Hokitika Gorge
Bay of Islands
Pancake Rocks
Lupins, Lake Tekapo
Milford Sound Waterfalls

Spirit of New Zealand

21 day Escorted Tour - from £5082

With flights from £6045

A leisurely paced guided adventure to the highlights and hidden gems of both the North and South Islands, with inclusive activities and free time to explore.


  • Watch the sunrise over Milford Sound on an overnight cruise
  • Enjoy extended stays in Queenstown, Rotorua, Nelson and Wellington
  • Explore the art-deco architecture of Napier with a local expert
  • Experience an authentic hangi feast at tamaki Maori Village
  • Visit the glittering glowworm caves of Te Anau
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Christchurch

Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City.  Take some time to relax or explore independently. You may like to step back in time to a grand era of transport and relax on the Christchurch Tram as it takes you around the ‘must-see’ central attractions. The tram drivers provide a live commentary throughout the loop, identifying points of interest, historic architecture and the changes the city is under-going since the 2011 earthquake.

This evening, meet your fellow travelling companions and your AAT Kings Travel Director for a welcome reception at your hotel.

Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

Day 2 - Omarama

After a Christchurch city sights tour, head out over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to soak up some spectacular sightseeing. Sweeping views across the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo framed by a backdrop of rugged hills and snow-capped mountains provide stunning alpine photography opportunities. You will visit the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd and stop for a quick photo with the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie Country.

Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country at Omarama. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Hotel: Heritage Gateway
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 3 - Dunedin

Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, which marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago, and with its large catchment it is an ideal source of hydro-electric power. From the Waitaki Valley you will then travel through to the township of Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and its famous white limestone buildings. As well as shipping limestone to the bigger cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for construction of their Town Halls and various churches, Oamaru locals made sure that their own town represented the best in limestone building the mid-late 1800’s had to offer.

This afternoon you will make your way down to the Southernmost New Zealand city, Dunedin. With the rest of your free afternoon, you may wish to take part in an Optional Experience to see more of the region. Take a Wildlife Cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery – a New Zealand institution or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.

Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Dunedin’s inner city.

Hotel: Kingsgate Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 - Invercargill

You’ll leave Dunedin and travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land to Gore and on to Invercargill, New Zealand’s southernmost city. This commercial hub is full of grand architecture and gardens. This afternoon you’ll have free time to explore this city, and perhaps learn more about its obsession with motoring history.

Hotel: Kelvin Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 - Stewart Island

Board a ferry at Bluff and cruise to Stewart Island, known by the locals as Rakiura, which is the Māori reference to Glowing Skies. It has been described as rugged, pristine, and tranquil, and rightly so as 97% of the island is designated National Park and Conservation Estate. This means the birdlife, native flora & fauna and other natural environmental features have been able to thrive. You will gain an entertaining insight into the community and learn about the history and environment of the island on a Village and Bays tour. Later, you have free time. Perhaps join an optional
experience on a guided sail around Paterson Inlet that will take you pastunique places including Acker’s Cottage, before docking at Ulva Island to admire the bird life and native flora. For a more active option you could hire an E-bike and explore the Island for yourself.

Hotel: Kelvin Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 & 7 - Queenstown

Enjoy a relaxed start before departing for Queenstown, where your afternoon and next day are at leisure. Known for its adventure, you could take an optional experience Shotover Jet Boat ride or perhaps join a Wine Tour and sample some of Central Otago’s award-winning wines.

Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 8 - Franz Josef

Your first stop today is the old gold-mining settlement of Arrowtown. Travel on to witness the serenity of the region’s vivid blue lakes, the most famous of which is pristine Lake Wanaka. Drive over the Haast Pass and take a rainforest walk to Thunder Creek Falls on your way to Franz Josef Glacier.

Hotel: Scenic Franz Josef Glacier
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 9 - Punakaiki

Travel on to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone, for a factory visit and demonstration before arriving at your eco-friendly resort on the waterfront in Punakaiki.

Hotel: Punakaiki Resort
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 10 & 11 - Nelson

The Heritage Highway leads you to the Buller Gorge and Kahurangi National Park before arriving in Nelson, gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Enjoy a free day at leisure to explore this picturesque coastline famed for its beautiful walking trails and aquatic adventures.

Hotel: Rutherford Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 to 13 - Wellington

This morning, travel to the pretty seaside fishing village of Picton where you will board the Interislander for a cruise across the Cook Strait, from the South Island to the North. Surprisingly it takes longer to cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound and up the Tory Channel than it does to cross the open ocean of Cook Strait. You will meander through a maze of arms and inlets out of Picton. Once in Wellington enjoy a city tour including viewing New Zealand’s Parliament Buildings.

Spend the next day at leisure exploring the museums and alfresco lifestyle of the nation’s capital.

Hotel: Travelodge, 2 nights
Meals: 2 breakfasts and 1 dinner

Day 14 - Napier

Travel through the dairy farming land of Manawatu to Napier. In February 1931, Napier was levelled by earthquake and fire but was rebuilt in the depths of the Great Depression in just two years. Nowhere else in the world can you see such a concentration of buildings in the styles of the 1930s: Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical. You’ll hear the story of the earthquake that devastated Napier in 1931 and be introduced to the Art Deco style and hear stories of the characters involved in rebuilding this city. A Local Guide will accompany you on a walking tour.

Hotel: Scenic Te Pania
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 15 to 16 - Rotorua

Enjoy a leisurely start to our day before continuing our journey to Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls, the only outlet of water from Lake Taupo and then it’s on to Rotorua. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua.

Tonight, an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Maori Village. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi meal, steamed underground in the traditional way.

The following day is yours to enjoy and explore some the cultural and natural wonders of this fascinating thermal hub.

Hotel: Sudima Hotel
Meals: 2 breakfasts and 1 Highlight Dinner

Day 17 - Auckland

As you make your way into the heart of New Zealand’s largest city, you will discover what it takes to make shape and become an All Black at The All-Blacks Experience. This interactive experience celebrates New Zealand’s rugby heritage, achievements, and culture through exceptional innovation and technology.

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Auckland
Meals: Breakfast

Day 18 to 19 - Bay of Islands

Depart Auckland City travelling north over the Harbour Bridge and past the sprawling suburbs of the North Shore of Auckland. Our travels then take you through Northland’s lush farmland scenery before arriving into the beautiful Bay of Islands.

This afternoon discovers the stories, people and events that shaped the past, present and future of Aotearoa New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. During your tour, you will view the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe, the historic Treaty House and carved Meeting House. Stand on the spot where New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was first signed in 1840.

Your second day here is free for you to relax on the shores of the region’s picture-perfect beaches or enjoy some of the many walking trails along the coastline.

Hotel: Copthorne Resort, 2 nights
Meals:  2 breakfasts and dinner

Day 20 - Auckland

Enjoy a leisurely morning in the Bay of Islands before you travel back to Auckland. Our journey south takes us to Whangarei, the northern-most city in New Zealand, where you can wander around the art galleries and through the marina in the Town Basin.

Enjoy a scenic drive through the Rodney District before arriving into Auckland late afternoon.

Celebrate your holiday at a farewell dinner with your Travel Director and new-found friends.

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Auckland
Breakfast and farewell dinner

Day 21 - Farewell from Auckland

Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Auckland Airport for your onward flight.

Meals: Breakfast

21 day Escorted Tour - from £5082

With flights from £6045


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


  • Enjoy the above tour over 18 days, excluding the Bay of Islands, from £4450

Please speak with your Travel Consultant for details.

Include this Escorted Tour in a New Zealand holiday
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All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a twin room, and include meals where shown. Please call Freedom Destinations for departure dates and availability. Itineraries outlined are for departures from 01 April 2023.

Spirit of New Zealand Tour 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
  • 20 nights hotel accommodation
  • 20 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 8 dinners
  • Expert tour director
  • Airport transfers and extra night options

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