Wonders of New Zealand

Tour highlights

  • Travel from Auckland to Christchurch
  • Take in the sights of both the North and South Islands
  • Explore Lake Taupo
  • Marvel at the Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers
  • Visit Wellington, Rotorua and Queenstown
  • Relax in the Otago Peninsula

Day 1 – 7: Auckland to Taupo

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Days 1 - 4: UK to Auckland

Welcome to Auckland, the City of Sails. Fly from the UK, arriving in Auckland on day 3 due to the difference in time zones. Unwind after the flight and enjoy this harbour side city. Explore at your leisure, perhaps taking in the views from the top of the Sky tower or maybe a boat trip across the harbour to one of the neighbouring islands.

Days 5 - 6: Rotorua

Distance: 228km / 141 miles

Pick up your motorhome this morning and head south through the agricultural region of Waikato. You might like to break up the journey with a visit to Waitomo Glow-worm Caves. Take in this the natural wonder as the glow-worms put on an incredible light show. Continuing onto Rotorua you enter the geothermal region of New Zealand.

Take a gondola ride to the top of Mount Ngongotaha for spectacular views of the area. Rotorua also offers the opportunity to experience and learn about the Maori culture. Evening visits are available to enjoy a feast of cultural storytelling, entertainment and Maori food. After a formal Maori welcome, relax and enjoy a performance that includes beautiful songs, the stirring haka and the traditional dancing.

Be sure to visit Wai-o-Tapu, a thermal wonderland that showcases the varied ways the heat from the earth’s core is escaping. With bubbling mud pools, fizzing ‘champagne’ pool and the daily eruption of Lady Knox geyser, it’s a highlight of the North Island.

Day 7: Taupo

Distance: 82km / 

Take the road south today to Lake Taupo and the town that bears its name. On the way we recommend stopping at the Craters of the Moon, where winding board walks take you through ‘steaming’ landscape. Huka Falls offers a contrasting vista as huge quantities of water rush through a narrow cutting in the rock with enormous power. Or perhaps continue on to the volcanic scenery of Tongariro National Park and the unmistakable shapes of its 3 active volcanic mountains.

Day 8 – 14: Wellington to the Franz Josef Glaciers

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Days 8 - 9: Wellington

Distance: 372km / 231 miles

Travel to the southern end of the North Island today and the city of Wellington. Explore the country’s capital city with a visit to the Te Papa museum, the national museum of New Zealand. Or take a trip up Mount Victoria for views out over the city.

Days 10 - 11: Interislander Ferry & Nelson

Distance: 211km / 131 miles

This morning you’ll board the ferry to head across Cook Strait to the South Island. Once across the strait you’ll enter spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound, with its forested slopes either side of the water. Definitely not your ordinary ferry crossing!

On arrival in Picton continue your journey as you head along the top of the North Island to the coastal town of Nelson. Here you can enjoy the local beaches or how about visiting nearby Abel Tasman National Park, which you can enjoy by boat and land. Choose from, or mix together, boat trips along the coast and picturesque walking trails through the trees and beside the water.

Day 12: West Coast

Distance: 287km / 178 miles

Today you’ll make your way to the islands west coast, separated from Australia by the Tasman Sea. Visit Punakaiki rocks where the forces of nature have carved the rocks to their distinctive shapes. Enjoy the coastal views as you travel down the coast to Greymouth for your overnight stop. Whilst you’re in Greymouth it’s a good opportunity to stock up before you travel further down the remote west coast.

Days 13 - 14: Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

Distance: 173km / 107 miles

Enjoy the stunning scenery as you travel down the coast today, with the Southern Alps mountain range on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other. The twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef are an appealing site, sliding down from the high mountains, almost to sea level. Take the opportunity to enjoy a guided walk onto the glacier, to have a chance to see the ice up close. Or for the more adventurous you might like to take a helicopter ride up towards the top of the glaciers for a very different viewpoint.

Day 15 – 22: Wanaka to Christchurch

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Day 15: Wanaka

Distance: 285km / 177 miles

Continue down the west coast this morning before crossing the Southern Alps via the highway at Haast Pass, a spectacular 50 mile section of road which passes through Mount Aspiring National Park, offering scenic views across the mountains and rainforest. Lake Wanaka is surrounded by mountains and the deep blue colour of the lake is in stark contrast to its neighbours. The more eccentric might appreciate a visit to nearby Puzzling World with its weird and wonderful attractions.

Days 16 - 17: Queenstown

Distance: 69km / 43 miles

Continue your journey today on to Queenstown, via Lake Dunstan and Kawarua Gorge, the sight of the Otago Gold Rush in the 1860’s. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand. Whilst the bungee jumps and zip wires might be best left alone, the jet boat rides offer a unique view of the river and gorge. Queenstown also offers stunning scenery with half day walks or a trip on the gondola providing more leisurely options. Whilst in Queenstown we highly recommend a day trip to Milford Sound, which we’d be happy to arrange for you. Located in Fjordland National park, Milford Sound offers some of the South Islands most renowned and breathtaking scenery. A boat trip on the sound provides the opportunity to see the towering slopes of the sound which drop almost vertically into the water plus the waterfalls that tumble down the sides. If you’re lucky you might also see some of the seals, penguins and dolphins that live in the sound.

Days 18 - 19: Dunedin & the Otago Peninsula

Distance: 280km / 174 miles

Travel to the east coast today and the city of Dunedin. Known as the Edinburgh of the South, the city shows its Scottish heritage and is one of the best preserved Victorian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. The Otago Peninsula is on Dunedin’s doorstep and is not to be missed. With rugged beaches and numerous viewpoints the peninsula is a wildlife haven. It’s the only mainland nesting place for Northern Royal Albatross in the world and is also home to fur seals and eight other nesting bird species. You may also see dolphins, sea lions and a fascinating array of rarely seen ocean birds. You might like to take a trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway, one of the world’s great train trips, for a relaxing journey through the landscape.

Day 20: Christchurch

Distance: 363km / 225 miles

Head north from Dunedin this morning and be sure to stop off to see the Moeraki Boulders. These naturally occurring rocks are an unusual sight, sitting on the sandy beach, with some of them being over 2 metres in diameter. Continue north and cross the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch and return your motorhome. The rest of day is free to explore this vibrant city.

Days 21 - 22: Christchurch to the UK

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, landing in the UK the following day.

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