Escape to New Zealand & Vanuatu [ST-3092A]
15 Days: Escape to New Zealand & Vanuatu [ST-3092A]
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Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Wellington (1 Night), Lermontov Lodge (4), Auckland (1), Espiritu Santo (4), Port Vila (2), Auckland (1)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Auckland (Return), Auckland to Port Vila (Return)
  • US Domestic Flights not included (as per your own arrangements) -
  • New Zealand Domestic Flights - Auckland to Wellington, Nelson to Auckland
  • Vanuatu Domestic Flights - Port Vila to Espiritu Santo (Return)
  • Day Tours - Wellington: Scenic Ferry to Picton; Lermontov Lodge: 2-3 days of Diving the Lermontov Wreck; Espiritu Santo: 2 days of Diving the S.S. Coolidge & Million Dollar Point
  • Shuttle Transfers - Wellington Airport to Accommodation, Wellington Accommodation to Ferry Terminal, Picton Ferry Terminal to Lermontov Lodge, Lermontov Lodge to Nelson Airport, Auckland Airport to Accommodation (Return), Espiritu Santo Airport to Accommodation (Return), Port Vila Airport to Accommodation (Return), Auckland Airport to Accommodation (Return)
  • All Other Day Tours are Optional and not included
  • Visa only required for some South Pacific countries; $15 visa fee per person where applicable.
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
Itinerary Details
(Day 1) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Auckland

Shortly after departing Los Angeles you will be served dinner and you will be given breakfast before landing in Auckland.

Relax, watch some movies, and try to get some sleep!

Please confirm with the airlines at Check-in that they have all your Frequent Flyer information on record.

(Day 2) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Auckland to Wellington

Travel within New Zealand by domestic air from Auckland to the nation’s captital, Wellington.

(Day 2) - Shuttle Transfer, Wellington Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Wellington, New Zealand.

Please note: For airport transfers – 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc – $5.00 each.

(Days 2 to 3) - 1 Night Accommodation in Wellington

Travel to your accommodation in Wellington, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4 Star vacation accommodation is located conveniently in the heart of Wellington, New Zealand. It is a short walk from Westpac Stadium, Te Papa Museum and the waterfront. Your vacation hotel has a direct elevator to Lambton Quay via a shopping arcade. Travel to New Zealand’s top wine regions, Wairarapa and Marlborough, which are only a short drive away. Or participate in adventure activities such as mountain biking, sailing, bushwalking and much more.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

(Day 3) - Shuttle Transfer, Wellington Accommodation to Ferry Terminal

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Wellington to the Ferry Terminal.

Please note: For airport transfers – 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc – $5.00 each.

(Day 3) - Scenic Ferry, Wellington to Picton

The 92 km journey across Cook Strait between Wellington (North Island) and Picton (South Island) takes only 3 hours and has been described as `one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world`.

Relax and enjoy the voyage on the Interislander Plus, the premium vessel traveling the straight. The vessel offers a stunning view of the South Island’s Kaikoura ranges and the opportunity to spot dolphins and sea birds.

Be greeted by staff at reception where you can purchase cinema tickets, phone cards, magazine, confectionary, souvenirs, postcards and stamps. Complimentary beer, wine, tea, coffee and finger food are available or you can purchase food from the Fresh Food Court for a hot meal. There are multiple food service areas on the Interislander for you to choose from. Then, relax in the TV lounge or cinema or enjoy a local band in the bar. With a little bit of everything to choose from, the Interislander is truly the premium way of traveling the straight.

(Day 3) - Shuttle Transfer from Picton Ferry Terminal to Lermontov Lodge

Travel by shuttle from Picton Ferry Terminal to your vacation accommodation at Lermontov Lodge.

(Days 3 to 7) - 4 Nights Accommodation at Lermontov Lodge

Travel to your accommodation at Lermontov Lodge on New Zealand’s South Island, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 4 nights.

Based at the very cosy and secluded Lermontov Lodge in Port Gore, only 5 minutes by boat to the Mikhail Lermontov, you will have unlimited access to this world class wreck dive, as well as the other historical wrecks and reefs in the Port Gore, Cape Jackson area. The Lodge is nearly 3 hours scenic drive from Picton, with the closest shop being in Picton. The Lermontov Lodge is a remote eco friendly facility. There is no cell phone coverage and only VHF contact. Your accommodation will provide home cooked meals for breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Additional Info:
Dietary requirements can be accommodated for at extra charge
You will need to purchase all your personal requirements prior to departure from Picton
Go Dive supplies, bath towel, pillow and slip, bottom sheet, top sheet and summer weight duvet. Throw rugs available for cooler nights

(Days 4 to 6) - 3 Days Lermontov Shipwreck & Reef Diving

Spend 4 Days in Port Gore for wreck diving. The ultimate way to dive one of the biggest and best wrecks in the world.

The Mikhail Lermontov sunk in Marlborough Sound on the Northern Tip of the South island of New Zealand in 1978. Named after a Russian poet this Russian cruise ship is one of the largest ships to sink since the Titanic & it occurred under mysterious circumstances. It is alleged that is may have been operating as a spy ship & to add support to this government reports as to how she sank have never been released so nobody really knows.
She lays in approx 108ft of water on the starboard side with an average dive depth of 75ft & represents an excellent penetration dive mostly due to the fact she is still fully intact and has not been salvaged.

Diving the Lermontov offers the following:

Accommodation is in bunk style rooms, all linen and bath towels supplied.
All meals are included with fresh seafood entrée’s, cooked breakfasts.
Beer, wine and snacks with evening meals.
Cylinders, twin 12 litre steels, or 12 litre steel singles, twins with 300bar valves singles with 200bar DIN/A-clamp valves
Sling cylinders and regs are available for those who want to penetrate parts of the wreck that require specialised kit (specific skills required).
Up to three guided dives per day
Nitrox 32% is available at NZ$10.00 per single or $18.00 per twin.
Closest shop is 2 hours away, Lodge is remote & in a beautiful part of NZ
No cell or internet connection
Lodge is powered by generator/invertor, but does have ample charging facilities
Visibility in November ranges from 20 to 60 ft on the outside of the wreck
Water temp is approx 60F during November

(Day 7) - Shuttle Transfer from Lermontov Lodge to Nelson Airport

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation at Lermontov Lodge to Nelson.

(Day 7) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Nelson to Auckland

Travel by air today from Nelson to Auckland, New Zealand.

(Day 7) - Shuttle Transfer, Auckland Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand.

Please note: For airport transfers – 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc – $5.00 each.

(Days 7 to 8) - 1 Night Accommodation in Auckland

Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Auckland is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world– renowned as that ‘City Of Sails.’ Dramatic landscapes and seascapes provide a diverse playground in which a compelling range of attractions are available. Visitors come to enjoy an array of exciting entertainment, leisure, culture and dining possibilities in New Zealand’s largest city.

(Day 8) - Shuttle Transfer, Auckland Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, to the Airport.

Please note: For airport transfers – 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc – $5.00 each.

(Day 8) - International Flight, Auckland to Port Vila, Vanuatu

Depart this evening on your three hour flight to Port Vila, Vanuatu

(Day 8) - Vanuatu Domestic Flight - Port Vila to Espiritu Santo

Depart today on your flight from Port Vila to Espiritu Santo Airport.

(Day 8) - Shuttle Transfer, Espiritu Santo Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your Vanuatu Accommodation.

(Days 8 to 12) - 3 Nights Accommodation in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Your Vanuatu Accommodation offers a friendly and lively environment popular with dive groups and singles. Their outdoor dining area and partially-shaded pool have stunning views of Santo and its nearby islands.

The accommodation is in comfortable well appointed bungalows built along the beach surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

Amenities include: Private bathrooms, hot showers, refrigerators, tea & coffee making facilities, irons, hairdryers and ceiling fans.

(Days 9 & 10) - 2 Day Dive Package - SS Coolidge & Million Dollar Point

Two days of diving on the SS Coolidge and Million Dollar Point.

SS PRESIDENT COOLIDGE DIVING:
Considered by many divers to be the best wreck dive in the world, the SS President Coolidge was a luxury passenger liner converted to a troop carrier during WWII. While entering the Santo harbor she was hit by friendly mines, providing divers with a remarkable underwater playground.

Almost completely intact, you can swim through the numerous holds and decks viewing the reminders of her glorious days as a cruise liner and the remnants of her days as a troop ship. There are guns, cannons, jeeps, helmets, trucks and personal supplies left by some of the soldiers, as well as the beautiful porcelain statue of “The Lady,” chandeliers and a mosaic tile fountain. The wreck is covered in coral and is home to a plethora of sea life including turtles, barracuda, lion fish, and a host of reef fish.

If you want to see the whole wreck, you’ll need at least 10 to 15 dives – she’s 200 metres in length and rests in 20 to 72 metres of water! – But you can certainly get a feel for her magnitude and majesty on even a few dives.

MILLION DOLLAR POINT DIVING:
After World War 2, the American’s forces based in Santo were ordered not to leave any military equipment and supplies on the island (to avoid them getting into the wrong hands). The solution was the establishment of an underwater dump site, now known as Million Dollar Point. It is an easy dive from the shore where you can see two ship wrecks, and numerous amounts of military hardware and supplies – including bulldozers, cranes, trucks etc. A great diversity of marine life has made this their home with some unusual coral growth amongst the wreckage.

(Day 11) - Free Day to Explore Espiritu Santo

Free time to rest, relax or explore.

(Day 12) - Shuttle Transfer, Espiritu Santo Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from the your Vanuatu Accommodation to the Airport.

(Day 12) - Vanuatu Domestic Flight, Espiritu Santo to Port Vila

Fly from Espiritu Santo Airport to Port Vila.

(Day 12) - Shuttle Transfer, Port Vila Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle from the Port Vila Airport to your vacation Accommodation.

(Days 12 to 14) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Travel to your accommodation in Port Vila, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Soak up the year-round tropical climate at our luxurious Vanuatu hotel accommodation with prime waterfront location on Port Vila Harbour. The rooms feature private balcony, ensuite and internet access. Enjoy a continental breakfast; take a leisurely swim in our swimming pool; exercise in the gymnasium; relax in the restaurant; or unwind at the casino.

(Day 13) - Free Day to Explore Port Vila

Free time to rest, relax or explore.

OptionaDay Tour (Not Included) - Horseback Riding ½ Day Experience

Enjoy an unforgetable experience of horseback riding through the beach, bush and hills!

This half day expedition offers a versatile combination of scenery, beach, hills behind the ranch, wild bush and tropical forest and the beautiful garden with breathtaking views of the sea. Enjoy the star of the bay, Hide-away Island, not so hidden for many lucky tourists, would become the star of your own photos.

All riders are welcome, with gentle placid mounts for absolute beginners and more spirited horses for advanced riders.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Port Vila Parasailing

Whilst visiting Port Vila you have a great opportunity to come parasailing with us.

You will enjoy a short jet boat ride over the beautiful harbour of Port Vila in our purpose built parasailing boat. You will be assisted into your life jacket and harness so that, when your turn comes, you can be hooked up and slowly winched off the flight deck into the air. The crew will give you a briefing on what to expect during your flight so there will be no surprises.

You will parasail around spectacular Mele Bay, and from a height of around 75 metres you will see villages and Islands, reefs and the sea. At the end of your flight you will be gradually winced back to the flight deck.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) Best of Efate Scenic Helicopter Ride

Get ready for take off and see the Best of Efate Island!

Fly over Hideaway Island resort marine sanctuary, over the famous Cascade Falls and then look below into dense jungle scenery, bush clad blow holes and tight ravines that lead into Havannah Harbour. Havannah Harbour has the true unspoilt natural beauty Vanuatu offers. Witness elegant/beautiful dudong and turtle sea life swimming below in deep blue mirror flat water as you cross the harbour to reach Moso Island.
Only 2 passengers per flight

Adventure Flight Upgrade Available
Romantic Flight Upgrade Available

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Kayaking, Snorkeling and Beautiful Waterfalls

Experience the famous Mele Cascades Waterfalls and the amazing underwater World of Vanuatu all in one amazing Kayaking tour.

From your hotel enjoy a 15 min drive by air-con bus to the famous Mele Cascades Waterfalls, cool off in the natural springs. Enjoy a light lunch at the river side cafe. A short time later you will be welcomed on the beach and paddle your glass bottom kayak to a small sand island, swim or snorkel at your leisure in the underwater paradise, experience some of the best snorkeling Vanuatu has to offer in the beautiful Mele bay, frequently sighted resident dolphins & turtles may join you.

This tour is fully guided by experienced local Ni-Vanuatu Guides to maximise your enjoyment in an eco friendly way.

Suitable to all age groups & fitness levels

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Efate Round Island Safari

This takes you around the island of Efate accompanied by your driver/guide who will give you some insight into the history and lifestyle of Vanuatu.

Passing pandanus fringed coastline you’ll pass true Melanesian villages of the South Pacific. Enjoy a swim and view beautiful white sand beaches and appreciate the crystal-clear turquoise waters as you travel around the island.

Weather permitting, a further highlight of today’s tour is witnessing the time-honoured art of fire-walking. The tradition and preparation the men undertake before performing will be explained.

You journey on passing more villages to catch glimpses of local life, before arriving at a local restaurant for a buffet-style lunch. Following lunch, stops will also be made to view remnants of the American forces involvement in Vanuatu during World War 2. During your afternoon refreshment stop, you have time to cool off with a swim in the safe tropical waters.

On the way back to Port Vila you will pass Klems Hill Lookout which provides a superb view over Mele Bay, Hideaway Island and the township in the distance.

(Day 14) - Shuttle Transfer, Port Vila Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your Port Vila vacation Accommodation to the Airport

(Day 14) - International Flight, Port Vila to Auckland, New Zealand

Today fly from Port Vila, Vanuatu to Auckland, New Zealand.

(Day 14) - Shuttle Transfer, Auckland Airport to Accommodation

Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand.

Please note: For airport transfers – 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc – $5.00 each.

(Days 14 to 15) - 1 Night Accommodation in Auckland

Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Auckland is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world– renowned as that ‘City Of Sails.’ Dramatic landscapes and seascapes provide a diverse playground in which a compelling range of attractions are available. Visitors come to enjoy an array of exciting entertainment, leisure, culture and dining possibilities in New Zealand’s largest city.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included)- Auckland Harbour Cruise

Visit a true thing of beauty and cruise the sparkling waters of Waitemata Harbour!



Head out on this one and a half hour tour to see the Devonport Naval Base, travel past the township and North Head, then cruise towards the iconic Rangitoto Island as you pass the historic Bean Rock lighthouse. You’ll pass under the Harbour Bridge twice and then off to Westhaven Marina to catch a glance at the viaduct harbour bustling with super yachts!



Daily at 10:45am & 1:45pm. Tours do not operate on Christmas day.

Insider's Tip: Auckland City Explorer Bus

Take a unique, fun and informative tour of Auckland – New Zealand’s largest city on the Hop on Hop Off Auckland City Explorer Bus!

Nestled between two harbours, this beautiful vibrant city, has a diverse mix of culture and landscapes. With world-class attractions and activities, shopping and eateries – you can explore it all with a 24 or 48 hour pass.

Hop-On and Hop-Off as you explore the city at your leisure. There are two tour routes you can choose from to visit all the must-see attractions! Enjoy the ‘Live’ entertaining commentary from your friendly driver or catch up with your friends back home with free WiFi aboard the bus.

Plus your pass includes a free return trip to Devonport on the ferry!

Red Tour Stops
-Viaduct Harbour
-Bastion Point lookout
-Parnell Village
-Auckland Museum
-Kelly Tarlon’s
-Queen Street/Civic Theatre
-Pernell Rose Gardens
-Holy Trinity Cathedral
-Sky City & Sky Tower

Blue Tour Stops
-Auckland Museum
-Wintergardens
-Eden Garden
-Mt Eden/Maungawhau
-Westfield St Lukes
-Auckland Zoo
-MOTAT (Museum of Transport & Technology)

Multi-lingual commentaries also available.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Americas Cup Sailing Expedition - 1/2 Day

The America’s Cup Sailing Experience offers the unique opportunity to sail on these grand prix racing machines!

Enjoy two hours as passengers become the crew and are encouraged to take the helm, exert energy on the grinders or simply sit back and enjoy the action as we sail down the Auckland Harbour. The trip suits people of all experiences and abilities and is the perfect activity in Auckland, ‘City of Sails’.

WINTER SCHEDULE – APRIL 1ST TO SEPTEMBER 31ST 2014
Departs: 1pm daily

Age Restrictions: Children under the age of 10 yrs not permitted
Weather Restrictions: Sailings subject to weather conditions

Upgrade Available: 3 Hours Match Cup Race (extra cost) – Not Available from April-October.

(Day 15) - Shuttle Transfer, Auckland Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, to the Airport.

Please note: For airport transfers – 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc – $5.00 each.

(Day 15) - International Flight, Auckland to Los Angeles

Today depart Auckland and fly to the USA. Enjoy an in-flight dinner and movie with arrival in the USA. Note: you will be traveling back across the International Date Line. Gain that day back you lost on the way over, you actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Auckland.

Note: Flight may include a stop over in Australia.

  • a) All prices are USD$/person (including all Taxes). Subject to availability and seasonality. Other Conditions Apply (see Terms and Conditions).
  • b) Land Content Only represents the pricing for the full itinerary as detailed, except the International Flights from the USA (and return) are NOT included.
  • c) An Infant (Lapchild) must be less than 2 years old on the date of departure. Infant must travel with at least one adult. An infant with a seat pays the price of a Child.
  • d) A Child must be aged between 2-11 years on the date of departure. Child must travel with at least one adult.