Highlights of New Zealand
11 days with Cosmos Rating:
Day 1 ARRIVE AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND.
Kia ora and welcome to New Zealand! Hotel rooms are available for immediate check-in. A pre-night is not required for early check-in. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or start exploring.
Day 2 AUCKLAND.
This morning begins with a welcome briefing to meet fellow passengers and your Tour Director. Then, enjoy a sightseeing tour, discovering first hand why Auckland is regarded as one of the best places in the world to live. See the Domain, the city’s oldest park, developed around an extinct volcano. Highlights also include charming Parnell Village, bustling Queens Street, and the Viaduct Harbour. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for additional sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
Day 3 AUCKLAND–ROTORUA.
Leave Auckland this morning and journey through lush farm land to Rotorua, home to New Zealand’s Máori culture and geothermal wonders. Our first stop is Te Puia where a guided tour allows you to see bubbling mud, pools of boiling water, and the famous Pohutu Geyser, the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere. You’ll also have a chance to witness traditional Máori carving and weaving along with a Máori cultural performance. Then, visit Agrodome to learn more about one of the country’s major industries—sheep! This evening is at leisure.
Day 4 ROTORUA.
Today is free to explore more of Rotorua. You may wish to take an optional excursion to visit magical Hobbiton, the set used as the Shire in the movie trilogies, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Other options include a zipline and canopy tour, helicopter and floatplane flights over the volcanic valley, or a relaxing soak in a natural hot spring at the Polynesian Spa. In the evening, you may want to attend an optional Máori Hangi dinner and cultural performance.
Day 5 ROTORUA–LAKE TAUPO–NAPIER.
Today we continue our journey on the North Island traveling past Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Later, arrive in Napier, located in the beautiful Hawk’s Bay region. This afternoon, a walking tour explains how a natural disaster resulted in Napier becoming one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. With the rest of the day at leisure, you may wish to take a stroll on the beach, shop for a favorite souvenir, or visit the National Aquarium to see sharks, stingrays, penguins, and more.
Day 6 NAPIER–WELLINGTON.
Continue to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city known for is vibrant art scene, world-class restaurant culture, and active outdoor lifestyle. Upon arrival, a sightseeing tour includes the famous Beehive and Parliament building and panoramic views of the city and harbor from the top of Mount Victoria.
Day 7 WELLINGTON–INTERISLANDER FERRY–PICTON–CHRISTCHURCH.
Today, enjoy a special treat as you sail from Wellington to Picton and enjoy the spectacular Marlborough Sound on one of the most scenic ferry journeys in the world. Make sure to have your camera ready as dolphins are frequent traveling companions of the ferry. On occasion, you might even spot a pod of whales or some penguins swimming by. Continue to Christchurch, the largest city on the South IsIand for an overnight stay.
Day 8 CHRISTCHURCH–LAKE TEKAPO–QUEENSTOWN.
Our journey continues across New Zealand’s South Island today. This is the land of towering mountains, rugged coastlines, and sweeping plains. Stop at beautiful Lake Tekapo for a visit to the picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd. Later, arrive in Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital,” for a 3-night stay. This evening you may want to take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak, where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu below.
Day 9 QUEENSTOWN.
Today is free to explore on your own. You may want to take the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamship to Walter Peak Farm for a delicious lunch or dinner, discover a favorite boutique or art gallery, or take an exciting helicopter ride over the Remarkables Mountains.
Day 10 QUEENSTOWN. EXCURSION TO MILFORD SOUND.
Today, enjoy a full-day excurison to breathtaking Milford Sound. Cruise to see cascading waterfalls, sheer cliff walls, tropical rainforest, wildlife including seals and dolphins, and fantastic scenery. It’s sure to be a highlight of your trip! Return to Queenstown late this evening. Note—The excursion to Milford Sound may occur on Day 9, based on weather and road conditions.
Day 11 QUEENSTOWN.
Your vacation ends this morning.
All This Included
Your affordable New Zealand tour begins in Auckland with a two-night stay to start exploring this fascinating country. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city, including the Domain—its park surrounding a dormant volcano. You’ll travel through the lush farmland of Rotorua, home to New Zealand’s Maori culture, bubbling geothermal sites, and the setting for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. You’ll learn about the region’s natural wonders, agricultural and creative traditions, and the Maori culture.
Your value-minded New Zealand guided vacation continues with big sights to see throughout the north island. You’ll travel past New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, on your way to visit the art-deco city of Napier. Go sightseeing in the New Zealand capital of Wellington, and take in its vibrant art and dining scene. See the Beehive and Parliament buildings, then take in the sweeping views of the harbor from Mount Victoria. Embark on one of the world’s most scenic ferry rides across the Marlborough Sound—keeping an eye out for dolphins, penguins, or whales on your way to Christchurch. Explore the land of towering mountains, rugged coastlines, and vast plains of New Zealand’s south island as you venture on to Queenstown. Enjoy free time to explore this “adventure capital” before your breathtaking cruise on Milford Sound. Here, be awed by waterfalls, sheer cliff walls, and tropical rainforests surrounding the marine home of seals, penguins, and dolphins.
This budget-minded tour of New Zealand is nothing short of spectacular. Enjoy the idyllic and fantastic scenes around each turn in your escorted vacation from Auckland to Queenstown.
Rotorua: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
Napier: expressotel Napier
Wellington: Thorndon Hotel Wellington
Christchurch: Ibis Christchurch
Queenstown: Heartland Hotel Queenstown
Terms and Conditions
* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.