New Zealand: A North & South Island Adventure 2022

Tauck
By Tauck
4.5 . Excellent
91%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. 3- Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
14 days
From: $ 9,490 $ 678 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • See Christchurch from the back of a Harley and go punting on the River Avon... walk on Tasman Glacier... jetboat the Dart River and hike wilderness trails through what feels lik 'Middle-earth'... dance at a Gatsby-style gala in Napier... discover Maori culture and a Hobbit village in Auckland... with adventures in world-class wine and cuisine along the way.

    Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes

  • cultures
  • and cuisines of New Zealand on this 14-day journey far off the beaten tracks. Your journey begins with two nights in Christchurch at a luxury hotel on the River Avon; tour the city sights by foot
  • bicycle
  • or motorcycle... go punting on the River Avon... Stay at a lodge inside Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park where the landscape of rugged peaks and glaciers calls you to its hiking trails; ride a plane and/or helicopter to Tasman Glacier; lose yourself in the spectacular night sky (the park is one of the best places in the world for stargazing)... Hike the Arrow River and pan for gold in Queenstown... ride a jet-boat on the Dart River
  • bicycle-ride
  • zip-line
  • play golf
  • or take a 4WD 'safari' to landscapes featured in the Lord of the Rings movies...  Stay two nights in the heart of New Zealand's winemaking region at Blenheim
  • where you'll visit a winery and a sheep farm
  • and cruise the fjord-like sunken valleys of the Marlborough Sounds...  Discover the town of Napier
  • a treasure-trove of 1930s Art Deco architecture... Fly to Auckland on North Island for two nights at a waterfront luxury hotel
  • your base for exploring the city; tour the Auckland Museum with a private Maori dance performance... visit the artisan village of Matakana and more.

Short Description

New Zealand is one of the world's favorite travel destinations – and our 14-day journey explores the North and South Islands in-depth, experiencing daily life in dramatic landscapes from fjords to forested valleys and coastal pleasures, with sightseeing choices ranging from outdoor adventure to wine tasting.

Style Small group tour
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
Start City Christchurch, New Zealand
End City Auckland

Theme

Cultural

Destinations

New Zealand

Attractions & Cities Visited

Auckland Christchurch Queenstown

Activities & Interests

Culture

N/A
See more

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Christchurch

Tour begins 4:30 PM. A transfer is included from Christchurch Airport to the Crowne Plaza Christchurch in the heart of the city, opposite Victoria Square. Tonight, join us for an exclusive welcome reception and dinner in the historic Riccarton House – a grand, restored 19th-century homestead.

MEALS : D

LODGING : Crowne Plaza Christchurch

PORTOFCALL : Christchurch, New Zealand

Day 2 Quake City and Sightseeing

Begin the day with a visit to Quake City, a museum that documents the disastrous earthquakes that struck Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region in September 2010 and February 2011; exhibits tell of heroism and loss, the science behind earthquakes, the efforts of emergency workers and volunteers who pitched in to help, and recovery projects still going on. Leave the museum and go punting on the River Avon; punting is among the city's English traditions, like cricket, rugby, gardening, and afternoon tea, and today a punter in Edwardian outfit will pole your flat-bottomed boat along the idyllic Avon from the boatsheds to the Botanical Gardens.  Lunch at the historic Mona Vale homestead and peruse the park, then take your choice of afternoon adventures. See the city sights from the back of a Harley* (helmet, jacket, and gloves provided); take a walking tour of the city's amazing street art with an art historian; explore Hagley Park and the riverside on a bicycle* (manual or electric, as you prefer); or choose a guided tour of the famous Botanical Gardens, where you'll learn why Christchurch is called The Garden City. Spend the rest of the day and evening as you please.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : Crowne Plaza Christchurch

PORTOFCALL : Christchurch, New Zealand

Day 3 Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park

Today, drive to Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park, a land of skyscraping peaks and expansive glaciers in the heart of South Island, a mountain-climbers' mecca; here, the famed mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary practiced his climbing skills on Mount Cook before tackling the conquest of Mt. Everest. After lunch, board a MAC boat* for a close-up look at Tasman Glacier. The 16 mile-long glacier is continually melting and calving, creating an ever-expanding lake with icebergs; cruise the lake and its eerie iceberg-islands to the towering walls of the glacier. Dine at your hotel inside the park this evening; tonight, you'll have a chance to go stargazing with an expert who will guide you through the constellations. The park is one of the few places in world officially recognized as an International Dark-Sky Reserve, and the night skies here are rare and spectacular.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook

Day 4 From glaciers to Queenstown

Set off to explore the stunning Tasman Valley and the mountains and glaciers of the South Island from the air on an Ultimate Alpine Experience that combines flights in both a ski plane* and a helicopter*. Soar up to the valley and over glacial lakes and the breathtaking Southern Alps for an eagle-eye's view of the astonishing Hochstetter Icefall and famous Mt. Cook. Touch down on Tasman Glacier for a stroll on its surface before returning to Mt. Cook Airport; during your flight back, your guide shares insights on the area's geology, ecology and history. Depart on a scenic drive to Queenstown after lunch and arrive late afternoon at your acclaimed hotel on Lake Wakatipu, ringed by glacier-carved alpine mountains.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : QT Queenstown Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Queenstown, New Zealand

Day 5 Nature trails and jet boats

Head to Glenorchy at the north end of Lake Wakatipu for an exhilarating jet boat ride* through Mt. Aspiring National Park along the Dart River; the park's strikingly diverse landscapes of alpine mountains, forests and valleys are laced with braided rivers and easy hiking trails where local guides will introduce you to the area's rich history and Maori legends. If you get the feeling that the beech forest along the Greenstone trail reminds you of a forest in Tolkien's Middle-earth, there's a good reason why: it was used as a location in Sir Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies. Return by helicopter* back to Queenstown where the rest of the day and evening are yours.

MEALS : B

LODGING : QT Queenstown Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Queenstown, New Zealand

Day 6 Adventure Choices in Queenstown

You have a choice of excursions in Queenstown today: ride in a 4WD vehicle* through breathtaking scenery on a Lord of the Rings safari to locations used in the movies (including Minas Tirith, Misty Mountains, Argonath, the Ford of Bruinen and more), following an historic mining road along the Arrow River and try your hand at panning for gold. Alternatively, you can zipline* through the treetops of a beech forest for incredible scenic views; or enjoy a round of golf. Spend the afternoon as you please, then dine in Queenstown this evening.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : QT Queenstown Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Queenstown, New Zealand

Day 7 Gardens & Marlborough wine tasting

Fly to Blenheim in the Marlborough region by private charter, then head to a working sheep farm where a garden tour with lunch (accompanied by popular New Zealand wines) is followed by sheepdog and sheep-shearing demonstrations. After checking into your hotel in Blenheim, enjoy dinner tonight at the Arbour Restaurant, boasting a relaxed environment, innovative cuisine and an extensive wine list; the menus showcase local producers and Marlborough stories.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Chateau Marlborough

Day 8 Marlborough Sounds Cruise

Sail along the enchanting Marlborough Sounds, a vast network of sunken valleys, islands, secluded bays, and fjord-like vistas at the northern tip of South Island, on a private wine and green-lipped mussel cruise that includes lunch; the sheltered waters are home to dolphins, seals, gannets, and occasionally orcas.  Return to the hotel for free time on your own, then stop in at the Wine Station where you can sample from a selection of 80 premium local wines. Dinner is at your leisure at the hotel in Blenheim this evening.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Chateau Marlborough

Day 9 Vintage planes, then Art Deco treasures in Napier

Start your day with a tour of the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, a museum presenting an astonishing array of vintage aircraft from the world wars, including many World War I planes from filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson's personal collection; not merely displayed, the aircraft are featured in vivid dramatic scenes and settings designed by Jackson's film studios to show them in action. Following lunch in Blenheim, fly via private charter to Napier in Hawke's Bay on the east coast of North Island.  Napier was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 and rebuilt in the Art Deco style that was popular at the time; today the city is famous for its well-preserved 1930s architecture, and is known as the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand. A short documentary film will brief you on the 1931 earthquake and its aftermath; then see the city sights on foot and in a chauffeured vintage car with stories and commentary by local guides. Dine at leisure at your hotel this evening.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : Art Deco Masonic Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Napier, New Zealand

Day 10 Te Mata Peak & a Gala 1930s evening

Drive this morning from Napier up to Te Mata Peak, 1300 feet above Hawke's Bay, with panoramic views of the city, the bay, and Heretaunga Plains. Drop in at Birdwoods Gallery, an art gallery sporting a sculpture garden, café, and old-fashioned sweet shop in a charming colonial cottage. Next, visit family-run Mangarara Farm for a tour of their sustainable farming methods and a barbecue lunch. Return to Art Deco Napier and get dressed up (in costume) for our exclusive evening event, a "Gangsters and Flappers Party" in the appropriately named Gatsby Room, featuring "Prohibition-era cocktails," dinner, and a swing band.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Art Deco Masonic Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Napier, New Zealand

Day 11 Adventures in Hawke's Bay

Sleep in this morning... or explore Napier on your own, then lunch at Elephant Hill, an eco-friendly wine estate and restaurant on the Te Awanga Coast in Hawke's Bay. This afternoon you have a choice of activities. Choose a "safari" to one of the largest and most accessible Gannet colonies in the world; a "Walk with the Ancestors" tour with a member of the Waimarama Tribe, who will walk you through a sacred site and share stories of his family's history and culture, and an insider's perspective on being a Maori in contemporary society; or a visit to three local craft breweries, where you'll meet some of the owners, taste their product, and learn about the meteoric rise of artisan ales and lagers in New Zealand. The rest of the day and evening are yours.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : Art Deco Masonic Hotel

PORTOFCALL : Napier, New Zealand

Day 12 Napier to Auckland

This morning, take a private charter flight from Napier to the "City of Sails," Auckland, before enjoying lunch in Ponsonby. A visit this afternoon introduces you to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, one of New Zealand's most treasured institutions of history, culture, natural history and military history, known for its collections of Maori and Pacific treasures; the museum is also a war memorial for the Auckland province. Enjoy a private Maori performance and guided tour of the Maori exhibit. Early this evening, check into your luxury hotel, located in the heart of Auckland's thriving waterfront. Tonight, enjoy dinner at the hotel.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : Park Hyatt Auckland

PORTOFCALL : Auckland, New Zealand

Day 13 A Choice of Auckland Sights

Take your pick of excursions this morning in Auckland, called the "City of Sails" for the abundance of yachts in its harbors. One is a City Highlights Tour that includes major highlights, bays and residential suburbs, and the Domain, the city's oldest park. Another is a coastal drive to the artisan enclave of Matakana, where you'll visit an oyster farm and enjoy a tour and lunch at Brick Bay Winery and Sculpture Trail. A third invites you to check out the historic, beautiful Hamilton Gardens, which employs the unique concept of showcasing the cultural meaning and context of gardens over the past 4,000 years. Or you can explore Waitomo Caves, where thousands of glow worms light up the dark like a glorious constellation of stars. Spend free time on your own, then join us for a farewell reception and dinner tonight.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : Park Hyatt Auckland

PORTOFCALL : Auckland, New Zealand

Day 14 Journey Home

Tour ends: Auckland. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from Park Hyatt Auckland to Auckland Airport. Allow three hours for flight check-in. 

MEALS : B

PORTOFCALL : Auckland, New Zealand

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 9,490
Price Per Day: $ 678 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateDouble StandardSingle StandardDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Sep-29-2022Oct-13-2022$ 11,990$ 13,760 Reserve
Oct-06-2022Oct-20-2022$ 13,990$ 15,792 Reserve
Oct-13-2022Oct-27-2022$ 11,990$ 13,760 Reserve
Oct-20-2022Nov-03-2022$ 13,990$ 15,792 Reserve
Oct-27-2022Nov-10-2022$ 11,990$ 13,760 Reserve
Nov-03-2022Nov-17-2022$ 11,990$ 13,760 Reserve

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Tauck.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

22 Tauck Travel Reviews & Ratings

91%
4.5 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 16
Great 4
Average 0
Disappointing 2
Terrible 0
Value
4.5
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.5

New Zealand: A North & South Island Adventure 2022

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Company Reviews

Nice trip but not if you are a loyal Tauck Customer like myself

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities4.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation5.0
Meals2.0
This was my 16th Tauck Tour. I was assigned a room with a "mountain" view only to be obstructed by lawn chairs, pool covers, large plants and buildings. It was a 1st floor room. I complained to tour director who said everyone got the same (NOT TRUE). I called Tauck 800 number on Sept 3 to request a call back from Customer Service. It took them until September 8 for a call back. The person on the phone was rude, non caring and (I'm paraphrasing) and told me just because you have taken 16 tours doesn't mean you deserve a better view that a first time customer. He went on to imply Tauck doesn't respect loyalty and wants to impress first time travelers. I ended the call and wrote an email to a good person at Tauck who was very helpful in the and requested this go to the top. I included pictures of my view and one dead fly because there were flies in the room and I guess Tauck thinks that makes the room special? I'm not done with them yet. Consider my treatment by this Customer Care agent before spending the big bucks to travel with Tauck.
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Great if you like 5-star hotels and lots of food

4.0
Details
Value3.0
Guide3.0
Activities3.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The tour covered most of Switzerland, with one day in Italy, which could have been eliminated. If you want to see the country from a bus or train, and you desire luxury hotels and gourmet food, then this is the tour for you. If you want to have a closer connection to the local people, and walk a bit in the mountains, or even hear the cowbells up close, then don't take this trip. While the trip was nice, I felt a disconnect from the local people and the country itself. We were always separated in a private train car, or on a private tour. I came home not really knowing what it's like to live there, other than it's very expensive.
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Pay for a 4 star trip and get 2 star food

2.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals1.0
My husband and I took the Treasures of the Mediterranean tour two weeks ago. The food off the ship was very good. The food on the ship was subpar (2 stars out of 4 stars). We ended up ordering French Fries at the beginning of each meal so we would at least have something to eat. I called Tauck and voiced my concerns. They offered us a $250 voucher each for another trip. I hardly think the food portion on the yacht was $250. Why would I go on another Tauck trip when my first one, which was our retirement celebration due to the poor food. The majority of the people on the trip were dissatisfied with the food and their reviews reflected it.
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Still Spellbound by the Grandeur of Alaska

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Focused on the amazing wildness of Alaska without worrying about the mundane details. Expert, low-key tour director made everything look easy. Excursions enhanced appreciation for the history, terrain, wildlife, peoples, boom and bust cycles that make Alaska so unique. Clear view of Denali, great weather, days 'at sea' with binoculars in hand!

Most Memorable Moment:
Flightseeing, Tundra Wilderness tour (clear Denali, rare wolf sighting and grizzlies in distance), crossing Prince William Sound (sea-otters, orcas, stellar sea-lions, and more), Hubbard Glacier calving, Glacier Bay entire day, Whale Watching out of Juneau, and bald eagles everywhere!
Read more

Australia/New Zealand - Ultimate Experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Travel Date: March 2018
We were excited to have experienced 20 days of everything these 2 countries had to offer. We felt we didn't miss anything. Tauck knows how to provide you with the ultimate activities that any seasoned traveler walks away with and says WOW - truly an experience of a lifetime. Our tour Director Gary was an added plus.

Most Memorable Moment:
Too many to name, all planned activities were outstanding. We particularly enjoyed everything Queenstown had to offer. Probably the most impressive thing about the whole trip was that we got off each of our 6 private flights directly onto an awaiting bus and never during the 3 weeks did we touch our luggage.
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Most Memorable Moment

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
San Jose, Costa Rica, where we began our trip, is at nearly 4000 ft, cool and surrounded by mountains. Panama City, where we ended is at sea level and hot with a modern skyline making for a huge change in climate and atmosphere. We began at a coffee plantation in the mountains and ended on a ship in the impressive Panama Canal. Wow what a contrast.

Most Memorable Moment:

Transiting the Panama Canal and also spending some time in a small boat on the canal. The boat took us into one of the many "inlets" of the canal created by the flooding of the Chagres river when the canal was built. The surroundings have been left as a jungle where we saw monkeys, a large crocodile and a number of birds. Totally unexpected.
Read more

Details

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Trip ID#:

tauck-NZ2022

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