19 Days Inspiring Journeys - The Long White Cloud 23/24
Christchurch to Auckland
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Inspiring Journeys

19 Days Inspiring Journeys - The Long White Cloud 23/24

This Inspiring Journey provides the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure, from the hot pools of Franz Josef to the brave depths of Queenstown, the adventure capital. Explore extraordinary landscapes and the age-old legends of the Māori as you come face to face with exhilarating New Zealand as few have seen it before.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Small group tour escorted

This suggested tour costs from NZD$14,381 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Auckland

19 days/18 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 73 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Christchurch City Tour
Cruise around the tranquil waters of Lake Rotomahana
Cruise on the Interislander Ferry
Explore Napier by Vintage Car
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Guided tour of Emerson’s Brewery
Haast River Jet Experience
Maori Village Experience & Hangi (dinner), Rotorua
Milford Sound Cruise
Redwoods Treetop Walk
TranzAlpine Rail Journey
Visit National Kiwi Hatchery
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
17 breakfasts, 10 dinners, 2 special dinners
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch – TranzAlpine – Franz Josef

Day 3: Franz Josef Glacier (Relaxed Start)

Day 4: Franz Josef – Queenstown

Day 5: Queenstown at Leisure

Day 6: Queenstown at Leisure

Day 7: Queenstown – Te Anau – Milford Sound

Day 8: Milford Track Walk & Milford Sound Cruise

Day 9: Milford Sound – Gore – Dunedin

Day 10: Dunedin (Relaxed Start)

Day 11: Dunedin – Omarau – Timaru – Christchurch

Day 12: Christchurch – Kaikoura – Wellington

Day 13: Wellington at Leisure

Day 14: Wellington – Hawke’s Bay

Day 15: Napier (Relaxed Start)

Day 16: Hawke’s Bay – Rotorua

Day 17: Rotorua

Day 18: Rotorua – Auckland

Day 19: Farewell from Auckland

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 19 day tour starting in Christchurch

Day 1 - Welcome to Christchurch
Christchurch City Tram

On arrival at Christchurch Airport you'll be driven by private car to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the Christchurch Botanical Garden or take a ride on the Christchurch Tram. In the evening meet your Journey Director for a Welcome Reception.

Staying in:

  • Hotel Montreal, Christchurch (1 night)
Day 2 - Christchurch – TranzAlpine – Franz Josef
TranzAlpine Train in winter

It's all aboard the TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world's great scenic railway journeys, you'll travel in comfort across the Canterbury Plains through to the Southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, to learn about the importance of Pounamu, better known as jade or greenstone. Later we continue to Franz Josef. Your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or perhaps a massage.

Staying in:

  • Te Waonui Forest Retreat (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Franz Josef Glacier (Relaxed Start)
View of Franz Josef Glacier

After a relaxed start we explore this area, where a local guide explains the history behind the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

Staying in:

  • Te Waonui Forest Retreat (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 4 - Franz Josef – Queenstown
Street in Arrowtown

This morning it’s time for an adventure as we journey down the Haast River in a purpose built, fully enclosed river jet boat. After a lunch stop at Makarora then travel on to Arrowtown where there is time to explore this historic gold-mining village on the Arrow River.  Continue to Queenstown for an orientation tour. Tonight, dinner is included at your hotel.

Staying in:

  • Hotel St Moritz Queenstown (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Queenstown at Leisure
View of Queenstown

Enjoy Queenstown your way! Perhaps join a wine tour and taste some of Central Otago’s world-renowned Pinot Noir or view The Lord of the Rings film locations on a scenic tour of Queenstown and Glenorchy.  Tonight, you can dine at one of the local restaurants along the waterfront in town or simply relax at your hotel.

Staying in:

  • Hotel St Moritz Queenstown (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 6 - Queenstown at Leisure
Queenwtown at Sunset

Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not sit back and enjoy a peaceful cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station, take a jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River.  Or simply relax, shop or enjoy time at one of the many cafés and restaurants while soaking up the alpine views. Tonight, enjoy a highlight dinner at one of Queenstown’s exclusive restaurants.

Staying in:

  • Hotel St Moritz Queenstown (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Queenstown – Te Anau – Milford Sound
Mirror Lake on the way to Milford Sound

Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau on the shores of the South Island’s largest lake. Later you’ll travel through the rainforest of the UNESCO-listed World Heritage site of Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges onto the amazing Mirror Lake before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel.  Tonight, stay at the magical Milford Sound Lodge, with views of the Cleddau Valley.

Staying in:

  • Milford Sound Lodge (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Milford Track Walk & Milford Sound Cruise
Milford Sound Cruise

Wake up to the startling beauty of Milford Sound.  This morning, explore a section of the famous Milford Track on an easy going half day guided walk.  This place is steeped in rich history and stories, the flora and fauna are unique and special.  This afternoon aboard the Southern Discoveries vessel sit back and relax as a specialist nature guide introduces you to the natural wonders of Milford Sound often called the ‘eighth natural wonder of the world’.

Staying in:

  • Milford Sound Lodge (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Milford Sound – Gore – Dunedin
Aerial View of Dunedin and Otago Peninsula

We leave the majestic Fiordland National Park for the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago. Travel through Te Anau known for its beautiful lake and on to the country musical town of Gore for lunchtime, before arriving in Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city. Enjoy dinner tonight at Parcels Restaurant at your hotel.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Dunedin Hotel (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - Dunedin (Relaxed Start)
Dunedin Railway Station

Enjoy a relaxed start this morning, before taking a guided tour at Emerson’s Brewery, sample the tasty craft beer before an afternoon at leisure.  Relax or continue exploring Dunedin as you wish. Perhaps ride the historic Tairei Gorge Railway or take a wildlife cruise of the Otago Pennisula.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Dunedin Hotel (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 11 - Dunedin – Omarau – Timaru – Christchurch
Punting on a river in Christchurch

Travel up the east coast of the South Island via Oamaru and Timaru. On arrival in Christchurch embark on a sightseeing tour of the city to learn about its rebirth after the devastating 2011 earthquake.

Staying in:

  • Hotel Montreal, Christchurch (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 - Christchurch – Kaikoura – Wellington
Whale near Kaikoura

Travel up the rugged Pacific Ocean coast this morning to Kaikoura, where sperm whales can often be seen not far from shore. Pass the pink tinged crystallisation ponds of the Lake Grassmere Salt Works, then travel to pretty seaside fishing village of Picton. Later cruise Queen Charlotte Sound and cross the Cook Strait to the North Island. On arrival in Wellington embark on a city orientation tour. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Staying in:

  • QT Wellington (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 - Wellington at Leisure
Wellington Cable Car

Today see Wellington your way! Perhaps visit Weta Workshop, home to the creative wizards behind ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies or learn about New Zealand history and culture on a visit to Te Papa - Museum of New Zealand. Your Journey Director can assist in booking your optional experience.

Staying in:

  • QT Wellington (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 14 - Wellington – Hawke’s Bay
View of Te Mata Peak

Continue north today, travelling through the dairy farming land of Manawatu to Napier in Hawkes Bay.  Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine matching at Craggy Range Winery, one of the regions world famous wineries situated in the shadow of the spectacular Te Mata Peak.

Staying in:

  • Porters Boutique Hotel (1 night)
Meals included: Dinner
Day 15 - Napier (Relaxed Start)
Napier Town Centre

Enjoy a relaxed start before we venture out to explore the Hawkes Bay region. Relive the glamour and style of the jazz era with a luxurious vintage car tour. Your driver will provide a fascinating commentary as you are driven in style, through Art Deco Napier and surrounding areas.  You’ll learn about the earthquake that destroyed the city, hear stories of the people that led the rebuild, and discover the Art Deco style. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Staying in:

  • Porters Boutique Hotel (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 16 - Hawke’s Bay – Rotorua
Geothermal Activity in Rotorua

Enjoy a leisurely start before continuing the journey to Rotorua.  This afternoon visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley where you will connect with the beating heart of the world’s youngest geothermal valley, it’s unique history and legacy.   Along the guided walk you’ll experience geothermal activity, hot springs, volcanic craters, nature and wildlife. Followed by a relaxing 45-minute cruise around the tranquil waters of Lake Rotomahana see stunning geothermal activity only accessible by boat as well as rare native birdlife.  Immerse in the stories of the Mt Tarawera volcanic eruption and the resulting dramatic landscape changes that created this amazing part of the world.

Staying in:

  • Pullman Rotorua (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 17 - Rotorua
Maori Cultural Experience in Tamaki Village

Ascending to the breathtaking Redwoods Treewalk, enjoy an elevated bird’s eye view of the 115-year-old redwood giants and the beautiful surrounds of the forest from a unique perspective. Next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a behind the scenes look at the National Kiwi Hatchery.  Tonight, an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at Tamaki Maori Village. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a cultural performance. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi meal, steamed underground in the traditional way.

Staying in:

  • Pullman Rotorua (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Day 18 - Rotorua – Auckland
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

Begin your day with a dazzling show during an exclusive five-star Eco Glow Worm experience at Caveworld Waitomo.  Your guide sets the scene for a cave experience where you will see glow worms, cave formations and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave. Later, travel through the dairy farming district of Waikato, and onto Auckland. Tonight, Toast your trip together tonight at a Celebration Dinner.

Staying in:

  • QT Auckland (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Day 19 - Farewell from Auckland
Aerial View of Auckland

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your Inspiring Journey comes to an end and we transfer you to Auckland Airport for your onward flight.

Meals included: Breakfast
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19 Days Inspiring Journeys - The Long White Cloud 23/24

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