Grand Tour of New Zealand


A peaceful, lush and geographically-blessed island, exploring New Zealand offers breathtaking sight after breathtaking sight. From the natural magnificence of the South Island’s fiords, mountains and glaciers to the blend of cosmopolitan and Maori culture of the North, this is the perfect destination

tour duration 22 Days from
tour price 5,990pp
tour type Group Tour

Places Visited

UK - Christchurch (1N) - Fox Glacier (1N) - Wanaka (1N) - Queenstown (3N) - Mt Cook (1N) - Christchurch (1N) - Kaikoura (1N) - Wellington (1N) - Napier (2N) - Rotorua (1N) - Auckland (1N) - Paihia (2N) - Auckland (2N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Ride the TranzAlpine Express
Cruise spectacular Milford Sound
Stargaze at Mount Cook
Spot whales at Kaikoura
Experience a Maori hangi
Visit Waitangi and the Bay of Islands

Days 1-3 Fly to Christchurch
Fly in the evening, arriving two days after you depart, to Christchurch, the vibrant gateway to New Zealand’s scenically spectacular South Island. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Days 1-3 Fly to Christchurch
Day 4 TranzAlpine Express
All aboard the TranzAlpine Express! Crossing the Canterbury Plains from Christchurch, you’ll run alongside the Waimakariri River before traversing the mighty mountains of the Southern Alps themselves, where the scenery is unsurpassed to arrive in Greymouth. Travel on to Franz Josef, stopping en route at the little town of Hokitika. View the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier, a river of ice which pours 12 kilometres down the mountainside to the valley floor before continuing on to the nearby Fox Glacier. Fox is 13 kilometres long, and uniquely for a glacier, crawls down its gorge into an area of lush rainforest. Spend the night in Fox Glacier village. (B,L,D)
Day 4 TranzAlpine Express
Day 5 Travel to Wanaka
Leave Fox Glacier for Lake Matheson, where the clear waters picturesquely reflect the towering peaks of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Continue on to Wanaka, where the rest of the day is free. Wanaka’s beautiful setting beside a lake and backed by mountains makes it a perfect place to relax. (B)
Day 5 Travel to Wanaka
Day 6 Winery Tour and Tasting
Travel to Queenstown, stopping en route at the town of Cromwell, the scenic Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and the historic gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. Queenstown is a small but buzzing town sat in the shadow of the Remarkables – it is also New Zealand’s adventure capital! This afternoon, visit a local winery where you can enjoy a wine cave tour and a tasting. (B,L)
Day 6 Winery Tour and Tasting
Day 7 Fiordland and Milford Sound
Today is a full day tour to the spectacular Milford Sound. The most famous stretch of water in New Zealand’s Fiordland, nothing can quite prepare you for the sight of the vast soaring peaks and dark, rippling water stretching as far as the eye can see. Aboard a catamaran, cruise around the Sound where you will also be joined by a nature guide, who will give an informative commentary on wildlife and geography as you cruise. (B,L)
Day 7 Fiordland and Milford Sound
Day 8 Explore Queenstown
Spend the day exploring Queenstown in your own time. Later, ride up the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak for spectacular views over the town and lake to Coronet Peak, Cecil and Walter Peaks and the Remarkables. Whilst up here, you will also tuck into a scenic dinner. (B,D)
Day 8 Explore Queenstown
Day 9 Mount Cook Stargazing
Travel from Queenstown to Mount Cook. Due to its location far from any large light sources, the Mount Cook area is perfect for stargazing, so after an introduction to the constellations of the southern hemisphere in the hotel’s Theatre Planetarium you will be driven a short distance to the perfect site to tour the Milky Way and beyond. (B,L,D)
Day 9 Mount Cook Stargazing
Day 10 Punting on the Avon
Return to Christchurch via the picturesque Lake Tekapo. Take to the waters of the River Avon for a relaxed afternoon of punting before dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 10 Punting on the Avon
Day 11 Whale Watching
Travel north to Kaikoura, a town set on a peninsula and the perfect place to spot a wealth of wonderful wildlife. From here, head out onto the ocean for a whale watching experience. Depending on the time of year that you are there, there is the possibility of seeing a number of different species – year round however you are most likely to encounter the giant Sperm Whale - an incredible sight. Back on dry land, continue up the coast to Picton. (B,D)
Day 11 Whale Watching
Day 12 Te Papa Museum
Pick up the InterIslander, the ferry between Picton on the South Island and capital city Wellington on the North Island. This afternoon, visit the fantastic Te Papa (‘Our Place’), New Zealand’s national museum, where you can learn all about the island’s culture and geography and the relationship between the indigenous and non-indigenous people from innovative and interactive exhibits. (B)
Day 12 Te Papa Museum
Day 13 Travel to Napier
Transfer from Wellington to the fascinating town of Napier, set on Hawke’s Bay. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, the town was rebuilt in 1930's style, giving it a unique concentration of beautiful Art Deco, Spanish Missions and Stripped Classical architecture. (B)
Day 13 Travel to Napier
Day 14 Art Deco Walking Tour
This morning, take a walk tour of the town, with particular focus on Art Deco architecture. Later, pop just out of town to a local winery for lunch, a winery tour and a tasting. (B,L)
Day 14 Art Deco Walking Tour
Day 15 Maori Hangi
Travel to Rotorua via the spectacular Lake Taupo and Huka Falls. Rotorua is famous for the huge amount of thermal activity in the area – we’re talking geysers, bubbling mud pools and hot springs! Because of this activity, Rotorua was revered by the Maori so it is also a great place to learn more about their culture. This evening, head to the Tamaki Maori Village for a traditional hangi and cultural performance. (B,D)
Day 15 Maori Hangi
Day 16 Visit Hobbiton
Turn northwards, towards Hamilton, travelling via Te Puia, within the thermally active and historic Te Whakarewarewa Valley. Here you can see geysers, mud pools and silica formations as well as traditional Maori crafts such as bone carving. There will also be a stops at Rainbow Springs, where you will get to encounter the elusive Kiwi, and at Hobbiton, the original village created for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, tucked amongst picturesque farmland. Continue to Hamilton. (B)
Day 16 Visit Hobbiton
Day 17 Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Travel up to the Bay of Islands, in New Zealand’s far north, stopping at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. It was here, in 1840, that a treaty was signed between the ruling British and Maori chiefs – the founding document of Aotearoa/New Zealand. Explore the beautiful grounds that contain the Museum of Waitangi, the Treaty House, carved meeting house and ceremonial war canoe. Continue on Paihia, where you will spend the night. (B,D)
Day 17 Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Day 18 Bay of Islands
Paihia is the main town of the Bay of Islands area, and offers a huge range of ways to explore this beautiful location, as well as being a charming and relaxed town in its own right. Today is a free day to spend as you wish. (B)
Day 18 Bay of Islands
Day 19 Return to Auckland
Travel back down to Auckland stopping at the bay of Hokianga, where you can see the giant kauri trees of the Waipoua Kauri Forest and the historic harbour. (B)
Day 19 Return to Auckland
Day 20 Explore Auckland
New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland is a modern and cosmopolitan place and home to about a third of the Kiwi population. Nicknamed the ‘City of Sails’, the city is surrounded by water and is ranked one of the top cities in the world for quality of life – you’ll see why as you explore. Today, take a tour of the city, ending the day with a farewell dinner at Orbit, the 360-degree restaurant 190 metres above ground in the famous Sky Tower. (B,D)
Day 20 Explore Auckland
Days 21-22 Fly Auckland to UK
Fly to the UK, arriving home the following day. (B)
Days 21-22 Fly Auckland to UK

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

09-Oct > 30-Oct - £5,990 BOOK NOW
13-Nov > 04-Dec - £5,990 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrade available on request
Land only from £5,290
Single room from £1,490

19-Feb > 12-Mar - £6,290 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrade available on request
Land only from £5,290
Single room from £1,490

What's Included

International flights and current taxes
Domestic transportation
Accommodation
Most meals
Touring with guides and entrance fees

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