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Including 2 night stopover on the Cook Islands at the Muri Beach Club located on the stunning Muri Lagoon among tropical landscaped gardens. Onto New Zealand and indulge yourself with a 7 day journey from Queenstown to Blenheim via the glaciers and Punakaiki. Finish in Blenheim, home to New Zealand's finest wineries, the perfect end to your New Zealand stay.

Inclusions:

  • Round-trip International Economy airfare from Los Angeles on Air New Zealand
  • Add-on airfares available from other cities
  • Internal New Zealand flights
  • 2 nights accommodation at The Muri Beach Club Rarotonga
  • Meet & greet and airport transfers in Rarotonga
  • 6 nights accommodation in New Zealand at the standard of your choice - Queenstown (3), Fox Glacier (1), Punakiki (1), Blenheim (1)
  • 7 Days Thrifty car rental
  • ** Sightseeing options and packages are available **

Itinerary>

Customize this itinerary - Contact Us

Day 1 - Depart US
Ask about our options with Premium Economy and Business class airfare.

Day 2 - Arrive Cook Islands
Receive a traditional Lei greeting on arrival before being transferred to the Muri Beach Club.

ACCOMMODATION - Retreat, relax and revive in chic sophistication on Rarotonga's best swimming beach, where the only distraction is the location! The Muri Beach Club Hotel enjoys an enviable location on the very best stretch of beach on Muri Lagoon. Beachfront rooms have stunning views over the lagoon and the small offshore islands (motu). This perfect getaway retreat is privately owned and operated with relaxation, privacy and guest satisfaction as its mission objective. Boutique in style and service, the Muri Beach Club Hotel welcomes you to experience the real rhythm of Rarotonga.... in absolute chic sophistication.

Day 3 - Muri Beach Club, Rarotonga
The location puts you right at the heart of one of Rarotonga’s most outstanding natural features – Muri Lagoon. The lagoon is our island’s aquatic playground, for superb and safe snorkelling and swimming. With other watersports like kayaking, wind surfing, kite surfing, sailing and glass-bottomed boat rides, there’s always an opportunity to get out on the water and away from it all. Naturally, the lagoon and beach are so beautiful that just walking and lying by the water will provide you with plenty of chances to banish stress and feel completely rejuvenated.

Amenities designed to pamper include a Fine Dining Restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner specialising in Pacific Rim Cuisine. The exclusive Lagoon Lounge, large central Swimming Pool, Beauty & Spa, personalised wedding and honeymoon coordinator, Business Centre, shopping including Polynesian Jewellery and Resort Wear, Aqua-Centre, Tour Desk, Rental Vehicles and 24 hour Reception ensure every need is catered for.

Day 4 - Depart Cook Islands
Fly Rarotonga - Auckland - Queenstown - cross dateline

Day 5 - Arrive Queenstown
Queenstown is the Southern Hemisphere’s premier four season lake and alpine resort. 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 Thrifty medium automatic rental car and drive the short distance to the accommodation category of your choice.

Days 6 & 7 - Queenstown
Explore Queenstown at your leisure or consider adding one of our boutique tour options, see our e-brochure or speak with an Aspire expert.

  • 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.
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Day 8 - Queenstown - Fox Glacier/Franz Josef Glacier

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Queenstown to Wanaka
103 km (64 miles) Approximately 1.25 hours

The shortest route to Wanaka is over the Crown Range Road. It's a challenging drive, but the views are amazing and you'll probably encounter friendly keas (mountain parrots). More conservative drivers can take the route that runs beside the Shotover River, Lake Dunstan and the Clutha River. The vineyards of the Gibbston area and bungy jumpers at the Kawarau River Bridge are interesting distractions along the way.

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Wanaka to Haast
139 km (87 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours

Lake Hawea is the first scenic highlight of your journey, followed closely by the northern end of Lake Wanaka. The famous "bra fence" is impossible to miss, it started as a joke, but it's become a local legend. At the wilderness town of Makarora you can fuel up and refresh before you take on the dramatic twists and turns of the Haast Pass. Enjoy waterfalls and river scenery as you arrive in rainforest country. 

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Haast to Fox Glacier
122 km (76 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours

Just north of Haast is Lake Moeraki, a peaceful forest lake with good fishing, a 40 minute walk takes you to the penguin colony at Monro Beach. Next is pretty Lake Paringa, where you can enjoy a delicious meal of salmon at the salmon farm. Just before Fox Glacier is the western end of the Copland track. In half a day you can walk to the hot springs at Welcome Flat. 

Day 9 - Fox Glacier -  Punakaiki
This morning explore Franz Josef at your leisure or consider adding one of our boutique tour options (additional cost)

  • Flying Fox Helihike
    The fly-in, fly-out helihike combines the excitement of walking on the Fox Glacier with the thrill of helicopter flights. By flying in you are able to access and explore a part of the glacier where its forces work hardest and often create spectacular ice caves and arches. Equipped with leather boots and other equipment, you board the helicopter for your first flight over the pinnacles of the lower icefall. Here, the ice is in constant motion. Take in views of the dramatic upper icefall and Victoria Falls, which is the melt river of the hidden Victoria glacier, before landing. Your landing site on the ice is a remote and exceptionally beautiful part of the glacier. At this stage, your guide outfits you with crampons, specially designed for these ice conditions and you follow the ice steps cut by your guide as you explore the amazing formations and ice caves which are only seen here
  • Fox Trail Terminal Face Walk
    This is an informative and leisurely trip to the dynamic face of the glacier. It is here that the Fox River emerges from the ice and where ice collapses are often heard and seen. This trip is for people with limited time or for those who would find the walks onto the glacier too strenuous. Although you will not walk on the glacier your guide will take you to the final resting place of the ice that has travelled 12 kilometres from the base of the Southern Alps, all the way to the river valley floor.
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Fox Glacier to Franz Josef
23 km (14 miles) Approximately 0.25 hour

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.

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Franz Josef to Hokitika
133 km (83 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours

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.

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Hokitika to Greymouth
40 km (25 miles) Approximately 0.5 hour

The road between Hokitika and Greymouth 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. Greymouth has a long gold mining history. It's the largest town on the west coast and is known for its awesome seascapes. 

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Greymouth to Punakaiki
45 km (28 miles) Approximately 0.5 hour

The road to Punakaiki is breathtaking. White capped breakers and rugged rocks on one side, bush-clad mountains on the other side. Punakaiki is famous for its pancake rocks and booming blowholes. It is the centrepiece of the Paparoa National Park, which is packed with a variety of stunning landscapes. There are many excellent coastal and inland walks in this area. The pancake rock formations date back about 30 million years. When the tide is right, Punakaiki's blow holes are spectacular.

Day 10 - Punakaiki - Blenheim

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Punakaiki to Westport
57 km (36 miles) Approximately 0.75 hour

The road to Westport hugs the coast, providing spectacular views of wild beaches and the tempestuous Tasman Sea. At Charleston, formerly a prosperous gold town, you can arrange underground rafting and cave exploring trips. Westport is known as a coal mining town, but it's also a base for outdoor adventures. 

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Westport to Nelson
226 km (141 miles) Approximately 3 hours

The road to Nelson is scenic and interesting, beginning with the dark, forbidding Buller Gorge. At Hawks Crag you'll drive under a dramatic rock overhang. When you reach Lyell you can pan for gold or walk to a pioneer cemetery. The museum at Murchison will tell you all about the massive earthquake that shook the region in 1929. Those with plenty of time can turn off and loop past the Nelson Lakes National Park. The city of Nelson is home to a fascinating community of beach, bush and art lovers. 

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Nelson to Blenheim
115 km (72 miles) Approximately 1.5 hours

The drive to Blenheim is both beautiful and interesting. Rai Valley has a delightful cottage museum, and at Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve you can enjoy a bush walk or a swim. Nearby Canvastown gives you the chance to explore old gold mining fields and thousands tried to get rich here in the 1860s. Havelock is the place for a seafood meal, known as the Green Shell Mussel Capital of the World. When you reach Renwick, which is surrounded by vineyards, it will be clear that you've arrived in wine country. Blenheim is the heart of wine-growing Marlborough. 

Day 11 - Blenheim
explore Blenheim at your leisure or consider addition a tour - some suggestions )additional cost):

  • Marlborough Icons
    our tour guide will show you through the fabulous Marlborough wine region stopping to enjoy two fine wine experiences including Marlborough's Iconic winery, Cloudy Bay. After two wonderful wine visits the tour then departs the wine region through to the Marlborough Sounds for a lunch on the waterfront (lunch is at own cost). Depart the marina on the Malrborough Tour Company launch for a unique Seafood Cruise through the Marlborough Sounds. Take in the natural beauty of the native bush and the tranquility of the Sounds. Learn from your experienced Skipper the history of the Malrborough Sounds and the history of the pioneering families who have settled in the Sounds over 6 generations. Visit a marine farm and learn why seafood grows so well in the Marlborough Sounds. Enjoy a seafood tasting matched to a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. On arrival back in Havelock re-board the coach for the transfer back to Blenheim
  • Deluxe Half Day Guided Biking Wine Tour
    This guided half day tour bikes to three of Marlborough's premium wineries. You will ride along country roads, river stop-banks and through vineyards. The tour guide provides commentary throughout the tour on the wines and wineries and also the history and geography of New Zealand's largest wine region. Tour concludes approximately 3.5 hours after commencement,
  • Half Day Wine Tour
    Commence a half day Marlborough Wine Tour. The 4-5 hour tour will give you a great insight to the Marlborough Wine area. Tasting wines along the way and wandering amongst the vines. Tour concludes approximately 4-5 hours after commencement at which time hotel drop offs will commence.
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Day 12 - Depart for US
Drop off rental vehicle at Blenheim airport and fly to Auckland. Connect with your International flight to US.

 

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Conditions

*From pricing is valid for departures until 31 March 2017 for purchase by 31 March 2017. Prices are per person based on double occupancy departures from Los Angeles. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain black out 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.