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AAT Kings

17 Day AAT Kings New Zealand Uncovered 24/25

From north to south, east to west, New Zealand is a country of contrasts. And that’s why we love it. One minute you’re drifting through World Heritage-listed gorges on a Milford Sound/Piopiotahi tour, then next you’re scaling ice on a Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere tour. Sometimes there’s a Maori-inspired feast on the menu; at others there’s award-winning wine. Spanning 17 days, two islands and countless attractions – both city and country – this trip to New Zealand is one for the record books.

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Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand Guided Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$9,563 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

17 days/16 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 42 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
Americas Cup tour at Maritime Museum
Auckland City Tour
Be My Guest Afternoon Tea
Christchurch City Tour
Cruise on the Interislander Ferry
Maori Village Experience & Hangi (dinner), Rotorua
Milford Sound Cruise
Monteith's Brewery Experience
Punakaiki Rocks
Te Puia Thermal Reserve
TranzAlpine Rail Journey
TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm, Queenstown
Visit a Local Orchard
Visit to Kiwifruit Country
Wellington City Tour
16 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 9 dinners, 2 special dinners
Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Auckland - City of Sails

Auckland is the kind of place you could lose yourself in for a couple of weeks. Arrive at your leisure and explore new waterfront precincts, or just ready yourself to meet fellow travellers at dinner.

Staying in:

  • Horizon by SkyCity Auckland (1 night)

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Sightseeing in Auckland

A little bit of leisure, a little bit of culture – today is one of those days. Peek behind the scenes of maritime racing history on the New Zealand Maritime Museum’s America’s Cup Tour. Your Travel Director then takes you around the city, pausing at Bastion Point for epic photo opportunities.

Staying in:

  • Horizon by SkyCity Auckland (1 night)

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View of Tauranga

Leave Auckland behind and journey into the countryside for an exclusive family-style Be My Guest lunch in the Red Barn on a working dairy farm. Expect country banter and farm-to-table fare prepared with a lot of love. The next hot spot – in every sense of the word – on your NZ holiday is Rotorua. Visit Te Puia to see and support Maori artisans at work, then continue your Rotorua tour at the steamy Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, a staggering valley where geysers pop and thermal springs jettison skywards.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel Rotorua (1 night)

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Maori Cultural Performance

Today, choose your own adventure. We have plenty of ideas for the paths you might follow. Tonight, dive deep into Maori culture at Te Pā Tū Māori Experience, an important hub keeping tradition, art and music alive. Oh, and exciting Māori cuisine. Enjoy forest kai horotai (seasonal canapés) and chef choice aperitif, followed by a seasonal three-course dinner.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel Rotorua (1 night)

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Rotorua Town Hall

Say goodbye to Rotorua and hello to the raging rapids of Huka Falls, where 220,000 litres of water barrel over this massive waterfall every second. Your outlook then unfolds into the dreamy landscape of Lake Taupo. Traverse the volcanic Central Plateau to NZ’s cool little capital of Wellington.

Staying in:

  • Rydges Wellington (1 night)

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Huka Falls

Your day in Wellington should – must – begin with a coffee. The city is known for its ubercool cafés and with coffee in hand you will head out on city sights tour to take in highlights such as its iconic cable car, parliament, and Mt. Victoria. Your tour ends at Te Papa, the national Museum of New Zealand, where you may choose to visit the groundbreaking exhibitions on offer. Later you may decide on an optional tour. Lord of the Rings fans will rejoice with a special tour and visit to Weta Workshop. Or choose to visit Zealandia's ecosanctuary restoring 225 hectares of forest. Tonight, there are so many restaurants and bars to choose from. Ask us for recommendations or explore at your leisure.

Staying in:

  • Rydges Wellington (1 night)

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Wellington Cable Car

This morning cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound and continue to Kaikoura, a marine life haven. On arrival be treated to a biodiversity talk from Sabrina Leucht, founder of Kaikōura Wildlife Centre Trust, and learn about the work the trust is doing towards Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, at this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Tonight, dine at Hiku, which celebrates what Kaikōura is all about - kai moana and dramatic sea and mountain scapes.

Staying in:

  • Sudima Kaikoura (1 night)

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Whale Watching in Kaikoura

Enjoy a relaxed start this morning or sign up for one of several local wildlife experiences available. Sign up for a scenic flight for a bird's-eye view, get up close to dolphins by boat or kayak (both own expense), or sample tasty crayfish at waterside fish-and-chip shops. Follow the coast and Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, home to innovative architecture, art institutions and restaurants.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Christchurch Hotel (1 night)

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Christchurch City Tour Tram

From its cardboard-crafted Cathedral to its gold-clad central library, Christchurch has well and truly rebuilt itself since the 2010/11 earthquakes. But South Island locals still cherish a simple life, as you’ll discover over a Be My Guest afternoon tea with retired farmers Angie and Stan Taylor at their home Morelea on the edge of Lake Tekapo.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Mackenzie Country Hotel Twizel (1 night)

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Dunedin Railway Station

Oamaru has a rich history and proud heritage, enriched by passionate and perhaps quirky locals. Explore the shops, galleries and traditional crafts within some of the Southern Hemisphere's most complete Victorian streetscapes, before landing in Dunedin.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (1 night)

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View of Te Anau Lake

From sheep farms to rugged mountains, today is one of contrasts. Venture into Fiordland National Park toward the South Island’s largest lake and the lakeside town of Te Anau. You'll experience the thrill of jet boating on scenic Lake Manapouri, home to Pomona Island, where native birds are under threat - and this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience is helping to protect them through a community-based conservation project.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas (1 night)

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Milford Sound Cruise

Your journey towards Milford Sound/Piopiotahi traverses native rainforest, alluvial flats and meadows, with mirrored lakes, thundering waterfalls, dramatic rocky ranges and millennia-old valleys. Your Milford Sound/Piopiotahi boat tour, cruising through this wild expanse, provides enough drama for an entire travel year – you still have the streets of Queenstown to explore.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (1 night)

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View of Queenstown

Adrenaline-junkies may wish to get some perspective on a tour of the gorges of Skippers Canyon. Gourmand at heart? Perhaps a Central Otago wine tour? (Both own expense). Your day ends on a dreamy TSS Earnslaw cruise across Lake Wakatipu, landing at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (1 night)

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Glacial Lake near Franz Josef

From Arrowtown’s tree-lined avenues (where you've been visiting a bygone time) to Central Otago’s gleaming lakes, nature rules. Alpine scenery tiers into rainforest along the West Coast, where Thunder Creek Falls and the glacier-studded Mt. Hooker steal the scene. Welcome to the town of Franz Josef, home to Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere, which is ideally explored on an optional helicopter flight – you may be able to land and walk across the ice-fall.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)

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Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki

Explore the small but lively Franz Josef/Waiau village before venturing to Hokitika, home of New Zealand's native jade greenstone. Then steel yourself for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes of Punakaiki, a sliver of South Island geology that is as humbling as it is awe-inspiring. After a spectacular day, spend the night at an eco-friendly, waterfront resort.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Punakaiki (1 night)

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TranzAlpine Train Scenic Journey

We’ve got you sorted on a morning tour of legendary Monteith’s Brewery, which is followed by lunch. The best is yet to come – all aboard for the scenic TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch, through tunnels and over viaducts, with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Christchurch Hotel (1 night)

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AAT Coach Crew

How many travel highs can you pack into a holiday? This itinerary has certainly pushed the boundaries. Now all you have to do is go home and sort through all those photos.

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Sep 17, 2024
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