From North to South
This 21 day (20 night) tour transports you from the colourful cosmopolitan nightlife of Auckland to the rugged majestic mountains and native bush of the deep south. A truly memorable experience traversing the whole of this magic country. The tour starts in Auckland and finishes in Christchurch.
Please note : B, L, D refers to Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided as part of the cost of the tour.
Day 1: Auckland (D)
We begin with a guided tour of Auckland, ‘the city of sails’. From the top of Mt Eden (an extinct volcano) we view the city in all its panoramic beauty. Until 1865, Auckland was the capital of New Zealand and is today the economic centre of the country. Depending on your arrival time we will also visit the historic suburbs of Parnell and the Auckland Domain. We spend the night in Auckland.
Day 2: Auckland – Coromandel Peninsula – Matarangi 140km (B,D)
We depart Auckland in the morning and travel through rolling farmland, flat dairy plains, and the forested Coromandel Ranges. During the journey we will enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean, Tairua’s Paku volcanic peak, and the off-shore views of the jagged Alderman Islands. In the afternoon we visit Hot Water Beach thermal area, if tides allow, and we can relax in hot spring water which mixes here with cold sea water. Not far from the beachside village of Hahei lies the impressive limestone cave of Cathedral Cove, which you can explore. Then on to Matarangi resort where we will spend the night.
Day 3: Coromandel Peninsula – Matarangi (B)
The day will be spent in the Coromandel Peninsula, enjoying the glorious white sand beaches. The night will be spent at Matarangi resort.
Day 4: Coromandel Peninsula – Rotorua. 210 kms (B)
Today we travel to Rotorua via Tauranga, taking in part of the Pacific Coast Highway. We pass beautiful coastal scenery, kiwifruit and citrus orchards and lovely freshwater lakes before arriving in the geothermal city of Rotorua. Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland with a rich Maori culture. We visit the Maori village of Whakarewarewa where we will view hot pools and geysers with the opportunity of taking in a Maori dance concert. We also visit the Government Gardens. We spend the night in Rotorua.
Day 5: Rotorua – Tongariro National Park 146 kms (B,D)
In the morning we take a short drive to the magnificent Blue and Green lakes and on to the shores of Lake Tarewera. We leave Rotorua to visit Wai-O-Tapu, the oldest geothermal site in the country, which features the ‘champagne pool’. Then we drive to Lake Taupo via the dramatic Huka Falls. Lake Taupo is the largest lake in NZ and is of volcanic origin. We spend the night in the Tongariro National Park.
Day 6: Tongariro National Park – Wellington 324 kms (B)
After breakfast we drive along the desert road with magnificent views of the Highest Volcano in the North Island; Mt Ruapehu. We continue our journey through farmland and rolling landscapes to the Kapiti coast near Wellington. We arrive in Wellington in the afternoon. Wellington has been New Zealand’s capital city since 1865. Here we can stroll along the colourful waterfront to Parliament Buildings including the distinctive “Beehive”. We visit the Old St Paul’s Cathedral which features a striking interior made from native timber and magnificent stained-glass windows. Apart from its importance as the political centre, Wellington offers a large cultural choice of museums and art galleries. We spend the night in the capital Wellington.
Day 7: Wellington (B)
In the morning we ascend Mount Victoria (196m) to enjoy a superb panoramic view of the city and harbour. Later on we visit the National Museum, Te Papa, which gives a great insight into NZ history and Pacific culture. Afternoon free. We spend the night in Wellington.
Day 8: Wellington – Picton – Kaiteriteri 154 kms (B,L)
In the morning we board the Interislander Ferry to cross the Cook Strait. The trip leads us between the North and South Island and through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds to Picton, a small harbour township in the South Island. We have lunch and wine tasting at a Vineyard in the Marlborough region and then travel on to Abel Tasman National Park. We spend the night near the National Park.
Day 9: Abel Tasman National Park (B,L)
Today we board a vessel to cruise along the beautiful coast of the Abel Tasman National Park. At Torrent Bay you will enjoy a succulent seafood lunch followed by a walk or a swim in the bay or a nap on the beach. We spend the night near the National Park.
Day 10: Nelson –Greymouth. 290 kms (B, D)
Leaving Nelson we follow the Buller River and the Buller Gorge through to Murchison stopping near Westport for a walk along Cape Foulwind to see a seal colony. We continue our journey to Punakaiki where we stop at the famous” Pancake Rocks”, a rock formation which continuous erosion has made to look a pile of crepes. We spend the night in Greymouth.
Day 11: Greymouth- Franz Josef Glacier. 114 kms (B)
We leave in the morning for Hokitika (a gold rush town) where we visit the jade factory, before reaching The Westland National Park. This Park is one of the most fascinating and multi-faceted national parks in New Zealand. After this we travel on to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers; the only examples in the world where glaciers descend to 240m above sea level. If weather permits we may fly over the glaciers by helicopter (optional flight over the glaciers with landing).
We spend the night in Franz Josef or Fox.
Day 12: Franz Josef Glacier – Wanaka. 404 kms (B)
Today we travel south along the narrow strip of land bordered by the Tasman Sea on one side and the snow-clad Southern Alps on the other. We continue southwards along the breathtaking West Coast passing through luxuriant forest and rugged coastal scenery before crossing the Haast Pass. Here we enter the Central Otago Lake District and we drive along the edge of the idyllic Lakes of Hawea and Wanaka. This route offers marvelous scenery of rain forest and waterfall. We arrive in Wanaka late afternoon, where we spend the night.
Day 13 : Wanaka –Clyde 100 km (B, L)
Today we drive to the Earnscleugh area in the stunning rocky landscape of the of Alexandra basin. A highlight of the tour will be visiting Central Otago’s vineyards to taste the magnificent award winning wines and enjoy a lunch in the old Clyde village. Some of the tasting rooms will take you back in time to give you a glimpse of life as a gold miner in the late 1800’s. The growers will talk you through their wines and how they are produced. We will return to Wanaka to spend the night.
Day 14: Wanaka/ Te Anau. 227 kms (B,D)
In the morning we leave for Arrowtown, an old gold mining village where we visit an ancient Chinese gold miner’s settlement. We drive to Queenstown where you can enjoy a jet boat ride or a cruise on the lake Wakatipu (optional). In the afternoon we drive to Te Anau along the beautiful lake Wakatipu.We spend the night in Te Anau.
Day 15: Te Anau- Milford Sound-Te Anau (B,L)
This morning we head for the spectacular and remote Milford Sound. We travel along the coast of the beautiful Lake Wakatipu and then across rolling expanses of farmland to the small alpine and lakeside town of Te Anau. From here we continue through Fiordland National Park, one of the most spectacular natural beauties of the world until we reach Milford Sound. After arriving at Milford Sound, we enjoy a 1.45 hour cruise as far as the Tasman Sea, with a picnic lunch on board, before returning late afternoon and spending the night in Te Anau.
Day 16: Te Anau- Catlins 207 kms ( B,D)
From Te Anau will take the “Presidential Highway” going through the small town of Gore and the very small village of Clinton before turning off to drive the scenic route to Nugget Point in the beautiful region of the Catlins. The Catlins region is a haven for wildlife and stunning coastal landscapes and native forest. We spend the night in the Catlins.
Day 17: Catlins – Dunedin. 115 kms (B)
The morning is spent exploring the verdant forest (or “bush” as the locals say), waterfalls, gorgeous little beaches and unique fauna. In the afternoon we arrive in Dunedin, capital of the province of Otago and the second-largest city in the South Island. Dunedin boasts a population of around 123,000. Fiercely proud of its Scottish origins, the settlement took its name from the Gaelic form of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland. We tour the city and spend the night in Dunedin.
Day 18: Dunedin- Peninsula. 40kms (B,D)
Today we spend the day in Dunedin. The architectural heritage of the city draws admiring visitors from all over the world to see examples of Victorian Neo-Gothic buildings such as the Dunedin Railway Station, the Otago University, First Church and Otago Boy High School. In the afternoon we visit the Otago Peninsula to spot some wildlife, albatross, cormorants, penguins and seals. We also visit the penguin colony. We spend tonight in Dunedin.
Day 19: Dunedin (B)
Day trip into the Taieri Gorge. The line travels through spectacular scenery along the banks of the Taieri River, through numerous tunnels and climbing along the Taieri Gorge to the Strath Taieri. It crosses a dozen viaducts, including the southern hemisphere's largest wrought iron structure, and passes through ten tunnels.
Day 20: Dunedin – Christchurch. 360 kms (B,D)
This morning we head north to Timaru travelling the scenic route via Moeraki where we will stop to view the incredible natural formations on the beach known as the Moeraki Boulders. From here we travel to Oamaru where we will experience the historic Victorian precinct where we go back in time with shop keepers in Victorian costume in the restored part of town. Next we head to the seaside town of Timaru and on to Christchurch were we will spend the night.
Day 21: Christchurch (B)
Depart from Christchurch to your next destination. Transfer to the airport.
2015 to 2016 Price and Conditions
Tour prices are based on 10 persons (For smaller or larger groups please contact us for a quote)
Price is per person in a double or twin room NZD $5,800.00.
If a single room is required there will be an extra supplementary cost. Please contact us to discuss.
Fully guided tour for 21 days in comfortable bus or mini-van. Tours guided in French, German or English.The tour departs from Auckland and finishes in Christchurch accommodation in Motel or 3 star Hotel.
The Price includes:
- A comfortable Minibus
- A professional driver-guide for 21 days
- 20 nights accommodation Motel, 3 star Hotel
- 21 Breakfasts
- 8 evening meals and 4 lunches (drinks not included)
Also included Entry to/Tickets for:
- Whakarewarewa Maori village
- Wai-o-Tapu thermal reserve
- Ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton,
- 2 Wine tastings
- Abel Tasman cruise
- Scenic cruise on Milford Sound
- Penguin Colony
- Taieri Gorge Scenic Train in Dunedin
The price does not include:
- All optional activities
- Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Private Travel insurance