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Kirra Tours

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ

Discover the breathtaking scenery of both the North and South Islands on this 16-day small group tour. With a maximum of 24 guests, you will be comfortable and relaxed, while accompanied by your professional experienced tour host. Travel by 5-star luxury coach, with two-night stopovers in Rotorua, Nelson and Queenstown.

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Tour summary and feature

New Zealand small group tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$6,899 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

16 days/15 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 17 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 Rail Journey
Kohutapu Lodge Tribal Tour
Whirinaki Rainforest Tour
Church Road Winery Tour
Te Papa Museum of New Zealand
Entry to the Omaka Aviation Centre, Blenheim
Abel Tasman National Park Cruise
Coastal Pacific Rail Journey
15 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
Tour at a glance
Brief itinerary - Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ

Day 1: Arrive into Auckland. Accommodation: Nesuto Stadium Hotel and Apartments (or similar)

Day 2: Head south to Rotorua via Okere Falls. Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua Hotel (or similar)

Day 3: Explore Rotorua. Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua Hotel (or similar)

Day 4: Journey from Rotorua to Taupo via Lake Aniwhenua. Accommodation: Hilton Lake Taupo (or similar)

Day 5: Journey further south to Art Deco capital, Napier. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Day 6: Head towards the 'capital of cool', Wellington. Accommodation: Novotel Wellington (or simliar)

Day 7: Cross the Cook Strait to Nelson. Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson (or similar)

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

Day 9: Hop on board the Coastal Pacific train to Christchurch. Accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (or similar)

Day 10: Visit the Moeraki Boulders on your way to Dunedin. Accommodation: Dunedin Leisure Lodge – A Distinction Hotel (or similar)

Day 11: Explore Larnach Castle before journeying to Te Anau. Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (or similar)

Day 12: Te Anau via Doubtful Sound to Queenstown. Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

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

Day 14: Journey north to Haast via the remote Jackson Bay. Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Haast (or similar)

Day 15: Carry on the west coast to Franz Josef. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Day 16: Franz Josef to Christchurch.

Detailed itinerary

Tour full itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive into Auckland

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 1
Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ

Haere Mai and Welcome to Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), the largest city in New Zealand and home to over 2 million people. The magic of Auckland is in its diversity from culture to the environment. There are over 44 volcanoes in the area and 2 harbours, which explains why Auckland is known locally as the 'City of Sails'. Take the afternoon or early evening to explore after you make your way to Nesuto Hotel in central Auckland.

Your accommodation: Nesuto Stadium Hotel and Apartments (or similar)

Nesuto Stadium offers 4.5 star self-contained apartment accommodation in downtown Auckland City. Located a short walk from Britomart Transport and Entertainment Precinct, Auckland Waterfront and Ferries, Queen Street and Vector Arena, Nesuto Stadium is in a wonderful location to visit all of Auckland Cities attractions.

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Day 2 - Head south to Rotorua via Okere Falls

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 2
Auckland to Rotorua

This morning, leave Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and head for the Rotorua region. The first stop today is the Okere Falls. The falls lie on the Kaituna River which has cultural significance to the local iwi (tribes) in the area. Currently, the River is used for tourism, specifically white water rafting and sledging. Stop by the Falls and see if you can spot some brave rafters going over the falls in their raft.
Next, continue on, skirting around the edge of Lake Rotorua to a lookout point where you’ll have a view of the infamous Mount Tarawera, once the home of the renowned pink and white terraces before a violent eruption destroyed them in 1886. This evening, arrive in Rotorua township and check into the hotel, enjoy a delicious dinner and then settle in for a luxurious night’s sleep at the Distinction Rotorua.

Your accommodation: Distinction Rotorua Hotel (or similar)

Distinction Rotorua Hotel is located in a beautiful garden setting, with relaxing outdoor heated swimming pool. Just a short drive to the city centre and across the road from the great mountain bike trails of Whakarewarewa Forest.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 3 - Explore Rotorua

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 3
Free day in Rotorua

Known as the North Island's geothermal hot spot and hub for all the very best adventure activities, Rotorua is definitely one of the best places to explore… even if your nostrils tell you otherwise! There is so much to see and experience here and you have a full free day to see as much as you like. If you want to see some geothermal activity for free, we recommend taking a walk around Kuirau Park to see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes. You can book a multitude of tours via your Tour Guide and with options such as white water rafting, ziplining through the trees, relaxing at the Polynesian Spa and taking a Gondola up to see the amazing Rotorua Skyline you truly are spoilt for choice.

Your accommodation: Distinction Rotorua Hotel (or similar)

Distinction Rotorua Hotel is located in a beautiful garden setting, with relaxing outdoor heated swimming pool. Just a short drive to the city centre and across the road from the great mountain bike trails of Whakarewarewa Forest.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 4 - Journey from Rotorua to Taupo via Lake Aniwhenua

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 4
Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua to Taupo

This morning, venture off the beaten track to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua in Murupara. Kohutapu Lodge is owned by a local Maori family who is passionate, not only about showcasing their Maori tribal heritage but also about 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 ground cooked hangi and tasting it for yourself!
After lunch, you’ll 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, your destination is Taupo. First, stop at the spectacular Huka Falls to see more than 22,000 litres of water per second thundering into the Waikato River. Then you’ll continue on to our hotel, the fabulous Hilton Taupo, a 19th-century building that combines Victorian charm with modern decor. The resort-style hotel houses a tennis court, a fitness centre, and swimming pools.

Your accommodation: Hilton Lake Taupo (or similar)

Just minutes from the town centre this accommodation features sweeping views over the largest lake in New Zealand and across to Tongariro National Park.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 5 - Journey further south to Art Deco capital, Napier

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 5
Taupo to Napier

After a delicious breakfast, it’s time to leave Taupo and travel along the Napier-Taupo Highway to what is widely regarded as the 'Tuscany of the Southern Pacific'. The stunning Hawke's Bay region boasts some of the best wineries around and a visit here would not be complete without a trip to Church Road Winery. Established in 1897, the team at Church Road was the first in New Zealand to craft an exceptional Bordeaux-style Red Wine.
After a wine tasting, you'll sit down for lunch in the magnificent Tom McDonald cellar to enjoy an afternoon of delicious food and exceptional wines and soak up the ambience and heritage of this historic building. Later, it's an easy drive into the beautiful coastal town of Napier. Known for its perfectly preserved Art Deco facades, Napier is often referred to as a 1930's film set. You have the option to stroll along the tree-lined promenade this evening and sample some fresh seafood from one of the many restaurants.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Scenic Hotel Te Pania offers 4-star accommodation of a truly international standard. The hotel's slender curved form echoes the shape of the bay, and guests enjoy sweeping views out over the water from a premium waterfront location on Marine Parade.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 6 - Head towards the 'capital of cool', Wellington

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 6
Napier to Wellington

Today it’s time to leave the Art Deco capital and journey down to Wellington, the sparkling capital city, where modern business style blends with a cultured, bohemian spirit. On the way, you’ll stop in Greytown, Wairarapa's oldest town, for a spot of lunch. A picturesque village with restored Victorian buildings, Greytown is a charming place to stop, refuel and do some boutique window shopping before you continue your journey to Wellington.
With a population of fewer 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 the national museum Te Papa and your entrance fee is included. This evening is yours to explore Wellington.

Your accommodation: Novotel Wellington (or simliar)

Novotel Wellington is conveniently located in the heart of the city, close to the Te Papa Museum, Convention Centre, Parliament, Westpac Stadium and the waterfront as well as the many other attractions of the city.

Meals included: Breakfast

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Day 7 - Cross the Cook Strait to Nelson

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 7
Wellington to Nelson

After breakfast this morning, you'll take the 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 16 Day Ultimate NZ - 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 on board the Coastal Pacific train to Christchurch

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - 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.
Tonight, enjoy a group dinner at the hotel.

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 on your way to Dunedin

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - 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 - Explore Larnach Castle before journeying to Te Anau

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - 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 - Te Anau via Doubtful Sound to Queenstown

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - 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 drive 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

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Day 13 - Spend a day at leisure in Queenstown

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 13
Free day in Queentown

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 - Journey north to Haast via the remote Jackson Bay

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 14
Queenstown to Haast via Jackson Bay

View incredible scenery as you travel through Arrowtown, an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era. Next, visit Wanaka, a popular township on the edge of the lake 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.
Here, 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, your 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 - Carry on the west coast to Franz Josef

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 15
Haast to Franz Josef

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.
You’ll stop in Fox Glacier with the option to walk the gentle 2.6km track around Lake Matheson. Nestled amongst ancient forests and famous for mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, Lake Matheson is a serene and beautiful place to spend time.
This evening you're spending the night in the Franz Josef township, surrounded by lush rainforest and impressive mountains. You’ll enjoy a delicious group dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Canavans.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Located in the heart of Franz Josef Village the hotel offers all the amenities you would expect and is close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 16 - Franz Josef to Christchurch

Kirra 16 Day Ultimate NZ - Day 16
Franz Josef to Christchurch

Today you'll travel to the vibrant, artistic town of Hokitika where you'll visit the amazing Greenstone and Glass blowing factories and watch some talented artists at work. Next, continue on 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.

Depart Christchurch

The final day is today and as your trip comes to an end, you will say goodbye to your group and leader. Whether you decide to head home today or to stay in Christchurch for a few extra days, we hope you leave with many happy memories of your trip.

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