Day 1: Auckland
Arrive into Auckland International Airport and get a private car transfer to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Auckland.
Situated on a narrow isthmus between two beautiful harbours, Auckland the ‘city of sails’ is New Zealand’s largest city with a population of over 1 million. Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, so aptly named by the Maoris as the ‘sea of sparkling waters’, has brought prosperity to the city. Besides being New Zealand’s main shipping port, Auckland is also the main terminal for overseas traffic. The warm sunny climate, with its generous and evenly distributed rainfall is ideal and there are beautiful parklands and garden reserves throughout. The many miles of coastline provide Aucklanders with the means to enjoy their favourite sport of yachting.
Standard: Skycity Hotel
Deluxe: Eden Park, Breakfast included
Day 2: Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula (160km)
This morning collect your rental car in Auckland and make your way to Pauanui on the Coromandel Peninsula. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Pauanui.
This area, about 1.5 hours drive from Auckland is renowned for its native pohutukawa trees on its West Coast and the beautiful white sandy beaches on the East Coast. The historical past of this region is evident in the mining relics, logging dams and Maori Pa sites that dot the landscape. The central ranges of native rainforest are also popular with hikers & ramblers. Many activities are possible in this area, mainly of a walking or water related nature.
Standard: Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge
Deluxe: Brenton Lodge, Breakfast included
Day 3: Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua (218km)
Make your way to Rotorua and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Rotorua is the centre of the intense thermal activity in New Zealand. The city itself is situated on the shores of Lake Rotorua and excellent stream and lake fishing abounds. Geysers, pools of boiling mud, crystal springs and hot mineral water and richly coloured craters make Rotorua one of the world’s great tourist attractions.
Standard: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
Deluxe: Black Swan Lakeside Boutique, Breakfast included
Day 4: Rotorua to Napier (225km)
Make your way to Napier. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Napier. The centre of the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand, Napier is renowned for both its Art Deco architecture and also for its wine industry. It is said to be one of the warmest regions in the country with warm summers and mild winters. There are many activities from adventure seeking, wine tasting to just browsing around the local art deco shopping areas.
Standard: The Nautilus, Napier
Deluxe: The County Hotel, Breakfast included
Day 5: Napier to Wellington (330km)
Make your way to and spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Wellington. Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand lies at the southern end of the North Island. On the shores of a magnificent harbour and surrounded by the rugged beauty of green hills, it is one of the most scenic cities.
Some of the best views are obtained from the hilltops especially from Mt Victoria lookout, which can be conveniently reached by a short taxi ride. Public buildings of interest are the Dominion Museum and National Art Gallery, parliament buildings and the Alexander Turnbull library. The newest attraction in the ‘capital’ is New Zealand’s National Museum. Named ‘Te Papa’ (our place) it contains a wealth of information on New Zealand’s past, present and future, many interactive exhibits, multi-media databases and fascinating collections. A must see while in Wellington.
Standard: Ibis Hotel
Deluxe: QT Wellington, Breakfast included
Day 6: Wellington to Nelson via Picton (110km)
Today please make your way to the Hertz Car counter at the Wellington Interislander Ferry Terminal and return your rental car as pre-arranged.
Board the InterIslander Ferry for your journey across Cook Strait to Picton. On arrival in Picton collect your rental car and make your way to Nelson. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Nelson.
Nelson, at the top of the South Island, is an extraordinary corner of New Zealand – a beautiful region between sweeping beaches and the northern edge of the southern Alps.
Standard: The Rutherford Hotel
Deluxe: Cambria House, Breakfast included
Day 7: Nelson to Greymouth or Hokitika (300km)
Make your way to Greymouth or Hokitika. En route you may like to stop at Punakaiki and visit the famous “Pancake Rocks”. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Greymouth or Hokitika.
Standard: Ashley Hotel Greymouth
Deluxe: Breakers Boutique, Breakfast included
Day 8: Greymouth or Hokitika to Franz Josef (180km)
This morning make your way down the West Coast to Franz Josef from Greymouth or Hokitika. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure in Franz Josef. Nowhere in the world’s temperate zones are glaciers as accessible as South Westland’s most famous pair, Franz Josef and Fox. Both descend to levels of about 1000 feet (300 metres) above sea level. Franz Josef Glacier is a remnant of a much older, larger glacier, which flowed from the alpine snowfields right to the sea.
The glacier is over 12 km long extending into the rainforest just 5km from the Franz Josef Township, making it easy to visit. Walk to viewpoints, or for a close-up view of the spectacular ice formations, take a guided glacier walk, heli-hike excursion or scenic flight.
Standard: Punga Grove
Deluxe: Holly Homestead, Breakfast included
Day 9: Franz Josef to Queenstown (350km)
Make your way to Queenstown where on arrival you will have the remainder of the day at leisure. Queenstown nestles in Queenstown Bay, about midway along the eastern shores of the azure blue waters of Lake Wakatipu. An unusual feature of the lake is the regular ‘breathing’, a 3-inch rise and fall every 15 minutes. Striking mountain peaks surround Queenstown, and although still rural in character, the town has developed into a tourist resort for all seasons.
Situated more than 300 metres above sea level, it is sufficiently inland to provide a sharp contrast between the hot summer and bracing winter. The autumn colours and the Lake District are justly famous and a delight to photographers and painters. Winter brings spectacular snow scenery, ice-skating, white water rafting, parapenting and much more.
Standard: Mercure Resort Queenstown
Deluxe: Browns Boutique Hotel, Breakfast included
Day 10: Queenstown
Full day at your leisure to select your optional sightseeing (at your own expense): thrilling jet boat rides, vintage steamer lake cruises, visit to high country sheep stations, mountain gondola rides — the list is endless and you also have time to relax and simply marvel at the beautiful scenery.
Standard: Mercure Resort Queenstown
Deluxe: Browns Boutique Hotel, Breakfast included
Day 11: Queenstown to Te Anau (420km)
Make your way to Te Anau via Milford Sound where time is available to enjoy a cruise on the scenic sound (at your own expense).
Standard: Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau
Deluxe: Fiordland Lodge, Dinner & Breakfast
Day 12: Te Anau to Dunedin (290km)
Make your way to Dunedin – the “Edinburgh of the South”. This afternoon in Dunedin time is available to explore — you may like to visit the Otago Peninsula – home of the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow Penguins or historic Larnach Castle (at your own expense).
Standard: Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin
Deluxe: Larnach Lodge at Larnach Castle, Breakfast included
Day 13: Dunedin to Christchurch (360km)
Depart Dunedin and make your way to Christchurch, known as the ‘most English City outside England’ or the ‘garden city’. The city was planned around the Canterbury Cathedral, whose 65m spire dominates almost any view of the city. Gothic in design, and like many of the city’s buildings, the cathedral is built out of rough grey local stone. From the unique Summit Road there is a magnificent view of the Canterbury Plains, bounded on the west by Southern Alps and on the east by the Lyttleton Harbour and the Banks Peninsula.
Standard: Heartland Hotel Cotswold
Deluxe: The Classic Villa, Breakfast included
Day 14: Depart Christchurch
Tour ends with returning your rental car to the Christchurch City or airport depot.
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