Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer
16 day Escorted small group starting in Christchurch
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Grand Pacific Ultimate

Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer

Visit the North and South islands in just over 2 weeks. You can see much of New Zealand on this 16-day tour. Start in the south and once you have visited places such as Queenstown, Mt Cook and the West Coast journey up through the North Island until you reach Cape Reinga.  

Tour summary and feature

This Escorted small group tour idea includes:

Complimentary pre-dinner welcome drink

Wellington City Tour

Te Papa Museum of New Zealand

Huka Falls

Rotorua Skyline Gondola and luge ride

Agrodome

Thermal mud pool and geysers guided tour

Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock Cruise

Matakohe Kauri Museum

Auckland City Tour

Milford Sound Cruise and Lunch

TSS Earnslaw cruise & dinner at Walter Peak high country farm, Queenstown

Lakes District Museum

TranzAlpine Train from Arthur's Pass to Christchurch

Visit to Jade Factory

Interislander ferry crossing

15 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 12 dinners, 3 special dinners

Detailed itinerary
See a day by day description including activities & accommodation suggestions for this itinerary example
Tour full itinerary
Day 1 - Welcome to Christchurch
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 1
Arrive Christchurch City

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink when you meet your Tour Leader and travelling companions for dinner.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Grand Pacific Merchandise

Quality merchandise is great value for money and will provide a special memento of your holiday for years to come. Merchandise items must be ordered at the time of booking and are not available for purchase in New Zealand. Tour jackets and tour caps are available for purchase.

Your accommodation: The George (or similar)

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. 2 superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 - Head toward the mountains and aqua blue lakes
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 2
Christchurch to Mt. Cook

After an introductory city sights tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, visit The Church of the Good Shepherd and view the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps.

Your accommodation: The Hermitage Hotel (or similar)

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 - Travel to the east coast
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 3
Mt Cook to Dunedin via Oamaru

Depart Mt Cook and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy a city tour followed by some free time to explore at leisure. You might be interested in a tour of the Speight's Brewery (optional) or the chance to see local wildlife in their natural habitat (optional).

Your accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (or similar)

Distinction Dunedin Hotel occupies the grand Chief Post Office built in the 1930’s. This art deco inspired building has recently been transformed into a 4 star hotel with elegant décor, set in the heart of the city.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 - Venture into the Fiordland National Park
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 4
Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland and your overnight stay. Tonight you may like to visit the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves (optional).

Your accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas (or similar)

The Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers a range of accommodation from hotel rooms and suites to villas. Ideally located on the lake front the hotel is just a few minutes stroll for the shops, cafes and activities on offer.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 - After a cruise on the fiord reach the adventure capital
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 5
Te Anau to Milford Sound to Queenstown

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Your accommodation: Millennium Queenstown (or similar)

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6 - Free day to enjoy Queenstown, with adventure or relaxation, it's your choice
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 6
Queenstown free day with TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Dinner

Today is a free day to explore Queenstown. Your Coach Captain and Tour Leader will assist with the many optional activities available. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour of the scenic Skippers Canyon or to get up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.

Your accommodation: Millennium Queenstown (or similar)

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner, Speciality Dinner

Day 7 - Queenstown to Arrowtown to Fox Glacier
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 7
Queenstown to Arrowtown to Fox Glacier

Travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the mighty West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel to Fox Glacier. Time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.

Your accommodation: Distinction Fox Glacier (or similar)

A modern, purpose-built boutique hotel. Distinctions Fox Glacier provides a balance of luxury, privacy and location, while being only a short stroll to Fox Glacier village.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 - From the wild west coast head inland via the TranzAlpine train
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 8
Fox Glacier to Arthur's Pass, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue into Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to the elegant city of Christchurch. On arrival, your coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
*Please be aware, there are some departure dates where the train may not be available due to covid-related schedule changes outside of Grand Pacific's control. If this occurs, your journey through the incredible Arthur's Pass will continue onboard your coach. Chat to a consultant to check the current schedule for your preferred departure.

Your accommodation: The George (or similar)

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. 2 superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 - Say goodbye to the South Island
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 9
Christchurch to Picton to Wellington

Travel along the East Coast to the seaside village of Kaikoura. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you travel through Marlborough Country, famous for its food and wine. Continue to Picton, where you board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington.

Your accommodation: InterContinental Wellington (or similar)

Stay in modern luxury in the heart of New Zealand’s capital city, adjacent to the scenic harbour. This hotel offers contemporary New Zealand cuisine at three restaurants, including the award-winning Chameleon. An ideal base to explore the business, shopping and cultural centres of Wellington.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 - Wellington the "Capital of Cool"
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 10
Full day in Wellington

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand's National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements.

Your accommodation: InterContinental Wellington (or similar)

Stay in modern luxury in the heart of New Zealand’s capital city, adjacent to the scenic harbour. This hotel offers contemporary New Zealand cuisine at three restaurants, including the award-winning Chameleon. An ideal base to explore the business, shopping and cultural centres of Wellington.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Wellington to Taupo to Rotorua
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 11
Wellington to Taupo to Rotorua

Depart Wellington and view the snow capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as you travel to Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

Your accommodation: Regent of Rotorua (or similar)

Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel & Spa occupies a great location within walking distance of the lakefront, the government gardens and the city centres shops and restaurants. Luxury rooms are well equipped and on-site facilities include a swimming pool, restaurant, bar and spa treatments.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12 - Immerse yourself in culture and natural New Zealand
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 12
Rotorua

Today begins with a gondola ride at the Skyline Rotorua for breakfast with champagne, spectacular views and also time for a thrilling luge ride! Next stop is the Agrodome for an action packed hour of farming entertainment and education that's unlike anything you've seen before. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert.

Your accommodation: Regent of Rotorua (or similar)

Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel & Spa occupies a great location within walking distance of the lakefront, the government gardens and the city centres shops and restaurants. Luxury rooms are well equipped and on-site facilities include a swimming pool, restaurant, bar and spa treatments.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner, Speciality Dinner

Day 13 - Rotorua to Auckland to Bay of Islands
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 13
Rotorua to Auckland to the Bay of Islands

This morning depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Continue through Whangarei to the Bay of Islands. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Maori tribes and the British.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (or similar)

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands expansive sub-tropical gardens and extensive guest facilities, enhances the welcoming atmosphere of this resort-style hotel. It's the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful and historic Bay of Islands.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14 - Cruise around the islands
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 14
Bay of Islands

Today you will explore the scenic beauty of the Bay of Islands aboard a luxury catamaran. Cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’, keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. On return to Paihia, enjoy a free afternoon where a range of optional activities are available, or you may choose to relax and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront. This evening is also at leisure, you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (or similar)

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands expansive sub-tropical gardens and extensive guest facilities, enhances the welcoming atmosphere of this resort-style hotel. It's the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful and historic Bay of Islands.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 15 - Trip back to Auckland via the impressive Kauri Museum
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 15
Bay of Islands to Auckland

Depart the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland for a city sights tour. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including selected beverages with your new friends.

Your accommodation: Crowne Plaza Auckland (or similar)

Crowne Plaza Auckland is an upscale hotel ideally located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD and entertainment hub. Offering superior comfort, personal service and contemporary style and an abundance of attractions, entertainment and dining in close proximity.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner, Speciality Dinner

Day 16 - Depart Auckland
Grand Pacific 16 Day Ultimate Explorer - Day 16
Depart Auckland

After breakfast (included) it's time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward journey after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

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Feb 13, 2022
(Sunday)
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Apr 20, 2022
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May 6, 2022
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Sep 27, 2022
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was NZD$8,809
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now NZD$11,115
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NZD$534pp
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Oct 13, 2022
(Thursday)
was NZD$9,109
now NZD$8,250
was NZD$11,649
now NZD$10,790
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NZD$859pp
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Nov 12, 2022
(Saturday)
was NZD$9,109
now NZD$8,250
was NZD$11,649
now NZD$10,790
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NZD$859pp
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Dec 5, 2022
(Monday)
was NZD$9,109
now NZD$8,250
was NZD$11,649
now NZD$10,790
save
NZD$859pp
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Jan 11, 2023
(Wednesday)
was NZD$9,109
now NZD$8,250
was NZD$11,649
now NZD$10,790
save
NZD$859pp
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Feb 13, 2023
(Monday)
was NZD$9,109
now NZD$8,250
was NZD$11,649
now NZD$10,790
save
NZD$859pp
Enquire
Mar 10, 2023
(Friday)
was NZD$9,109
now NZD$8,250
was NZD$11,649
now NZD$10,790
save
NZD$859pp
Enquire
Mar 29, 2023
(Wednesday)
was NZD$9,109
now NZD$8,250
was NZD$11,649
now NZD$10,790
save
NZD$859pp
Enquire
Apr 15, 2023
(Saturday)
was NZD$9,109
now NZD$8,250
was NZD$11,649
now NZD$10,790
save
NZD$859pp
Enquire
May 6, 2023
(Saturday)
was NZD$8,809
now NZD$8,275
was NZD$11,649
now NZD$11,115
save
NZD$534pp
Enquire
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