This 13-day air-inclusive trip is the perfect New Zealand travel opportunity for those wanting to see country’s best sights in limited time.
Start in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city and one of the world’s most liveable. Perfectly balancing an outdoor and indoor lifestyle, Auckland offers spectacular views from its Skytower, or from majestic Mount Eden if you’d prefer a natural vantage point. Your days here are at leisure to explore, with the option of purchasing a New Zealand Sightseeing Pass, which offers a few great suggestions. Consider a trip to the rugged West Coast, or sailing on Auckland Harbour.
Transfer to Rotorua, which sits atop a fascinating geothermal laboratory of bubbling mud pools and spouting geysers. Soak your feet in a natural hot spring, or take a day to visit the glow worms of Waitomo Caves, or the Hobbiton movie set. Kids will love the nearby Agrodome for a taste of Kiwi farm life, and if you’re looking for a glimpse of Maori culture, Rotorua is your ideal spot.
Depart North America
Depart from North America.
Cross the International Dateline
You will lose a day, which is regained on the return journey.
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure. Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand on the North Island, is known as the “City of Sails” due to its attractive harbour, home to thousands of sailing boats. It occupies a narrow isthmus between the harbour and the sea. It also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world.
This modern city combines urban with beautiful beaches, hiking trails, islands and a rugged West Coast. For amazing views of the city, visit the Skytower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere or Mount Eden, an extinct volcano crater and the highest point in Auckland.
Auckland Sightseeing & Harbour Cruise
Today explore the city on your Hop On Hop Off Auckland city sightseeing tour, plus escape the city and cruise the sparkling waters of Auckland’s beautiful harbour. Sit back, relax and let the Fullers crew look after you with full commentary during the one and a half-hour harbour cruise. Visit the Viaduct Basin, see the harbour highlights including historic Devonport, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Bean Rock Lighthouse, and the Devonport Naval Base. For those on a tight itinerary, the Fullers Harbour Cruise is an ideal way to experience Auckland taking in views of three major Auckland Icons: the Harbour Bridge, Rangitoto Island, and the Sky Tower.
Waiheke Island Explorer
Be introduced to Waiheke on the Fullers Explorer Tour, a picturesque 35 minutes boat trip followed by 1.5 hour scenic highlight tour of Waiheke’s stunning locations. Cruise to Waiheke through the glorious Hauraki Gulf, on arrival you will be met by an experienced guide who will give you a taste of the views, culture and history that make up the diverse Island of Waiheke. On conclusion of the tour, take advantage of the complimentary All Day Bus Pass allowing you to either return to a destination on the tour or discover the island further on the Waiheke Island scheduled bus services.
Auckland at Leisure
A day at leisure to explore Auckland and its surrounds. We can assist you with booking the perfect daytour.
Auckland to Rotorua
Travel south from Auckland through the rich farmland of the Waikato on to Waitomo. Enjoy a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the world famous Glowworm Caves. Your tour continues with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto, illuminated by thousands of tiny lights from the glow worms suspended from the cave ceiling. Continue to Rotorua by coach.
Rotorua, in the center of the North Island, is situated on a volcanic plateau also known as the “Pacific Rim of Fire” under which is the world’s most lively geothermal activity. It is here that you can discover amazing geysers, thermal springs, crater lakes and boiling mud pools. The smell of sulphur that lingers in the air will remind visitors they are in a geothermal region. Watch the famed Pohutu Geyser shoot scalding water up to 30 metres into the sky at Whakarewarena Thermal Reserve or visit Hell’s Gate Thermal Park with the only hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere. Visitors can soak their feet in hot pools.
Today on your morning tour you will visit Te Puia and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute where you can view mighty geysers, boiling mud pools, and the traditional arts and culture of the Maori People. You will also experience Rainbow Springs which is a unique showcase of New Zealand’s flora and fauna including New Zealand’s national icon, a kiwi bird. Last but not least, you will have a hands on experience at the Agrodome Sheep Show, giving you an animated insight into New Zealand’s farming history.
This evening you will engage in a wonderful experience at the Tamaki Maori Village. Enroute your guide will instruct you on the rules and protocol for visiting Marae (meeting grounds). On arrival at the venue, nobody must enter the fortified village until the Powhiri (formal welcome) has been performed. The host tribe will send out a toa (warrior) who will challenge the guests, via their elected chief to ascertain if they come in peace. A Teka (peace offering) is placed and received by one of the visiting chiefs. At the Village, the Karanga, or “welcome call”, will echo across the courtyard, followed by the Powhiri (welcome dance). You will then be able to enter onto the village grounds where the Tangata Whenua (people of the land) will demonstrate different activities such as poi twirling, hand games, weaponry displays, reciting chants and displaying activities of an era gone by. The buffet style dinner will be held in the meetinghouse dining hall and will have everyone enjoying a succulent Hangi feast. The evening ends with the Poroporoaki, the official closing ceremony and you will be safely transferred back to your accommodation.
Rotorua at Leisure
The day is free to explore Rotorua.
Depart Rotora for Queenstown and Shotover Jet
You will be transferred back to Rotorua airport for your flight to Queenstown. Upon arrival in Queenstown you will be transferred to your hotel. Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s top travel destinations and the gateway to some of New Zealand’s best natural scenery. The city is small yet energetic and sits right next to the crystal clear Lake Wakatipu with an amazing backdrop of mountain ranges. It is also a centre for adventure pursuits. Visitors can experience a diverse range of activities including opportunities to bungee jump, sky dive, plus go horseback riding and river rafting all within the nearby magnificent landscapes.
Nothing you have experienced will have you prepared for the thrill and excitement of a Shotover Jet ride; it’s an adrenaline rush you’ll never forget! From the moment the accelerator hits the floor your adrenaline hits the roof as you speed in mere centimeters of water along the famous Shotover River and deep into the spectacular Shotover River Canyons. It’s an amazing ride, as the Shotover Canyon walls tower over you, your expert driver puts your ‘Big Red’ through its paces and skillfully whips the Jet Boat past rocky outcrops, skims around crags and boulders, and speeds through the narrow canyons.
TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Skyline Gondola with lunch
One of Queenstown’s most iconic experiences across Lake Wakatipu showcases some of the region’s spectacular alpine scenery while offering plenty of time to explore a piece of living history. Today, the TSS Earnslaw is believed to be the oldest working coal-fired passenger steamship in the southern hemisphere. Explore the decks from the engine room viewing platform to the Captain’s wheelhouse. Feel the heat of the giant steam engines at work and watch the stokers shovel coal into the glowing fireboxes. Discover a mini museum, the Fo’c’sle gallery, where guests can view a collection of historic photos. Or enjoy a drink and some café style food at the Promenade Café and Bar (own expense). On the return journey enjoy a sing-a-long with the pianist – it is a guaranteed bit of fun. The captain provides commentary and highlights points of interest during the cruise.
Next, marvel at the stunning views as you ride the Skyline Queenstown Gondola – the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere! Sit back and relax as the best views in the region unfold before your eyes and the Gondola carries you 450 metres above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob’s Peak. En route you will enjoy a spectacular 220 degree panorama, with breath taking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak and over Queenstown. On arrival purpose built viewing platforms and outdoor terraces provide great photo opportunities. Then enjoy the famous Taste of New Zealand buffet which offers delectable fresh seafood, salads, roast meats and delicious desserts, while the panoramic view from the windows will captivate you.
Queenstown at Leisure
Today is free to explore Queenstown, we highly recommend a daytrip to Milford or Doubtful Sound.
Depart Queenstown for North America
Return to the airport for your flight home. Crossing the international dateline, you regain the day and arrive the same day at your hometown!
- Round trip airfares from listed cities in North America to New Zealand
- Airport transfers
- Accommodation as listed
- 9 half or full day touring experiences