Best Buys

New Zealand Magic

17 Day Guided Vacation | Christchurch to Auckland

From bubbling geysers to yawning gorges; gem-like glaciers to mirrored lakes; snow-tipped mountains to subtropical islands; it’s hard to believe that such a small country packs so much natural punch into its two islands. And then there are New Zealand’s cosmopolitan cities and towns, and celebration of Māori culture wherever you turn. Make no mistake – this journey from south to north is the ultimate New Zealand tour. Magic is an understatement.

Prices From Code: LCBA

$5695

Adult Twin i A person 16 years and over (note a person 16–17 years must be accompanied by a person 18 years and over). All prices are per person, land only unless otherwise indicated.

$6915

Single i A person, who must be 18 years and over, travelling alone, must pay the single room price. All prices are per person, land only unless otherwise indicated.
Prices above are per person in USD
Child prices are available on request

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New Zealand Magic

Best Buys

17 Day Guided Vacation

Christchurch to Auckland

From bubbling geysers to yawning gorges; gem-like glaciers to mirrored lakes; snow-tipped mountains to subtropical islands; it’s hard to believe that such a small country packs so much natural punch into its two islands. And then there are New Zealand’s cosmopolitan cities and towns, and celebration of Māori culture wherever you turn. Make no mistake – this journey from south to north is the ultimate New Zealand tour. Magic is an understatement.

Highlights

Flexible Vacations

Have an adventure at the very top of the North Island, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. Or just relax by the pool. The choice is yours.

Time For You

Explore Queenstown at your own pace, whether sipping your way around wineries or zipping across rivers. Your Travel Director has endless ideas.

Iconic Sites

Visiting Milford Sound/Piopiotahi within World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park is a humbling experience. Waterfalls, ancient escarpments and dolphins await.

Sustainable Travel

Thousands of kids across NZ go hungry every year. The ‘Eat My Lunch’ program that you support ensures this tide is turning.

Natural Wonders

Franz Josef Glacier sparkles like a gem in the Southern Alps, cutting through the mountains for more than 12 kilometres.

Itinerary

image map

Explore the ‘Garden City’ at your leisure. We recommend jumping aboard the tram for a Christchurch tour – the conductors are a hoot – to discover how the city has rebuilt itself since the devastating 2010/11 earthquakes. It’s changing the way architects think about design. Case in point the mind-bending Transitional Cathedral, made largely of cardboard, and Turanga, the gold-clad central library.

 

  Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

Your New Zealand tour starts on a high as you jump aboard the TranzAlpine train bound for Christchurch, through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. Arriving in Hokitika, your outlook is all pounamu (native greenstone or jade). In Māori tradition, it’s bad luck to buy this sacred stone for yourself; flutter your eyelids at your loved one. Things are about to get cool again as you arrive at Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere, a white-out of snow and ice that shimmers like a gem. Get some perspective on an optional scenic flight over this natural wonder – if the weather behaves, you may even get to land on it. 

  Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing)

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Over the Haast Pass, the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes spreads before you. First up there’s lovely Lake Wanaka, with its Instagrammable shoreline of poplars and willows. Followed by oh-so-blue Lake Hawea and Lake Dunstan, where you’ll pause to refuel on flavour-packed stone fruit. We know you’ll want to linger in Arrowtown’s movie-set-like streets, lined with trees and character-filled boutiques. But Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables await on your Queenstown tour.

 

  Hotel: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown , 2 Nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Take today at your own pace. Like things fast and furious? Feel the wind in your hair on the high-octane Shotover Jet, perhaps. There’s a reason why Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the country. Nature lover? Discover some of New Zealand’s feathered friends at a wildlife centre. Wine aficionado? Sip your way through surrounding vineyards. Wherever you wander, make sure you’re back in time to glide across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue dinner.     

 

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

From the moment you step outside today, nature rules. Your route from the Mirror Lakes through the Cleddau Valley is the entrée to your Milford Sound/Piopiotahi tour. Cruising this World Heritage listed expanse will give you goosebumps, a string of waterfalls creating a misty curtain across sheer escarpments. Look out for dolphins – they’re a common sight here. The onward road through Fiordland National Park is an intoxicating union of beech forests, alluvial flats, meadows and gin-clear rivers, carving up the countryside en route to Te Anau. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more magical, glowworm-filled caves make an appearance. We highly recommend a visit.

  Hotel: Distinction Luxmore Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Soak up the serenity of the South Island’s biggest lake on an early morning walk, perhaps, before leaving the forested slopes of Fiordland behind. Rolling green hills dotted with doe-eyed sheep are your new backdrop as you ease into the Edinburgh of the South: Dunedin. While away the afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speight’s Brewery (a national institution). Or venture further afield to discover the wildlife that thrives in this pretty pocket of the country – fur seals and penguins among them. 

  Hotel: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Time is on your side this morning. Sleep in or channel your inner royalty on a visit to grand Larnach Castle – the only one of its kind in the country. Dunedin’s Scottish ancestry is everywhere you look, from the manicured grounds of Otago University to the city’s main George Street. If you’ve ever wanted to see New Zealand’s oldest public gardens, today you’re in luck with a visit to Oamaru, known for its stately tree-lined streets and limestone buildings.

  Hotel: Heritage Gateway Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Your outlook this morning is the Canterbury Plains: the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, snow-capped mountains and atmospheric towns. Take it in on an optional scenic flight for added perspective of Southern Alps and on to Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Back on the ground, you’re becoming reacquainted with Christchurch on a city tour, your in-the-know guide pointing out the city’s miraculous transformation over the last decade. Local spirit is strong here.   

  Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

There aren’t many beaches more dramatic than the black sands of Kaikoura. Bonus points if you spot a sea lion or sperm whale frolicking offshore – a sighting is practically guaranteed if you opt for an aerial tour over the coastline. Your onward route skirts the pink tinged crystallisation ponds of the Lake Grassmere Salt Works, before arriving in the pretty seaside fishing village of Picton.

  Hotel: Picton Beachcomber Inn

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Swap wheels for water aboard the Inter-islander for a cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound, up the Tory Channel and across Cook Strait, from the South Island to the North, navigating a maze of arms and inlets into New Zealand’s cool little capital of Wellington. Bring your stamina for a session at the award-winning (and eye-opening) Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Your final few hours of your Wellington tour should – must – end with a coffee. The city is known for its uber-cool cafés, many of them around Lamberton Quay.

  Hotel: Travelodge Wellington

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Follow the lead of locals along the Kapiti Coast, the traditional summer playground of Wellingtonians. You’ll understand why. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, the largest (and perhaps bluest) of its kind in the country. It’s a landscape almost as otherworldly as Rotorua, where mud pops and jettisons from bubbling geysers, and steam rushes skywards from cracks in the Earth.  Tonight, delve deep into Maori culture and traditions at Te Puia. Witness a traditional welcome, followed by a hangi feast cooked underground, and a Maori cultural performance in the beautifully carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua.     

  

  Hotel: Ibis Rotorua Hotel, 2 Nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Highlight Dinner

Explore at your own pace today, but with plenty of tips from your Travel Director. Want a bit of down time? We wouldn’t blame you for simply blissing out at in the steamy thermal springs at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa. Animal lover? Go behind the scenes on a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Hobbit fans will want to take advantage of the opportunity to tour the sights featured in The Lord of the Rings movies at Hobbiton. These beautiful landscapes are not only a bucket list tour for Hobbit fans, but a gorgeous countryside getaway.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Set your internal GPS for the Waikato River to enjoy your Waitomo Caves tour. This place is radiant – quite literally. While cruising cavernous limestone waterways, your route is cast in a magical light by thousands of glowworms. The next thing that glows on your horizon is Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city with not one, but two harbours. And plenty of yachts to decorate both, as you’ll see from the lookout at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

  Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Auckland

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Say goodbye to the ‘City of Sails’ as you journey north to New Zealand’s dramatic Bay of Islands – 140 droplets of land ringed by turquoise sea. It’s undeniably beautiful, but it also holds a special historical secret: this is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, between Captain William Hobson and Māori chiefs. Your guide, likely an ancestor of one of the original signatories, will explain the significance of the site, while pointing out the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe and a carved meeting house.

  Hotel: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Rooms, 2 Nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

If there’s a travel destination that inspires wanderlust, the Bay of Islands is it. Today, trip the light fantastic and head off in whatever direction you please. Perhaps travel up to Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua, the very top of New Zealand, via idyllic Ninety Mile Beach. Or glide around on an historic tall ship, enjoy local drops on a wine tour of the region, or join a tour of Russell and learn more about the settling of the Bay of Islands.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Today, New Zealand’s most northerly city is well and truly on your radar. Whangarei is a place where waterfalls meet beaches, galleries meet museums. It’s like the country in a tantalizing snapshot – a union of nature and forward-thinking culture. Explore at your leisure before sinking back into your seat for the mesmerizing commute back to Auckland.

  Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Auckland

  Included Meals: Breakfast

It’s hard to say goodbye to Auckland – this city is hypnotic. But you have a camera full of New Zealand tour photos to categorize before you get home.  

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


Accommodation

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

Ibis Christchurch is ready to welcome you. Adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, Cashell Mall. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. Ibis Hotel Christchurch is very close to the famous Cathedral Square, the historic heart of the city providing easy access to the outer lying attractions and the airport. The Ibis features 155 contemporary rooms, restaurant OOPEN, a bar and meeting room.

    Features

  • 220/240 V AC
  • Data port in room
  • Air-conditioning
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Satellite/cable colour TV
  • Work Desk
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Manual temperature control
  • Wi-Fi in room (Pay)
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Ensuite
  • Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Security peephole
  • Automatic wake up call
  • Operator wake up call
  • Alarm Clock
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier sits at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, and is just moments from one of New Zealand’s most spectacular natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier. Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier makes the most of its alpine location and offers quality accommodation in two separate hotel ‘wings’. Stay in either the Douglas or Graham wing, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings within Franz Josef village. Our hotel is in a premium location, making it the perfect place to base yourself while exploring the magnificent Westland region.

    Features

  • Hair Dryer
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Work Desk
  • Mini Bar
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Refrigerator
  • Four Spa Pools
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront is located on Frankton Road, just five minutes stroll to the heart of Queenstown.

The hotel resort is close to many wonderful activities, from the town's world famous jet boat rides to radical white water rafting, bungee jumping, vineyards, international golf courses and ski fields.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • TV
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Refrigerator
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Telephone - Voice Mail
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hairdryer
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Escape to the serene surroundings of Lake Te Anau before heading out to explore the world-famous beauty of Fiordland National Park. The hotel is located in the heart of the visitor-friendly township of Te Anau, in the stunning and world-famous region of Fiordland.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Heater
  • Phone
  • TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Bathroom Amenities
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

This stylish hotel has a fresh contemporary design, with clean lines and dramatic features softened by natural elements such as timber and neutral tones. At once energetic, yet restful, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is well in tune with the beat of this vibrant city. Located in the heart of the city and just blocks from the Octagon, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is within walking distance of many of the city's main attractions, great restaurants and shopping centres. So whether you are visiting Dunedin for business or pleasure look no further than the exquisite Scenic Hotel Dunedin City for your accommodation choice!

    Features

  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Mini Bar
  • Work Desk
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Refrigerator
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Located in the heart of the Mackenzie/Waitaki region, a unique area of New Zealand's South Island. Set amongst landscaped gardens with views of the surrounding mountains, the Heritage Gateway Hotel is a peaceful place to stay.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Phone
  • TV
  • Electric blankets
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hairdryer
  • Refrigerator
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Ibis Christchurch is ready to welcome you. Adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, Cashell Mall. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. Ibis Hotel Christchurch is very close to the famous Cathedral Square, the historic heart of the city providing easy access to the outer lying attractions and the airport. The Ibis features 155 contemporary rooms, restaurant OOPEN, a bar and meeting room.

    Features

  • 220/240 V AC
  • Data port in room
  • Air-conditioning
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Satellite/cable colour TV
  • Work Desk
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Manual temperature control
  • Wi-Fi in room (Pay)
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Ensuite
  • Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Security peephole
  • Automatic wake up call
  • Operator wake up call
  • Alarm Clock
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Whether you are a holiday-maker or an overseas tourist, you will have a memorable stay at The Picton Beachcomber Inn — a quality hotel accommodation that is comfortable; peaceful; affordable; clean and tidy.

Located right on the waterfront, within a 2 minute walk from the Picton retail shops; 800metres from Picton Ferry Terminal.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Heater
  • Shower
  • Radio
  • Alarm Clock
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Free wireless internet access
  • Hairdryer
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Sky TV
  • Shower and toilet facilities
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

With close proximity to the city’s financial hub as well as many Wellington attractions, such as Wellington Zoo, the Wellington Cable Car, the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, and the Wellington Botanic Gardens, Travelodge Hotel Wellington is perfectly located for both business and leisure travel.

    Features

  • Hair Dryer
  • Pay TV
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Individual heater control
  • LCD TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Internet Access
  • Microwave
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua, this hotel offers tranquil surroundings with sensational views. Our central location is easily accessible to cafés, restaurants and the Energy Events Convention Centre. Stunning natural scenery and geothermal wonders makes this the ultimate destination.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Air-conditioning
  • Telephone - Voice Mail
  • Soundproofed Windows
  • TV
  • In-house movies
  • Pay TV
  • 220/240 V AC
  • Data port in room
  • High speed transmission line (pay)
  • Work Desk
  • Manual temperature control
  • Iron
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Automatic wake up call
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Holiday Inn Express, Auckland is 3 km from Auckland Airport. Featuring balconies or direct garden access, rooms provide free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, safes, iPod docks and minifridges. All have tea and coffeemaking facilities. Suites add living rooms and/or whirlpool tubs. Room service is available. Amenities also include a casual restaurant, bar, an outdoor pool and a fitness centre.

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

This welcoming Bay of Islands hotel commands a superb waterfront location in the heart of the Bay of Islands, offering uninterrupted bay views surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens as part of the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

    Features

  • 42" flat screen TV with Sky channels
  • Wi-Fi
  • Refrigerator
  • Mini Bar
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • In-room safe
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Phone
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Holiday Inn Express, Auckland is 3 km from Auckland Airport. Featuring balconies or direct garden access, rooms provide free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, safes, iPod docks and minifridges. All have tea and coffeemaking facilities. Suites add living rooms and/or whirlpool tubs. Room service is available. Amenities also include a casual restaurant, bar, an outdoor pool and a fitness centre.

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. Ask our friendly reservations at the time of booking.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver
  • • 1 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Fiordland National Park
  • • Centrally located premium 3.5-star hotels

What to Bring

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

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • • 16 Full Breakfasts
  • • 1 Lunch
  • • 7 Dinners
  • • 2 Highlight Dinners

Flight Information

  • • Day 1: Flight to arrive by 4.00pm into Christchurch Airport
  • • Day 17: Flight to depart any time from Auckland Airport
  • • Airline schedules may change at short notice. Please consider possible flight disruption when booking your flights.​

New Zealand Magic

Best Buys

17 Day Guided Vacation

Christchurch to Auckland

Whether by boat, coach, train, helicopter or on foot, the wonders of New Zealand unfold as you traverse both North and South islands on this full New Zealand tour. Those wonders are often natural – Franz Josef Glacier, Milford Sound, Mount Cook, Huka Falls, Lake Taupo. But they also come in the form of inspiring cities and sacred Maori sites revealing the soul-stirring history of the country.

Please note: On some departure dates, the itinerary varies. Details of itinerary can be confirmed at the time of booking.

Highlights

Flexible Vacations

There’s nothing quite like an unexpected adventure, whether in Queenstown or the Bay of Islands. We’ve got tips if you need them.

Iconic Sites

Moving moments await, from natural wonders in Milford Sound to history-shaping sights at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Time For You

Wine aficionados will enjoy an optional experience sipping through the vineyards surrounding adventure capital Queenstown.

Sustainable Travel

When you eat lunch, we donate another meal to Kiwi kids in need through the Eat My Lunch initiative.

Itinerary

image map

Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm. Take some time to relax or explore independently. You may like to step back in time to a grand era of transport and relax on the Christchurch Tram as it takes you around the 'must-see' central attractions. The tram drivers provide a live commentary throughout the loop, identifying points of interest, historic architecture and the changes the city is under-going since the 2011 earthquake. This evening, meet your fellow travelling companions and your AAT Kings Travel Director for a welcome reception at your hotel.

  Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

First up this morning you will board the TranzAlpine train and head out through the majestic Canterbury Plains towards the Southern Alps onto Arthurs Pass. This spectacular train journey dates to 1914 and is rated as one of the world’s most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. From Arthur’s Pass we head off to the drift-wood strewn beaches of Hokitika. As well as being one of the few West Coast communities to embrace its coastal landscape, Hokitika struck it rich in the resource's stakes. Here you will visit a pounamu factory (native greenstone or jade), for the chance to see master carvers at work creating intricate pieces of jewellery and art. Maori tradition says it is bad luck to buy pounamu for yourself, so if you fancy a trinket of your own, make sure you have someone there to purchase it for you. Your destination 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 a helicopter flight. Your flight will hover over the snow face and may land high up in the valley so that you can walk across the ice fall – subject to weather conditions (Optional Experience – at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing)

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

If weather conditions are unfavourable on Day 2, you may get another chance to fly up to the glaciers this morning. If you aren’t flying, you might want to take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village before we head out of Franz Josef following an ancient greenstone trail. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and the grand sight of Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers. Travel over Haast Pass, marking a change from the rainforest marvel of the wild West Coast to the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes. From here you will travel further into Central Otago. View Lake Wanaka, where the shoreline is charmingly lined by poplars and willows, followed by the vivid blue waters of Lake Hawea. It is a day of gorgeous lakes, as after Hawea you will travel over to Cromwell, situated next to the sparkling pristine waters of Lake Dunstan. Stop in at a local orchard for a taste of some of the town’s delicious stone fruit. Later, you will stop and visit the faithfully restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. As you amble down the beautiful tree-lined avenues, past the 19th century wooden buildings, you will feel like you have stepped into a movie set. Then it’s on to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand!

  Hotel: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown , 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Explore Queenstown your way! Take the opportunity to encounter a Queenstown legend and ride the Shotover Jet or venture out on a Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour. If laid-back and relaxed is more your idea of fun then join a Wine Tour and sample some of Central Otago’s award-winning wines. Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking all your chosen optional experiences. After a day of activity, sit back and enjoy a peaceful evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station. Launched in 1912, the TSS Earnslaw is the largest and grandest vessel ever to ply Lake Wakatipu. Today, the TSS Earnslaw is believed to be the only coal-fired passenger carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere. Partake in a gourmet BBQ Highlight Dinner at Walter Peaks’ Colonel’s Homestead and then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing a glimpse into high-country farm life. On the cruise back to Queenstown, join in a vintage sing-along or grab your partner for a dance across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Today is one of those days where you will want to have your camera battery charged, and ready to go! From the beautiful sights of Queenstown, you will travel out to the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound. You will stop at Mirror Lakes where, as the name suggests, you can see the stunning mountain scenery perfectly reflected in the waters of the lakes. Then on to the Homer Tunnel, man’s attempt to master the sheer rocky ranges, still left rough-hewn around the edges. As you emerge out the other side of the tunnel, you are presented with one of the world’s most dramatic alpine drives, down through the Cleddau Valley. Stop at the Chasm, where the roaring Cleddau River has carved its way through solid rock, and then it’s on to Milford Sound, where you will cruise the waters of this natural wonder. Your cruise meanders down the sound, taking in the Bowen and Stirling Falls as they plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord. After leaving Milford Sound, you will journey 119km through the Fiordland National Park and out to Te Anau on one of the most scenic roads you could hope for. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows. This evening you could head out across the lake to the Glow Worm Caves for a tour (Optional Experience – at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Distinction Luxmore Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

You may want to take an early morning walk along the shoreline of the South Island’s biggest lake, before you depart the township of Te Anau this morning. The heavily forested, rugged mountains of Fiordland National Park turn into rolling, grassy hills as you meander your way down to the city of Dunedin. Dunedin, also known as the Edinburgh of the South, has strong connections to its northern hemisphere sister city, even down to sharing many of the same street names – so take a wander down George Street, noting Dunedin’s Scottish ancestry. With the rest of your free afternoon you may wish to take part in an optional experience to see more of the region. Take a Wildlife Cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery – a New Zealand institution or explore the city and its museums, cafés and shops.

  Hotel: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

  Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning you have some free time in Dunedin. You may want to journey out to the gorgeous Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle. Or you may just wish to roam around the beautiful grounds of New Zealand’s first university, Otago University. From Dunedin you will then travel through to the township of Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and its famous white limestone buildings. As well as shipping limestone to the bigger cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for construction of their Town Halls and various churches, Oamaru locals made sure that their own town represented the best in limestone building the mid-late 1800’s had to offer. Then you will journey along the Waitaki River, which marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago, and with its large catchment it is an ideal source of hydro-electric power.  Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country at Omarama. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Heritage Gateway Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

You may want to take in Mount Cook National Park from the air this morning, on a scenic flight out over New Zealand’s highest peak, the Southern Alps and on to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers (optional – at own expense). Sweeping views across the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo framed by a backdrop of rugged hills and snow-capped mountains provide stunning alpine photography opportunities. You will visit the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd and stop for a quick photo with the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie Country. This afternoon head through the South Canterbury country towns of Fairlie and Geraldine and out over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch. Enjoy a city sights tour and see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. 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! Tonight, enjoy a dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast this morning passing through Kaikoura known for its abundant wildlife and its sperm whale population (an optional whale-watching flight is available – at own expense). Passing the pink tinged crystallisation ponds of the Lake Grassmere Salt Works, we drive on to the pretty seaside fishing village of Picton. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Picton Beachcomber Inn

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a quiet start to the day. Your AAT Kings crew and coach will join you on board the Interislander for a cruise across the Cook Strait, from the South Island to the North. Surprisingly it takes longer to cruise through the Queen Charlotte Sound and up the Tory Channel than it does to cross the open ocean of Cook Strait. You will meander through a maze of arms and inlets out of Picton. Upon arrival in Wellington, embark on a city sights tour of Wellington taking in New Zealand’s parliament buildings, and a visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Discover New Zealand’s nature, history, art and heritage, and then enjoy some time at leisure. Indulge in Wellington’s renowned coffee culture or take a walk along Lambton Quay.

  Hotel: Travelodge Wellington

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Tonight, we experience Te Puia's world-famous hāngī buffet dinner. Enjoy spectacular geothermal views while dining on a range of delicious New Zealand flavours. The menu is smartly sophisticated – infusing Māori flavours, with an array of global cuisines and cooking styles. After dinner you will get to enjoy a cultural performance that will take place in their beautifully carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua. Witness a pōwhiri (traditional welcome), waiata (song), mōteatea (traditional chant) poi and haka. The evening culminates with hot chocolate and steamed pudding surrounded by steam and the geyser terrace bathed in coloured light

  Hotel: Ibis Rotorua Hotel, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Highlight Dinner

Today is your chance to experience the scenic wonders of the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Choose from one of the varied Optional Activities on offer. Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park & The National Kiwi Hatchery, take a ‘behind the scenes’ tour through the working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Visit Te Puia and join a guided tour through the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, home to famous Pohutu Geyser and the bubbling beauty of the mud pools. Later, why not spend a little more time experiencing the thermal wonders, with a soak in the hot mineral waters of the Polynesian Spas. Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking your chosen optional activities.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning you will travel through the King Country region which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s to Waitomo Caves. See the amazing underground Glow Worm Grotto by boat and walk through the limestone caverns. This afternoon you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest river, past the lush farmlands of the Waikato Region. As you journey over the Bombay Hills, the landscape changes from green, grassy meadowlands to the edges of suburbia. As you make your way into the heart of New Zealand’s largest city, you will stop at the Auckland War Memorial Museum for views across Auckland City and the Waitemata Harbour.

  Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Auckland

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, we depart Auckland City travelling north over the Harbour Bridge and past the sprawling suburbs of the North Shore of Auckland. Our travels then take you through Northland’s lush farmland scenery before arriving in the beautiful Bay of Islands. This afternoon discovers the stories, people and events that shaped the past, present and future of Aotearoa New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. During your tour you will view the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe, the historic Treaty House and carved Meeting House. Stand on the spot where New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was first signed in 1840. This evening enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Garden Rooms, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today is a completely free day for you to experience the beauty of the Bay of Islands. Perhaps take a coach trip up to Cape Reinga - the very top of New Zealand via idyllic Ninety Mile Beach or experience a day of sailing aboard a historic tall ship. Enjoy wine tasting in Kerikeri or join a tour of Russell and learn more about the settling of the Bay of Islands. Tonight, you are free to dine as you wish.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a leisurely morning in the Bay of Islands before you travel back to Auckland. Our journey south takes us to Whangarei, the northern-most city in New Zealand, where you can wander around the art galleries and through the marina in the Town Basin. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Rodney District before arriving in Auckland late afternoon.

  Hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Auckland

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Your AAT Kings New Zealand holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. Your flights can depart any time today.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


Accommodation

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

Ibis Christchurch is ready to welcome you. Adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, Cashell Mall. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. Ibis Hotel Christchurch is very close to the famous Cathedral Square, the historic heart of the city providing easy access to the outer lying attractions and the airport. The Ibis features 155 contemporary rooms, restaurant OOPEN, a bar and meeting room.

    Features

  • 220/240 V AC
  • Data port in room
  • Air-conditioning
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Satellite/cable colour TV
  • Work Desk
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Manual temperature control
  • Wi-Fi in room (Pay)
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Ensuite
  • Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Security peephole
  • Automatic wake up call
  • Operator wake up call
  • Alarm Clock
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier sits at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, and is just moments from one of New Zealand’s most spectacular natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier. Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier makes the most of its alpine location and offers quality accommodation in two separate hotel ‘wings’. Stay in either the Douglas or Graham wing, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings within Franz Josef village. Our hotel is in a premium location, making it the perfect place to base yourself while exploring the magnificent Westland region.

    Features

  • Hair Dryer
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Work Desk
  • Mini Bar
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Refrigerator
  • Four Spa Pools
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront is located on Frankton Road, just five minutes stroll to the heart of Queenstown.

The hotel resort is close to many wonderful activities, from the town's world famous jet boat rides to radical white water rafting, bungee jumping, vineyards, international golf courses and ski fields.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • TV
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Refrigerator
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Telephone - Voice Mail
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hairdryer
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Escape to the serene surroundings of Lake Te Anau before heading out to explore the world-famous beauty of Fiordland National Park. The hotel is located in the heart of the visitor-friendly township of Te Anau, in the stunning and world-famous region of Fiordland.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Heater
  • Phone
  • TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Bathroom Amenities
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

This stylish hotel has a fresh contemporary design, with clean lines and dramatic features softened by natural elements such as timber and neutral tones. At once energetic, yet restful, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is well in tune with the beat of this vibrant city. Located in the heart of the city and just blocks from the Octagon, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is within walking distance of many of the city's main attractions, great restaurants and shopping centres. So whether you are visiting Dunedin for business or pleasure look no further than the exquisite Scenic Hotel Dunedin City for your accommodation choice!

    Features

  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Mini Bar
  • Work Desk
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Refrigerator
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Located in the heart of the Mackenzie/Waitaki region, a unique area of New Zealand's South Island. Set amongst landscaped gardens with views of the surrounding mountains, the Heritage Gateway Hotel is a peaceful place to stay.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Phone
  • TV
  • Electric blankets
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hairdryer
  • Refrigerator
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Ibis Christchurch is ready to welcome you. Adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, Cashell Mall. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. Ibis Hotel Christchurch is very close to the famous Cathedral Square, the historic heart of the city providing easy access to the outer lying attractions and the airport. The Ibis features 155 contemporary rooms, restaurant OOPEN, a bar and meeting room.

    Features

  • 220/240 V AC
  • Data port in room
  • Air-conditioning
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Satellite/cable colour TV
  • Work Desk
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Manual temperature control
  • Wi-Fi in room (Pay)
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Ensuite
  • Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Security peephole
  • Automatic wake up call
  • Operator wake up call
  • Alarm Clock
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Whether you are a holiday-maker or an overseas tourist, you will have a memorable stay at The Picton Beachcomber Inn — a quality hotel accommodation that is comfortable; peaceful; affordable; clean and tidy.

Located right on the waterfront, within a 2 minute walk from the Picton retail shops; 800metres from Picton Ferry Terminal.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Heater
  • Shower
  • Radio
  • Alarm Clock
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Free wireless internet access
  • Hairdryer
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Sky TV
  • Shower and toilet facilities
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

With close proximity to the city’s financial hub as well as many Wellington attractions, such as Wellington Zoo, the Wellington Cable Car, the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, and the Wellington Botanic Gardens, Travelodge Hotel Wellington is perfectly located for both business and leisure travel.

    Features

  • Hair Dryer
  • Pay TV
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Individual heater control
  • LCD TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Internet Access
  • Microwave
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua, this hotel offers tranquil surroundings with sensational views. Our central location is easily accessible to cafés, restaurants and the Energy Events Convention Centre. Stunning natural scenery and geothermal wonders makes this the ultimate destination.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Air-conditioning
  • Telephone - Voice Mail
  • Soundproofed Windows
  • TV
  • In-house movies
  • Pay TV
  • 220/240 V AC
  • Data port in room
  • High speed transmission line (pay)
  • Work Desk
  • Manual temperature control
  • Iron
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Automatic wake up call
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Holiday Inn Express, Auckland is 3 km from Auckland Airport. Featuring balconies or direct garden access, rooms provide free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, safes, iPod docks and minifridges. All have tea and coffeemaking facilities. Suites add living rooms and/or whirlpool tubs. Room service is available. Amenities also include a casual restaurant, bar, an outdoor pool and a fitness centre.

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

This welcoming Bay of Islands hotel commands a superb waterfront location in the heart of the Bay of Islands, offering uninterrupted bay views surrounded by 60 acres of subtropical gardens as part of the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

    Features

  • 42" flat screen TV with Sky channels
  • Wi-Fi
  • Refrigerator
  • Mini Bar
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • In-room safe
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Phone
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Holiday Inn Express, Auckland is 3 km from Auckland Airport. Featuring balconies or direct garden access, rooms provide free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, safes, iPod docks and minifridges. All have tea and coffeemaking facilities. Suites add living rooms and/or whirlpool tubs. Room service is available. Amenities also include a casual restaurant, bar, an outdoor pool and a fitness centre.

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. Ask our friendly reservations at the time of booking.

Optional Experiences

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.

Adult: $210.00 NZD

Enjoy a guided Bay Of Islands Tour.
The Bay of Islands is a popular tourist destination in New Zealand. With an abundance of breathtaking, picturesque views, there are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities. Create lasting memories with a Bay Of Islands Highlights Tour

$135 Adult, $67.50 Child

Fullers Hole in the Rock Cruise

This is the most popular dolphin watching cruise in the Bay of Islands, and for good reason! Board your cruise in Paihia or Russell and take in the stunning views as we glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett, where a historic lighthouse keeps watch over Piercy Island/Motukōkako, or as it is popularly known the ‘Hole in the Rock’. This four-hour cruise includes an island stopover, dolphin viewing and the Hole in the Rock.

Adult: $145.00 NZD

Child: $70.00 NZD

Let your local driver take you on an exciting Otago Peninsula drive to New Zealand’s only castle. Your guided tour of the Larnach family home will give you insight into not only the architecture and style of the stately building, but also into William Larnach’s family life and the restoration done by the current owners during the past three decades. Enjoy views from the tower and marvel at the immaculate gardens before your return to Dunedin. Join our invigorating Wildlife Cruise around Taiaroa Head, home to the world's only mainland nesting place of royal albatross. Watch as these huge birds glide in from the ocean and soar high above their hillside nests.

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.

Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40min - NZ$525 Adult

The Helicopter Line

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.

NZ$425 Adult NZ$325 Child

Air Safaris - Grand Traverse Scenic Flight

Explore the alpine wonderland of the Southern Alps’ highest peaks and glacial lakes on this 45-minute scenic flight, including Murchison Glacier, Tasman Glacier, Main Divide, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, westland coastal rainforests and Mount Cook.

NZ$219 Adult NZ$139 Child

Appellation Central Wine Tours - Boutique Wine Tour

An afternoon amongst the boutique vineyards and splendid alpine scenery of Central Otago. Taste wines at 4 premium vineyards over two contrasting wine regions, learn about the wine and pioneering history and visit the Historic Precinct of Old Cromwell. Includes a delightful platter lunch and a glass of wine with lunch.

NZ$180 Adult NZ$90 Child

Pure Glenorchy - Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour

Lord of The Rings Scenic Tour:  Visit the stunning locations from Lord of The Rings.  Encounter lsengard, Lothlorien Forest, The Misty Mountains, Ithilien and many more.  Experience the absolute beauty of the Dart River Valley and our closest world heritage area.  Learn about the remarkable history and unique culture of Glenorchy.  Our tour feature’s some of the world’s most spectacular scenery visiting Mt Aspiring World Heritage Area, Glenorchy, The Dart River Valley and Paradise.  Encounter ancient beech forest, braided rivers and glacier carved valleys.

NZ$159 Adult

Canopy Tours - The Original Canopy Tour

Canopy tours zipline adventure activity is an experience of a lifetime. You’ll be transported to a long forgotten ancient forest just like the whole of New Zealand once was. Experience a low impact mode of transport to get you high in the ancient canopy! In total there are 6 ziplines totalling more than 650 metres, the highlight for most being the jawdropping 220 metre tui song zipline that departs from 22 metres up a 1000 year old tree. Beat that for a setting! There are numerous treetop platforms at varying heights above the forest floor where you can observe and take in the magic of the environment around you. 

NZ$179 Adult NZ$35 Child

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Travel from Rotorua to Matamata then onto Hobbiton for your tour of the move set with Hobbiton Tours. Experience the real Middle-earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set, where, in the heart of the Waikato region, you can step into the lush pastures of the Shire, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.  You will be fully guided around the 12-acre set; past Hobbit Holes, the Mill and into the world-famous Green Dragon Inn, where you will be presented with a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit South-farthing beverage to conclude your own Middle-earth adventure.

$169 Adult

Fiordland Jet - Pure Wilderness Jet Boat Experience

Explore Fiordland National Park,  journey from the glistening lakefront in Te Anau to the quiet banks of the Waiau River, travelling the waters of the deserted shores of Lake Manapouri.  Experience a hidden world framed by mountains and wild forest, steeped in natural beauty and rich in history.  Embrace this rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the remote isolation of Fiordland National Park, one of the largest protected areas in the world – famous for its conservation efforts. 


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.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver
  • • 1 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Fiordland National Park
  • • Centrally located premium 3.5-star hotels

What to Bring

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

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • • 16 Full Breakfasts
  • • 1 Lunch
  • • 7 Dinners
  • • 2 Highlight Dinners

Flight Information

  • • Day 1 - Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Christchurch Airport
  • • Day 17 - Flights to depart anytime from Auckland Airport
  • • Airline schedules may change at short notice. Please consider possible flight disruption when booking your flights.​

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