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North to South Discovery
(14 days) Auckland to Queenstown
Map of North to South Discovery
For those wanting to see the main highlights of New Zealand, but also get a big off the beaten track, this is a perfect itinerary to see as much as you can within 2 weeks.
Day 1 Auckland

Arrive Auckland

International Airport to City Hotel (with Meet & Greet), Private Car/Driver

On arrival at Auckland International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, collecting your luggage and passing through security, turn left as you enter the main arrivals hall where you will be met by our local representative at the pre-arranged transfer desk. Our representative will be holding a name board with your family or group name detailed. From here you will be transferred by private vehicle to your hotel.

A guaranteed early check-in has been organised at your hotel with breakfast included this morning.

Bush and Beach Wilderness Experience (afternoon small group tour)

Only 30 kilometres from downtown Auckland is the city’s largest regional park, the Waitakere Ranges.  In just 30 minutes leave behind the bustle of the city and step into the tranquility of the rainforest.  Travel to the Arataki Centre perched high on the ridge of the Waitakere Ranges and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean.  Learn about and admire the magnificent traditional Maori carvings.  Continue on to the lush rainforest where you can walk the easy bush tracks amongst giant tree ferns and view New Zealand’s famous kauri trees.  Move on to experience the power of the wild and rugged west coast.  Feel the black sand beneath your feet as you stroll along some of the most awe-inspiring beaches the world has to offer.

Pullman Auckland, Auckland

Accommodation in a Superior Residence Room for 2 nights including pre-registration

Inclusions: Full Breakfast daily

Overlooking the historic Albert Park and Waitemata Harbour, this five star hotel is located in the heart of Auckland. The property offers a selection of spacious hotel rooms, the exclusivity of an executive lounge, and chic residential suites with living areas and kitchen facilities framing views from city to sea. Hotel rooms are well appointed and designed for comfort and convenience and the Residences provide ultimate city living in one, two and three bedroom apartments.

 

Day 2 Auckland, Waheke Island

Auckland and Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island Gourmet Food & Wine Tour – includes lunch (small group tour)

This morning after a short walk to the Auckland Ferry Terminal, board your fast ferry for a 35-40 minute scenic cruise via the many islands of Auckland’s outer harbour and Hauraki Gulf to Waiheke Island. You will be met as you disembark the ferry by your local Guide for the day

A natural complement to the fine wines you will taste on Waiheke is a range of hand-made specialty foods and locally-grown produce.

A visit to a local olive oil mill is followed by two boutique vineyards, each offering a range of gourmet tastes to accompany their wines, such as succulent oysters straight from Te Matuku Bay, wild honey, the famous local green herb spread and a small cheese board. Enjoy a commentated scenic tour including local history from your experienced guide. The tour includes a platter style lunch at one of our top vineyard restaurants (usually Mudbrick or Stonyridge Vineyard). The platters consist of meats, seafood, bread and dips. Vegetarian options are also available. Beverages during lunch are at your own expense.

Late this afternoon farewell you Guide and return to Auckland city by ferry, or you may choose to stay on the island longer at your own leisure and catch an evening ferry (ferries run late into the evening).

 

Day 3 Rotorua

Auckland – Waitomo Caves – Rotorua

Rental Car, Group D – Intermediate Automatic – All Inclusive including GPS – (8 Days)

Day 3 – Pick  from Auckland City (short walk from the hotel)

Day 11 – Drop off  at Nelson Airport

(Return your North Island car at the Wellington ferry Terminal and

Phone: (09) 526 3254

Duration: 8 Days Rental

Vehicle Description: Ford Mondeo or similar Group D Automatic Transmission, 4 Door Sedan, Air Conditioning, Dual Airbags.

Inclusions: Unlimited kilometres. Motor vehicle insurance (subject to a Mandatory NZ$225+GST excess). Airport/Ferry Fee. GPS unit (subject to lost/damage fee – see below).

For information on safe and enjoyable driving in New Zealand, please visit www.drivesafe.org.nz

This morning depart Auckland and drive South over the Bombay Hills and through the Waikato Plain and the King Country to Waitomo (allow 2 hours a 45 minutes)

Waitomo Caves Black Water Rafting – Black Labyrinth Trip (3 hours, small/medium group)

The Black Labyrinth is styled on The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company’s original classic adventure that made the company internationally famous!  Weave, jump and float through the glow worm flecked underworld of Ruakuri Cave.  This popular tour takes approximately three hours with one hour underground and involves a combination of walking and floating on an inner tube through a unique underground river system.  The guide will ensure all guests are properly equipped and teach you some fun techniques before climbing down into nature’s underground network for an enjoyable cave tubing experience of a lifetime.  Streams spill, twist, turn and join to build a river canyon.  Glide with the water as it drops down the ‘hidden’ waterfall and tumbles down rocky chutes before sliding through vaulted limestone galleries to finally emerge into the dazzling green Waitomo forest.  Complete the experience with a hot shower, hearty soup and legendary Black Water bagel.  To complete the Black Labyrinth cave tubing tour requires a moderate level of fitness.

This afternoon continue to Rotorua (2 to 2 ½ hour drive).

Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel, Rotorua

Accommodation in an Executive Studio Room for 2 nights

Additional Inclusions: Daily Full Breakfast

Born from a 1950’s Motel built on the site, this boutique hotel has been transformed and renovated into a chic, central city hotel. All the luxury five star guest accommodations combine their signature modern styling, unexpected touches with a hint of glamour, while still providing all the mod-cons. Step out of your gorgeous room or suite and stroll to the vibrant restaurant zone or lakefront area or simply stay in, relax and savour the luxury facilities.

Day 4 Rotorua

Rotorua Adventure Day

Rotorua Adventure Day

Inclusions:  Full Guiding, lunch, refreshments and an upgrade to a full suspension bike

The perfect tour for any adventurer when in Rotorua – this tour includes up to 2 hours of superb Mountain biking, extreme Kaituna Waterfall Rafting, a delicious lunch in a local cafe and a beautiful Kayak on Lake Rotoiti to thermal hot pools only accessible by boat.

Meet your guide for the day, and travel a few minutes to Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest for our first adventure – Mountain Biking!  Choose from over 140kms of purpose built tracks tailored to all skill levels for a 1-2 hour ride (depending on your experience) through forestry back roads, single track and fun jump trails surrounded by beautiful native and pine forests.

Following your ride, travel approximately 15minutes to idyllic Okere Falls for your next adventure – Grade 5+ Waterfall Rafting on the Kaituna River.  Fitting our equipment and listening to a thorough safety briefing, raft approximately 45minutes on water over 3 falls from 1m, 3m and 7m high – the last being the tallest commercially rafted waterfall in the world!

Taking a break, you will head to a local Eco-store for a delicious lunch before your final experience – Lake Kayaking to Thermal Hot Pools.  Paddle approximately 40minutes through scenic bays out across stunning Lake Rotoiti to lake edge Thermal Hot pools only accessible by boat.   Relax and enjoy a soothing soak or a cold plunge in the lake before returning via kayak to the jetty and return transportation to Rotorua.

 

Day 5 Tongariro National Park

Rotorua to the Tongariro National Park

Today is at leisure to drive from Rotorua to Whakapapa Village in the Tongariro National Park (allow 3 hours driving via Taupo). We suggest a geothermal walk at Waimangu or Wai-O-Tapu Valleys, a Maori Village, carving and weaving experience at Te Puia, plus a stop at Huka Falls along the way (admissions not included in the main package price).

Chateau Tongariro Hotel, Whakapapa

Accommodation in a Tongariro Room for 2 nights

Additional Inclusions: Daily Full Breakfast

This historical property impresses with its grand architecture and interiors, its location in the Tongariro National Park and facilities, which include a nine hole golf course and a cinema. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a wonderful one-day trek, is on your doorstep, as well as the largest ski field in Australasia. Both Lake Taupo and the Whanganui River are 30 minutes away. Featuring 106 well-appointed rooms and suites, a games room with billiards, sauna, indoor plunge pool and a fitness centre.

Day 6 Tongariro National Park

Tongariro national Park

 

1 day Guided Tongariro Crossing (small to medium group, full day)

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing starts at the Mangatepopo Valley (1100 m), and the first 2 hours of the trek is an upward gentle gradient to Soda Springs. The track leads up to the Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe saddle and it is steep. This section is taken slowly to ensure everyone enjoys the spectacle and scenery.

Arriving at the South Crater (1650 m), take a break with plenty of opportunities for photos. From here traverse up the side of Tongariro to the famous Red Crater summit (1882 m). This takes approximately 1 hour. After taking in the view of the active Red Crater with the Otarere and Rangipo deserts in the background, descend to the Emerald Lakes for lunch, refreshments and a well-earned break. From here divert up and over Mt Tongariro to its summit (1967m). The summit has a great photo opportunity of the Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu peaks. Once you are at the top of a mountain, the only way off it is downhill and because the main throng of walkers have already passed through, we take the main track back over Mt Ngauruhoes pyroclastic flows with sunset views of Mt Taranaki, 150 kms away.

Day 7 Wellington

Tongariro National Park to Wellington

 

This morning is at leisure to drive from Whakapapa Village to Wellington (Allow 4 hours driving time).

Te Papa – Museum of New Zealand (free admission)

A must this afternoon is a visit to Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. Renowned for being bicultural, scholarly, innovative, and fun, this interactive museum provides a great insight into New Zealand culture with ever changing and unique exhibitions. The collections span five areas: Art, History, Pacific, Māori, and Natural Environment

 

QT Museum Hotel, Wellington – Accommodation in a Premier Room for 1 night

Additional Inclusions: Daily Full Breakfast

Combining a superb waterfront location with elegant accommodation, this hotel is an ideal base from which to explore Wellington. The harbour and Te Papa Museum are just opposite the hotel, and the city’s vibrant shopping, dining, and entertainment districts are all within easy walking distance. There is a large collection of modern art on display in the public areas and the hotel features classically elegant rooms and spacious studios and suites.

 

Day 8 Nelson

Wellington – Marlborough – Nelson

 This morning return your rental car at the Wellington Ferry Terminal.

The Interislander Ferry

Wellington to Picton Ferry – Premium Plus Lounge

On boarding the Kaitaki this morning, wonder the decks before making your way to the Kaitaki Superior Club Lounge.

Your Kaitaki Plus ticket will give you access to an exclusive, premium, onboard lounge.

Enter the unchanged wilderness of the Marlborough Sounds, a popular resort for holidaymakers during the summer months, and haven for boatowners.  Cruise through spectacular scenery into the small, picturesque settlement of Picton.

On arrival at the Picton Ferry Terminal, collect your luggage and your South Island rental car. From here it is a 35 minute drive into the Marlborough Wine Country.

Brancott Estate Heritage Centre – Mastery of Sauvignon Blanc

Over 45 minutes, discover the pioneering spirit and history behind the creation of a wine style that has enchanted the wine world.  Taste five wines during a tutored wine tasting that will demonstrate the diversity of the terroir and how it shapes the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

This afternoon and at your own leisure, continue to Nelson (90 minute drive)

Bronte Country Estate, Nelson

Accommodation in a Suite for 3 nights

Additional Inclusions: Daily Full Breakfast plus diner for the 1st night

Bronte Country Estate offers luxury suites or villa accommodation allowing you complete privacy and comfort. Be captivated by the stunning views and fascinating birdlife on Waimea Estuary as you relax in your luxury accommodation. Located approximately 25 minute drive from Nelson, your luxury Bronte Country Estate accommodation will make you feel relaxed and at ease, pampered amidst the tranquil setting and spectacular views.

 

Day 9 Nelson

Nelson and the Abel Tasman National Park 

Beaches, Bays & Seals Guided Kayaking Trip with lunch (small to medium group, full day)

This morning drive to Kaiteriteri Beach (1 hour drive) and meet your guide and join the 9.30am Vista Cruise to Torrent Bay.  Enjoy cruising this magnificent coastline.

On arrival at our Torrent Bay Lodge a full training session and safety briefing is delivered.  Then onto the water, to discover the beautiful beaches, tidal estuaries and rivers of the most scenic kayaking area of the park – Anchorage to Bark Bay.

Pause at a sheltered cove for lunch (supplied by us), take time out to relax, explore, swim or sunbathe on the golden sand.

On your return journey, if the winds are favourable the kayak sails will be hoisted and you will sail back to Torrent Bay, stopping at Pinnacle Island to view the seal colony there.  Sea birds working the shoals of fish or resting on the rocky outcrops add to the experience. You may even see some of the Blue Penguins that live here.

Back at Torrent Bay Lodge, freshen up with a hot shower and re-join the boat – recount the days adventure while cruising back to Kaiteriteri, arriving 5.45 pm.

Note: Itinerary may be modified on the day. The above start and finish times are observed but we reserve the right to modify the day after consultation with clients and consideration of weather & tidal conditions.

Provided: Top quality kayaking equipment.  Full instruction and safety briefing. Dry bags for clothing and camera. A packed lunch.

You Provide: Towel, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, warm top (plus polypropylene thermals if you have them), wind jacket, swimsuit, change of clothes, walking shoes, personal water bottle.

Day 10 Nelson

Nelson

Full day at leisure to explore Nelson, Golden Bay or the Nelson Lakes National Park. Nelson also has a well renowned Saturday Arts & Crafts Market (8am to 1pm), so it is well worth booking your dates to fall on a Friday night stay in Nelson.

Day 11 Queenstown

Nelson to Queenstown

This morning return your rental car at Nelson Airport and connect with your flight to Queenstown (flight not included in the package price).

On your arrival into Queenstown, you will be met by our representative and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation

Queenstown’s stunning scenery, huge range of activities and renowned warm welcome cement its reputation as New Zealand’s favourite visitor destination. Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of the region create the perfect backdrop for a holiday full of adventure, exploration or relaxation.

Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, Queenstown

Accommodation in a Remarkables Room includes Breakfast for 3 nights

Experience the sophistication of Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, a haven of stylish 5 star accommodation for all seasons. A boutique hotel with a modern romantic style and exclusive service awaits you in the heart of New Zealand’s adventure capital.

Stay in designer luxury Queenstown accommodation, set in peaceful parkland, and savour views of Queenstown’s majestic mountains. Enjoy easy access to the vibrant town centre where shopping, cafes and nightlife are nestled on the shores of spectacular Lake Wakatipu.

 

Day 12 Queenstown

Queenstown and Milford Sound

Milford Sound Scenic Flight with a Glacier landing

Mitre Peak beckons as your helicopter lifts off to begin your journey into Milford Sound. Discover isolated valleys of ancient forests and pristine rivers famous for their fishing as well as mountains sculptured from ice over thousands of years. Upon landing in Milford, enjoy a short nature walk and gain that iconic Mitre Peak photo. Experience an exhilarating flight past spectacular mountains and blue-green ice falls, and land upon Mt Tutoko glacier in the heart of Fiordland National Park.

Day 13 Queenstown

Queenstown

Shotover Jet Queenstown – Jetboat Ride

Meet inside the Station Building located on the corner of Camp and Shotover Streets.

Transfer by courtesy coach to the Shotover River.  Known as the world’s richest gold bearing river, the Shotover’s rugged canyons have been carved over thousands of years by billions of tonnes of glacial water sluicing from the heart of the Southern Alps.

Once at the river, board the Shotover Jet for the ride of your life. Skim past rocky outcrops at close range as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breath taking speeds. And a major highlight – hold tight for the world famous Shotover Jet full 360° spin!

Day 14 Queenstown

Depart Queenstown

Today you will be collected from your accommodation and transferred by private vehicle to Queenstown Airport.

Accommodation
Auckland
Pullman Auckland
Rotorua
Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel
Tongariro National Park
Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Wellington
QT Museum Hotel
Nelson
Bronte Country Estate
Queenstown
Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel