Fine Tours New Zealand
Call us FREE in New Zealand on 1855 277 3818
Call us FREE in New Zealand on 1855 277 3818

Similar itineraries

Auckland to Christchurch self drive tour

10 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Christchurch
Accommodation style: Hotel 3 star

Classic upper North Island touring route

11 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Auckland
Accommodation style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Auckland to Queenstown 11 day highlights

11 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Queenstown
Accommodation style: Hotel 4 star

 

Auckland to Queenstown 25 day Garden Experience

Auckland to Queenstown, 25 days 24 nights self drive tour, staying in Boutique lodges & hotels

Auckland to Queenstown 25 day Garden Experience
Auckland to Queenstown 25 day Garden Experience
Auckland to Queenstown 25 day Garden Experience
Auckland to Queenstown 25 day Garden Experience

Tour map

Experience quintessential New Zealand with a sprinkling of floriculture throughout. Visit a range of beautiful botanic gardens and private grounds as you drive through the amazing scenery. Travel north to south from the sub-tropical Bay of Islands to the wild and blustery Otago Peninsula. See iconic destinations as well as hidden local gems, capturing the true essence of New Zealand as you journey across the islands.

The approximate total driving distance and time for this itinerary is: 2683 kms / 1664 miles, 35.2 hours

You can expect to spend around NZ$387 in fuel cost on this itinerary based on an intermediate sized car.

 

Day 1

Arrive in New Zealands largest city, Auckland

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 - Eden Villa

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • All rooms non smoking
Eden Villa
Eden Villa
Eden Villa
Eden Villa
 

Day 2

Discover Auckland's Botanical Gardens

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.

Explore Auckland's Gardens

Explore Auckland's Gardens
Explore Auckland's Gardens
Explore Auckland's Gardens
Explore Auckland's Gardens

Perched on the edge of a large natural harbour, New Zealand's ‘City of Sails’ offers the best of both worlds. Sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests give way to a vibrant urban culture, humming with life. Pack a picnic lunch and start your day with a visit to the Auckland Botanical Gardens. With more than 10,000 plants from around the world, it covers 64 hectares including 10 hectares of rainforest. Widely recognised for its outstanding collections and South Pacific Flavour,  this garden encompasses  perennials, rose, native plants, an orchard, salvias, spring blossoms, a rock garden and Podocarps. Take a break to eat among the flowers and marvel at the lush serenity of this inner-city paradise Head back to central Auckland and take the scenic route round the viaduct. Choose to visit the Parnell rose gardens, or grab a coffee and visit the Wintergardens in the Auckland Domain.  Walk (if you're that way inclined) to the top of Auckland's highest volcano, Mt Eden, and take in soaring views of the gulf. Lose yourself in one of the 800 regional national parks on offer or grab a book and relax on a deserted beach.To end your day, catch a cab to Ponsonby Road and sample some upmarket culinary delights.

Your accommodation - Eden Villa

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 3

Leave the 'City of Sails' for port-side Whangarei

Driving distance and time: 158 kms / 98 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.

 

Auckland to Whangarei

Auckland to Whangarei
Auckland to Whangarei
Auckland to Whangarei
Auckland to Whangarei

The drive from Auckland to the Whangarei takes around two hours but give yourself a little leeway for stops and sightseeing. As you go through Puhoi, take in the bohemian atmosphere  of this historical township. Stop for a coffee in Warkworth, and continue on through lush Northland farms to arrive in harbourside Whangarei.

Whangarei Quarry Gardens

Whangarei Quarry Gardens
Whangarei Quarry Gardens
Whangarei Quarry Gardens
Whangarei Quarry Gardens

Whangarei Quarry Gardens is a garden project created by community volunteers in the forested western hills of Whangarei City. What was once a dilapidated quarry site has now become a subtropical oasis for all to enjoy. Often referred to as the Winterless North, With an annual rainfall of 1500-2000 mm per year and New Zealand's highest average temperatures Northland has a truly subtropical climate. These climatic conditions, coupled with the sheltered and heat-radiating properties of a stone quarry, create an ideal microclimate for growing a plethora of native and exotic subtropical plants. Whangarei Quarry Gardens is a wonderful work in progress - historically fascinating, botanically captivating, and a beautiful reflection of the power of community.

Please note that a gold coin donation is required on entry.

Your accommodation - Lupton Lodge

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast

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
  • Dinner service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Swimming pool
Lupton Lodge
Lupton Lodge
Lupton Lodge
Lupton Lodge
 

Day 4

Travel to Kerikeri to explore 'The Winterless North'

Driving distance and time: 94 kms / 58 miles : 1.4 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.

 

Whangarei to Kerikeri Bay of Islands

Whangarei to Kerikeri Bay of Islands
Whangarei to Kerikeri Bay of Islands
Whangarei to Kerikeri Bay of Islands
Whangarei to Kerikeri Bay of Islands

Today you'll head to Kerikeri, Bay of Islands. The drive usually takes just over an hour, but plan a little longer and go via Paihia. Travel north on State Highway 1 and stop for a breather in Kawakawa, home to the infamous Hundertwasser toilets. Continue on towards the coast and take in the golden beaches and sparkling seas of Paihia. Spend some time wandering the streets of this bustling seaside town and dip your toes into the warm waters of the bay. Continue on the final leg of your trip to arrive in historic Kerikeri.

Your accommodation - Bed of Roses Bed and Breakfast

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 12 noon
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 5-10 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
Bed of Roses Bed and Breakfast
Bed of Roses Bed and Breakfast
Bed of Roses Bed and Breakfast
Bed of Roses Bed and Breakfast
 

Day 5

Visit the Kerikeri Mission Station Gardens and Bay of Island Surrounds

Explore the Bay of Islands

Explore the Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands

Commonly known as the 'winterless north' New Zealand's Bay of Islands is made up of over 140 subtropical atolls. Renowned for its untouched beaches, abundant marine life and idyllic climate, this tropical paradise ticks all the boxes. Today explore a beautiful English inspired garden within the grounds of Kerikeri Mission Station. Enjoy the tranquility and birdsong as you wander New Zealand's oldest European garden. Featuring an array of heritage roses, a riverbank orchard and an English 'cottage' garden this spectacular piece of heritage is also home to New Zealand's oldest building, Kemp House. Take a picnic and eat under one of the many Magnolia, Jacaranda and Pohutukawa trees dotted throughout the property. Discover millstones from the 1820s including a 100 year old Mulberry tree, and a well-kept gorse hedge and visit the Stone Store, once used to hold mission supplies and wheat. Take a 20 minute drive to nearby Waitangi and learn about its historic Treaty - a contract signed in 1840 between the local Maori and European settlers dictating the terms by which New Zealand would become a British colony. Finish your day with a boat ride from neighbouring Paihia, to Russel, the first European settlement and whaling port founded in 1843. Have a drink at the first licensed hotel In NZ The Duke of Marlborough, or wander up Flagstaff Hill to view the iconic flagpole - ordered chopped down three times by Maori Chief Hone Heke.

Your accommodation - Bed of Roses Bed and Breakfast

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 6

Return south to Murawai Beach and Lone Kauri Lodge

Driving distance and time: 242 kms / 150 miles : 3.3 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.

 

Kerikeri to Murawai Beach

Kerikeri to Murawai Beach
Kerikeri to Murawai Beach
Kerikeri to Murawai Beach
Kerikeri to Murawai Beach

Today you will leave Kerikeri and first head back the way you came, then traverse west at Wellsford down the Kaioara Coast to your destination for the night - Lone Kauri Lodge at Murawai Beach. Enjoy the tranquil bush surrounds as you relax in the garden, or stroll along the nearby beach.

Your accommodation - Lone Kauri Lodge

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 1 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • All rooms non smoking
Lone Kauri Lodge
Lone Kauri Lodge
Lone Kauri Lodge
Lone Kauri Lodge
 

Day 7

Follow the road through Waikato king country to Hamilton

Driving distance and time: 163 kms / 101 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.

 

Murawai Beach to Hamilton

Murawai Beach to Hamilton
Murawai Beach to Hamilton
Murawai Beach to Hamilton
Murawai Beach to Hamilton

Your driving leg today takes you south passing the city of Auckland and onwards through lush Waikato farmland. Follow the road as it hugs the Waikato river, an important trade route for many centuries - still providing power and water today. The paddle steamer, MV Waipa Delta still plies its trade in the waters of the Waikato. This 1877 vessel takes visitors from Memorial Park along the river under it’s classic bridges and picturesque tree lined banks. Continue on through picturesque surroundings and arrive in the heart of Hamilton.

Your accommodation - Hadleigh Boutique Accommodation

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking
 

Day 8

Explore the spectacular Hamilton Gardens then travel south to Waitomo

Driving distance and time: 75 kms / 47 miles : 1.0 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.

 

Explore Hamilton Gardens

Explore Hamilton Gardens
Explore Hamilton Gardens
Explore Hamilton Gardens
Explore Hamilton Gardens

Today you will have time to enjoy one of the finest displays of floriculture in New Zealand - Hamilton Gardens. At 58 hectares, its grounds are publicly owned and managed by the Hamilton City Council. Featuring over 21 separate gardens including an Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian and English garden, we recommend you take your time to relax and meander through this magnificent property. Originally started in the early 1960's, the Rogers Rose Garden was added in 1971, but most of the expansion and development has occurred since 1982. Today Hamilton Gardens is the most popular visitor attraction in the region with about 600,000 visitors each year, nearly half of them being tourists. The unique theme of Hamilton Gardens is 'the story of gardens' which is explored through a series of five garden collections. Open from 7:30 am until 5pm in the in winter and 8pm in summer the gardens also display a series of season features. A café and restaurant are also on site.  

Hamilton Gardens Guided Tour with Picnic Lunch

Hamilton Gardens Guided Tour with Picnic Lunch
Hamilton Gardens Guided Tour with Picnic Lunch
Hamilton Gardens Guided Tour with Picnic Lunch
Hamilton Gardens Guided Tour with Picnic Lunch

Telling the story of gardens through themed collections, Hamilton Gardens explores different civilizations, and recreates historically important garden styles from all over the world.You will be guided on a journey of discovery along paths delivering mysterious surprises. From a peaceful Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar's garden to an Italian Renaissance garden, there are 21 themed garden areas with more being developed. Hamilton Gardens is not a botanical garden. Instead, it's a unique and internationally recognised concept that has been compared to a museum. Each garden collection has historic integrity and provides a window into the story of civilizations, their arts, beliefs and life styles.

Hamilton to Waitomo

Hamilton to Waitomo
Hamilton to Waitomo
Hamilton to Waitomo
Hamilton to Waitomo

The lush farmland of the Waikato and the limestone hills of the Waitomo region provide unmissable scenery as you head south. Arrive in Waitomo, home to a huge network of glow worm caves  - a must do if you are in the area.

Your accommodation - Kamahi Cottage

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 30 mins +
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Dinner service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking
  • Apartments serviced weekly
Kamahi Cottage
Kamahi Cottage
Kamahi Cottage
Kamahi Cottage
 

Day 9

Visit the Waitomo Caves then travel east to the Central North Volcanic Plateau

Driving distance and time: 139 kms / 86 miles : 1.9 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.

 

Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Cave Combo

Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Cave Combo
Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Cave Combo
Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Cave Combo
Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Cave Combo

Enjoy Waitomo's longest guided walking tour along 1.6km of cave passages of Ruakuri where you can marvel at the interesting formations in this living work of nature. The tour offers a comprehensive experience due to its size and diversity. Winding passageways, vast echoing caverns, deep crevices and the distant thunder of subterranean waterfalls bring a different energy and character to Ruakuri. The cave is home to an innovative spiral entrance, echoing waterfalls, and limestone that flow into delicate shawl-like formations. Be led along narrow corridors and across low-lit walkways suspended high above the river, sometimes glimpsing the black water rafters on the Huhunui River below. Combine this with the Waitomo Glowworm Caves where thousands of tiny glow worms cling to the cave ceiling and create a starry sky within the underground night.  The Waitomo glowworm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as expert guides provide informative commentary on the Caves' historical and geological significance. You'll also see a deep limestone shaft and a soaring subterranean cathedral that will leave you speechless.

Waitomo to Rotorua

Waitomo to Rotorua
Waitomo to Rotorua
Waitomo to Rotorua
Waitomo to Rotorua

Today cross the lush farmland of the Waikato as you make your way inland to Rotorua. Pass through several small farming towns such as Otorohanga and Putaruru, before the region’s geothermal activity signals your arrival into the city of Rotorua.

Your accommodation - The Princes Gate Hotel

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Swimming pool
The Princes Gate Hotel
The Princes Gate Hotel
The Princes Gate Hotel
The Princes Gate Hotel
 

Day 10

Relax in the geothermal hotspot: Rotorua

Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Explore Rotorua

Take a break from gardens today and spend some time exploring this volcanic city. Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to the Mitai Maori Village should be high on your agenda, as should an excursion to the Polynesian Spa for an invigorating soak in its natural mineral hot springs. Live on the edge when you hop aboard a helicopter bound for White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano. Spike your adrenaline at Agroventures on stomach-dropping attractions such as static skydiving, or a giant swing reaching 130 km per hour. Go up the Gondola for soaring lake views, and ride the luge at night for an extra thrill. Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set ‘Hobbiton’. Make the most of your time in Rotorua with an excursion through the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the area’s most colourful volcanic attractions.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

This thermal area around 30 kilometres south of Rotorua has many walking tracks to take you through this strange landscape. Bubbling mud pools, simmering waters rising from the depths and colourful sulphurous pools make this a fascinating insight into the geothermal activity that goes on below Rotorua's surface. Lady Knox Geyser can be seen erupting at 10:15am daily, shooting water up to 10 metres into the air. There are 3 well signposted walking tracks and an informative brochure tells you about each feature. A gift shop and cafe are also on site.

Mitai Maori Village

Mitai Maori Village
Mitai Maori Village
Mitai Maori Village
Mitai Maori Village

An evening at Mitai will give you an awe-inspiring introduction to the indigenous Maori culture. Marvel at the beautiful bush setting and see warriors in traditional dress who paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream while trout and eels swim beneath the surface. Enjoy a traditionally cooked hangi meal and round your evening off with a spectacular cultural performance that tells the story of the Maori people, their past, carvings, and ta Moko -Tattoo art. Be captivated by the displays of weaponry and combat and be amazed by the spine tingling Haka finale. Truly an experience to remember.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Orakei Korako Hidden Valley with Volcanic Air Safaris by floatplane

Orakei Korako Hidden Valley with Volcanic Air Safaris by floatplane
Orakei Korako Hidden Valley with Volcanic Air Safaris by floatplane
Orakei Korako Hidden Valley with Volcanic Air Safaris by floatplane
Orakei Korako Hidden Valley with Volcanic Air Safaris by floatplane

On this spectacular scenic flight you'll take a floatplane over the Crater Lakes District and the volcanic rift of Mt Tarawera. You'll then continue south via the Waimangu and Waiotapu Thermal Park to land in the Hidden Valley of Orakei Korako. Transfer by boat across the lake to explore the hot springs, gushing geysers and natural beauty of this geothermal wonderland before rejoining your aircraft for the return trip to Rotorua.

Your accommodation - The Princes Gate Hotel

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

 

Day 11

Travel through the Volcanic Plateau via Huka Falls to Hawke's Bay

Driving distance and time: 240 kms / 149 miles : 2.8 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.

 

Travel through the Volcanic Plateau via Huka Falls to Hawke's Bay

Travel through the Volcanic Plateau via Huka Falls to Hawke's Bay
Travel through the Volcanic Plateau via Huka Falls to Hawke's Bay
Travel through the Volcanic Plateau via Huka Falls to Hawke's Bay
Travel through the Volcanic Plateau via Huka Falls to Hawke's Bay

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 Hawkes Bay. 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 222,000 litres of water spilling down the narrow 11 metre 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 through art deco Napier and into the heart of Hawkes Bay, your destination for the night.

Lake Taupo Scenic Cruise, scenic helicopter and Huka Falls jet boat ride

Lake Taupo Scenic Cruise, scenic helicopter and Huka Falls jet boat ride
Lake Taupo Scenic Cruise, scenic helicopter and Huka Falls jet boat ride
Lake Taupo Scenic Cruise, scenic helicopter and Huka Falls jet boat ride
Lake Taupo Scenic Cruise, scenic helicopter and Huka Falls jet boat ride

Begin this Totally Taupo day with a scenic cruise on Great Lake Taupo. Explore secluded bays and take in magnificent views of the mountain peaks of Tongariro National Park as you cruise out to view the Maori Rock Carvings on board the modern catamaran. Enjoy an informative commentary along with complimentary coffee and muffins on board. After your 1.5 hours cruise return to Taupo where you'll board your helicopter for an exciting 12 minute scenic flight over the geothermal areas of Craters of The Moon, the Maori rock Carvings and the Huka Falls before landing near Huka Falls for your final adventure, the thrilling Huka Falls jet boat ride. Finish with a blast on this 30 minute jet boat ride, sliding past cliffs and trees at an incredible 80km/hr before reaching the base of the spectacular Huka Falls.

Your accommodation - Craggy Range

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Restaurant on site
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Craggy Range
Craggy Range
Craggy Range
Craggy Range
 

Day 12

Visit the historic Gwavas Gardens and Hawke's Bay wine country

Explore Gwavas Gardens and Hawke's Bay

Explore Gwavas Gardens and Hawke's Bay
Explore Gwavas Gardens and Hawke's Bay
Explore Gwavas Gardens and Hawke's Bay
Explore Gwavas Gardens and Hawke's Bay

Today you'll have the chance to visit a unique 120 year old property Gwavas Garden Homestead. With one of the largest privately owned collections of temperate woody plants in Australasia, Gwavas is best described as a Cornish woodland garden. Many of the trees and shrubs came from seeds sent to.  Unique hybrids are bred here and there are many New Zealand natives, including large Totara trees.y. The garden is a treasure trove unusual specimens: Himalayan lilies; a large Michaelia doltsopa, planted in 1951 - one of the earliest in the country; and a Quercus suber (cork oak) planted in 1894. The  raspberry plants, Semper fidelis, continue to yield a crop every year since they were planted over a hundred years ago. But you don't need to be a keen gardener to appreciate the beauty of Gwavas Garden; it's a visual spectacle even to the untrained eye; camellias and magnolia flower from August, rhododendrons and azaleas from September. The garden is at its best in spring, with October and November ideal months to enjoy the colours and contours of this sylvan setting; however there is always something to see or a whiff of fragrance to smell throughout the year, autumn colours, for example, can be spectacular.

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

With is mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. A trip to Mission Estate, touted as the the birthplace of NZ wine, can't be missed. For the truly enthused, head out on a tour of the vines. We recommend the to make the most of what's on offer. Those into Gatsby will enjoy the chance to view prominent Art Deco landmarks on a 1930s Vintage Car Tour. Passengers will spend just over an hour learning about the history of the city's architecture - including the Napier Municipal Theatre, one of the top ten Art Deco Buildings in the world. If you're after some fresh air, hire a bike and take your pick of one of over 200km of cycling trails or head on down to one of the many beaches that ring the area. Ocean or Waimarama beach are good choices, and both are patrolled by surf lifeguards during the summer. Indulge in some local produce and head out on a cheese, chocolate, honey or orchard tour. End on a high with another ride, this time in comfortable trailer pulled by a tractor en-route to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony - the largest of its kind in the world.

Your accommodation - Craggy Range

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 13

Head down through the southernmost part of the North Island to the capital city, Wellington

Driving distance and time: 316 kms / 196 miles : 4.2 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.

 

Hawkes Bay to Wellington

Hawkes Bay to Wellington
Hawkes Bay to Wellington
Hawkes Bay to Wellington
Hawkes Bay to Wellington

As you leave the rolling countryside of the Hawke's Bay you'll be greeted with some of the country's richest dairy farmland in the Manawatu Gorge. Continue on through the Wairarapa region and stop in the Pukaha Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre, where you can see some of New Zealand native animals.Take another break in Masterson, and visit the interactive Woolshed Museum to learn about sheep farming in New Zealand. As you drive south, a visit to historic Greytown is a must do. Take in the restored Victorian buildings and make time for a cup of tea at one of it's quaint cafes. Leaving state highway 2 you will cross over the Ruamahanga River into Martinborough wine country. Enjoy the picturesque views through acres of leafy green vineyards as you start your final driving leg of the day to Wellington.

Your accommodation - Edgewater Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 30 mins +
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Dinner service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
Edgewater Lodge
Edgewater Lodge
Edgewater Lodge
Edgewater Lodge
 

Day 14

Take the Wellington Cable Car to the Botanical Gardens

Wellington Botanic Gardens

Wellington Botanic Gardens
Wellington Botanic Gardens
Wellington Botanic Gardens
Wellington Botanic Gardens

The Wellington Botanic Gardens are home to over 26 hectares of exceptional views, unique landscape, exotic forests, native bush, and specialist gardens. One of the oldest botanic gardens in New Zealand, this central city garden was established in 1868. The conifer species were planted as part of a programme to import plant species and assess their economic potential to the new colony. The very large specimens of Pinus radiata that dominate the landscape were grown from the first seed of that species to be imported from California. A feature of the gardens are major seasonal floral displays, spectacular in spring, with a massed display of 30,000 tulips. In summer, the Lady Norwood Rose garden provides a colourful spectacle with 106 formal beds each containing a different cultivar. Adjacent is a large Begonia House displaying tropical and temperate plants and a tropical conservatory with a seasonal display of orchids. Victoria amazonica, the giant water lily can be found here. There are several key attractions in the garden that visitors can experience such as glow worms in the Main Garden, public art throughout the garden, children's play area, Botanic Garden Cafe located in the Lady Norwood Rose Garden and the Carter Observatory. The information centre is located in the spectacular Tree House and nearby there is a rock garden, an extensive fern collection and a camellia walk. There are extensive, well-maintained, walking paths throughout the garden.

Wellington

Wellington
Wellington
Wellington
Wellington

Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this (self described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

Take a turn on the boardwalk en-route to Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum or catch a historic cable car from Lambton Quay and soak up the city sights. Wander the boutiques on Cuba St and check out the aptly named ‘Beehive’ off Parliament House.

Play hobbit for day and book a tour through Weta Workshop, the Oscar Award winning design studio for Lord Of The Rings. If eating is your thing, drive an hour out of town to Martinborough and experience some of the region's best food and wine. For those interested in New Zealand's native species, a trip to Zealandia is a must - the world's first fully fenced eco-sanctuary. Then kick off your evening in style - search ‘Metro Eats’ to choose from a plethora of the city’s best restaurants to dine.  

Your accommodation - Edgewater Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 15

Catch the Interislander Ferry across the Cook Strait and then head to Abel Tasman National Park

Driving distance and time: 162 kms / 101 miles : 2.5 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

Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton
Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton
Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton
Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton

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 remarkable photographic opportunities. The final leg of your cruise travels through Queen Charlotte Sound before coming to an end in the picturesque town of Picton.

Picton to Abel Tasman National Park

Picton to Abel Tasman National Park
Picton to Abel Tasman National Park
Picton to Abel Tasman National Park
Picton to Abel Tasman National Park

From Picton you’ll first travel the Marlborough sounds coastline between Picton and Havelock. This drive offers spectacular views of the sounds, so be sure to allow plenty of time for stops and sightseeing. Take moment to explore the secluded sandy coves along the narrow road to Portage. Aim to arrive in Havelock for lunch, as this portside town has a great variety of cafes and restaurants to eat at. Stop at the famous Pelorus bridge, just outside of Havelock. From here there are a number of forest walks to stretch your legs on with the most popular being a  30 minute loop through beech, rimu and totara forest. Continue on over the Bryant Range to arrive into Tasman Bay and the city of Nelson. Motueka is a further 45 minutes along the coast and from there it’s just a short drive to Kaiteriteri and Marahau, all ideal spots from which to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.  

Your accommodation - Abel Tasman Lodge

Style: Motels - premium

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Breakfast service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Abel Tasman Lodge
Abel Tasman Lodge
Abel Tasman Lodge
Abel Tasman Lodge
 

Day 16

Spot dolphins and seals as you explore the Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park, known for its coastal hiking track has an abundance of golden beaches, inlets and private lagoons. The park has a mild climate and is a special place to visit at any time of the year. Enjoy a scenic cruise through the sounds or take a kayaking tour around it’s many sheltered bays. Enjoy the melodious birdsong and get up close to some of the park’s many animal residents, including native bats, geckos, birds and marine mammals  - fur seals and dolphins.  

Beaches, Bays and Seals Guided Sea Kayaking Trip Including Picnic Lunch

Beaches, Bays and Seals Guided Sea Kayaking Trip Including Picnic Lunch
Beaches, Bays and Seals Guided Sea Kayaking Trip Including Picnic Lunch
Beaches, Bays and Seals Guided Sea Kayaking Trip Including Picnic Lunch
Beaches, Bays and Seals Guided Sea Kayaking Trip Including Picnic Lunch

Combining the best of the Abel Tasman, this trip showcases incredible beaches, coastal walks and native wildlife. First you'll meet your guide and join the 9.30am Vista Cruise along the magnificent coastline to Torrent Bay. You'll then arrive at Torrent Bay Lodge and complete a full training session and safety briefing before moving on to the water in kayaks to discover beautiful beaches, tidal estuaries and rivers.Stop for a picnic lunch in a sheltered cove and take some time to swim, explore or sunbathe on the sand. On your return trip, if the winds are favourable, sails will be hoisted and you'll sail back via Pinnacle Island to view the seal colony there - if you're lucky, you may even see some resident blue penguins at the same time. Arriving back at Torrent Bay Lodge, freshen up with a hot shower and re-join the vista cruise back to Kaiteriteri, arriving at 4.10 pm.During the summer there is the option to enjoy an unguided two hour coastal bush walk after the kayaking trip. Walk around the picturesque Torrent Bay Lagoon - via Cleopatra's Pool - to anchorage where you will re-join the boat back to Kaiteriteri.

Your accommodation - Abel Tasman Lodge

Style: Motels - premium

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 17

Pass through the Nelson Lakes region and onto the east coast whale watching capital, Kaikoura

Driving distance and time: 297 kms / 184 miles : 3.9 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.

 

Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura

Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura
Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura
Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura
Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura

Today you will drive through Marlborough to Blenheim, New Zealand's largest wine growing region - and home to many award winning wines. We recommend timing your day to arrive for lunch with a view to sampling some of the local offerings at one of the 40 plus wineries surrounding the area. Continue over the dry hills of the Marlborough Ranges to one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world, Kaikoura. For over 50 kilometers (30 miles) follow the shoreline. Keep an eye out for an abundance of seals, seabirds and other native wildlife. Kaikoura is also one of the only places in the world where whales can be seen all year round. To the east you'll see the Pacific Ocean while the West brings views of the towering Kaikoura ranges. Arriving in the Kaikoura township, you'll find it bustling with cafes and restaurants.

Your accommodation - Manakau Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 10:30 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 30 mins +
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Breakfast service available
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Manakau Lodge
Manakau Lodge
Manakau Lodge
Manakau Lodge
 

Day 18

Visit the Kaikoura Lavender farm and try the local seafood for lunch

Explore Kaikoura

Explore Kaikoura
Explore Kaikoura
Explore Kaikoura
Explore Kaikoura

The Kaikoura Coast is renowned for its abundant marine life, and this is huge visitor drawcard. Due to the teeming food supply in its icy seas, whales, seals and dolphins are frequently spotted year round in the area. Visit the fragrant Kaikoura Lavender Farm and distillery, and enjoy piece of lavender shortbread with a cup of lavender tea. Observe the fur seal colony basking in the sun at the tip of the peninsula and be sure to take a trip by boat to view the whales. Or if you prefer, hop aboard a 30 minute scenic flight and see the coast by air. But if you're feeling really adventurous take a dip with the resident seal population on either a land or boat based trip. Kaikoura township has a charming feel and after a day of marine adventures is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat. not to be missed is a meal of fresh crayfish - the town's signature dish. Before you leave, visit historic Fyffe House for insight into the region’s Whaling Past.

Your accommodation - Manakau Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 19

Follow the coast to New Zealand's Garden City, Christchurch

Driving distance and time: 178 kms / 111 miles : 2.5 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.

 

Kaikoura to Christchurch

Kaikoura to Christchurch
Kaikoura to Christchurch
Kaikoura to Christchurch
Kaikoura to Christchurch

Today you continue down the coast before heading inland through the North Canterbury wine region - the Waipara Valley. As you drive through this area you’ll be greeted by one of New Zealand's most notorious animals, the sheep. If you’ve time on your hands we recommend taking a detour to Hanmer Springs for relaxing dip in its thermal pools. Arriving into Christchurch you'll see a new and improved city, steadily rising from the ruins of the 2011 earthquake.

International Antarctic Centre General Admission

International Antarctic Centre General Admission
International Antarctic Centre General Admission
International Antarctic Centre General Admission
International Antarctic Centre General Admission

The International Antarctic Centre aims to recreate the atmosphere and environment of Antarctica, providing visitors with an interactive, fun and educational experience. Feel the full Four Seasons of Antarctica, where you'll experience a custom-built snow and ice experience, then warm up in the Scott Base interior exhibit, a replica Antartic field camp or other informative displays in the gallery. You'll also learn about life in modern day Antarctica, view real little blue penguins and experience a thrilling ride in a Hagglund all terrain vehicle.

Your accommodation - Orari Bed and Breakfast

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10:30 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
Orari Bed and Breakfast
Orari Bed and Breakfast
Orari Bed and Breakfast
Orari Bed and Breakfast
 

Day 20

Enjoy the Botanic Gardens and Christchurch City

Explore Christchurch City

Explore Christchurch City
Explore Christchurch City
Explore Christchurch City
Explore Christchurch City

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the pacific ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.

Go punting on the Avon River, take a historic tram ride, catch the gondola to the rim of an extinct volcano or do all three! See the world's only Cardboard Cathedral and for nature enthusiasts - wander the renowned Christchurch Botanic Gardens. 

Drive an hour in any direction to ski, mountain bike, wine taste, whale-watch, bungy jump or play golf. Visit the International Antarctic Centre or take a day to go on safari at Orana Wildlife Park. Take the winding Port Hills road to the French settlement of Akaroa and tour the vines in Waipara for a authentic New Zealand wine-tasting experience.

Christchurch Grand Tour

Christchurch Grand Tour
Christchurch Grand Tour
Christchurch Grand Tour
Christchurch Grand Tour

Hop aboard the Grand Tour luxury coach for an interactive guided journey around Christchurch. See the best of this port city including beautiful parks, gardens, seaside suburbs and hills. You will learn about its history and future plans for the well under way multi-billion dollar rebuild following the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Included in the tour are four of Christchurch's premier attractions - punting on the Avon, the Caterpillar Botanic Gardens tour, the Christchurch Gondola and a hop-on hop-off ticket for the heritage Tram.

Your accommodation - Orari Bed and Breakfast

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 21

Continue down to the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin

Driving distance and time: 346 kms / 215 miles : 4.2 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.

 

Christchurch to Dunedin

Christchurch to Dunedin
Christchurch to Dunedin
Christchurch to Dunedin
Christchurch to Dunedin

Crossing the vast Canterbury Plains you’ll head South on State Highway one traversing many braided rivers that start their life as glacial melt water high in the Southern Alps. Go over New Zealand's longest bridge at Rakaia and onwards through Timaru.

Stretch your legs in Oamaru, known for its white stone buildings constructed with the local Oamaru Stone. If you were a little late off the mark this morning you may get the chance to see the local blue penguins come ashore at dusk. Continue down the coast to Moeraki, and take a detour towards the beach to see the Moeraki Boulders, a unique geological feature and well worth the look.

As you arrive in Dunedin, take in the city’s Edwardian and Scottish heritage reflected in the buildings around the city centre - The Octagon.

Your accommodation - Larnach Lodge at Larnach Castle

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
Larnach Lodge at Larnach Castle
Larnach Lodge at Larnach Castle
Larnach Lodge at Larnach Castle
Larnach Lodge at Larnach Castle
 

Day 22

Visit the Dunedin Botanic Gardens

Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula
Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula
Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula
Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

Known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin City has a heavy Scottish influence. Surrounded by rugged coastal plains and windswept beaches it’s home to an eclectic mix of historical and modern architecture as well as industrial technology. Renowned for its Flemish Baroque-inspired ‘gingerbread house’ Railway Station, this university town is bustling with life. Head to the Saturday farmers market held in the aforementioned railway grounds for a taste of organic produce, handmade crepes and local honey. Explore the many cafes and wine bars in The Octagon, then continue on a self-guided walking tour of the internationally acclaimed Street Art dotted around the city. Drive to the coast and watch the freighters passing in the distance while you sunbathe, or hire a mountain bike and test your legs on one of the many trails available in the area. For a more immersive historical experience, follow the coast to New Zealand's only castle, Larnach Castle. On your way back be sure to head to the Otago Peninsula to see the largest mainland Albatross colony in the world.

Dunedin Botanic Gardens

Dunedin Botanic Gardens
Dunedin Botanic Gardens
Dunedin Botanic Gardens
Dunedin Botanic Gardens

The Dunedin Botanic Garden is New Zealand's first botanic garden and is also a Garden of International Significance. It is home to more than 6,800 plant species and is spread across both rolling hills and flatlands. Wild native bellbirds, wood pigeons and tui can be heard on most days. The garden occupies 30.4 hectares in North Dunedin.  Its varying range of floriculture and horticultural includes roses, herbaceous and perennial borders, a rock garden, New Zealand native plants and four hectares of Rhododendron Dell. It also houses a New Zealand Native plant collection including cultivation of rare and endangered native plant species.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Elm Wildlife Peninsula Encounter Standard Tour

Elm Wildlife Peninsula Encounter Standard Tour
Elm Wildlife Peninsula Encounter Standard Tour
Elm Wildlife Peninsula Encounter Standard Tour
Elm Wildlife Peninsula Encounter Standard Tour

This multi-award winning, scheduled, daily, 'small group' tour departs from Dunedin city in the mid-afternoon for the Otago Peninsula wildlife 'hotspots'. The tour combines tourism and conservation in a symbiotic relationship and provides absolutely unrivaled viewing of estuarine and marine wildlife. Your knowledgeable guides will inform you of activity being viewed and visit places where the best possible viewing of Hooker's Sea lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins, a breeding colony of New Zealand Fur Seals and Royal Albatross can be had. A further 25-30 other estuarine and marine bird species are seen during the experience. Close up unobtrusive viewing from beach locations and strategically placed observation hides is guaranteed .

 

Your accommodation - Larnach Lodge at Larnach Castle

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 23

Head into the heart of the Goldfeilds to alpine destination, Queenstown

Driving distance and time: 270 kms / 168 miles : 3.3 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.

 

Dunedin to Queenstown

Dunedin to Queenstown
Dunedin to Queenstown
Dunedin to Queenstown
Dunedin to Queenstown

This drive takes you through the heart of the historical Otago Goldfields . The townships of Lawrence, Roxburgh and Alexandra - once booming mining towns in the late 1800's gold rush - now sleepy sun-traps bearing the little resemblance to their bustling past. However, some buildings do remain as do the original shafts and workings. In more recent times Alexandra has become the 'stone fruit capital' of New Zealand -  with the ideal climate for the trees. It is also a great place to buy some of the local produce. The road follows the South Island's longest river, the Clutha River, and at Clyde you will see one of the largest hydro power stations harnessing its energy before passing through the Gibbston Wine Valley to arrive at your destination today, Queenstown.    

Your accommodation - Queenstown House Boutique Hotel

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Laundry facilities: On site
Queenstown House Boutique Hotel
Queenstown House Boutique Hotel
Queenstown House Boutique Hotel
Queenstown House Boutique Hotel
 

Day 24

Spend your final day relaxing with the stunning backdrop of 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.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride

Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride
Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride
Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride
Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride

Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere - and take in the awe-inspiring views of this spectacular landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy panoramic views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak and Coronet Peak - one of Queenstown's Ski field.

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour
TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour
TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour
TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Go back in time on this return trip to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. You'll be greeted off the boat and guided through beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming homestead. Here you'll enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which your chef will prepare in front of you. The seasonal menu includes an expansive array of local produce, including succulent meats cooked on the outdoor rotisserie and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Finish your meal with an irresistible dessert, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea and coffee. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country. On your cruise home, enjoy the camaraderie of a singalong with the ship's pianist or breathe in the fresh night air as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer.

Your accommodation - Queenstown House Boutique Hotel

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 25

Depart Queenstown

Driving distance and time: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 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.

 

Enjoy your final morning in Queenstown before driving to the airport for your onward flight

Take in the sights of Queenstown one more time before returning your car to the airport and catching your onward flight.

 
 
price from
NZ$ 7,389.00 pp (small car, low season - details)

This tour includes