Board your flight to Auckland, one of the biggest and most exciting cities in New Zealand.
Enjoy the day learning about indigenous Maori culture as you discover Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and Te Wao Nui o Tiriwa (Waitakere Ranges) on Auckland's West Coast. View several ancient volcanoes and marvel at the architecture of the Auckland Museum, one of New Zealand's most beautiful buildings. Explore the boutique suburb of Parnell, restored in the old colonial style with many beautiful mansions and along Tamaki Drive, one of the world's most beautiful city drives. See several stunning beaches along Auckland's shoreline including Mission Bay, arguably Auckland's most well-known beach.
It’s time to hit the road, with stop-offs at the most scenic spots. New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most spectacular topographies, and the journey to Rotorua is particularly impressive. You also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in fantasy with a tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set here.
Fly to Blenheim on New Zealand’s South Island, known for its warm summers, rich history and natural beauty. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. The Bell Tower at Dog Point sits in the heart of the country’s wine region, where it overlooks the Wairau Plain.
Set out on a tour of Marlborough’s wine regions, stopping for delicious eating experiences on the way. You’ll learn about the history and culture of wine here as you speak to experts in the field. You’ll also gain full insider access to some astonishing estates from Wither Hills to Cloudy Bay.
Pass through mountain passes and over stunning plains as you head south to the east-coast city of Christchurch. In this region you’ll find the Banks Peninsula, a rugged, volcanic protrusion riddled with quiet bays and ancient lava flows.
Tickets please: you are about to travel on the TranzAlpine, one of the planet’s greatest train trips. Running from Christchurch to Greymouth, and slicing through the Southern Alps, this is a train journey you will never fall asleep on, surrounded as you are by surreal surroundings. After your train ride take a few breaths, because the excitement is far from over. You’ll drive to Franz Josef to explore the glacier.
It’s 200 miles from Franz Josef to Queenstown but you’ll barely notice the distance, distracted by the wild west coast and the myriad of lakes, white rivers, alpine passes and curious kea (alpine parrots) that you’ll encounter. You’ll nonetheless deserve a well-earned rest when you reach the Azur Lodge in Queenstown. On a hilltop, set against some of New Zealand’s most emotive scenery, you’ll stay in one of nine private contemporary villas, making the most of the memorable view and the fantastic facilities.
Depart on your Drive-Cruise-Fly tour of Milford Sound. Travel by luxury coach by the shores of Lake Wakatipu and along the spectacular alpine Milford Road, with photography stops en route. On reaching Milford Sound, cruise the fiord onboard a modern vessel, looking out for seals, dolphins and penguins. After lunch, the final stage of the tour entails a scenic return flight to Queenstown. You’ll experience 35 minutes of snow-capped mountains, dramatic waterfalls and expansive views over Lake Wakatipu.
Enjoy your final day in New Zealand at your leisure. You may like to relax and explore the city, or you can find out why Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. Those with a room for a little more excitement can take part in bungy-jumping, jetboating, zip lining, skydiving, white-water rafting and many other activities – there really is no shortage of things to do.
While these two weeks may have passed in a flash of fun and adventure, you’ll have so many memories. Take home with you the wonderful scenes of icy glaciers, snowy peaks and jet-boat adventures, as well as new-found understanding of Maori culture.