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14 Day Wonders of New Zealand - Wednesday Departure

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Countries Visited

New Zealand

DAY 1, Wednesday - Depart for New Zealand
Depart for New Zealand

DAY 2, Thursday - En Route
Cross the International date line en route to New Zealand and skip a day ahead

DAY 3, Friday - Arrive in Auckland
Welcome to New Zealand! Arrive in Auckland, the country's largest city, often called the "City of Sails" because of its lovely harborside location, and transfer to your hotel. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 6 PM, followed by dinner. We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 3 PM
Overnight: Auckland
Meals: Dinner

DAY 4, Saturday - Waitomo Caves, Rotorua
From Auckland, travel south through the fertile Waikato Plains to Waitomo. A unique experience is in store for you at the astonishing Waitomo Caves, home to swirling rivers, glow worms and rocks that flow into delicate shawl-like formations. After lunch, drive to Rotorua and check in to your hotel. Tonight, savor a home-hosted dinner with a local family and experience a unique opportunity to learn about their values and traditions
Overnight: Rotorua
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Sunday - Te Puia Thermal Reserve, Haka Ceremony & Dinner
Morning is at leisure for independent explorations in Rotorua, or join the optional Hobbiton tour. Travel through the spectacular North Island scenery to Matamata, home to the Hobbiton movie set. Take a guided tour around the set and view Hobbit holes, the Party Tree, the Mill, and the Green Dragon Inn. In the afternoon, journey to Te Puia, in Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, set amidst a landscape of erupting geothermal activity and thermal springs. Discover the unique lifestyle and traditions of the Maori and witness the phenomena of Mother Nature and how the Maori people live in harmony within this unique landscape and environment. You'll meet with a member of the local Maori tribe who shares the many aspects of traditional wood carving and its importance within the Maori culture. In the village observe the weaving demonstrations and traditional ways of creating piupiu (grass skirts). You'll visit the kiwi house to view the nocturnal kiwi bird before continuing to the boiling mud pools and geysers. Then, attend a traditional Haka ceremony and Maori concert. Afterward, have dinner that is partly hangi style, cooked in the steaming ground and hot pools, ending with the most a delectable steamed dessert
Optional: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour (AM)
Overnight: Rotorua
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6, Monday - Walking Tour of Napier
Journey through breathtaking scenery to the coastal city of Napier. Begin the drive heading south through rolling sheep-dotted hills and farmland. Marvel at picture-perfect views of Lake Taupo before continuing southeast along the Thermal Explorer Highway. The road leads into dramatic tree-covered mountains, rugged hills and at times alongside rushing rivers. On the descent through farmland and orchards, get your first glimpse of beautiful Hawkes Bay before arriving at Napier. Embark on a walking tour of the city which is famous for its Art Deco architecture, Wine, and now Craft Beer Industry. Begin at the city center and view the Art Deco Masonic Hotel, and Napier Municipal Theater continue to Tennyson St and then Marine Parade, a waterfront promenade, lined with palm trees, gardens, and historic buildings. Tonight, taste some of the finest wines of the area and savor a delectable dinner
Overnight: Napier
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Tuesday - Pukaha Mount Bruce National Reserve, Wellington
After breakfast this morning, depart Napier and drive through Wairarapa district to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, located at the southern end of the North Island. Along the way, stop for tea and continue to Pukaha Mount Bruce National Reserve, housing rare birds in an area of protected forest. After an introduction, take a self-guided walk in the forest and gain knowledge about New Zealand's unique flora and fauna. Learn about the reserve's work to restore the forest and bring endangered birds back into the countryside. After your visit, drive to Wellington. Arrive and check in to your hotel. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant
Overnight: Wellington
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8, Wednesday - Te Papa Museum, Maori Experience Kinaki Tour
This morning, walk to Te Papa Museum, New Zealand's national museum. Upon arrival, embark on a Maori Experience Kinaki tour. Step into the world of the indigenous Maori people, as your knowledge guide leads you through an immersive exploration of their traditions, customs, and culinary heritage. Afterward, have lunch at a local restaurant. Spend the afternoon at leisure for independent explorations in Wellington, including a ticket to ride on the historic Wellington cable car, providing panoramic views over the city
Overnight: Wellington
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, Thursday - Flight to Christchurch and Walking Tour
Transfer to the airport this morning, for your flight to Christchurch, in the South Island. The city, is the second largest in New Zealand. Often referred to as the most English of New Zealand's cities, it is also known as the "Garden City", because of its majestic trees and extensive parks and gardens, including expansive Hagley Park in the heart of the city. Arrive in Christchurch and transfer to the hotel. Afterward, take an orientation walking tour of the city. Balance of the day is at leisure for independent explorations
Overnight: Christchurch
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10, Friday - TranzAlpine Scenic Train Ride, Franz Josef Glacier
This morning, board the most scenic train ride in New Zealand, and one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world. Traveling west crossing the farmland of the Canterbury Plains, ascend through striking gorges and river valleys towards the Southern Alps. Arrive at the village of Arthur's Pass and drive to Franz Josef. View Franz Josef Glacier and learn more about glaciology, mountaineering, local history, Maori legends, conservation, and biodiversity of the area. Then, check in to your hotel overlooking some of New Zealand's tallest peaks. Dinner is at the hotel tonight
Overnight: Franz Josef
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11, Saturday - Kiwi Hatchery, Queenstown
Visit a kiwi hatching facility, home to a hatching program of the world's rarest kiwi, the rowi. Learn more about this rare flightless bird from an expert ranger. Later, drive to Queenstown, named for Queen Victoria, surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown's stunning scenery is inspiring and revitalizing. The city is acclaimed by international travelers and "kiwis" alike as New Zealand's adventure capital. Check in to your hotel before dinner tonight
Overnight: Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Sunday - Milford Sound
Depart Queenstown for picturesque Milford Sound. Follow the glacier-hewn Eglinton River Valley into a magnificent beech forest before descending into the precipitous Hollyford Valley. Tussock and scrub replace the bush as the road climbs steadily up the Hollyford to the gigantic cirque where sheer rock faces dwarf the Homer Tunnel portal beneath. Beyond the tunnel, you descend into the Cleddau Canyon, between towering, rugged mountains and forests, until the road comes out into the open at spectacular Milford Sound. Board your cruise on Milford Sound and be surrounded by astonishing scenery from atop the viewing decks. Take in the views while savoring lunch on board. An informative commentary on the natural history and wildlife follows you as you stop at waterfalls and points of interest along the way. The balance of the day is at leisure to discover picturesque Queenstown on your own
Overnight: Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13, Monday - Walter Peak Farm Tour
Embark on a scenic cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard a vintage steamship the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Admire the beautiful scenery and views of the Remarkables mountain range. Upon arrival, take a walking tour of the farm and lean about New Zealand's farming lifestyle. Watch sheepdogs in action, as they demonstrate their remarkable skills rounding up sheep and later, visit the holding pens. Stroll through the lakeside gardens before cruising back to Queenstown. Afterward, head back to Queenstown. Tonight, share wonderful memories together on your last night in New Zealand. Bid goodbye to your Tour Manager at dinner
Overnight: Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14, Tuesday - Depart New Zealand
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Inclusions

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights Los Angeles-Auckland, Queenstown-Los Angeles
    Other departure cities available.
  • Intra-flight: Wellington-Christchurch
  • 11 nights First Class accommodations
  • 1 night Auckland
  • 2 nights Rotorua
  • 1 night Napier*
  • 2 nights Wellington
  • 1 night Christchurch
  • 1 night Franz Josef
  • 3 nights Queenstown
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • Train: Christchurch-Arthur's Pass**
  • 22 meals: 11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners (including a home-hosted dinner)
  • Beer and wine included with all dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features

  • *Some departures stay 3 nights in Rotorua and have alternative sightseeing on Days 6 and 7. Please review your departure for applicable city stay
    **Some departures will travel from Arthur's Pass-Greymouth 

    Tour Highlights

    Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Descend into the astonishing Waitomo Caves with its swirling rivers and glow worms
  • Visit Te Puia in Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, and admire its steaming geysers
  • Tour Pukaha Mount Bruce National Reserve to learn about New Zealand's unique flora and fauna
  • Discover delightful Christchurch, the "most-English" city in the country
  • Take in the stunning landscape of the South Island aboard the TranzAlpine train
  • Experience the dynamic environment at the Franz Josef Glacier
  • Explore the dazzling city of Queenstown, the country's adventure capital
  • Cruise on spectacular Milford Sound, surrounded by breathtaking scenery
  • †Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

    Not Included:
    Optional tours and gratuities.


    Additional Information:
    Land only price does not include arrival/departures transfers, but does include flight Wellington-Christchurch.

    Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 5 PM. We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 3 PM.

    Health and Safety Protocols for Discovery By Gate1 Tours

    At Gate 1 we take your safety and security very seriously. We have a strong network of tour managers, local offices, ground operators and colleagues which help us stay informed in all the destinations that we operate. We closely monitor local situations which enable us to make the operational decisions necessary to keep our tours running safely. Millions of people travel the world each year and experience enjoyable and safe trips but crimes against people and property are sadly a fact of life. It is very important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Please remember that you have the same responsibility for your personal safety and possessions as you do at home. It is essential to prepare for a safe and healthy travel abroad. Therefore before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the US Department of State at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html for up-to-date travel advice on the countries that you are visiting. The website provides useful information on subjects such as safety and security information, health precautions and medications, health insurance and additional tips for traveling abroad. If you do not reside in the United States, we recommend you check your government's travel advisory website for any country you will be visiting. We recommend that you review the safety guidance that may be provided by us, our agents or suppliers, either before you go or when you arrive in your destination. You can also find helpful tips on our website in the "Trip Preparation" tab of each of our tour packages. We do know that in-spite of careful planning, things can sometimes still go wrong, so rest assured, we will be there to help and support you.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Accommodations

    Rydges Auckland
    This first class hotel is centrally located in Auckland.

    Distinction Rotorua Hotel & Conference Centre
    This first class hotel is located in Rotorua, near the Whakarewarewa Forest.

    Millennium Hotel Rotorua
    This first class hotel is located in the city of Rotorua, nearby the Polynesian Spa.

    Millennium Hotel Rotorua
    This first class hotel is located in the city of Rotorua, nearby the Polynesian Spa.

    Scenic Hotel Te Pania
    This first class hotel overlooks Hawke's Bay.

    Scenic Hotel Te Pania
    This first class hotel overlooks Hawke's Bay.

    Scenic Hotel Te Pania
    This first class hotel overlooks Hawke's Bay.

    Scenic Hotel Te Pania
    This first class hotel overlooks Hawke's Bay.

    The Crown Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in Ahuriri, a suburb of Napier.

    The Crown Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in Ahuriri, a suburb of Napier.

    The Crown Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in Ahuriri, a suburb of Napier.

    Movenpick Hotel Wellington
    This first class hotel overlooks Wellington's Cuban Quarter.

    Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
    This first class hotel is situated in the city center of Christchurch nearby Cathedral Square.

    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
    This superior tourist class hotel is situated in Franz Josef Village.

    Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront
    The hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Lake Wakatipu.

    Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront
    The hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Lake Wakatipu.

    Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront
    The hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Lake Wakatipu.

    Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront
    The hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Lake Wakatipu.

    Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront
    The hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Lake Wakatipu.

    Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront
    The hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Lake Wakatipu.

    Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront
    The hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Lake Wakatipu.

    Scenic Suites Queenstown Hotel
    This first class hotel offers spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.

    Scenic Suites Queenstown Hotel
    This first class hotel offers spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.

    Scenic Suites Queenstown Hotel
    This first class hotel offers spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.

    Scenic Suites Queenstown Hotel
    This first class hotel offers spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.

    Scenic Suites Queenstown Hotel
    This first class hotel offers spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.

    Scenic Suites Queenstown Hotel
    This first class hotel offers spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.

    Scenic Suites Queenstown Hotel
    This first class hotel offers spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.

    Scenic Suites Queenstown Hotel
    This first class hotel offers spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Questions & Answers

    Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

    Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

    Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

    Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

    Discovery By Gate1 Tours Customer Reviews

    Overall Rating
    4.3
    Accommodations
    4.1
    Itinerary
    4.4
    Professional Staff
    4.6
    Repeat with Operator
    4.3
    Value for Money
    4.2

    Ratings based off 427 reviews about Discovery By Gate1 Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

    This was an amazing trip. It exceeded my expectations. I loved it. My tour guide did an excellent job. She made sure to assist us even late in the evening with tickets as we are still in Japan and not leaving until two after the tour. She surprised us with unexpected, unplanned experiences for all to enjoy. I loved her. We really had so much fun even though there older tourists with different personalities she went beyond the call of duty to understand and have patience with them. I will definitely book a future tour with Gate1.

    Superb experience and guides were great.

    The trip to Jordan was fabulous. The accommodations were lovely. Our guide was excellent. His knowledge was superb. He had good humor & was kind & patient. I have been on every continent & have traveled with different companies. This is in my top 3 trips of all the places I have been. I loved this country. The people & sites were wonderful. Please let Gate 1 know this guide deserves recognition. He was the best.

    This was a fantastic trip with varied activities and a superb tour guide.

    Exalent trip we are so pleased with the service we will call you to plan the next trip

    The Gate1 tour guide/managers were very knowledgeable, courteous, professional and entertaining.

    Gate 1's tour operators are very good. It is organized and follows the published itinerary. The hotels are nice and as described.

    Trip was great experience. Enjoyed the itinerary and tour manager.

    Great experience. Our personal guide very experienced and personal. First class hotels and great excursions.

    Our accommodations were excellent. The tour was fabulous. The logistics for booking and traveling were clear and easy.

    Everyone from our agent (Trena) to our our guide (Fred) were awesome. Would highly recommend gate 1 to any and all. Went above and beyond our expectations..JOB WELL DONE!!! Thanks for a great vacation..

    This was a great tour. All the places we visited were worth seeing, and the combination of activities was very good.

    The rooms, the meals, the bus, and the tour guide were superior. The tour was more than expected. All our questions and needs were met. The whole operation was well managed and smooth.

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