Essence of New Zealand
Experience a perfect New Zealand holiday that will leave you with a lifetime of golden memories. In the North Island, it may be the spirit and energy of a Māori cultural performance, or the thermal wonderland of Rotorua. In the South Island, be blown away by the breathtaking beauty of its snow-capped mountain ranges and the fiords and waterfalls of Milford Sound. Whatever your delight, there are many memories to take away and treasure.
17 nights from £3595pp
Call us on 01756 706505 (+44 1756 706505) to discuss this holiday
Essence of New Zealand Itinerary
Day 1 Welcome to Christchurch
Meet your Travel Director and travelling companions this evening at a Welcome Reception.
Day 2 Christchurch - Omarama
Drive over the rich alluvial farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to spectacular Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki. Pause to view the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd before revelling in the magnificent alpine landscape of Mt. Cook National Park.
Day 3 Omarama - Dunedin
Travel via Oamaru, with its famous white limestone buildings, to Dunedin, a region of unique landscapes and fascinating cultural history. Take an orientation tour, then enjoy quiet time to explore the city or relax at your hotel.
Day 4 Dunedin - Milford Sound
Be awestruck today by the glories of the superb World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park. Journey through rainforest, ancient glaciers and mountain ranges, and pass through the monumental Homer Tunnel. See Lake Matheson, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm before arriving in Milford Sound for your unforgettable overnight cruise.
Day 5 Milford Sound - Queenstown
Depart this morning for the majestic Lake Te Anau. Explore the famous Te Anau Glowworm Caves by boat with a local guide, before travelling to Queenstown, the adventure capital.
Day 6 Queenstown - Free Time
Today is yours to explore Queenstown at your own pace. You may like to consider taking one of our optional experiences – you could ride the Shotover Jet boat, join a wine tour or take an excursion through Skippers Canyon. This evening you have the option of taking a peaceful cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue dinner.
Day 7 Queenstown - Free Time
While Queenstown wears its ‘Global Adventure Capital’ 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.
Day 8 Queenstown - Franz Josef
Your destination is the wild West Coast of the South Island. Stop to visit the gold mining settlement of Arrowtown, and enjoy the serenity of the region’s vivid blue lakes. You will then travel over Haast Pass and view the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls on your way to the Franz Josef Glacier.
Day 9 Franz Josef - Punakaiki
Explore this astounding glacier on foot or from the air this morning (both optional). Travel to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone, then on to Punakaiki to view the intriguing Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll spend the night in an ecofriendly resort right on the waterfront.
Day 10 Punakaiki - Nelson
The Heritage Highway leads you through a scenic wilderness to the plunging Buller Gorge and pristine Kahurangi National Park. This afternoon in Nelson you’ll visit the quirky World of WearableArt and Classic Cars Museum.
Day 11 Nelson - Free Time
On this day at leisure, you’ll have the option of journeying to the top of the South Island and enjoying a cruise in the Abel Tasman National Park. Or, you could take a short bush walk, or relax in sunny Nelson and explore its many art and craft galleries.
Day 12 Nelson - Wellington
Visit the seaside village of Picton with free time to explore and purchase lunch. Cruise on tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound before heading across Cook Strait to the North Island and Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. Enjoy a city sights tour before a guided tour of Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, where you’ll explore New Zealand’s nature, art, history and cultural heritage.
Day 13 Wellington - Free Time
Wellington is celebrated as the country’s creative and culinary capital and today is yours to explore the city at your own pace. You might like to take an optional experience tour of Parliament, or the Weta Workshop, creators of special effects for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.
Day 14 Wellington - Napier
Travel through the Wairarapa region and Hawke’s Bay to Napier, a city whose unique concentration of beautiful Art Deco architecture is due to its rebuilding after the 1931 earthquake. Enjoy a walking tour with a local guide.
Day 15 Napier - Rotorua
Journey to Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand, and then visit mighty Huka Falls on your way to Rotorua, where a sightseeing tour will include views of Lake Rotorua.
Day 16 Rotorua
Visit Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, where talented students carry on age-old traditions of wood-carving and weaving. A tour of Rotorua’s active geothermal fields follows: see bubbling mud pools, spectacular geysers and crater lakes. Gain insight into traditional Maori culture this evening while you enjoy a Highlight Dinner at the Tamaki Maori Village.
Day 17 Rotorua - Auckland
Experience the Agrodome Farm Show, where an entertaining performance provides insights into agriculture in New Zealand. Later, travel through the lush dairy-farming district of Waikato en route to Auckland, where you’ll take a tour of the city.
Day 18 Farewell from Auckland
Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast.
- View the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo
- Spend the night cruising on magical Milford Sound
- Let loose in the ‘adventure capital’, Queenstown
- Explore the Glowworm Caves at Te Anau by boat
- Taste Central Otago stone fruit at a local orchard
- See awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier
- Watch artisans carving native greenstone (jade) in Hokitika
- Punakaiki, home to Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
- Explore the World of WearableArt
- Visit Te Papa Museum of New Zealand
- Guided walking tour of Art Deco Napier
- Immerse yourself in Maori culture at a Hangi Highlight Dinner and concert
- Explore the geothermal valley at Te Puia in Rotorua
- Experience farm life at the Agrodome Farm Show
- Comfortable accommodation
- Travel by luxury coach
- Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
- Airport transfers (see flight information below)