18 Day North and South Island Itinerary

Discover all that New Zealand has to offer on a comprehensive tour. Highlights include Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Mt Cook and Franz Josef Glacier.

Day 1. Arrive Auckland
Kia ora! And welcome to the 'Land of Long White Cloud'. Upon arrival in New Zealand, you will be met at Auckland airport and transferred to your hotel, which is centrally located in ’The City of Sails’. 

Day 2. Auckland, Freedom of Choice
After a morning at leisure, enjoy your selected sightseeing activity. Perhaps take a cruise on Waitemata Harbour aboard the Pride of Auckland, or explore the Auckland Museum. You may prefer to get up close to giant sharks, eels and scores of fish at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium. Included with most of these options is a Auckland City Sights Tour. Other available choices include a head, neck and shoulder massage at Bliss Reflexology, a Wilderness Adventure into the Waitakere Rainforest, or for those feeling more adventurous, you may like to climb Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.

Day 3. Auckland, Bay of Islands
Cross Auckland’s busy Harbour Bridge this morning and travel along the Hibiscus Coast. Stop at Matakohe’s Kauri Museum for an insight into the rich pioneering history of New Zealand’s Northland region. Then journey to the stunning Bay of Islands and visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the original treaty between the British and Maori people was signed. Here, you’ll also visit the Maori Meeting House and War Canoe. Continue to your hotel, overlooking the Waitangi treaty grounds.

Day 4. Bay of Islands, Freedom of Choice
The Bay of Islands is also home to 144 islands providing a stunning aquatic playground off the north coast of the North Island. Today, discover this spectacular region with a range of sightseeing options. Take a day tour to Cape Reinga, perhaps experience life aboard a tall ship, or alternatively, embark on a dolphin watching adventure. Play a round of golf at Waitangi, take a mini-tour of Russell, or enjoy a sightseeing tour to Kerikeri.

Day 5. Bay of Islands Cruise, Auckland
This morning after breakfast, explore the spectacular Bay of Islands on a dolphin watching cruise to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. In these deep-sea fishing grounds, dolphins and schools of fish are frequently seen. Meander through the inner islands, admiring the picturesque sandy beaches and rocky outcrops, then relax in a secluded bay. Returning to Paihia, your coach will then take you back to Auckland. This evening, you’ll be treated to a special Pacific-themed dinner with quality New Zealand produce at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel.

Day 6. Auckland, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua, Maori Hangi Feast
Leaving Auckland, travel to Waitomo and take a guided tour of the fascinating underground limestone caverns, filled with thousands of tiny luminescent glowworms. Later, rejoin your coach and continue to Rotorua, the geothermal capital of New Zealand. The city is positioned on The Pacific Rim of Fire, and is therefore one of the world’s most active geothermal areas. This evening, immerse yourself in Maori culture as you enjoy a traditional Hangi Feast and performance of song and dance, at the Tamaki Maori Village. Delight in the opportunity to dine and interact with locals who will enchant you with their much-loved customs and cheerful hospitality. 

Day 7. Rotorua, Freedom of Choice
Following breakfast this morning, enjoy your chosen Freedom of Choice Sightseeing Inclusion. Perhaps experience the icons of Rotorua at the Agrodome Farm Show and the Te Puia Thermal Reserve; make your way to Rainbow Springs Nature Park to see a working Kiwi nursery and hatchery; or unwind during a round of golf. Alternatively, take a ‘Hobbiton Movie Set’ tour for an enthralling insight into the making of the Lord of the Rings trilogy; embark on a thrilling 4WD bush safari through native rainforest; take a drive through forest and farmland to visit New Zealand’s largest boiling mud pool and colourful hot springs; or discover the local art, history and culture at Rotorua Museum.  

Day 8. Rotorua, Wellington, Freedom of Choice
Follow the Thermal Explorer Highway to the heart of the North Island and view the Wairakei Steam Valley. Visit Huka Falls and Lake Taupo, before travelling across the vast volcanic plateau of World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park to Wellington. This evening, discover the tantalising flavours of New Zealand with a choice from three tempting restaurants in which to dine.

Day 9. Wellington
Discover the delights of the New Zealand capital with an extended stay. After breakfast, set off on a sightseeing tour taking you to the city’s best-loved landmarks and sights, including New Zealand’s national museum – Te Papa Tongarewa. Afterwards, ride Wellington’s iconic Cable Car, gaining
a fresh perspective on this coastal city. 

Day 10. Wellington, Kaikoura, Christchurch
This morning, step aboard the Interislander ferry to cruise across Cook Strait and through the stunning Marlborough and Queen Charlotte sounds to Picton. Rejoin your coach and travel to the quaint fishing town of Kaikoura, famous for its whale watching. Continue travelling along the central east coast to Christchurch.

Day 11. TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef Glacier
Today, board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world's greatest rail adventures. Journey through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, before travelling across the magnificent Southern Alps within Arthur's Pass National Park. Disembark at Arthur's Pass and travel by coach to Hokitika. Here, you'll enjoy the opportunity to see Pounamu (jade) being carved into pieces of jewellery. Later, continue along the dramatic New Zealand west coast to Franz Josef, where you’ll have the opportunity to see striking Franz Josef Glacier. Check in to your luxury eco-resort before enjoying a four-course degustation dinner tonight.

Day 12. Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown, Freedom of Choice
Enjoy a day of incredible scenery today as you travel along the Haast River, capturing views of the massive glacier-formed Haast River Valley, towering peaks, rushing waterfalls and lush rainforest. Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand's 'adventure capital', where this evening you’ll choose from four restaurants in which to dine. Sample the delicious fresh produce at the waterside Finz seafood restaurant, or take a scenic gondola ride to the Skyline restaurant. You may prefer to cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamer, to Walter Peak High Country Farm, or dine in the stylish surrounds of the Elements Restaurant.

Day 13. Queenstown, Freedom of Choice
Enjoy the opportunity to personalise your Queenstown experience by selecting from one of our Freedom of Choice activities. Perhaps embark on a Safari of the Scenes tour, and visit several local sites where the popular ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy was filmed. On it, you’ll experience the great affinity between the cinematic landscape of New Zealand and that of Middle-earth. Alternatively, you may prefer to take an exhilarating ride on the famous Shotover Jet Boat. New Zealand is rightly known for its wines, and a tour of the country’s premier wine producing region is a tempting option today. Perhaps a thrilling zip-line ride above the Kawarau Gorge is more your style. Or, you may prefer to board a Double Decker Explorer, and discover the beauty of Queenstown and nearby Arrowtown.

Day 14. Milford Sound, Te Anau
Embark on one of the most scenic drives today as you journey along the Milford Road. Wind down the Eglinton and Hollyford valleys, then drive through the Homer Tunnel to be met by the majestic sight of Mitre Peak. Continue to spectacular Milford Sound, where you’ll enjoy a cruise that explores the full length of this pristine fiord. See towering mountains climb straight out of the sea, be entranced by the verdant rainforest as it clings to sheer rock walls and watch in awe as cascading waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into the sea below. Afterwards, enjoy a drive through picturesque countryside to the lakeside settlement of Te Anau. Take time to settle in to your hotel before enjoying dinner with your fellowtravellers this evening.

Day 15. Te Anau, Dunedin, Freedom of Choice
Leaving the Fiordland region this morning, you'll journey through rolling Southland countryside. Travel via Lumsden and Gore to the east coast and Dunedin. Known as the Edinburgh of the south, the former goldmining town was once New Zealand’s largest city thanks to an influx of miners during the goldrush. This afternoon, choose your activity. Perhaps tour Larnach Castle, and learn of its intriguing history. You may prefer to visit Olveston House, or head to Dunedin’s beautiful railway station and board the Taieri Gorge Railway for a journey into the rugged countryside. Those who enjoy a beer might like to tour Speight’s Brewery. Alternatively, nature lovers can either visit an albatross colony, see penguins or take an off-road tour of the Otago Peninsula.

Day 16. Dunedin, Mt Cook, Freedom of Choice
Journey north and stop to view the large spherical Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach. Continue to World Heritage-listed Mt Cook National Park, where you can choose your activity. Perhaps visit The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, or join a guided nature walk. You may prefer to participate in a stargazing session this evening. Alternatively, during the summer months, board a MAC boat and get up close to icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. This evening, relish your stay at one of the region’s premier properties, set in the shadows of magnificent Mt Cook.

Day 17. Mt Cook, Christchurch
Leaving the spectacular snow-capped peaks of Mt Cook National Park behind this morning, travel to
the picturesque Lake Tekapo. Here, you’ll pay a visit to the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd. Built of locally gathered stone and oak, this charming church was erected as a tribute to the early pioneers of the region. Later, travel through delightful scenery along Burkes Pass to Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. In the evening, recall stories of your holiday with fellow travellers at a Farewell Dinner at your hotel.

Day 18. Depart Christchurch
Today, your tour concludes after breakfast with a transfer to the airport for your flight home.

See further details about this tour here: http://www.aptouring.com.au/trips/newzealand/ncc18?utm_source=tourismnz&utm_medium=sto%20link&utm_content=11032015_tourism_nz_ncc18_listing&utm_campaign=tourism_nz_ncc18


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