2017-18 SEASON
Dec 2017 - Sep 2018
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14 Day New Zealand Vista

AAT Kings Tour starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch

Read 8 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on AAT Kings's 14 Day New Zealand Vista. See New Zealand's vistas on a 14 day Best Buys Guided Holiday. Discover Auckland on a city sights tour then travel onto Waitomo Caves to tour the unique Glow Worm Grotto before ending the...read more

Overview

Operator: AAT Kings
Type: Tour (Affordable)
Style: Best Buys
Max Group Size: 49
Duration: 14 Days
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Tour Code: LAAC
Visits: New Zealand
Our Price From:
$ 3,795
Per Person ($AU)
Save This Month:
$ 224
Per Person ($AU)

Day By Day

1

Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand's City of Sails. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Auckland hotel. After you check-in, you can head out and explore Auckland. Take a walk down Queen Street, to the main shopping precinct or catch a 50 cent bus (leaves from outside the hotel) down to the Viaduct Harbour and the Auckland Waterfront region. This recently developed area of central Auckland has cafes and restaurants galore. Take a seat in the sunshine, enjoy a glass of one of New Zealand's famous Sauvignon Blancs and watch the maritime activity on Waitemata Harbour.

This evening, meet your fellow passengers and your AAT Kings Travel Director at a Welcome Reception and dinner at your hotel. Stay: VR Queen Street, Auckland (WR/D)
2

Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

A city sights tour will start your morning in Auckland. Travel around the waterfront from central city out to Mission Bay. Prepare your camera for the stop at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, as you will get stunning shots of Auckland, the North Shore and the Waitemata Harbour. After leaving Auckland you will follow the meandering trail of the Waikato River to Waitomo Caves. Tour the amazing limestone caverns and sail through the still waters of the sparkling Glow Worm Grotto.

From Waitomo to Rotorua you will venture through the King Country region which was at the centre of the New Zealand Wars in the 1860s. On arrival in Rotorua an orientation tour takes in views of Lake Rotorua. Tonight an evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at the Tamaki Family Marae. Wander through the ancient forest village and learn about Maori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Experience an authentic Maori Hangi meal, steamed underground in the traditional way. Stay Two Nights: Hotel Ibis Rotorua (B/HD)
3

Rotorua Sightseeing

Today is your chance to experience the scenic wonders of the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. This morning you will head to the Agrodome Sheep Show, a hilarious, interactive way to gain an insight into New Zealand's biggest industry – agriculture. After the Agrodome, you may wish to travel back to Rotorua town ship and relax lakeside, or you may prefer to choose from one of the varied Optional Experiences on offer.

Take a scenic flight out over Lake Rotorua for a bird's eye view of the region. You may even want to stop at the top of Mt Tarawera, the site of the largest eruption in New Zealand's living memory! Explore Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park, and take a 'behind the scenes' tour through the working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Visit Te Puia and join a guided tour through the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, home to famous Pohutu Geyser and the bubbling beauty of the mud pools. Later, why not spend a little more time experiencing the thermal wonders, with a soak in the hot mineral waters of the Polynesian Spas? Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences. (B)
+

Optional Choice Farm Stay

Included Choice Farm StayA warm welcome awaits you on your New Zealand farm stay and your hosts will provide you with the wonderful Kiwi hospitality that really makes you feel 'at home'. Enjoy dinner and breakfast, a farm tour to introduce you to the way of life and comfortable accommodation in the farm home or cottages. You may choose to meet the animals, including sheep, cows, deer and many others, or simply relax and enjoy the the surroundings. Additional cost per person $65.
4

Rotorua - Wellington

Say Haere Ra (goodbye) to Rotorua this morning and journey out through pine forests and farmland to a little hidden spot, the turquoise torrent of rapids known as Huka Falls. The road ahead unfolds in a broad panorama of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. The stunningly blue fresh water of Lake Taupo is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world.

You will then journey south over the Central Plateau, New Zealand's main volcanic area. In a country of contrasts, perhaps nothing is more striking than the three peaks of Tongariro National Park rising starkly from the surrounding plateau of tussock and near-desert. Pass through a number of small towns along the road to Wellington, each with their own personality and quirks. Probably the quirkiest of all would have to be Taihape… the self-proclaimed gumboot capital of the world. Travel along the Kapiti Coast, the traditional summer playground of the inhabitants of Wellington city, where you'll embark on a city sights tour. Tonight dinner is included at your hotel. Stay: Travelodge, Wellington (B/D)
5

Wellington & Picton

It's a morning at leisure in Wellington, then visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Indulge in Wellington's renowned coffee culture, take a walk along Lambton Quay or join a tour out to Weta Studio in Miramar, home to the special effects wizards behind Sir Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.

This afternoon, your AAT Kings crew and coach will join you on board the Interislander for a cruise across the Cook Strait, from the North Island to the South. Surprisingly it takes longer to cruise up the Tory Channel and Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton than it does to cross the open ocean of Cook Strait. You will meander through a maze of arms and inlets into the sleepy seaside village of Picton. Enjoy an orientation tour upon arrival. Stay: Beachcomber Inn, Picton (B/D)
6

Picton – Christchurch

Today we venture inland through the Wairau Valley, home to some of the Marlborough region's most well-known wineries & world-famous Sauvignon Blancs. Continue through the rugged Buller Gorge and to the Alpine village of Murchison before travelling over the Lewis Pass and Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch (B)
7

Christchurch - Omarama

This morning you may wish to take a brief walk around the city centre and Cathedral Square before departure. See how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral. It is the world's only cathedral made substantially of cardboard! Head out over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to soak up some spectacular sightseeing. Sweeping views across the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo framed by a backdrop of rugged hills and snow-capped mountains provide stunning alpine photography opportunities.

You will visit the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd, and stop for a quick photo with the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie Country. You may want to take in Mt Cook National Park from the air this afternoon, on a scenic flight (optional – at own expense). Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country at Omarama. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel. Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel, Omarama (B/D)
8

Omarama - Dunedin

Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, and a photo stop at the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. The Waitaki River marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago, and with its large catchment it is an ideal source of hydro-electric power. The Benmore Dam holds back New Zealand's largest artificial lake, and when the Benmore Power Station was opened in 1965 it was the largest power station in New Zealand. Even today, it is still the second largest, and generates enough electricity each year for about 298,000 average New Zealand homes.

From the Waitaki Valley you will then travel through to the township of Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and its famous white limestone buildings. As well as shipping limestone to the bigger cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for construction of their Town Halls and various churches, Oamaru locals made sure that their own town represented the best in limestone building the mid-late 1800's had to offer.

This afternoon you will make your way down to the Southernmost New Zealand city, Dunedin. With the rest of your free afternoon you may wish to take part in an optional excursion to see more of the region. Take a Wildlife Cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery – a New Zealand institution or ride the historic Taieri Gorge railway. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel. Stay: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City, Dunedin (B/D)
9

Dunedin – Te Anau

This morning you have some free time in Dunedin. You may want to visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, or journey out to the gorgeous Larnach Castle – New Zealand's only castle. Or you may just wish to roam around the beautiful grounds of New Zealand's first university, Otago University. Dunedin, also known as the Edinburgh of the Sough, has strong connections to its northern hemisphere sister city, even down to sharing many of the same street names – so take a wander down George Street, noting Dunedin's Scottish ancestry.

This afternoon travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land. New Zealand is internationally known for its sheep farming, and these are sights many visitors to this country recognise as typically 'New Zealand'. You are sure to find the perfect sheep photo here! As your excursion continues, the rolling, grassy hills once again turn back into heavily forested, rugged mountains, and you meander your way up into the Fiordland National Park to the South Island's biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. This evening you have the opportunity to head out across the lake to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves for a tour (optional – at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel. Stay: Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau (B/D)
10

Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Today is one of those days where you will want to have your camera battery charged, and ready to go. And you will probably want to have a spare battery or two on hand… just in case. After leaving Te Anau, you will journey 119km through the Fiordland National Park and out to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic roads you could hope for. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows. You will stop at Mirror Lakes where, as the name suggests, you can see the stunning mountain scenery perfectly reflected in the waters of the lakes. Next you are presented with one of the world's most dramatic alpine drives, down through the Cleddau Valley. You will have a stop at the Chasm, where the roaring Cleddau River has carved its way through solid rock, and then it's on to Milford Sound, where you will cruise on the waters of this natural wonder.

Your cruise meanders down the sound, taking in the Bowen and Stirling Falls as these plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord. From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel on to the beautiful sights of Queenstown. An orientation tour skirting around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, takes you into the city centre. Tonight you may want to take a gondola up Bob's Peak, and dine at the Skyline Restaurant, Stratosfare, (optional – at own expense) overlooking Queenstown – the ultimate way to end a highlight day! Stay Two Nights: Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Queenstown (B)
11

Queenstown

Explore exciting Queenstown your way! Why not soar through the trees on a Ziptrek Ecotour, or raft the mighty white water rapids of the Kawarau River? Take the opportunity to encounter a Queenstown legend and ride the Shotover Jet Boat or venture out onto the Dart River for a longer jet safari. If laid-back and relaxed is more your idea of fun then join a Queenstown Original Wine Tour and sample some of Central Otago's award-winning wines, or play a round of golf at one of the spectacular alpine courses around Queenstown. Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences.

After a day of activity, sit back and enjoy a peaceful evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station. Launched in 1912, the TSS Earnslaw is the largest and grandest vessel ever to ply Lake Wakatipu. Today, the TSS Earnslaw is believed to be the only coal-fired passenger carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere. Partake in a gourmet BBQ Highlight Dinner at Walter Peaks' Colonel's Homestead and then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing a glimpse into high-country farm life. On the cruise back to Queenstown, join in a vintage sing-a-long or grab your partner for a dance across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw. (B/HD)
12

Queenstown – Franz Josef

This morning you will leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind, and begin the passage through Central Otago and out to Westland. On the way out of the Queenstown region, you will stop and visit the faithfully restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. As you amble down the beautiful tree-lined avenues, past the 19th century wooden buildings, you will feel like you have stepped into a movie set. From here you will travel over to Cromwell, situated next to the sparkling pristine waters of Lake Dunstan, where you will stop in at a local orchard for a taste of some of the town's delicious stone fruit.

It is a day of gorgeous lakes, as after Dunstan, you will travel further into Central Otago and view the vivid blue waters of Lake Hawea, followed by Lake Wanaka, where the shoreline is charmingly lined by poplars and willows. Following an ancient greenstone trail, you will travel over Haast Pass, marking a change from the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes, to the rainforest marvel of the wild West Coast. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and the grand sight of Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers.

Our final destination for today is the extraordinary rivers of ice that make up Franz Josef Glacier. You may want to get up close and personal with the glaciers on a helicopter flight. Your flight will hover over the snow face, and may land high up in the valley so that you can walk across the ice fall – subject to weather conditions (optional – at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel. Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing), Franz Josef (B/D)
13

Franz Josef - Christchurch

Head off to the drift-wood strewn beaches of Hokitika. As well as being one of the few West Coast communities to embrace its coastal landscape, Hokitika struck it rich in the resources stakes. Here you will visit a pounamu factory (native greenstone or jade), for the chance to see master carvers at work creating intricate pieces of jewellery and art. Maori tradition says it is bad luck to buy pounamu for yourself, so if you fancy a trinket of your own, make sure you have someone there to purchase it for you.

From Hokitika, you will travel inland to the small settlement of Arthur's Pass. Here you will board the TranzAlpine train to head back to the East Coast, to Christchurch city. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914, and is rated as one of the world's most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. This evening join your AAT Kings Travel Director and Driver, and your new-found friends for a Farewell Dinner. Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch (B/FD)
14

Depart Christchurch

Your tour concludes this morning after breakfast. You'll be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)

Trip Inclusions

Sightseeing Highlights

Best Buy Holiday Tour Inclusions

  • AAT Kings "Best Buys" Coach Holiday
  • Tour by luxury air-conditioned coach with 2-door access, restroom, seatbelts, reclining seats, panoramic windows
  • Tour with an experienced, professional Tour Director and Tour Driver
  • Twin share rooms with private facilities in comfortable hotels
  • Admissions Outlined in the Itinerary
  • Airport transfers (see flight information below)

Included Meals

  • Full Buffet Breakfasts (13) (B)
  • Exciting Highlight Dinners (2) (HD)
  • Hotel Dinners (8) (D)

Plus

  • Welcome Reception
  • Travel Wallet & Map of New Zealand
  • Hotel Porterage Included

Arrival & Departure

  • Day 1 from Auckland Airport - Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm
  • Day 14 to Christchurch Airport - Flights anytime

Trip Notes

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Disruptions to itinerary may occur

Operator Details

AAT Kings Reviews: (344)
Tours on Sale: 86
Accommodation: 3.5-4.5 Star
Average Age: 55-60+ years
Types: Coach Tours, Small Group Tours & Short Breaks
Max Group Size(s): 49 & 20
Budget: Premium & Low Cost
Destinations: Australia, New Zealand

Reviews (8)

Trip reviews from past clients of Global Journeys who have travelled on New Zealand Vista with AAT Kings.
QLD, Australia
Sep 2015
1 Trip
“Great tour and you definitely see a lot of New Zealand”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Excursions
Optionals
Booking With Global Journeys
I loved this tour, although I didn't like the fact that there were two coaches of AAT Kings and one coach with Trafalgar. Yes it did work but we didn't like that the others got to see things we didn't and we got to see things they didn't. It was a great tour and you definitely see a lot of New Zealand, the only thing I didn't like was getting to the hotels a bit late and on the travel days not much to see or do, probably needs to be longer. I would have rather spent more time in Dunedin instead of Queenstown.
Australia
Nov 2013
1 Trip
“Well paced tour, no hassles”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Booking With Global Journeys
My experience with Global Journeys was great, considering the trouble I had with cancellations of the seats twice by AAT Kings. The tour was excellent with fantastic service by staff members all round. Accommodation was excellent, the staff members were all very friendly. Well paced tour, no hassles and great driver and guide.
Australia
Oct 2013
1 Trip
“Tour satisfied all aspects of what we wanted from the holiday”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Booking With Global Journeys
Our holiday in New Zealand was memorable and awe inspiring. The tour satisfied all aspects of what we wanted from the holiday. The tour director and bus driver were full of information and made us feel like family with a friendly and humorous manner. I would recommend this tour to all my friends and family.
Australia
Jul 2011
2 Helpful Votes
1 Trip
“Thoroughly enjoyed our tour”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Booking With Global Journeys
Kerry and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of New Zealand. Our guide Lu Tyree was excellent and our bus driver Darryl was a very good driver as well as a lovely person to have a conversation with. Our accommodation and our meals were very good. Everything was well organised and there were plenty of comfort stops, even allowing good natured tolerance for any latecomers.
Australia
Feb 2011
1 Helpful Vote
1 Trip
“Enjoyable, but very tiring”
Value
Guide
Accommodation
Pace
Booking With Global Journeys
Thank you to Global Journeys. My husband and I, along with some friends enjoyed our tour of North and South Islands of New Zealand in Feb/March this year to celebrate my 50th birthday. All the worries of organising everything was taken care of and our trip was enjoyable, but very tiring, Our tour guides were marvelous.
2017-18 SEASON
Dec 2017 - Sep 2018

Prices & Dates ($AU)

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Departs Status
26 Dec 2017 $ 4,251 Sold Out
02 Jan 2018 $ 4,251 Sold Out
09 Jan 2018 $ 4,251 Sold Out
23 Jan 2018 $ 4,251 Sold Out
30 Jan 2018 $ 4,251 Sold Out
06 Feb 2018 $ 4,251 Sold Out
13 Feb 2018 $ 4,251 Sold Out
20 Feb 2018 $ 4,251 Sold Out
27 Feb 2018 $ 4,251 Sold Out
06 Mar 2018 $ 4,251 Sold Out
27 Mar 2018 $ 4,251 Request Quote
03 Apr 2018 $ 4,037 Request Quote
24 Apr 2018 $ 4,037 Request Quote
05 Jun 2018 $ 3,795 Request Quote
11 Sep 2018 $ 3,795 Request Quote
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Tour Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by AAT Kings. Full terms & conditions are available here.
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