First Choice

New Zealand Uncovered

17 Day Guided Vacation | Auckland to Christchurch

Travel Period

From the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South, from harbourside cities to glaciers and black beaches, New Zealand packs a lot into two islands. You’ll glimpse it all on this full New Zealand tour, not only big attractions – Huka Falls, Milford Sound – but small ones, like meeting farmers or savouring a thermal soak in Rotorua. And Maori culture pervades.

Prices From Code: ZAAC

$6173

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.

$7458

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.

$5563

Child i A child must be accompanied by a person 18 years+. Some tours have minimum age requirements.
Prices above are per person in USD

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New Zealand Uncovered

First Choice

17 Day Guided Vacation

Auckland to Christchurch

From the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South, from harbourside cities to glaciers and black beaches, New Zealand packs a lot into two islands. You’ll glimpse it all on this full New Zealand tour, not only big attractions – Huka Falls, Milford Sound – but small ones, like meeting farmers or savouring a thermal soak in Rotorua. And Maori culture pervades.

Highlights

Local Connection

Working dairy Red Barn is a dreamy destination for a country-style lunch – churn butter with the owners.

Insider Knowledge

Nature humbles in World Heritage listed Milford Sound, your cruise guide pointing out waterfalls alongside rare flora and fauna.

Cultural Immersion

From a traditional hangi meal to a cultural performance, Indigenous customs star at Tamaki Maori Village.

Sustainable Footprints

Support AAT Kings’ Sustainable Tourism Commitment to restore NZ’s largest inland island through the Pomona Island Charitable Trust.

Itinerary

image map

Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s City of Sails. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Auckland hotel in your private car. Tonight, enjoy a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: The Cordis, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine

Enjoy a relaxed start to the day before heading to the New Zealand Maritime Museum for an exclusive America’s Cup tour. Afterwards, enjoy an extended city sights tour of Auckland. Travel around Auckland’s waterfront from central city out to Mission Bay. Prepare your camera for the stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and the Waitemata. This afternoon is at leisure.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

You’re invited to a Be My Guest lunch at the home of Lance and Bridgette O’Sullivan, New Zealand horse racing royalty. Enjoy a sumptuous country-style lunch at the Red Barn on their beautiful Waikato farm. This afternoon, it’s on to Rotorua for an orientation tour that takes in views of Lake Rotorua followed by a visit to Te Puia for a tour through the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve.  

  Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine, Be My Guest Lunch

Travel through Te Puke, the kiwifruit capital of New Zealand, which grows around 80% of the country’s kiwifruit. You’ll stop at Kiwifruit Country, a family owned business that is set amongst a 60-hectare orchard. We then travel to Mt. Maunganui, where you’ll have time at leisure. Why not walk up the winding paths of the extinct namesake volcano or relax on the main beach; this glorious stretch of golden sand has been voted the best in the country. Then an evening of culture, history and a Hangi feast Highlight Dinner awaits you at the Tamaki Maori Village.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Today choose from a range of Optional sightseeing experiences. You could take a fascinating guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the world-famous Waitomo Glow worm Caves. Or explore Rotorua and its three lakes in an amphibious WWII era Duck. Your Travel Director will assist you in booking all your chosen optional experiences.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Say Haere Ra (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a little hidden spot, the turquoise torrent of rapids known as Huka Falls. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo is home to some of the best Trout fishing in the world. You will then journey south over the Central Plateau, New Zealand’s main volcanic area, and along the Kapiti Coast to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Tonight, you are free to dine as you wish.

  Hotel: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Why not discover more of Wellington this morning? There’s time to visit the Parliament buildings and the Beehive, home to New Zealand’s politicians. Later, you’ll visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand and explore the fascinating exhibits at your leisure, including their unique Marae (Meeting House). This afternoon, we cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. The village of Picton is next, then it’s on to Blenheim for a city sightseeing tour. Tonight, enjoy a 3-course ‘highlight dinner’ prepared from local produce and matched with wines of the Marlborough region.

  Hotel: Chateau Marlborough

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Travel to Kaikoura, where Sperm Whales can often be seen not far from shore (an optional whale-watching flight is available). Travel along the Pacific Ocean coast and across the colourful Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Tonight, speak with your Travel Director about dining recommendations in Christchurch’s inner city.

 

Please note: For departure between 05-Apr-2022 to 28-Jun-2022, you will be staying at Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square.

 

  Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning enjoy a Christchurch city sights tour, 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! Next, travel over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to soak up some spectacular sightseeing. Visit Morelea, the home of Angie and Stan Taylor, for a be my guest afternoon tea and hear about a lifetime spent farming in New Zealand. Later, view the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd, and the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie Country. Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country in Twizel. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: MacKenzie Country Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine, Be My Guest Afternoon Tea

Your day starts with a 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. The Benmore Dam holds back New Zealand’s largest artificial lake, and when the Benmore Power Station was opened in 1965 it was the largest power station in New Zealand. Even today, it is still the second largest, and generates enough electricity each year for about 298,000 average New Zealand homes. From the Waitaki Valley 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. This afternoon you will make your way down to the Southernmost New Zealand city, Dunedin. Also known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin 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 afternoon free, you may wish to see more of the region with an Optional Experience. Perhaps take a Wildlife Cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery – a New Zealand institution or journey out to the gorgeous Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

This morning travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land. New Zealand is internationally known for its sheep farming, and these are sights many visitors to this country recognise as typically ‘New Zealand’. You are sure to find the perfect sheep photo here! As your journey continues, the rolling, grassy hills once again turn back into heavily forested, rugged mountains, and you meander your way up into the Fiordland National Park to the South Island’s largest lake and the town of Te Anau. This afternoon, you will hear and learn about the conservation efforts of the Pomona Island Charitable Trust which aims to restore the largest inland island in New Zealand to its natural state. Get up close to the islands on a boat ride on Lake Manapouri. Stop in some quiet and tranquil spots, to soak up the amazing surrounds, spot a few trout, and learn about the unique environment and fascinating history. This evening you have the opportunity to head out across the lake to the Glow Worm Caves for a tour (optional – at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Today is one of those days where you will want to have your camera battery charged, and ready to go! After leaving Te Anau, you will journey through the Fiordland National Park and out to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic roads you could hope for. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows. 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. You will have a 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. From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel on to the beautiful sights of Queenstown. An orientation tour skirting around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, takes you into the city centre.

  Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Explore Queenstown your way, choose from a range of optional sightseeing experiences. You could choose to ride the Shotover Jet, take a gondola to Bob’s Peak. Perhaps take a minibus tour through spectacular Skippers Canyon or immerse yourself among the boutique vineyards and spectacular scenery of Central Otago on a Boutique Wine tour. After a day of activity, enjoy a peaceful evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue highlight dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. Then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing a glimpse into high-country farm life. On the cruise back to Queenstown, join a sing-along or a dance across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

This morning you will leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind, and begin the passage through Central Otago and out to Westland. On the way out of the Queenstown region, 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. From here you will travel over to Cromwell, situated next to the sparkling pristine waters of Lake Dunstan, 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 after Dunstan, you will 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. Following an ancient greenstone trail, you will travel over Haast Pass, marking a change from the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes, to the rainforest marvel of the wild West Coast. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and the grand sight of Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers. Our final 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 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, own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

  Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

If weather conditions are unfavourable on Day 12, you will get another chance to fly up to the glaciers this morning or you might want to take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village. Then it’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway, followed by a visit to Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort, right on the waterfront. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel, while watching the surf thundering at your doorstep!

  Hotel: Punakaiki Resort

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Enjoy a leisurely start this morning before you travel to Greymouth, here you will join a brewery experience at Monteith’s Brewery where you will be guided through the traditions and heritage of this national icon. You will get to experience and taste ever changing and innovative brews before enjoying a pub style lunch. Later you will board the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch city. This spectacular train journey dates back 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. This evening join your AAT Kings Travel Director and Driver, and your new-found friends for a farewell dinner with wine.

  Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner, Lunch

Your AAT Kings New Zealand holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. Your flights can depart any time today, and you will be transferred by private car to Christchurch Airport.

  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

The Cordis Auckland exudes a timeless elegance that celebrates the past, yet embraces the future. As a luxury Auckland hotel, we will enchant you with our tradition of graceful living.

 

    Features

  • LCD TV
  • Work Desk
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Shower Over Bath
  • Deluxe Marble Bathroom
  • In-room Movies (fee applies)
  • Manual temperature control
  • Blackout drapes/curtains
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • In-room safe
  • Room service
  • Business Facilities
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Satellite TV
  • Broadband Internet access
  • Phone
 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

Noted for friendly, professional service and well-appointed accommodation, James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor is the destination of choice for today’s discerning business and holiday traveller.

    Features

  • Work Desk
  • Room service
  • Broadband Internet access
  • Sky TV
  • In-room Movies (fee applies)
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Iron / Ironing Board
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

This upscale extended-stay hotel on a tree-lined street is 2 km from both Lansdowne Park rugby stadium and Pollard Park.

    Features

  • TV
  • Wi-Fi
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Gym facilities
  • Kitchen Facilities
 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
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The MacKenzie Country Hotel is located in the heart of the Mackenzie region, a unique area of New Zealand's South Island. Featuring natural stonework, the architecture beautifully reflects and compliments the mountains and riverbeds of the surrounding landscape.

    Features

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

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross is Dunedin's largest and most established hotel. Located in the heart of Dunedin, this hotel has been extensively refurbished and now provides guests with modern style, exquisite quality, convenience and exceptional service. The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross provides stylish inner city accommodation, giving the convenience of having entertainment, shopping and restaurants close at hand. Just a short walk from the Octagon, railway station, theatres, shops, and close to Otago university, it is the perfect location from which to explore Dunedin. Whether you are staying for business or pleasure, it is hard to go past the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross.

    Features

  • TV
  • Mini Bar
  • Hair Dryer
  • Refrigerator
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Guest Laundry
  • Dry cleaning service
  • Gym facilities
  • 24 hour room service
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Located on the Te Anau lake front, a short stroll from the Te Anau town centre, Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas is perfectly situated for you to make the most of this beautiful area. If you need an escape from everyday life and a chance to indulge yourself with a relaxing holiday, this is the place for you.

    Features

  • 2 Queen Beds
  • Individual heater control
  • Flat Screen TV
  • In-house movies
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Phone
  • Hair Dryer
  • 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

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

Situated on New Zealand's wild West Coast, the Punakaiki Resort is surrounded by the Paparoa National Park and is only a stone's throw from the beach. The hotel rooms are designed in harmony with the local environment to maintain a sense of privacy and seclusion and have either ocean or rainforest views.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Shower and toilet facilities
  • Refrigerator
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Phone
  • Hairdryer
  • Wireless Internet access
  • TV
  • Satellite/cable colour 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. Ask our friendly reservations at the time of booking.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Centrally located premium 4- & 4.5-star hotels
  • • National Park entrance fees
  • • Arrival and departure airport transfers

What to Bring

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

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • • 16 Full Breakfasts
  • • 1 Lunch
  • • 1 Be My Guest Lunch
  • • 1 Be My Guest Afternoon Tea
  • • 7 Dinners with Wine
  • • 3 Highlight Dinners
  • • 1 Farewell Dinner

Flight Information

  • • Day 1 – flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Auckland Airport
  • • Day 17 – flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport

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