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Unearth the wonders of New Zealand by train, boat and flight! From Maori heritage and culture in cities like Rotorua, the sunny shores of Paihia and the Bay of Island, to the setting of the Lord of the Rings’ fictional Middle-earth, volcanic valleys and hot springs, and the waterfront promenade of Wellington, discover the best of North Island on scenic drives, walks and hikes.

In South Island, witness New Zealand’s English heritage at sunny Christchurch, and explore the stunning Doubtful Sound aboard a cruise. Also on your itinerary are an exciting helicopter adventure on the Franz Josef glacier, and relaxing gondola rides in picturesque Queenstown.

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Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 2AucklandVolcanic Peaks & Black Sand Beaches, Maori Culture, Food & WineM Social Auckland, Hotel Grand Windsor MGallery by Sofitel
2 - 3Paihia (Bay of Islands)Bay of Islands, Farmers Markets, Adventure SportsScenic Bay Of Islands, Scenic Bay Of Islands
3 - 4AucklandVolcanic Peaks & Black Sand Beaches, Maori Culture, Food & WineM Social Auckland, Hotel Grand Windsor MGallery by Sofitel
4 - 6RotoruaWellness & Relaxation, Adventure Sports, Te Wairoa VillageThe Regent of Rotorua, Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
6 - 8WellingtonArt & Culture, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, Mount VictoriaBolton Hotel, Sofitel Wellington
8 - 10ChristchurchEnglish Heritage, Maori Art & Culture, Southern AlpsThe Classic Villa, The George
10 - 13QueenstownDramatic Landscapes, Adventure Sports, Milford Sound FjordKinross Cottages, Novotel Lakeside
13 - 15Franz Josef GlacierNatural Wonders, Outdoor Activities, Heli-hiking & Glacier FlightsHolly Homestead (B & B), Westwood Lodge
15 - 16ChristchurchEnglish Heritage, Maori Art & Culture, Southern AlpsThe Classic Villa, The George

Ideal For

  • Adventure
  • Beaches
  • Heritage
  • Landscape
Enchanting Travels team member

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Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 2

International Arrival

Private transfer from Auckland Airport to your Hotel

Auckland

1 Day

From volcanic peaks, lush native canopies and black sand beaches, to hip entertainment districts, contemporary art scenes and gourmet experiences, there’s something for everyone in this populous waterfront city, the largest in New Zealand!

Hotel Options
RoomSocial View Room
Meals
StyleInternational
Room
Meals
StyleBoutique
Day 2 - 3

Private transfer from your Hotel to Auckland Airport

Flight from Auckland to Bay of Islands (Kerikeri Airport)

Private transfer from Bay of Islands (Kerikeri Airport) to your Paihia Hotel

Paihia (Bay of Islands)

1 Day

Paihia, the main tourist town in North Island, is the perfect base for exploring the coves and beaches of the Bay of Islands. It’s beautiful sandy shores call out to sun worshippers, offering stunning views across the bay.

Included Activities

Hole in the Rock Cruise
Welcomed by seabirds on the Paihia wharf, embark on catamaran cruise across the Bay of Islands, off New Zealand’s northeastern coast. Enjoy native flora and fauna while soaking in seascape vistas of rocky shores and hilly forested islands from the sunny deck. Watch seals basking in the sun, as you circle around the Seal Rock. Hopping between islands, you may be delivering mails and supplies enroute. Sipping on hot beverages from the onboard café, learn about the islands’ inhabitants, and Maori coming of age stories, thanks to informative onboard commentary. Tides permitting, pass through the majestic natural formation of the narrow ‘Hole in the Rock’ at Motukōkako. Stall for photo ops at its Grand Cathedral Cave, and await dripping water drops from the rock ceilings, considered as a good omen in the local culture. Continuing along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula, see the Cape Brett lighthouse nestled amid meadows, and observe other attractions including the Marsden Cross and the volcanic black rocks. (Half Day; Time: 0900; Duration: 3 hrs; Shared Activity & Private Transfer; Fitness level: Easy; Notes: Bring a hat, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes)

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Room
Meals
StyleBeach Resort
RoomDeluxe Room
Meals
StyleBeach Resort
Day 3 - 4

Bus from Paihia to Auckland (230 km, 4 hrs)

Auckland

1 Day

From volcanic peaks, lush native canopies and black sand beaches, to hip entertainment districts, contemporary art scenes and gourmet experiences, there’s something for everyone in this populous waterfront city, the largest in New Zealand!

Included Activities

North Island in a day: Waitomo, Hobbiton, and Rotorua
Explore the best of North Island driving southwards from your hotel in Auckland through the agricultural lands of Waikato to Waitomo. Take a boat ride through the magical Glowworm Caves, an ancient cave network home to a species known as Arachnocampa Luminosa – exclusive to New Zealand. Marvel at the natural light display and listen to old legends as you glide silently along the cave. Next, set off to discover J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle-earth with a tour around the fascinating Hobbiton movie set located on a picturesque private farmland. Revisit all your favorite moments and locations from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit series as you experience the intricate details of The Shire. Set out to Rotorua set on a lake by the same name, and known for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. After lunch at a cafe, enjoy a soak in bubbling mud pools and natural hot springs. Visit a living Maori village and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute for a flavor of the rich local heritage. (Full Day; Start time: 0800 – 0830 hrs; Private Activity & Transfers; Meal Included: Cafe style lunch. Please note that tour includes a private luxury vehicle, guide, snacks, water bottle, and drop off at Rotorua)

Hotel Options
RoomSocial View Room
Meals
StyleInternational
Room
Meals
StyleBoutique
Day 4 - 6

Your chauffeur guide will drive you from Auckland to Rotorua (Duration: 3 hrs) in a private vehicle

Rotorua

2 Days

From geothermal wonders at Kuirau Park located within the city center, to fumaroles, bubbling mud pools, and the pastel silica terraces of the Wai o Tapu valley, Rotorua is a haven for wellness enthusiasts.

Included Activities

Trekking through Rotorua’s Volcanic Valley
Experience the fascinating steam and sauna ambience of the North Island’s famed volcanic valley on this day tour of the geothermal activities at Rotorua. After an early morning breakfast at your hotel, set off to explore the wonders of the Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Reach the spectacular Lady Knox Geyser in time to watch its daily morning performance. The valley’s boiling mud pools, volcanic fumaroles and towering geysers erupt daily in a powerful mist of sulphuric steam and fury. Discover the unique plant and animal life that have adapted themselves to this steamy world of hot springs and hissing lakes. Walk among the valley’s singular geological features and dense rainforests that are also home to flocks of exotic birds. Return to your hotel after a day of exploring brilliantly painted silica terraces, boiling crater lakes, pools and streams. (Half Day; Time of day: Morning; Duration: 4.5 hrs, 0800–1230 hrs; Shared Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Moderate; Note: Please wear comfortable walking shoes).

Maori Art and Culture Excursion
Witness indigenous art and craftwork up close on this evening tour in Rotorua. Start off from your hotel early in the evening with one of Te Puia’s best known local experts. Begin your tour at local weaving and carving schools where you can see pupils at work under the tutelage of master weavers and carvers. Afterwards you can visit some of regions award-winning galleries to see products on display and have each explained to you in as much detail as you wish. Also visit Kiwi House to view New Zealand’s famous flightless bird from up close! Next on your itinerary is a visit to unique natural wonders in the area, including geysers and mud pools. Relax for a while and then continue on to Te Keketanga-a-Rangi (Heavenly Origins), a beautiful space where twelve carved structures reach skyward. This is where you can truly experience Maori culture and traditions, listening to tales and legends of the past and then gathering at the gateway of the marae or sacred site. Be welcomed in traditional Maori style and witness typical ceremonies such as a warrior’s challenge and a ‘kapa haka’ artistic performance as well. (Evening Activity; Time of Day: 1600 hrs; Travel time to Activity: 30 mins; Duration: 5 hrs with 90 min guided tour in Te Puia)

Hotel Options
RoomCutie Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
Room
Meals
StyleInternational
Day 6 - 8

Private transfer from your Hotel to Rotorua Airport

Flight from Rotorua to Wellington

Private transfer from Wellington Airport to your Hotel

Wellington

2 Days

Discover Wellington, a cosmopolitan harbor city brimming with art, culture, entertainment, and natural wonders. Wellington is also home to the protected Matiu/Somes Island reserve, and the Zealandia Ecosanctuary that conserves rare native flora and fauna.

Included Activities

Treasures of Te Papa Tongarewa
Discover the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa that overlooks the Wellington waterfront. Browsing through various installations across this expansive building, learn about New Zealand’s colonial history, its human settlements, stunning geographical features, and fascinating native cultures. Delve deep into the ancient and contemporary facets of Māori arts and crafts. Apart from the permanent exhibitions including the highlight colossal specimen of a giant squid, browse the temporary exhibits too. Gallipoli: The Scale of our War, is the showstopper, with larger than life models, 3D maps, and projections showcasing stories of 8 war veterans. Know about migrants and their influences at the Passports exhibition. Receive insights into the daily life of New Zealanders at the quirky Golden Days exhibit that details its last 100 years. Stepping outside to Bush City, soak in the Māori landscape to the sound of birdsong. You could also spend time climbing a lava flow, crossing a suspension bridge, walking through wetlands, or visiting a glow-worm cave. (Half Day; Duration: 90 mins; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy)

Flavors of Wellington: Afternoon Walk
Spend a delightful afternoon experiencing the sights and tastes of New Zealand’s culinary capital on an exciting walking tour. Set off at a leisurely pace from Wakefield Street to discover award-winning eateries, clandestine bars, food trucks and whimsical cafes in this vibrant city. Learn about the development of the city’s sophisticated food culture, and colorful festivals and cultural events that pop up round the year. Get introduced to artisan products and suppliers, and meet the influencers and chefs behind the city’s favorite eat outs. Taste handcrafted treats including artisanal chocolate, gelato, coffee and a variety of savory dishes as you get an interesting insider view from your guide. (Half Day; Duration: 3.5 hrs,with walking time of 90 mins approx; Time of Day: 1300 – 1630 hrs (Monday to Friday); Shared Activity; Please note that the tour is not available on Christmas/New Year period in Dec/Jan, national holidays, and annual winter hiatus from 1st Jul – Aug 31. Meal included: tastings at each stop. Coffee roasting is available on weekdays only; Please note that this tour is not suitable for children under 12 years of age. The departure point is Wellington i-Site, 111 Wakefield Street.)

Hotel Options
Bolton Hotel – Opt 1
RoomClassic Suite
Meals
StyleInternational
RoomClassic Room
Meals
StyleInternational
Day 8 - 10

Private transfer from your Wellington hotel to Ferry Terminal / Railway Station

Interislander Ferry from Wellington to Christchurch

Coastal Pacific train from Picton to Christchurch

Private transfer from Christchurch Railway Station to your Hotel

Christchurch

2 Days

Christchurch is a vibrant city with a rich English heritage nestled on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, bordered by the Waimakariri River and the Pegasus Bay.

Included Activities

Catching up with Christchurch
Driving around downtown Christchurch, witness this lively city that has embraced the recent natural disasters gracefully, and now sports a new look. See neighborhoods rejuvenating with modern architecture while still retaining its quintessential English charm. Creative public installations such as 185 Chairs, contemporary additions like Cardboard Cathedral, and vibrant street art are among the city’s fantastic new attractions. Visit Christchurch’s world famous Botanic Gardens nestled amid the expansive Hagley Park. Admire its exotic flora and fauna, while watching Edwardian punts gently glide on the meandering Avon river. See gourmet restaurants rub shoulders with food trucks, getting a glimpse of Christchurch’s eclectic dining scene. Later, head to The Tannery, a tastefully renovated former Victorian tannery with a long atrium that houses a selection of lifestyle boutiques and vintage shops. Finally, soak in the lush surrounds of Christchurch at Port Hills, which afford panoramic vistas of Lyttleton Harbor, the Canterbury Plains, Banks Peninsula, and the Southern Alps in the distance. (Half Day; Time:1000 hrs; Duration: 4.5 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy)

Hotel Options
RoomDeluxe Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHeritage
The George – Opt 2
RoomExecutive Room
Meals
StyleBoutique
Day 10 - 13

Private transfer from your Hotel to Christchurch Airport

Flight from Christchurch to Queenstown

Private transfer from Queenstown Airport to your Hotel

Queenstown

3 Days

Queenstown is where adventure seekers head out to for a shot of adrenalin! The region’s dramatic landscape is wrapped around the scenic lakes, velvety mountains and valleys of the Southern Alps.

Included Activities

Doubtful Sound Discovery
Explore the hidden splendors of Doubtful Sound with a full day tour that uncovers nature’s treasures in the South Island’s pristine West Coast. After an invigorating early morning flight from Queenstown to Manapouri, get ready to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of this region. Aboard a cruise, coast through Lake Manapouri passing by the largest hydro-electric power station in New Zealand. Next, set out to explore the magnificent Wilmot Pass as you disembark from the cruise and travel by coach. Relish views of Doubtful Sound and the sight of numerous waterfalls on your bus ride. Sail on a three-hour cruise down Doubtful Sound, also known as ‘The Sound of Silence’ as you savor the breathtaking sights of the region. Spot precious marine wildlife like Southern Fur Seals, local Bottle Nosed dolphins or the Fjordland crested penguin in the breeding season. Get to know all about the natural heritage of the fjords from your expert guide on board. Indulge in adventure activities such as kayaking, trapping lobsters and fishing. Enjoy a picnic lunch onboard the cruise before you head back to Queenstown. (Duration: Full Day; Shared Activity and Transfer; Onboard Picnic Lunch Included; Fitness level: Easy.)

The Queenstown Experience: A Dinner and a Ride
Take a thrilling sky gondola ride and soar over the dramatic natural landscape and cityscape of Queenstown. Walk over to the Skyline Gondola Terminal, located in the center of Queenstown, to catch your exhilarating gondola ride to Bob’s Peak. Sit back and enjoy the panoramic sights of the picturesque Lake Wakatipu, the Coronet Peak and the velvety cliffs of The Remarkables mountain range spread out beneath you. After your fun-filled ride, drop in at the Skyline Restaurant with its bird’s eye view of Queenstown below. Relish an authentic taste of New Zealand from your perfect perch atop Bob’s Peak, from the Skyline Restaurant in the Skyline Gondola Complex. Watch the twinkling city lights as you savor prime cuts, vegetarian dishes, and decadent desserts. (Time of day: Evening; Duration: 2 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Meals included: Dinner; Fitness level: Easy; Note: Dinner sittings available from 4.30pm–8:45 pm; allow for 15-min gondola ride before booking time).

Hotel Options
Kinross Cottages – Opt 1
RoomStudio Cottage
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
Novotel Lakeside – Opt 2
RoomLakeside Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Day 13 - 15

Bus from Queenstown to Franz Josef (350 kms, 5 hrs)

Franz Josef Glacier

2 Days

Surrounded by dense rainforests, secret waterfalls, suspension bridges, and tartare tunnels with glow worms, Franz Josef is a treasure trove of natural wonders, making it an ideal base to enjoy numerous outdoor activities.

Included Activities

Heli hike on Franz Josef Glacier
Discover the mighty Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand during an adventurous heli hike. First, flying above lush sub-tropical rainforests and the Waiho River valley of the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, delight in panoramic vistas of the Southern Alps around. Landing on the Franz Josef glacier a few minutes later, gear up to begin your trek up the blue icy landscape. Following your guide on one of the country’s steepest glaciers, walk between ice walls, tread past seracs, crawl under ice caves, hop over crevasses, and taste the glacial waters. Soak in the pristine glacial scenery that features dramatic ice formations flanked by towering rock faces dotted with waterfalls. You may witness calving and avalanches, and also encounter unique native birds including the smart keas. Enjoying rounds of hot beverages during short breaks, learn about the history, glaciology and Maori legends surrounding Franz Josef. Returning to town, unwind at the glacier hot pools, reminiscing your eventful day! (Half Day; Duration: Upto 4 hrs, including 3 hrs on the glacier; Shared Activity & Transfer; Includes hiking gear and entry to glacier hot pools; Fitness level: Moderate; Notes: Activity is completely dependent on the weather).

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Room
Meals
StyleHeritage
Westwood Lodge – Opt 2
RoomCoach House Suite
Meals
StyleLodge
Day 15 - 16

Bus from Franz Josef to Greymouth (180 kms, 4 hrs)

Train from Greymouth to Christchurch (5 hrs)

Private transfer from Christchurch Railway Station to your Hotel

Christchurch

1 Day

Christchurch is a vibrant city with a rich English heritage nestled on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, bordered by the Waimakariri River and the Pegasus Bay.

Hotel Options
RoomDeluxe Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHeritage
The George – Opt 2
RoomExecutive Room
Meals
StyleBoutique

Private transfer from your Hotel to Christchurch Airport

International Departure

 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 From $ 7,690 /person
  • Option 2 From $ 8,590 /person

Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in one double room for 16 days / 15 nights.
  • Meals as indicated
  • Economy flights for all sectors:
    • Auckland – Bay of Islands (Kerikeri Airport) (Flight)
    • Rotorua – Wellington (Flight)
    • Christchurch – Queenstown (Flight)
  • The following train journeys in the highest class available, unless otherwise specified:
    • Train from Greymouth to Christchurch
  • All activities as listed, including entrance fees, accompanied by your tour guide
    • Paihia (Bay of Islands): Hole in the Rock Cruise
    • Auckland: North Island in a day: Waitomo, Hobbiton, and Rotorua
    • Rotorua: Trekking through Rotorua’s Volcanic Valley
    • Rotorua: Maori Art and Culture Excursion
    • Wellington: Treasures of Te Papa Tongarewa
    • Wellington: Flavors of Wellington: Afternoon Walk
    • Christchurch: Catching up with Christchurch
    • Queenstown: Doubtful Sound Discovery
    • Queenstown: The Queenstown Experience: A Dinner and a Ride
    • Franz Josef: Heli hike on Franz Josef Glacier
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
  • Welcome kit including all important documents and information regarding your itinerary
  • Fees and taxes
Inquire Now
New Zealand: Landscapes, Culture and Beach

16 days $ 7,690 / person

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