17 Day Trafalgar Tours New Zealand Uncovered 23/24
Auckland to Christchurch
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Trafalgar Tours

17 Day Trafalgar Tours New Zealand Uncovered 23/24

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 Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$9,345 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 297 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Auckland City Revealed half day tour
Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve
Wellington City Tour
Visit a Local Orchard
Visit a Kiwifruit Orchard
TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm, Queenstown
TranzAlpine Rail Journey
Te Papa Museum of New Zealand
Punakaiki Rocks
Milford Sound Cruise
Maori Village Experience & Hangi (dinner), Rotorua
Interislander ferry crossing
Huka Falls
Christchurch City Tour
Boat ride on Lake Manapouri
Blenheim Sightseeing tour
Be My Guest Experience in the Red Barn
Be My Guest Afternoon Tea
Americas Cup tour at Maritime Museum
16 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 dinners, 4 special dinners
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland

Day 2: Sights of Auckland, City of Sails

Day 3: Tauranga, on the Bay of Plenty

Day 4: Rotorua, Centre of Maori Culture

Day 5: Experience Rotorua for Yourself

Day 6: Wellington the Cool Capital

Day 7: Blenheim Gateway to the Wine Regions

Day 8: To Innovative Christchurch

Day 9: Through Breathtaking Scenery to Twizel

Day 10: Dunedin, City of Scottish Heritage

Day 11: Te Anau, Gateway to Fiordland

Day 12: Queenstown, Adventure Playground

Day 13: Queenstown Free Time, Your Time Dive Into Culture

Day 14: Franz Josef, Untamed Natural Wilderness

Day 15: Punakaiki, Home to a Coastal Forest

Day 16: All Aboard the TranzAlpine

Day 17: Farewell Christchurch

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 17 day tour starting in Auckland

Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland
View of Auckland

Welcome to Auckland, the “City of Sails,” and a beautiful jumping off point for your 17-day New Zealand tour (flights to arrive prior to 4pm). You’ll meet your Travel Director and travel mates over a Welcome Reception of beer and wine. Then get the city scoop from your Travel Director, learning about its rich Maori history and melting pot of cultures over dinner at Eight in your hotel. This interactive restaurant is named for its eight kitchens where you can pick your cuisine among international options from sushi and fresh oysters to Indian curry and Italian pasta.

Staying in:

  • Cordis (1 night)
Meals included: Speciality Dinner
Day 2 - Sights of Auckland, City of Sails
View of Auckland from Mt Eden

Your perfect start to your time in this this seafaring city, begin your day diving into Auckland’s maritime history over an exclusive America’s Cup tour at the New Zealand Maritime Museum with a Local Specialist before it opens to the public. Now that you’ve got your first taste, learn even more your beautiful surrounds on a sightseeing tour from the heart of the city at the Auckland Waterfront. Continue to Mission Bay, historic Bastion Point, and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial keeping your camera at hand to capture the Auckland skyline, North Shore, and Waitemata Harbor. Then spend the rest of the afternoon exploring on your own. Why not take a stroll down Queen Street to Viaduct Harbor’s main shopping precinct and enjoy a glass of New Zealand’s crisp Sauvignon Blanc? If you’re looking for more than views of the city, you’ll find it aboard the ferry to the charming maritime village of Devonport. You could walk to to he summit of Mt. Victoria, visit Devonport Chocolates where you can watch chocolatiers handmaking their sweet treats or simply relax on Cheltenham Beach.

Staying in:

  • Cordis (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 3 - Tauranga, on the Bay of Plenty
View of Tauranga in Bay of Plenty

Leave Auckland behind and journey into the countryside for an exclusive family style Be My Guest lunch in the Red Barn at the home of Lance O’Sullivan, former horse racing champion, and his wife Bridgette, on their working dairy farm. Over your farm to table lunch prepared by the onsite chef, get a feel for country life as you're invited to roll up your sleeves and make your own butter - butter churners, tiny mason jars and all! After a tasty morning, you have a free afternoon to explore Mt. Maunganui in the Bay of Plenty. Walk up winding paths to the extinct namesake volcano or relax on the main beach, this glorious stretch of golden sand has been voted the best in the country. You have the perfect spot to take it all in on your Stays With Stories accommodations at Trinity Wharf.

Staying in:

  • Trinity Wharf (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Rotorua, Centre of Maori Culture
Tamaki Maori Village

Go all kiwi this morning on a visit to Kiwifruit Country in Te Puke, the kiwifruit capital of New Zealand. You’ll tour this family-owned 60-hectare working orchard to learn about the seasonal production cycle, how it’s grown, and finally harvesting and exporting the fruit. Top off your visit trying fresh kiwifruit and perhaps kiwifruit ice cream. Continue to Rotorua before venturing to Te Puia to see the streaming hot springs of Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, the first of your two Dive Into Culture Experiences. Tonight, interactive and sensory, you’ll be welcomed at Te Pa Tu Māori Experience, by a powerful ‘Powhiri’ ceremony before learning the Poi and Haka dances (you can even have a try yourself). Top off this fun night with forest kai horotai (summer season canapés) and chef-choice aperitif followed by a seasonal three-course dinner.

Staying in:

  • Millennium (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Day 5 - Experience Rotorua for Yourself
Thermal Reserve in Rotorua

Up and at ‘em this morning - you have a full day to explore Rotorua’s natural beauty as you like. There's an abundance of Optional Experiences. You could delve into the fantasy of Hobbiton with a tour of the sights featured in the Lord of the Rings movies and the sprawling natural landscapes that made the movies so famous. Take an ancient forest zipline adventure, immersing yourself in fun adventure zipping through the trees while learning about New Zealand's conservation efforts and flora and fauna. Looking for a dose of history while adventuring over land and water? Explore Rotorua and its lakes in an amphibious WWII-era Duck. These unique-looking vehicles used during the war will visit three of Rotorua’s most stunning lakes, with splashdowns, while sharing fascinating commentary of the gorgeous scenery. However you choose to spend your time in the cultural capital, you will not be disappointed.

Staying in:

  • Millennium (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 6 - Wellington the Cool Capital
Wellington Cable Car

Say haere ra (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey through pine forests and farmland to the turquoise torrent of rapids known as Huka Falls where you’ll watch the Waikato River rush into pool 11 meters below from the footbridge above. The road ahead unfolds into panoramic views of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake and the heart of the North Island. The stunningly blue fresh water of the lake is home to geothermal valleys with hot springs, alpine deserts, and some of the best trout fishing in the world. Get out and stretch your legs exploring its town center and walking along the shoreline. You’ll continue south over the volcanic Central Plateau to Taihape - a quirky town known for its yearly gumboot throwing competition since 1985. From country to city, on arrival in Wellington, you’ll have the evening free exploring its laneways, street art, and music or one of its many eclectic restaurants.

Staying in:

  • James Cook Grand Chancellor (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 7 - Blenheim Gateway to the Wine Regions
Vineyard in Marlborough

An easy start to your day means there’s time to explore Welly, as the locals call it, on your own. Don’t miss an opportunity to view the unusual Beehive building which houses New Zealand’s government. Later, Dive Into Culture at the waterfront Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, exploring the culture and heritage of the New Zealand people with exhibits featuring artworks, traditional dress, and photography. You’ll also celebrate New Zealand’s natural environment in interactive exhibits where science meets nature highlighting the unique wildlife, volcanic land, and efforts to protect the environment. Your journey through New Zealand continues as we take a ferry - camera in hand - across the dark blue-green waters of Cook Strait into the tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound to the town of Picton, the gateway to Marlborough wine country. Marlborough is known for its wine and tonight, you'll try some regional produce washed down with some of the region’s celebrated Sauvignon Blanc.

Staying in:

  • Chateau Marlborough (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Day 8 - To Innovative Christchurch
View of Kaikoura Coastline

Rise and shine leaving vineyards views behind for a full day in New Zealand’s whale watching capital, Kaikoura. It’s up to your how you spend it: relaxing in the cute coastal town watching the waves crash on the shore or seeing the Sperm Whales from above on an optional scenic flight or helicopter ride. From your window seat, enjoy unobstructed bird’s eye views of the whales, some reaching 18 meters long, as well as dolphins, below. It’s a great way to see this stretch of New Zealand, from its magnificent wildlife to the Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges and the Kaikoura Peninsula. Then join your group and travel along the Pacific coast and across the Canterbury Plains to your home for the night in Christchurch. Check into your hotel by Cathedral Square in the heart of the city. The evening is free for you get to know Christchurch as you like, and you’re only a short walk from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, and Cashel Mall. Wherever you choose to explore, you’ll see how after the devastating 2011 earthquake the city is being rebuilt, revitalized, and drawing visitors from around the world.

Staying in:

  • Distinction (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 9 - Through Breathtaking Scenery to Twizel
Church of Good Shepherd

Kick off a big day of sightseeing day touring the sites of Christchurch including the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Earthquake Memorial, Bridge of Remembrance, and streets lined with bars, cafes, and riverside markets. Then it’s off to the country stopping in the quaint farming town of Geraldine for lunch in one of its cafés and perhaps Talbots Forest Cheese for complimentary samples. You’ll travel over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains bound for the home of retired farmers Angie and Stan Taylor on the shores of Lake Tekapo. Enjoy real New Zealand hospitality at a Be My Guest afternoon tea as Angie invites you into her kitchen as she prepares the New Zealand specialty dessert, Pavlova. Watch and learn her special recipe and enjoy this favorite treat. Your sweet tooth satisfied, continue your journey stopping at the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd before arriving in your destination in Twizel. This cute town and popular holiday destination is the perfect place end the day. Pulling into the hotel, kick back and enjoy classic New Zealand cuisine overlooking the garden before another day of exploration.

Staying in:

  • Mackenzie Country Inn (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - Dunedin, City of Scottish Heritage
Dunedin Railway Station

Begin your journey to New Zealand’s southernmost city traveling along the Waitaki River en route to Oamaru. This quirky town of tree-lined streets, white limestone buildings, and 19th century architecture is known for its Victorian style. Feel like you’re stepping back in time browsing shops and galleries of traditional crafts, and refresh with a morning tea. Get ready for a change of scene in your next destination of Scottish-inspired Dunedin. You have the rest of the day free to stroll the streets of this vibrant university town and 'mini-Edinburgh'. Or explore more of the area visiting the famous Speight's Brewery, or touring New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle. Recap the day’s adventures with your travel mates over dinner at the Scenic Southern Cross Hotel. In the heart of Dunedin and blocks from the waterfront, here you’ll feast on the specialty from the butcher’s block.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Southern Cross (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Te Anau, Gateway to Fiordland
Sign of Te Anau

Today you’ll head out of Dunedin through farmlands to Te Anau. Your first stop is Gore, a hot spot for country music fans, and all who appreciate nature and simple rural charm. Journey through sheep-filled farming land into forested, rugged mountains winding your way up into the Fiordland National Park and the South Island's largest lake to Te Anau. A truly memorable thrill awaits you next, exploring the islands on a jet boat ride down the Waiau River to Lake Manapouri savoring its many tranquil spots. Take in the birds and swimming trout as you learn about this unique environment’s history. This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience is not only scenic but supports the Pomona Island Charitable Trust’s conservation efforts to restore the largest inland island in New Zealand to its natural state where native birds can thrive. This afternoon is yours to stay in or explore the fascinating, glittering glowworm caves before dinner at the Distinction Hotel.

Staying in:

  • Distinction (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 - Queenstown, Adventure Playground
Milford Sound Scenic Cruise

Today you're bound for New Zealand’s adventure capital with a drive of stunning scenery along the way. Begin journeying through Fiordland National Park past native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats, and meadows. Passing Mirror Lakes, catch the reflection of mountain scenery shimmering in the water. Then continue through Homer Tunnel, an attempt to tame the sheer rocky ranges, emerging in the Cleddau Valley. Take your exploration to water as you cruise the tranquil waters of the Milford Sound/Piopiotahi filled will plenty of photo ops - and maybe a dolphin or two. See the breathtaking sites of Bowen and Stirling Falls plummeting from hanging valleys into the sea and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak rising from the deep waters of the fiord. After a spectacular afternoon on Milford Sound, you’ll arrive in adventure-lovers Queenstown at your picturesque hotel on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Staying in:

  • Millennium (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 13 - Queenstown Free Time, Your Time Dive Into Culture
View of Wakatipu Lake

Discover for yourself why Queenstown has earned its reputation as New Zealand’s adventure capital with a full day to explore. You could join an Optional Experience riding the adrenaline pumping Skippers Jet or tour through Skippers Canyon. After a big day of adventure, it's time to Dive Into Culture on an evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Here at the Colonel's Homestead, you’ll feast on a gourmet barbecue dinner piled high with ribs and fresh vegetables before an entertaining after-dinner farm show - offering a glimpse into high-country farm life. After you’ve seen the sheep dogs in action and gotten a feel for life on the homestead, cruise back to Queenstown, joining in a chorus or dancing across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw.

Staying in:

  • Millennium (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Day 14 - Franz Josef, Untamed Natural Wilderness
Glacial Lake near Franz Josef

Leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind and begin your adventure through Central Otago and out to Westland. Stop in the restored gold-mining settlement of Arrowtown strolling its tree-lined avenues and 19th-century wooden buildings, feeling as if you’re in a movie set. Then journey to Cromwell on the sparkling shores of Lake Dunstan to stop at a roadside stall connected to a local orchard for a taste of some of the town's juicy stone fruit including apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums. More gorgeous lakes call as you travel further into Central Otago to take in the vivid blue waters and willow-lined shoreline of Lakes Hawea and Wanaka. Follow an ancient greenstone trail, cross Haast Pass, and exchange the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes for the rainforests of the wild West Coast. Your destination, and worth the journey, is the famous Franz Josef/Waiau, home to Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere, where you’ll have an opportunity to take an Optional helicopter flight for views you’ll never forget.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15 - Punakaiki, Home to a Coastal Forest
Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki

Sleep in or take the morning to explore the small but lively Franz Josef/Waiau village - perhaps visiting the West Coast Wildlife Center to see kiwi birds - before venturing to Hokitika, home of the native jade greenstone. From natural jewelery to natural surroundings, you’re off to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Stand at the edge of the water and take in these eroded limestone foundations - they really do look like pancakes! - which began forming 30 million years ago. Imagine the water and wind forming this pancake-like stack of limestone but be sure to listen closely. When you hear a 'whoosh' of water, you can be sure a burst of sea spray is coming through the blowholes. After a spectacular day, spend the night at the eco-friendly, waterfront Scenic Hotel Punakaiki, dining on local specialties with wine and views of the thundering surf just steps away.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Punakaiki (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 16 - All Aboard the TranzAlpine
TranzAlpine Train Crossing Waimakariri River

It’s your last full day in New Zealand and it’s a big one full of local tastes and sights. Travel to Greymouth’s Monteith's Brewery where a Local Specialist will share the heritage and rich stories of this national icon since 1868. You'll get to taste ever-changing and innovative brews like summer ale and crushed pear cider before enjoying a pub-style lunch. Now that you’ve wet your whistle, board the famous TranzAlpine train to Christchurch on one of the world’s most scenic train trips through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges, and river valleys. This 223-kilometer journey across the South Island along the Waimakariri River and across the Southern Alps is a grand finale to the landscapes you’ve come to love. Celebrate the highlights of your trip joining your Travel Director and new friends for a Farewell Dinner showcasing food from the Canterbury region.

Staying in:

  • Distinction (1 night)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 17 - Farewell Christchurch
City Tram in Christchurch

Sadly all good things must come to an end as your New Zealand tour concludes this morning after breakfast. After a fond farewell, you’ll be transferred by to Christchurch Airport (flights anytime).

Meals included: Breakfast
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17 Day Trafalgar Tours New Zealand Uncovered 23/24

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Starts Status Twin/Double Single occupancy  
Dec 19, 2023
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NZD$9,345 NZD$11,825
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