New Zealand Vacation Itinerary - Our Favourite North and South Island Tour - by New Zealand Encounters and Travel
We've put together a collection of unique and exciting itinerary ideas for you based on what our clients have wanted over the past 12 years. These itineraries can form the base for your New Zealand experience.

New Zealand Vacation Itinerary - Our Favourite North and South Island Tour

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Our Favourite North and South Island Tour


At times this tour is fast paced and at others it is slow and leisurely. At all times however, it offers beautiful places and plenty of fun. In the North Island, stay at Auckland's waterfront, explore the remote bush and beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula and discover Rotorua's Maori culture and thermal parks. <br><br>In the South Island, indulge in Queenstown's adventures, marvel at the majestic Milford Sound, enjoy the Wild West Coast with its' glaciers and rain forests. The excitement continues as you cross the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch. As if that was not enough in one vacation, there is still time to see dolphins and/or whales at Kaikoura before ending in the premier wine region of Marlborough.

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Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrival Auckland 30 minute transfer
You will be greeted at the Airport by a private driver who will transport you to your waterfront accommodation. Along the way you will enjoy a short stop at One Tree Hill with its 360 degree panoramic views where your driver will point out the places of interest and identify key spots that will introduce you to the 'City of Sails'. Depending on your arrival time you may or may not have the opportunity to explore the city.
   
Accommodation:
Your accomodation is in brand new waterfront apartment style hotel suites. Located in the America's Cup Village, your views of the marina and gulf are seen from your lounge and bedroom. Walk from your hotel to restaurants, the wharf, Queen Street and the Sky Tower.

Two night stay.

Region:
Auckland

Day 2 - Auckland No travel
A full day to explore Auckland, 'The City of Sails'.

Your mid-size automatic rental car will be delivered to your Hotel this morning.
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night.

Region:
Auckland

Day 3 - Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula 3 hour drive
Today you begin the journey out of the city to discover what New Zealand is really all about! Your first excursion leads you to your beachside destination. The three hour drive offers a buffet of beautiful sights for your eyes to devour! From flat fertile farmland to mountain passes and small beach communities, the drive is as wonderful as the destination. You have the rest of the afternoon to walk the beach, dig for clams, catch a fish, relax or take a ferry ride across the estuary.
   
Accommodation:
Experience the privacy and beauty from you own hilltop apartment overlooking the magnificent Mercury Bay. It is the perfect place for those that want to be close to all the Mercury Bay has to offer.

Two night stay.

Region:
Coromandel Peninsula

Day 4 - Coromandel Peninsula No travel
A full day to relax at the beach or enjoy one of the many activities offered at this oceanside paradise.
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night.

Region:
Coromandel Peninsula

Day 5 - Coromandel Peninsula - Rotorua 3-4 hour drive
A three hour drive south along the Pacific Coast Highway will lead you past popular surfing beaches, through Kiwifruit country and finally to Lake Rotorua and its surrounding thermal region. Peer into massive craters, see boiling mud, exploding geysers, soak in a mineral hot pool and enjoy native and Redwood forests. Numerous lakes dot the region where trout are abundant.
   
Accommodation:
The design of this B&B is that of a 1930's New Zealand Bungalow. Each guest room is identical in size and includes ensuite bathrooms and a door to a private terrace giving access to the garden.

Two night stay.

Region:
Rotorua

Day 6 - Rotorua No travel
This morning you will be collected from your accommodation by our Maori guide/driver who will offer you Maori history, stories and legends throughout the day.

Learn of Maori traditions, visit a Maori Marae (meeting house), experience geothermal reserves and bubbling mud pools, hike through the spectacular Waimangu Volcanic Valley, discover the region around Rotorua and Taupo that is your guide's Iwi's (tribe's) ancestral land.

A special day to remember for a lifetime!
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night.

Region:
Rotorua

Day 7 - Rotorua - Queenstown 2 hour flight
Time to say goodbye to Rotorua and head for the South Island. Drive to the nearby Rotorua Airport where you drop off your rental car and board your flight to Queenstown.

Upon arrival at Queenstown you will pick up your next rental car and drive to your lake view accommodation.

Queenstown is a bustling lakeside resort surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges. Considered the adventure capital of New Zealand, no doubt you will find much to enjoy during your Queenstown stay.
   
Accommodation:
Nestled on a hillside overlooking Queenstown Bay to the Remarkables beyond, the contemporary lodge-style hotel befits its alpine setting. The spectacular views will captivate you!

Three night stay.

Region:
Queenstown

Day 8 - Queenstown No travel
A full day to jet boat, hike, golf, fish, ride, drive, bike, raft, shop, eat, cruise, bungy or simply relax!
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night.

Region:
Queenstown

Day 9 - Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown Full day trip
Rise and Shine! Today is an early start. You will be picked up by luxury coach for your drive from Queenstown through to Te Anau (you may choose to upgrade to a helicopter or Cessna flight for this first portion).

Between Te Anau and Milford Sound you will travel through beach and rain forests and alongside sheer cliffs dressed in multiple waterfalls. Upon arrival at Milford Sound you will board a cruise boat for a two hour boat trip through the glacier created, dramatic landscape.

After the boat trip you will board your flight from Milford. High above the spectacular landscape, the sources for the many waterfalls can be viewed.
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night.

Region:
Fiordland

Day 10 - Queenstown - Fox Glacier 5 hour drive
Today is a big travel day as you depart Queenstown and pass Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea then travel over the amazing Haast Pass. There are walks over swing bridges to crystal blue pools, walks to waterfalls through forests with curtains of moss and historically significant stops all along the Pass.

You then journey through the World Heritage Rain Forest before ending at your final destination of the day, the small village of Fox Glacier. Should daylight allow, we suggest a helicopter flight up and onto the glacier for a walk on the river of ice, or a walk to the terminal of glacier.
   
Accommodation:
A new purpose built B&B style Inn is your accommodation for the night. You will enjoy the magnificent views of the Cook River valley and the podocarp forest which provides a dramatic backdrop to your accommodation.

One night stay.

Region:
West Coast

Day 11 - Fox Glacier - Christchurch 3 hour drive + train journey
It's time to head north up the West Coast. The thick beech forests, lakes and small gold mining towns offer entertainment along the way. You may want to stop at the typical West Coast town of Hokitika. Hokitika is a haven for crafts. Wonderful woodcarving, Greenstone (jade) carvings, pottery, woven goods, blown glass and much more can be found at bargain prices.

The four hour journey from Greymouth to Christchurch meanders through Arthur's Pass. It was voted the top sixth train ride in the world. A transfer to your B&B can be arranged if required.
   
Accommodation:
Set in a secluded garden, tonight's B&B provides a peaceful ambience yet is close to restaurants and shopping.

Two night stay.

Region:
Canterbury

Day 12 - Christchurch No travel
Your next rental car will be picked up from the City Office this morning.

The Garden City of Christchurch is a charming English style city with a famous botanical garden, the Avon River, great art galleries, shops and restaurants. You have the day to enjoy the city.
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night.

Region:
Canterbury

Day 13 - Christchurch - Kaikoura 2 hour drive
It is a two and half hour drive from Christchurch up the coast to the small village of Kaikoura. Once a whaling station, it is now the main centre in the country for mammal conservation.

You have the afternoon to enjoy a whale watch or dolphin watch trip or if you are game, swim with the dolphins.
   
Accommodation:
Your accommodation is a boutique B&B, set atop the Kaikoura Peninsula amidst half an acre of extensive private gardens. Relax and enjoy the 180 degree views which take in the rural area, township, bay, mountains and a long stretch of coastal horizon.

One night stay.

For those serious about their wine tasting, you may choose to continue to Blenheim for the night where you can enjoy an overnight stay at a luxurious vineyard.

Region:
Canterbury

Day 14 - Kaikoura - Blenheim - Departure 2 hour drive + flight
Blenheim, deep in the Marlborough wine district is the final destination of your New Zealand vacation. The two hour drive hugs the coastline most of the way before heading west into 'the valley of wine'.

There will be plenty of time to enjoy some New Zealand wine, olive oil tasting, cafe visits or garden tours before your late afternoon flight to Auckland for your international departure.
   
Accommodation:


Region:
Marlborough



Pricing and Inclusions


From $4,600 NZD per person (Based on twin share accomodation)

Inclusions


    • Car Rentals, mid sized, auto transmission, partial insurance and unlimited mileage.
    • Private driver pick-up from Auckland Airport
    • Accommodation, based on twin share.
    • Milford Day Trip Coach, Cruise & Flight.
    • TranzAlpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch.
    • 7 Day NZ based Service Assistance.

Exclusions


    • International Airfares
    • Internal Domestic Airfares
    • Meals not specified
    • Optional activities not specified

Departures


Daily departures.

Accommodation and Meals


Meals: With our preferred accommodations included are 7 Full Breakfasts.

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