This morning, we depart through high country landscapes as we travel to the historic mining town of Arrowtown. The heart of its history is Buckingham Street, a procession of small-town heritage buildings that stretch into a tree-lined avenue of tiny miners’ cottages. Be sure to try a cream tea in one of the quaint tea rooms. We journey on to nearby Queenstown, and our home for the next three nights, the four-star Millennium Hotel, situated only a short walk from the centre of town.
Te Anau to Queenstown: 6hrs via Arrowtown incl. lunch and stops
Queenstown smiles south across Lake Wakatipu into an incomparable alpine scene. Poplars and willows surround the lakefront and the lake seems to glisten every shade of blue. Today has been left free to take advantage of the incredible variety of activities available in and around New Zealand’s most glamorous alpine resort. For a relaxing experience, follow Queenstown’s wine trail, an enjoyable day excursion of wine tasting and sightseeing. There is also an opportunity to take an optional leisurely cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the vintage steamboat TSS Earnslaw. The cruise includes a visit to Walter Peak Homestead and a sheep shearing show, before returning to Queenstown aboard Earnslaw.
A further Freedom Day to enjoy in this wonderful alpine setting. The thrill seekers amongst us may wish to try the Shotover Jet – an exhilarating boat ride amongst the crags and boulders of the Shotover River canyon. For a more serene experience maybe stroll by the lakeside or take a gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak for a magnificent panoramic view of Queenstown.
Incredible scenery today as we travel via Lake Dunstan, created by the mighty Clyde hydro dam in 1994. We make our way through New Zealand’s Central Otago region, along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. We will also travel along one of the most exciting scenic roads ever built – crossing the Haast River Bridge. Later in the afternoon, we reach Franz Josef in the Westland National Park. Our next two nights are at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier.
Queenstown to Franz Josef: 9hrs incl. lunch, convenience, and sightseeing stops
Today is left completely free to absorb the beauty of Franz Josef. For those that so wish, we shall drive to the Franz Josef Glacier terminal where we will have the opportunity to walk to view the glacier. Weather permitting, we may also take an optional scenic flight, which is at an additional cost, over the glacier and the awe-inspiring Alpine region.
Journey north this morning along the Heritage Highway, passing Lakes Mapourika and Ianthe as we leave Westland National Park. Our travels continue northbound taking us via Hari Hari and Hokitika, travelling alongside striking wild scree-scarred terrain with forests of Crimson Rata and Kahikatea. We visit Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks), an incredible maze of limestone rocks with booming blowholes stacked high above the sea; before arriving in Nelson where our next two nights are at the Rutherford Hotel.
Franz Josef to Nelson: 10hrs incl. lunch, convenience, and sightseeing stops
Nelson is a delight for explorers on foot. Scattered throughout the city are art galleries and workshops, historic buildings and street-side cafés. Today has been left as a Freedom Day so you can spend it any way you choose. Perhaps consider a trip to Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand’s smallest national park, blessed with golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, and its world-famous coast track. A cruise along the coast will take you to the very best scenery this region has to offer. Alternatively, you may wish to take a tour to visit some of the region’s wonderful wineries.
This morning we leave South Island in our wake as we board the ferry for our inter-island cruise to New Zealand’s North Island. During the cruise, enjoy spectacular views as we depart Queen Charlotte Sound. With the possibility of birds and dolphins following, we make our way across the Cook Strait to Wellington. Upon arrival, we re-join our coach and make our way to Wellington, where the remainder of our day is at leisure. Our next two nights are spent at the Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay.
Nelson to Picton Ferry: 3hrs incl. stops
Ferry to Wellington: 3hrs 30min
Wellington is compact, cultured and full of character. Its interesting and varied architecture provides the ideal starting point for our orientation tour this morning. We visit Wellington’s administrative area, taking in Parliament House, ‘the Beehive’ – you’ll understand the name when you see it – and the government buildings. We then continue to the top of Mount Victoria for the finest view of the city and its picturesque harbour. Your afternoon is at leisure – a visit to the Te Papa museum is highly recommended, as it offers a fascinating insight into New Zealand’s rich history and cultural heritage. Alternatively, ride a cable car to Wellington’s beautiful botanical gardens.
Wellington sightseeing: 3hrs
This morning our journey continues north via Hastings and the Kapiti coast as we make our way to the Art Deco city of Napier, located in an area dominated by orchards and vineyards. Napier’s city centre has the feeling of a time capsule – the seamless line of 1930s architecture is quite extraordinary. One of the ways to enjoy the streetscape is on a self-guided tour. Our evening is spent at the delightful Scenic Hotel Te Pania, superbly situated on Napier’s seafront. Breakfast included
Wellington to Napier: 6hrs incl. lunch and stops
Today we make our way along the Thermal Explorer Highway to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. We visit the impressive Huka Falls where the Waikato River suddenly narrows to a chasm less than 15 metres across and heaves its vast bulk over an 11-metre ledge to boil furiously in a deep semi-circular basin below. We continue to Rotorua, which is at the heart of New Zealand’s rich Maori culture, and enjoy a lunch inspired by traditional Maori cooking. Following lunch, we explore Te Puia, Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, with its spurting geysers and boiling mud pools, before attending a concert featuring traditional song and dance, including the world-famous war dance – The Haka. After a wonderful day soaking up traditional Maori culture, we head to the Millennium Hotel for a two-night stay.
Breakfast and lunch included
Napier to Rotorua: 6hrs 30min via Huka Falls, and stops for lunch and convenience
Rotorua sightseeing: 3hrs
A day at leisure in Rotorua. For those that so wish, optional activities include a floatplane flight over Mount Tarawera, or perhaps a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings may be more appealing?
We travel north this morning, via Auckland, as we make our way to the pale sands and turquoise waters of the Bay of Islands. In the pretty seaside town of Paihia, the Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands will be our home for the next three nights.
Rotorua to Paihia: 9hrs via Auckland incl. lunch and stops
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of this tour is a cruise around the Bay of Islands, as in our opinion, there’s no better way to see this picturesque area of New Zealand. You’ll cruise via Red Head Passage to Cape Brett and Piercy Island and on to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’. In these world-famous deep-sea fishing waters, it’s not uncommon to see schools of fish and dolphins. The return trip includes a visit to historic Russell. It’s hard to believe that this quaint township was once known as the ‘Hell Hole of the Pacific’. As the afternoon has been left free, you have an excellent opportunity to take an optional visit to the grounds of the Waitangi National Reserve. It was here in 1840 that the British and Maori chiefs signed the Waitangi Treaty.
Today you’ll have a full day at leisure, allowing you to do the things that really interest you. For example, there is the opportunity to join a fantastic optional trip to Cape Reinga. It’s a full-day excursion which visits the northern tip of New Zealand. Not only is this where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, but it holds a special significance in Maori tradition as the place where Maori spirits return to their traditional homeland, Hawaiiki-A-Nui, via the roots of a lone – and still standing – 800-year-old pohutukawa tree. Other standout locations during the tour include the Te Paki sand dunes and a drive along Ninety Mile Beach, passing some magnificent scenery along the coast.
After breakfast this morning, we leave the Bay of Islands. On the drive to the Waipoua Kauri Forest Reserve, we pass rolling hills dotted with dairy farms which give way to lush forest the closer we get to the reserve. There’s chance to marvel at the gigantic kauri tree Tane Mahuta, or ‘Lord of the Forest.’ From here, we cross the impressive Waitemata Harbour Bridge and head into Auckland and the Grand Millennium Hotel for our final two nights in New Zealand.
Paihia to Auckland: 8hrs 30min via Waipoua Forest incl. stops
Start the morning with an orientation tour of the city. Auckland has a beautiful waterside setting, with a modern skyline standing out against a backdrop of volcanic hills. As part of the tour, we’ll drive along the famous Waitemata Harbour. You’ll be able to see Rangitoto Island, an extinct volcano, which although it’s in the distance, dominates the horizon. Stop at the stylish Viaduct Harbour, which has played host to many America’s Cup celebrations. As the afternoon has been left free for you to enjoy however you would like, why not take in the panoramic views from the top of the Sky Tower? As you would expect from the tallest building in the southern hemisphere, the views truly are breathtaking.
Auckland sightseeing: 4hrs
All good things must come to an end, and this morning we transfer to Auckland Airport. Our flights to London Heathrow or Manchester travel via Singapore. If flying to Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle, Edinburgh or Glasgow, flights will also travel via Amsterdam.
Breakfast and in-ﬂight meals and drinks included
Airport transfer: 1hr
SPECIAL OFFER: If you would like to break the long journey home to the UK after your New Zealand tour, then why not add on a stopover on Sentosa Island, Singapore? To celebrate the launch of our new 2020/ 2021 season, we are offering any guests travelling in our new season (departing from October 2020) a two night homebound stopover for only £99pp (£198 for single occupancy). The homebound stopover includes return airport transfers, two nights accommodation in a four-star hotel and a full daily breakfast. To enjoy this special launch offer, simply book by 30 June 2020.
If you fly with Qantas / Emirates (a supplement of £395pp applies), your stopover choices are Hong Kong, Bangkok, Dubai and Singapore, each of which is on the same very special offer.
This morning we arrive at our chosen airport, bringing to an end our incredible adventure. In-ﬂight drinks and breakfast included
Our escorted holidays to New Zealand are designed to include so much in the price of your tour. And the even better news is that on the Very Best of New Zealand tour, a great deal of what you’ll do and see is already included in the price. That’s all your scheduled international flights, overseas transfers, expertly chosen hotels, daily breakfast, experienced local coach captains, and many unforgettable excursions, including a cruise on Milford Sound, already taken care of.
SPECIAL OFFERS: If you would like to break the long journey home to the UK after your New Zealand tour, then why not add on a stopover in Sentosa Island, Singapore? To celebrate the launch of our new 2020/ 2021 season, we are offering any guests travelling in our new season (departing from October 2020) a two-night homebound stopover for only £99pp (£198 for single occupancy). The homebound stopover includes return airport transfers, two nights accommodation in the fabulous four-star Rasa Sentosa Resort and a full daily breakfast.
If you fly with Qantas / Emirates (a supplement of £395pp applies), your stopover choices are two nights in either Hong Kong, Bangkok, Dubai and Singapore, each of which is on the same very special offer of £99pp (£198 for single occupancy). Alternatively, if you fly with Qantas / Emirates (a supplement of £395pp applies), enjoy a three-night stopover in beautiful Bali, for just £249pp (£448 for single occupancy). Your package includes return airport transfers, three nights accommodation in a four-star hotel and a full daily breakfast. For full details, see the ‘Offers’ tab.
To enjoy any of these special launch offers, simply book by 30 June 2020.
|Departure date||Price (pp)||Availability||Offer|
|13 October||£5,395||HALF FULL||£99pp stopover, or Bali for £249pp|
|03 November||£5,495||HALF FULL||£99pp stopover, or Bali for £249pp|
|05 January||£5,495||ONLY 5 ROOMS LEFT||£99pp stopover, or Bali for £249pp|
|19 January||SOLD OUT||SOLD OUT||SOLD OUT|
|26 January||£5,495||HALF FULL||£99pp stopover, or Bali for £249pp|
|9 February||£5,495||HALF FULL||£99pp stopover, or Bali for £249pp|
|16 February||SOLD OUT||SOLD OUT||SOLD OUT|
|16 March||£5,495||NEW DATE||£99pp stopover, or Bali for £249pp|
|20 April||£4,495||HALF FULL||£99pp stopover, or Bali for £249pp|
^Christmas departure: The Christmas & New Year departure includes Christmas dinner in Nelson and a celebratory dinner on New Year’s Eve in the Bay of Islands. Please click here to view the full itinerary.
Prices: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin or double room.
£1,795 for departures before September 2020 (£1,495 for 30th April 2020 departure).
£1,895 for departures from September 2020 (£1,495 for 20th April 2020 departure).
Deposit: £1,000 per person if travelling in economy class, £1,950 per person if travelling in premium economy, and £3,750 per person for business class.
Terms and conditions: Holiday prices are subject to the availability of flights in the lowest fare booking class and may change, however the correct price will always be confirmed before you book. For full terms and conditions see our terms and conditions page.
If you’ve taken advantage of one of our two night stopovers on your journey home from New Zealand you may want to make the most of your short stay in these exciting destinations by taking an optional excursion or two.
After all, who could visit Singapore without a trip to the world-famous and historic Raffles Hotel for afternoon tea or a Singapore Sling? Or if you’re in Bangkok, the Grand Palace with its beautiful Temple of the Emerald Buddha is a must-see. Explore Hong Kong and learn about its fascinating history. And if Dubai is where you’ll spend the last two nights of your holiday, why not enjoy one of them feasting Bedouin-style on a Desert Safari?
Click on any of the descriptions below to find out more about any of the optional excursions in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
The Otago Peninsula on South Island’s east coast is a top destination for nature lovers, known for its seals, penguins and seabirds. One of its premier wildlife attractions is the...NZD $122 / £65 Read More >
The Otago Peninsula Wildlife Tour is the perfect optional excursion for nature lovers. It includes transport to the Otago Peninsula, an Otago Harbour cruise on the ‘Monarch’ and a visit...NZD $150 / GBP £79 Read More >
Your Taieri Gorge Train excursion begins at Dunedin’s beautiful railway station. Prepare to embark on a scenic journey into some of New Zealand’s most ever-changing, spectacular and iconic scenery. The...NZD $109 / GBP £58 Read More >
Make a day of your trip to Waiheke by adding on the Wine on Waiheke tour. This stunning winery tour combines world class wine set against the backdrop of stunning...NZD $150 / GBP £78 Read More >
Experience stunning panoramic 360˚ views of the city from 220 meters high. The Sky Tower has now been part of Auckland’s sky line for 19 years and is the tallest...NZD $32 / GBP £17 Read More >
If there’s one thing you must do in Auckland if you love sailing, it’s an Americas Cup Sailing experience. Feel the thrill of sailing an authentic America’s Cup yacht when...NZD $190 / GBP £99 Read More >
Immerse yourself in Auckland’s harbour setting with dinner on a beautiful boat. During an enchanting dinner cruise in Auckland, you will soak up your destination’s atmosphere from the peace of...NZD $145 / GBP £76 Read More >
This excursion offers a great way to travel to the top of New Zealand to experience its beauty, history and scenery. Not only does it avoid you needing to take...NZD $450 / GBP £234 Read More >
During your trip to New Zealand, be sure to venture to the very top of the North Island to Cape Reinga. The rolling hills of Northland's rural countryside, breath-taking coastal...NZD $160/ GBP £83 Read More >
The Bay of Islands Cultural Waka tour is an interactive Waka canoe experience that provides a rare and unique insight into the Maori ancient customs, rituals and traditions. During this...NZD $135 / GBP £70 Read More >
Nestled on the shores of Lake Rotorua lies the Polynesian Spa – a geothermal bathing retreat, where you can experience wellness sourced from Rotorua’s very own backyard. Renowned for its...NZD $30/ GBP £16 Read More >
Your tour of the Hobbiton movie set starts with a scenic drive from Rotorua across the Kaimai Ranges to The Shires™ Rest. It then continues with a drive through the...NZD $119 / GBP £62 Read More >
Visit Rotorua’s most remote destinations by your choice of either helicopter, fixed wing aircraft or even floatplane. Popular flightseeing options include exploring New Zealand’s Mount Tarawera which is the site...From NZD $185 / GBP £96 Read More >
Go behind the scenes of some of the best-loved movies in history with this tour of the Weta Workshop near Wellington, a studio famous for creating some of the movie...NZD $68 / GBP £36 Read More >
A visit to Te Papa museum is highly recommended, as it oﬀers a fascinating insight into New Zealand’s rich history and cultural heritage. Entrance is free of chargeFree of charge Read More >
The Abel Tasman National Park may be New Zealand’s smallest, but it’s among one of the country’s most beautiful National Parks, boasting stunning coastal scenery, including golden beaches and sculptured...NZD $126 / £67 Read More >
Nelson is well known for its award-winning local wines and craft beer. This enjoyable tour visits two award winning wineries for wine tasting then a scenic drive to New Zealand’s...NZD $135 / GBP £70 Read More >
Perfect for those who are fans of all things carefully crafted, this half-day art and wine tour from Nelson includes visits to leading Nelson art galleries alongside tastings at two...Read More >
Experience Franz Josef Glacier in all its natural glory on a Franz Joesf Glacier guided walk. Your Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk will take you up alongside the mighty Waiho...NZD $79 / GBP £42 Read More >
Experience the true untouched beauty and awe inspiring scenery of New Zealand’s South Island on a Franz Josef Glacier helicopter tour. This helicopter ride over the Franz Josef Glacier sweeps...From NZD $280 / GBP £148 Read More >
Follow the journey of merino wool in a fun, interactive environment from mustering/rounding up sheep through to the creating of Icebreaker clothing. Learn about the history of this family run...NZD $78 / GBP £41 Read More >
The Nomad Safaris Skippers Canyon tour is a half-day heritage tour that follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. The Nomad Safari departs Queenstown to travel the road that...NZD $295 / GBP £156 Read More >
The Queenstown Skippers Canyon Tour is the best way to experience all that Skippers Canyon has to offer. The Skippers Canyon Tour takes place in small groups and includes a...NZD $195 / GBP £103 Read More >
The only jet boat Queenstown operator allowed on the Dart River, the Dart River Jetboat Wilderness Safari is an exhilarating and spectacular journey deep into the heart of the world-renowned...NZD $259 / GBP £137 Read More >
Experience 60 minutes of unforgettable thrills, spins and exhilaration across three waterways in one of the world’s most stunning locations on a Kawarau Jetboat in Queenstown. Jet across the crystal...NZD $135 / GBP £72 Read More >
There are few experience as exhilarating, and as quite literally breath-taking as a ride on a Shotover Jet in Queenstown. The ‘Can you handle the canyons?’ jet boat ride experience...NZD $149 / GBP £79 Read More >
Get a taste of New Zealand’s farming lifestyle at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Situated on picturesque Lake Wakatipu’s south-western shores, the farm is the perfect place to spend a...NZD $129 / GBP £68 Read More >
Thailand has over 26,000 temples or Wats (local name). This Half Day City and Temples tour will bring you to three of the most distinguished temples in Bangkok, beginning with...THB 1,150 / GBP £28 Read More >
Bangkok’s Grand Palace Tour is a “must see” for all visitors to Bangkok. The Grand Palace complex, built in 1782, includes the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)...THB 1,250 / GBP £30 Read More >
A glimpse of everyday life in Thailand can be seen at the Damnern Saduak floating market, situated around 100km south west of Bangkok. This Bangkok floating market can be explored...THB 1,300 / GBP £32 Read More >
All aboard an exhilarating Dubai helicopter tour. After take-off from Dubai Festival City you will follow the creek winding past the Creek golf course and continue over the Spice Souk...USD $194 / GBP £155 Read More >
A fabulous evening on a Bateaux Dubai dinner cruise awaits. This elegant two-and-a-half hour Dubai Marina dinner cruise offers the best sightseeing with fine dining, personalised service and a contemporary...USD $172/ GBP £137 Read More >
For a magical and memorable evening, join us on a Dubai Desert Safari tour. Leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and venture into the mysterious desert in...USD $133 / GBP £110 Read More >
This fascinating half day Dubai City tour provides an insight into Dubai’s rich history. Your tour of Old Dubai passes the Zabeel Royal Palaces, visits historical buildings with their ancient...USD $51 / GBP £41 Read More >
Explore the highlights and landmarks of the city on a half-day tour. From The Palm, Jumeirah and Dubai Marina to Downtown Dubai and The Dubai Mall, see all of the...From USD $66 / £53 Read More >
The Afternoon Tea ritual, much like Raffles Hotel, Singapore, was fashioned in the 19th century. A cherished tradition since its founding in Great Britain, the experience journeyed to Asia during...SGD $90 / GBP £53 Read More >
The evening begins with a local Chinese Dinner along the Singapore River with a choice of either Hainanese Chicken Rice or Seafood Nasi Goreng (Menu is subject to seasonal changes). En...SGD$112/ GBP £66 Read More >
Recently voted one of the Top 10 Indoor Gardens of the World, the Gardens by the Bay is also Singapore’s number 1 attraction according to Trip Advisor. Featuring more than...From SGD $32 / GBP £19 Read More >
The Tiffin Room has been synonymous with the Raffles Hotel, Singapore, since its establishment in 1892. The restored interior decor includes reinstating the wooden floorboards in the Tiffin Room to...SGD $89 / GBP £50 Read More >
The Singapore Night Safari is world’s first. Set in 40 hectares of secondary jungle, the mystery and drama of the tropical jungle after dusk unfolds at the Singapore Zoo Night...SGD $101 / GBP £59 Read More >
Combine a scenic cruise to Lamma Island with a delicious seafood dinner at a local restaurant; see locals in a fishing village go about their daily lives and enjoy an uninterrupted...HKD $750 / GBP £78 Read More >
Macau, a former Portuguese enclave, mixes colonial charm with modern Chinese zest and is just a short hour-long ferry ride from Hong Kong. Sometimes called the Las Vegas of the...From HK $995 / GBP £104 Read More >
Hong Kong’s largest outlying island, Lantau Island seems a world away from the high rise modernity of Hong Kong Island. It offers unspoilt countryside, lush green valleys, pristine beaches, reflective...HK $850 / GBP £89 Read More >
This half day tour of Hong Kong Island begins with a visit to famous Stanley Market, one of the must-see places for visitors to Hong Kong. You will find an...HK $400 / GBP £42 Read More >
The Indonesian island of Bali is renowned not only for its beauty but also for its ancient temples. Tirta Empul temple is among the most famous, its waters said to...USD $56 / GBP £46 Read More >
Discover the ‘real’ Bali and escape off the beaten track with this small group tour to the centre of Bali, visiting mountains, farms, ancient villages and temples. There’s more to...USD $48 / GBP £40 Read More >
Bali is one of the world’s most beautiful islands, and the Bali Hai cruise is one of the best ways to see the island in all its splendour, taking it...USD $66 / GBP £55 Read More >
Discover ancient temples, meet the local wildlife and explore the countryside of inland Bali with this half-day Mengwi Temple, Monkey Forest and Tanah Lot tour. It’s one of several optional...USD $58 / GBP £48 Read More >
Discover the real Bali with an immersive evening of culture, dance and food on this evening tour to Bali’s Uluwatu temple. If you decide to visit Bali on a homebound...USD $67 / GBP £55 Read More >
Book your place on our 2020 / 2021 season (tours departing from September 2020) Very Best of New Zealand tours by 30 June 2020 and you can take advantage of one of our special launch offers.
Add on a two night stopover on Sentosa Island, Singapore for just £99pp (£198 for single occupancy). The homebound stopover includes return airport transfers, two nights accommodation in the beachside Shangri La Rasa Sentosa Resort and a full daily breakfast.
Add on a two night stopover in either Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore or Dubai for just £99pp (£198 for single occupancy). The homebound stopover includes return airport transfers, two nights accommodation in a four star hotel and a full daily breakfast. Flights would be with Qantas / Emirates at a supplement of £395pp
Enjoy a three-night stopover in beautiful Bali, for just £249pp (£448 for single occupancy). Your package includes return airport transfers, three nights accommodation in a four star hotel and a full daily breakfast. Flights would be with Qantas / Emirates at a supplement of £395pp
The reviews for the Very Best of New Zealand tour found below have been independently verified by Feefo, who are a leading independent reviews company.