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New Zealand

Contrasts of New Zealand

9 NIGHTS FROM £5,669 per person

There’s nothing quite like setting off to explore New Zealand while knowing that each wild encounter, all your accommodation, and everything in-between has been taken care of by your travel director, guides and AAT Kings expert team. On this New Zealand holiday, drop in on Christchurch, soak your limbs in Rotorua, eat your way around Queenstown and feel the full force of nature at Milford Sound/Piopiotahi. Trips to New Zealand don’t get much better than this. Guests who would also like to discover Australia needn’t worry as AAT Kings 22 Day Highlights of Australia and New Zealand Tour allows you to book this itinerary with the addition of Melbourne, the Red Centre, Cairns and Sydney.


place DAY 1 - Auckland


New Zealand’s largest city is also one of its prettiest, as you’ll discover exploring at your leisure. Arrive early to linger in its hip harbourside precincts, where galleries and design-driven stores await. You’ll have worked up an appetite by the time you meet your fellow travel companions for a few local tipples at a Welcome Reception and dinner.

place DAY 2 - Auckland


If you didn’t get your city bearings yesterday, you will on an Auckland tour today. Have your camera poised as you reach Mission Bay, a dreamy waterside suburb where the blues patchwork to the horizon. Then get snap happy once again at Bastion Point and the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, offering epic vistas over Auckland and its harbours. Want some tips on how to spend your free afternoon in New Zealand’s largest city? How about going behind the scenes of the All Blacks, arguably the world’s most legendary rugby team? Or cruising to Waiheke Island to sip more wine at forward-thinking cellar doors? This evening’s Auckland tour is at your leisure.

place DAY 3 - Auckland - Rotorua

Auckland - Rotorua

You could be forgiven for thinking Rotorua’s landscapes are a sci-fi movie set. Mud pops and jettisons from bubbling geysers, and steam rushes skywards from cracks in the Earth. The surrounding forest is a fertile habitat for New Zealand’s national bird, being protected and bred at the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa. The cute-as-a-button, cotton-ball kiwi is under threat in the wild; at the hatchery, passionate conservationists reveal how they are saving the population, one incubated egg at a time. Tonight, dive deep into Indigenous culture and traditions on a Rotorua tour at Te Pa Tu Māori Experience, where your hangi Highlight Dinner is cooked underground. 

place DAY 4 - Rotorua - Queenstown

Rotorua - Queenstown

Lord of the Rings fanatics, prepare for a day of goosebumps. Your Rotorua tour begins with breakfast served in the very spot that Frodo and Bilbo once lived. The Hobbiton Movie Set is all rolling hills and emerald pastures, a storybook landscape for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. The feel-good vibes that ensure will follow you all the way to Queenstown, the self-proclaimed adventure capital of New Zealand. It makes perfect sense – there are ski fields, white-water river and bridges strapped with bungy cords wherever you turn. And then there’s the dining scene; Queenstown is home to some of the country’s most awarded restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for bulging burgers or lakeside tapas, ask your guide for recommendations on this leg of your Queenstown New Zealand tour.

place DAYS 5 - 6 - Milford Sound & Queenstown

Milford Sound & Queenstown

Bring your stamina and sense of adventure – things get a little wild today. Nature rules as you skirt Queenstown’s gleaming Lake Wakatipu, and traverse the Devil’s Staircase to Te Anau, the alpine gateway to World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park. Once you’ve paused to admire the drama at Mirror Lakes, Knobs Flat, Hollyford Valley lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm, you’ll begin to understand why Rudyard Kipling called this the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’. You haven’t even seen Bowen Falls or Milford Sound/Piopiotahi yet… The best Milford Sound/Piopiotahi cruise sees you in the company of eagle-eyed guide, who not only knows the immense geological history of the region, but can also point out sun-baking fur seals and playful dolphins.

The following day is at your leisure to explore Queenstown. Like things fast and furious? Feel the wind in your hair on the high-octane Shotover Jet, perhaps, your high-octane chariot churning over the Shotover River’s white-water rapids. Prefer to be able to talk (and drink wine) while you cruise? Glide across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue lunch in a dreamy alpine setting. Wherever you wander, be sure to save space for tonight’s Highlight Dinner at Postmasters Café, a historic Arrowtown cottage replete with picket fence and Instagrammable gardens.

place DAY 7 - Queenstown - Lake Tekapo

Queenstown - Lake Tekapo

Whether pinot noir grapes or cherries, things grow well in the fertile Central Otago region of the South Island. Get a taste for the area’s plump stone fruit at a local orchard, where the farmers will guide you around the estate. Mountain drama – including views of Aoraki/Mt. Cook – is your backdrop en route to Lake Tekapo, with water so turquoise it looks like a Renaissance painting. This part of the country is ravishing and remote; the lack of light pollution means dazzling Southern Hemisphere stargazing at UNESCO World Heritage listed Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. It’s handy to have an astronomer in your company to decode the constellations of the Milky Way. If there was ever a NZ experience that put life in perspective, this is it.

place DAY 8 - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

The Canterbury region of the west coast is a bucolic union of grassy plains, mirror-like lakes and snow-capped mountains, the kind of landscape that you might see on postcards. Enjoy some warm Kiwi hospitality at Morelea, the home of Angie and Stan Taylor. Indulge in a Be My Guest barbecue lunch and hear about a lifetime spent in farming in New Zealand. You'll also get to witness Angie preparing her famous pavlova dessert. Whether installations or bijou boutiques, this city packs a mighty art punch, as you’ll discover on tomorrow’s Christchurch tour. For now, the only thing to do is celebrate your NZ holiday at one of the city’s forward-thinking restaurants and bars.

place DAY 9 - Christchurch


Start your last full day of your travels touring the beautiful English city of Christchurch, which is not only rebuilding itself after the devastating 2010/11 earthquakes, but is changing the way architects think about design. Case in point the mind-bending Transitional Cathedral, made largely of cardboard, and Turanga, the gold-clad central library. A big day leads to a big evening joining your Travel Director and travel mates for a celebratory Farewell Dinner featuring produce from the Canterbury region.

DAY 10 - Depart Christchurch

Depart Christchurch


9 NIGHTS FROM £5,669 per person

Price includes international economy flights, terms & conditions apply.

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