change in cost)
Continue to Roselands farm restaurant for a barbecue buffet lunch (except options 1 and 2 above) - beef, chicken, fish, salads, cake and coffeee plus a taste of kumara chips. Passengers on the shorter cave options above also have the opportunity to stroll through the gardens, and meet some of the farm animals.
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 4. ROTORUA - WAIOTAPU. (BD)
Visit the Waiotapu thermal area to explore the coloured terraces and see Lady Knox geyser play. Return to Rotorua this morning for a guided tour of the te Puia thermal area to see bubbling mud pools, famed Pohutu geyser, and the maori darving and weaving school. Ride the Skyline gondola for a panoramic view over the lake and city with lunch and luge options - extra expense. This afternoon enjoy the Agrodome farm show to see sheep being shorn, a cow being milked, and sheep dogs working.
Free time to relax in the thermal waters of the Polynesian Spa if you wish - extra expense.
This evening enjoy an introduction to maori culture with a concert, and a hangi steam cooked dinner.
Day 5. ROTORUA - QUEENSTOWN (B) Transfer to the airport and fly south to Queenstown (some flights may be via Auckland). You will be met on arrival and transferred to your accommodation.
Day 6. QUEENSTOWN. (B)
This morning's tour includes Queenstown Hill for a panoramic view over Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown, the famous Bungy Bridge, Gibbston Valley Winery, Pillars of the Kings - Lord of the Rings film site, and the historic centre of Arrowtown.
The afternoon is free to enjoy this beautiful town with many optional tours available. Take a Lord of the Rings sites tour, ride the gondola to the Skyline Restaurant and luge, enjoy an exciting jet boat ride or whatever you wish. All activities are extra expense.
Day 7. MILFORD SOUND EXCURSION. (BL)
Enjoy a full day tour to magnificent Milford Sound. Drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and on to Lake Te Anau then through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys with a visit to the Mirror Lake. On arrival in Milford Sound join your cruise boat for a cruise to the head of Milford Sound under majestic Mitre Peak. Usually seals and dolphins are to be seen. See also the Bowen waterfall and retrace your steps back to Queenstown arriving early evening. A buffet lunch is included during your cruise.
Day 8. QUEENSTOWN - MT COOK - CHRISTCHURCH (B)
Join Great Sights for the journey north through the Kawarau Gorge, over the Lindis Pass, through the McKenzie Country, and along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. You have time to visit the National Park headquarters or take an optional scenic flight over the mountains (extra expense and weather permitting) before continuing to Lake Tekapo and on to Christchurch arriving early evening. You will be taken to your accommodation.
Day 9. CHRISTCHURCH DEPART. (B)
You will be transferred to the airport for departure.
Why not stay longer and enjoy more of Christchurch? Extra cost per night for accommodation and breakfast
Standard: Two per room $110, Single room $200
First Class: Two per room, $140 Single room $250
(A) the charming French Style settlement of AKAROA including a harbour cruise, visit to a cheese factory, and lunch at a popular restaurant on the waterfront - extra cost $150 or
(B) the picturesque and tranquil mountain thermal resort of HANMER SPRINGS including a visit to a sheep farm,Thrillseekers Canyon (optional jet boat ride), lunch at the Garden House Cafe, and a visit to Waipara Winery - extra cost $190 or
(C) a day excursion to scenic KAIKOURA including a 3 hour Whale Watch cruise or 30 minute Whale Watch flight - extra cost $210