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New Zealand Journey

These 11 days exploring New Zealands North and South Islands are the ideal introduction to this small country that feels huge. Travelling by train, gondola, boat, and plane, youll connect with locals in artsy beach towns, roam through an ancient rainforest, learn about local legend and cuisine from the Maori, and breathe in all the clean air you possibly can. Come to New Zealand a stranger. Return home an honorary Kiwi.

Australasia
  • Duration: 11 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ONING/155219
  • Starts: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Finishes: Queenstown, New Zealand
You will Visit
  • Auckland
  • Queenstown

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Auckland

Arrive at any time.
Please make your own way to the joining hotel. Our CEO will have a welcome meeting this evening.

Auckland is a fantastic city with so much to see and do. Should you want more time to explore on your own, we recommend booking pre-nights.

02

Day 2: Auckland

Catch a ferry to Waiheke Island and visit two local wineries to learn more about New Zealand's burgeoning wine industry and the history of wine production in the country – while sampling some of the local blends, of course! Later, enjoy a short orientation walk and some free time to explore the city.

03

Day 3: Auckland/Raglan

Drive a scenic route, visiting an eel farm which focuses on developing sustainable aquaculture. Enjoy lunch, featuring food which has been sustainably produced on the farm. Continue to the artsy town of Raglan, stopping at Bridal Veil Falls en route, and enjoy a cruise on the stunning harbour.

04

Day 4: Raglan/Rotorua

Drive to Rotorua, stopping for an excursion at Waitomo Caves where you'll take a boat ride through the cave and see thousands of flickering glowworms lighting up the walls.

This evening visit Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy a private welcome and talk from a “Kaumātua” (an elder in Māori society). After, enjoy an extravagant performance about local myths, and legends while dining on traditional Hangi cuisine.
Rotorua sits over an active volcano with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. This is a fascinating region with Maori history and culture tied directly to the geothermal aspects of the land.

05

Day 5: Rotorua/Christchurch

Enjoy free time this morning in Rotorua before catching a flight to Christchurch. Take an orientation walk with the CEO to get a feel for the city.
With free time in Rotorua this morning, opt to relax in one of the hot pools fed by water coming directly from the natural springs.

06

Day 6: Christchurch/Franz Josef

Enjoy one of the world's great scenic train trips on the TranzAlpine train, crossing the scenic Southern Alps to New Zealand's glacier region. Disembark and finish the journey over the highest pass in the Southern Alps in a private vehicle before transferring to a beautiful rainforest lodge, our home for two nights.



07

Day 7: Franz Josef

Options are plentiful. Choose from a helicopter hike, ice walking on the glacier, or soaking in the hot pools amongst the stunning scenery.

08

Day 8: Franz Josef/Queenstown

Travel through the rugged rainforest along the west coast to Queenstown. Enjoy an evening gondola ride with spectacular views of the city.
Early start to travel to the picturesque Lake Matheson. When the weather is right, you can get a great photo of the Southern Alps reflected in the lake. Follow the wild West Coast Road, through the rainforest before stopping for some short walks and waterfall visits.

09

Day 9: Queenstown/Fiordland National Park

Embark on an amazing wilderness cruise through Fiordland National Park. Led by onboard naturalist guides we have the chance to see dolphins, fur seals, birds and penguins and an option to kayak. Spend the night onboard in comfortable cabins with time to relax on deck, stargaze and enjoy some New Zealand wine.
In the evening, enjoy a delicious three course buffet dinner prepared by our onboard chef and served in the dining saloon. Mingle with fellow travellers, savour some of the fine wines at our licensed bar (additional price) and if the skies are clear in the evening, spend some time on the upper deck gazing at the stars.

10

Day 10: Fiordland National Park/Queenstown

Enjoy morning wildlife viewing along the fiord as we cruise back to port, then return to Queenstown for the final night. Opt for a farewell dinner with your group.

11

Day 11: Queenstown

Depart at any time.
For more time to explore Queenstown, we recommend booking post nights with your agent if you are interested in the countless adrenaline-packed activities in the town known as the "adventure capital of the world." Jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking, and sky diving are some of the activities available.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Waiheke Island Wineries, Waiheke Island National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Meet a Maori Elder, Rotorua
    • Bridal Veil Falls visit
    • Farm visit with local lunch
    • Raglan harbour cruise
    • Waitomo Caves tour
    • Traditional Maori hangi feast and entertainment
    • Orientation walk in Christchurch
    • Scenic TranzAlpine train
    • Ride the Queenstown gondola
    • Wilderness day cruise (winter) or overnight cruise (summer) on Fiordland National Park
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (9 nts), cruise boat (1 nt, seasonal)
    • 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
    Transport
    • Private vehicle, plane, train, boat, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Sample wine with local experts on Waiheke Island
  • Learn about Maori myths and traditions
  • Experience the geothermal mysteries of Rotorua
  • Glide along the TranzAlpine railway
  • Relax at a rainforest lodge
  • Cruise through Fiordland National Park searching for wildlife and waterfalls