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

Departs Auckland 7.45am  DAILY year round except Christmas Day for a minimum of 1 passenger. Extend your stay at any point. 

Please Note: to minimise our carbon footprint, keep your costs low,  and guarantee departures for a minimum of 1 this tour uses Great Sights and Intercity coaches for transportation between cities and local operators in each area for sightseeing. Great Sights driver guides provide commentary and full tour services. Intercity coaches do not provide commentary. Transfers from coach depots to hotels are not included except to Rotorua airport and from Christchurch airport to your hotel.  We use hotels handy to the centre of each city, and bus stations.  

Day 1. AUCKLAND - WAITOMO CAVES  - HOBBITON - ROTORUA.   (Picnic lunch included)        

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). 

Drive across fertile Waikato dairy farmland and cross the Waikato River. A picnic lunch is provided to enjoy while you travel.

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), Go 'Beyond the Door ' into a Hobbit home (opened December 2023),   Party Tree, Lake, The Mill, and the Green Dragon Inn. Learn how this Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle Earth. Enjoy a cold drink at the Green Dragon Inn and transfer to Rotorua arriving around 6pm.

Day 2.              ROTORUA              (B)          

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. Visit Kuirau Park thermal park, Maori War Canoe, and explore Rotorua's lakes including Lake Tarawera and views of Mt Tarawera which erupted in 1886. Optional evening introduction to Maori culture with an exciting concert, and hangi steam cooked dinner - extra cost $155

Day 3.              ROTORUA - CHRISTCHURCH   (B)

Transfer to the airport and fly to Christchurch. You will be transferred to your accommodation.


7.30am. Depart Christchurch aboard Great Sights tour coach. 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. Continue to Mt Cook arriving 12.50pm. You have around 1.5 hours to enjoy the magnificent views of Mt Cook (weather permitting) and take a short walk, or lunch at the Hermitage.  Depart 2.25pm with Great Sights 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 6.30pm.

Day 5.     QUEENSTOWN.   (B)

Free day 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.   $199............ Dinner cruise 5pm - 9pm , or 6pm-10pm.  $199

Day 6.     QUEENSTOWN- Milford Sound tour and cruise.     (BL)

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 $299.

Doubtful Sound option instead of Milford Sound. 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. Extra cost $250 

Overnight cruises: Summer depart Queenstown most days October 01 - April 30. Depart  9am  - return 3.30pm next day.  DOUBTFUL SOUND. share twin  $899 October and April, $1199 November - March..  Single cabin  October and April $1,449 - November - March $2,049. 

DOUBLE DELIGHT - Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Enjoy our Milford Sound Tour and stayover in Te Anau for the night. Enjoy the quiet atmosphere and beauty of the lake with optional cruise across Lake Te Anau to the Te Ana-au glowworm caves  (Cost $129). Next day enjoy our Doubtful Sound day cruise and return to Queenstown 7.30pm.  - extra cost $210 OR enjoy the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise and return to Queenstown the followng day. Pack an overnight bag for easy travel.

May 2025 special with 2 night cruise on Doubtful Sound.  Depart Queenstown  May 02, 04, 06, 11,18, 20, 25, 27, June 01. Cost including coach transfers and picnic lunch 1st day $999 share twin, $1,799 single. You will usually have a few hours in Te Anau before returning to Queenstown early evening. You can stopover in Te Anau and return to Queenstown via Milford Sound cruise next day if you wish. Total cost with 2 night cruise on Doubtful Sound,1 night hotel and breakfast in Te Anau and tour to Milford Sound, cruise and return to Queenstown day 4, 2 per room $1,550, single room   $2,470 

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

Day 7.          QUEENSTOWN DEPART.   (B)

Transfer to the airport for departure.

Tour cost per person 4 star hotels ... 2 per room.. $3,300... Single room .. $3,990


WEST COAST FREEDOM TOURS. Tours operate in both directions DAILY 01 October, 2024 - 28 April, 2025 

Queenstown - Franz Josef - Hokitika - Christchurch. 3 days/2 nights


8.10am.  Depart Queenstown. Travel through Cromwell and enjoy a brief stop at Lake Wanaka. Continue through Makarora and cross the Haast Pass to the beautiful but rugged West Coast rainforest and mountains. A stop is usually made at Knights Point to admire the coastal views. Continue through Fox Glacier to Franz Josef Glacier arriving 4.02pm. Accommodation and breakfast at Scenic Franz Josef Hotel - Graham Wing. (Upgrade to Douglas Wing (extra $80 per person twin, $160 single) or Waonui Retreat (extra $360 per person twin, $720 single) available subject to space).


Free day to make as active or relaxing as you wish. Shuttles are available to take you to the car park for a walk to the Glacier lookout or tour to Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson however it should be noted that after damage to the walking track the only way to really appreciate Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers is a helicopter flight to land on one of them. For the best perspective we recommend a guided helihike on the glacier. We recommend a visit to the Wildlife Centre housing the largest kiwi breeding programme of kiwis in the South Island, and Tuatara. Maybe  relax this evening in the hot pools set among the rainforest. All activities today are extra expense.


9.15am. Depart Franz Josef Glacier by Intercity coach. Arrive Hokitika 11.45  and depart at 12.20pm. Arrive Greymouth Railway Station 2.05pm. Tranz Alpine departs arriving Christchurch at 7pm.  (Occasionally closed for track maintenance).

1.15pm. Intercity coach departs for Punakaiki (brief stopover) and arrives Nelson 7.15pm

Tour cost per person... 3 days/2 nights

Queenstown - Christchurch... 2 per room  $990. Single room $1,290

Queenstown - Nelson ........... 2 per room  $890... Single room $1,190

WEST COAST SMALL GROUP DRIVER ESCORTED TOUR.  Departs Queenstown every wednesday 01 October 2024 - 30 April 2025 for minimum of 2.


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 which is now really the only way to see Franz Josef Glacier. Overnight Scenic Franz Josef Hotel. Graham Wing. (Upgrade to Douglas Wing (extra $40 per person twin, $140 single) or Waonui Retreat (extra $180 per person twin, $360 single) available subject to space). 

Day 2.  Thursday.  FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – HOKITIKA        (B)

Optional scenic flights to land on the glacier if you were unable to do them at Mt Cook or visit the White Heron Sanctuary at Okarito for a cruise. Drive north to Treetops for an exciting walk above the forest canopy and enjoy an eco cruise on the Lake Mahinapua waterways (October - April only). Continue to Hokitika. Usually jade carvers and maybe a glass blower will be at work.  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.  

Tour cost per person $1,790 2 per room, $2,250 single room.

Tour cost includes: All travel from Queenstown to  Franz Josef and Christchurch or vice versa by driver escorted people mover or mini bus , 2 nights hotel and breakfast, admissions to Treetops, Eco cruise, Shantytown.

Option to travel on the "Tranz Alpine"  train if you wish from Greymouth to Christchurch departing Greymouth 2.05pm and arriving Christchurch 7.00pm. Extra cost $250 including transfer to Christchurch hotel. 

Option to travel by Intercity bus from Greymouth to Punakaiki and Nelson arriving 7.15pm. Accommodation at Rutherford Hotel.  Join our Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park mini tour, or our comprehensive Nelson, Golden Bay, and Abel Tasman National Park tour.


NELSON AND ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK MINI TOUR. Cruise or kayak. 4 days/3 nights. Commences DAILY 01 October, 2024 - 30. Free Intercity ticket Greymouth to Nelson provided for those combining this with our West Coast small group tour. 


Arrive Nelson and make your way to the Rutherford Hotel

Day 2. NELSON.  (B)

Free day to explore the arts and craft areas, and shops of Nelson and the famed Tahunanui Beach, Local tours available.


7.10am. You will be picked from Rutherford Hotel and transferred to beautiful Kaiteriteri Beach to join your cruise. Sail at 9.20am and cruise along the shores of the Abel Tasman National Park to Totaranui. Cruise back to Anchorage Bay or Torrent Bay Lodges for a barbecue lunch and you have time to relax, swim, or hike in the National Park before returning to Kaiteriteri. Depart Kaiteriteri by bus at 4.15pm and you will be dropped off at Rutherford Hotel between 5.30 and 6pm.

You can replace your cruise with 2.5 hours kayaking if you wish - Extra cost $100 per person.

Day 4. NELSON DEPART.    (B)

Our arrangements end after breakfast or checkout at 10am. Why not continue to Marlborough and enjoy our Nelson, Picton, and Marlborough Sounds cruise, OR continue down the West Coast to Punakaiki Hokitika, Franz Josef Glacier, and Queenstown?

Passengers combining our Nelson and Marlborough tours receive a free Intercity ticket from Nelson to Blenheim or Picton or vice versa. Coach departs Nelson 9.45am arriving Blenheim at 11.25am and Picton 12pm. Coach departs Picton 1pm and Blenheim 1.30pm arriving Nelson 3.15pm.

Tour cost per person   2 per room $890. Single room $1,290   



4 days/3 nights. Commence Nelson every Friday and Monday


Arrive Nelson and make your way to Rutherford Hotel 

Day 2.  GOLDEN BAY.    (B)

Drive to Takaka and visit the amazing Pupu Springs and on through Collingwood to visit  spectacular Wharariki beach for a 1 hour walk to enjoy the sea caves, seal pups, wind swept sand dunes, and coastal rock formations. A 30 minute walk to Pillar Point will give spectacular views of Farewell Spit and Golden Bay. Also visit Abel Tasman monument. Overnight accommodation in Golden Bay.


Enjoy a 6.5 hour tour of Farewell Spit, northernmost point in the South Island. See the sand dunes, seal colony, bird life, and lighthouse.


7.10am. You will be picked from Rutherford Hotel and transferred to beautiful Kaiteriteri Beach to join your cruise. Sail at 9.20am and cruise along the shores of the Abel Tasman National Park to Totaranui. Cruise back to Anchorage Bay or Torrent Bay Lodges for a barbecue lunch and you have time to relax, swim, or hike in the National Park before returning to Kaiteriteri. Depart Kaiteriteri by bus at 4.15pm and you will be dropped off at Rutherford Hotel between 5.30 and 6pm.

Day 4.  NELSON DEPART     (B).

Depart Nelson by coach or air. Transfers not included.

Our arrangements end after check out at 10am.

Tour cost per person.  2 per room.. $1,740. Single room $2,200

Tour cost includes: 3 nights accommodation and breakfast. Full day tour of Golden Bay, Abel Tasman National Park cruise. 

ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK GUIDED WALK WITH 2 NIGHTS AT PRIVATE LODGES IN THE PARK available. Stayover on wednesday and transfer to Nelson friday afternoon for 1 night finishing the tour in Nelson on Saturday


BEST OF MARLBOROUGH. Blenheim, Picton, Marlborough Sounds cruise. 4 days/3 nights.


Arrive Blenheim or Picton by plane, train, coach, or ferry. Make your way to your accommodation. (transfers can be arranged at extra expense but local taxis are cheaper). You have a choice of staying at Picton Yacht Club Hotel, Picton Beachcomber Inn, or Scenic Marlborough Hotel in Blenhem - same price applies to all.


Our morning cruise departs Picton 9am and cruises through Queen Charlotte Sound to historical Ship Cove named by Captain James Cook  on 15 January 1770 when his ship anchored here to replenish supplies and for maintenance. It was a favourite of Captain Cook and he anchored here 4 times between 1770 and 1777. See the creek where Captain Cook made home brew and see the wildlife. Visit the Captain Cook Monument to commemorate his visits. A full commentary is given by your skipper. Return to Picton about 12.30pm.

The afternoon is free to explore and enjoy the seaside resort, restaurants,  and port of Picton. We strongly recommend a visit to the "Edwin Fox" ship restoration project on the Picton Waterfront. The "Edwin Fox" was built in India in 1853 and was used for trade as well as transporting troops in the Crimean War, made 4 voyages to New Zealand with new immigrants and in the 1880's was converted to a freezer ship for the growing British lamb trade which had just started. From 1897 it was used as a freezer ship, then a coal barge in Picton, and in 1999 dry docked and the preservation of the ship started. Allow at least an hour for the museum, video, and exploring the ship. Admission $20 extra. Donations to the restoration gratefully, accepted!

Day 3. BLENHEIM - vineyards and heritage.

Marlborough is famous for its vineyards. You will be picked up from your accommodation in Picton or Blenheim for a tour of the vineyards including tasting at 2 wineries. This afternoon visit Omaka and Peter Jackson's KNIGHTS OF THE SKY World War 1 and DANGEROUS SKIES World War 2 exhibitions and the Classic cars museum before returning to your hotel.


Our arrangements finish after breakfast and check out by 10am. 

Tour cost per person: 2 per room $1,290... Single room  $1,650

Tour cost includes: 3 nights accommodation and breakfast, Morning Queen Charlotte Sound cruise to Ship Cove, Admission to "Edwin Fox", Marlborough wine tour, admission to Aviation Heritage and car museums. 

Kaikoura. A whale watch cruise or flight is a great experience (weather permitting). Intercity coaches depart Picton 8am and 1.45pm and Blenheim 8.40am and 2.15pm for Kaikoura arriving 2 - 2.5 hours later. You can return to Picton or Blenheim or go on to Christchurch however we recommend staying over for the night  to maximise the chances of your cruise operating and to sample the fabulous seafood. (


DUNEDIN FREEDOM TOUR. 3 days/2 nights. Departs DAILY year round.

Northbound:  Queenstown - Dunedin - Christchurch


7.45am. Depart Queenstown by Intercity coach  travelling through Cromwell, Alexandra, and Central Otago to Dunedin arriving 12.45pm. Accommodation and breakfast handy to the Octagon in the centre of the city at Scenic Dunedin or Southern Cross or Distinction Hotels. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore the city and maybe take a guided tour of historic Olveston House or explore the Otago Museum  and/or Chinese Gardens.

Day 2. DUNEDIN   (B)

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.


7.30am. Depart Dunedin by Intercity coach and travel via Oamaru and Timaru to Christchurch where arrival is scheduled for 1.50pm. Alternatively depart at 1.15pm arriving Christchurch 7.40pm.

Dunedin is a beautiful city to stayover and enjoy. Why not extend your stay?

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

2 per room   $990.   Single room   $1,240. Extra nights hotel and breakfast $190 2 per room, $360 single room 


You are welcome to stay overnight in Oamaru if you wish to explore the historic Precinct including the Steampunk Museum, historic area of the city, gardens, and Whitestone cheese factory and shop. If staying over we recommend visiting the Little Blue Penguin colony tonight to see them return from the sea. (    Extra cost staying at Brydone Hotel for 1 night plus extra travel costs $250 2 per room. $360 single room.


DEEP SOUTH AND STEWART ISLAND..  5 days/4 nights. Commences Queenstown/Te Anau or Dunedin every monday.

Queenstown or Te Anau - Invercargill (2 nights) - Stewart Island option, Catlins, Dunedin sightseeing. Read More:


Tour 405. NEW ZEALAND MINI TOUR. 8 days/7 nights - extendable


Tour cost per person

2 per room:   $3,300

Single room  $3,990


Tour cost includes:

** All travel from Auckland to Queenstown by coach and air

** 6 nights 4 star accommodation and breakfast

** Admissions to Waitomo Glowworm cave, Hobbiton, Waiotapu and Waimangu thermal areas, Te Puia, Milford Sound day tour and cruise including picnic lunch.


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