Overview

See for yourself why Auckland is the “City of Sails” then journey south to Waitomo for its magical glow worm caves. Continue to Rotorua for its adventure activities and fascinating Maori culture, and come to rest at Tarata Fishaway, a secluded rural retreat. Get to know better the quirky capital Wellington on a two nights’ stay before crossing Cook Strait on board the Interisland Ferry bound for South Island.

Spot the whales on a cruise in Kaikoura which is included before reaching Christchurch. Swimming with the world’s smallest dolphins in Akaroa comes next, followed by a trip south heading to the soaring mountains of Mt. Cook National Park. Get face to face with an iceberg at Tasman Glacier Lake. There is time to enjoy one of the many activities on offer in the ‘Adventure Capital’ of Queenstown, or simply lie back and soak up the views. From here, travel up north to the rugged West Coast and survey the stark contrast of glaciers and rainforests from a helicopter which will surely be the highlight of your trip. Cap off your journey on board the TranzAlpine Scenic Train for your trip back to Christchurch.

Itineraries

All itineraries can be amended or combined with other itineraries. Please advise amendments when requesting a quote.

Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua - Tongariro National Park - Wellington - Interislander Ferry - Blenheim - Kaikoura - Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown - Franz Josef - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Map of 19 Day Auckland to Christchurch Family Adventure
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Welcome to Auckland City
Explore Auckland City
Auckland to Waitomo
Waitomo to Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Rotorua to Tongariro National Park
Taihape to Wellington
Explore Wellington City and Surrounds
Interislander Ferry
Blenheim to Kaikoura
Kaikoura to Christchurch
Akaroa swimming with the dolphins cruise
Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park
Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown
Explore Queenstown and surrounds
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)
Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station
Depart Christchurch

Day 1

Welcome to Auckland City

Day 2

Explore Auckland City

Day 3

Auckland to Waitomo

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 178 kms

Day 4

Waitomo to Rotorua

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 139 kms

Day 5

Explore Rotorua

Day 6

Rotorua to Tongariro National Park

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 218 kms

Day 7

Taihape to Wellington

Travel Time: 2 hrs 50 mins

Distance: 225 kms

Day 8

Explore Wellington City and Surrounds

Day 9

Interislander Ferry

Travel Time: 20 mins

Distance: 25 kms

Day 10

Blenheim to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 1 hr 20 mins

Distance: 110 kms

Day 11

Kaikoura to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Day 12

Akaroa swimming with the dolphins cruise

Travel Time: 2 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 153 kms

Day 13

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 350 kms

Day 14

Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 257 kms

Day 15

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Day 16

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)

Travel Time: 4 hrs 35 mins

Distance: 350 kms

Day 17

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Day 18

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Day 19

Depart Christchurch

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.
Stay 2 nights Auckland

Collect your rental car

Perched on the edge of a large natural harbour, New Zealand's ‘City of Sails’ offers the best of both worlds. Sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests give way to a vibrant urban culture, humming with life. Spend time in the Viaduct Harbour - try your hand at sailing an America’s Cup yacht - or take the ferry to nearby Waiheke Island for a gourmet food and wine experience.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Fullers Auckland Harbour Cruise

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

The drive south from Auckland takes you into the rolling farmland and rich dairy pastures of the Waikato - before arriving in the limestone hills of the Waitomo countryside, home to a huge underground network of caves.

Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Explore a 30 million year old cave network spread across three levels. You’ll travel deep underground through the limestone caves viewing stalactites and stalagmites as well as and hearing about the caves historical and geological significance. You’ll then hop into a boat and glide silently through the glowworm grotto - a galaxy of tiny living lights.
Stay 1 night Waitomo

Today cross the lush farmland of the Waikato as you make your way inland to Rotorua. Pass through several small farming towns such as Otorohanga and Putaruru, before the region’s geothermal activity signals your arrival into the city of Rotorua.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Mitai Maori Village
Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Rainbow Springs and Behind the Scenes Kiwi Encounter

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour

Today you'll drive south to Taihape via the township of Taupo, Home to New Zealand's largest lake. Continue on through the Rangipo Desert skirting the edges of the - Tongariro National Park - a world Heritage site. 
Stay 1 night Tonganriro National Park

Heading south from Taihape, you will pass through the townships of Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the Kapiti Coast. The coastal seaside towns of Paraparaumu, Paekakariki and Plimmerton are worth a short detour before arriving into the capital city of Wellington. 

Wellington City is New Zealand's capital. It sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre) and so exploring on foot is relatively easy. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour
Stay 2 nights Wellington

Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour
On this half-day tour explore key Lord of the Rings filming locations all within an hour of central Wellington. Highlights include the outskirts of the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin and the sites of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith. Stroll where the hobbits raced to the Buckleberry Ferry and see where the infamous 'get off the road' scene was shot. You'll also stop and overlook the site of the Dunharrow Rohirrim encampment.

Wellington City
Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this (self described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton
The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'.

Collect your rental car

Picton to Blenheim
Only short 30 minute drive, you’ll follow the valley south to arrive in Blenheim, located in the heart of Marlborough - New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. Go through acres of leafy green vines and marvel at the magnificent ‘dry hills’ of Marlborough in the distance.
Stay 1 night Blenheim

Cross the 'dry hills' of Marlborough and head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view native wildlife. To the east is the South Pacific Ocean and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Kaikoura Township is a bustling little place with many cafes, restaurants and shops - but the main reason for visiting here is the wildlife - and it's one of the only places in New Zealand you can see whales year round.

Stay 1 night Kaikoura

Whale Watch Kaikoura
New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company, Whale Watch Kaikoura offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime up close encounter with the giant sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, is sometimes seen.

Kaikoura to Christchurch
Today you continue down the coast before heading inland through the North Canterbury wine region - the Waipara Valley. As you drive through this area you’ll be greeted by one of New Zealand's most notorious animals, the sheep. If you’ve time on your hands we recommend taking a detour to Hanmer Springs for relaxing dip in its thermal pools. Arriving into Christchurch you'll see a new and improved city, steadily rising from the ruins of the 2011 earthquake.
Stay 2 nights Christchurch

Drive to Akaroa

Akaroa Harbour formed as a result of an extinct volcanic crater being flooded by the Pacific Ocean. It's a beautiful place with sheer cliffs and the picturesque township of Akaroa at its heart. New Zealand's only native dolphin, Hectors dolphin, makes this sheltered harbour its home and its here you can take a 2 ½ tour to see and if you wish actually swim with these incredible creatures. Following a ½ hour briefing you depart on a 2 hour cruise of which around 1 hour is spent in the water with the dolphins. Black Cat Cruises has been operating since 1985 and their success rate at sighting dolphins is over 98%. Swimming with dolphins is not always possible either due to sea conditions, the dolphins' willingness to stay and play and other environmental reasons such as not swimming when there are babies around. You still manage to swim though on over 80% of their tours.

Today you’ll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.
Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue color. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village.

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.
Stay 1 night Mt Cook

Leaving the alpine region of Mount Cook, you'll travel through the lakeside town of Twizel, then a little further to Omarama. Continue on over the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand’s highest roads with a summit of 971 metres. Arrive in the quaint village of Tarras, then continue on a short way to the historic Bendigo Reserve, one of Otago’s original gold mining settlements.

Follow the road to Cromwell, and keep going through the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge towards the Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. See the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can bungy jump or relax and watch others take the plunge. Approaching Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range comes into view as you arrive into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Skyline Gondola and Luge

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure
Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dart River Wilderness Safari

From Queenstown you'll cross the Crown Range - the highest sealed road in New Zealand - to arrive in the Alpine town of Wanaka. Skirting the shores of both Lake Wanaka and Hawea, you will enter the small town of Makarora. Continue on through the remote seaside settlement of Haast before heading up the wild West Coast - a 600 km stretch of bush and native rainforest. Fox Glacier welcomes you first, then comes your destination for the night - Franz Josef township.

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef

Franz Josef is small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere.

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight 

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line’s operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Known for its Greenstone (Pounamu) this seaside town has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. Head to the coast and take in the endless sea-views or pick up a souvenir at one of the many craft shops. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located inside the train station building before boarding your train to Christchurch.

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

Private transfer Christchurch train station to your accommodation
Stay 1 night Christchurch

 

You will be collected from your accommodation and a private transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport in time for your departing flight.

Day 1, Welcome to Auckland City

Welcome to Auckland City

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.
Stay 2 nights Auckland

Day 2, Explore Auckland City

Explore Auckland City

Collect your rental car

Perched on the edge of a large natural harbour, New Zealand's ‘City of Sails’ offers the best of both worlds. Sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests give way to a vibrant urban culture, humming with life. Spend time in the Viaduct Harbour - try your hand at sailing an America’s Cup yacht - or take the ferry to nearby Waiheke Island for a gourmet food and wine experience.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Fullers Auckland Harbour Cruise

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

Day 3, Auckland to Waitomo

Auckland to Waitomo

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 178 kms

The drive south from Auckland takes you into the rolling farmland and rich dairy pastures of the Waikato - before arriving in the limestone hills of the Waitomo countryside, home to a huge underground network of caves.

Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Explore a 30 million year old cave network spread across three levels. You’ll travel deep underground through the limestone caves viewing stalactites and stalagmites as well as and hearing about the caves historical and geological significance. You’ll then hop into a boat and glide silently through the glowworm grotto - a galaxy of tiny living lights.
Stay 1 night Waitomo

Day 4, Waitomo to Rotorua

Waitomo to Rotorua

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 139 kms

Today cross the lush farmland of the Waikato as you make your way inland to Rotorua. Pass through several small farming towns such as Otorohanga and Putaruru, before the region’s geothermal activity signals your arrival into the city of Rotorua.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Mitai Maori Village
Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 5, Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Rainbow Springs and Behind the Scenes Kiwi Encounter

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour

Day 6, Rotorua to Tongariro National Park

Rotorua to Tongariro National Park

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 218 kms

Today you'll drive south to Taihape via the township of Taupo, Home to New Zealand's largest lake. Continue on through the Rangipo Desert skirting the edges of the - Tongariro National Park - a world Heritage site. 
Stay 1 night Tonganriro National Park

Day 7, Taihape to Wellington

Taihape to Wellington

Travel Time: 2 hrs 50 mins

Distance: 225 kms

Heading south from Taihape, you will pass through the townships of Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the Kapiti Coast. The coastal seaside towns of Paraparaumu, Paekakariki and Plimmerton are worth a short detour before arriving into the capital city of Wellington. 

Wellington City is New Zealand's capital. It sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre) and so exploring on foot is relatively easy. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour
Stay 2 nights Wellington

Day 8, Explore Wellington City and Surrounds

Explore Wellington City and Surrounds

Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour
On this half-day tour explore key Lord of the Rings filming locations all within an hour of central Wellington. Highlights include the outskirts of the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin and the sites of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith. Stroll where the hobbits raced to the Buckleberry Ferry and see where the infamous 'get off the road' scene was shot. You'll also stop and overlook the site of the Dunharrow Rohirrim encampment.

Wellington City
Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this (self described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

Day 9, Interislander Ferry

Interislander Ferry

Travel Time: 20 mins

Distance: 25 kms

Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton
The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'.

Collect your rental car

Picton to Blenheim
Only short 30 minute drive, you’ll follow the valley south to arrive in Blenheim, located in the heart of Marlborough - New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. Go through acres of leafy green vines and marvel at the magnificent ‘dry hills’ of Marlborough in the distance.
Stay 1 night Blenheim

Day 10, Blenheim to Kaikoura

Blenheim to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 1 hr 20 mins

Distance: 110 kms

Cross the 'dry hills' of Marlborough and head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view native wildlife. To the east is the South Pacific Ocean and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Kaikoura Township is a bustling little place with many cafes, restaurants and shops - but the main reason for visiting here is the wildlife - and it's one of the only places in New Zealand you can see whales year round.

Stay 1 night Kaikoura

Day 11, Kaikoura to Christchurch

Kaikoura to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Whale Watch Kaikoura
New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company, Whale Watch Kaikoura offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime up close encounter with the giant sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, is sometimes seen.

Kaikoura to Christchurch
Today you continue down the coast before heading inland through the North Canterbury wine region - the Waipara Valley. As you drive through this area you’ll be greeted by one of New Zealand's most notorious animals, the sheep. If you’ve time on your hands we recommend taking a detour to Hanmer Springs for relaxing dip in its thermal pools. Arriving into Christchurch you'll see a new and improved city, steadily rising from the ruins of the 2011 earthquake.
Stay 2 nights Christchurch

Day 12, Akaroa swimming with the dolphins cruise

Akaroa swimming with the dolphins cruise

Travel Time: 2 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 153 kms

Drive to Akaroa

Akaroa Harbour formed as a result of an extinct volcanic crater being flooded by the Pacific Ocean. It's a beautiful place with sheer cliffs and the picturesque township of Akaroa at its heart. New Zealand's only native dolphin, Hectors dolphin, makes this sheltered harbour its home and its here you can take a 2 ½ tour to see and if you wish actually swim with these incredible creatures. Following a ½ hour briefing you depart on a 2 hour cruise of which around 1 hour is spent in the water with the dolphins. Black Cat Cruises has been operating since 1985 and their success rate at sighting dolphins is over 98%. Swimming with dolphins is not always possible either due to sea conditions, the dolphins' willingness to stay and play and other environmental reasons such as not swimming when there are babies around. You still manage to swim though on over 80% of their tours.

Day 13, Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 350 kms

Today you’ll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.
Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue color. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village.

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.
Stay 1 night Mt Cook

Day 14, Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown

Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 257 kms

Leaving the alpine region of Mount Cook, you'll travel through the lakeside town of Twizel, then a little further to Omarama. Continue on over the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand’s highest roads with a summit of 971 metres. Arrive in the quaint village of Tarras, then continue on a short way to the historic Bendigo Reserve, one of Otago’s original gold mining settlements.

Follow the road to Cromwell, and keep going through the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge towards the Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. See the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can bungy jump or relax and watch others take the plunge. Approaching Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range comes into view as you arrive into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Skyline Gondola and Luge

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure
Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Day 15, Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dart River Wilderness Safari

Day 16, Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)

Travel Time: 4 hrs 35 mins

Distance: 350 kms

From Queenstown you'll cross the Crown Range - the highest sealed road in New Zealand - to arrive in the Alpine town of Wanaka. Skirting the shores of both Lake Wanaka and Hawea, you will enter the small town of Makarora. Continue on through the remote seaside settlement of Haast before heading up the wild West Coast - a 600 km stretch of bush and native rainforest. Fox Glacier welcomes you first, then comes your destination for the night - Franz Josef township.

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef

Day 17, Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef is small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere.

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight 

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line’s operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Day 18, Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Known for its Greenstone (Pounamu) this seaside town has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. Head to the coast and take in the endless sea-views or pick up a souvenir at one of the many craft shops. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located inside the train station building before boarding your train to Christchurch.

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

Private transfer Christchurch train station to your accommodation
Stay 1 night Christchurch

 

Day 19, Depart Christchurch

Depart Christchurch

You will be collected from your accommodation and a private transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport in time for your departing flight.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

 Twin/DoubleFamily**
Motel Accommodation from NZ$4,766* per person from NZ$3,405* per person

**Family is based on 2 adults and 2 children (5-14 years)

 * PLEASE NOTE

Price is based on two adults sharing a rental car and accommodation (twin/double-share).

Prices are estimates only, and are subject to availability and exchange rates when booking, seasonal or holiday price surcharges (such as Christmas/New Year and Easter); as well as special events that may be on. Please forward a request and we will be happy to forward a quote.

Payment

  • Deposit: 20% of the package cost or NZ$250 per person (whichever is the greater) at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 45 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full at the time of booking

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellation Fees up to 100% can apply after booking. Extra deposits or full payment may be requested to cover these charges prior to booking
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Includes

Includes:

18 nights accommodation

  • 2 nights Auckland
  • 1 night Waitomo
  • 2 nights Rotorua
  • 1 night Tongariro National Park
  • 2 nights Wellington
  • 1 night Blenheim
  • 1 night Kaikoura
  • 2 nights Christchurch
  • 1 night Mt Cook
  • 2 nights Queenstown
  • 2 nights Franz Josef
  • 1 night Christchurch

Rental Car Hire

  • Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible.
  • Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation. unlimited kms,airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers.

Private airport and train station transfers

Interislander Ferry Crossing

Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour, Wellington

Whale Watch Kaikoura tour

Akaroa Swimming with Dolphins tour

Glacier Explorers Tour, Mt Cook National Park

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Options

Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas, then travel insurance is a necessity. Compare rates and polices online and get a free travel insurance quote.

Accommodation

There is a choice of accommodation available on all packages, which depending on locations, includes motels, 3 star hotels, 4 star hotels, boutique lodges & hotels and luxury lodges and hotels. We are happy to quote on alternate accommodation requests.

Airfares

International flights can be included from Australia for all Australian residents.

Optional Extras

Explore Auckland

Fullers Auckland Harbour Cruise

Today Cruise the sparkling waters of Aucklands Waitemata harbour. You’ll learn about the most well-known city landmarks, including a stopover on dormant volcano Rangitoto. You’ll see spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge, the city skyline and Devonport’s historic naval base as well as enjoying the Bean Rock Lighthouse with a complimentary hot drink and sandwich. Each tour includes a complimentary return ticket to Devonport, that can be used on a day and time convenient to you.

Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

The only bridge climb in New Zealand, this spectacular AJ Hackett walking tour is the ultimate way to experience the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. Custom engineered walkways provide a safe and enjoyable experience - meaning this activity is suitable for all ages. As you're guided along the curving archways you'll be greeted with a 360 degree, panoramic view of the sparkling Waitemata harbour. See the best of the city from above and learn all about the secrets of the bridge!

Explore Rotorua

Mitai Maori Village

An evening at Mitai will give you an awe-inspiring introduction to the indigenous Maori culture. Marvel at the beautiful bush setting and paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream while trout and eels swim beneath the surface. See warriors in traditional dress and glowworms in their natural habitat. Enjoy a traditionally cooked hangi meal and round your evening off with a spectacular cultural performance.

Rainbow Springs and Behind the Scenes Kiwi Encounter

At Rainbow Springs you’ll have the chance to see some of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna within the majestic forests of Rotorua. Wander the beautiful tree-lined park and take in the flourishing bush, ferns, flowers and plants. See the spring-fed pool with rainbow, brown and tiger trout, then visit the on-site aviaries - home to New Zealand species such kea, kaka, tui, kereru and kiwi. The tuatara, known as New Zealand’s living dinosaur can also be seen here.

Go behind the scenes with New Zealand’s national animal at the purpose built Kiwi Conservation Centre - created solely to try and stop the extinction of this unique species. Here you will gain first hand insight into the conservation efforts being made to increase the numbers of kiwi eggs being hatched and returned to the wild.

Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

Embark on a three hour adventure through native New Zealand forest. Journey through the beautiful forest canopy via an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, Ziplines and swing bridges. See breathtaking views of the woodland valleys and hills as you fly through tight openings in the trees.

In between the thrill of the ziplines and suspended tree bridges, your guides will share their passion and knowledge for the forest and the conservation challenges to preserve it.

Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour

Gain a fascinating insight into New Zealand’s agriculture at Rotorua’s renowned Agrodome sheep show. You’ll see 19 different breeds of champion sheep as well as watching one of them being shorn by a real kiwi shearer. Marvel as the huntaway dogs work the animals then complete a sheepdog trial.

You’ll also get the chance to visit the agrodome nursery and pet the farm’s smallest animals - before catching a ride on a tractor for a unique guided tour of the organic working farm. Hand feed a variety of NZ farm animals including cattle, alpaca, ostriches, sheep, emus and deer, then taste the produce from the organic kiwifruit orchard, and local farm beehives.

Explore Wellington

Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour

Taking a night tour of Zealandia wildlife eco-sanctuary is an unforgettable experience and one that comes highly recommended. A conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand's rarest native animals, Zealandia is home to many remarkable species of birds, reptiles and insects living wild within a beautiful 225 hectare (one square mile) valley – just 10 minutes from the central city.

Your tour begins with an interactive exhibition before you walk through the gates of Zealandia predator-exclusion fence into the sanctuary. Your guide will then lead you on a torch-light walk through the native New Zealand bush. Possible sights include Kiwi foraging on the forest floor, tuatara hunting for food, glowworms shining, tiny Maud Island frogs in their enclosure, pateke (brown teal) ducks feeding at night and kaka (parrots) coming in to roost.

Zealandia is one of the best places to see kiwi in the wild. Over 100 of these nocturnal birds live freely in their natural environment inside the safety of the sanctuary valley – so your chances of seeing one is very good.

Explore Queenstown

Skyline Gondola and Luge

In the heart of Queenstown, located 450 metres above town in Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve is the Skyline Complex. Catch a gondola to the summit for awe-inspiring views and delicious local fare with view. Ride the 800 metre luge track, then for added thrill, choose to tandem paraglide back to base.

Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

Riding the iconic ‘Big Red’ Jet Boat through the narrow Shotover Canyon is an exhilarating experience not to be missed. Your skilled jet boat driver pushes the boat to 85 kph, skimming across shallow water and past towering canyon walls. This 25 minute white water ride includes 360 degree spins and maximum thrills.

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Take a one and a half hour jet boat safari through the remote wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park. Home to towering mountains, alpine bush, glacial lakes and icy rivers, this spectacular trip is considered one of the most scenic in the world. Following your boat journey, take a 40 minute walk through ancient beech forests over 80 million years old. Learn about the area and its history before taking a four wheel drive coach on a 50 minute journey to the isolated hamlet of Paradise - home to many Lord of the Rings filming locations.

Highlights

Interislander Ferry

The 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds. This region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays is a true photographic opportunity. From the Cook Strait spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen. After crossing the strait you approach Wellington Harbour and pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the countries highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph).

TranzAlpine Scenic Train

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train trip operates between Christchurch and Greynouth and vice versa. Crossing from the Tasman Sea through Arthur's Pass National Park to the Pacific Ocean. From your carriage enjoy views of the lush rain forest of the West Coast to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. Travel through gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River.

From Waitomo

Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

Explore a 30 million year old cave network spread across three levels. You’ll travel deep underground through the limestone caves viewing stalactites and stalagmites as well as and hearing about the caves historical and geological significance. You’ll then hop into a boat and glide silently through the glowworm grotto - a galaxy of tiny living lights.

From Wellington

Middle Earth Lord of the Rings tour Half Day Tour

On this half-day tour explore key Lord of the Rings filming locations all within an hour of central Wellington. Highlights include the outskirts of the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin and the sites of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith. Stroll where the hobbits raced to the Buckleberry Ferry, and see where the infamous 'get off the road' scene was shot. You'll also stop and overlook the site of the Dunharrow Rohirrim encampment.

From Christchurch

Whale Watch Kaikoura tour

New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company, Whale Watch Kaikoura offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime up close encounter with the giant sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, is sometimes seen.

You’ll be taken out in modern catamarans specifically designed for whale watching - featuring large passenger cabins and outside viewing decks. Passenger numbers for each tour are kept below the vessel carrying capacity to ensure your tour experience remains a personal one.

Akaroa Swimming with Dolphins tour

Akaroa Harbour formed as a result of an extinct volcanic crater being flooded by the Pacific Ocean. It's a beautiful place with sheer cliffs and the picturesque township of Akaroa at its heart. New Zealand's only native dolphin, Hectors dolphin, makes this sheltered harbour its home and its here you can take a 2 ½ tour to see and if you wish actually swim with these incredible creatures. Following a ½ hour briefing you depart on a 2 hour cruise of which around 1 hour is spent in the water with the dolphins. Black Cat Cruises has been operating since 1985 and their success rate at sighting dolphins is over 98%. Swimming with dolphins is not always possible either due to sea conditions, the dolphins' willingness to stay and play and other environmental reasons such as not swimming when there are babies around. They still manage to swim though on over 80% of their tours. All equipment is provided and all you need to bring along is your swimming costume and a towel.

From Mt Cook

Glacier Explorers Tour

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat. These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

From Franz Josef

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys.
Flight duration is 30 minutes. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line’s operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

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19 Day Auckland to Christchurch Family Adventure

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