15 Day Classic Explorer

15 Days
From NZ$5,815 per person Per Person Twin Share
Per Person Twin Share

15 days to see the North & South Islands at a relaxed, enjoyable pace.  This is a nice well balanced itinerary that covers all the iconic sights.

Starts: Christchurch

Ends:   Auckland

Highlights

  • World Heritage listed Mt Cook National Park
  • Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South
  • Fiordland National Park & the Southern Lakes District
  • West Coast Glaciers
  • Wellington, the nation's capital
  • Geothermal Central Plateau
  • Stunning Coromandel Peninsula

 

Departure Dates

2017: Sept 24, Oct 8, Nov 19 & 26. 2018: Jan 7 & 28, Mar 11 & 18. Contact us for April 2018 onwards departures.

Day 1:   Arrive Christchurch
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your city hotel.

Day 2:  Mt Cook, Omarama
After a brief tour of Christchurch, cross the Canterbury Plains into the MacKenzie Country.  Visit Mt Cook National Park before travelling on to Omarama.

Day 3:  Moeraki Boulders, Dunedin
Travel down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru.  Stop to view the mystical Moeraki Boulders, then continue to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South.  Enjoy a brief tour on arrival then the afternoon is free for you to experience some of the many optional sightseeing activities available.

Day 4:  Central Otago, Te Anau
Enjoy spectacular views across the Otago Peninsula as you travel to Larnach Castle for a guided tour.  Depart Dunedin and travel inland to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden, before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park.

Day 5:  Milford Sound, Queenstown
Drive through the Homer Tunnel into spectacular Milford Sound, the world renowned natural wonder dominatee by Mitre Peak. Cruise the entire length of the fiord and enjoy spectacular waterfalls, towering mountains and wildlife.  The afternoon takes you on to Queenstown, New Zealand's premier holiday destination.

Day 6:  Queenstown
Today is free for you to explore at your leisure.  Take a ride on the world famous Shotover Jet Boat, cruise Lake Wakatipu on a vintage steamship or take a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon.  Or, for the adventurous try whitewater rafting or a Ziptrek Ecotour.

Day 7:  Haast Pass, West Coast Glaciers
Pass picturesque Lake Hayes on the way to Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lake edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop.  View the untouched wilderness and pristine lakes of the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks before arriving on the West Coast, home to twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef.

Day 8:  Greymouth to Christchurch
A visiti to a Jade factory is scheduled before travelling to Greymouth where you will board the famous TranzAlpine Train, renowned as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world.  This coast to coast rail adventure will take you through the Southern Alps over massive viaducts, river valleys and gorges.

Day 9:  Kaikoura, Blenheim
Board the Coastal Pacific train for the journey to the small seaside village of Kaikoura where you have time to explore before rejoining your coach and travelling on to Blenheim.  A short tour of the region includes a visit to Yealands Estate winery.

Day 10:  Picton, Wellington
Board the Interislander ferry and cruise through the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound into Cook Strait.  Enjoy stunning views of New Zealand's capital city as you arrive into Wellington Harbour.  A city tour takes you to all the major sights and there is free time to explore on your own after that.

Day 11:  Taupo, Rotorua
Travel through rolling farmland into the Tongariro National Park, dominated by the volcanic cone of Mt Ruapehu.  The Desert Road takes you to Taupo on the shores of New Zealand's largest lake.  Stop to view the mighty Huka Falls and travel past massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, centre of Maori culture and famous for its geysers, boling mud pools and steaming craters.

Day 12:  At Rotorua
Start with a visiti to the Agrodome to see a unique farm show, followed by a visit to Te Puia, home of Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and the Maori Arts & Crafts Centre.  Enjoy some free time in the afternoon for optional activities before visiting Tamaki Village for an evening of fun and culture. You will experience a traditionally prepared Maori Hangi (feast) followed by a cultural performance featuring Maori songs, chants and dancing including the stirring Haka.

Day 13:  Hobbiton, Pauanui
Travel across the dairy farming region of the Waikato to Matamata where a guide will escort you on a Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour. You are then off to Pauanui, a favourite New Zealand beach resort, for your overnight stay.

Day 14:  Coromandel, Auckland
At the quaint township of Coromandel, ride the famous Driving Creek narrow gauge railway to a fascinating artist colony then it's on to Auckland, the 'City of Sails' and enjoy a farewell dinner with your new found friends.

Day 15:  Depart Auckland
Sadly, your holiday is at an end.  You will be transferred to the airport to connect with your onward flight.

  • Accommodation in superior hotels
  • 14 fully cooked breakfasts & 12 dinners
  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • Two iconic train journeys
  • Authentic Maori Village, Hangi & Cultural Performance
  • Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tour
  • Christchurch, Wellington & Auckland city tours
  • Guided tour of Larnach Castle
  • Skyline Gondola & Dinner, Queenstown
  • Yealands Estate Winery tour & tasting
  • Interislander Ferry Crossing
  • Single Supplement available
  • Ski-plane or Helicopter Flight, Mt Cook
  • Shotover Jet, Queenstown
  • Ziptrek, Queenstown
  • Coffee Cruise on Lake Rotorua
  • Rotorua Duck Tour

Description & Highlights

15 days to see the North & South Islands at a relaxed, enjoyable pace.  This is a nice well balanced itinerary that covers all the iconic sights.

Starts: Christchurch

Ends:   Auckland

Itinerary

Day 1:   Arrive Christchurch
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your city hotel.

Day 2:  Mt Cook, Omarama
After a brief tour of Christchurch, cross the Canterbury Plains into the MacKenzie Country.  Visit Mt Cook National Park before travelling on to Omarama.

Day 3:  Moeraki Boulders, Dunedin
Travel down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru.  Stop to view the mystical Moeraki Boulders, then continue to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South.  Enjoy a brief tour on arrival then the afternoon is free for you to experience some of the many optional sightseeing activities available.

Day 4:  Central Otago, Te Anau
Enjoy spectacular views across the Otago Peninsula as you travel to Larnach Castle for a guided tour.  Depart Dunedin and travel inland to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden, before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park.

Day 5:  Milford Sound, Queenstown
Drive through the Homer Tunnel into spectacular Milford Sound, the world renowned natural wonder dominatee by Mitre Peak. Cruise the entire length of the fiord and enjoy spectacular waterfalls, towering mountains and wildlife.  The afternoon takes you on to Queenstown, New Zealand's premier holiday destination.

Day 6:  Queenstown
Today is free for you to explore at your leisure.  Take a ride on the world famous Shotover Jet Boat, cruise Lake Wakatipu on a vintage steamship or take a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon.  Or, for the adventurous try whitewater rafting or a Ziptrek Ecotour.

Day 7:  Haast Pass, West Coast Glaciers
Pass picturesque Lake Hayes on the way to Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lake edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop.  View the untouched wilderness and pristine lakes of the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks before arriving on the West Coast, home to twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef.

Day 8:  Greymouth to Christchurch
A visiti to a Jade factory is scheduled before travelling to Greymouth where you will board the famous TranzAlpine Train, renowned as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world.  This coast to coast rail adventure will take you through the Southern Alps over massive viaducts, river valleys and gorges.

Day 9:  Kaikoura, Blenheim
Board the Coastal Pacific train for the journey to the small seaside village of Kaikoura where you have time to explore before rejoining your coach and travelling on to Blenheim.  A short tour of the region includes a visit to Yealands Estate winery.

Day 10:  Picton, Wellington
Board the Interislander ferry and cruise through the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound into Cook Strait.  Enjoy stunning views of New Zealand's capital city as you arrive into Wellington Harbour.  A city tour takes you to all the major sights and there is free time to explore on your own after that.

Day 11:  Taupo, Rotorua
Travel through rolling farmland into the Tongariro National Park, dominated by the volcanic cone of Mt Ruapehu.  The Desert Road takes you to Taupo on the shores of New Zealand's largest lake.  Stop to view the mighty Huka Falls and travel past massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, centre of Maori culture and famous for its geysers, boling mud pools and steaming craters.

Day 12:  At Rotorua
Start with a visiti to the Agrodome to see a unique farm show, followed by a visit to Te Puia, home of Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and the Maori Arts & Crafts Centre.  Enjoy some free time in the afternoon for optional activities before visiting Tamaki Village for an evening of fun and culture. You will experience a traditionally prepared Maori Hangi (feast) followed by a cultural performance featuring Maori songs, chants and dancing including the stirring Haka.

Day 13:  Hobbiton, Pauanui
Travel across the dairy farming region of the Waikato to Matamata where a guide will escort you on a Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour. You are then off to Pauanui, a favourite New Zealand beach resort, for your overnight stay.

Day 14:  Coromandel, Auckland
At the quaint township of Coromandel, ride the famous Driving Creek narrow gauge railway to a fascinating artist colony then it's on to Auckland, the 'City of Sails' and enjoy a farewell dinner with your new found friends.

Day 15:  Depart Auckland
Sadly, your holiday is at an end.  You will be transferred to the airport to connect with your onward flight.

Included In Package

  • Accommodation in superior hotels
  • 14 fully cooked breakfasts & 12 dinners
  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • Two iconic train journeys
  • Authentic Maori Village, Hangi & Cultural Performance
  • Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tour
  • Christchurch, Wellington & Auckland city tours
  • Guided tour of Larnach Castle
  • Skyline Gondola & Dinner, Queenstown
  • Yealands Estate Winery tour & tasting
  • Interislander Ferry Crossing

Optional Extras

  • Single Supplement available
  • Ski-plane or Helicopter Flight, Mt Cook
  • Shotover Jet, Queenstown
  • Ziptrek, Queenstown
  • Coffee Cruise on Lake Rotorua
  • Rotorua Duck Tour
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