On arrival in Auckland, ‘The City of Sails’, collect your rental car for the Self Drive. Drive to your hotel for check-in. Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping - you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland. In the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki-Makau-Rau - ‘the maiden with a hundred suitors’. It earned this name because it was a region coveted by many tribes. Auckland’s blend of harbour, islands, Polynesian culture and modern city environment has created a lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world. The natural assets of Auckland have made it a dream destination for all kinds of travellers, from doing-it-on-the-cheap backpackers to cost-is-no-issue super yacht owners.
After breakfast, travel south through the fertile Waikato region to arrive at Waitomo. Enjoy a guided tour of the famous Glowworm Caves including an underground boat ride. World renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves occupy a high placing in almost everyones New Zealand vacation wish-list. The Waitomo glowworm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as the expert guides provide informative commentary on the Caves' historical and geological significance. Over your 45 minute guided tour, you'll take in the spectacular Glowworm Cave with its majestic and ornate cave decorations, the deep limestone shaft known as the Tomo and the equally magnificent Cathedral cavern where New Zealands own opera diva Kiri Te Kanawa once performed. After which continue to Rotorua, the Thermal land. Rotorua - With its unique volcanic landscape, living Maori culture, natural hot springs and plenty of options for adventure, Rotorua is one of New Zealand's most famous destinations.
After breakfast enjoy some sightseeings in Rotorua. The region was the birthplace of New Zealand tourism in the 1800s, when people flocked here from around the world to see the amazing Pink and White Terraces - vast, naturally formed silica terraces that cascaded into a volcanic lake. The Te Arawa people were their local guides. The terraces were destroyed in the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption, but Rotorua's fame as a fascinating travel destination continued to grow. Today Maori guides can often be seen at the city's iconic attractions, following in the footsteps of their ancestors. Today enjoy sightseeing in Rotorua including below; Te Puia Thermal Reserve - This geothermal valley is a special place, home to Te Arawa people for generations. The environment alone is of enormous geological significance, with thermal activity ranging from boiling mud to the world-famous 30-metre (100-foot) Pohutu geyser, erupting up to 20 times each day. Hot springs, boiling sulphurous pools, silica terraces and bubbling mud pools are among the natural wonders. Agrodome Sheep Show - Agrodome is the Unique New Zealand Experience - an amazing array of activities in one awesome Theme Park! A visit to Agrodome is simply a 'must do' during your travels around New Zealand. Agrodome offers visitors a fun, interactive and really hands-on experience with Kiwi farming and the opportunity to meet our animals (including goats, cattle, deer, alpacas and ostriches) and take part in our world famous Agrodome Sheep Show! Rainbow Spring - Set amidst beautiful native bush. Meandering, crystal clear freshwater streams and deep, fern-fringed pools. A showcase of New Zealand's natural flora and fauna and also experience pure waters, fresh air and clean, green environment. View New Zealand's own living national icon, the shy, flightless Kiwi Skyline Skyrides - Conveniently located just minutes from Rotorua's City centre, on the side of Mount Ngongotaha, Skyline Skyrides can carry you to 487 metres above sea level to a fun park environment. Providing panoramic views of Rotorua City, Lake Rotorua and the surrounding area, Skyline Skyrides is an all weather attraction, and is open every day of the year. Operating hours are from 9.00am daily until end of operation each night. Polynesian Spa - Polynesian Spa is New Zealand’s leading international day spa, providing a unique thermal spa experience on the shore of Lake Rotorua.
Travel south to reach Taupo before travelling over rugged mountain ranges and well cultivated farmland to arrive in the ‘Art Deco’ city of Napier. Napier’s misfortune in 1931, when it was almost levelled by an earthquake, has led to the city’s world famous point of difference. Today Napier has one of the most outstanding collections of 1930s architecture in the world. Walking around the city, you’ll see wonderful examples of Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical design. Napier’s other special attractions include the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers and the many vineyards that make good use of the region’s alluvial soils. On Saturday morning, the Napier farmers’ market is a chance to shop for artisan foods and fresh produce.
After breakfast leave for Winery tour to Bay Winery. At Bay Winery Tours they are passionate about Hawke’s Bay. They established the original Wine Tour for the visitor of their area in 1982. Their close association with the Wineries and the Tour Guide’s background in the wine industry ensures you experience and discover the character, atmosphere, rustic charm and hospitality of Boutique and Historical Wineries. Your taste buds will be tempted by hand-crafted wine styles: rich reds and crisp black wines. Savour the fascinating Story of ‘Vines to Wine’ and discover the finer points of wine appreciation. Remember “Your taste is the one that counts”. No shortage of good conversation and enthusiasm, your tour is relaxed and you can be assured of a happy fun filled day.
Travel through the Manawatu Gorge to Palmerston North, before arriving in the ‘Capital City’ of Wellington. Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city, and it’s also known as our arts and culture capital. A special blend of heritage buildings, museums and galleries, fine food and live entertainment opportunities make this city a great place to visit in any season. Part of Wellington’s charm is its close proximity to nature. The central city is nestled between a beautiful harbour and forested hills. Wildlife sanctuaries, islands, seaside villages, ocean beaches and regional parks provide huge scope for outdoor fun. Many visitors choose to base themselves in the vibrant inner city, where it’s easy to walk to boutique shops, art galleries, trendy cafés and restaurants. Dominating the spectacular waterfront is Te Papa Tongrewa - the interactive, innovative museum that’s one of New Zealand’s key cultural attractions. At night, the city stays up late to enjoy live theatre, music and dance performances.
Journey across Cook Strait, which separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and into the Marlborough Sounds with its sparkling clear waters and lush forests, before arriving in Picton. Continue to Nelson for a leisurely afternoon. A pocket of paradise in the top northwest corner of the South Island, Nelson has a positive, creative attitude to life - and it’s easy to see why. The region, which is the sunniest in New Zealand, has for many years attracted residents who love to use their imaginations. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, including traditional and contemporary Maori artists. Their work is often inspired by the region’s exceptionally beautiful geography - coastal, forest and valley landscapes provide places to wander and dream. The Nelson area is known by the Maori as Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui (the tip of the nose of the canoe of Maui). From his waka, the demi-god Maui used his magic fish hook to catch and land the North Island (Te Ika a Maui - the fish of Maui).
Today is at leisure to enjoy Nelson and the nearby Abel Tasman National Park. Dip into a world of golden beaches, native forest and wildlife encounters. Named for Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who first visited the region in 1642, this national park is New Zealand's smallest - but it's perfectly formed for relaxation and adventure. Visitors love the way the Abel Tasman National Park mixes physical exertion with beach life. Bursts of hiking or kayaking are punctuated by sun bathing, swimming and sedate snorkelling around the characteristic granite outcrops. Enjoy your Scenic Cruise in Able Tasman. Evening return to Hotel.
Leaving Nelson behind this morning to continue south to Kaikoura. The picturesque coastal town of Kaikoura is all about adventure on or near the sea. Watch whales, snorkel with seals or tuck into a plate of crayfish. This afternoon enjoy a whalewatch cruise (subject to weather). Every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience and the sightings vary. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year-round residents. A typical Whale Watch tour may encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales. Kaikoura often hosts the world's largest dolphin - the Orca - and is home to the world's smallest and rarest - the Hector's. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of Albatross, 14 varieties of Petrels and 7 types of Shearwat.
This morning is free in Kaikoura for optional activities, such as swim with the dolphins (optional activities not included). drive over the Southern Alps to Greymouth. Continue and travel south along the Scenic West Coast, with views of both the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. Stop at Hokitika enroute where you can view greenstone carvers & glass blowers at work. Continue to the glacier region. Franz Josef Glacier was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor. The glacier is five kilometres from the town of the same name, and a 20 minute walk will take you to its terminal face. From the glacier car park, you can hike to a choice of lookout points for a bigger view of this awesome river of rice. If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike. Aerial sightseeing is another option.
Travel down the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to the Haast Pass, gateway to the World Heritage Westland National Park. Continue around the shores of Lake Hawea to arrive in Wanaka early afternoon. jetboaters is a place to take a deep breath and relax. Protected from the outside world by the grandeur of the mountains, you’re enclosed in a hidden paradise. Crystal clear lake waters lap the shores of Wanaka town and the feet of the Southern Alps, which are home to winter ski fields and the dramatically alpine Mount Aspiring National Park. Lake Wanaka is New Zealand's fourth largest; its clean, blue waters are an inland sea for sailors and jetboaters to explore. Walking tracks and bridle trails wander the flats and foothills. In all seasons, outdoor adventures beckon. The region’s fortunes have changed over the years. The discovery of gold in the 1870s inspired a rush of interest in the area. As the gold faded away, high country farming became the main source of employment. Today, tourism is the new gold - an endeavour that requires the environment to stay picture perfect.
This morning is free at your leisure – optional activities include Puzzling World and scenic flights or short walks (optional activities not included). This afternoon continue to Queenstown. The first people to discover Queenstown's rare beauty were Maori pounamu (jade) hunters. Then came the gold miners, in search of another kind of treasure. Today Queenstown is treasured for its magnificent scenery, adventure opportunities and luxury lifestyle. Long summer days blonde the tussocks, throwing the hills open to mountain bikers and hikers. The brilliant reds and golds of autumn colour the trees, inspiring photographers and golfers alike. In winter, snow transforms the region into a remarkable alpine playground for skiers and snowboarders. Spring brings the spark of fresh green to the landscape - a time to celebrate life with a cruise on the lake or an invigorating bungy jump.
Today after breakfast proceed to Milford Sound for a Scene Cruise. Follow the southern arm of Lake Wakatipu to Lumsden, and onward to Lake Te Anau. Enter the Eglinton Valley and travel through the breath taking man made Homer Tunnel to reach Milford Sound. Milford Sound lies at the heart of the Fiord land National Park - a World Heritage area. Cruising the clear, still waters of the Fiord you’ll encounter magnificent sights such as the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak and Stirling Falls. You’ll be captivated by some of the world’s most magnificent scenery and you’ll leave with an intimate understanding of the region and some wonderful memories. This is natural spontaneous New Zealand at it unspoilt best. Photo opportunities abound, so keep a lookout for wildlife such as dolphins, penguins and seals often seen in their natural environment. Enjoy an intimate and personal cruise experience as you get close to nature and view the natural wilderness of the Fiord. Overnight on Cruise
A free day to explore the endless optional attractions available. Queenstown offers bungy jumping, jetboating, white water rafting, gondola rides, sky dive and much more. Experience ultimate bungy jumping, testing your nerve for adrenaline-packed fun with around 400-foot drop. An adrenaline-fueled fun jet boat ride as the boat skims the water’s surface at high speed and fishtails into 360-degree spins. Hold on tight as the captain maneuvers the jet boat over rapids and through narrow canyons during one heart-pounding adventure you won’t soon forget. Optional activities not included in the tour price. Ride the Queenstown gondola to a skyline restaurant for a midday or evening meal, and enjoy scenic views over Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables range. Overnight stay at hotel in Queenstown.
Today after breakfast travel through the Central Otago region and onto the small town of Twizel. Continue north following the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The village of Mount Cook is a comfortable haven in one of the most unforgiving parts of New Zealand. On every side, the Southern Alps scrape the sky. Even in summer, the weather can change in the blink of an eye. The region is only 44 kilometres from the coast, so storms can arrive suddenly from the Tasman Sea to create dangerous conditions for climbers. Visit the ‘Church of the Good Shepherd’ at Lake Tekapo And return to Queenstown. Overnight in Queenstown
After breakfast, proceed to the airport for your flight to back home. Return home with wonderful memories of your trip.
9, Marine Chambers, 43,
New Marine Lines, Mumbai 400 020