New Zealand Experience with Homestay summer 2018
Tour Type: Country Explorer
Brochure Type: The Australia and New Zealand Book 2018
Set your course from the vibrant green jade of the south to the glistening glow worms of the north - your epic adventure through New Zealand's landscapes will take you on a vintage encounter with T.S.S. Earnslaw as she steams her way across Lake Wakatipu, culminating in spectacular glaciers and alpine landscapes.Sightseeing Highlights
- City tour in Auckland, Wellington, Blenheim and Dunedin.
- Cruise on Cook Strait, Lake Wakatipu and Milford Sound.
- View the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train.
- Visit the Tamaki Family Marae in Rotorua, historic Arrowtown and Franz Josef Glacier.
First class travel Highlights
14 hot buffet breakfasts
1 lunch (Be My Guest)
1 morning tea (Be My Guest)
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most regions or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
- Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
- Hand-picked Insider Experiences
- Optional Experiences and free time
- Porterage, local tips and charges
- Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
- An expert Travel Director and separate Driver, Driver Guide only on Mini-Stays
- All hotel charges and local taxes
- Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
- VIP entry to many sights
|Call 888-775-0288 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13698597|
|Day 1||Christchurch||Arrive Christchurch: Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand's Garden City. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Christchurch hotel. After you check-in, you may wish to stretch your legs and take a walk around Cathedral Square or visit the Re:Start Mall. This evening, meet your fellow passengers and Travel Director at a Welcome Reception and then enjoy dinner together at your hotel.Welcome Reception, Dinner|
|Day 2||Punakaiki||Christchurch - Punakaiki: First up this morning you will board the TranzAlpine train and head out through the Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass. 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. Then, journey up the West Coast to Punakaiki, where you'll view the Pancake Rocks and blow holes. Tonight dinner with wine is at your hotel, then fall asleep to the sound of the surf crashing on the beach, as we overnight in our eco-friendly resort.Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine|
|Day 3||Franz Josef||Punakaiki - Franz Josef: This morning travel down the West Coast to Hokitika. As well as being one of the few West Coast communities to embrace its coastal landscape, Hokitika struck it rich in the resources stakes. Here you will visit a pounamu factory (native greenstone or jade), for the chance to see a Local Specialist at work creating intricate pieces of jewellery and art. Maori tradition says it is bad luck to buy pounamu for yourself, so if you fancy a trinket of your own, make sure you have someone there to purchase it for you. Your 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 an Optional Experience 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. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine|
Scenic Franz Josef Glacier
|Day 4||Queenstown||Franz Josef - Queenstown (2 Nights): If weather conditions are unfavourable on Day 3, you will get another chance to fly up to the glaciers this morning. If you aren't flying, you might want to take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village. Then you will head out of Franz following an ancient greenstone trail. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and the grand sight of Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers. Travel over Haast Pass, marking a change from the rainforest marvel of the wild West Coast to the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes. From here you will travel further into Central Otago and view Lake Wanaka, where the shoreline is charmingly lined by poplars and willows, followed by the vivid blue waters of Lake Hawea. It is a day of gorgeous lakes, as after Hawea you will travel over to Cromwell, situated next to the sparkling pristine waters of Lake Dunstan. Stop in at a local orchard for a taste of some of the town's delicious stone fruit. Later, 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. Then it's on to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand!Buffet Breakfast|
|Day 5||Queenstown||Queenstown Sightseeing: Today your choice of sightseeing: ride the Shotover Jet, visit a high country farm, take the gondola to the Skyline Restaurant for dinner, visit Kiwi Birdlife or perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Regional Meal at the Colonel's Homestead. An entertaining farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life. Return to Queenstown to experience the festive nightlife.Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal|
|Day 6||Te Anau||Queenstown - Te Anau: Today is one of those days where you will want to have your camera battery charged, and ready to go. And you will probably want to have a spare battery or two on hand? just in case. From the beautiful sights of Queenstown, you will travel out to the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound. 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 these plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord. After leaving Milford Sound, you will journey through the Fiordland National Park and out to Te Anau on one of the most scenic roads you could hope for. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows. This evening after dinner with wine at your hotel you may consider an Optional Experience out across the lake to visit the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine|
|Day 7||Dunedin||Te Anau - Dunedin: You may want to take an early morning walk along the shoreline of the South Island's biggest lake, before you depart the township of Te Anau this morning. The heavily forested, rugged mountains of Fiordland National Park turn into rolling, grassy hills as you meander your way down to the city of Dunedin. Dunedin, also known as the Edinburgh of the South, 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. This afternoon your choice of sightseeing: tour Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle, ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway, take the Monarch Wildlife Cruise, or tour Speight's Brewery. Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine|
Scenic Southern Cross
|Day 8||Twizel||Dunedin - Twizel: This morning you have some free time in Dunedin. You may wish to roam around the beautiful grounds of New Zealand's first university, Otago. From Dunedin 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 1800s had to offer. Then you will journey along the Waitaki River, for a photo stop at the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. The Waitaki River marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago, and with its large catchment it is an ideal source of hydro-electric power. Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country at Twizel.Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine|
MacKenzie Country Inn
|Day 9||Christchurch||Twizel - Christchurch: You may wish to take an Optional Experience this morning. Take in Mount Cook National Park from the air on a scenic flight out over New Zealand's highest peak, the Southern Alps and on to Franz Josef and Fox Glacier. Sweeping views across the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo framed by a backdrop of rugged hills and snow-capped mountains provide stunning alpine photography opportunities. Later, you will visit the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd, and stop for a quick photo with the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie Country. Join us at a Be My Guest barbecue at Morelea Farm, a typical working sheep farm, where you'll get a taste of traditional New Zealand country life. You'll be welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor and their 600 acre garden. You'll have the chance to experience sheep shearing and farming demonstrations before enjoying a BBQ lunch, and wait until you try Angie's famous pavlova dessert! Listen to the family's story of growing up in rural New Zealand and their challenges of farming in the foothills of New Zealand's Southern Alps. This afternoon head through the South Canterbury country towns of Fairlie and Geraldine and out over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch. Enjoy a city sights tour and see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. 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! Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Christchurch's inner city.Buffet Breakfast, Be My Guest Dining|
|Day 10||Blenheim||Christchurch - Blenheim: Today you'll travel over the Canterbury Plains and the Lewis Pass, stopping at the small Alpine village of Murchison, known as the 'whitewater capital' of the country due to the many rivers in the region. Later, you'll enjoy stunning scenery of the Buller Gorge before arriving in the Marlborough region, world-famous for its Sauvignon Blancs, among other quality wines. Enjoy a brief orientation tour of Blenheim. Tonight enjoy a 3 course Regional Meal prepared from local produce and matched with wines of the Marlborough region, including selections from Villa Maria and Saint Clair wineries.Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal|
|Day 11||Wellington||Blenheim - Wellington: Enjoy a quiet start to the day. Your Travel Director and coach will join you on board the Interislander for a cruise across the Cook Strait, from the South Island to the North. Surprisingly it takes longer to cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound and up the Tory Channel than it does to cross the open ocean of Cook Strait. You will meander through a maze of arms and inlets out of Picton. Upon arrival, you will head out on a city sights tour of Wellington taking in New Zealand's parliament buildings, and a visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, for a Cultural Insight. Discover New Zealand's nature, history, art and heritage, and then enjoy some time at leisure. Indulge in Wellington's renowned coffee culture, or take a walk along Lambton Quay. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine|
James Cook Grand Chancellor
|Day 12||Rotorua||Wellington - Rotorua (2 Nights): After departing Wellington, this morning you'll travel north up the Kapiti Coast to the gorgeous historic villa, Shenandoah, for a Be My Guest morning tea. Join Simon and Claudia, who will show you their home, which includes a unique private collection of Harley Davidson motor cycles. Enjoy morning tea in their garden, then take a walk around the property to meet the animal members of the family. Journey north over the tussock plains of the Central Plateau through Tongariro National Park, view Lake Taupo and Huka Falls on your way to Rotorua. Tonight an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Family Marae. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi Regional Meal, steamed underground in the traditional way.Buffet Breakfast, Be My Guest Dining, Dinner with wine|
|Day 13||Rotorua||Rotorua Sightseeing: Today your choice of sightseeing: discover Maori culture at Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, unwind at the Polynesian Spa or maybe explore Rotorua and its three lakes in an amphibious WWll era Duck. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen sightseeing experiences.This evening you'll stay with a local family in a nearby country home. Your hosts will provide wonderful Kiwi hospitality that makes you really feel 'at home'. You'll enjoy a wholesome dinner and a cooked breakfast, comfortable accommodation and a tour to introduce you to the way of life.Buffet Breakfast|
|Day 14||Auckland||Rotorua - Auckland: This morning you will travel through the King Country region which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s to Waitomo Caves. See the amazing underground Glow Worm Grotto by boat and walk through the limestone caverns with a Local Specialist. This afternoon you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, past the lush farmlands of the Waikato Region. As you journey over the Bombay Hills, the landscape changes from green, grassy meadowlands to the edges of suburbia. As you make your way into the heart of New Zealand's largest city, you will stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and the Waitemata Harbour. Tonight's Farewell Dinner is at The Langham. Your personal degustation menu is made from the freshest, quality ingredients, including mouth-watering seafood and desserts.Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner|
|Day 15||DEPART AUCKLAND||Depart Auckland: Bid farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Auckland Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).Buffet Breakfast|
|- These prices are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.|
- All tour information is correct at time of tours going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking.
- For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Conditions page.
- Hotel Class Key: D: Deluxe SF: Superior First Class F: First Class