11 Days / 10 Nights
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Seat rotation plan
When you travel on a Kirra Coach Tour your Coach Captain maintains a daily seat rotation plan to ensure you get to know
all your travelling companions and enjoy the scenery from a different vantage point each day.
All our coach tours are smoke free and are restricted to smoking during the frequent sightseeing, photographic and comfort stops. We request non-smoking hotel rooms for the comfort of our entire tour group. Travellers who prefer accommodation without such limitations are asked to make their preference known when making reservations and again at the beginning of their tour.
Arrive Auckland - Auckland / Rotorua - Rotorua - Rotorua / Wellington - Wellington / Christchurch - Christchurch / Queenstown - Queenstown - Queenstown - Queenstown / Fox Glacier - Fox Glacier / Greymouth / Christchurch - Christchurch / Home
Welcome to New Zealand! Please make your own way to your Auckland accommodation where the rest of the day is at your leisure.
After a brief city tour this morning, depart Auckland and travel south over the Bombay Hills and through the gold mining town of Waihi known for its stunning beaches. Continue on to Tauranga, a coastal town located around a large harbour that extends along the western Bay of Plenty, and is protected by Matakana Island and the extinct volcano of Mauao (Mount Maunganui). You will then continue on your journey across the Mamaku Ranges to reach Rotorua, a centre of Maori Culture and also a truly exceptional thermal wonderland. The rest of the evening is free to explore the many shops, restaurants and bars on offer in Rotorua’s centre.
Today is a free day for you to explore at your leisure. Your Coach Captain will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you book. Why not try an adrenalin pumping White Water Rafting trip or bungy, or maybe instead check out the natural geothermal wonders that Rotorua is famous for. An unforgettable evening experience you absolutely can’t go past a Maori Hangi (Meal) and Cultural Experience.
Leave Rotorua behind this morning and skirt some of the world’s largest pine forest to Wairakei where natural steam is harnessed to generate electricity. Stop and view the spectacular Huka Falls where the Waikato River pours through a narrow chasm into the river below and then travel onwards to Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Continue across the Central Plateau noted for its intensive forestry development to the Hawkes Bay region and the city of Napier, claimed to be the Art Deco capital of the world. Here you can view the much photographed bronze statue ‘Pania of the Reef’, erected in 1954 to pay homage to the ancient legend of Pania, a beautiful reef siren from the Napier area who fell in love with the son of a Maori Chief. Later watch as orchards and vineyards give way to lush farmlands as you pass through Hastings, Dannevirke and Woodville, before enjoying an afternoon stop in Masterton. A late afternoon arrival into the Capital City Wellington with the rest of your evening is at leisure to explore the beautiful Capital of New Zealand and immerse yourself in its relaxed culture and excellent café’s, restaurants and bars.
Arrangements from Wellington to Christchurch are not included in your tour cost.
Option 1: Fly to Christchurch
A scheduled domestic flight from Wellington to Christchurch (at a time of your choice).
Option 2: Interislander Ferry & Coastal Pacific Train
This throughfare combines a morning Interislander Ferry service from Wellington to Picton with the Coastal Pacific train service from Picton to Christchurch.
On arrival in Christchurch, you will make your own way to your overnight accommodation (applies to both options).
Travel across the rich Canterbury Plains into the foothills of the MacKenzie Country this morning, arriving into Tekapo Township where you can view the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd and Collie Dog statue, both overlooking the powder-blue waters of this stunning lake. Continue onwards through the small town of Omarama and traverse the winding Lindis Pass. You will then follow alongside the scenic gold bearing Kawarau River while travelling through the rugged Kawarau Gorge before reaching your destination of Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Once checked into your accommodation the rest of the day will be at your leisure, either to relax or head out and explore.
Optional: On Day 10, you will have the opportunity to witness spectacular scenery on the iconic TranzAlpine train journey (extra cost applies). Join in Greymouth and travel a memorable route through to Christchurch before rejoining the coach. If this is something you would like to experience, please make your Coach Captain aware and he will be more than happy to arrange this for you. It is best to do this today as all reservations are subject to availability and booking in advance may help to avoid disappointment.
Today is at your leisure whilst in the adventure capital. You can either sit back and relax or your Coach Captain can assist with any optional activities you would like to do. We recommend the world famous Shotover Jet Boat ride, take a gondola ride to the Skyline above, a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon or for the adventurous – white water rafting. Alternatively, browse in the many shops and galleries.
A second day free to explore at your leisure with a multitude of optional activities available to choose from. Why not take a full day trip to one of New Zealand’s most loved attractions, the wondrous and awe-inspiring Milford Sound located deep in the Fiordland National Park. Or perhaps you would enjoy a relaxing steamer cruise across beautiful Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw, disembarking at the iconic Walter Peak High Country Farm for a farm tour if you choose.
Travel back towards Lake Wanaka today, a picture postcard resort on the lake’s edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Pass Lake Hawea and the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka, travelling through the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks before emerging onto the wild and isolated West Coast. Here you will drive north along the coast up to the glacier region and the small town of Fox Glacier. Here you will have time to explore the township yourself, or take an optional scenic helicopter flight with a snow landing for breathtaking views and great photo opportunities.
There will be time this morning for an optional helicopter flight over the glacier (weather permitting) and then you are off again. Snowcapped Southern Alps dominate the skyline as you pass dense bush, tiny landlocked lakes and small pockets of farmland through to Hokitika. Here you have the opportunity, if you wish, to visit a Greenstone (Jade) Gallery where craftsmen cut and polish giant boulders to create fine jewellery. Pass by rainforest as you travel past Lake Brunner to Otira and Arthurs Pass. Finally you will follow the rugged Gorges of the Waimakariri River and cross the Canterbury Plains to reach Christchurch where the rest of your evening is at your leisure.
Your onward travel today is at your own arrangements and expense.