Contact our New Zealand experts now
Call: 01737 887145
Make an enquiry
This itinerary is intended as a starting point for planning your New Zealand holiday. Get in touch with our accredited Kiwi Specialists and together we'll tailor an itinerary exactly to your preferences.
Mark Carwardine: in search of New Zealand's wildlife
Read the Blog
Day 1 arrive Auckland You will be met on arrival in Auckland and transferred to your hotel in the city for an overnight stay.
Overnight: Hotel de Brett Day 2: Auckland - Waiheke Island (B, L) This morning make your way to the downtown ferry terminal to connect with the ferry across to Waiheke Island for your winery tour. Visit three of Waiheke’s most famous vineyards where you will enjoy tastings and guided tours of the wineries. Enjoy a delicious lunch at Stonyridge vineyard before visiting a boutique olive oil producer. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the many activities on offer on Waiheke Island.
Overnight: The Boatshed Day 3: Waiheke Island - Whitianga, Coromandel (B) This morning you will be taken back to the Waiheke Ferry terminal to catch the passenger ferry back to Auckland. On arrival in Auckland make your way to the rental car depot to collect your car and drive to Cooks Beach, Whitianga on the Coromandel, known for its sublime natural beauty. This afternoon is at leisure to explore this stunning region.
Overnight: 970 Lonely Bay Day 4: Whitianga (B) This region is renowned for glorious coastal vistas, dense kauri forests and bountiful beaches. Spend the day exploring the region and visit Cathedral Cove, a dramatic cavern in the headland or visit Hot Water Beach near Hahei and dig your own thermal pool in the golden sands there.
Overnight: 970 Lonely Bay Lodge Day 5: Whitianga - Rotorua (B) Drive south this morning through the heartland of the North Island towards the geothermal wonderland and centre of Maori culture, Rotorua. Spend the afternoon learning about the history of the region at the Rotorua Museum or take the Skyline gondola up Mt Ngongotaha for spectacular views of the city and lake below. Later this afternoon relax in the natural hot mineral pools at the Polynesian Spa.
Overnight: Peppers on the Point Day 6: Rotorua This morning is at leisure to enjoy the delights of Rotorua. It is here that you will experience the awesome force of nature – exploding geysers, bubbling mud pools and mineral springs abound in Rotorua. Alternately visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute to learn about Maori culture or visit the living Maori village Whakarewarera to experience both contemporary and historical Maori culture.
Overnight: Peppers on the Point Day 7: Rotorua - Napier This morning make your way east towards the wine producing region of Hawkes Bay and the city of Napier. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore this elegant city famed for its 1920’s architecture and art deco style.
Overnight: Art Deco Masonic Hotel Day 8: Napier - Wellington Drive the Desert Road south to New Zealand’s vibrant capital city, Wellington. If you have time en route stop at Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife centre home to 3 extraordinary rare white kiwi. As you near Wellington you will experience the wide diversity of vegetation visible on the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges. The neighbouring Wairarapa region is famous for its wine and is home to numerous vineyards- the ideal place to stop for a spot of lunch with a view before continuing down to Wellington.
Overnight: QT Museum Hotel Day 9: Wellington - Abel Tasman National Park (D) Drop of your rental car this morning and connect with your Sound Air flight across the Cook Straight to Picton. On arrival you will be collected and taken to the car rental depot in nearby Blenheim before continuing to the charming town of Motueka, gateway to Abel Tasman National Park, one of New Zealand’s sunniest and most picturesque regions.
Overnight: The Resurgence Day 10: Abel Tasman National Park (B, D) Enjoy a day in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park with your Abel Tasman Cruise and Walk Open Day Pass. Explore this inviting region known for its arts and crafts and numerous outdoor activities.
Overnight: The Resurgence Day 11: Abel Tasman National Park - Punakaiki ( B) From the tranquil golden beaches and forested coastal paths of Abel Tasman National Park, this morning you will head south along the wild west coast towards the glaciers and mountain ranges of the Southern Lakes region. This evening you will stay in Punakaiki, home to the famous blow holes and dramatic rock formations.
Overnight: Punakaiki Resort Day 12: Punakaiki - Lake Moeraki (D) Visit the renowned jade craft stores in Hokitika before continuing to glacier valley to view the famous ice or enjoy a scenic helicopter flight to enjoy a birds-eye view of the glacier. After witnessing this dramatic spectacle continue to Lake Moeraki and your base for tonight. Settle into your room, stretch your legs on one of their rainforest tails or visit spectacular Monro beach this evening.
Overnight: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki Day 13: Lake Moeraki (B, D) Join a complimentary guided nature trip direct from your lodge this morning. With a changing programme of activities, guests will be given a copy of the programme at arrival at the lodge. There is an additional charge for the small group trips which covers your guide refreshments, DOC licences, equipment and transportation. All activities must be pre-booked but can be done so at the lodge (a minimum of 2-4 people is generally required for these to operate).
Overnight: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki Day 14: Lake Moeraki - Wanaka (B) Continue south along the West Coast over Haast Pass to Wanaka. This beautiful lakeside town has an adundance of outdoor activities in a stunning natural setting within close proximity to Mt Aspiring National Park. The ideal location for keen hikers and those wanting to explore the pristine landscapes.
Overnight: Tin Tub Lodge Day 15: Wanaka (B) Explore at your leisure today, perhaps join a half day Mou Waho Island Lake Cruise including a guided nature walk or alternatively enjoy time at leisure exploring the wilderness trails by bike, foot or on horseback. There are also some more adventurous activities such as canyon swinging, boat cruises, kayaking and jeep safaris.
Overnight: Tin Tub Lodge Day 16: Wanaka - Te Anau (B) Enjoy Mountain views and rolling farm country on the drive to Te Anau. Situated beside a lake, this town is the gateway to Fiordland National Park and is the ideal base to discover this area of outstanding natural beauty.
Overnight: Dock Bay Lodge Day 17: Doubtful Sound (B) Travel to Peak Harbour, Manapouri from Te Anau. Here you will board your vessel and cruise across the lake to West Arm before traveling by coach through dense rainforest across Wilmot Pass. Once at Deep Cove, board a catamaran for your 3 hour cruise of Doubtful Sound. Enjoy spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforest and majestic mountains and watch out for resident fur seals or pods of bottlenose dolphins. On the return journey the engines are turned off and you are witness to the incredible “Sound of Silence” – an unforgettable experience.
Overnight: Dock Bay Lodge Day 18: Te Anau - Queenstown (B) Make your way to Queenstown, a stunning alpine resort town, which lies at the heart of the spectacular Southern Lake region. Boasting an incredible location on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, in front of the impressive Remarkables Mountain Range, nature has purpose built this area for adventure. You don’t however have to be an adrenalin junkie to appreciate Queenstown’s scenic appeal and plenty of more leisurely activities also abound.
Overnight: The Dairy Day 19: Queenstown - Twizel (B, D) Head north today through magnificent rural landscapes en route to Mount Cook National Park which lies at the heart of the Southern Alps. The scenery here is breathtaking as you take in mesmerising glacial lakes and tussock-clad hills as well as clear skies, perfect for stargazing.
Overnight: Lake Oahu Lodge Day 20-21: Twizel - Christchurch (B) This morning make your way back to Christchurch via Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd. The following morning return your hire car to the depot and make your way to the airport for your onwards journey.
Overnight: The George
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Discover the World