The Best of New Zealand
Days 1-2 UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flights to Christchurch.
Day 3 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.
Day 4 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.
Day 5 Dunedin
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.
Day 6 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.
Day 7 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’.
Day 8 Queenstown
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.
Day 9 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.
Day 10 Mount Cook - Christchurch
We skirt the glacial blue waters of Lake Pukaki and pass Lake Tekapo en route to Christchurch.
Day 11 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.
Day 12 Wellington
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.
Day 13 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 continue to one of the jewels of the country, Rotorua, known for its awe-inspiring geothermal activity. This evening, we’ll enjoy a Maori cultural experience, an authentic Maori concert and a traditional ‘hangi’ feast.
Day 14 Rotorua
Today we’ll 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’ll also stop at Rainbow Springs, one of the world’s most magnificent trout and wildlife habitats, where you have a chance to see the rare, flightless kiwi. Also on today’s plan is the Agrodome for an interesting farm show, where the skills of mustering, shearing and milking and the use of sheep dogs are demonstrated.
Day 15 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.
Day 16 Auckland
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.
Day 17 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.
Day 18 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.
Day 19 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.