17 Days / 16 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.
As a single traveller we give you the option of a guaranteed single room when you purchase the 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.
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 - Omarama / Dunedin - Dunedin / Te Anau - Te Anau / Milford Sound / Queenstown - Queenstown - Queenstown / Wanaka - Wanaka / Fox Glacier - Fox Glacier / St Arnaud - St Arnaud / Picton / Wellington - Wellington / Taupo / Rotorua - Rotorua - Rotorua / Matamata / Hamilton - Hamilton / Bay of Islands - Bay of Islands - Bay of Islands / Auckland - Auckland / Home
Welcome to New Zealand. A representative of Kirra Tours will greet you at the airport with transport waiting to take you to your hotel.
Before departing Christchurch this morning enjoy a brief city sights tour which will allow a deeper insight into the hardships this city has faced in recent times, but also showcases the vibrant new sense of community spirit and change that has been borne from the Earthquake tragedy. Later travel across the vast patchwork of Canterbury Plains into Mackenzie Country, an area famed for its history of sheep farming and its sparsely populated beauty. Next arrive into stunning Tekapo to view the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1935, and the Collie Dog statue that both overlook the powder blue waters of Lake Tekapo itself, allowing for some spectacular photo opportunities. There is also an opportunity to fly over the Southern Alps with Air Safaris if you choose (optional), a scenic flightseeing experience you will never forget! Later continue on to Mt Cook National Park, with its extraordinary scenery and awe-inspiring soaring peaks to view the iconic Mt Cook (Aoraki) itself, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Tonight you will stay in Omarama, a village whose name in Maori means ‘place of light’. (B)
Pass large hydro lakes as you travel down the Waitaki Valley this morning, pausing at historic Oamaru with its collection of limestone heritage buildings and beautifully preserved Victorian Precinct. Next arrive into Dunedin – the “Scottish” city, which at one point was the largest town in the country due to massive population growth during the gold rush era, but is now better known for its vibrant university community as well as being home to the world’s steepest street! Discover Dunedin’s striking heritage buildings and thriving city centre, the Octagon. Your early arrival allows the choice of excellent optional activities and your Coach Captain will be happy to assist you. Why not take a ride on the iconic Taieri Gorge Railway for striking scenery and dramatic photo opportunities, passing through tunnels and travelling across viaducts. Or perhaps you would prefer to indulge yourself on a guided tour through Dunedin’s iconic Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory or Speight’s Brewery. (B)
This morning venture out onto the stunningly beautiful Otago Peninsula, home to lush green rolling hills, gorgeous coastal views and an abundance of wildlife. Here you will discover the historic Larnach Castle, located dramatically on the top of a flattened hill with views that extend back over the bay and Dunedin itself. Enjoy a guided tour of this fascinating grand old house, lovingly restored to its former glory after years of neglect. Discover the scandalous and tragic story behind the castles’ original owners before setting off across rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden. Continue your journey inland towards the isolated Fiordland National Park area, stopping at the shores of Lake Te Anau, a moody lake which marks the entry to the untouched forests and mountains beyond. If time permits you may like to take the opportunity tonight of visiting the fascinating Te Anau Glowworm Caves which are located a scenic cruise away across the other side of Lake Te Anau (optional and at own expense). (B)
Today is a certain highlight of your New Zealand journey as you venture deep into the vast wilderness of Fiordland, with its dense forest, deep lakes and ocean flooded valleys. Follow the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys where the beech forests reach right to the roads edge and mighty snow capped peaks tower above. Descend into the Cleddau Canyon to reach majestic Milford Sound dominated by Mitre Peak, a fjord once described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘Eighth wonder of the world’. A launch cruise takes you right through to the open sea, the colossal walls rising on either side in sheer cliffs that will dwarf your tiny vessel. View the Bowen and Stirling Falls as they crash down the cliffs and if you are lucky even witness a splashing seal or two. After your spectacular journey through Milford Sound you will return to your coach and begin your drive back to Te Anau, before setting off for Queenstown via the winding shores of Lake Wakatipu. Tonight enjoy spectacular views over Queenstown as you ride the scenic Skyline Gondola to the summit of Bob’s Peak for a delicious fresh New Zealand buffet dinner like no other. Take in the absolutely breathtaking panoramic views from the Skyline Restaurant and enjoy a unique night out. (B, D)
Today is a chance to relax and enjoy the many optional activities available. Your Coach Captain will happily assist with details. Why not take a cruise on the Lady of the Lake, TSS Earnslaw, as she travels to Walter Peak Farm station with options for lunch or dinner or explore the local wineries in the region with an Appellations Wine Tour. Tonight, take the opportunity to explore the many restaurants and bars Queenstown is famous for. (B)
Head back in time as you travel through areas steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the goldmining era. First stop at Arrowtown, a charming village that was once a bustling centre during the height of the Gold Rush when this precious commodity was discovered at the nearby Arrow River. Next travel past picturesque Lake Hayes before arriving at Lake Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. This quiet lovely town is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, yet still retains a sense of small town serenity with its natural beauty and vast reaching lake. This afternoon is at your leisure and we recommend, if the weather is good, you take a cruise on the lake or even a relaxing scenic stroll through town. Your coach captain will be there to assist with optional activities. (B)
Today takes you to Lake Hawea and the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka before finally you enter the dense bush and winding mountain roads of the Haast Pass. Travel through the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks before you finally descend out of the mountain ranges to arrive at the West Coast. This spectacular stretch of coastline extends far north to the Glacier Regions, hemmed in by the ocean on your left and the lofty heights of the ranges on your right. Enjoy the wild coastal scenery as you pass windswept isolated beaches and dense bushland before reaching your destination, the township of Fox Glacier. Upon arrival there is an opportunity to take an optional helicopter flight over the glaciers for an unforgettable view. (B)
The journey today travels north along the scenic West Coast, stopping at the iconic Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki, a truly stunning landscape of crashing waves and windswept dramatic shores. Pause here to view the famous Pancake rocks themselves (weather permitting), unusual formations formed 30 million years ago from limestone and fragments of marine life. Next you will veer inland through Buller Gorge into an untouched heartland of pristine national parks, deep moody lakes and colossal mountain ranges that extend for miles. Discover striking Lake Rotoiti and the small town of St Arnaud where you will spend the night. Here experience a real sense of New Zealand off the beaten track at this fascinating small-town destination, learning about the history of the region on an exclusive guided tour as you discover what makes this isolated region of New Zealand such a special spot. (B)
Drive north to Picton this morning, a charming tiny village and a gateway that leads into the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound, part of a collection of drowned river valleys that extend out from the tip of the South Island, which are also home to some of the most picturesque coastal scenery in New Zealand. Enjoy a cruise on the Interislander Ferry as you cross Cook Strait and arrive into Wellington Harbour. As the Capital City of New Zealand, Wellington is well known for being a vibrant and progressive community, iconic for its art festivals, involvement in the modern global film industry, buzzing cafe culture, and also for being home to New Zealand’s most famous museum, Te Papa. A city tour includes the summit of Mount Victoria for views over the city and its harbour, the Houses of Parliament and distinctive “Beehive”, Wellington Cathedral, the central city and business area and Oriental Bay. Later why not explore yourself (time permitting), taking the opportunity to visit Te Papa’s extraordinary displays or even take a Cable Car ride for some spectacular views! (B)
Leave Wellington behind this morning as you travel north past rolling picturesque hills on your way to Paekakariki, a stunning coastal region with views that extend over Kapiti Island. Continue through agricultural towns and pass idyllic rolling farmlands as you draw nearer to the central North Island National Park, a region dominated by the volcanic Mt Ruapehu. Follow this Desert Road to Lake Taupo and pause at New Zealand’s largest lake, famous for trout fishing and a popular holiday spot. Next view the mighty Huka Falls where the full force of the Waikato River pours through a narrow chasm and crashes into the river below, before skirting massive pine forests to reach Rotorua, an important centre of Maori culture and a region famous for its fascinating geothermal activity. (B)
Enjoy a visit to the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley this morning, arriving at Te Puia to be greeted at the gates by twelve awe-inspiring Guardians, each carved from wood with a distinctly unique expression and representing the divine realms. After this extraordinary arrival, you will enter the inspiring Maori Arts and Crafts Centre which aims to preserve Maori culture and traditional arts for generations to come. Discover this fascinating reserve which also showcases some of Rotorua’s best thermal activity, with its boiling mud, silica terraces and Pohutu Geyser. After your visit you will enjoy a free afternoon, allowing you to try out some optional activities if you choose. Your Coach Captain will be happy to assist you in making any bookings or in providing suggestions. This evening you will discover the Tamaki Maori Village. You will be greeted by imposing warriors who will perform the Powhiri (traditional Maori welcome) before you walk through a forest of pine trees and learn about some of the traditional Maori arts. Later enjoy a Maori hangi (traditionally prepared meats and vegetables) which has been slow cooked beneath the earth using hot stones, as well as a selection of more conventional dishes. Be inspired by a concert and cultural performance featuring stirring Maori songs, haunting chants and the famous haka. (B, D)
Cross the Mamaku Ranges this morning and leave Rotorua behind, travelling into the lush farmlands of the Waikato, a peaceful and idyllic area noted for dairy farming and its horse studs. Arrive into Matamata and meet your guide who will escort your group on a fun and interesting Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour, taking a deeper look behind the scenes of the filming for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Take a drive through this stunning 1,250 acre sheep farm whilst hearing about how the Hobbiton Set was created. Lastly, relax in the Green Dragon, a fun authentic style Inn just like that in the films. Later travel north to reach Hamilton where you have the afternoon free to explore before tonight enjoying a tour and dinner at the Good George Brewery, a local treat that will give you a real sense of New Zealand’s famous hospitality. (B, D)
Departing Hamilton, travel alongside the Waikato River before crossing the Bombay Hills to reach Auckland. Cross the distinctive Harbour Bridge for the drive north along the scenic Hibiscus Coast, admiring the numerous stunning beaches as you travel onwards through Kawakawa to Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Here you will be met by a local Maori guide who will travel with you to the famous Waitangi Treaty House and Grounds. Once at the Treaty House and Grounds, you are free to explore at your own pace, discovering the beautifully carved Maori Meeting House and giant war canoe all set in spectacular grounds overlooking the bay. (B)
Today enjoy a full free day in the beautiful Bay of Islands – take the time to relax and stroll through Paihia, checking out the many shops and cafes as you discover for yourself exactly why the Bay is such a popular holiday destination. Alternatively, if you want to take advantage of your time here and try out some optional sightseeing activities, your Coach Captain will happily assist in booking these in for you. Why not take the famous Cape Brett Dolphin Cruise, one of Paihia’s must-do activities, which takes you out through the islands to visit the iconic ‘Hole in the Rock’. Or maybe catch a ferry across to charming Russell for a tour of its heritage buildings and rich history? Perhaps even travel further afield on a full day trip to one of the most northern points of New Zealand, the windswept Cape Reinga. On this extraordinary day out, visitors can witness the fascinating phenomena of two great oceans meeting, with the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean visibly crashing together just off the coast, a highly unusual sight! (B)
Travel South today through Whangarei and Warkworth, passing a satellite tracking station and lush rolling scenery until you reach the charming village of Matakohe. This pretty town is home to the award winning Kauri Museum, a locally created treasure-trove of pioneering clothing, equipment and history. Particularly fascinating are the household objects and jewellery carved from precious Kauri Amber which once belonged to local families, as well as the extraordinary wealth of information about the Kauri trees themselves, so important to the early settlement of New Zealand. After this continue on to Auckland and enjoy a city tour before you arrive at your accommodation for an afternoon at your leisure. This evening why not take a stroll down to Auckland’s vibrant Viaduct district or check out the cafe culture evident in the city’s winding laneways. And no visit would be complete without a trip to the summit of Sky Tower, at 328m the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, for superb city and harbour views. (B)
Today is goodbye to all your new found friends before you make your homeward journey. You will be transferred to Auckland Airport to join your flight home. (B)
|Tour Starts||Tour Ends||Tour Status||Normal Rate||Acrossnz Discount Rate|
|Fri 20 Mar 2015||Sun 05 Apr 2015||GUARANTEED||NZ $4,355.00||NZ $4,137.00|
|Fri 20 Nov 2015||Sun 06 Dec 2015||OPEN||NZ $4,355.00||NZ $4,137.00|
|Fri 18 Dec 2015||Sun 03 Jan 2016||OPEN||NZ $4,355.00||NZ $4,137.00|
|Fri 15 Jan 2016||Sun 31 Jan 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $4,355.00||NZ $4,137.00|
|Fri 12 Feb 2016||Sun 28 Feb 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $4,355.00||NZ $4,137.00|
|Fri 18 Mar 2016||Sun 03 Apr 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $4,355.00||NZ $4,137.00|