Tour 401 

MAGNIFICENT NEW ZEALAND GRAND DISCOVERY TOUR

Auckland, Kauri museum and forest, Bay of Islands, Cape Reinga, Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, Picton, Christchurch, Tekapo, Mt Cook, Oamaru, Dunedin, Catlins, Stewart Island, Te Anau, Milford Sound cruise, Doubtful Sound day  overnight cruise), Queenstown, Wanaka, Glaciers, Punakaiki, Christchurch
This tour is flexible - join or leave anywhere en route provided a minimum of 4 consecutive nights are spent on tour. 

Unsolicited comment from past clients:

I am pleased to report that all the arrangements you made were very satisfactory. Your system worked perfectly and we were met and transported at each place as stated in the itinerary. This was my third visit to New Zealand. I was on a 'big bus' conducted tour 3 years ago but paid nearly twice as much. Your tour was a far more pleasant experience. ((S.K. Scotland)

Just to let you know how much we enjoyed our holiday and considered it great value for money. We've travelled a lot over the past 20 years and going mostly in mini coaches was unique and suited us fine. We couldn't praise the drivers enough for their courtesy and overall driving skills. A great bunch of fellows.  (B. and M. W. New Zealand)         

Our New Zealand tour was spectacular  and exceeded our expectations in all aspects. The drivers were very courteous and friendly and we developed real friendships with all of them. Our hotel accommodations were very nice and some were outstanding. In all regards it was a great success and our best ever vacation. (C.M. USA)

23 days full tour:

Group One: Commence Auckland Saturday 15 October finishing in Christchurch 06 November. 

Groupo Two: Commence Auckland Friday 10 February finishing in Christchurch  Saturday 04 March, 2023.

18 days excluding Northland.
Commence Auckland day 5 wednesday October 19, 2022 and tuesday 14 February, 2023. (Minimum 2 passengers required).       

15 days excluding Northland and South Island West Coast. Commence Auckland day 5 wednesday October 19, 2022 and tuesday 14 February, 2023. End in Queenstown wednesday morning 2 weeks later.

Itinerary October tour - February tour starts friday and ends saturday 23 days later.

Day 1. Saturday.        ARRIVE AUCKLAND. 
Arrive Auckland and you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.

Day 2. Sunday.            AUCKLAND.                                (B)
Tour the city this morning including the Domain and Rose Gardens, Auckland Museum with its amazing collection of Maori history, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay, Kelly Tarltons Sealife Aquarium and Antarctic Centre including the live penguins, city areas, Skytower for a panoramic view over the city, Albert Park, and University.

Day 3. Monday.    AUCKLAND - KAURI MUSEUM AND FORESTS - BAY OF ISLANDS.                 (BL)
Depart Auckland 7.30am. Drive north over the Harbour Bridge to the Otamatea Kauri and Early Settlers Museum, one of the best little museums in New Zealand. Learn of the importance of the kauri tree to the development of Northland and see the lifestyle of the early settlers. Continue through Ruawai 'kumara capital' of New Zealand, and Dargaville into the Waipoua kauri forest. Visit "Tane Mahuta" giant kauri tree - some 2000 years old. Enjoy the views of the Hokianga Harbour and sand dunes and a stopover at Opononi for a traditional 'fish and chips' lunch before visiting historic Rawene. See Clendon House (exterior) built in 1862. Also visit Te Waimate Mission Station built as a model farm by the Missionaries in 1830 to teach Maori to farm, and supply food for the station. It was the scene of the 2nd signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and where Charles Darwin enjoyed christmas with the missionaries in 1835. Continue to the Bay of Islands for 2 nights accommodation.

Please note: as travel to Cape Reinga is by special coach tomorrow your driver/guide will usually return to Auckland tonight and meet you again on completion of your cruise on wednesday.

Day 4. Tuesday.                CAPE REINGA                        (BL)
You will be picked up by special coach for a full day excursion north through historic Keri Keri and the Puketi forest plus the beautiful Mangonui Harbour and Coopers Beach to Cape Reinga at the top of New Zealand. Travel part way on the sands of Ninety Mile Beach. See the meeting of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. Return to the Bay of Islands early evening. Lunch is included today.

Other options are available today if you wish - see Best of Northland Tour.

FLY/ROAD TO CAPE REINGA: For a shorter day, a bigger experience, and fabulous scenery not seen from the ground transfer from your hotel to Kerikeri airport and fly north over Ninety Mile beach to land near Cape Reinga. Your special vehicle will be waiting for a 2.5 hour (approx) land tour to Te Paki stream and massive sand dunes on Ninety Mile beach, Cape Reinga light house, Tapotupotu Bay. Fly back to Keri Keri via the fabulous coastal scenery of Parengarenga Harbour, Great Exhibition Bay, Houhora Harbour, Karikari Peninsula, Whangaroa Harbour, Cavalli Islands and Bay of Islands. Return to Kerikeri airport and transfer back to you hotel. Departs twice daily in summer, once daily in winter - extra cost instead of coach $340 per adult. Total time from Paihia approximately 5 hours

Day 5. Wednesday.      BAY OF ISLANDS - AUCKLAND             (BL)
Enjoy a cruise around the beautiful Bay of Islands this morning to Cape Brett and pass through the 'hole in the rock' - weather permitting. Cruise past the islands and into secluded bays and enjoy a stopover on Urupukapuka Island - once home to author Zane Grey. Buffet lunch included on the island. Usually dolphins are to be seen during this cruise. Visit the Waitangi Treaty House where the Treaty of Waitangi between Maori and the British Government was signed in 1840 and excellent Treaty museum and enjoy a tour with a local guide of the Treaty House and Meeting House with its fabulous carvings, and see the giant war canoe. Return to Auckland early evening.   

Passengers on the 15 and 18 day options arrive Auckland today and transfer to accommodation. Arrivals before 3pm received a 1 hour complimentary tour of introduction to Auckland en route.                                       

Day 6. Thursday. AUCKLAND - WAITOMO - OTOROHANGA KIWI HOUSE - HOBBITON - ROTORUA                    (B)
Depart Auckland 7.45am 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) 

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 7.    Friday        ROTORUA            (BD)
Enjoy a guided tour of the Te Puia thermal area to see bubbling mud pools, famed Pohutu geyser, and the maori carving and weaving school. Enjoy the Agrodome farm show and ride the Skyline gondola for a panoramic view over the lake and city with lunch and luge options - extra expense. This afternoon experience the treetop walk in the Redwoods. You have 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 8. Saturday.     ROTORUA - TAUPO - WELLINGTON            (B).
Drive to Taupo and visit the Huka Falls, Honey Hive, bungy site (try if you wish), and Taupo lakefront. Continue to Wellington over the desert road with great views of the central North Island volcanoes in fine weather. Enjoy a  tour of introducton to Wellington including Parliament Buildings exterior, Oriental Bay, waterfront drive, and the summit of Mt Victoria for a panoramic view over the city.

Day 9. Sunday.    WELLINGTON - PICTON - CHRISTCHURCH.                (B) 
Depart Wellington by Interislander for the scenic cruise across Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton, 

You will be met by your South Island driver. Visit the "Edwin Fox" ship restoration project. The "Edwin Fox" is the oldest merchant ship still in existence, and 9th oldest ship overall.  Enjoy the scenic drive down the Kaikoura Coast with a stopover in the charming seaside town of Kaikoura. Optional Whale Watch cruise or flight available - extra expense. Overnight in Christchurch. 

Day 10. Monday.  CHRISTCHURCH - MOUNT COOK    (B)

Pickup from your hotel or home anywhere in metro Christchurch.  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. Travel along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Free time for alpine walks, visit the National Park headquarters, or take a ski plane or helicopter flight to land on the snows of the glaciers - extra expense and weather permitting. Accommodation at the Hermitage in Mt Cook view rooms. Optional admission to the Sir Edmund Hillary centre - extra expense.

Day 11. Tuesday.  MOUNT COOK - OAMARU - DUNEDIN   (B) 

We highly recommend the cruise among the icebergs on the lake at the base of the Tasman Glacier in summer - extra expense.
Drive down the Waitaki River Valley with a visit to the Benmore Hydro dam, the historic centre of Oamaru, and enjoy some beach time to explore the unique Moeraki Boulders. Accommodation in Dunedin for 2 nights.

Day 12. Wednesday.                       DUNEDIN                           (B) 

Visit historic "Olveston House", Dunedin Chinese Garden, Knox Church, The Octagon, and the world's steepest street. This afternoon tour the Otago Peninsula including Larnachs Castle, Royal Albatross Centre, and see the local wildlife including seals, and Yellow Eyed penguins.

Day 13. Thursday.    DUNEDIN - CATLINS - STEWART ISLAND.  (B) 

Enjoy a scenic drive through the Catlins. one of New Zealand's most beautiful and unspoiled wilderness areas. See the wildlife, waterfalls,and beautiful coastal scenery and visit Nugget Point lighthouse and the petrified forest (available low tide only). Continue to Bluff and take the ferry to Stewart Island. Accommodation and breakfast at Stewart Island Lodge. 

Optional evening Wild Kiwi Encounter with a high chance of seeing our iconic native birds on the beach - extra expense.

Day 14. Friday.  STEWART ISLAND - INVERCARGILL     (B)

Wake up to the Kereru and Tui visiting in front of the Lodge and enjoy a guided one hour tour of Oban before cruising Patterson Inlet for a guided walk through the Ulva island wildlife sanctuary.  Cruise back to Bluff for a photo stop at the famous signpost. Overnight in Invercargill at the Kelvin Hotel or similar.                 

Day 15. Saturday.    INVERCARGILL - MILFORD SOUND - TE ANAU.   (B)

We take the scenic back roads via Riverton and Tuatapere to Te Anau and enjoy the  magnificent scenery as we drive through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys. Visit the Mirror Lakes and Roaring Chasm and drive through the Homer tunnel before  arriving 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 visiting the underwater aquarium and  retracing our steps to Te Anau. Overnight at Luxmore Hotel or similar.

Optional  cruise across the lake to the Te Anau glowworm caves ($99) or a scenic flight by floatplane over magnificent Fiordland.

Please note: February tour travels to Manapouri for Doubtful Sound cruise friday then Te Anau Saturday and Milford Sound and Queenstown sunday.

Day 16. Sunday. TE ANAU - DOUBTFUL SOUND      (BD)

Late morning drive to Manapouri to join your scenic cruise across bush clad Lake Manapouri to West Arm. Join your coach to drive across Wilmot Pass through the lush rainforest to Doubtful Sound and join your overnight  cruise exploring Doubtful Sound to the Tasman Sea. Anchor overnight in a quiet bay and you have the opportunity to kayak up to the massive cliffs or take a cruise in the ships tender. A picnic lunch is included as you cross Lake Manapouri and dinner on board.

Day 17. Monday.  DOUBTFUL SOUND - QUEENSTOWN.    (B)

Disembark after breakfast and retrace your steps across Wilmot Pass and Lake Manapouri and drive to Queenstown arriving mid afternoon. A visit to historic Arrowtown will be made en route.

Day 18. Tuesday.                QUEENSTOWN                           (BD) 

This morning tour along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to beautiful Glenorchy and visit some of the filming sites of Lord of the Rings.  

This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the historic steamer Earnslaw" for a barbecue dinner at the Colonels Homestead.

Day 19. Wednesday            QUEENSTOWN                           (B)

Free day to relax or explore at your leisure.

Day 20. Thursday.                                                            QUEENSTOWN - WANAKA - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER        (B)
Continue through the Kawarau Gorge or over the Crown Range to  Wanaka for a brief stop with optiona visit to amazing Puzzling World. Continue through Makarora and over the Haast Pass into the rainforest and spectacular coastline of the West Coast. Visit Shipwreck Beach, and beautiful Lake Matheson. Overnight Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.

Day 21. Friday. FRANZ JOSEF  - HOKITIKA   (B)
Visit the Franz Josef Glacier lookout with time for a helicopter or ski plane flight or heli hike on the glacier (extra expense and weather permitting) or bush walk. Drive north to enjoy the Treetops walk overlooking Lake Mahinapua. Enjoy the wetlands eco cruise and see jade carvers  at work. Overnight Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

Day 22. Saturday. HOKITIKA - PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH   (B)    
Visit the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown to pan for gold and ride the train into the forest and the site of an old saw mill. After a short tour of Greymouth continue to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in the Paparoa National Park. Explore the area before driving  over spectacular Arthurs Pass and the Canterbury Plains arriving Christchurch late afternoon. You will be taken to any address in Metro Christchurch or the airport 

Day 23.  Sunday. CHRISTCHURCH DEPART     (B)

You will be transferred to the airport for departure.


12 days. Christchurch to Queenstown. Days 1-13
2 per room        $4,300.     Single room       $5,500 

 

10 days. Dunedin to Queenstown Day 3 - 12

2 per room  $3,970.   Single Room  $4,700
 

 

We are flexible!!
You are welcome to join us for part of the tour provided a minimum of 4 consecutive nights are on tour with us. For any combination not listed above please ask us.

Day 23. Sunday.            CHRISTCHURCH DEPART     

You will be transferred to the airport for departure.

Tour cost per person     ;

23 Days Auckland to Christchurch.   Days 1-23

2 per room    $8,990    Single room   $10,700     Triple room    $8,400 

19 Days. Auckland to Queenstown. Days 1-20
2 per room $8,250. Single room $7,730. Triple room $5,600

15 Days. Auckland to Queenstown. Days 4-20
2 per room $5,400. Single room $6,440. Triple room $4,900
 

We are flexible!!
You are welcome to join us for part of the tour provided a minimum of 2 consecutive nights are on tour with us. For any combination not listed above please ask us.

 


More info ( 1 MB)

Tour 401        Magnificent New Zealand 

23 days/22 nights. Commence Auckland saturdays (Minimum 2 passengers)  

2022:    Commence Auckland Saturday 23 October, 2022  - End Christchuurch Sunday 06 November.

2023:    Commence Auckland Friday 10 February, 2023. End Christchurch saturday 04 March.

(18 and 15 day part tour options commence Auckland wednesdays with arrival transfer plus 1 night hotel and breakfast)                        

"Friendly Four" - 4-5 people reserving and travelling together save 10% each. 

"Super Six" - 6-8 people reserving and travelling together save 15% each. 

'Bubble' Tours. Form your own bubble up to 8 people and enjoy an exclusive tour with our driver/guide. 

 

Tour cost per person 

2 per room                 $8,990 

3 per room                 $8,400

Single room                $10,700

Tour Cost includes - 22 day tour: 

** All travel from Auckland to Christchurch  

** 21 nights accommodation and breakfast               

** Sightseeing admissions to Matakohe kauri museum, Te Waimate Mission Station, Waitangi Treaty House, Cape Reinga tour by special bus, Bay of Islands cruise, Waitomo Caves, Otorohanga kiwi house, Hobbiton Movie set tour, Te Puia thermal area, Maori concert, Agrodome sheep show, Weta workshop, "Edwin Fox" ship restoration, Peter Jacksons Knights of the Sky exhibition, Marlborough Museum, Sir Edmund Hillary centre, Oamaru penguin colony, Olveston House, Larnachs Castle, Royal Albatross Centre, Yellow Eyed Penguin Colony, Milford Sound Cruise, Puzzling World, Shantytown

 

18 days/17 nights (excludes Northland)                   Commence Auckland every Wednesday.      

Tour departs Auckland 7.45am thursday  

"Friendly Four" - 4-5 people reserving and travelling together save 10% each. 

"Super Six" - 6-8 people reserving and travelling together save 15% each. 

'Bubble' Tours. Form your own bubble up to 8 people and enjoy an exclusive tour with our driver/guide.

                               

Tour cost per person - 18 days

2 per room                              $6,900 

3 per room                              $6,500 

Single room                            $8,400  

 

15 days/14 nights  (excludes Northland and South Island West Coast) 

Commence Auckland every wednesday  

Tour departs 7.45am every thursday

Tour ends Queenstown wednesday morning - day 15            

Tour cost per person - 15 days

2 per room                              $5,700 

3 per room                              $5,300 

Single room                            $6,900  

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