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 Air New Zealand flight to Auckland via Los Angeles.
Day 3 Auckland
We arrive into Auckland and stay for two nights at the Crowne Plaza (4T), Heritage Auckland (4T) or Grand Millennium Auckland (4T+).
Day 4 Auckland
Our city tour this morning introduces us to ‘The City of Sails’, New Zealand’s largest city, whose metropolitan area contains approximately one third of the entire country’s relatively tiny population. The afternoon is free to enjoy the city.
Day 5 Auckland - Bay of Islands
We leave Auckland this morning, heading north, stopping at the excellent Kauri Museum and at the Waipoua Forest to view ‘Tane Mahuta’, the largest remaining Kauri Tree. Upon arrival into the Bay of Islands we visit the Waitangi Treaty House. We stay for three nights at the Copthorne Resort (3T+) or Scenic Hotel (3T+) on a bed and breakfast basis. Dinner is also included at our hotel this evening.
Day 6 Bay of Islands
This morning we depart on a delightful cruise among the islands, past the Cape Brett lighthouse to Cathedral Cave before passing through the ‘Hole in the Rock’. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 7 Bay of Islands
Today you are free to make your own discoveries. You can take an optional excursion to Cape Reinga, the far north tip of New Zealand.
Day 8 Bay of Islands - Rotorua
We leave the beautiful Bay of Islands and head south to Rotorua, the region at the centre of both Maori culture and amazing geothermal activity. We stay for two nights at the Holiday Inn (4T), located close to the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. This evening we enter the Tamaki Maori Village for an all-embracing Maori cultural experience complete with traditional ‘hangi’ dinner.
Day 9 Rotorua
Our first stop this morning is at the Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park and Kiwi Conservation Centre. Later, we take a fascinating guided tour of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village to learn about Maori family life, traditions and culture, and view bubbling mud pools and mighty geysers. The remainder of the day is free.
Day 10 Rotorua - Christchurch
This morning we take a short Air New Zealand flight to Christchurch. On arrival we transfer to the Chateau on the Park a DoubleTree by Hilton (3T+), where we stay for two nights. The remainder of the day is free.
Day 11 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 that 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 the hotel, where your evening is at leisure.
Day 12 Christchurch - TranzAlpine - Franz Josef
An early start this morning as we take the TranzAlpine train through the Canterbury Plains to the Waimakariri River valley before climbing in the stunning Southern Alps to Arthur’s Pass, to rejoin our coach. The west coast’s dramatic scenery unfolds as we travel to Franz Josef. We stay overnight at the Scenic Hotel (3T+), where dinner is included.
Day 13 Franz Josef - Queenstown
Our southerly journey today will be one of the most impressive and rewarding drives to experience, the coastal scenery is remarkable before heading inland to Mount Aspiring National Park. We continue our day passing the glacial lakes of Wanaka and Hawea before arriving in Queenstown where we stay for three nights at the centrally-located Crowne Plaza Hotel (4T) or Heritage Queenstown (4T).
Day 14 Christmas Eve - Queenstown
Queenstown is a unique city with a beautiful location on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the Remarkables mountains. The day is free for you to do as you wish. This evening we take a gondola ride 450m up to the top of Bob’s Peak for an included buffet dinner, with an unsurpassable view over the city and lake.
Day 15 Christmas Day - Queenstown
Enjoy an included breakfast and some free time in Queenstown. A tasty Christmas buffet lunch is also included at our hotel, before the remainder of the afternoon is yours to do as you wish. In the early evening the festivities continue as we depart on the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw. We cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak and take our special Christmas dinner with a glass of champagne in the Colonel’s Homestead. The convivial atmosphere gets even better on the return trip, with the traditional sing-along around the TSS Earnslaw’s piano.
Day 16 - Boxing Day - Queenstown - Fiordland National Park overnight cruise
A very special two days await as we stay overnight in Fiordland National Park (3T) - on Milford or Doubtful Sound. Pack an overnight bag before we leave Queenstown and skirt Lake Wakatipu south and then onward to our cruising vessel, which has been designed as a coastal trading scow, to reflect New Zealand heritage. Spend the afternoon cruising through the unspoilt wilderness of the fiord, before anchoring in a sheltered arm of the sound where you spend an enchanted night. These overnight journeys have a limited capacity and therefore it is a privilege to be able to enjoy such an experience, especially at this special time of year. A hearty buffet dinner is included today.
Day 17 Fiordland National Park - Queenstown
Following breakfast and time to further enjoy the tranquillity of this amazing experience, we disembark and retrace our steps back to Queenstown, with an included boxed lunch. We stay for one night back at the Crowne Plaza Queenstown (4T) or Heritage Queenstown (4T).
Day 18 Queenstown - Sydney
This morning we take a flight to Sydney, which may be indirect. On arrival we transfer to the Parkroyal Darling Harbour hotel (4T), ideally located close to Darling Harbour, where we spend the next five nights. The Darling Harbour area is rich with restaurants, bars and attractions.
Days 19-20 Sydney
Our tour will orient you to this world-class city, including a harbour cruise for amazing daytime views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House from the water. This afternoon and tomorrow are free to explore. Why not explore the Rocks area, saved from redevelopment in the 1970s and now a distinct area flush with galleries, boutiques and restaurants.
Day 21 New Year’s Eve - Sydney
While the day is at leisure to enjoy the build-up to this annual extravaganza, this evening we enjoy one of the best vantage points on Sydney Harbour on board the MV Sydney 2000. Our vessel departs from King Street Wharf, Darling Harbour and cruises the harbour while serving a sumptuous dinner with all drinks included and a live band for accompaniment. The conclusion of our unforgettable evening comes at midnight with the stunning firework display from the harbour bridge, all viewed from the comfort of our ship with its prime location on the harbour water.
Day 22 New Year’s Day - Sydney
A day at leisure after the previous evening’s extravagance. Why not take a ferry over to Manly or Bondi to relax on the beach, something that is not normally recommended in the northern hemisphere at this time of year!
Day 23 Sydney - In flight
Some free time this morning before departing for the airport and a scheduled Air New Zealand flight to London via Los Angeles.
Day 24 London
Arrival at London Heathrow Airport, where you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.