New Zealand Uncovered
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Some of the highlights included are:
- Learn about New Zealand’s horse-racing traditions at a former famous Jockey’s farm in the beautiful Hinuera Valley
- Discover the spectacular Milford Sound on a nature cruise with a specialist guide
- Immerse yourself in the country’s unique culture and history at Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum
- Witness the incredible natural wonder that is the Franz Josef Glacier
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- Indirect international flights with Air New Zealand
- 17 nights in 4-5* hotels
- Travel by luxury coach
- 16 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 highlight dinners, 7 dinners with wine, 1 Be My Guest afternoon tea
- Tree planting as part of AAT Kings Sustainable Tourism Commitment
- Airport transfers
Need to know
- Arrives: Auckland Airport (AKL)
- Time difference: GMT+13
- Visa requirements: British passport holders require an ETA before travelling to New Zealand
- 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
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Once you’ve settled in, get out and discover this buzzy city. Explore uptown Auckland on foot and soak up the area’s rich heritage, take a scenic boat ride around the harbour and ascend the Sky Tower for incredible views. In the evening, enjoy a welcome reception and dinner with your Travel Director and fellow travellers. The following day, after an initial city sights tour, you could catch the ferry to the beautiful Waiheke Island where you’ll find independent boutiques, galleries and wineries, as well as sandy beaches and emerald waters.
Later on, you’ll travel to Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty, where you’ll settle into your hotel and enjoy an evening meal with wine.
From there, you’ll arrive in Rotorua for an orientation tour. In the afternoon, you’ll get the chance to explore Te Puia Thermal Reserve, known for its bubbling mud pools, geothermal pools and incredible geysers. Your evening will be spent at a hangi feast ‘Highlight Dinner’ at the Tamaki Maori Village, where you can learn about the local culture and history. The following day, choose an ‘Included Choice’ sightseeing experience, with options including a visit to Waitomo Glowworm Caves, an ancient forest zipline or exploring the Hobbit movie set.
From here you’ll continue along a road which eventually unveils panoramic views of the breathtaking Lake Taupo, the ultimate place for a photo stop. Continuing south along the Kapiti Coast, you’ll later arrive at the capital city of Wellington.
In the afternoon, board a ferry bound for the Cook Strait, taking in the tranquil sights of the Queen Charlotte Sound. You’ll head on to the village of Picton, then to Blenheim for a city sightseeing tour. In the evening, you and your fellow travel companions will enjoy a three-course ‘Highlight Dinner’, indulging in some of the best local produce and wines from the Marlborough region.
Next, you’ll enjoy a homespun hospitality experience with lunch at your hosts Angie and Stan Taylor’s, local farmers with a beautiful home on Lake Tekapo. Tuck into a Be My Guest afternoon tea and learn about a lifetime spent farming in New Zealand. Later, view the stone-laden Church of the Good Shepherd on your way to Twizel.
You’ll continue on through Oamaru and on to Dunedin, where you have the opportunity for an ‘Included Choice’ sightseeing experience. Why not go on a wildlife watching cruise to the Otago Peninsula, or visit the famous Speight’s Brewery to sample a local ale or two? You could also choose to ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway, treating yourself to spectacular views of the winding gorge and surrounding countryside.
In the afternoon it’s time to move on, travelling past vast farmland, rolling hills and rugged mountains as you make your way to Te Anau in the Fiordland National Park, where you’ll spend the night.
Afterwards, travel to Queenstown for an orientation tour of the city. Wake up refreshed the next day, ready to explore or try another ‘Included Choice’ experience, which may include riding the Shotover Jet, visiting the Kiwi Birdlife Park or taking a minibus tour through Skippers Canyon. In the evening, cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a delicious gourmet barbecue ‘Highlight Dinner’.
As you travel further into Central Otago, you’ll see plenty of glittering lakes, while a crossing over the Haast Pass changes up the scenery from alpine wonderland to the vast, lush rainforest of the West Coast. Eventually, you’ll arrive at the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier – a 7.4-mile-long temperate maritime icesheet.
Later on, you’ll travel down to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – an intriguing formation of limestone rocks. In the evening, settle down for a stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.