15 Day New Zealand Highlights

Cruises Trains Buses Sightseeing Culture Accommodation Meals

Experience New Zealand's Highlights, onboard AAT Kings luxury air-conditioned coach, with reclining seats, and panoramic windows. On this 15 day fully escorted New Zealand tour, your experienced Tour Guide & Driver will take you on an informative and scenic adventure, as you travel across the north and south islands on your next New Zealand holiday.

Visit spectacular sights such as the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, Mt Cook National Park and enjoy a ride on the Christchurch Tram and a champagne breakfast cruise aboard the Lakeland Queen on Lake Rotorua. Explore Christchurch and Queenstown your way - as there is plenty of free time, where you can get away from the crowds and soak up the atmosphere or go wild and experience the adrenaline filled jet boat rides, white water rafting or bungy jumping!

With such a great itinerary, you are sure to experience New Zealand in a way you never thought possible! With plenty of free time and staying longer at each destination, you are able to enjoy some fantastic optional tours that are available along the way.


Day 1 Arrive Auckland: Transfer from the airport to your hotel. Check in and the rest of the day is Auckland, your way. This evening, a welcome drink and dinner with your Tour Director and travel companions.

Day 2 Auckland - Rotorua: Travel along the Waikato River to the Waitomo Caves for a guided tour of the amazing Glow Worm Grotto. Then on to Rotorua. Soak up views of Lake Rotorua on the orientation tour. Tonight experience The Realm of Tane and a traditional Maori Hangi feast and concert.

Day 3 Rotorua: Sparkling wine aboard the Lakeland Queen kicks off the Lake Rotorua breakfast cruise. Then it's the Agrodome Sheep Show followed by a guided tour of Te Puia and the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. In the afternoon relax or explore, it's 'Free Time'.

Day 4 Rotorua - Wellington: From the mountains to the sea. View the Huka Falls. Visit Taupo and drive along the shores of its lake. Travel through the alpine scenery of Mt. Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park, Manawatu, The Kapiti Coast. On our Wellington City Sights Tour see the city from Mt. Victoria.

Day 5 Wellington - Blenheim: Explore Wellington for yourself this morning before visiting Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Later you'll cruise the Cook Strait into tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound. The seaside village of Picton is next, then Blenheim and a city orientation tour. Enjoy a tour, dinner and tasting at Allan Scott Wines, which has developed its own reputation as a Marlborough icon.

Day 6 Kaikoura - Christchurch: On the way to Kaikoura, pass the Grassmere Salt Works with a chance to see New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point. Explore Kaikoura your way - maybe take a Scenic Whale Watching flight. Head to Christchurch through the Canterbury Plains. A city orientation tour ensures you maximize your 'Free Time'.

Day 7 Mt. Cook : Begin the day with a ride on the Christchurch Tram. Continuing your travels, see Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the spectacular alpine scenery of Mt. Cook National Park. Perhaps take a scenic flight over Mt. Cook (weather permitting).

Day 8 Dunedin: See the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme, Benmore Dam and the white limestone buildings of Oamaru. A Dunedin city tour, then your afternoon is at leisure - maybe take a Wildlife Cruise, a Cadbury Factory visit or ride the Taieri Gorge Railway.

Day 9 Dunedin - Te Anau: First up, take a guided tour of New Zealand's only castle - Larnach Castle and its gardens. Time out in town then head off across rich fertile, sheep-filled farming land on the way to Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the South Island's largest. Tonight you can choose to see the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.

Day 10 Milford Sound: Be awe-struck by the magnificence of the Fiordland National Park, not only a World Heritage Park but also New Zealand's largest. Amazing photo opportunities await as you see rainforest, ancient glaciers, mountain ranges and the hand-made Homer Tunnel. Mirror Lakes, Pop's Lookout. Claudu Valley and The Chasm. Mitre Peak. Bowen Falls. Cruise on Milford Sound. Travel over the Devil's Staircase along the shores of Lake Wakatipu back to Te Anau. On arrival in Queenstown you'll do an orientation tour. Dinner option is the Skyline Restaurant on Bob's Peak, via the Southern Hemisphere's steepest Gondola! A bonus Kiwi Haka Maori Show makes for a top night - if you so choose!

Day 11 Queenstown 'Free Time': Explore action adventure Queenstown your way. Take it easy with wine or garden tours. Or go wild with jet boat rides or white water rafting. Just be back in time for dinner and a sheep shearing demonstration at Walter Peak Sheep Station. Travel there and back across Lake Wakatipu via the TSS Earnslaw, New Zealand's oldest steamship.

Day 12 Queenstown - Franz Josef: Today experience Arrowtown, the sensational stone fruit of Cromwell, Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea, Lake Dunstan. Haast Pass, Thunder Creek Falls. A small rainforest walk. Then the Franz Josef Glacier - the world's most accessible, and still advancing, glacier.

Day 13 Franz Josef - Punakaiki: Explore Franz Josef Glacier - take an optional flight (weather permitting) or a glacier hike! Then depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. It's on to the waterfront hotel at Punakaiki, where you'll view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.

Day 14 TranzAlpine - Christchurch: Enjoy time at leisure before travelling via Greymouth to Arthur's Pass where you'll board the TranzAlpine, one of the top 6 train journeys in the world, to travel through the Southern Alps to Christchurch.

Day 15 Depart Christchurch: Explore Christchurch yourself. Make the most of this city, famous for its gardens, until your transfer to Christchurch Airport for your onward journey.

TopItinerary Options

Optional Extras are available at an additional cost.

Day 6: Optional Scenic Whale Watching Flight
Day 7: Optional Scenic Flight over Mt Cook
Day 13: Optional Flight over Franz Josef Glacier


  • Larnach Castle Dunedin
  • The Christchurch Tram
  • Dinner at Allan Scott Wines
  • Famous TranzAlpine Train
  • See the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki


  • Rooms with private facilities in centrally located hotels, on a twin share basis.
  • Tour by luxury air-conditioned coach, reclining seats with seatbelts, restroom and panoramic windows
  • Experienced services of a professional Tour Director and Tour Driver
  • Welcome Drink
  • Full Buffet Breakfasts (14)
  • Exciting Highlight Dinners (3)
  • Hotel Dinners (8)
  • Airport Transfers
  • All purpose travel wallet and touring map
  • Porterage at tour Hotels


On Day 1, Flights must arrive prior to 4.00pm. On Day 15, flights to depart anytime.

2011: Jan 11, 18, 25, Feb 08, 15, Mar 01, 08, 15, Apr 05, 12

TopAdditional Information

Airport Transfers: AAT Kings offers return hotel or airport transfers
Children: 5 years of age and under are not catered for. Children 6-18 years must be accompanied by an adult
Luggage Allowance: One medium size suitcase per person plus an overnight bag
What to Bring: Casual light weight clothing with warmer articles for the evenings and cooler days in Summer. A warm jacket is recommended for winter. Swimsuit, towel, waterproof jacket and comfortable footwear
Operated by: AAT Kings

Lake WakitipuRotorua Te PuiaQueenstownMilford Sound