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16 Day Ultimate Highlights Small Group Coach Tour

Days
16

Pricing From
$7849

North Island / South Island
Book Now

Overview

Explore the diverse North and the majestic South in this 16 Day Ultimate Explorer small group coach tour of New Zealand. This tour features world-famous attractions like the Milford Sound, TranzAlpine scenic train journey, Interislander Ferry cruise, and so much more.

From the “Garden City” Christchurch, you will travel south towards Lake Tekapo to see its beautiful turquoise water before spending the night at the spectacular Mt Cook National Park. The following day, you will travel southeast to Dunedin where you will enjoy an informative city tour. Travel to Te Anau where you stay a night before visiting the magical Milford Sound for a relaxing cruise. Spend two nights in Queenstown, the country’s adventure capital. You will have a free day to explore its beautiful surroundings or have a go at adventurous activities like skydiving, jetboating, or bungy jumping. From Queenstown, you will travel to the west coast to see the twin Glaciers and then board the TranzAlpine Train back to Christchurch.

In the North Island, you will start your tour in Wellington after taking the Interislander Ferry from Picton. You will travel to Rotorua and learn about the fascinating culture of the Maori while enjoying the city’s geothermal wonders. Travel north to the subtropical Bay of Islands and cruise to the famous “Hole in the Rock” before finishing your trip in Auckland.

View Map

This tour is also available as a standard package. Choose 'Standard Accommodation' in your booking form.

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Christchurch Tram on Regent Street

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Lupins at Mt Cook National Park

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Business class coach

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Business class seats

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Ultimate view

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Hole in the Rock Cruise, Bay of Islands

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

The hongi is a traditional Maori greeting expressed by the rubbing or...

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Te Papa Museum, Wellington

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Entertainment

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Ultimate Explorer Small Group Coach Tour

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Arrive Christchurch (D)

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink as you meet your travelling companions.

Hotel The George

Day 2Christchurch - Mt Cook (B,D)

After an introductory city sights tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, The Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps.

Hotel The Hermitage Hotel (Aoraki Wing)

Day 3Mt Cook - Dunedin (B,D)

Depart Mt Cook and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy a city tour followed by some free time. You might be interested in a tour of the Speight’s Brewery (optional) or the chance to see local wildlife in their natural habitat (optional).

Hotel Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 4Dunedin - Te Anau (B,D)

This morning travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland and your overnight stay. Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).

Hotel Distinction Luxmore

Day 5Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown (B,L)

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a nature cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year-round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is at leisure, you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Hotel Millennium Hotel Queenstown (2 nights)

Day 6Queenstown (Free Day) (B,SD)

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown with many optional activities available. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour to Skippers Canyon or to get up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.

Day 7Queenstown - Fox Glacier (B,D)

Travel to Arrowtown, an old goldmining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel north to the township of Fox Glacier. Time is available (weather permitting) to experience a scenic flight (optional) over the spectacular glaciers before arriving at your hotel.

Hotel Distinction Fox Glacier

Day 8Fox Glacier - Arthur’s Pass - Christchurch (B,D)

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue to Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains. On arrival into the elegant city of Christchurch, your Ultimate Coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

Hotel The George

Day 9Christchurch - Picton - Wellington (B,D)

Travel along the East Coast to the seaside village of Kaikōura. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you travel through Marlborough Country, famous for its food and wine. Continue to Picton, where you will board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington.

Hotel InterContinental Wellington (Deluxe Room. 2 nights)

Day 10Wellington (B)

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements.

Day 11Wellington - Taupo - Rotorua (B,D)

Depart Wellington and view the snow-capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as you travel to Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

Hotel Regent of Rotorua (2 nights)

Day 12Rotorua (B,SD)

Today begins with a gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Rotorua where spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a thrilling luge ride! Next stop is the Agrodome for an action-packed hour of farming entertainment and education that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. 

Some free time is available before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Mãori Hãngi and Concert.

Day 13Rotorua - Auckland - Bay of Islands (B,D)

This morning depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Continue through Whangarei to the Bay of Islands. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Mãori tribes and the British.

Hotel Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (2 nights)

Day 14Bay of Islands (B)

Today you will explore the scenic beauty of the Bay of Islands aboard a luxury catamaran. Cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’, keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. On return to Paihia, enjoy a free afternoon where a range of optional activities are available, or you may choose to relax and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront. This evening is also at leisure, you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).

Day 15Bay of Islands - Auckland (B,SD)

Depart the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland for a city sights tour. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including selected beverages with your new found friends.

Sudima Auckland City

Day 16Depart Auckland (B)

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

Cost per person twin share

September 2021 - May 2022
Land Only AU$7,849
Single Supplement AU$2,350
Extra nights accommodation Pre/Post Tour
City  Twin Share Single
Auckland  AU$160 AU$320
Christchurch  AU$205 AU$410
Extra night rates are per person in Australian Dollars, based on room only. 

* Please Note*

Prices are correct at time of printing, but are subject to exchange rate variations and component price changes.

PAYMENT

  • Deposit: $600 per person on booking
  • Full Payment: 60 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full on booking

CANCELLATION CHARGES

  • 60 days or more prior to departure, loss of deposit plus the cost of the airline ticket if issued.
  • Between 7 and 59 days prior to departure, 50% of the tour package price.
  • Less than 7 days prior to departure, 100% of the tour package price.

If a traveller wishes to cancel their existing booking and transfer to a new departure date, the above cancellation fees still apply.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Arrive Christchurch (D)

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink as you meet your travelling companions.

Hotel The George

Day 2Christchurch - Mt Cook (B,D)

After an introductory city sights tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, The Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps.

Hotel The Hermitage Hotel (Aoraki Wing)

Day 3Mt Cook - Dunedin (B,D)

Depart Mt Cook and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy a city tour followed by some free time. You might be interested in a tour of the Speight’s Brewery (optional) or the chance to see local wildlife in their natural habitat (optional).

Hotel Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 4Dunedin - Te Anau (B,D)

This morning travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland and your overnight stay. Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).

Hotel Distinction Luxmore

Day 5Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown (B,L)

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a nature cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year-round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is at leisure, you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Hotel Millennium Hotel Queenstown (2 nights)

Day 6Queenstown (Free Day) (B,SD)

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown with many optional activities available. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour to Skippers Canyon or to get up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.

Day 7Queenstown - Fox Glacier (B,D)

Travel to Arrowtown, an old goldmining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel north to the township of Fox Glacier. Time is available (weather permitting) to experience a scenic flight (optional) over the spectacular glaciers before arriving at your hotel.

Hotel Distinction Fox Glacier

Day 8Fox Glacier - Arthur’s Pass - Christchurch (B,D)

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue to Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains. On arrival into the elegant city of Christchurch, your Ultimate Coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

Hotel The George

Day 9Christchurch - Picton - Wellington (B,D)

Travel along the East Coast to the seaside village of Kaikōura. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you travel through Marlborough Country, famous for its food and wine. Continue to Picton, where you will board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington.

Hotel InterContinental Wellington (Deluxe Room. 2 nights)

Day 10Wellington (B)

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements.

Day 11Wellington - Taupo - Rotorua (B,D)

Depart Wellington and view the snow-capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as you travel to Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

Hotel Regent of Rotorua (2 nights)

Day 12Rotorua (B,SD)

Today begins with a gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Rotorua where spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a thrilling luge ride! Next stop is the Agrodome for an action-packed hour of farming entertainment and education that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. 

Some free time is available before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Mãori Hãngi and Concert.

Day 13Rotorua - Auckland - Bay of Islands (B,D)

This morning depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Continue through Whangarei to the Bay of Islands. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Mãori tribes and the British.

Hotel Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (2 nights)

Day 14Bay of Islands (B)

Today you will explore the scenic beauty of the Bay of Islands aboard a luxury catamaran. Cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’, keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. On return to Paihia, enjoy a free afternoon where a range of optional activities are available, or you may choose to relax and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront. This evening is also at leisure, you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).

Day 15Bay of Islands - Auckland (B,SD)

Depart the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland for a city sights tour. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including selected beverages with your new found friends.

Sudima Auckland City

Day 16Depart Auckland (B)

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

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