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zSpectacular New Zealand from North to South

12 days

An Alexander+Roberts Original Event

Original Event Discoveries for our World Travelers

+ Discover the astounding natural wonders of New Zealand’s North Island including the famed Glowworm Caves and the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland where the Earth’s powerful geological forces are revealed.
+ Embark on a thrilling jetboat adventure on the Shotover River.
+ Journey by 4WD into Middle Earth, the inspiring setting for the Lord of the Rings films.
+ Cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard a turn-of-the-century steamer to spend time on an authentic sheep station homestead.
+ Sample world-class wines, enjoy lunch on a farm, visit a bountiful fruit orchard and sit down to a convivial dinner with a family in Christchurch.
+ Wake up to some of the most magnificent scenery on Earth on our overnight cruise through Milford Sound.

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Day
1

Oct 10, 2015: Welcome to Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island

Auckland is a most extraordinary city comprised of 50 islands, 3 lovely harbors, 2 mountain ranges and 48 volcanic cones! Upon arrival in this welcoming city, we’ll embark on guided sightseeing tour including the bustling city-center, picturesque waterfront and Sky Tower, the tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere. Check in to the deluxe Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Hotel and get to know your fellow travelers at this evening’s congenial welcome dinner. Meals D

Day
2

Oct 11, 2015: Journey to Waitomo and Rotorua

After breakfast, we’ll check out from our hotel and depart Auckland, traveling southward through the lush Waikato region to the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. An underground boat ride reveals the amazing site of the cavern roof aglow with millions of worms! We continue our scenic journey across rugged the landscapes of the Mamaku Ranges to the geo-thermal resort town of Rotorua. Check in to the inviting Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort where you’ll have time to refresh before dinner.  Meals B+D

Day
3

Oct 12, 2015: Discover Rotorua… Return to Auckland

After breakfast, our guided sightseeing tour showcases one of New Zealand’s most famous and unique regions. Our exploration begins at the Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland, celebrated for its spouting geysers and bubbling mud pools! Set in the lovely Government Gardens, the Rotorua Museum offers a fascinating look into the geology, history and indigenous Maori culture of the region. We’ll finish our exploration on a delightful note with a relaxing dip in the warm thermal waters of the Polynesian Pools overlooking beautiful Lake Rotorua. We return to Auckland via the fertile and picturesque farmlands of the Central Waikato region and check in once again at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Hotel with time to relax before sitting down to another congenial dinner.  Meals B+D

Day
4

Oct 13, 2015: Auckland to Queenstown on the South Island

After breakfast, we’ll be escorted to the airport for our flight to Queenstown where we’ll be warmly greeted and taken to the 5-star St. Moritz. Our stylish boutique hotel offers stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains. Later, we’ll sample the boutique wines of a local winery and explore Arrowtown, founded in the heady days of the Gold Rush! A thrilling jetboat ride on the Shotover River is followed by a more tranquil excursion aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a turn-of-the-century steamer. We’ll cruise across Lake Wakatipu to an authentic high-country homestead where we’ll see highly trained sheep dogs in action and enjoy a lakeside dinner. Meals B+D

Day
5

Oct 14, 2015: Discover Middle Earth

Our 4WD adventure to Genorchy immerses you in the magnificent scenery made famous in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Spend the morning surrounded by forests and soaring mountains before returning to Queenstown. Meals B+D

Day
6

Oct 15, 2015: Queenstown

This afternoon’s gondola ride is a great way to take in the spectacular mountains and pristine waterways that surround Queenstown. At the Kiwi Birdlife Park, we’ll have a chance to observe and learn about some of New Zealand’s most fascinating wildlife species including the Brown Kiwi, Tuatara lizard, and the colorfully plumed Rainbow Lorikeet. After sightseeing, we’ll return to our hotel for dinner and a free evening. Meals B+D

Day
7

Oct 16, 2015: Thrill to Milford Sound

After breakfast, we’ll depart our hotel and skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu as we make our way into Fiordland National Park to embark our overnight cruise aboard the comfortable Milford Mariner. Settle in to your private outside cabin and get set for the adventure of a lifetime! As we journey the full length of Milford Sound, our ship’s expert naturalists are on hand to explain the history and geology of the region and to answer our questions. We’ll have plenty of time to take in the fjord’s pristine waterfalls, rainforests and soaring mountain peaks - and with sharp eyes, we’re bound to observe seals and possibly even dolphins and penguins. Anchoring in a sheltered cover, we’ll be able to join our naturalist guides to explore in the Mariner’s tender or by kayak. This evening after a delicious carvery buffet, we can relax in the company of our fellow passengers or hit the deck to observe the constellations of the Southern Sky.  Meals B+D

Day
8

Oct 17, 2015: Te Anau to Clyde

After a hearty breakfast onboard the Mariner, we’ll step off ship and journey to Te Anau, an alpine region of unparalleled beauty set on the shores of one of New Zealand’s deepest lakes. Enjoy lunch and a brief tour on a working rural property, before we journey into the spectacular Kawarau Valley, home to the famous Bungy Bridge where two daring adventurers launched the worldwide bungee jumping craze in 1988. We’ll continue to Oliver’s Hotel, set on an authentic 19th-century homestead in historic Clyde, arriving in time for dinner and a relaxing evening. Meals B+L+D

Day
9

Oct 18, 2015: Exploring Central Otago

With fruit orchards, waterways and rolling hills, Central Otago is one of New Zealand’s loveliest areas. We begin our exploration at a busy farmers market in Cromwell on the shores of Lake Dunstan. Then we’ll visit an orchard and winery where we’ll have a chance to sample the region’s delicious bounty.  Meals B+D

Day
10

Oct 19, 2015: Onward to Mt. Cook

After breakfast, we’ll journey through the imposing Linda Pass to reach New Zealand’s highest mountain. We’ll check in to the Hermitage Hotel in time for dinner. Tonight, the absence of ambient light makes the Aoraki MacKenzie International Dark Sky Reserve one of the best places to view the Southern Constellations. Meals B+D

Day
11

Oct 20, 2015: Canterbury Plains to the Garden City

With its lovely parks, fine Anglican Cathedral and handsome Gothic buildings, there’s a very English ambience to Christchurch. Upon arrival, we’ll set out to see the town’s architectural landmarks and the Botanic Garden. Delight in casual conversation and dinner with a local family in their home and overnight at the George Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel overlooking Hagley Park on the River Avon. Meals B+D

Day
12

Oct 21, 2015: Depart Christchurch

Our New Zealand adventure ends today after breakfast.  Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Discover the best of Australia

7 Day Post-Tour Extension from $4,799

From the vibrant modern spirit of Sydney and Cairns to the natural wonders of the Blue Mountains and Great Barrier Reef, this perfectly-planned one week tour of Australia is the perfect complement to your exploration of New Zealand’s magnificent South Island!

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Day
1

Welcome to Sydney

Upon arrival in Sydney, you will be warmly greeted by your professional guide and escorted to the Langham Sydney. Our stylish 5-star hotel offers a terrific location close to the historic Rocks district in the heart of the city. Later this afternoon, join your friendly driver/guide for an introduction to the city he loves and knows so well. You’ll pass by the historic Rocks area where Sydney was first settled and then continue on to the beautiful Botanic Gardens. From Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, you’ll have an unforgettable view of the Harbor Bridge and iconic Sydney Opera House. Your sightseeing continues past Parliament and St. Mary’s Cathedral and then through bustling Kings Cross to world-famous Bondi Beach. Return to the city center via Paddington, an upscale enclave of historic homes famous for their picturesque iron terraces, and then drive through Chinatown and Darling Harbour to return to your hotel.  

Day
2

Excursion to the Blue Mountains

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Australia’s Blue Mountains encompass a vast area of sandstone plateaus, dramatic escarpments and gorges, and temperate eucalyptus forests. After breakfast, you’ll join our expert guide for a full day exploration deep into this magnificent region, beginning with the Featherdale Wildlife Park where you’ll enjoy up-close encounters with native Australian animals including Koala Bears, Kangaroos and Wallabies. Continue your touring up into the mountains as your guide shares insight into the region’s history, flora and fauna. At the Waradah Aboriginal Cultural Center, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the dance, music and art of Australia’s Aboriginal culture. After lunch at the picturesque Blackheath Golf Club, you’ll ascend to Govetts Leap, one of the most spectacular look-out points in the Blue Mountains. Then visit the lovely Mt. Tomah Botanic Gardens before returning to the city.  Meals B,L

Day
3

Sydney at Leisure

Today is yours to enjoy and explore as you wish. Your hotel’s terrific heart-of-it-all location makes it easy to step out and explore at your own pace. If you prefer an organized sightseeing tour, our staff is available to assist with suggestions and additional information including a Seaplane Flight over Sydney Harbor and the Opera House or a Sailing Adventure across the Harbour.  Meals B

Day
4

Onward to Cairns

Our driver will meet you at your hotel today for your transfer to the airport. Upon arrival in Cairns, you’ll be met and escorted by private car to the deluxe Pullman Cairns International Hotel, ideally located in the heart of town overlooking the Harbour and lush mountain hinterlands. Meals B

[Note: The flight from Sydney to Cairns is not included in our Tour Fare and can be booked as part of your international Transpacific ticket]

Day
5

The Great Barrier Reef

Our car and driver will be at your hotel after breakfast this morning for your private transfer to the Port Douglas Marina. The coastal scenery on this 1-hour drive is spectacular! Upon arrival, you’ll step aboard our luxury 35-passenger catamaran for a full day excursion out to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy the congenial company of your fellow adventurers and attentive service from the staff as you cruise toward the Low Isles, an unspoiled coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef. Our craft will be moored in a sheltered blue lagoon for about 5 hours, giving you plenty of time to explore the colorful undersea realm – comprised of more than 100 species of hard corals and dominated by 15 unique types of soft corals. Living among the corals is a large variety of exotic reef fish. Green turtles are also spotted on a very regular basis. In addition to guided snorkeling tours with a Marine Naturalist, you’ll have the opportunity to swim, join a guided nature walk on the island or join a glass-bottom boat tour. Today’s adventure includes a delicious onboard buffet lunch and morning and afternoon tea with homemade cakes. Snorkeling equipment and masks are provided; Lycra snorkeling suits, floatation devices, and hot & cold fresh water showers are also available on the catamaran. Be sure to bring a towel, sunhat, plenty of sunscreen – and your spirit of adventure!  Upon arrival back at the Port Douglas Marina, our car and driver will be on hand for your private return transfer to Cairns.  Meals B,L

[Note: A mandatory Environment Management Charge of AU$6.00 per person will be collected onboard the catamaran. This fee is subject to change and can not be collected in advance.]

Day
6

Australia’s Tropical Rainforest & the Atherton Tablelands

A thrilling full-day exploration begins this morning with your private transfer to board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, a 4.5-mile adventure over the pristine rainforests that extend for more than 300 miles along the tropical coast of North Queensland. You’ll glide just a few yards above the treetops before descending through the canopy layers and deep into the heart of the forest at Skyrail’s two rainforest mid-stations for the ultimate tropical rainforest experience. At the conclusion of your 1.5-hour cableway journey, you’ll be met once again by your driver to continue your touring through the Atherton Tablelands, a region of lush rolling hills, rugged bushlands, beautiful waterfalls and pristine lakes. Continue to Mareeba in the heart of the coffee-growing region for a tasting of the local brew and to learn about Australia’s coffee story. You’ll also visit a local distillery and stop for a tasting of tropical fruits grown in the region. Enjoy lunch of locally-grown fare and marvel at Lake Barrine, a volcanic crater lake fringed by dense rainforests, before returning to Cairns in the late afternoon.  Meals B,L

Day
7

Depart Cairns

Your car and driver will transfer you to the airport today for your onward flight.  Meals B

MapSearch

Prices are per person, land only.

Pay-In-Full

Save $600 per couple + $300 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!