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The Great New Zealand Adventure – 24 Days / 23 Nights

A 24 day self drive itinerary covering the following places of interest in New Zealand including Auckland, Bay of Islands, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua, Wellington, Picton, Blenheim, Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park, Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown, Wanaka, Doubtful Sound, Te Anau, Dunedin, Mt Cook, and Christchurch. Daily departures with a choice of 5 vehicle types and a choice of 3, 4, 5 star hotel accommodation.

Includes a self drive rental car with pick up on arrival at Auckland International Airport and for all touring and sightseeing with a choice of five vehicle types, a choice of three standards of accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees as specified, and daily buffet breakfast at the hotel. Daily departures year round.



The Great New Zealand Adventure – 24 Days / 23 Nights Itinerary

DAY 01: ARRIVE AUCKLAND: view detail >
DAY 02: AUCKLAND / BAY OF ISLANDS: view detail >
DAY 03: BAY OF ISLANDS: view detail >
DAY 04: BAY OF ISLANDS / AUCKLAND: view detail >
DAY 05: AUCKLAND / WAITOMO / ROTORUA: view detail >
DAY 06: ROTORUA: view detail >
DAY 07: ROTORUA / TAUPO / WELLINGTON: view detail >
DAY 08: WELLINGTON / PICTON / BLENHEIM: view detail >
DAY 09: BLENHEIM / NELSON: view detail >
DAY 10: NELSON / ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK / NELSON: view detail >
DAY 11: NELSON / GREYMOUTH / FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER: view detail >
DAY 12: FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER: view detail >
DAY 13: FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER / WANAKA: view detail >
DAY 14: WANAKA / QUEENSTOWN: view detail >
DAY 15: QUEENSTOWN: view detail >
DAY 16: QUEENSTOWN: view detail >
DAY 17: QUEENSTOWN / MILFORD SOUND / TE ANAU: view detail >
DAY 18: TE ANAU / DOUBTFUL SOUND / TE ANAU: view detail >
DAY 19: TE ANAU / DUNEDIN: view detail >
DAY 20: DUNEDIN: view detail >
DAY 21: DUNEDIN / MOUNT COOK: view detail >
DAY 22: MOUNT COOK / CHRISTCHURCH: view detail >
DAY 23: CHRISTCHURCH: view detail >
DAY 24: DEPART CHRISTCHURCH: view detail >

The Great New Zealand Adventure – 24 Days / 23 Nights Itinerary Detail

DAY 01: ARRIVE AUCKLAND:

Pick up your self drive rental car on arrival at Auckland International Airport. Transfer by self drive rental vehicle to your hotel in the “City of Sails”. The rest of the day is at leisure.


DAY 02: AUCKLAND / BAY OF ISLANDS:

Check out of your hotel and drive north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and along the Hibiscus Coast with golden beaches and clear waters. View native Kauri trees en route. Continue north through the city of Whangarei, the capital of the Northland Province and the largest city in this area, to the small township of Kawakawa and to Paihia, the jewel in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day at leisure to relax or explore on your own.


DAY 03: BAY OF ISLANDS:

Today we have included Fuller’s Bay of Islands “Flexi-Choice Ticket” which allows you to choose from one of the following tours: the Supercruise; Dolphin Adventures; Hole in the Rock Cruise; Cape Brett Cruise or Cape Reinga Wanderer. Also included today is a free return ferry ticket from Paihia to the historic settlement of Russell across the Bay. Today you will have an opportunity to enjoy and experience the best that the Bay of Islands has to offer.


DAY 04: BAY OF ISLANDS / AUCKLAND:

Check out of the hotel. This morning is at leisure with time to explore on your own. Perhaps an Optional visit to the Waitangi Treaty House with a tour through the Treaty Grounds where the founding document of New Zealand, the Treaty of New Zealand was signed in 1840 between the British Crown and local Maori Chiefs. Return to Auckland in the afternoon via the same route and arrive in the "City of Sails" in the early evening. (Please note that Optional activities mentioned above are not included in the tour costs.)

DAY 05: AUCKLAND / WAITOMO / ROTORUA:

Check out of your hotel and depart Auckland and drive south along the motorway to the Bombay Hills and descend into the lush, green, dairy farming region of the Waikato Province following the Waikato River for part of the way and on to the world famous Waitomo Caves. Take a guided tour through the Waitomo Glow worm caves and view staligtites, staligmites and thousands of tiny glow worms. Continue on to Rotorua via the prosperous town of Cambridge, well known for the many thoroughbred horse studs in the area which have produced someof the top race horses. Drive over the bushclad Mamaku Ranges and arrive at the “Thermal Spa City” of Rotorua in the late afternoon on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or go for an Optional soak in the thermal waters of the Polynesian Spa. (Please note that Optional activities mentioned above are not included in the tour costs.) Enjoy a Maori Hangi & Concert this evening.


DAY 06: ROTORUA:

Enjoy a morning self drive sightseeing tour of some of the highlights of Rotorua including a visit to Te Puia Thermal Reserve to see boiling mudpools and geysers and to learn about the Maori Culture. Also visit the Paradise Valley Springs to see New Zealand trout, native birds and wildlife before continuing on to the Agrodome where you will watch a New Zealand Farm show featuring sheep dog demonstrations, cow milking and learn about the New Zealand sheep farming industry and the different breeds of sheep. Return to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or perhaps to do some shopping or for other Optional activities or perhaps to explore the surrounding region with a drive to Te Puke and Whakatane on the East Coast.


DAY 07: ROTORUA / TAUPO / WELLINGTON:


Check out of your hotel this morning and drive to Wellington via Lake Taupo. Travel through part of the Kaiangaroa Pinus Radiata Forest en route to Taupo at the northen end of the largest lake in New Zealand and follow the eastern shoreline of Lake Taupo to Turangi before climbing up and over the Central Volcanic Plateau adjacent to the Tongariro National Park, home to the two active volcanoes of Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe. Continue through Waiouru, Taihape, Bulls and down the West Coast of the North Island to arrive in the “Capital City” of Wellington in the late afternoon. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax. There are many bars, cafes and restaurants located around the Courtenay Place area and also at the nearby waterfront area which also has a prominade walk along the harbour front to the Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand and yacht marina.

DAY 08: WELLINGTON / PICTON / BLENHEIM:

Check out of your hotel and drive from the hotel to the Wellington Ferry Terminal. Drop off your rental car here prior to boarding the Inter Island ferry to Picton. Sail out of Wellington Harbour into Cook Strait and across to the Marlborough Sounds and the South Island. Cruise up the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton. On arrival at Picton, pick up another rental car and drive to the town of Blenheim about a 30 minute drive from Picton. Blenheim is the main town serving the province of Marlborough, the reknowned wine growing region famous for the Marlborough Chardonnay and Savignon Blanc grapes that grow here. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own or to relax.


DAY 09: BLENHEIM / NELSON:

Check out of your hotel this morning. There is time for you to visit some of the many wineries of the Marlborough region around Blenheim which are well known for their Savignon Blanc and Chardonnay wine varieties. Many of these wineries have their own restaurants and provide a perfect setting for lunch looking out over the vineyard. This afternoon depart Blenheim and drive to Nelson via Pelorus Bridge and the Rai Valley to arrive in the afternoon. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day at leisure to relax or explore Nelson with its many arts & crafts, parks and beaches. It is also the geographic centre of New Zealand and for the more fit there is a walk to the "Centre of New Zealand".


DAY 10: NELSON / ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK / NELSON:

This morning you will enjoy a full day self drive excursion to the Abel Tasman National Park where you will be able to take a walk along this beautiful coastal track with golden sand beaches and pristine waters or participate in various Optional activities such as kayaking along the shores of the Abel Tasman National Park with its beautiful bays of golden sand and crystal clear water, or take a cruise along the coastline. (Please note that Optional activities are not included in the tour costs.) There are many orchards en route to the Abel Tasman National Park mainly producing apples and pears with other seasonal produce. Just before arriving at Marahau at the boundary of the Abel Tasman National Park, pass through the holiday settlement of Kaiterertere Beach with its beautiful golden sand beach. Drive back to Nelson and your hotel in the late afternoon and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax and wander around the many bars, cafes and restaurants.


DAY 11: NELSON / GREYMOUTH / FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER:

Check out of your hotel and drive from Nelson to Franz Josef Glacier via Murchison and the scenic Buller Gorge to Westport and along the coastal route to the "Blow Holes" at Punakaiki. Continue on along the inhospitable and rugged West Coast route to Greymouth, situated at the mouth of the Grey River, and the largest town on the West Coast of the South Island. Continue on south and pass through the small settlements of Hokitika, Ross and Hari Hari, as well as beautiful lakes surrounded by native bush en route before arriving at the small township of Franz Josef Glacier in the late afternoon. Check in to your hotel and the rest of day is at leisure to relax or maybe take a short walk to the Westland Visitors Centre and learn more about the glaciers which dominate this region of New Zealand.


DAY 12: FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER:


This morning you will be taken on a ½ day guided glacier walk onto the ice of the Franz Josef Glacier accompanied by experienced Alpine Guides who will explain the local flora and fauna as well as the geology of the glacier. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own or perhaps take an Optional scenic helicopter flight over the glacier or visit the Westland National Park Visitors Centre. Please note that Optional activities are not included in the tour cost.

DAY 13: FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER / WANAKA:

Check out of your hotel and drive to Queenstown this morning traveling through the small settlements of Fox Glacier and Haast at the mouth of the Haast River before following the river upstream to the “Gates of Haast” and over the scenic bush clad Haast Pass, the southern most route across the main divide. Continue south to the small settlement of Makarora opposite the boundary of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Drive along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before arriving at the picturesque settlement of Wanaka at the southern end of the lake. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax or explore on your own.


DAY 14: WANAKA / QUEENSTOWN:

Check out of your hotel. This morning is at leisure to relax and explore Wanaka on your own. This afternoon drive to Queenstown either via Cromwell and the Kawarau Gorge, or via the Crown Range and Cardrona. Arrive at Queenstown in the afternoon, in a very picturesque setting, nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax or wander around the many bars, cafes and restaurants that are all situated in the same area and create a very pleasant atmosphere.


DAY 15: QUEENSTOWN:

Free day at leisure with an opportunity to explore on your own or to experience some of the many Optional activities available here such as Jetboating, bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, gondola rides, luge, 4WD safaris, TSS Earnslaw cruise across Lake Wakatipu to the Walter Peak Sheep Station and many more options. (Optional activities are not included in the tour costs.) Enjoy your time in beautiful Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of New Zealand.


DAY 16: QUEENSTOWN:

Free day at leisure with an opportunity to explore on your own or to experience some of the many Optional activities available here such as Jetboating, bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, gondola rides, luge, 4WD safaris, TSS Earnslaw cruise across Lake Wakatipu to the Walter Peak Sheep Station and many more options. (Optional activities are not included in the tour costs.) Enjoy your time in beautiful Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of New Zealand.


DAY 17: QUEENSTOWN / MILFORD SOUND / TE ANAU:

Check out of your hotel this morning and drive to Milford Sound. Depart Queenstown and travel alongside the shore of Lake Wakatipu and beneath the towering Remarkables mountain range and across the flat Southland Plains to Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park, now proclaimed a World Heritage Park. Pass through Beech forests, glaciated valleys, the Homer Tunnel with a gradiant of 1:10 and stunning scenery, to reach the majestic Milford Sound. Enjoy a cruise on this world famous fiord which is dominated by Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls, and maybe see seals, dolphins and penguins as well as waterfalls and magnificent scenery. Drive to Te Anau after your cruise has docked and arrive in the late afternoon and check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax. This evening you will enjoy a visit the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves with a cruise across the lake.


DAY 18: TE ANAU / DOUBTFUL SOUND / TE ANAU:


Full day excursion to Doubtful Sound. Drive from your Te Anau hotel to the wharf at nearby Lake Manapouri and board your launch for the cruise across the lake to the western side where you will then board your coach for an interesting drive inside the solid granite rock to view an engineering feat within when you arrive at the main turbine room of the Manapouri Hydroelectric power station deep inside the mountain. Continue over the Wilmott Pass and descend into Deep Cove at the head of West Arm. Board another launch for a spectacular cruise through the pristine waters of the Doubtful Sound out to the open sea and back. View dolphins, seals and penguins and waterfalls along the way. Later return to Te Anau.

DAY 19: TE ANAU / DUNEDIN:

Check out of your hotel this morning and depart Te Anau for Dunedin via the Southland Plains and small farming settlements of Lumsden, Gore, Balclutha and Milton before arriving at the Scottish influenced City of Dunedin with its many historic buildings such as the First Church, Dunedin Railway Station, Court House, and home to the University of Otago. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax or perhaps take a walk around the city centre and Octagon. There are many bars, cafes and restaurants especially around the North Dunedin side of the city centre which is nearest to the university campus. 


DAY 20: DUNEDIN:

This morning you will enjoy a self drive sightseeing tour of the city of Dunedin including the First Church, Octagon, Town Belt, University of Otago, Botanical Gardens, Otago Museum, and Dunedin Railway Station. This afternoon you will enjoy a self drive tour out along the Otago Peninsula to visit the Royal Altross Colony, Natures Wonders Yellow – Eyed Penguins, and the grounds of Larnach Castle built by William Larnach in the nineteenth century and the only castle in New Zealand. We suggest driving out to the end of the peninsular along the harbours edge route and returning via the high road and Larnach's Castle, with some magnificent views in all directions on the way back to the city.  Return to your hotel in the late afternoon and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax.


DAY 21: DUNEDIN / MOUNT COOK:

Check out of your hotel and depart Dunedin on the motorway over the Kilmog Hill and travel north to Waikouiti on the coast and through rolling hill country to Oamaru. It is worth a stop here to look at the many interesting examples of restored stone buildings with their Victorian architecture and unique sandstone construction using rock which was quarried nearby. Continue north and drive inland following the Waitaki River up into the MacKenzie High Country and on to New Zealand’s highest mountain – Mount Cook. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy and explore some of the walking tracks in the Mount Cook National Park.


DAY 22: MOUNT COOK / CHRISTCHURCH:

Check out of your hotel this morning and there is time for Optional activities such as a scenic flight by ski plane or helicopter over the Mount Cook National Park with a landing on the Tasman Glacier subject to the weather. (Please note that the Optional scenic flic is not included in the tour costs.) Depart Mount Cook and follow the shores of Lake Pukaki and the canals of the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectric Power Scheme on to Lake Tekapo and the “Church of the Good Shepherd” before descending Burkes Pass to Fairlie. Drive through fertile rolling hill country to the farming servicing centre of Geraldine, and then across the long, flat, straight roads of the Canterbury Plains to arrive in the “Garden City” of Christchurch in the late afternoon. Check in to hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or perhaps some late minute shopping for New Zealand souvenirs, or to wander around the many bars, cafes and restaurants.


DAY 23: CHRISTCHURCH:

Enjoy a self drive morning sightseeing tour of the “Garden City” including Cathedral Square, Christchurch Cathedral, Botanical Gardens, Canterbury Arts Centre, Canterbury Museum, Hagley Park, Mona Vale, Christchurch Antarctic centre, and a panoramic view from the Port Hills across the city to the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps mountain range beyond. Return to your hotel afterwards and the rest of the day is at leisure for Optional activities. Perhaps you may like to explore the surrounding region and take a drive to Akaroa, or across the Port Hills to Lyttleton, or to the many beach suburbs, or to go fo a walk in one of the parks and gardens that Christchurch is reknowned for. There are many options to consider.


DAY 24: DEPART CHRISTCHURCH:

Your arrangements conclude today with the drop off of your rental car at Christchurch International Airport prior to boarding your departure flight. Bon Voyage! We trust that you have enjoyed your New Zealand holiday with Adventure Pacific.


The Great New Zealand Adventure – 24 Days / 23 Nights Pricing

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