Prepare for amazing discoveries around every corner on this comprehensive journey through New Zealand. Glowworm caves, geysers, sheep shearing, whale watching, and scenic train and boat trips are just some of the incredible experiences that await you on this inter-island adventure.
Day One: Auckland – Waitomo–Rotorua
Depart Auckland for the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Tour cave formations, stalactites, and stalagmites by boat through a Glowworm Cavern lit up with thousands of tiny glowworm lights. From Waitomo travel through the Central North Island to Rotorua. Arriving at the Agrodome you can feed the sheep, llamas, and deer. See a sheep shearing demonstration and a sheep dog trial. Next enjoy a Maori Cultural Performance inside Te Puia Marae and be treated to the perfect harmonies, Poi, Haka and Tititorea. Finally visit the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and Maori Arts and Crafts Institute to see woodcarving, weaving displays, the thermal valley surrounded by boiling mud pools, and the famous Pohutu geyser.
Evening accommodation: Sudima Hotel Rotorua or similar
Day Two: Rotorua
Day at leisure. Explore Rotorua township, the lake front and beautiful Government Gardens, or take in some of the other attractions, such as Rainbow Springs, Skyline Gondola, or the Tamaki Maori Village.
Day Three: Rotorua – Wellington
Leave Rotorua by coach travelling south to the capital city of New Zealand, Wellington, via the shores of Lake Taupo and through the dry, arid central plateau, the home of several active volcanoes. Prior to arriving in Wellington travel down the Kapiti Coast with great views of Cooks Strait and the South Island.
Accommodation: James Cook Hotel or similar
Day Four: Wellington – Picton – Kaikoura
Depart Wellington by the Inter-Islander Cook Strait Ferry for the 3-hour ferry crossing to Picton in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds. On arrival board the TransCoastal train and travel to Kaikoura via some spectacular scenic coast line.
Accommodation White Morph Inn or similar.
Day Five: Kaikoura – Christchurch
Kaikoura is where mountains meet sea. Kaikoura is world renowned for the variety of marine mammals that can be seen, including giant sperm whales and the acrobatic Dusky Dolphins. This morning you will join a whale watch tour, with Whale Watching Kaikoura, where you will see the giant sperm whales, which reside in the deep waters just off the coast of Kaikoura year round. In the afternoon, following the whale watching you will visit a seal colony where New Zealand fur seals may be viewed at close quarters and provide fantastic photo opportunities. On departing Kaikoura you will travel by road through the rolling hill country of North Canterbury, enjoying the beauty of its rural pastoral scenes, to Christchurch. On route a stop will be made at winery in Waipara, one of the larger wine regions of New Zealand. Here you will have the opportunity to taste some of New Zealand’s delightful wines. From Waipara the coach continues south to Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand.
Day Six: Christchurch
Today is in Christchurch. This morning you will be collected from your hotel for a morning sightseeing tour of this most beautiful and interesting city. Severely damaged by a series of earthquakes in 2011, the city center was almost completely destroyed. The morning tour will show you much of the remaining earthquake damage to the city, and the rebuild that is taking place. The tour will also highlight some of the most picturesque features of this charming city, known as the garden city. The remainder of the day is at leisure to continue your exploration of this lovely city.
Evening Accommodation: Chateau on the Park Hotel Christchurch or similar
Day Seven: Christchurch – Mount Cook – Queenstown
Travel by road through the rich pastoral farmland of the Canterbury Plains and the ever-changing spectacular scenery of the foothills of the Southern Alps. Continue travelling across Burkes Pass before descending to the stunning glacial-fed Lake Tekapo and visiting the Church of the Good Shepherd, which stands on the foreshore. From here, we travel up the western side of Lake Pukaki to arrive at Mt Cook – New Zealand’s highest mountain. Then cross the Lindis Pass and leave the McKenzie Country to travel along the Kawarau Gorge. Arrival in Queenstown is at approximately 6.30pm. You will be dropped at your evening's accommodation, where your tour concludes.
No restrictions and all are welcome!
Dress according to the weather.