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20 Days

This journey takes you through some of our favourite places and spaces in the North and South Islands, discovering fantastic coastlines and immersing you in Maori culture and history. Explore the geothermal wonders of Rotorua and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Abel Tasman National Park with opportunities to swim in its dazzling turquoise lagoons.

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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 Coromandel Peninsula

Oceans Resort, Whitianga


Today starts with a cruise across the Hauraki Gulf to the Coromandel Peninsula. Visit the Driving Creek Railway where we climb 120m on a narrow-gauge line to the ‘Eyefull’ Tower for panoramic views over the coastline of this stunning peninsula. Drive east through beautiful scenery to reach the resort of Whitianga on Mercury Bay.

Day 3 - Coromandel Peninsula

Oceans Resort, Whitianga


White cliffs, golden beaches, inviting turquoise waters and green forests are the colours of the Coromandel. Visit Hot Water Beach, when the tide is right you can dig your very own ‘spa’ pool with warm spring water bubbling up through the sand. We walk to Cathedral Cove, one of the most photogenic beaches in New Zealand. Depart by water taxi back to Hahei where your driver will be waiting to take you to Cooks Beach.

From Cooks Beach you can choose to catch the short ferry ride back to Whitianga and walk to your accommodation – OR - travel back with your driver.

Day 4 - Coromandel Peninsula – Rotorua

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua


Travel through some popular Bay of Plenty beachside towns before heading inland, pausing at Okere Falls before arriving in Rotorua. This is the epicentre of New Zealand’s geothermal activity and also a thriving cultural hub. We receive a warm welcome at Te Puia, with a private guide to tell stories of the numerous geysers, mud pools and steam vents, as well as the arts of weaving, carving and tattooing.

Day 5 - Rotorua

Prince’s Gate Hotel, Rotorua


Today you have the choice of two excursions:

a) Visit the Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Site of the 1886 eruption of Mt. Tarawera which buried villages and destroyed the world-famous ‘Pink and White’ terraces, once considered to be the eighth wonder of the world. Walk through the valley created by the catastrophic event, past boiling craters and jewel-coloured steaming lakes.

b) Experience the real Middle-earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set

Visit the delightful setting that featured in Peter Jackson’s films; The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit film series. Your Hobbiton guide will escort you through the set and explain how it became The Shire.

This evening we all visit a Maori Village where we receive a formal welcome (powhiri) and enjoy a powerful cultural performance, with storytelling and Hangi (feasting).

Day 6 - Rotorua to Napier

Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier


Visit the powerful Huka Falls then the vast Lake Taupo. In the distance stands the mighty volcanic peaks of the Tongariro National Park. Onto Napier where a guided walk will reveal how this seaside town now has one of the world’s most complete examples of Art Deco architecture. This evening’s treat is dinner at New Zealand’s oldest winery, Mission Estate, which is enjoyed in the restored seminary buildings with sweeping views of Napier.

Day 7 - Napier to Wellington

James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington


Travel through the vineyards and orchards of Hawke’s Bay and rural Wairarapa into New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. From the Kelburn lookout take the Wellington Cable Car down into the central city before exploring treasures and stories at Te Papa; the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Day 8 - Wellington to Nelson

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson


Today starts with one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world, cruising through the waters of Cook Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound to the South Island. We travel to Marlborough for wine tasting at one of the country’s premier wineries. Our base for the next two nights is sunny Nelson.

Day 9 - Abel Tasman National Park

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson


The idyllic Abel Tasman National Park is best explored by boat and on foot.

Sailing from Kaiteriteri, today offers a choice of:

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 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 10 - Nelson to Punakaiki

The Ocean View Retreat, Punakaiki


Driving via the Nelson Lakes National Park we follow the Buller River Gorge for one of the world’s best but least-known scenic drives. Emerging from the forest we reach the Tasman Sea and the famous ‘Pancake Rocks’ - these stratified limestone stacks are an extraordinary monument of nature.

Day 11 - Punakaiki to Fox Glacier

Distinction Hotel, Fox Glacier


Journeying ever closer to the Southern Alps we pause in the historic town of Hokitika with its galleries specialising in greenstone. Stretch your legs at the dramatic Hokitika Gorge where the blue/green waters pass through the rugged rocks. Fox Glacier offers the chance to take an optional helicopter ride to get up close to the West Coast glaciers (extra cost).

Day 12 - 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 Lake Wanaka.

Day 13 - 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 14 - Wanaka to Te Anau

Distinction Hotel Luxmore, Te Anau


Stop at the much photographed Cardrona Pub before traversing the Crown Range road to visit historic Arrowtown – a delightful gold rush village. Continue past the Remarkables mountain range and spectacular Lake Wakatipu to reach Lake Te Anau, the ideal base from which to visit Milford Sound.

Day 15 - Te Anau to Milford Sound to Queenstown

Scenic Suites, Queenstown


Today’s journey is one of the most scenic experiences you can have on four wheels. The scenery is spectacular with lofty mountains and deep valleys carved out by Ice Age glaciers. At Milford Sound we board a comfortable vessel for a cruise past towering Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea. Keep an eye peeled for seals and dolphins which are often seen in the waters of the fiord. Our day ends with a return journey to Queenstown.

Day 16 - Queenstown

Scenic Suites, Queenstown


Queenstown is set on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu surrounded by majestic mountains. Today is free for you to do your own thing in New Zealand’s most famous adventure resort. Try white-water rafting and high-wire thrills, or relax on a classic steamship cruise (at own cost).

Day 17 - Queenstown to Mt. Cook to Twizel

Mackenzie Country Hotel, Twizel


We drive through the rugged Kawarau Gorge, past pretty Lake Dunstan and through Central Otago countryside to the Lindis Pass. As we descend into the Mackenzie Basin the Southern Alps dominate the horizon. We drive alongside Lake Pukaki to Mt. Cook Village, home to New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki/Mt. Cook, then overnight in the small town of Twizel.

Day 18 - Twizel to Christchurch

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch


Visit a local lakeside home and learn the secrets of making a Pavlova - a truly Kiwi dessert! After a delicious morning tea and a photo opportunity at Lake Te Kapo and the picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd, we pass across the high country plains onto Christchurch for our two night stay at the Distinction Hotel.

Day 19 - Christchurch

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch


Our journey ends with a full day ahead in the garden city of Christchurch. Enjoy two unique journeys with punting on the River Avon through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, and a journey onboard a beautifully restored heritage tram through the city centre. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner together at a local restaurant.

Day 20 - Depart Christchurch

Haere ra! Farewell from New Zealand. We take you to the airport for your flight home, or set you on the way on the next stage of your holiday.

Pohutukawa Featured Experiences

• A scenic cruise from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula

• Narrow-gauge railway journey through native Coromandel bush

• Visit Hot Water Beach and photogenic Cathedral Cove

• A private guide and tour around an active geothermal site

• Visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley – or – experience Hobbiton Movie Set

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

• Enjoy an evening meal at Mission Estate in Napier

• Travel on Wellington’s famous Cable Car and visit Te Papa museum

• 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 breath-taking 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.
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.

Oceans Resort, Whitianga

Nestled on the western shore of the beautiful Mercury Bay and only a stone’s throw from the golden sands of Buffalo Beach, you will find the relaxed luxury Whitianga Apartments of Oceans Resort in the heart of popular Whitianga. The resort is only a short stroll to the ferry and the picturesque marina or wander through the town centre where you will find an abundance of cafés, restaurants and bars, and boutique stores. Please note these are self-contained apartments and there is no restaurant onsite.

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.

Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier

The hotel enjoys a premium waterfront location on Napier’s Marine Parade and is a short stroll from the main art deco style street. Styled to complement its remarkable location the hotel boasts design awards and is perfectly sited to enjoy the famous sunrises of the Hawke’s Bay - one of the first places in the world to see the light each day.

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
Sat 15 Oct 2022 $7,800 USD $2,630 USD Tour Unavailable
Sat 26 Nov 2022 $7,800 USD $2,630 USD Tour Unavailable
Sat 21 Jan 2023 $7,800 USD $2,630 USD Tour Unavailable
Sat 11 Feb 2023 $8,480 USD $2,780 USD Available
Sat 25 Feb 2023 $8,480 USD $2,780 USD Available
Sat 25 Mar 2023 $8,480 USD $2,780 USD Available
Sat 08 Apr 2023 $7,800 USD $2,630 USD Available
Sat 13 May 2023 $6,780 USD $2,330 USD Available
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