New Zealand’s best kept secret is out! Winter is truly a spectacular time to visit New Zealand! More and more people are visiting New Zealand in winter time to experience its breath taking alpine scenery, snow-capped mountains and pristine lakes. Experience a Kiwi winter wonderland with this 14 day New Zealand tour from favorite destinations such as Rotorua, Tongariro, Abel Tasman, Mount Cook National Park and Milford Sound to a few new favorites in winter such as renowned Thermal Hot Pool and Spas of Hanmer Springs and the world class alpine village of Queenstown!
Why Moatrek ?
Moatrek knows what really makes any trip extra special, they'll introduce you to people they're lucky to call mates - guardians of ‘Tane Mahuta’ Lord of the Forest and hear legends from guides who were literally born into Maanakitanga (hospitality) and Kaitiakitanga (guardianship). MoaTrek is a family owned New Zealand company, started in 1971 and run by mother and son team Ena and Miles - with a few more ‘extended’ family around these days too and of course wonderful 'Kiwi Guides'. From planning your big trip, right through to finding that special Kiwi momento once you’re touring with Moatrek, you will be looked after you every step of the way.
(B) Breakfast. (L) Lunch. (D) Dinner. (SD) Specialty Dinner.
- Round trip coach class air travel from Los Angeles to New Zealand
- All travel in comfortable, air conditioned coaches (maximum of 18 travelers)
- Your MoaTrek 'Kiwi Guide' is at your service every day of your tour
- Relax in quality accommodation handpicked for the best views and location, porterage included
Included Activities & Entrance Fees
- Learn about the history of Northland and the mighty Kauri tree at the Kauri Museum, Matakohe.
- Enjoy a spiritual journey with Maori guides to Tane Mahuta, the ancient ‘Lord of the Forest.’
- Cruise across the glistening waters of Hokianga Harbour and sand boarding.
- Explore Kerikeri’s historic Stone Store.
- Learn about the history of New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty House.
- Enjoy a dolphin cruise out to the famous Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett, with the chance to swim with the dolphins in the Bay of Islands.
- See thousands of twinkling glowworms on a guided tour through Kawiti Caves.
- Visit a working Kiwifruit orchard, meet the growers and taste the fruit fresh off the vine.
- Cruise across Lake Rotoiti on the luxury yacht “Tuia” before soaking in mineral hot pools on the edge of the lake.
- Te Wairoa Buried Village Museum and grounds.
- Visit the Kiwi Encounter in Rotorua and learn all about the work being done to protect our national bird.
- Wander New Zealand's most colourful geothermal park at Wai-O-Tapu.
- Explore Napier with a private guided tour of this famous Art Deco town.
- Enjoy a scenic cruise across the Cook Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound on-board the Interislander ferry.
- Taste a selection of wines in Marlborough, New Zealand’s premier wine-growing region.
- Take a cruise to the golden sands of the Abel Tasman National Park.
- Relax in the world renowned Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spas set amongst breath taking alpine scenery.
- Enjoy breathtaking views of Queenstown on the Skyline Gondola.
- Experience the pristine landscapes of Milford Sound with a 1.45 hour nature and wildlife cruise.
- Soar high above the Southern Alps from Milford Sound to Queenstown on a scenic flight. Enjoy a guided kayak or leisurely cruise around the shallow waters of secluded Okarito Lagoon.
- All breakfasts are included
- Two special lunches (L) - Te Wairoa Buried Village Lake Tarawera, Rotorua; Akaunui Farm homestead, Canterbury.
- Two special dinners - Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Hokianga; celebratory final dinner at Punakaiki Resort.
Day 1 - Depart US
Ask about our options with Premium Economy and Business class airfare.
Day 2 - Cross International Date Line
Day 3 - Arrive in Auckland
Your tour starts from Auckland, New Zealand’s "City of Sails" and one of the friendly MoaTrek team will meet you at the airport today (or whenever you arrive) and will drop you off at your hotel. Your home for the night is just a short stroll away from the cafes and restaurants of Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter, Princes Wharf and the downtown shopping district. Can’t wait to get out into that New Zealand fresh air? Ferries to Devonport or the Hauraki Gulf islands are right there too!
There’s no better way to get your bearings than to take the stunning view from the Sky Tower, or a short ride to the Auckland Museum, watching over the city from the Auckland Domain.
Accommodation - Auckland Viaduct - Sebel Suites
Day 4 - Auckland - Rotorua
From Auckland our tour continues to Rotorua, via the lush pastures of the Waikato and fruit basket of the Bay of Plenty. Our first stop is the dramatic Karangahake Gorge for a stroll alongside the Ohinemuri River through native bush to the relics and ruins of this region's gold-mining past.
We pass through Te Puke, the Kiwifruit capital of the world, where we'll visit a working Kiwifruit orchard before continuing on to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Along the way, at Okawa Bay, we board "Tiua", a 53ft catamaran for a relaxing sail on serene Lake Rotoiti to secluded coves and natural hot pools reached only by boat - a memorable end to an awesome day.
Accommodation - Rotorua - Novotel Lakeside
Day 5 - Rotorua tours and activities
We’ve got two nights in Rotorua, so take it easy this morning! Perhaps stroll down to the lakeside, just minutes from your hotel, or enjoy one of Rotorua's many guided tours and attractions. Don’t miss nearby Ohinemutu marae, one of only two living Maori villages left in New Zealand. We'll head to the famous 'Buried Village of Te Wairoa' for a hosted lunch with our friends David and Karen, you’ll love them and their stories from their Maori and European histories.
After lunch let’s take a walk around the village itself before we learn all about our national icon (the Kiwi bird) and the amazing efforts that go into ensuring their survival at the Rotorua Kiwi Encounter. When you see a live Kiwi you'll be amazed at how big they are!
Accommodation - Rotorua - Novotel Lakeside
Day 6 - Rotorua - Tongariro National Park
No Kiwi holiday would be complete without a visit to the surreal, geothermal reserve of Wai-O-Tapu. The bubbling mud pools and incredibly colourful silica terraces are unforgettable.
From Rotorua we continue on our adventure to ‘Great Lake’ Taupo, for a stop at the famous Huka Falls. We’ll take our time and make plenty of stops around the lake to enjoy the magnificent views of our three volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. These lunar landscape of the volcanic plateau are our next stop on tour, Tongariro National Park. You’ll love the grandeur of our home for the night ‘Chateau Tongariro’ at the foot of Mt Ruapehu, the perfect spot to stretch your legs on a short walk before dinner.
Accommodation - Tongariro National Park - Chateau Tongariro
Day 7 - Tongariro National Park - Napier
Our day starts in style, with breakfast at the historic Chateau Tongariro nestled at the base of the mountains. This is the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, from this volcanic plateau we make our way across the high country and down to the seaside holiday spot of Hawke’s Bay. There won’t be many Kiwis who don’t have awesome summer holiday memories from ‘the Bay’! You'll slip right into holiday mode as we pass through the idyllic Hawke's Bay patchwork of orchards, pasture, vineyards and of course the sweeping coastline. On to Napier, where the afternoon is yours to explore the town at your leisure.
Renowned for its Art Deco architecture, Napier was rebuilt in this style after an earthquake in 1931 and nowadays the whole community embraces Art Deco, there’s definitely a ‘Great Gatsby’ feel to the place! On arrival, take your pick of a guided walking tour of the Napier's impressive Art Deco buildings, or you may prefer a cocktail overlooking the ocean, we’re in the best spot possible tonight!
Accommodation - Napier - Scenic Hotel Te Pania
Day 8 - Napier - Wellington
Say goodbye to Napier as we travel through the countryside and vineyards, through the small towns of Norsewood and Dannevirke before heading down the Wairarapa Plains to historic, arty Greytown. Its picturesque main street is lined with antique, craft and gift shops, it’s also at the centre of the Wairarapa's premium wine-growing region, go on, grab a glass with lunch, you’re on holiday!
Something different about our tour is the overnight stay in Wellington, we reckon you can’t miss ’the coolest little capital in the world'. We’ll check out the city's sights and head up Mt Victoria for the stunning views over the harbour before getting settled for the night. We’re right in the heart of Wellington's vibrant hub of museums, theatres, galleries, boutiques and cafes. Looking for some local flavour? Ask for one of Wellington’s trendy craft beers with your dinner (Our pick – Tuatara)
Accommodation - Wellington - The Bolton Hotel
Day 9 - Wellington - Cook Strait Crossing - Picton - Blenheim - Nelson
Loading up the car and heading across to ‘the mainland’ is what we all used to do on holiday as kids, it’s a Kiwi rite of passage! We cruise on the Interislander ferry for three hours across Cook Strait and into beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton to plant our feet firmly on “Te Waka a Maui”, the South Island. Our first port of call is Forrest Wines for tasting and lunch, right in the heart of the world famous Marlborough sauvignon blanc region.
From wine country we head to through the heart of Marlborough toward Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Along the way we cross the Pelorus River bridge, scene of the Barrel Run scene from the Hobbit movies. In Nelson relax and unpack, this is home for 2 nights
Accommodation - Nelson - Trailways Hotel
Day 10 - Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park
Today is a highlight of the tour for many people – everyone has seen stunning photos of Abel Tasman National Park and now you’re here! Take your pick from a full scenic cruise or a cruise / walk combo to hike a section of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Find out how a recent crowd funded initiative increased the area our country's smallest national park to protect even more of this iconic landscape.
The coast is dotted with islands just offshore, sheltered bays, estuaries and golden sand beaches. Lie on the beach, or go for a swim, keeping your eye out for dolphins who often make an appearance. The park is sheltered from ocean swells and enjoys fantastic weather all year round, which is why so many Kiwis dream of visiting Abel Tasman too! After your magical day out we'll return to Nelson for another night.
Accommodation - Nelson - Trailways Hotel
Day 11 - Nelson - Hanmer Springs
We depart Nelson for the famous Pelorus River (scene of the Barrel Run from the Hobbit) before leaving the orchards and artisans behind for the foothills of the Southern Alps and Canterbury. The road travels through the picturesque countryside of the upper South Island before traversing the Southern Alps at the Lewis Pass and continuing on to the picturesque alpine village of Hanmer Springs!
In the evening relax and wind down in the world renowned Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spas set amongst breath taking alpine scenery!
Accommodation - Hamner Springs - Heritage Hotel
Day 12 - Hanmer Springs - Akaunui Homestead - Aoraki / Mt Cook
We travel from the alpine village of Hanmer Springs to visit Akaunui Homestead, a working farm and Canterbury heritage building surrounded by huge gardens. They'll show us round their farm and home, as we enjoy great Kiwi company and fresh produce straight from the garden of our friends, Di and Ian Mackenzie.
After lunch we continue on our journey through Burke's Pass to New Zealand’s spectacular Mackenzie Country, for sweeping vistas of tussock lands and the backbone of the South Island, the Southern Alps. We’ll make plenty for stops en route, we can’t miss the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise blue of Lake Pukaki. No, we don’t put dye in the lake, it’s that blue!
Accommodation - Mount Cook - The Hermitage
Day 13 - Aoraki/Mt Cook - Queenstown
Always a memorable time on tour, your day in Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain and ‘home ground’ of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Take your pick from exploring the dramatic landscape on one of the many easy walking tracks around the village, or make it an experience you’ll never forget with a boat cruise on the glacial lake, a scenic flight or a heli hike high up on the Tasman Glacier!
After lunch we’ll head south, over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged scenery of the Kawarau Gorge onto Queenstown – the adventure capital of New Zealand. We’ll all head up the Gondola to Bob’s Peak for breathtaking views to give you a bird’s eye view of the stunning Wakatipu. Tonight take your pick from the best of Queenstown's restaurants and bars, all an easy walk from our home for the next three nights!
Accommodation - Queenstown Scenic Suites
Day 14 - Queenstown - Milford Sound
Today is all about the one and only Milford Sound, from Queenstown we follow the shores of the great southern lakes before heading into the heart of Fiordland National Park on the spectacular Milford Road. Everything you’ve heard is true, this is unreal countryside.
On arrival into Milford head out onto the water on our cruise out onto the sound, dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to birdlife, seal colonies and pods of dolphins. A magical flight over the Southern Alps returns us to Queenstown at the end of a fantastic day of touring by land, sea and air. The very best of Milford!
Accommodation - Queenstown Scenic Suites
Day 15 - Queenstown Activities and Day Tours
Today is yours to make the most of the infinite choice of day tours and activities Queenstown has to offer, your ‘Kiwi Guide’ will be right there to help. These days, the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’, caters for a lot more than just adrenalin junkies, the best way we know to sum up Queenstown is by saying that if you went on a holiday to Queenstown with three generations of your family, you’d all have the time of your lives!
What do we love in Queenstown? A jet boat ride on the remote and beautiful Dart River in The Lord of the Rings scenery, walking along the lakeshore and the Botanic Gardens or take a thrilling raft ride on the Kawarau River. Other favourites are wine tasting in the celebrated boutique vineyards of Central Otago, golf on one of New Zealand’s best courses, a day walk on the famous Routeburn Track or cruising Lake Wakatipu on the 1912 Steamship, the Earnslaw.
Accommodation - Queenstown Scenic Suites
Day 16 - Depart Queenstown
This morning relax over a leisurely breakfast before being picked up form your hotel for transfer to the airport for your flight home after your memorable tour
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
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT - Please ask as Aspire expert
Package pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) from Los Angeles for purchase by 31 March 2018. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Tour is 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.