Best of New Zealand
Experience the best of New Zealand on this unforgettable vacation filled with dramatic scenery, cultural exchanges, and the country’s top attractions. Your tour starts in Auckland, ends in Queenstown, and overnights along the way in the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, and Franz Josef.
Auckland – Bay of Islands – Rotorua – Nartib – Wellington – Christchurch – Franz Josef - Queenstown
• 13 nights accommodation
• American breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 5 dinners including a farewell dinner in Queenstown
• All transportation included during the trip
• Expert Tour Guide, Driver and local guides
- Visa or travel documents that may be needed
- Meals that are not shown
- Items of a personal nature
Related Services Available to Add:
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Welcome to Aotearoa, Maori for “land of the long white cloud.” Your hotel room is available for immediate check-in. Please schedule your flights to arrive by 4:30 pm in order to attend this evening’s welcome briefing.
DAY 2: AUCKLAND – BAY OF ISLANDS
Start your day with a sightseeing tour of Auckland, the “City of Sails.” See bustling Queen Street, the city’s oldest park, Auckland Domain, and historic Parnell Village. Continue to the Bay of Islands, known for its stunning beauty and history. Visit the WAITANGI TREATY HOUSE to learn about New Zealand’s past.
DAY 3: BAY OF ISLANDS
This morning, embark on a sightseeing CRUISE to view the “Hole in the Rock,” have a chance to see dolphins, and learn more about the rich history and culture of this region. The remainder of the day is at leisure. You may wish to enjoy a hike, explore some of the island’s historic attractions, shop for souvenirs, or just relax at your hotel.
DAY 4: BAY OF ISLANDS – ROTORUA
Today, travel through the Bay of Plenty region to Rotorua, home to geothermal wonders, adventure activities, and a thriving Maori culture. This evening, you may wish to join our optional outing to experience an authentic Maori village and cultural performance, followed by a delicious Hangi dinner. You might even be asked to join in a Haka, the traditional war dance of the Maori.
DAY 5: ROTORUA
This morning starts with a visit to RAINBOW SPRINGS to view native bush and wildlife, including a walk through the kiwi bird enclosure. Last stop is TE PUIA, Rotorua’s most prominent thermal area, with New Zealand’s largest geyser, boiling mud pools, and silica terraces. The afternoon is at your leisure. You may wish to relax in a natural hot spring, zipline through the forest, be pampered at one of the city’s spas, or board a floatplane for flightseeing of this beautiful area. This evening, join a New Zealand family for DINNER in their home, a unique opportunity to interact with a local family and immerse yourself in New Zealand culture. Before the evening is over, you’ll feel like part of the family.
DAY 6: ROTORUA – MARTON – WELLINGTON
Travel south today through rolling farmlands and past massive Lake Taupo. Stop in the historic rural town of Marton, where we’ll visit a LOCAL FARM and enjoy a barbecue lunch. Continue to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.
DAY 7: WELLINGTON
Our day begins with a sightseeing tour of Wellington. Take a scenic CABLE CAR ride, visit the beautiful BOTANIC GARDENS, see the famous Beehive and Parliament buildings, and enjoy 360-degree, panoramic views of the city and harbor from the top of Mount Victoria. You’ll also spend time at TE PAPA, the Museum of New Zealand. The remainder of the day is yours to explore on your own.
DAY 8: WELLINGTON – INTERISLANDER FERRY – PICTON – CHRISTCHURCH
This morning, board a FERRY and enjoy a scenic cruise across Cook Strait, connecting New Zealand’s North and South Islands. Continue to Christchurch for an orientation tour and overnight stay.
DAY 9: CHRISTCHURCH – TRANZALPINE TRAIN – ARTHUR’S PASS – FRANZ JOSEF
Today, travel on the scenic TRANZALPINE, one of the world’s great train journeys. From the comfort of first-class carriages, see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmlands, followed by the spectacular gorges and rivers of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the majestic Southern Alps to Arthur’s Pass National Park. The train features large panoramic windows, an onboard café, and at-seat audio commentary. Spend the next two nights in the small town of Franz Josef, located at the base of the impressive Franz Josef Glacier.
DAY 10: FRANZ JOSEF
This morning, explore this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage area. Your GLACIER VALLEY WALK will take you up alongside the mighty Waiho River bed, following the glacier’s path of retreat in this remarkable landscape. Here you will learn about the glacier’s history, see what is left behind by this majestic giant, and learn the legend of Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere. Near the terminal face, after a brief climb you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the rapidly changing face of the glacier. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. You may opt to take a scenic flightseeing or helicopter tour, relax in one of the glacier hot pools, spend time at the West Coast Wildlife Centre, or pick up a picnic lunch and just take in the gorgeous scenery.
DAY 11: FRANZ JOSEF – QUEENSTOWN
Our journey today takes us along the coast and the Tasman Sea. Climb through rainforests and over Haast Pass to arrive in Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital of the World.” Upon arrival, enjoy a tour and a tasting at a local WINERY. Tonight, why not enjoy dinner at one of Queenstown’s many restaurants or cafés and sample some of the region’s wines?
DAY 12: QUEENSTOWN - EXCURSION TO MILFORD SOUND
Today, travel into FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. During your CRUISE on the fiord, see cascading waterfalls, wildlife, and experience this pristine natural setting just as early Maori and European explorers did.
DAY 13: QUEENSTOWN
Enjoy a full day at leisure in one of New Zealand’s prettiest towns. Tour some of the sights used to film The Lord of the Rings trilogy, shop for souvenirs, or take a thrilling jetboat ride on the Dart River. This evening, enjoy a special farewell dinner.
DAY 14: QUEENSTOWN
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.
Price will be quoted in CAD. Departure dates available year round, prices may vary, please contact us for details. Other conditions may apply.
® Merit Travel trademark owned by, and use is granted by, Merit Travel Group Inc. Offers are based on availability and may be subject to change. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions visit, https://merittravel.com/terms-and-conditions/.