See New Zealand's exquisitely beautiful topographical glories, as featured in the Lord of the Rings films. Flightsee Mount Cook, cruise Milford Sound, dine in the home of a local family and enjoy a Maori Hangi feast. These and a host of other exciting experiences await you on this very popular itinerary.
Today you arrive into Auckland and connect to Christchurch, New Zealand, located on the picturesque South Island. Christchurch is known for its award-winning gardens, its cafe atmosphere, and as a staging area for expeditions to Antarctica.
Antartic Center and Home Hosted dinner
Explore the city this morning. Walk through Cathedral Square and see the Canterbury Cathedral. Visit the Antarctic Centre to experience the feel of the South Pole without leaving New Zealand. Tonight, meet some "Kiwis," as the locals are known, when you dine with a native New Zealand family in their home.
Glaciers & Mt Cook
Gain a new perspective of the South Island as a skiplane carries you into the mountains. Observe how enormous glaciers have left behind numerous lakes and rivers, making for astounding scenery, with many featured in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Experience a snow landing on the Tasman Glacier and fly past Mt. Cook, also known as Aoraki, the highest peak in New Zealand. Overnight at Hermitage at Mt. Cook
As you travel to Te Anau, notice how the countryside changes dramatically from wide plains to mountains and deep river gorges. Enter MacKenzie Country, named for a notorious sheep-thief, and where rugged Merino sheep stolidly withstand the rigors of winter. A horizon of snowy mountains is backdrop to the brilliant turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo. Keep an eye out for magnificent and colorful birds like the kaka, tui, and parakeets.
On to Queenstown
Explore Fjordland National Park today, driving along one of the world's finest alpine roads, past towering forests and deep ravines, before arriving at serene Milford Sound. Cruise the glittering deep blue waters of the Sound, past waterfalls spilling into the fjord and gaze up towards the highest sea cliffs in the world, crowned by Mitre Peak at 5,500 feet. Later, drive around Lake Wakatipu en route to Queenstown.
Return to the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu for an old-fashioned steamship cruise aboard the T.S.S. Earnslaw to the Walter Peak Station. After tea and scones, tour this fully functioning sheep farm and watch a sheep-shearing demonstration. Be amazed how the little Border collies keep the sheep herded together. Later, take the ride of your life on the Shotover River. Specially trained boat drivers speed you along the surface at 40 mph. (Be ready to get a little wet.) The day concludes with a quiet ride in a gondola, providing fabulous views of Queenstown, where the peaceful lakes reflect the images of noble mountains.
A Day for you.
You have a full free day to enjoy the "adventure capital" of New Zealand. With ready access to Remarkable Mountains, lakes, rivers, ski fields and the glacial lake, you can hike the trails, ride mountain bikes, bungee jump off a bridge, or sedately shop the cosmopolitan stores. Enjoy the South Islands' most popular tourist destination today at your leisure.
Fly to Rotorua to visit Whakarewarewa Thermal Village and learn about Maori culture. Here amid hot springs, geysers and mud pools, learn of ancient cooking traditions, the power of the mineral springs, and the history of the Maori's ancestral meetinghouse. This evening is filled with song, dance and a Hangi feast. Overnight in Novotel Lakeside Rotorua.
On to Auckland
At the Waitomo Caves, the darkness is broken only by the steady glow of the odd blue-green light of the caves' little residents--the glowworms. The caves were not widely known until 1887, when discovered by an English surveyor, though the Maori had known of them for generations.
At world-renowned Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World, see the penguin colonies, ride in a snow cat, and get a close look at some predators of the deep from the vantage of a underwater tunnel. Your vacation concludes with transfer to the airport for your flight home.
From $4785 per person in double occupancy
Departure: Daily, year-round.
Duration: 9 Nights, 10 Days
Type of services: Guided services throughout with local English-speaking guides.
Travel documents: Please visit our “Visa Info” page to inquire if you need a travel visa for this tour. It is the responsibility of the traveler to obtain proper travel documents for this tour..
Inclusions: All ground transportation at the destination; lodging, meals and tours per itinerary; hotel taxes; English-speaking assistance.
Not included: International and/or domestic airfares; airport departure taxes; tips of any kind; incidentals at hotels; any meals not included in the itinerary; alcoholic beverages; souvenirs.
It is the travelers responsibility to have all proper travel documents which can include passports and foreign visas. Learn more here: Passport & Visa Information
Travel Insurance is highly recommended to protect your travel investment and for any emergencies that could occur while traveling. Learn more here: Travel Insurance
All rates are “From Prices”
and correspond to the lowest season in the year.
Expect moderate to high increases for high season
and holiday periods. Low season dates vary from
destination to destination. Please inquire for details.
All rates on this website are per person and based
on double occupancy, unless otherwise indicated.
If a hotel included in a program is not available
at the time of the reservation, we will substitute
it for a hotel of similar category.
Room and cabin upgrades are available at most hotels
and cruises. Please inquire at the time of reservation.
Most programs can be customized.
All itineraries are subject to change without notice.