Coach & Cooks

22 day Holiday Idea - from £2999

Combine an insightful 14 day fully guided tour around both the North and South Island with a relaxed 5 day stay on the Polynesian paradise island of Rarotonga in the heart of the Cook Islands.

Highlights:

  • Rainforests of Haast Pass
  • Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine
  • Cruise over Milford Sound & Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • 5 night beachfront accommodation on the Cook Islands
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Christchurch

On arrival in Christchurch there’s time for relaxing or exploring with a pre-night prior to the start of your New Zealand Marvel guided tour. Perhaps take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the picturesque Avon River. Your tour on the second day begins with a Welcome Reception and dinner with your Travel Director and fellow travellers.

Day 2 - Franz Josef

Board the iconic TranzAlpine train for one the world’s great rail journeys. Pass through the lush pastureland of the Canterbury Plains to the rugged gorges and ice-fed streams and lakes of the Southern Alps. Alight at Arthur’s Pass and continue to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone. Continue to Franz Josef Glacier (optional scenic flight available).

Day 3 - Queenstown

Drive over the spectacular Haast Pass, passing the 96-metre Thunder Creek Falls, and serene Lakes Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan. Stop at the town of Cromwell and enjoy delicious stone fruit. Next you’ll visit the historic gold mining settlement of Arrowtown, where over 70 buildings from the gold-rush era are still beautifully preserved, before arriving in Queenstown for an orientation tour of the town, which sits on the shore of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu. The following day is free to explore New Zealand’s adventure capital.

Day 6 - Te Anau

Travel the highway known as the Devil’s Staircase and along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the town of Te Anau. On your journey to Milford Sound you’ll be awestruck by the native rainforests and rugged mountains of Fiordland National Park. Your cruise on the Sound takes in cascading waterfalls, hanging glacial valleys, and towering Mitre Peak. Return to lakeside Te Anau, where this evening you’ll have the option of visiting the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (own expense).

Day 7 - Dunedin

Journey through lush green sheep grazing country on your way to Dunedin this morning. The afternoon is yours to enjoy as you please. Sit back and relax, ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway, or take a wildlife cruise to spot penguins and Royal Albatross.

Day 8 - Omarama

You have the opportunity to visit Larnach Castle (own expense) before setting out for historic Oamaru, with its celebrated white limestone buildings. Later, pass the monumental Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam on your way to Omarama.

Day 9 - Christchurch

Journey through the awe-inspiring Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park this morning (an optional scenic flight is available). See majestic Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, before stopping to view the famous Church of the Good Shepherd. Later, traverse the fertile Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, a vibrant city known for its English heritage.

Day 10 - Picton

Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast this morning to Kaikoura, where sperm whales can often be seen not far from shore (an optional whale watching flight is available). Pass the pink-tinged crystallisation ponds of the Lake Grassmere Salt Works, then travel to the pretty seaside village of Picton.

Day 11 - Wellington

Cruise tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound, then cross the Cook Strait to Wellington, on the North Island. Take a city tour before enjoying some free time, and later visit Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, where you’ll have time to explore fascinating exhibits.

Day 12 to 13 - Rotorua

Travel along the scenic Kapiti Coast through lush dairy-farming country to Tongariro National Park and snow-capped Mt. Ruapehu. Panoramic views of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in Australasia, will unfold around every corner. View mighty Huka Falls and pass the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station. Later relax or explore Rotorua independently. The following day is free to explore Rotorua at your leisure.

Day 15 - Rotorua

This morning explore the Waitomo Glowworm Grotto by boat, and walk through towering limestone caverns. Later you’ll follow the noble Waikato, New Zealand’s longest river, into Auckland. Take an orientation tour of New Zealand’s largest city before joining your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.

Day 16 - Auckland

Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday 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.

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 relaxed 6 days sunning yourself on the shores of the island’s crystal-clear lagoon and adjust your watch to ‘island time’!

Day 22 - Farewell from Rarotonga

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

22 day Holiday Idea - from £2999

With flights from £4355

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Guide prices shown are per person based on two sharing standard accommodation and include full ABTA/ ATOL protection. Prices vary according to season and standard of accommodation chosen.

Holiday Ideas

This itinerary shows the type of holiday you can enjoy with Freedom Destinations. You can change it to suit your individual needs.

Your holiday includes:

  • Accommodation throughout
  • Guided tour with some meals and activities
  • Airport transfers in New Zealand
  • 5 night stay in the Cook Islands

You can:

  • Choose the style of accommodation you prefer
  • Add day tours and activities in the places you visit
  • Extend your stay in any of the locations
  • Add other destinations or visit family and friends

See more 3 Week New Zealand Holiday Ideas…

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to a New Zealand Expert on 0333 234 3209