The Best of New Zealand

Marvel at the fjords, lakes and towering mountains of the North Island, go wine-tasting by bike around Hawke’s Bay and spot dolphins and whales off Wellington’s rugged coastline

 

 

17.1

Day 1 & 2: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand

Upon arrival at Auckland Airport you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your accommodation, Crowne Plaza Hotel.

In the afternoon you will be picked up from your accommodation and taken on a sightseeing tour of Auckland, travelling along the waterfront to Westhaven Marina, stopping to take photos of the enormous Auckland Harbour Bridge, enjoying panoramic views of the city and harbour from Bastion Point. Afterwards you will then continue to Parnell Village, which contains a fascinating selection of colonial-style shops, boutiques, craft shops and arcades, before returning to the hotel. In the evening you can choose from Auckland’s wide and diverse range of restaurants for dinner
Whilst in Auckland you will also enjoy a trip to the Waitakere Ranges, going on a short hike into the lush rain forest. Afterwards you’ll continue on to the wide, black sand beaches of the West Coast, with dramatic coastal views en-route. The afternoon is free to explore Auckland at leisure, with a visit to the Maritime Museum strongly recommended.

 

 

17.2

Info: Crowne Plaza Hotel & Auckland

Relax and rejuvenate in one of Crowne Plaza’s Superior Rooms, Club Rooms or Suites. Crowne Plaza Club guests enjoy 24 hour access to the Club Lounge with spectacular views over Auckland Harbour and great benefits like complimentary gourmet continental breakfast, evening drinks, canapés and all day refreshments. Being in the heart of the business district means that all of Auckland’s top attractions are only a short walk away.

Auckland’s location is almost idyllic, being surrounded by the sea, lakes, wonderful beaches, volcanoes, rainforest and pristine national parks. Being the largest metropolitan area in the country means that Auckland is modern, vibrant and is full of things to do and see. Head down to Queen Street for shopping and fine-dining, visit the iconic Sky Tower or stop for a drink in one of Viaduct Harbour’s chic bars. The nearest beach, Mission Bay, is only 15 minutes from the centre and has a lovely beach-side promenade.

 

 

17.3

Day 3 & 4: Novotel Lakeside, Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand

After breakfast you can pick up your rental car and drive to Rotorua via the Waitomo Caves, which consist of a series of elaborate cave formations and underground rivers, also being a sacred Maori site. On arrival in Rotorua, you will check into your accommodation, Novotel Lakeside.

Over the next few days you will experience a traditional Māori dinner and dance show, a tour of the city including a visit to the Te Puia complex for a guided tour of the Maori Arts and Crafts Centre and a trip to the Thermal Valley, an area of high volcanic activity, where you will see pools of bubbling mud, spouting geysers, silica terraces and steam pouring out of vents at your feet. You can also visit Rainbow Springs for a guided tour of the native flora and fauna on display, including 135 different native trees, the Tuatara reptile and a wide variety of New Zealand’s native birds, such as the kiwi and harrier hawk.

 

 

17.4

Info: Novotel Lakeside & Rotorua

All 199 accommodation rooms have individually controlled air-conditioning and views of the magnificent Lake Rotorua or Rotorua city. The contemporary and modern décor enhance the room ambience, with its wood furnishings and natural tones, to make your stay enjoyable. Accommodation rooms include Novotel guest rooms, suites, and the prestigious Royal Suite.

Rotorua is a beautiful city set on the edge of an ancient, water-filled caldera. The city advertises itsels an adventure playground with a plethora of activities to enjoy, such as mountain-biking, fishing, golf, hiking trails and some fascinating galleries and museums. It is also surrounded by some very unique natural areas, such as the volcanic Thermal Valley and acres or cloud forest. There is also an agricultural theme park, called Agrodome, and an excellent wildlife park at Valley Springs.

 

 

17.5

Day 5: The Crown Hotel, Hawke’s Bay, North Island, New Zealand

In the morning drive to the renowned wine-country of Hawke’s Bay, stopping at Lake Taupo en-route, New Zealand’s largest lake. On arrival you will check-into your accommodation, The Crown Hotel, with the rest of the day at leisure.

The next day enjoy a cycling trip through the vineyards of this lovely area, stopping at at up to seven wineries through out the day, all offering wine-tasting and outdoor seating, allowing you to enjoy the view. There is also an excellent golf course near the hotel and some lovely beaches.

 

 

17.6

Day 7 & 8: Holiday Inn, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand

After breakfast, you will depart for Wellington, where you will check-in to your accommodation, Holiday Inn.

Spend the next two days at leisure, visiting one of Wellington’s excellent wildlife reserves, the parliament buildings, numerous shopping centres and Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum.

 

 

17.7

Info: Wellington

Wellington is the southern-most capital city in the world and was recently rated by Lonely Planet as one of the top cities to visit in the world. As a capital, and a large, city, there are numerous world-class restaurants, theatres, shops, parks and other attractions to visit around the city. In particular the parliament buildings and Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, are worth a visit.The Karori Sanctuary, a unique, protected natural area that is home to some of New Zealand’s rarest and most endangered wildlife, is a great day trip. A Seal Coast Safari to visit and walk around a colony of fur seals is another excellent tourist attraction. Kapiti Island is another internationally-famed nature reserve not far from the city which has some stunning views and diverse wildlife.

 

 

17.8

Day 9 & 10: Heritage Christchurch, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand

After breakfast, you will drive to the airport and return your hire car before checking-in for your flight to Christchurch. On arrival in Christchurch, you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your accommodation, Heritage Christchurch, with an orientation tour of the city en-route. You will also stop at the International Antarctic Centre, effectively an interactive science park, where you can experience simulated Antarctic temperatures and see penguins up close in their enclosure within the centre.

On your second day in Christchurch you will be driven to the old French whaling depot of Akaroa, where you can sample some lovely cheese by the shoreline. After lunch you will go on a two-hour cruise to explore the harbour area and to see dolphins, penguins and seals.

 

 

17.9

Info: Christchurch

After the devastating earthquake in 2011, Christchurch has mostly recovered, with tourism back in full-swing and most tourist attractions rebuilt or renovated. Whilst in the city you can visit Cathedral Square, the Town Hall, River Avon, Hagley Park and many landscaped parks and suburbs within the city. Also worth a visit is the ‘Sign of the Takahe’, an old stone roadhouse overlooking Christchurch with magnificent panoramic views of the Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains.

 

 

17.10

Day 11 & 12: High Peaks Hotel, Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

After breakfast, you will walk to Christchurch Train Station, where you will catch the TranzAlpine Express to Greymouth, crossing the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains before ascending through the Southern Alps, providing you with spectacular views of the mountains and rivers en-route. On arrival in Greymouth, you will collect your new rental vehicle and pass through the Westland National Park, with some of New Zealand’s most spectacular alpine country, on your way to Fox Glacier, where you will check-in to your accommodation, High Peaks Hotel.

On your second day you will be taken on a heli-hike trip, where a helicopter will fly you through the mountains to Fox Glacier, allowing you to see amazing ice caves and arches above the glacier as you hike along the top of it.

 

 

17.11

Info: Fox Glacier & Westland Tai Poutini National Park

Fox Glacier is located in the famous Westland Tai Poutini National Park, which contains numerous fjords, a spectacular mountain range and lovely alpine blue lakes. The area boasts some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, with nature at its most awe-inspiring and beautiful. Whilst in Fox Glacier, a trip to Lake Matheson is strongly recommended. The lake is about a 5-minute drive from Fox Glacier and the viewing platform is about an hours walk around the lake from the car park. If the weather is clear, the sunset views of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman reflected in the mirror-flat lake are incredible.

 

 

17.12

Day 13-15: Mercure Grand St. Moritz, Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand

After breakfast you will depart for Queenstown, with spectacular views of the coast and Haast Pass, with its stunning waterfalls, en-route. On arrival, you will check-in to Mercure Grand St. Moritz and have the rest of the day at leisure.

On your second day you will be transferred to Milford Sound, with amazing views of the coast, lakes, mountains and forests en-route. On arrival at Milford Sound, you will board a cruise boat to tour the sound, allowing you to admire one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Lunch will be provided on the boat, with all the food locally produced. On your last full day you will be met in Queenstown by a Dart River Guide and be transferred to Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu, where you will take a short walk through ancient forests of the Mount Aspiring National Park to Chinaman’s Bluff. At this point, guests will board a jet boat for an exhilirating, scenic trip up the Dart River into the pristine country of the Mount Aspiring National Park.

 

 

17.13

Info: Mercure Grande St. Moritz & Queenstown

Idyllically situated in the heart of Queenstown and with wonderful views overlooking Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables mountain range, Hotel St Moritz embodies the spirit of its location. Blending understated luxury with warmth, and genuine hospitality, Hotel St Moritz offers a choice of rooms and suites, each handsomely appointed to cleverly blend timeless classics with modern essentials. Hotel St Moritz features Lombardi Restaurant, Bar and Library, a gymnasium, and hot tub garden.

Queenstown is a year round resort, with gorgeous lakes to swim in and virgin forests to hike in during summer, and excellent skiing, kayaking and fresh mountain air during the rest of the year. As a resort boasting to be full of activities and countless places to visit, there is something for every visitor here. Wine-tasting, hiking, biking, skiing, paragliding, golf, bungee-jumping and canyoning area all available.

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