Day 1 Arrive Christchurch. Private City Tour of Christchurch
Day 2 Private Tour to Akaroa
Day 3 TranzAlpine Express to Arthurs Pass
Day 4 At Arthurs Pass
Day 5 Private tour to Hokitika & Punakaiki
Day 6 Private Touring to Franz Josef. Light aircraft flight over the glaciers
Day 7 Private touring to Queenstown
Day 8 Dart River Lord of the Rings Tour
Day 9 At leisure in Queenstown
Day 10 Overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise
Day 11 Glowworm Caves Tour. Return to Queenstown
Day 12 Fly to Auckland. Private city tour of Auckland
Day 13 Private tour with Maori guide
Day 14 Depart New Zealand
DAY 1: Arrive in Auckland. Fly to Christchurch. Afternoon private city tour.
You will arrive in Auckland Airport and clear customs early this morning. After you have completed the immigration formalities a representative of Australia 2000 Travel will meet you to deliver your additional New Zealand travel documents and help you transfer to the domestic terminal in time to board your onward flight to Christchurch. When you arrive in Christchurch you will be transferred to your accommodation. This afternoon your private tour guide will meet you at your accommodation to escort you on a half-day introductory tour of the many wonderful sights of Christchurch, the city that is often described as the most English city outside of England… During your tour you will see the parks and gardens for which Christchurch is so well known as well as Cathedral Square, the Avon River, Hagley Park, Mona Vale and other sights that may be of particular interest to you. During your 2 nights stay in Christchurch you will be accommodated at a member of the prestigious group, Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Located alongside beautiful Hagley Park and the tranquil Avon River it is perfectly situated for exploring Christchurch.
DAY 2: Full day private tour to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. B L
Your specialist tour guide will meet you at your accommodation this morning to escort you on a private tour to Akaroa, a romantic seaside town on Banks Peninsula where you will see the influence of Maori, French and English cultures in the churches, galleries & historic cottages. During your day at Akaroa, a Maori word meaning Long Harbour, you will sail on a giant catamaran to view the rare hector dolphins, white flippered penguins & fur seals.
DAY 3: TranzAlpine Express to Arthurs Pass. B D
You will transfer to Christchurch Railway Station to board the Tranz Alpine Express train on what is regarded as one of the worlds best scenic rail journeys. You will travel through the mighty Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass Railway Station. When you alight your driver/guide will meet you beside the luggage compartment and transfer you to yourwilderness lodge accommodation. Built in 1996 on the historic 2,500-hectare high-country, Cora-Lynn Station, that has been farmed since 1860. The lodge is surrounded by 200 hectares of native beech forest, tussock grasslands and a small lake that invites guests to experience high country nature and merino sheep farming. During your 2 nights stay you will have the opportunity to explore the network of mountain, forest, river and farm walks. At additional expense you can join guided activities to discover the high- country ecology and wildlife in a wilderness setting. This evening you will join your fellow guests for dinner at the lodge.
DAY 4: At Arthurs Pass. B D
You have the day at leisure to enjoy the hiking, canoeing or to watch the sheep dogs working the sheep on glorious Arthurs Pass Wilderness Lodge. For the fly fisherman Arthurs Pass Wilderness Lodge is a wonderful venue to try your hand at trout fishing. You may prefer to join a guided walking and canoeing trip today.
Note: Trout fishing & guided tours are at additional expense.
DAY 5: Private Tour to Hokitika. B D
This morning your private guide will meet you at your accommodation to begin your 3-day tour of the West Coast. You may like to make a detour to Punakaiki, also known as pancake rocks, are among the West Coasts most famous sights. The fascinating, pancakes are thin, horizontal layers of limestone, about one to two inches thick. During your overnight stay south of Hokitika you will be accommodated at Kapitea Ridge, a luxury lodge located between Greymouth and Hokitika. The lodge is located on a 54-acre property and has distinctive curved architecture and extensive gardens. It is set amongst lowland rainforest, wild beaches and the unspoiled nature of New Zealand on the rugged West Coast of the South Island.
DAY 6: Private touring to Franz Josef. Scenic Glacial flight. B
After breakfast you will join your private guide to continue your privately guided tour of the West Coast. Throughout the day your guide will take you to Otira Gorge, through miners tunnels and much more on your way to Fox Glacier. This afternoon you will experience the “Grand Traverse”, a spectacular 50-minute scenic flight seeing experience that allows you to explore the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks from the air (weather permitting). During your flight you will view New Zealand’s highest mountains, ice and snowfields, including twelve major glaciers and fly over 200 kilometers of breathtaking alpine scenery, from beautiful turquoise-blue, glacier-fed lakes in the east, to great ice fields spilling down through the West Coast rainforests into the Tasman Sea below. Your pilot will give you a comprehensive commentary describing geographical and historical detail of activities and features including glacial action and the lifestyle of those working the large, high-country merino sheep farms. During your overnight stay in Fox Glacier you will be accommodated at a boutique hotel located in a magical setting against a backdrop of high alpine peaks.
Note: This tour is by small plane.
DAY 7: Private touring to Queenstown. B
Today your guide will continue your tour to Queenstown. You will depart Franz Joseph this morning and travel south before turning inland following the Haast Pass and through the stunning scenery of the Southern Alps. As you descend from the Alps you will pass two glacial lakes, Wanaka and Hawea. The landform will change completely when you drive through the Central Otago fruit growing and sheep farming areas before arriving in Queenstown. This drive should take between 8 & 9 hours. Your guide will be sure to break the day up by stopping for short walks and scenic views. When you arrive in Queenstown your guide will take you on a brief tour of the town before dropping you off at your accommodation. During your 3 nights stay in Queenstown you will be accommodated at a charming lodge overlooking the magnificent Lake Wakatipu and only three minutes from the center of Queenstown. You will be able to relax in the living room in front of an open log fire and marvel at the unobstructed views of the lake & mountains. Or take a book from the library and laze in the private courtyard whilst listening to a CD. As additional means of relaxation you may enjoy using the lodgees sauna, solarium and gymnasium.
DAY 8: At leisure in Queenstown. B
Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, with the stunning backdrop of the Southern Alps, Queenstown is an extremely beautiful city. Enjoy your day at leisure taking in the scenic delights of world famous Queenstown, adventure capital of New Zealand. You might enjoy a ride to the top of Bobs Peak in the gondola, a visit to the small animal zoo or living on the edge by experiencing one of Queenstowns many adrenaline-pumping activities, a rainbow trout fishing tour or a day at the spa. We will be happy to arrange your day to best suit your desires.
DAY 9: Half day Dart River Tour. B
Meet your tour guide at your hotel to begin your half-day Dart River excursion at Glenorchy. Dave, a high country stockman, and his dog Bee, will host a country barbecue and regale you with stories of this beautiful slice of New Zealand. Following lunch (at your own expense) you will board a jetboat to travel along the vast Dart River through a maze of channels, past sheer granite faces to some of the most spectacular scenery in this national park. You will learn about the local history, the geology & the flora & fauna. Stops will be made enroute to capture Kodak moments as they arise and to take a short, breathtakingly beautiful bush walk through a timeless beech forest. You have the remainder of the day at leisure to discover Queenstown.
DAY 10: Overnight Cruise on Doubtful Sound. B D
This morning you will join your private guide to transfer to Manapouri via Te Anau to discover Doubtful Sound, the spectacular glacial fjord that is 3 times longer and 10 times wider than Milford Sound. Your journey will take you on a short cruise across beautiful Lake Manapouri and coach trip to Wilmot Pass to board your 3-masted staysail schooner at Deep Cove. While cruising on Doubtful Sound you are likely to see fur seals and bottlenose dolphins and occasionally rare penguins. When your schooner anchors for the night passengers have plenty of time to board the glass bottomed tender to explore with the ships nature guide. You might prefer to explore the area on your own in kayaks.
DAY 11: Glowworm Cave Tour. Return to Queenstown. B
There will be time to explore a little more of Doubtful Sound before you return to Manapouri. When you disembark your driver/guide will meet you to continue your adventure while exploring the local glowworm caves by path and small punt. As you walk through the caves you will be able to observe rock formations that have been sculpted by rushing water. While gliding through the silent darkness to the glowworm grotto by punt you will experience the magic of the delicate incandescence of thousands of tiny glowworms giving the appearance of hundreds of stars shining brightly in the pitch-black sky. You will return to your accommodation in Queenstown this evening.
DAY 12: Fly to Auckland. B
You will be transferred to Queenstown Airport in time to board your onward flight to Auckland. When you arrive in Auckland you will be transferred to your accommodation. When you arrive in Auckland your private driver/guide will meet you to escort you on a brief city tour enroute to your hotel. During your 2 nights stay in Auckland you will be accommodated at a luxury hotel. Located on the end of Prince’s Wharf it offers guests beautiful views across Auckland’s inner harbor and is just a short stroll to any of the fantastic waterfront restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. It is close to the highlights of Auckland’s inner city life and the America’s Cup Village.
DAY 13: Private tour in Auckland with a Maori guide. B
An exciting day is in store for you today. This morning you will join your small group and Maori guide, Melissa, for a full-day tour of Auckland and its Maori heritage. Throughout the day you will visit the historical and sacred Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) where you will be told stories of the traditional history of that sacred mountain and its impact on the 5,000 strong Maori community. You will explore waterfalls and native bush in the Waitakere Ranges Rainforest; learn about traditional Maori plant medicine & how to weave flax. You will finish the day with a walk on the desolate Whatipu Beach- Aucklands wildest black sand beach.
DAY 14: Depart New Zealand. B
Today is your last day in The Land Of The Long White Cloud. You will be transferred to Auckland Airport in time to board your departing flight.
Classic New Zealand Discovery Tour includes the following:
- 12 nights boutique 4-5 star luxury accommodation in select rooms
- 1 night accommodation aboard Doubtful Sound Cruise
- Private airport transfers
- Your own private driver/guide for flexible touring based on your interests (as specified in your itinerary)
- Meals as specified in the itinerary
- Half day private city tour in Christchurch
- TranzAlpine Express
- Private touring to Hokitika and Punakaiki
- Private touring to Franz Josef
- Glacial flight
- Private touring to Queenstown
- Half day Dart River safari
- Overnight Doubtful Sound tour with private transfers
- Glowworm caves tour
- Half day private Auckland city tour
- Full day tour with a Maori guide in Auckland
- Full services of our New Zealand specialist office while traveling in New Zealand
Does not include
- Any airfare. Please talk to us about booking your flights as part of the Aussie Air Pass
- Use of hotel rooms before /after normal checkout times
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips & gratuities