17-Nights Best of New Zealand - First Choice Escorted Vacation
Discover the majestic scenery of New Zealand from North Island to South Island on this 18-day premium escorted tour.
17 nights from $5450 per person
Auckland is regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world, with the cosmopolitan city centre complemented by great escapes within half an hour of downtown. Indulge in Auckland's shopping, nightlife and unrivalled cuisine and experience some of the many attractions and adventure activities on offer. There is never a shortage of things to do in the City of Sails. Sights to see include Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland Zoo, and Museum of Transport and Technology.
Christchurch was founded in 1850 by members of the Church of England, who wanted a little bit of heaven on earth. They succeeded, and today the city takes great pride in its spacious layout and distinctive English-style buildings in elegant grey stone. The River Avon winds through Christchurch, along parks and gardens that cover one-third of the city.
New Zealand's premier destination on the edge of beautiful Lake Rotorua offers visitors so much to see and do the trouble is deciding what to do. From a quiet stroll through the magnificent Redwood Forest to an adrenaline rafting plunge over one of the world's highest commercially rafted waterfalls or an entertaining view of life on the farm at one of our award winning farmshows - Rotorua has it all. Famous for awesome geological forces, Rotorua has hundreds of gentle plopping mud pools, powerful erupting geysers, and intriguing geothermal lakes. Maori Culture is another unique facet to Rotorua's popularity. For more action try hiking down Mt Ngongatah, fishing for trophy-sized trout on one of Rotorua's many lakes, tandem skydiving, horse trekking, or off-road driving. Or just sit back, watch the world go by and enjoy the fresh, clean, picturesque atmosphere from one of many sidewalk cafes and bars. To end the day, soak away ailments in one of many thermally heated natural mineral spas.
Queenstown hosts an outstanding collection of adrenaline inducing activities and spectacular scenery. From jumping from tall bridges or quiet fishing, this is New Zealand's number one adventure destination. Lake and river join towering mountain ranges to make Queenstown as popular in the winter as it is in the summer.
At the heart of the action are cafes, the entire spectrum of accommodation, boutique shopping, restaurants and the visitor services expected in a small town with a big reputation.
Franz Josef Glacier
The South Island's most renowned explorer and geologist, Julius von Haast, named Franz Josef Glacier after the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Franz Josef Glacier is a remnant of a much older, larger glacier which flowed from the alpine snowfields right to the sea. The glacier is over 7.5 miles long extending into the rainforest just 3 miles from the Franz Josef township, making it easy to visit. Walk to viewpoints and the terminal face or, for a close-up view of the spectacular ice formations, take a guided glacier walk, helihike or scenic flight.
Te Anau is known as the "sightseeing and walking capital of the world". Fiordland National Park is one of the few areas in the world with World Heritage status. Attractions include scenic boat cruises, scenic flights, sea kayaking, diving, fishing, coach tours, golf, four wheel driving, hunting and more. Te Anau Glow Worm Cave is a rare example of a living cave still under formation. Te Anau is in the hub of the great southern rugged and splendid walking tracks. Lake Te Anau encourages water skiing, swimming, fishing and kayaking on the lake during the summer. During the winter, days are crisp and clear with frosty mornings and sunny days. Te Anau's Wildlife Park is 10 minutes walking distance from the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre on the Lakefront.
Bay of Islands
Rich in legend and history, the Bay of Islands is New Zealand's cradle of European civilization, with many points of interest relating to early European and Maori settlement. There are many "firsts" associated with the Bay of Islands, such as the first European community, the oldest home and church in the country and the first capital of New Zealand, among others. Reserves have been established to protect what is left of the once vast native kauri forests with magnificent trees rivaling California's redwoods. Major sites in the Islands include historical Waitangi, Paihia, a subtropical marine resort popular as a starting point for bay cruises and fishing excursions, and Russell, one of the oldest towns in New Zealand known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific”. Anglers still regard the Bay of Islands as a top fishing area, while residents cherish its unhurried pace, balmy climate and serenity. Other sights include Motukako Island, Kawhiti Caves, Maori Meeting House, and the Bay of Islands Maritime and Historic Park.
One of New Zealand’s loveliest harbors is gracious, dignified Dunedin. The city boasts fine Victorian and Edwardian buildings complete with spires, gables and gargoyles. Its Scottish heritage is present in street names and the appeal of its handsome stone buildings. One of Dunedin’s most famous visitors, Mark Twain, wrote "The…Scots…stopped here on their way to heaven, thinking they had arrived." Dunedin boasts the country’s only kilt maker and whisky distillery as well as a statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns in the heart of the city. Dunedin’s surroundings are renowned for their magnificent scenery and wildlife. The nearby beautiful Otago Peninsula provides a breeding habitat for such rare birds as the royal albatross and yellow-eyed penguin. The biggest attraction is probably the albatross colony at Taiaroa Head – which can only be visited as part of pre-arranged guided tour. Nowhere else on the globe do these birds breed so close to humans. Other sights to visit include Octagon Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Edwardian Railway Station, and Otago Museum.
Located at southwestern North Island, New Zealand’s capital city derives its character and charm from the wooded hills that curve like a green amphitheater around Wellington’s harbor. Commercial and government buildings rim the waterfront; nostalgic Victorian buildings mingle pleasantly with more modern structures and above the business district, dwellings precariously cling to steep slopes.
Wellington was the first settlement organized by the London-based New Zealand Company. Other sights include Kelburn Cable Car, Museum of Wellington, City and Sea, and National Museum and Art Gallery (Te Papa).
Punakaiki is best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. It is also the center for Paparoa National Park - about 74,000 acres of varied landscape from mountain tops to sea level. Punakaiki is one of the major tourist attractions on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Activities include: Horse Trekking, Canoe Hire, Caving, Guided walks, Westland black Petrel tours, rafting, and a variety of short walks. Day walks and overnight tramps are some options available to visitors wishing to spend some time in Punakaiki.
Twizel is located in the Mackenzie Basin and is surrounded by breathtaking lakes and towering mountains. Twizel is a stop for tourists in the region eager to explore the high country. There is no shortage of activities in Twizel. One can cruise around Lake Tekapo on a guided tour or take a flight over the Southern Alps, Mount Cook and even the Tasman Glacier. If more physical activities suit your taste, there is skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking and canoeing.
This is a provincial town with a difference. A city center long ago claimed from a wayward river has resulted in a street layout with spirit and character abounding with quirky lanes and sunny gathering places. On the clear, spring-fed Taylor River sightseeing riverboats retrace the route of steamboats that once carried produce. A miniature railway runs alongside the river to Brayshaw Park. Central focus of Blenheim is The Forum, with its historic bandstand watching over the shops and street markets below. The Forum also provides an occasional amphitheatre for the performing arts. The modern shops and cafés that surround The Forum are a sample of a town deserving of praise it receives from visitors. Blenheim is blessed with many attractive parks, such as Seymour Square and Pollard Park. On the outskirts of town, Brayshow Historic Park preserves the province's pioneering endeavour. Relocated colonial buildings in a recreated turn-of-the-century street keep company with a modern building housing archives and a vintage farm machinery museum.
Valid Travel Dates
- Quality accommodations
- 17 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 afternoon tea, 12 dinners
- Selected New Zealand wines with selected dinners
- Travel by luxury coach
- Included choice experiences
- Airport meet and greet on arrival
- Experienced Tour Director and Driver Guides
- Travel2 After Hours Emergency Travel Assistance
- Cruise through Hole in the Rock in the spectacular Bay of Islands
- Feast on a degustation of mouth-watering local produce in Auckland
- Discover Waitomo and its famous Glow Worm Grotto
- Immerse yourself in rich Maori culture with the Tamaki family over dinner
- Take your pick of a selection of included experiences in Rotorua, Dunedin, Queenstown & Bay of Islands
- Journey through the magnificent scenery of Mt. Ruapehu Tongariro National Park
- 'You’re invited' to Shenandoah for a unique private afternoon tea
- Explore Te Papa Museum of New Zealand
- Sail the Cook Strait to beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound
- Savour a delicious Kiwi BBQ at Morelea Farm
- Travel past ancient glaciers, spectacular mountains and magical rainforest en route to Milford Sound
- Taste Central Otago stone fruits at a local orchard
- Discover fascinating Franz Josef Glacier
- Visit a jade factory and marvel at artists at work
- Walk around Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
- Travel on the TranzAlpine Train
- Day 1: Flights to arrive prior to 4:00 PM into Auckland Airport
- Day 2: Flights anytime from Christchurch Airport
(any flights referred to in the itinerary are at the client's expense and are not included in the land content price)
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Journeys to Treasure
CA 2099900, FL2695820,IA 936, NV 2005-0012, WA 602904620
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