Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered
Auckland to Christchurch
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Trafalgar Tours

Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered

Experience adventure through both islands of New Zealand. Taste the many flavours of New Zealand dining with one particularly special meal prepared in a traditional Hangi (food cooked underground) at the Tamaki Maori Village. Starting in Auckland you'll navigate south through rural landscapes, past impressive volcanoes, the rolling hills of Canterbury and sail along the famous Milford Sound. This itinerary encompasses all that is New Zealand and offers you a relaxed insight into a beautiful country.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Escorted coach tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$8,641 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 131 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Visit to Jade Factory
TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth
Americas Cup tour at Maritime Museum
Te Puia Maori Hangi & Concert
Visit to Kiwifruit Country
Interislander ferry crossing
Te Papa Museum of New Zealand
Plant a tree as part of the Sustainable Tourism Commitment
16 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners, 6 special dinners
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland
Accommodation: Stamford Plaza (or similar)

Day 2: Explore New Zealand's biggest city
Accommodation: Stamford Plaza (or similar)

Day 3: Visit the beautiful home of Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan
Accommodation: Trinity Wharf Tauranga (or similar)

Day 4: Soak up some real Maori culture
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua (or similar)

Day 5: Choose how you spend your day in Rotorua
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua (or similar)

Day 6: A scenic journey down the centre of the North Island
Accommodation: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (or similar)

Day 7: Cross the Cook Strait into Blenheim
Accommodation: Chateau Marlborough (or similar)

Day 8: Keep your eyes peeled for marine life on today's journey
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch (or similar)

Day 9: Reach the Mackenzie Country
Accommodation: MacKenzie Country Hotel, Twizel (or similar)

Day 10: Head to the Southern most city of New Zealand, Dunedin
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (or similar)

Day 11: Enjoy some free time exploring Dunedin before driving to Te Anau
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas (or similar)

Day 12: A trip highlight, Milford Sound Cruise
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 13: Decide how you spend your time in Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 14: Drive through rainforest up the west coast
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (or similar)

Day 15: The opportunity to carve your own Jade pendant
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort (or similar)

Day 16: Take the TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch (or similar)

Day 17: Farewell to your new friends

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 17 day tour starting in Auckland

Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 1
New Zealand Uncovered

Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand's City of Sails. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00 pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Auckland hotel in your private car. Tonight, enjoy a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel.

Auckland

This evening meet your Tour Director and fellow travel companions over dinner and a few local tipples tonight. And so your NZ tour begins.

Your accommodation: Stamford Plaza (or similar)

Located just a few minutes stroll from Auckland's vibrant waterfront the Stamford Plaza Hotel offers 5 star accommodation and services.
Meals included: Speciality Dinner
Day 2 - Explore New Zealand's biggest city
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 2
Auckland Sightseeing

A little bit of leisure, a little bit of culture – today is one of those days. Sleep in before a peek behind the scenes of racing history on the New Zealand Maritime Museum’s America’s Cup Tour, highlighting Auckland’s heritage of boat-building, and offering a glimpse of one of the world’s only replicas of the America’s Cup. Your Auckland tour guide then takes you around the city, pausing at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial for epic photo opportunities over the city’s dual harbour. By now you should have a few ideas for how to spend your afternoon exploring, but if not, ask us for recommendations. We have a little black book full of contacts. 

Your accommodation: Stamford Plaza (or similar)

Located just a few minutes stroll from Auckland's vibrant waterfront the Stamford Plaza Hotel offers 5 star accommodation and services.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 3 - Visit the beautiful home of Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 3
Auckland to Tauranga

Bet you didn’t know New Zealand is home to horse-racing royalty. The O’Sullivan’s welcome you to their Waikato estate for a country-style Be My Guest lunch in the Red Barn. Expect banter, horse-riding gossip and farm-to-table fare prepared with a lot of love. Venture east to the harbourside city of Tauranga, where you have a free afternoon to tour the Bay of Plenty. If you want to work up a sweat, enlist to climb extinct volcano Mount Mauao, offering dazzling vistas over some of the 140 subtropical islets that dot the coast. We wouldn’t blame you for kicking off your shoes and chilling on the golden sands of the main beach, regularly voted the prettiest in the country.

Your accommodation: Trinity Wharf Tauranga (or similar)

Brilliantly positioned this stylish over-water hotel offers the very best in privacy and spaciousness. The Trinity Wharf Tauranga is the only internationally branded hotel in the region and is just minutes from the CBD.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Speciality Dinner
Day 4 - Soak up some real Maori culture
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 4
Tauranga to Rotorua

Is there any food more classically New Zealand than the kiwifruit? The town of Te Puke grows the majority of the country’s bounty, and you’ll enjoy a bite that will wake up your tastebuds. 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. Fun fact: this is the only living Maori village in the world. The hot rocks in this pocket of the planet are perfect for cooking your hangi (underground) feast at Te Pa Tu Maori Experience, a bastion for Maori culture. Watch a performance before you dig into your feast.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua (or similar)

Rotorua's largest 4 star deluxe hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Day 5 - Choose how you spend your day in Rotorua
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 5
Rotorua

Today, choose your own adventure. We have plenty of ideas for the paths you might follow. Optional Rotorua tour sightseeing experiences include a bedazzling show put on by the glowworms of Waitomo Caves, replete with underground waterways and dramatic limestone formations. Or perhaps you’d prefer to zip across Rotorua’s three lakes in an amphibious WWII-era Duck. There’s also the option of relieving NZ holiday-weary limbs in the thermal waters of the Polynesian Spa. The decision is yours.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua (or similar)

Rotorua's largest 4 star deluxe hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 6 - A scenic journey down the centre of the North Island
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 6
Rotorua to Wellington

Say haere ra (goodbye) to Rotorua and hello to an immense amount of water. First stop is the raging rapids of Huka Falls, where 220,000 litres of water barrel over an 11-metre-high waterfall every second. You’ll hear them (and perhaps feel the mist on your face) before you see them. Your outlook then unfolds into the dreamy landscape of Lake Taupo, the largest of its kind in the country and with a twinkling, blue-eyed-boy charm. Your Lake Taupo tour sees you traverse the volcanic Central Plateau to NZ’s cool little capital of Wellington, set on a pretty harbour that beckons with too many good restaurants to choose from. Ask us for recommendations, or explore at your leisure. Because every NZ holiday needs a little down-time.

Your accommodation: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor (or similar)

At the heart of Wellingtons commercial and retail districts the James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor has 260 well appointed rooms and suites.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 7 - Cross the Cook Strait into Blenheim
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 7
Wellington to Blenheim

If you don’t fall in love with Wellington instantly, then you will surely find a spark after visiting Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand – the morning is yours to peruse the jaw-dropping exhibits at your leisure, but be sure to linger at the exhibit highlighting a traditional Maori wharenui (meeting place). Re-join your mates to cruise Cook Strait across tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. You’re on the South Island now, and dinner reflects the best of Marlborough food and wine. Gourmands, rejoice!

Your accommodation: Chateau Marlborough (or similar)

Chateau Marlborough, Marlborough's premier boutique hotel overlooking Seymour Square Gardens, prides itself on offering guests luxury accommodation with an enviable attention to detail. All just a short walk from Blenheim's town centre.
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Day 8 - Keep your eyes peeled for marine life on today's journey
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 8
Blenheim to Christchurch

Sperm whales and fur seals are a common sight in Kaikoura – get lucky and you can see them from shore or sign up for a bird’s-eye view on an optional scenic flight over dramatic black beaches framed by turquoise ocean. You won’t be disappointed. The region is also known for its tasty crayfish, and there are plenty of places to sample the wares, whether waterside fish-and-chip shops or legendary food trucks serving buttery crayfish rolls. Think of this as your NZ holiday in a mouthful. Follow the coast and Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, home to some of the country’s most innovative architecture, art institutions and restaurants. We can help you make a booking in any number of the latter..

Your accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch (or similar)

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square. Ideally positioned, only a few minutes walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 9 - Reach the Mackenzie Country
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 9
Christchurch to Twizel

From its eye-popping, cardboard-crafted Transitional Cathedral to its gold-clad central library, Christchurch has well and truly rebuilt itself since the 2010/11 earthquakes, setting the bar high for architecture and design across the country. On your Christchurch tour you’ll discover that despite this cosmopolitan culture, South Island locals still cherish a simple life. Prepare yourself for plenty of country swagger over a Be My Guest afternoon tea with farmers Angie and Stan Taylor, hosted among the emerald fields of their Morelea farm in Mackenzie Country.

Your accommodation: MacKenzie Country Hotel, Twizel (or similar)

Located in the heart of the Mackenzie region the hotel's natural stone architecture compliments the mountains and rivers of New Zealand's Southern Alps.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - Head to the Southern most city of New Zealand, Dunedin
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 10
Twizel to Dunedin

We’ve got the power – hydro, that is. The Benmore Dam holds back New Zealand’s largest artificial lake, and when the Benmore Power Station was opened in 1965 it was the biggest in the country. Just one of the fun facts you’ll learn on your NZ tour. That should fuel you through to Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and glam limestone buildings, before landing in Dunedin. The afternoon is yours to discover the ‘Edinburgh of the Southern Hemisphere’, whether wandering the manicured grounds of its stately castle, taking a wildlife cruise to spot little penguins, or refuelling at a brewery.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (or similar)

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross provides stylish inner city accommodation and is the perfect location from which to explore Dunedin. Just a short walk to the Octagon, Railway Station, theatres, shops, and close to Otago University.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Enjoy some free time exploring Dunedin before driving to Te Anau
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 11
Dunedin to Te Anau

From sheep farms to rugged mountains, today is one of diversity. Venture into World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park toward the South Island’s largest lake and the town of Te Anau, the gateway to Pomona Island where native birds are under threat – and you can help protect them through a community-based conservation project that is also helping to restore native flora.

Your accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas (or similar)

Ideally located on the lakefront the hotel is just a few minutes stroll for the shops, cafes and activities on offer.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 - A trip highlight, Milford Sound Cruise
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 12
Te Anau to Queenstown

There aren’t many places in the world that remind you how precious the planet is. Fiordland National Park is one. Your journey toward 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, known as the ‘Adventure Capital of New Zealand’, to explore.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 13 - Decide how you spend your time in Queenstown
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 13
Free time in Queenstown

The roll-call of Queenstown activities you could sign-up for today is near endless. Adrenaline-junkies may wish to zip about in the Shotover Jet, which reaches dizzying speeds in the white-water rapids of the Shotover River. Or perhaps get some perspective on a gondola to Bob’s Peak, offering jaw-dropping vistas over the city and the Remarkables, those mountains framing town. Or maybe your Queenstown tour is dedicated to the gorges of Skippers Canyon. If you’re a gourmand at heart, sign up for a Central Otago wine tour, where your day involves sipping your way through award-winning cool-climate wines. Whichever route you take, 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.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Day 14 - Drive through rainforest up the west coast
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 14
Queenstown to Franz Josef

From Arrowtown’s tree-lined avenues to Central Otago’s gleaming lakes, nature rules today. Alpine scenery tiers into rainforest along the West Coast of New Zealand, where Thunder Creek Falls and the glacier-studded Mt. Hooker steal the scene. Welcome to your Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere tour, the massif ideally explored on a helicopter flight – conditions pending, you may even be able to land and walk across the ice-fall. The bird’s-eye view reveals the immensity of this gem-like mound of ice.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (or similar)

Located in the heart of Franz Josef Village the hotel offers all the amenities you would expect and is close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15 - The opportunity to carve your own Jade pendant
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 15
Franz Josef to Punakaiki

Swap white at Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine for pounamu (native greenstone or jade) in Hokitika. In Maori tradition, it’s bad luck to buy this sacred stone for yourself; flutter your eyelids at your loved-one. 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

Your accommodation: Punakaiki Resort (or similar)

The Punakaiki Resort is a modern, award-winning hotel complex, architecturally designed to harmonise with the local environment. Nestled in the foothills of Papaproa National Park the resort has spectacular views of the Wild West Coast beaches while all rooms have rainforest and/or ocean views.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 16 - Take the TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 16
Punakaiki to Christchurch

Beer for breakfast? We’ve got you sorted on a morning tour of legendary Monteith’s Brewery. You only live once, right? The best is yet to come – all aboard for the scenic TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch. Travel through tunnels and over viaducts, with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. Your NZ tour arrives in Christchurch just in time for your Farewell Dinner.

Your accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch (or similar)

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square. Ideally positioned, only a few minutes walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Speciality Dinner
Day 17 - Farewell to your new friends
Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered - Day 17
Farewell from AAT

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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Trafalgar Tours 17 Day New Zealand Uncovered

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Apr 11, 2023
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