17 Day AAT Kings New Zealand Magic 25/26
Christchurch to Auckland
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AAT Kings

17 Day AAT Kings New Zealand Magic 25/26

From bubbling geysers to yawning gorges; gem-like glaciers to mirrored lakes; snow-tipped mountains to subtropical islands; it’s hard to believe that such a small country packs so much natural punch into its two islands. And then there are New Zealand’s cosmopolitan cities and towns, and celebration of Māori culture wherever you turn. Make no mistake – this journey from south to north is the ultimate New Zealand tour. Magic is an understatement.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Guided Coach Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$9,590 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 61 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Christchurch City Tour
Interislander ferry crossing
Maori Village Experience & Hangi (dinner), Rotorua
Milford Sound Cruise
TranzAlpine Rail Journey
TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm, Queenstown
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Wellington City Tour
price pp from
Was NZD$10,190
Now NZD$9,590
twin share/double
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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 City Tour Tram

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 Train at the Station

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)
Road to Franz Josef

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)
View of Queenstown over the Lake

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)
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)
View of Te Anau Lake

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)
Dunedin Railway Station

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:

  • Heritage Gateway Hotel (1 night)
View of Lake Tekapo

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)
Picton Harbour

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)
Wellington Cable Car

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)
Maori Cultural Experience in Rotorua

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 Lake

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)
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)
Waitangi Treaty Grounds

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

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
Aerial view of Ninety Mile Beach

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)
Bay of Islands

Today, New Zealand’s most northerly city is on your radar. Whangarei is a place where waterfalls meet beaches, galleries meet museums. Explore 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)
Aerial View of Auckland

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

Tour departure list
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Starts Status   Twin/Double Single occupancy  
Oct 27, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,170
now NZD$9,590
was NZD$13,115
now NZD$12,535
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Nov 17, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,170
now NZD$9,590
was NZD$13,115
now NZD$12,535
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Dec 8, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,170
now NZD$9,590
was NZD$13,115
now NZD$12,535
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Dec 29, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,170
now NZD$9,590
was NZD$13,115
now NZD$12,535
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Jan 26, 2026
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,450
now NZD$9,850
was NZD$13,475
now NZD$12,875
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Feb 9, 2026
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,450
now NZD$9,850
was NZD$13,475
now NZD$12,875
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Feb 23, 2026
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,450
now NZD$9,850
was NZD$13,475
now NZD$12,875
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Mar 9, 2026
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,450
now NZD$9,850
was NZD$13,475
now NZD$12,875
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Mar 23, 2026
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,450
now NZD$9,850
was NZD$13,475
now NZD$12,875
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Mar 30, 2026
(Monday)
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was NZD$10,450
now NZD$9,850
was NZD$13,475
now NZD$12,875
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17 Day AAT Kings New Zealand Magic 25/26

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