No 7. NZ Naturally

 

18 Day Itinerary


Day 1: Auckland *(D)

Welcome to Auckland, often referred to as the 'City of Sails', because one out of every six residents has a boat! This is New Zealand's largest city and the international gateway for all flights arriving from northern hemisphere. Your tour guide meet you at the luggage collection area, we gather and move toward the exit to board the bus and head to the Copthorne Hotel in Parnell, Auckland.  Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing or enjoying some of our southern ocean marine life at Kelly Tarlton’s or discover some of the great names of New Zealand's aviation and motor history at the Museum of Transport and Technology (motat for short). 

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Auckland.

 

Day 2: Auckland - Paihia *(B, D)

This morning we head towards the beautiful ‘Jewel of the Bay of Islands’ Paihia, where a sub-tropical welcome awaits you. We visit Whangarei Falls, which is considered one of the most picturesque waterfalls in New Zealand. We also visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed back in 1840. We then cruise out to Cape Brett and the Grand Cathedral Cove or more known as the ‘Hole in the Rock’. On the return voyage, you may have a chance to swim with the dolphins (weather permitting).

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Bay of Islands. 

 

Day 3: Paihia – Cape Reinga - Paihia *(B, D)

After an early breakfast, we head for Cape Reinga the most northern tip of the north island. This is where the Pacific and Tasman seas collide. Discover the ‘leaping-place of the spirits', where Maori spirits begin their final journey.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Bay of Islands

 

Day 4: Paihia - Auckland *(B,D)

This morning we visit Marsden Oil Refinery, then onto Whangaparoa Peninsula.  Whangaparoa means “Bay of whales” as orca and other whales are often spotted off the coast.  Take a walk along our sandy beaches.  Back in Auckland we head up the Sky Tower, the southern hemispheres tallest building at 328 meters, offering breathtaking views for up to 80 kilometres in every direction on a clear day.  Have a go at beating the machines in the casino before heading back up the tower for a buffet dinner.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Auckland.

 

Day 5: Auckland – Waitomo - Rotorua *(B, D)

This morning we travel south towards the limestone landscape of the Waitomo Caves, which has been artfully sculpted by water and time.  See glow-worms light the caves, like constellations in the night skies - definitely worth the visit.  Next, the geo-thermal city of Rotorua, right in the heart of the North Island, discover the volcanic phenomena and learn about New Zealand's Maori culture.  Visit Te Wairoa 'The Buried Village', showing you first hand the chaos and mayhem that transpired on the night Mount Tarawera erupted.  Travel up Rotorua’s Skyline Gondola for stunning panoramic views over the lakes and town. For the adventurous, ride the thrilling luge down 1 or all 3 tracks.

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua.  

 

Day 6: Rotorua - Taupo *(B, D)

This morning, a short drive brings you to Taupo.  Visit Orakei Karako ‘possibly the best thermal area left in the world’ and only accessible by boat.  Once in Taupo you will visit New Zealand’s only prawn farm and the Huka Honey Hive for a taste of their liquid gold.  We then cruise the mighty Waikato River, getting sensational views of Huka falls, New Zealand's highest volume waterfall.  Then take a short walk and view 220,000 litres of water per second go through 20-metre crevices, which make up the falls.

Accommodation: Lakeland Resort Hotel, Taupo.

 

Day 7: Taupo - Wellington *(B, D)

This morning we travelling down passed Lake Taupo and Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand’s largest active volcano. Visit the National Army Museum in Waiouru, which has a unique collection of military exhibits and memorabilia. Next stop ‘Gumboot Capital of the World’ Taihape, for the ‘New Zealand at its Best’ gumboot throwing competition.  Enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant before taking a night drive to Mt Victoria, coming back through busy Courtenay Place.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Oriental Bay, Wellington. 

 

Day 8: Wellington *(B, D)

Your day starts by exploring New Zealand’s nature, art, history and cultural heritage at the world renowned Te Papa Museum.  We visit the famous ‘Bee Hive’ New Zealand’s Parliament Building, before catching the famous Wellington Cable Car.  Strolling back through the botanical gardens and the fascinating Begonia House. 

This evening is free to enjoy a walk around sightseeing or to relax in the spectacular surroundings.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Oriental Bay, Wellington. 

 

Day 9: Wellington - Blenheim *(B, D)

Today we board the Interislander and cross the ‘Cook Strait’, this ferry links the North and South Islands together.  This voyage is described as ‘one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world’.  We head towards Blenheim, in the heart of New Zealand’s wine industry.  Taste boutique wines and sample olive oils and honey on a vineyard & winery tour.  We also visit Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre who houses a display like no other.

This evening is free to enjoy a walk around or to relax in the spectacular surroundings.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Blenheim. 

 

Day 10: Blenheim to Christchurch *(B, L, D)

Today we travel down to the coastal town of Kaikoura, a world famous destination for whale watching. Seals, dolphins and albatross are also frequently sighted from the shoreline.  Enjoy fresh fish and chips on the beach and see the magnificent Cathedral Cliffs, at Gore Bay.  Welcome to Christchurch, known as the ‘Garden City’. This afternoon is free to enjoy a walk around the numerous beautiful gardens scattered around the city. Christchurch Botanic Gardens has a stunning display of native and exotic trees, flowers and plants. Visit Cathedral Square and see beautiful english heritage buildings and contemporary architecture. 

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Christchurch. 

 

Day 11: Christchurch - West Coast *(B, D)

Today we head west to Franz Joseph, by the TranzAlpine Express.  This train ride is rated as one of the top ten scenic railways rides in the world. It is a spectacular three and half hour journey, to Greymouth.  From Greymouth our bus will take you to Franz Joseph, stopping at Shantytown, widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading culture and heritage attractions.  Visit Punakaiki, best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Also, visit Ocean Paua 2000 ltd.

Accommodation:  Kingsgate Hotel, Greymouth. 

 

Day 12: Greymouth- Franz Josef/Fox Glacier *(B, D)

This morning we depart along the West Coast heading for New Zealand’s famous two glaciers, The Franz Joseph and the Fox Glaciers.  They descend from the Southern Alps, deep into the lush rainforest of Westland’s National Park.  See and experience the glaciers, take a walk to the terminal face and a helicopter ride flying over Mt Cook and Mt Tasman.

Accommodation: Franz Joseph Hotel, Franz Joseph. 

 

Day 13: Franz Josef/Fox Glacier – Wanaka *(B, D)

Today you travel by the towns of Lake Moeraki and Haast and passed beautiful Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, before arriving at Wanaka. Nearby here is one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand Lake Matheson, with its mirror-like reflections which are truly spectacular. We take you to Lake Tekapo, where we visit the Earth and Sky Observatory. Take a short guided tour of the fully functional observatory. Also, visit the beautiful ‘Church of the Good Shepherd’, built to commemorate the pioneers of the Mackenzie Country.

Accommodation: Grand Mercure Oakridge Hotel, Wanaka. 

 


Day 14:Wanaka - Queenstown *(B, D)

This morning we head for the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ Queenstown.  Enjoy the stunning scenery on the way; be blown away by the natural beauty and endless list of activities possible.  We hop aboard the historical steamship 'The TSS Earnslaw', one of the last remaining coal fired passenger carrying vessels operating in the southern hemisphere.  Enjoy a delicious lunch aboard the ship.  From here, we take a spectacular helicopter ride to the Milford Sound’s. This flight will take your breath away, known as the eighth wonder of the world.  Gaze upon alpine lakes, lush rainforests and fly past rugged peaks before landing and joining an exploratory nature cruise on the sound.  View cascading waterfalls, sheer rock faces and unique wildlife.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Hotel, Queenstown. 

 

Day 15: Queenstown - Dunedin *(B, D)

After breakfast, we journey south to Dunedin, sightseeing along the way.  We stop at Arrowtown, a historic gold-mining town in its day.  Now Arrowtown has more recently drawn worldwide attention for its idyllic appearance in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Visit the Roxburgh Dam and lake and the Clutha River.  We visit Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle, built 1871 by William Larnach for his wife.

Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin. 

 

Day 16: Dunedin *(B, D)

Today we visit Cadbury World, Dunedin’s yummiest tourist attraction.  Another one of Dunedin’s biggest icon, is the Speight’s Brewery.  See, smell and taste the ingredients which go into making the “Pride of the south” beer.  Visit Otago Museum and the beautiful butterfly garden and the Chinese gardens.

This evening is free to enjoy a walk around sightseeing.

Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin. 

 

Day 17: Dunedin - Christchurch *(B, D)

We depart for Christchurch this morning, stopping at Moeraki Boulders (huge spherical stones that are scattered over the sandy beaches).  We also visit the rare yellow eyed penguins on the Otago Peninsular.  We pass through Timaru, where the famous racehorse Pharlap was born and raised.  We take you to the International Antarctic Centre where you can view the nocturnal ‘Little Blue Penguins’ and survive an Antarctic storm!  We also take a fascinating last night sightseeing tour of Christchurch, after a fantastic final dinner, at the hotel restaurant.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Christchurch. 

 

Day 18: Christchurch - Auckland  *(B)

(Flight times are required, to liaise with the flight from Auckland to your destination depending on time). 

  

Total     $9173

 

Approx distance 3360 km

If a single room is required for accommodation an extra $765 cost is added to the tour ..

*Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D) provided, where stated.  

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