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Welcome to Auckland
Auckland – Rotorua
After a sightseeing tour of Auckland, trace the Waikato River to the Waitomo Caves to sail through the fascinating Glow Worm Grotto and discover the limestone formations. From Waitomo to Rotorua you’ll venture through the King Country. This area was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s, when colonial forces invaded the Waikato region. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Tonight enjoy a Maori Hangi feast ‘highlight dinner’ and concert for an insight into Maori culture at the Tamaki Family Marae
Rotorua Included Choice
Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to join the Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, discover Maori culture at Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, see the Agrodome Farm Show, relax in the seclusion of your own hot mineral pool or unwind with a facial treatment in the Lake Spa Retreat at the Polynesian Spa. Maybe ride the amphibious Rotorua Duck or the luge at Rotorua Skyline.
Rotorua – Wellington
View the mighty Huka Falls and drive along the shores of Lake Taupo. Discover the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park and the dairy farms of Manawatu.
This afternoon ‘you’re invited’ to Shenandoah for a unique experience. The historic villa’s owners, Simon and Claudia, will show you around their property, which includes a unique private collection of Harley Davidson motorcycles. Enjoy afternoon tea in their garden then take a short tour to see the local wildlife including friendly Highland cows. Continue along the Kapiti Coast to Wellington. See the city from Mt. Victoria on your sightseeing tour. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.
Wellington – Blenheim
Why not discover more of Wellington this morning. There’s time to visit the Parliament buildings and the Beehive, home to New Zealand’s politicians. Later, you’ll visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand and explore the exhibits at your leisure, including their unique Marae (Meeting House). Cruise the Cook Strait into Queen Charlotte Sound. The village of Picton is next, then it’s on to Blenheim for a city sightseeing tour. Tonight enjoy a 5-course ‘highlight dinner’ prepared from local produce matched with wines of the Marlborough region, including selections from Villa Maria and Saint Clair wineries
Blenheim – Christchurch
En route to the whale-watching haven of Kaikoura, you’ll pass the Grassmere Salt Works and see New Zealand fur seals up close at Ohau Point. Travel to Christchurch and see the extensive work carried out to rebuild the city after the earthquake of February 2011. Stop in and visit the Re:Start Mall, a project designed to breathe life back into the devastated Christchurch city centre. The mall is entirely constructed from shipping containers and as it was able to be built quickly, retail shopping was re-established several years before it would have otherwise taken place
Christchurch – Twizel
‘You’re invited’ to Morelea Farm, a typical working sheep farm, where you’ll get a taste of traditional New Zealand country life. You’ll be welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor and their beautiful 240 hectare garden. You’ll have the chance to see sheep shearing and farming demonstrations before enjoying a barbecue lunch and wait until you try Angie’s famous pavlova dessert! Listen to the family’s story of growing up in rural New Zealand and their challenges of farming in the foothills of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Later, see spectacular Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki and visit the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd on your way to Twizel.
Twizel – Dunedin
View the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam located on the shores of New Zealand’s largest man-made lake, Lake Benmore. You’ll stop in at the gorgeous harbour town of Oamaru. Most well-known for its stunning 19th century white limestone architecture, Oamaru is also home to potters, painters, cheese-makers and many other artisans. And you may even spot an Oamaru Blue Penguin!
On arrival in Dunedin, you may wish to take a wander around the beautiful grounds of New Zealand’s first university, Otago University. Dunedin, also known as the Edinburgh of the South, has strong connections to its northern hemisphere sister city, even down to sharing many of the street names. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.
Dunedin Included Choice – Te Anau
This morning choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to tour Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle, ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway or take the Monarch Wildlife Cruise. Or choose a tour of Cadbury World or Speight’s Brewery. Later, travel across farming land to the village of Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the South Island’s largest lake. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.
Te Anau – Queenstown
You’ll be awestruck by the magnificence of the World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park. Amazing photo opportunities await you today as you see rainforest, ancient glaciers, mountain ranges and the hand-made Homer Tunnel. Pass the Mirror Lake, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Your cruise on Milford Sound will take you past Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Afterwards, travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu on your way to Queenstown, where an orientation tour finishes this highlight day.
Queenstown Included Choice
Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to ride the Shotover Jet, join a wine tour, play 9 holes of golf or take the gondola to the Skyline Restaurant for dinner. Perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon, relax with a spa treatment at Millbrook Resort or go horse riding. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue ‘highlight dinner’ at the Colonel’s Homestead. An entertaining farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life. Why not join in a sing-a-long on your way back to Queenstown?
Queenstown – Franz Josef
Visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown then enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell. See lakes Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka. Travel over the Haast Pass and view Thunder Creek Falls. Then it’s on to Franz Josef Glacier, the world’s most accessible and still advancing glacier. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.
Franz Josef – Punakaiki
It’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Explore Franz Josef Glacier – take a scenic flight or a glacier hike (both own expense). Then you’ll depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort, right on the waterfront. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel, while watching the surf thundering at your doorstep!
Punakaiki – Christchurch
Travel to the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914, and is rated as one of the word’s most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. Join your Tour Director this evening for a farewell dinner with wine.
Farewell from Christchurch
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