Login
Call us FREE in NZ on 1855 638 2709
|

APT ToursAPT Tours Essence of New Zealand

With inclusions like dolphin watching, the TranzAlpine Scenic Train, a 3-course taste explosion in the glorious Marlborough Sounds this tour is full of unforgettable memories. Book now and join a group of like-minded international travellers to explore New Zealand. With an APT guide every step of the way you'll discover hidden gems, learn the countries history and be immersed in what it is to be a "kiwi".

 New Zealand escorted tour
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Auckland
 20 days/ 19 nights
 Hotel 4 star
  Pre and post tour options? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 17 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
Walks in Nature NZ
Auckland New Zealand

At a glance - APT Tours Essence of New Zealand

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch. Accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch south to Aoraki, Mt Cook. Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook

Day 3: Mt Cook to the coastal town of Dunedin. Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 4: Dunedin to Te Anau the entrance to the Fiordland National Park. Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Day 5: Time in Te Anau. Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Day 6: Enjoy a cruise on Milford Sound then head inland to Queenstown. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 7: Freedom to explore Queenstown. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 8: Full day of leisure in Queenstown. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 9: Head up the West Coast into glacierland. Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Day 10: Coach and train inland today to Christchurch. Accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch

Day 11: Christchurch to Blenheim via Kaikoura. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Day 12: Blenheim exploration. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Day 13: Blenheim to Wellington including the Interislander. Accommodation: InterContinental Wellington

Day 14: Wellington north to Napier. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Day 15: Napier through Taupo to Rotorua. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 16: Relax in Rotorua. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 17: Rotorua to Auckland. Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Auckland

Day 18: Auckland to the Bay of Islands. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands

Day 19: Experience the Bay of Islands. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands

Day 20: Depart the Bay of Islands and farewell your travel companions in Auckland.

Back to top

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 1

Arrive into Christchurch

You'll be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. You'll have plenty of time to settle in, explore or relax. Tonight celebrate with new friends at a welcome dinner.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Trip Documentation

You will receive all the information about your tour when you arrive at your first New Zealand hotel.

Your Accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch

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: Dinner

Rydges Latimer Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch south to Aoraki, Mt Cook

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 2

Christchurch to Mount Cook

Traverse the Canterbury plains to visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd.  Journey on into Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and this evening get to know your fellow travellers and tour director a little better over a welcome dinner with drinks. Tonight's location provides unlimited Alpine views. If you are there on a clear night be sure to take a look at the night sky - you will be impressed. 

Your Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook

Day 3: Mt Cook to the coastal town of Dunedin

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 3

Mount Cook to Dunedin

Set out along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Oamaru.  Continue to Koekohe beach to view the unusual spherical-shaped Moeraki Boulders.  Arrive in Dunedin this afternoon and enjoy time to relax before dinner. 

Your Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Distinction Dunedin Hotel occupies the grand Chief Post Office built in the 1930’s. This art deco inspired building has recently been transformed into a 4 star hotel with elegant décor, set in the heart of the city.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 4: Dunedin to Te Anau the entrance to the Fiordland National Park

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 4

Dunedin to Te Anau

This morning, choose your freedom choice activity, there is plenty to choose from but some examples may include a tour of Larnach Castle, visit the albatross on the Otago Peninsula or a ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway.  After you depart Dunedin you are heading inland towards the dramatic Fiordland National Park and Te Anau. 

Your Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

The Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers a range of accommodation from hotel rooms and suites to villas. Ideally located on the lake front this hotel is just a few minutes stroll from the shops, cafes and many activities Te Anau has to offer.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Day 5: Time in Te Anau

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 5

A day sightseeing in Te Anau

Take the opportunity today to explore Te Anau.  The day is yours to fill with any activity you wish, perhaps you will explore the network of limestone caves lit by tiny little glowworms, possibly get jet boat ride along the Upper Waiau River or even sit in the Fiordland cinema with a glass of wine and learn more about the beautiful landscapes fo the area.

Your Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

The Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers a range of accommodation from hotel rooms and suites to villas. Ideally located on the lake front this hotel is just a few minutes stroll from the shops, cafes and many activities Te Anau has to offer.

Meals included: Breakfast

Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Day 6: Enjoy a cruise on Milford Sound then head inland to Queenstown

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 6

Te Anau to Milford Sound and on to Queenstown

Witness an array of landscapes today as you experience one of the world's most spectacular alpine drives along the Milford Road.  Wind down the Eglington and Hollyford valleys, then travel through the Homer tunnel to be met by Mitre Peak.  Once in Milford, you will board a cruise and travel the length of this most magnificent fiord. Once back on the coach your journey continues as you travel to Queenstown.

Your Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 7: Freedom to explore Queenstown

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 7

Adventure day in Queenstown

Today is up to you.  There is so much to see and do in Queenstown and your tour director can assist you with any activity booking you wish to make.  Whether you would like to enjoy a bird walk through the wilderness, a visit to some of the Lord of the Rings filming locations or even a trip on the gondola to Bob's peak you'll be sure to find something you love.  Tonight dinner is an option of 3 locations in Queenstown. Seafood lovers may be tempted by Finz while the panoramic views from the Skyline gondola may suit others, the final option includes a cruise on a vintage steamer as you head out to Walter Peak to dine at the High country station.

Your Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 8: Full day of leisure in Queenstown

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 8

Adventure day in Queenstown

Enjoy an undisturbed day to experience all that Queenstown with its majestic natural surrounds and lively city centre has to offer.  Immerse yourself in the beautiful city as you enjoy exploring at your leisure. You may like to use this time to stroll along the lightning bolt shaped shores of Lake Wakatipu or perhaps you'll spend it browsing through the stores in this bustling central shopping district.

Your Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast

Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 9: Head up the West Coast into glacierland

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 9

Travel from Queenstown to Franz Josef (via Wanaka)

View historic mining sites as you travel through Kawarau Gorge and meander through the scenery of Cromwell.  Skirt the shores of lakes Wanaka and Hawea, taking in dramatic vistas and surrounding mountains that seem to shift mood with the seasons.  Check-in to your luxury eco-resort within the pristine rainforest surrounds of Te Waonui Forest Retreat.

Your Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest at Franz Josef is a very special five-star retreat. Designed with utmost care of its precious environment, guests at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will find themselves encircled by rainforest and accommodated in natural and sustainable luxury.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Day 10: Coach and train inland today to Christchurch

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 10

Travel from Franz Josef to Christchurch (coach and train)

Set out for the coastal town of Hokitika after breakfast this morning.  A cultural centre on the West coast, this hidden gem is famous for its jade greenstone.  From here you will journey on to the TranzAlpine train one of the world's greatest rail journeys.  Pass through deep gorges, river valleys and across the magnificent Southern Alps before reaching Christchurch.

Your Accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch

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

Rydges Latimer Christchurch

Day 11: Christchurch to Blenheim via Kaikoura

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 11

Christchurch to Blenheim including taste of Marlborough dinner

Traverse the picturesque Marlborough region where world-famous wines are produced.  You'll soon arrive in Blenheim, known as New Zealand's sunniest town. Recently, Blenheim has flourished with a maturation of the ever-growing wine industry for the area.  Tonight you delight in fresh regional flavours during a special Taste of Marlborough Dinner. Sample fine local ingredients and celebrate the provincial fare at a spectacular dining experience like no other.

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Scenic Hotel Marlborough is centrally located in Blenheim, in the heart of Marlborough's wine growing region. Just minutes walk from the city centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Day 12: Blenheim exploration

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 12

Blenheim sightseeing

Choose from three exciting sightseeing inclusions today. Perhaps learn about New Zealand's aviation history at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, discover the Marlborough Sounds on a green shell mussel cruise or visit the regions best wineries on a half day tour sampling their finest drops. Of course, you could always enjoy personal leisure time exploring the city.  However, you choose to spend the day Blenheim offers a range of activities that are sure to delight.  

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Scenic Hotel Marlborough is centrally located in Blenheim, in the heart of Marlborough's wine growing region. Just minutes walk from the city centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

Scenic Hotel Marlborough

Day 13: Blenheim to Wellington including the Interislander

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 13

Blenheim to Wellington including interislander

Depart Blenheim this morning and travel through the wine-growing country.  Arrive in New Zealand's capital city, Wellington.  Famous for its art, history and culture. Tonight dinner is sorted, just choose between dining in the hotel or a trip to the Two Grey Restaurant for a relaxed experience.

Your Accommodation: InterContinental Wellington

Stay in modern luxury in the heart of New Zealand’s capital city and adjacent to the scenic harbour. This famous Wellington hotel offers contemporary New Zealand cuisine at three restaurants, including the award-winning Chameleon. The hotel is the ideal base to explore the business, shopping and cultural centres of Wellington.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

InterContinental Wellington

Day 14: Wellington north to Napier

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 14

Wellington to Napier

The drive to Napier takes you through the bush-clad ridges of the Rimutaka Range, become surrounded by peaks varying between 700 and 940 metres high.  On arrival, set off on a tour of the Art Deco city, witness Napier's commitment to the preservation and promotion of the unique style through its beautiful architecture and local attractions.  Your tour today includes a delicious high tea with sweet and savoury treats to be enjoyed in this vintage setting. 

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, Dinner

Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Day 15: Napier through Taupo to Rotorua

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 15

Wellington to Napier

Journey through Esk Valley and Te Pohue, stopping at the charming town of Taupo, situated alongside New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo.  A centre of rich geothermal activity, the volcanic mountain of Mt Tauhara lies six kilometres to its east and provides astounding panoramic views.  Enjoy breathtaking natural surrounds of serene lake waters and distant volcanic mountains.  You will travel to the geothermal capital, Rotorua, this evening.

Your Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Rotorua's largest 4 star deluxe hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 16: Relax in Rotorua

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 16

Rotorua Exploration

Today choose how you wish to explore Rotorua with a huge range of things to do.  Catch a sheep show at the Agrodome followed by a kiwi encounter and a visit to Te Puia Thermal Reserve or perhaps even visit Wai-O-Tapu on an eco-thermal tour.  If you fancy adventure Rotorua has plenty of that to offer too.

Your Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Rotorua's largest 4 star deluxe hotel is perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.

Meals included: Breakfast

Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 17: Rotorua to Auckland

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 17

Rotorua to Auckland

This morning travel through Waikato's farmland to Cambridge and Auckland.  Afterwards, enjoy your selected sightseeing activity. Perhaps take a cruise on Waitemata Harbour, head off on a Waiheke Island wine and olive tasting tour, or explore the Auckland Museum. Alternatively, get up close to the marine life at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium, or set off into the Waitakere Rainforest. 

Your Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Auckland

Crowne Plaza Auckland is an upscale hotel ideally located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD and entertainment hub. Offering superior comfort, personal service and contemporary style and an abundance of attractions, entertainment and dining in close proximity.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Crowne Plaza Auckland

Day 18: Auckland to the Bay of Islands

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 18

Auckland to the Bay of Islands

Enjoy a scenic drive to Paihia. Upon arrival step aboard a catamaran and enjoy a cruise, keeping an eye out for local marine life including common bottlenose dolphins.

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands expansive sub-tropical gardens and extensive guest facilities, enhances the welcoming atmosphere of this resort-style hotel. It's the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful and historic Bay of Islands.

Meals included: Breakfast

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands

Day 19: Experience the Bay of Islands

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 19

Bay of Islands

Today offers you the perfect chance to explore the sensational bay of Islands, home to an incredible 144 islands! Today you will have the opportunity to choose one of the freedom of choice sightseeing options and easily tailor the day to your preferences.

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands expansive sub-tropical gardens and extensive guest facilities, enhances the welcoming atmosphere of this resort-style hotel. It's the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful and historic Bay of Islands.

Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands

Day 20: Depart the Bay of Islands and farewell your travel companions in Auckland

APT Tours Essence of New Zealand - Day 20

Bay of Islands to Auckland for Departure

After breakfast, travel to Auckland where you New Zealand adventure concludes.  Say goodbye to the team and your travel companions before you head to the airport for your connecting flight.

Back to top

Departure Dates & Prices  

All prices are in
New Zealand Coach Tours page loading
Back to top

Here are some similar NZ Coach tour packages

Back to top

Travel with our teammates

The original NZ self-drive touring company
Prefer to self-drive? Search over 200 NZ tours
nzsidekick - New Zealand's leading travel agent partner
Travel agents - book NZ itineraries here