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Drifting On A Headwind

By Jim Harlan

Adventures in travel!

Experience the wild adventures of the author as he travels in remote corners of the world. Read more...

Experts in travel to remote corners of the world

Highlights of New Zealand

> South Pacific > New Zealand

Featuring: The best sights of New Zealand.

Length: 17 Days / 16 Nights

Trip Includes:

  • Price is low season based on double occupancy
  • Tour includes R/T air from New York, all park entrance fees, airport, transfers, guide and driver
  • Tour includes most meals,guaranteed window seat

Taxes not included

Itinerary Highlights:

DAY 1-Depart USA
Arrive Auckland

DAY 2- Auckland to Bay of Islands
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, situated around the magnificent Auckland Harbour. Drive to the top of Mt. Eden, an extinct volcano, for a panoramic view before continuing on to the Auckland Museum with its splendid displays of Maori and Pacific Island artifacts. In the afternoon travel over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and head north to the Hibiscus Coast and up into the picturesque and historic Bay of Islands.

DAY 3- Bay of Islands Sightseeing
A Bay of Islands catamaran cruise takes you to Cape Brett, the Grand Cathedral Cave and through the famous “Hole in the Rock.” Also visit the famous Waitangi Treaty House where Maoris and Europeans formed the nation of New Zealand in 1840.

DAY 4-Bay of Island to Auckland
Enjoy a leisurely drive south to new the ancient Waipoua Kauri Forest. Visit the historic Matakohe Kauri Museum which highlights the region’s early settlement and has an amazing collection of kauri furniture and artifacts. Our tour continues through lush farmlands as we return to the “City of Sails.”

DAY 5-Auckland to Waitomo Caves to Rotorua
The tour continues south through the rich farming area of the Waikato district to its center, Hamilton, noted for its well kept homes and gardens. Travel on to Waitomo Caves to see amazing limestone formations created over thousands of years. Inside the caves, experience a guided boat tour of the incredible Glow Worm Grotto where thousand of tiny glow worms light up dark corners beneath the surface of the earth. Then on to Rotorua, a “thermal wonderland.”

DAY 6-Rotorua
A full morning of sightseeing includes the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve where you can wander amid pools of boiling mud, crystal springs of hot mineral water and geysers of all sizes. Then visit Rainbow Springs to handfeed rainbow trout in clear pools and view the rare flightless bird, the kiwi, plus many other native animals and birds. Then visit the Rainbow Farmshow, an exciting and entertaining look at life on the farm in New Zealand, featuring an amazing display of sheep shearing and trained working sheep dogs.

DAY 7-Rotorua to Wellington
This morning depart Rotorua, traveling through extensive pine forests to reach Wairakei, where we view the geothermal Bore Field. Then it’s on to Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, which glistens beneath snow-capped volcanoes. Then journey across rich dairy farming lands of Manawatu to the coast for a picturesque drive into the capital city of Wellington.

DAY 8-Wellington
Enjoy a sightseeing tour around Wellington before joining an inter-island cruise across Cook Strait into the tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound before arriving at the fishing port of Picton. Then journey onto Blenheim, which is nestled in the heart of Marlborough wine growing region.

DAY 9-Blenheim to Greymouth
Travel across the south island to the infamous West Coast. Follow the mighty Butler River through the awe-inspiring Butler Gorge to join the Tasman Sea. On to Punakaiki with the opportunity to view the unusual rock formations of the famous Pancake rocks and Blowholes. Continue down the coast to nearby Greymouth, situated at the mouth of the Grey River.

DAY 10-Greymouth to Franz Josef Glacier
Visit Shantytown, a fascinating reconstructed gold mining town and a reminder of the West Coast’s turbulent past. On to Hokitika where there is an opportunity to see beautiful native jade jewelry and artifacts. The route south offers wonderful panoramic views of alpine scenery and dense native forests. Enter Westland National Park in the heart of glacier country and view the Franz Josef Glacier with its ever changing face. If weather permits, you may be able to take a scenic flight over the glaciers.

DAY 11-Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown
Another day of spectacular scenery, first visiting Lake Matheson, noted for its reflections of the Southern Alps, before continuing south along the coastal road. Then head inland traveling through dramatic mountain and forest scenery as we climb over the Haast Pass which winds its way through Mt. Aspiring National Park. Follow the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea to join the Clutha River where it enters the Kawarau Gorge before visiting Arrowtown, a colorful township steeped in local history with quaint buildings and tree lined streets.

DAY 12-Queenstown
Enjoy the many scenic delights of this famous city. In the evening, board a steamship and journey across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak. a high country sheep station.

DAY 13-Queenstown to Te Anau
Travel southward toward Fiordland, driving through some of New Zealand’s stunning alpine country. Drive through the Homer Tunnel – a lasting tribute to the fortitude of New Zealand’s pioneers. Stop at the Chasm before arriving at Milford Sound where you cruise on the waters of this wonder of nature. Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls stand high above you. Overnight at Te Anau township.

DAY 14-Te Anau to Dunedin
Leave the mountains and cross the rich fertile country of South otago, passing through the farming town of Gore, through Balclutha, and north to the “Scottish” city of Dunedin. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of this city, including a visit to historic Olveston House.

DAY 15-Dunedin to Mt. Cook
Leaving Dunedin, travel through Oamaru, famous for its white limestone buildings. Follow the Waitaki River, passing hydro-electric dams at Waitaki and Aviermore. Continue on to Mt. Cook National Park, home to New Zealand’s highest mountain.

DAY 16-Mt. Cook to Christchurch
This morning visit beautiful Lake Tekapo. Crossing Burkes pass, travel through the famous Mackenzie country with is large area of sheep stations, arriving at the “English” city of Christchurch, truly New Zealand’s garden city. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of this charming city.

DAY 17-Depart Christchurch
Transfer to Christchurch International Airport for return flight.

Price: Call Uncommon Adventures for pricing

The above is a sample itinerary. Uncommon Adventures specializes in custom itineraries to suit your specific desires and needs as well. Please feel free to consult us to design an adventure of your own.

Uncommon Adventures specializes in unique adventure travel and expeditions to all corners of the world. Our well traveled staff is able to provide you with personal insights to the uncommon destinations on the planet. Life is short! Start your adventure today.

Photography courtesy of Randy Harwood Photography.