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New Zealand Explorer

12th March 2023
17 Day

DAY 1: 12th March 2023 Home – Melbourne (D)

Today we board a Cardwell’s Vehicle and head to Melbourne where we stay overnight before catching an early morning flight. Accommodation: The Park Royal Hotel, Tullamarine.


DAY 2: 13th March Melbourne – Christchurch (B,D)

On arrival into Christchurch, you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening, meet your Tour Leader and travelling companions. Hotel: Heartland Hotel Cotswold or similar


DAY 3: 14th March Christchurch – Omara (B,D)

After an introductory city sights tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, The Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available (time and weather permitting, optional) to enjoy a scenic flight over the Southern Alps before travelling to Omarama. Hotel: Heritage Gateway Hotel


DAY 4: 15th March Omarama – Dunedin (B,SD)

Depart Omarama and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy a city sights tour followed by some free time. Tonight, a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food, special Haggis Ceremony and gift.

Hotel: Dunedin Leisure Lodge – A Distinction Hotel


DAY 5: 16th March Dunedin - Te Anau (B,D)

This morning travel out along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by a delicious Devonshire Tea. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland and your overnight stay. Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional). Hotel: Distinction Luxmore Lake Te Anau


DAY 6: 17th March Te Anau - Milford Sound – Queenstown (B,L)

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year-round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is free, you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants. (2 night stay) Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront


DAY 7: 18th March Queenstown (Free Day) (B,SD)

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown at leisure. Your Coach Captain and Tour Leader are available to assist with the many optional activities available, including the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour to Skippers Canyon or to get up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown. Hotel: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront


DAY 8: 19th March Queenstown - Arrowtown – Fox Glacier (B,D)

Travel to Arrowtown and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the mighty West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel north to the township of Fox Glacier. Time is available to experience a scenic flight (weather permitting, optional) over the spectacular glaciers. Hotel: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier


DAY 9: 20th March Fox Glacier - Arthur’s Pass – Christchurch (B,D)

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue into Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains. On arrival into the elegant city of Christchurch, your coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Hotel: Heartland Hotel Cotswold or similar


DAY 10: 21st March Christchurch - Picton – Wellington (B,D)

Travel along the East Coast to the seaside village of Kaikõura. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you travel through Marlborough Country, famous for its food and wine. Continue to Picton, where you will board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington. (2 night stay) Hotel: Ibis Wellington


DAY 11: 22nd March Wellington (B)

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements. Hotel: Ibis Wellington


DAY 12: 23rd March Wellington - Taupo – Rotorua (B,D)

Depart Wellington and view the snow-capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as you travel to Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. (2-night stay) Hotel: Sudima Lake Rotorua


DAY 13: 24th March Rotorua (B,SD)

Today begins with a gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Rotorua. There is also time for a thrilling luge ride! Next stop is Agrodome for an action-packed hour of farming entertainment and education that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Visit Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. Enjoy some free time this afternoon. This evening experience an entertaining Mãori Hãngi and Concert. Hotel: Sudima Lake Rotorua


DAY 14: 25th March Rotorua - Auckland - Bay of Islands (B,D)

This morning depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland. Continue via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy anintroduction to the Bay of Islands, location of the signing of the treaty between theMãori tribes and the British. (2 night stay) Hotel: Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge


DAY 15: 26th March Bay of Islands (B,D)

Today you will explore the scenic beauty of the Bay of Islands aboard a luxury catamaran. Cruise to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock, keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. Return to Paihia for a free afternoon where a range of optional activities are available or you may choose to relax and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront. This evening is also free, you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).

Hotel: Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge


DAY 16: 27th March Bay of Islands – Auckland (B,D)

Depart the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland for a city sights tour. This evening, enjoy a final dinner with your newfound friends.

Hotel: Rydges Auckland


DAY 17: 28th March Auckland – Melbourne (B)

Time to say goodbye. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Melbourne where you will be met by a Cardwell’s representative and returned to your respective destinations after a memorable New Zealand holiday.


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Price Per Person: $6,345 per person 



Single Supplement: $1,740







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Tour: New Zealand Explorer on 12th March 2023

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Passenger 1