15 Day New Zealand Tour

Aotearoa: Land of the Long White Cloud
TOURCODE: NZ1

Duration:
15 Days

Activity Level:
1

When To Go:
Feb, Oct

Countries Visited:
1

Arrive In / Depart From:
Auckland / Christchurch

Max Group Size:
18

Tour Style:
Cultural

Price From:

Discover the country's true culture with the help of experienced local guides.

  • Small group sizes to help escape the beaten path.
  • Authentic local experiences with lots of inclusions.
RESERVE YOUR SPOT
Tour Overview
Tour Overview
ASK A QUESTION

Click the icons below for more info:
Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 1 Tour Style: Cultural

New Zealand is one of the most popular locations for tourists from all over the world and after you step outside off the plane, you will quickly understand why this is so and why our New Zealand tours are so popular.

Explore the shorelines of Doubtful OR Milford Sound and see the dense rainforest that lines these turquoise waters.

We might spot a Bottlenose Dolphin playing or the rare penguin making its way along the shore.

A flight over Mount Cook gives us a better view after we explore the Canterbury Plains.

The beauty of New Zealand isn't always out in the open; the stars above our heads while in the capital city, Auckland, is a sight we will enjoy, but nothing compares to the glow of a thousand glow-worms along the ceiling of Waitomo Caves.

It is interesting to understand how the locals make use of the hot steam that is constantly coming from the earth in the Taupo Volcanic Zone.

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table. For general information on flights to/from the tour, click here.

 

Select a date below to reserve your spot:

 

Optional Single Supplement: $1880 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $950 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.

 


 

Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrival in Auckland
Arrival in Auckland.

Located in the northern part of New Zealand, the cosmopolitan city of Auckland is the largest metropolitan area in the country. The geographical location of Auckland is such that it lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the southeast, the Manukau Harbour to the southwest, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and northwest. The region is also the site of Auckland Volcanic Field, comprising of around 50 volcanoes. This is perhaps the most vibrant and bustling city in New Zealand. Auckland is also the biggest Polynesian city in the world, a cultural influence reflected in many different aspects of city life.

Overnight in Auckland.

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 Auckland: City Tour
This morning we begin our tour of Auckland.

Travelling via Auckland's 'Golden Mile' (Queen Street), our tour takes us through the university grounds past many of Auckland's historical buildings. We continue to the Central Business District, the Mission Bay area, Tamaki Drive, and the Harbour Bridge before our visit to the Auckland Museum. Three expansive levels tell the story of New Zealand's history, from emergence as a nation through the loss and suffering of war, to their uniquely ancient natural history and priceless Maori and Pacific treasures.

Overnight in Auckland.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

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Day 3 Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua
This morning as we depart from Auckland we will travel to the crest of Mt Eden and enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the city. This dormant volcano, complete with crater, allows us to clearly view Auckland's setting between two harbours.

We leave the 'City of Sails' and travel south through the rich farmland of the Waikato region before arriving at the world-famous Waitomo Caves. Here we will experience a guided tour of the underground limestone caverns and glowworm caves. After this unique experience we continue on to Rotorua, an area of abundant geothermal activity. Rotorua is in the middle of what is called the Taupo Volcanic Zone, which runs from northeast to southwest across the North Island. The area has long been a popular spa area and the locals make use of the hot steam that rises to the surface for heating their homes, cooking, and building their own private hot pools.

This afternoon we will visit the Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Maori Arts and Crafts Center. Here we will discover boiling pools of mud and geysers that spout up to 30m (100 feet).

Overnight in Rotorua.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 4 Rotorua - Wellington
Today we follow the 'Thermal Explorer Highway' to the heart of the North Island. This highway takes us through some of the most stunning scenery in New Zealand, along a path well-known for its geological wonders -- from huge limestone caves, to bubbling geothermal areas and volcanic plateaus.

We will view the Wairakei Steam Valley where the thermal energy is harnessed in the world's second largest geothermal power plant. We will see spectacular Huka Falls, located on the rushing Waikato River. We will also visit Lake Taupo, the water-filled crater of an ancient volcano. Surrounded by stunning volcanoes, bush clad mountains and a spectacular landscape; this is the largest freshwater lake in New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere.

We then continue to travel south to Wellington. Our journey south takes us on the spectacular desert road along the edge of the World Heritage Site at Tongariro National Park. Established in 1887, Tongariro was the first national park in New Zealand and the fourth in the world. This is also a dual World Heritage area, a status that recognizes the park's important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as well as its outstanding volcanic features.

Overnight in Wellington.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 5 Wellington: City Tour - Cook Strait Crossing - Picton
Called the world's 'coolest little capital' Wellington is known for its vibrant arts scene, world class café and restaurant culture, and active outdoor lifestyle. Set around an attractive waterfront, you'll be hard pressed to find a city in the world that's easier to get around. A creative, cosmopolitan city, Wellington combines the sophistication of a capital with the warmth and personality of a village.

This morning we enjoy a city sightseeing tour, including Te Papa, New Zealand's fantastic 'National Museum'. Here we will have a guided tour of the highlights from New Zealand's natural environment, art, and history.

We'll then take the 3.5-hour ferry journey across Cook Strait to the South Island. This journey is considered be one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world. Named after James Cook, the Cook Strait connects the Tasman Sea on the west with the South Pacific Ocean on the east.

Overnight in Picton (we soemtimes overnight just down the road in Blenheim).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 6 Blenheim - Kaikoura - Christchurch
Today we will enjoy a spectacular scenic journey between the mountains and the sea as we travel through the Marlborough region. This geographic region has a growing international reputation for it's white wine production. We'll visit a winery en route to the thriving seaside settlement of Kaikoura, an area offering unique whale and dolphin watching experiences. Several different species of whale can be seen off Kaikoura at different times of the year, but almost always the huge Sperm Whales. There is also a large and readily bserved colony of Southern Fur Seals at the eastern edge of the town that we will visit.

We continue between the Pacific Ocean and rugged Kaikoura Ranges to Christchurch, the 'Garden City'. Christchurch promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. The city is the focal point of what is called the Canterbury Region, which is that portion of the South Island that generally lies east of the Southern Al. The city's population is a manageable 300,000 or so, and dates from around 1850. It began as a Church of England settlement (hence the name) and was supposed to be a haven for landed gentry and "good Christian souls of lesser caste."

Overnight in Christchurch.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 7 Christchurch - TranzAlpine Train - Franz Josef
This morning we will board the award-winning TranzAlpine Train, one of the world's most scenic rail journeys. Our route will take us across the vast patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains and we will enjoy stunning scenery as we journey through spectacular gorges, river valleys and across the country's greatest mountain range, the magnificent Southern Alps.

After approximately 2.5 hours we will disembark at Arthurs Pass and continue to Hokitika by coach, a journey along the west coast and bringing us to the World Heritage-listed area of South West New Zealand (Te Wahipounamu). Shaped by millions of years of glacial movement, the fiords and coasts of South West New Zealand are outstandingly beautiful.

Hokitika was a gold rush town in the 1860s, and the countryside around Hokitika is dotted with historic sites related to its mining past. Today Hokitika is known for its arts and crafts produced by local artisans. After a break for lunch, we continue to Franz Josef. The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gem of New Zealand's West Coast Glaciers.

PLEASE NOTE: In the unlikely event that we are unable to take this trip by train, we will travel by bus along The Great Alpine Highway. While the Tranz Alpine Train will always be our first choice of transport, travelling by road is equally as scenic).

Overnight at Franz Josef (or nearby Fox Glacier).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 8 Franz Josef - Haast River Valley - Queenstown
Today we will view some truly magnificent scenery as we travel along the rugged west coast to Haast. Here we will experience a unique river safari, capturing breathtaking views of the massive glacier formed Haast River Valley, flanked by towering peaks, cascading waterfalls and dense temperate rainforest. The one hour trip through the mighty Haast River Valley allows us to journey into the heart of Te Wahipounamu -- the South West World Heritage Area and experience a close-up encounter with this untouched landscape and its remarkable natural features.

We then rejoin our coach and continue to Queenstown.

Overnight in Queenstown.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 9 Queenstown: At Leisure
Today is a nicely-timed free day. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is New Zealand's premier four-season lake and alpine resort. Queenstown has a compact and sophisticated downtown area tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Dwarfed by the surrounding mountains, there are amazing views from everywhere.

You may choose just to relax, wander the streets, and soak up the atmosphere of the region. Or you may wish to join one of the optional excursions available (booked locally), such as a lake cruise, wine tour, jet boating, or a local garden tour. Your Tour Leader can help you plan your day.

Overnight in Queenstown.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 10 Queenstown - Doubtful Sound Cruise - Te Anau
We will depart Queenstown this morning and head toward beautiful Lake Manapouri. We cruise across the lake and then travel by road over Wilmot Pass, stopping along the way to experience some of Fiordland’s densest rainforest and to view the colourful alpine moss gardens.

In Doubtful Sound, we will board the spacious, purpose-built catamaran 'Patea Explorer' for a cruise through this pristine fiord. During the cruise knowledgeable and friendly nature guides will share with you their passion for the region through their commentary. They will answer questions, point out landmarks and provide you with information about the varied wildlife you may encounter like dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin.

After our cruise we disembark and transfer to our hotel located in the charming lakeside town of Te Anau.

Overnight in Te Anau.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 11 Te Anau - Nugget Point - Dunedin
Our journey continues across the South Island to the East Coast and the city of Dunedin, renowned as the 'Edinburgh of the South'.

En route we make a stop at Nugget Point, an iconic panoramic platform on the Catlins Coast with one of the country's oldest lighthouses perched above the famous rocks named by Captain Cook because they looked like pieces of gold. It's a short stroll to the Tokata lighthouse, with sensational views of the big blue beyond. If you look down onto the rocks below the lighthouse, you may see a colony of fur seals frolicking in the surf. It is also home to some of the world’s rarest penguins and one of the only places you might see seals, sea lions and elephant seals in the same area. There are also, sooty shearwaters, spoonbills, and a breeding colony of gannets.

We'll have a lunch stop en route and expect to arrive in Dunedin in mid-late afternoon. Known as the Wildlife Capital of New Zealand, Dunedin prides itself on its beautiful built heritage, stunning scenery, and unique biodiversity. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

Before checking in to our hotel, we'll stop at Baldwin Street, one of the city's claim to fame as the world's "steepest street." This 350-metre stretch of road is recognised by the Guinness World Records with an official maximum gradient is 19 degrees (though there are little bits that are 21 degrees); in other words, the ground rises a metre for every 2.86 metres you cover horizontally. The concrete upper section adds to the wall-like appearance; asphalt is avoided for safety reasons -- in hot summers, it would melt and slide right off, while in winter it would get too slippery.

Overnight in Dunedin.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 12 Dunedin & Otago Peninsula
Today we will journey to the nearby Otago Peninsula. The peninsula, together with its 20 km long Otago Harbour, is the home of an abundance of magnificent and world famous wildlife. The peninsula is predominantly of volcanic origin, steep and, on the Pacific Ocean side, very rugged. The harbour side is relatively warm, sunny, and sheltered.

Our scenic drive will take us past lush green pastures, small bays and inlets, sandy beaches, rugged hills, and volcanic landforms. Our first stop is Larnach Castle, a house was built by the prominent entrepreneur and politician, William Larnach. Since 1967, the castle has been privately owned by the Barker family, and opened as a tourist attraction, as "New Zealand's only castle." Significant restoration work has since been carried out by the Barker family, along with retrieval of original furniture to refurnish the house. The gardens were not an original feature of William Larnach's home, and have since been awarded "Garden of International Significance" status by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.


After a break for lunch, we continue with a very special wildlife adventure, travelling on the "Penguin Express" coach. We’ll witness spectacular coastal views as we cross the Reid family farm to the breeding habitat of yellow-eyed penguins, blue penguins, and New Zealand fur seals.

Our final activity for the day is a one-hour cruise on board the Albatross Express on the spectacular Otago Harbour taking in the views of the surrounding area. We will have an opportunity to experience ocean wildlife up close and personal -- royal albatross, mollymawks, petrels, terns, cormorants, shearwaters, royal spoonbills, red-billed gulls and many more species. The Albatross Express is a purpose-built twin-engine catamaran with two viewing decks; the open top deck and enclosed lower deck (toilets on board).

We return to Dunedin for dinner and overnight.

Overnight in Dunedin.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 13 Dunedin - Aoraki/Mount Cook
Today we journey north along the coast to view the unique Moeraki Beach boulders before turning inland and traveling towards New Zealand's highlands and the UNESCO World Heritage listed Mt. Cook National Park. Along the way we'll stop at Oamaru, famous for its impressive streetscapes with many buildings constructed of local limestone.

Mount Cook Village is at the base of Aoraki/Mount Cook, probably the most spectacular national park in the country and one that rivals most scenery you'll see in the European Alps. The park, 680 sq km (270 square miles), contains more than 20 peaks over 3000 m (10,000 feet), including Aoraki/Mount Cook, the tallest mountain in Australasia; indeed the Maori word Aoraki means 'the Cloud Piercer.' It also features the world's longest temperate-zone glacier, the Tasman.

After a few hours for some exploration -- possibly a leisurely walk to a glacier -- we continue to our hotel.

Overnight in the vicinity of Aoraki/Mount Cook.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 14 Aoraki/Mount Cook - Christchurch
This morning we enjoy (weather-permitting) a scenic flight-of-a-lifetime -- the "Grand Traverse" -- a spectacular scenic flight-seeing experience allowing you to explore the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks. This 'flight-seeing' experience encompasses two World Heritage National Parks and 200 sq km of New Zealand's most memorable and spectacular scenery: Beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, golden tussock lands and braided river systems of the Mackenzie basin; remote High Country sheep stations, glacial valleys and landforms; the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park -- a magical world of permanent ice and snow.

The fixed wing aircraft ensures that every passenger has a window seat and all aircraft have wings-above to ensure optimum viewing below. Pilots provide a full and informative commentary.

We continue with a visit to Lake Tekapo, and then we leave the 'High Country' and cross the Rakaia River towards Christchurch.

Overnight in Christchurch.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 15 Departure
Departure from Christchurch.

BON VOYAGE!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

Inclusions
Breakfast and dinner or lunch daily (hotels and local restaurants).

Full-time Tour Leader services plus local "step-on" guides at various locations.

All transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary.

Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters.

Airport transfers are included for land & air customers arriving/departing on tour dates or for early/late arrivals/departures if you book your extra accommodation through us.

Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuity, most lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), departure taxes, domestic and international air taxes (if applicable). Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, shopping, and locally paid departure taxes.

Seasonality and Weather
Subtropical in the north and temperate in the south. The warmer months (Oct-Mar) are the most pleasant, though you must be prepared for a wide range of conditions.

Transport and Travel Conditions
Transportation throughout via a/c private motor coach. The trip is not strenuous though it is busy; you must be prepared for some full days and early starts. Because heat is not such a consideration in New Zealand, we rate this tour as easier than Australia (with which this trip can connect).

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

Activity Level: 1
No particular physical activity is involved other than town/city walks and short walks to dinners and sites of interest, some of which are large.

To learn more about the Activity levels, please visit our tour styles page.

Accommodation
Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range (3 star) hotels with en suite toilet and bath throughout (probably shower only). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than doubles. Porter service is usually available at hotels though you should be independent with your luggage.

Staff and Support
Tour Leader, coach captain, local step-on guides.

Group Size
Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

Tour Extensions
This tour is part of a series that can be upgraded to make for a longer trip. For more options, please refer to tour code/s:

Australia and New Zealand Tour
FEB OCT
TOUR CODE: AU2
Tour Overview

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

Regions visited: Down Under
Countries visited: New Zealand


*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Grand Millennium Auckland
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Auckland
Country: New Zealand
Welcome to Grand Millennium Auckland, superbly located in the city centre close to Queen Street and Viaduct Harbour. Whether you are travelling for business or leisure, you will appreciate being situated in ... very heart of cosmopolitan Auckland with some of the city’s finest dining, shopping and entertainment venues at your doorstep. Also nearby are landmark venues: The Civic, Auckland Town Hall and Aotea Square, the city's largest outdoor civic space where you can relax and often attend local events.
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SkyCity Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Auckland
Country: New Zealand
SkyCity Hotel where exceptional experiences happen every day. A place where you can enjoy genuine Kiwi hospitality and modern, spacious accommodation.

Explore the sights and sounds of vibrant Auckland, including the
... Sky Tower. Pamper yourself at rejuvenating spa facilities. Experience magnificent dining with over 20 restaurants, cafes and bars close by, not to mention theatres and the exciting SkyCity Casino. Before you return, relax and refresh with our world-class facilities and services, where your comfort is our priority.
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Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Rotorua
Country: New Zealand
Conveniently located just 15-minutes from Rotorua Airport in the heart of Rotorua township, Novotel Rotorua Lakeside is the perfect base for adventure enthusiasts and families alike to see all that New Zealand's ... capital has to offer. Take a short stroll to the lakefront to ride the thrilling Kawarau Jet on Lake Rotorua. Hop on nearby public transport to visit the cultural and geothermal wonders at Te Puia. Or enjoy the adrenaline-pumping action of the luge at Rotorua Skyline.
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Chateau Marlborough
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Blenheim
Country: New Zealand
Chateau Marlborough is different from any other hotel in the region and that difference is reflected in the service, the atmosphere and the surroundings – all of them out of the ordinary. ... what makes Chateau Marlborough Hotel a firm favourite with families, leisure visitors, business/corporates, and locals alike as it is a wonderful, flexible venue for celebrations, parties and events, meetings or a private stay.
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Scenic Hotel Marlborough
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Blenheim
Country: New Zealand
Conveniently located in the main township of Blenheim, Scenic Hotel Marlborough is an oasis of comfort for visitors and the ideal base to explore the splendour of this region.

Located in
... heart of sunny Marlborough, our 4-star plus hotel is just minutes walk from the centre of Blenheim with some of New Zealand’s finest food and wine virtually on your doorstep. Our Marlborough accommodation brings a relaxed and friendly atmosphere to Blenheim – the heart of Marlborough Wine Country and its world-famous Sauvignon Blancs.
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Crowne Plaza Christchurch
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand
Located in Central Christchurch just minutes from CBD dining, shopping and entertainment, Crowne Plaza Christchurch offers modern accommodation and dining options for the business or leisure traveller. Overlooking historic Victoria Square and ... iconic Avon River, you’ll be in the perfect spot to connect with the Christchurch, or meet with colleagues, clients or friends in Market Place Restaurant & Bar.
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Copthorne Hotel and Resort
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Queenstown
Country: New Zealand
Experience tranquility all year round. Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront sits overlooking on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and within walking distance of Queenstown’s central shopping and entertainment area. Popular ski ... such as Coronet Peak is a 20 minutes drive and Remarkables is a 45 minutes drive away.
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Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Dunedin
Country: New Zealand
Located in the heart of Dunedin, Scenic Hotel Southern Cross is Dunedin’s largest and most established hotel. We provide stylish inner city accommodation, giving the convenience of having entertainment, shopping and restaurants ... at hand.
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Victoria Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Dunedin
Country: New Zealand
Victoria Hotel is located in the heart of Dunedin City, minutes walk away from the city's attractions, shops and businesses. This makes the hotel the perfect base for the family getaway, the ... spree or the corporate traveler.

At the Victoria Hotel you can expect a warm welcome, a comfortable stay and an excellent location. We take pride in the level of service we offer and are dedicated to going the extra mile for our guests.
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The Hermitage
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Mt Cook
Country: New Zealand
Since the late 1800’s the Hermitage has been an iconic hotel, located in a world class destination.

The perfect base to explore the natural wonders of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, the
... offers various accommodation options, a collection of dining establishments and unique activities whilst providing genuine New Zealand hospitality to guests from all around the globe.
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Peppers Bluewater Resort Lake Tekapo
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Mt Cook
Country: New Zealand
Overlooking the pristine waters of Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island's Peppers Bluewater Resort. Set amongst the purest natural landscape, you can explore the natural wonders of Mount Cook and the ... region. Contemporary Hotel Rooms, Suites and Villas provide a tranquil retreat, with many villas boasting private balconies with lake views. Peppers Bluewater Resort is also an excellent choice for your next event, from weddings through to meetings, seminars, business events or retreats.
Read More

 


 

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Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 90-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is via our website; during office hours, you are also more than welcome to contact us by telephone. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 90 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Please review our cancellation policy page for details.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

What People are Saying
Sandra E.
Kent - 223
Good balance of sights seen. Particularly enjoyed the albatross and penguin experiences. Mt Cook flight was wonderful. Good large coach so didn’t feel cramped. Great selection of restaurants. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Well balanced and not rushed.
Cecilia M.
Ancaster, ON - CA
I enjoyed the scenic flight over Mt Cook and got lucky with the weather. It was spectacular. I also enjoyed the Waitamo caves with the glow worms. Also good was the Te Puia and Maori Center ending with a very nice Maori Hangi... Delicious. The guide in Te Puia was very enjoyable and has lot of info for the group. The transportation was excellent. It is always nice to have a big bus ...lots of room around to spread out. It was also always nice and clean. Meals were excellent. Probably the best food for me with AA except when we were in Iceland. Overall, an excellent tour!!! One of the best for me.
Karen W.
Malibu, CA - US
The excursions I enjoyed the most were the airplane excursion, train ride, Doubtful Sound cruise. Drivers were excellent and considerate. Every restaurant an adventure. Very good food. Our tour leader Jonathan was kind and attuned to the needs of the individuals in his care. He was happy all the time. Very innovative and selfless. Great sense of humor. Value received, very good trip.
Mary F.
Malibu, CA - US
I booked with AA because of satisfaction of other tours offered by AA. Security in the quality of your offerings. The sales and consulting staff were friendly and patient. My favourite excursions were the airplane flight over Mt. Cook, cruise on Doubtful sound, Airplane museum tour, Wither Hills winery tour, sheep show. The transport was excellent. The coaches clean and comfortable. Lindsey Sterling, our driver, was a blessing every day, knowledgeable, very capable and safe driver, and more than dependable. We all loved him. The meal plan was better than could be expected. Great restaurants. Very well planned. Jonathon, our tour leader, made sure we were always given rich background information about the activity at hand. He never failed to be pleasant and in good humor. He was very capable. A credit to the company. Yet another positive travel experience with AA
Roberta G.
GAITHERSBURG, MD - US
I enjoyed all the excursions. The Doubtful Sound cruise was a highlight for me--beautiful weather,good food and sealife sightings, especially the crested penguins. Both the Te Papa and Aukland Museums were fantastic and the Waitomo caves were fascinating.
Barbara T.
Mont Hope, ON - CA
The overnight stay on the Fiordland Navigator on Doubtful Sound was excellent. The organization and transportation through Real Journeys was impressive and their staff on board were helpful and efficient. The flight over Milford Sound was a great experience. Te Papa Museum was a highlight.
Marjorie H.
Calgary, AB - CA
The "flight-seeing" over Mt. Cook was spectacular, as was the Doubtful Sound overnight excursion. Also enjoyed the Maori meal and performance in Rotorua.Beautiful buses, especially the ones designed to slope up towards the back, enabling back-seat passengers to see out the front window. Excellent drivers, and lots of room for the 15 members of our group.
Margaret F.
Gloucester, ON - CA
Excellent tour, well-organized, well-executed by our tour guide, liked the small size of participants, appreciated only having to think about lunch/tea
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No particular physical activity is involved other than town/city walks and short walks to dinners and sites of interest, some of which are large.

To learn more about the Activity levels, please visit our tour styles page.
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