Absolute New Zealand

Lake Matheson, West Coast New Zealand
from £4968 20 nights | Year round Exc. flights See price details
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  • Year round

Overview

Discover New Zealand’s iconic landscapes and immense beauty on this memorable self-drive itinerary.

Witness the landscapes change as you travel south from the wine-producing island of Waiheke through the geothermal central heartland of New Zealand down to the capital Wellington. Not only will you experience the dramatic and ever-changing scenery of New Zealand but you will stay at some iconic properties along the way. In the South Island revel in the stunning scenery of Abel Tasman National Park before continuing down the rugged wild west coast to the glacier region of New Zealand’s Southern Lakes. The perfect fit to celebrate a special occasion, this itinerary showcases a number of luxury and boutique properties and includes a variety of activities to showcase the very best of New Zealand and make this a trip you will never forget.

Highlights

  • Visiting a number of well-known exclusive wineries in beautiful Waiheke Island.
  • Learning about Maori history and culture in the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.
  • Relaxing in the natural hot springs of the Polynesian Spa on the banks of Lake Rotorua.
  • Walking or kayaking through the many bays and beaches of Abel Tasman National Park.
  • Cruising down the truly spectacular Doubtful Sound in Fiordland National Park.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1 arrive Auckland
You will be met on arrival in Auckland and transferred to your hotel in the city for an overnight stay.
Overnight: Hotel de Brett
Day 2: Auckland - Waiheke Island (B, L)
This morning make your way to the downtown ferry terminal to connect with the ferry across to Waiheke Island for your winery tour. Visit three of Waiheke’s most famous vineyards where you will enjoy tastings and guided tours of the wineries. Enjoy a delicious lunch at Stonyridge vineyard before visiting a boutique olive oil producer. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the many activities on offer on Waiheke Island.
Overnight: The Boatshed
Day 3: Waiheke Island - Whitianga, Coromandel (B)
This morning you will be taken back to the Waiheke Ferry terminal to catch the passenger ferry back to Auckland. On arrival in Auckland make your way to the rental car depot to collect your car and drive to Cooks Beach, Whitianga on the Coromandel, known for its sublime natural beauty. This afternoon is at leisure to explore this stunning region.
Overnight: 970 Lonely Bay
Day 4: Whitianga (B)
This region is renowned for glorious coastal vistas, dense kauri forests and bountiful beaches. Spend the day exploring the region and visit Cathedral Cove, a dramatic cavern in the headland or visit Hot Water Beach near Hahei and dig your own thermal pool in the golden sands there.
Overnight: 970 Lonely Bay Lodge
Day 5: Whitianga - Rotorua (B)
Drive south this morning through the heartland of the North Island towards the geothermal wonderland and centre of Maori culture, Rotorua. Spend the afternoon learning about the history of the region at the Rotorua Museum or take the Skyline gondola up Mt Ngongotaha for spectacular views of the city and lake below. Later this afternoon relax in the natural hot mineral pools at the Polynesian Spa.
Overnight: Peppers on the Point
Day 6: Rotorua
This morning is at leisure to enjoy the delights of Rotorua. It is here that you will experience the awesome force of nature – exploding geysers, bubbling mud pools and mineral springs abound in Rotorua. Alternately visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute to learn about Maori culture or visit the living Maori village Whakarewarera to experience both contemporary and historical Maori culture.
Overnight: Peppers on the Point
Day 7: Rotorua - Napier
This morning make your way east towards the wine producing region of Hawkes Bay and the city of Napier. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore this elegant city famed for its 1920’s architecture and art deco style.
Overnight: Art Deco Masonic Hotel
Day 8: Napier - Wellington
Drive the Desert Road south to New Zealand’s vibrant capital city, Wellington. If you have time en route stop at Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife centre home to 3 extraordinary rare white kiwi. As you near Wellington you will experience the wide diversity of vegetation visible on the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges. The neighbouring Wairarapa region is famous for its wine and is home to numerous vineyards- the ideal place to stop for a spot of lunch with a view before continuing down to Wellington.
Overnight: QT Museum Hotel
Day 9: Wellington - Abel Tasman National Park (D)
Drop of your rental car this morning and connect with your Sound Air flight across the Cook Straight to Picton. On arrival you will be collected and taken to the car rental depot in nearby Blenheim before continuing to the charming town of Motueka, gateway to Abel Tasman National Park, one of New Zealand’s sunniest and most picturesque regions.
Overnight: The Resurgence
Day 10: Abel Tasman National Park (B, D)
Enjoy a day in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park with your Abel Tasman Cruise and Walk Open Day Pass. Explore this inviting region known for its arts and crafts and numerous outdoor activities.
Overnight: The Resurgence
Day 11: Abel Tasman National Park - Punakaiki ( B)
From the tranquil golden beaches and forested coastal paths of Abel Tasman National Park, this morning you will head south along the wild west coast towards the glaciers and mountain ranges of the Southern Lakes region. This evening you will stay in Punakaiki, home to the famous blow holes and dramatic rock formations.
Overnight: Punakaiki Resort
Day 12: Punakaiki - Lake Moeraki (D)
Visit the renowned jade craft stores in Hokitika before continuing to glacier valley to view the famous ice or enjoy a scenic helicopter flight to enjoy a birds-eye view of the glacier. After witnessing this dramatic spectacle continue to Lake Moeraki and your base for tonight. Settle into your room, stretch your legs on one of their rainforest tails or visit spectacular Monro beach this evening.
Overnight: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
Day 13: Lake Moeraki (B, D)
Join a complimentary guided nature trip direct from your lodge this morning. With a changing programme of activities, guests will be given a copy of the programme at arrival at the lodge. There is an additional charge for the small group trips which covers your guide refreshments, DOC licences, equipment and transportation. All activities must be pre-booked but can be done so at the lodge (a minimum of 2-4 people is generally required for these to operate).
Overnight: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
Day 14: Lake Moeraki - Wanaka (B)
Continue south along the West Coast over Haast Pass to Wanaka. This beautiful lakeside town has an adundance of outdoor activities in a stunning natural setting within close proximity to Mt Aspiring National Park. The ideal location for keen hikers and those wanting to explore the pristine landscapes.
Overnight: Tin Tub Lodge
Day 15: Wanaka (B)
Explore at your leisure today, perhaps join a half day Mou Waho Island Lake Cruise including a guided nature walk or alternatively enjoy time at leisure exploring the wilderness trails by bike, foot or on horseback. There are also some more adventurous activities such as canyon swinging, boat cruises, kayaking and jeep safaris.
Overnight: Tin Tub Lodge
Day 16: Wanaka - Te Anau (B)
Enjoy Mountain views and rolling farm country on the drive to Te Anau. Situated beside a lake, this town is the gateway to Fiordland National Park and is the ideal base to discover this area of outstanding natural beauty.
Overnight: Dock Bay Lodge
Day 17: Doubtful Sound (B)
Travel to Peak Harbour, Manapouri from Te Anau. Here you will board your vessel and cruise across the lake to West Arm before traveling by coach through dense rainforest across Wilmot Pass. Once at Deep Cove, board a catamaran for your 3 hour cruise of Doubtful Sound. Enjoy spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforest and majestic mountains and watch out for resident fur seals or pods of bottlenose dolphins. On the return journey the engines are turned off and you are witness to the incredible “Sound of Silence” – an unforgettable experience.
Overnight: Dock Bay Lodge
Day 18: Te Anau - Queenstown (B)
Make your way to Queenstown, a stunning alpine resort town, which lies at the heart of the spectacular Southern Lake region. Boasting an incredible location on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, in front of the impressive Remarkables Mountain Range, nature has purpose built this area for adventure. You don’t however have to be an adrenalin junkie to appreciate Queenstown’s scenic appeal and plenty of more leisurely activities also abound.
Overnight: The Dairy
Day 19: Queenstown - Twizel (B, D)
Head north today through magnificent rural landscapes en route to Mount Cook National Park which lies at the heart of the Southern Alps. The scenery here is breath-taking as you take in mesmerising glacial lakes and tussock-clad hills as well as clear skies, perfect for stargazing.
Overnight: Lake Oahu Lodge
Day 20-21: Twizel - Christchurch (B)
This morning make your way back to Christchurch via Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd. The following morning return your hire car to the depot and make your way to the airport for your onwards journey.
Overnight: The George

Accommodation Options

The Boatshed, Waiheke Island

  • Grade: Deluxe
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

Offering luxury accommodation in the relaxed setting of …

970 Lonely Bay Lodge, Coromandel Peninsula

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

970 Lonely Bay Lodge offers boutique luxury accommodatio…

Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, Hokitika

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

An eco-friendly lodge that offers 28 suites in the vast …

Hotel De Brett, Auckland

  • Grade: Deluxe
  • Type: Unique and Boutique

An iconic building in Auckland's central fashion precinc…

Peppers on the Point, Rotorua

  • Grade: Deluxe
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

Overlooking historic Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island on t…

QT Museum Hotel, Wellington

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Superbly situated opposite the national Te Papa Museum a…

The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge, Nelson

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

A superb boutique property, set in 50 acres of native bu…

Havenz Punakaiki

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Self-catering

Located midway between Westport, Greymouth and Paparoa N…

Tin Tub Lodge

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

Tin Tub Lodge, located in the picturesque town of Lake W…

Dock Bay Lodge, Te Anau

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

Dock Bay Lodge is a lux…

The Dairy Luxury Hotel, Queenstown

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Guesthouse / B&B

Once a country general store in the 1920s, this cosy 13-…

The George

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Located about 20 minutes from Christchurch International…

Accommodation

A variety of accommodation options are included in this holiday, some of which are listed above. For further details, please contact us.

Excursions

Excursions

A number of excursions are included in this itinerary, some of which are listed in more detail below. Your Travel Specialist will be able to advise on additional or upgraded excursion options to suit your interests.

Abel Tasman Cruise & Walk Open Day Pass, Abel Tasman

Explore Abel Tasman National Park at your own pace with thi…

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise, Te Anau

Travel deep into the untouched world of Fiordland National …

Prices & Dates

Price from £ per person

Twin Share
 £4,968

Price Includes
Airport transfer on arrival  ● Accommodation as specified (subject to availability) on a room only basis, all with private facilities ● 19 days compact vehicle rental, based on a Toyota Corolla Hatch (or similar) standard rate hire, including unlimited kilometres ● Basic vehicle insurance subject to an insurance excess ● Sound Air flight from Wellington to Picton ● Transfer from Picton Airport to car hire depot ● New Zealand Handy Atlas  ● Taste of Waiheke Tour including return ferry ticket ● Transfers on Waiheke Island ● Transfer from Auckland ferry terminal to Auckland car-hire depot ● Polynesian Spa entry ticket ● Abel Tasman Cruise and Walk open day pass ● Doubtful Sound full day cruise ● Meals as outlined in the itinerary

Price Excludes
Flights and airport taxes (contact us for a quote) ● Transfer from Auckland hotel to ferry terminal •  Transfer from Auckland ferry terminal to Auckland city car depot • Tips and gratuities ● Personal expenses ● Travel insurance

We pride ourselves on our ability to tailor make holidays for our clients. Please let us know if you have any specific requests.

OFFERS

Receive NZ$200 spending money for your holiday!

Book by 31 Aug 2017
Travel before 31 Mar 2018 and receive NZ$200pp to…

How to book

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