This itinerary is for a past tour program.
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Some of the most glorious landscapes in the world are found in New Zealand, and our 12 day adventure is paced just right so that you can enjoy the beauty and excitement of this spectacular country. Top off your vacation with a stop in Tahiti and Moorea, where you'll enjoy beaches, sun and fun among the magnificent, lush surroundings of your first class, beachfront resort hotels.
Day 2: En Route. Cross the international dateline and lose one day en route.
Day 3: Auckland. Arrive in the lively harbor-city of Auckland, located on New Zealand's North Island. Auckland is situated on a narrow isthmus that is flanked by two magnificent harbours, the Waitemata to the east and the Manukau to the west, as well as 50 islands
Nicknamed "The City of Sails" and the recent host to the America's Cup yacht race, Auckland is New Zealand's largest city. Upon arrival, you'll be met and escorted to your city-center hotel, conveniently located for independent exploration. This afternoon your tour director hosts a welcome orientation and briefing. Mercure Hotel
Day 4: Auckland. A morning tour takes you over the Harbor Bridge to Mt. Eden for a spectacular city and harbor panorama. Visit the Auckland Museum, noted for its vast artifact collection of the native Maori settlers. Learn about the Maori culture at the fascinating exhibits, and enjoy a lively and colorful performance of Maori dancers and musicians. Continue via Parnell Village to Mission Bay, a delightful seaside center. Travel along the picturesque waterfront back to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Breakfast provided.
Day 5: Christchurch & Dunedin. A morning flight takes you to Christchurch, the gateway to New Zealand's South Island. On arrival, embark on a scenic ride through the stunning countryside along the rugged coastline heading south to Dunedin. A thriving historic town set amidst a magical landscape edged by the sea, Dunedin's streets hum vibrantly with color and culture, and the beauty of nature can be found everywhere. Upon arrival, discover the rare charm of Dunedin and its strong Scottish heritage as you journey throughout the inner city and view the unique Victorian and Edwardian neo-Gothic architecture and stately homes. Kingsgate Hotel Breakfast provided.
Day 6: Dunedin & Te Anau. Leisure time for independent exploration this morning. The downtown area has a surprising array of quality local art and craft shops as well as charming cafes. You may also join an optional excursion to the Olveston Mansion, a masterpiece of Edwardian architecture, built in 1906. Later, drive through the lush countryside filled with vast sheep and cattle farms to the quaint lakeside town of Te Anau. Luxmore Hotel Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Milford Sound Excursion & Queenstown. Today's excursion is reputed to be one of the most scenic in the world. Journey along shimmering Lake Te Anau through dense forests to Fiordland National Park and the Homer Tunnel en route to world-renowned Milford Sound. Here you'll board an unforgettable cruise through towering fjords and majestic waterfalls. This afternoon drive along Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, a splendid resort town. Recently, the movie "The Lord of the Rings" was filmed in the area just outside Queenstown! Your hotel offers stunning views over picturesque Lake Wakatipu and is conveniently located within walking distance of the town center. Kingsgate Terraces Resort Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Shotover River & Arrowtown. An included morning excursion takes you across the winding Shotover River where you can see the canyon below and view the exciting Shotover Jetboats. Arrive in Arrowtown, a historic gold mining post on the banks of the Arrow River. The town still retains much of its Gold Rush era atmosphere and the facades of the early buildings are well preserved and truly delightful. Enjoy some time to stroll and browse around before returning to Queenstown where the afternoon is at leisure. You may take a gondola ride to the top of Bob's Peak for spectacular views of the town, the lake and the entire region. Breakfast provided.
Day 9: Queenstown. At your own pace, enjoy the many exciting outdoor activities charming Queenstown has to offer or stroll along the waterfront promenade lined with shops, galleries and cafes. You may take a boat ride on an authentic steamship to famous Walter Peak Sheep Station across Lake Wakatipu where you enjoy a tour of the farm and a sheep shearing demonstration. Breakfast provided.
Day 10: Queenstown/Christchurch. Journey this morning via the impressive Kawarau Gorge and traverse Lindis Pass en route to the spectacular Mount Cook region, gateway to the "Southern Alps". On a clear day you will savor amazing views of impressive Mount Cook from the distance. Time available for an optional scenic flight over the glaciers (weather permitting) before continuing your drive through the sheep grazing pastures of the Canterbury Plains en route to the charming garden city of Christchurch. On arrival enjoy a brief orientation tour before arriving at your hotel. Grand Chancellor Hotel Breakfast provided.
Day 11: Christchurch. Explore lovely Christchurch, "the most English of cities outside of England," on your own today from your centrally located hotel. Stroll through Cathedral Square and nearby Avon River lined with gracious stone gothic buildings and relax in one of the many cafes. You may also opt for the unique experience of dining with a local family at their home. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the locals and form long lasting friendships! Breakfast provided.
Day 12: Christchurch/USA. After breakfast, bid farewell to spectacular New Zealand. You'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Tahiti where you'll connect with your return flight to Los Angeles or start an unforgettable extension to the paradise islands of Tahiti and Moorea. Breakfast provided.
Take advantage of your already included international airfare and add a 3-night visit to the magical island paradise of Tahiti & Moorea.
Moorea, soaring magically out of the ocean in an explosion of green velvet, is what you would imagine a South Seas island to be. A wide, shallow lagoon surrounds the island's vertical mountains where poetic threads of waterfalls tumble down the cliffs. The warm waters around Moorea are ideal for year-round snorkeling. Pastel painted houses and fields of pineapples and vanilla hidden in peaceful meadows will fill your senses and renew your belief in the majesty of nature!
InterContinental Resort Tahiti and two nights on the majestic island of Moorea at the InterContinental Resort Moorea. You'll have plenty of leisure time to enjoy the extensive facilities of your resort, savor the delicious food, stroll on the beach or join an optional excursion.
For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to New Zealand, click here.
For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Tahiti, click here.
For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Moorea, click here.
I have had traveling for over 20 years and this is my favorite trip. New Zealand is such a very pretty country. The hotels were excellent, and I give (this tour) 5 stars plus!
— Gloria de la Paz, San Jose, CA