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Kirra Tours

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand

Travel the length of New Zealand on one of our most popular coach tour itineraries. In the North Island, you'll visit spectacular lakes, cruise on pristine waters, learn about Maori culture, spot native wildlife and travel through some of the counties most scenic national parks. While down South, you'll explore the beautiful beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park, experience the remote Doubtful Sound Wilderness cruise, explore historic Arrowtown, marvel at the lush & rugged West Coast, sample local seafood and finish your adventure aboard the Tranzalpine Train. This eclectic mix of NZ culture and superb scenery is a must-do!

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Tour summary and feature

New Zealand escorted tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$6,212 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

16 days/15 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 52 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes

Larnach Castle

Hokonui Moonshine Museum

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

Greenstone and glass blowing factory visit

TranzAlpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Scenic cruise on Lake Tarawera and Lake Okataina

Kohutapu Lodge Tribal Tour

Whirinaki Rainforest Tour

Mt Ruapehu Sky Waka (Gondola)

Blue Duck Station Tour

Te Papa Museum of New Zealand

Coastal Pacific Rail Journey

15 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Tour at a glance
Brief itinerary - Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand

Day 1: Arrvive in Auckland. Accommodation: The Quadrant Hotels & Suites (or similar)

Day 2: Take part in the Kohutapu Lodge Tribal Tour and Whirinaki Rainforest Tour. Accommodation: Lakes Lodge Wilderness Retreat (or similiar)

Day 3: Enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Tarawera and Lake Okataina. Accommodation: Lakes Lodge Wilderness Retreat (or similiar)

Day 4: Journey through Tongariro National Park. Accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu (or similar)

Day 5: Explore Blue Duck Station on the banks of the Whanganui River. Accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu (or similar)

Day 6: Head South to Wellington. Accommodation: Distinction Wellington Century City Hotel (or similar)

Day 7: Cross the Cook Straight to Picton and journey to Nelson. Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson (or similar)

Day 8: Explore Abel Tasman National Park. Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson (or similar)

Day 9: Hop aboard the Coastal Pacific Train to Christchurch. Accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (or similar)

Day 10: Visit the Moeraki Boulders as you head toward Dunedin. Accommodation: Dunedin Leisure Lodge – A Distinction Hotel (or similar)

Day 11: Travel North to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland. Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (or similar)

Day 12: Explore Fiordland aboard the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise. Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 13: Spend a day at leisure in Queenstown. Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 14: Pass through Wanaka as you head to Haast. Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Haast (or similar)

Day 15: Explore the West Coast as you travel North to Hokitika. Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (or similar)

Day 16: Hop aboard the Tranzalpine train and journey east to Christchurch for you final day.

Detailed itinerary

Tour full itinerary

Day 1 - Arrvive in Auckland

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 1
Kirra - Arrival day to Auckland

Haere Mai and Welcome to Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) the city of sails, the city is the largest in New Zealand home to over 2 million people. The magic of Auckland is the diversity of Auckland is immense from culture to the environment, there are over 44 volcanoes in the area, 2 harbours one on the east coast and the other just 8kms away on the west coast hence the name City of Sales which dates back to when the Maori arrived. Take the afternoon or early evening to explore after you make your way to the Quadrant Hotel in central Auckland.

Your accommodation: The Quadrant Hotels & Suites (or similar)

The Quadrant Hotel & Suites overlooks Waitemata Harbour and Albert Park. Featuring a bar, a hot tub and a fitness centre the hotel is a short a 10-minute walk from Vector Arena and the University of Auckland, as well as the shops, restaurants and cafés on Queen Street.

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Day 2 - Take part in the Kohutapu Lodge Tribal Tour and Whirinaki Rainforest Tour

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 2
Auckland to Lake Okatania

This morning you’ll be leaving Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and heading for the Rotorua region to visit two unique lakes: Lake Tarawera and Lake Okataina. It’s a short drive to the boat landing at Lake Tarawera. Cruise out on the pristine waters in the shadow of the infamous Mount Tarawera, once home of the renowned pink and white terraces before a violent eruption destroyed them in 1886. Visit Hot Water beach, only accessible by boat or foot, before cruising across the lake where we’ll hike the short track through native bush to Lake Okataina. Here another boat will be waiting for you to embark on a scenic cruise around the secluded lake. Enjoy a picnic lunch onboard and learn more about the area's history before arriving at the lodge. Settle in before joining the group in the dining room for a wild food extravaganza, an evening meal entirely sourced from local produce.

Your accommodation: Lakes Lodge Wilderness Retreat (or similiar)

Situated on the shores of Lake Okataina, and surrounded by native bush, Lakes Lodge Okataina enjoys almost total seclusion, as the only habitation on the edge of the lake.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 3 - Enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Tarawera and Lake Okataina

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 3
Day trip to Lake Aniwhenua + Whirinaki

This morning is yours to enjoy breakfast and relax before venturing off the beaten track to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua in Murupara. Kohutapu Lodge is owned by a local Maori family who is passionate about showcasing their Maori tribal heritage and making a difference in the local area. Murupara is an impoverished community that has been transformed for the better through tourism and commercial development. Through community-driven initiatives and a clear vision to provide more opportunities for the local youth, Kohutapu Lodge has paved the way for change in the area. Begin the experience with a guided tour of the sacred Maori rock carvings before arriving at the Lodge to witness the preparation of a ground cooked hangi and tasting it for yourself! After lunch, depart for the lush, green Whirinaki rainforest for a guided tour along the Rongoa trail. Spot native endangered birds and ancient medicinal plants, and learn more about the history of the forest, including the myths and legends before enjoying a hot kawakawa tea in the forest and a final karakia. This evening, return to Lake Okataina where you’ll have the option to grab dinner (if you still have room after the hangi feast, that is!).

Your accommodation: Lakes Lodge Wilderness Retreat (or similiar)

Situated on the shores of Lake Okataina, and surrounded by native bush, Lakes Lodge Okataina enjoys almost total seclusion, as the only habitation on the edge of the lake.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 4 - Journey through Tongariro National Park

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 4
Lake Okataina to Tongariro National Park

Today is all about the pacific ring of fire. You’ll see bubbling mud, amazing waterfalls, volcanic lakes, and finish with New Zealand’s highest cafe at 2000 metres above sea level. First stop is Taupo with stops at the Wairakei Steam Field Lookout and the spectacular Huka Falls. Here more than 22,000 litres of water per second thunders into the Waikato river - it’s a must-see! Stop for lunch in Taupo before heading to Tongariro National Park to catch the Sky Waka up Mt Ruapehu, take a ride up this live volcano which is the highest point of the North Island, the views on a sunny day are outstanding as is the terrain of this volcano. Following your adventure up Mt Ruapehu you’ll head to your accommodation in National Park. Once you’re settled in you’ll have a group dinner.

Your accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu (or similar)

Located in the centre of National Park and is the ideal base for exploring New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing. The on-site Spiral Restaurant & Bar is full of character and is open daily. The outdoor hot tubs, courtyard hammocks & open fireplaces are complimentary for guests and offer the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind after a day of adventure in the Ruapehu region.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 5 - Explore Blue Duck Station on the banks of the Whanganui River

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 5
Day trip to Blue Duck Station

Today you head to Blue Duck Station - a 7,200 acre high country farm situated on the banks of the Whanganui River. Jump on a 4WD farm tour to learn more about the conservation work taking place to preserve the station’s namesake, the Whio Blue Duck, and the unbelievable local history. Deep in the heart of the station, you’ll discover the Kaiwhakauka waterfall where you may even be able to spot a rare blue duck in the flesh. The grand finale is the journey up to the ‘Top of the World’, with 360 degree views that will take your breath away. From here you can see the three peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Taranaki and endless miles of verdant native bush. Enjoy a delicious lunch before heading back to Tongariro National Park for the evening.

Your accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu (or similar)

Located in the centre of National Park and is the ideal base for exploring New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing. The on-site Spiral Restaurant & Bar is full of character and is open daily. The outdoor hot tubs, courtyard hammocks & open fireplaces are complimentary for guests and offer the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind after a day of adventure in the Ruapehu region.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 6 - Head South to Wellington

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 6
Tongariro National Park to Wellington

Today you'll journey through Tongariro National Park, with its three spectacular volcanic mountains - Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu, a place of extremes and ancient lava flows. Cruise straight through Ohakune and off the central plateau to Wellington, our sparkling capital city, where modern business style blends with a cultured, bohemian, spirit. With a population of less than 200,000 people, there is no capital city on earth that marries relaxed and refined better than Wellington. The afternoon is free but we highly recommend a visit to our national museum Te Papa and your entrance fee is included. This evening you'll feast at a traditional Brazilian Churrasco restaurant in the heart of Wellington (all dietary requirements can be catered for).

Your accommodation: Distinction Wellington Century City Hotel (or similar)

Distinction Wellington Century City Hotel is located in the heart of Wellington's CBD, close to shopping, restaurants and key attractions such as Te Papa Museum.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 7 - Cross the Cook Straight to Picton and journey to Nelson

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 7
Wellington to Nelson

After breakfast this morning, you’ll take the Interislander Ferry to the South Island, don’t miss the spectacular views of the sunken valleys meeting the sea that form the Marlborough Sounds. You’ll then head to Nelson arriving at your destination mid-afternoon, the coach will take you on a scenic drive along the seaside. This evening there’s plenty of time to relax, explore the area and the option to taste some of Nelson’s fine local beverages.

Your accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson (or similar)

The Rutherford Hotel Nelson offers luxurious accommodation with a full complement of features designed to help you achieve the most from your stay. Situated at the doorstep of three national parks and an unmatched range of sandy beaches, blue seas and mountain wilderness.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 8 - Explore Abel Tasman National Park

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 8
Abel Tasman National Park

Travel to the seaside resort town of Kaiteriteri and spend the morning cruising the stunning Abel Tasman National Park - a coastal paradise known for its golden sand beaches. See the iconic Split Apple Rock and call in to the most popular beaches along the coastline as you sail up to Totaranui and back. This afternoon you’ll take the scenic route and arrive back in Nelson mid-afternoon.

Your accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson (or similar)

The Rutherford Hotel Nelson offers luxurious accommodation with a full complement of features designed to help you achieve the most from your stay. Situated at the doorstep of three national parks and an unmatched range of sandy beaches, blue seas and mountain wilderness.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 9 - Hop aboard the Coastal Pacific Train to Christchurch

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 9
Nelson to Christchurch

This morning you’ll travel back to Picton and here you’ll jump on board the magnificent Coastal Pacific train and journey down to the capital of the South Island in luxury, soaking up the gorgeous scenery en-route, see Kaikoura's rugged coastline, beautiful mountains, and rolling farmland of Canterbury before you arrive late afternoon in the South Island's Capital Christchurch.

Your accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (or similar)

Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city’s CBD and overlooks scenic Latimer Square, an iconic New Zealand green space with ample room for travellers to enjoy.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 10 - Visit the Moeraki Boulders as you head toward Dunedin

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 10
Christchurch to Dunedin via the Moeraki Boulders

After breakfast this morning, journey south down the coast and across the Canterbury Plains; pass through the township of Oamaru, home to some of the best-preserved heritage buildings in New Zealand before heading onto the mystical Moeraki Boulders, geological marvels that began to form about 60 million years ago and were exposed by the erosion of sedimentary rocks over time. You’ll arrive in Dunedin with plenty of time to make the most of this Scottish City.

Your accommodation: Dunedin Leisure Lodge – A Distinction Hotel (or similar)

Nestled in landscaped gardens, the Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge is located within two acres of beautifully kept garden, and just a short drive to the city centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 11 - Travel North to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 11
Dunedin to Te Anau

Visit the iconic Larnach Castle of Dunedin this morning for a stroll through the magnificent gardens before departing for Te Anau. First, you’ll make a stop in Gore for a trip to the Illicit Past... Gore’s colourful past as a centre for illicit whisky distilling and bootlegging is brought to life at the Hokonui Moonshine Museum. The adventures of the Scottish settlers and their exploits to avoid run-ins with the law are kept alive through dioramas, audio-visuals and artefacts. You can taste Old Hokonui made from the original recipe at the end of your visit, or even take a bottle home with you. Afterwards continue to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland, where you’ll spend the evening.

Your accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (or similar)

The perfect base for all your Fiordland travel, Distinction Luxmore Hotel provides comfortable accommodation right in the heart of Te Anau.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 12 - Explore Fiordland aboard the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 12
Te Anau via Doubtful Sound to Queenstown

Depart from Te Anau this morning to Manapouri, where you’ll enjoy a leisurely cruise across the lake to West Arm. This is followed by a short coach trip on New Zealand's most expensive road, travelling over Wilmot Pass and pausing along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. At Deep Cove, board a modern catamaran and allow the majesty and vastness of the fiord to take your breath away. Enjoy the on-board commentary that provides insight into the region’s history, flora and fauna as you view spectacular towering mountains and wildlife. Later you’ll travel to Queenstown, skirting through lush farmland and around Lake Wakatipu to the picturesque alpine resort of Queenstown.

Your accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

At Heritage Queenstown you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a postcard. Soak in the amazing view of the towering Remarkables mountain range rising from the rippled waters of Lake Wakatipu.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 13 - Spend a day at leisure in Queenstown

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 13
Day Four

Today is yours to experience New Zealand’s adventure capital for yourself. Queenstown boasts an incredible array of activities and your Coach Captain can assist with booking any optional extras you’d like to do. Take a ride on the world-famous Shotover Jet Boat, travel to the top of Bob’s Peak by gondola for spectacular views, take a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon, or for the adventurous, try white water rafting or bungy jumping. Alternatively, browse in the many shops and galleries in town or relax at one of the many cafes or bars along the lakefront.

Your accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

At Heritage Queenstown you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a postcard. Soak in the amazing view of the towering Remarkables mountain range rising from the rippled waters of Lake Wakatipu.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 14 - Pass through Wanaka as you head to Haast

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 14
Queenstown to Haast

View incredible scenery as you travel through Arrowtown, an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era. Next you visit Wanaka, a popular township on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Then you'll enter Jackson Bay, a spectacular place and one not many people will be able to say they've done! Jackson Bay marks the farthest point of the West Coast's road network. You'll have an amazing West Coast lunch at The Craypot - a quirky, little caravan style restaurant situated on the esplanade before heading towards Haast, our destination for the evening. Tonight you stay at the Heartland Hotel, a popular local establishment where the locals come to mix and mingle at the Frontier Bar.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Haast (or similar)

In a location so special, it was named a World Heritage Area, sits the Heartland Hotel. Just 4 kilometres from the township of Haast it's the ideal place to discover this incredible area of New Zealand. Warm and comfortable accommodation will ensure a welcoming stay after a day exploring the natural wilderness surrounds between the West Coast and Southern Lakes.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 15 - Explore the West Coast as you travel North to Hokitika

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 15
Haast via Jackson Bay to Hokitika

Travel north along the coast of the Westland National Park, home of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. This remarkable part of the country was shaped by the dynamic glaciers and boasts lush temperate rainforest growing beneath towering mountains. Stop in Franz Josef township for morning tea and drive to the glacier viewpoint before arriving into the vibrant, artistic town of Hokitika. Visit the amazing Greenstone and Glass blowing factories and watch some talented artists at work before getting settled in at your hotel. You’ll have the option of visiting The National Kiwi Centre this afternoon before we meet for dinner this evening.

Your accommodation: Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (or similar)

The unique location of the Beachfront Hotel Hokitika on the shores of the Tasman Sea and in the heart of Hokitika allows you to beachcomb and shop local artisans' galleries right from your doorstep.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 16 - Hop aboard the Tranzalpine train and journey east to Christchurch for you final day

Kirra Tours 16 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Day 16
Hokitika to Christchurch via Tranzalpine Train

Today you’ll travel to Greymouth, a historic town known for jade hunting, gold mining and dramatic river floods. Once there, you’ll make your way to the Greymouth Train Station, where you’ll board the Tranzalpine train. Considered to be one of the world’s greatest train journeys, prepare to be blown away by these epic vistas of forests, plains and mountains. Upon arrival in Christchurch, you’ll be collected by your guide and transferred to the hotel for the final night of your trip.

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This tour has 4 departure dates.
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Oct 10, 2021
(Sunday)
NZD$6,212
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Nov 14, 2021
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Jan 13, 2022
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Feb 20, 2022
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