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12 Days

A fantastic option for those with less time on their hands but still wanting to visit both of New Zealand’s main islands. On this tour you will experience the stunning scenery of the South Island, and the geothermal and cultural highlights of the North Island.

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Day 1 - Auckland

Fable, Auckland

Haere mai – welcome! You will be transferred to your accommodation in central Auckland. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure exploring the ‘City of Sails’.

Day 2 - Auckland to Rotorua

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua


Take in some of the city’s panoramic views this morning on an Auckland City tour including quaint Parnell Village, some of the most popular waterfront areas and the informative Maori and Pacific Islands displays at the Auckland Museum. Departing Auckland we travel to Rotorua – the heart of New Zealand’s famous thermal and cultural region. We will enjoy a city tour, before checking into our central accommodation. This evening we travel to a local Marae (Maori Village). Experience a formal welcome (powhiri), a powerful cultural performance, storytelling and Hangi (feasting).

Day 3 - Rotorua to Wellington

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington


No visit to Rotorua would be complete without including Te Puia, not only an active geothermal site, but the nation’s centre for indigenous arts and crafts and a Kiwi conservation project. After our private tour we travel out to visit the Blue and Green Lakes, and Lake Tarawera – site of the Buried Village, to see remains of the Maori village devastated by an 1886 volcanic eruption. This afternoon fly to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, and enjoy a city tour including viewing famous landmarks such as New Zealand’s magnificent Parliament Buildings and the iconic ‘Beehive’ building. Your hotel is located within the central business and shopping precincts.

Day 4 - Wellington to Nelson

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson


Today we travel on one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world, through the Cook Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound to the South Island. Disembarking in Picton, it is a short drive to Blenheim in the heart of the Marlborough wine country for wine tasting at a premier winery. We cross to the Nelson district, a corner of the South Island blessed with a sunny microclimate and your base for the next two nights.

Day 5 - Abel Tasman National Park

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson


The Abel Tasman National Park’s golden coves, turquoise lagoons and forested ranges are best explored on foot and by boat. This morning from Kaiteriteri, your tour includes a choice of one of these options:

a) 3-4 hour Scenic Cruise (no walking)

A morning cruise reveals the golden sands and turquoise waters of Abel Tasman National Park. Enjoy time at leisure in Kaiteriteri and return to Nelson on the late afternoon transfer.

b) Walking Option 1: Astrolabe Beaches and Bays (7km, 2.5 hour walk)

After the scenic cruise, disembark at Apple Tree Bay for a self-guided walk to fabulous Anchorage Beach. Late afternoon shuttle transfer back to Nelson.

c) Walking Option 2: Forest and Swing-Bridge (10.5km, 4 hour walk)

After the scenic cruise, disembark at Medlands Beach for a self-guided walk that includes the scenic highlights of the South Head lookout, the famous Falls River swing-bridge and Cleopatra’s Pool. Late afternoon transfer back to Nelson.

Day 6 - Nelson to Punakaiki

The Ocean View Retreat, Punakaiki


We travel through the enchanting Nelson Lakes National Park and follow the Buller River Gorge - one of the world’s best but least-known scenic drives. Emerging from the forest at Punakaiki - renowned for its wild, rugged coastline and the famous ‘Pancake Rocks’.

Day 7 - Punakaiki to Fox Glacier

Distinction Hotel, Fox Glacier


As we journey south along the Great Coast Road we pass through historic towns with a chance to stretch your legs at the dramatic Hokitika Gorge where the blue/green waters pass through the rugged rocks. Continuing south, with views of the Alps to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west, we travel to Glacier Country. At Fox Glacier Village, weather permitting, an optional helicopter ride is a terrific way to experience the glaciers (extra cost).

Day 8 - Fox Glacier to Wanaka

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka


Have your camera ready for your visit to nearby Lake Matheson for a morning stroll - when conditions are right the lake perfectly mirrors beautiful Mt. Cook in its still waters. Head over the Haast Pass into Mt. Aspiring National Park and the pretty lakeside resort town of Wanaka.

Day 9 - Wanaka

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka


This morning you have the choice of two excursions:

a) Take a lake cruise to a conservation island

Join a local eco-guide to discover rare native birds, island walks and stunning landscape views.

b) Experience a scenic 4WD adventure

Explore remote High Country farmland.

This afternoon is at your leisure to relax or enjoy your own choice of activities.

Day 10 - Wanaka to Te Anau

Distinction Hotel Luxmore, Te Anau


Our first stop today is the much photographed Cardrona Pub, we then visit historic Arrowtown – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. We continue our journey along the shores of spectacular Lake Wakatipu through glacial formed valleys to Lake Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Day 11 - Te Anau to Milford Sound to Queenstown

Scenic Suites, Queenstown


Prepare to be amazed on this morning’s journey to Milford Sound. Fiordland National Park is one of the great wilderness areas of the Southern Hemisphere with spectacular lofty mountains and deep valleys carved out by Ice Age glaciers. At Milford Sound we board a comfortable vessel for a cruise past Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea. Enjoy a packed lunch while watching out for seals and dolphins which are often seen in the waters of the fiord. Following the cruise we end our day in Queenstown.

Day 12 - Depart Queenstown

Haere ra – farewell from New Zealand. You are transferred to the Queenstown Airport for your return home taking with you fond memories of your time in New Zealand. Alternatively, should you wish to extend your stay, we can assist you with additional travel arrangements.

Manuka Featured Experiences

• Delve into Maori life and enjoy a powerful cultural performance and feast

• A private guide around an active geothermal site with geysers, mud pools and hot springs

• Visit a volcanic valley and explore the site of a buried village devastated by an 1886 eruption

• Scenic Interislander Ferry journey across the Cook Strait

• Wine tasting at one of Marlborough’s premier wineries

• Cruise the turquoise waters of Abel Tasman National Park

• Visit world-famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki

• Cruise to a conservation island – or – join a scenic 4WD adventure

• Explore the historic gold rush village of Arrowtown

• Cruise, with a picnic lunch, on the breathtaking Milford Sound

Our Small Group Tours are perfect for those seeking a truly unique New Zealand holiday experience

Your overnight stays are an important way of experiencing the character of your destination so we carefully hand-pick our accommodations, choosing one-of-a-kind hotels or unique properties that are expressions of the region or have a particular vibe or attraction of their own.

Please note that occasionally we need to substitute accommodation to that of a similar standard, based on availability.
Fable, Auckland

Be transported back to the 1920s in this elegant Art Deco heritage hotel right in the heart of Auckland city. Unlike anything you have experienced before, the Fable was created to be something treasured. Close to the city’s central shopping precinct and the Viaduct Harbour’s vibrant hospitality scene, your stay at this luxury hotel will make your holiday something to remember.

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua

This boutique property is a prominent showpiece in the heart of Rotorua. Originally built in the gold mining town of Waihi, in 1917 nail by nail and board by board, the hotel was dismantled and transferred by horse-drawn wagon to the Waihi Railway Station and the timber and fittings were duly taken by rail to Rotorua. It is now sited opposite the entrance to the stunning Government Gardens. A visit to the Princes Gate Hotel is an exciting escape back in time.

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington

Located in the heart of Wellington this hotel is minutes from popular landmarks and activities such as the Cable Car, Parliament buildings, and Lambton Quay’s shopping district. A perfect balance between elegance and comfort, the hotel has two renowned restaurants, bars, a day spa and fitness room – so all your comforts and needs should be covered!

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

Situated in Trafalgar Square, Nelson, the hotel boasts a prime spot only minutes walk from Nelson’s landmark cathedral and main shopping district (including, just a block away, Jens Hansen Goldsmiths; creators of the ring in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy). If you choose not to venture out, the hotel has two highly regarded restaurants onsite, plus a sauna, gym and outdoor pool to work up your appetite!

The Ocean View Retreat, Punakaiki

Just two minutes’ walk from the beach, this comfortable and environmentally friendly hotel in Paparoa National Park is only 300 metres from the magnificent Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. The limestone stacks have been sculptured by the weather and sea leaving unique stacks resembling pancakes layered on top of each other!

Distinction Hotel, Fox Glacier

Distinction Hotel Fox Glacier is situated in one of the world’s most ruggedly beautiful environments - nestled beneath the towering Southern Alps on the stunning West Coast of New Zealand. The hotel’s location provides a real sense of privacy and peaceful seclusion, while being only a short stroll to the charming Fox Glacier village.

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

The hotel is in a fantastic location, just a short walk from town, and directly on the shores of the beautiful Lake Wanaka. The hotel enjoys amazing views of the lake’s clear blue waters and with the backdrop of the Mt. Aspiring National Park it’s no surprise the area is a focal point for keen photographers.

Distinction Hotel Luxmore, Te Anau

Te Anau is a charming South Island town based on the eastern side of Lake Te Anau, the South Island’s largest lake. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Te Anau and just a short stroll from the glacially formed lake. The hotel has two on-site restaurants for you to choose from, their eateries and bars are a popular choice with both visitors and locals alike.

Scenic Suites, Queenstown

This inspiring resort town at the foot of the Southern Alps attracts those looking for an unforgettable trip. The Scenic Suites provides one of the most sought-after locations for Queenstown hotels. The hotel’s elevated position gives fantastic views of the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake, carved from a glacier more than 15,000 years ago.

What is the size of New Zealand?

New Zealand is 266,200 square kilometres - similar in size to Great Britain or Japan, but unlike these countries New Zealand has a population of less than 5 million. The country comprises of two main islands; the North Island (Te Ika-a-Maui), and the South Island (Te Waipounamu).

Do I need a passport or visa to enter New Zealand?

All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date they intend to leave the country. Some visitors must have an Electronic Travel Authority and pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy before travelling to New Zealand. For more information about visas and visitor regulations, visit www.immigration.govt.nz.

When is the best time to come to New Zealand?

New Zealand really is an all-year round destination as it enjoys a mild climate ranging from temperate areas at the bottom of the South Island to sub-tropical regions in the upper North Island. We have designed our Small Group Tours around the most popular times to visit, through spring, summer and autumn.

What is the typical age group of the people that travel on your tours?

Our Small Group Tours appeal to a broad range of ages but typically our clients are in the 50+ age group.

Luggage Allowance

Luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one small item of hand luggage per person. Baggage handling of one suitcase per person, at each hotel, is included in the trip price. Due to limited storage capacity in the smaller vehicles used for these tours, each case should have dimensions not exceeding 30” x 18” x 10” (76x46x25cm) and 62 linear inches (157cm) and weight not exceeding 50lbs (23kg). Please note that some airlines restrict checked luggage allowance – please check this with your airline. Carry-on/hand luggage is restricted to one piece per person, not exceeding 12” x 11” x 6” (30x28x14cm) in order to fit under your coach seat. Carry-on/hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and must be taken on and off the motorcoach by you each day of the trip. Please note that carry-ons with telescopic handles and wheels will not fit under seats and therefore cannot be accepted as carry-on luggage for safety reasons.

What sort of clothing should I bring with me?

When on tour in New Zealand dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Do I need any vaccinations?

All passengers must adhere to the entry and health requirements set in place at the time of travel by the New Zealand Government, immigration and health authorities. For more information please refer to the New Zealand Government official website. covid19.govt.nz/international-travel

What currency should I bring with me?

The official currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD$). Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks which are found at international airports and in most city centres. All major credit card can be used in New Zealand, with Visa and MasterCard accepted most widely. ATM ’s are generally available in all except the most rural areas.

Can I use my mobile phone in New Zealand?

Many international mobile phones will work in New Zealand although higher rates can often apply, please check with your phone/network provider before leaving home to confirm. Alternatively, prepaid SIM cards are available to purchase when you arrive in New Zealand. Mobile coverage is extensive across most of the country but not available in some remote and rural areas.

Is tipping expected?

Tipping is not obligatory or expected in New Zealand but if you choose to reward a job well done it is always greatly appreciated.

What are the legislations around smoking?

It is now illegal to smoke indoors in workplaces and hospitality venues including restaurants, bars, cafes, casinos and hotel lobbies. If you wish to smoke, you will need to smoke outdoors.

Does New Zealand have any dangerous animals?

New Zealand does not have any poisonous snakes, dangerous animals and only one poisonous spider – the Katipo which is very rare and only found in certain coastal areas and Katipo bites are rare. If travelling to Fiordland, insect repellent is strongly recommended as the sand-flies are large and determined!

Do I need travel Insurance?

While New Zealand’s medical facilities, both private and public, provide a high standard of treatment and care, it is strongly recommended that all travellers hold comprehensive travel insurance (including full medical, cancellation and repatriation) before departing their home country. Visitors to New Zealand are covered for subsidised treatment for personal injury caused by accident under the Government-run ACC scheme. However ACC does not cover any medical treatment relating to illness. Visitors should have their own medical insurance cover.

Departure Date Price Single Supplement Availability
Wed 19 Oct 2022 $5,350 USD $1,470 USD Tour Unavailable
Wed 30 Nov 2022 $5,350 USD $1,470 USD Tour Unavailable
Wed 25 Jan 2023 $5,350 USD $1,470 USD Tour Unavailable
Wed 15 Feb 2023 $5,820 USD $1,580 USD Available
Wed 01 Mar 2023 $5,820 USD $1,580 USD Available
Wed 29 Mar 2023 $5,820 USD $1,580 USD Available
Wed 12 Apr 2023 $5,350 USD $1,470 USD Available
Wed 17 May 2023 $4,650 USD $1,280 USD Available
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