Geographically divided into two landmasses, namely South Island and North Island, New Zealand has vistas of green hills, lakeside cities and tribal communities like Moriori and Maori. Spend leisure days in the major cities, and embark on an exquisite wine tasting tour in Napier. While taking road trips through the country, pass lush farms, snow-capped peaks, mountain passes, forests and gorges. Take trips to natural wonders like glowing caves, raging glaciers, vast lakes and geothermal fields. Get insight into the national history and culture by exploring a museum in Wellington and attending Aboriginal cultural performances in Rotorua. Learn various cattle farming skills and ride a train, renowned for the picturesque landscapes it travels through.
What is included in the tour
- All accommodation on Bed & Breakfast basis.
- All Transfer & Sightseeing on Compact Car (self drive)
- All sightseeing as per the itinerary with entrance fees.
What is NOT included in the tour
- All expenses of personal nature like tips, mineral water, laundry charges, telephone charges, food and drinks not forming part of the group menus and optional tours.
- Travel Insurance
- Any items not specifically mentioned in “tour cost includes”
Day 1 - Arrival in Auckland
Upon arrival in Auckland, meet a TravelOcat’s representative and transfer to the hotel. If you are picking the self-drive tour, then collect your rented cars at the airport to reach the hotel.
Auckland is a city, located between two natural harbours. It is one of the most populous and largest urban areas in the country. Often called ' the City of Sails', it has rolling green hills and idyllic islands for visitors to explore. There are more than 40 volcanic cones and a rainforest situated around this city.
After check-in at the hotel, spend the day at leisure and end it with an overnight stay.
Day 2 - Auckland to Waitomo | Sightseeing in Waitomo | Waitomo to Rotorua
Post breakfast, take a drive through the pastoral landscape of Waikato to reach Waitomo. Waitomo is essentially an agrarian district, comprising dairy and sheep farms. Upon reaching here, take a guided tour of the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves.
These limestone caverns are home to thousands of worms that radiate with luminescent light, creating a magical spectacle for tourists. Treat your eyes to this breathtaking phenomenon, while taking a walk in the caves. The highlight of this experience will be an underground boat ride on the river, flowing beneath them.
Following the visit to the caves, relish a delicious lunch.
After the meal, continue the journey to reach Rotorua. Visit the Agrodome – a cattle farm – in this city to spend some fun-packed time and attend the Agrodome Farm Show. The show exhibits many tasks performed at the farm like the art of sheep shearing and hand-milking the cows. Get introduced to different breeds of sheep, and see how the farm dogs keep the herds under control.
After this, move forward to Te Puia Thermal Reserve. Located in the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, it covers approximately 60 hectares of natural wonders like hot springs and geysers. It has a rich Aboriginal history and is home to the native Maori people. Learn about their tradition, customs and lifestyle by attending a Maori cultural performance here.
Post this wonderful experience, travel to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
Day 3 - Optional Visit to Rainbow Springs | Rotorua – Lake Taupo – Napier
After a scrumptious breakfast, spend some time at leisure. You may visit Rainbow Springs on your own before departing for Napier in the afternoon. Rainbow Springs is a wildlife park where you can see creatures like parrots, kiwis and tuataras.
Post checking-out from the hotel, travel through Wairakei Geothermal Area to arrive at Lake Taupo. With a surface area of approximately 600 sq km, it is the largest lake in New Zealand. Snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear waters, raging rapids and thermal hot springs make the area an amazing natural wonder. Spend some time here, watching the breathtaking views while relaxing by the waterbody.
Later in the day, recommence the journey and reach the city of Napier for an overnight stay at the hotel
Day 4 - Wine Tour
Savour a tasty breakfast, and then spend some leisurely time in Napier. The architecture of the city mainly pertains to the art-deco style of the 1930s and is popular across the world. So, take some time to admire its unique cityscape.
In the afternoon, take a tour of three wineries in and around the city. The tour also includes wine tasting at these factory-cum-vineyards. Wine is an integral part of New Zealand's lifestyle, and the optimum climate and soil type results in some fine products.
Following this culinary venture, retire for a good night's sleep at the hotel.
Day 5 - Napier to Wellington
After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and then leave for Palmerston North. On the way, travel through Manawatu Gorge and Takapau Plains.
Manawatu Gorge is a scenic divide between the Ruahine and Tararua Ranges that lie to the northeast of Palmerston North. Enjoy the view of high-rising mountains and the great Manawatu River, while driving along its gorge. Takapau is a rural community in the Hawke's Bay region, and most of the land here is used for farming.
Palmerston North is a calm city, situated on the banks of the Manawatu River. The view of mountains in the distance adds to the beauty of this place.
Continuing the road trip southwards, reach Wellington and transfer to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Day 6 - Visit to Te Papa
Known as World's Coolest Little Capital, Wellington is the capital and one of the largest cities in the country. It is also the world's southernmost capital city and is known for strong gale winds. The Downtown of Wellington has a number of theatres, museums and art galleries, making it a hub of culture and fine arts.
After a filling breakfast, embark on a guided tour of Te Papa – the national museum of New Zealand. The six floors of the museum, replete with engaging and interactive displays, offer an insight into the Maori and Pacific cultures, and the country's extraordinary natural life. This museum houses some important works, related to the art and unique history of the country.
Following the museum tour, spend the afternoon at leisure and later return to the hotel to rest.
Day 7 - Wellington to Christchurch
Post breakfast, start the journey to Christchurch. On the way, lie some interesting places like Cook Strait, Marlborough Sounds and Picton.
Cook Strait, named after the first European explorer to sail through it, divides the North and South Islands of New Zealand. It connects the Tasman Sea and South Pacific Ocean, and is considered to have unpredictable waters.
Marlborough Sounds is an extensive network of sea-drowned valleys that formed as a result of rising sea levels, combined with land subsidence. Whales use this place for migration, because of which whalers settled here.
Picton is a town in the Marlborough region of New Zealand's South Island. Apart from being a gateway to the North Island, it serves as a base for people, who wish to explore the regional forests and valleys. The seafront locality of this town is dotted with cafés, restaurants and various types of galleries.
After crossing Picton, continue travelling through Blenheim and Kaikoura towards Christchurch.
On reaching the city, transfer to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Day 8 - Christchurch to Dunedin
Travel across the fertile Canterbury Plains before arriving at Lake Tekapo. Visit the 'Church of the Good Shepherd' before continuing onto Mt Cook National Park.
Day 9 - Dunedin to Queenstown
After breakfast, spend the day at leisure exploring the city of Dunedin. The city offers various places to travellers and is known worldwide for its Scottish heritage and the picturesque harbour. Larnach Castle is a popular attraction not only in Dunedin, but in the entire country. You can also go to Otago Peninsula and have a glimpse of rare species of penguin.
In the afternoon, leave for Queenstown and en route head past South Otago, the mining town of Clyde, Cromwell and the Kawarau Gorge.
Upon arrival in Queenstown, enjoy a good night’s sleep at the hotel.
Day 10 - Leisure day in Queenstown
Have breakfast at the hotel, and thereafter spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Surrounded by picturesque mountains, this little town sits on the edge of the crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown is renowned for the four distinct seasons experienced here and the prospect for adventure sports. From scenic hiking trails to luxury dining experience, the city offers an array of activities for everyone.
End this restful day with an overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 11 - Queenstown to Glacier Region
Post breakfast, embark on a journey along lakes and through mountain passes to reach the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. On the way to the glaciated region, journey past Lake Wanaka.
The lake is about 45 km long and covers an area of approximately 190 sq km. It is a major hub for winter sports enthusiasts, who come here from all over the world to participate in skiing and snowboarding. Continue the journey over Haast Pass, a mountain pass in the Southern Alps of New Zealand that was used by the Maori people in the past.
Cross some scenic mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to arrive in the glacier region.
Once here, transfer to the hotel and spend the night.
Day 12 - Glacier Region to Greymouth | Greymouth to Christchurch
Post a delightful breakfast, travel northwards to Greymouth, which has a long history of jade carving and gold mining. There is a local museum dedicated to the history of gold mining in the town. Upon reaching Greymouth, board the world-famous TranzAlpine Train. The train crosses Canterbury Plains, ascends along the gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River and then meanders through the Southern Alps.
The panoramic side and roof windows of the train coaches allow you to capture the beauty of the Southern Alps.
After de-boarding the train in Christchurch, transfer to the hotel to rest at night.
Day 13 - Departure from Christchurch
Post breakfast, return the rented cars, if applicable and then transfer to the airport for your onward flight