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Peoria, AZ

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • New Zealand’s unspoiled natural scenery
  • Auckland sightseeing, including distinguished Auckland Museum
  • Auckland Harbour cruise
  • Geothermal Rotorua
  • Art Deco walking tour in Napier
  • Wellington’s acclaimed Te Papa national museum
  • TranzAlpine train excursion
  • Two-night Franz Josef stay, with guided walk through the Glacial Valley
  • Kiwi birds at West Coast Wildlife Center
  • Scenic Doubtful Sound excursion
  • Outdoor mecca of Queenstown
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Days 1 & 2: Depart U.S. for Auckland, New Zealand

Day 3: Arrive Auckland We arrive in New Zealand’s largest city early this morning and transfer to our hotel, where our rooms are ready for early check-in. After time to relax and freshen up, we take a casual walking tour of the area around our hotel. This evening we attend a briefing on the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner. D

Day 4: Auckland This morning we tour cosmopolitan Auckland, an eminently livable city. One of only a few world cities straddling two harbors on separate bodies of water, Auckland offers an abundance of natural beauty. A highlight of our tour is the visit to the Auckland Museum, with its prized collections of Maori and Pacific Islander art and artifacts (Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world). After lunch at a local restaurant, we embark on a cruise around glittering Auckland Harbour. We return to our hotel early this afternoon; the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L

Day 5: Auckland/Rotorua En route to Rotorua today, we stop at Ruakuri Caves to see the unique glowworms that illuminate the underground grottoes and caves. Late this afternoon we visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Maori Cultural Center for a traditional hangi dinner and performance. B,D

Day 6: Rotorua With its geysers, bubbling mud pools, and hot thermal springs, Rotorua ranks as a geothermal wonder, as well as a center of indigenous Maori culture (Maoris comprise 40% of Rotorua’s population). We encounter this intriguing town on a morning tour that includes a visit to Rainbow Springs Nature Park, a popular showcase of native New Zealand flora, fauna, and birds set amidst an expanse of forest studded with aviaries, pathways, an underwater viewing pool, and other educational exhibits. Our guided tour here includes a visit to the National Kiwi Trust, dedicated to rehabilitating injured kiwis, housed on the park’s grounds. B

Day 7: Rotorua/Napier Today we set out for one of New Zealand’s celebrated wine regions: Hawke’s Bay and the seaside city of Napier. We sample the local terroir at a wine tasting and lunch at Church Road Winery, one of the country’s oldest and most acclaimed. Reaching Napier after lunch, we embark on a guided walking tour of the city’s 1930s Art Deco architecture. After an earthquake leveled the city in 1931, it was rebuilt in “Deco” style; today, Napier ranks as one of the most authentically Art Deco cities in the world. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L

Day 8: Napier/Wellington We travel today to New Zealand’s capital of Wellington, stopping along the way at a private farm where we learn about the country’s vital sheep farming industry. We see the sheep dogs at work and watch a sheep-shearing demonstration then enjoy a barbecue lunch. Reaching Wellington late afternoon, we have time to refresh before tonight’s dinner at a local restaurant. B,L,D

Day 9: Wellington We encounter this genial waterfront city on the southern end of the North Island on this morning’s tour featuring a ride on the historic Wellington Cable Car for panoramic views of the city and harbor. We also visit acclaimed Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum with interactive exhibits spanning art, history, native cultures, and the natural environment. Then the remainder of the day is free to explore as we wish, perhaps to stroll along Bohemian Cuba Street; visit the Wellington Zoo; or wander the lively waterfront area. Lunch and dinner are on our own in this city with a vibrant restaurant scene. B

Day 10: Wellington/Christchurch Today we fly south to Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City.” Highlights of our city tour include the Botanic Gardens, the “green heart” of Christchurch dating to 1863; Cathedral Square; and “Re:START Mall,” the vibrant civic area that rose from the rubble of the 2011 earthquake. This afternoon is at leisure; we dine tonight at our hotel. B,D

Day 11: Christchurch/Franz Josef Early today we embark on one of the world’s great rail journeys aboard the TranzAlpine train: along the open farmland of the Canterbury Plain, through the foothills of the Southern Alps then into the snowcapped peaks themselves. We travel across steel girder bridges above deep gorges and through tunnels on our journey to Arthur’s Pass, where we board a motorcoach for the scenic drive to the village of Franz Josef, reaching our hotel this afternoon and dining there tonight. B,D

Day 12: Franz Josef In Westland National Park this morning, we encounter one of New Zealand’s most spectacular sights: Franz Josef Glacier, the mass of ice that descends from the frigid upper reaches of the Southern Alps to a rainforest at sea level. With a local guide we take a walk through the glacial valley, where we have spectacular views of this natural wonder. Then we visit the West Coast Wildlife Centre with its rare kiwi birds, an animal linked so closely to New Zealand that its residents are known colloquially as “Kiwis.” This afternoon is free to enjoy the splendid surroundings as we wish. B,D

Day 13: Franz Josef/Queenstown Traveling to Queenstown today, we stop first in the lakeside resort of Wanaka for lunch on our own then in the Central Otago region at award-winning Gibbston Valley Vineyard for a private tasting and tour of the wine cave. Late this afternoon we reach Queenstown and our hotel, where we dine tonight. B,D

Day 14: Queenstown/Doubtful Sound More scenic overload is in store on our full-day excursion to Fiordland National Park and Doubtful Sound, one of New Zealand’s top attractions. We travel by boat across Lake Manapouri then by coach over Wilmot Pass to reach the “Sound of Silence,” as Doubtful is called for the remarkable serenity that prevails here and in the surrounding mountain peaks, rainforest, and waterfalls. This enchanting woodland may seem familiar to moviegoers: director Peter Jackson filmed The Lord of the Rings’ Fangorn Forest here. Among the wildlife we may see on our three-hour catamaran cruise: dolphins, fur seals, Fiordland crested penguins, and even whales. Surrounding us: rugged mountain peaks, rainforest, waterfalls. After this exhilarating excursion we return to Queenstown early this evening; dinner is on our own. B,L

Day 15: Queenstown Today is at leisure to enjoy this outdoor mecca with a spectacular setting on Lake Wakatipu as we wish. Options abound, from jet boating and fly fishing to art gallery hopping or riding the Skyline gondola for outstanding views of this unusually scenic city. Tonight we celebrate our New Zealand adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 16: Depart for U.S. We depart this morning for the airport and our return flights home. B

Please note: This trip involves full days of sightseeing and significant amounts of walking on stairs and uneven surfaces. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 13 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class and First Class hotels
  • 25 meals: 13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2018/2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Sep 13
May 2
May 9
Nov 29
Apr 4
Oct 25
Feb 7
Feb 21*+
Mar 7
Mar 14*
Jan 10*
Jan 24
Los Angeles$6,574$6,974$7,174$7,574
Dallas, Houston,
Phoe, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
Atlanta, Boston,
Chicago, Cleve,
Denver, Detroit,
Miami, Minn,
Orlando, Tampa
Balt, Charlotte,
Cinc, New York,
Phil, Wash, DC

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $279, which are subject to change until final payment has been made.

Single travelers please add $1,395. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2018/2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Accommodations: Auckland: *Crowne Plaza; Queenstown: +Scenic Suites

Airline upgrades on round-trip Trans-Pacific flight: Business Class – $6,995 per person; Premium Economy – $2,895 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

    Stamford Plaza, Auckland / Days 3-4 / Superior First Class 

    Stamford Plaza sits in the heart of Auckland’s central business district just one block from Waitemata Harbour (Auckland’s main port) and a few minutes’ walk to the High Street shopping district and Sky City casino.  The 286-room hotel features three restaurants and a bar; gift shop; fitness center with indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, and gym; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access (in designated areas); and laundry and dry cleaning services.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, coffee- and tea-making facilities, Wi-Fi internet access (30NZD for 24 hours), minibar, TV, and phone.

    Millennium Hotel Rotorua, Rotorua / Days 5-6 / Superior First Class 

    Located just steps from Lake Rotorua and a short walk from the city center, the Millennium Hotel Rotorua offers an ideal home base from which to explore this vibrant small city. Amenities of this 227-room hotel include a restaurant, bar, pool, fitness center, laundry and dry cleaning service, and Wi-Fi internet access (for a fee).  Air-conditioned guest rooms feature private bath with hair dryer, minibar, and TV. 

    Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier / Day 7 / First Class 

    Scenic Hotel Te Pania enjoys an ideal location on the edge of stunning Hawke’s Bay, and a short walk from Napier’s Art Deco city center.  The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant and bar, fitness center, self-serve laundry, valet laundry service (available five days/week), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each of the 109 air-conditioned guest rooms faces out towards Hawke’s Bay and includes private bath with hairdryer, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Bolton Hotel, Wellington / Days 8-9 / Superior First Class 

    Conveniently located in the heart of Wellington, the Bolton Hotel sits within walking distance of the cable car, Museum of New Zealand, Wellington Botanic Garden, and the picturesque waterfront, with great restaurants and shopping close at hand.  Amenities include a restaurant, fitness center, heated lap pool, spa, sauna, laundry and dry cleaning services, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each of the 134 air-conditioned guest rooms has private bath with hair dryer, minibar, TV, and an in-room iPad Mini for room service.

    Rydges Latimer Square, Christchurch / Day 10 / Superior First Class 

    Completely rebuilt after several earthquakes, the Rydges Latimer Square reopened in 2013.  The 138-room hotel’s amenities include a restaurant and a bar/lounge, fitness center, and sauna.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, in-room safe, coffee- and tea-making facilities, minibar, ironing facilities, TV, and phone.

    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier / Days 11-12 / Deluxe 

    Situated on the edge of Westland Tai Poutini National Park, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier is located just a few minutes from the glacier from which it takes its name. Hotel amenities include two restaurants, a bar, self-serve laundry, full spa with massage services (located a two-minute walk from the hotel), hot tub, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Millennium Hotel Queenstown, Queenstown / Days 13-15 / Superior First Class 

    The Millennium Hotel Queenstown sits on a hill in Queenstown, just minutes away from the town’s central shopping district.  Amenities include a restaurant, bar, fitness center, sauna, spa, and Wi-Fi internet access (for a fee).  Each of the 220 air-conditioned guest rooms has private bath with hair dryer, minibar, safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Tour Directors for this Journey
Tessa Clarke

“Tessa was knowledgeable on all topics within her country. She made the trip a real educational and enjoyable holiday for us.”
Kathy Casey
Williamsburg, VA

Roxanne Garner

“Roxanne was upbeat, cheery, fun-loving, knowledgeable, and accommodating.”
Don & Sandy Lewis
Winters, CA

Sharron Hickman

“What Sharron brought to the table far exceeded the itinerary.”
Tara Malmberg
Quitman, TX

David Hill

“David was erudite, extremely articulate, and amazingly knowledgeable about all aspects of New Zealand … [He] ensured an optimal travel experience.”
Pamela G. Schaffer
Annapolis, MD

Chas Morris

“This is my 4th Odysseys trip and despite always having a good guide, Chas outshone the rest. He was an excellent blend of joining in with the group yet being professional on logistics and guidance. And he knew so much about everything!!”
Susan Snapp
Williamsburg, VA

Ian Murray

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director


Jennifer Sloots

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director


Rosie Stewart

“… her enthusiasm was so infectious!! As a native-born ‘kiwi,’ she has an immense knowledge of the land and seems to know everyone on both the North and South islands!”
Christina & Michael Davis
Houston, TX

Destination Insight


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