Exploration Antipodes

 

New Zealand, the mythical land of the Antipodes to the Polynesian soul and the heart of fire. The island of the North with its colonial heritage, subtropical beaches, Maori culture and volcanoes, and the South Island, its glaciers, virgin forests, fjords and uncontaminated Alpine landscapes. Discover this country rich in contrasts for this memorable stay.

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Auckland

Auckland

Auckland – Paihia 230 Km – 3h15

Bay Of Islands

Paihia – Tairua 377 Km – 5h15

Tairua – Rotorua 182 Km – 3 Hours

Rotorua

Rotorua – Whakapapa 178 Km – 2h30

Whakapapa – Wellington 336 Km – 4h45

Wellington – Picton – Blenheim 3h10 By Ferry + 28 Km – 0h30

Blenheim – Kaiteriteri 175 Km – 2h30

Abel Tasman National Park

Kaiteriteri – Greymouth 330 Km – 5 Hours

Greymouth – Fox Glacier 203 Km – 3 Hours

Fox Glacier – Queenstown 332 Km – 5 Hours

Queenstown

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

Te Anau – Dunedin 300 Km – 4h30

Dunedin – Lake Tekapo 300 Km – 4h30

Tekapo – Christchurch 230 Km – 3h30

Departure From Christchurch

DAY 1

Auckland

 

AUCKLAND

 

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. Let us not forget that it was in the port of Auckland that the America’s Cups took place in 1999 and 2003 and at the Eden Park stadium the finals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

  • Arrival at Auckland Airport.
  • Private transfer to your hotel.
  • Rest of the day free to recover jet lag.

Night at Auckland City Hotel (3 * +) - Studio Room or Grand Millennium Hotel (4 + *) - Superior Room.

DAY 2

Auckland

 

 AUCKLAND

09:00: pick-up of your vehicle at the renter’s office in the city centre. Rental in unlimited mileage and basic insurance.

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Free day to explore Auckland and region.

 

Suggestions:

  • The beaches to the east and the residential neighborhoods of Mission Beach and St Heliers, along Tamaki Drive.
  • The colonial villages of Parnell, Ponsonby and Devonport.
  • The Auckland Domain Park located in an old crater.
  • The museum for introduction to Maori and Polynesian culture and the natural history of New Zealand.
  • Mount Eden, extinct volcano with beautiful views of the city.
  • Climb a “Sky Tower”, the largest tower in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The black sand beaches of the West Coast the primary forest of the Waitakere Ranges.
  • Discover the island of Waiheke and its famous vineyards.

Night at Auckland City Hotel (3 * +) - Studio Room or Grand Millennium Hotel (4 + *) - Superior Room.

DAY 3

Auckland

AUCKLAND – PAIHIA 230 KM – 3H15

 

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Road north to the Bay of Islands, a seaside destination par excellence to the colonial past and the rich Maori heritage.
  • Check-in at your accommodation.
  • Rest of the day free for relaxation by the sea.

Night at the Kingsgate Autolodge (3 + *) - Superior room or Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (4 + *) - Superior room.

DAY 4

Bay of Islands


BAY OF ISLANDS

The Northland region has a subtropical climate and it is good all year round. The region is renowned for its stunning white sandy beaches and forests of Kauri (millennial trees of New Zealand), but also to be the first region occupied by British settlers and thus of major historical interest. Russell, the country’s first capital in 1840, is located on the Bay of Islands.

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Free day to discover the Bay of Islands and surroundings.

 

Suggestions:

  • Cruise to Cape Brett and Hole in the Rock.
  • Cruise to swim with dolphins.
  • Visit of the historic site of Waitangi where the treaty was signed between the Maori people and the British crown, which is the origin of New Zealand
  • Excursion to Cape Reinga, the northern tip of the country, by bus or plane.
  • Visit Russell, a charming little resort village that was the first capital of New Zealand
  • Excursion to the forest of Waipoua to admire Tane Mahuta, magnificent tree kauri millennium
  • Mission House and Kemp Store in Kerikeri, the oldest buildings in the country.

Night at the Kingsgate Autolodge (3 + *) - Superior room or Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (4 + *) - Superior room.

DAY 5

Paihia

 

PAIHIA – TAIRUA 377 KM – 5H15

 

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • At your convenience, return to Auckland.
  • Continue to the green hills of “Bombay”, a region dedicated to market gardening.
  • Take the road to the East and the Coromandel Peninsula. Thames is a small town that saw its rise during the gold rush in 1868 and is still visiting an old gold mine.
  • Further on is Whangamata, a very popular seaside town in summer, Hot Water Beach and its hot springs that create tides of warm water on the sand at low tide, and the very photogenic beach of Cathedral Cove near Hahei and Whitianga.

Night at Blue Water Motel (3 *) - Studio or Grand Mercure Puka Park (4 *) - Tawa Treehut.

DAY 6

Tairua

 

TAIRUA – ROTORUA 182 KM – 3 HOURS

 

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 the many cultural shows, craft shops and traditional villages.

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Today, drive to Rotorua.

Night at Sudima Hotel (Night at Sudima Hotel (3 + *) - Superior room or Millennium Hotel (4 + *) - Superior room.3 + *) - Superior room or Millennium Hotel (4 + *) - Superior room.

DAY 7

Rotorua

 

ROTORUA

 

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Free day to explore the attractions of the region.
  • In the evening, Maori cultural performance and Hangi dinner (typical feast cooked on hot stones) in Tamaki village (Included).

 

Suggestions:

  • Stroll through the Government Gardens and visit the museum.
  • Discovery of the Maori villages of Whakarewarewa and Ohinemutu, among fumaroles and boiling mud.
  • Visit of the reserve of Te Puia, its geysers, and the institute of arts and crafts Maori.
  • Relaxation in Polynesian baths.
  • Rainbow Springs and The Kiwi Encounter to learn more about the fauna and flora of the country.

Night at Sudima Hotel (3 + *) - Superior room or Millennium Hotel (4 + *) - Superior room.

DAY 8

Rotorua

 

ROTORUA – WHAKAPAPA 178 KM – 2H30

 

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Drive south through Taupo, a charming little town on the shores of the largest lake in the country, which occupies a volcanic crater of 600 km2.
  • Continue to the Tongariro National Park, consisting of 3 active volcanoes, whose ski slopes are covered with snow in winter.
  • Afternoon free to wander through the national park.

 

Fun Fact:

The volcanoes of the Tongariro Plateau were made known worldwide by the films of the Lord of the Rings which were filmed there (Mt Ngauruhoe was the “Mountain of Fate”).

Night at Skotel (3 *) - Superior room or Bayview Chateau (4 *) - Premium room (ROH).

DAY 9

Whakapapa

 

WHAKAPAPA – WELLINGTON 336 KM – 4H45

 

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 headquarters of the Royal Ballet and the NZ Symphony Orchestra, Wellington can also boast of being the capital of Art and Culture in NZ.

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Road to the south, passing through the agricultural region of Manawatu and along the coast of Kapiti to reach the capital in the early afternoon.

 

Suggestions:

  • Visit the national museum Te Papa, the very pretty church.
  • “Old St. Paul Cathedral” decorated with woodwork and 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 Bay Plaza (3 *) - Standard room or James Cook Grand Chancellor (4 *) - Terrace room.

DAY 10

Wellington

 

WELLINGTON – PICTON – BLENHEIM 3H10 BY FERRY + 28 KM – 0H30

 

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Today, go to the ferry terminal in Wellington where you will return your rental car with a full tank of gas before taking the boat.
  • Embark on the Interislander ferry crossing the Cook Strait, separating the North Island from the South Island, and passing the Marlborough Sounds, which are submerged mountains, between small secret bays and uninhabited islands.
  • Arrival in Picton, please take your second rental car out of the ferry.
  • Drive towards Blenheim, the city of sunshine, flowers and wine.
  • Rest of the day free.

DAY 11

Blenheim

BLENHEIM – KAITERITERI 175 KM – 2H30

 

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Drive 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.
  • Continue to Kaiteriteri and Abel Tasman National Park, one of the most popular destinations in the country for its beautiful golden sandy beaches with crystal clear waters.

Night at Kimi Ora Spa Resort (4 *) - Studio or Kimi Ora Spa Resort (4 *) - Spa Suite.

DAY 12

Abel

 

ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Today, relaxing day on the beach or exploring the Abel Tasman National Park.
  • Discover the beautiful scenery: virgin forest, beaches, and mountains.

 

Suggestions:

  • Hiking in the national park.
  • Kayaking cruise along the coast.

Night at Kimi Ora Spa Resort (4 *) - Studio or Kimi Ora Spa Resort (4 *) - Spa Suite.

DAY 13

Kaiteriteri

 

KAITERITERI – GREYMOUTH 330 KM – 5 HOURS

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Drive to the West Coast along the Buller Gorge.
  • Stop at Westport to observe the colony of sea lions at Cape Foulwind.
  • Make another stop in Punakaiki to see the amazing limestone formations of the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, or the powerful jets created by the waves flow into the interstices of the rock.

Night at Ashley Hotel (3 + *) - Standard room or Breakers B & B (4 *) - Suite.

DAY 14

Greymouth

 

GREYMOUTH – FOX GLACIER 203 KM – 3 HOURS

  • Breakfast at your accommodation
  • Continue south along the seaside road to breathtaking landscapes, passing through Hokitika or many artisans working the New Zealand jade that is extracted there.
  • Continuation 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 Fox Glacier.

Night at the Heartland Hotel (3 *) - Standard room or Distinction Te Weheka Hotel (4 + *) - Standard room.

DAY 15

Fox Glacier

 

FOX GLACIER – QUEENSTOWN 332 KM – 5 HOURS

 

Queenstown attracts many tourists summer and winter. International destination number 1 for adventure sports and outdoor activities, it remains the preferred destination for 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 accommodation.
  • Road to Queenstown via the Haast Pass and its countless waterfalls in the beech forests.
  • You will walk along the lakes of Hawea and Wanaka, with a unique purity and clarity.
  • An opportunity to visit the Arrowtown pioneer village on the road from the gold rush in the 1860s.
  • Arrival in Queenstown in the afternoon.

Night at the Mercure Queenstown Resort (3 + *) - Garden View room or Millennium Queenstown (4 *) - Superior room.

DAY 16

Queenstown

 

QUEENSTOWN

 

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Free day in Queenstown to enjoy the beautiful city of Queenstown and the many attractions and activities on offer.

 

Suggestions:

  • 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…
  • Visit the vineyards of the region.
  • Cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard a steamboat from 1912.
  • Excursion to the Walter Peak farm.
  • Excursion to Dart River and Mt Aspiring National Park.

Night at the Mercure Queenstown Resort (3 + *) - Garden View room or Millennium Queenstown (4 *) - Superior room.

DAY 17

Queenstown

 

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

 

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Day of discovery of the Fiordland National Park, composed of mountains often snow covered and covered with dense virgin forests which shelter many threatened animal species.
  • Departure to Te Anau in the morning, then in the afternoon please go to Milford Sound for your 2h15 cruise on the fjord.
  • Sea lions and sometimes dolphins and penguins are at the rendezvous during the cruise.
  • 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 Kingsgate Te Anau (3 *) - Standard room or Distinction Luxmore (4 *) - Superior room.

DAY 18

Te Anau

 

TE ANAU – DUNEDIN 300 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 accommodation
  • This morning, drive to Dunedin, the city has a strong Scottish imprint.

Night at the Mercure Leisure Lodge (3 + *) - Standard room Scenic Hotel Dunedin (4 + *) - Superior room.

DAY 19

Dunedin

 

DUNEDIN – LAKE TEKAPO 300 KM – 4H30

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Depart to the north by the coastal road.
  • Stop at Moeraki to see the “boulders”, these geological formations laid on the beach such as giant marbles.
  • Take time to visit Oamaru, a small historic Victorian town.
  • Then head towards the snow-capped peaks of the New Zealand Alps.
  • Arrival at Lake Tekapo in the afternoon.

Night at Peppers Bluewater Resort (4 *) - Standard Hotel room or Peppers Bluewater Resort (4 *) - Deluxe Lakeside room.

DAY 20

Tekapo

TEKAPO – CHRISTCHURCH 230 KM – 3H30

 

Known as the “Garden City”, Christchurch is one of the oldest cities in the country but the devastating earthquakes of 2011 have severely damaged the historical heritage. The city is celebrated for its beautiful gardens, parks and museums. The city centre is currently under reconstruction according to an urban plan of “city in a garden” with green spaces laid out and an innovative architecture.

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Drive to the highlands of Mackenzie Country, a breeding area with lavish alpine landscapes where wild lupins and tall grasses line the valleys while lakes with turquoise waters and majestic mountains form the backdrop, before heading towards the plains of Canterbury, the most fertile agricultural region in the country.
  • Arrival in Christchurch in the afternoon.

 

Suggestions:

  • International Antarctic Center (Christchurch is still the starting point for many expeditions on the continent of ice).
  • Botanical Gardens.
  • Shopping at the Re-start Mall or design shops occupy colorful containers.
  • Arts Center (former University of Christchurch), New Art Gallery, Canterbury Museum.

Night at the Ibis Hotel (3 *) - Standard room or Rendezvous Hotel (4 + *) - Guest room.

DAY 21

Christchurch

 

DEPARTURE FROM CHRISTCHURCH

 

  • Breakfast at your accommodation.
  • Please return to the airport to return the rental vehicle with a full tank of gas 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 (3 *) or superior (4 *) depending on the category chosen.
  • 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: Toyota Corolla or similar
  • Cat D-IDAR: Toyota Camry or similar
  • Hangi dinner with Maori cultural performance in Rotorua
  • The ferry crossing between the North Island and the South Island
  • 2h15 Cruise on the Milford Fjord
  • French speaking assistance by phone 24/7
The price does not include:
  • Please note that pick-up from airport or ferry port charges a fee. This tax is $ 51.75 and will be payable upon pick-up at the Picton ferry terminal (tax subject to change without notice).
  • Redemption of optional deductible and optional insurance for the rental car.
  • Excursions not mentioned above and optional suggestions.
  • Personal expenses and tips.
  • Meals not mentioned.

The services are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Alexandra , your local agent

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