Kia Ora New Zealand Escorted Tour • Freedom Destinations
Rotorua, New Zealand
Bay of Islands
Waitomo Glowworm Cave
TranzAlpine Crossing
Lake Pukaki
Milford Sound, New Zealand

Kia Ora New Zealand

17 day Escorted Tour - from £4680 £4210

With flights from £5560

This well planned tour explores New Zealand’s contrasting North and South Islands, including Auckland, the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Southern Alps and more!


  • Visit Waitomo’s famous Glowworm Grotto
  • See the bubbling mud pools and steaming geysers of Rotorua
  • Gaze upon the mystically beautiful Lake Taupo
  • Enjoy a cruise on the breathtaking Milford Sound
  • Travel on the TranzAlpine train, one of the world’s great rail journeys


Save up to 15% on selected 2024 departures!

Please call for the best price and availability.


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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland

Auckland is hypnotic, the kind of place you could easily lose yourself in for a couple of days. Or weeks. Arrive at your leisure and explore waterfront precincts filled with yachts, take a cruise out to the wineries of Waiheke Island, or just meet fellow travel companions over a few local tipples tonight.

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Auckland

Day 2 - Bay of Islands

Say goodbye to the ‘City of Sails’ as you journey north to New Zealand’s dramatic Bay of Islands from Auckland – 140 droplets of land ringed by turquoise sea. It’s undeniably beautiful, but it also holds a special historical secret: this is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, between Captain William Hobson and Māori chiefs. Your guide, likely an ancestor of one of the original signatories, will explain the significance of the site, while pointing out the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe and a carved meeting house.

Hotel: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Rooms
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 3 - Bay of Islands

If there’s a travel destination that inspires wanderlust, the Bay of Islands is it. Today, trip the light fantastic and head off in whatever direction you please. Perhaps travel up to Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua, the very top of New Zealand, via idyllic Ninety Mile Beach. Or glide around on an historic tall ship, enjoy local drops on a wine tour of the region, or join a tour of Russell and learn more about the settling of the Bay of Islands.

Hotel: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Rooms
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 - Auckland

Today, New Zealand’s most northerly city is well and truly on your radar. Whangarei is a place where waterfalls meet beaches, galleries meet museums. It’s like the country in a tantalising snapshot – a union of nature and forward-thinking culture. Explore at your leisure before sinking back into your seat for the mesmerizing commute back to Auckland.

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Auckland

Day 5 - Rotorua

After a morning of city sightseeing, it’s off to the Waikato River and your Waitomo Caves tour. This place is radiant – quite literally. While cruising cavernous waterways, your route is cast in a magical light by thousands of glowworms. It’s a landscape almost as otherworldly as Rotorua, where mud pops and jettisons from bubbling geysers, and steam rushes skywards from cracks in the Earth. Tonight, delve deep into Maori culture and traditions at Te Puia. Your dinner, a hangi cooked underground, is served while you overlook the spectacular geothermal valley. The highlight is a Maori cultural performance in the beautifully carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua.

Hotel: Ibis Hotel Rotorua
Meals: Breakfast and Highlight Dinner

Day 6 - Rotorua

Explore at your own pace today, but with plenty of tips from your Travel Director. Want a bit of down time?  We wouldn’t blame you for simply blissing out at in the steamy thermal springs at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa. Animal lover? Go behind the scenes on a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Hobbit fans will want to take advantage of today’s opportunity to visit the sights featured in The Lord of the Rings movies at Hobbiton. These beautiful landscapes are not only a bucket list tour for Hobbit fans but a gorgeous countryside getaway.

Hotel: Ibis Hotel Rotorua
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 - Wellington

You’ll hear Huka Falls well before you see it – at this natural wonder, a staggering 220,000 litres of water thunder over an 11-metre-high waterfall every second. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, its waters so vivid and blue you’ll think someone has taken the glasses off your nose and cleaned them for the first time. Traverse the Kapiti Coast to New Zealand’s cool little capital, Wellington, where there are so many restaurants and bars to choose from, you’ll need a guidebook. Wait, you have an in-the-know Travel Director to talk to about your Wellington tour.

Hotel: Travelodge Wellington
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - Picton

Your final few hours in Wellington should – must – begin with a coffee. The city is known for its uber-cool cafés, designed to fuel you through a session at Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Onwards to the Inter-islander for a cruise across Cook Strait, from the North Island to the South, through a maze of arms and inlets into the sleepy seaside village of Picton.

Hotel: Picton Beachcomber Inn
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 9 - Christchurch

There aren’t many beaches more dramatic than the black sands of Kaikoura. Bonus points if you spot a sea lion or sperm whale frolicking offshore. Talk to your Travel Director for tips on the essential restaurants to dine in tonight – Christchurch has reinvented itself in more ways than one.

Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

Day 10 - Omarama

Christchurch tours show that the city is not only rebuilding itself after the devastating 2010/11 earthquakes, but is changing the way architects think about design. Case in point the mind-bending Transitional Cathedral, made largely of cardboard, and Turanga, the gold-clad central library. From here, your outlook is the Canterbury Plains: the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, snow-capped mountains and atmospheric towns. Take it in on an optional scenic flight for added perspective of Southern Alps and on to Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere.

Hotel: Heritage Gateway Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 11 - Dunedin

If you’ve ever wanted to see New Zealand’s oldest public gardens, today you’re in luck. Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and limestone buildings, stands proud before you journey further south toward the Edinburgh of the South: Dunedin. It’s easy to while away the afternoon in the city’s atmospheric art-lined alleys. Or venture further afield to discover the wildlife that thrives in this pretty pocket of the country – fur seals and penguins among them.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 - Te Anau

Time is on your side this morning. Sleep in or channel your inner royalty on a visit to grand Larnach Castle – the only one of its kind in the country. Dunedin’s Scottish ancestry is everywhere you look, from the manicured grounds of Otago University to the city’s main George Street. Rolling green hills dotted with doe-eyed sheep are replaced by soaring mountains as you weave your way into Fiordland National Park and the South Island’s biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. Soak up the serenity – it doesn’t get any better than this.

Hotel:  Distinction Luxmore Hotel
Breakfast and dinner

Day 13 - Queenstown

From the moment you step outside today, nature rules. Your route through Fiordland National Park is an intoxicating union of beech forests, alluvial flats, meadows and mirror-like lakes. Gin-clear rivers carve the countryside, with all roads leading to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi. Cruising this World Heritage-listed expanse will give you goosebumps, a string of waterfalls creating a misty curtain across sheer escarpments. Look out for dolphins – they’re a common sight here

Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 - Queenstown

Take today at your own pace. Like things fast and furious? Feel the wind in your hair on the high-octane Shotover Jet, perhaps. There’s a reason why Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the country. Nature lover? Discover some of New Zealand’s feathered friends at a wildlife centre. Wherever you wander, make sure you’re back in time to glide across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue dinner.

Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast and Highlight Dinner

Day 15 - Franz Josef

Try and keep count of today’s lakes. Leaving Lake Wakatipu behind, Arrowtown appears on the horizon. We know you’ll want to linger in the movie-set-like streets, lined with trees and character-filled boutiques. But Lake Dunstan awaits, as do its orchards. Pause to refuel on flavour-packed stone fruit. Then there’s Lake Hawea followed by Lake Wanaka, with its Instagrammable shoreline of poplars and willows. Over the Haast Pass, your Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere tour awaits. You don’t get many chances in life to land and walk on a glacier. This afternoon is one.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing)
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 16 - Christchurch

Swap snow for pounamu (native greenstone or jade) in Hokitika. In Māori tradition, it’s bad luck to buy this sacred stone for yourself; flutter your eyelids at your loved one. Just when you thought your adventure couldn’t get any better, you’ll aboard the TranzAlpine train bound for Christchurch, through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys.

Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch
Meals: Breakfast and Farewell Dinner

Day 17 - Farewell from Christchurch

Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast.

Meals: Breakfast

17 day Escorted Tour - from £4680 £4210

With flights from £5560

Save up to 15% on selected 2024 departures!


  • Add extra nights in Auckland or Christchurch before or after your tour
  • Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class
  • Add a stopover to New Zealand in Singapore, Dubai or another destination

Include this Escorted Tour in a New Zealand holiday designed for you

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All prices are per person, based on two people sharing a double or twin room, and include meals where shown. Please call Freedom Destinations to confirm departure dates and availability. Itineraries outlined are for departures from 1 April 2023.

Kia Ora New Zealand Map

Your Touring Experience

Enjoy first class touring with like minded travellers. Our experienced guides will make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Your escorted tour includes:

  • Sightseeing, walks and activities
  • Luxury, air-conditioned coach travel
  • 16 nights’ hotel accommodation
  • 16 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 8 dinners
  • Expert tour director
  • Airport transfers and extra night options

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Departure Dates

Check for departure dates that suit you:












To confirm availability please call 0333 234 3209.

This tour is also available in reverse, from Christchurch to Auckland. Please contact us for departure dates.

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to a New Zealand Expert on 0333 234 3209