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Great New Zealand Independent Coach Tour

25 days from
£4,988 pp + flights

Auckland – Bay of Islands – Coromandel – Rotorua – Lake Taupo – Napier – Wellington – Marlborough Sounds – Christchurch – TranzAlpine Train – West Coast Glaciers – Wanaka – Queenstown – Milford Sound – Te Anau – Dunedin

This is a great way to explore New Zealand from the beaches and islands in the north to the fiords and glaciers of the south. An independent 22-day tour from Auckland based o­n scheduled coach services, which operate 364 days a year with o­n board commentary and a knowledgeable, experienced driver.

Start in the north by the warm Pacific Ocean. See where the Waitangi Treaty was signed, cruise the beautiful Bay of Islands and through the famous Hole in the Rock. Explore the thermal wonders of the Coromandel, Rotorua and Taupo, the wine region of Napier, Wellington and Marlborough, New Zealand’s “Centre Stage”.

Crossing to South Island o­n the Interislander ferry, for a great view of the magical Marlborough Sounds and continue by train to Christchurch. From here it’s another awesome rail route, the famous TranzAlpine Express over the Southern Alps to the dramatic Tasman Coast, the West Coast Glaciers and Fiordland. Cruise the World Heritage listed Milford Sound and visit Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital, with time to experience some thrills, before returning via Dunedin to Christchurch to begin your journey home.

Itinerary

Day 1 – UK – AUCKLAND

Depart London Heathrow o­n a scheduled Air New Zealand flight to Auckland via Los Angeles.

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Click here for full itinerary

Day 2 – In flight

Day 3 – Arrive Auckland

On arrival at Auckland Airport you will be met and transferred to your Auckland hotel.

Overnights (2): Auckland.

Day 4 – Auckland

This morning enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Auckland, featuring Auckland Harbour Bridge, cosmopolitan Viaduct Harbour, the dormant volcano Mount Eden, Parnell Village and the Tamaki waterfront.

Day 5 – Auckland to Bay of Islands (220km)

Travel north today via the Hibiscus Coast townships to the beautiful Bay of Islands. At Pathia visit the Waitangi Treaty House where New Zealand’s most important document of state was signed in 1840 by Maori chiefs and representatives of the Crown. The rest of your afternoon is at leisure in the Bay of Islands.

Overnights (2): Bay of Islands

Day 6 – At leisure – Bay of Islands

Today you are at leisure to choose o­ne of the many activities available in this National Maritime Park. Perhaps try game fishing or o­ne of many water sports, head north to spectacular Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s most northerly point, where the Pacific meets the Tasman Sea.

Day 7 – Bay of Islands to Auckland (220km)

This morning board a luxury catamaran cruising to Cape Brett and through the famous “Hole in the Rock” and return to Paihia via Russell, the first capital of New Zealand. Later this afternoon say farewell to the Bay and return to Auckland.

Overnight (1): Auckland

Day 8 – Auckland to Whitianga, Coromandel (189km)

Head south-east today along the Seabird Coast and the pristine Firth of Thames, an area of special significance due to the abundance and diversity of flora and fauna. Visit the Miranda Shorebird Centre and continue through Thames to Rapaura Watergardens. In historic Coromandel, ride the narrow-gauge railway at Driving Creek before continuing to Whitianga.

Overnight (1): Whitianga

Day 9 – Coromandel to Rotorua (221km)

Tour Coromandel’s eastern coast en route to Rotorua. Dependent o­n tide times a visit to Hot Water Beach can be special, soaking at low tide in the beach’s natural pools heated by thermal springs.

Overnights (2): Rotorua

Day 10 – Rotorua

A full day Rotorua sightseeing tour today includes several attractions and activities. Take a guided tour through Te Puia Thermal Reserve with its roaring geysers and boiling mud pools. Visit Paradise Valley Springs to see native bird and animal wildlife with crystal clear springs teeming with trout. The Agrodome Leisure Park, famous for its entertaining sheep show, a gondola cable car ride to the Skyline Skyride Complex, and the Polynesian Spa, New Zealand’s leading thermal bathing complex are all o­n your itinerary.

Day 11 – Rotorua to Taupo and Napier (219km)

Head south today via Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, and the World Heritage listed Tongariro National Park where the three volcanoes, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro itself dominate the scenery. Continue to Napier, o­n Hawkes Bay, a fascinating city devastated by earthquake in 1931 and rebuilt in largely Art Deco style. With Hawkes Bay famed for its wines you may wish to try the local Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot during your afternoon at leisure!

Overnight (1): Napier

Day 12 – Napier to Wellington (315km)

Continue south today through the beautiful Manawatu Gorge passing wineries, farms and coastal seascapes to Wellington, the seat of New Zealand’s Parliament.

Overnights (2): Wellington

Day 13 – Wellington

A day at leisure in New Zealand’s capital city. Make time to ride the cable car from Lambton Quay for magnificent views over the city and coast. Visit Te Papa, the National Museum or the Parliament Buildings. Wellington is also noted for its theatre, art galleries, restaurants and cultural activities.

Day 14 – Wellington to Picton and Christchurch

Transfer this morning for the Interislander ferry crossing over Cook Strait. Weather permitting, an undoubted holiday highlight will be your cruise through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds to Picton at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound. Connect here with the Pacific Coastal train through Blenheim and Kaikoura to Christchurch, the spectacular Kaikoura Mountains o­n your right and the rugged Pacific coast o­n your left. o­n arrival you will be transferred to your Christchurch hotel. Train only operates 24 Sep – 31 March only.

Overnight (1): Christchurch

Day 15 – Christchurch to Greymouth and West Coast Glaciers (173)

You will transfer this morning to Christchurch station for another highlight of your trip, the TranzAlpine Train. Journey across the Canterbury Plains and over spectacular gorges and valleys of the Waimakariri River before climbing through tunnels and viaducts into the Southern Alps and down to the West Coast at Greymouth. Continue your journey by coach to the West Coast Glaciers.

Overnights (2): West Coast Glaciers

Day 16 – West Coast Glaciers

A full day at leisure to enjoy the magnificent Fox and Franz Josef glacier region. Optional activities include guided walks o­n to slow moving ice of the glacier itself or a scenic flight for a birds-eye view of the spectacular terrain (own cost and weather permitting).

Day 17 – West Coast Glaciers to Wanaka (287km)

A memorable trip through some of the most beautiful scenery in New Zealand. Travel over the Haast Pass and through silver beech forests of Mt Aspiring National Park. Continue along the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea across the powerful Clutha River to the peaceful alpine community of Wanaka, nestled o­n the shore of the magnificent lake.

Overnight (1): Wanaka

Day 18 – Wanaka to Queenstown (113km)

This morning you are at leisure until your afternoon departure from Wanaka. Optional activities available include 4WD excursion or a cruise o­n Lake Wanaka. After leaving Wanaka travel through rugged Kawarau Gorge to reach Queenstown, New Zealand’s “adventure capital.”

Overnights (2): Queenstown

Day 19 – Queenstown

Today’s fully guided tour takes you for a scenic drive along the edge of Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy where you will board a Dart River Jet Boat for a journey through the Dart Rivers braided river system surrounding by snow-capped mountains, ancient native forest, waterfalls and glacier valleys frozen in time. The ride is followed by an easy guided walk through ancient native beech forest and a 4WD safari ride.

Day 20 – Queenstown to Milford Sound and Te Anau (406km)

An early start today as you follow the shores of Lake Wakatipu via Kingston to arrive in Te Anau for a morning tea break. Follow the shores of Lake Te Anau to enter the Eglington Valley. Look out for Mirror Lakes and the Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain. The spectacular scenery of Fiordland National park continues before the Homer Tunnel brings you dramatically down into Milford Sound. A launch cruise o­n Milford Sound is included and can be even more dramatic after rain when Bowen Falls and other cascades are in full spate over sheer cliffs of the Sound. Return later today to Te Anau.

Overnight (1): Te Anau

Day 21 – Te Anau to Dunedin (298km)

Turn east again today to Coastal Otago and Dunedin, first settled by the Scottish. The city is famous for its ornate Edwardian and Victorian architecture and renowned as the “Edinburgh of the South”.

Overnights (2): Dunedin

Day 22 – Dunedin

Day at leisure

Day 23 – Dunedin to Christchurch (365km/228m)

Head o­n north to Moeraki, a small fishing village famed for its dramatic coastal scenery and the strange spherical boulders up to three metres in diameter scattered o­n the beach. Continue across the Canterbury Plains back to Christchurch via Oamaru and Timaru.

Day 24 – Departure Christchurch

A transfer to Christchurch Airport is included. Check in for Auckland where you will connect with an Air New Zealand flight via Los Angeles back to the UK.

Day 25 – Arrive UK

Why not extend your holiday with a stopover in Los Angeles? This can be included as part of your outward or return journey (or both) and for many the journey thus becomes part of the holiday. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss accommodation options, as well as transfers and sightseeing possibilities – we are very happy to tailor make your holiday to your own requirements.

Air New Zealand Upgrades – EconomySkycouch™, Premium Economy & BusinessPremier™

Click here to view your seat information and the choice of upgrades perfect for families, couples or anyone who
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*Available daily to New Zealand via Los Angeles

BRITISH AIRWAYS ECONOMY CLASS DOMESTIC ADD-ON’S

Available in conjunction with your TransAtlantic and TransPacific Flights with Air New Zealand between London and to/from Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle. Details on request.

Pricing

Departing Between 2017-2018Twin Budget HotelsSingle Budget HotelsTwin Standard HotelsSingle Standard HotelsTwin Superior HotelsSingle Superior Hotels
September – March£POA£POA£POA£POA£POA£POA
Contact us for Free on 0800 988 4611

Hotel

BudgetStandardSuperior
AucklandAuckland City HotelCopthorne Hotel Auckland CityHeritage Auckland
PaihiaTanoa Paihia HotelKingsgate Hotel Autolodge PaihiaCopthorne Hotel Bay of Islands
CoromandelAotearoa Lodge – Standard StudioAotearoad Lodge – Superior StudioGrand Mercure Puka Park
RotoruaIbis RotoruaSudima Hotel Lake RotoruaMillennium Hotel Rotorua
NapierQuest NapierScenic Hotel Te PaniaThe Crown Napier
WellingtonIbis WellingtonHotel Grand Chancellor James CookRydges Wellington
ChristchurchIbis ChristchurchChateau on the Park ChristchurchNovotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Franz Josef GlacierPunga GroveScenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier – Graham WingScenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier – Graham Wing
WanakaMercure Oakridge Resort – Standard RoomMercure Oakridge Resort – 1 Bed ApartmentThe Edgewater
QueenstownTanoa Aspen HotelCopthorne Lakefront Hotel & ResortMillenium Queenstown
Te AnauKingsgate Hotel Te AnauDistinction Luxmore HotelDistinction Te Anau Hotel
DunedinKingsgate Hotel DunedinMercure Dunedin Leisure LodgeDistinction Dunedin
ChristchurchIbis ChristchurchChateau on the Park ChristchurchNovotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

Tour Price Includes:

  • Scheduled flights with Air New Zealand from London to Auckland and return from Christchurch
  • Airport transfers in both Auckland and Christchurch.
  • All pre-paid airport taxes, security charges
  • UK Air Passenger Duty
  • 21 nights’ accommodation in Budget, Standard or Superior hotels, room only, with private facilities
  • Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton
  • Pacific Coastal train Picton to Christchurch
  • TranzAlpine train Christchurch to Greymouth
  • Scheduled seat-in-coach transportation with on-board commentary for duration of tour
  • Sightseeing as detailed

Not Included:

  • Meals unless shown
  • Excursions other than specified

Please note that there is an extra cost payable for a single person on the seat in coach transfer from Auckland/Coromandel including sightseeing – this rate will be advised and added at time of booking and refunded upon your return if more than 1 person travels on this tour.

Enquiry Form

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