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The Long White Cloud: Christchurch to Auckland

Duration
19 Days
Prices From:
US$ 9,058

Delve into the scenic delights of New Zealand with a small group of fellow explorers. Combine natural beauty with creative comforts as you explore Franz Josef Glacier, cruise along picturesque Milford Sound, and gaze upon the bubbling mud pools and geysers of Rotorua.


This 19-day motorcoach tour is an extensive exploration of New Zealand, taking in most of its major cities and attractions, including Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, and Milford Sound. It features a mix of moderate and first-class accommodations, shared tours, and is a great way to see most of the country on one itinerary.

Your journey begins in Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island, which is known as the nation’s Garden City. While the city is still feeling some of the aftereffects of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes that devastated its city centre, it has largely rebuilt and has many highlights worth visiting, including the Botanic Gardens, which rank among the best in the region. After exploring Christchurch, board the TranzAlpine Train and ride to Hokitika, where you’ll learn about jade carving, before continuing on to Franz Josef Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in the country. Spend a day exploring the frozen reaches of the glacier before hopping on board a river jet boat to ride down the Haast River and reach Queenstown on the banks of Lake Wakatipu in the Southern Alps.

Queenstown is New Zealand’s adventure capital and the perfect place to satisfy your wildest outdoor ambitions. Sky dive from airplanes, bungee jump from bridges, or jet-ski across the waters. You can also slow down the pace by visiting the historic mining towns or vineyards around the valley, or by enjoying the many golf courses and spas in town. You’ll have two days to follow your fancy before heading into Fiordland National Park, where mountains, glaciers, and fjords crisscross the landscape. There you’ll head to Milford Sound, one of the top travel destinations on the planet. This mystical fjord culminates in Mitre Peak (Rahotu), the most photographed mountain in the country. In fact, Rudyard Kipling once dubbed it the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Leave Fiordland National Park behind and pass into the fertile pastures of South Otago and reach Dunedin, the southernmost city in the country. Dunedin is best known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture built during the Gold Rush of the 19th century. It’s also the gateway to the nearby Otago Peninsula, where you’ll have a chance to spot albatross and yellow-eyed penguins. You’ll have a day in Dunedin to tour Larnach Castle and then explore at leisure in the afternoon.

Connect back to Christchurch and travel along the Pacific coastline on route to Kaikoura and Picton. Then cross the Cook Strait and reach Wellington, the capital of New Zealand known as “Windy Welly.” You’ll head on a sightseeing tour to see the city’s parliament buildings and visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. You’ll have another day to explore the city in whichever way you’d like. Head to Weta Workshop to learn about the special effects and props behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy, or head on a guided walking tour to see the Victorian timber homes strung along the hillside.

From Wellington, head through dairy farmland on route to Hawkes Bay, one of the most famous wine regions in New Zealand and home to Napier, the country’s centerpiece for Art Deco. A tour will get you up to date on the earthquake that destroyed the city in the past as well as the modern wine culture that defines the city. Further north lies Rotorua, the geothermal marvel that has mud pools, hot springs, and Pohutu Geyser, which rises 30m high. The city is one of New Zealand’s main tourist hubs, as well as home to the largest population of Maori in the country. Head to the Whakarewarewa Living Village to delve into Maori culture, watch traditional performances, and enjoy a Hangi feast, which is cooked in an underground oven. Another day in Rotorua, you’ll head on a trek through the nearby redwood forest and Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you have a chance to spot a kiwi alongside the clear mineral springs.

Continue north and stop off at the Waitomo Caves to explore an underground world lit up by bioluminescent glow worms. Your final stop is Auckland, the largest city in the country, which is consistently rated as one of the most livable cities on the planet. Join your tour group and toast your trip together with a Farewell Dinner. You’ll then say goodbye to your fellow travellers and connect to the airport to return home.


 

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Duration
19 Days
Prices From:
US$ 9,058

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Welcome to Christchurch

On arrival at Christchurch Airport you'll be driven by private car to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the International Antarctic Centre or Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand's only open range zoo. In the evening meet your Journey Director for a Welcome Reception.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Montreal By The George

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    Hotel Montreal By The George



    Overlooking Cranmer Square and situated on the edge of tranquil Hagley Park, Hotel Montreal is Christchurch's newest luxury boutique hotel. Unique in design and beautifully finished, Hotel Montreal offers accommodation that is the perfect mix of refined elegance and modern sophistication. Contemporary art, delicious food …

    Overlooking Cranmer Square and situated on the edge of tranquil Hagley Park, Hotel Montreal is Christchurch's newest luxury boutique hotel. Unique in design and beautifully finished, Hotel Montreal offers accommodation that is the perfect mix of refined elegance and modern sophistication. Contemporary art, delicious food and wine are all carefully orchestrated to provide a remarkable setting for your stay in Christchurch. Hotel Montreal provides an oasis for a calm, relaxed environment with outside areas to sit in the garden, or enjoy a game of croquet.

    Facilities

    • Pool bar
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 2

Christchurch - Franz Josef

It's all aboard the TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world's great scenic railway journeys, you'll travel in comfort across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, and meet a local greenstone (jade) carver for a jewellery demonstration. Later we continue to Franz Josef. Your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or perhaps a massage?

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

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    Te Waonui Forest Retreat



    A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand's pristine wilderness - Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests' wellbeing. With a natural, earthy …

    A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand's pristine wilderness - Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests' wellbeing. With a natural, earthy ambience and attentive service, there's no better place to take a deep breath and simply unwind.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Concierge
    • Laundry facilities
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Valet Parking

    More Details

Day 3

Franz Josef (Relaxed Start)

After a relaxed start we explore this area, where a local guide explains the history behind the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Franz Josef - Queenstown

This morning it's time for an adventure as we travel in a purpose-built fully enclosed river jet boat and journey down the Haast River. After a lunch stop at Makarora we head to Queenstown, taking time to stop to explore the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, with an orientation tour on arrival. Tonight, dinner is included at your hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel St Moritz - MGallery Collection by Accor

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    Hotel St Moritz - MGallery Collection by Accor



    Superbly positioned in a spectacular mountain lake setting within walking distance of Queenstown attractions, Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown - member of the MGallery collection is a unique place of majestic beauty and legendary experiences perfect for leisure travellers. Using a chic design, the hotel embodies …

    Superbly positioned in a spectacular mountain lake setting within walking distance of Queenstown attractions, Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown - member of the MGallery collection is a unique place of majestic beauty and legendary experiences perfect for leisure travellers. Using a chic design, the hotel embodies the spirit of its alpine surroundings, boasting floor to ceiling windows and panoramic views, Hotel St Moritz features 142 rooms and suites.

    Facilities

    • Concierge
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Sauna
    • Secretarial Service
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 5

Queenstown Day at Leisure

Enjoy Queenstown your way! Why not join a wine tour; view The Lord of the Rings film locations and scenery of Queenstown and Glenorchy on a scenic tour or spend time having a relaxing massage in the spa.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Queenstown Day at Leisure

Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not sit back and enjoy a peaceful cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station Otherwise, you could simply relax, shop or enjoy time at one of the many cafés and restaurants while soaking up the alpine views. Tonight, we have a highlight dinner at one of Queenstown's exclusive restaurants.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7

Queenstown - Milford Sound

Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau on the shores of the South Island's largest lake. Later you'll travel through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the amazing Mirror Lake. Tonight, stay at the magical Milford Sound Lodge, with views of the Cleddau Valley.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Milford Sound Lodge

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    Milford Sound Lodge



    Taking the time to stay in Milford offers you a chance to enjoy the majestic beauty of the sound and the rainforest that surrounds it in the quiet before and after the crowds. But more than that it gives you time to truly experience a …

    Taking the time to stay in Milford offers you a chance to enjoy the majestic beauty of the sound and the rainforest that surrounds it in the quiet before and after the crowds. But more than that it gives you time to truly experience a very special place. Milford Sound is the perfect place to come if you are looking for adventure.

    Facilities

    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities

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Day 8

Milford Sound

Wake up to the startling beauty of Milford Sound. Learn more about breathtaking Fiordland National Park with an informative talk by a local expert. Later, board the Southern Discoveries vessel for a half day exploration of Milford Sound, often called the 'eighth natural wonder of the world'. Sail out to the Tasman Sea, looking for wildlife along the way, for a visit to the Underwater Observatory and the opportunity to go sea kayaking in Harrison Cove.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Milford Sound - Dunedin

We leave the majestic Fiordland National Park for the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago. Travel through Te Anau known for its beautiful lake and on to the country musical town of Gore at lunchtime, before arriving in Dunedin, New Zealand's southernmost city. Enjoy dinner tonight at Parcels Restaurant at your hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Distinction Dunedin

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    Distinction Dunedin



    One of Dunedin's oldest heritage buildings has been lovingly transformed into Dunedin's newest hotel. This iconic 121 room property is the ideal base for business or leisure. It is conveniently located in the rejuvenated and vibrant exchange area in the heart of Dunedin city. Each …

    One of Dunedin's oldest heritage buildings has been lovingly transformed into Dunedin's newest hotel. This iconic 121 room property is the ideal base for business or leisure. It is conveniently located in the rejuvenated and vibrant exchange area in the heart of Dunedin city. Each elegant studio and suite boasts stylish contemporary design and functionality.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Conference Facilities
    • Free WiFi
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Laundry facilities
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Tour Desk

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 10

Dunedin (Relaxed Start)

This morning, join an exclusive tour of Larnach Castle. Your afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps ride the historic Tairei Gorge Railway or take a wildlife cruise of the Otago Pennisula.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Dunedin - Christchurch

Travel up the east coast of the South Island via Omarau and Timaru. Once back in Christchurch embark on a sightseeing tour of the city to learn about its rebirth after the devastating 2011 earthquake.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Montreal By The George

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel Montreal By The George



    Overlooking Cranmer Square and situated on the edge of tranquil Hagley Park, Hotel Montreal is Christchurch's newest luxury boutique hotel. Unique in design and beautifully finished, Hotel Montreal offers accommodation that is the perfect mix of refined elegance and modern sophistication. Contemporary art, delicious food …

    Overlooking Cranmer Square and situated on the edge of tranquil Hagley Park, Hotel Montreal is Christchurch's newest luxury boutique hotel. Unique in design and beautifully finished, Hotel Montreal offers accommodation that is the perfect mix of refined elegance and modern sophistication. Contemporary art, delicious food and wine are all carefully orchestrated to provide a remarkable setting for your stay in Christchurch. Hotel Montreal provides an oasis for a calm, relaxed environment with outside areas to sit in the garden, or enjoy a game of croquet.

    Facilities

    • Pool bar
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 12

Christchurch - Wellington

Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast this morning to Kaikoura, where sperm whales can often be seen not far from shore. Pass the pink tinged crystallisation ponds of the Lake Grassmere Salt Works, then travel to pretty seaside fishing village of Picton. Later cross the Cook Strait to the North Island where you have a city sightseeing tour taking in New Zealand's parliament buildings, and a visit to Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Sofitel Wellington

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    Hotel Sofitel Wellington



    Sofitel Wellington is ideally positioned in the Central Business District and government hub. Within walking distance from the major tourist attractions, with many restaurants and cafes nearby. The hotel provides great views of lush hillsides and the Botanical Gardens. All 129 Guest Rooms are beautifully …

    Sofitel Wellington is ideally positioned in the Central Business District and government hub. Within walking distance from the major tourist attractions, with many restaurants and cafes nearby. The hotel provides great views of lush hillsides and the Botanical Gardens. All 129 Guest Rooms are beautifully appointed in vintage gold and bronze tones and feature indulgent rain showers.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Air Conditioning
    • Babysitting Services
    • Bar
    • Free WiFi
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Non-Smoking Throughout
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Wheelchair Accessible

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Day 13

Wellington (Relaxed Start)

Today see Wellington your way! You may wish to experience Weta Cave, home of the creative wizards behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Go on a guided city walking tour around Wellington or a guided tour of Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. Your Journey Director can assist in booking your optional experience.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 14

Wellington - Hawkes Bay

Travel through the dairy farming land of Manawatu to Napier in Hawkes Bay. This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Porters Boutique Hotel

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    Porters Boutique Hotel



    Step into a world of luxury, comfort, and relaxation. Nestled in the heart of the charming Havelock North village and surrounded by the majestic hills of Hawke's Bay, Porters Boutique Hotel offers unique luxury accommodation. Relax in elegantly appointed guest rooms, complete with plush, classic …

    Step into a world of luxury, comfort, and relaxation. Nestled in the heart of the charming Havelock North village and surrounded by the majestic hills of Hawke's Bay, Porters Boutique Hotel offers unique luxury accommodation.

    Relax in elegantly appointed guest rooms, complete with plush, classic furnishings and adorned with original local artwork. Enjoy attentive luxury service and full amenities within a stylish, intimate space that reflects the beauty and grandeur of the breathtaking Hawke's Bay region.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Laundry Service
    • Meeting Rooms
    • Reception
    • Room Service
    • Wifi/Internet Access

    More Details

Day 15

Napier (Relaxed Start)

Enjoy a relaxed start before we venture out to explore the region of Hawkes Bay. Relive the glamour and style of the jazz era with a luxurious vintage car tour. You'll be met your driver, in Art Deco costume, who will provide a fascinating commentary as you are driven in style, through Napier and surrounding areas. You'll learn about the earthquake that destroyed the city, hear stories of the people that led the rebuild, and discover the Art Deco style. This evening, enjoy wine tasting and dinner at one of their world-famous wineries.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 16

Hawkes Bay - Rotorua

Enjoy a leisurely start before continuing the journey to nearby Rotorua. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls, the only outlet of water from Lake Taupo, and then it's on to Rotorua. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Later, you'll visit the Whakarewarewa Living Village for an insight into Maori life and how they interact with geothermal activity. Tonight, an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Family Marae. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi meal, steamed underground in the traditional way.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Pullman Hotel Rotorua

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    Pullman Hotel Rotorua


    The 130-room hotel will boast panoramic views of the city and lake area and feature a sophisticated Executive Lounge (a hallmark of every Pullman hotel), business lounge, chill-out lounge, restaurant and bar, gymnasium, car parking as well as five meeting rooms catering for conference and …

    The 130-room hotel will boast panoramic views of the city and lake area and feature a sophisticated Executive Lounge (a hallmark of every Pullman hotel), business lounge, chill-out lounge, restaurant and bar, gymnasium, car parking as well as five meeting rooms catering for conference and events.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Gym
    • Lounge
    • Parking
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 17

Rotorua

Ascending to the breathtaking Redwoods Treewalk, enjoy an elevated bird's eye view of the 115-year-old redwood giants and view the beautiful surrounds of the forest from a unique perspective. Next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Discover native flora that grows around the crystal clear mineral water springs and you might even spot a kiwi or two!

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 18

Rotorua - Auckland

Make your way to the famous Waitomo Caves for an exclusive 5-star Eco Glow Worm experience. Your guide sets the scene for a cave experience where you will see glow worms, cave formations and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave. Later, travel through the dairy farming district of Waikato, and onto Auckland. This evening, Toast your trip together tonight at a Celebration Dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

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    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour



    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour is located in the heart of Auckland, a unique maritime experience between vibrant Viaduct Harbour and the new Wynyard Quarter. Inspired by New Zealand's landscape and culture and boasting panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour, this beautifully designed hotel is a true …

    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour is located in the heart of Auckland, a unique maritime experience between vibrant Viaduct Harbour and the new Wynyard Quarter. Inspired by New Zealand's landscape and culture and boasting panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour, this beautifully designed hotel is a true landmark destination. The hotel features 172 luxury appointed bedrooms and suites.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Day Spa
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Offsite Paid Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Valet Parking
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 19

Farewell from Auckland

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your Inspiring Journey comes to an end and we transfer you to Auckland Airport for your onward flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2020: Oct 5, 12; Nov 9; Dec 7
2021: Jan 4, 11; Feb 1, 8; Mar 1, 8, 22

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 21 nights' accommodation as indicated or similar
  • Experience travel director
  • Travel in a luxury vehicle with no more than 20 guests
  • Airport transfers
  • Meals as specified

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single travellers are available on request - please inquire. Itinerary effective 11 Oct ’16 - 1 Oct 17. Tours prior may follow a different itinerary.

TB AATKINGCHR0120SG: NZIJ
22 Mar 2021
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