Odysseys Unlimited
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From $6,974
total price from Los Angeles, San Francisco
$6,495 air & land inclusive plus $479 airline taxes and fees
Tour Days
16 days
Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Overview

It’s a tale of two islands as our small group journeys from New Zealand’s North to its South, through lively cities and pristine fiords, past lush farmland and enchanted forests in a land where the outdoors is the national shrine. Add engaging “Kiwis” and intriguing indigenous cultures – it’s a pure New Zealand experience.

Tour Details

New Zealand Adventure

From $6,974

total price from Los Angeles, San Francisco
$6,495 air & land inclusive plus $479 airline taxes and fees

Tour Days
16 days

Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Tour Days
16 days

Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Overview

It’s a tale of two islands as our small group journeys from New Zealand’s North to its South, through lively cities and pristine fiords, past lush farmland and enchanted forests in a land where the outdoors is the national shrine. Add engaging “Kiwis” and intriguing indigenous cultures – it’s a pure New Zealand experience.

Small Group Highlights

  • New Zealand’s unspoiled natural scenery
  • Auckland sightseeing and harbor cruise
  • Geothermal Rotorua
  • Art Deco walking tour in Napier
  • TranzAlpine train excursion
  • Two-night Franz Josef stay, with guided walk through the glacier valley
  • Scenic Doubtful Sound excursion
  • Outdoor mecca of Queenstown

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Please note: This trip involves full days of sightseeing and significant amounts of walking on stairs and uneven surfaces. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

B
= Breakfast Included
L
= Lunch Included
D
= Dinner Included
1
Depart U.S. for Auckland, New Zealand
Depart U.S. for Auckland, New Zealand
2
En Route to Auckland, New Zealand
En Route to Auckland, New Zealand
3
Arrive Auckland
D
D
Arrive Auckland

We arrive in New Zealand’s largest city early this morning and transfer to our hotel, where our rooms are ready for early check-in.  After time to relax and freshen up, we take a casual walking tour of the area around our hotel.  This evening we attend a briefing on the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner.

We arrive in New Zealand’s largest city early this morning and transfer to our hotel, where our rooms are ready for early check-in.  After time to relax and freshen up, we take a casual walking tour of the area around our hotel.  This evening we attend a briefing on the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner.

4
Auckland
B
L
B
L
Auckland

This morning we tour cosmopolitan Auckland, an eminently livable city.  One of only a few world cities straddling two harbors on separate bodies of water, Auckland offers an abundance of natural beauty.  A highlight of our tour is the visit to the Auckland Museum, with its prized collections of Māori and Pacific Islander art and artifacts (Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world).  After lunch at a local restaurant, we embark on a cruise across glittering Auckland Harbour.  We return to our hotel mid-afternoon; the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration.  Dinner tonight is on our own.

This morning we tour cosmopolitan Auckland, an eminently livable city.  One of only a few world cities straddling two harbors on separate bodies of water, Auckland offers an abundance of natural beauty.  A highlight of our tour is the visit to the Auckland Museum, with its prized collections of Māori and Pacific Islander art and artifacts (Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world).  After lunch at a local restaurant, we embark on a cruise across glittering Auckland Harbour.  We return to our hotel mid-afternoon; the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration.  Dinner tonight is on our own.

5
Auckland/Rotorua
B
D
B
D
Auckland/Rotorua

En route to Rotorua today, we stop at Ruakuri Caves to see the unique glowworms that illuminate the underground grottoes and caves.  Late this afternoon we visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Maori Cultural Centre for a traditional hangi dinner and performance.

En route to Rotorua today, we stop at Ruakuri Caves to see the unique glowworms that illuminate the underground grottoes and caves.  Late this afternoon we visit Te Puia Thermal Reserve and Maori Cultural Centre for a traditional hangi dinner and performance.

6
Rotorua
B
B
Rotorua

With its geysers, bubbling mud pools, and hot thermal springs, Rotorua ranks as a geothermal wonder, as well as a center of indigenous Māori culture (Māoris comprise 40% of Rotorua’s population).  We encounter this intriguing town on a morning tour that includes a visit to Paradise Valley Springs, which offers an up-close look at New Zealand’s biodiversity, with native flora, a freshwater stream that’s home to wild trout, and wildlife, including alpaca, llama, and wallabies.  The park also features a variety of birdlife.  Then we drive to the National Kiwi Trust, dedicated to rehabilitating injured kiwis, New Zealand’s national bird.

With its geysers, bubbling mud pools, and hot thermal springs, Rotorua ranks as a geothermal wonder, as well as a center of indigenous Māori culture (Māoris comprise 40% of Rotorua’s population).  We encounter this intriguing town on a morning tour that includes a visit to Paradise Valley Springs, which offers an up-close look at New Zealand’s biodiversity, with native flora, a freshwater stream that’s home to wild trout, and wildlife, including alpaca, llama, and wallabies.  The park also features a variety of birdlife.  Then we drive to the National Kiwi Trust, dedicated to rehabilitating injured kiwis, New Zealand’s national bird.

7
Rotorua/Napier
B
L
B
L
Rotorua/Napier

Today we set out for one of New Zealand’s celebrated wine regions: Hawke’s Bay and the seaside city of Napier.  We sample the local terroir at a wine tasting and lunch at Mission Estate Winery, the country’s oldest winery.  Reaching Napier after lunch, we embark on a guided walking tour of the city’s 1930s Art Deco architecture.  After an earthquake leveled the city in 1931, it was rebuilt in “Deco” style; today, Napier ranks as one of the most authentically Art Deco cities in the world.  Dinner tonight is on our own.

Today we set out for one of New Zealand’s celebrated wine regions: Hawke’s Bay and the seaside city of Napier.  We sample the local terroir at a wine tasting and lunch at Mission Estate Winery, the country’s oldest winery.  Reaching Napier after lunch, we embark on a guided walking tour of the city’s 1930s Art Deco architecture.  After an earthquake leveled the city in 1931, it was rebuilt in “Deco” style; today, Napier ranks as one of the most authentically Art Deco cities in the world.  Dinner tonight is on our own.

8
Napier/Wellington
B
L
D
B
L
D
Napier/Wellington

We travel today to New Zealand’s capital of Wellington, stopping along the way at a private farm where we learn about the country’s vital sheep farming industry.  We see the sheep dogs at work and watch a sheep-shearing demonstration then enjoy a barbecue lunch.  We continue on, reaching Wellington late this afternoon. We dine together tonight at a local restaurant.

We travel today to New Zealand’s capital of Wellington, stopping along the way at a private farm where we learn about the country’s vital sheep farming industry.  We see the sheep dogs at work and watch a sheep-shearing demonstration then enjoy a barbecue lunch.  We continue on, reaching Wellington late this afternoon. We dine together tonight at a local restaurant.

9
Wellington
B
B
Wellington

We encounter this genial waterfront city on the southern end of the North Island on this morning’s tour featuring a ride on the historic Wellington Cable Car for panoramic views of the city and harbor.  We also visit acclaimed Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum with interactive exhibits spanning art, history, native cultures, and the natural environment.  Then the remainder of the afternoon is free to explore as we wish, perhaps to stroll along bohemian Cuba Street, visit the Wellington Zoo, or wander the lively waterfront area.  Dinner tonight is on our own in this city known for its vibrant restaurant scene.

We encounter this genial waterfront city on the southern end of the North Island on this morning’s tour featuring a ride on the historic Wellington Cable Car for panoramic views of the city and harbor.  We also visit acclaimed Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum with interactive exhibits spanning art, history, native cultures, and the natural environment.  Then the remainder of the afternoon is free to explore as we wish, perhaps to stroll along bohemian Cuba Street, visit the Wellington Zoo, or wander the lively waterfront area.  Dinner tonight is on our own in this city known for its vibrant restaurant scene.

10
Wellington/Christchurch
B
D
B
D
Wellington/Christchurch

Today we fly south to Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City.”  Highlights of our city tour include the Botanic Gardens, the “green heart” of Christchurch dating to 1863; and Cathedral Square, for 150 years the beating heart of Christchurch and site of Christchurch Cathedral.  This afternoon is at leisure to explore independently; we dine tonight at our hotel.

Today we fly south to Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City.”  Highlights of our city tour include the Botanic Gardens, the “green heart” of Christchurch dating to 1863; and Cathedral Square, for 150 years the beating heart of Christchurch and site of Christchurch Cathedral.  This afternoon is at leisure to explore independently; we dine tonight at our hotel.

11
Christchurch/Franz Josef
B
D
B
D
Christchurch/Franz Josef

Early today we embark on one of the world’s great rail journeys aboard the TranzAlpine train: along the open farmland of the Canterbury Plain, through the foothills of the Southern Alps, and then into the snowcapped peaks themselves.  We travel across steel girder bridges above deep gorges and through tunnels on our journey to Arthur’s Pass, where we board a motorcoach for the scenic drive to the village of Franz Josef, reaching our hotel this afternoon and dining there tonight.

Early today we embark on one of the world’s great rail journeys aboard the TranzAlpine train: along the open farmland of the Canterbury Plain, through the foothills of the Southern Alps, and then into the snowcapped peaks themselves.  We travel across steel girder bridges above deep gorges and through tunnels on our journey to Arthur’s Pass, where we board a motorcoach for the scenic drive to the village of Franz Josef, reaching our hotel this afternoon and dining there tonight.

12
Franz Josef
B
D
B
D
Franz Josef

In Westland National Park this morning, we encounter one of New Zealand’s most spectacular sights: Franz Josef Glacier, the mass of ice that descends from the frigid upper reaches of the Southern Alps to a rainforest at sea level.  With a local guide we take a walk along the glacier valley, where we have spectacular views of this natural wonder.  Then we visit the West Coast Wildlife Centre with its rare kiwi birds, an animal linked so closely to New Zealand that its residents are known colloquially as “Kiwis.”  This afternoon is free to enjoy the splendid surroundings as we wish.  We dine tonight at our hotel.

In Westland National Park this morning, we encounter one of New Zealand’s most spectacular sights: Franz Josef Glacier, the mass of ice that descends from the frigid upper reaches of the Southern Alps to a rainforest at sea level.  With a local guide we take a walk along the glacier valley, where we have spectacular views of this natural wonder.  Then we visit the West Coast Wildlife Centre with its rare kiwi birds, an animal linked so closely to New Zealand that its residents are known colloquially as “Kiwis.”  This afternoon is free to enjoy the splendid surroundings as we wish.  We dine tonight at our hotel.

13
Franz Josef/Queenstown
B
D
B
D
Franz Josef/Queenstown

Traveling to Queenstown today, we stop first in the lakeside resort of Wanaka then in the Central Otago region at a local winery for a private tasting.  Late this afternoon we reach Queenstown and our hotel, where we dine tonight.

Traveling to Queenstown today, we stop first in the lakeside resort of Wanaka then in the Central Otago region at a local winery for a private tasting.  Late this afternoon we reach Queenstown and our hotel, where we dine tonight.

14
Queenstown/Doubtful Sound
B
L
B
L
Queenstown/Doubtful Sound

More scenic overload is in store on our full-day excursion to Fiordland National Park and Doubtful Sound, one of New Zealand’s top attractions.  We travel by boat across Lake Manapouri then by coach over Wilmot Pass to reach the “Sound of Silence,” as Doubtful is called for the remarkable serenity that prevails here and in the surrounding mountain peaks, rainforest, and waterfalls.  This enchanting woodland may seem familiar to moviegoers: director Peter Jackson filmed The Lord of the Rings’ Fangorn Forest here.  Among the wildlife we may see on our three-hour catamaran cruise: dolphins, fur seals, Fiordland crested penguins, and even whales.  Surrounding us: rugged mountain peaks, rainforest, waterfalls.  After this exhilarating excursion we return to Queenstown early this evening; dinner is on our own.

More scenic overload is in store on our full-day excursion to Fiordland National Park and Doubtful Sound, one of New Zealand’s top attractions.  We travel by boat across Lake Manapouri then by coach over Wilmot Pass to reach the “Sound of Silence,” as Doubtful is called for the remarkable serenity that prevails here and in the surrounding mountain peaks, rainforest, and waterfalls.  This enchanting woodland may seem familiar to moviegoers: director Peter Jackson filmed The Lord of the Rings’ Fangorn Forest here.  Among the wildlife we may see on our three-hour catamaran cruise: dolphins, fur seals, Fiordland crested penguins, and even whales.  Surrounding us: rugged mountain peaks, rainforest, waterfalls.  After this exhilarating excursion we return to Queenstown early this evening; dinner is on our own.

15
Queenstown
B
D
B
D
Queenstown

Today is at leisure to enjoy this outdoor mecca with a spectacular setting on Lake Wakatipu as we wish.  Options abound, from jet boating and fly fishing to art gallery hopping or riding the Skyline gondola for outstanding views of this unusually scenic city.  Tonight we celebrate our New Zealand adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Today is at leisure to enjoy this outdoor mecca with a spectacular setting on Lake Wakatipu as we wish.  Options abound, from jet boating and fly fishing to art gallery hopping or riding the Skyline gondola for outstanding views of this unusually scenic city.  Tonight we celebrate our New Zealand adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

16
Depart for U.S.
B
B
Depart for U.S.

We depart this afternoon for the airport and our return flights home.

We depart this afternoon for the airport and our return flights home.

Tour Price Includes

  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 13 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class and First Class hotels
  • 25 meals: 13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)

Average Daily High by Month (°F )

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Oct Nov Dec
Auckland 73 74 72 68 63 64 67 70
Wellington 67 67 65 61 58 59 62 65
Queenstown 71 70 67 60 52 60 64 69

Average Temperature (°F )

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Oct Nov Dec
Auckland 73 74 72 68 63 64 67 70
Wellington 67 67 65 61 58 59 62 65
Queenstown 71 70 67 60 52 60 64 69

Dates & Prices

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Tour Directors

Bryce Henderson

“Bryce is a terrific tour director. His knowledge and interest in all things Kiwi (New Zealand) is stunning and impressive.”

Vilhjalmur Gudmundsson
Bonney Lake, WA

Jennifer Sloots

“Our tour guide Jennifer was amazing. Full of knowledge, multiple recommendations for our free time, considerate, and respectful.”

Irene Cromp
Orlando, FL

Graeme Kelner

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Tessa Clarke

“Tessa was knowledgeable on all topics within her country. She made the trip a real educational and enjoyable holiday for us.”

Kathy Casey
Williamsburg, VA

David Hill

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Yvonne Lendrum

“Yvonne made the tour and New Zealand 'come alive' with her backstories on NZ politics, healthcare, military, education, etc. A superb guide with a wonderful personality [and] sense of humor.”

Peter & Pam Askew
Tucson, AZ

Scott Robertson

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Patricia Johnston

“Tricia was amazing! Not only did she take good care of all of us, but she was so personable, sharing aspects of her life with us.”

Lynn & George Newman
Buffalo, NY

Sharron Hickman

“Sharron was exceptional in her knowledge, organization and humor.  Her leadership made us come together as a group, which was very special.”

Wendy & Don Hyman
Fairfield, CT

Tour Directors

Patricia Johnston

“Tricia was amazing! Not only did she take good care of all of us, but she was so personable, sharing aspects of her life with us.”

Lynn & George Newman
Buffalo, NY

Sharron Hickman

“Sharron was exceptional in her knowledge, organization and humor.  Her leadership made us come together as a group, which was very special.”

Wendy & Don Hyman
Fairfield, CT

Graeme Kelner

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Bryce Henderson

“Bryce is a terrific tour director. His knowledge and interest in all things Kiwi (New Zealand) is stunning and impressive.”

Vilhjalmur Gudmundsson
Bonney Lake, WA

Tessa Clarke

“Tessa was knowledgeable on all topics within her country. She made the trip a real educational and enjoyable holiday for us.”

Kathy Casey
Williamsburg, VA

Yvonne Lendrum

“Yvonne made the tour and New Zealand 'come alive' with her backstories on NZ politics, healthcare, military, education, etc. A superb guide with a wonderful personality [and] sense of humor.”

Peter & Pam Askew
Tucson, AZ

Jennifer Sloots

“Our tour guide Jennifer was amazing. Full of knowledge, multiple recommendations for our free time, considerate, and respectful.”

Irene Cromp
Orlando, FL

Scott Robertson

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

David Hill

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Destination Insights

Exploring...

Recommended Books & Films

Exploring...

Guest Photos & Testimonials

This tour exceeded our expectations for the quality of the guide, the range of experiences, the excellent food, and the knowledge we gained. We loved it all. Thank you for the great adventure!
Debra Anderson
Cave Creek, AZ
I did not expect to learn so much or to be engaged on so many different and interesting topics. This was so much more than a ‘tour.’
Celeste Selwyn
Asheville, NC
I enjoyed the pace, the balance between exploring on our own and getting information from the tour leader.
Cheryl Turner
Bradenton, FL
This tour exceeded our expectations for the quality of the guide, the range of experiences, the excellent food, and the knowledge we gained. We loved it all. Thank you for the great adventure!
Debra Anderson
Cave Creek, AZ
I did not expect to learn so much or to be engaged on so many different and interesting topics. This was so much more than a ‘tour.’
Celeste Selwyn
Asheville, NC
I enjoyed the pace, the balance between exploring on our own and getting information from the tour leader.
Cheryl Turner
Bradenton, FL
Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

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