Ultimate New Zealand

from 

AU$6,999

per person
 
Duration: 16 Nights
Destination: Auckland to Christchurch
Region: New Zealand
Deal Code: PAETRF7

 

 

Description

Explore New Zealand from Auckland to Christchurch on this 17 day guided holiday with Kirra Tours.


EARLYBIRD OFFER

Book by 15 December 2021 and receive a 5% discount*


Your Guided Holiday with Kirra Tours Includes:

  • 15 nights quality accommodation
  • Small group tour with max 24 guests
  • Tour Guide and transport by luxury coach
  • 15 breakfast, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Lake Aniwhenua Cultural Experience
  • Whirinak Rainforest Tour
  • Huka Falls
  • Lunch at Church Road Winery
  • Coastal Pacific Train Experience
  • Abel Tasman National Park Vista Cruise
  • Greenstone and Glass Blowing Factory visit
  • Seafood Experience in Haast
  • Scenic trip through the spectacular Haast Pass
  • Blue Pools walk
  • Visit Arrowtown and Wanaka
  • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
  • Hokonui Moonshine Museum
  • Larnach Castle
  • Moeraki Boulders
  • 1 night post-tour accommodation in Christchurch including breakfast

Rate is per person twin share and based on departures from 21 Oct 2022 – 07 Apr 2023

**Must book by 15 December 2021

Call us to add on flights!


ITINERARY

Day 1  Arrival day to Auckland

Haere Mai and Welcome to Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), the largest city in New Zealand and home to over 2 million people. The magic of Auckland is in it’s diversity from culture to the environment. There are over 44 volcanoes in the area and 2 harbours, which explains why Auckland is known locally as the ‘City of Sails’. Take the afternoon or early evening to explore after you make your way to Neusto Hotel in central Auckland.

Arrival: Anytime
Stay: Nesuto Hotel or similar

Day 2  Auckland to Rotorua

This morning we’ll be leaving Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and heading for the Rotorua region. Our first stop today is the Okere Falls. The falls lie on the Kaituna River which has cultural significance to the local iwi (tribes) in the area. Currently the River is used for tourism, specifically white water rafting and sledging. We’ll stop by the Falls and see if we can spot some brave rafters going over the falls in their raft.

Next we’ll continue on, skirting round the edge of Lake Rotorua to a lookout point where we’ll have a view of the infamous Mount Tarawera, once the home of the renowned pink and white terraces before a violent eruption destroyed them in 1886. This evening we’ll arrive in Rotorua township and check into our hotel, enjoy a delicious dinner together and then settle in for a luxurious night’s sleep at the Distinction Rotorua.

Stay: Distinction Rotorua
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3  Free Day Rotorua

Known as the North Island’s geothermal hot spot and hub for all the very best adventure activities, Rotorua is definitely one of the best places to explore… even if your nostrils tell you otherwise! There is so much to see and experience here and you have a full free day to see as much as you like.  If you want to see some geothermal activity for free, we recommend taking a walk around Kuirau Park to see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes. You can book a multitude of tours via your Tour Guide and with options such as white water rafting, ziplining through the trees, relaxing at the Polynesian Spa and taking a Gondola up to see the amazing Rotorua Skyline you truly are spoilt for choice.

Visit: Rotorua
Stay: Distinction Rotorua
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4  Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua to Taupo

This morning we venture off the beaten track to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua in Murupara. Kohutapu Lodge is owned by a local Maori family who are passionate, not only about showcasing their Maori tribal heritage, but also about making a difference in the local area. Murupara is an impoverished community that has been transformed for the better through tourism and commercial development. Through community-driven initiatives and a clear vision to provide more opportunities for the local youth, Kohutapu Lodge has paved the way for change in the area. Begin the experience with a guided tour of the sacred Maori rock carvings before arriving at the Lodge to witness the preparation of a ground cooked hangi and tasting it for yourself! After lunch, we’ll depart for the lush, green Whirinaki rainforest for a guided tour along the Rongoa trail. Spot native endangered birds and ancient medicine plants, and learn more about the history of the forest, including the myths and legends before enjoying a hot kawakawa tea in the forest and a final karakia. This evening, our destination is Taupo. First, we’ll stop at the spectacular Huka Falls to see more than 22,000 litres of water per second thundering into the Waikato river. Then we’ll continue on to our Hotel, the fabulous Hilton Taupo, a 19th-century building that combines Victorian charm with modern decor. The resort-style hotel houses a tennis court, a fitness center and swimming pools. This evening we’ll have a delicious 2-course group dinner at their lake-view restaurant.

Visit: Murupara, Whirinaki, Taupo
Stay: Hilton Taupo
Activity: Kohutapu Lodge Tribal Tour, Whirinaki Rainforest Tour
Meals: Breakfast, Hangi Lunch + Dessert

Day 5  Taupo to Napier

After a delicious breakfast it’s time to leave Taupo and travel along the Napier-Taupo Highway to what is widely regarded as the ‘Tuscany of the Southern Pacific’. The stunning Hawe’s Bay region boasts some of the best wineries around and a visit here would not be complete without a trip to Church Road Winery. Established in 1897, the team at Church Road were the first in New Zealand to craft an exceptional Bordeaux-style Red Wine. After a wine tasting, you’ll sit down for lunch in the magnificent Tom McDonald cellar to enjoy an afternoon of delicious food and exceptional wines and soak up the ambience and heritage of this historic building. Later, it’s an easy drive into the beautiful coastal town of Napier. Known for it’s perfectly preserved Art Deco facades, Napier is often referred to as a 1930’s film set. You have the option to stroll along the tree-lined promenade this evening and sample some fresh seafood from one of the many restaurants.

Visit: Church Road Winery
Stay: Scenic Hotel Te Pania
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6  Napier to Wellington

Today it’s time to leave the Art Deco capital and journey down to Wellington, our sparkling capital city, where modern business style blends with a cultured, bohemian spirit. With a population of less than 200,000 people, there is no capital city on earth that marries relaxed and refined better than Wellington. The afternoon is free but we highly recommend a visit to our national museum Te Papa and your entrance fee is included. This evening is yours to explore Wellington.

Visit: Ohakune, Wellington
Activity: Te Papa
Stay: Novotel Wellington or similar
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7  Wellington to Nelson

After breakfast this morning, you’ll take the Ferry to the South Island, don’t miss the spectacular views of the sunken valleys meeting the sea  that form the Marlborough Sounds.  We’ll then head to Nelson arriving at our destination mid-afternoon, the coach will take you on a scenic drive along the seaside. This evening there’s plenty of time to relax, explore the area and the option to taste some of Nelson’s fine local beverages.

Visit: Picton, Nelson
Stay: Rutherford Nelson or similar
Activity: Omaka Museum
Optional Activities: Hike to the centre of NZ, Craft beer tasting, wine tasting
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8  Abel Tasman National Park

Travel to the seaside resort town of Kaiteriteri and spend the morning cruising the stunning Abel Tasman National Park - a coastal paradise known for its golden sand beaches. See the iconic Split Apple Rock and call in to the most popular beaches along the coastline as you sail up to Totaranui and back. This afternoon we’ll take the scenic route and arrive back in Nelson mid-afternoon.                                                               

Visit: Kaiteriteri, Abel Tasman National Park, Totaranui Beach
Stay: Rutherford Nelson or similar
Activity: Abel Tasman National Park Vista Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9  Nelson to Christchurch 

This morning we’ll travel back to Picton and here you’ll jump on board the magnificent Coastal Pacific train and journey down to the capital of the South Island in luxury, soaking up the gorgeous scenery en-route, see Kaikoura's rugged coastline, beautiful mountains, and rolling farmland of Canterbury before you arrive late afternoon in the South Island's capital Christchurch. Tonight we’ll have a group dinner at the hotel.

Visit: Picton, Kaikoura, Canterbury, Christchurch
Stay: Rydges Latimer or similar
Activity: Coastal Pacific Train
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10  Christchurch to Dunedin

After breakfast this morning, we’ll journey south down the coast and across the Canterbury Plains. We’ll pass through the township of Oamaru, home to some of the best-preserved heritage buildings in New Zealand before heading onto the mystical Moeraki Boulders, geological marvels that began to form about 60 million years ago and were exposed by the erosion of sedimentary rocks over time. We’ll arrive in Dunedin with plenty of time to make the most of this Scottish City.

Visit: Christchurch, Oamaru, Moeraki Boulders, Dunedin
Stay: Dunedin Leisure Lodge or similar
Meals: Breakfast                                             

Day 11  Dunedin to Te Anau

We’ll visit the iconic Larnach Castle of Dunedin this morning for a stroll through the magnificent gardens before departing for Te Anau. First, we’ll make a stop in Gore for a trip to the Illicit Past... Gore’s colourful past as a centre for illicit whisky distilling and bootlegging is brought to life at the Hokonui Moonshine Museum. The adventures of the Scottish settlers and their exploits to avoid run-ins with the law are kept alive through dioramas, audio-visuals and artefacts. You can taste Old Hokonui made from the original recipe at the end of your visit, or even take a bottle home with you. Afterwards we drive to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland, where we’ll spend the evening.

Stay: Distinction Luxmore Te Anau or similar
Activity: Larnach Castle, Hokonui Moonshine Museum
Optional Activities: Speight’s Brewery, Dunedin Train Station
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12  Te Anau via Doubtful Sound to Queenstown

Depart from Te Anau this morning to Manapouri, where you’ll enjoy a leisurely cruise across the lake to West Arm. This is followed by a short coach trip on New Zealand's most expensive road, travelling over Wilmot Pass and pausing along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. At Deep Cove, board a modern catamaran and allow the majesty and vastness of the fiord to take your breath away. Enjoy the on-board commentary that provides insight into the region’s history, flora and fauna as you view spectacular towering mountains and wildlife. Later we’ll drive to Queenstown, skirting through lush farmland and around Lake Wakatipu to the picturesque alpine resort of Queenstown.

Visit: Lake Manapouri, West Arm, Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound, Queenstown
Stay: Heritage Queenstown or similar
Activity: Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13  Day at leisure in Queenstown                    

Today is yours to experience New Zealand’s adventure capital for yourself. Queenstown boasts an incredible array of activities and your Coach Captain can assist with booking any optional extras you’d like to do. Take a ride on the world famous Shotover Jet Boat, travel to the top of Bob’s Peak by gondola for spectacular views, take a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon, or for the adventurous, try white water rafting or bungy jumping. Alternatively, browse in the many shops and galleries in town or relax at one of the many cafes or bars along the lakefront.

Stay: Heritage Queenstown or similar
Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 Queenstown to Haast                                   

View incredible scenery as you travel through Arrowtown, an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era. Next we visit Wanaka, a popular township on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Then we’ll enter Jackson Bay, a spectacular place and one not many people will be able to say they’ve done! Jackson Bay marks the farthest point of the West Coast's road network. We’ll have an amazing West Coast lunch at The Craypot - a quirky, little caravan style restaurant situated on the esplanade before heading towards Haast, our destination for the evening. Tonight we stay at the Heartland Hotel, a popular local establishment where the locals come to mix and mingle at the Frontier Bar.

Visit: Wanaka, Arrowtown, Jackson Bay, Haast
Stay: Heartland Haast or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15 Haast via Jackson Bay to Franz Josef        

Travel north along the coast of the Westland National Park, home of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. This remarkable part of the country was shaped by the dynamic glaciers and boasts lush temperate rainforest growing beneath towering mountains. We’ll stop in Fox Glacier with the option to walk the gentle 2.6km track around Lake Matheson. Nestled amongst ancient forest and famous for mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, Lake Matheson is a serene and beautiful place to spend time. This evening we’re spending the night in the Franz Josef township, surrounded by lush rainforest and impressive mountains. We’ll enjoy a delicious group dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Canavans.

Visit: Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson
Optional Activities: Glacier Viewpoint
Stay: Scenic Franz Josef or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16 Franz Josef to Christchurch

Today you’ll travel to the vibrant, artistic town of Hokitika where we’ll visit the amazing Greenstone and Glass blowing factories and watch some talented artists at work before continuing on to Greymouth, a historic town known for jade hunting, gold mining and dramatic river floods. One there, you’ll make your way to the Greymouth Train Station, where you’ll board the Tranzalpine train. Considered to be one of the world’s greatest train journeys, prepare to be blown away by these epic vistas of forests, plains and mountains. Upon arrival in Christchurch, you’ll be collected by your Guide and transferred to the hotel where your trip ends. We hope you leave with many happy memories of us.

Visit: Hokitika, Greymouth, Christchurch
Activity: Greenstone and Glass Blowing Factory visit, Tranzalpine train
Meals: Breakfast

Day 17 Christchurch

After breakfast and checkout, your arrangements come to an end.

Meals: Breakfast


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Terms & Conditions

* Conditions apply. Offer is limited, subject to availability and change without notice. Promotion is correct and valid at the time of publication. Booking and full supplier terms and conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only and not combinable with any other offer (unless stated).

Package price is based on 2 people and is priced in Australian Dollars. Pricing is correct at the time of submission but is subject to change without notice. Valid for departures from 21 Oct 2022 – 07 Apr 2023. Book by 15 December 2021. Blackout/Surcharges may apply over special events, public holidays, and holiday periods. 16 Day Guided Tour operated by Kirra Tours starts in Auckland and ends in Christchurch. Airport transfers are not included. Tour dates listed are subject to minimum numbers and operational capabilities. *Earlybird Offer based on a 5% discount and is included in the package price – no further discounts apply. A non-refundable deposit of $350 per person is required within 7 days of quote to confirm. Quote package code: OVC2217DUNZ