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- from $4,225 PP
Discover both the North Island and South Island on this exciting itinerary that begins in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. You’ll get to explore it on a private guided tour and enjoy a day trip to Waiheke Island. Venturing south, tour the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Rotorua’s famous geothermal parks. Fly to the South Island where you’ll spend time touring Christchurch and enjoy a special food and wine experience. Hop on the world-famous TranzAlpine train for the scenic ride of your life, soar over spectacular Milford Sound on a flightseeing trip and concluded with a private guided tour of Queenstown.
Our Flexi - Promise
10% deposit to book
Book your trip with us and pay a reduced deposit with the rest 90 days before your departure
If you are not comfortable travelling, you have the right to cancel and get a refund up to 45 days before your departure
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Your trip with us is fully financially protected by our travel insurers. Peace of mind guaranteed.
No Change Fees
We will not charge you any admin fees if you would like to change your travel dates or destination with us
At a Glance
- 11 nights hand-picked high quality hotel accommodation
- Private airport departure and arrival transfers
- Domestic flights as detailed in the itinerary
- All transfers throughout the trip as per itinerary
- Private guided Auckland city tour
- Day trip to Waiheke Island
- Waitomo Glowworms Cave tour
- Rotorua geothermal parks tour
- Private guided Christchurch tour + wine and food experience
- TranzAlpine train
- Milford Sound cruise and flightseeing
- Private guided Queenstown sightseeing tour
- 24/7 support from our staff throughout your trip
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Auckland: Arrival into Auckland
Welcome to New Zealand – your adventure begins with your arrival into Auckland International Airport. You’ll be met by private transfer to your hotel. One of the best ways to beat jetlag is to enjoy a walk in the fresh air, so after checking in you might want to get a preview of the city on foot. One of the most popular ways to start is at Auckland’s iconic symbol, the Sky Tower. It rises 1,076 feet above the city center as the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building. The great bird’s-eye view from the top brings a better perspective of the city’s layout.
Day 2 Auckland: Private Guided Walking Tour
A private guide will meet your at your hotel for a walking tour through Auckland’s heart. You’ll visit Princes Wharf along the waterfront, an impressive hub for dining, drinking and entertainment with harbour views. Explore the New Zealand Maritime Museum which focuses on the country’s early settlers, from Polynesians to Europeans. Stroll through the Viaduct Harbour entertainment district with its gourmet dining and lively nightlife, as well as Wynward Quarter which will host the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. See the popular Fish Market and Silo Park with its luxurious superyachts too. Enjoy the rest of the day to rest up for further travels.
Day 3 Auckland: Day Trip to Waiheke Island
A day trip will bring you by ferry to Waiheke Island, a haven of vineyards, unspoiled sandy beaches and charming seaside villages offering everything from scenic coastal walks to sea kayaking and mountain biking. Your private guide will reveal the highlights which includes a private tour of the vineyards where you’ll sip wine in a spectacularly lush setting. You’ll learn how the island’s climate has allowed the wine industry to boom and taste olive oil at an award-winning olive oil estate too. Enjoy lunch complemented with wine, a short native bush walk to learn about medicinal and traditional uses of native plants, and more.
Day 4 Rotorua: Waitomo Caves Glowworm Tour
Leaving Auckland today, your private driver/guide will bring you on a scenic drive to Rotorua, stopping for a tour of the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. You’ll enter the largest cave, Footwhistle, to marvel at the stunning display of the bioluminescent insects that appear as if they’re tiny fairies. See the remains of a Moa bird, once New Zealand’s largest bird before becoming extinct, along with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. Enjoy a special tasting of kawakawa tea in a traditional Ponga hut before continuing to your accommodation in Rotorua. After checking in you can take the rest of the day to relax.
Day 5 Rotorua: Geothermal Parks Tour
Rotorua is most famous for its geothermal wonders, and today you’ll explore two of its top geothermal parks on a half-day private tour. You’ll be led by a local naturalist guide, starting with a picturesque drive through the volcanic landscapes. Discover Wai-o-Tapu with its incredible colorful hot springs in shades from burnt orange to jade green and turquoise, as well as its famous erupting geyser, Lady Knox. Your guide will also bring you to Waimangu Valley which reveals the history of Mount Tarawera and the massive 1886 volcanic eruption. This evening you’ll delve into Maori culture with a traditional hangi dinner and a performance.
Day 6 Christchurch: Flight to the South Island
Heading to the South Island today, private transfer will bring you to the airport in Rotorua to catch your flight to Christchurch. Upon arrival, a private driver will transfer you to your hotel in the city. You’ll explore some of the landmarks on a guided tour tomorrow, but today you might want to walk around to check out the fantastic colourful street art. It was created as part of the revitalization of the city following a devastating series of earthquakes that caused extensive damage, with the last major quake in 2011. An interactive guide is available online allowing you to search for the best.
Day 7 Christchurch: Private Guided Sightseeing Tour + Wine & Food Experience
This morning your private driver/guide will pick you up at your hotel for a guided sightseeing tour through the center of Christchurch, stopping at “Cardboard Cathedral,” officially known as the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral. It was rebuilt using cardboard following the earthquake and is now considered a symbol of the city’s resilience. You’ll stop to see the impressive architecture of the neo-gothic Arts Center and visit Canterbury Museum, focused on early colonial artifacts. After touring, a short drive will bring you to the Waipara wine region, known for its sauvignon blanc and pinot noir wines. You’ll visit three boutique wineries for tastings followed by lunch.
Day 8 Christchurch: TranzAlpine Train
Embark on one of the world’s most scenic rail journey’s, traveling on the TranzAlpine train to Arthur’s Pass. Enjoy the spectacular views while rolling through a dramatic gorge and into the Southern Alps. Once in Arthur’s Pass village you’ll have a choice of adventures, including a visit to Castle Hill rocks considered sacred by the Maori. The mesmerizing formations are even more stunning with their backdrop of snow-dusted mountains. Or, explore the Waimakariri River and its braided river system, a filming site for “The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe” with magnificent limestone cliffs. Return by traveling through Porter’s Pass and the Canterbury Plains.
Day 9 Queenstown: Flight from Christchurch
Your private driver will bring you to the airport in Christchurch to catch your 75-minute flight to Queenstown this morning. Take private transfer to your accommodation upon your arrival where you can enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. If you’re looking for views, there’s no shortage of them here, with some of the best enjoyed by riding the Skyline Queenstown Gondola up to Bob’s Peak. You’ll get a stunning visual of towering mountains in nearly every direction and the sparkling cobalt waters of Lake Wakatipu. Afterward enjoy what’s been called the world’s best burgers at Fergburger, a local favourite.
Day 10 Queenstown: Milford Sound Flightseeing & Cruise
Take in some of the most jaw-dropping landscapes in the South Island today with a flightseeing trip and a cruise on Milford Sound. Fly over the fjord for a view from above that includes roaring rivers with turquoise hues, lush valleys, and towering mountains. You may be able to enjoy a glacier landing in the heart of Fiordland National Park, depending on the timing, as well. Once on the ground you’ll hop on a vessel to cruise the dark sapphire waters with sheer cliffs laced with waterfalls rising above. Along the way, wildlife like seals, penguins and dolphins can be spotted too.
Day 11 Queenstown: Private Guided Queenstown Tour
Your private driver/guide will meet you at your hotel for a sightseeing tour of the city and its surrounds this morning. Don’t forget your camera for the endless photo-ops, including Queenstown Hill, a panoramic viewpoint which stretches from Lake Wakatipu to the Remarkables Range. You’ll follow the Frankton Arm into Kawarau Gorge, one of the many filming sites for “The Lord of the Rings” series. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes-look at the birth of bungee jumping and a wine tasting at Gibbston Valley Winery before visiting Arrowtown, a historic gold mining settlement where you can check out the cafes and shops.
Day 12 Departure
Your memorable 11-nights New Zealand Signature Tour concludes this morning. While you can never have enough time in this spectacular country, there’s always next time. Check out of your Queenstown hotel and your private driver will meet you there for transfer to the airport where you’ll catch your flight back home.
What's not Included
- Your international flights – please contact your travel expert if you require assistance with flights
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests to purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
Speak to experienced Destinations Experts about designing this itinerary around your budget and trip preferences
Why book with Unforgettable Travel Co.
100% Financial Protection
We are a licensed and fully bonded tour operator financially protected by both the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL) and the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust (ABTOT). All clients that travel with us are fully financially protected.
Our travel experts live and breathe the destinations they specialise in. This shows in their passionate to create hand crafted trips for our clients. We don’t offer cookie cutter trips, just truly unforgettable journeys unlike any other.
The Best Guides
What makes our trips extraordinary is the unique immersive experiences we include. We pride ourselves in our black book of sought after expert guides, game rangers and local contacts who believe in our philosophy, unforgettable.
From the moment you book your trip, we are on hand 24/7 to assist you throughout your journey. With regional offices around the world, we have ground logistics teams on hand to help you every step of the way.
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