17 Day AAT Kings New Zealand Uncovered 25/26
Auckland to Christchurch
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
AAT Kings

17 Day AAT Kings New Zealand Uncovered 25/26

From north to south, east to west, New Zealand is a country of contrasts. And that’s why we love it. One minute you’re drifting through World Heritage-listed gorges on a Milford Sound/Piopiotahi tour, then next you’re scaling ice on a Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere tour. Sometimes there’s a Maori hangi feast on the menu; at others there’s award-winning wine. Spanning 17 days, two islands and countless attractions – both city and country – this trip to New Zealand is one for the record books.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Guided Coach Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$10,620 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

17 days/16 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 57 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Auckland City Tour
Christchurch City Tour
Huka Falls
Interislander ferry crossing
Introducing Te Papa Museum Tour
Milford Sound Cruise
Punakaiki Rocks
TranzAlpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch
Visit to Whakarewarewa Living Village
15 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners, 3 special dinners
price pp from
Was NZD$11,300
Now NZD$10,620
twin share/double
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Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland

Day 2: Auckland

Day 3: Auckland - Rotorua

Day 4: Rotorua Free Time

Day 5: Rotorua - Wellington

Day 6: Wellington

Day 7: Wellington - Kaikoura

Day 8: Kaikoura - Christchurch

Day 9: Christchurch - Twizel

Day 10: Twizel - Dunedin

Day 11: Dunedin - Te Anau

Day 12: Te Anau - Queenstown

Day 13: Queenstown Free Time

Day 14: Queenstown - Franz Josef

Day 15: Franz Josef Glacier - Punakaiki

Day 16: Punakaiki - Christchurch

Day 17: Farewell from Christchurch

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Auckland Harbour

Auckland is the kind of place you could lose yourself in for a couple of weeks. Arrive at your leisure and explore new waterfront precincts, or just ready yourself to meet fellow travellers at dinner.

Staying in:

  • Horizon by SkyCity Auckland (1 night)
Aerial View over Auckland

A little bit of leisure, a little bit of culture – today is one of those days. Peek behind the scenes of racing history on the New Zealand Maritime Museum’s America’s Cup Tour. Your Travel Director then takes you around the city, pausing at Bastion Point for epic photo opportunities.

Staying in:

  • Horizon by SkyCity Auckland (1 night)
View of Tauranga

Leave Auckland behind and journey into the countryside for an exclusive family-style Be My Guest lunch in the Red Barn on a working dairy farm. Expect country banter and farm-to-table fare prepared with a lot of love. The next hot spot – in every sense of the word – on your NZ holiday is Rotorua. Visit Te Puia to see and support Maori artisans at work, then continue your Rotorua tour at the steamy Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, a staggering valley where geysers pop and thermal springs jettison skywards.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel Rotorua (1 night)
Rotorua Geothermal Activity

Today, choose your own adventure. We have plenty of ideas for the paths you might follow. Tonight, dive deep into Maori culture at Te Pā Tū Māori Experience, an important hub keeping tradition, art and music alive. Oh, and nurturing Māori cuisine. Enjoy a forest kai horotai (seasonal canapes) and chef choice aperitif, followed by a seasonal three-course dinner.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel Rotorua (1 night)
Rotorua Town Hall

Say goodbye to Rotorua and hello to the raging rapids of Huka Falls, where 220,000 litres of water barrel over this massive waterfall every second. Your outlook then unfolds into the dreamy landscape of Lake Taupo. Traverse the volcanic Central Plateau to NZ’s cool little capital of Wellington.

Staying in:

  • Rydges Wellington (1 night)
Evening View of Lake Taupo

Begin your day in Wellington with coffee at one of its uber-cool cafés. Take a city tour to discover highlights like its iconic cable car, parliament and Mt. Victoria.  This afternoon is all yours. You could visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, perhaps the wine region of Wairarapa or Zealandia's ecosanctuary restoring 225 hectares of forest. Tonight, there are so many restaurants and bars to choose from. Ask us for recommendations or explore at your leisure.

Staying in:

  • Rydges Wellington (1 night)
Wellington Cable Car

This morning cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound and continue to Kaikoura, a marine life haven. On arrival be treated to a biodiversity talk from Sabrina Leucht, founder of Kaikōura Wildlife Centre Trust, and learn about the work the trust is doing towards Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, at this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Tonight, dine at Hiku, which celebrates what Kaikōura is all about - kai moana and dramatic sea and mountain scapes.

Staying in:

  • Sudima Kaikoura (1 night)
Whale Watching near Kaikoura

Enjoy a relaxed start this morning or sign up for one of several local wildlife experiences available. Sign up for a scenic flight for a bird's-eye view, get up close to dolphins by boat or kayak, or sample tasty crayfish at waterside fish-and-chip shops. Follow the coast and Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, home to innovative architecture, art institutions and restaurants.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Christchurch Hotel (1 night)
Church of the Good Shepherd and Lake Tekapo

From its cardboard-crafted Transitional Cathedral to its gold-clad central library, Christchurch has well and truly rebuilt itself since the 2010/11 earthquakes. But South Island locals still cherish a simple life, as you’ll discover over a Be My Guest afternoon tea with retired farmers Angie and Stan Taylor at their home Morelea on the edge of Lake Tekapo.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Mackenzie Country Hotel Twizel (1 night)
Larnach Castel - Dunedin

Oamaru has a rich history and proud heritage, enriched by passionate and perhaps quirky locals. Explore the shops, galleries and traditional crafts within some of the Southern Hemisphere's most complete Victorian streetscapes, before landing in Dunedin.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (1 night)
View of Lake Te Anau

From sheep farms to rugged mountains, today is one of contrasts. Venture into Fiordland National Park toward the South Island’s largest lake and the lakeside town of Te Anau. You'll experience the thrill of jet boating on scenic Lake Manapouri, home to Pomona Island, where native birds are under threat - and this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience is helping to protect them through a community-based conservation project.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas (1 night)
View of Milford Sound

Your journey towards Milford Sound/Piopiotahi traverses native rainforest, alluvial flats and meadows, with mirrored lakes, thundering waterfalls, dramatic rocky ranges and millennia-old valleys. Your Milford Sound/Piopiotahi tour, cruising through this wild expanse, provides enough drama for an entire travel year – you still have the streets of Queenstown to explore.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (1 night)
View of Queenstown over the lake

Adrenaline-junkies may wish to get some perspective on a tour of the gorges of Skippers Canyon. Gourmand at heart? Perhaps a Central Otago wine tour? Your day ends on a dreamy TSS Earnslaw cruise across Lake Wakatipu, landing at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (1 night)
Street in Arrowtown

From Arrowtown’s tree-lined avenues to Central Otago’s gleaming lakes, nature rules. Alpine scenery tiers into rainforest along the West Coast, where Thunder Creek Falls and the glacier-studded Mt. Hooker steal the scene. Welcome to the town of Franz Josef, home to Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere, which is ideally explored on an optional helicopter flight – you may be able to land and walk across the ice-fall.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)
Franz Josef Glacier

Explore the small but lively Franz Josef/Waiau village before venturing to Hokitika, home of New Zealand's native jade greenstone. Then steel yourself for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes of Punakaiki, a sliver of South Island geology that is as humbling as it is awe-inspiring. After a spectacular day, spend the night at an eco-friendly, waterfront resort.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Punakaiki (1 night)
TranzAlpine Train at the station

We’ve got you sorted on a morning tour of legendary Monteith’s Brewery, which is followed by lunch. The best is yet to come – all aboard for the scenic TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch, through tunnels and over viaducts, with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Christchurch Hotel (1 night)
Christchurch Tram

How many travel highs can you pack into a holiday? This itinerary has certainly pushed the boundaries. Now all you have to do is go home and sort through all those photos.

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Apr 8, 2025
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Jun 24, 2025
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Sep 16, 2025
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Oct 7, 2025
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Jan 6, 2026
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17 Day AAT Kings New Zealand Uncovered 25/26

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