Departure date Monday 9th March 2020
Duration 21 /22 days – Subject to chosen flights
Return Flights London Heathrow to New Zealand - (Singapore Airlines / Emirates)
18 nights 3* / 4* hotels throughout
32 Meals – 18 Breakfasts, 12 Dinners and 2 Lunches
Coach Travel throughout in New Zealand
Included excursions highlights package - North & South Islands
PRICES & SUPPLEMENTS
Price from *£5999pp Twin / double share
Single supplement £1999pp for 18 nights
Initial Deposit £1000pp at time of booking
2nd Deposit £1000pp by the 31.07.19
Balance due in full by the 29.11.19
Insurance is not offered by Simply Groups but we do advise that Insurance is purchased
*Package price may vary depending on the airline and times of flights you choose.
Day 1 Monday, 9th March 2020
Depart London Heathrow. Overnight flights – stops to be advised (various flight options)
Day 2 Tuesday, 10 March 2020
Welcome to New Zealand! You are met on arrival at the Auckland International Airport before being transferred to your hotel.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel – Auckland – 2 nights
Day 3 Wednesday, 11 March 2020
AUCKLAND SIGHTSEEING (BD)
This morning we experience a highlights tour of Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’, exploring the lively waterfront area. Enjoytherelaxing views along Tamaki Drive, which runs east past peaceful shelteredbaysto Auckland's most expensive real estate. Drive through the Auckland Domain Gardens, to arrive at Auckland Museum for a visit whichgives an excellent introduction to the people of the Pacific and New Zealand and the remarkable flora, fauna and geography of the area. This evening we visit Auckland’s Sky Tower – at 328m tall is one of the tallest buildings in the Southern Hemisphere offering you outstanding views of the Auckland CBD and the surrounding region. Here we enjoy a welcome dinner in the Orbit revolving restaurant
Day 4 Thursday, 12 March 2020
AUCKLAND – BAY OF ISLANDS (BD)
Departing Auckland we travel north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to first of all visit the Parry Kauri Park. Here we will view some fine examples of Giant Kauri Trees. Continuing we then visit the Matakohe Kauri Museum, at Otamatea. Here we will gain an insight to the early New Zealand Pioneer History, which helped form the New Zealand that we see today. Continuing our journey we reach Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where you’ll take a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House where New Zealand’s history began.
Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel – Paihia – 2 nights
Day 5 Friday, 13 March 2020
BAY OF ISLANDS (B)
This morning board a luxury catamaran to cruise the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett before making a passage through the Hole in the Rock. After your cruise the rest of the day is at your leisure. The Bay of Islands has so many options for you to discover. Maybe try your luck at deep-sea fishing, or take the plunge swimming with the dolphins or just take time out to relax within Paihia or Russell - New Zealand’s first capital.
Day 6 Saturday, 14 March 2020
BAY OF ISLANDS – ROTORUA (BD)
Today we travel south following the Twin Coast Discovery Highway to arrive in Auckland in time for lunch. We continue south crossing the Bombay Hills through the dairy rich Waikato countryside to the thermal wonderlandof Rotorua, the Sulphur City. Rotorua has the most energetic thermalactivity inthe country with bubbling mud pools, gushing geysers, beautiful coloured hot springs and terrace formations created by mineral water. Rotorua also has a large Maori population whose cultural activities are interesting and accessible as will be witnessed tomorrow evening. This afternoon we enjoy a relaxing guided walk through Rainbow Springs, a specialist garden featuring spring fed pools full of Rainbow & Brown Trout and New Zealand native flora and fauna including the iconic New Zealand Native Kiwi Bird.
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Rotorua – 2 nights
Day 7 Sunday, 15 March 2020
Today is at your leisure. Your Optional Touring Booklet will give you plenty of options on how to spend your time. This evening you will be treated to a traditional Hangi (feast) and Maori Concert. We are transferred from our hotel to visit Tamaki Maori Village for a Cultural Experience and Hangi Dinner. Experience the warmth of the Maori people during an evening of ceremonial rituals, powerful cultural performance, storytelling & hangi feasting. Enter the pre-European Maori village, witness the earth being scraped carefully away from the hangi pit and enter their ancestral Meeting House to relax as their family entertain you with a powerful cultural performance before dining on the traditional hangi buffet dinner (Maori feast) cooked the traditional Maori way in an earth oven.
Day 8 Monday, 16 March 2020
ROTORUA – NAPIER (BD)
This morning visit Te Puia –The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley featuring the famous Pohutu Geyser. Departing Rotorua we travel via New Zealand’s largest pine tree forests to Taupo. En-route, we make a visit to the Wairakei Geothermal Steam Field. This was a world-first, generating electricity by tapping a natural steam field then channelling the steam to a nearby power generation plant. Continuing we view the mighty Huka Falls. Huka in Maori translates to “snow” as the water here has the appearance of snow falling as it is forced along from Lake Taupo through the falls on its journey along the Waikato River. This afternoon we continue to the ‘Fruit Bowl’ of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay – Napier. This evening visit the Mission Estate Winery for a wine tasting followed by Dinner. Established in1851 by the French Marist religious order, Mission Estate is New Zealand’s oldest wine-maker. Housed inanelegantlyrestored historicseminarybuildingwith sweepingviewsof Napier, theaward-winning Mission Estate Restaurant serves exquisite cuisine influenced by seasonal produce.
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel – Napier
Day 9 Tuesday, 17 March 2020
NAPIER – WELLINGTON (B)
Before we depart Napier we take a city sights tour, featuring beautiful Art Deco buildings to give us an insight of why Napier is known as the Art Deco capital of the world. This afternoon we continue south to Wellington where we spend the rest of the day enjoying an informative sightseeing tour, including a visit to Te Papa, (Our Place) New Zealand’s national museum.
Accommodation: James Cook Hotel – Wellington
Day 10 Wednesday, 18 March 2020
WELLINGTON – NELSON (BD)
Today begins as we cruise the Wellington Harbour out onto the Cook Strait on the Interislander and through New Zealand’s only true sounds, the picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound into Picton. The bustling port of Picton is the terminal for inter-island ferries, and gateway to the ‘Mainland’, the South Island’s self-proclaimed nickname. Reboarding our coach we continue to tour through to Pelorous Bridge. Here we can walk through the Beech and Podocarp Forest as well as view the many sculptured boulders in the Pelorous River. Continuing on for a tour of Nelson – this being the first city of New Zealand.
Accommodation: Trailways Hotel – Nelson – 2 nights
Day 11 Thursday, 19 March 2020
ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK CRUISE (BL)
Nelson is New Zealand’s largest fishing port and one of the country’s sunniest cities and is home to a fascinating community of beach, bush and art Iovers. Today we travel to nearby picturesque Abel Tasman National Park to enjoy a cruise along the coast. On show here we see stunning granite and marble formations, golden sandy beaches and crystal clear streams that join the ocean. Then back to our hotel in Nelson.
Day 12 Friday, 20 March 2020
NELSON – CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
Passing Brightwater, the birth place of Lord Rutherford, the New Zealand science pioneer who split the atom, we travel through the Golden Downs Forest to Murchison through the Maruia Forest over the Lewis Pass then into Hanmer Springs. Time out here for lunch in this lovely alpine village (at own expense) before joining the upper reaches of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch where we enjoy the sights of the ‘Garden City’ also known as “the most English city outside of England”, en-route to our accommodation.
Accommodation: Ibis Hotel – Christchurch
Day 13 Saturday, 21 March 2020
CHRISTCHURCH – FOX GLACIER (BD)
From Christchurch we traverse the Southern Alps aboard the famous Tranz-Alpine rail journey to Arthurs Pass. 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. Once we have crossed into the Southern Alps we are met at the Village of Arthurs Pass by our coach for us to continue our journey to the West Coast – or the Coast as locals call it, stopping in Hokitika where a visit is made to the Greenstone and Glass Blowing factories. Further south we tour the Westland National Park, the home of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. On arrival, time is available for optional scenic flights, before continuing onto our accommodation for the night.
Accommodation: Heartland Glacier Country Hotel – Fox Glacier
Day 14 Sunday, 22 March 2020
FOX GLACIER – QUEENSTOWN (B)
Driving towards the southern end of the South Island’s West Coast Road, there is a strong sense of entering a primeval land, and a feeling of total isolation. Arriving at Haast, you are surrounded by a landscape of rainforest, wetlands, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. This wilderness forms part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, so designated because South Westland and Fiordland have some of the most dramatic forest and mountain scenery and natural resources in the world. From the Westland National Park we travel through the Haast River valleys and over the Haast Pass to Makaroa and onto the upper reaches of LakeWanaka. Travelling past Lake Hawea we reach the popular Lake Wanaka, the starting point of the mighty Clutha River. This afternoon we travel via Cromwell following the Kawerau Gorge Road into Queenstown. Tonight is free for you to explore the local restaurants, cafes and bars.
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel – Queenstown – 2 nights
Day 15 Monday, 23 March 2020
Today is at leisure. Visit the Remarkable’s or Coronet Peak. Experience the thrill of a jet-boat ride along the Shotover or Kawerau Rivers. Perhaps a scenic 4 wheel drive excursion through Skippers Canyon, it’s up to you. This evening we take a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the famous steamer TSS Earnslaw to the Walter Peak High Country Farm for a buffet dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner there will be sheep farming demonstration before we rejoin the boat for the journey back to Queenstown.
Day 16 Tuesday, 24 March 2020
QUEENSTOWN – MILFORD SOUND – TE ANAU (BLD)
Leaving Queenstown we skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third largest lake. Travelling via Te Anau we reach the beautiful Eglinton Valley climbing to Homer Tunnel before descending through the spectacular Cleddau Canyon to reach Milford Sound where we enjoy a cruise of the Sound. The Sound is dominated by the grandeur of Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls. From Milford Sound we return to Te Anau reaching our overnight accommodation.
Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel – Lake Te Anau
Day 17 Wednesday, 25 March 2020
TE ANAU – DUNEDIN (B)
Departing Te Anau we travel through some of New Zealand’s most populated sheep country through to Lumsden and onto Gore before arriving in Dunedin – “the Edinburgh of the South”. Upon our arrival into Dunedin, you have the opportunity to board an optional train ride - the Taieri Gorge Train Excursion from the historic Dunedin Railway Station for a scenic train ride into the spectacular Taieri Gorge to Pukerangi and return.
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel – Dunedin
Day 18 Thursday, 26 March 2020
DUNEDIN – OMARAMA (BD)
This morning we visit Olveston House – an impressive turn-of-the-century house that is still home to all the lavish furnishings and art collections that have been collected from all corners of the world. We continue to then take in the sights of this old Scottish City before travelling onto Oamaru where we have time to look at the ‘White Stone City’ where the old buildings have been constructed with local limestone. It was from Oamaru that New Zealand’s first frozen meat was shipped in 1882 taking over three months to reach England, and thus began New Zealand’s most important export industry. Travelling inland through Benmore and Otematata, through Sailors Cutting we arrive at Omarama.
Accommodation: Heritage Gateway Hotel – Omarama
Day 19 Friday, 27 March 2020
OMARAMA – CHRISTCHURCH (BD)
A day for spectacular sights. We head north to skirt the shore of Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Time is available to enjoy an optional scenic flight over the ancient rivers of ice and the West Coast Glaciers (weather permitting – a highly recommended option). Travelling to Tekapo we witness the magnificent blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Here we visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and the statue of the Collie dog, before travelling the vast Mackenzie Basin, over Burke’s Pass through Fairlie, Geraldine, Ashburton and across the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch. This evening we dine at a local restaurant for our farewell dinner sharing our wonderful memories of New Zealand.
Accommodation: Ibis Hotel – Christchurch
Day 20 Saturday, 28 March 2020
CHRISTCHURCH – HOME PORT (B)
Farewell from New Zealand. After breakfast you will be transferred from the hotel to the Christchurch International Airport to connect with your outbound flight.
Day 21 Sunday, 29 March 2020
CHRISTCHURCH – LONDON (B)
Overnight flight returning to London Heathrow (time of arrival subject to airline choice)
Simply Groups reserve the right to make minor changes to this itinerary due to circumstances beyond our control
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