Highlights of New Zealand
Day 1 Auckland
Arrive in time for an evening Welcome Meeting and optional group dinner. There are no activities planned for today so check into your hotel and enjoy the city.
Day 2 Hahei (1B,1D)
Drive to the stunning Coromandel Peninsula, famous for its white sand beaches. If the tide is right, grab a shovel and dig a natural jacuzzi on in the sand on Hotwater Beach. Take a scenic walk to Cathedral Cove or opt to try sea kayaking.
Day 3 Tamaki Marae (Rotorua) (1B, 1D)
Visit a geothermal area to see the boiling mud pools. Opt to raft a waterfall before enjoying a cultural overnight featuring a traditional dinner and show, and a night staying in a Maori village. Here, the local accommodation can be multi-share.
Day 4 National Park (1B,1D)
Start early and enjoy the walks of 'National Park'. If conditions allow, hike the famous Tongariro Crossing (seasonal). Alternatively, enjoy some of the shorter walks on an active volcano in this alpine park. *Please note: In the winter months (usually between June and October) when there is snow on the mountains, the crossing can only be done with special equipment and a guide. If you still wish to do the crossing your CEO can arrange it and there will be an extra cost of around $100 for the equipment and guidance. If you do not wish to do the walk in such conditions we include a couple of shorter walks and visit the Volcanic Information Centre as an alternative activity during these months. Estimated travel time: 3 hours (driving time, walking time depending on group speed and size) Travel distance: 180 km driving, 19.4 km walking
Day 5 Wellington (1B)
Free morning before hopping on the train and taking the scenic journey to New Zealand's capital, Wellington. Enjoy the atmosphere in this relaxed but lively city.
Day 6 Kaikoura (1B,1D)
Take the ferry to the South Island. Travel the Coastal Railway from Picton to the seaside town of Kaikoura, known for its volcanic black sand beaches. Opt to swim with seals or go whale watching. Chow down on the national dish – fish and chips – on the beach for dinner tonight. Please note that the train on the south island is seasonal and does not run from May to September. Today and Day 7 you will take a public bus during this time period.
Day 7 Christchurch (1B)
Travel the coast by train to the garden city of Christchurch, a little piece of England in New Zealand.
Days 8-9 Franz Josef (2B,1D)
Travel by bus across the Southern Alps via the stunningly scenic Arthurs Pass. Stretch your legs with a mountain walk. In the evening, enjoy staying in the rainforest near the world's fastest moving glacier.
Days 10-11 Queenstown (2B)
Continue down to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world, stopping for walks along the way. Opt to go bungee jumping (in its birthplace), jet boating (also born here!), skydiving, parapenting, hiking or mountain biking. Otherwise, take it a little slower and travel by gondola to the top of a local peak to take in the view. Enjoy the great night life this evening.
Day 12 Milford Sound (1B,1D)
Continue to the fjords of the South Island. Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife or venture out on the provided kayaks before an overnight on board (seasonal). In the winter, the overnight boat does not operate. We'll spend the day on a cruise around the fjords and then head back to Queenstown for one more night. This alternate itinerary will run May through September. Please note: The November 23, 2014 departure of this tour will follow the winter itinerary as the overnight boat is unavailable.
Day 13 Twizel (1B,1D)
Head up through the centre of the South Island to Twizel, near New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook.
Day 14 Christchurch (1B)
Spend the morning exploring this region surrounding Mt Cook taking in the alpine scenery with the chance to learn more about mountaineer Sir Edmond Hilary. Continue on to Christchurch for one final night together.
Day 15 Christchurch
Depart at any time.