16 Day Aotearoa at Leisure
Start: Auckland / End: Christchurch. Come and travel with us on this fantastic 16 day tour of Aotearoa (New Zealand). With pre and post tour accommodation and airport transfers included, this tour is planned at a leisurely pace for you to really soak up the gorgeous scenery. We have included a number of leisure days for your own exploration and activities. Bring on the good times....
16 Day Aotearoa at Leisure
There is nothing more enjoyable than a relaxing 16 day tour through our beautiful country. Enjoy days at leisure where you can include additional sightseeing activities or simply sit back and relax, take in the amazing scenery and re-charge the camera.
|Tour Type:||Independent Tours|
|From:||Auckland to Christchurch|
Click on the region name to view more information about the region
- All transport
- 15 nights accommodation
- Cape Brett - Hole in the Rock Cruise
- Cape Reinga Day Tour
- Waitomo Glowworm Caves
- Rotorua Sightseeing Tour
- Traditional Maori Hangi & Concert
- Visit Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
- Milford Sound Cruise & picnic lunch
- Queenstown Gondola
- Mt Cook Village
Day By Day Itinerary
DAY 1 - WELCOME TO AUCKLAND
Welcome to New Zealand. You will be meet at Auckland Airport and transferred to your accommodation. Time at leisure in Auckland before your travels start the following day.
DAY 2 - AUCKLAND / PAIHIA
Travel north via the Hibiscus Coast to the beautiful Bay of Islands. On arrival in the Bay of Islands visit the historic Waitangi Grounds, site of the historic treaty between Maori and European pioneers. View a magnificent Maori meeting house and a large war canoe then transfer to the Paihia waterfront to join a dolphin watching cruise to Cape Brett. Travel through the famous “Hole in the Rock” and through Grand Cathedral Cave (weather permitting). A boxed picnic lunch is included.
DAY 3: CAPE REINGA DAY TOUR
Today we travel to the top of the North Island – Cape Reinga. Walk out to the lighthouse and see where the Pacific Ocean collides with the Tasman Sea. This beautiful region is steeped in Maori legend and mythology. Highlights of the journey include a visit to the Kauri Forests, sand tobogganing down the massive sand dunes at Te Paki Stream and travelling by coach down Ninety Mile Beach.
DAY 4: PAIHIA / AUCKLAND
You have free time in Paihia this morning. Perhaps take the short ferry ride across to the lovely township of Russell. Depart Paihia by coach and travel back to Auckland.
DAY 5: AUCKLAND / WAITOMO / ROTORUA
Travel south from Auckland through the rich farmland of the Waikato to the region of Waitomo. Enjoy a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the world famous Glow Worm Caves. Your tour continues with a boat ride through the Glow Worm Grotto, illuminated by thousands of tiny lights from the glow worms suspended from the cave ceiling. We continue east to Rotorua, a thermal wonderland of roaring geysers and boiling mud pools. On arrival into Rotorua visit the Agrodome for a farm tour followed by Te Puia Thermal Reserve for a tour & Maori Cultural performance.
DAY 6: ROTORUA AT LEISURE
Entertaining in any weather, and at any time of the year, Rotorua promises to keep you captivated with geothermal phenomena and special cultural experiences. Geysers, boiling mud pools, Marae stays, Hangi feasts, an authentic pre-european maori village and indulgent spa therapies will provide plenty of content for your emails home. Please ask at time of booking if you would like us to book additional activities for you. Tonight enjoy an authentic Maori Hangi and concert experience.
DAY 7: ROTORUA / WELLINGTON
Travel via Lake Taupo then on through the barren Desert Road where on a clear day you get wonderful views of the towering peaks of Mt Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu. You travel via Palmerston North and along the Kapiti Coast into Wellington city.
DAY 8: WELLINGTON / PICTON / NELSON
Board the Interislander ferry that will take you across to Picton. Your journey today passes through the Marlborough vineyards and the Nelson state forests. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure for you to explore this lovely township.
DAY 9: NELSON AT LEISURE
Full day to look around ‘sunny Nelson’ as it’s known to the locals. Vibrant bustling cafes, charming boutiques and funky art galleries waiting to be leisurely explored. If you are interested in going further afield and taking a day trip to the Abel Tasman area, please ask at time of booking for more details.
DAY 10: NELSON / FRANZ JOSEF
Travel south following the rugged coastline through the Paparoa National Park to Punakaiki. There is a brief opportunity to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes before continuing your journey to Franz Josef where you arrive early evening.
Stay: Franz Josef
DAY 11: FRANZ JOSEF AT LEISURE
Today you have a full day to spend exploring the Franz Josef area. If you are interested in including a Glacier Walk or Heli-Hike option, please ask at time of booking. Alternatively, there are many short native walks in the area, beautiful hot pools for a relaxing soak or a little shopping.
Stay: Franz Josef
DAY 12: FRANZ JOSEF / QUEENSTOWN
Travel deeper into South Westland taking in the spectacle of Haast Pass, carved by the Haast River and framed by the Southern Alps. Take in the views of many beautiful lakes including Wanaka, Hawea, Dunstan and Wakatipu before arriving into Queenstown.
DAY 13: MILFORD SOUND DAY EXCURSION
A full day tour to the World Heritage listed, Fiordland National Park. Enjoy cruising Milford Sound and viewing the spectacular waterfalls and towering Mitre Peak.
DAY 14: QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE
A free day for you to enjoy this fabulous resort. We have included the Skyline Gondola in your tour. There are dozens of activities available. Something for everyone.
DAY 15: QUEENSTOWN / MT COOK / CHRISTCHURCH
Travel through the rugged Kawarau Gorge to Cromwell and then over the Lindis Pass to the Mount Cook National Park. Time is available for lunch at Mt Cook village before continuing to Lake Tekapo. After a brief stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd, our journey continues across the Canterbury Plains arriving in the garden city of Christchurch.
DAY 16: FAREWELL FROM CHRISTCHURCH
Today we bid you farewell as you travel back home with wonderful photos and memories. Airport transfer included.
It was the best vacation ever. Thank you soooo much for organising all so perfectly. We’ve travelled a lot, and never has a journey been so enjoyable, as everything worked so smoothly – pick-ups, tours, hotel arrangements etc. It was definitely not the last visit to your beautiful country. All the best
TOUR TYPE - INDEPENDENT TOUR
Independent Tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people travelling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are travelling independently. However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.
Frequently Asked Questions – Independent Tours
What is an Independent Tour?
Independent Tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people traveling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are traveling independently. However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.
What dates do your tours depart?
The Pacific Travel Independent Iour programme operates on a daily basis (with daily departures) using the services of Great Sights, InterCity, Interislander and KiwiRail. All tours are subject to availability at time of booking.
What is included in the tour cost?
All tours 2+ days in length include coach travel, transfers, accommodation and sightseeing activities where specified. A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers and comprehensive itinerary will be sent to your agent prior to your departure or delivered to your pre tour accommodation for you to collect on check in.
I am travelling alone – can I pay the triple or twin share rate and be linked with other travellers?
No, unfortunately. You must pay the single room – per person cost.
I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.
Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Independent Tours do not include meals. There are exceptions where a picnic lunch is included on particular sectors. The coach does make various refreshment / comfort stops throughout the day where food can be purchased. Each evening you are free to relax and dine at you choice of restaurant either on site if you choose quality class, or just a short walk into town with tourist class. Many accommodation providers offer a breakfast service which can be arranged directly.
Is Halal food available in New Zealand?
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country.
Do Independent Tours have a tour escort?
As these tours are Independent, you do not have an escort traveling with you. However all coach drivers are experienced professionals. They will share their vast knowledge of our country with you by providing an informative commentary on most routes.
Can I add in additional nights to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra nightly rates.
What is the difference between quality and tourist class accommodation?
Quality class: Hotel style accommodation with a restaurant on site, 4 star standard. At times 4 star motor lodges are also used.
Tourist class: Self contained style accommodation with ensuite bathrooms and kitchenette facilities, 3.5 – 4 star standard. Breakfast provisions can be purchased from these properties but you will need to go to the town centre to purchase your evening meal. We endeavour where possible to book accommodation that is within easy walking distance of the centre of town.
What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we are more than happy to help you plan a customised tour.
How much luggage can I take on my tour?
Each passenger may take 2 pieces of luggage (max 25kg each). For safety reasons, each passenger is limited to one carry on item (max 5kg). We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.
How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 30 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a NZ$500 per person or 10% of the value of the package price (whichever is greater). This is a non-refundable deposit. Balance of payment is due 30 days prior to travel. For bookings made 30 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.
What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 31 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit plus a further 10% of the total package price.
Cancellations 15 – 30 days prior to travel: Deposit + a further 20% of the total package price.
Cancellations 0-14 days prior to travel: 100% of total fare (no refund).
Booking amendments made by you: an amendment fee of 10% of total package price will be charged to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.
Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.
Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday, so it is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights. Unfortunately Pacific Travel does not sell travel insurance.
Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated.
Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia.
What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase. The above currency conversion page is to be used as a guide only.