Sample Itinerary Two

14 days from Auckland -Queensland

You will enjoy world-class food and wine as well landscapes that promise to take your breath away. Along the way, friendly locals and easy transport options make this a holiday to remember. One of the best things about this itinerary is that you don't need a car to get around. Domestic flights, regular coaches, ferries and trains means that somebody else takes care of the driving and transport, so you can focus on enjoying every minute of their time in New Zealand.

Day 1: Auckland

Arrive in Auckland. Taxis and shuttles are plentiful at both the domestic and international terminals. There is a public bus (Airbus) that runs regularly between Auckland Airport terminals and the city centre.

Once settled into the city accommodation, you can choose to rest and relax or explore the inner city and beyond. An energetic and colourful city surrounded by harbours and beaches, Auckland is great to experience on foot. Stroll the Viaduct Harbour, enjoy a café lunch in the hip Britomart precinct or choose to take an organised tour. Plenty of taxis and great public transport makes getting around the city simple.

Recommended activities

  • Take a short 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckand to Waiheke Island. Here your clients will discover a relaxing haven of wineries, white sand beaches and art galleries

  • Visit the Auckland Sky Tower for spectacular views over the city and beyond.

  • the Sky Jump or Sky Walk, both activities are located at the Sky Tower

Day 2: Auckland - Rotorua

In the morning, journey from Auckland to Rotorua via domestic flight, coach or one-way private transfer. Air New Zealand operates domestic flights between Auckland and Rotorua, and Naked Bus or InterCity are both coach companies that offer this route.

Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland in the central North Island that’s also home to rich Māori culture and heritage.

Recommended activities

  • Discover Māori culture and history at Rotorua Museum

  • Visit the Polynesian Spa for a relaxing soak in heated mineral water

Day 3: Rotorua

Rotorua offers a multitude of experiences, all located amongst beautiful lakes, native forests and pristine rivers. Known for its bubbling mud pools and shooting geysers, don't miss a visit to one of the many geothermal parks to see these impressive natural elements up close.

Rotorua is a fantastic place to experience the best of New Zealand’s embracing Māori culture. There are many guided tours on offer, ranging from boat cruises on the lake to guided walks and sightseeing. Tours are great because transport and food are often included in the price.

Recommended activities

  • Enjoy an informative city and lake tour on the Rotorua Duck

  • Visit a geothermal park to see bubbling mud, steaming cliffs and impressive geysers

  • Enjoy a night time cultural experience with delicious Māori food (hangi), singing, dancing and haka

Day 4 : Rotorua

Spend another day exploring Rotorua city and experiencing the many attractions and activities on offer.

Recommended activities

  • Enjoy a farm show and farm tour to explore a working farm and hand-feed friendly animals

  • Take a guided tour through native forest on a zipline canopy tour

  • Enjoy world-class mountain biking in Whakarewarewa Forest and Skyline Rotorua MTB Gravity Park

Day 5: Rotorua - Wellington

Today you will venture further south to Wellington, the capital city. Options for transport include a domestic flight with Air New Zealand (1 hour 10 minutes), travelling by coach with InterCity or NakedBus or one-way private transfer.

Wellington is home to a world-class restaurant scene – head to Courtenay Place or Cuba Street for dining options that promise to delight.

Wellington has a good network of public buses and trains, although the inner city is compact making it easy to explore on foot.

Recommended activities

  • Visit the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, guided tours are available

Day 6: Wellington

Spend the day exploring Wellington.

Recently named ‘Coolest Little Capital in the World’ by Lonely Planet, Wellington is a funky, fascinating place to explore. Begin the morning with a delicious coffee and breakfast at one of Cuba Street’s many cafés – Wellington has more restaurants and cafes per capita than New York!

Visit Oriental Bay, an inner city, golden-sand beach, or ride the cable car up to Kelburn for panoramic views over the harbour.

For fans of The Lord of the Rings, the Weta Cave Workshop Tour is not to be missed. End the day with drinks and dinner within the bustling city centre.

Recommended activities

  • Walk or take a short bus ride to Oriental Bay. Visitors who are feeling adventurous can climb up to Mount Victoria lookout for spectacular views across the city and harbour

  • Ride the cable car from Lambton Quay to the suburb of Kelburn. Stroll around the Wellington Botanic Gardens or visit Carter Observatory

  • For Middle-earth fans the Weta Cave Workshop Tour is not to be missed. Transfers from central Wellington are available on the ‘There and Back Again’ guided tour

Day 7: Wellington - Blenheim

Early in the morning, you will travel from the North Island to the South Island on a ferry journey that will most certainly take their breath away. Two companies, the Interislander and Bluebridge, offer regular scheduled ferry crossings. Travelling the Cook Strait on this three-hour trip, prepare to experience the breath-taking beauty of the Marlborough Sounds – a network of sunken, emerald-green river valleys. Dolphin, whale and fur seal sightings are common.

Arriving in Picton, take a short taxi or InterCity bus for the 20 minute journey to Blenheim – a town known for delicious wine, food and high sunshine hours.

There are also domestic flight options, from Wellington to Blenheim, with Air New Zealand and Sounds Air.

Recommended activities

  • Visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre to learn about aviation history and view Sir Peter Jackson’s impressive collection of WW1 aircraft and artefacts

Day 8 - Blenheim

If you love Sauvignon Blanc and wine tasting then you’ve come to the perfect place. Blenheim and Marlborough produce superstar Sauvignon Blanc, and the perfect way to experience it is with a wine tour. Or, get a bird’s eye view of the region and take a scenic flight over the Marlborough Sounds.

Taxis, bike hire and public transport make it easy to get around Blenheim.

Day 9: Blenheim - Christchurch

Today you will journey further south to Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city. Transport options include coach - both InterCity and Naked Bus cover this route - and private transfer, as well as the Coastal Pacific Train. Running between September and May, this very scenic train journey hugs the Pacific Coast of the upper South Island and features stunning views out to the Pacific Ocean.

Depending on what time you arrive, spend the afternoon exploring Christchurch’s charming heritage building, famous Botanic Gardens or funky pop-up bars and restaurants.

Recommended activities

  • Enjoy a stroll through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens – beautiful to visit in any season

  • Learn the history of Christchurch and Canterbury at the Canterbury Museum, only a short stroll from the botanic gardens

Day 10: Christchurch

Today offers the opportunity to either stay and explore Christchurch City or take a day trip to a surrounding area.

The TranzAlpine is a world-famous train journey that showcases Arthur’s Pass and the Southern Alps, and offers an unforgettable experience for the day. Or, choose take a tour to visit the charming French-colonial town of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula to soak up heritage, wildlife and delicious French food.

Taxis and public transport make it easy to get around in Christchurch city - use the Metro website to plan public transport timings and routes.

Recommended activities

  • Take an inner city bicycle tour to learn about Christchurch’s history

  • Catch a public bus to visit pretty Sumner Beach. Inhale the salt air on a stroll along the Esplanade or beach, climb Cave Rock and enjoy a meal at one of the delicious restaurants and cafés

  • Take a small group tour to the charming seaside town of Akaroa. Stroll the French named streets, browse the boutique shops, dine at one of the many eateries or swim with Hector’s dolphins
  • Enjoy 360 degree views of Christchurch cityscape, the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps and Banks Peninsula with a ride on the Christchurch Gondola. The Gondola Shuttle operates scheduled transfers from outside the Canterbury Museum

  • Climb aboard the TranzAlpine train for a breathtaking journey to the South Island’s West Coast. Spectacular views are guaranteed anytime of the year. Allow approximately 10 hours for the return trip

Day 11: Christchurch - Queenstown

Making your way to Queenstown, a famous alpine town nestled between Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range.

Options for transport include a domestic flight (Air New Zealand and Jetstar fly this route, flight time approximately 50 minutes), coach with InterCity or Naked Bus, or private transfer.

Spend the afternoon strolling by the lake, take the gondola up to Bob’s Peak for panoramic views or enjoy the boutique shops and cafés. Queenstown is a relatively small town so walking is a great way to get around, but there are also taxis available.

Recommended activities

  • Take the gondola up to Bob’s Peak for dinner accompanied by panoramic views of the city lights and beyond

Day 12: Queenstown

Spend the day exploring the Queenstown region.

There’s something for everyone in the Queenstown region. Those after an adrenaline rush can enjoy the many adventure activities on offer – bungy jumping, rafting, jet boating and skydiving remain firm favourites. If your looking for something more mellow, consider a day walk on one of the many scenic hiking trails, trout fishing, wine tasting or day tour.

Fans of The Lord of the Rings should explore the many local filming locations from the movies with a guided tour.

Many activities and attractions offer transfer options to and from accommodation, to make transport easier.

Recommended activities

  • Enjoy a cruise on Lake Wakatipu to a working high country station

  • Try adventure activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving or white water rafting
  • Visit local wineries and cellar doors on a guided tour. Sample Central Otago’s finest wines, including world-renowned Pinot Noir

  • Experience a world famous jet boat experience

Day 13: Queenstown or Milford Sound day trip

Today continue to explore Queenstown itself or choose to visit Milford Sound for the day.

A dramatic fiord, Milford Sound was labelled by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth natural wonder of the world’. Sheer granite cliffs rise out of inky blue waters while waterfalls cascade down from high above. Day tour options can include coach, boat cruise and scenic flight – consider the best option for your clients depending on time and budget.

Recommended activities

  • Queenstown: Explore the region’s beautiful scenery by bike on one of the many cycle trails. Electric Mountain Bikes are also available for hire

  • Queenstown: Be pamper at one of Queenstown’s luxurious day spas or therapeutic hot pool
  • Queenstown: If visiting between June-October your clients might like to experience one of the region’s four ski fields

  • Queenstown: Enjoy a round of golf at one of Queenstown’s stunning golf courses

  • Milford Sound: Join a full day tour to spectacular Milford Sound

Day 14: Queenstown

This is the final day of the itinerary.

Queenstown services domestic flights (to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) and international flights to east coast cities of Australia. Depending on the flight time, you may have time to enjoy brunch and a little last minute shopping in Queenstown’s town centre.

"Adventure is out there!" -Ellie and Carl