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Magical New Zealand Journey

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Price $6300 13 Days
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Magical New Zealand Journey

$6300 per person

We’ll explore “Middle Earth”, discovering bubbling geysers, dazzling lakes, stunning glaciers, and rugged rainforests. We’ll also learn the traditions of the indigenous Maōri people, experience the exciting cities of Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown, and also day hike & nature walk on well-maintained trails through iconic scenery. Surrender yourself to the irresistible beauty of New Zealand on this lovingly hand-crafted 13-day small-group active tour.

13 Days
18+ Age
  • Departure
    Your city
  • Dress Code
    Casual and Comfortable for Hiking.
  • Included
    Accommondation
    Breakfast
    Dinner
    Lunch
    Tours (see tour details)
  • Not Included
    International and internal flights
    Tips
    Travel insurance
1
Day 1 – March 19
Welcome to New Zealand, one of the most unique destinations on Earth. Our arrival city is Auckland, and it is New Zealand's largest city, set between two harbours with gentle sandy shores on the east coast and black sand, wild surf beaches on the west coast. Home to sheltered, sparkling blue waters dotted with beautiful emerald islands. We’ll be picked up by our private driver and taken to our city center hotel with for check-in. Once we are settled and freshened up we’ll have our welcome dinner in the ionic Orbit Revolving Restaurant and afterwards take in even more amazing views of the city from the viewing platforms of Sky Tower with 50 mile views in every direction. (D) Private van travel time: 20 min. / Overnight at Voco Auckland City Center Hotel or similar.
2
Day 2 – March 20
Today after breakfast we’ll embark on a walking tour of Auckland with our local guide. Points of interest include the Ferry Building, Britomart Train Station, Street Art, The Auckland Art Gallery, Albert Park, Auckland University, and the Viaduct area. We can also explore the famous Karangahape Road, commonly known as "K Road", one of Auckland's most famous and vibrant streets located in the heart of the city. It was named one of the ‘The world’s coolest streets in 2022’ by Time Out. Later in the day there’s an optional Mt. Eden Summit Walk (1.3 mi./250 ft. elevation gain), a popular urban hike up to and around a dormant volcano crater with panoramic city views. (B) Overnight at Voco Auckland City Center Hotel or similar.
3
Day 3 – March 21
Today after breakfast we head out to discover the famous Waitomo Caves of New Zealand. Thousands of glow worms light up the caves to create a magical atmosphere. We’ll ramble around on foot in the caves as well as take a serene boat trip through the sparkling glow room grotto. Afterwards, we’ll take the Ruakiri Bush Walk that cuts through lush native bush along Waitomo stream (45 minute loop). After enjoying a home-hosted lunch in a delightful French Provincial garden setting, we continue on to Rotorua, known for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. We’ll take a tour of the highlights of the town before checking in to our accommodations. (B)(L) Private van travel time: 3.5 hrs. / Overnight at Sodima Lake Rotorua Hotel or similar.
4
Day 4 – March 22
Today after breakfast we head out to explore Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland. It’s considered to be New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. Unique features include the world-famous Champagne Pool, naturally coloured springs, bubbling mud, steaming ground, expansive vistas, huge volcanic craters, and sinter terrace formations. The natural bush setting adds another dimension to the experience as does the Lady Knox Geyser which erupts daily at 10.15 am to heights of up to 65 feet. We’ll take 3 different unique walks (90 minutes). On our way back to Rotorua we’ll stop in the Redwoods Forest for an optional hike on the Waitawa Trail through the breathtaking redwoods into a magnificent stand of Douglas Fir. We’ll discover the famous New Zealand silver fern and the giant mamaku ferns (2.5 miles/1 hour). Later this evening we’ll be transported to Te Puia for an Indigenous Evening Experience including a mouth-watering buffet dinner and an exhilerating cultural performance. The evening culminates with hot chocolate and pudding on the geyser terrace. (B) (D) Private van travel time: 1 hr. roundtrip / Overnight at Sodima Lake Rotorua Hotel or similar.
5
Day 5 – March 23
After breakfast we’ll be transferred to the airport for our domestic flight to Christchurch (not included). Flight time is approx. 2 hours. Upon arrival in Christchurch, we will meet our driver and transfer to Christhcurch city with an orientation tour enroute. Christchurch is set between the deep blue Pacific Ocean and the mighty snow-capped Southern Alps. This is a vibrant, ever-changing city with inner city parks and gardens delightfully interwoven by the meandering Avon River. Speaking of the Avon River, today we will do some punting! Sit back and be amazed as our guide, dressed in Edwardian clothing takes us sightseeing on a small, flat-bottomed boat. Afterwards, we’ll hop on an eco-friendly electric shuttle for a guided tour of Christchurch’s spectacular 50 acre Botanic Gardens, and there’s an option to also walk the self-guided 2-mile loop trail in the gardens. (B) Private van travel time: 30 min. / Overnight at Christchurch City Hotel.
6
Day 6 – March 24
After breakfast we will be transported to the Christchurch Railway Station for the Tranz Alpine train (included), one of the world’s great train journeys covering 139 miles one-way and crossing the vast expanses of the Canterbury Plains, through the dramatic gorge of the Waimakariri River to Arthur’s Pass National Park. On arrival in Greymouth, we can stretch our legs and do the Cobden Aromahana Lagoon hike (1 mile/half hour). Popular with bird watchers, this trail around the lagoon offers expansive views inland to the Twelve Apostles Range, Southern Alps, and out across the Tasman Sea. Afterwards, we’ll hop in our private coach and be transferred to Fox Glacier. Steep valleys bear scars from where glaciers have retreated and advanced over millennia and here, the ice age is still underway. (B) (D) Scenic train ride: 5 hrs. – Private van travel time: 2.5 hrs. / Overnight at Heartland Hotel Glacier Country or similar.
7
Day 7 – March 25
Today is our opportunity to explore some of Westland’s oldest untouched rainforest! We’ll enjoy exclusive access to a custom-built rainforest trail within the Okarito Kiwi Conservation area. On this kayak tour ( 2 hours) we will learn about the kiwi conservation, spot native birdlife and experience the pristine wilderness of the West Coast in a truly unique and remote part of Franz Josef Glacier. We’ll also explore the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary & the UNESCO World Heritage Site and walk through a private rainforest trail (45 minutes) – all to the sound of native birdsong! (B) Private van travel time: 1 hr. roundtrip / Overnight at Heartland Hotel Glacier Country or similar.
8
Day 8 – March 26
After breakfast we’ll check-out and be collected for our private coach transfer through wilderness towns, waterfalls, and river scenery on the journey to Queenstown. About halfway we’ll stop for a hike on the Blue Pools Wanaka Track (1 mile/1 hour). On the trail we’ll walk through beech/tawhero forest to a swing bridge that crosses the Makarora River and then follow the boardwalk to a viewing platform over the Blue Pools then cross the Blue Pools bridge for great views up the river gorge. Afterwards, we’ll drive further to our destination where we’ll stay for 3 nights – Queenstown. Magnificent vistas and majestic mountains dominate this compact alpine mountain resort town and with such an expansive natural physical environment, it’s not surprising that Queenstown has been described as the adventure capital of the world! This evening we’ll take a Gondola ride up to Skyline for dinner which is included. (B) (D) Private van travel time: 4.5 hrs. / Overnight at Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown or similar.
9
Day 9 - March 27
Rated one of the world’s “Top Ten Classic Hikes”, the Routeburn Track is a must-do. After an early breakfast we’ll be picked up and taken to the trailhead. We will enjoy a relaxed pace on a hike through the breathtaking forest (1.5 hours). Surrounded by rivers, waterfalls and native birds, we will be transported to a world of peace. This is the ultimate alpine adventure! Hot drinks (tea, coffee and hot chocolate); biscuits and cakes will be provided. If you’d rather sleep in today and relax we understand, the hike group will get back to the hotel for a lunchbreak and to freshen up and then we can all go on an afternoon sightseeing tour with our guide of Queenstown and also the nearby historic goldmining town of Arrowtown. (B) Private van travel time: 1.5 hrs. / Overnight at Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown or similar.
10
Day 10 - March 28
Choose to have a day at leisure (perhaps a tasting at The Winery) or after breakfast there’s an optional Queentown Hill Summit Hike. A steep but relatively short incline from the town center leads us up to rewarding sweeping views of the lake and Queenstown, making it one of the most popular day walks in the area. Naturally, it is also one of the best photo spots in Queenstown! (3 miles out and back / 1,300 ft. elevation gain) In the early evening, we’ll enjoy a quintessential Kiwi experience – a delicious gourmet BBQ buffet meal (vegan options available) and a farm demonstration in a stunning lakeside setting. Departing from Queenstown wharf, we’ll cruise across Lake Wakatipu onboard the historic, vintage steamship, TSS Earnslaw. Enjoy lakeside dining in the elegant Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Be entertained by a lively show and see the farm dogs in action with a sheep-herding demonstration and then say hello to the other fun farm animals. We’ll explore the beautiful gardens before the return cruise back to Queenstown. Sailing time: 60 min. r/t / (B)(D) Overnight at Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown or similar.
11
Day 11 - March 29
After breakfast we’ll check-out of our hotel and meet up with our driver and pass through the stunning Kawarau Gorge and the fruit and wine growing region of Cromwell. Our journey follows beautiful Lake Dunstan and meanders through the dramatic Lindis Pass. We’ll travel the vast plains of the McKenzie district, alongside magnificent turquoise blue lakes framed by Aoraki Mount Cook and the spectacular southern Alps to Mount Cook Village, and then into the Tasman Valley for our glacier explorer tour! First, there will be a 30 minute Alpine walk to board a boat like no other for the only glacial boat tour in New Zealand! Surrounded by snow-capped alps, you will be expertly guided through the ice age as you view the gigantic Tasman Glacier Ice wall. Explore and learn about the ever-changing glacial landscape and listen to the huge ice-face melting in this peaceful glacial lake. Icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the face of the glacier into the rapidly growing lake. This is one of the few accessible glacial lakes containing icebergs in the world. (Duration 2.5 hours.) Later tonight, there is an optional Big Sky Stargazing. The best of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, we’ll have an expert-guided tour of the night sky over Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. (B) (D) Private van travel time: 4 hrs. / Overnight at Hermitage Hotel or similar.
12
Day 12 - March 30
Leaving Mt Cook it’s not hard to see why many Lord of the Rings scenes were filmed nearby. Make a stop close to the popular Church of the Good Shepherd sitting in solitude on the banks of Lake Tekapo before continuing through the amazing countryside to Christchurch past the townships of Fairlie, Geraldine and Ashburton. We then arrive to Christchurch where we’ll make our way to the gondola which offers stunning panoramic views of the city, the harbour, and beyond! At the top, relax at the cafe, visit the gift shop or there’s an option to hike the Crater Rim Walkway (2 miles) before descending back down for our farewell dinner. (B) (D) Private van travel time: 4 hrs. / Overnight at Christchurch City Hotel or similar.
13
Day 13 - March 31
After breakfast, depending on our flight time, we’ll have some time at leisure to explore more of Christchurch before our private group transfer to the airport for our flights back home. It may take a few days to absorb and process all the incredible beauty and cultural diversity we have seen and experienced in New Zealand. (B) Private van travel time: 20 min.
Cost: $6,300 per person based on double occupancy

Single Supplement: $1,500

Payments Timeline: $1,000 deposit due November 15, 2024. Final payments due January 15, 2025

Cancel Policy: From time of payment to December 1, 2024 = 20% cancellation fee / From December 2, 2024 to December 31, 2024 = 30% cancellation fee / From January 1, 2025 to January 15, 2025 = 50% cancellation fee / From January 16 to January 31, 2025 = 75% cancellation fee / From February 1, 2025 to arrival day = 100% cancellation fee (no refunds).

Included:
  • 12x Accommodation in above mentioned hotels
  • 12x breakfasts
  • 1x Lunches
  • 7x Dinners (including x1 walking food tour)
  • English speaking professional local tour guide days 2-12 traveling with the group
  • Ground transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking driver
  • Day 1: Private Airport Transfer, Orbit Revolving Restaurant, Sky Tower
  • Day 2: Fully Guided Auckland City Tour
  • Day 3: Waitomo Caves, Rotorua Tour
  • Day 4: Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Area, Te Puia Indigenous Experience
  • Day 5: Avon River Punt, Botanical Gardens Guided Tour, Christchurch Orientation
  • Day 6: Tranz Alpine Train Journey
  • Day 7: Franz Josef - Rainforest Kayak Tour
  • Day 8: Gondola Ride up to Skyline
  • Day 9: Fully Guided Queenstown City and Arrowtown Tour
  • Day 10: TSS Earnslaw Cruise, Walter Peak High Country Farm Visit, BBQ, and Show
  • Day 11: Glacier Explorer Boat Tour
  • Day 12: Christchurch Gondola Ride
  • Day 13: Private Airport
Not Included:
  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • X Internal flight to Christchurch on Day 5
  • Alcohol Drinks
  • Tips for Guide and Drivers
Optional:
  • Big Sky Stargazing on Day 11 - $110
Other:
  • Itinerary Subject to Change Without Notice as Deemed Necessary for the Health, Safety and Comfort of Tour Participants
  • Travel insurance is always recommended. You can compare policies at InsureMyTrip

    POST-TOUR AVAILABLE: Please inquire for details.

    Contact: Jack@ActiveWorldJourneys.com / (310) 562-5629