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Thrifty Tours

Fabulous New Zealand

The perfect introduction to the stunning sights and landscapes of the North and South Islands.

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Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand independent tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,380 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

6 days/5 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 83 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance

Brief itinerary - Fabulous New Zealand

Day 1: Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves. This evening a Tamaki Maori Village Experience
Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua

Day 2: A half day Rotorua tour visiting some great attractions. The rest of the day is yours
Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua

Day 3: Fly to Queenstown today. Rest of day at leisure in the alpine resort
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

Day 4: A highlight of your trip - a full day heading into Milford Sound including a cruise
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

Day 5: A full day to immerse yourself in everything the adventure capital has to offer. Visit the Skyline Gondola for breathtaking views
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

Day 6: Queenstown to Christchurch

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves. This evening a Tamaki Maori Village Experience

Fabulous New Zealand - Day 1
Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves and Te Puia Small Group Tour

On this tour, you will be picked up from the hotel in a comfortable mini-bus and driven through the stunning Waikato countryside on a fully guided journey to Waitomo Caves and Te Puia Geothermal Park.
During the journey to Waitomo, you will encounter New Zealand's longest river, beautiful mountains, and see several different farm animals along the way. Once in Waitomo, you will explore the ancient and amazing caves, with their many different cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns, before descending even further underground for your glowworm experience. Board your glowworm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms glittering above your head. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must-see for any traveller. Arriving at your second feature destination, Te Puia, you will receive a fully guided tour to best experience the geothermal and cultural wonders including Pōhutu Geyser, Māori Architecture, The National Māori Arts School, geothermal craters, geothermal events, and even the chance to view a Kiwi bird in the Kiwi viewing house.
Continue your adventure with another fully guided journey south to Rotorua, with many more attractions to see along the way, including hydro dams, rivers, and lots more animals. Once in Rotorua, you will be guided past many of its famous and historical sites, including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs, and Polynesian Spa.

Te Pā Tū Evening Maori Cultural Experience

New Zealand’s Most Awarded Cultural Attraction, Tamaki Māori Village presents TE PĀ TŪ. Feast on song, drama, tradition, and divine seasonal kai (cuisine) within the forest Pā (village) –blanketed by towering Tawa trees, blazing bonfires, and a forest-formed amphitheatre. Te Pā Tū shares Māori history, traditions, and cultural aspirations across 4-hours of celebration and feasting. These events change with each season of the maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar. 

Your accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua

Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua boasts a location that is second-to-none, right on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua. Adjacent to the world-famous Polynesian Spa complex and just a short stroll to all the attractions in Rotorua.

Meals included: Lunch

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Day 2 - A half day Rotorua tour visiting some great attractions. The rest of the day is yours

Fabulous New Zealand - Day 2
Rotorua Duck Tours City & Lakes Tour

You haven't seen Rotorua until you've seen it from a Duck. Discover Rotorua in the most unique way possible with the City and Lakes Tour. This unique sightseeing adventure takes place on land and water, on-board a WWII amphibious Duck. Unlike any other tour in Rotorua, the duck tour is the best way to see the city and experience the beauty of the surrounding lake district all at once.
Your tour begins right in the heart of the city where you will discover the sights and sounds, and learn all about the rich history and diversity that makes Rotorua such a unique destination. With your conDUCKtor, you will venture out of town to the spectacular lakes district where you will see magnificent views of Mt Tarawera and splashdown into Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Lake Okareka.

Rotorua afternoon at leisure

This afternoon is completely at your leisure to explore one of New Zealand most unique towns. Take a stroll along the beautiful lakefront, take a guided tour at either Wai-O-Tapu or Waimangu Volcanic Valley and experience the geothermal features Rotorua has to offer. Also not to miss is the Rotorua Duck Tour around the city and lakes providing you with history and a thrill ride.
You might also like to take a helicopter ride to view the Volcanic Peaks of Mount Tarawera at 3680 feet or cycle the Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest.
You could also travel on the paddle boat, 'Lakeland Queen' on Lake Rotorua. Alternatively, you might want to try something more adventurous like zipping through a native forest with Rotorua Canopy Tours.

Your accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua

Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua boasts a location that is second-to-none, right on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua. Adjacent to the world-famous Polynesian Spa complex and just a short stroll to all the attractions in Rotorua.

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Day 3 - Fly to Queenstown today. Rest of day at leisure in the alpine resort

Fabulous New Zealand - Day 3
Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Airport

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Rotorua Airport.
Please note that this is a shared transfer, there may be 2-3 extra stops along the way.

Air New Zealand flight Rotorua to Queenstown
Private transport from Queenstown airport to your accommodation

On arrival into Queenstown airport your private transfer will collect you from the airport and drive you to your centrally located accommodation.

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.
Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

The Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown Lakefront is conveniently located within walking distance to the centre of Queenstown and just a few minutes stroll from the picturesque Lake Wakatipu.

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Day 4 - A highlight of your trip - a full day heading into Milford Sound including a cruise

Fabulous New Zealand - Day 4
Milford Sound Cruise and coach tour from Queenstown

Return luxury coach transport from Queenstown to Milford Sound, with a 1 hour 40 minute Cruise along the full length of the fiord. On boarding a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown or Te Anau, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. The coach driver provides an informative commentary. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board the modern, spacious vessel for a leisurely cruise in the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and the wildlife. During the cruise your friendly crew provide commentaries in several languages and point out the sights such as Mitre Peak and the Pembroke Glacier.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

The Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown Lakefront is conveniently located within walking distance to the centre of Queenstown and just a few minutes stroll from the picturesque Lake Wakatipu.

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Day 5 - A full day to immerse yourself in everything the adventure capital has to offer. Visit the Skyline Gondola for breathtaking views

Fabulous New Zealand - Day 5
Enjoy a second day in Queenstown

With such an abundance of activities on offer, one day in Queenstown is never enough!  Today you’ll have some spare time for those things you didn’t get to do yesterday.  For more thrills you can choose from jet boating, luging, bungy jumping or a canyon swing. If golf is your game, the exceptional Millbrook Golf Course is the place for you. Explore a little further afield - nearby historic gold mining township Arrowtown, is a popular destination and features many original buildings and features. At the head of Lake Wakatipu sits Glenorchy, the scenic drive here is worth the trip alone, however arriving into this peaceful township you could easily rest the day away.  Nearby is the start of the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.  You can enjoy a section of this track as a day walk or for the ultimate wilderness adventure choose the 3 day all-inclusive fully guided option.  To really appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds this area, a scenic flight or hot air balloon ride will take your breath away.  For a slightly more grounded experience, the Skyline Gondola offers fantastic views of Queenstown and the Remarkables.

Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride

Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere! From which you can take in the awe-inspiring views of this spectacular landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy panoramic views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak, Coronet Peak and the magnificent Lake Wakatipu.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

The Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown Lakefront is conveniently located within walking distance to the centre of Queenstown and just a few minutes stroll from the picturesque Lake Wakatipu.

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Day 6 - Queenstown to Christchurch

Fabulous New Zealand - Day 6
Queenstown to Christchurch Small Group Tour via Aoraki/Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo

This small group, fully-guided day trip combines all of the key highlights in the area with the famous Lake Tekapo, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and Tasman Glacier. The ultimate way to get from Queenstown Christchurch. Led by famously passionate tour guides, notorious for bringing your journey to life by sharing their stories and rich background knowledge and run in modern, comfortable minibuses packed with extras ensuring your comfort and safety.

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