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The Long White Cloud: Christchurch to Auckland - 22 Days / 21 Nights

Breathe in the wondrous, pristine landscapes of New Zealand. Board the famous TranzAlpine train, fly over the mighty Franz Josef Glacier and savour an overnight cruise on the majestic Milford Sound. Then, step it up a notch jet boating and white water rafting in the adrenalin pumping adventure capital of Queenstown. Moving northwards to Rotorua, let yourself melt away in the bubbling mud pools and thermal springs, before enjoying a relaxing jaunt in the turquoise waters of the Bay of Islands.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

Upon arrival in Christchurch, spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the International Antarctic Centre or Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand’s only open-range zoo. This evening meet your Tour Director for dinner and a welcome drink.
Accommodation: The George Hotel
Included Meals: D

Day 2: Christchurch – Punakaiki

All aboard the famous TranzAlpine train! Rated as one of the world’s great scenic railway journeys, you’ll travel across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps. We’ll then re-join our coach at Arthur’s Pass and travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll stay in an eco-
friendly resort right on the waterfront. Enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your door step.
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort
Included Meals: BD

Day 3: Punakaiki – Franz Josef

Today visit Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, for a greenstone (Jade) jewellery demonstration by a local carver. We then visit the West Coast’s newest attraction, a treetop walk through the canopy of this lush rainforest. Stop at the gold-mining town of Ross en route to Franz Josef, where we’ll take a guided tour to the viewing area at the mighty Franz Josef Glacier with a local expert glacier guide. Our eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not treat yourself to Franz Josef’s local geothermal hot pools or perhaps a massage. Dinner is at the retreat.
Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Included Meals: BD

Day 4: Franz Josef – Queenstown

You’ll have the opportunity to see the glacier from the air on an optional scenic flight. Later today, travel over the Haast Pass and along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, stopping at Makarora at lunchtime. We’ll also stop to explore the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown, followed by an orientation tour of Queenstown. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown’s scenery is inspiring. Tonight you’ll stay at Millbrook Resort, set amid sparkling streams and rolling hills in the Southern Alps. Hotel: 3 nights
Accommodation: Millbrook Resort
Included Meals: BD

Day 5: Queenstown ‘Day at Leisure’

Today is free for you to explore New Zealand’s adventure-capital. Perhaps play a round of golf or indulge in spa treatment. Tonight you’ll ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak for dinner with a view overlooking stunning Queenstown, the awesome Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.
Included Meals: B HD

Day 6: Queenstown ‘Day at Leisure’

Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not take an optional trip to the Gibbston Valley Winery, join a garden tour or take a jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River. Tonight you can dine at one of the many local restaurants and cafés in town, or simply relax at our resort.
Included Meals: B

Day 7: Queenstown – Milford Sound

We’ll travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau on the shores of the South Island’s largest lake. Later you’ll travel through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the amazing Mirror Lake. Afterwards, we’ll walk to see the Chasm on our way into Milford Sound and take some time to kayak this majestic fiord, considered by many as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Tonight it’s a magical dinner on our overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner. You’ll cruise the length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea past waterfalls, mountains and wildlife.
Accommodation: Milford Mariner
Included Meals: BD

Day 8: Milford Sound – Stewart Island

Enjoy the many early morning on board activities. This afternoon it’s on to the southern-most city in New Zealand, Invercargill. Board a ferry at Bluff and cruise to Stewart Island. With its clear, clean waters, lush rainforest, flora and fauna and unspoilt natural beauty, get a glimpse of an enviable slower lifestyle. Dine at one of the cafés or meet the locals at the hotel. hotel: 2 nights
Accommodation: Bay Motel
Included Meals: B

Day 9: Stewart Island Sights

This morning we’re off on a Village and Bays tour before taking a lunch cruise on Paterson Inlet, where you’ll see many remote sandy beaches and wildlife. You’ll stop at Ulva Island and tour with the Department of Conservation on Ulva Island’s wildlife sanctuary. You’ll learn about native birds like the Weka and spend time up close to native flora and fauna. Tonight, try your hand at a bit of kiwi- spotting in the native bush near your accommodation.
Included Meals: BL

Day 10: Stewart Island – Mt. Cook

Board a ferry to the mainland. Admire the rural farming views of Southland as you travel back towards Queenstown. Travel over the Lindis Pass and into the MacKenzie high country, along the shores of Lake Pukaki to the foothills of Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere. Tonight enjoy dinner with a mountain view.
Accommodation: The Hermitage
Included Meals: BD

Day 11: Mt. Cook – Christchurch

Travel to Lake Tekapo, where you’ll stop to view the Church of the Good Shepherd. Later, join us at the home of Angie and Stan Taylor to enjoy a barbecue lunch in their 600 acre garden. Then travel along the Canterbury Plains to the Garden City of Christchurch. On a sightseeing tour see how the city is being rebuilt after the devastating 2011 earthquake.
Accommodation: The George Hotel
Included Meals: BL

Day 12: Christchurch – Wellington

Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast to Kaikoura, famous for its whales (optional whale watching flight available). See New Zealand’s fur seals at Ohau Point, then travel to the seaside town of Picton. Cruise on Queen Charlotte Sound and across Cook Strait to Wellington for a city sightseeing tour. Hotel: 2 nights
Accommodation: Museum Hotel
Included Meals: BD

Day 13: Wellington ‘Day at Leisure’

Today is at leisure. Perhaps join an optional Lord of the Rings movie tour, or even a cruise to Somes Island in Wellington Harbour. This evening why not venture down to the harbour to dine at a local restaurant or café.
Included Meals: B

Day 14: Wellington – Taupo

Travel the Kapiti Coast, past the dairy farms of Manawatu to Tongariro National Park to the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu. Visit Taupo and drive along the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake. View Huka Falls and pass Wairakei Geothermal Power Station.
Accommodation: Hilton Hotel, Taupo
Included Meals: BD

Day 15: Taupo – Rotorua

There’s time to explore the township of Taupo, or try your hand at trout fishing before continuing to nearby Rotorua. Gain an insight into local Maori culture and history with our special Maori show, where you’ll experience the local customs like the Hongi greeting as well as learn some traditional words. Enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi meal cooked in the ground using geothermal steam. Hotel: 2 nights
Accommodation: Regent of Rotorua
Included Meals: B HD

Day 16: Rotorua Sights

We’re off to the highly entertaining Agrodome Sheep Show. Witness the art of sheep shearing, sheepdog trials, cow milking, bottle feeding of lambs and even a sheep auction. Your next stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park. Discover native flora that grows around the crystal clear mineral water springs and you might even spot a kiwi or two! To complete our day, we visit the Whakarewarewa Living Village for an insight into Maori life and how they interact with geothermal activity.
Included Meals: B

Day 17: Rotorua – Coromandel

We make our way to the famous Waitomo Caves for an exclusive 5 star Eco Glow Worm experience. Your guide sets the scene for a cave experience where you will see glow worms, cave formations and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave. Next up is Matamata before a delicious lunch at Longlands Farm country-style restaurant. Now we’re off to the Coromandel to Puka Park Resort, where you’ll stay in Tree Hut Chalets, set among the native bush.
Accommodation: Puka Park Resort
Included Meals: BLD

Day 18: Coromandel – Auckland

After a leisurely breakfast, we travel to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. After a sightseeing tour, you’re at leisure to explore the town and try out the Auckland restaurant scene.
Accommodation: Sofitel, Auckland
Included Meals: B

Day 19: Auckland – Bay of Islands

Travel to Orewa and the scenic Hibiscus Coast, birthplace of Sir Edmund Hillary. We then continue to the Waipoua Forest, home to the largest Kauri tree in existence, Tane Mahuta (over 2,000 years old). We’ll take a picnic break before a Maori guide walks you through the native bush and explains the history and legend behind the mighty Kauri. Then head to our waterfront resort in the heart of the Bay of Islands and tonight it’s dinner at the resort. Hotel: 2 nights
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort
Included Meals: BD

Day 20: Bay of Islands Sights

This morning you’ll take a ferry across the harbour to historic Russell and enjoy a guided tour of the first European settlement in New Zealand. A local guide will also take us on a walking tour of the town. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Included Meals: B

Day 21: Bay of Islands – Auckland

We’re off to the Bay of Islands, where we’ll take a cruise to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’; see historic Cape Brett as we explore some of the 165 islands in the bay. Later, you’ll have some time in Paihia for you to check out the local craft shops, go for a walk along the beachfront or just relax over a coffee with friends. We’ll celebrate tonight at a farewell dinner in Auckland.
Accommodation: Sofitel, Auckland
Included Meals: BD

Day 22: Farewell from Auckland

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your Inspiring Journey comes to an end and we transfer you to Auckland Airport for your onward flight.
Included Meals: B


Dates & Pricing

Travel Dates Per Person Sharing Twin
(from)
Single Room Supplement
(from)
Local Fee

01 Jan 15 : 31 Mar 15 $10,150 CAD $13,465 CAD N/A
01 Oct 15 : 31 Mar 16 $11,695 CAD $15,535 CAD N/A
01 Oct 16 : 31 Dec 16 $11,995 CAD $15,890 CAD N/A

Itinerary, departure dates and prices may change. Prices vary by season and are “from”, land only. Contact us with your specific travel date.


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Accommodations


The George Hotel

Sofitel, Auckland

Puka Park Resort

Regent of Rotorua

Hilton Hotel, Taupo

Museum Hotel

The Hermitage

Bay Motel

Milford Mariner

Millbrook Resort

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Punakaiki Resort

Copthorne Hotel & Resort

Included

- Experienced Driver Guide
- Hand-picked accommodation
- Travel by luxury small group
vehicle with average 12-16 guests
- Complimentary refreshments
- Full buffet breakfasts (4) B
- Lunches (2) L
- Dinners (3) D

Not Included

- International airfares and departure taxes
- meals not indicated
- gratuities
- items of a personal nature
- optional tours
- entry visa fees (if applicable)
- travel insurance



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