Ultimate Explorer Tour

from £4636
excluding flights *
15 nights Jan-Mar, May, Oct-Nov


Enjoy the best of New Zealand at a relaxed pace and an affordable price with our partner, Grand Pacific Tours, who specialise in New Zealand. Combine luxury small group coach touring on a holiday tour that will allow you to experience the very best of both islands including Milford Sound, Queenstown, Rotorua and Wellington.


  • Explore stunning Milford Sound by boat
  • Evening cruise on vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw
  • Fox Glacier where you can opt to take a scenic flight
  • TranzAlpine - one of the world's great train journeys
  • Gondola ride and Maori hangi and concert in Rotorua
  • Cruise in the Bay of Islands including a stop on Urupukapuka Island

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • All breakfasts, 12 dinners, 1 picnic lunch, 1 high tea
  • Luxury transportation in specially configured coach
  • 4 cruises
  • All attractions (unless specified as optional)
  • Meet and greet on arrival
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

Full description

Your journey starts in Christchurch and takes you via the spectacular Southern Alps to Dunedin, famous for its Victorian architecture, and on to Te Anau which is at the heart of Fiordland National Park, home to iconic Mitre Peak. Spend time in the adventure capital that is Queenstown before heading up the West Coast to board the TranzAlpine back to Christchurch.

Cross the stunning Marlborough Sounds on the Inter-Islander Ferry to arrive in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Continue on through the North Island experiencing the geo-thermal delights of Rotorua with its array of bubbling mud pools and erupting geysers before heading on to the Bay of Islands in Northland, the birthplace of the nation. Your tour ends in Auckland, the City of Sails.

Contact our New Zealand specialists now
nordic team doug kington bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom

Departure Duration Twin Price (pp)
27 Sep 2020 15 nights £4,636
28 Oct 2020 15 nights £4,794
12 Nov 2020 15 nights £4,794
05 Dec 2020 15 nights £4,794
11, 26 Jan 2021 15 nights £4,794
13 Feb 2021 15 nights £4,794
01, 10, 29 Mar 2021 15 nights £4,794
15 Apr 2021 15 nights £4,794
06 May 2021 15 nights £4,636

What's Included

  • Accommodation in premium hotels for 15 nights
  • All breakfasts, 12 dinners, 1 picnic lunch, 1 high tea
  • Meals include 1 speciality breakfast & 3 speciality dinners
  • Luxury transportation in specially configured coach
  • 4 cruises
  • All attractions (unless specified as optional)
  • Personalised meet and greet on arrival
  • Return airport transfers in New Zealand
  • Ultimate Tour Extras (see 'Other Information' for full details)
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection »
Group Size: Minimum group size: 1 Maximum group size: 20

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: arrive Christchurch

Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your travel companions over a complimentary pre-dinner drink.
Overnight: The George

Day 2: Christchurch - Mount Cook

After an introductory city sights tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, visit The Church of the Good Shepherd and view the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak and enjoy a scenic flight (optional) over the Southern Alps.
Overnight: The Hermitage Hotel

Day 3: Mount Cook - Dunedin

Depart Mount Cook and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy an informative city tour followed by some free time to explore at leisure. You might be interested in a tour of the Speight’s Brewery (optional) or a visit to the Royal Albatross Centre to see Albatross in their natural habitat (optional).
Overnight: Distinction Dunedin.

Day 4: Dunedin - Te Anau

Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle for a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by a delightful Ultimate High Tea in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland. Tonight you may like to visit the glow worm caves – incredible limestone caverns and waterfalls (optional).
Overnight: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas

Day 5: Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Enjoy the wonderful 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 a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights in this resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. The evening is free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.
Overnight: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (2 nights)

Day 6: Queenstown (Free Day)

Enjoy a full day at leisure. There are plenty of sightseeing options and your coach captain and tour escort will be happy to help. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. On arrival sit back and relax and enjoy a gourmet barbeque dinner which the chef will prepare in front of you 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.
Overnight: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 7: Queenstown - Fox Glacier

Travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the mighty West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel to Fox Glacier. Enjoy a scenic flight (optional) over the spectacular glaciers.
Overnight: Distinction Hotel Fox Glacier

Day 8: Fox Glacier - Arthur’s Pass - Christchurch

Drive to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone factory. Then 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 armlands of the Canterbury Plains to the elegant city of Christchurch. On arrival your Ultimate Coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.
Overnight: The George

Day 9: Christchurch - Picton - Wellington

Today you will travel north up the east coast of the south island through the whale watching town of Kaikoura towards Picton. Here you will board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the majestic Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington.
Overnight: Hotel Intercontinental

Day 10: Wellington

A highlight this morning will be time to enjoy Te Papa, New Zealand’s fascinating National Museum, with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views of the land, environment and people. Reboard your coach for a city tour. Enjoy some leisure time in the afternoon. The evening is free to choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.
Overnight: Hotel Intercontinental

Day 11: 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 before travelling along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.
Overnight: Hotel Regent of Rotorua

Day 12: Rotorua

Today begins with a Gondola ride at the Skyline Rotorua for breakfast with spectacular views and also time for a thrilling Luge ride! Travel to the Agrodome to see a shearing display and sheep dog trial. Next visit Rainbow Springs for the fascinating National Kiwi Hatchery Tour. Enjoy some free time this afternoon before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and the awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Maori Hangi and Concert.
Overnight: Hotel Regent of Rotorua

Day 13: Rotorua - Auckland - Bay of Islands

Depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri tree. Continue via Whangarei to Paihia, situated in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, location of the signing of the treaty between Maori tribes and the British.
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands (2 nights)

Day 14: Bay of Islands

This morning cruise through the beautiful Bay of Islands on board a luxury catamaran to Cape Brett and the famous Hole in the Rock. Stop on Urupukapuka Island before returning via Russell to Paihia for an afternoon at leisure. A range of optional activities are available or you may choose to relax and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront. This evening is also free and you might like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).

Day 15: Bay of Islands - Auckland

Depart the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland for a city sights tour. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including wine with your new found friends.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza

Day 16: Auckland

Time to say goodbye today. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas, Te Anau

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Situated on the lakefront, a couple of minutes walk from Te Anau's centre, the hotel has 112 spacious rooms set in a colourful garden.

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The Regent of Rotorua, Rotorua

New Zealand

Grade: Deluxe

Type: Unique And Boutique

Escape the ordinary in Regent of Rotorua, a designer boutique hotel offering stylish luxury accommodation, restaurant, wine & cocktail bar, all with a touch of glamour.

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The George

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Located in the heart of Christchurch, overlooking picturesque Hagley Park and the Avon River, The George is just a step away from key attractions including the arts market, restaurants and Botanical Gardens.

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One of the key features of this itinerary is the transportation used by Grand Pacific Tours. Purpose built, the Ultimate Coach is in a class of its own. Travel on a full size coach (13.5 metres long) which would normally house 48 seats and has been reconfigured with only 20 luxury leather seats. Experience surroundings akin to the 'pointy end' of an aeroplane as you enjoy the extensive onboard features which include:

  • 20 luxury leather fully reclining seats adjustable headrest & calf support
  • Panoramic viewing, air-conditioning and seat belts
  • Wood grain timber tray table with built in cup holder
  • Seat side personal storage area providing easy access to your travel bag
  • Personal audio control unit with multiple music channels & set of headphones
  • Individual USB point for charging your camera, mobile phone and iPod
  • Stylish centre galley area equipped with refrigerated drinking fountain and fridge
  • Complimentary daily on board Wi-Fi allowance
  • Onboard restroom


As part of the Ultimate Small Group Tours experience you will receive a number of exclusive extras:

  • A deluxe Travel Set including Travel Bag & Ticket Wallet
  • Complimentary pre dinner drink at the welcome dinner
  • Cloth bag including boxed mints & complimentary bottle of water
  • Access to daily newspaper and a range of glossy magazines
  • An intimate farewell dinner including selected beverages
How to Book
Call us on 01737 214 250 to discuss your plans or
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