Sights and Soul Travels - Tours and Vacations for Women - vacations and travel

North Island And South Island (New Zealand)

New Zealand, Australia and Pacific

from $4,595* per person 14 Days February
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Sights and Soul Travels - Tours and Vacations for Women 16 people max
  • Airport near christchurch, canterbury, new zealand
  • Culture & Nature trips
The native Maori call it Aotearoa (the land of the long white cloud), but New Zealand has been called Godsland and the Paradise of the Pacific since the early 1800s. New Zealanders know they live in a paradise, and they love sharing it with visitors.
The North Island and South Island Tour to New Zealand, will stay with you for ever. You simply cannot forget a place that leaves you breathless time after time, the thundering waterfalls, the tranquil lakes, the silent glaciers, the towering mountains, and the surreal green. During the tour, you'll experience the outlandishly beautiful scenery of the undulating hills of green, jagged mountains, steep fjords, raging rivers, scenic beaches and active geysers and volcanoes. You'll marvel at the unusual wildlife resulting from the islands' isolation, meet the genuinely friendly locals, and experience the vibrant Maori culture. You'll indulge in gourmet, organic food and excellent wines and stay at upscale hotels, as you experience the exhilarating, clean and green nature all around.

Locations visited/nearby

New Zealand, Australia and Pacific

0 testimonials about this trip.

3 testimonials about the provider, Sights and Soul Travels - Tours and Vacations for Women:

  • Reviewer: located in Ohio USA
    Travel with Yolanta is simply in a class of its own. It's like traveling with a friend who passionately wants to share not only the sights but also the "soul" of the people - the culture, the history, their values and passions. At the same time, Yolanta tries to anticipate and meet your needs as a traveler. From the time she welcomes you with flowers when you arrive at an airport, train or bus station to the time of departure when she personally escorts you to the airport or train station, you feel special and well taken care of.
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Illinois USA
    I loved our trip, and really felt like I came away from it, relaxed, happy, and more knowledgeable about another part of our wonderful world. Thank you for making the experience one that will forever be in my memory as a 'highlight' of my life.
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Nova Scotia
    I had a great time in Tuscany. I liked the way you planned the trip, and have great memories and pictures to remind me of the beauty of Tuscany. Thank you so much for making my dream come true, I will definitely keep Sights and Soul in mind when planning future vacations.
    5

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Special information

  • Offers some women-only departures.

Itinerary

This tour starts on February 19 in Christchurch. Because one day is lost flying over the International Date Line, you'll depart the US on Friday, February 17.


Day 1: At your arrival at the Christchurch Airport, you'll be met by our local representative who will assist you with luggage and your private transportation to our hotel. Christchurch, the "most English city outside England" grew out of a planned Anglican settlement in the 1850's and is filled with formal gardens and Victorian architecture shaded by oaks and willows. In the evening, we'll meet for a welcome dinner at one of Christchurch great restaurants.
Meals: D


Day 2: This morning, we'll tour the "Garden City" of Christchurch, with its tree-lined Avon River, the Botanical Gardens and many arts and crafts boutiques set in landscaped parks. We'll also visit the International Antarctic Centre to experience a simulated Antarctic storm and the New Zealand Penguin Encounter. The rest of the afternoon will be free to rest or to explore the city.
Meals: B, L


Day 3: After breakfast at the hotel, we'll board the Tranz Alpine train for a scenic journey through the mighty Southern Alps with their rugged gorges and magnificent mountain scenery, before arriving in Greymouth on New Zealand's West Coast. On arrival, we'll board our private bus and travel south along the West Coast to Hokitika. En route, we'll stop to visit the greenstone Hokitika factory where a local jade stone, highly prized by pre-European Maori is crafted into exquisite jewelry. Afterwards, we'll continue south through forests and farmland, with views of the Alps to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west, until we reach the village of Franz Josef, and check into our stunning resort hotel.
Meals: B, D

 

Day 4: Today we'll enjoy a guided walk onto the snow and ice of Franz Josef Glacier. The glacier descends from high in the Southern Alps to just above the sea level where it contrasts with the surrounding temperate rainforest. We'll explore the lower reaches of the glacier traveling through spectacular icefall terrain, normally only seen by experienced mountaineers. After our adventurous morning, we can spend the afternoon relaxing at the hotel.
Meals: B, D

 

Day 5: This morning, we'll leave Franz Josef Glacier and drove south through South Westland forests and cross the Southern Alps via the Haast Pass.  We'll pass through some of New Zealand's most spectacular scenery, including glacial Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and drive through the rock-hewn Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown. Nestled among glacier-rounded hills and dramatic rugged mountain peaks, Queenstown is New Zealand's premier alpine resort. The town is steeped in the history of gold mining, with many relics scattered among the surrounding hills. In the evening, we'll cruise across Lake Wakatipu onboard the vintage steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Station for an entertaining farm show and dinner in the elegant dining room of the Colonel's Homestead. On the return journey, we can join the ship's pianist in a sing-a-long.
Meals: B, D

 

Day 6: We'll start the day with a tour of Queenstown, then continue to historic Arrowtown, once a roaring gold rush town, and today an atmospheric village, filled with boutiques and cafes under shady trees. We'll drive past the Kawarau Bridge to see the dare-devils bungee jumping, then take a guided tour of the Gibbston Valley Vineyard, completing the experience with a wine tasting in the boutique winery located in underground caves, with rocky walls lined with barrels of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay still reaching their prime. We'll enjoy lunch in the winery's fabulous restaurant, before returning to Queenstown for a leisurely afternoon.
Meals: B, L

 

Day 7: Today may be the highlight of our trip, as we embark on the Dart River Wilderness Safari, including an 1½-hour jet boat journey on crystal clear waters, amidst the fantastical landscape of towering peaks, glaciers and ancient forests of Mt. Aspiring National Park. Afterwards, we'll enjoy a guided walk through primeval native beech forest and learn about the natural environment, history and geology of this World Heritage area from experienced guides, as we travel through the high country and forests around Paradise, film location for many scenes in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
Meals: B, L

 

Day 8: This morning, we'll set out on the journey to Milford Sound, which for many is the iconic New Zealand experience. After traveling through the breath-taking scenery of hanging valleys, towering precipices and raging torrents of the Fiordland National Park, we'll arrive at Milford Sound and board the ship to cruise the length of this magnificent fjord, sailing below ancient rainforests, majestic mountains with the mile-high Mitre Peak and thundering waterfalls. We'll return to Queenstown in the evening.
Meals: B, L

 

Day 9: Today, we'll leave Queenstown and fly to Rotorua, a thriving Maori culture center, set among the dramatic geothermal landscape. After checking into our boutique hotel, we can relax in its spa, the mineral pool and wine bar.
Meals: B

 

Day 10: This morning, we'll explore Te Pauia. We'll visit the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve with its boiling mud pools, steaming silica terraces and active geysers, the Rainbow Springs with their rainbow trout and rare kiwi birds. At the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, we'll admire the Maori skills of traditional carving, weaving and dancing, and at the Agrodome, we'll learn about wool making and see the Sheep Show. In the evening, we'll journey back in time to Tamaki Marae for a traditional Maori ceremony, including a powhiri (a traditional welcome), a performance of Maori song and dance and a hangi, a Maori feast cooked in an earth oven. This is where the Maori culture comes alive with tribal songs, myths and dancing.
Meals: B, D

 

Day 11: After breakfast, we'll visit the thermal area of Waiotapu, one of the world's most colorful thermal areas. We'll see the Artist's Palette where vividly colored minerals form on the pool surface, view the tiny bubbles surfacing in the Champagne Pool and walk down alongside the silica terrace to see the Bridal Veil Falls and the Lady Knox Geyser. In the afternoon, we'll visit the famous Polynesian Spa Retreat for a soak in the naturally heated mineral rock pools with lovely views over Lake Rotorua.
Meals: B

 

Day 12: Today, we'll leave Rotorua and travel through the Mamaku Ranges set among picturesque farmlands. We'll stop at the famous Waitomo Caves to tour an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos, and enjoy a silent boat ride on an underground river into the starry wonderland of the mesmerizing Glow Worm Grotto. We'll continue north through the Waikato Valley, over the Bombay Hills and into Auckland.
Meals: B, L

 

Day 13: This morning we'll enjoy a panoramic tour of Auckland. The city spills into the sparkling Hauraki Gulf in the east, and the Manukau Harbour's dramatic black sand beaches in the west. The vibrant Polynesian population imbues the Pacific islands cultures into Auckland's chic atmosphere. We'll visit the Auckland Museum, the War Memorial, the vibrant Queen Street and take in spectacular views of the city, the Rangitoto Island and the forests of Waitakere Ranges from Mt. Eden, the tallest of the 47 extinct volcanoes around which Auckland is built. Afterwards, we'll board the Pride of Auckland yacht for a festive luncheon cruise sailing in the Waitemata Harbor. In the evening, we'll enjoy the farewell dinner, including a fine selection of New Zealand beers and wines.
Meals: B, L, D

 

Day 14: On our last day in New Zealand, we'll say goodbye to the North and South Island, and take with us memories to last a lifetime. We'll transfer to Auckland International Airport in time to check in for your departure flight.
Meals: B

 

This tour ends after breakfast, on March 3 in Auckland.

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