13 nights |
from $4790 per person*
TOUR CODE: LCCA/LAAC
One country, two islands, two weeks, countless highs… this could well be the ultimate New Zealand guided tour. Standouts include gem-like Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere, cruise through World Heritage listed Milford Sound/Piopiotahi, Waitomo Caves tours to spot glowworms, and expeditions across turquoise lakes. We haven’t even mentioned the atmospheric towns and cities yet – tours in Queenstown, Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch all beckon.
Flights are not included in the tour price; please call our team for the current flight prices. Any flights referred to in the itinerary are an additional expense; these are the suggested group flights:
2 October 2023; 23 October 2023; 20 November 2023; 27 November 2023; 11 December 2023 – from $4790/person based on double occupancy
1 January 2024; 8 January 2024; 15 January 2024; 29 January 2024; 5 February 2024; 12 February 2024; 19 February 2024; 26 February 2024; 4 March 2024; 11 March 2024 – from $4935/person based on double occupancy
All trips include 24-hour emergency travel assistance.
August 31, 2023
Valid for travel between:
2 October 2023; 23 October 2023; 20 November 2023; 27 November 2023; 11 December 2023;
Additional dates, gateway cities and airlines may be available.
Need some help? Contact us here.
Itinerary also operates in reverse (New Zealand Marvel, Tour Code: LCCA) from Auckland to Christchurch. Please ask for departure dates & details.
There are plenty of reasons to arrive in New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’ early, among them the astonishing transformation that has reinvigorated streets since the devastating 2010/11 earthquakes. Explore at your leisure. We recommend jumping aboard the Christchurch Tram – the conductors are a hoot – to glimpse the mind-bending Transitional Cathedral, made largely of cardboard, and Turanga, the gold-clad central library. Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch
When the journey matters just as much as the destination, jump aboard the TranzAlpine train. This scenic spectacular – the start of your tour of the South Island of New Zealand – takes you through tunnels and over viaducts, with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys along the way. Arriving in Hokitika, your outlook is all pounamu (native greenstone or jade). In Māori tradition, it’s bad luck to buy this sacred stone for yourself; flutter your eyelids at the one you love. Around the corner is Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere, compact of snow and ice that shimmers like a gem. Get some perspective on an optional Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere flight tour over this natural wonder – if the weather behaves, you may even get to land on it. Now that’s cool. Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing) Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
If you thought the scenery yesterday was dramatic, wait until you hit the Haast Pass today: over the saddle, the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes spreads before you in a patchwork of blues and greens. First up there’s lovely Lake Wanaka, with its Instagrammable shoreline of poplars and willows. Then Lake Hawea – the colour of an Ice Mint – and Lake Dunstan, where you’ll pause to refuel on flavour-packed stone fruits. As tempting as it is to linger in Arrowtown’s movie-set-like streets, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables await in Queenstown. Hotel: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown , 2 nights Included Meals: Breakfast
Today, choose your own adventure – there are plenty to be had. Feel the wind in your hair on the high-octane Shotover Jet, perhaps. Or discover some of New Zealand’s feathered friends at a wildlife centre. Wine aficionado? Sip your way through surrounding vineyards. Wherever you wander, make sure you’re back in time to glide across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue dinner and a little late-night dancing. Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner
There are some travel days that defy the imagination. Thankfully, you don’t have to dream about all the natural highs in today’s itinerary – they’re about to become a reality. Your route from the Mirror Lakes through the Cleddau Valley is the entrée to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi, a cavernous wonderland where waterfalls thunder from ancient escarpments into inky water where dolphins play. You’ll likely spot them on your Milford Sound/Piopiotahi cruise. It’s all part of World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, an intoxicating union of beech forests, alluvial flats, meadows and gin-clear rivers, carving up the countryside. This is your backdrop all the way to Te Anau. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more magical, glow worm-filled grottoes make an appearance. We highly recommend a visit. Hotel: Distinction Luxmore Hotel Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
On the banks of the South Island’s biggest lake, Te Anau turns on the sunrise charms. Enjoy a morning stroll before swapping the forested slopes of Fiordland for the rolling green hills of the Edinburgh of the South. Welcome to Dunedin, a beguiling union of both Māori and Scottish heritage (it was colonised by Scots in the 19th century). While away the afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speights Brewery (a national institution). Or venture further afield to discover the wildlife that thrives in this pretty pocket of the country – fur seals and penguins, anyone? Hotel: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City Included Meals: Breakfast
If you didn’t get a taste for Dunedin’s Scottish heritage yesterday, you surely will today. Explore grand Larnach Castle at your leisure – this is, after all, the only one of its kind in the country – then wander the manicured grounds of Otago University or the city’s main George Street for an additional reminder of the city’s ties to Europe. If you’ve ever wanted to see New Zealand’s oldest public gardens, today you’re in luck with a visit to Oamaru, known for its stately tree-lined streets and limestone buildings. Hotel: Heritage Gateway Hotel Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Your outlook this morning is the Canterbury Plains: the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, hemmed by snow-capped mountains and atmospheric towns. If it seems familiar, that’s because it regularly stars on postcards. Take it in on an optional scenic flight for added perspective of the Southern Alps and on to Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Back on the ground, it’s time to become reacquainted on a Christchurch tour, your in-the-know guide pointing out the city’s miraculous transformation over the last decade. Local spirit is strong here. Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Forget powdery white sand – once you’ve seen the dramatic black Kaikoura cove, you’ll be spoilt for all future beach-bashing. Bonus points if you spot a sea lion or sperm whale frolicking offshore; a sighting is practically guaranteed if you opt for an aerial tour over the coastline. Your onward route skirts the pink-tinged crystallization ponds of the Lake Grassmere Salt Works, before arriving in the pretty seaside fishing village of Picton. Hotel: Picton Beachcomber Inn Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Cruising through Queen Charlotte Sound, up the Tory Channel and across Cook Strait is a journey as scenic as it is serene. Today’s chariot, the Interislander, transports you from the South Island to the North, navigating a maze of arms and inlets into New Zealand’s cool little capital of Wellington. We hope you got some rest on your journey, because you’ll need all your stamina to explore the award-winning (and eye-opening) Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand on a Wellington tour. Ask your Travel Director for tips on where to sip wine and coffee tonight – this city is known for its uber-cool cafes, restaurants and bars. Hotel: Travelodge Wellington Included Meals: Breakfast
Follow the lead of locals along the Kapiti Coast, the summer playground of Wellingtonians – for good reason. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, the largest (and perhaps bluest) of its kind in the country. It’s a landscape almost as otherworldly as Rotorua, where mud pops and jettisons from bubbling geysers, and steam rushes skywards from cracks in the Earth. Tonight, delve deep into Maori culture and traditions at Te Puia. Your dinner, a hangi cooked underground, is served while you overlook the spectacular geothermal valley. The highlight is a Māori cultural performance in the beautifully carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua. Hotel: Ibis Rotorua Hotel, 2 nights Included Meals: Breakfast
Sometimes, the best adventures are those that you have when you least expect them. Like wandering into Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa and falling into a few hours of bliss while soaking in steamy thermal springs. Who knew nature was this relaxing? Or discovering endangered birds on a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Hobbit fans will want to take advantage of the opportunity to tour the sights featured in The Lord of the Rings movies at Hobbiton. These beautiful landscapes are not only a bucket list tour for Hobbit fans, but a gorgeous countryside getaway. Hotel: Ibis Rotorua Hotel Included Meals: Breakfast
Before you reach your final destination, get set to glow on a tour through the Waikato River’s Waitomo Caves. This place is radiant – quite literally. While cruising cavernous limestone waterways, your route is cast in a magical light by thousands of glowworms. Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, appears on the horizon, dazzling with not one, but two harbours. And plenty of yachts to decorate both, as you’ll see from the lookout at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Hotel: Holiday Inn Express. Included Meals: Breakfast, dinner
The ‘City of Sails’ flutters as if waving goodbye as you make your way home – with two weeks’ worth of extra baggage (all that wine!) and an innumerable number of memories. Included Meals: Breakfast
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*Terms & Conditions: Pricing is per person based on double occupancy. All prices are in US dollars and correct at time of posting for travel during specified travel dates. Single supplements, black-out dates and seasonal supplements may apply. Airfare is not included unless indicated. Prices may differ when you book your travel and are not guaranteed until full payment is received. Airline and hotels frequently change their prices as a result of fare increases and/or fuel surcharges. Prices may increase before full payment for those and other reasons. Package is not combinable with any other offer or discounted vacation package. After full payment, prices are guaranteed except only due to an increase in government-imposed taxes or fees. By paying your deposit, you affirmatively agree to the possibility of such increases. Package is strictly subject to availability, not retroactive and not combinable with any other special or vacation package offer. Minimum night stays or required room types may apply. All prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Please call for our current prices. CST#2001136-20