Autotour Panorama

 

New Zealand, Aotearoa, the country of the Long White Cloud… Explore the mythic land of the antipodes with its contrasting landscapes, between volcanoes, subtropical beaches, glaciers and virgin forests. Discover the Maori culture in Rotorua, and join an unspoiled land and its extraordinary wildlife on the South Island…

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Auckland

Auckland – Rotorua 235 Km – 3h30

Rotorua – Ohakune 220 Km – 3 Hours

Ohakune – Wellington 286 Km – 4 Hours

Wellington – Picton – Nelson 3h Ferry // 142 Km – 2h15

Abel Tasman National Park

Nelson – Greymouth 296 Km – 4h30

Greymouth – Franz Josef Glacier 173 Km – 2h30

Franz Josef Glacier – Queenstown 350 Km – 6h

Queenstown

Queenstown – Milford Sound (290 Km / 4h30) – Te Anau (117 Km/2h)

Te Anau – Dunedin 298 Km – 4h30

Dunedin – Christchurch 363 Km – 5h30

Departure From Christchurch

DAY 1

Auckland

AUCKLAND

Also known as the “city of sails”, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand with 1.5 million inhabitants (one-third of New Zealand’s population). It is the only city in the world to be bordered by two distinct seas: the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east, and 48 extinct volcanoes are scattered around the agglomeration. The quality of life is incomparable and the city enjoys a long cultural and sporting heritage.

  • Arrival at Auckland Airport and transfer to your hotel.
  • Rest of the day at your convenience to discover the city.
  • Dinner at the panoramic Orbit restaurant at Sky Tower to enjoy the sights of the city.

 

Suggestions:

  • The colonial villages of Parnell, Ponsonby and Devonport.
  • The Auckland Museum for an introduction to Maori and Polynesian culture and the natural history of New Zealand.
  • Mount Eden, extinct volcano with beautiful views of the city.
  • Cruise on Auckland Bay.
  • Discover the island of Waiheke and its famous vineyards.

Night at Auckland City Hotel (3 + *) - Studio Room.

DAY  2

Auckland Rotorua

 

AUCKLAND – ROTORUA 235 KM – 3H30

 

Rotorua is undoubtedly one of the most touristic areas of the North Island. Located in the heart of one of the most active volcanic zones of the planet, it is known for its thermal activities, its lake, and its numerous tourist attractions but also for its smell of very strong sulphur. Rotorua is also the heart of the Maori culture as reflected by numerous cultural shows, craft shops and traditional villages.

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Take your rental car this morning in unlimited mileage at the rental depot in town.
  • En route to Rotorua.
  • Free afternoon to explore the attractions of the area.
  • In the evening, Maori Cultural Performance and Hangi Dinner (typical feast with stewed cooking on hot stones) in Tamaki Village (Included).

 

Suggestions:

  • Discover the old Rotorua and the Maori district of Ohinemutu, stroll along the lake of Rotorua.
  • A stroll through the “Government Gardens”, where the Rotorua Museum is also located.
  • Visit of the reserve of Te Puia, its geysers, and the institute of art and crafts Maori.
  • Relaxation in Polynesian baths.
  • Rainbow Springs and The Kiwi Encounter to learn more about the fauna and flora of the country.
  • Fly over the area by seaplane or helicopter to see the geothermal and volcanic activity of the area.

Night at Sudima Hotel (3 + *) - Superior room.

DAY 3

Rotorua- Ohakune

ROTORUA – OHAKUNE 220 KM – 3 HOURS

 

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Guided tour of the Maori village of Te Whakarewarewa, where several families live between the fumaroles and the boiling mud in the thermal valley. The village has a school, a marae, a small church, and ancestral customs is still practiced such as ritual tattooing and flax weaving. Here you can see the cooking system that uses natural geothermal energy.
  • Head towards Taupo, a charming little town on the banks of the largest lake in the country.
  • En route, stop by to visit the Wai-O-Tapu thermal valley with colored geysers and acid pools, or Waimangu, one of the world’s youngest ecosystems, created by the explosion of Volcano Tarawera in 1883 (not included), as well as to the falls of Huka on the river Waikato, before continuing towards the Tongariro National Park with its sumptuous volcanic landscapes.
  • Possibility of several small walks en route or after the arrival in Ohakune.

 

Fun Fact:

The volcanoes of the Tongariro Plateau were made known worldwide by the Lord of the Rings movies filmed there (Mt Ngauruhoe was the “Mount of Destiny”. It is the oldest national park in the country, with three active volcanoes. The last eruption (hydrothermal, followed by a lahar) of Mt Ruapehu took place in 2007, that of Mt Tongariro in August 2012, projected an immense cloud of ash in the atmosphere. The plateau presents a lunar landscape of lava flows, rocky desert, peaceful lakes and beech forests.

Night at Powderhorn Castle (4 *) - Standard room.

DAY 4

Ohakune Wellington


OHAKUNE – WELLINGTON 286 KM – 4 HOURS

 

The capital of New Zealand, Wellington is built as an amphitheatre facing the huge bay overlooking the Cook Strait and the South Island. Its colorful wooden houses add an air of holiday. With more than 50 museums and galleries, 3 professional theatres, the seat of the Royal Ballet and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Wellington can also boast of being the capital of Art and Culture in New Zealand.

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Continue to the agricultural region of Manawatu and along the coast of Kapiti to reach the capital in the afternoon.

 

Suggestions:

  • Visit the National Museum Te Papa, the very pretty church “Old St Paul Cathedral” decorated with woodwork and the buildings of the Parliament of New Zealand.
  • Stroll through the old Thorndon neighborhood to the old Victorian buildings.
  • Take the funicular to the botanical gardens on the heights of the city.

Night at the Mercure Hotel (3 *) - Standard room.

DAY 5

Wellington

WELLINGTON – PICTON – NELSON 3H FERRY // 142 KM – 2H15

 

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Check-in at the ferry terminal in Wellington where you will return your rental car with a full tank of gas before boarding the ferry for the crossing of the Cook Strait separating the North Island from the South Island. The crossing lasts about 3 hours and arrival in the Marlborough Sounds which are former submerged mountains is particularly spectacular.
  • Arrival in Picton, where you will take a new rental car for the remainder of the stay.

If you wish, take a detour through Blenheim and the vineyards of the Marlborough area before heading to Nelson, the sunniest city in the country and one of the oldest cities in the country. It has numerous art galleries, painters, potters, glass blowers, jewelers and other artisans.

Night at Grand Mercure Monaco Resort.

DAY 6

Abel

 

ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK

 

Abel Tasman is one of the most beautiful national parks of New Zealand. Hardly accessible, this coastline was able to retain Abel Tasman and Thomas Cook in the distance who approached it without resolving to dock. Discover the beautiful scenery: virgin forest, beaches with crystal clear waters, mountains.

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • A day of relaxation and discovery of Abel Tasman National Park.
  • A coach will pick you up at the hotel to accompany you to Kaiteriteri, where you will embark aboard a small boat for a cruise along the coast.
  • You will have the rest of the day free for your convenience to hike in the national park or just relax on the beach.
  • Optional, possibility of a guided kayak outing.
  • Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Night at Grand Mercure Monaco Resort

DAY 7

Greymouth

 

NELSON – GREYMOUTH 296 KM – 4H30

 

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • En route to the West Coast along the Buller Gorge.
  • Stop at Westport to observe the colony of sea lions at Cape Foulwind and Punakaiki to see the amazing limestone formations of the Pancake Rocks and the Blowholes, where the powerful jets created by the waves flow into the interstices of the rock .

Night at Ashley Hotel (3 *) - Standard room.

DAY 8

Greymouth

 

GREYMOUTH – FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER 173 KM – 2H30

 

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Continue to south along the seaside road to the vertiginous landscapes, passing through Hokitika, which at the time of colonization was the capital of the province of Westland. Several craftsmen still work in New Zealand jade.
  • Continue to the glacier region. There are some 360 glaciers in the Southern Alps and among the largest are Franz Josef (11 km) and Fox (13.5 km), the only glaciers in the world to mix ice, subtropical vegetation and temperate ocean.
  • Arrival at Franz Josef Glacier.

Night at Rainforest Retreat (3 *) - Park Motel.

DAY  9

Franz Josef

FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – QUEENSTOWN 350 KM – 6H

 

Queenstown attracts numerous tourists both summer and winter. International destination Number 1 for adventure sports and outdoor activities, it remains the favorite destination of skiers and snowboarders of the country. Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by majestic mountains, the Capital of the Southern Alps is a magnificent city offering a wide range of activities, rafting and jet-boating in steamboat cruises, vineyards, hiking and Nature safaris.

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • En route to Queenstown via the Haast Pass and its countless waterfalls in the beech forests.
  • Walk along the lakes of Hawea and Wanaka, unique in purity and clarity.
  • Possibility to visit the Arrowtown, pioneer village on the road, born of the gold rush in the 1860s.
  • Arrival in Queenstown in the afternoon.

Night at the Mercure Queenstown Resort (3 *) - Garden View room.

DAY  10

Queenstown

 

QUEENSTOWN

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Free day in Queenstown to enjoy to the full and many attractions and activities are proposed.

Suggestions:

  • Visit the vineyards of the region.
  • Excursion to the Walter Peak farm.
  • Cable car to the summit of Bob’s Peak to admire the view (possibility of a toboggan ride at the summit or dinner at the panoramic restaurant).
  • Bungee jumping, jet boat, rafting, parachute jumping…
  • Cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard a 1912 steamship.
  • Excursion to Dart River and Mt Aspiring National Park.

Night at the Mercure Queenstown Resort (3 *) - Garden View room.

DAY  11

Queenstown

QUEENSTOWN – MILFORD SOUND (290 KM / 4H30) – TE ANAU (117 KM/2H)

 

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • A day of discovery of the National Park of Fiordland, composed of mountains covered with dense virgin forests that shelter numerous rare animal species.
  • Morning departure to Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park. From there, it’s a superb road and a contaminated landscape that will take you to Milford Fjord.
  • Embarkation for a 2 hour cruise on the fjord. Penguins, seals and sometimes dolphins are at your disposal and you will sail under the falls at the foot of the cliffs of basalt sinking deep into the dark waters.
  • After the cruise, return to Te Anau.

Night at Distinction Luxmore Hotel (3 + *) - Standard room.

DAY  12

Te Anau

TE ANAU – DUNEDIN 298 KM – 4H30

 

Dunedin is renowned for its classical architecture of the 19th century and famous for its university. It is also the starting point for excursions to the Otago peninsula, a paradise of eco-tourism, a refuge for endemic animal species, where one can admire extraordinary panoramic views.

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • This morning, en route to Dunedin, a city with a strong Scottish imprint.
  • In the afternoon, head to the Otago Peninsula for a guided tour of the yellow-eyed penguin reserve.
  • Rest of the day free.

 

Suggestions:

  • Visit of the Larnach Castle and its magnificent gardens.
  • Visit of the Albatros Cruise Center at the approach of the marine fauna and the Pointe de Taiaroa.

Night at the Mercure Leisure Lodge (3 + *) - Standard room.

DAY  13

Dunedin

DUNEDIN – CHRISTCHURCH 363 KM – 5H30

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island and was before the devastating earthquakes of February and June 2011 the 2nd largest city in the country. The city is known for its beautiful gardens, parks, museums and restaurants. The city center is still under reconstruction.

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • You will follow the coastal road to the north.
  • Stop at Moeraki to see the “boulders”, these geological formations laid on the beach such as giant marbles and take time to visit Oamaru, a charming little historic town.
  • Arrival in Christchurch in the afternoon.

 

Suggestions:

  • International Antarctic Center (Christchurch is still the starting point for many expeditions on the continent of ice).
  • Canterbury Museum.
  • Botanical Gardens.

Night at the Heartland Hotel Cotswold (3 *) - Standard room.

DAY  14

Christchurch

DEPARTURE FROM CHRISTCHURCH

 

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Go to the airport to return your car and take your flight.

 

This is the end of your unforgettable stay in New Zealand.

The price includes:
  • Arrival transfer on day 1.
  • Accommodation in standard hotels.
  • Breakfast every morning.
  • A CDAR car from day 2 to the last day (unlimited kms, automatic box). IDAR car for 3 people.
  • Cat C-CDAR: Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla or similar.
  • Cat D-IDAR: Toyota Camry or similar.
  • Dinner at the Orbit Restaurant at Sky Tower (Auckland)
  • A Hangi dinner with Maori cultural performance in Rotorua.
  • A guided tour of the Maori village of Te Whakarewarewa.
  • The ferry crossing between the North Island and the South Island.
  • Transfers and cruise to Abel Tasman National Park, including a picnic lunch.
  • A cruise of 2h15 on the Milford Fjord
  • Guided tour of the Sanctuary of Penguin Place (Otago Peninsula)
  • Francophone assistance by phone 7/7 and 24/7
  • NZ $ 574 – 1 child under 12 traveling with a couple and sharing the same room.
The price does not include:
  • The air ticket.
  • Please note that pick-up from the airport or ferry port charges a fee. This tax is 46 dollars and will be payable at the time of taking over the vehicle. (Tax subject to change without notice)
  • Excursions not mentioned above and suggestions.
  • Personal expenses and tips.
  • Meals not mentioned.

 

Services are subject to availability at the time of booking.

 Alexandra , your local expert

alex

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