31 Oct NEW ZEALAND IN 10 GREAT DAYS
A SAMPLE of a 10 Day New Zealand programme.
DAY 01: ARRIVE AUCKLAND
“Haere Mai” Welcome to Auckland – the City of Sails.
Within an area of 360 square kilometres, 48 eruption centres from ancient times have been recognised in the Auckland region with the oldest eruption taking place about 50,000 years ago and the most recent being Rangitoto Island only 600 years ago. The Maori name for the isthmus is “Tamaki Makau Rau” which means “Battle of a thousand lovers” – referring to the tribes that battled over the much desired land. Auckland is the commercial centre and New Zealand’s largest city with a population of just over 1 million.
Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping, and you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland, New Zealand, our largest and most diverse city. More than just a city, Auckland is a whole region full of things to see and do. Best of all, with so many experiences close by it’s easy to hop from one adventure to the next.
Arrive Auckland International Airport. Meet and greet by a General Travel Representative and your Tour Driver/Guide, with assistance to your coach. Transfer to hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to adjust to the time difference or explore the city at your leisure.
DAY 02: IN AUCKLAND
This morning you will be met by your Driver/Guide for an Auckland City Sightseeing Tour – approximately two hours – Including Mission Bay, Bastion Point, Parnell Village, Auckland Domain, Harbour Bridge, Auckland Viaduct and Waterfront and Queen Street.
On completion, you will be escorted to Queens Wharf to board your Auckland Harbour Cruise. This ninety minute Fullers Auckland Harbour Cruise includes a full commentary, a brief stopover at Rangitoto Island and morning tea.
Enjoy your afternoon in Auckland at leisure.
DAY 03: AUCKLAND – WAITOMO – ROTORUA
This morning you will be met by your Driver/Guide for your journey to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves or perhaps Hobbiton Movie Tours and on to Rotorua.
Just south of Auckland lies the Hamilton-Waikato region; a land of lush pastures that was chosen to play The Shire in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. This is one of New Zealand’s most famous farming regions with a variety of animals and crops farmed here due to the fertile, rich land.
Under the green hills of Waitomo, in the heart of the Waikato region, lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. The area’s name comes from the Maori words wai (water) and tomo (hole).
The caves were carved by underground streams pushing through soft limestone over thousands of years. Many have amazing stalactites growing down from the ceiling and stalagmites growing up from the cave floor, pointy cones of layered rock formed over centuries by dripping water. The cave walls are also decorated with galaxies of native glow worms.
Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing our fascinating Maori culture. The Te Arawa tribe of the region started the tourism industry in New Zealand in the 19th century when visitors first began travelling to the area to experience the healing qualities of the thermal waters and to visit the “Eighth Wonder of the World” – the magnificent Pink and White Terraces which were tragically destroyed in the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera.
Today the Māori people continue to play a major part in the local tourism industry, opening up their homes and villages to guests and sharing their food, song and dance; arts including carving, weaving, tattoo, and weaponry; holistic knowledge such as Māori spirituality, massage and the medicinal use of native plants; as well as local history and legends.
Take an historical tour of a living Māori village, paddle Lake Rotorua in a beautifully carved canoe, enjoy a delicious hangi feast cooked in the steaming ground, and be captivated by the powerful song and dance of a passionate people. For a more intimate experience, stay the night in an intricately carved traditional meeting house, or enjoy a home cooked meal with a local family.
DAY 04: ROTORUA – CHRISTCHURCH
Transfer to Rotorua Airport for your flight to Christchurch.
Set against a majestic alps to ocean backdrop, Christchurch offers visitors one of the world’s most unique destinations. Urban regeneration, creativity and innovation flow through the city with new restaurants & bars, street art and vibrant new retail areas. At the same time the city stays true to its heritage, offering a traditional English feel.
Stunning gardens and parks, the serene Avon River, beautiful beaches and the Port Hills all embrace the city. Within a short drive you can ski at a world-class alpine resort, play golf, bungy jump, raft, mountain bike, hot-air balloon, wind surf, whale watch and visit internationally-acclaimed wineries.
On arrival in Christchurch you will be met by your South Island driver and transferred to the hotel with a short city tour en route.
DAY 05: CHRISTCHURCH – FRANZ JOSEF
This morning your Driver/Guide will transfer you to the Christchurch Railway Station, to board the TranzAlpine train to Arthur’s Pass. One of the world’s great train journeys, the TranzAlpine scenic train journeys between Christchurch and Greymouth, crossing from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From the comfort of world class carriages, see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the majestic Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass National Park, before descending through lush beech rainforest to the West Coast town of Greymouth.
Your coach will meet you at the train station in Greymouth. Continue south to Franz Josef Glacier.
While glaciers around the world are retreating, the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers still flow almost to sea level. The temperate climate at this low altitude means these glaciers are among the most convenient to visit in the world. Easy walks to the foot of the glaciers pass along ancient river valleys with steep sides bearing gigantic horizontal scars from when the glaciers have retreated and advanced over millennia. When you stand close to the foot of these glaciers, their sheer enormity is very humbling.
DAY 06: FRANZ JOSEF – QUEENSTOWN
This morning you will be met by your Driver/Guide for your journey to Queenstown, with an Orientation Sightseeing Tour upon arrival in the region. There are so many activities and experiences in Queenstown – this day will be tailored to suit your individual requirements.
DAY 07: QUEENSTOWN – MILFORD SOUND – QUEENSTOWN
This morning you depart for your day tour to Milford Sound. Your driver will provide commentary on the way to Milford Sound.
DAY 08: IN QUEENSTOWN
Today is a full day at leisure for you to experience the best of what Queenstown has to offer.
DAY 09: QUEENSTOWN – CHRISTCHURCH
This morning you will be met by your Driver/Guide for your journey to Christchurch, including a stop at Late Tekapo to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and to view Mount Cook. On completion, continue your coach travels through to Christchurch.
DAY 10: DEPART CHRISTCHURCH