18 Day AAT Kings Essence of New Zealand 25/26
Christchurch to Auckland
Breadcrumb
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
AAT Kings

18 Day AAT Kings Essence of New Zealand 25/26

This tour has a mix of Nature and Culture. With good dose of food and wine on the side you'll be delivered a well-rounded taste of the North and South. Whether you’re into wide, open spaces - Milford Sound, we’re looking at you – bubbling geysers, gem-like glaciers or windswept coasts you will find it right here. This New Zealand guided tour is for the history, sport, architecture, geography or culture buff.

Currency selector
Select your currency to view indicative pricing
Tour summary and feature
Quick Itinerary Details

Guided Coach Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$10,285 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Auckland

18 days/17 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 39 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

All Blacks Experience
Cruise on the Interislander Ferry
Day trip to Stewart Island
Huka Falls
Maori Village Experience & Hangi (dinner), Rotorua
Punakaiki Rocks
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch - Omarama

Day 3: Omarama - Dunedin

Day 4: Dunedin - Invercargill

Day 5: Stewart Island

Day 6: Invercargill - Queenstown

Day 7: Queenstown Free Time

Day 8: Queenstown - Franz Josef/Waiau

Day 9: Franz Josef/Waiau - Punakaiki

Day 10: Punakaiki - Nelson

Day 11: Nelson Free Time

Day 12: Nelson - Wellington

Day 13: Wellington - Napier

Day 14: Napier

Day 15: Napier - Rotorua

Day 16: Rotorua Free Time

Day 17: Rotorua - Auckland

Day 18: Farewell from Auckland

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Christchurch City Tram

Arrive early to see just how Christchurch has transformed itself since the 2010/11 earthquakes. Meet your fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception.

Staying in:

  • Wyndham Garden (1 night)
The Church of the good Shepherd

Step out with your guide for a deeper dive into ‘The City of Gardens’ before traversing the colourful Canterbury Plains: the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and snow-capped mountains. Your Indoor Dark Sky Astronomy Experience at Tekapo, hosted by passionate guides, will forever change the way you see the night sky. You'll see for yourself it may be one of the quietest spots on the planet, yet it has one of the busiest skies in the universe.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Heritage Gateway Hotel (1 night)
Dunedin Railway

Architectural drama awaits in Dunedin. While away the afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speight’s Brewery (a national institution).

Staying in:

  • Dunedin Leisure Lodge (1 night)
Beach on Stewart Island

Rolling green pastures dotted with wide-eyed sheep are your backdrop to Gore, the country music capital of New Zealand. Invercargill is obsessed with something else: motor vehicles. Tributes to speed legends colour the city. So it's only fitting that you visit Classic Motorcycle Mecca for a tour and Highlight Dinner.

Staying in:

  • Kelvin Hotel (1 night)
Penguins at Stewart Island

The ferry ride to subantarctic Stewart Island is wild and wonderful. When you arrive, you’re welcomed by the country’s southernmost community. It’s largely untouched, which means endemic flora and fauna thrive here. But don’t take our word for it. Meet the locals on a Village & Bays tour.

Staying in:

  • Kelvin Hotel (1 night)
Wharf in Queenstown

Today on your New Zealand tour, get a taste of country life combined with good old fashioned southern hospitality as you meet a ‘Southern Girl’ local female farmer at Real Country. Get a feel for life on the farm as you have demonstrations of Horse communication and Working sheep dog mustering. Try your hand at a Stock whip cracking lesson, and feed and interact with the friendly farm animals. For every guest, we donate funds to The Fairlight Foundation, Advancing Women in Agriculture, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Continue to Queenstown.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
View over Queenstown from the Skyline

Today, sign up to dive deep into Milford Sound/Piopiotahi within World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, best explored on an optional tour cruising the waterway. Don’t be surprised if you see dolphins and seals.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
Franz Josef Glacier

Visit Arrowtown, which found its riches in gold, its residents building stately homes, now filled with boutiques and restaurants – that still line the street to this day. Around the next bend is the Alpine countryside of the Southern Lakes, from Lake Dunstan to oh-so-blue Lake Hawea and lovely Lake Wanaka. Over the Haast Pass, the town of Franz Josef/Waiau at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, awaits.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)
Pancake Rocks Punakaiki

Wandering Hokitika’s windswept shore on the West Coast feels a bit like you’ve discovered the end of the Earth. The town’s other natural beauty is pounamu (native greenstone or jade). Prepare yourself for Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes; they owe their existence to the thundering surf that will lull you to sleep.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Punakaiki (1 night)
Inlet in Nelson harbour

Ease along the Heritage Highway toward Nelson. Press your nose against the glass as your coach weaves through Buller Gorge and Kahurangi National Park, a place of wild rivers, high plateaus, alpine herb fields and coastal forests.

Staying in:

  • The Rutherford Hotel (1 night)
Wooden Church in Founders Heritage Park in Nelson

Today is at your leisure. Lace up your hiking shoes, or sit back on a boat and soak up the silence of Abel Tasman National Park. This wilderness inspires calm, its golden beaches framed by sculpted granite cliffs that all unite to create one of the country’s most legendary coastal tracks.

Staying in:

  • The Rutherford Hotel (1 night)
Wellington Cable Car

You’ll want a window seat for the cruise from the South Island to the North aboard the Interislander. Breathtaking views unfold as you glide through Queen Charlotte Sound to NZ’s cool little capital of Wellington.

Staying in:

  • Travelodge Wellington (1 night)
Oriental Bay Wellington, boat sheds

Travel to Napier. Beautifully preserved 1930s architecture is Napier's special point of difference. After a massive earthquake in 1931 destroyed the commercial centre of Napier, rebuilding began almost immediately in the architectural styles of the times - Striped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Te Pania (1 night)
Napier in Hawkes Bay

After a devastating earthquake in 1931, Napier completely rebuilt itself in just two years. The end result is architectural Nirvana, a city home to the world’s greatest concentration of Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Striped Classical buildings. This morning get the lowdown from your in-the-know local guide on a Napier tour. Your afternoon is at leisure.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Te Pania (1 night)
Huka Falls

This afternoon, explore Te Puia's geothermal valley, and learn about Maori history and culture on this guided experience, which includes hangi-inspired cuisine and a cultural performance in a finely carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua. It ends on a high at the Pohutu Geyser, where, armed with a hot chocolate you'll view one of New Zealand's geothermal wonderlands.

Staying in:

  • Sudima Lake Rotorua (1 night)
Town Hall Rotorua

Today, it’s your choice. Hobbit fans will want to take advantage of the opportunity to tour Hobbiton movie Set featured in The Lord of the Rings & Hobbit movies. Want a bit of down time? Bliss out at Wai Araki Hot Springs & Spa (both own expense).

Staying in:

  • Sudima Lake Rotorua (1 night)
AAT Kings guests meeting at sheep at the Agrodome

Welcome to Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’. You’ll understand how it got its moniker when you glimpse yachts gliding around its two harbours. But today your sights are firmly set on New Zealand's national game: rugby. The interactive All Blacks Experience explores an introduction to the game as a part of New Zealand culture.

Staying in:

  • Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre (1 night)
View over Auckland city

It’s amazing how much of two islands you can see in 18 days. Provided you have the right people at the helm, and like-minded company, that is.

Tour departure list
See all departure dates & prices
Departure dates and prices
This tour has 5 departure dates.
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Starts Status   Twin/Double Single occupancy  
Oct 2, 2025
(Thursday)
Enquire Book
was NZD$10,915
now NZD$10,285
was NZD$14,160
now NZD$13,530
Enquire Book
Nov 27, 2025
(Thursday)
Enquire Book
was NZD$10,915
now NZD$10,295
was NZD$14,160
now NZD$13,540
Enquire Book
Jan 29, 2026
(Thursday)
Enquire Book
was NZD$10,915
now NZD$10,295
was NZD$14,160
now NZD$13,540
Enquire Book
Feb 19, 2026
(Thursday)
Enquire Book
was NZD$11,210
now NZD$10,570
was NZD$14,545
now NZD$13,905
Enquire Book
Mar 19, 2026
(Thursday)
Enquire Book
was NZD$11,210
now NZD$10,570
was NZD$14,545
now NZD$13,905
Enquire Book
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Contact form
Send enquiry about this tour
Your contact information
Subscribe to our Regular Newsletter for Inspiring Holiday Ideas
Tour quick quote rework

Get an Instant Quote or Book this Tour

18 Day AAT Kings Essence of New Zealand 25/26

Step 1:
Step 2: Select number of passengers and room configuration

Enter phone number to get a call from a travel planning expert within in 24 hours

Enter email address to receive your instant quote

Tick this box if you do not wish to receive emails about special offers
No pricing loaded - please choose another date or contact us

Your quote for this tour:

Start date:
End date:
Guests:
Rooms:

Total cost for ALL guests on this tour package is:

NZD$0

or
This quote is based on vehicles to accommodate your party in the vehicle type. We suggest changing the car type or contacting us for the best options.
The package cost above excludes rental vehicle hire as you are requesting a price for a vehicle outside of our designated season. Please reach out direct for rental vehicle rates.

NOTE: Quotes are subject to availability of specific accommodation and other inclusions. Our NZ touring experts will be in touch with you regarding this. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are based on todays exchange rate and is subject to change.Terms and Conditions apply

Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

Tour recommendation

Some similar tours to this one

18 days Map
18 Day AAT Kings Essence of New Zealand 24/25
View Tour
 
17 days Map
AAT Kings 17 Day New Zealand Magic 24/25
View Tour
 
16 days Map
Grand Pacific Tours 16 Day Signature Highlights
View Tour