DAY 1 AUCKLAND
Kia Ora and welcome to New Zealand. After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, proceed to the Budget rental car desk to complete your car rental paperwork before travelling to downtown Auckland.
Accommodation: Auckland for 1 night
DAY 2 AUCKLAND - COROMANDEL
Depart Auckland and travel along the Pacific Coast Highway to the Coromandel region. The Coromandel Peninsula is one of New Zealand’s favourite summertime spots with endless beaches, coves and bush walkways.
COROMANDEL PENINSULA – the Peninsula juts out from the South Auckland coastline to separate the Hauraki Gulf from the Bay of Plenty. Deep in the bush lie abandoned mining machinery, old kauri water dams, and timber milling equipment. The Peninsula is full of contrasts – the sea lapping on quiet golden beaches, or crashing onto jagged rocks at the bottom of a steep cliff. Farmland is fertile in some places, and in other areas has reverted to manuka and gorse.
Accommodation: Tairua for 1 night
DAY 3 COROMANDEL - ROTORUA
Before departing this morning for Rotorua, you may wish to enjoy a refreshing dip in the surf or visit one of the many picturesque spots the Coromandel has to offer.
ROTORUA – located on a volcanic plateau, and formerly a spa town, Rotorua is most famous for its geothermal activity. Rotorua is the main place in New Zealand where aspects of Maori traditions can be seen, from wood carvings, and meeting houses, to a Hangi dinner and Maori dances. Native introduced tree species abound locally and combined with several picturesque lakes, Rotorua is a fascinating mix of culture and nature.
Accommodation: Rotorua for 2 nights
DAY 4 ROTORUA
Today is at leisure in the Geothermal Wonderland of Rotorua. Some activities in the area can include Kuirau Park, Rotorua’s lakes, The Redwoods, Government Gardens and St Faith’s Church. Also home to many adventure activities, you may wish to try rafting the Kaituna River, testing your speed on the Sweeb at Agroventures or enjoying the panoramic views over Rotorua from the top of Ngongotaha then luging back down. In the evening, enjoy a Te Pō Hangi and concert in Te Puia.
Te Pō is an intimate time for sharing knowledge and is also Te Puia’s authentic evening cultural experience – a feast of food, culture and friendship. It begins every night at Te-Heketanga-a-Rangi (The Heavenly Origins). The space comprises twelve monumental carvings reaching skywards, each one representing a Māori deity. Hear the stories of the past and see how these traditions live on today. Feeding guests is regarded by Māori as an honour and a sign of a tribe’s mana (standing), so a banquet is provided during the evening. This banquet combines contemporary cuisine with a traditional hangi (earth-cooked oven meal), where kai (food) is steam-cooked by hot rocks in the earth, giving it a delicious smoky flavour. Following dessert, you will be transported by our people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. Guests can wander around the illuminated natural attractions, including Pohutu geyser. Followed by your return to your hotel. (D)
DAY 5 ROTORUA - NAPIER
Depart Rotorua and travel South to Napier located in the Hawke’s Bay. En route stretch your legs at the lakeside township of Taupo before continuing to Napier. Napier is the Art-Deco capital of New Zealand after the entire city was rebuilt in the 1930s due to a devastating earthquake. The streets are lined with captivating buildings.
Accommodation: Napier for 1 night
DAY 6 NAPIER - WELLINGTON
Depart Napier and travel to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city located on the Southern tip of the North Island. Wellington is also New Zealand’s capital city for arts and culture. Wellington is an urban paradise surrounded by a glistening harbour on one side and rolling green hills on the other.
Accommodation: Wellington for 1 night
DAY 7 WELLINGTON - NELSON (3 hours ferry)
This morning return your rental vehicle to the Budget representative located at the Interislander ferry terminal prior to boarding the Interislander ferry and watch the city sky line of Wellington disappear into the distance as you enter the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. On arrival to Picton collect your new vehicle and travel to Nelson.
NELSON – with its gardens and gorgeous sunsets, looks across Tasman Bay. Streets and parks are named after Admiral Nelson and his exploits, as well as the names of the ships that brought the first pioneers over from England. Forestry, fruit and fishing are the main focus of Nelson’s port, while to the west, apple orchards, tobacco and hop plantations occupy the land.
Accommodation: Nelson for 2 nights
DAY 8 ONETAHUTI
Today you will enjoy a cruise to Onetahuti (Tonga Quarry) via the Tonga Island Marine Reserve, walk to Medlands Beach, approx. 2hrs walk). Travel in style and comfort aboard our Vista Cruise into Tonga Island Marine Reserve. Pause to view the antics at Tonga Island Seal Colony then land at historic Tonga Quarry Beach. Walk over a forested saddle (maximum elevation 120 metres/400 ft) and around the Bark Bay waterfall trail, crossing the new swing bridge beside Bark Bay Falls. Take some extra time to relax on the golden sands at Bark Bay beach before you continue on to picturesque Medlands Beach. All beaches feature open golden sands, azure water ideal for swimming, shady picnic spots and toilet facilities. Bark Bay Beach has Department of Conservation shelters and filtered drinking water (look for the tap/faucet labelled « drinking water only »).
DAY 9: NELSON - PUNAKAIKI
Depart Nelson and travel south along the South Islands rugged West coastline. Experience the historic coal-mining settlement of Westport before arriving in Punakaiki, which is also located on the coast, home to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
Punakaikiis the gateway to the dramatic limestone country of the Paparoa National Park. It lies halfway between Greymouth and Westport on one of the most spectacular coastal highways. The Pancake Rocks that Punakaiki is famous for are limestone formations that began forming 30 million years ago. The seabed was raised above sea level by earthquakes to form the coastal cliffs and coastline. The sea, wind and rain have since etched out the soft layers to form the unusual rock formations we see today. When conditions are right, large ocean swells thunder into the caverns beneath the rocks and huge water spouts blast skywards through the blowholes creating a spectacular sight. Tourism activities in the area include canoe adventures, horse trekking, caving and guided walks, to name just a few.
Accommodation: Punakaiki for 1 night
DAY 10 PUNAKAIKI – FRANZ JOSEF
Today depart Punakaiki and travel south on State Highway 6 via the towns of Greymouth and Hokitika to Franz Josef.
INCLUDED: Admission to West Coast Wildlife Centre.
The West Coast Wildlife Centre is the perfect destination to discover and experience the world’s rarest kiwi up close and very personal. The centre is an exciting public private partnership with the Department of Conservation and is the official indoor home to the hatching and incubation programme of the Rowi Kiwi. Found only in the Okarito Forest near Franz Josef, the Rowi is New Zealand’s rarest kiwi.
Accommodation: Franz Josef for 1 night
DAY 11 FRANZ JOSEF - QUEENSTOWN
Today depart Franz Josef and travel down the rugged West Coast via Fox Glacier and Haast to Queenstown. We recommend a stop at the beautiful town of Lake Wanaka along the way.
INCLUDED: Skyline Queenstown, Gondola ride
Enjoy a return Skyline Gondola ride to the summit of Bob’s Peak where you can enjoy panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.
Accommodation: Queenstown for 2 nights
DAY 12 QUEENSTOWN
Today is at your leisure in Queenstown – the place to complete your adventure ‘to do’ list: Skydiving, bungee jumping, jet boating, canyon swinging, white-water rafting, parapenting, heli-skiing. Home to the world’s first commercial jet boating, bungee jump and river surfing, there’s something in the air. Queenstown’s reputation as the world’s favourite adrenaline destination is well deserved. From the mild to the wild you’ll find your adventure threshold here. The expansive natural physical environment offers superb air, water and land based activities. Go walking, sailing, hiking, climbing, fishing, cycling, golfing, off-roading, skiing or mountain biking.
INCLUDED: Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dinner
Report to the Steamer Wharf 20 minutes prior to your departure.
A return scenic cruise from Queenstown Bay across stunning Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm on the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, a farm tour and a delicious gourmet BBQ dinner.
A dining experience that’s unlike any other in Queenstown, guests disembark from their cruise at Walter Peak where they are escorted through the lakeside gardens to the recently refurbished Colonel’s Homestead and seated for dinner. Relax in the unique ambience in front of a roaring open fire and soak in the views from this stunning lakeside setting while chefs prepare a gourmet BBQ on the outdoor grill. Enjoy a selection of succulent New Zealand meat and seafood accompanied by delectable seasonal salads, tasty dessert treats and local cheeses. All meat and seafood is cooked on the outdoor BBQ and rotisserie in front of guests and served immediately. A locally influenced wine list and other beverages are available for purchase from the bar. After your meal, guests join an entertaining farm experience which gives guests an insight into the life on a New Zealand high country including a sheep shearing demonstration. The night cruise home is magical. Join in the camaraderie of a sing-a-long with the ship’s pianist on the return journey. (D)
DAY 13 QUEENSTOWN – TE ANAU
Once you arrive in Te Anau, check into your hotel.
INCLUDED: Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Cruise across beautiful Lake Te Anau, to the Cavern House. On arrival, learn about the caves and view fascinating displays. Your guides will then take you in small groups by path and small boats underground into the caves. Highlights include incredible limestone caverns, whirlpools, waterfalls and the magical glow-worm grotto. Return to Te Anau. There will be a guided walk (approx 30-40 minutes) in the forest area and lake surrounding the caves offered to guests as an option. The track will also be lit in the evenings.
Accommodation: Te Anau for 1 night
DAY 14 TE ANAU - DUNEDIN
Depart Te Anau and enjoy the scenic drive to Dunedin. Being the Scottish capital of New Zealand and the home of Otago University, Dunedin is a city rich with culture and heritage.
INCLUDED: Elm Wildlife Tours, Peninsula Encounter Tour
This is our most popular and multi-award winning tour, departing daily from Dunedin city in the afternoon to visit the beautiful Otago Peninsula and its wildlife ‘hotspots’.
Our knowledgeable guides deliver commentary of activity being viewed and visit isolated places inaccessible to others providing the best possible viewing of unique peninsula wildlife. Our private conservation area ensures exclusivity with brilliant opportunities to photograph Hooker’s Sea lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins, a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals and other sea bird colonies. At Taiaroa head from a cliff face we watch and observe Royal Albatross flying about the headland and to and fro from the ocean. A further 25-30 other estuarine and marine bird species are seen during the experience around the bays and lagoons.
Accommodation: Dunedin for 1 night
DAY 15 DUNEDIN - CHRISTCHURCH
Depart Dunedin and travel north to Christchurch.
The Garden City, lies on the level plains that initially attracted the closely knit Church of England settlers that settled the area. The largest of the South Island cities, Christchurch retains something of the English nature of its origins – the willow and oak-lined River Avon and clustered mediaeval stone buildings.
Accommodation: Christchurch for 1 night
DAY 16 CHRISTCHURCH
Return your rental car to Christchurch Airport before checking in for your departure flight.