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Discover New Zealand Coach Tour March 2018

Discover New Zealand Coach Tour March 2018

3-20 March 2018

$6595 Per Person Twin Share, $1950 Single Supplement

 Day 1 Saturday 03 March 2018 (D) Depart Brisbane – Arrive Auckland                                                        

Please be at Brisbane Airport at least 2 hours prior to the departure time of your flight to Auckland. 

Depart 08:15AM BRISBANE with Qantas
Arrive 2:35PM AUCKLAND

Welcome to the north island of New Zealand and it’s capital city Auckland! Arrive at Auckland International Airport and after completing entry formalities meet your driver and guide and transfer by private coach to your hotel. 
A welcome dinner has been arranged for you tonight at the hotel restaurant

Day 2 Sunday 04 March 2018 (B) Auckland – Bay of Islands                                                                       

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel.

Departing Auckland, travel north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to first visit the Parry Kauri Park. Here you will view some fine examples of Giant Kauri Trees. Continuing you will visit the Matakohe Kauri Museum, at Otamatea. Gain an insight to the early New Zealand pioneer history, which helped form the New Zealand that you see today. Continuing our journey north, reaching Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where you’ll take a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House where New Zealand’s history began.

Accommodation: Scenic Bay of Island, Paihia – or similar

Day 3 Monday 05 March 2018 (B) Bay of Islands                                                            

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel.

Today is a day of leisure. The Bay of Islands has so many options for you to discover – perhaps a day trip to the light house at Cape Reinga the most northern tip of New Zealand, followed by a safari along 90 Mile Beach on the way home. Maybe try your luck at deep-sea fishing, or take the plunge swimming with the dolphins or just take time out to relax within Paihia or Russell - New Zealand’s first capital.

Accommodation: Scenic Bay of Island, Paihia – or similar

Day 4 Tuesday 06 March 2018 (B, D) Bay of Islands - Auckland

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

This morning board a luxury catamaran to cruise the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett before making a passage through the Hole in the Rock. After your cruise, travel south following the Twin Coast Discovery Highway to arrive in Auckland, where on arrival you’ll experience a highlights tour of Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’, exploring the lively waterfront area. Enjoy the relaxing views along Tamaki Drive, which runs east past peaceful sheltered bays to Auckland's most expensive real estate.

Accommodation:  Amora Hotel, Auckland or similar

Day 5 Wednesday 07 March 2018 (B) Auckland – Waitomo - Rotorua

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

This morning, visit the Auckland Sky Tower – at 328m tall it is one of the tallest buildings in the Southern Hemisphere offering you outstanding views of the Auckland CBD and the surrounding region. Departing Auckland travelling south crossing the Bombay Hills through the dairy rich Waikato countryside to arrive at the famous Waitomo Caves. Here a guide will take you underground to view the amazing limestone caves featuring stalagmites and stalactites, which have taken centuries to form. Continue to walk down to an underground stream to board a small boat to view the glow-worm grotto – an underground cavern featuring millions of glow-worms. From Waitomo travel to the thermal wonderland of Rotorua, the Sulphur City. Rotorua has the most energetic thermal activity in the country with bubbling mud pools, gushing geysers, beautiful coloured hot springs and terrace formations created by mineral water. Rotorua also has a large Maori population whose cultural activities are interesting and accessible as will be witnessed tomorrow evening. This afternoon enjoy a relaxing guided walk through Rainbow Springs, a specialist garden featuring spring fed pools full of Rainbow & Brown Trout and New Zealand native flora and fauna including the iconic New Zealand Native Kiwi Bird.

Accommodation:  Distinction Hotel, Rotorua  – or similar

Day 6 Thursday 08 March 2018 (B) Rotorua

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

Today is at your leisure. Your Optional Touring Booklet will give you plenty of options on how to spend your time. This evening you will be treated to a traditional Hangi (feast) and Maori Concert. You are transferred from our hotel to visit Tamaki Maori Village for a Cultural Experience and Hangi Dinner. Experience the warmth of the Maori people during an evening of ceremonial rituals, powerful cultural performance, storytelling & hangi feasting. Enter the pre-European Maori village, witness the earth being scraped carefully away from the hangi pit and enter their ancestral Meeting House to relax as their family entertain you with a powerful cultural performance before dining on the traditional hangi buffet dinner (Maori feast) cooked the traditional Maori way in an earth oven.

Accommodation:  Distinction Hotel, Rotorua  – or similar

Day 7 Friday 09 March 2018 (B,D) Rotorua - Napier

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

This morning visit Te Puia – The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley featuring the famous Pohutu Geyser. Departing Rotorua, travel via New Zealand’s largest pine tree forests to Taupo. En-route you take a visit to the Wairakei Geothermal Steam Field. This was a world-first, generating electricity by tapping a natural steam field then channelling the steam to a nearby power generation plant. Continuing to view the mighty Huka Falls. Huka in Maori translates to “snow” as the water here has the appearance of snow falling as it is forced along from Lake Taupo through the falls on its journey along the Waikato River. This afternoon you continue to the ‘Fruit Bowl’ of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay – Napier.

Accommodation:  Scenic Te Pania Hotel, Napier  – or similar

Day 8 Saturday 10 March 2018 (B,D) Napier - Wellington

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

Before departing Napier, take a city sights tour, featuring beautiful Art Deco buildings to give us an insight of why Napier is known as the Art Deco capital of the world. This afternoon we continue south to Wellington where we spend the rest of the day enjoying an informative sightseeing tour, including a visit to Te Papa, (Our Place) New Zealand’s national museum.

Accommodation:  James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Wellington – or similar

Day 9 Sunday 11 March 2018 Wellington – Nelson

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

Today begins with a cruise though Wellington Harbour out onto the Cook Strait on the Interislander and through New Zealand’s only true sound, the picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound into Picton. The bustling port of Picton is the terminal for inter-island ferries, and gateway to the ‘Mainland’, the South Island’s self-proclaimed nickname. Reboarding our coach, you continue to tour through to Pelorous Bridge. Here you can walk through the Beech and Podocarp Forest as well as view the many sculptured boulders in the Pelorous River. Continuing on for a tour of Nelson – this being the first city of New Zealand.

Accommodation:  Quality Inn, Nelson – or similar

Day 10 Monday 12 March 2018 (D) Nelson – Christchurch                                                                                          

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

Passing Brightwater, the birth place of Lord Rutherford, the New Zealand science pioneer who split the atom, travel through the Golden Downs Forest to Murchison through the Maruia Forest over the Lewis Pass then into Hanmer Springs. Time out here for lunch in this lovely alpine village (at own expense) before joining the upper reaches of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch where you’ll enjoy the sights of the ‘Garden City’ also known as “the most English city outside of England”, en-route to our accommodation.

Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – or similar

Day 11 Tuesday 13 March 2018 (B) Christchurch – Franz Josef                                                                

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel.

From Christchurch traverse the Southern Alps aboard the famous Tranz-Alpine rail journey to Arthurs Pass. From your carriage you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps. Crossing Southern Alps, into the village of Arthurs Pass where you will be met by coach to continue your journey to the West Coast – or “the Coast” as locals call it, stopping in Hokitika where a visit is made to the Greenstone and Glass Blowing factories. Further south, tour the Westland National Park, the home of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. On arrival, time is available for optional scenic flights, before continuing onto our accommodation for the night.

Accommodation: Scenic Franz Josef Hotel, Franz Josef – or similar

Day 12 Wednesday 14 March 2018 (B) Franz Josef - Queenstown                                                                          

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel.

Driving towards the southern end of the South Island’s West Coast Road, there is a strong sense of entering a primeval land, and a feeling of total isolation. Arriving at Haast, you are surrounded by a landscape of rainforest, wetlands, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. This wilderness forms part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, so designated because South Westland and Fiordland have some of the most dramatic forest and mountain scenery and natural resources in the world. From the Westland National Park, travel through the Haast River valleys and over the Haast Pass to Makaroa and onto the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka. Travelling past Lake Hawea, reaching the popular Lake Wanaka, the starting point of the mighty Clutha River. This afternoon you travel via Cromwell following the Kawarau Gorge Road into Queenstown. Tonight is free for you to explore the local restaurants, cafes and bars.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Lakefront Hotel, Queenstown – or similar

Day 13 Thursday 15 March 2018 (B, D) Queenstown

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel.  

Today is at leisure. Visit the Remarkables or Coronet Peak. Experience the thrill of a jet-boat ride along the Shotover or Kawarau Rivers. Perhaps a scenic 4-wheel drive excursion through Skippers Canyon, it’s up to you. Take a cruise this evening, across Lake Wakatipu on the steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station to dine at the Colonel’s Homestead.

Accommodation:  Copthorne Lakefront Hotel, Queenstown – or similar

Day 14 Friday 16 March 2018 (B) Queenstown - Te Anau

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

Leaving Queenstown, you skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third largest lake. Travelling via Te Anau to reach the beautiful Eglinton Valley climbing to Homer Tunnel before descending through the spectacular Cleddau Canyon to reach Milford Sound and enjoy a cruise of the Sound. The Sound is dominated by the grandeur of Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls. From Milford Sound you return to Te Anau reaching our overnight accommodation.

Accommodation:  Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Lake Te Anau – or similar

Day 15 Saturday 17 March 2018 (B) Te Anau - Dunedin

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

Departing Te Anau, travel through some of New Zealand’s most populated sheep country through to Lumsden and onto Gore before arriving in Dunedin – “the Edinburgh of the South”. Upon our arrival into Dunedin, you have the opportunity to board an optional train ride - the Taieri Gorge Train Excursion from the historic Dunedin Railway Station for a scenic train ride into the spectacular Taieri Gorge to Pukerangi and return.

Accommodation:  Scenic Dunedin City Hotel, Dunedin – or similar

Day 16 Sunday 18 March 2018 (B,D) Dunedin - Omarama

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

This morning, visit Olveston House – an impressive turn-of-the-century house that is still home to all the lavish furnishings and art collections that have been collected from all corners of the world. Continue to then take in the sights of this old Scottish City before travelling onto Oamaru where you will have time to look at the ‘White Stone City’ where the old buildings have been constructed with local limestone. It was from Oamaru that New Zealand’s first frozen meat was shipped in 1882 taking over three months to reach England, and thus began New Zealand’s most important export industry. Travelling inland through Benmore and Otematata, through Sailors Cutting before arriving at Omarama.

Accommodation:  Heritage Gateway Hotel, Omarama – or similar

Day 17 Monday 19 March 2018 (B,D) Omarama - Christchurch

Full buffet breakfast is served daily at the hotel. 

Today is a day for spectacular sights as you head north to skirt the shore of Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Time is available to enjoy an optional scenic flight over the ancient rivers of ice and the West Coast Glaciers (weather permitting – a highly recommended option). Travelling to Tekapo, you’ll witness the magnificent blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and the statue of the Collie dog, before travelling the vast Mackenzie Basin, over Burke’s Pass through Fairlie, Geraldine, Ashburton and across the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch.

Accommodation:  Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – or similar

Day 18 Tuesday 20 March 2018 Christchurch - Brisbane

Farewell from New Zealand. This morning you will be transferred from the hotel to Christchurch International Airport for your flight back home.

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