Itinerary Highlights

  • Small group tour visiting both North and South Island highlights with knowledgeable local guides
  • Tranz Alpine Express rail journey through the south island's Canterbury Plains and spectacular Southern Alps
  • Sail through the outstandingly beautiful fiordland's Milford Sound
  • Discover Rotorua's geothermal fields, mud pools, geysers and volcanoes
  • Best time to travel JAN - MAR & OCT - DEC

What's Included

  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Domestic Flights
  • English Speaking Guide
  • International Flights
18 nights from £7,875 per person
All of our holidays are tailor-made to your requirements by an expert Travel Specialist
The Inspiring Travel Company Team
01244 435 806

Prepare for an epic 18-night adventure through New Zealand on this small group tour, and discover all that makes this far-flung nation so delightfully exciting.


New Zealand is a fascinating country, spanning two main islands (North and South) with an unbelievable wealth of natural and cultural wonders to discover. This small group tour through New Zealand incorporates as many highlights and attractions as possible, led by our trusted tour director and accompanied by knowledgeable local guides in each region. By opting for this 18-night trip to New Zealand, you’ll get to experience the country’s beautiful landscapes such as Milford Sound, the Franz Josef Glacier and Lake Taupo. You’ll taste fine wines in Hawke’s Bay and devour traditional fare during a Maori Hangi feast; encounter wildlife in Dunedin and Kaikoura; and perhaps brave some of the adventure activities that Queenstown is so famous for too. If seeking an epic and enriching journey to New Zealand, this small group tour is just the ticket.

Itinerary

After touching down at the international airport in Christchurch, South Island, you can spend the afternoon at leisure in the Garden City. Later, you’ll meet with the tour director and your fellow travellers, getting to know each other over welcome drinks in Christchurch.
Franz Josef
Today you’ll make for southwest New Zealand and the Franz Josef Glacier, travelling aboard the TranzAlpine Train. This spectacular rail journey bestows you with fantastic views of the Canterbury Plains, as the train dissects mile after mile of exquisite South Island scenery. Then, after alighting at Arthur’s Pass you’ll hop aboard a coach that transfers you to Franz Josef, stopping en route at Hokitika to see how jewellery is carved from jade stones. Check in to your eco-friendly hotel in Franz Josef and relish moments spent in geothermal pools and fine dining in the hotel restaurant.
Franz Josef
After a hearty breakfast, this full day in Franz Josef will be spent exploring this famous glacier with your local guide. Learn about the history of the Franz Josef Glacier as well as the wider region, which comprises the Southern Alps and Mount Cook.
Make your way to Queenstown today, the adventure capital of the world, via an exciting mode of transport: river jet boat. You’ll be whisked down the Haast River aboard an enclosed jet boat, meandering through the South Island with a stop in Makarora for lunch. You’ll also make a pitstop at Arrowtown, a former gold mining village, before arriving at Queenstown for an introductory tour.
The next two days are dedicated to discovering the delights of Queenstown, located right in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island. On your first full day, choose between wine-tasting tours, visiting film locations for the ever-popular Lord of the Rings movie, venturing into the surrounding landscapes of Glenorchy, or simply unwinding with an indulgent spa day.
Today you’ll have the chance to try some of the adrenalin-pumping activities that Queenstown is so famous for. Find out why this is the adventure capital of the world with a daring bungee jumping experience, or try sky diving, shotover jet boat rides or anything else on offer! Then, reward your bravery with a quintessential New Zealand meal in the evening, sampling some of the best cuisine around. Overnight in Queenstown
Fiordland
Bid farewell to Queenstown today and make for one of the most iconic destinations in New Zealand: the Milford Sound. The route takes you through Te Anau, the Fiordland National Park and Homer Tunnel (which was carved from hand), emerging from the darkness to a natural wonderland, all jagged peaks and glistening waters. This is the stunning Milford Sound. There’ll be time to get your bearings along the Chasm Walk before you check in to the Milford Sound Lodge, flaunting privileged views of the Cleddau Valley. Overnight in Milford Sound Lodge
Fiordland
This morning, listen as your guide tells you all about the natural gems and wildlife of Fiordland, then board the Southern Discoveries cruise vessel. You’ll sail along the Milford Sound’s glittering waters toward the Tasman Sea, in search of wildlife such as languid seals who like to wallow on the sun-baked rocks. While here, you’ll have the chance to go sea kayaking in Harrison Cove, then make your way back to Milford Sound Lodge for your last night in the region. Overnight in Milford Sound Lodge
On day 9, you’ll swap the rainforests and mountains of Fiordland for Dunedin, the southernmost city in New Zealand. On the way, see how the scenery shifts with the rolling fields of South Otago to the glistening lake at Te Anau, and enjoy a lunch break in Gore en route. The following day you’ll get to tour Larnach Castle in the morning, then spend the afternoon at leisure; you might like to hop aboard the Taieri River Gorge train – dating back to the 19th century – or go on a safari cruise to catch sight of the resident Elephant Seals, Sea Lions, Penguins, Fur Seals, Albatrosses, Petrels and countless coastal seabirds.
Today, return to Christchurch along the east coast, enjoying some of these final South Island views before heading to the North Island tomorrow – although there will be time for one last must-do experience tomorrow!
Staying at  Hotel Montreal
From Christchurch, you’ll head north to take the ferry from Picton to Wellington across the Cook Strait. But beforehand, take a moment to explore Kaikoura – a coastal town famous for whale watching. You can choose to enjoy an optional whale-watching flight here, sweeping through the skies to peer down at these mighty creatures. If you’re lucky, you might see them breaching the water too; one of the ultimate New Zealand experiences! Then, once the ferry has docked, you’ll be taken to your hotel in Wellington which will be home for the next two nights. Overnight at Sofitel Hotel, Wellington
This full day in Wellington can be spent enjoying some of the capital’s most outstanding sights and attractions on guided tours. These include the Te Papa National Museum, a fascinating insight into New Zealand’s history; Weta Cave, exhibiting the props and movie memorabilia from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit; and a Wellington walking tour, exploring the many delights of this charming waterfront city. Overnight at Sofitel Hotel, Wellington
Hawke's Bay
Today, delve deeper into North Island as you leave Wellington behind and make for Napier in Hawkes Bay, traversing through the rolling dairy pastures of Manawatu. Hawkes Bay is famed first and foremost for its award-winning wineries, though it also shelters dramatic coastline; from the chalky cliffs at Cape Kidnappers to the unspoilt sands of Waimarama. Then there’s Napier, a beguiling town awash with art deco buildings from the 1930s. There’ll be time to unwind today before you meet with your tour director for dinner at the hotel. Overnight at Porter's Boutique Hotel, Hawke’s Bay
Hawke's Bay
An unhurried morning is the ideal start today before you head out into Napier with a local tour guide, learning about how this North Island town was brought back to life after the earthquake of 1931, which destroyed many of the buildings here. In its place rose art deco architecture, which is fascinating to behold. Then, come evening, you’ll get to sample some of the region’s famed wines with dinner at an excellent local winery, getting a taste for North Island’s delectable cuisine. Overnight at Porter's Boutique Hotel, Hawke’s Bay
Today, the group moves on further north towards Rotorua, stopping en route at two stunning North Island locations: Lake Taupo and Huka Falls. Rotorua is a jewel-box of hot springs, mud pools, geothermal fields, geysers and volcanoes, as well as a wonderfully cultural place with the chance to visit Whakarewarewa Living Village, where you can get to understand the Maori culture and their connection to the land. Then, the evening brings with it a resplendent Maori Hangi feast and performance at Tamaki Maori Marae, to really get to know the traditions and customs of this ancient culture. Overnight at Pullman Hotel, Rotorua
Today, you’ll get to see the breathtaking natural side of Rotorua, first by exploring Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Marvel at the region’s enchanting mineral springs and surrounding plantlife, then admire the gargantuan Redwood trees while hiking the Redwoods Treewalk, affording you privileged views from above. Afterwards, the rest of the day is yours to explore or relax at leisure. Overnight at Pullman Hotel, Rotorua
Before you arrive in Auckland – the biggest city in New Zealand located in the northwest of North Island – you’ll see nature putting on its best show at a Glowworm cave. These ancient caverns are fascinating with their stalactites and stalagmites, to be admired while listening to the sound of an underground stream trickling below, yet it’s the light show performed by hundreds of Glowworms in the cave’s ceiling that really captures the imagination. If lucky enough to catch them in action, it’s a wonderful sight. Enjoy a final farewell dinner with your fellow travellers.
Enjoy your last few hours in New Zealand at leisure before being transferred to the international airport, ahead of your flight home.
Tom

Tom

All of our holidays are tailor-made to your requirements by an expert Travel Specialist

Escorted Tour of New Zealand

18 nights from £7,875 per person
All of our holidays are tailor-made to your requirements by an expert Travel Specialist
The Inspiring Travel Company Team
Enquire Now
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