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Self Drive, Mt Cook, New Zealand

New Zealand Wonderland with APT

20-day escorted tour from £7,355 pp incl. flights


Short description

Discover the scenic and cultural delights of New Zealand with escorted tour specialists, APT


  • Explore the city delights of Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch
  • Discover Rotorua's volcanic wonders
  • Contrast the golden beaches of the Bay of Islands with the Franz Josef Glacier's icy expanse
  • Take the TranzAlpine train across the Southern Alps
  • Marvel at Mt Cook – New Zealand's highest peak

In Brief

  • 1 Night Auckland
  • 2 Nights Bay of Islands
  • 1 Night Auckland
  • 2 Nights Rotorua
  • 2 Nights Wellington
  • 1 Night Christchurch
  • 1 Night Franz Josef Glacier
  • 2 Nights Queenstown
  • 1 Night Te Anau
  • 1 Night Dunedin
  • 1 Night Mt Cook
  • 1 Night Christchurch


Recommended for:
Escorted tour | History & culture | Natural world

Starting in the North Island, you'll travel from Auckland to the subtropical Bay of Islands, visit the geothermal wonders of Rotorua and sample the picturesque landscapes of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. From the capital Wellington, head across the Cook Strait to the stunning South Island where a wealth of natural wonders await, including Franz Josef Glacier, Milford Sound and World Heritage-listed Mt Cook National Park. APT offer first-class accommodation throughout, along with their unique Freedom of Choice Touring and a superb range of exciting dining options, ensuring you'll get the most from your time in Aotearoa - the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Day by day itinerary

Days 1-2
Depart UK

Your journey begins as you make your way to London Heathrow for your flight to Auckland. You'll begin your holiday in style with airport lounge access included for you to enjoy prior to take-off.

Day 3
Arrive Auckland

Arrive in Auckland and transfer to your hotel, with the rest of the day to spend at leisure. You might also wish to explore the city under your own steam, taking in its eclectic and upscale suburbs – Parnell and Mount Eden are both wonderful areas to explore on foot – or simply relaxing with a drink at the harbour.

Stay: Grand Millenium Auckland

Meals: B

Day 4
Auckland – Bay of Islands

Cross over Auckland’s harbour bridge, travelling along the beach-strewn Hibiscus Coast, on the way to Matakohe's Kauri Museum. Proceed onwards the beautiful Bay of Islands, visiting the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the Maori and British signed peace. You will also be able to visit the Maori Meeting House and War Canoe.

Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort

Meals: B D

Day 5
Bay of Islands

Enjoy a day at your leisure in the Bay of Islands, choosing your own sightseeing activity an extensive lift. We recommend a day tour to Cape Reinga, or embarking on a dolphin-watching adventure, although you will also be able to undertake a tour of Russell, a tall ship, or revisit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for an in-depth guided tour.

Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort

Meals: B

Day 6
Bay of Islands – Auckland

Explore the Bay of Islands on a cruise to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock, navigating through the idyllic inner islands, full of tiny beaches, secluded bays and rocky outcrops. Return back to Auckland where a delicious Pacific-themed dinner, made with New Zealand produce, at your hotel awaits.

Stay: Grand Millennium Auckland

Meals: B D

Day 7
Auckland – Rotorua

Leaving the City of Sails, travel to Waitomo and experience a guided tour of the underground limestone and glow-worm caverns. Continue to Rotorua, where you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in traditional Maori culture as you enjoy a hangi feast and a traditional song and dance performance.

Stay: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

Meals: B D

Day 8

Spent the day at leisure in New Zealand's thermal hub, where you can choose from a number of excursions. Discover the icons of Rotorua at the Agrodome Farm Show, or head for Rainbow Springs National Park to see a real kiwi nursery, as well as visiting the Te Puia Thermal Reserve. Alternatively, for Tolkein fans, take a 'Hobbiton Movie Set' tour or for the adrenalin junkie a thrilling 4WD bush safari is another popular option. 

Stay: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

Meals: B

Day 9
Rotorua – Wellington

Take the Thermal Explorer Highway towards the heart of the North Island, admiring the Wairakei Steam Valley along the way. Explore Huka Falls and Lake Taupo, then travel south over the expansive volcanic plateau of UNESCO-listed Tongariro National Park, en route to Wellington. Once in Wellington, you'll have the chance to enjoy an included dinner.

Stay: InterContinental Wellington

Meals: B D

Day 10

Explore New Zealand's capital, embarking on a sightseeing tour that takes in all the main landmarks and sights. Ride the city's iconic Cable Car, giving you an unsurpassed vantage point of the coastal city.

Stay: InterContinental Wellington

Meals: B

Day 11
Cook Strait, Kaikoura, Christchurch

Board the Interislander ferry before cruising the Cook Strait through the the stunning Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Visit Kaikoura, a charming fishing town famous for its world-class whale watching. Spend the night in Christchurch on the South Island's central east coast.

Stay: Commodore Hotel

Meals: B D

Day 12
Christchurch – TranzAlpine Train – Franz Josef

Board the TranzAlpine train for New Zealand’s most renowned rail adventure. Travel through picturesque gorges, river valleys and patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, before traversing across the towering Southern Alps. Disembark the train at Arthur's Pass, stopping by Hokitika to see pounamu (jade) as a raw material be carved into splendid jewellery. Then, continue along the dramatic west coast until you arrive at the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier.

Stay: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Meals: B D

Day 13
Franz Josef – Queenstown

Travel along the Haast River, capturing views of the massive glacier-formed Haast River Valley, towering peaks, waterfalls and rainforest, before arriving in Queenstown. In the evening, choose from four different excellent eateries in which to dine in. You may prefer to cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a fabulous vintage steamboat.

Stay: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Meals: B D

Day 14

Explore New Zealand's adventure capital with a selection of activities to choose from, including a Lord of the Rings scenes tour, a Skippers Canyon adventure, a river safari and a visit to the country's finest wine-producing region.

Stay: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Meals: B

Day 15
Queenstown – Milford Sound – Te Anau

Travelling along the stunning Milford Road, you’ll wind your way down the Eglinton and Hollyford valleys and through the Homer Tunnel before being met by the sight of Mitre Peak. Cruise the full length of pristine Milford Sound, finishing the day with a relaxing drive to the tranquil lakeside settlement of Te Anau.

Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Meals: B D

Day 16
Te Anau – Dunedin

Leaving the Fiordland region, journey through rolling Southland countryside. Travel via Lumsden and Gore to the east coast and Dunedin. Your afternoon is free to choose from a number of excursions, from brewery tours to a spectacularly scenic gorge train ride. There's even the option of a wildlife tour of the Otago Peninsula, taking in its great albatross colony.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

Meals: B D

Day 17
Dunedin – Mt Cook

Journey north along the coast and stop to view the Moeraki Boulders. Continue to World Heritage-listed Mt Cook National Park. Your afternoon is free to choose an activity – perhaps visiting the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre, or getting a close-up with one of the region's mighty glaciers on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake.

Stay: The Hermitage Hotel

Meals: B D

Day 18
Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo – Christchurch

Leaving the snow-capped mountains of Mt Cook National Park behind, travel by coach to picturesque Lake Tekapo. Here, you'll visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, built of locally-gathered stone and oak and erected as tribute to the early pioneers of the region. Travel through Burkes Pass to Christchurch. In the evening, you will enjoy a memorable farewell dinner at the hotel, before your departure the next day.

Stay: Rydges Latimer Christchurch

Meals: B D

Days 19-20
Depart for UK

Spend the day at leisure, discovering the southern capital. Then, transfer to the airport in the afternoon and board your flight home, arriving on day 21.

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior

20-day escorted tour
from £7,355 pp incl. flights


May / Jun 2024

from £7,355 pp. incl. flights

Dec 2024 - Apr 2025

from £8,080 pp. incl. flights


  • Complimentary UK airport lounge access
  • Return international flights from London, Auckland and Christchurch
  • 17 days guided touring and transfers with APT, based on set departures
  • Staying in a mix of 4* (Superior) & 5* (Deluxe) hotels with breakfast and dinner included on selected days as per itinerary

Touring highlights include:

  • Sample a slice of Maori culture with a Hangi feast in Rotorua, board the TranzAlpine train to experience one of the world's great train journeys & cruise along the iconic Milford Sound

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

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