AAT Kings 17 Day New Zealand Magic 24/25
Christchurch to Auckland
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AAT Kings

AAT Kings 17 Day New Zealand Magic 24/25

Journey across patchwork plains, over shimmering blue waters, through mist-shrouded forests and along roads handcarved into sheer mountainsides. A trip through glorious New Zealand features almost every type of natural landscape you can imagine, as you make your way to Auckland in the North Island from Christchurch in the South Island.

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Tour summary and feature
Quick Itinerary Details

Guided Coach Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$7,546 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Auckland

17 days/16 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 160 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Cruise on the Interislander Ferry
Milford Sound Cruise
TranzAlpine Rail Journey
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
16 breakfasts, 8 dinners, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch - Franz Josef/Waiau

Day 3: Franz Josef/Waiau - Queenstown

Day 4: Queenstown Free Time

Day 5: Queenstown - Te Anau

Day 6: Te Anau - Dunedin

Day 7: Dunedin - Omarama

Day 8: Omarama - Christchurch

Day 9: Christchurch - Picton

Day 10: Picton - Wellington

Day 11: Wellington - Rotorua

Day 12: Rotorua Free Time

Day 13: Rotorua - Auckland

Day 14: Auckland - Bay of Islands

Day 15: Bay of Islands Free Time

Day 16: Bay of Islands - Auckland

Day 17: Farewell from Auckland

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Christchurch Tramway

On arrival in the 'Garden City' you'll have time at leisure to explore or relax. Tonight, meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers at a Welcome Reception.

Staying in:

  • Ibis Hotel Christchurch (1 night)
TranzAlpine Scenic Railway

All aboard the TranzAlpine train, whisking you through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks. From Arthur’s Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast well-known for its jade. Things are about to get cool again as you arrive in the town of Franz Josef/Waiau, gateway to Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere, a white-out of snow and ice. Get some perspective on an optional flight over this natural wonder.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)
View of the famous Lake Wanaka Tree

Over the Haast Pass, the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes spreads before you: Lake Wanaka, with its Instagrammable shoreline of poplars and willows; Lake Hawea; and Lake Dunstan, where you’ll pause to refuel on flavour-packed stone fruit. We know you’ll want to linger in Arrowtown’s movie-set-like streets, but Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables await in Queenstown.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
Walking between the vines on a NZ winery

Take today at your own pace. Feel the wind in your hair on a high-octane jet boat ride, perhaps; discover some of New Zealand’s feathered friends at a wildlife centre; or sip your way through surrounding vineyards. Then glide across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue dinner.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
Reflective view down the Fiord Milford Sound

Your route from the Mirror Lakes through the Cleddau Valley is the entrée to your Milford Sound/Piopiotahi tour. Cruising this World Heritage listed expanse will give you goosebumps, a string of waterfalls creating a misty curtain across sheer escarpments. Look out for dolphins – they’re a common sight here. The onward road through Fiordland National Park is an intoxicating union of beech forests, alluvial flats, meadows and gin-clear rivers, carving up the countryside en route to Te Anau.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Luxmore Hotel (1 night)
Dunedin Railway Station

While away your Dunedin afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speight’s Brewery (a national institution), or visit grand Larnach Castle. You could venture further afield to discover the wildlife that thrives in this pretty pocket of the country.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Dunedin City (1 night)
Aerial View over Otago Peninsula

Time is on your side this morning. Sleep in or take a stroll. Visit Oamaru, known for its stately tree-lined streets and limestone buildings.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Heritage Gateway Hotel (1 night)
Lake Tekapo scenic view

Your outlook this morning is the Canterbury Plains: the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, snow-capped mountains and atmospheric towns. 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. Back on earth, it’s time to become reacquainted with Christchurch, your in-the-know guide pointing out the city’s miraculous transformation over the last decade. You'll view the mind-bending Transitional Cathedral, made largely of cardboard, and Turanga, the gold-clad central library.

Staying in:

  • Ibis Hotel Christchurch (1 night)
Dolphins playing off the shores of Kaikoura

There aren’t many beaches more dramatic than the sands of Kaikoura. Bonus points if you spot a sea lion or sperm whale frolicking offshore, Kaikoura is the marine wildlife centre of New Zealand.

Staying in:

  • Picton Yacht Club (1 night)
Interislander ferry sailing the Cook Strait

Swap wheels for water aboard the Interislander for a cruise from the South Island to the North into New Zealand’s cool little capital of Wellington.

Staying in:

  • Travelodge Wellington (1 night)
Sailing boat on Lake Taupo

This evening, explore Te Puia’s geothermal valley, and learn about Māori history and culture on this guided experience, which includes a dinner of 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:

  • Ibis Rotorua Hotel (1 night)
Rotorua Thermal Valley

Explore at your own pace: Bliss out at Wai Araki Hot Springs & Spa. And then there’s Hobbiton. These beautiful landscapes are not only a bucket list tour for Hobbit fans, but a gorgeous countryside getaway.

Staying in:

  • Ibis Rotorua Hotel (1 night)
Little boat inside the Waitomo caves

Waitomo Caves is radiant – quite literally. While cruising waterways, your route is cast in a magical light by thousands of glowworms. The next thing that glows on your horizon is Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.

Staying in:

  • Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre (1 night)
Maori greeting, a hongi

The Bay of Islands is undeniably beautiful, but it also holds a special historical significance: this is where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
Beautiful sunset from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Trip the light fantastic and head off in whatever direction you please. Perhaps travel up to Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua, the very top of New Zealand, via idyllic Ninety Mile Beach. Or glide around on an historic tall ship, or visit Russell and learn more about the settling of the Bay of Islands.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
Coffee stop in Whangarei

Today, New Zealand’s most northerly city is on your radar. Explore Whangarei at your leisure before sinking back into your seat for the mesmerising commute back to Auckland.

Staying in:

  • Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre (1 night)
Photographing the Auckland skyscape

It’s hard to say goodbye. But you have a camera full of photos to categorise before you get home.

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Sep 30, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$9,245
now NZD$8,945
was NZD$11,920
now NZD$11,620
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Oct 28, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$9,245
now NZD$8,945
was NZD$11,920
now NZD$11,620
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Nov 18, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$9,245
now NZD$8,702
was NZD$11,920
now NZD$11,377
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Dec 9, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$8,321
now NZD$8,271
was NZD$10,728
now NZD$10,678
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Dec 30, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$8,321
now NZD$8,271
was NZD$10,728
now NZD$10,678
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Jan 13, 2025
(Monday)
Sold out
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was NZD$9,525
now NZD$9,030
was NZD$12,285
now NZD$11,790
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Jan 27, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$8,573
now NZD$8,013
was NZD$11,057
now NZD$10,497
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Feb 10, 2025
(Monday)
Sold out
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was NZD$9,525
now NZD$9,030
was NZD$12,285
now NZD$11,790
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Feb 24, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$8,096
now NZD$7,546
was NZD$10,442
now NZD$9,892
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Mar 10, 2025
(Monday)
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departure date
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was NZD$8,096
now NZD$7,546
was NZD$10,442
now NZD$9,892
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Mar 24, 2025
(Monday)
Sold out
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was NZD$9,525
now NZD$9,030
was NZD$12,285
now NZD$11,790
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AAT Kings 17 Day New Zealand Magic 24/25

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