American breakfast (B) daily; Local Host service in Auckland; driving directions; map; sightseeing as outlined in the day-by-day itinerary (inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE).
Day #1 Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand. Welcome to New Zealand! Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in. Meet your Local Host this afternoon and pick up your rental car.
Day #2 Auckland–Waitomo–Rotorua. Travel south through the rich pastoral province of Waikato to Waitomo. Here, enjoy a guided tour of the famous GLOWWORM GROTTO, featuring a fascinating underground boat ride. Continue on to Rotorua via Lake Karapiro. (B)
Day #3 Rotorua. Today, visit the AGRODOME for a hands-on experience focusing on New Zealand’s farming history. Next, visit RAINBOW SPRINGS, a unique showcase of New Zealand’s flora and fauna. Finally, on to TE PUIA to view Maori carvings and weaving demonstrations, and to walk through the thermal reserve to see boiling mud pools and shooting geysers. The afternoon is at leisure. (B)
Day #4 Rotorua–Lake Taupo–Napier. Depart Rotorua and head to Napier via Lake Taupo. (B)
Day #5 Napier–Wellington. Drive south today to Wellington, capital of New Zealand. (B)
Day #6 Wellington–Nelson. Today, board your FERRY and cruise through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Continue on to Nelson. (B) NOTE: You will drop off your rental car at the ferry terminal in Wellington and pick up a new car at the ferry terminal in Picton.
Day #7 Nelson–Greymouth. Travel to the West Coast of the South Island. The drive between Westport and Greymouth is stunning. (B)
Day #8 Greymouth–Franz Josef. Today, travel to Franz Josef and explore the glacier. (B)
Day #9 Franz Josef–Queenstown. Today, travel south along the rugged west coast and via Haast Pass to Queenstown. (B)
Day #10 Queenstown. Milford Sound Excursion. Travel by motorcoach along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau, gateway to FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK. View the Mirror Lakes as you pass through Eglinton Valley. From the Homer Tunnel, emerge into Cleddau Valley. Join your Milford Sound CRUISE for an unforgettable experience. (B)
Day #11 Queenstown. Enjoy a full day at leisure in the “Adventure Capital of the World.” (B)
Day #12 Queenstown–Mount Cook Region. Today, head north to stunning Mount Cook. (B)
Day #13 Mount Cook Region–Christchurch Area. Depart this alpine wonderland and drive north across the Canterbury plains to Ashburton. The stunning, turquoise-blue water of Lake Tekapo surrounded by the Southern Alps makes a great photo stop. (B)
Day #14 Christchurch Area. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. Return your rental car at the Christchurch airport prior to departure. (B)