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AAT Kings

18 Day AAT Kings Essence of New Zealand 25/26

This tour has a mix of Nature and Culture. With good dose of food and wine on the side you'll be delivered a well-rounded taste of the North and South. Whether you’re into wide, open spaces - Milford Sound, we’re looking at you – bubbling geysers, gem-like glaciers or windswept coasts you will find it right here. This New Zealand guided tour is for the history, sport, architecture, geography or culture buff.

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Tour summary and feature

Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand Guided Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$10,285 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Auckland

18 days/17 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 25 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
All Blacks Experience
Cruise on the Interislander Ferry
Day trip to Stewart Island
Huka Falls
Maori Village Experience & Hangi (dinner), Rotorua
Punakaiki Rocks
Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Christchurch City Tram

Arrive early to see just how Christchurch has transformed itself since the 2010/11 earthquakes. The best way to do this? Aboard the city’s tram. It loops past historic attractions as well as some new ones. Meet your fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception.

Staying in:

  • Wyndham Garden (1 night)

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The Church of the good Shepherd

Step out with your guide for a deeper dive into ‘The City of Gardens’ before traversing the colourful Canterbury Plains: the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and snow-capped mountains. Your Indoor Dark Sky Astronomy Experience at Tekapo, hosted by passionate guides, will forever change the way you see the night sky. You'll see for yourself it may be one of the quietest spots on the planet, yet it has one of the busiest skies in the universe.

Staying in:

  • Heritage Gateway Hotel (1 night)

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Dunedin Railway

Architectural drama awaits in Dunedin. While away the afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speight’s Brewery (a national institution).

Staying in:

  • Dunedin Leisure Lodge (1 night)

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Beach on Stewart Island

Rolling green pastures dotted with wide-eyed sheep are your backdrop to Gore, the country music capital of New Zealand. Invercargill is obsessed with something else: motor vehicles. Tributes to speed legends colour the city. So it's only fitting that you visit Classic Motorcycle Mecca for a tour and Highlight Dinner.

Staying in:

  • Kelvin Hotel (1 night)

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Penguins at Stewart Island

The ferry ride to Stewart Island is wild and wonderful. When you arrive, you’re welcomed by the country’s southernmost community. It’s largely untouched, which means endemic flora and fauna thrive here. But don’t take our word for it. Meet the locals on a Village & Bays tour.

Staying in:

  • Kelvin Hotel (1 night)

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Wharf in Queenstown

Today on your New Zealand tour, get a taste of country life combined with good old fashioned southern hospitality as you meet a ‘Southern Girl’ local female farmer at Real Country. On this Be My Guest experience get a feel for life on the farm as you have demonstrations of Horse communication and Working sheep dog mustering. Try your hand at a Stock whip cracking lesson, and feed and interact with the friendly farm animals. Plus, for every guest, we donate funds to The Fairlight Foundation, Advancing Women in Agriculture. Continue to Queenstown and take the afternoon at your own pace.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)

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View over Queenstown from the Skyline

Today, sign up to dive deep into Milford Sound/Piopiotahi within World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, best explored on an optional tour cruising the waterway. Don’t be surprised if you see dolphins and seals.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)

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Franz Josef Glacier

Around the next bend is the Alpine countryside of the Southern Lakes, from Lake Dunstan to oh-so-blue Lake Hawea and lovely Lake Wanaka. Over the Haast Pass, the town of Franz Josef/Waiau at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, awaits.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)

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Pancake Rocks Punakaiki

Wandering Hokitika’s windswept shore on the West Coast feels a bit like you’ve discovered the end of the Earth. The town’s other natural beauty is pounamu (native greenstone or jade). Prepare yourself for Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes; they owe their existence to the thundering surf that will lull you to sleep.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Punakaiki (1 night)

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Inlet in Nelson harbour

Ease along the Heritage Highway toward Nelson. Press your nose against the glass as your coach weaves through Buller Gorge and Kahurangi National Park, a place of wild rivers, high plateaus, alpine herb fields and coastal forests.

Staying in:

  • The Rutherford Hotel (1 night)

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Wooden Church in Founders Heritage Park in Nelson

Today is at your leisure. Lace up your hiking shoes, or sit back on a boat and soak up the silence of Abel Tasman National Park. This wilderness inspires calm, its golden beaches framed by sculpted granite cliffs that all unite to create one of the country’s most legendary coastal tracks.

Staying in:

  • The Rutherford Hotel (1 night)

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Wellington Cable Car

You’ll want a window seat for the cruise from the South Island to the North aboard the Interislander. This spectacle unfolds as you glide through Queen Charlotte Sound to NZ’s cool little capital of Wellington.

Staying in:

  • Travelodge Wellington (1 night)

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Oriental Bay Wellington, boat sheds

Your morning city sights tour will end at Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. After the opportunity to visit, travel to the Art Deco mecca, Napier.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Te Pania (1 night)

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Napier in Hawkes Bay

After a devastating earthquake in 1931, Napier completely rebuilt itself in just two years. The end result is architectural Nirvana, a city home to the world’s greatest concentration of Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Striped Classical buildings. This morning get the lowdown from your in-the-know local guide on a Napier tour. Your afternoon is at leisure.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Te Pania (1 night)

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Huka Falls

This evening, explore Te Puia's geothermal valley, and learn about Maori history and culture on this guided experience, which includes hangi-inspired cuisine and a cultural performance in a finely carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua. It ends on a high at the Pohutu Geyser, where, armed with a hot chocolate you'll view one of New Zealand's geothermal wonderlands.

Staying in:

  • Sudima Lake Rotorua (1 night)

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Town Hall Rotorua

Today, it’s your choice. Hobbit fans will want to take advantage of the opportunity to tour the sights featured in The Lord of the Rings movies at Hobbiton. Want a bit of down time? Bliss out at Wai Araki Hot Springs & Spa.

Staying in:

  • Sudima Lake Rotorua (1 night)

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AAT Kings guests meeting at sheep at the Agrodome

Welcome to Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’. You’ll understand how it got its moniker when you glimpse yachts gliding around its two harbours. But today your sights are firmly set on the city’s other love: rugby. The interactive All Blacks Experience explores an introduction to the game as a part of New Zealand culture.

Staying in:

  • Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre (1 night)

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View over Auckland city

It’s amazing how much of two islands you can see in 18 days. Provided you have the right people at the helm, and like-minded company, that is.

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18 Day AAT Kings Essence of New Zealand 25/26
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Starts Status   Twin/Double Single occupancy  
Oct 2, 2025
(Thursday)
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was NZD$10,915
now NZD$10,285
was NZD$14,160
now NZD$13,530
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Nov 27, 2025
(Thursday)
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was NZD$10,915
now NZD$10,295
was NZD$14,160
now NZD$13,540
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Jan 29, 2026
(Thursday)
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was NZD$10,915
now NZD$10,295
was NZD$14,160
now NZD$13,540
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Feb 19, 2026
(Thursday)
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was NZD$11,210
now NZD$10,570
was NZD$14,545
now NZD$13,905
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Mar 19, 2026
(Thursday)
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was NZD$11,210
now NZD$10,570
was NZD$14,545
now NZD$13,905
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