Contrasts of New Zealand, 10 Days
1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021
10 Days tour departing Hobart.
2 nights accommodation at Stamford Plaza Auckland.
1 night accommodation at Millennium Hotel, Rotorua.
3 nights accommodation at Millennium Hotel, Queenstown.
1 nights accommodation at Te Waonui Forest Retreat.
2 nights accommodation at Distinction Christchurch Hotel.
9 Full Buffet Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Be My Guest Morning Tea, 2 Highlight Dinners, 2 Dinner with wine, 1 Farewell Dinner.
Travel by luxury coach.
Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide.
Day 1 Arrive Auckland. On arrival in Auckland you'll have time to relax or explore. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception and dinner.
Day 2 Auckland. Embark on a city sightseeing tour this morning to Mission Bay. Keep your camera at the ready to capture spectacular panoramic views of the skyline, sprawling North Shore and Waitemata Harbour from Bastion Point and Michael Joseph Savage Memorial. Spend the afternoon as you wish.
Day 3 Auckland to Rotorua. Today, you'll venture through the King Country region, which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s. On arrival in Rotorua, embark on an orientation of the area before visiting Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Discover native flora that grows around the crystal-clear mineral water springs and you might even spot a kiwi or two! This evening, enjoy a traditional Hangi Highlight Dinner and cultural performance at the Tamaki Maori Village.
Day 4 Rotorua to Queenstown. Spend time at leisure this morning or consider an optional experience. You could visit Te Puia to meet the local Maori community for an introduction to their gift from the gods - the bubbling geysers, mud pools and thermal springs of Rotorua. Later, you'll fly to Queenstown (airfare is not included and must be booked by you or your travel agent).
Day 5 Milford Sound Cruise. Journey over the Devil's Staircase and along the shore of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau and its lake, the largest in the South Island. Travel through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges. Drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the numerous photo opportunities afforded by the Mirror Lake, Pop's lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm, Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls before reaching Milford Sound. Enjoy a cruise on this wonder of nature. Return to Queenstown for the evening.
Day 6 Queenstown Free Time. Your final day in Queenstown could see you take an optional experience ride on the Shotover Jet boat or a cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue lunch at the Colonel's Homestead. This evening join your Travel Director for dinner at The Boatshed, set in the historic Railway Shipping Office built in 1936. Restored and relocated to its lakefront setting, The Boatshed with its spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, is the perfect venue for your Highlight Dinner.
Day 7 Queenstown to Franz Josef. This morning you'll leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind, and begin the passage through Central Otago and out to Westland. On the way, you will stop and visit the faithfully restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. From here you will travel over to Cromwell, where you will stop in at a local orchard for a taste of some of the town's delicious stone fruit. It is a day of gorgeous lakes as you travel further into Central Otago and view the vivid blue waters of Lake Hawea, followed by Lake Wanaka, where the shoreline is charmingly lined by poplars and willows. Our destination for today is the extraordinary rivers of ice that make up Franz Josef Glacier. You may want to get up close and personal with the glaciers on an optional experience helicopter flight (weather permitting).
Day 8 Franz Josef to Christchurch. Head off to the drift-wood strewn beaches of Hokitika. Here you will visit a pounamu (jade) factory for the chance to see master carvers at work creating intricate pieces of jewellery and art. Later, travel inland to the small settlement of Arthur's Pass. Board the TranzAlpine train and head back to the East Coast and Christchurch. This spectacular train journey dates to 1914 and is rated as one of the world's most scenic train trips.
Day 9 Christchurch. This morning see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral. It is the world's only cathedral made substantially of cardboard! After a Christchurch city sights tour, you're invited to a Be My Guest morning tea at the home of Tim and Isabelle Weston, owners of Britten Stables. Formerly horse stables for nearby Mona Vale Gardens and following that, the birth place of the worldrecord- setting Britten V1000 motorcycle designed and built in the garage by Isabelle's late father, John Britten. The couple restored the original charm of The Britten Stables and transformed it into the exquisite home that it is today. This evening join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.
Day 10 Farewell from Christchurch. Your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight.
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