Day 1 : Auckland
**Accomodation: Hotel De Brett, Auckland- not in system, using Hilton Auckland Hotel as place holder
On arrival at Auckland International Airport and after completion of customs formalities, collecting your luggage and passing through security, turn left as you enter the main arrivals hall where you will be met by our local representative at the pre-arranged transfers desk.
We have arranged a guaranteed early check into the Hotel de Brett -- assuming the flight arrives early in the morning. Rest of the day at leisure in Auckland.
Day 2 : Auckland
Board your ferry at the Downtown Auckland Ferry Terminal and enjoy the scenic 40 minute cruise to Waiheke Island through the beautiful Hauraki Gulf.
Full Day Private Wine & Art Tour Standard Day - Private Tour:
This morning you will be met by your private guide for your full day exclusive wine and art tour. During your scenic tour of the Island you can visit artists and their studios. Choose from painters, ceramicists, sculptors and mixed media artists.
You can also visit several vineyards, which may include Cable Bay, Goldie, Kennedy Point, Mudbrick, Obsidian, Stonyridge, Te Whau, Jurassic Ridge, Passage Rock, Peacock Sky, Wild on Waiheke or choose to include an Olive oil mill. Today's tour includes a two-hour lunch stop at a village or beachside café , or for a memorable gourmet experience, at a top local vineyard restaurant.
Day 3 : Rotorua
Self-drive to Waitomo – 195.5Kms approximate 2 hour 30min non-stop drive time
Footwhistle Glowworm Cave Private Tour:
Enjoy a scenic shuttle ride to the cave while your experienced guide reveals the rich history of Waitomo. See glowworms and cave formations up close and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave (also known to local maori as Te Anaroa Cave). Around a corner lie the bones of one of New Zealand's lost treasures, the ancient Moa. The guide will share all of the insect life that lives here - titiwai, the glow worm, tuna, and the eel. Then finish at Footwhistle's Cathedral to see it lit up by a dazzling magnesium torch.
Self-drive to Rotorua – 139Kms approximate 2 hours non-stop drive time
Beauty By Night & Mitai Maori Cultural Experience Combo:
This powerful evening combines a memorable Maori cultural experience with Rainbow Springs. It features Maori warriors paddling down Wai-o-whiro stream by waka (war canoe) - a truly special moment, followed by a Maori cultural performance, topped with a succulent hangi meal, tranquil bush walk, glow worm viewing, and a visit to sacred Fairy Spring. Stroll through the Rainbow Springs observing the flora and wildlife at night including the new walkthrough outdoor kiwi enclosure.
Day 4 : Rotorua
Full Day Whirinaki Forest Walk with Lunch - Shared Small Group Tour:
Whirinaki is regarded as New Zealand’s most complete canopy and ranks as one of the world’s great rainforests and best one day walks. Think stunning scenery, waterfalls, rare birdlife and giant 1000-year old trees. The walk is 9 kilometres, approximately 4 hours hiking time.
Day 5 : Napier
Self-drive to Napier – 219Kms approximate 2 hour 50min non-stop drive time
This hotel is situated in the centre of Napier, which is considered to be the ‘Art Deco Capital of the South Pacific’.
Day 6 : Napier
Morning Art Deco Walk:
Discover the fascinating story of Napier’s heritage on this easy walking tour. The city is now recognised as the most complete Art Deco city in the world. Your tour will start at the Art Deco Centre for a viewing of the 1931 Earthquake film where you will hear of the devastation of the city and the stories of the people it left behind. Then you will embark on a 1 hour walk with a professionally trained Art Deco Trust guide.
Half Day Food & Wine Lovers Delight - Shared Small Group Tour:
Visit some of the best of our wineries and taste their award winning wines. Rich soils and warm growing conditions attract innovative epicurean food producers – taste touch and smell their myriad of tantalizing products. Meet these enthusiastic personalities.
Day 7 : Christchurch
This morning make your way to Napier Domestic terminal to connect with your flight to Christchurch.
Please allow enough time to return your rental at Napier airport and check in for your flight.
On your arrival into Christchurch Airport, you will be met by our representative who will be holding a Southern World sign with your name detailed, and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation.
Day 8 : Christchurch
Full Day Kaikoura Tour including Whale Watch Cruise - Shared Tour:
This full day tour includes a scenic drive from Christchurch over the Canterbury plains before arriving in the majestic seaside village of Kaikoura. Once in Kaikoura we will make our way to a lookout to enjoy spectacular views of this pretty seaside village, the majestic mountains and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Next we will visit a fur seal colony before heading into Kaikoura for some free time to explore and enjoy lunch. In the afternoon you will board a catamaran with Whale Watch Kaikoura and enjoy an up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale.
Day 9 : Franz Josef
You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred by private vehicle to Christchurch Railway Station. TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch to Greymouth:
The Tranz Alpine is a rated one of the world's great scenic railway journeys. Today you will travel from Christchurch to Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth.
On arrival to Greymouth Railway Station, please make your way to the Budget Rentals counter to collect your vehicle and make your way to your accommodation for the night.
Self-drive Greymouth to Franz Josef – 172.9Kms approximate 2 hour 15min non-stop drive time
Nestled in the heart of New Zealand's spectacular Glacier Country, is a architecturally styled Bed and Breakfast property. Set in a beautiful bush garden, the Lodge offers well-appointed accommodation with stunning views of the West Coast's rainforests, mountains of the Southern Alps and the Franz Josef Glacier.
Day 10 : Franz Josef
Glacier Country Lake Tours, Franz Josef, 2.5 Hour Cruise & Walk - Shared Tour:
A unique sightseeing and wild-life eco cruise across the calm reflective waters of Lake Mapourika. Your Skipper will provide entertaining commentary along the way and take you into the hidden bays and estuaries of the Okarito Kiwi Conservation area. Cruise silently past 900 year old Kahikatea trees and use the viewing platforms to get up close and personal with some of New Zealand’s Native Birdlife. Once you reach the far side of the lake your skipper will deliver you to a bush-clad beach which provides entrance into the Kiwi Sanctuary. You will be guided through an ancient rainforest trail which is de3signed to take you on a journey through another time. Jurassic Rainforest, abundant bird life and home to the rarest kiwi on the planet – the Rowi.
Glacier Hot Pools, Franz Josef, 45 Minute Private Pool for 2:
Nestled in lush rainforest, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of natural tranquillity and the perfect way for visitors to unwind and experience a blissful state of pure relaxation after travelling along Te Tai o Poutini (The West Coast) or enjoying one of its many attractions. The Glacier Hot Pools are fed by the waters of Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere, the frozen tears of Hinehukatere for her lost love. According to the legends of Ngāi Tahu (the local Māori tribe), these tears of aroha (love) were frozen by the gods, forming what is known worldwide as the Franz Josef Glacier, or to Ngāi Tahu as Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere – The Frozen Tears of Hinehukatere.
Day 11 : Queenstown
Self-drive to Queenstown – 350Kms approximate 4 hour 50min non-stop drive time
Please note: If you don't want to do this drive, we can arrange a private transfer by road and you will return the rental car in Franz Josef.
The hotel is located within easy access to the vibrant town centre where shopping, cafes and nightlife awaits.
Day 12 : Queenstown
Morning at leisure
Walter Peak Evening Gourmet Barbecue Dinner - Shared Cruise:
Onboard, the Captain provides an interesting commentary as you take in the spectacular views of Cecil and Walter Peaks and the western shores of Lake Wakatipu. There are guided tours of the vessel available and you are welcome to visit the Fo’c’cle Gallery to view the historic displays.
Enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which our chef will prepare in front of you. The menu includes an expansive array of New Zealand and local produce, from succulent meats cooked on the outdoor rotisserie or grill, a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Then finish your meal with our irresistible desserts, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea & coffee. An excellent range of wine and other beverages are available for purchase from the bar. Following dinner you, join an entertaining farm experience which gives an insight into life in the New Zealand high country including a sheep shearing demonstration. The night-time cruise home is magical.
Day 13 : Milford Sound
Milford Mariner Overnight Cruise (Fly back) :
Upon arriving in Milford, board the Milford Mariner and enjoy a full length cruise of the fiord out to the Tasman Sea. There is ample time to look out for wildlife such as seals, penguins and dolphins. The Nature Guide ensures an immersive experience and guests learn all about the history and natural environment of the fiord. Go for a paddle in a kayak, or hop on board a tendercraft to explore the fiord up close. The boat will anchor in the shelter of Harrison Cove overnight. Overnight accommodation is in private ensuite cabins. Enjoy a sumptuous three-course buffet dinner in the dining saloon, followed by a Nature Guide presentation in the forward saloon.
After disembarking, take in expansive views of golden tussocked high country, the upper reaches of Lake Wakatipu and fly over the snow-capped Southern Alps. A hidden landscape unfolds below revealing glacial lakes, waterfalls, densely forested valleys and cloud-piercing summits.
Day 14 : Queenstown
Fly back from Milford Sound (weather conditions permitting) and check back into the Queenstown Park Boutique hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 15 : Queenstown
Guided Nature Walks & Jet Boat, Queenstown, Full Day Private Aspiring Wilderness Experience:
Combine walking through ancient beech forest in Mount Aspiring National Park with the Dart River Jet Safari. Today's full day adventure begins as you travel to the start of your guided walk through one of the most scenic high mountain big river valleys in New Zealand.
Enjoy this unique journey with frequent stops where your jet boat driver will explain the geology and lore of the ancient and unspoiled lands. Two fascinating hours later, your guide will meet you at a secret spot on the banks of the Dart River and lead you on a gentle ascent under a canopy of native beech forest, where birdsong supplies an unrivaled, natural soundtrack. Stop for a delicious picnic lunch on the shores of the forest and mountain framed waters of Lake Sylvan, joined by local birdlife such as Bush Robins, Fantails and Tomtits.
Day 16 : Fafa Island
Today, you will be collected from your accommodation and transferred by private vehicle to Queenstown Airport. You will fly to Auckland and onward to Tonga for the beach relaxation part of the journey!
On arrival you will be greeted by "Paea Tours“ who transfer you to Faua-wharf. At Faua wharf the islands boat will be waiting to sail you another 30 minutes to Fafá Island.
We have booked the Superior Fale for 4 nights on a half board basis. Breakfast and dinner are included.
Day 17 : Fafa Island
The island is guarded by a coral reef ensuring safe swimming and snorkeling in crystal clear blue waters. Due to its beauty and uniqueness the government of Tonga has declared the lagoon and reef around Fafa Island as a special marine protected area.Deserted sandy beaches invite you to relax and lie in the sun.
Day 18 : Fafa Island
The restaurant and open-air bar are located directly on the beach. Meals are served on the veranda right over the water with a breathtaking view. Dining under the stars of the Southern hemisphere is an unforgettable experience. The open-air cocktail bar offers a wide range of beers, wines and tropical cocktails - the coconut milk is, of course, freshly squeezed.
Day 19 : Fafa Island
Relax in paradise!
Day 20 : End of Itinerary
Fly back to Auckland and onward back home to Boston.