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Premium New Zealand Encompassed

Premium New Zealand Encompassed

From $ 9,295 AUD

Description

Dramatic peaks, glittering glaciers and geothermal wonders await on a 17-day Premium adventure through New Zealand’s north and south islands. With a passionate local leader to guide the way, you’ll experience a landscape that has been shaped by the elements over thousands of years. Taste wine at picturesque cellar doors, set out in search of kiwis, explore the mythical world of Hobbiton and explore the volcanic landscapes of Tongariro. From the pure spectacle of Milford Sound to the simmering geysers of Rotorua, this adventure is sure to blow you away.

Trip Name
Premium New Zealand Encompassed
Last Updated
2021-09-25
Days
17
Capacity
11
Highlights
  • Uncover the geothermal wonders of Rotorua during a guided visit to Te Puia, home to hot springs, geysers, mud pools, a Maori art gallery and a kiwi conservation centre.
  • Sip your way around Waiheke Island off the shores of Auckland, visiting three unique wineries to learn about their production methods and sample their goods.
  • Be amazed by Tongariro National Park as you spend the day exploring its volcanic landscapes, then retire to your feature stay chateau, surrounded by the stunning peaks of the park.
  • Experience some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery with an overnight scenic boat cruise on Milford Sound.
  • Set off on a kiwi spotting adventure for your chance to see the rarest of the five species of kiwi, the Rowi, which lives in Ōkarito forest on the West Coast.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Auckland
Welcome to the North Island! Your adventure begins in Auckland, New Zealand’s most populated city, fringed with beaches, harbours, volcanoes and farmland. You’ll be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. A welcome meeting will take place here at 6pm, where you’ll meet your local leader and the other travellers joining you on this adventure. If you arrive in Auckland with time to spare, you may like to uncover the story of New Zealand rugby during an interactive All Blacks experience where you’ll learn about the heritage of the sport and find out what it takes to wear the famous black jersey. After your meeting, get to know your group over dinner at an atmospheric local bistro in the heart of the city, championing New Zealand producers.
Day 2 - Waiheke Island / Auckland
Leave the bustle of the big city behind and head offshore to Waiheke Island, famed for its sandy beaches and glorious wine. Board a ferry from Auckland – if you’re really lucky you may even see dolphins or orcas along the way. The day will be spent sipping your way around the island, stopping off at three unique wineries to learn about their production methods, and of course tasting the goods yourself. You’ll also enjoy an included lunch on the island, not to mention a few scenic drives with plenty of opportunities for beautiful photos. Return to Auckland in the late afternoon with an evening free for your own discoveries of the city.
Day 3 - Waitomo / Hobbiton / Rotorua
After breakfast this morning, hit the road and drive to the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, an extensive underground network of tunnels and caverns decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and luminous glow worms. Join a local expert for an in-depth tour of the Ruakuri Cave, descending a spiral entrance to a magical world below. Discover fascinating limestone formations, hear the roar of subterranean waterfalls and learn about the glow worms that light up the caves. Continue to Hobbiton, where the epic Lord of the Rings movies were shot. Take a tour around the set with a local guide, hear stories about the production of these iconic films, explore Hobbit holes and enjoy a drink at the mythical Green Dragon Inn. Finally, travel to Rotorua, where you will spend the evening.
Day 4 - Rotorua
Wake up in Rotorua to the unmistakable scent of sulphur coming off the town’s many geothermal pools. After breakfast, pay a visit to Te Puia, over 70 hectares of land within the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, dotted with hot springs, mud pools and geysers. A local expert will take you on a walk to learn about these geothermal wonders, including Pohutu, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere. Next experience the Kiwi Conservation Centre where you’ll have the chance to observe the beloved nocturnal bird in a darkened enclosure and learn about the sanctuary’s efforts to protect them. Swing by the Ahua Gallery and watch culturally significant Maori carving and weaving demonstrations. Lunch is a treat today - a traditional hangi feast cooked beneath the earth in traditional style. In the evening, perhaps consider an optional tour of the geysers by night.
Day 5 - Taupo
Say goodbye to Rotorua and drive on to Taupo, sitting on the shores of Lake Taupo – the largest lake in New Zealand. The rest of the day is yours to discover all that this picturesque part of the country has to offer. One of the best ways to enjoy the lake is to get on its waters – speak to your leader to find out about the sustainable sailing and cruising options available to you this afternoon. You may like to try your hand at fishing, or perhaps take a flight over the spectacular Tongariro National Park.
Day 6 - Tongariro National Park
Today will be spent uncovering the natural wonders of Tongariro National Park, as spiritually significant as it is spectacular. Your leader will guide you on a scenic two-hour walk to the Taranaki Falls, an impressive 20-metre cascade tumbling over volcanic cliffs. Then it’s time for a ride with a view – take the Sky Waka gondola up the top of Mt Ruapehu and be treated to some truly unforgettable scenes on the way. Later in the day, head to your accommodation at the Powderhorn Chateau and settle in. The chateau provides a stunning base for the evening, surrounded by the soaring peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro – the views are simply unbeatable.
Day 7 - Wellington
This morning, make tracks for Wellington, New Zealand’s trendy capital city. After settling in, hop aboard a wonderful catamaran and get to know the city on an evening cruise around Wellington Harbour. Return to land after an hour and join your group for dinner at a fantastic waterfront restaurant – the perfect chance to reminisce about your North Island adventure.
Day 8 - Christchurch
This morning leave the North Island behind and board a flight from Wellington to Christchurch in the South Island. Characterised by snow capped peaks, giant glaciers and shimmering lakes, there’s no denying this is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. A meeting will take place in the afternoon at 5pm to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next leg of your adventure, followed by dinner at a local restaurant which encapsulates the culinary culture of the region. Learn about the ethos behind this unique dining spot and enjoy a delicious three course meal which celebrates local producers.
Day 9 - Christchurch / Greymouth / Punakaiki
Take a morning stroll with your leader around some of the landmarks of Christchurch. Next set off for Punakaiki, driving through Arthur’s Pass and Castle Hill – the spectacular mountain scenery may look familiar, as parts of The Chronicles of Narnia movie were filmed against this dramatic backdrop. After lunch in Moana, enjoy a short walk at Lake Brunner, the largest lake in the northwestern South Island of New Zealand. Spend the afternoon in Greymouth, stopping into a boutique studio to learn about the prized west coast jade known locally as Pounamu (Greenstone). Then continue to Monteith's Brewery, considered the original home of New Zealand craft brewing, for a tour and tasting. Arrive at Punakaiki Resort by late afternoon. Situated in Paparoa National Park, the resort is adjacent to the beautiful Punakaiki beach and the magnificent Pancake Rocks and Blowholes - the perfect spot to reflect and relax.
Day 10 - Hokitika / Franz Josef
After breakfast, explore the Punakaiki Rocks and Blowhole before the drive to Franz Josef. Along the way, stretch your legs at the charming west coast town of Hokitika, and enjoy an exhilarating treetop adventure on a walk through the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. In the afternoon, take a private ranger-guided tour of the West Coast Wildlife Centre, home of the official breeding programme for the world's rarest kiwi, the Rowi. Also keep an eye out for tuatara, a reptile endemic to New Zealand. Arrive at your Franz Josef accommodation by evening.
Day 11 - Franz Josef
Join your leader for a guided walk to see the icy wonderland created by the Franz Josef Glacier, one of the steepest glaciers in New Zealand. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you may like to join an optional heli-hiking tour and get even closer to this incredible glacier. Other optional activities include kayaking, a scenic cruise on Lake Mapourika or a soak in the hot tubs at Franz Josef.
Day 12 - Makaroa / Wanaka
Depart Franz Josef for the picturesque resort town of Wanaka, the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, located in the Otago region. Stop along the way at Makorora and visit the Aspiring Biodiversity Trust, an organisation which strives to protect and restore indigenous biodiversity. After lunch, take a guided walk with a local ornithologist and ecologist to enjoy the vibrant hue of the aptly named Blue Pools that feed the Makarora River. Keep an eye out for endangered birds as you learn about how the Aspiring Biodiversity Trust is working to reduce predators and save some of New Zealand’s rarest species. Arrive in Wanaka by later afternoon, and settle in to your home for the next two nights - a homestead built on the site of a former sheep station. Located next to the resplendent Wanaka Station Park on the shores of Lake Wanaka, and a short stroll from Wanaka township, you'll be perfectly placed to enjoy all this charming town has to offer.
Day 13 - Wanaka
Enjoy a sleep in or perhaps start your day with a hike up Mt Iron for a view over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding peaks. Today's experience is one of the real highlight's of your trip. Central Otago is a region well known for food and wine, and today you will visit the spectacular Criffel Station for a chef-guided tasting and foraging tour, followed by a delicious lunch, washed down with some excellent Central Otago wines.
Day 14 - Milford Sound
Depart Wanaka for the drive to Te Anau. Along the way, take in a spectacular scenic drive across the Crown Range and by the shores of Lake Wakatipu. After lunch, continue on to your embarkation point for an overnight cruise surrounded by the spectacular beauty of Milford Sound, also known by its Te Reo (Maori) name Piopiotahi. Aboard your purpose-built vessel, enjoy a full length journey of the fjord out to the Tasman Sea, with the possibility to see wildlife such as seals, penguins and dolphins. You will also have access to a specialist guide with information on the fjord's history and natural environment. For those who are keen, kayaking and/or small boat tours allow a truly immersive experience of this special place. Finish your day with a delicious three-course dinner before settling down in your cosy cabin.
Day 15 - Milford Sound / Te Anau / Queenstown
After a leisurely onboard breakfast surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery, you’ll disembark and travel to Queenstown with plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs along the way. After another stop in pretty Te Anau for lunch, you’ll arrive in plenty of time to check into your boutique hotel in Queenstown.
Day 16 - Arrowtown / Queenstown
Today is the grand finale of your trip. In the morning, take an exhilarating jetboat ride on the Kimi Akau (Shotover River), deep into the spectacular Shotover Canyons. Speeding over water as shallow as 10cm, this is an amazing white water experience, operated by the Ngai Tahu, Maori people who have a centuries-old connection with this land. Continue on for a leader-led walk through historical Arrowtown, then enjoy a wine and cheese pairing at Gibbston Valley. Toast the end of your journey with a New Zealand-inspired gin & tonic or glass of Otago wine at a bar & restaurant with arguably the most spectacular views in all of Queenstown.
Day 17 - Queenstown
Your New Zealand adventure ends this morning after breakfast. As this trip spends very little time in Queenstown, we recommend you spend an extra day or two here if you want to experience all the town has to offer. Your booking agent will be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
20-01-202205-02-2022AUD $ 9,720-
17-02-202205-03-2022AUD $ 9,720-
24-03-202209-04-2022AUD $ 9,525-
28-04-202214-05-2022AUD $ 9,525-
15-09-202201-10-2022AUD $ 9,295-
13-10-202229-10-2022AUD $ 9,525-
17-11-202203-12-2022AUD $ 9,525-
08-12-202224-12-2022AUD $ 9,525-
22-12-202207-01-2023AUD $ 9,525-
05-01-202321-01-2023AUD $ 9,720-
16-02-202304-03-2023AUD $ 9,720-
20-04-202306-05-2023AUD $ 9,525-

Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights),Resort (3 nights),Homestead (2 nights),Cruise boat (1 night)

Transport

Private vehicle,Catamaran,Ferry,Jet boat,Cruise boat,Plane

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