Days 1-2 London - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport for a scheduled Qantas flight to Sydney via Dubai.
Day 3 Sydney - Christchurch
Following our morning arrival into Sydney, we take a connecting flight to Christchurch in the South Island. On arrival into Christchurch we transfer to the Chateau on the Park a DoubleTree by Hilton (3T+) hotel, our base for a two night stay. The remainder of the day is free. You can stroll through Hagley Park, which is located opposite our hotel, to the wonderful Botanical Gardens that are fringed by the gently flowing Avon River.
Day 4 Akaroa
This morning we head east to the Banks Peninsula and the township of Akaroa, with its distinct French colonial history. Following our arrival we board our comfortable catamaran for a two-hour narrated cruise, which brings the history of the harbour and its marine life alive. Learn how the entire Banks Peninsula was created from a huge volcano, now extinct for several million years, and view the giant volcanic sea cliffs, while keeping an eye out for the penguins, fur seals and the rare Hector’s Dolphin that reside in the area. After our return to the township you are free to take lunch and explore, before we return to Christchurch where your evening is at leisure.
Day 5 Christchurch - TranzAlpine - Franz Josef
We have an early start to transfer to the TranzAlpine for what is considered to be one of the most spectacular rail journeys in the world. After travelling through the Canterbury Plains, the train heads up into the spectacular Southern Alps and Arthur’s Pass National Park. The wonderful scenery continues as we head towards Greymouth where we disembark and travel south to Shantytown and on to Franz Josef and the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (3T+).
Day 6 Franz Josef - Haast River - Wanaka
Following an included breakfast there is some time to enjoy your spectacular surroundings, before we depart south to Haast Bridge where we join an exhilarating 30km river safari along the glacial Haast River to Billy Falls. On arrival we continue to the delightful town of Wanaka and the Edgewater Resort (4T), where dinner is included tonight.
Day 7 Wanaka
The Edgewater Resort enjoys a superb location on the shores of Lake Wanaka and you have the whole day to enjoy the hotel’s facilities and perhaps take a stroll along the many walking trails available. Your tour manager will be on hand to advise you of further activities that you may wish to pursue.
Day 8 Wanaka - 4WD Safari - Queenstown
This morning we transfer towards Lake Wakatipu and the alpine resort of Queenstown. En route we embark on a 4WD off-road safari for stunning mountain and canyon vistas, some of which were used in the Lord of the Rings films. This mode of transport really enables you to get off the beaten track and explore some of New Zealand’s hidden wonders. Upon our arrival in Queenstown we check-in at the centrally-located Crowne Plaza (4T) hotel for a three-night stay.
Days 9-10 Queenstown
Two full days to do as much or as little as you wish. Perhaps ride to the top of Bob’s Peak on a gondola skyway for a panoramic view of the town far below and the nearby mountain range, The Remarkables, or take an exhilarating jet-boat ride on the Shotover River.
Day 11 - Queenstown - Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
An overnight bag is required today, as we leave Queenstown for Lake Manapouri where we cruise to West Arm and continue by coach over Wilmot Pass. At Deep Cove we board the Fiordland Navigator (3T) for a unique overnight experience on board our vessel, designed to reflect New Zealand’s heritage as a coastal trading scow. The remainder of the afternoon is spent cruising this unspoilt wilderness watching for rare wildlife as the awesome scenery passes by. This evening the vessel anchors in a hidden arm of the sound where you spend an enchanting night.
Day 12 Doubtful Sound - Invercargill
Following a hearty morning breakfast there is more time to further enjoy the experience before we re-trace our steps to Manapouri and travel onward to the southern town of Invercargill where we stay at the Ascot Park Hotel (3T+) for two nights.
Day 13 Stewart Island
Today we explore Stewart Island, also known in Maori as Rakiura, which translates to ‘Land of the Glowing Skies’. Following our transfer to Bluff, the southernmost point of the South Island, we take a ferry across to Oban to join a village and bay tour where we learn of the history and culture of the island and its people together with views of the unspoilt scenery. Following an included boxed lunch we join a cruise along Paterson Inlet, which includes a stop at Ulva Island for a guided walk to view the wide range of native birds including the flightless Weka. Later we return by ferry to Bluff and transfer back to Invercargill for a second night.
Day 14 Invercargill - Hanmer Springs
This morning we make the short transfer to the airport for our flight to Christchurch. On arrival we transfer by coach to Hanmer Springs, where we stay for one night at the Heritage Hotel (3T+). You may wish to spend any free time here relaxing in the nearby Thermal Pools, where you can unwind in rock pools interconnected by thermal streams.
Day 15 Hanmer Springs - Kaikoura Whale-Watching Cruise - Marlborough - Blenheim
After an included breakfast we travel to Kaikoura for an included whale-watching cruise. Whilst the cruise is weather dependent and the sighting of whales is not guaranteed, the vast majority of passengers experience a once-in-a-lifetime performance, by the largest mammals on earth. Following the cruise, you will visit Yealands Estate in the Marlborough region, for a winery visit and tasting. We then continue to the Chateau Marlborough (4T) in Blenheim for a two-night stay.
Day 16 Marlborough Sounds
Enjoy a morning cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound to historical Ship Cove, named in 1770 by Captain James Cook when he anchored his ship ‘The Endeavour’ to replenish supplies. Your cruise is accompanied by a commentary on the scenery and wildlife you may spot. The afternoon will be free, or you can join an optional winery tour.
Day 17 Blenheim - Wellington
This morning we travel to Picton where we board a comfortable Interislander ferry for the spectacular journey across the Cook Strait, named after Captain Cook who was the first European to sail the route in 1770. Upon our arrival in Wellington we take a short orientation tour of the city before check-in at the centrally-located James Cook Grand Chancellor (4T), where we stay for two nights.
Day 18 Wellington
A full free day to explore New Zealand’s capital city. A must-see is the Te Papa Museum, which is free to enter and offers a large number of interesting and thought provoking exhibits, utilising state of the art technology. Further afield, the Botanical Gardens, which are accessible by a steep cable car ride, includes an observatory and Rose Garden set high above the city.
Day 19 Wellington - Napier
Today we leave Wellington and travel north to Hawkes Bay and the town of Napier, famed for its Art Deco buildings which were built following a great earthquake and fire in 1931. We take a short walking tour of the town before continuing to the Scenic Hotel Te Pania (3T+), where we stay for the night.
Day 20 Napier - Lake Taupo
This morning you are at leisure to explore Napier further. This afternoon we travel to Lake Taupo and the Bayview Wairakei Resort (3T+) or Millennium Hotel Resort Manuels Taupo (4T), where the remainder of the day is free to enjoy the hotel’s excellent facilities.
Day 21 Huka Falls - Tongariro National Park
We head first to Huka Falls this morning where well over 200,000 litres of water thunder past you every second. Several viewing platforms ensure an excellent vantage point for everyone. Later we follow the edge of Lake Taupo south to Tongariro National Park for views of the Ruapenhu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro Mountains. Later we return back to Taupo for a second night. Tonight we enjoy an evening of Maori culture and entertainment which includes a traditional Hangi dinner.
Day 22 Taupo - Rotorua - Coromandel Peninsula
Departing Taupo this morning we head north to Rotorua to visit the New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute at Te Puia. The Maori people have been working hard to ensure that their ancient skills are not lost and special men are trained here to ensure that the famed wood and stone craftsmanship is carried on for generations to come. Later we travel up the coastal highway to the Coromandel Peninsula where we stay at the Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort (3T+) for one night.
Day 23 Coromandel Peninsula - Auckland
Following an included breakfast we depart our hotel for a tour of the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula which will include a visit to the famous Hot Water Beach, and stops at scenic lookouts, before taking a short ferry from Cooks Beach to Whitianga, where you are free to explore and take lunch. This harbour town was a former gateway for the export of Kauri wood to the rest of the world. Later we travel to Auckland and the Crowne Plaza Hotel (4T), located in the heart of the city.
Day 24 Auckland
This morning we take a city tour of the ‘City of Sails’, the largest and most cosmopolitan city in New Zealand, which contains approximately a third of the entire country’s population. Captain William Hobson founded the city in 1840, following an invitation from the local chiefs and he named the city after his naval superior, Lord Auckland. The afternoon has been left free to explore and perhaps one of the best options is a scenic harbour cruise.
Day 25 Auckland - In flight
We transfer to Auckland Airport for a scheduled Qantas flight to Sydney or Melbourne and onward flight to London via Dubai.
Day 26 London
Arrival at London Heathrow Airport where you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.