The Best of New Zealand
21 days from £4,999 per person
An intoxicating fusion of natural beauty, big-city cool and Maori culture, a New Zealand tour is well worth the long journey. This tour introduces the dramatic scenery of South and North Island - the snow-capped Southern Alps, fiords, glaciers, natural hot springs and award-winning wine regions. You’ll spend time in laid-back cities, including two nights each in capital city Wellington and the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland. And you’ll finish with three nights in the subtropical Bay of Islands, home to soaring sand dunes and a rugged coastline.
Your holiday includes:
18 excursions and visits
- Visits to Fiordland National Park; Gibbston Valley Winery; Mount Cook; Huka Falls; Wai-O-Tapu thermal reserve; Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park; Agrodome farm show; Waitomo glow-worm caves; and Kauri Museum
- Milford Sound cruise
- TSS Earnslaw cruise
- City tours of Wellington and Auckland
- Tour of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village
- Witness the Lady Knox geyser erupting
- Tamaki Maori Village Cultural Experience
- Bay of Islands cruise
- Tour of the Waitangi Treaty House
- 17 nights in hotels and 3 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International flights. Prices are based on return flights with Air New Zealand from London Heathrow via Los Angeles (and outbound via Auckland) or Singapore Airlines via Singapore. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 23 meals: 17 breakfasts (days 4-20) 1 lunch (day 7) 5 dinners (days 4, 8-9, 13 or 14 and 17)
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Titan tour manager
- Travel in destination by coach
Days 1-2 UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flights to Christchurch.
On arrival, the remainder of the day is free. You might choose to stretch your legs strolling through Hagley Park to the wonderful botanical gardens, fringed by the Avon River.
Chateau on the Park, Christchurch (4-star)
Christchurch - Dunedin
We travel south to Dunedin, clustered around an attractive harbour. It’s known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’ for its strong Scottish influence - the city is home to New Zealand’s only kilt shop and produces the country’s whisky. We’ll follow the theme this evening with a grand, Scottish-style dinner.
Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, Dunedin (4.5-star)
Today you’re at leisure to explore more of Dunedin. Admire the Edwardian and Victorian architecture, visit the botanical gardens or perhaps follow the Street Art trail in the quirky Warehouse Precinct.
Dunedin - Te Anau
We journey across rich Southland plains to Te Anau. It’s the gateway to Fiordland National Park, known for its spectacular waterfalls, dense native forest and rare birds.
Distinction Te Anau Hotel (4-star) or Distinction Luxmore Hotel (4-star)
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown
We journey along the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys, one of the most scenic drives in the country. A cruise on spectacular Milford Sound takes us along the fiord, past the spectacular Mitre Peak, out to the open sea and back again. This majestic area was described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. We may catch a glimpse of seals frolicking in their natural habitat. Our drive to Queenstown skirts Lake Wakatipu, the only land-locked lake in the world with its own tide - its name translates as ‘the lake that breathes’.
Heritage Queenstown (4.5-star), Millennium Queenstown (4.5-star) or Rees Hotel Queenstown (4.5-star)
Queenstown, dominated by the majestic Remarkables, is a favourite with those who love the great outdoors. After a free day, we take an evening cruise aboard the beautiful vintage TSS Earnslaw. We travel across Lake Wakatipu to the high country sheep station of Walter Peak where you’ll dine in the elegant Colonel’s Homestead.
Queenstown - Mount Cook
This morning we visit Gibbston Valley Winery to sample their wine, before we journey into the heart of the Southern Alps, where we have our first glimpse of the majestic Mount Cook. Towering 3,754 metres above sea level, it’s known as ‘Cloud Piercer’ by the Maori. The Tasman Glacier, nudging one side of Mount Cook, is one of the longest glaciers outside the Himalayas.
Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook (4.5-star)
Mount Cook - Christchurch
We skirt the glacial blue waters of Lake Pukaki and pass Lake Tekapo en route to Christchurch.
Chateau on the Park, Christchurch (4-star)
Christchurch - Wellington
Travel north across the plains to the coastal town of Kaikoura, famous for its crayfish. At Picton, we leave the South Island and steam across the spectacular Cook Strait on the comfortable inter-island ferry. Wellington Harbour offers our first view of the capital city, our home for the next two nights.
Rydges Wellington (4.5-star)
We take a morning tour of the ‘Windy City’ of Wellington. The afternoon is free to explore and there are several attractions worth a visit, none more so than New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa.
Wellington - Rotorua
We head north this morning, stopping at Huka Falls, where the wide Waikato River squeezes through a narrow gorge and tumbles down into a beautiful aquamarine pool. We then visit the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, where the Tuhourangi/Ngati Wahiao tribe have opened their doors to share their way of life for over 200 years. We continue to one of the jewels of the country, Rotorua, known for its awe-inspiring geothermal activity.
Holiday Inn Rotorua (4.5-star)
This morning we visit Wai-O-Tapu, the most colourful and diverse of thermal reserves with its Primrose Terraces and Champagne Pool, after which we see Lady Knox geyser erupting. We then head to Rainbow Springs, one of the world’s most magnificent trout and wildlife habitats, where you have a chance to see the rare, flightless kiwi. This afternoon we continue to the Agrodome for an interesting farm show, where the skills of mustering, shearing and milking and the use of sheep dogs are demonstrated. In the evening, we’ll enjoy a Maori cultural experience, an authentic Maori concert and a traditional ‘hangi’ feast.
Rotorua - Waitomo Caves - Auckland
At Waitomo Caves, we take a boat along the underground river to see the thousands of glow-worms, spectacular in the darkness of the grotto. The tiny blue/green lights shine brighter if the glow worms are hungry! We travel on via the dairy centre of Hamilton to Auckland.
Grand Millennium (4.5-star) or Heritage Auckland (4.5-star)
Today we introduce you to the ‘City of Sails’, the largest metropolis in New Zealand. Our city tour highlights include Old Customhouse, the shoppers’ delight of Lower Queen Street, and Parliament Street. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Auckland - Bay of Islands
Crossing the bridge spanning the Waitemata Harbour this morning, we can look back at Auckland’s famous landmark, Rangitoto Island, before heading to Northland, the birthplace of the nation. We drive along the west coast, passing sleepy harbourside hamlets and native forests. The Waipoua Forest is home to huge kauri trees, the largest of which - ‘Tane Mahuta’ (Lord of the Forest) - stands 30 metres tall. We learn about these ancient trees at the Kauri Museum.
Copthorne Resort (4-star) or Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (4-star)
Bay of Islands
We embark on a delightful cruise around the bay to see Cape Brett lighthouse and hopefully spot seals, dolphins or whales. We also cruise into the grand Cathedral Cave and through the ‘Hole in the Rock’. This afternoon, we visit Waitangi Treaty House, where the historic signing between Maori and British formed the nation of New Zealand in 1840. Our visit includes a guided tour of Waitangi. Please note: Departures before October 2020 will visit Waitangi Treaty House on the morning of day 20.
Bay of Islands
The charm of this region is the solitude and outstanding scenic beauty; and today, you’re free to soak it all up. Visit historic Russell, the country’s first capital, or perhaps join a launch cruise to see where Captain Cook first anchored on his voyage of discovery. The sand dunes and hillocks of shells along Ninety Mile Beach also captivate the hearts of visitors.
Day 20 Bay of Islands - Auckland - In flight
We head south along the Hibiscus Coast and return to Auckland for your return flight to the UK.
Day 21 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.