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Small group tour - New Zealand

New Zealand - Experience nature up close

Highlights

  • Experience New Zealand's highlights live on the South and North Island

  • Experience contrasts: Big city meets unspoiled nature

  • Boat trip on Milford Sound incl. overnight stay

  • Included excursions: Kapiti Island, Zealandia Bird Sanctuary & Rotorua Thermal Areas

  • Get to know Maori culture: dinner with a local family

Description

This trip will be an unforgettable experience! Fly with itravel to the end of the world and get to know New Zealand's natural beauty on the South and North Island. Together in a group of max. 9 people you will hike along untouched landscapes and get an insight into the complex Maori culture. Strap on your hiking boots - we'll show you the "real" land of the Kiwis!

Destination

Oceania & South Pacific

Christchurch - Mount Cook - Dunedin - Milford Sound - Te Anau - Wanaka - Fox Glacier - Hokitika - Nelson - Wellington - Kapiti Coast - Tongariro National Park - Rotorua - Auckland

New Zealand is a dream destination for many travel enthusiasts. Today you will arrive in the land of the Maoris and will be welcomed at the airport by a member of our partner agency. Together you will walk to your transfer vehicle and drive to your hotel.

Known as New Zealand's Garden City, the South Island's largest city is located on the Pacific Ocean and on the edge of the Canterbury Plain region. Because of its ideal location, Christchurch is a popular destination among nature lovers and adrenaline junkies. From extreme sports to wildlife watching, you'll find plenty of activities such as bungee jumping, rafting, mountain biking and whale watching.

But the Botanic Garden in the city center is also a real experience: stroll along colorful flower beds and enjoy the lush nature.

Although Christchurch is still suffering from the aftermath of the severe earthquake in February 2011, the city is under reconstruction and is definitely worth a visit.

Travel time: 11 km / approx. 20 minutes

1 night at BreakFree on Cashel*** with breakfast in City Urban King / Twin , Christchurch, New Zealand

Good morning, New Zealand! After breakfast at the hotel, you will meet with your tour guide and start the day with a short city tour. The central square in the city center, also called Cathedral Square, as well as the Canterbury Museum, an impressive exhibition about Antarctica are just a few well-known sights of New Zealand's second largest city that you must not miss. Experience neo-Gothic architectural styles, green parks with colorful flowers and well-kept residential streets that give the city its English flair.

You will leave Christchurch and embark on a drive through the vast farmlands of the Canterbury Plain: countless mountain peaks and a land of plains characterize the fascinating landscape. Passing the glacier lake Tekapo you reach the McKenzie Country, a landscape with steppe character. As far as the eye can see the New Zealand tussock grass swaying in the wind. On the way to the highest mountain of New Zealand, Mount Cook, you will get a first impression of this impressive area. Take in the alpine flora, which is not only of great botanical interest, but also of great aesthetic value in its peculiar variety of forms.

Travel time: 334 km / approx. 4:45 hours

2 nights accommodation at Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Lodge**** with breakfast and 1x lunch in standard room, Mount Cook, New Zealand

After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, a half-day hike in the alpine Hooker Valley awaits you. Depending on the level of difficulty, you can choose from several hikes. Hike along untouched landscapes, enjoy the unique nature and visit the Hooker Glacier or Glacial Lake. White flowers of the famous Mount Cook Lily, the largest buttercup in the world as well as golden-yellow inflorescences of the "Wild Spaniards" will enchant you on your way. Experience a hike that, in good weather, even promises you a dreamlike view of the snow-covered mountain peaks - simply enchanting.

Today your journey continues south to Dunedin, also called the "Scottish Capital" of New Zealand. You will cross the highlands of Central Ctago and change to the east coast of the South Island. On the way you can catch a glimpse of the Moeraki Boulders. The spherical rocks on the beach have amazed many a visitor. Get out your camera and take some great photos.

After the small stopover, continue your journey to the Otago Peninsula, which is 30 kilometers long and 12 kilometers wide. Known for its rich as well as rare wildlife, the Otago Peninsula is the ideal starting point to experience unique excursions. In the afternoon, take a cruise to observe Royal Albatross, the only mainland albatross colony in the world. Experience an exciting time on the ship and see curious seals and cormorants.

In the evening you check in at your hotel in Dunedin.

Travel time: 330 km / approx. 4:45 hours

1 night at Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin***+ with breakfast and dinner in standard room, Dunedin, New Zealand

Start the day with a walk through the picturesque city center of Dunedin. The second largest city on the South Island is a real highlight. Stroll through the narrow streets and explore the world's best preserved Victorian town. You also can't miss New Zealand's oldest university. Grab a coffee-to-go and soak up the Scottish flair.

Afterwards, begin your onward journey to Fjordland National Park. Countless fjords, lush green native forests and snow-capped mountain peaks characterize New Zealand's largest national park. You will drive along the spectacular Milford Road to the Horner Tunnel and with a little luck you may see the cheeky Keas, the only mountain parrots in the world. In the late afternoon, an unforgettable experience awaits as you board your ship and depart for the Milford Sound cruise. A special highlight of this cruise is the overnight stay on the ship - simply indescribable.

Enjoy the wildly romantic scenery and New Zealand's natural beauty over a delicious dinner. Keep an eye out for magnificent wildlife, especially sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks along the shore. Make yourself comfortable with a fine drop of wine on the deck of your ship and listen to the sounds of nature - pure relaxation in a dreamlike scenery.

Travel time: 420 km / approx. 5:30 hours

1 night on the Milford Wanderer with breakfast and dinner in a standard room, Milford Sound, New Zealand

Welcome the day aboard your ship on Milford Sound. After you have strengthened yourself at the breakfast buffet, you will leave the ship and head towards Te Anau. This small town on the edge of the Fjordland is ideal for exploring the Fjordland National Park. Fairytale landscapes like from a picture book as well as a rare wilderness turn this area into a real insider tip. Don't forget to pack your camera. Tip: A boat trip on Lake Te Anau - Countless nimble fireflies will delight you and accompany you on your way.

Travel time: 120 km / approx. 2 hours

1 night at Distinction Luxmore Hotel**** with breakfast in standard room, Te Anau, New Zealand

Today your itinerary takes you to Queenstown. In the morning, visit the nearby Z-shaped Lake Wakatipu and enjoy wonderful views of the nearby mountains such as the Remarkables, Cecil and Walter Peak, Ben Lomond and Quenstown Hill. Stroll the streets of Queenstown and get a glimpse of its diverse adventures. From bungee jumping, skydiving and mountain biking to the legendary Lord of the Rings filming locations, Queenstown offers a diverse range of activities.

Afterwards, continue on to Wanaka. Situated on the fourth largest inland lake in New Zealand, Wanaka is a true paradise for hiking enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies and well worth a visit.

Travel time: 240 km / approx. 3:30 hours

2 nights at Ramada Resort Wanaka**** with breakfast in a standard room, Wanaka, New Zealand

Today you can spend as much time as you like according to your personal interests. Wanaka is the ideal starting point to explore the nearby Mount Aspiring National Park. Enjoy New Zealand's magnificent landscape and hike past lush rainforests, spectacular waterfalls and turquoise lakes. Tip: Your tour guide will be happy to help you choose from a variety of hiking trails and numerous activities.

You will leave Wanaka and continue north. Your next destination is Haast, a town on the west coast. Here a 2-hour hike through the green rainforest awaits you until you reach Lake Tasman. Depending on the season, you can observe the little crested penguins here. After the interesting walk through New Zealand's untouched nature, you will set off for the Fox Glacier. The world-famous Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are among the few glaciers whose glacier tongues reach down to the rainforest.

Travel time: 265 km / 3:45 hours

1 night's lodging at Lake Matheson Motel**** with breakfast and dinner in a studio, Fox Glacier, New Zealand

How could a day start better than with an unforgettable flight? This morning you can experience a helicopter flight around the fascinating glacier world and Mount Cook. See the 14 km long Fox Glacier from a bird's eye view and enjoy a spectacular panorama. An experience that will certainly not leave you cold (optional).

After discovering New Zealand from a new perspective, continue your journey. You will continue along the west coast and pass historic gold mining areas until you reach the small town of Hokitika. Hokitika is known for its small jewelry stores. Here jade or New Zealand's greenstone from the west coast is processed.

Travel time: 200 km / approx. 3 hours

1 night in Beachfront Hotel with breakfast in standard room, Hokitika, New Zealand

After breakfast you will leave Hokitika and drive along the picturesque Paparoa National Park. You will use the short stopover to visit "Pancake Rocks", the famous rock formation. In Westport, you will hike to a colony of New Zealand fur seals and if desired, to the lighthouse. After taking great photos of the cute animals and picturesque scenery, you will leave the west coast behind and continue north. In the afternoon you will reach Nelson. This coastal paradise near the Abel Tasman National Park is a real experience. Fine sandy beaches, crystal clear creeks and a wide range of sporting activities await you in New Zealand's sunniest city. After you have freshened up in your hotel, the next highlight is already waiting for you: You are visiting a New Zealand family and experience the New Zealand hospitality during a dinner together - you come as a guest and leave as a friend.

Travel time: 330 km / approx. 4:30 hours

2 nights at Harbourside Motor Lodge***+ with breakfast, 1x lunch and 1x dinner in standard room, Nelson, New Zealand

Early in the morning you start to the smallest national park in New Zealand, the Abel Tasman National Park. Golden sandy beaches, beautiful coastlines and green rainforest characterize this national park and offer a colorful variety for nature lovers. Look forward to a boat trip with a catamaran along dreamlike bays and small peninsulas. During an exciting hike you will discover the wonderful landscape and afterwards you can swim in the turquoise blue sea. Besides the gorgeous scenery, the unique flora and fauna enrich the area. Listen to the song of the tui, a black New Zealand bird, as well as the cormorants and the boobies.

After breakfast you will set off for Picton. On the way you will stop at Pelorus Bridge and walk through the charming area. Once in the small harbor town, take the ferry towards Wellington and leave the South Island. Get on board and always keep your camera handy, because the crossing is at the same time an experience along untouched nature: you will pass through the impressive Marlborough Sounds, a wide network of waterways and small bays, you will pass a dreamlike landscape and with a little luck you might see dolphins, penguins and seals. After about 3 hours you will reach the North Island and thus your today's destination Wellington, New Zealand's capital.

Travel time from Nelson to Picton: 110 km / approx. 1:30 hours

2 nights in the West Plaza Hotel*** with breakfast in a standard room, Wellington, New Zealand

Start the day with a hearty breakfast at the hotel. Wellington is considered the gateway to the South Island and lies between two harbors surrounded by naturally lush nature. Known for its art, culture and unique landscapes, Wellington is also a real gourmet's paradise.

Once in Wellington, don't miss the Te Papa interactive national museum and the Mount Victoria lookout. Enjoy an unforgettable view of all parts of the small capital from here. A real must is also the cable car to the Botanical Garden - just great.

In the evening, a guided tour of the Zealandia Bird Sanctuary awaits you. Catch a glimpse of various animals that become active only at night. With a little luck you can also see New Zealand's national symbol, the kiwi.

This morning you will take a boat to Kapiti Island, which is a protected island. The 10 kilometer long and 2 kilometer wide island is a protected area for endangered species. With the permission we received from the local conservation authority, you can experience a completely different world. Kapiti Island is one of the most important resting places for New Zealand birds and provides shelter for almost extinct animals. The forest parrot, the kokako and the takahe have thus found a new home on the small island. With your guide you will hike along untouched nature to the lookout point. From here you can see all the way to the South Island if the weather is good.

In the late afternoon you will board your boat and return to the mainland.

Travel time: 50 km / approx. 45 minutes

1 night at Wrights by the Sea Motel**** with breakfast and lunch in standard room, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand

After a morning beach walk on the Kapiti Coast, you will drive to the mountains in the center of the North Island. Here, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's oldest national park, awaits you. For almost 100 years, the park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to three active volcanoes: Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu - New Zealand's highest volcano at 2797 meters. However, the picturesque landscape is not only known for its volcanic activities, but also offers enough space for various adventures such as white water rafting, skiing and alpine crossing.

In the afternoon, check in to your hotel at the foot of Mount Ruapehu.

Travel time: 260 km / approx. 3:45 hours

2 nights accommodation at Skotel Alpine Resort*** with breakfast and 1x dinner in standard room, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand.

This morning you'll set out on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand's most famous hiking trail. You will cross several craters, hot springs and hike along emerald green lakes and volcanic rocks. Experience a popular as well as challenging hike in constantly changing landscapes. Enjoy a unique volcanic landscape and get a fantastic view of Lake Taupo.

Alternatively, take a flight over the mountains with spectacular views of Mount Tongario or its two sister volcanoes - an unforgettable experience from a bird's eye view (optional).

Your day today starts with a natural history hike around the beautiful Lake Rotopounamu at the foot of the Tongariro Volcano. You will leave the Tongariro National Park and drive into the hinterland. Here a nature conservation project of the Maoris of the tribe "Ngati Rereahu" awaits you: You will plant a small tree of your choice, weave a souvenir out of flax and you can taste traditional Maori fruits.

Afterwards you will continue to Rotorua. Because of the many steaming holes in the earth, the city is also called "Sulfur City". A slight smell of sulfur is ever present. But don't let that deter you and go exploring. Phutu Geyser, found here, is the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere and shoots hot water up to 30 meters into the air.

In the evening you can participate in a traditional song and dance performance in a Maori village. Afterwards you can look forward to a traditional Maori meal from the earth oven, "Hangi".

Travel time: 215 km / approx. 3 hours

1 night at Alpin Motel**** with breakfast in a standard room, Rotorua, New Zealand

You will visit the Waiotapu Thermal Park. Get to know New Zealand's hottest corners on a guided walk through the volcanic thermal region and see bubbling mud holes and bubbling springs. A real highlight of this tour is a visit to New Zealand's only Champagne Pool, a steaming pool of hot water 60 meters in diameter, most notable for its orange rim. Afterwards, continue to Auckland, New Zealand's largest city.

Also known as the "City of Sails", Auckland offers a wide range of water sports activities, making it a true paradise for sports lovers and nature enthusiasts. Visit the famous Skytower here, which at 328 meters is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, and Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium. See colorful fish, sharks and rays swimming above you in the transparent tunnel. Have a wonderful time in the lively city and be completely pampered here.

Travel time: 233 km / approx. 3 hours

1 night in Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City***+ with breakfast in standard room, Auckland, New Zealand

Today your journey through New Zealand ends and you pack your bags for the very last time. After breakfast you will be transferred to Auckland airport and start your return flight with newly gained impressions and unforgettable memories.

BreakFree on Cashel***, Christchurch, New Zealand

Located in the heart of Christchurch, this modern hotel offers the best conditions to explore the sights in and around Christchurch. Numerous restaurants, cafes and stores are located just a few meters from your hotel. All 263 rooms are stylishly decorated and feature a modern bathroom with shower, an LCD Smart TV, a refrigerator, an ironing iron and ironing board, and tea and coffeemaking facilities. Internet is free up to 500MB. Fresh delicacies of local and Western cuisine are enjoyed at the on-site restaurant. Automated self-check-in is available 24-hours a day.

1 night

Aoraki Mt Cook Alpi ne Lodge****, Mount Cook, New Zealand.

Situated at the foot of Mount Cook, Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Lodge is the ideal base from which to explore Mount Cook National Park. Snow-capped mountain peaks, green bushland and diverse wildlife are just a few features of the fascinating landscape. Look forward to 16 lovingly furnished rooms, all with private bathrooms and hairdryers. Most rooms indulge you with a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains. The modern lodge offers a kitchen for self-catering and a spacious dining area. You can reach the starting point of the Hooker Valley hike in just about 15 minutes on foot.

2 nights

Kingsgate Hotel Du nedin***+, Dunedin, New Zealand

Your Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin is in the heart of the city just a short walk from plenty of shopping and trendy bars. The 55 modern rooms and suites feature en suite bathrooms, TVs, coffee and tea facilities, and private balconies. The hotel's own restaurant, Jimmy Cook's Kiwi Kitchen, treats you to specialties of New Zealand cuisine. You can reach the fine sandy beach in about 10 minutes by car and the Otago Museum in about 15 minutes by foot.

1 overnight stay

Milford Wanderer, Milford Sound, New Zealand

The Milford Wanderer awaits you with a spacious panoramic deck and 36 cabins. You can enjoy a delicious dinner in the cozy dining room and end the day at the well-stocked bar. Kayak accessories are available on board.

1 overnight stay

Distinction Luxmore****, Te Anau, New Zealand

Situated in the heart of town, Distinction Luxmore Hotel offers free unlimited internet connection and 180 modernly decorated rooms. All rooms are equipped with a refrigerator, coffee and tea facilities, a hairdryer, an iron and a telephone. You will be spoiled with exquisite dishes in the two in-house restaurants. The Bailiez Restaurant is also highly acclaimed by the locals. Relax here with delicious dishes after an eventful day in the Fjordland. Within walking distance you can reach the popular Lake Te Anau as well as numerous stores and bars.

1 night

Ramada Resort Wanaka****, Wanaka, New Zealand

Ramada Resort Wanaka welcomes you to the shores of Lake Wanaka against a spectacular backdrop. The rooms are comfortably furnished and feature a kitchenette, an LCD TV and a private bathroom. In addition, all units offer a balcony or terrace. Relax by the heated pool, hot tub or sauna, and try the seasonal waterslide. A barbecue area with seating, a cafe, a bar and a laundry service are also available.

2 nights

Lake Matheson Motel****, Fox Glacier, New Zealand.

Located about 400 yards from the center of Fox Glacier, this property offers 21 accommodation units that feature simple but modern decor. Amenities include a kitchenette with microwave, a private bathroom with shower and hairdryer, heating, and complimentary tea and coffeemaking facilities. Internet use is free at Lake Matheston Motel.

1 nights

Beachfront Hotel Hokitika, Hokitika, New Zealand

Your Beachfront Hotel Hokitika is located in the heart of Hokitika directly on the beach. From here you can easily reach the Pancacke Rocks at Punakaiki and the Franz Josef Glacier. Look forward to 53 rooms, all with private bathrooms, refrigerators and minibars. At the on-site Ocean View Restaurant, you can enjoy New Zealand delicacies while enjoying a magnificent view of the ocean. Relax after an exciting day in New Zealand's unspoiled nature with a refreshing drink at Coasters Bar.

1 Overnight

Harbourside Motor Lodge***+, Nelson, New Zealand

Situated directly on the harbor of Nelson, the Harbour Motor Lodge awaits you with first-class service and comfortably furnished rooms. All 14 studios and apartments have a TV, free internet and a telephone. In only 15 minutes you can reach the city center of Nelson. Culinary delights can be enjoyed in the hotel's own restaurant.

2 nights

West Plaza Hotel****, Wellington, New Zealand

The West Plaza Hotel is centrally located, within walking distance of the National Museum "Te Papa". The 102 rooms are classically decorated and feature all amenities. In the award-winning "City Dining & Bar" you can start the day well with a rich breakfast and in the evening you can try a first-class menu made from local products. Environmental friendliness and sustainability play an important role at the West Plaza Hotel. This central hotel has been awarded the "Qualmark" seal, promising environmentally friendly standards such as recycling. Not far from the West Plaza Hotel are numerous stores and bars that invite you to linger.

2 nights

Wrights by the Sea Motel****, Kapiti, New Zealand

Located on the Kapiti coast, this modern motel offers barbecue facilities and free internet connection. Look forward to 14 modernly decorated rooms, all equipped with a private bathroom, a kitchenette and a refrigerator. Wrights by the Sea Motel is the perfect accommodation for a relaxing day at the beach.

In just a few minutes drive you can reach the city center of Paraparaumu.

1 night

Skotel Alpine Resort***, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

In the midst of the Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's highest hotel, Skotel Alpine Resort, welcomes you. The 48 rooms are decorated in a country style and feature a private bathroom, a TV, coffee and tea facilities, and a refrigerator. Local dishes are served in the on-site restaurant. Enjoy the wonderful views of Mount Tongariro and make use of the barbecue facilities. In just a 20-minute drive, you can reach the Tongariro Alpine Crossing hiking trail.

2 nights

Alpin Motel****, Rotorua, New Zealand

Offering an outdoor pool and sauna, Alpin Hotel is located in close proximity to Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. All 40 modern apartments feature modern furnishings and a separate living area, kitchenette and microwave. You can reach Rotorua city center in just a 5-minute drive.

1 night

Hotel Grand Chancellor Auckland City***+, Auckland, New Zealand

Situated opposite the famous Viaduct Harbour, this hotel awaits you with an indoor pool, gym and private parking. With views of the city, Sky Tower or the picturesque harbor, rooms feature modern decor and all amenities. In addition, all units offer a kitchenette, minibar, and satellite TV. You can reach the Sky Tower in just five minutes on foot. Numerous stores, restaurants and bars are in the immediate vicinity. Start the day with a continental breakfast in the No. 1 Hobson Breakfast Lounge.

1 night

Duration of the trip: 20 days / 19 nights

Date of the trip: 07.11. - 26.11.2018 / 09.12. - 28.12.2018 / 14.01. - 02.02.2019 / 18.02. - 09.03.2019 / 13.03. - 01.04.2019 / 07.04. - 26.04.2019

Included

  • Transfer from / to the airport
  • 18 nights in middle class hotels and motels
  • 1 night on the Milford Wanderer with ensuite facilities
  • Transfer from/to airport
  • Transfer by minibus from Christchurch to Auckland with naturalist, German speaking tour guide (also driver)
  • Participation in a Maori Carbon-Offset program
  • Visit to the thermal areas and geysers of Rotorua
  • Excursion to Kapiti Island
  • Ferry crossing from the South to the North Island
  • Catamaran cruise in Abel Tasman National Park followed by a hike
  • Guided evening hike in Zealandia Bird Sanctuary
  • Monarch Wildlife Cruise with observation of Royal Albatrosses
  • Dinner with a New Zealand family
  • 19x breakfast, 3x light lunch and 5 x dinner

Not included

  • International flights
  • Entrance fees to national parks and the like
  • Optional excursions
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in the scope of service
  • Personal expenses such as tips and minibar
  • Visa, if required

Notes & Service

  • On request, this group tour can also take place in the reverse itinerary Auckland - Christchurch on other dates.
  • Please note that hotel accommodations are subject to change based on availability.
  • Number of participants: min. 4 persons, max. 9 persons.
  • Shell suitcases are allowed. However, for practical reasons we recommend soft travel bags.
  • Each participant should bring a limited amount of luggage (20kg).
  • We recommend the following equipment: sturdy hiking shoes + second pair of shoes, weatherproof rainwear, small daypack, camera.
  • The accommodations have in most cases washing machines and dryers!
  • Double rooms or accommodation units are offered, suitable for two single travelers or a couple. The accommodations have a bathroom and bedroom and often a separate kitchen-living room.
  • Due to local conditions or weather, program changes may be necessary. If scheduled activities are cancelled due to local weather conditions by the local service provider, an alternative equivalent activity will be organized elsewhere. Financial refunds are therefore excluded.
  • This tour is designed for the naturalist traveler in a small group. We have combined the round trip with the element "hiking" and thus appeal to the active traveler. Special physical fitness is not required. The traveler can choose to stay away from a jointly planned activity and/or choose the alternative indicated in the itinerary. The small group makes it possible for the tour guide to cater to special needs of individual clients, thus expertly providing a special travel and study experience.

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