Welcome to New Zealand
Welcome to New Zealand! Take a transfer from Auckland Airport to your hotel. Perhaps spend the afternoon taking an introductory self guided tour around the Central Business District. Surrounded by two sparkling harbours, vibrant and multicultural Auckland is the country’s largest city and commercial hub.
Auckland has so much to offer - be that museums, harbour cruises, the nearby Waiheke Island (with a winery), or shopping! Spend the day exploring and make time to go up the Sky Tower to get a birds eye view of the city.
Paihia is an excellent base from which to explore the Bay of Islands for a couple of days. It has an extensive choice of accommodation and delicious dining options. From the town’s wharf you can arrange a trip to the outer islands, hook into a fishing expedition or catch a ferry to Russell. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds are just 5km from Paihia and a must for the cultural experience of New Zealand.
Take a day trip to Cape Reinga - the most northern point of New Zealand. It is also where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean in a spectacular swirl of currents.
Travel to Tauranga
Credit: Graeme Murray
Today set your own pace and make your way from Paihia to Tauranga.
Tauranga stretches along the edge of an attractive harbour and is easily explored on foot. There’s a well-developed café culture, lots of gift galleries and designer stores. As dusk falls, experience the nightlife on the ‘The Strand’ in Tauranga with live music, pubs and clubs. Spend a couple of days exploring Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.
So much to see and do in the Bay of Plenty. Here are some suggestions:
- Evening kayak trip to see the spectacular glowworms
- Guided scenic walk on Mount Maunganui
- Learn the growing process of growing kiwi fruit
- Take a trip to Moutohora or White Island
- Go Blokarting? not sure what it is - ask me!
Credit: James Heremaia
Rotorua is entertaining in any weather, at any time of the year. The city sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so there’s evidence of volcanic activity everywhere you look. Explore one or more of the geothermal parks and once you've seen the shooting geysers and steaming pools, wind back and enjoy a therapeutic natural spa.
Spend the day at a geothermal park to see the bubbling mud, steaming cliffs and impressive Geysers. Enjoy an evening meal of Hangi - traditional Maori food with singing, dancing and haka.
Explore native forest on a 1.2km network of ziplines, swing bridges and treetop platforms. Visit the Polynesian Spa for a relaxing soak in heated mineral water!
Travel to Wellington
Wellington is known for its vibrant arts scene, world class café and restaurant culture, and active outdoor lifestyle. A creative, cosmopolitan city, Wellington combines the sophistication of a capital with the warmth and personality of a village.
Ride the cable car and enjoy magical city views then visit the famous Te Papa Tongarewa Museum.
Take the ferry from Wellington to Picton. This ferry ride is scenic and beautiful - you won't want to be hanging out inside for much of this trip! Once in Picton continue onto Nelson.
Credit: Rob Suisted
Nelson is surrounded by three national parks each with their own distinct landscapes, there are many outdoor activities on offer including hiking, fly fishing, biking and kayaking. Unwind with a glass of craft beer, from one of the many craft beer breweries, in New Zealand’s sunniest region.
Today explore the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. This is a short drive from Nelson. Enjoy the day exploring this stunning region. Hiking, kayaking or cruising are all options available. In the evening return to Nelson or stay overnight in the park in a beautiful waterfront lodge.
Kaikoura is known as New Zealand’s whale-watching mecca, you can get up close with Giant Sperm Whales, Humpbacks, Pilot Whales and Orcas. Fresh seafood is in abundance in Kaikoura, including delicious crayfish. So today choose to go Whale Watching or see them from the air with a scenic flight. Make time to ensure you can go swimming with the playful fur seals.
Vibrant and every-changing, Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-largest city and is affectionately known as “The Garden City”. Christchurch is framed by the Pacific Ocean and the Southern Alps, and offers visitors a wide variety of attractions and activities.
Today’s journey will have you arriving at Lake Tekapo – a small township alongside a beautiful turquoise lake framed by the dramatic Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo belongs to the South Island’s 4,300 km International Dark Sky Reserve, and known as one of the best stargazing sites on earth. Once the sun goes down take a stargazing tour and if you are lucky, you may see the Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights.
Today make your way to the spectacular alpine village of Queenstown. This year-round lakeside resort is the gateway to experiencing a scenic region that offers a fantastic range of recreational and lifestyle activities to suit everyone. If your idea of fun is wine touring, you have it here. If your idea of fun is to jump off a bridge or out of an airplane, you have it here. If your idea of fun is to go hiking and biking, you have it here.
What are you going to do today? Speak to your agent for suggestions - there is just too many to list here!
Today drive from Queenstown to Wanaka and spend two nights in this beautiful lakeside resort town. The historic Cardrona Hotel is a good place to stop for lunch en route.
Jet boating, fishing, paragliding, hiking, mountain biking, vineyards, mazes - there is so much to see and do in Wanaka.
Fox and Franz Josef Glacier
Credit: Julian Apse
See a glacier up close and personal! These glacier's have changed a lot in the recent years, however still are amazing and provide a great stop in New Zealand. Glacier Country is best known for year round guided glacier walks and scenic flights by helicopter or fixed wing, with or without snow landings.
Get to know New Zealand’s national bird, the Kiwi, up close at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef.
Take a quick drive out to Lake Matheson and see the reflection of the Glacier in the lake. Great spot for early morning breakfast.
After breakfast, drive from the glaciers to Greymouth, in time to drop off your rental vehicle and catch the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch.
The TranzAlpine traverses the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape will take your breath away at every turn. It then continues through the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River, before reaching the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland. An outdoor viewing carriage will get you close to the fresh alpine air and spectacular scenery.
Goodbye New Zealand
Today you depart for home, but wanting to come back - because there is still so much to explore!