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Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands
Christchurch
Christchurch
TranzAlpine
Lake Wanaka
Queenstown
Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand
Dunedin Railway Station
Lanarch Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand
Telescope, Dark Sky Reserve stargazing evening, Tekapo
Dolphins, Kaikoura
Interislander Ferry, Cook Strait
Hot Springs, Rotorua, New Zealand
Rotorua Polynesian Spa
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Auckland, New Zealand
Rarotonga, Cook Islands,
Rarotonga, Cook Islands

New Zealand Marvel & Cook Islands

22 day Escorted Tour & Beach Holiday – from £4515 £4120

With flights from £5570

Combine an insightful fully guided tour around both the North and South Island with a relaxed stay on the Polynesian paradise island of Rarotonga.

Highlights:
  • Explore the lush rainforests of Haast Pass
  • Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine
  • Cruise over Milford Sound and Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Discover the awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier
  • Relax on pristine tropical beaches in the Cook Islands

Your Itinerary

Expand All

You can customise your holiday by adding extra nights or destinations. Just let us know what you would like to do

Christchurch

Day 1 – Christchurch

On arrival in Christchurch, there’s time for relaxing or exploring with a pre-night prior to the…

On arrival in Christchurch, there’s time for relaxing or exploring with a pre-night prior to the start of your guided tour. Perhaps take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the picturesque Avon River.

Christchurch
Christchurch

Day 2 – Christchurch

There are plenty of reasons to arrive in New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’ early, among them the…

There are plenty of reasons to arrive in New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’ early, among them the astonishing transformation that has reinvigorated streets since the devastating 2010/11 earthquakes. Meet your Travel Director and travelling companions at a Welcome reception tonight.

    Ibis Hotel Christchurch

Christchurch
TranzAlpine

Day 3 – Christchurch – Franz Josef/Waiau

Jump aboard the TranzAlpine train bound for Christchurch, with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, gorges and…

Jump aboard the TranzAlpine train bound for Christchurch, with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, gorges and river valleys. Visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast well-known for its jade. Around the corner is the town of Franz Josef, gateway to Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Get some perspective on an optional flight.

    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

    Breakfast, Dinner
TranzAlpine
Lake Wanaka

Day 4 – Franz Josef/Waiau – Queenstown

Over the Haast Pass, alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes spreads before you. First up there’s…

Over the Haast Pass, alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes spreads before you. First up there’s lovely Lake Wanaka, with its Instagrammable shoreline of poplars and willows. Then Lake Hawea – the colour of an Ice Mint – and Lake Dunstan, where you’ll pause to refuel on flavour-packed stone fruits. As tempting as it is to linger in Arrowtown’s movie-set-like streets, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables await in Queenstown.

    Copthorne Hotel and Resort

    Breakfast
Lake Wanaka
Queenstown

Day 5 – Queenstown Free Time

Today, choose your own adventure – there are plenty to be had. Feel the wind in…

Today, choose your own adventure – there are plenty to be had. Feel the wind in your hair on the high-octane jet boat ride, perhaps. Or discover some of New Zealand’s feathered friends at a wildlife centre. Wine aficionado? Sip your way through surrounding vineyards. 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 and a little late-night dancing.

    Copthorne Hotel and Resort

    Breakfast, Dinner
Queenstown
Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand

Day 6 – Queenstown – Te Anau

Your route from the Mirror Lakes through the Cleddau Valley is the entrée to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi,…

Your route from the Mirror Lakes through the Cleddau Valley is the entrée to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi, a cavernous wonderland where waterfalls thunder from ancient escarpments into inky water where dolphins play. You’ll likely spot them on your Milford Sound/Piopiotahi cruise. It’s all part of World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, an intoxicating union of beech forests, alluvial flats, meadows and gin-clear rivers, carving up the countryside. This is your backdrop all the way to Te Anau.

    Distinction Luxmore Hotel

    Breakfast, Dinner
Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand
Dunedin Railway Station

Day 7 – Te Anau – Dunedin

Swap the forested slopes of Fiordland for the rolling green hills of the Edinburgh of the…

Swap the forested slopes of Fiordland for the rolling green hills of the Edinburgh of the South. Welcome to Dunedin, a beguiling union of both Māori and Scottish heritage. While away the afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speight’s Brewery (a national institution). Or venture further afield to discover the wildlife that thrives in this pretty pocket of the country – fur seals and penguins, anyone?

    Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

    Breakfast
Dunedin Railway Station
Lanarch Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand

Day 8 – Dunedin – Omarama

If you didn’t get a taste for Dunedin’s Scottish heritage yesterday, you surely will today. Explore…

If you didn’t get a taste for Dunedin’s Scottish heritage yesterday, you surely will today. Explore grand Larnach Castle at your leisure – this is, after all, the only one of its kind in the country – then wander the manicured grounds of Otago University or the city’s main George Street for an additional reminder of the city’s ties to Europe. If you’ve ever wanted to see New Zealand’s oldest public gardens, today you’re in luck with a visit to Oamaru, known for its stately tree-lined streets and limestone buildings.

    Heritage Gateway Hotel

    Breakfast, Dinner
Lanarch Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand
Telescope, Dark Sky Reserve stargazing evening, Tekapo

Day 9 – Omarama – Christchurch

Your outlook this morning is the Canterbury Plains. Your Indoor Dark Sky Astronomy Experience at Tekapo,…

Your outlook this morning is the Canterbury Plains. Your Indoor Dark Sky Astronomy Experience at Tekapo, hosted by passionate guides, will forever change the way you see the night sky. You’ll see for yourself it may be one of the quietest spots on the planet, yet it has one of the busiest skies in the universe. Back on earth, it’s time to become reacquainted with Christchurch, your in-the-know guide pointing out the city’s miraculous transformation.

    Ibis Hotel Christchurch

    Breakfast, Dinner
Telescope, Dark Sky Reserve stargazing evening, Tekapo
Dolphins, Kaikoura

Day 10 – Christchurch – Picton

Forget powdery white sand – once you’ve seen the dramatic black Kaikoura cove, you’ll be spoilt…

Forget powdery white sand – once you’ve seen the dramatic black Kaikoura cove, you’ll be spoilt for all future beach-bashing. Bonus points if you spot a sea lion or sperm whale frolicking offshore; a sighting is practically guaranteed if you opt for an aerial tour over the coastline. Your onward route skirts the pink-tinged crystallisation ponds of the Lake Grassmere Salt Works, before arriving in the pretty seaside fishing village of Picton.

    Picton Yacht Club

    Breakfast, Dinner
Dolphins, Kaikoura
Interislander Ferry, Cook Strait

Day 11 – Picton – Wellington

Cruising through Queen Charlotte Sound, up the Tory Channel and across Cook Strait is a journey…

Cruising through Queen Charlotte Sound, up the Tory Channel and across Cook Strait is a journey as scenic as it is serene. Today’s chariot, the Interislander, transports you from the South Island to the North, navigating a maze of arms and inlets into Wellington. Bring your stamina to explore Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Ask your Travel Director for tips on where to sip wine and coffee tonight – this city is known for its uber-cool cafés, restaurants and bars.

    Travelodge Wellington

    Breakfast
Interislander Ferry, Cook Strait
Hot Springs, Rotorua, New Zealand

Day 12 – Wellington – Rotorua

The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, the largest of its kind…

The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, the largest of its kind in the country. 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. This evening, explore Te Puia’s geothermal valley, and learn about Māori history and culture on this guided experience, which includes a dinner of hangi-inspired cuisine and a cultural performance in a finely carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua. It ends on a high at the Pohutu Geyser, where, armed with a hot chocolate you’ll view one of New Zealand’s geothermal wonderlands.

    Ibis Rotorua Hotel

    Breakfast, Dinner
Hot Springs, Rotorua, New Zealand
Rotorua Polynesian Spa

Day 13 – Rotorua

Sometimes, the best adventures are those that you have when you least expect them. Like wandering…

Sometimes, the best adventures are those that you have when you least expect them. Like wandering into Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa and falling into a few hours of bliss while soaking in steamy thermal springs. Or discovering endangered birds on a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. And then there’s Hobbiton. These beautiful landscapes are not only a bucket list tour for Hobbit fans, but a gorgeous countryside getaway

    Ibis Rotorua Hotel

    Breakfast
Rotorua Polynesian Spa
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Day 14 – Rotorua – Auckland

Before you reach your final destination, get set to glow through the Waitomo Caves. While cruising…

Before you reach your final destination, get set to glow through the Waitomo Caves. While cruising cavernous limestone waterways, your route is cast in a magical light by thousands of glowworms. Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, appears on the horizon, dazzling with not one, but two harbours.

    Holiday Inn Express, Auckland

    Breakfast, Dinner
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Auckland, New Zealand

Day 15 to 16 – Auckland

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your tour comes to an end this morning after…

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your tour comes to an end this morning after breakfast. The rest of the day is yours to explore Auckland as we have included an additional night to give you ample time to explore this exciting city.

Auckland, New Zealand
Rarotonga, Cook Islands,

Day 17 to 21 – Rarotonga

Cross the international date line as you travel to Rarotonga, the main island within the Cook…

Cross the international date line as you travel to Rarotonga, the main island within the Cook Islands collection. Spend a relaxing six days sunning yourself on the shores of the island’s crystal-clear lagoon and adjust your watch to ‘island time’!

Rarotonga, Cook Islands,
Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Day 22 – Farewell from Rarotonga

It’s time to return back to the UK on your onward flight home.

It’s time to return back to the UK on your onward flight home.

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Your Itinerary

You can customise your holiday by adding extra nights or destinations. Just let us know what you would like to do

Day 1

|

Christchurch

On arrival in Christchurch, there’s time for relaxing or exploring with a pre-night prior to the start of your guided tour. Perhaps take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the picturesque Avon River.

Christchurch

Day 2

|

Christchurch

There are plenty of reasons to arrive in New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’ early, among them the astonishing transformation that has reinvigorated streets since the devastating 2010/11 earthquakes. Meet your Travel Director and travelling companions at a Welcome reception tonight.

    Ibis Hotel Christchurch

Christchurch

Day 3

|

Christchurch – Franz Josef/Waiau

Jump aboard the TranzAlpine train bound for Christchurch, with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, gorges and river valleys. Visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast well-known for its jade. Around the corner is the town of Franz Josef, gateway to Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Get some perspective on an optional flight.

    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

    Breakfast, Dinner
TranzAlpine

Day 4

|

Franz Josef/Waiau – Queenstown

Over the Haast Pass, alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes spreads before you. First up there’s lovely Lake Wanaka, with its Instagrammable shoreline of poplars and willows. Then Lake Hawea – the colour of an Ice Mint – and Lake Dunstan, where you’ll pause to refuel on flavour-packed stone fruits. As tempting as it is to linger in Arrowtown’s movie-set-like streets, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables await in Queenstown.

    Copthorne Hotel and Resort

    Breakfast
Lake Wanaka

Day 5

|

Queenstown Free Time

Today, choose your own adventure – there are plenty to be had. Feel the wind in your hair on the high-octane jet boat ride, perhaps. Or discover some of New Zealand’s feathered friends at a wildlife centre. Wine aficionado? Sip your way through surrounding vineyards. 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 and a little late-night dancing.

    Copthorne Hotel and Resort

    Breakfast, Dinner
Queenstown

Day 6

|

Queenstown – Te Anau

Your route from the Mirror Lakes through the Cleddau Valley is the entrée to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi, a cavernous wonderland where waterfalls thunder from ancient escarpments into inky water where dolphins play. You’ll likely spot them on your Milford Sound/Piopiotahi cruise. It’s all part of World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, an intoxicating union of beech forests, alluvial flats, meadows and gin-clear rivers, carving up the countryside. This is your backdrop all the way to Te Anau.

    Distinction Luxmore Hotel

    Breakfast, Dinner
Milford Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand

Day 7

|

Te Anau – Dunedin

Swap the forested slopes of Fiordland for the rolling green hills of the Edinburgh of the South. Welcome to Dunedin, a beguiling union of both Māori and Scottish heritage. While away the afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speight’s Brewery (a national institution). Or venture further afield to discover the wildlife that thrives in this pretty pocket of the country – fur seals and penguins, anyone?

    Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

    Breakfast
Dunedin Railway Station

Day 8

|

Dunedin – Omarama

If you didn’t get a taste for Dunedin’s Scottish heritage yesterday, you surely will today. Explore grand Larnach Castle at your leisure – this is, after all, the only one of its kind in the country – then wander the manicured grounds of Otago University or the city’s main George Street for an additional reminder of the city’s ties to Europe. If you’ve ever wanted to see New Zealand’s oldest public gardens, today you’re in luck with a visit to Oamaru, known for its stately tree-lined streets and limestone buildings.

    Heritage Gateway Hotel

    Breakfast, Dinner
Lanarch Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand

Day 9

|

Omarama – Christchurch

Your outlook this morning is the Canterbury Plains. Your Indoor Dark Sky Astronomy Experience at Tekapo, hosted by passionate guides, will forever change the way you see the night sky. You’ll see for yourself it may be one of the quietest spots on the planet, yet it has one of the busiest skies in the universe. Back on earth, it’s time to become reacquainted with Christchurch, your in-the-know guide pointing out the city’s miraculous transformation.

    Ibis Hotel Christchurch

    Breakfast, Dinner
Telescope, Dark Sky Reserve stargazing evening, Tekapo

Day 10

|

Christchurch – Picton

Forget powdery white sand – once you’ve seen the dramatic black Kaikoura cove, you’ll be spoilt for all future beach-bashing. Bonus points if you spot a sea lion or sperm whale frolicking offshore; a sighting is practically guaranteed if you opt for an aerial tour over the coastline. Your onward route skirts the pink-tinged crystallisation ponds of the Lake Grassmere Salt Works, before arriving in the pretty seaside fishing village of Picton.

    Picton Yacht Club

    Breakfast, Dinner
Dolphins, Kaikoura

Day 11

|

Picton – Wellington

Cruising through Queen Charlotte Sound, up the Tory Channel and across Cook Strait is a journey as scenic as it is serene. Today’s chariot, the Interislander, transports you from the South Island to the North, navigating a maze of arms and inlets into Wellington. Bring your stamina to explore Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Ask your Travel Director for tips on where to sip wine and coffee tonight – this city is known for its uber-cool cafés, restaurants and bars.

    Travelodge Wellington

    Breakfast
Interislander Ferry, Cook Strait

Day 12

|

Wellington – Rotorua

The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, the largest of its kind in the country. 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. This evening, explore Te Puia’s geothermal valley, and learn about Māori history and culture on this guided experience, which includes a dinner of hangi-inspired cuisine and a cultural performance in a finely carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua. It ends on a high at the Pohutu Geyser, where, armed with a hot chocolate you’ll view one of New Zealand’s geothermal wonderlands.

    Ibis Rotorua Hotel

    Breakfast, Dinner
Hot Springs, Rotorua, New Zealand

Day 13

|

Rotorua

Sometimes, the best adventures are those that you have when you least expect them. Like wandering into Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa and falling into a few hours of bliss while soaking in steamy thermal springs. Or discovering endangered birds on a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. And then there’s Hobbiton. These beautiful landscapes are not only a bucket list tour for Hobbit fans, but a gorgeous countryside getaway

    Ibis Rotorua Hotel

    Breakfast
Rotorua Polynesian Spa

Day 14

|

Rotorua – Auckland

Before you reach your final destination, get set to glow through the Waitomo Caves. While cruising cavernous limestone waterways, your route is cast in a magical light by thousands of glowworms. Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, appears on the horizon, dazzling with not one, but two harbours.

    Holiday Inn Express, Auckland

    Breakfast, Dinner
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Day 15 to 16

|

Auckland

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your tour comes to an end this morning after breakfast. The rest of the day is yours to explore Auckland as we have included an additional night to give you ample time to explore this exciting city.

Auckland, New Zealand

Day 17 to 21

|

Rarotonga

Cross the international date line as you travel to Rarotonga, the main island within the Cook Islands collection. Spend a relaxing six days sunning yourself on the shores of the island’s crystal-clear lagoon and adjust your watch to ‘island time’!

Rarotonga, Cook Islands,

Day 22

|

Farewell from Rarotonga

It’s time to return back to the UK on your onward flight home.

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

This Holiday Includes

21 nights accommodation
Travel by luxury air conditioned coach
Professional and experienced driver
12 breakfasts and 8 dinners

Flights & More

With FREEDOM, you can book your New Zealand Marvel & Cook Islands escorted tour & beach holiday and flights together, as an ATOL protected package. Our Travel Experts can find the best priced Economy, Premium or Business Class flights for you.

You can also personalise your holiday. Why not add:

  • Extra nights in Christchurch, Auckland or Rarotonga
  • A stopover to New Zealand in Dubai, Singapore or another destination

Next Step

Please get in touch with our New Zealand Experts to start planning your holiday. You’ll have a single point of contact from your first enquiry through booking.

New Zealand Marvel & Cook Islands

22 day Escorted Tour & Beach Holiday – from £4515 £4120

With flights from £5570

All prices are per person, based on two people sharing a double or twin room and include meals shown. Seasonal supplements may apply. Please call Freedom Destinations to confirm departure dates and availability.

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New Zealand Marvel & Cook Islands