directions_busTours in New Zealand, Auckland, Christchurch, Te Anau, Queenstown, Dunedin, Wellington, Whangarei, Kaikoura, Haast, Hokitika & Punakaiki

SAVE NOW: See the best of New Zealand on an epic Auckland to Christchurch journey!

Book by 16 Dec 2021 to save $1000 per couple*

From the North Island to the snow-capped peaks of the South, you’ll explore every nook of New Zealand on this magnificent journey. Highlights include a heart-pounding haka welcome to Rotorua for a taste of Māori culture and a world-renowned train journey. Save $1000 per couple when you pay in full by 16 December 2021 for selected travel departures between 01 Jan 2022 - 31 Mar 2023.

FROM
$8,220PP
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DURATION
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16 nights
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • hotelAccommodation
  • restaurantSelected meals
  • local_barSelected drinks
  • local_activitySelected entry fees
  • airport_shuttleSelected transfers
  • personSolo traveller
  • free_breakfastDaily breakfast
  • directions_boatDay cruises
  • directions_busDay tours

About this holiday

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Slide 1 of 8
Ride the iconic TranzAlpine train

From the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South, from harbourside cities to glaciers and black beaches, New Zealand packs a lot into two islands. You’ll glimpse it all on this full New Zealand tour, not only big attractions – Huka Falls, Milford Sound – but small ones, like meeting farmers or savouring a thermal soak in Rotorua. And Maori culture pervades.

Tour Highlights:

  • Local Connection - Working dairy Red Barn is a dreamy destination for a country-style lunch – churn butter with the owners.
  • Cultural Immersion - From a traditional hangi meal to a cultural performance, Indigenous customs star at Tamaki Maori Village.
  • Insider Knowledge - Nature humbles in World Heritage listed Milford Sound, your cruise guide pointing out waterfalls alongside rare flora and fauna.
  • Sustainable Footprints - Support AAT Kings’ Sustainable Tourism Commitment to restore NZ’s largest inland island through the Pomona Island Charitable Trust.

Inclusions

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  • 16 nights accommodation
  • 16 Full Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch
  • 1 Be My Guest Lunch
  • 1 Be My Guest Afternoon Tea
  • 7 Dinners with wine
  • 3 Highlights Dinners
  • 1 Farewell Dinner
  • National Parks entrance fees
  • Arrival and Departure airport transfers
  • Travel by luxury coach
  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • Accommodation

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    Slide 1 of 3
    The Cordis Auckland Deluxe Room, New Zealand

    The accommodation you will enjoy on this tour includes:

    • The Cordis
    • Trinity Wharf Tauranga
    • Millennium Hotel, Rotorua
    • James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
    • Chateau Marlborough
    • Distinction Christchurch Hotel
    • MacKenzie Country Hotel
    • Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
    • Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas
    • Millennium Hotel, Queenstown
    • Scenic Hotel franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)
    • Punakaiki Resort
    • Distinction Christchurch Hotel

    Travel dates

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    Please note prices are subject to availability at time of booking and may change without notice.

    A SAVINGS OF UP TO $1000 per couple applies to selected travel dates between 01 Jan 2022 and 31 Mar 2023 when paid in full by 16 December 2021. Ask our team for details!

    • Twin share - from $8388 per person
    • Sole Use - from $10,870 per person
    • 12 - 28 Apr 2022
    • 6 - 22 Sep 2022
    • 13 - 29 Sep 2022
    • 20 Sep - 6 Oct 2022
    • Twin share - from $8220 per person
    • Sole Use - from $10,652 per person
    • 7 - 23 Jun 2022
    • Twin share - from $9060 per person
    • Sole Use - from $11,977 per person
    • 4 - 20 Oct 2022
    • 18 Oct - 3 Nov 2022
    • 25 Oct - 10 Nov 2022
    • 15 Nov - 1 Dec 2022
    • 20 Dec 2022 - 5 Jan 2023
    • 17 Jan - 2 Feb 2023
    • 31 Jan - 16 Feb 2023
    • 14 Feb - 2 Mar 2023
    • 28 Feb - 16 Mar 2023
    • 14 - 30 Mar 2023

    Call our local travel team on 1300 414 198 to secure your seat!

    Itinerary

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    Day 1: Welcome to Auckland

    Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s City of Sails. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Auckland hotel in your private car. Tonight, enjoy a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel.

    • Hotel: The Cordis, Auckland, 2 nights
    • Included Meals: Dinner with wine

    Day 2: Auckland

    Enjoy a relaxed start to the day before heading to the New Zealand Maritime Museum for an exclusive America’s Cup tour. Afterwards, enjoy an extended city sights tour of Auckland. Travel around Auckland’s waterfront from central city out to Mission Bay. Prepare your camera for the stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and the Waitemata. This afternoon is at leisure.

    • Included Meals: Breakfast

    Day 3: Auckland - Tauranga

    You’re invited to a Be My Guest lunch at the home of Lance and Bridgette O’Sullivan, New Zealand horse racing royalty. Enjoy a sumptuous country-style lunch at the Red Barn on their beautiful Waikato farm. Later, travel to the harbourside city of Tauranga, located in the Bay of Plenty region. A bridge over the harbour connects Tauranga to Mount Maunganui, where you’ll have an afternoon at leisure. Why not walk up the extinct namesake volcano with winding walking paths or relax on the main beach, this glorious stretch of golden sand has been voted the best in the country. Later, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

    • Hotel: Trinity Wharf Tauranga
    • Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest lunch and dinner with wine

    Day 4: Tauranga - Rotorua

    This morning we travel through Te Puke known as the kiwifruit capital of New Zealand with around 80% of all kiwifruit grown in New Zealand grown here. You’ll stop at Kiwifruit Country, a family owned business that is set amongst a 60-hectare orchard. Later, it's onto Rotorua for an orientation tour that takes in views of Lake Rotorua. This afternoon visit Te Puia and tour through the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. Tonight, an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Maori Village. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a cultural performance. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi meal, steamed underground in the traditional way.

    • Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua, 2 nights
    • Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight dinner

    Day 5:  Rotorua

    Today choose from a range of Optional sightseeing experiences. You could take a fascinating guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the world-famous Waitomo Glow worm Caves. Or explore Rotorua and its three lakes in an amphibious WWII era Duck. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking all your chosen optional experiences.

    • Included Meals: Breakfast

    Day 6: Rotorua -Wellington

    Say Haere Ra (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a little hidden spot, the turquoise torrent of rapids known as Huka Falls. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo is home to some of the best Trout fishing in the world. You will then journey south over the Central Plateau, New Zealand’s main volcanic area, and along the Kapiti Coast to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Tonight, you are free to dine as you wish.

    • Hotel: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
    • Included Meals: Breakfast

    Day 7:  Wellington - Blenheim

    Why not discover more of Wellington this morning? There’s time to visit the Parliament buildings and the Beehive, home to New Zealand’s politicians. Later, you’ll visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand and explore the fascinating exhibits at your leisure, including their unique Marae (Meeting House). This afternoon, we cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. The village of Picton is next, then it’s on to Blenheim for a city sightseeing tour. Tonight, enjoy a 3-course ‘highlight dinner’ prepared from local produce and matched with wines of the Marlborough region.

    • Hotel: Chateau Marlborough, Blenheim
    • Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight dinner

    Day 8:  Blenheim - Christchurch

    Travel to Kaikoura, where Sperm Whales can often be seen not far from shore (an optional whale-watching flight is available). Travel along the Pacific Ocean coast and across the colourful Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Christchurch’s inner city.

    • Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel
    • Included Meals: Breakfast

    Day 9:  Christchurch - Twizel

    This morning enjoy a Christchurch city sights tour, see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral. It is the world's only cathedral made substantially of cardboard! Next, travel over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to soak up some spectacular sightseeing. Visit Morelea, the home of Angie and Stan Taylor, for a be my guest afternoon tea and hear about a lifetime spent farming in New Zealand. Later, view the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd, and the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie Country. Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country in Twizel. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

    • Hotel: MacKenzie Country Hotel
    • Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest afternoon tea, dinner with wine

    Day 10: Twizel - Dunedin

    Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, which marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago, and with its large catchment it is an ideal source of hydro-electric power. The Benmore Dam holds back New Zealand’s largest artificial lake, and when the Benmore Power Station was opened in 1965 it was the largest power station in New Zealand. Even today, it is still the second largest, and generates enough electricity each year for about 298,000 average New Zealand homes. From the Waitaki Valley you will then travel through to the township of Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and its famous white limestone buildings. As well as shipping limestone to the bigger cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for construction of their Town Halls and various churches, Oamaru locals made sure that their own town represented the best in limestone building the mid-late 1800’s had to offer. This afternoon you will make your way down to the Southernmost New Zealand city, Dunedin. Also known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin has strong connections to its northern hemisphere sister city, even down to sharing many of the same street names – so take a wander down George Street, noting Dunedin’s Scottish ancestry. With the afternoon free, you may wish to see more of the region with an Optional Experience. Perhaps take a Wildlife Cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery – a New Zealand institution or journey out to the gorgeous Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

    • Hotel: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
    • Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

    Day 11: Dunedin - Te Anau

    This morning travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land. New Zealand is internationally known for its sheep farming, and these are sights many visitors to this country recognise as typically ‘New Zealand’. You are sure to find the perfect sheep photo here! As your journey continues, the rolling, grassy hills once again turn back into heavily forested, rugged mountains, and you meander your way up into the Fiordland National Park to the South Island’s largest lake and the town of Te Anau. This afternoon, you will hear and learn about the conservation efforts of the Pomona Island Charitable Trust which aims to restore the largest inland island in New Zealand to its natural state. Get up close to the islands on a boat ride on Lake Manapouri. Stop in some quiet and tranquil spots, to soak up the amazing surrounds, spot a few trout, and learn about the unique environment and fascinating history. This evening you have the opportunity to head out across the lake to the Glow Worm Caves for a tour (optional – at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

    • Hotel: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas
    • Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

    Day 12: Te Anau - Queenstown

    Today is one of those days where you will want to have your camera battery charged, and ready to go! After leaving Te Anau, you will journey through the Fiordland National Park and out to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic roads you could hope for. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows. You will stop at Mirror Lakes where, as the name suggests, you can see the stunning mountain scenery perfectly reflected in the waters of the lakes. Then on to the Homer Tunnel, man’s attempt to master the sheer rocky ranges, still left rough-hewn around the edges. As you emerge out the other side of the tunnel, you are presented with one of the world’s most dramatic alpine drives, down through the Cleddau Valley. You will have a stop at the Chasm, where the roaring Cleddau River has carved its way through solid rock, and then it’s on to Milford Sound, where you will cruise the waters of this natural wonder. Your cruise meanders down the sound, taking in the Bowen and Stirling Falls as they plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord. From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel on to the beautiful sights of Queenstown. An orientation tour skirting around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, takes you into the city centre.

    • Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 2 nights
    • Included Meals: Breakfast

    Day 13:  Queenstown

    Explore Queenstown your way, choose from a range of optional sightseeing experiences. You could choose to ride the Shotover Jet, take a gondola to Bob’s Peak. Perhaps take a minibus tour through spectacular Skippers Canyon or immerse yourself among the boutique vineyards and spectacular scenery of Central Otago on a Boutique Wine tour. After a day of activity, enjoy a peaceful evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue highlight dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. Then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing a glimpse into high-country farm life. On the cruise back to Queenstown, join a sing-along or a dance across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw.

    • Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight dinner

    Day 14: Queenstown - Franz Josef

    This morning you will leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind, and begin the passage through Central Otago and out to Westland. On the way out of the Queenstown region, you will stop and visit the faithfully restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. As you amble down the beautiful tree-lined avenues, past the 19th century wooden buildings, you will feel like you have stepped into a movie set. From here you will travel over to Cromwell, situated next to the sparkling pristine waters of Lake Dunstan, where you will stop in at a local orchard for a taste of some of the town’s delicious stone fruit. It is a day of gorgeous lakes, as after Dunstan, you will travel further into Central Otago and view the vivid blue waters of Lake Hawea, followed by Lake Wanaka, where the shoreline is charmingly lined by poplars and willows. Following an ancient greenstone trail, you will travel over Haast Pass, marking a change from the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes, to the rainforest marvel of the wild West Coast. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and the grand sight of Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers. Our final destination for today is the extraordinary rivers of ice that make up Franz Josef Glacier. You may want to get up close and personal with the glaciers on a helicopter flight. Your flight will hover over the snow face and may land high up in the valley so that you can walk across the ice fall – subject to weather conditions (Optional Experience, own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

    • Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)
    • Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

    Day 15: Franz Josef - Punakaiki

    If weather conditions are unfavourable on Day 12, you will get another chance to fly up to the glaciers this morning or you might want to take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village. Then it’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway, followed by a visit to Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort, right on the waterfront. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel, while watching the surf thundering at your doorstep!

  • Hotel: Punakaiki Resort
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine
  • Day 16: Punakaiki - Christchurch

    Enjoy a leisurely start this morning before you travel to Greymouth, here you will join a brewery experience at Monteith’s Brewery where you will be guided through the traditions and heritage of this national icon. You will get to experience and taste ever changing and innovative brews before enjoying a pub style lunch. Later you will board the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch city. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914 and is rated as one of the world’s most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. This evening join your AAT Kings Travel Director and Driver, and your new-found friends for a farewell dinner with wine.

  • Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel
  • Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell dinner
  • Day 17:  Farewell from Christchurch

    Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday concludes after breakfast.

    • Included Meals: Breakfast

    Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.

    Questions

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    Flight Information:

    •  Day 1 - Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Auckland Airport
    •  Day 17 – Flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport

    Fitness Requirements:

    • Low level of fitness required

    What to Bring:

    • Comfortable walking shoes
    • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
    • Water bottle
    • Camera
    • Jacket in cooler months
    Couldn't find an answer to your question? Ask us!

    Fine print

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    Travel at 60 and supplier booking conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only.

    Pay Final payment by 16 Dec 2021 to receive discounted price.

    Authentic COVID-19 vaccination certificate (electronic or paper showing date and time of vaccination(s)) with final or booster dose given at least 15 days before departing is required for this trip. The wellbeing of our guests is our top priority. That’s why we’ve updated our vaccination policy to require all guests traveling with us through December 31, 2022 be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, which may include a booster shot to keep it current and valid. 

    * Save up to $1,000 per couple ($500 per person) on selected AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys tours/holidays. Must be booked and paid in full by 16 Dec 2021. Offer valid for sale till 16 Dec 2021 for select travel departures from 01 Jan 2022 - 31 Mar 2023. Not combinable with any other discount. Discounts are subject to availability (for select tours and departures), limited seats, offer may be withdrawn at any time without notice. For new bookings only. Excludes group and charter bookings. Other standard booking conditions apply. Please quote WILDAWAITSf at the time of booking. Updated 19 Oct 2021.