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Kirra ToursKirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21

A whole of New Zealand experience. Starting in Christchurch and concluding in Auckland, explore the best New Zealand has to offer across both the North and South Islands. See awe-inspiring glaciers in Franz Josef and cruise the spectacular Doubtful Sound. Spot sea lions in Dunedin, relax in mineral hot pools in Hamner Springs and enjoy wine tasting amongst plentiful vines in Hawkes Bay. See geysers and boiling mud pools in Rotorua and discover pristine beaches amongst the rugged bush in the Bay of Plenty, plus much more.

 New Zealand escorted tour
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Auckland
 17 days/ 16 nights
 Hotel 4 star
  Pre and post tour options? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 6 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
Maori Cultural experience
Fiordland Cruise

At a glance - Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21

Day 1: Start your tour in Christchurch. Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 2: Head West to Punakaiki. Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

Day 3: See the glaciers amongst the rainforests. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Day 4: Journey to the lakes district. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 5: Explore the Adventure capital, Queenstown. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 6: Cruise on the serene Doubtful Sound. Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel

Day 7: Learn the history of Larnach Castle. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Day 8: Enjoy a free day in Dunedin. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Day 9: Stop at the Moeraki Boulders on the way to Christchurch. Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 10: Inland from Christchurch you'll relax in the naturally heated Hanmer Pools. Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Hanmer Springs

Day 11: Cross to the North Island on the Interislander. Accommodation: Ibis Wellington

Day 12: Taste some local wine in the Hawkes Bay. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Day 13: Pass Lake Taupo on route to Rotorua. Accommodation: Novotel Lakeside Rotorua

Day 14: Spend a day sightseeing in Rotorua. Accommodation: Novotel Lakeside Rotorua

Day 15: Moving further north, hit the beach in Pauanui. Accommodation: Puka Park Resort

Day 16: Reach your final destination today, Auckland city. Accommodation: Rydges Hotel, Auckland

Day 17: Say goodbye to new freinds and a wonderful holiday.

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Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Start your tour in Christchurch

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 1

Arrive into Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ Welcome to New Zealand. On arrival, a Kirra Tours representative will greet you at the airport and will transfer you to your downtown city hotel. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner and drinks with your fellow travellers.

Welcome to Christchurch, transfer airport to hotel

On arrival into Christchurch a representative of Kirra Tours will meet you from your flight and a transfer will deliver you to your Christchurch hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the Garden City.

Your Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This luxury hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square in the heart of the city, a short stroll from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, ReSTART Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Dinner

Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 2: Head West to Punakaiki

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 2

Christchurch to Punakaiki

This morning, we cross the mighty Southern Alps via the massive viaducts, river valleys and gorges of Arthur’s Pass National Park. The only way to beat this stunning coast to coast drive is to upgrade to the famous TranzAlpine train journey, renowned as one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world. Arriving on the rugged West Coast, marvel at the bizarre limestone formations that make up the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Tonight’s stay is at a friendly eco-resort located in the Paparoa National Park, only a stone’s throw from the beach.

Your Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

The Punakaiki Resort is a modern, award-winning hotel complex, architecturally designed to harmonise with the local environment. Nestled in the foothills of Papaproa National Park the resort has spectacular views of the Wild West Coast beaches while all rooms have rainforest and/or ocean views.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Punakaiki Resort

Day 3: See the glaciers amongst the rainforests

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 3

Punakaiki to Franz Josef

Travel south along the coast to 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. Enjoy ample free time to experience the glaciers with a guided tour, optional scenic flights, guided bush walks or opt to unwind in the local hot pools. Your Coach Captain can assist with any optional activities you would like to do.

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

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Day 4: Journey to the lakes district

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 4

Franz Josef to Queenstown

View incredible scenery as you travel past the untouched wilderness and pristine lakes of the Mt Aspiring National Park. Stop at Wanaka, a popular township on the lake’s edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop, on the way to Arrowtown, an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era. We skirt around the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the picturesque alpine resort of Queenstown. This evening, cruise across the lake aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw before reaching the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue dinner.

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 5: Explore the Adventure capital, Queenstown

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 5

Queenstown free day

A day to explore the delights of this alpine resort at your leisure. Your Coach Captain will happily advise on the many sightseeing activities available. Highly recommended is a jet boat ride on the world famous Shotover River or the Kawarua River with KJet. For a longer wilderness experience try the Dart River Wilderness Safari trip from Glenorchy, a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon with Nomad Safaris or even white water rafting combined with a thrilling helicopter ride. Or you could simply relax, explore the shops and cafes and soak in the atmosphere. Queenstown really does have something for everyone.

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 6: Cruise on the serene Doubtful Sound

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 6

Queenstown to Doubtful Sound

Travel around Lake Wakatipu and through lush farmland to Te Anau, the gateway to the Fiordland National Park. On to Manapouri, where you 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.

Your Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel

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

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distinction Luxmore Hotel

Day 7: Learn the history of Larnach Castle

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 7

Te Anau to Dunedin

Depart Te Anau and head for the coast, crossing rich farmlands and passing through agricultural townships on the way to Dunedin, often referred to as the Edinburgh of the South. Upon arrival, we will take a guided tour of Larnach Castle to learn about its tragic and mysterious history, before enjoying High Tea in the historic ballroom.

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Just two blocks from the Octagon in the heart of the city, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is close to shops, parks and the best city attractions and services. The hotel provides excellent 4-star accommodation to Dunedin's visitors.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Day 8: Enjoy a free day in Dunedin

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 8

Explore Dunedin at your leisure

Today enjoy a full free day at leisure, a perfect opportunity to discover everything that Dunedin has to offer. Explore the city streets and admire the architecture and historic buildings, perhaps taking a stroll through the walled Chinese Garden or even enjoying some souvenir shopping. Alternatively, your Coach Captain will be happy to assist you with any optional activities you would like to do. Why not take a ride on the iconic Taieri Gorge Railway for striking scenery and dramatic photo opportunities, passing through tunnels and travelling across viaducts. Or perhaps you would prefer to indulge yourself on a guided tour through Dunedin’s iconic Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory or Speights Brewery. Maybe take a trip out onto the stunningly beautiful Otago Peninsula, home to lush green rolling hills, gorgeous coastal views and an abundance of wildlife. The choices are endless! 

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Just two blocks from the Octagon in the heart of the city, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is close to shops, parks and the best city attractions and services. The hotel provides excellent 4-star accommodation to Dunedin's visitors.

Meals included: Breakfast

Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Day 9: Stop at the Moeraki Boulders on the way to Christchurch

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 9

Dunedin to Christchurch

Stop to view 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. From there, we travel north up the coast through Oamaru, known for its Victorian precinct and Steampunk HQ Museum, and the port city of Timaru, before crossing the fertile Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

Your Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This luxury hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square in the heart of the city, a short stroll from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, ReSTART Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 10: Inland from Christchurch you'll relax in the naturally heated Hanmer Pools

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 10

Christchurch to Hanmer Springs

After a leisurely morning, a short drive brings us to the alpine resort town of Hanmer Springs, renowned for its therapeutic thermal waters. Take in the crisp mountain air as you stroll through the village and enjoy entry into the hot pools for a relaxing soak in the naturally heated mineral waters.

Your Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Hanmer Springs

The spa resort of Hanmer Springs is home to the traditional hotel and villa accommodation provided by the Heritage Hotel. Revel in the majesty of this restored turn of the century lodge, set amongst mature trees and with the Southern Alps as your constant backdrop.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Heritage Hotel Hanmer Springs

Day 11: Cross to the North Island on the Interislander

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 11

Hanmer to Wellington

We drive to the picturesque fishing village of Picton to board the Interislander Ferry and cruise through the spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound into Cook Strait, the channel that separates the South and North Islands. Enjoy stunning views of New Zealand’s capital city as you arrive into Wellington Harbour. A brief city tour will show you the major sights before free time for exploring on your own. Situated on the Wellington waterfront, a visit to the Te Papa Museum of New Zealand is highly recommended.

Your Accommodation: Ibis Wellington

Hotel Ibis Wellington is ideally located in Featherston Street in the heart of Wellington City and easy walking distance to Wellington's famous cafe lifestyle.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ibis Wellington

Day 12: Taste some local wine in the Hawkes Bay

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 12

Wellington to Napier

Travelling north into the rural heartland of the Wairarapa region takes us through farmland that gives way to the vast orchards and plentiful vineyards of Hawke’s Bay. On arrival in Napier this afternoon, enjoy a walking tour with a local guide who will bring the city’s fascinating Art Deco architecture and history to life.

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 13: Pass Lake Taupo on route to Rotorua

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 13

To Rotorua via Taupo

Stop to view the mighty Huka Falls and fascinating Wairakei Geothermal Project before arriving at the thermal wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu, sculptured out of the volcanic activity and thousands of years in the making, this uniquely different natural landscape is considered to be New Zealand's most colourful, diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. Tonight, visit the award-winning Tamaki Village and enjoy a traditional Maori hangi (feast) and cultural performance featuring Maori songs, chants and dance including a stirring haka. 

Your Accommodation: Novotel Lakeside Rotorua

Novotel Lakeside Rotorua is a 4.5 star property located on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua and set in park surroundings. Just minutes from the city centre, cafes and restaurants plus the numerous tourist attractions including water activities on the lake, a golf course, museum, and thermal reserves.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Novotel Lakeside Rotorua

Day 14: Spend a day sightseeing in Rotorua

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 14

Sightseeing day in Rotorua

Start your day with a walk through the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, famous for its geysers, boiling mud pools and steaming craters. Next, a scenic jet boat ride will take you along the mighty Waikato River to a magnificent thermal reserve featuring silica terraces. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon to explore Rotorua further on your own. Your Coach Captain can assist with any optional activities you would like to do. For dinner tonight we highly recommend checking out Eat Streat, a collection of top-notch restaurants and bars with an all-weather alfresco dining area.

Your Accommodation: Novotel Lakeside Rotorua

Novotel Lakeside Rotorua is a 4.5 star property located on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua and set in park surroundings. Just minutes from the city centre, cafes and restaurants plus the numerous tourist attractions including water activities on the lake, a golf course, museum, and thermal reserves.

Meals included: Breakfast

Novotel Lakeside Rotorua

Day 15: Moving further north, hit the beach in Pauanui

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 15

Rotorua to Pauanui

We travel north through the Bay of Plenty region, stopping by the popular beach town of Mt Maunganui on our way to the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel Peninsula is a beautiful, rugged area fringed with dozens of excellent beaches and is a place where many kiwis choose to escape the hustle and hype of city life. Our overnight stay is in Pauanui, a favourite New Zealand holiday resort nestled in the native bush and just a stone’s throw from a pristine white sand beach.

Your Accommodation: Puka Park Resort

Puka Park Resort is situated on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula. Nestled amongst 25 acres of New Zealand's most beautiful native bush this prestigious hideaway offers luxury and seclusion at its best.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Puka Park Resort

Day 16: Reach your final destination today, Auckland city

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 16

Pauanui to Auckland

After a leisurely breakfast, we travel to Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’ and enjoy a city tour on arrival. You have ample time to explore the downtown area on your own this afternoon, and your Coach Captain can recommend activity options. This evening, join your friends for a farewell dinner and drinks and relive the highlights and experiences of your journey.

Your Accommodation: Rydges Hotel, Auckland

Nestled in the heart of Auckland's CBD, Rydges Auckland offers an ideal location. The hotel is a short stroll from business and retail districts, the Casino, the America's Cup Viaduct Village and superb waterfront restaurants.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Rydges Hotel, Auckland

Day 17: Say goodbye to new freinds and a wonderful holiday

Kirra Tours Classic 17 Day New Zealand Explorer 2020/21 - Day 17

Depart Auckland

Sadly, your holiday ends after breakfast this morning. You are bid you farewell and it is hoped you leave with many happy memories of your stay. If you're not departing the city perhaps take time to explore. Enjoy lunch at a superb vineyard, stroll around the trendy suburbs of Parnell and Ponsonby or sail around the Waitemata Harbour aboard a genuine America's Cup racing yacht.

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