No 13. Top Notch Tour

No 13. Top Notch Tour

29 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 will meet you at arrivals, before heading to the Copthorne Hotel in Parnell, to freshen up. In the afternoon we take you to Kelly Tarlton’s, to see some of our southern oceans marine life.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Parnell Auckland.

Day 2: Auckland *(B, D)

This morning we take you to see the giant Waka canoe at the Auckland Railway station. From there we take the ferry to Waiheke Island, a 45min ride. Here we visit a vineyard. We then visit The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT for short). Discover some of the great names in New Zealand's aviation and motor history.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Parnell, Auckland.

Day 3: 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.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Paihia.

Day 4: Paihia *(B, D)

We take a visit to the Fabulous Kiwi house, to see our famous N.Z. Bird. Take a short boat ride in the Bay of Islands . We then cruise out to Cape Brett or more commonly known as the ‘Hole in the Rock’. On the return voyage, you may have a chance to swim with the dolphins (weather permitting). Take some time to explore the region.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Paihia.

Day 5: 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, Paihia.

Day 6: Paihia - Auckland *(B, D)

Today we head back to Auckland, On the way back we visit the Giant Kauri forest at Waipoua, where the giant of them 'Tane Mahuta', said to be 1200 years old. We then drive through to the Whangaparoa Peninsula A sightseeing trip up Mt Eden, or One Tree Hill to see the vantage sights and also the spread of the city. Then you are taken up to the famous Skytower, the southern hemispheres tallest building at 328metres, 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, Parnell Auckland.

Day 7: Auckland - Rotorua *(B, D)

This morning we head south to the geo-thermal city of Rotorua, right in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island. We stop at the intriguing Ngaruawahia Marae for a brief Maori experence. Stopping at Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Matamata Then over the Kaimai ranges to Tauranga then to the Mount Maunganui then to the kiwkfruit country then See sheep being shorn at Agrodome. Once in Rotorua you will 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 8: Rotorua - Taupo *(B, D)

A short drive from Rotorua is Taupo. Stopping at Wai-ota-pu then we visit Orakei Karako ‘possibly the best thermal area left in the world’ and only accessible by boat. Once in Taupo you will visit

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 a 20 metre crevice, that make up the falls.and New Zealand’s only prawn farm and Huka Honey Hive for a taste of their liquid gold. A free night to relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Accommodation: Lakeland Resort Hotel, Taupo.

Day 9: Taupo – Hawkes Bay *(B, D)

Today we head for Hawkes Bay

Day 10: Wellington *(B, D)

We stop at Route 66 on 1 diner in Foxton, enjoy a late lunch. Slip around the corner to see the quaint Windmill. Enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant before taking a night drive to Mt Victoria, coming back through Courtenay Place, alive with people. Returning back to stay at the Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay. Wellington

A spare afternoon for

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Wellington.

Day 11: Wellington

Staying in Wellington for a visit to the well known Te Papa Museum. We take you on an old fashioned ride on the famous Cable Car, also for a visit to our Parliament Buildings called 'The Bee Hive' and see the Politicians in action. We take you for a vist to weta studios – middle earth known as Lord of the Rings then a small harbour cruise on the small ferry trip to Eastbourne and back. Weather permitting. Of course it will be. Enjoy another lovely dinner at the Hotel,

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay. Wellington.

Day 12: Wellington - Blenheim.

After an early breakfast we leave Wellington for Picton via the ‘Cook Strait’, onboard the Interislander by 10am. This ferry links the North and south Islands together described as “one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world”. On arrival in Blenheim you’ll visit a local vineyard and winery, this is the heart of New Zealand’s wine industry.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Blenheim.

Day 13: Blenheim *(B, D)

After breakfast, stay at Blenheim. Sight and watch the seals, also if we have time, we could try and see the whales swimming off the coast. Delicious fish and chips on the beach. We take you to the famous Aviation Heritage Centre at Omaka.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Blenheim.

Day 14: Blenheim - Christchurch *(B, D)

After breakfast, We depart for Christchurch Sight seeing on way. Take a sighting of Mt Tapuae, in all its majestic glory, higher than Mt Ruapehu, from the north Island. You may see the majestic Whales in action at Kaikoura. Sight seeing on way. We visit and see the small towns that make up this beautiful landscape. Take a drive through the famous Lyttelton Tunnel. A must is a trip to Ferrymead Heritage Village, experience going back in time, with all there is to see. We take you to see the famous Cathedral in the middle of Christchurch

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, ChristChurch.

Day 15: Christchurch - Franz Joseph *(B, D)

This morning we head towards Franz Joseph, via the Transalpine Express. This train ride is rated as one of the top ten scenic railways in the world. It's a spectacular three and half hour journey to Greymouth. From Greymouth our bus will take you to Franz Joseph, stopping to look at the punakaiki Rocks. Then we head to Shantytown, widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading culture and heritage attractions.

Accommodation: Franz Joseph Hotel, Franz Joseph.

Day 16: Franz Joseph – Wanaka *(B, D)

Today we head down the West Coast which is home to two famous glaciers, The Franz Joseph Glacier and the Fox Glacier. They descend from the Southern Alps deep into the lush rainforest of Westland’s National Park. From here you’ll take a helicopter ride flying over Mt Cook and MT Tasman. Nearby here is one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand, Lake Matheson with its mirror-like reflections, which are truly spectacular. You’ll continue to travel via the towns of Lake Moeraki and Haast and past beautiful Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea before arriving in Wanaka.

Accommodation: Grand Mercure Oakridge Hotel, Wanaka.

Day 17: Wanaka - Queenstown *(B, D)

After breakfast, depart for Queenstown. On the drive through you will be blown away with the natural beauty. We take you up the majestic Bobs Peak and take in the awesome view of the rugged mountains.

Enjoy the stunning scenery on the drive through to Queenstown, you'll 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.

A free night to look around Queenstown.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Queenstown.

Day 18: xtra day in Queentown

Day 19: Queenstown *(B, D)

Your day begins with a spectacular helicopter ride to the Milford Sound’s. This flight will take your breath away. , for a breathtaking flight to Beautiful Milford Sound to see the Magnificent Mitre Peak. Some will do it on day 18** and some will do it on day 19.**

Known as the eighth wonder of the world, you’ll 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, before re-boarding your helicopter. Back in Queenstown you’ll ride up the mountain for some of the most spectacular 220 deg views that you could ever see via Skyline Gondola Queenstown.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Queenstown.

Day 20: Queenstown - Dunedin *(B, D)

This morning we head for Dunedin sightseeing along the way. Take a ride through lovely Arrowtown, a historic goldmining townFirst stop 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. . Passing through Gorgeous Alexandra, the fruit bowl of the south. high land an see the Lord of the Rings trilogy of the south. Slip a visit in to see the Mighty Roxburgh Hydro Dam. Heading towards Dunedin. Visit Cadbury’s Famous Chocolate factory. Visit Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle, built 1871 by William Larnach for his wife.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Queenstown.

Day 21: Dunedin *(B, D)

Your day begins with a visit to Cadbury World, Dunedin’s yummiest tourist attraction and to wash the chocolate away you’ll visit Dunedin’s biggest icon the Speight’s Brewery. See, smell touch and taste

the ingredients which go into making the “Pride of the south” beer. Visit Otago Museum and also the beautiful butterfly garden and the Chinese gardens.

Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin.

Day 22: Dunedin *(B, D)

After breakfast, staying at Dunedin. Take a fascinating trip on the Taieri Scenic Train. Fascinating!. Visit the Otago famous Speights Brewery, and also the Live Butterfly Experience, also the famous chinese gardens If we have time, take in the Wool factory.

Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin.

Day 23: Dunedin – Christchurch *(B, D)

After breakfast, we depart for Christchurch. We take you to visit the Earth & Sky observatory, while you are there. Stop at Omarama at the Café and Gift shop, On the way you’ll visit Lake Tekapo, which provides exquisite views of New Zealand, naturally heading towards Lake Tekapo, to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, to commemorate the pioneers of the Mckenzie country. On the way, stop at Oamaru to see the Beautiful Penguin Colony. We go through Timaru, where the famous racehorse Phar Lap was born. We make a stop at Ashburton and see the lovely craft shop called Ashfords. We then take you to the International Antarctic Centre, where you can survive an Antartica storm and you can view the nocturnal ‘Little Blue Penguins. We also take you to see the architectural Cathedral of Christchurch. If there is time, then its time to have a leisurely stroll around this Beautiful Garden City. Do some retail Therapy if we have time, with an afternoon of shopping.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Christchurch.

Day 24: Christchurch *(B, D)

After breakfast, we stay in Christchurch. Take a drive out to visit, New Brighton Beach, and also startling Sumner, beaches and shops. We then go and see Tamaki, heritage village, a cultural Historical enactment of parts of New Zealand. A sightseeing tour of Christchurch to view some of the damage caused by the devastating earthquake. A further small sightseeing tour by night after dinner to see the sights of Christchurch.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Christchurch.

Day 25: Christchurch - Blenheim *(B, D)

After breakfast we move on to Blenheim. On the way stop at the lovely vineyards at Waipara, to sample the vintage wine. We take in the breathtaking view of the Cathedral Cliffs at Gore bay. Further on stop and see the whales and seals, if missed them before, visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre which houses a display like no other. On the way stop at the lovely Wineyards at Waipara, to sample the vintage wine. We take in the breathtaking view of the Cathedral Cliffs at Gore bay We stop for another glass of wine when we visit another Winery, near Blenheim. We absorb looking at the rugged Scenery.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Blenheim.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Marlborough.

Day 26: Blenheim – Wellington *(B, D)

After an early breakfast you’ll depart Blenheim for Wellington onboard the interislander. Enjoy the serene trip through the Marlborough Sounds, also to experience the calm [yet rough at times] Cook Strait. Back in Wellington, you’ll visit the ‘Bee Hive’, New Zealand’s Parliament Building before catching the famous Wellington Cable Car. Enjoy the walk back through the lovely botanical gardens and around Wellington.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel, Wellington.

Day 27: Wellington - Taihape *(B, D)

After breakfast, Seeing the lovely Kapiti Coast on the way, Drive through picturesque Levin, a large rural town servicing a large farming area, also fantastic market gardens. A must to do, Lunch at Foxton, Route 66 on 1. next stop ‘Gumboot Capital of the World’ Taihape, for the ‘New Zealand at its Best’ gumboot throwing competition. The tour guide will tell you about it all.

Accommodation: Aspen Court Motel, Taihape

Day 28: Taihape - Waitomo *(B, D)

Today we head for Waitomo,where we go through some very isolated and rugged country. See the little town called Raetihi and also Ohakune,( the home of growing carrots), stopping for lunch stopping at the famous Raurimu Railway Spiral, a unique railway spiral and loop system with two tunnels. We then proceed up on the west side of Mt Ruapehu and see the stunning views from a different angle. Stop and see the engineering feat of the Raurimu Spiral, to see the trains going through,( times are 12.20, and also 2.00pm). Head on to Waitomo and visit the fabulous Waitomo caves where the opportunity to see the beautiful stalagmites and stalagtites and its glow worm splendour sparkling up above. We will stop for lunch along the way to the hotel.

Accommodation: Waitomo Caves Hotel, Waitomo.

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Day 29: Waitomo – Auckland *(B, D)

After breakfast you’ll depart for Auckland stopping at Otorohanga, New Zealand’s ‘self-made’ kiwiana town. . We deviate a little and take in the serene of Lake Karipiro , on the mighty Waikato River. We visit another garden city known as Hamilton. Hamilton’s Lake Domain is a place of relaxation and slendor. On our journey back to Auckland we have an opportunity to view New Zealands hydro power station ( Huntly Power Station). Back in Auckland you’ll have a free night to relax and pack your bags.

AccommodationCopthorne Hotel, Auckland.

Day 30: Auckland *(B)

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

Cost for Tourist $

G.S.T. Tax $

Total $

Approx distance 5000 km

If a single room is required for accommodation an extra $2100 cost is added to the tour.

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

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