16 Day - Highlights of New Zealand Tour

Hiking in Abel Tasman National Park

This 16 day Highlights tour explores the top locations and attractions on both the North and South Islands. Starting in Christchurch visit the deep south and Fiordland National Park, Queenstown, the West Coast Glaciers before crossing the Southern Alps on board the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. Head north crossing the Cook Strait to the capital city of Wellington before 2 nights in the cultural and thermal wonderland of Rotorua. Another 2 nights in the tropical Bay of Islands before returning to the Auckland, the City of Sails. A true highlights of New Zealand tour.

Day 1: Homeport - Christchurch (D)

Christchurch Cathedral

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand Having cleared customs & immigration formalities, you will be met by our representative & transferred by limousine to your city hotel. Christchurch is the nation’s second largest city and because of its extensive gardens and the Avon River meandering though, it is regarded as the most English of New Zealand cities “The Garden City”. Residents and visitors alike love the city's vibrant nightlife, award-winning restaurants and cafes, fashion precincts, heritage architecture and of course its gardens and wide open spaces for which the city is internationally renowned. This is a city of contrasts, a place where its residents continue to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment it is world-renowned for. It really is the 'city that shines'. Some sightseeing and activity options available:

One Nights Accommodation at The George, Christchurch.

Day 2: Christchurch - Mt Cook (B,D)

Southern Alps - Highlights of New Zealand tour

After a city tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, visit The Church of the Good Shepherd and view the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available (time and weather permitting) to enjoy a scenic flight (optional) over the Southern Alps.

One nights Accommodation at The Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook.

Day 3: Mt Cook - Dunedin (B,S,D)

New Zealand historic town Dunedin

Depart Mount Cook and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. After a true Victorian welcome, enjoy an informative update on this unique Precinct where several amazing buildings and shops are on show. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy a city sights tour followed by some free time.

One Nights Accommodation at Scenic Hotel Southern Cross.

Day 4: Dunedin - Te Anau (B,D)

Lake Te Anau New Zealand

This morning travel out along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Visit Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens and view the superb collection of flowers, followed by a delightful morning tea. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland and your overnight stay. Tonight you may like to visit the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves (optional).

One Nights Accommodation at the Distinction Te Anau and Villas.

Day 5: Milford Sound Cruise and on to Queenstown (B,L)

Cruise on Doubtful Sounds, New Zealand

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Two Nights Accommodation at the Millennium Hotel, Queenstown.

Day 6: Queenstown (Free Day) (B,SD)

Highlights tour Queenstown

Enjoy a free day today to experience this magnificent resort. Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown boasts adventure & leisure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration. There are numerous activities from which to choose and your Tour Host will be pleased to offer advice and help you in your selection. Here is a selection of the many options available:

This evening we experience the vintage TSS Earnslaw and cruise over stunning Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Once we arrive you can sit back and relax whilst you're treated to the best of New Zealand's high country cuisine in the Colonel's Homestead. Once everyone is full, enjoy a short farm tour before boarding the TSS Earnslaw as we cruise back to Queenstown.

Day 7: Queenstown – Arrowtown - Fox Glacier (B,D)

New Zealand glaciers

Travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the mighty West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel to Fox Glacier. Time is available (weather permitting) to experience a scenic flight (optional) over the spectacular glaciers. Sightseeing and activity options (If time allows) include:

One Night Accommodation at the Distinction, Fox Glacier.

Day 8: Tranz Alpine Train to Christchurch (B,D)

The TranzAlpine train travels from Christchurch to Greymouth

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue into Arthur’s Pass and board The TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to the elegant city of Christchurch. On arrival your coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

One Nights Accommodation at The George, Christchurch.

Day 9: Christchurch - Picton - Wellington (B,D)

New Zealand ferry

Travel along the East Coast to the fishing village of Kaikoura. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you travel through Marlborough Country, famous for its food and wine. Continue to Picton, where you board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington.

Two Nights Accommodation at the InterContinental, Wellington

Day 10: Wellington (B)

Wellington highlights tours

An extensive city sights tour in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. A highlight will be a guided tour of Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum, with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views.  This afternoon enjoy free time at leisure this afternoon. Sightseeing and activity options:

Day 11: Wellington - Taupo - Rotorua (B,D)

Lake Taupo adventure

Depart Wellington and view the snow capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as you travel to Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

Two Nights Accommodation at the Regent of Rotorua.

Dar 12: Rotorua (B,SD)

Rotorua geysers

Today begins with a Gondola ride to Skyrides Restaurant where a buffet breakfast and spectacular views are on offer. Travel to the Agrodome where you see performing sheep, a shearing display and sheep dog trial. Next, we visit Paradise Valley Springs. A wonderful wildlife park that is home to a variety of animals from rainbow trout through to lions!

Enjoy some free time this afternoon before travelling out to see the boiling mud pools and awesome Geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert. Sightseeing and activity options available:

Day 13: Rotorua - Auckland - Bay of Islands (B,D)

Bay of Islands tours

This morning depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Continue via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British.

Two Nights accommodation at the Scenic Hotel, Bay of Islands.

Day 14: Cruise the Bay of Islands (B,D)

Auckland harbour cruise

This morning cruise through the beautiful Bay of Islands on board a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins before returning via Russell to Paihia for a free afternoon. A range of optional activities are available or you may choose to relax and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront. Some alternative sightseeing and activity options available are:

Day 15: Bay of Islands - Auckland (B,SD)

Auckland harbour by night

Depart the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland for a city sights tour. This evening you will be treated to a special farewell dinner with your new friends. Sightseeing and activity options available:

One Nights Accommodation at the Crowne Plaza, Auckland.

Day 16: Auckland - Homeport (B)

New Zealand wine and fine dining

Time to say goodbye. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.


Greenstone maori tiki

Please take the time to view our “Virtual Tour” for the 16 Day Highlights of New Zealand Tour or download/print the detailed “Tour Dossier”. Both can be found on the right hand column of this page. Alternatively you can simply contact us. For a comprehensive list of all activities available in each location featured in this tour, please refer to the "Destination Guide" found at the top of this page.

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