Fine Tours New Zealand
Call us free in New Zealand on 1844 215 8210
Call us free in New Zealand on 1844 215 8210

Similar itineraries

Northern Luxury Explorer

9 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Auckland
Accommodation style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Auckland to Christchurch 10 day Luxury

10 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Christchurch
Accommodation style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

The Far North Luxury escape

6 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Auckland
Accommodation style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

 

Luxury 23 day Grand Explorer

Auckland to Christchurch, 23 days 22 nights self drive tour, staying in Luxury Lodges & hotels

Luxury 23 day Grand Explorer
Luxury 23 day Grand Explorer
Luxury 23 day Grand Explorer
Luxury 23 day Grand Explorer

This remarkable journey takes you to New Zealand's exclusive luxury lodges from Kauri Cliffs in Matauri Bay, all the way south to Matakauri Lodge in the adventure capital of Queenstown. Along the way you will explore New Zealand's spectacular landscapes by train, plain, helicopter and jet boat, to name just a few of the outstanding inclusions. The relaxed pace will give you time to explore and understand New Zealand's unique people and culture, as well as giving time to explore and relax in your magnificent surroundings.

The approximate total driving distance and time for this itinerary is: 2812 kms / 1744 miles, 34.5 hours

You can expect to spend around NZ$327 in fuel cost on this itinerary based on an intermediate sized car.

 

Day 1

Arrive in Auckland City, transfer to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Personal meet and greet, and private transfer to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Welcome to Auckland City

Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

Your accommodation - Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: valet paid parking NZ$30-NZ$40 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
 

Day 2

Drive from Auckland to Matauri Bay where you'll stay at Kauri Cliffs Luxury Lodge

Driving distance and time: 255 kms / 158 miles : 3.2 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday.  You can choose from an extensive range of late model cars and 4WD vehicles, from Europcar, Budget or Hertz.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Auckland to Whangaroa and Matauri Bay

Auckland to Whangaroa and Matauri Bay
Auckland to Whangaroa and Matauri Bay
Auckland to Whangaroa and Matauri Bay
Auckland to Whangaroa and Matauri Bay

The trip from Auckland to the Bay of Islands takes around 3.5 hours but give yourself some leeway for stops and sightseeing. As you go through Puhoi, take in the bohemian atmosphere of this historical township. Stop for a breath of fresh salty air in Whangarei and take another break at Kawakawa - home to the world famous Hundertwasser toilets. Enjoy the native bush surrounds and marvel at the endless golden beaches as you arrive into the subtropical Bay of Islands region. Continuing north its just a short drive to Whangaroa Harbour and Matauri Bay, your destination for the night.

Your accommodation - Kauri Cliffs

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
Kauri Cliffs
Kauri Cliffs
Kauri Cliffs
Kauri Cliffs
 

Day 3

Spend the day enjoying the activities on offer at Kauri Cliffs

Kauri Cliffs Lodge Experience

Kauri Cliffs Lodge Experience
Kauri Cliffs Lodge Experience
Kauri Cliffs Lodge Experience
Kauri Cliffs Lodge Experience

Located on 6,000 spectacular acres near Matauri Bay, Northland, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is a secluded oasis. With panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Cape Brett and the Cavalli Islands, guests stay in one of 22 cottage suites, each with their own private porch and open fireplace.

While best known for its world-class golf course, Kauri Cliffs has many other activities on offer including horseback riding, cycling, swimming, sailing, a guided farm tour, and access to it's day spa - nestled within native Totara forest. Discover New Zealand's pristine shores on one of three private beaches or fish and dive in the clear blue waters.

Ranked the number one hotel in the world in 2014 by Conde Nast, Kauri Cliffs is also home to two astroturf tennis courts, an infinity swimming pool, spa and fully equipped fitness centre. Five-star gourmet a la carte dining is available both indoors and on the veranda outside, as well as informal barbecues and lunch hampers.

Your accommodation - Kauri Cliffs

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 4

Explore the Far North from above

Cape Reinga Scenic Aeroplane Flight and Guided Tour

Cape Reinga Scenic Aeroplane Flight and Guided Tour
Cape Reinga Scenic Aeroplane Flight and Guided Tour
Cape Reinga Scenic Aeroplane Flight and Guided Tour
Cape Reinga Scenic Aeroplane Flight and Guided Tour

Today experience the beauty of the North from both air and land. Take a spectacular scenic flight to Cape Reinga over Whangaroa Harbour and the Rangaunu Harbour as well as Coopers Beach, Doubtless Bay and Ninety Mile Beach. The tour also includes a visit to the Cape Reinga lighthouse, and the option to slide down giant sand dunes on sleds.

Your accommodation - Kauri Cliffs

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 5

Return to Auckland via Paihia, Bay of Islands

Driving distance and time: 381 kms / 236 miles : 4.8 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Matauri Bay to Bay of Islands (Paihia)

Matauri Bay to Bay of Islands (Paihia)
Matauri Bay to Bay of Islands (Paihia)
Matauri Bay to Bay of Islands (Paihia)
Matauri Bay to Bay of Islands (Paihia)

Today return south through Kerikeri - known for its crafts studios, fruit orchards and artisan products. Home to two of the oldest buildings in the country - Mission House and the Stone Store (both which encompass materials and artifacts from early european settlers) Kerikeri is a delightful place to learn about New Zealand's early history. Continue on to Paihia, your destination for the night - and great a base from which to explore the Bay of Islands.

Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland

Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland
Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland
Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland
Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland

Today you will leave the Bay of Islands for a scenic return trip to Auckland. Head west, leaving the Pacific Ocean for the wilder seas of the Tasman and Hokianga. Go through the small townships of Omapere and Opononi, each with a great seaside feel.

Your route now goes south through Waipoua Forest, home to the largest and oldest Kauri trees in the country. Make sure you allow time for several of the signposted short walks as you pass - not to be missed is the five minute loop to view the largest of all the trees -Tane Mahuta.

As you make your way back down the country you’ll pass the Matakohe Kauri Museum with extensive displays on the region’s logging, farming and social history. Continuing on, go through Warkworth and the bohemian settlement of Puhoi before crossing the harbour bridge to arrive in Auckland city.

Your accommodation - Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 6

Today cross the lush Waikato farmland to arrive in Rotorua and your luxury lakeside retreat - Solitaire Lodge

Driving distance and time: 220 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Auckland to Rotorua

Auckland to Rotorua
Auckland to Rotorua
Auckland to Rotorua
Auckland to Rotorua

The drive south from Auckland takes you past the Bombay Hills and into the rolling farmland and rich dairy pastures of the Waikato. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of greater Auckland area and it's here you turn inland to central Waikato. You’ll soon go through the town of Matamata where you can visit the fully intact Hobbiton film set used in the shooting of the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Continuing on, you’ll pass several small farming communities before telltale signs of steam and other geothermal activity signal your arrival into Rotorua.

Solitaire Lodge

Solitaire Lodge
Solitaire Lodge
Solitaire Lodge
Solitaire Lodge

Nestled on the shores of lake Tarawera, Solitaire Lodge offers guests the ideal blend of indulgence and adventure from a picture perfect setting. Luxurious and elegantly appointed with floor to ceiling windows and stunning panoramic views across the lake, guests can choose to relax in front of an open fire with a book from the library, enjoy the bar facilities or take a stroll in the expansive herb garden. Nearby is the Lodge’s private jetty with complimentary use of the lodge’s kayaks, motorised dinghies and trout fishing gear.

Each of the suites are styled for comfort and feature panoramic views of the lake and volcano. Bringing the outdoors in, you are invited unwind and soak up the peace and quiet of this tranquil setting.  

Your accommodation - Solitaire Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • All rooms non smoking
Solitaire Lodge
Solitaire Lodge
Solitaire Lodge
Solitaire Lodge
 

Day 7

Experience the unique Maori culture of Rotorua, and indulge in traditional cuisine with a twist

Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance

Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance
Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance
Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance
Te Puia - Steambox Interactive Maori Experience and Lunch and Cultural Performance

Begin this unique cultural experience by viewing a traditional performance in the Maree, a Maori meeting house. Listen to beautiful harmonies, see the seductive poi dance and experience the powerful Haka - a fearsome Maori war challenge. You will then choose from a variety of meats and vegetables for your Steambox lunch.

The Steambox cooking method utilises the steam and hot water naturally available within thermally active landscape. Historically, this method has been used by early Maori settlers, and is a traditional way of preparing a meal.  While your food is being cooked in the Ngā Whā steam vent, You will be taken on a guided tour of Te Puia thermal reserve. Beginning with an interactive flax weaving session, you’ll learn to weave flax before exploring the geothermal valley including the Kiwi house, mud pools and bubbling hot springs. Return in time for your steaming lunch - eaten as you enjoy an impressive view of the geyser terrace.

Your accommodation - Solitaire Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8

Drive to Napier and Hawkes Bay via Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. Visit the remarkable Cape Kidnappers Gannet colony

Driving distance and time: 210 kms / 131 miles : 2.4 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Rotorua to Napier

Rotorua to Napier
Rotorua to Napier
Rotorua to Napier
Rotorua to Napier

This drive will take you through the thermal region just south of Rotorua. Home to a plethora of unique geothermal attractions including boiling mud pits, natural hot springs and steaming geysers, this area is a must do before you move on to Napier. Notable attractions are Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu and Craters of the Moon.

Continue on to Taupo and marvel at the lake - a giant crater formed following a volcanic eruption in the year 180 CE. As you approach the city, be sure to stop at Huka Falls to view the spectacular sight of 58,000 gallons (222,000 liters0 of water spilling down the narrow 11 meter drop.

For an extra thrill take a jet-boat ride to the base of the falls. Leaving Taupo, follow the road as it climbs the rugged Ahimanawa Range before descending back down the Pacific Coast to art deco Napier.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

With spectacular panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, nestled among 6,000 acres of rugged  coastal farmland, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers offers a multitude of activities within a five-star luxury setting. Offering many comfortable spaces to relax and unwind, including an intimate snug, stylish lounges, outdoor conservatory areas - there is no better way to take in this picturesque landscape. Choose from a range of leisure facilities such as: a heated infinity pool and jacuzzi, spa treatments with beautiful forest and ocean views, a world class  golf course and clubhouse and a  fully equipped gym, offering yoga, pilates, golf specific fitness and personal training. The Farm is also home to some of the best trails in the north island, from independent forest walks to ocean stroll or guided farm tours - pack a picnic and set off on an afternoon of outdoor fun. Also on offer are mountain, bikes, quad bikes and horse treks for the more adventurous traveller.

Your accommodation - The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
 

Day 9

Relax at the lodge this morning then embark on a private tour to some of the regions finest vineyards

Private Luxury Wine Tour including lunch

Private Luxury Wine Tour including lunch
Private Luxury Wine Tour including lunch
Private Luxury Wine Tour including lunch
Private Luxury Wine Tour including lunch

A tour designed for those who are looking for a more intimate experience of renowned Hawke's Bay wineries. Learn about the local yield and the region's long viticultural history, and indulge in a two course gourmet lunch. Taste classic varieties such as Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris Viognier, Semillon and Riesling. There will also be an opportunity to taste sherry, port and dessert reds.

Your accommodation - The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 10

Continue your drive south through the Wairarapa to arrive the capital city of Wellington

Driving distance and time: 297 kms / 184 miles : 3.7 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Hawkes Bay (Hastings) to Wellington

Hawkes Bay (Hastings) to Wellington
Hawkes Bay (Hastings) to Wellington
Hawkes Bay (Hastings) to Wellington
Hawkes Bay (Hastings) to Wellington

The rolling countryside of the Hawke's Bay leads you into some of New Zealand’s richest farmland, located around the Manawatu region. Passing along the Manawatu Gorge, the Wairarapa welcomes you. Masterton is home to the 'golden shears' sheep shearing competition while just further south Greytown boasts the largest concentration of historic wooden buildings in the country. Nearby Martinborough has dozens of boutique wineries. The route then takes you over the Rimutaka Range and along the magnificent natural harbour that the capital city of Wellington sits upon.

Your accommodation - Bolton Hotel Wellington

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite paid parking NZ$30-NZ$35 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
Bolton Hotel Wellington
Bolton Hotel Wellington
Bolton Hotel Wellington
Bolton Hotel Wellington
 

Day 11

Take the interislander ferry to Picton and a short drive to your accommodation overlooking the sounds

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton with exclusive access to the Premium Plus Lounge

Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton with exclusive access to the Premium Plus Lounge
Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton with exclusive access to the Premium Plus Lounge
Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton with exclusive access to the Premium Plus Lounge
Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton with exclusive access to the Premium Plus Lounge

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the country's highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph). From the Cook Strait, spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen.

Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds - and this region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays offer a remarkable photographic opportunity. At the end of Queen Charlotte Sound the cruise comes to an end in this picturesque town of Picton.

When you’re not out on the deck enjoying the amazing views, you can retreat to the exclusive premium plus lounge which is the most comfortable and relaxing way to travel across the Cook Strait.  You’ll enjoy complimentary beverages, light snacks, lunch or breakfast, internet access, magazines and newspapers and the most comfortable seating, so you can sit back and enjoy the journey.

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday.  You can choose from an extensive range of late model cars and 4WD vehicles, from Europcar, Budget or Hertz.

Your accommodation - The Sounds Retreat

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
The Sounds Retreat
The Sounds Retreat
The Sounds Retreat
The Sounds Retreat
 

Day 12

Discover the award winning wineries of the Marlborough Region

Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour

Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour
Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour
Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour
Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour

The ultimate food and wine experience, the Sounds Connection Gourmet Wine Tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at several renowned Marlborough wineries including Hans Herzog Estate, Wither Hills, Cloudy Bay and Johanneshof Cellars, as well as a stop at the Makana Chocolate Factory. Meet the makers behind these world-renowned wines and gain fascinating insight into the wine-making process.

Your accommodation - The Sounds Retreat

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 13

Head South from Picton to Christchurch today

Driving distance and time: 326 kms / 202 miles : 4.0 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Picton to Christchurch

Picton to Christchurch
Picton to Christchurch
Picton to Christchurch
Picton to Christchurch

From Picton you cross the ‘dry hills’ of the Marlborough ranges as you head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view native wildlife such as seabirds and New Zealand fur seals. To the east is the turquoise waters of the South Pacific Ocean and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Kaikoura Township is a bustling place with many cafes, restaurants and shops - but the main reason for visiting here is the wildlife. Whale Watch Kaikoura is New Zealand's only marine-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale at all times of the year.  Depending on the season you may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales.

The drive from Kaikoura to Christchurch continues to follow the spectacular coastline before heading inland and through North Canterbury’s major wine region, the Waipara Valley to arrive into Christchurch City.

Your accommodation - The George Hotel, Christchurch

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 5-10 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • Gym/fitness centre
The George Hotel, Christchurch
The George Hotel, Christchurch
The George Hotel, Christchurch
The George Hotel, Christchurch
 

Day 14

Cross the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook National Park

Driving distance and time: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park
Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park
Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park
Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Today you’ll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo. Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue color. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village.

Your accommodation - Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 1-2 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus
Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus
Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus
Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus
 

Day 15

Today experience the spectacular Southern Alps scenery by air with a breath-taking helicopter tour.

Mt. Cook Ultimate Scenic Helicopter Flight

Mt. Cook Ultimate Scenic Helicopter Flight
Mt. Cook Ultimate Scenic Helicopter Flight
Mt. Cook Ultimate Scenic Helicopter Flight
Mt. Cook Ultimate Scenic Helicopter Flight

View the spectacular Aoraki Mount Cook from above on this 55 minute scenic flight. See the incredible scenery surrounding New Zealand's tallest peak, including hanging glaciers, calved icebergs, rivers of ice, the forests of the West Coast and the renowned Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. You’ll also land on the glacier itself -  a truly unique experience.

Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village

Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village
Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village
Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village
Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village

There are many short scenic walks beginning in and around the Mt. Cook Village, suitable for all ages and abilities. Located within the Mount Cook Village is the Department of Conservation information centre, where updates on the track conditions and suitability is available as well as information on the history of the area and its wildlife.

Below is a snapshot of some of the walks available:

 - Bowen Bush Walk  - 10 minute return

 - Glencoe Walk - 10 minute return

 - Red Tarns Track - Two hour return

 - Kea Point Walk - Two hour return

 - Hooker Lake - Four hour return

Your accommodation - Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 16

Continue your drive south to Central Otago, through the Gibbston Valley to arrive in Queenstown

Driving distance and time: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown

Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown
Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown
Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown
Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown

Leaving the alpine region of Mount Cook, you'll travel through the lakeside town of Twizel, then a little further to Omarama - the gliding capital of New Zealand. Continue on over the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand’s highest roads with a summit of 971 meters. Arrive in the quaint village of Tarras, then continue on a short way to the historic Bendigo Reserve, one of Otago’s original gold mining settlements.

Follow the road to Cromwell, and keep going through the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge towards the Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. See the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can bungy jump or relax and watch others take the plunge. Approaching Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range comes into view as you arrive into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Matakauri Lodge

Matakauri Lodge
Matakauri Lodge
Matakauri Lodge
Matakauri Lodge

Spectacularly situated on Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge offers stunning panoramic views of the Remarkables, Cecil and Walter Peak mountain ranges. Just a short seven minute drive for the centre of Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge is a relaxing alpine retreat tucked into one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. The main lodge consists of a spacious lounge, dining and living areas complimented by large open fires. It also has a large patio, library and courtyard - all comfortable spaces to relax in. You can also take a swim in the pool or relax in the Jacuzzi, both offering spectacular views of the lake and mountainside.

Your accommodation - Matakauri Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
Matakauri Lodge
Matakauri Lodge
Matakauri Lodge
Matakauri Lodge
 

Day 17

Spend the day relaxing or take part in one of the many adventure activities offer in Queenstown.

Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside

Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside
Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside
Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside
Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

Head down the Gibbston valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.

Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

Your accommodation - Matakauri Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 18

Take a private helicopter tour to magnificent Milford Sound

Exclusive Milford Sound Heli Cruise

Exclusive Milford Sound Heli Cruise
Exclusive Milford Sound Heli Cruise
Exclusive Milford Sound Heli Cruise
Exclusive Milford Sound Heli Cruise

Breathtaking, magnificent and truly spectacular, a Milford Sound Heli Tour is a must do when visiting New Zealand. Descend through carved glacial valleys to Milford Sound where you'll join an informative cruise on the fiord itself. The unique character of Milford Sound is due to the huge volume of rainfall this region receives - resulting in a surreal world of moss, rainforest, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. You'll cruise the waterways carved by glaciers all the way to the wild west coast. On your return flight to Queenstown experience an alpine landing where you can step foot on pristine wilderness rarely seen by people. 

Your accommodation - Matakauri Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 19

Take a four wheel drive safari to the abandoned gold mining village of Macetown

Nomad Safaris Macetown 4WD adventure tour

Nomad Safaris Macetown 4WD adventure tour
Nomad Safaris Macetown 4WD adventure tour
Nomad Safaris Macetown 4WD adventure tour
Nomad Safaris Macetown 4WD adventure tour

A true four wheel drive off road adventure exploring the abandoned historic gold mining settlement - Macetown. Deserted shortly after the gold rush decline, Macetown has now been transformed into a Department of Conservation reserve. Learn about the tumultuous history of the region as you take in the town remnants and spectacular scenery.

Your accommodation - Matakauri Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 20

Your journey now takes you through Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea before arriving on the wild West Coast

Driving distance and time: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)

From Queenstown you'll cross the Crown Range - the highest sealed road in New Zealand - to arrive in the Alpine town of Wanaka, gateway to Mt Aspiring national park. Skirting the shores of both Lake Wanaka and Hawea, you will enter the small town of Makarora. Stop at Blue Pools for a ten minute walk through native beech forest to a glacier-fed swimming hole. Continue on through the remote seaside settlement of Haast before heading up the wild West Coast - a 600 km stretch of bush and native rainforest. Fox Glacier welcomes you first, then comes your destination for the night - Franz Josef township.

Your accommodation - Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 1-2 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
 

Day 21

Experience the glaciers by helicopter then take a guided walk through the pinnacles and blue ice formations

Franz Josef Glacier Helihike

Franz Josef Glacier Helihike
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike

Take a scenic flight over all three Franz Josef glacier icefalls. Landing high on the glacier take a two hour guided trip through some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. Your guide will choose the route as you go through a wonderland of blue ice and frozen pinnacles. You’ll have endless views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest as well as plenty of opportunities to take photographs. Sure to be one of the most memorable experiences you have while you are in New Zealand.  Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line’s operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.  

Glacier Hot Pools

Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Hot Pools

Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility. Unwind in one of the three main pools or relax in a secluded private oasis. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Wash off the day and rejuvenate in this unique forest paradise.

Your accommodation - Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 22

Take your final driving leg to Greymouth then board the Tranzalpine Scenic Train to Christchurch

Driving distance and time: 170 kms / 106 miles : 2.1 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Known for its Greenstone (Pounamu) this seaside town has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. Head to the coast and take in the endless sea-views or pick up a souvenir at one of the many craft shops. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located inside the train station building before boarding your train to Christchurch.  

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps.  Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

Private transfer Christchurch train station to your accommodation

Your private transfer driver will meet you on arrival into Christchurch train station and take you to your accommodation.

Your accommodation - The George Hotel, Christchurch

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 23

Depart Christchurch today

Private transfer to Christchurch airport

You will be collected from your accommodation and a private transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport in time for your departing flight.

 
 

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price from
NZ$ 26,704.00 pp (small car, low season - details)