Enchanting New Zealand
13 days starting in Auckland
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

Enchanting New Zealand

Dive into the heart of New Zealand's wonders on this 13-day itinerary, where every day celebrates and explores this captivating country. This exceptional adventure caters to every preference, from rich culture to the awe-inspiring beauty of New Zealand landscapes. With a diverse range of activities, there's something for everyone. From the City of Sails, Auckland, in the North, through Middle Earth at Hobbiton and the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, to the Capital City of Wellington and the magical Weta Workshop. Next up is the South Island's largest city, Christchurch where you'll catch the famous TranzAlpine Scenic Train across the country to the West Coast and Greymouth, to the wild west coast and Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. After, head to the Adventure Capital of the world, Queenstown, and enjoy a full-day experience in the stunning Milford Sound, before carrying on to Dunedin, and eventually back to Christchurch, where your journey draws to an end. Are you ready for this extraordinary adventure?

Tour summary and feature

About this NZ Road Trip

Seat-in-Coach Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$6,860 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

13 days/12 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 6 times in the last 7 days

Also included in this package
- Private transfer Wellington Hotel to Airport (IST)
- Private transfer Wellington train station to hotel (IST)
- Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot - Private Transfer
- Private transfer Christchurch International Airport to your accommodation
- Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport
- Dunedin Accommodation to Coach Stop Transfer with Iconic
12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner, 1 special dinner
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Tour full itinerary
Detailed itinerary for this New Zealand Road Trip
Enchanting New Zealand - Day 1
Auckland to Rotorua and Waitomo Caves with FlexiTours

Travel from Auckland and visit Waitomo Caves where you will travel on a boat to a glow worm grotto on the way to Rotorua. This tour covers some of the most iconic destinations in the North Island. You will visit Rotorua which is famous both for its thermal activity and its rich Maori Heritage. In addition, you will enjoy a guided tour of the world renowned Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Your tour will finish in Rotorua.

Te Pā Tū Evening Maori Cultural Experience

New Zealand’s Most Awarded Cultural Attraction, presenting Te Pā Tū. Feast on song, drama, tradition, and divine seasonal kai (cuisine) within the forest Pā (village) blanketed by towering Tawa trees, blazing bonfires, and a forest-formed amphitheatre. Te Pā Tū shares Māori history, traditions, and cultural aspirations across 4-hours of celebration and feasting. These events change with each season of the maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Millennium Hotel is Rotorua's largest 4-star deluxe hotel. Perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.
Meals included: Speciality Dinner

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 2
Hobbiton Day Tour from Rotorua with Gray Line / GreatSights - Lunch Included

Take a journey from Rotorua to famous Hobbiton Movie Set, located inside a picturesque 1,250 acre sheep and beef farm near Matamata. Here, take a guided tour of the village of Hobbiton, which was carefully created in amazing detail as a film location for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies. During your guided tour of this amazing location you’ll see sights like Hobbit holes, the Mill and the Green Dragon Inn, and learn how farmland was transformed into a living, breathing piece of Middle-earth. After exploring Hobbiton, enjoy a tasty lunch in the Party Marquee and then return back to Rotorua.

Explore more of Rotorua and surrounds

With so much to do in Rotorua, you really need this second day to fit in all the sights and activities on offer. If you missed out on an encounter with New Zealand’s unique Maori culture, be sure to add this into today’s itinerary. Staring down the challenge of a Maori warrior’s haka is spine tingling and the soulful melodies of ancient Maori waiata are mesmerising. If you’re after adrenalin rushes, then consider one of the many thrills on offer, from white water rafting to luging to zorbing, there’s something to exhilarate young and old alike. The Rotorua Lakes are worth exploring if you have the time and are a must if you want to try your hand at fly fishing. Rotorua is surrounded by sixteen lakes and eleven of these can be fished. The major fishing lakes are Rotorua, Rotoiti, Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoma. Lake Okataina also has the attraction of sandy shores and clear water making it a great picnic and swimming spot. If all of this just sounds like hard work you can always spend the day soaking in one of the many geothermal pools that are scattered across the city. 

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Millennium Hotel is Rotorua's largest 4-star deluxe hotel. Perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 3
Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Rotorua Intercity Coach Depot.

Rotorua to Wellington by InterCity Coach

Your coach journey from Rotorua to Wellington takes you via the township of Taupō and New Zealand's largest lake. The lake itself is actually a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the worlds largest ever eruptions. Skirting Tongariro National Park, one of New Zealand's three world heritage sites and clouds permitting you can see the 2,500 metre peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Heading south you pass through the rural towns of Taihape, Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the Kapiti Coast, with its coastal seaside towns of Paraparaumu, Paekakariki and Plimmerton. The Kapiti Coast leads into Wellington, New Zealand's capital. Wellington sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre), so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and explore New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, which is also close by.

Private transfer Wellington train station to hotel

You will be met on arrival into Wellington train station and transferred to your hotel.

Your accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

The Bolton Hotel offers contemporary apartment-style accommodation in the heart of Wellington. Just steps from the Parliament buildings and central business district, Bolton Hotel is conveniently close to the best of the city's shops, cafes and restaurants and is within walking distance of Wellington's vibrant waterfront.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 4
Wētā Workshop Experience + Guided Transfers

Get the full experience to Wētā Workshop and back with a guided transfer. Also, bag some other cool perks that will make your experience extra special. Learn about the real props, costumes and creatures created for your favourite films. Interact with cool stuff from the Weta workshop creative departments and catch an artist at work on the tour stage. Discover the filmmaking technique of miniature effects and learn how they are built for hit TV and film productions. Get up close to the props, weapons and costumes created for The Lord of the Rings, Power Rangers, The Great Wall, Avatar, District 9, and more.

Wellington City

Wellington home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini Melbourne', this (self-described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food, and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner-city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.
Head to Te Papa Museum for a history lesson and a ticket to one of its many international exhibitions or jump aboard the Wellington Cable Car at Lambton Quay - the only running funicular railway in the country. For those with an eye for boutique, fashion wander through Cuba St to sample some of the city's best vintage stores. Break for coffee at a hipster cafe and be sure to snap a pic outside the ‘Beehive,’ New Zealand’s parliamentary debate chamber.
Go behind the scenes at Weta Workshop Experience, the Oscar Award Winning design studio behind Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, and Avatar. If you're a foodie at heart, a two-hour round trip to Martinborough is a must-do. Take your time as you wind through spectacular wine country, and be sure to stop in at Martinborough Wines or Ata Rangi Martinborough. For an educational day out, learn about New Zealand's native species at Zealandia, the world's first fully-fenced eco-sanctuary and home to over 40 types of endangered and native birds.

Your accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

The Bolton Hotel offers contemporary apartment-style accommodation in the heart of Wellington. Just steps from the Parliament buildings and central business district, Bolton Hotel is conveniently close to the best of the city's shops, cafes and restaurants and is within walking distance of Wellington's vibrant waterfront.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 5
Private transfer Wellington Hotel to Airport (IST)

You will be collected from your Wellington hotel and transferred to the airport.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Air New Zealand flight Wellington to Christchurch

Fly from Wellington Airport to Christchurch Airport.

Private transfer Christchurch International Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

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, Cashel Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 6
TranzAlpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth

Your early morning departure is rewarded with incredible scenery today onboard the TranzAlpine Scenic Train, considered one of the world's great train journeys. It travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you'll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through the lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth, a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the West Coast glaciers.

Greymouth to Fox Glacier with Glacier Shuttles

You will be met at the Greymouth Train Station by a representative from Glacier Shuttles and driven to your accommodation in Fox Glacier.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - TranzAlpine Scenic Plus Addon - KiwiRail

Feel like luxurious service, exclusive meals, inclusive drinks and priority check in and boarding? The Scenic Plus add-on option is for you. Enjoy personal service with panoramic windows, spacious carriages and comfortable seating. The exclusive open-air viewing carriage is available if you feel like capturing the ultimate photo or simply wish to experience the great outdoors whilst travelling through the Southern Alps. Your food is prepared exclusively in a kitchen carriage, with paired drinks and a paddock to plate regionally inspired food menu all your senses will be fully engaged on this journey.

Your accommodation: Distinction Fox Glacier Te Weheka Boutique Hotel

A modern, purpose built boutique Fox Glacier hotel. Distinctions Te Weheka Boutique Hotel provides a balance of luxury, privacy and location, while being only a short stroll to Fox Glacier village.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 7
Fox Glacier

The mighty Fox is the largest and longest of the magnificent West Coast glaciers. Remarkably, it ends in temperate rainforest, 250 metres above sea level only twelve kilometres from the sea.
There are more peaks at the head of the Fox Glacier than in any other valley in New Zealand.
The Fox Glacier, like all glaciers, advances and retreats. Evidence of the latest surge forward can be seen in the bulging lower ice fall. Alpine Guides has access onto the lower part of the glacier via a secret track that climbs through regenerating native forest. From the track, you will have stunning views into the upper parts of the glacier. Fox Glacier township is the more "laid back" of the twin Glacier Country townships of Fox and Franz Josef, and people often comment on having chosen Fox for its relaxed atmosphere.
An excellent selection of cafés and a wide range of accommodations are available. The township enjoys breathtaking views of New Zealand's highest peaks, Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Lake Matheson, the famous reflection lake, is a five-minute drive west of Fox Township and historic Gillespie's Beach, known for its crashing surf and distant snow-capped mountains, is only 25 minutes west by car.

 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Fox Glacier and Mt Cook Scenic Helicopter Flight with The Helicopter Line

Soar above Fox village and head to the stunning Fox Glacier. Take in the majesty of the longest West Coast Glacier before landing in the snowfield at the top for the most stunning scenery and that perfect holiday photo. Then explore the west face of Aoraki/Mt Cook before descending into the valleys and returning to Fox. The duration of this flight is 30 minutes. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line's operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Half Day Fox Glacier Eco Tour

Today, you will be collected from your accommodation and driven to the Fox Glacier car park. Then walk the 1.5 km track to the terminal face with experienced nature guides who bring the spectacular valley alive. The valley is nestled beneath New Zealand's two highest mountains, Aoraki Mt Cook at 3764m and Mt Tasman at 3500m. You are likely to meet some of the friendly local mountain parrots, Kea along the way.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Fox It Up Heli Ice Climbing Adventure with Fox Glacier Guiding

Explore the untamed natural wilderness of the Fox Glacier Valley, tracing the steps of a retreating glacier, with our Fox Glacier Valley E-Bike & Hike. Ride through ancient podocarp rainforest on E-bikes and hike a secret track. Grab stunning photos of the Fox Glacier that is sure to impress family and friends.

Your accommodation: Distinction Fox Glacier Te Weheka Boutique Hotel

A modern, purpose built boutique Fox Glacier hotel. Distinctions Te Weheka Boutique Hotel provides a balance of luxury, privacy and location, while being only a short stroll to Fox Glacier village.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 8
Fox Glacier to Queenstown with Glacier Shuttles

Set off from the small village of Fox Glacier and travel through the remote and unspoiled scenery of the West Coast. Take the scenic Haast Pass through the Southern Alps, the southernmost pass between the East and West coasts of the South Island. See the clear and pristine waters of Lake Hawea as you travel east, passing Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka as you continue through to New Zealand's 'Adventure Capital', Queenstown.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 9
Free day in Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital', Queenstown offers far more than a fast-paced, action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic, and scenic wonders. Whether you are looking for a scenic short walk or a longer one, you will find the perfect hike or bike trail in Queenstown. Explore Queenstown Gardens, or try out more challenging trails up to Ben Lomond Walkaway or Queenstown Hill Walking Track. Enjoy iconic views and take Queenstown Gondola up 450 metres to Bob's Peak, or ride on the 100-year-old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and al fresco restaurants, try out the famous Fergburger, or grab a dessert at Patagonia Chocolates.

Gondola and Buffet Dinner with Skyline Queenstown

With breathtaking views across Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, the Skyline Complex is a must-do. Catch the fully enclosed gondola to the summit for a remarkable panorama of the city surrounds. Wander the outdoor viewing decks then enjoy a gourmet buffet meal in the Stratosphere Restaurant.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 10
Milford Sound Coach, Cruise, Coach Small Group Tour with Altitude Tours - Including Lunch

This small group Milford Sound day tours allow you to escape the crowds and offers a truly unique tour showcasing this spectacular and world famous region. Experience a stunning two hour small boat nature cruise on the fiord – see waterfalls, fur seals and occasionally dolphins. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch, as well as enjoying lots of fun and informative commentary from the local guide, and plenty of off the beaten track visits away from the crowds.

Your accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

The Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers a range of accommodation from hotel rooms and suites to villas. Ideally located on the lake front this hotel is just a few minutes stroll from the shops, cafes and many activities Te Anau has to offer.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 11
Te Anau to Dunedin with Iconic

Journey away from Fiordland today and toward the rolling hills of the east coast, passing through lush Southland farmland and back into the Otago region.

Your accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Distinction Dunedin Hotel occupies the grand Chief Post Office built in the 1930’s. This art deco inspired building has recently been transformed into a 4 star hotel with elegant décor, set in the heart of the city.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 12
Dunedin Accommodation to Coach Stop Transfer with Iconic

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the coach stop in time for your departure.

Dunedin to Christchurch by InterCity Coach

The drive follows the Otago Coastline as you head north from Dunedin. Pass through the unique town of Oamaru, famous for its buildings constructed with the unique locally quarried white stone. The port town of Timaru is next and then the vast Canterbury Plains. Crossing New Zealand's longest bridge at Rakaia you can view some great examples of the South Island's famous braided rivers.

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, Cashel Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.
Meals included: Breakfast

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Enchanting New Zealand - Day 13
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Christchurch Airport in time for your departing flight.

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