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Home11+ Day Group Tours from Christchurch › 15 Day Classic New Zealand Explorer Guided Tour

15 Day Classic New Zealand Explorer Guided Tour

Enjoy the alpine scenery of the Mt Cook National Park, experience the breathtaking beauty and untouched wilderness of Fiordland’s Doubtful Sound and marvel at the twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef. View the fascinating limestone formations that are the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and cruise the Abel Tasman National Maritime Park. Continuing to Rotorua with its boiling mud pools, visit Hobbiton and enjoy time in the stunning Coromandel Peninsula.

15 Day Classic New Zealand Explorer Guided Tour

Explore many of the astonishing wonders of New Zealand on our classic, all-inclusive 15 day Explorer tour.

Super Earlybird Offer. Save up to NZ$1080 per couple!

Valid for all new bookings for all coach departures for travel from 01 September 2019 onwards. Book and pay in full by 31 March 2019 to be eligible for the offer. Terms & conditions apply - ask us for details & departure dates.

Tour Type: Group Tours
From: Christchurch to Auckland
Departs: Selected dates
Duration: 15 days
Tour Code:

Regions Visited

Click on the region name to view more information about the region

Christchurch, Mt Cook, Te Anau, Doubtful Sound, Queenstown, Arrowtown, Franz Josef, Hokitika, Punakaiki, Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park, Picton & Marlborough Sounds, Wellington, Taupo, Rotorua, Hobbiton, Coromandel, Auckland

Tour Inclusions

  • 14 nights accommodation premium accommodation
  • Full breakfast daily, 1 lunch & 12 dinners
  • Evening welcome drinks on arrival
  • Travel by luxury touring coach
  • Professional coach captain
  • Hotel porterage
  • Complimentary airport transfers on arrival & departure
  • Welcome drinks party & farewell dinner with wine
  • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
  • Skyline Gondola & Dinner, Queenstown
  • Cruise the famous Abel Tasman National Park
  • Authentic Maori Village, Hangi & Cultural Performance
  • City tours of Christchurch, Wellington & Auckland
  • Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre
  • World of Wearable Arts Museum
  • Scenic Interislander cruise
  • Agrodome Farm Show
  • Te Puia Thermal Reserve
  • Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tour
  • Entry to Auckland Skytower

Day By Day Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH

Welcome to New Zealand. On arrival, you will be transferred to your city hotel.

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel

DAY 2: MT COOK NATIONAL PARK / OMARAMA

After a brief tour of Christchurch, cross the Canterbury Plains into the MacKenzie Country. View the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog Memorial at Lake Tekapo. Visit Mt Cook National Park, a World Heritage listed site covering over 70,000 hectares of breathtaking alpine scenery before travelling on to Omarama.

Accommodation: Heritage Gateway Hotel

DAY 3: CROMWELL / TE ANAU

Begin the assent over the Lindis Pass to the township of Cromwell, then continue on to the historic village of Clyde, nestled in a sheltered basin at the foot of an immense and crooked gorge. Stop for lunch at Alexandra, located on the banks of the mighty Clutha River, then travel across the farmlands of Central Otago to the township of Gore before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park.

Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore

DAY 4: DOUBTFUL SOUND WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE

After breakfast, travel to Manapouri and enjoy a leisurely cruise across this picturesque lake to West Arm. Travel over the Wilmot Pass and pause to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. Board ‘Patea Explorer’ for a three hour cruise through this pristine fiord. During the cruise, knowledgeable and friendly nature guides will share with you their passion for the region through their commentary. They will answer questions, point out landmarks and provide you with information about the varied wildlife you may encounter like dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin. As the majesty of Doubtful Sound unfolds before you, its vastness will take your breath away. Later this afternoon, travel on to Queenstown, regarded as New Zealand’s premier holiday destination and enjoy dinner at your hotel on arrival.

Accommodation: Copthorne Lakefront Resort & Hotel

DAY 5: QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE

Queenstown boasts an incredible array of adventure and leisure activities in all its various forms and your Coach Captain will happily recommend and assist with any optional activities you would like to do. Alternatively, you may prefer to browse in the many shops and galleries. Tonight, ride the Skyline gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak where both the dining and the views are unsurpassed.

Accommodation: Copthorne Lakefront Hotel & Resort

DAY 6: ARROWTOWN / FRANZ JOSEF

This morning, we visit Arrowtown. Set beneath the rugged Crown Range, this historic village was once a haven for the gold prospectors of the 1860’s and features a fascinating collection of mining cottages with an atmosphere straight out of last century. Stop at Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. View the untouched wilderness and pristine lakes of the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks before arriving on the rugged and wild West Coast, home to the twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

DAY 7: HOKITIKA / PUNAKAIKI

Before our departure this morning, there is the opportunity to experience an optional scenic flight over this remarkable region (subject to weather conditions). At Hokitika, we stop to visit to a Pounamu, (also known as Greenstone or Jade) factory. Pounamu is considered a treasure in Maori culture and is seen as a sign of status and power. At Punakaiki, marvel at the bizarre limestone landscapes that are the Pancake Rocks & Blowhole. Tonight’s stay is at a friendly eco resort located in the Paparoa National Park and only a stone’s throw from the beach.

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

DAY 8: MURCHISON / NELSON

Skirt the west coastline before heading inland to Murchison. Travel north through the Nelson Lakes region before arriving at Nelson, a city of charm based on a harbour that is the busiest fishing port in New Zealand. This afternoon, visit the World of Wearable Art & Classic Car Museum.

Accommodation: Heritage Rutherford Hotel

DAY 9: ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK

A short drive brings us to Kaiterteri where you board your vessel for a scenic cruise of the famous Abel Tasman National Maritime Park. Cruise through the Astrolabe Roadstead to Torrent Bay & Bark Bay calling in to picturesque beaches and coves. Pause to view the antics at Tonga Island Seal Colony on your way to Totaranui. An optional coastal walk may be available for those wishing to spend time ashore, see your Coach Captain for details.

Accommodation: Heritage Rutherford Hotel

DAY 10: PICTON / WELLINGTON

A short drive brings us to the picturesque fishing village of Picton. Board the Interislander Ferry and cruise through the spectacular Queens Charlotte Sound into Cook Strait. Enjoy stunning views of New Zealand’s capital city as you arrive into Wellington Harbour. Enjoy a city tour taking in all the major sights and there is free time for exploring on your own. Situated on the Wellington waterfront, a visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, is highly recommended.

Accommodation: Copthorne Oriental Bay Hotel

DAY 11: TAUPO / ROTORUA

Leaving the city behind, we travel through rolling farmland as we enter the Tongariro National Park, dominated by the volcanic cone of Mt Ruapehu. Follow the Desert Road to the popular lakeside resort of Taupo, located on the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake. Stop to view the mighty Huka Falls and travel past massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, centre of Maori culture and famous for its geysers, boiling mud pools and steaming craters.

Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua

DAY 12: ROTORUA SIGHTSEEING

Today begins with a visit to the Agrodome to see a unique New Zealand farm show. This is followed by a visit to Te Puia, home to Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and the New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Centre. Here you will witness all of nature’s thermal wonders including silica terraces and the famous Pohutu Geyser. Enjoy some free time this afternoon for optional activities before visiting Tamaki Village for an evening of fun and culture. You will experience a traditionally prepared Maori Hangi (feast) followed by a cultural performance featuring Maori songs, chants and dance including the stirring haka.

Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua

DAY 13: HOBBITON / PAUANUI

Cross the Mamaku Ranges into the Waikato region, well known for its dairy farming, world famous horse studs and champion Rugby team! At Matamata, a guide will escort your group on a Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour. Enjoy a visit to the set used in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. On to Pauanui, a favourite New Zealand holiday beach resort for our overnight stay.

Accommodation: Grand Mercure Puka Park Lodge

DAY 14: COROMANDEL / AUCKLAND

The Coromandel Peninsula is a beautiful, rugged area fringed with dozens of excellent beaches and is a place where many kiwis choose to escape the hustle and hype of city life. At the quaint township of Coromandel, ride the famous Driving Creek narrow gauge railway to a fascinating artist colony. On to Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’ and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight with your new found friends.

Accommodation: Rydges Hotel

DAY 15: DEPART AUCKLAND

Sadly, your holiday ends today and you will be transferred to Auckland airport to connect with your onward flight.

Average Score: 5 (1 rating)
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Hi Jodee

I have been meaning to get in touch with you ever since I got back from my trip. Just wanted to tell you I had a fantastic time on the Kirra Tour and would highly recommend it – especially if Dennis Brown is the guide!. Thank you again for getting this booked for me. And I fell in love with New Zealand – what a wonderful country!!
Best regards

High season - October 2018 to April 2019

Start Date End Date Single traveller Guaranteed departure Availability
13 January 2019 27 January 2019 $9,149 NZD Yes Enquire / Book
3 February 2019 17 February 2019 $9,149 NZD Yes Fully Booked
24 February 2019 10 March 2019 $9,149 NZD Yes Enquire / Book
10 March 2019 24 March 2019 $9,149 NZD Yes Fully Booked
24 March 2019 7 April 2019 $9,149 NZD Yes Enquire / Book
7 April 2019 21 April 2019 $9,149 NZD Yes Enquire / Book

High season - September 2019 to April 2020

Start Date End Date Single traveller Guaranteed departure Availability
6 October 2019 20 October 2019 $9,789 NZD Yes Enquire / Book
10 November 2019 24 November 2019 $9,789 NZD Yes Enquire / Book
12 January 2020 26 January 2020 $9,789 NZD Yes Enquire / Book
23 February 2020 8 March 2020 $9,789 NZD Yes Enquire / Book
8 March 2020 22 March 2020 $9,789 NZD Yes Enquire / Book