16 Day Ultimate New Zealand Explorer from $8,999 per person including international flights

Be dazzled by this state of the art full size coach (13.5 metres long) which would normally house 48 seats and has been configured with only 20 luxury leather seats complete with incredible amenities. Three new vehicles have been purpose built for Grand Pacific Tours boasting a cutting edge design with the very latest finishes.

We have carefully handpicked a collection of stylish hotels to be part of the Ultimate Small Group Tours experience. You will be treated to a very high standard in each location. Each of the hotels used offer a premium level of comfort, extensive guest facilities and excellent location.

Your Ultimate Coach Captains are the crème of the crop and have been chosen for their professionalism and attention to detail. They are there from start to finish attending to your needs and ensuring a more personal touring experience. A key part of their role is to ensure that the comfort and cleanliness of the coach is kept at the highest standard at all times.

Inclusions

  • Round trip coach class air travel from Los Angeles to New Zealand
  • Ultimate Small Group Tour Coach with 20 luxury leather reclining seats on a full size vehicle, 2 door access and panoramic windows
  • Professional Coach Captain
  • Personalised Meet & Greet on arrival
  • Return airport transfers in New Zealand
  • 13 nights 4.5 star hotel accommodation
  • All sightseeing and pre paid attractions
  • 13 cooked breakfasts including a specialty breakfast: Stratosfare Restaurant, Rotorua, 11 sumptuous dinners including complimentary pre-dinner drink at the Welcome Dinner and 3 specialty dinners: Walter Peak Homestead, Queenstown; Mãori Hãngi and Concert, Rotorua; Intimate Farewell Dinner, selected beverages, Auckland, 1 picnic lunch, 1 Ultimate High Tea: Larnach Castle & Enjoy GPT Wine Time (discounted drinks)
  • GST (New Zealand Goods and Services Tax)

No Hidden Extras - Pre-Paid Attractions

  • Larnach Castle and Ultimate High Tea
  • Milford Sound Cruise and Lunch
  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
  • Lakes District Museum
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • Cruise on the Interislander Ferry, Premium Lounge
  • Te Papa, NZ's National Museum
  • Skyline Rotorua Gondola and Luge Ride
  • Agrodome
  • Thermal mud pools and geysers
  • Te Puia traditional Maori Hangi and Concert
  • Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tour
  • Christchurch City Sights Tour
  • Dunedin City Sights Tour
  • Wellington City Sights Tour
  • Auckland City Sights Tour

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart US
Air New Zealand is the number one way to travel to New Zealand, and your vacation begins the second you step onboard your overnight flight. Air New Zealand offers direct service from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, and New York JFK, addon fares with United Airlines available from other cities.

The Air New Zealand onboard experience has a travel option for every passenger from Business Premier, Premium Economy, and Economy cabins, with the option to add the innovative Skycouch

Day 2 - Cross International Date Line

DAY 3 - ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH
On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink as you meet your travelling companions.

Accommodation - The George (or similar)

Includes: Dinner

DAY 4 - CHRISTCHURCH - MT COOK
After an introductory city sights tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, The Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps.

Accommodation - The Hermitage Hotel (Aoraki Wing)

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 - MT COOK - DUNEDIN
Depart Mt Cook, see Lake Benmore and follow the Waitaki River to Oamaru. Continue south to Dunedin, enjoy a city tour followed by free time. You might be interested in a tour to see local wildlife in their natural habitat (optional).

Accommodation - Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6 - DUNEDIN - TE ANAU
This morning travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland and your overnight stay. Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).

Accommodation - Distinction Luxmore Hotel (Deluxe Room)

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 - TE ANAU - MILFORD SOUND- QUEENSTOWN
Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year-round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is at leisure, you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Accommodation - Heritage Queenstown

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8 - QUEENSTOWN (FREE DAY)
Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown with many optional activities available. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride or a heritage tour of the scenic Skippers Canyon. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.

Accommodation - Heritage Queenstown

Includes: Breakfast, Specialty Dinner

DAY 9 - QUEENSTOWN - FRANZ JOSEF
Travel to Arrowtown to visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel north to the township of Fox Glacier. Next you visit Franz Josef, where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers before arriving at your hotel.

Accommodation - Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 - FRANZ JOSEF - ARTHUR’S PASS - CHRISTCHURCH
Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue to Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains. On arrival into the elegant city of Christchurch, your Ultimate Coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

Accommodation - The George (or similar)

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11 - CHRISTCHURCH - PICTON- WELLINGTON
Travel along the East Coast to the seaside village of Kaikoura. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you travel through Marlborough Country, famous for its food and wine. Continue to Picton, where you will board the Interislander Ferry and experience the comfort and intimate setting of the Premium Lounge. Enjoy complimentary refreshments as you travel through the Marlborough Sounds to Wellington.

Accommodation - InterContinental Wellington (Premium Room)

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12 - WELLINGTON
A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements.

Accommodation - InterContinental Wellington (Premium Room)

Includes: Breakfast

DAY 13 - WELLINGTON - TAUPO - ROTORUA
Depart Wellington and view the snow-capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as you travel to Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

Accommodation - Regent of Rotorua

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 14 - ROTORUA
Today begins with a gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Rotorua where spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a thrilling luge ride! Next stop is the Agrodome for an action-packed hour of farming entertainment and education that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Free time is available this afternoon before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert.

Accommodation - Regent of Rotorua

Includes: Breakfast, Specialty Dinner

DAY 15 - ROTORUA - AUCKLAND
This morning depart Rotorua and travel through the picturesque countryside to Hobbiton for a guided tour of the Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Your guide will recount details of how this beautiful piece of farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle Earth. Continue north to Auckland for an orientation tour. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including selected beverages with your newfound friends.

Accommodation - Crowne Plaza Auckland

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16 - DEPART AUCKLAND 
Time to say goodbye. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand vacation.

 

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Costing Per Person

Starting from $8,999

 

New Zealand Entry Requirements

Before committing to a trip, please ensure you have a valid passport. New Zealand welcomes US travelers with an approved Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).

Read More about NZETA & IVL

Additional departure gateways & pricing

Add on airfares are available from most major airports – please ask an Aspire consultant for a quote

Upgrade Options

  • Upgrade to premium economy from $1,250 per person each way
  • Upgrade to business class from $3,500 per person each way*

Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket

* Upgrade from pricing based on Monday through Thursday departures from Los Angeles - ask an Aspire consultant for the upgrade fee from other departure points and travel Thursday through Saturday.

 

 

Conditions

Package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) from Los Angeles or San Francisco for travel until May 2025. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by check/wire; please see the terms and conditions for credit card payments. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply. Travel insurance is highly recommended for travel to New Zealand. Aspire Down Under partners with CSA Travel Protection.

 

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