Auckland's blend of harbour, islands, Polynesian culture and modern city environment has created a lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world. Rotorua is one place where the turbulent forces that formed New Zealand are most evident. This city, on the Volcanic Plateau, has one of the world's most lively fields of geothermal activity. Christchurch is a beautiful city, where you can cycle alongside the river, indulge in fine sophisticated dining.
Here is how you will spend your time
Day 1: Arrival At Auckland
Kia Ora! Welcome to New Zealand, the youngest country on Earth! On arrival in Auckland, 'The City of Sails', you will be welcomed by our Cox and Kings representative and transferred to your hotel. Auckland is a blend of islands, Polynesian culture, glistening harbours and modern city environment. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore the city and discover why it is one of the best places in the world to visit.
Day 2: Half Day Auckland City Sights
Today morning proceed for a half day tour of Auckland. Travel through the city centre, including Auckland's famous Queen Street, Karangahape Road with its chequered past and eclectic vibe and fashionable Ponsonby. Cross over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, enjoying views of the Hauraki Gulf and city skyline, and visit the Viaduct Harbour and the revitalised Silo Park waterfront precinct. See historic buildings around the University of Auckland before continuing over Grafton Bridge to the Auckland Domain. The Domain is the city's oldest park and, at 75 hectares, one of its largest. Developed around an extinct volcano, it features tropical gardens, duck ponds and public art, and is also home to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. After visiting the Domain, the tour continues through the boutique shopping area of Parnell Village, where you will make a brief morning tea stop, and along the scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Drive. Just above Mission Bay is one of the scenic highlights of your tour: Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park. Named after one of New Zealand's most revered Prime Ministers, the park, with its formal gardens and tranquil atmosphere, offers stunning views over the picturesque Eastern Bays, Auckland city and the Waitemata Harbour. Return back to your hotel by afternoon. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore the city and discover why it is one of the best places in the world to visit. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 3: Transfer From Auckland To Rotorua (Via Hobbiton Movie Set)
This trip from Auckland to Rotorua includes the Hobbiton movie set tour. Departing from Auckland city at 7am, this is a wonderful way to get to Rotorua and include a magical journey through Middle-earth to the Hobbiton movie set from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” films. Travel south from Auckland over the Bombay Hills to the rich farmland of the Waikato region. Your journey takes you through undulating green hills reminding you that you are approaching the Shire. On arrival at Shire’s Rest you embark on your Hobbiton movie set tour. This location is the largest “green set” in the world and the only part of the set remaining in New Zealand. You see 44 hobbit holes, the Mill and double arch bridge and the party tree. At this stunning location you can take a photo at the gate to Bilbo’s house, “Bag End”, looking out over the whole set to the hills in the distance. The tour ends with a visit to the Green Dragon Inn where you can enjoy a complimentary ale, cider or ginger beer. At the end of your Hobbiton movie set tour you will travel on to Rotorua, arriving at approximately 1.15pm.
Travel from Auckland to Rotorua
Fly to Rotorua
Fly to Tauranga, bus
Day 4: Full Day Waitamo Caves And Gloworm Tour With Te Puia Thermal Reserve
Today experience the natural wonders and cultural highlights of Waitomo Caves and Rotorua with an action-packed full day sightseeing tour. Travel north into the King Country region, home of the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Travel through these underground limestone caverns on a 45-minute guided tour and hear how the amazing stalactites, stalagmites, and other weird and wonderful rock formations were formed over 30 million years. The magical Glowworm Grotto is a highlight – travel by boat along an underground stream, while above you thousands of tiny glowworms illuminate the cavern. Enjoy a picnic-style lunch served on board the coach (vegetarian and other dietary options available on request) as you return to Rotorua.On the outskirts of the city, get a taste of New Zealand's farming industry with a four-wheel drive tour of the Agrodome, a working organic farm. You'll also witness an entertaining farm show, including sheep-shearing and a sheep dog trial. Continue to Te Puia where you will enjoy a performance of Māori culture including singing and dancing, followed by a guided tour of the neighbouring Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley where you will see the mighty geysers and boiling mudpools, Return back to your hotel for overnight stay.
Day 5: Transfer From Rotorua To Queenstown - Evening Skyline Gondola
In the morning check-out from your hotel and you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Queenstown. On arrival in Queenstown, you will be transferred and check-in to your hotel. In the evening make your way to the base of the Queenstown gondola, located within walking distance from downtown. Take a seat on the gondola for an exciting ascent to Bob's Peakat Skyline where the Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar awaits. During the ride, soak up the magnificent mountain views of the Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Queenstown and the aquamarine waters of Lake Wakatipu — part of Southern Lakes region of New Zealand's South Island. On arrival at the skyline restaurant, fill your plate with a delicious buffet, with your choice of 4-course lunch or 6-course dinner. Sink your teeth into local favorites including South Island salmon, seafood, salads, roast meats and desserts. Return back to your hotel for overnight stay.
Travel from Rotorua to Queenstown
Fly from Rotorua
Bus to Auckland, fly
Drive, car ferry
Day 6: Full Day Milford Sound Cruise
Today take an unforgettable journey into the heart of Milford Sound, New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. You'll experience the world-famous fiord in all its natural glory – surrounded by dense rainforest, glacier-carved valleys and beautiful waterfalls. Leaving Queenstown, travel in comfort along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and into southern farmland to Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island. After a morning tea stop (own expense), travel along the lake and into Fiordland National Park. Enter the picturesque Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls and one of only a few road-accessible glacier valleys in New Zealand, and take advantage of the photo opportunities on offer along the Milford Road, like the stunning Mirror Lakes, where on a calm day the surrounding mountain ranges are perfectly reflected in the still waters, and Knobs Flat, where glaciers have carved their mark on the terrain. Your glass-roof coach will provide amazing views of the dramatic skyline as you cross the Main Divide of the Southern Alps, with stunning mountain peaks all around. Stop at Monkey Creek and sample some of the purest water in the world (but watch out for cheeky kea - native mountain parrots!). Travel under the mountains through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km passageway drilled into solid rock, then experience The Chasm, a short but impressive walk over footbridges spanning a series of powerful, swirling waterfalls and rapids. At Milford Sound, board your 1 hour 45 minute cruise and set off to explore the region that Rudyard Kipling called the 'eighth wonder of the world'. Travel the length of the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea, gliding past glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys and crash into the sea far below. Lush native forest clings to steep cliffs, while wildlife including seals, penguins and dolphins are regular visitors to the icy waters. After your cruise, return to Queenstown by coach for overnight stay.
Day At Leisure
Today, the day is at leisure to explore the city or one can explore the endless optional attractions available.
Day 8: Transfer From Queenstown To Christchurch (Via Mount Cook)
Take a day trip from Queenstown to Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's highest mountain. Setting off from Queenstown, travel by luxury air-conditioned coach through ruggedly beautiful landscape and over the Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country. We enter the amazing Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's highest mountain, where there is time to stop for lunch and a chance to enjoy the amazing alpine scenery. During your stop at Mount Cook Village, choose to enjoy a delicious lunch (optional extra) at the famous Hermitage Hotel. In the afternoon, travel past Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo, where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd against the backdrop of this vivid blue glacier-fed lake. We then continue through the diverse farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, the Garden City, where your tour concludes.
Travel from Queenstown to Christchurch
Bus Newmans Coach Lines
Day 9: Christchurch City Tour
Board a luxury coach for an interactive guided tour of Christchurch. See the best the city has to offer including 4 premium attractions—Punting on the Avon, the Gondola, the Botanic Gardens, and the Tram.Start with the iconic attraction of Punting on the Avon. As you sit on cushioned seats in a flat-bottom boat, your Edwardian-dressed guide leads you on a 30-minute ride on the river, past willows, woodlands, and leafy banks. Next, visit the seaside villages of Sumner and Redcliffs. En route, pass the "earthquake artwork" created by shipping containers designed to strengthen the seaside hill suburbs. Experience the natural beauty of the Botanic Gardens on an electric solar-powered vehicle, see the finest range of exotic and indigenous plants in New Zealand, and learn the history of this treasured oasis. Then visit the Re-Start Shopping Precinct, a development constructed with shipping containers, breathing new life into the devastated center of town following the city's earthquakes. Ride the Gondola and admire 360-degree views across the plains, Alps, the city, and the harbor. Experience the Time Tunnel ride, shop, and stop at the Red Rock Café. Then board the Tram, with a newly extended track, and enjoy a unique and historic way to view the inner city. A full circuit lasts 50 minutes, including 17 stops, and trams runs approximately every 15 minutes. Return back to your hotel for overnight stay.
Day 10: Departure From Christchurch
Today morning check-out from your hotel. You will be transferred to the airport to catch your return flight back home. Your tour ends with happy memories.