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17 Day Classic New Zealand Explorer – Superior Coach Tour

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Enjoy a fantastic holiday experiencing ‘must see’ destinations and partake in unique activities along the way. Special highlights include Christchurch, the Mt Cook region, Dunedin, Milford Sound, Queenstown, the Marlborough Wine region, Wellington, Rotorua, the Hobbiton Movie Set and the Bay of Islands.

During the course of the tour you will also have free time in Dunedin, Queenstown, Rotorua and Paihia (Bay of Islands) to experience some of the unique and regional optional sightseeing activities.


  • 16 nights accommodation in centrally located hotels
  • Dining inclusions- 16 breakfasts, 15 dinners
  • Sightseeing tours of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin
  • Larnach Castle Guided Tour
  • Skyline Gondola & Dinner , Queenstown
  • Yealands Estate Winery Tour and Tasting
  • Agrodome Sheep Show
  • Te Puia Thermal Reserve
  • Entry to Sky Tower
  • Waitangi Treat Grounds
  • Hole in the Rock Cruise
  • Entry to Kauri Museum
  • Scenic Interislander cruise Wellington-Picton
  • Brancott Estate Winery visit with tasting
  • Spectacular Kaikoura Coast
  • World renowned Mt Cook Region
  • Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre
  • Massive man made Hydro Electric schemes
  • Traditional Scottish Haggis Ceremony
  • The might of Milford Sound
  • Spectacular Southern Lakes Region
  • Earnslaw Cruise and Dinner in Historic Walter Peak Homestead
  • Remote National Parks of Westland and Fiordland
  • West Coast Glaciers
  • Visit Greenstone (Jade) Factory
  • Rainbow Springs Nature Park
  • Skyline Gondola and Luge ride (Rotorua)
  • International Antarctic Centre
  • Christchurch Sightseeing Tram
  • Milford Sound Launch Cruise

Other Information

Optional Extras

  • Single Room Supplement 

​17 Days /16nights starting in Auckland finishing in Christchurch.

​Please click on the Price & Date Tab for departure dates. 

  • All must see sightseeing activities
  • Personalised airport transfers
  • Hotel porterage
  • Dedicated Coach Captains sharing local knowledge and personal experiences
  • Travel in premium, well appointed and fully airconditioned 5 star coaches
  • Full buffet breakfast daily
  • Panoramic windows and dual entry
  • Restroom on board
  • Exclusive Maori Village, Hangi & Concert
  • Travel kit including bag, ticket wallet, umbrella, diary, local travel information & more
  • Centrally located 3.5 star hotels available in each destination

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.

Smoking policy

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.

Travelling Alone 
As a single traveller we give you the option of a guaranteed single room when you purchasethe single supplement.
Alternatively, as a single traveller not paying the single supplement, we will match you with another traveller on
a twin share basis of the same gender. There may be instances that there are no other single travellers
on the tour and in these cases we will provide you with a single room at no extra cost.

Triple discount
When sharing a triple room a saving of 5% applies to your tour price. If you also require pre and post accommodation
we have prices available on request. Please note most room configurations are double or twin in
which case the third bed is likely to be a rollaway. We are unable to cater for 4 adults wishing to share one room.
A triple discount does not apply to tours including the Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise.

Arrive Christchurch - Christchurch / Mt Cook / Omarama - Dunedin - Dunedin / Te-Anau - Te-Anau / Milford Sound / Queenstown - Queenstown - Queenstown / Haast / Franz Josef - Franz Josef/ Greymouth / Christchurch - Chrutchurch / Kaikoura / Blenheim - Blenheim / Picton / Wellington - Wellington / Rotorua - Rotorua - Rotorua / Matamata / Auckland - Auckland / Bay of Islands - Bay of Islands - Bay of Islands / Auckland  - Auckland / Home


Arrive Christchurch

Welcome to New Zealand. A Tours representative will greet you at the airport with transport waiting to take you to your hotel.


Sudima Christchurch Airport Hotel, Christchurch

Christchurch / Mt Cook / Omarama

A brief tour of Christchurch and its surrounds before travelling across the Canterbury Plains into MacKenzie Country. View the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog Memorial at Lake Tekapo. The memorial stands to honour the border collies that were brought to New Zealand with Scottish Shepherds in the 19th century, as the high country area surrounding Lake Tekapo could not have been farmed without the assistance of these hard working dogs, known as the ‘Canine Scots’. Afterwards, continue to Mt Cook National Park where you can admire the majesty of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mt Cook, before travelling on to Omarama. (B)


Heritage Gateway Hotel, Omarama


Pass large hydro lakes as you travel down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru and Dunedin, the “Scottish” city. Upon arrival, a city tour of Dunedin including the world’s steepest residential street, Dunedin University, the first Church, Speight’s Brewery, Catholic Cathedral and more before the afternoon is at your leisure. Your Coach Captain will be able to assist in arranging your afternoon activities. We recommend you visit the Octagon in the city centre, or why not take a tour of the famous Speight’s Brewery. (B, D)


Cargills Hotel, Dunedin

Dunedin / Te-Anau

Today visit historic Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. Learn about its tragic and mysterious history as well as enjoying the truly spectacular views across the Otago Peninsula and coast. Heading inland, you will cross rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden before arriving at Lake Te Anau. (B, D)


Destinction Luxmore Hotel, Te-Anau

Te-Anau / Milford Sound / Queenstown

Follow the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys, pass through the Homer Tunnel and descend into the Cleddau Canyon to reach majestic Milford Sound, dominated by Mitre Peak. A launch cruise takes you to the open sea and the Bowen and Stirling Falls. Return to Te Anau and on to Mossburn, then skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu to reach Queenstown. Dinner tonight is at the Skyline Restaurant where both the dining and the views are unsurpassed. (B, D)


Rydges Queenstown


A day to explore the many delights of this stunning alpine resort. Try the world renowned Shotover Jet, an excursion to Skippers Canyon in search of gold or a steamer cruise aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station. You may even wish to travel by Double Decker Bus to quaint Arrowtown or even attempt a bungy jump. Your Kirra Tours Coach Captain will be more than happy to assist in booking any optional sightseeing. Alternatively, relax and explore Queenstown’s many boutiques and galleries. (B, D)


Rydges Queenstown

Queenstown / Haast / Franz Josef

Pass picturesque Lake Hayes, on to an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era, and then to Lake Wanaka. Pass Lake Hawea and the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka to Makarora, cross the Haast Pass into the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks. Drive north along the coast to the magnificent Glacier region. (B, D)


Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Franz Josef/ Greymouth / Christchurch

Snowcapped Southern Alps dominate the skyline as you pass dense bush, tiny landlocked lakes and small pockets of farmland. Visit a Pounamu (also known as Greenstone or Jade) factory. Pounamu is considered a treasure in Maori culture and is seen as a sign of status and power. It is a hard, highly valued stone found only on the south island. It was often given as gifts to seal important agreements. See how jewellery is created out of this amazing green stone. Join the TranzAlpine train in Greymouth and travel through rainforests to Otira, pass the snowcapped peaks of the Southern Alps, the rugged Gorges of the Waimakariri River and cross the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. (B, D)


Sudima Christchurch Airport Hotel, Christchurch

Chrutchurch / Kaikoura / Blenheim

Join the Coastal Pacific Train for a kaleidoscope of scenery across fertile Canterbury farmland through the Hundalee Ranges. Follow the Pacific coastline with the Kaikoura Mountains forming a rugged backdrop to the west. Arrive in Kaikoura mid morning with time to explore before continuing on to Blenheim. A short tour of the area includes a visit to Yealands Estate Winery. Enjoy a hosted tour of the winery, learn about and taste from the range of famous local wines (purchase if you wish). (B, D).


Scenic Hotel Marlborough, Blenheim

Blenheim / Picton / Wellington

Today we travel to Picton, nestled on the shores of the Marlborough Sounds, to board the Interislander Ferry. Sail through picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound, across Cook Strait and into Wellington Harbour for spectacular views of New Zealand’s Capital City. A city tour will incorporate the summit of Mt Victoria for panoramic views of the city and harbour, the Houses of Parliament and the distinctive ‘Beehive’, Wellington Cathedral, city centre and Oriental Bay. Also explore the city yourself. Don’t miss Te Papa, the “Museum of New Zealand”, situated on Wellington’s waterfront, or take a ride on the famous Cable Car. (B, D)


Hotel Ibis, Wellington

Wellington / Rotorua

Drive to Paekakariki with views of Kapiti Island and on a clear day, the South Island. Cross rolling farmland to the central North Island National Park, dominated by the volcanic cone of Mt Ruapehu. Follow the Desert Road to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, which is famous for trout fishing. Stop at Huka Falls and skirt past massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, centre of Maori culture in New Zealand and well known for it’s geysers, hot mud pools and steaming craters. (B)


Sudima Hotel, Lake Rotorua


A sightseeing tour visits the Agrodome Sheep show and then you will visit Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Crafts Centre and Thermal Reserve, with boiling mud, silica terraces and Pohutu Geyser. Time for optional activities this afternoon before a Maori Hangi (meal) with a selection of traditionally prepared meats and vegetables plus conventional dishes, followed by a concert featuring Maori songs, chants and the stirring haka. (B, D)


Sudima Hotel, Lake Rotorua

Rotorua / Matamata / Auckland

Cross the Mamaku Ranges to the Waikato region, noted for dairy farming and world famous horse studs. At Matamata, a guide will escort your group on a Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour. Take a drive through a picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Range whilst learning about and seeing how the Hobbiton Set was created. Travel north to reach New Zealand’s largest city – Auckland. A city tour will visit the summit of Sky Tower, at 328m the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, for superb city and harbour views, the downtown area and Waterfront Drive. (B, D).


Rydges Hotel, Auckland

Auckland / Bay of Islands

Drive north to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Meet your local Maori guide who will provide an insight and history of the Bay of Islands before a visit to New Zealand’s birthplace, Waitangi. Here you will visit the Waitangi Treaty House, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February, 1840. Take a self-guided tour through the Treaty House, the Maori Meeting House and war canoe. This afternoon enjoy a launch cruise to the Cape Brett Lighthouse and ‘Hole in the Rock’. (B, D)


Tanoa Hotel, Paihia

Bay of Islands

A day free for you to relax and enjoy the many optional activities available. Your Kirra Tours Coach Captain will happily assist with all details. We highly recommend a full day tour to Cape Reinga, New Zealand’s northern most point. At Cape Reinga you view the blending of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean and get an understanding of the Maori myths and legends of the area, go sand boarding down the giant sand dunes and travel along Ninety Mile Beach, the highway of the north. (B, D)


Tanoa Hotel, Paihia

Bay of Islands / Auckland 

From Paihia, board your Coach for the journey south through Whangarei and Warkworth. Travel via Matakohe, home of the award winning Kauri Museum. Learn about the Kauri tree and the fascinating story of the pioneering days through the use of kauri timber and kauri gum as well as viewing the collection of antique kauri furniture and restored machinery. Continuing on your journey, Auckland city and harbour will shortly come into view. (B, D)


Rydges Hotel, Auckland

Auckland / Home

Today it is time to say farewell to your travelling companions. You will be transferred to the Auckland International Airport to join your flight home. (B)

Tour Starts Tour Ends Tour Status Normal Rate Acrossnz Discount Rate
Sun 15 Mar 2015 Tue 31 Mar 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 29 Mar 2015 Tue 14 Apr 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 12 Apr 2015 Tue 28 Apr 2015 OPENNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 19 Apr 2015 Tue 05 May 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 10 May 2015 Tue 26 May 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 31 May 2015 Tue 16 Jun 2015 OPENNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 19 Jul 2015 Tue 04 Aug 2015 OPENNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 23 Aug 2015 Tue 08 Sep 2015 OPENNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 06 Sep 2015 Tue 22 Sep 2015 OPENNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 20 Sep 2015 Tue 06 Oct 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,750.00NZ $5,463.00
Sun 18 Oct 2015 Tue 03 Nov 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 01 Nov 2015 Tue 17 Nov 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 15 Nov 2015 Tue 01 Dec 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 29 Nov 2015 Tue 15 Dec 2015 OPENNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 13 Dec 2015 Tue 29 Dec 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 20 Dec 2015 Tue 05 Jan 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 27 Dec 2015 Tue 12 Jan 2016 OPENNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 03 Jan 2016 Tue 19 Jan 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 10 Jan 2016 Tue 26 Jan 2016 OPENNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 17 Jan 2016 Tue 02 Feb 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 31 Jan 2016 Tue 16 Feb 2016 OPENNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 14 Feb 2016 Tue 01 Mar 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 21 Feb 2016 Tue 08 Mar 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 28 Feb 2016 Tue 15 Mar 2016 OPENNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 13 Mar 2016 Tue 29 Mar 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 27 Mar 2016 Tue 12 Apr 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 10 Apr 2016 Tue 26 Apr 2016 OPENNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 17 Apr 2016 Tue 03 May 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,839.00NZ $5,547.00
Sun 08 May 2016 Tue 24 May 2016 OPENNZ $5,485.00NZ $5,211.00
Sun 05 Jun 2016 Tue 21 Jun 2016 OPENNZ $5,485.00NZ $5,211.00
Sun 17 Jul 2016 Tue 02 Aug 2016 OPENNZ $5,485.00NZ $5,211.00
Sun 21 Aug 2016 Tue 06 Sep 2016 OPENNZ $5,485.00NZ $5,211.00
Sun 04 Sep 2016 Tue 20 Sep 2016 OPENNZ $5,485.00NZ $5,211.00
Sun 18 Sep 2016 Tue 04 Oct 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,485.00NZ $5,211.00
Sun 02 Oct 2016 Tue 18 Oct 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $5,485.00NZ $5,211.00

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