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Mt. Cook Lily

14 Days

This tour squeezes more jaw-dropping scenery into two weeks than any other! The South Island has an unparalleled variety of landscapes from the majestic Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, to the stunning views across Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, to the Remarkable Mountains.

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Day 1 - Wellington

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington

Haere mai – welcome! Today is yours to explore New Zealand’s friendly capital city; Wellington. A visit to Te Papa, the national museum and one of the most exciting museums in the world, is highly recommended.

Day 2 - Wellington to Nelson

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson


Your day commences with one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world. Travel to the South Island through the waters of Cook Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. In Marlborough we enjoy a wine tasting at one of region’s premier wineries. We then cross to sunny Nelson our base for the next two nights.

Day 3 - Abel Tasman National Park

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson


Abel Tasman National Park is a pristine wilderness of hidden coves and bush-clad ranges best explored by boat and on foot. This morning 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 4 - Nelson to Punakaiki

The Ocean View Retreat, Punakaiki


We drive through the Nelson Lakes National Park to the shores of Lake Rotoiti, then follow the goldminers’ route, crossing the Buller River Gorge by single-track bridges. Emerging from the forest the road hugs the coastline south to the small settlement of Punakaiki - renowned for its wild, rugged coastline and the famous ‘Pancake Rocks.

Day 5 - Punakaiki to Fox Glacier

Distinction Hotel, Fox Glacier


Our route today takes us south along the Great Coast Road through historic towns reaching Hokitika with a chance to browse its excellent art and craft galleries. We continue to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. These rivers of ice flow down almost to sea level. Weather permitting, an optional helicopter ride with a snow landing is a terrific way to experience the sheer grandeur of the glaciers (extra cost).

Day 6 - 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 deep into Mt. Aspiring National Park. We reach lovely Lake Wanaka and the pretty resort town of Wanaka.

Day 7 - 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 8 - Wanaka to Te Anau

Distinction Hotel Luxmore, Te Anau


Depart Wanaka with our first stop at the much photographed Cardrona Pub before traversing the Crown Range road to visit historic Arrowtown – a delightful gold rush village. Continue your journey travelling past spectacular Lake Wakatipu to reach Lake Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Day 9 - Te Anau to Milford Sound to Queenstown

Scenic Suites, Queenstown


This morning we follow river gorges through a wilderness of ancient rain forests and spectacular lofty mountains to arrive at Milford Sound. We board a comfortable vessel for a cruise past Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea. Enjoy a packed lunch and keep an eye peeled for seals and dolphins which are often seen in the waters of the fiord. We end the day in Queenstown.

Day 10 - Queenstown

Scenic Suites, Queenstown


Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of Queenstown create the perfect backdrop for a visit full of adventure, exploration or relaxation. Today is free for you to do your own thing: perhaps a jet-boat ride or a gondola trip up to Bob’s Peak. Boutique wineries and local gardens welcome visitors and the classic steamship TSS Earnslaw is an elegant way to discover Lake Wakatipu (at own cost).

Day 11 - Queenstown to Mt. Cook to Twizel

Mackenzie Country Hotel, Twizel


Continue north through the rugged Kawarau Gorge, past pretty Lake Dunstan and across the distinctive Central Otago countryside to the Lindis Pass. Descend into the unique Mackenzie Basin where the Southern Alps dominate the horizon.

Take a beautiful drive along Lake Pukaki to Mt. Cook Village, home to New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki/Mt. Cook. We overnight in the rural town of Twizel.

Day 12 - Twizel to Christchurch

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch


Visit a local home set on the shores of Lake Tekapo and learn the secrets of making a Pavlova - a truly Kiwi dessert! Enjoy morning tea and taste your pavlova as you drink in the views of this beautiful lake. View the Church of the Good Shepherd, one of New Zealand’s most-photographed spots: a tiny church set against a majestic backdrop of the Southern Alps. Continue to Christchurch where we enjoy a two-night stay at the Distinction Hotel.

Day 13 - Christchurch

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch


Today, we relax on the River Avon as you are steered by an Edwardian styled boatman on a flat-bottomed punt through the Botanic Gardens. Then take a trip on a heritage tram through the changing face of this city reinventing itself after the 2010/11 earthquakes. Tonight we get together to enjoy a relaxed farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 14 - Depart Christchurch

Haere ra – farewell from New Zealand. You are transferred to the Christchurch 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.

Mt Cook Lily Featured Experences

• 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

• Enjoy true kiwi hospitality with morning tea at a local home on the shores of Lake Tekapo

• Relax as you’re guided along Christchurch’s Avon River on an authentic Edwardian punt

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.
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.

Mackenzie Country Hotel, Twizel

Built in 1968 as a service town for the hydro-electric power scheme, Twizel was meant to be a temporary town. However, the workers grew to love their little town, and as the project was winding up in the early 1980s they successfully fought to save Twizel. The Mackenzie Country Hotel is a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy your time in Twizel.

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch

An urban escape that combines sophisticated smarts and familiar warmth, the hotel is ideally positioned in the heart of the city only a few minutes’ walk from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and future Christchurch Convention Centre. The renovated hotel stands proud amongst the buzz of the rejuvenation of Cathedral Square.

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
Fri 21 Oct 2022 $5,460 USD $1,800 USD Tour Unavailable
Fri 02 Dec 2022 $5,460 USD $1,800 USD Tour Unavailable
Fri 27 Jan 2023 $5,460 USD $1,800 USD Tour Unavailable
Fri 17 Feb 2023 $5,930 USD $1,880 USD Available
Fri 03 Mar 2023 $5,930 USD $1,880 USD Available
Fri 31 Mar 2023 $5,930 USD $1,180 USD Available
Fri 14 Apr 2023 $5,460 USD $1,800 USD Available
Fri 19 May 2023 $4,740 USD $1,620 USD Available
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