Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping - you're beginning to get the picture of Auckland.
In the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki-Makau-Rau - 'the maiden with a hundred suitors'. It earned this name because it was a region coveted by many tribes.
The region was the birthplace of New Zealand tourism in the 1800s, when people flocked here from around the world to see the amazing Pink and White Terraces - vast, naturally formed silica terraces that cascaded into a volcanic lake. The Te Arawa people were their local guides. The terraces were destroyed in the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption, but Rotorua's fame as a fascinating travel destination continued to grow. Today Maori guides can often be seen at the city's iconic attractions, following in the footsteps of their ancestors.
When explaining the appeal of their region, the people of Rotorua like to talk of five spirits. You can feel the spirit of the earth, as it rumbles beneath your feet and escapes, hissing, through fumaroles and geysers. You can witness the spirit of Maori culture, with authentic village and performance experiences.
With a soak in a natural hot spring or a relaxing massage, you can rejuvenate your spirit. Or free your spirit with outdoor adventures - trout fishing, kayaking, waterskiing, swimming, hiking and mountain biking. And if it's excitement you crave, you can challenge your spirit with adrenalin-charged extreme activities such as sky-diving, jet boating and zorbing.
Christchurch - The Garden City of New Zealand
From the silvery beaches of the coast to the jagged peaks of the Southern Alps, the Canterbury landscape is impossible to ignore. Big scenery is the order of the day - huge panoramas of ocean or mountains, great sweeps of pastureland and massive amounts of sky.
Near vertical sea cliffs rising straight up form the fiord creates a vista that can only be described as awe inspiring!
Flightseeing and sea kayaking are two other ways to immerse yourself in the grandeur of huge peaks, waterfalls and sheer rock faces. At the underwater observatory, you can enjoy the unusual scenery than exists below the water. The Milford Track, which begins at the northern end of Lake Te Anau, finishes with a ferry trip from Sandfly Point to the Milford Sound wharf.
Rugged mountains, majestic lakes, crystal clear air, and just so much to do. From bungy jumping to wine trails, jet boating to tramping, dining out to skiing, the tricky part is extending your stay to try and fit everything in.
The area has captured hearts and imaginations since the first Maori came in search of pounamu (greenstone) and the giant Moa bird. More recently, gold miners, adventurers, filmmakers, wine enthusiasts, Hollywood stars and US Presidents have been drawn to this magical region and its intense alpine energy.
Born as an 1860's goldmining camp, 140 years later Queenstown has a compact and sophisticated downtown area tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Dwarfed by the surrounding mountains, there are amazing views from everywhere. There's also a permanent buzz in the downtown area where you'll find a lively café/bar scene and excellent shopping.
Franz Josef Glacier was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor. The glacier is five kilometres from the town of the same name, and a 20 minute walk will take you to its terminal face. From the glacier car park, you can hike to a choice of lookout points for a bigger view of this awesome river of rice. If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike. Aerial sightseeing is another option. In the town you'll find plenty of places to stay and eat. At nearby Lake Mapourika there are kayaks for hire. Functional facts: Approx. population 320, Department of Conservation Visitor Centre, fuel.
Highlights : • Auckland, Rotorua and Christchurch city tours • Maori Hangi & Concert • Waitomo Glowworm Caves • Church of the Good Shepherd • Milford Sound • Glacier Region
Day 01 : Arrive Auckland
On arrival in Auckland, 'The City of Sails', seat in coach passengers will be met by our local representative and privately transferred to your hotel. Self drive passengers will collect your rental car at the airport and drive to your hotel.
Day 02 : Auckland Sightseeing
Morning tour including Victoria Park Market, Westhaven Marina and the volcanic crater of Mt Eden for spectacular views of the city and harbour. (Breakfast)
Day 03 : Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua
Travel south through the fertile Waikato region to arrive at Waitomo. Enjoy a guided tour of the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves including an underground boat ride viewing the millions of glow worms on the cavern roof. On completion continue over the forested Mamaku Ranges to reach the 'Thermal City' of Rotorua. (Breakfast)
Day 04 : Rotorua
Visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve to see boiling mudpools and roaring geysers. Following this, visit Rainbow Springs to see New Zealand's trout, birds and wildlife before continuing to the Agrodome for a New Zealand farm show featuring sheep dog demonstrations, cow milking and an introduction to the stars of our sheep industry. The afternoon is at leisure. This evening enjoy an authentic Maori Hangi (feast) and Concert. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 05 : - Rotorua - Christchurch
Depart on your domestic flight from Rotorua to Christchurch (airfare is NOT included).
Collect your Rental Vehicle upon arrival at the airport and proceed to the hotel for check-in (Breakfast)
Day 06 : Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown
Travel across the fertile Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo and the 'Church of the Good Shepherd' before continuing on to New Zealand's highest mountain - Mt Cook. Depart Mt Cook and follow the shores of Lake Pukaki south through the historic Central Otago region to the 'Alpine Resort' of Queenstown. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 07 : Milford Sound
Follow the southern arm of Lake Wakatipu to Lumsden, and onward to Lake Te Anau. Enter the Eglinton Valley and travel through the breath taking man made Homer Tunnel to reach Milford Sound. Enjoy a cruise on this world famous fiord, dominated by Mitre Peak and the cascading Bowen Falls. Return to Queenstown. (Breakfast)
Day 08 : Queenstown
A free day to explore the endless optional attractions available. Queenstown offers bungy jumping, jetboating, white water rafting, gondola rides and much more. Optional activities not included in the tour price. (Breakfast)
Day 09 : Queenstown - Glacier Region
Depart Queenstown and travel via Lake Wanaka and through the historic Haast Pass, gateway to the World Heritage Westland National Park. Continue up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to the glacier region of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. (Breakfast)
Day 10 : Glacier Region - Christchurch
Travel north to Greymouth today and board the Tranz Alpine train (seat in coach passengers only). Ascend through lush beech forests past the alpine village of Arthur's Pass before crossing the spectacular Southern Alps. Travel over Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. (Breakfast)
Day 11 : Christchurch Sightseeing
Highlights of this mornings tour include the Anglican Cathedral, Town Hall, the Arts Centre, Canterbury Museum, the University, Botanic Gardens and the Avon River. (Breakfast)
Day 12 : Departure Day
Your arrangements conclude today with a departure transfer or the return of your rental car. We trust you enjoyed your Kiwiway Vacation! (Breakfast)
Packages starting from NZD 2588 per person
SELF DRIVE Package includes the following :
11 nights accommodation at the level chosen.
Meals as specified in the itinerary.
Sightseeing entry fees as specified in the itinerary
12.5% Goods and Services Tax
Transport by self drive rental vehicle including unlimited kms
Standard motor vehicle insurance and applicable vehicle pickup fees