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Explore the fascinating geological formations & Maori culture of Rotorua

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Tailor-made Journey
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Explore New Zealand’s most dazzling attractions on this captivating self-drive holiday.


Cover the spectacular sights of both the North and South Islands as you set off on this Journey to discover the incredible natural marvels, fascinating history, welcoming cities and mesmerising wildlife which abound in this beautiful country.

Some of the highlights included are:

  • Explore the fascinating geological formations & Maori culture of Rotorua
  • Admire one of New Zealand’s most gorgeous views at Lake Tekapo
  • Take a relaxing cruise on beautiful Milford Sound
  • Spot whales & dolphins in Kaikoura

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Off the Beaten Track
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What's included
  • International & internal flights
  • 13 nights in our best-selling 4–5* hotels
  • 11 days car hire
  • Waiheke Island Explorer tour
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves entrance
  • Rotorua Skyride & Lake Spa bathing
  • Te Papa Museum tour
  • Whale-watching in Kaikoura
  • Milford Sound Cruise with lunch
  • Airport transfers
Need to know
  • Arrives: Auckland Airport (AKL)
  • Time difference: GMT+13
  • Visa requirements: British passport holders do not require a visa
  • Language: English and Maori
  • Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)
  • Flying time from UK: around 27 hours
  • Plug type: 3-prong flat blade plug
  • Voltage: 240 volts/50 cycles
Your route


Days 1-2
Fly from UK to Auckland
Days 3-4

Soak up the sights of New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, a blend of modern life and traditional Polynesian heritage. Stroll around the numerous museums and galleries, then explore the heritage houses and sample one or two of the excellent eateries, perhaps ascending the 192m Sky Tower. Later, get away from all the hustle and bustle as you sail out on to the Hauraki Gulf to the golden beaches of Waiheke Island and hang out with the artists and millionaires who inhabit them.

4.5* Citylife Auckland

Includes a Waiheke Island Explorer tour

Auckland Waterfront, New Zealand
Days 5-6

Hit the Thermal Explorer Highway to Rotorua, popping in to the mesmerising Waitomo Glowworm Caves, lit by the glowworm’s unmistakable luminescence, along the way. Explore the erupting geysers and bubbling mud pools of this geothermically active town and enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot spring mineral pools at the Polynesian Spa. See Rotorua from a different perspective as you head up Mount Ngongotaha on the Skyline Gondola – at the summit you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the town and its surrounding lakes and forests.

4.5* Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Includes the entrance to Waitomo Glowworm Caves; a Gondola Ride on the Skyride; a 1-hour bathing session at Lake Spa

Waitomo Caves
Day 7

Head to the lush wine-producing region of Hawke's Bay where you can and take a stroll through charismatic Napier, admiring the Art Deco architecture and palm-lined streets. The whole city was redesigned and rebuilt following the 1931 earthquake, and the buildings, including the classic Daily Telegraph office, have remained ever since. Afterwards, head out to the wineries and indulge in a glass or two of New Zealand’s finest wines. For further scenic vistas drive up Te Mata Peak to the south of town and admire the amazing panorama from the top.

4* Scenic Hotel Te Pania

1930's Art Deco architecture - Napier, New Zealand
Day 8

Stop off in Wellington, the lively harbourside Kiwi capital, with its flourishing café culture, tasty local cuisine and eye-catching scenery. Among the craft-beer pubs, cocktail bars and boutique souvenir shops, National Museum Te Papa is an informative and enjoyable interactive experience of New Zealand’s history. Take a guided tour of the museum and learn more about the country’s unique wildlife and culture. Afterwards, perhaps take the cable car up to Wellington’s excellent Botanic Gardens. Not only will you be rewarded with pretty views, but there are native forests, rose gardens and a duck pond to boot.

5* InterContinental Wellington

Includes an Introducing Te Papa Museum tour

Te Papa Museum - Wellington, New Zealand
Day 9

Fly from Wellington to sunny Blenheim, in the heart of the country’s premier wine-growing region. Head straight for the vineyards and taste some of the delicious wines or take a cruise or a kayak on the blue waters of the peaceful Marlborough Sounds, exploring the beautiful remote coastlines and homes of the people who live here. If you fancy a bit of culture and history, try the Millennium Art Gallery or the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

4* Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Vineyard in Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Day 10

Take to the seas as you search for sperm whales, dusky dolphins and New Zealand fur seals in Kaikoura (seasonal) before continuing on to pretty Christchurch with its extensive parks and botanical gardens, giving it the nickname the ‘Garden City’. This charming metropolis feels like a little piece of England, especially as it is best viewed on a relaxing punting trip down the Avon River. As the landscape is relatively flat, Christchurch is easy to cycle around, taking in such sights as the Botanic Gardens and Riccarton Bush.

4* Novotel Christchurch

Includes a Whale-watching tour in Kaikoura, on the way to Christchurch

Humpback Whale - Kaikoura, New Zealand
Day 11
Lake Tekapo

Heading south from Christchurch, perhaps stop to enjoy the stunning views of Aoraki Mount Cook, then continue on to gorgeous Lake Tekapo. Here, a shimmering turquoise lake surrounded by a ring of snow-capped peaks gives the town its name. Do not forget your camera as you take a stroll along the lakeshore to the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd for stunning views and picture-postcard vistas. For a slightly different perspective, hike up neighbouring Mount John, which is also the location for a fascinating observatory. Come in the evening to take a look through the telescopes.

4.5* Peppers Bluewater Resort

Lake Tekapo
Days 12-15

Finish your Journey on a high in the adrenaline junkie paradise of Queenstown, chock-a-block with thrilling outdoor activities and white-knuckle challenges. There’s everything from bungee jumping and jet boating, to skiing and river rafting, all topped off with a pulsating nightlife. The town has a stunning setting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by majestic mountains which are best appreciated from the Skyline Gondola. While you’re here, spend the day cruising the waters of stunning Milford Sound, observing all the glacially-carved cracks and crevices. Your day will start with a drive through the beautiful valleys of the Southern Alps, past mirror lakes, to Milford Sound. On board your boat you’ll see the scars left by the glacier that formed this beautiful fjord, dotted with waterfalls and covered in dramatic rock formations.

4.5* Peppers Beacon

Includes a Discover Milford Sound cruise with lunch

Milford Sound, New Zealand
Days 16-17
Depart Queenstown and return to the UK

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10:00am to 5:00pm Sun and Public Holidays

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