North & South Island Grand Tour [ST-3391]
18 Days: North & South Island Grand Tour [ST-3391]
Starting at
$3,629
Per Person
View Details
Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Auckland (2 Nights), Rotorua (1), Wellington (2), Nelson (3), Christchurch (1), Hokitika (1), Franz Josef (2), Queenstown (4)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Auckland (Return)
  • US Domestic Flights - Not Included (as per your own arrangements)
  • New Zealand Domestic Flights - Rotorua to Wellington, Nelson to Christchurch, Queenstown to Auckland
  • Day Tours - Auckland: Harbour Cruise, Deluxe Coach to Rotorua; Wellington: Scenic Ferry to Picton; Picton; Green Mussel Cruise to Nelson; Nelson: Abel Tasman Walk & Relax Tour; Christchurch: Scenic Train to Greymouth; Queenstown: Doubtful Sound Tour, Gondola Ride
  • Shuttle Transfers - Auckland Airport to Accommodation, Rotorua Accommodation to Airport, Wellington Airport to Accommodation, Wellington Accommodation to Ferry Terminal, Nelson Accommodation to Airport, Christchurch Airport to Accommodation, Christchurch Accommodation to Train Depot, Queenstown Accommodation to Airport
  • Rental Car - 4 Day Rental: Pick-up in Greymouth, Drop-off in Queenstown
  • Rental Car (Base rate only) does not include taxes, insurance, fuel levies, drop off fees, or environmental fees.
  • All Other Day Tours are Optional and not included
  • Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (US$15.00 per person)
  • 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) - 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 2 to 4) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Auckland

Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

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 4) - Day Tour, 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! This cruise also gives you a chance to “hop-on, hop-off” and discover nearby islands at your leisure.

Daily at 10.30am & 1.30pm. Tours do not operate on Christmas day.

(Day 3) - Free Day to Explore Auckland

Visit one of Auckland’s many attractions.

Fly a kite or throw a Frisbee in the beautifully landscaped Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park. Critique a giant selection of both traditional and contemporary art at Auckland Art Gallery. Take a walking, swim or hike through any of Auckland’s 25 Regional Parks. Have a laugh at The Classic Comedy and Bar in Queen Street, New Zealand’s home of live comedy. Take the bus over to Eden Park, New Zealand’s largest stadium. In the evening you can join the dancing on K’Road and party on till the wee hours at one of the many nightclubs. Or maybe you would rather visit the trendy suburb of Ponsonby and enjoy delicious cuisine, superb lattes or cocktails if more to your taste. And if it is cafes, bars and restaurants you’re after, the Viaduct Harbour has a great selection.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand – Julian Apse

Optional Day Tour (Not Included)- Bay of Islands Tour - Full Day

Marvel at spectacular coastal scenery including the Hole in the Rock, Cathedral Cave and the inner islands while aboard a luxury catamaran. Also see the historic Waitangi Treaty House and a ‘waka’ (Maori war canoe).

Travel north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and enjoy spectacular rural & coastal scenery enroute to the Bay of Islands via Hibiscus Coast and Whangarei. Bay of Islands is one of the most picturesque and popular vacation sites in New Zealand and was the site of the earliest contact between the indigenous population and European settlers. Take a trip into the past and visit such historical places as the Waitangi Treaty House, see a traditional Maori Meeting House and a huge ‘waka’ (war canoe), Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Flagstaff Hill and the oldest building in the country (Kemp House) along with the oldest Church. In the early afternoon at Cape Brett, board a luxury catamaran for your cruising adventure through game fishing waters as you cruise past the Cape Brett lighthouse to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’. The excitement grows as you make a passage through the Hole and then continue on to the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave. On your return journey relax and enjoy subtropical paradise views with your favourite drink as you meander through the inner islands back to Cape Brett which are world renowned deep sea fishing grounds where porpoise (dolphins) and schools of fish are frequently seen. With the Bay of Islands’ combination of great fishing, diving, sailing and other water sports with some of New Zealand’s most significant historic sites you will be sure to have fun!

Includes: Pickups from accommodations, admission to Waitangi Treaty House, a Cape Brett cruise and boxed lunch.

Photo Credit: Destination Northland

(Day 4) - Deluxe Coach from Auckland to Rotorua

Experience New Zealand’s rich cultural heritage and the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, plus a trip through the famous glowworm caves at Waitomo, on this full day sightseeing tour by deluxe luxury coach.

Depart Auckland: Travel the main Southern Highway through small rural townships steeped in early pioneer history. Your host serves morning tea during this sector.

Waikato: Travel through New Zealand’s largest dairy and sheep farming province. See the small farming settlements on the outskirts of Hamilton City, as you travel towards King Country, birthplace of the Maori Monarchy.

Waitomo Glow Worm Caves: Join a guided tour through this world-famous cave formation, climaxed by drifting silently in a boat through a glow worm cavern lit up with thousands of tiny glow worm lights.

Light Lunch: Served on-board as we make our way to Rotorua through magnificent rural farmland with its vast numbers of grazing animals.

Rotorua: New Zealand’s highest city, 305 meters (1000 feet) above sea level, located inside the rim of a volcanic crater. An area of great geothermal activity where you will visit the following attractions:

Agrodome Farm Tour: An introduction to New Zealand farming, with a 45-minute tour of an authentic working farm in all-weather, all-terrain vehicles. Watch a sheep being shorn and hand-feed the animals.

Lake Rotorua: Drive through the foreshore park past the hundreds of ducks and swans. Then travel through the beautiful historic Government Gardens.

Te Puia Institute (Maori Arts, Crafts & Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve): One of Rotorua’s most famous attractions. See woodcarving, weaving displays, Maori village and the thermal valley with the famous Pohutu Geyser, fumaroles, colourful silica deposits and boiling mud pools.

This tour ends in Rotorua.

(Days 4 to 5) - 1 Night Accommodation in Rotorua

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

Located on the shores of Lake Rotorua your accommodation is only a short walk to the city centre, convention centre, cafes and restaurants. Here in the heartland of New Zealand’s Maori culture you’ll experience an enveloping warmth, proud spirit, deep sense of history and a quick humour. Picturesque cobbled and lantern lined streetways and striking Tudor architecture celebrates New Zealand’s significant colonial history. Travel the region by mountain bike or participate in local bush walks.

Upgrade Available (extra cost):
Lake View Room

Optional Evening Event (Not Included): Te Po, Indigenous Evening Experience

Te Po is an authentic, one-of-a-kind evening event. It is a feast of storytelling, entertainment and Maori cuisine like no other you’ll ever experience.




Your evening begins with a visit to the hangi pit to watch the baskets being lifted from their distinctive underground oven in preparation for the evening’s traditional feast. Hangi preparation begins in the early afternoon to ensure your meal is cooked to perfection.




A true highlight of any Te Puia outing are the stunning cultural performances featuring traditional storytelling and entertainment. You’ll have the opportunity to join in the graceful poi dance or ferocious haka for a more intimate Maori cultural experience.

After a traditional blessing, you will be treated to an entrée of New Zealand mussels, corn on the cob, traditional rewana bread and dips, and a local drink made from kawakawa extract and manuka honey.

The main meal is an event in itself, with the hangi-cooked foods accompanied by flavoured meats, chicken, lamb, vegetables and salads. A range of drinks is available to complement your meal including wine, beer, juices, tea and coffee. We recommend leaving room for dessert, as you will definitely find something to satisfy your sweet tooth.

After dinner you will be invited to board the motorised waka (transporter) for a journey into the valley at night. Enjoy the ride and marvel at the sights before disembarking at Pohutu Geyser for the final stage of a magical evening.

End your unforgettable evening by sitting upon the warmth of the naturally hot rocks armed with a delicious hot chocolate. Listen to your guide tell stories while Pohutu Geyser sits before you, illuminated in its full glory beneath starry skies.

(Day 5) - Shuttle Transfer, Rotorua Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Rotorua, 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 5) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Rotorua to Wellington

Travel within New Zealand by domestic air from Rotorua to Wellington (North Island).

(Day 5) - 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 5 to 7) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Wellington

Travel to your accommodation in Wellington, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

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 6) - Free Day to Explore Wellington

Wellington, voted the ‘Coolest Little Capital in the World’ offers the visitor heaps of cool things to do that just happen to be free.

New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, sits nestled in a natural amphitheatre around the harbour. It is easy to explore on foot and there are heaps of great things to see and do that don’t cost a cent.

Visit the dynamic and interactive National Museum of NZ – Te Papa on the waterfront. Get your city bearings and some of Wellington’s best views at the Mount Victoria Lookout. Ride the historic Wellington Cable Car to the Botanic Garden. Four Wellington restaurants have won NZ’s Best Restaurant in the last five years. It’s safe to say you’ll be eating very well while in Wellington! Hear the birdsong and spot a tuatara as you walk through ZEALANDIA: The Karori Sanctuary Experience. Get an inside peek into Wellywood at The Weta Cave in Miramar. Go stargazing and check out the amazing planetarium show at Carter Observatory. Seeking hidden treasures? Many of Wellington’s best night spots are tucked away for your finding, such as Motel, Library or Duke Carvell’s Swan Lane Emporium. Head to Cuba Street for a slice of Bohemia, boutique shopping and some of the best coffee in town.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Seal Coast Safari Adventure

Enjoy New Zealand wilderness within minutes of downtown Wellington and immerse yourself in the native bird and wild life with stunning views of the city, sea and South Island snow-capped mountains.

Your excursion will have you experience a 4 Wheel-Driving on the beach in our Sealmobiles Off the beaten track. You will have exclusive access through private land driving right to the seals – no walking involved. Seals are guaranteed every trip.

Right from the start, you will be impressed by the friendly Kiwi “Gidday!” at the Wellington i-SITE Visitor Centre pick-up point when you are met by a Safari representative.

Your guide for the day will introduce you to the other guests, check he has enough gourmet muffins to satisfy your hunger pangs, and set off, pointing the powerful Landcruiser in the direction of the ocean.

Within minutes you have left the city behind and your 4WD adventure has begun! We traverse a local’s private land to access the sea, enjoying spectacular views and scenery along the way. This journey through our friend Steve’s ranch is a feature in itself that literally everyone comments on and loves.

Includes- Tea, coffee and fine muffins with the seals Laughing with knowledgeable and friendly guides

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Ship 'N Chips Tour

A voyage through Wellington’s harbour and nature.

Explore the stunning natural environment of Matiu/Somes Island, discover the city’s history with a guided tour of the Museum of Wellington City & Sea, and enjoy a classic kiwi fish ‘n chips lunch as you ride the ferry to roam the natural conservation environment of Matiu/Somes Island.

Tours depart 11am Monday to Friday and finish at 3.45pm.

(Day 7) - 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 7) - 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 7) - Day Tour, Deluxe Coach and Green Mussel Cruise to Nelson

Marlborough is known worldwide for stunning Sauvignon Blanc, and your tour will reinforce how perfect it is with two of Marlborough’s other gems – Greenshell Mussels and amazing scenery.

Meet and greet at the Picton Ferry Terminal and depart through the Marlborough wine region to the small seaport township of Havelock. Havelock is the Greenshell Mussel Capital of the world with more mussels going through this port than anywhere else, it’s also the gateway to the stunning Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds.

On arrival in Havelock you will have time to purchase a light lunch to bring on board this afternoons cruise. Once on board the Mussel cruise in Havelock, enjoy a 3 hour scenic exploration of this breathtaking area.

Take in the natural beauty of the native bush and the tranquility of the Sounds. Learn from your experienced skipper the history of the Marlborough Sounds and the history of the pioneering families who have settled in the Sounds over several generations. Visit a Greenshell mussel farm and learn why this delicacy grows so well in the Marlborough Sounds. Taste a local favorite – freshly steamed Mussels matched perfectly to a complimentary glass of award winning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

On arrival back in Havelock you will board the tour vehicle for the transfer to your Nelson accommodation.

Minimum of 2 Pax.

(Days 7 to 10) - 3 Nights Accommodation in Nelson

Travel to your accommodation in Nelson, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 3 nights.

Located just minutes away from the heart of Nelson, with views stretching across the Waimea Inlet to the mountains of Kahurangi National Park, this accommodation is the perfect retreat.

What’s more, once you arrive you won’t need to go far, as the resort provides all the comforts and conveniences you could hope for.

There’s plenty on offer, including award winning restaurant, health and beauty spa, pool, gym, purpose built conference facilities and even a craftsman jeweller and a hairdressing salon onsite.

This hotel can accommodate up to 280 guests, with 20 hotel rooms, 42 one-bedroom cottages and 38 two-bedroom cottages.

Photo Credit: Nelson Tasman Tourism

(Day 8) - Day Tour - Abel Tasman Walk & Relax Tour

Boat to Anchorage and relax on the beach or do some short walks.

Abel Tasman National Park is world famous for its golden sand beaches, turquoise waters, completely unmodified estuaries, lush bush to the high tide mark and the excellent walking tracks.

Depart Kaiteriteri for Anchorage and relax on the beach.

Enjoy a one hour return walk to Te Pukatea Bay; a 1½ hour return walk to Pitt Head to view the lighthouse and panoramic views, or, from Anchorage, walk to Cleopatra’s Pool.

(Day 9) - Free Day to Explore Nelson

Spend a day to relax or explore the “lifestyle” of Nelson, New Zealand

Perhaps it’s the sun, perhaps it’s the location, but Nelson has long been a magnet for creative people. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, traditional, contemporary and Maori. Visit their studios and find a unique piece to take home with you.

Walk the sun drenched sands of Golden Bay or head inland to Takaka and see the impossibly clear waters of New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs. Walk the Abel Tasman track – it’s a three to five day walk – or, for a different view, take a sea kayaking tour around the coast and see a seal colony and little blue penguins bobbing in the water.

Or just relax. Sit in the sun, sip a wine from one of the local vineyards, and dine on the famous Nelson Bay scallops.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Tonga Island Seals & Kayaking

Cruise the spectacular granite coastline to the golden beaches of the Marine Reserve.

Scenic Cruise, Walk & Kayak
Departing from Nelson or Kaiteriteri Beach and board a relaxing scenic cruise on the Abel Tasman Sea Shuttle which will bring you up to Totaranui. While on your cruise you will learn about the history of the park from the experienced skippers as they take you along a string of beautiful beaches. Then head south to Anchorage Bay where you disembark. Enjoy breath-taking views as you walk to Watering Cove where your kayak guide awaits you.
Kayaking south, we watch for playful seals as you visit Adele Island and embrace the wonderful
bird song ringing from this bush clad coastline. This kayak trip is great for taking it easy and
exploring the nooks and crannies of this stunning coastal paradise. Then kayak to Marahau beach where you connect with your return transport to Kaiteriteri Motueka or Nelson.

Operation: All Year round: Closed Christmas Day

Insiders Tip: Höglund Art Glass Studio & Gallery

Höglund Art Glass Studio & Gallery is one of Nelson’s iconic tourist attractions.

Internationally renowned glass artists Ola & Marie Höglund welcome you to experience the art of glassmaking. The gallery presents a wide range of handblown platters, vases, bowls, goblets, perfume bottles and glass jewellery. Open 7 days. Visitors welcome 10am – 5pm.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Swing Bridge, Bush & Beach Trek

Cruise into the heart of the National Park with full commentary to introduce you to this fascinating coastline.

Disembark at idyllic Medlands Beach – Bark Bay. Walk to the long golden-sand beach of Anchorage, via Torrent Bay. The track weaves through sunny groves of Manuka and fern between breathtaking views of the granite coast and lush gullies of mature forest. Cross the spectacular swing bridge at Falls River. Allow extra time (20 minutes return walk plus time to relax beside the pool) to take a short side track beside a crystal forest stream to visit tranquil Cleopatra’s Pool.

Walking time: 4hrs (10.6 kms, 6.5 miles). Allow extra time for Cleopatra’s Pool.
Time ashore: 4hrs 30mins to 6hrs 30mins

(Day 10) - Shuttle Transfer, Nelson Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Nelson, 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 10) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Nelson to Christchurch

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

(Days 10 to 11) - 1 Night Accommodation in Christchurch

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

Your 4 Star vacation accommodation in Christchurch, located on New Zealand’s South Island, offers a stylish boutique hotel, just metres from Cathedral Square, major business houses, convention facilities and prime attractions. The city, also known as the “Garden City” offers many opportunities to either rest from your travel or explore the city. Consider traveling to Arthur’s Pass National Park, which has an incredible diversity of flora and landscape. Experience a breathtaking journey aboard the TranzAlpine Train winding its way through New Zealand’s magnificent Waimakariri Gorge.

(Day 11) - Shuttle Transfer, Christchurch Accommodation to Train Depot

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Christchurch to the Train Depot.

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

(Day 11) - Day Tour - Tranz Alpine Christchurch to Greymouth

Climb aboard one of the world’s most famous train journeys.

Cross the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, and enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River. Traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape will take your breath away at every turn. Descend through thick stands of native beech forest to your destination, Greymouth – a great base for exploring this unspoiled region with its mighty glaciers, wild rivers and famous Punakaiki pancake rocks.

Your train journey sets off from Christchurch – New Zealand’s largest city on the South Island. The trip is 223.8 kilometres long.There are 16 tunnels, and 5 viaducts, the highest being the Staircase standing at 73 metres. This tour ends in Greymouth.

Photo Credit: KiwiRail Limited

(Days 11 to 14) - 4 Days Car Rental

Discover New Zealand as you travel by rental car for four days.

Take the opportunity to explore parts of New Zealand in and around your vacation town. Please bring a valid American driver’s license with you and be aware that in New Zealand people drive on the left hand side of the road.

*Upgrade available to include GPS navigation system (additional cost).

Base rate only paid by About Australia. Insurance, Premium Location Surcharge, Fuel and Fees to driver’s credit card.

(Day 11) - Self-Drive from Greymouth to Hokitika

The road between Greymouth and Hokitika provides great views of the wild west coast.

Detour to the beach and breathe the salt spray air. Driftwood is the ornamentation of choice for west coast beaches, every shape, size and colour. Hokitika was first settled in 1860, after the discovery of gold on the west coast. It still has the feel of a frontier town, and there are some lovely old buildings to admire.

While in Hokitika search out the many things to do such as the Glowworm Dell, Dorothy Falls or Hokitika Gorge.

(Days 11 to 12) - 1 Night Accommodation in Hokitika

The unique location of you accommodation on the shores of the Tasman Sea, allow you to beachcomb and explore craft galleries all from your doorstep.

This rare accommodation allow you to leave your room and walk straight onto an untamed ocean beach. The rear of the hotel opens into the heart of the Hokitika shopping precinct. Numerous artisans and craftspeople live in Hokitika and their workshops featuring jade, wood, gold, paintings and metals are within walking distance of the hotel. Deluxe and Executive rooms, each with a dramatic view of the ocean and positioned just steps from the beach. The location and on-site restaurant, café and bar make this accommodation the best place to stay on “the Coast”.

(Day 12) - Self-Drive from Hokitika to Franz Josef

The road from Hokitika to Franz Josef is rural, but with a wild streak.

The farmland is trying to turn back into forest, and the beauty of the rivers is raw and primeval. A visit to the White Heron colony near Whataroa is a rare experience. You could also enjoy a picnic by the shores of Lake Ianthe or discover the goldfield walkway at Ross.

First explored in 1865, the Franz Josef Glacier has been moving forward at a rate of about 1 metre a day since 1985. Previously it was in retreat. You can walk to the terminal of the glacier in about 10 minutes. Franz Josef township has a good range of accommodation and eating establishments.

A short 14 miles drive south and you’ll arrive at Fox Glacier. The glacier’s terminal face is just 5 kilometres from the township, and the road to the walking track crosses ancient moraine from earlier advances and retreats. Fed by four alpine glaciers, Fox Glacier was named after an early New Zealand Prime Minister, William Fox.

(Days 12 to 14) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Franz Josef

Travel to just outside the main Franz Josef Glacier village, your Accommodation is the ideal base for you to enjoy your vacation and everything the Glacier region and the glorious New Zealand West Coast has to offer.

Franz Josef Glacier, a perfect paradox. This remote village is set on the six hundred kilometre coastline in the tranquility of Westland National Park and yet offers rest and recreation at city levels amongst some of the wildest scenery in New Zealand. A wonderful relaxing bush environment with one of only two glaciers in the world that descend from crisp, clear snowfalls into lush, temporate rainforest.

New Zealand’s West Coast in the South Island rises from sea level through luxurious rain forest to a breath-taking high country that draws visitors from all over the world on an all-round pilgrimage for the uncluttered and unspoilt beauty that it offers.

Heli-hike on the glacier; take a guided walk; jet boat; go hunting and fishing or take sedate walks. We can make arrangements for all your vacation needs. You are our priority.

Photo Credit: Gareth Eyres; Tourism New Zealand

(Day 13) - Free Day to Explore Franz Josef

Free time to rest, relax or explore.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Ice Climb Tour

Enjoy a full day of exploring the glacier in a very unique way by vertically climbing of the icefall walls using technical equipment.

A day packed with adventure and adrenalin highs. Provided with expert tuition and all technical equipment, this is a great way to introduce you to the exhilarating sport of ice- climbing, whilst still enjoying the dramatic scenery and awesome terrain of the Franz Josef Glacier. On the glacier you will learn all the aspects of ice-climbing using the front points of crampons and two technical ice axes.


Your guide will tailor the day to challenge novices and experts alike and with no experience necessary you will soon be scaling towering walls of ice. The Franz Josef Glacier is the most spectacular commercially guided glacier in New Zealand, the more dramatic terrain, offering higher, steeper walls of ice on which to challenge yourself.

Includes: Heli Transfer, Expert Tuition, High-tech Equipment, Adrenaline Highs

Duration – up to 5 hours Ice time – up to 4 hours Difficulty Level – Hard

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Grand Traverse Tour

The flight of a lifetime, the “Grand Traverse” is a spectacular scenic flight that explores the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks.




The Grand Traverse is recognised as the premier Aoraki Mount Cook flight-seeing experience; this magnificent flight encompasses two World Heritage National Parks and 200 km of New Zealand’s most memorable and breathtaking scenery.




The highlights of the Grand Traverse include: Beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, golden tussock lands, and the braided river systems of the Mackenzie basin; Remote High Country Sheep Stations, glacial valleys, and landforms; The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park – a magical world of permanent ice and snow; New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers – including Aoraki Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier; The Westland Tai Poutini National Park encompassing the magnificent Franz Josef and Fox – Glaciers spilling down to the rainforests of the west coast

The aircraft is ideal for New Zealand’s conditions, offering a window seat for every passenger and have wings-above to ensure unobstructed viewing below. Your friendly pilot will provide an informative and enjoyable commentary.

The Grand Traverse is approximately 50 minutes flight time. Allow one hour total duration.

(Day 14) - Self-Drive from Franz Josef to Queenstown

The 5 hours drive from Franz Josef to Queenstown is visually spectactular and an easy drive.

Enjoy waterfalls and river scenery as you arrive in rainforest country. The vineyards of the Gibbston area and bungy jumpers at the Kawarau River Bridge are interesting distractions along the way. Be on the lookout for the famous bra fence; it started as a joke, but it’s become a local legend.

The lakeside resort town of Wanaka can provide you with an appealing mix of fine living, family fun and adventure. It has a high concentration of cafes, restaurants and interesting shops.

The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. It’s the place to source almost any kind of adventure, including bungy, jet boating, horse trekking, rafting and river surfing. It’s also a destination for luxury experiences , gourmet food and wine, spa treatments and leisurely games of golf.

(Days 14 to 18) - 4 Nights Accommodation in Queenstown

Travel to your accommodation in Queenstown, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 4 nights.

It’s all about location! Your 4 star accommodations sits in a tranquil lakefront setting only a minute’s walk from the heart of Queenstown with shopping, restaurants, nightlife and activities all within easy reach. This fresh, modern hotel features rooms and facilities furnished with the finest comforts and conveniences. A place where you can relax with surperb uninterrupted views of the lake, mountains and adjoining gardens. Comfortable and serene you will surely enjoy your stay here!

Upgrades Available: Garden View Room, Lakeview Room

(Day 15) - Day Tour, Doubtful Sound - Full Day

Travel to an untouched world deep in the heart of Fiordland National Park. The beauty and vastness of Doubtful Sound will take your breath away as you experience its deep wilderness.

When you discover Doubtful Sound you will be struck by its silence – a silence broken only by birdsong or the rushing of a distant waterfall. Its beauty and vastness will take your breath away.

Your day begins in Manapouri with a cruise across the picturesque Lake Manapouri followed by a trip across New Zealand’s most expensive road over Wilmot Pass, pausing along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below.


In Doubtful Sound, you will board our spacious, purpose built catamaran Patea Explorer for a three hour cruise through this pristine fiord. During the cruise our knowledgeable and friendly nature guides will share with you their passion for the region through their commentary. They will answer questions, point out landmarks and provide you with information about the varied wildlife you may encounter like dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin.

Lunch options and complimentary tea and coffee are available on the vessel.

*A picnic lunch can be pre-ordered before your tour for an additional cost. There is also a selection of cafe food aboard the vessel for purchase.

Tour departs at approximately 7am and returns at approximately 8pm (seasonally adjusted).

Photo Credit: Tourism Media

(Day 16) - Day Tour, Gondola Ride

One of the first sights to captivate visitors to Queenstown is the distinctive outline of the Skyline complex high above town.


Located an easy 5 minute walk from central Queenstown and exclusively accessed by scenic gondola, Skyline Gondola, Restaurant & Luge is a must-see attraction during your visit to Queenstown, New Zealand. The best views in the region are found here spread out in a spectacular 220 degree panorama, with breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkable mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. It’s truly magnificent and awe-inspiring!


Of course there’s more to do than just admire the view! Enjoy a dinner or relax in the bar in the Skyline Restaurant. Casual dining is also available during the day in the Cafe. Thrillseekers can hurtle down the winding downhill Skyline Luge – it`s the fastest fun on wheels! or maybe take in the challenge of AJ Hackett`s Ledge Bungy or Swing, or take off on a tandem parapente flight. Various walking tracks can also be accessed from Skyline, from an easy 30 minute walk to a full day hike.

(Day 17) - Free Day to Explore Queenstown

Spend a day to relax or explore dynamic Queenstown.

This region is renowned for its incedible adventure activities and spectacular outdoor terrain. You could try skiing, snowboarding, bungy jumping, paragliding, jetboating, sky diving and more! Or, if you want something a little more relaxed, you can choose from numerous family activities, nature experiences, tours and beauty spas. One hundred and forty years after our establishment as a gold mining camp, central Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath majestic mountains. There’s a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you’ll find a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Optional Day Tour (Not Included)- Dart River Safari - ½ Day

This jet boat adventure offers your senses a feast of spectacular natural beauty on a journey into the wilderness of a World Heritage area.

Your day begins with 1.5 hour journey on a jet boat through the Dart’s river system. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful snow-covered peaks, hidden valleys & waterfalls. Your day includes a guided walk (30-40 minutes) along the ‘Heritage Trail’ at Paradise. Your guide will provide you with informative & entertaining commentary about the ancient native beech forest. The forests of this region sit within a World Heritage Area, one of the only natural sites of its kind that is accessible to the public.


Your guide details the fascinating history of this area from the days of Gondwanaland, to quests by Maori for prized pounamu, to the present day efforts of New Zealand’s department of conservation for the preservation of the area. The day ends with a 4WD coach drive along a scenic back road. You will be entertained with stories of the countryside. On the ride home you will stop to view the scenery made famous by Peter Jackson in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogies.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Hot Air Balloon over Queenstown

Enjoy a once in a life time experience in a hot air balloon. Queenstown, in New Zealand’s South Island, is the most spectacular place to fly in a hot air balloon!

The flight is carried out near Queenstown in the valley between the Remarkables Range and Coronet Peak with panoramic views of the mountains and lakes of the area.

Get a bird’s eye view of some of the filming locations used in “Lord Of The Rings”.After about a one hour flight, indulge in a champagne celebration which includes juice, tea,coffee, hot chococlate, croissants, danishes & muffins.

Dress appropriately for the season, bearing in mind that this is an outdoor activity. It is no colder at altitude than on the ground before take off. Tramping boots or sports shoes are recommended. High heels and sandals are not suitable. Bring a hat! Passengers will be standing for the duration of the flight. Ballooning is weather dependent and we will only fly if weather conditions are suitable.

Allow 3 ½ to 4 hours from pick-up at dawn* to drop off at your Hotel. Additional afternoon flight June, July and August in the afternoon.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise

Relive the elegance of bygone days with a 1.5 hour cruise aboard a vintage steamship.

What better way to view the magnificent scenery around Lake Wakatipu (Queenstown) than by taking a cruise a board the last remaining coal fired passenger carrying vessels operating in the southern hemisphere.Affectionately known as the Lady of the Lake, this vessel has a special place in the hearts of Queenstown people. She has been transporting goods to remote settlements and conveying passengers on beautiful Lake Wakatipu since 1912.

Photo Credit: Real Journeys

(Day 18) - Shuttle Transfer, Queenstown Accommodation to Airport

Travel by shuttle from your vacation accommodation in Queenstown, 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 18) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Queenstown to Auckland

Travel within New Zealand by domestic air from Queenstown to Auckland (North Island).

(Day 18) - 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.

 
Detailed Pricing
Approximate Pricing Double Occupancy Sole Occupancy Permitted USA Departure Dates & Fare Rules
Land Content Only $3,629 $5,233 International return flights from the USA are not included. Please see detailed itinerary (above) for more information on inclusions. Itinerary can commence any day (subject to availability).
Special (Economy Class) $4,773 $6,377 Nov 29 2018 - Jun 28 2019
USA Departures: 17 FEB - 28 JUN, 24 JUL - 17 SEP & 01 NOV - 10 DEC, 2019. Expires DEC 31
International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable, Non-Changeable. Other Dates may also apply. For details phone Toll-Free: (888)359 2877
Basic (Economy Class) $5,720 $7,324 Basic: 24JUL-21SEP 2018 and 1MAY-8JUN 2019. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability
Shoulder (Economy Class) $5,927 $7,531 Shoulder: 9JUN-23JUL 2018, 22SEP-8DEC 2018 and 1FEB-30APR 2019. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability
Peak (Economy Class) $6,444 $8,048 Peak: 9DEC 2018 - 31JAN 2019. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply) Subject to Availability
Premium (Economy Class) $8,697 $10,300 Premium Economy Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Change and Cancellation Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.
Business Class $10,410 $12,014 Business Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.
  • a) All prices are USD$/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.