Spirit of New Zealand

from 

AU$4,496

per person
 
Duration: 20 Nights
Destination: New Zealand
Region: New Zealand
Deal Code: PA19VG7U

 

 

Description

Indulge in a little star-gazing before retiring to your private cabin for your overnight stay on Milford Sound. Journey out to Abel Tasman National Park and take a stroll along seemingly untouched golden beaches. Hear how the coastal city of Napier was rebuilt in Art Deco style after the earthquake of 1931.

Your guided holiday includes:

  • 21 Day guided touring of New Zealand
  • 20 Nights accommodation
  • 20 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 6 Dinners, 1 Highlight Dinner & 1 Farewell Dinner
  • Travel by luxury coach
  • Services of an experienced Travel Director & Driver Guide
  • Airport transfers

***Rate based on twin share for travel 6 to 26 October 2022. Alternative dates available throughout 2022 and 2023, a surcharge may apply.***

***Solo traveler and child pricing available.***


Highlights: Waitangi Treaty Grounds – Auckland City Sights Tour – Te Anau Glow Worm Caves – Art Deco walking tour in Napier – Tamaki Maori Village Cultural Experience – Te papa NZ National Museum – Wellington City Sights Tour – Cruise the Cook Strait – Milford Sound Overnight Cruise – Te Puia – Dunedin City Sights Tour – Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo – Christchurch City Sights Tour


Day 1: 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.
Accommodation: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch to Omarama
After a Christchurch city sights tour, you will 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. You may want to take in Mount Cook National Park from the air this afternoon, on a scenic flight out over New Zealand’s highest peak, the Southern Alps and on to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers (at own expense). Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country at Omarama. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Accommodation: Heritage Gateway Hotel
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3: Omarama to Dunedin
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.
Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Dunedin to Milford Sound
After leaving Te Anau, you will journey 119km through the Fiordland National Park and out to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic roads. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows. You will stop at Mirror Lakes where, as the name suggests, you can see the stunning mountain scenery perfectly reflected in the waters of the lakes. Then on to the Homer Tunnel, man’s attempt to master the sheer rocky ranges, still left rough-hewn around the edges. As you emerge out the other side of the tunnel, you are presented with one of the world’s most dramatic alpine drives, down through the Cleddau Valley. You will have a stop at the Chasm, where the roaring Cleddau River has carved its way through solid rock, and then it’s on to Milford Sound, where you will cruise the waters of this natural wonder. Your cruise meanders down the sound, taking in the Bowen and Stirling Falls as they plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord for your magical overnight cruise on Milford Sound.
Accommodation: Milford Mariner onboard your cruise
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 5: Milford Sound to Queenstown
This morning, depart for the township of Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake on the South Island. Here you’ll explore the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves by boat with a Local Guide, before continuing to New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: Queenstown
Explore exciting Queenstown your way! Encounter a Queenstown legend and ride the Shotover Jet Boat or venture out on a Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour. If laid-back and relaxed is more your idea of fun, then join a Wine Tour and sample some of Central Otago’s award-winning wines. Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences. After a day of activity, why not sit back and enjoy a peaceful evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station (own expense). Today, the TSS Earnslaw is believed to be the only coal-fired passenger carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere. Partake in a gourmet BBQ Highlight Dinner at Walter Peaks’ Colonel’s Homestead and then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing a glimpse into high-country farm life. On the cruise back to Queenstown, join in a vintage sing-along or grab your partner for a dance across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Queenstown
While Queenstown wears its Global Adventure badge proudly, it’s also the perfect place to relax and explore. The town boasts great shopping with luxury brands, iconic New Zealand design stores and boutique fashion.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Queenstown to Franz Josef
This morning you will leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown, and begin the passage through Central Otago and out to Westland. On the way you will stop and visit the 148 faithfully restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. As you amble down the beautiful tree-lined avenues, past the 19th century wooden buildings, you will feel like you have stepped into a movie set. From here you will travel over to Cromwell, situated next to the sparkling pristine waters of Lake Dunstan, where you will stop in at a local orchard for a taste of some of the town’s delicious stone fruit. After Dunstan, you will travel further into Central Otago and view the vivid blue waters of Lake Hawea, followed by Lake Wanaka, where the shoreline is charmingly lined by poplars and willows. Following an ancient greenstone trail, you will travel over Haast Pass, marking a change from the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes, to the rainforest marvel of the wild West Coast. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and the grand sight of Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers. Our final destination for today is the extraordinary rivers of ice that make up Franz Josef Glacier. You may want to get up close and personal with the glaciers on a helicopter flight. Your flight will hover over the snow face and may land high up in the valley so that you can walk across the ice fall – subject to weather conditions (at own expense).
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 9: Franz Josef Glacier to Punakaiki
Take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village. Then you head off to the drift-wood strewn beaches of Hokitika. As well as being one of the few West Coast communities to embrace its coastal landscape, Hokitika struck it rich in the resource's stakes. Here you will visit a pounamu factory, for the chance to see master carvers at work creating intricate pieces of jewellery and art. Maori tradition says it is bad luck to buy pounamu for yourself, so if you fancy a trinket of your own, make sure you have someone there to purchase it for you. Then, continue to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Tonight, we stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront. Enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your doorstep.
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 10: Punakaiki to Nelson
Soak up the scenic wilderness of the Heritage Highway through the impressive Buller Gorge and the Kahurangi National Park before arriving in Nelson.
Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11: Nelson
On this day at leisure, you’ll have the opportunity to journey to the top of the South Island and enjoy a relaxing cruise in the Abel Tasman National Park, or perhaps take a short bush walk, relax in sunny Nelson or explore the many arts and craft shops. The choice is yours!
Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12: Nelson
This morning, we 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 149 including viewing New Zealand’s Parliament Buildings. Tonight, is an evening at leisure.
Accommodation: Travelodge Wellington
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13: Wellington
You have a day at leisure to see the sights of your choice. Perhaps take a tour of Parliament or one of the Lord of the Rings movie tours, or venture to Weta Workshop, the home of the special effects' wizards whose work features in many blockbuster movies. Enjoy the café lifestyle in our capital city or simply shop till you drop, there is something in Wellington for everyone!
Accommodation: Travelodge Wellington
Meals: Breakfast

Day 14: Napier
You’ll have lunch included today provided by ‘Eat My Lunch’. ‘Eat My Lunch’ is a charity organisation that provides lunch for New Zealand school children who otherwise would be going to school without. By having lunch today, you are giving a lunch to a child in need. 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.
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Te Pania
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 15: Napier to 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.
Accommodation: Ibis Rotorua Hotel
Meals: Breakfast & Highlight Dinner

Day 16: Rotorua
Today is your chance to experience the scenic wonders of the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Visit Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, where you’ll see demonstrations of wood carving and weaving. Then tour the geothermal valley and hear the importance of the geysers and mud pools to the Maori people. Later, you may wish to travel back to Rotorua township and relax lakeside, or you may prefer to choose from one of the varied Optional Experiences on offer. Take a scenic flight out over Lake Rotorua for a bird’s eye view of the region. You may even want to stop at the top of Mt Tarawera, the site of the largest eruption in New Zealand’s living memory! Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park & The National Kiwi Hatchery, take a ‘behind the scenes’ tour through the working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Later, why not spend a little more time experiencing the thermal wonders, with a soak in the hot mineral waters of the Polynesian Spas?
Accommodation: Ibis Rotorua Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 17: Rotorua to Auckland
Today you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest river, past the lush farmlands of the Waikato Region. As you journey over the Bombay Hills, the landscape changes from green, grassy meadowlands to the edges of suburbia. As you make your way into the heart of New Zealand’s largest city, you will stop at the Auckland War Memorial Museum for views across Auckland City and the Waitemata Harbour.
Accommodation: VR Queen Street Hotel & Suites
Meals: Breakfast

Day 18: Auckland to Bay of Islands
This morning, we 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. This evening enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Accommodation: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Rooms
Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 19: Bay of Islands
Today is free for you to experience the beauty of the Bay of Islands. Perhaps take a coach trip up to Cape Reinga - the very top of New Zealand via idyllic Ninety Mile Beach. Experience a day of sailing aboard a historic tall ship, enjoy wine tasting in Kerikeri, or join a tour of Russell and learn more about the settling of the Bay of Islands. Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your optional experiences.
Accommodation: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Rooms
Meals: Breakfast

Day 20: Bay of Islands to 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.
Accommodation: VR Queen Street Hotel & Suites
Meals: Breakfast & Farewell Dinner

Day 21: Auckland
Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Auckland Airport.
Meals: Breakfast

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Terms & Conditions

Prices listed are per person in Australian Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking.  Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 17 December 2021 and can be withdrawn without notice. Visas are not included. Flights are not included. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Overnight Milford Sounds cruise does not operate 21 May – 15 September. During this period there will be a day cruise on Milford Sound and accommodation in Queenstown or Te Anau. Some activities are weather permitting and alternative arrangements will be made if required.