Opulence Tours of New Zealand specialise in unique, luxury New Zealand tours - custom made to suit you and showcasing New Zealand's finest scenery, attractions and experiences. The following itinerary is purely an example, as experienced by former guests. Contact your tour guide today to build your own dream vacation.
Day 1 – Arrive Queenstown Haere Mai (welcome) to Queenstown International Airport
You will be greeted at the gate upon arrival and transferred in comfort to your selected hotel or lodge to settle in. Queenstown is renowned for its stunning vistas, your first afternoon can be spent admiring the views and acclimatizing to the relaxed lifestyle of New Zealand.
In the evening, travel in comfort to your chosen restaurant for the first of what will be many fine dining experiences on your vacation. Weather permitting, you may choose to stroll back to your hotel along the waterfront, or I can return you in our luxury Mercedes vehicle if you prefer.
Day 2 – Queenstown – Glenorchy – Queenstown
Queenstown is known as the “Adventure Capital” of the world. Awake refreshed and ready for adventure. This morning you will enjoy a 45 minute drive along beautiful Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy, where you will experience a breathtaking jetboat ride through ancient scenery of the Dart River. The jetboat is a New Zealand invention that allows access to otherwise unreachable river gorges and whitewater. The tour is both exhilarating and informative, incorporating the jetboating, a short trek and return by 4WD through magnificent rainforest, whilst learning of Maori culture and local history.
We return along the lake to refresh at your accommodation. The afternoon can be spent strolling through the galleries and gardens of Queenstown before a twilight dinner at the iconic Skyline Restaurant. Enjoy the sunset gondola ride up to the restaurant with panoramic views over the Remarkables mountain range. After returning via gondola, you will enjoy your last evening in your Queenstown accommodation.
Day 3 – Queenstown – Te Anau
After a relaxing breakfast and checking out, I will pick you up from your accommodation and settle you aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a beautifully restored historic steamer that has been plying the waters of Lake Wakatipu for over a century. Enjoy incredible views for your journey across the lake to the iconic Walter Peak station, where you can stroll through the manicured gardens and experience high country farming among the towering peaks. At Walter Peak you will meet with your backcountry guide, who will then transport you through private roads and working farms to the town of Te Anau. This informative and leisurely drive takes in real life farming, and uninterrupted pastoral views and includes a gourmet picnic. We will reconvene at your lodge for check in. Dine whilst enjoying the views of Lake Te Anau at the edge of the World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park.
Day 4 – Te Anau – Milford Sound
After breakfast, you will enjoy a short boatride across the lake to the unique Te Anau caves. This culturally significant cave system on the shore of the lake derives its name from the Maori language, meaning “The Swirling Cave”. This is in reference to the underground waterfalls that run through the caves. Enjoy a guided tour via punt through the cave system and marvel at the tens of thousands of endemic glowworms that light the caves like stars.
After returning by boat, we will drive into the heart of the Fiordland National Park. This stunning wilderness of one and a quarter million hectares (4,600 square miles) is internationally recognized for its raw beauty and unique wildlife. The drive to Milford Sound takes in stunning vistas, waterfalls, untouched ancient rainforests and towering snowcapped peaks. There is a selection of short walks available if the weather allows. Upon arrival at Milford Sound, you will board a purpose built scenic tour boat for an unforgettable cruise through the Sound out to the Tasman Sea, under the spray of countless waterfalls and learning about the unique flora and fauna of this piece of paradise. Wildlife abounds, you are likely to see fur seals, sea birds, even the occasional dolphin. Of course the sheer rock walls and formidable peaks that remain untouched make this landscape a photographers dream come true.
Upon returning to land, tonight’s accommodation is only a 5 minute drive away, in a beautifully appointed riverside chalet in the rainforest.
Day 5 - Milford Sound – Wanaka
Today's journey returns through the National park and onwards to Wanaka. Enjoy the comfort of our luxury touring vehicle as we head north through the changing landscape and into the world acclaimed wine region of Central Otago. Lunch can be a leisurely gourmet 5 course affair with matched wines at one of the regions award winning wineries, or as simple as an antipasto platter and a bottle among the vines. For those who would like to walk it off we can then explore the historic, tree lined streets of Arrowtown, a beautifully preserved slice of gold mining town, a virtual “living record” of the heritage of the area. We finish the drive over the mountain passes of the Crown Range and check into your nights accommodation on the lakefront at Lake Wanaka.
Day 6 – Wanaka – Mt Cook/Aoraki
Options abound for a “free” morning in Wanaka. Appreciated for its relaxed lifestyle, Wanaka has a vibrant café scene, boutiques and lakeside walk and cycleways. The surrounding countryside is also a comprehensive mix of working farms, with sheep, deer cattle, fruit, vines and more. There is an opportunity to visit a local farm and learn about this integral facet of the New Zealand economy. In the afternoon we continue with a short drive through the wide open spaces of the MacKenzie District and into the heart of the Southern Alps to the Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park. Tonight's accommodation and dinner will overlook the magnificent Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak set amongst the glaciers, whitewater rivers and rugged grasslands.
Day 7 - Mt Cook/Aoraki - Akaroa
After breakfast a short drive to the helipad will prepare you with majestic views of the mountains before you experience them from the air. A helicopter ride and snowlanding is a truly unforgettable way to experience the grandeur of Aoraki Mt Cook. Upon your return we continue your journey through the rolling hills and the foothills of the Canterbury plains to the Banks Peninsula and beautiful seaside village of Akaroa. Enjoy a delicious seafood meal in this quaint seaside village steeped in French history and flair. Retire to the sounds of waves and seabirds in your harbour-front hotel this evening.
Day 8 - Akaroa – Rotorua (South Island to North Island)
Though a leisurely drive around the peninsula greets you with stunning views, its unique scenery and wildlife are perhaps best viewed from the water. There is even the opportunity to get even closer and swim with the wild Hectors Dolphins (the world's smallest and most rare dolphins) or if you prefer, take an informative harbour cruise and learn the secrets of this extinct volcanic basin that forms the harbour. The afternoon's short drive to the airport brings to an end to your South Island journey in time to check in for a short domestic flight to begin your North Island adventure.
Upon exiting the aircraft at Rotorua, we will drive the short distance to your luxurious accommodation in time to settle in before dinner.
Day 9 – Rotorua
After a leisurely breakfast you will be ready to take in the sounds, sights and smells of Rotorua. The odour of sulphur is ever present but quintessentially Rotorua as this region of New Zealand is situated in an active thermal zone, with magnificent displays of bubbling mud pools, geysers and extinct volcanic craters. There are many options for a day in the lakes region, from exploring the area by mountain bike to well appointed day spas including natural mud baths.
This evening is an opportunity to experience New Zealand's indigenous Maori culture up close. Rotorua is regarded as a long standing cultural capital, and you will be able to experience the famous Haka (war dances), Waiata (songs) and a Hangi (traditional meal cooked underground) of the Maori people and learn of legends and history of the early inhabitants of Aoteoroa/New Zealand. At the end of this experience I will return you to your luxury hotel.
Day 10 – Rotorua – Hahei
After breakfast and checkout, you can take in the views of volcanic crater lakes and mountains on the way to Hobbiton, where Lord of the Rings fans can take the LOTR movie set tour. This in-depth tour takes you into Middle Earth to experience real sets from the movies and learn inside knowledge of the logistics and operations required to make one of the worlds favourite cinema experiences. After a café lunch the journey continues North and towards the coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. Known for its laid back lifestyle, lush bushclad hills and stunning white beaches, this is the place to relax for the afternoon and live like a local. Dotted with small towns and cafes, historic mines and birdlife, you can soak in the warmth of the sunshine and the hospitality. Your accommodation will be at a relaxing private B&B in Hahei.
Day 11 – Coromandel
Enjoy beachside life for the day, I can arrange the use of a sea kayak so you can head to one of the uninhabited islands with a picnic ,or grab a shovel and visit the nearby natural wonderland of Hot Water Beach. Here thermal springs are very close to the Earths surface and at low tide you can dig yourself a hole in the soft beachsand and have your very own naturally heated spa pool, until the tide returns and the seawater reclaims it. Lunch can be at your leisure in a beachside restaurant or packed to take with you as you explore. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon being guided around the bays and beaches of this incredible region. After dinner you will enjoy returning to the serenity of your B&B and drift off to the sound of the waves crashing on to the beach.
Day 12 – Coromandel – Auckland
Today's unhurried drive will take a lesser travelled route towards Auckland. The opportunities for photography and viewing of seabirds is world renowned in this area, as well as many small coastal fishing towns and walkways to visit. As the afternoon passes you will get your first glimpses of Auckland, the “City of Sails”. It is New Zealand's principal city, a hive of Pacifica culture and activity, filled with nightlife and dining opportunities equal to any city on earth. Your accommodation will be in the heart of Downtown Auckland, and you can watch the sunsets from your room high in a luxury hotel complex, or you may prefer a waterfront hotel. Experience the thrills of the casino, or visit a theatrical performance, or simply walk along the viaduct and take in the feel of this vibrant city.
Day 13 – Waiheke Island
Conveniently positioned close to your hotel on Auckland’s waterfront, we will board a passenger ferry for the short journey across the harbour and out to the picturesque Waiheke Island. This haven for artists,winemakers and nature lovers is a world away from the bustle of the city. It is a paradise for walkers, with countless bays and beaches, vineyards and opportunities to visit galleries and cafes at your own pace. We return via ferry late in the afternoon and enjoy a pre-dinner drink in any of the bars or eateries back in the city.
You can enjoy your final night in the comfort of your luxury downtown hotel and make preparations for your outward bound international flight tomorrow.
Day 14 – Depart Auckland
Awake refreshed and enjoy a leisurely breakfast for your final morning in New Zealand. Auckland International Airport is conveniently located close to the city, your guide will escort you all the way to your check in at the airport, and bid you Haere Ra (farewell) as you board your flight and reminisce on what will have been an unforgettable two weeks in paradise.
Opulence Tours | Private Guided Tours of New Zealand