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New Zealand Adventure with Bay of Islands

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Fully Guided Locally Guided Coach Group Scenic
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 Trip Length
18 Days
 Trip Starts
 Trip Finishes
18 Day New Zealand Adventure with Bay of Islands Itinerary (Cosmos)
Countries Explored: New Zealand
Trip Operator:
3 - 4 Star
Max. Group Size
Trip Style
Regional Discovery
Guide Level:
Fully Guided, Locally Guided
Trip Code


Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Cosmos 18 Day New Zealand Adventure with Bay of Islands. From snow-capped mountain peaks and turquoise-hued lakes to charismatic towns and cosmopolitan cities, you’ll be spoiled for choice on this action-packed New Zealand holiday. From Auckland to Christchurch and everywhere in between - there’s so much waiting to be seen on this 18-day tour. Start your holiday with a visit to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Your time here includes a full day excursion to Cape Reinga, a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and the scenic Hole in the Rock cruise. There’s p...read morelenty of time for you to kick back and relax or explore on your own. It’s the perfect start to your visit to New Zealand!

Throughout your cross-country adventure, you’ll encounter some of the best natural scenery that New Zealand has to offer. Discover the tranquil beauty of Lake Taupo on a kayaking tour through its hidden bays; get up close to native rainforest on the West Coast Treetops Walk; soak up the silence of Doubtful Sound as you cruise across its unspoiled waters; and take in the sweeping Southern night sky during a farewell dinner in Tekapo.

Foodies rejoice, with opportunities to participate in a progressive dinner through the nation’s well-cultured capital, sample the local cider in sunny Nelson, taste-test award winning spirits in Queenstown, and savour local wine and cheese at a boutique Southland winery. Designed to give the perfect mix of active adventure and free time, this Cosmos tour captures New Zealand at its absolute finest.


Kia Ora and welcome to New Zealand! The remainder of the day is at leisure to start exploring this exciting city on your own. Your Cosmos Local Host will be on hand to answer any questions and make suggestions for shopping, dining, and sightseeing.

Today, travel to the beautiful Bay of Islands region. Discover the cultural heritage of New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and enjoy a traditional Māori welcome. This evening is at leisure. (B)

Explore the top tip of New Zealand where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. See the iconic lighthouse, visit Ninety Mile Beach, and experience sandboarding, or digging for shellfish (conditions permitting). Return to Paihia where the remainder of the day is at leisure. You can choose to take a stroll on the beach, enjoy fresh seafood at a waterside restaurant, or take a scenic flight to see more of the area. (B/L)

Embark on a sightseeing cruise to view the "Hole in the Rock." Have the chance to see dolphins, penguins, and sea birds, and learn more about the rich history and culture of this region. The remainder of the day is at leisure. You may wish to spend more time on the water with a kayak or paddle board hire, browse the harbor shops, or take the Opua Forest Paihia Lookout Walk. (B)

This morning, return to Auckland. Later, please join your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome meeting and drink. (B)

Start your day with the All Blacks Experience, an interactive, fully-guided showcase of one of New Zealand's greatest sporting teams. Discover the stories behind some of rugby's most famous players and face the full force of the haka from a virtual All Blacks side. Depart Auckland and head south, travelling through rolling green countryside, stopping in the quirky town of Tirau for a guided walk.

Arrive in Rotorua, the geothermal and Māori centre of New Zealand. The remainder of the day is at leisure. This evening, why not enjoy a walk amongst the majestic redwoods on the Rotorua Tree Top Walk? (B)

Today, experience an intimate look into day-to-day life at Whakarewarewa Living Maori village. Your Local Guide will educate and delight you with stories of the Village. Take a walk on the boardwalks to see boiling hot mud pools and learn how the residents use the natural geothermal energy for everyday use. Experience traditional dances and songs, including the legendary haka.

The rest of the day is yours to explore on your own. You may want to visit the Polynesian Spa for a relaxing treatment, enjoy views of Lake Rotorua from a zip line, hire a bike and explore the network of local trails, see the Lake District on a genuine WWII amphibious landing craft, or get a bird's eye view of volcanoes, craters, and lakes on a scenic flight. (B/L)

Travel south today to Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. Enjoy a kayak tour past steep cliffs and inlets before viewing 12 meter-high Māori rock carvings. Your guide will explain the carving's cultural significance to the lake and surrounding areas as you float beneath them. Continue to Wellington where this evening you'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B/D)

See the highlights of Wellington this morning on a city tour before boarding a ferry for the scenic journey across the Cook Strait to the South Island. Continue to Nelson, known as "Sunny Nelson" due to its fantastic climate. There's time for an orientation tour and a cider and wine tasting at McCashins Brewery before arriving at your hotel. This evening, why not opt to explore the thriving art and craft scene, stroll through one of the many gardens and parks, or try some of the fresh local cuisine. (B)

Enjoy a day at leisure in this spectacular part of New Zealand. You may choose to take an optional excursion and explore the Farewell Spit with its dramatic coastal cliffs, abundant wildlife, historic lighthouse, and stunning views. Other options include kayaking in nearby Abel Tasman National Park, browsing local art galleries, taking in some of the region's stunning scenery on a bicycle tour, or discovering local specialties including craft beers, wine, fruits and seafood. Your Tour Director will have suggestions to make the most of your stay. (B)

Travel to Greymouth, a former gold rush town on the west coast. This afternoon, enjoy a private jade carving demonstration with a traditional carver. The remainder of the day is at leisure. You may wish to tour Monteith's Brewery, get some exercise on the Enchanted Forest Quad bike tour, or visit the unique glowworm caves. (B)

This morning, enjoy the breathtaking views from the Westcoast Treetops Walk where you will walk among these rainforest giants. Next, explore the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage area of Franz Josef. A Local Guide will take you through the Franz Josef Valley and you will learn about the glacier's history, see what is left behind by this majestic giant, and learn the legend of Ka Roimate o Hine Hukatere. After a brief climb to the Glacier Viewpoint, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the changing face of the glacier.

The remainder of the day is at your leisure. You may opt to take a kayak tour, explore more walking tracks on your own, take a scenic flightseeing or helicopter tour, spend time at the West Coast Wildlife Centre, or relax in one of the glacier hot pools. (B)

Today, journey through rainforests and over Haast Pass. Stop in the resort town of Wanaka for time to explore on your own. Arrive in Queenstown for an orientation tour and a visit to Broken Heart Spirits Distillery to learn about the friendship that founded the distillery and to taste some of the award winning spirits crafted from some of the purest waters in the world. Your evening is at leisure to explore more on your own. Why not take the gondola to the top of Bob's Peak for some of the best stargazing? (B)

Enjoy a day at leisure. Options for your free time include an exciting jet boat ride on the Dart River, a self-guided cycling tour, see movie locations on a Lord of the Rings tour, grab a burger at the famous Fergburger, sample some of the region's best wines, go to new heights on a scenic helicopter flight, or browse the many shops and art galleries in town. (B)

Leaving Queenstown, head into the best kept secret in New Zealand, Doubtful Sound. Experience a journey which rivals Milford in spectacular beauty but remains completely uncongested. Join a cruise along the fiords and marvel at the waterfalls, the beauty of the surrounds, and a chance to see wildlife such as dolphins, seals, and penguins. In the afternoon, return to Te Anau for an evening at leisure. (B/L)

En route to Dunedin, the "Edinburgh of the South", visit the Croydon Aviation Centre and see its heritage collection of 1920s and 30s aircraft. Arrive in Dunedin and enjoy a city sightseeing tour followed by a tasting at the famous Speights Brewery. This evening is at leisure. (B)

This morning, enjoy a wildlife cruise along the rugged coastline. Learn about the local wildlife, history, and geology. Keep your eyes open for fur seals, hector's dolphins, blue penguins, and ocean birds including the royal albatross. Stop in Oamaru with free time to explore the Victorian heritage and experience the quirky Steampunk attractions. Next, enjoy a wine and cheese tasting at boutique winery, River-T. This evening, join your Tour Director for a farewell dinner under the sweeping southern night sky. (B/D)

This morning, you may wish to take the Lake Tekapo walk to admire the views of the lakefront and the picturesque, Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue to Christchurch. The coach will make a stop at the Christchurch International Airport for homebound passengers. Schedule flights after 2pm. A stop will also be made at the Ibis Christchurch Hotel for any guests wishing to extend their time in Christchurch. Hotel nights are available for purchase. (B)

Trip Inclusions

  • Explore with expert Cosmos Tour Directors and Local Guides
  • Private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach.
  • Rooms with private bath or shower.
  • Includes hotel taxes, tips and service charges

  • 17 Breakfasts
  • 3 Lunches
  • 2 Dinners

  • Auckland Copthorne Hotel Auckland City (Moderate First-Class)
  • Bay of Islands Paihia Pacific Resort Hotel
  • Rotorua Jet Park Hotel (Moderate First-Class)
  • Wellington Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman Hotel (First-Class)
  • Nelson The Hotel Nelson (Moderate First-Class)
  • Greymouth Ashley Hotel (Superior Tourist-Class)
  • Franz Josef The Terrace (Superior Tourist-Class)
  • Queenstown Holiday Inn Queenstown Frankton Road (Superior Tourist-Class)
  • Te Anau Distinction Luxmore Hotel Te Anau (Superior Tourist-Class)
  • Dunedin The Victoria Hotel Dunedin (Moderate First-Class)
  • Lake Tekapo Peppers Bluewater Resort (Moderate First-Class)

  • Airport transfers at your arrival and departure destination are not included in the price of the tour.
  • Itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Price is for land, cruise and specified internal flights. International flights not included.
Why Travel with Cosmos?
Why Travel with Cosmos?

Enjoy inside visits to New Zealand's the must-see sites with a great mix of included excursions, free time and affordable value. Read more

Personalise Your Adventure
Personalise Your Adventure

Cosmos build free time into every one of their holidays, so you can eat, shop, and explore the way you want. Read more

Cosmos's Expert Guides
Cosmos's Expert Guides

Cosmos' easy going, fun-filled and multilingual Tour Directors and Local Guides love exploring as much as you do. Read more

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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 release dates for all destinations.

Tour & cruises prices are per person. Prices shown have savings applied, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices and trip information are correct at the time at this point in time, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking and are subject to change by Cosmos.