Contrasts of New Zealand

10 Day Guided Vacation | Auckland to Christchurch

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Contrasts of New Zealand

10 Day Guided Vacation | Auckland to Christchurch

Contrasts of New Zealand

10 Day Guided Vacation | Auckland to Christchurch | Travel Period: 1 Apr 2020 – 31 Mar 2021

Contrasts of New Zealand

10 Day Guided Vacation

Auckland to Christchurch

Take in the contrasts of two distinct islands. From Auckland’s sparkling harbour, to Rotorua’s geothermal wonderland, across to the rugged beauty of the West Coast and the untouched serenity of Milford Sound, another snapshot of New Zealand’s natural splendour reveals itself around every corner.

Choose This Trip If You'd Love To:

  • Experience a Maori Hangi cultural concert
  • Journey through the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine
  • Connect with locals in their Christchurch home
  • Discover magical Milford Sound on a cruise of the fiord

Please Note: Internal holiday flights must be purchased separately in order to fulfill the holiday itinerary.

image map

Local Connection

Enjoy a Be My Guest morning tea and hear about the world record-setting motorcycle, designed in a local family’s garage.

Insider Knowledge

Cruise Milford Sound on a nature cruise with a specialist guide, and discover the area’s spectacular wildlife and natural landscapes.

Cultural Immersion

Visit Tamaki Māori Village where Māori culture and traditions take centre stage with an authentic Hangi feast.

Sustainable Footprints

Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park and learn about the kiwi breeding program.

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.

Hotel: Stamford Plaza Auckland, 2 nights

Included Meals: Dinner with wine

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.

Included Meals: Breakfast

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 Māori Village.

Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Spend time at leisure this morning or consider an optional experience. You could visit Te Puia to meet the local Māori 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).

Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 3 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

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.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight dinner

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).

Hotel: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

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.

Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel, 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

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.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest morning tea, Farewell dinner

Your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Your Guided Holiday includes a range of quality accommodation for your comfort.
The accommodation you will enjoy on this tour includes:

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Located in the heart of the city, just a short stroll from the Viaduct harbour and Auckland's best shopping and nightlife. Stamford Plaza Auckland hotel is the ideal spot for a luxury unwinding. Stamford Plaza Auckland hotel is one of Auckland's premier accommodation choices with extensive hotel facilities and amenities.

    Features

  • Wireless Internet access
  • Executive Desk
  • Safety deposit box (laptop size)
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • In-room Movies (fee applies)
  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Work Desk
  • Mini Bar
  • Phone
  • Gym facilities
  • Bathtub and shower
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Centrally located in the city beside mystical Lake Rotorua, this hotel is just a brief stroll from the Rotorua Museum, Convention Centres and adjacent to a Polynesian Spa.

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Mini Bar
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Internet Access
  • Sky TV
  • Personalised message and wakeup service
  • Work Desk
  • Radio
  • Hair Dryer
  • In-room safe
  • Iron / Ironing Board
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Millennium Hotel Queenstown is only minutes from Queenstown shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities such as bungee jumping, white water rafting and jet boating.

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Colour TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Mini Bar
  • Phone
  • In-room safe
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hair Dryer
  • Electric blankets
  • Broadband Internet access
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand’s pristine wilderness – Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests’ wellbeing. With a natural, earthy ambience and attentive service, there’s no better place to take a deep breath and simply unwind.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat seamlessly incorporates measures that greatly reduce its environmental impact. Designed to stand the test of time, Te Waonui’s durable, New Zealand building design blends in with its stunning natural setting. Management and staff at Te Waonui actively support community-based projects to preserve our outstanding natural heritage in Franz Josef Glacier Town.

    Features

  • In-room safe
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Pillow Menu (Choice of pillows)
  • Luxurious bed linen
  • Private balcony or courtyard
  • Electronic security key system
  • Air-conditioning
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Mini Bar
  • TV
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The newly renovated Distinction Christchurch Hotel is an urban escape combining sophisticated smarts and familiar warmth whilst standing proud amongst the buzz of the rejuvenation of Cathedral Square.

Ideally positioned in the heart of the city only a few minutes' walk from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and future Christchurch Convention Centre.

    Features

  • Wi-Fi
  • Sauna
  • Gym facilities
  • TV
Need accommodation before or after your tour?

Our special discounted rates make booking accommodation with us during your holiday both easy and affordable at selected AAT Kings hotels and resorts. Find out more

  • Quality accommodation
  • Travel by luxury coach
  • Airport transfers (see flight information below)
  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide

To ensure your holiday is filled with memorable experiences, we have included a range of quality Optional Excursions for you to choose from and partake in, if you wish, during your holiday. The excursions can be booked on tour through your Travel Director.

NZ$420 adult NZ$260 Child

Milford Sound flight back to Queenstown

A scenic flight from Milford Sound to return back to Queenstown. During the 35 minute flight take in panoramic views of spectacular scenery including glaciers, rivers, lakes and rainforest. Returrn transport to Queenstown accommodation is included.

NZ$55 Adult NZ$25 Child

Kiwi Birdlife Park

The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a wildlife sanctuary found in the heart of Queenstown. They hold and display over 20 species of native NZ wildlife in our 5 acre Park, all of which are part of nationally managed programmes. Your entry fee supports their conservation work. They offer guaranteed kiwi viewing in our specially constructed nocturnal houses, audio tours (available in English and Japanese; allow 45min), Conservation Shows (11am, 3pm; allow 30min) and Kiwi Feedings (10am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 4.30pm; allow 15min). They offer an all-day pass and the park can be enjoyed in all weather. Experience conservation in action!

NZ$159 Adult NZ$89 Child

Shotover Jet Boat Ride

Enjoy a 30-minute jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River and through Shotover Canyon with the only company permitted to operate in this area. A major highlight is experiencing the famous “Shotover Jet Turn” where your boat spins through a full 360 degrees turn. Includes return transfers from Queenstown. (Duration: 1.5 hours in total)

Tour Only: NZ$155 Adult NZ$95 Child

Tour with Jet Boat: NZ$195 Adult NZ$115 Child

Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour

Skippers Canyon Jet are the only company to offer a complete 4WD tour of Skippers Canyon and access to the unique mining relics available in the Sainsbury gold claim museum. Following the winding, yet majestic Skippers road, which carves its way down from the Coronet Peak ski road, over the saddle and down “Long gully” through to Skippers Canyon; your guide will detail the history of the road, hardships of the miners and how many miners were killed building the road over a century ago.

NZ$95 Adult NZ$49 Child

Skyline Queenstown - Gondola and Dinner

Enjoy Queenstown’s most spectacular views while savouring the finest NZ flavours. Be tempted by a lavish six course “Taste of New Zealand” buffet whilst dining in the relaxed atmosphere.

NZ$72 Adult NZ$30 Child

Real Journeys - TSS Earnslaw (Cruise Only)

A cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the iconic steamship the TSS Earnslaw is undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience Queenstown’s famed scenic beauty. The leisurely 90 minute cruise across the lake showcases some of Queenstown’s spectacular alpine scenery while offering you plenty of time to explore a piece of Queenstown’s living history – the 104 year old TSS Earnslaw. You can visit the engine room and see its giant steam engines at work, view the collection of historical photos in our mini-museum, check out the bridge or even join a sing-along with the pianist. Or if you’d much rather, kick back and enjoy a wine or beer or some café-style food at our on-board Promenade Café and Bar.

NZ$109 Adult NZ$59 Child

Haast River Safari

Travel on a purpose built fully enclosed river jet boat with front-loading access. Great visibility is ensured, yet you remain warm, dry and comfortable, making this a unique and safe experience suitable for anyone of any age to participate in and enjoy.

Neve Discoverer Flight 20min - NZ$280 Adult NZ$196 Child

Twin Glacier Flight 30min - NZ$360 Adult NZ$252 Child

Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40min - NZ$490 Adult NZ$343 Child

The Helicopter Line

Neve Discoverer Flight 20min - Lift off and fly up over the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier to land amongst this alpine wonderland on a 20-minute scenic flight. Highlights include landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier and a snow or icefall landing.

Twin Glacier Flight 30min - From a mantle of pure white snow, massive rivers of ice wind their way down glacier valleys. Explore the glaciers, an incredible natural phenomenon on this 30-minute scenic flight. Highlights include a snow landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40min - Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox snowfields on this 40-minute scenic flight. Cross the main divide for breathtaking views of Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Highlights include a snow landing, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and Mt Cook.


Optional Experiences indicated are Australian or New Zealand dollars. Please note that occasionally weather or seasonal conditions may not permit their operation. Some also depend on a minimum number of participants and suitable time being available. Please see your Travel Director for a full list of experiences.

What to Bring

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Jacket in cooler months

Fitness Requirements

  • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • 9 Full Buffet Breakfast
  • 1 Lunch
  • 1 Be My Guest Morning Tea
  • 2 Highlight Dinners
  • 2 Dinner with wine
  • 1 Farewell Dinner

Flight Information

  • Day 1 - Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Auckland Airport
  • Day 10 - Flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport
  • Required Internal Flight listed below is to be purchased in order to fulfil the itinerary and are not included in the land content price
  • Day 4 - Rotorua to Queenstown: NZ5785/NZ5653 (except below departure dates)
  • Tour Start Date 24 April 2020: Day 4 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5783/NZ5653
  • Tour Start Date 20 November 2020: Day 4 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5655
  • Tour Start Date 18 December 2020: Day 4 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5655
  • Tour Start Date 25 December 2020: Day 4 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5655
  • Tour Start Date 01 January 2021: Day 4 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5655
  • Tour Start Date 08 January 2021: Day 4 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5655
  • Tour Start Date 15 January 2021: Day 4 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5653
  • Tour Start Date 22 January 2021: Day 4 – Rotorua to Queenstown NZ5785/NZ5653

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