13 Days/10 nights - Experience the best New Zealand has to offer! Start this New Zealand adventure in Queenstown, New Zealand’s premier visitor destination. After taking in the awe inspiring glaciers and thrill inducing jetboats, hit the road and make your way to Franz Josef – New Zealand’s largest glacier. Relax on the scenic TranzAlpine scenic rail journey to Christchurch and allow yourself the freedom to watch the world go by. Venture to the Central North Island and experience bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs as well the fascinating Maori culture in Rotorua. Conclude your tour with two nights in the beautiful harbour city of Auckland
- Roundtrip International Economy Class flights from Los Angeles (domestic US flights can be added at an additional cost)
- Domestic New Zealand flights
- 3 nights Queenstown in 4* accommodation
- 5 days medium automatic car rental Queenstown - Greymouth (coach transportation is available if a self drive is not preferred)
- 2 nights Franz Josef Glacier in 4* accommodation
- Tranz Alpine Express rail journey Greymouth - Christchurch
- 1 night Christchurch in 4* accommodation
- 2 nights Rotorua in 4* accommodation
- Full day tour Rotorua - Waitomo Caves - Auckland
- 2 nights Auckland in 4* accommodation
- Shuttle airport transfers in
- All taxes & fuel surcharges
Day 1 - Depart US
Ask about our options with Premium Economy and Business class airfare.
Day 2 - Cross International Date
Day 3 - Arrive New Zealand, continue on to Queenstown
Welcome to New Zealand! Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown’s stunning scenery is inspiring and revitalizing. With such a huge range of activities in Queenstown, no two days will ever be the same. Collect your medium automatic rental car and drive the short distance to the accommodation.
Days 4 & 5 - Queenstown
Explore Queenstown at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - Some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
- Milford Fly Cruise Fly/Dart River Safaris Combo
Join your Milford Sound Scenic Flights crew at Queenstown Airport, Sir Henly Wigley Dr, Frankton, to commence a full day Milford Fly Cruise Fly/Dart River Safaris Combo tour. Fly from Queenstown to magnificent Milford to enjoy a launch cruise travelling the full length of Milford Sound. Return by scenic flight landing at Glenorchy to join Dart River Safaris to journey into the untouched wilderness of a World Heritage Area before coaching back to Queenstown. Tour concludes approximately 10 hours after commencement, at Queenstown Airport.
- Milford Sound Nature Cruise
An on board nature guide with specialist knowledge of the region's history, flora and fauna provides detailed interpretation in English with a roving microphone. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks; and keep a lookout for wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins when in season. Coach or flight transfers available.
- Appellation Central Wine Tours
Appellation Central offers guided tours showcasing Central Otago's fine wine and cuisine. These tours venture into the heartland of Central Otago visiting vineyards in Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Small groups and custom fit minibuses ensure a relaxed and interactive day out from Queenstown and a great way to experience Central Otago.
- Nomad Safari - Skippers Canyon
A half-day heritage tour that follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. Hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley. Navigate this awe-inspiring canyon and visit many historic sites such as the Skippers Suspension Bridge, township of Skippers, and the restored school house - gain a real insight into the local heritage through photos and histories of life in this tough environment.
- Queenstown Rafting Triple Challenge - Shotover Jet,Helicopter & WhiteWater Rafting
The Ultimate Adventure. Begin with the shotover jet, speed through rocky canyons and experience the Hamilton 360 spins. Climb aboard a helicopter for a spectacular flight into Skippers Canyon. Land at Deep Creek and meet your rafting guide, peaceful waters at first before hearing the roar of the"mother" section.
- Zipline Ecotour
Commence an ecotour on Queenstown's original zipline course and the perfect starter to your adventure experience. Comprised of four ziplines, starting and finishing at the top of the Skyline gondola, the tour is designed to start low and slow and gradually build your confidence as it gets progressively longer, higher and faster. All ages love the interaction this guided aerial tour has to offer.
Day 6 - Queenstown - Franz Josef
Depart Queenstown and self drive to Franz Josef Glacier.
Fox Glacier to Franz Josef
The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers are unique relics of the last ice age. Mighty rivers of solid white, tumbling down ice-hewn rock valleys, they are classically beautiful in the glacial sense. Nowhere else in the world have glaciers advanced so close to the sea at this latitude. While in the area, you can choose from a wide range of adventure activities.
Day 7 - Franz Josef
- Heli Hike
Combine an awesome scenic helicopter flight over the glacier with a unique guided walk amongst the ice caves, pinnacles and seracs of this pristine, alpine environment. You'll see the extraordinary colours of the ice-flow from above and then up close, on an unforgettable guided walk.
- Glacier Valley Walk
At the terminal face of Fox Glacier is a cave where the Fox River emerges from the ice and where ice collapses are often heard and seen. Although you will not walk on the glacier, your guide will show you ice that has travelled 13 kilometers from the base of the Southern Alps all the way to the river valley floor and may take you closer to the ice than the unguided public.
Day 8 - Fox Glacier - Greymouth - Christchurch
Franz Josef to Hokitika
The road from the glaciers 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. 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. Greenstone (NZ jade) is the town's treasure these days, watch it being carved. You might also want to investigate the museum and do the historical walk.
Arrive Greymouth no later than 1pm, return rental vehicle and report for the Tranz Alpine train departure at 145pm. Departing through lush beech rain forest, your train then climbs into the Southern Alps, before descending into the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. From your carriage you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland. All carriages include both one way seating and tabled group seating allowing you to experience the amazing views while enjoying the company of other passengers on-board. An open air viewing carriage allows you to get even closer to the stunning scenery and provides many opportunities to photograph your favourite spots. There’s a lot to look forward to! Our train journey sets off from Christchurch - New Zealand's largest city on the South Island. The trip is 223.8 kilometres long and takes just four and a half hours. There are 16 tunnels, and 5 viaducts, the highest being the Staircase standing at 73 metres.
On arrival into Christchurch transfer to your hotel.
Day 9 - Fly Christchurch to Rotorua
Day 10 - Rotorua
- Discover Rotorua
Experience Te Puia, a place of Maori culture and a thermal wonderland of impressive geysers and boiling mud pools. Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park, which showcases native flora and fauna as well as the New Zealand Kiwi. Then see NZ's agricultural industry in action with a sheep shearing display and sheep dog trials at the Agrodome.
- Te Puia Steambox Lunch
Visitors can choose what they want to have cooked for their lunch before heading out on a special guided tour. As they participate in an interactive session, learning how to weave a flower, and tour the carving and weaving schools, their food is placed in a Nga Wha (steam vent) Puapua, which is located in the geothermal area that is the backdrop to the famous Pohutu Geyser. Heading down into the geothermal valley to the mud pools and hot springs, the tour concludes when, after watching their lunch being lifted from the Nga Wha, guests sit and enjoy a steam box picnic lunch on the geyser terrace.
Zorbit - you are safely harnessed inside the Zorb before being sent rolling head over heels down the straight track. Like an astronaut in training you will have a sense of weightlessness and G-force as you make your way down hill. In the Zydro (Hydro) ride we add water (warm in winter, cool in summer) into the Zorb so you can slip, slide, or spin (no tumbling) inside as the Zorb hurtles down the hill.
Your guide will escort you through the ten acre site of where the Lord of the Rings movie set used to be. Your guide will explain all about what was needed to create the Hobbiton set and tell stories about what went on during filming. Check out the Hobbit holes from the film set. After viewing the Bag End, you can pet and feed the hand reared sheep and hand bottle feed lambs.
Day 11 - Rotorua to Auckland via Waitomo Caves
Day 12 - Auckland
Explore Auckland at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options - Some of our favorites (additional cost applies):
- Auckland City Revealed (Half Day)
NZ's largest and busiest city is set on 48 dormant volcanic cones and lies between two harbours: the sparkling Waitemata and the brooding Manukau. The tour begins with a drive up Queen Street, past Auckland University and through Auckland Domain to Ponsonby. Head over the harbour bridge to the North Shore and enjoy a stroll on Narrow Neck Beach in historic Devonport. Re-board the coach for a trip up to the summit of Mt Victoria for stunning panoramic views over Auckland City, then travel back over the harbour bridge to Westhaven Marina. Finish with a visit to Auckland Fish Market before continuing on to the Viaduct Harbour.
- Bush and Beach - Coast and Rainforest Tour
Visit Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, with panoramic views from the sweeping decks extending from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Next, your guides walk you through Auckland’s coastal rainforest to the West Coast Beach with soft black sand, enjoy a kiwi style picnic lunch before moving onto untouched original rainforest with mature 1000 year old Kauri trees, where 70 percent of the world’s native plants are found nowhere else in the world.
- Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise
Board your Explore Group vessel at Viaduct Harbour, Auckland to commence an Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise. Dine on the Waitemata Harbour, an experience not to be missed in Auckland. Enjoy great sailing and as the sun sets watch the night lights of the cityscape come alive. Sail where the wind takes while enjoying Auckland's city highlights; including sailing under the Harbour Bridge and other well-known landmarks along the harbours edge. The crew's local knowledge will give you the best harbour sailing experience Auckland has to offer. Cruise concludes at approximately 2.5 hours after commencement, back at Viaduct Harbour Auckland.
- Waiheke Island - Wine Tour<
All day tour of three vineyards with pickup from and return to Auckland ferry or Waiheke Island accommodation . This tour includes commentated scenic tour of the Island with time to stop for photographs. One vineyard may be replaced with an olive oil visit and tasting
Day 13 - Depart for US
||Now-31 March 2018|
* Peak Season 1Dec17-28Feb18 pricing - Availability very restricted, package pricing may be higher Dec-Feb period, depending on availability
Daily departures, this package is an independent itinerary with flexible departures (not a group tour), the above costs apply for travel within each date band when you depart & return within these dates, ask an Aspire Down Under consultant for a quote when your travel dates cross over the date bands.
Additional departure gateways & pricing
- Add on airfare is available from most major airports - ask an Aspire consultant for a quote from your local airport.
- Houston - $220 additional
- Seattle - $300 additional
- Denver - $300 additional
- Portland, OR - $300 additionall
- Dallas - $350 additional
- Chicago - $400 additional
- New York - $450 additional
- Boston - $450 additional
- Washington, DC - $450 additional
Optional Activities, Extensions or Add-Ons & pricing:
- Upgrade to premium economy from $750 per person each way
- Upgrade to business class from $1,950 per person each way
- Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket
All upgrades are subject to availability, upgrade cost may be higher depending on availability
Package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) from Los Angeles or San Francisco for purchase by 31 December, 2017. Ask an Aspire consultant for pricing for other travel dates. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain blackout dates apply on the accommodation and tour value add offers - check with your Aspire consultant. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check, please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. There are no discounts for payment made by credit cards. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply. Free Fiji offer only applies when package is for 2 people, not valid for single travelers.