Best of New Zealand

18 Day First Choice Tour from Auckland to Christchurch with AAT Kings

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on AAT Kings 18 Day Best of New Zealand. From the pristine white beaches of the North Island to the snow-capped peaks of the South, you'll explore every nook of New Zealand on this magnificent journey. A heart-pounding haka welcomes you to Rotorua for a taste of M?ori culture, more

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Per Person ($AU)
First Choice Tour Starts In
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First Choice Tour Ends In
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4 - 4.5 Star
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Countries Explored:
New Zealand
Trip Operated By:
AAT Kings
AAT Kings
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1 Welcome to Auckland
On arrival in Auckland you’ll have time at leisure for relaxing or exploring. This evening, meet your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception at your hotel. Stay: Stamford Plaza Auckland
2 Auckland - Bay of Islands
Travel through Northland’s lush farmland to the stunning Bay of Islands. Experience spectacular scenery as you cruise to Cape Brett and through the ‘Hole in the Rock’. (B/D) Stay: Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Water View Rooms (2 nights)
3 Bay of Islands - Included Choice
Today, choose from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Go sailing aboard a historic tall ship, take a guided tour of Russell with lunch at the local pub, explore the Bay of Islands and visit three wineries for tastings, or see the sights on the Bay of Islands Highlights Tour. (B)
4 Bay of Islands - Auckland
Enjoy time at leisure before returning to Auckland. Your journey takes you to Whangarei and then Parry Kauri Park to walk among the native forest giants. (B/D) Stay: Stamford Plaza Auckland
5 Auckland - Rotorua
Join your Travel Director to discover the sights of the city, including panoramic views from the Sky Tower, 328 metres above the city. Visit Te Puia, the Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, where students carry on age-old traditions of wood carving and weaving. A tour of Rotorua’s active geothermal fields follows. An evening of culture, history and scrumptious food awaits you at a Highlight Dinner at the Tamaki Māori Village. Learn about Māori art forms and traditions, followed by a concert featuring local performers. Then experience an authentic Hangi meal, steamed underground in the traditional way. (B/D) Stay: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua (2 nights)
6 Rotorua Included Choice
This morning, embark on one of your Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Glide through the Glowworm Grotto on the Waitomo Caves Tour, take an ancient forest zipline adventure with Canopy Tours, visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, or explore Rotorua and its sparkling lakes in an amphibious WWll-era Duck. (B)
7 Rotorua - Wellington
Journey through dense pine forests and farmland to the hidden gem of Huka Falls. From here the road reveals a broad panorama of Lake Taupo. Continue south over the Central Plateau and along the Kapiti Coast to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, where you’ll enjoy an exclusive guided tour of Te Papa Museum of New Zealand. Before leaving the museum, top off the night with a Highlight Dinner. (B/D) Stay: James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor
8 Wellington - Blenheim
Discover more of Wellington this morning, then cruise the Cook Strait into the tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound and explore the villages of Picton and sunny Blenheim. Tonight, enjoy a Highlight Dinner prepared with local produce and matched with fine Marlborough wines. (B/D) Stay: Chateau Marlborough
9 Blenheim - Christchurch
Travel this morning to Kaikoura, where sperm whales can often be seen not far from shore (an optional whale-watching flight is available). On arrival in Christchurch, see the extensive work carried out to rebuild the city after the earthquake of 2011. (B) Stay: Distinction Christchurch Hotel
10 Christchurch - Twizel
Visit Morelea, the home of Angie and Stan Taylor, on the shores of Lake Tekapo. Enjoy a Be My Guest barbecue lunch in their garden, and gain an insight into a lifetime of farming. View the Church of the Good Shepherd on your way to Twizel. (B/L/D) Stay: MacKenzie Country Hotel
11 Twizel - Dunedin Included Choice
Make your way through Oamaru to New Zealand’s southernmost city, Dunedin. Choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Tour stately Larnach Castle, ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway, take a wildlife cruise, or enjoy an interactive tour of Speight’s Brewery. (B/D) Stay: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
12 Dunedin - Te Anau
Today, travel through lush green sheepgrazing country on your way to Te Anau. (B/D) Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas
13 Te Anau - Queenstown
Experience the magnificence of Fiordland National Park as you cruise Milford Sound. Learn about the history of the region and benefit from the knowledge of your specialist guide. (B) Stay: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (2 nights)
14 Queenstown Included Choice
Today, choose from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Ride the Shotover Jet, or for a more laid back experience take a gondola to Bob’s Peak for amazing views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu and then visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park, or take an excursion through Skippers Canyon. This evening, cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner. An entertaining after-dinner farm show offers glimpses into high country farm life. (B/D)
15 Queenstown - Franz Josef
Stop to visit the faithfully-restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown, and enjoy some succulent stone fruit at Cromwell. You’ll then travel over Haast Pass and view Thunder Creek Falls on your way to the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier. (B/D) Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)
16 Franz Josef - Punakaiki
Consider an optional experience helicopter flight over the glaciers, or take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village. Travel to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone, then venture on to Punakaiki. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront. (B/D) Stay: Punakaiki Resort
17 Punakaiki - Christchurch
Join your personal guide for a tour of Monteith’s Brewing Company, including tastings at the brewers’ table, before sitting down to lunch. Afterwards, board the iconic TranzAlpine train in Greymouth and embark on one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys. Back in Christchurch, join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner to celebrate your epic New Zealand journey. (B/L/D) Stay: Distinction Christchurch Hotel
18 Farewell from Christchurch
Say goodbye to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast. (B)

AAT Kings Inclusions

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Journey Highlights
  • Join your personal guide for a tour and lunch at a brewery
  • Cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw for a barbecue at a high country farm
  • Learn more about the region on a Milford Sound Nature Cruise with a specialist guide
  • Cruise through the ‘Hole in the Rock’ in the Bay of Islands
  • Immerse yourself in Māori culture with the Tamaki family over dinner
  • Journey through Mt. Ruapehu Tongariro National Park
  • Explore Te Papa Museum of New Zealand
  • Enjoy a barbecue lunch with a local family at their home in Lake Tekapo
  • Travel past magical glaciers, mountains and rainforests en route to Milford Sound
  • Taste Central Otago stone fruit at an orchard
  • Discover Franz Josef Glacier
  • Visit a jade factory and see artists at work
  • Travel aboard the TranzAlpine Train
  • Included Choice Experiences
Trip Inclusions
  • 'First Choice' Inclusions & Accommodation
  • Travel by luxury coach
  • Airport transfers (see flight information below)
Included Meals
  • 17 Full buffet breakfasts
  • 1 Be My Guest lunch
  • 1 Lunch
  • 4 Highlight Dinners
  • 7 Dinners with wine
  • 1 Farewell Dinner
What To Bring
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Jacket in cooler months
Arrival & Departure
  • Day 1 - Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Auckland Airport
  • Day 18 – Flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport
Activity Level
  • Low level fitness required
Trip Notes
  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Prices are for land/cruise and internal flights as specified only. Flights not specified are not included.

Prices & Dates

There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general brochure release dates for all destinations.

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Trip 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.