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17 Day Kia Ora New Zealand Guided Tour

Begin your New Zealand story with a cruise in the stunning Bay of Islands. Continue the narrative with the arts and traditions of Maori culture, and the sweeping vistas of the Marlborough Sounds. Conclude your epic narrative with tales of intrepid settlers in Central Otago, and thrills in Queenstown, the adventure capital.

17 Day Kia Ora New Zealand Guided Tour

Begin your New Zealand story with a cruise in the stunning Bay of Islands. Continue the narrative with the arts and traditions of Maori culture, and the sweeping vistas of the Marlborough Sounds. Conclude your epic narrative with tales of intrepid settlers in Central Otago, and thrills in Queenstown, the adventure capital.

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Tour Type: Group Tours
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departs: Selected dates
Duration: 17 Days
Tour Code: LABC

Regions Visited

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

Auckland, Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Wellington, Picton & Marlborough Sounds, Christchurch, Dunedin, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Franz Josef

Tour Inclusions

  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach
  • Airport transfers (flights to arrive prior to 4pm on day 1, flights can depart anytime on day 17)
  • Full buffet breakfasts (16)
  • 'Highlight dinners' (2)
  • Dinners (9)
  • Cruise in the stunning Bay of Islands and through ‘Hole in the Rock’
  • Cruise through Waitomo’s famous Glow Worm Grotto
  • Feast on a Maori Hangi at a unique dinner experience with the Tamaki family
  • Discover the arts and traditions of New Zealand’s Maori culture
  • Explore New Zealand’s capital Wellington
  • Visit Te Papa the Museum of New Zealand
  • Set sail on Queen Charlotte Sound
  • See spectacular Lake Tekapo and Lake Te Anau
  • Cruise on breath-taking Milford Sound
  • Let loose in the adventure capital Queenstown
  • Sail across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak for a unique ‘highlight dinner’
  • See awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier
  • Visit a green stone factory and watch the jade artists at work
  • Tour through Christchurch to witness the incredible rebuild of the city

Day By Day Itinerary

DAY 1: WELCOME TO AUCKLAND

After your airport transfer to your hotel, explore Auckland your way. This evening enjoy a welcome reception with your Travel Director.

Accommodation: VR Queen Street Hotel & Suites

DAY 2: AUCKLAND / BAY OF ISLANDS

Depart Auckland and travel along the Hibiscus Coast to the Bay of Islands. Take a scenic cruise through game fishing waters to Cape Brett and, weather permitting, through the ‘Hole in the Rock’. The return cruise to Paihia meanders through picturesque islands with deserted sandy beaches and secluded bays. Keep your eyes peeled for the marine life.

Accommodation: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands

DAY 3: BAY OF ISLANDS

Explore the Bay of Islands. Perhaps take a ferry to Russell, go sailing on a tall ship, dolphin-watching on the bay or visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Accommodation: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands

DAY 4: BAY OF ISLANDS / AUCKLAND

Enjoy a leisurely morning before travelling through lush farmlands on your way back to Auckland.

Accommodation: VR Queen Street Hotel & Suites

DAY 5: AUCKLAND / ROTORUA

After an Auckland city sights tour you’ll trace the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves. Glide through the amazing Glowworm Grotto by boat. Then arrive in Rotorua for an orientation tour.   Tonight enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi feast highlight dinner and concert at the Tamaki Maori Village.

Accommodation: Hotel Ibis

DAY 6: ROTORUA

Visit the Agrodome Farm Show, then enjoy an afternoon of ‘Free Time’ – visit Rainbow Springs, abundant with Rainbow Trout and native fauna including the kiwi or Te Puia, where a local Maori will guide you through the Geothermal valley with its mud pools and geysers. Tonight you have the option of staying at your hotel or on a nearby farm. A warm welcome awaits you on your New Zealand rural homestay and your hosts will provide you with the wonderful Kiwi hospitality that really makes you feel ‘at home’. Enjoy dinner and breakfast, a tour to introduce you to their way of life and comfortable accommodation in their home or cottages. You may choose to meet the animals, which may include sheep, cows, deer and many others, or simply relax and enjoy the company of your hosts and the scenic surroundings. (Additional cost).

Accommodation: Hotel Ibis

DAY 7: ROTORUA / WELLINGTON

This morning depart Rotorua travelling south to Wairakei and on to Taupo, in the very heart of the North Island. Stop to view mighty Huka Falls before following the eastern shoreline of Lake Taupo. Continue through rich farming lands into the capital city Wellington.

Accommodation: Travelodge

DAY 8: WELLINGTON / PICTON

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Wellington. Take in the panoramic views from the top of Mt. Victoria. There will be time to explore the Parliament buildings and the Beehive, home to New Zealand’s politicians.   Visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand and explore the fascinating exhibits at your leisure, including their unique Marae or Maori Meeting House. Cruise the Cook Strait into Queen Charlotte Sound and Picton.

Accommodation: Beachcomber Inn

 

DAY 9: PICTON / CHRISTCHURCH

Get up close and personal with some New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point, watch whales at Kaikoura, (optional scenic whale-watching flight is available) and travel across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

Accommodation: Hotel Ibis

DAY 10: CHRISTCHURCH / OMARAMA

Free time to relax this morning. Later see Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the alpine scenery of Mt. Cook National Park.

Accommodation: Heritage Gateway Hotel

DAY 11: OMARAMA / DUNEDIN

Your day starts along the Waitaki River with the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through Oamaru with its famous white limestone buildings to Dunedin, where you’ll tour the city. Then you’ve got the afternoon to yourself – perhaps take a Wildlife Cruise, visit the Speights Brewery or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

DAY 12: DUNEDIN / TE ANAU

It’s a morning at leisure, during which you might like to tour New Zealand’s Larnach Castle. Head off across South Otago’s fertile sheepfilled farming land en route to Te Anau, on the shores of the largest lake in the South Island. Tonight you may choose to travel by boat through the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (own expense).

Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel

DAY 13: TE ANAU / QUEENSTOWN

Park to Milford Sound, where you will cruise on the waters of this natural wonder. See Mirror Lake, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown for a sightseeing tour on arrival.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort

DAY 14: QUEENSTOWN

Explore thrilling Queenstown your way – from wine tours to jet boat rides and white water rafting. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue highlight dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. An entertaining after-dinner farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life. Why not join in a sing-a-long on your cruise back to Queenstown?

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort

DAY 15: QUEENSTOWN / FRANZ JOSEF

The first stop is historic Arrowtown. Next is Cromwell to taste its sensational stone fruit. Then it’s a trio of lakes – Lake Dunstan, Hawea, Wanaka before you travel through Haast Pass, view Thunder Creek Falls and take a rainforest walk. Your final destination today is the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier (an optional scenic flight is available).

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

DAY 16: FRANZ JOSEF / CHRISTCHURCH

You’ll visit Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade), for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration first up then travel to Arthur’s Pass to board the TranzAlpine, one of the top 6 train journeys in the world. This spectacular journey takes you through the Southern Alps and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. This evening celebrate your holiday at a farewell dinner with your Travel Director and new-found friends.

Accommodation: Hotel Ibis

DAY 17: FAREWELL FROM CHRISTCHURCH

Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You’ll be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight.

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01 October 2018 - 31 December 2018

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01 January 2019 - 31 March 2019

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01 June 2019 - 30 September 2019

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