On arrival into Auckland you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative who will transfer you to your hotel.
Stay at Grand Millennium Hotel
Auckland - Bay of Islands
Day 2: Depart Auckland and travel to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum in Matakohe then pass through Whangarei to Paihia. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British.
Day 3: Today is a free day. Choose from the many optional activities available, including the Cape Reinga coach trip via Ninety Mile Beach or a spectacular scenic flight. This evening is also free and you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).
Stay at Scenic Hotel, Bay of Islands (2 nights).
Bay of Islands - Auckland
This morning travel aboard a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins before returning to Pahia. Farewell the Bay of Islands and drive south via Whangarei, Wellsford and Warkworth to Auckland’s north shore. This afternoon enjoy time at leisure. Why not take a stroll to the nearby beach for views of Rangitoto Island, Auckland Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.
Stay at Spencer on Byron.
Auckland - Rotorua
Day 5: This morning enjoy a city sights tour of Auckland before travelling to Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a nostalgic 15 kilometre trip back in time on a beautifully restored vintage steam train. Visit the restoration workshop and on return to Glenbrook Station, morning tea will be served. Depart Glenbrook and travel through magnificent countryside of rolling hills and green pastures famous for dairying. Continue to Rotorua to visit Paradise Valley Springs, a superb wildlife park where you can hand feed rainbow trout.
Day 6: Today begins with a Gondola ride to Cableway 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. Enjoy some free time before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert.
Stay at Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (Superior Room for 2 nights)
Rotorua - Wellington
Day 7: Travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the spectacular Huka Falls. Continue to Lake Taupo for some free time to enjoy this scenic lakeside town. Travel via the Tongariro National Park and then continue south to the capital city of Wellington.
Day 8: A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free.
Stay at Hotel James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (2 nights)
Wellington - Blenheim
This morning board the Interislander Ferry, cross Cook Strait and travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Travel to Blenheim, the heart of wine-growing Marlborough. This afternoon a fascinating guided tour of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre will transport you from WWI to WWII featuring an extensive collection of aircraft belonging to Sir Peter Jackson.
Stay at Scenic Hotel Marlborough or Chateau Marlborough
Blenheim - Christchurch
Today’s travel takes you through the alpine village of St Arnaud, the enchanting beech Maruia Forest and the scenic Lewis Pass. Continue south to the Garden City of Christchurch for an informative city tour.
Stay at Quality Hotel Elms
Christchurch - Arthur’s Pass - Franz Josef
This morning board the TranzAlpine, one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before arriving at Franz Josef where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.
Stay at Scenic Hotel, Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)
Franz Josef - Queenstown
Day 12: See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into picturesque Queenstown, a year round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening is free to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.
Day 13: Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown. Your Tour Guide and Coach Captain are available to assist with the many options available. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back and relax, as you are treated to the best of New Zealand’s high country cuisine in the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano on your return cruise.
Stay at Copthorne Hotel and Resort Lakefront (2 nights)
Queenstown - Milford Sound Overnight Cruise
This morning travel to Arrowtown and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via Te Anau to Milford Sound and board the Milford Mariner for your amazing overnight cruise. There is plenty of time to view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife – you’re bound to encounter seals and if you’re lucky maybe dolphins and penguins. As evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared freshly by the onboard chef.
Overnight Milford Mariner.
Milford Sound - Te Anau
Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea (weather permitting) to explore more of the fiord. Return back to the wharf to meet your coach and enjoy the scenic drive to Te Anau. This afternoon enjoy a cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit the Glow Worm Caves where you will admire the incredible limestone caverns, waterfalls and mystery of the Glow Worm Grotto.
Stay at Hotel Distinction Luxmore (Deluxe Room)
Te Anau - Dunedin
Day 16: Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin. After time for lunch board the Silver Fern railcar for a journey along spectacular clifftops overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Blueskin Bay. On return to Dunedin’s historic Edwardian Railway Station, board the coach for an informative city tour. Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food, Haggis Ceremony and gift.
Day 17: Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour. Next visit Glenfalloch Restaurant for a delightful morning tea. Return to the city for some free time. You might choose to board The Taieri Gorge Limited for a journey through spectacular scenery only accessible by rail (optional).
Stay at Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (2 nights)
Dunedin - Christchurch
This morning visit Olveston House, a prestigious historic home before travelling to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your new found friends.
Stay at Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport
Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.
Itinerary may differ slightly for travel from Sep 18 – May 19
Of your various competitors, Ayesha stood out a mile ahead with her advice, decisiveness and willingness to help- RW, India, 2014