Mount Cook Lily
13 days from £3,584 Enquire now
This tour squeezes more jaw-dropping scenery into 13 days than any other! The South Island has an unparalleled variety of landscapes, from the majestic Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, to the stunning views across Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, to the Remarkable Mountains.
- Visit Te Papa museum, to learn more about the culture and history of New Zealand
Have a lazy day finding your bearings, wander along Oriental Parade and around the bays, or explore Cuba Street, ‘New Zealand’s Coolest Street’ with its eclectic mix of boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
A visit to Te Papa, the National Museum is a must!
- Walking a section of the Centre of New Zealand Walkway along the banks of the Matai River
We take the Interislander Ferry through the Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds to Picton.
Here we begin our South Island journey with a drive to the delightful town of Nelson. After lunch we walk to the Centre of New Zealand to take in the views of the surrounding landscapes.
The rest of the afternoon and evening are free for you to relax and explore this sunny town with its easy lifestyle and vibrant arts scene.
- Enjoy beach walks on sections of the Abel Tasman Coastal Path
The lush coastal forests, sparkling azure waters and golden beaches make this world famous coastal track a highlight of your tour.
Board a small cruiser for a day of exploration, with opportunities for swimming and walking.
We suggest landing at Bark Bay for an easy 4-hour hike to Torrent Bay and its beautiful tidal lagoon where we re-join our cruiser for the trip home.
- View the seal colony from the Cape Foulwind Walkway
Today travel inland following the Buller River gorge, emerging at Westport for a short walk on the coastal path to Cape Foulwind where we may see fur seals, sooty shearwaters and blue penguins.
In the afternoon we reach Westland National Park, where ice meets rainforest at the foot of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. We base ourselves in laid-back Franz Josef township for ease of access to the slowly moving ‘river’ of ice.
- Have your camera as we travel along the shores of lake te Anau – the waters beautifully reflect the Franklin Mountain peaks
This morning there is time to relax, you may wish to take a jet boat ride up the Matukituki River or take the opportunity to enjoy one of New Zealand’s best half day walks – The Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain Trail.
Later we head to Te Anau, gateway to the magnificent Fiordland National Park
- Travel the length of Milford Sound learning about the geology, flora and fauna from the on board nature guide
We take the coach into Milford Sound. A beautifully scenic route, with plenty of opportunities for photo taking. Enjoy a morning cruise out on the Sound followed by short guided walks with an experienced and knowledgeable nature guide.
- Take an evening stroll around the shores of Lake Wakitipu – or you may even have time for a cruise on the steamship TSS Earnslaw
Leaving Fiordland National Park behind, we take a short journey via Kingstown and Lake Wakitpu to Queenstown, ‘Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere’ and our base for the next two nights.
- Relax and explore the wonderful town of Queenstown – take the skyline gondola up to Bobs Peak and luge down!
A day at leisure to relax or explore. Thrill-seekers may zip-line from Bob’s Peak, get drenched on a Shotover jet-boat ride or go white-water rafting.
Those seeking a more relaxed option may choose to discover Lake Wakatipu with a cruise on the classic steamship TSS Earnslaw up to Walter Peak Station.
- Explore the history of the quaint little village of Arrowtown
Today we drive north via Arrowtown, a historical goldmining settlement and on to Twizel. We overnight near Mount Cook home to the country’s highest peak.
- Learning about life in New Zealand during your rural homestay.
A beautiful drive along Lake Pukaki to The Hermitage, our starting point for a choice of easy walks along the Hooker Valley trail for a close up of the majestic Mount Cook.
Later, we travel to Ashburton, where your hosts will extend their hospitality to you during your rural homestay.
- The city’s exciting new developments such as the inspiring ‘cardboard’ Cathedral, shopping centres and Pop Up bars
Enjoy a drive through the Canterbury Plains as we set off for Christchurch, New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’. Take a tour to see how the city is recreating itself after 2011’s earthquake and stroll through Hagley Park and enjoy the botanical gardens in the peaceful setting of the River Avon.
This is the final part of our journey together so tonight we relax together over a farewell dinner that showcases the best of New Zealand food and wine.
Day 13 – Depart Christchurch (B)
If you are leaving New Zealand today, we transfer you to Christchurch Airport for your flight home . Alternatively we can extend you stay in Christchurch for a few days or arrange onward independent touring by car or TranzAlpine train.
This Small Group Journey can be combined with an Independent tailor-made holiday on North Island.
Tour date Price (£) Single supplement (£) Availability 26 October – 7 November 2018 4,325.00 1,375.00 FULL 23 November – 5 December 2018 4,325.00 1,375.00 PLACES Enquire now 22 February – 6 March 2019 4,280.00 1,320.00 FILLING UP Enquire now 22 March – 3 April 2019 4,280.00 1,320.00 PLACES Enquire now 19 April – 1 May 2019 4,110.00 1,260.00 PLACES Enquire now 17 May – 29 May 2019 3,650.00 1,160.00 PLACES Enquire now 14 June – 26 June 2019 3,650.00 1,160.00 PLACES Enquire now 25 October – 6 November 2019 4,420.00 1,340.00 PLACES Enquire now 22 November – 4 December 2019 4,420.00 1,340.00 PLACES Enquire now
- Comfortable touring in 16-seater vehicle
- Services of our Driver-Guide and, where applicable, Local Experts
- 12 nights accommodation in quality Hotels and B&Bs
- Breakfast each day
- 2 evening meals
- Sightseeing & entrance fees listed opposite under Experiences Included
- Interislander Ferry crossing Wellington/Picton
- Excursion by boat in Abel Tasman National Park
- Guided walk on a section of the Milford Track
- Milford Sound cruise and lunch
- Meet the locals on a rural homestay
- Farewell dinner in Christchurch restaurant
Although New Zealand is one of the easiest countries to travel to, we realise that contemplating a long haul trip to the other side of the world can be daunting, so we’ve put together some essential information that you will need to know before you head off on your holiday.
We hope we’ve covered everything, but do give us a call if you have any other questions or queries or are unsure about any details.
New Zealand is made up of two Islands, The North Island and The South Island. The majority of the population live on the North Island.
The country has an incredibly varied landscape. You’ll find wide, sweeping coastlines, spectacular mountain ranges, tropical rainforest, steaming volcanos and stunning glacier regions. It truly has something for everyone, whether you’re seeking peace, quiet and relaxation, or the thrill and adrenaline rush of all the adventure it offers.
New Zealand also has 14 National Parks that showcase more than 30,000 square kilometres of wonderful nature and breathtaking scenery.
New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), making it one of the first countries in the world to welcome in each new day.
Like us here in the UK, New Zealand observes Daylight Saving, and so during their summer time (and our winter time) their clocks go forward one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday in September and ends on the first Sunday of the following April, when clocks are put back to GMT+12.
Being in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealands seasons are the opposite way around to ours, so December to February are their hottest months, and also the most expensive time to visit. June to September is the peak season for skiing in the ski resorts of Wanaka, Queenstown and Canterbury on the South Island, and the inbetween or ‘shoulder seasons’ often offer the best of both worlds, with better prices, more accommodation options and less tourists while still enjoying bright sunny days and warm weather.
Health and Insurance
We realise how difficult can be for our older travellers to find travel Insurance at a reasonable cost, and after a lot of research, are confident that our current partner Holiday Extras offer the best value for money insurance policies.
You don’t need any vaccinations to travel to New Zealand, and you will find doctors and health centres in every large town and city. Calling 111 will contact the emergency services from anywhere in the country.
It’s perfectly safe to drink the tap water in New Zealand, so there is no need to worry about needing to purchase bottled water when you are there.
Depending on the time of your flight you may wish to avoid an early morning start by checking into an Airport hotel. With our partner, Holiday Extras, we are able to offer a range of hotel options and parking arrangements. Lounge Pass offer airport lounges you can book if there is considerable waiting time between your flights. These lounges offer a range of facilities from refreshments and drinks to showers and comfortable seating areas in a quiet environment.
Car hire companies often charge an excess for damage caused to the car whilst you’re behind the wheel even if it’s not your fault. This can be upwards of £1000 meaning if you’re involved in an accident, you’ll have to pay a contribution to cover the damage
To reduce this amount they offer what is called an Excess Insurance or Damage Waiver, typically around $25-$30.00 per day .If you’re following a two or three week itinerary, this can add up to around $ 600.00
However you can purchase an annual excess car hire insurance in the UK for a lot less.
Our suggestion is to contact an insurance company such as insurance4carhire.com, With them you’re able to reclaim the excess you’d have to pay in the unfortunate event of an accident or your car being stolen. You may also get more cover compared with waiving the excess at the car hire desk.
You do not need a visa to travel to New Zealand as a British Citizen or British passport holder (and you can stay for up to six months).
However you do require
- a passport that is valid for three months after you return from your holiday
- A return ticket home (or an onward ticket to another country that you are permitted to enter
- Adequate funds to support yourself while you are away – usually NZ$1000 per month per person
For Silver Fern travellers contemplating stopovers en route to New Zealand or integrating a New Zealand holiday with a longer worldwide tour, a visa may be required.
For example an Australian tourist visa is necessary for anyone entering the country other than those in transit. Similarly entrants to America should have arranged an ESTA. These can be applied for online or through the Travel Visa Company, one of our trade partners who charge for this service.
Currency and Credit Cards
The currency in New Zealand is the NZ Dollar. The exchange rate varies but as a general guide, there is NZ$2 / NZ$2.20 to every GBP£1.
You can use all major credit cards in New Zealand, and ATM’s are found as easily as they are in the UK, on most high streets, in shopping malls and in banks. You can also exchange foreign currency at banks, some hotels and bureau de change kiosks.
Do let your bank know you’ll be travelling before you leave home though to ensure that you’re able to use your card overseas.
What to pack
Holiday packing is always a challenge, especially when you’re going away for longer than a week or two, so we wrote a blog post offering our advice on how to pack for your New Zealand holiday – you can read it here. Remember to pack a good pair of sturdy walking boots if you’re planning to get out and explore some of the country on foot, and we recommend lightweight layers that you can add/remove depending on the weather.
Electronics and mobile devices
You can buy a prepaid Vodafone sim card at the airport or many of the local shop to put in your phone but its always worth checking with your mobile phone provider to see if they offer an overseas package before you leave home.
New Zealand electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts, and they use the same plug as in Australia, with two or three pins. You’ll need to use an adapter for all appliances, which can easily be purchased either in the UK before you travel or once you’re in New Zealand.
Wi-fi is widely available in most hotels and B&B’s and also in many cafes and eateries.
As far as possible we have endeavoured to make this information as accurate as possible, but we always recommend that you do make sure to double check things like Visa’s / Insurance etc before travel as changes do occur.
Colin and Maureen Smith
The Million Dollar cruise on Lake Wakatipu was absolutely brilliant – the guide was very knowledgeable and we would highly recommend this trip.
Our meal on the Mission Estate was one of the best meals of the holiday and the gardens at Hamilton were a real surprise.
But the main highlight has to have been the Milford Mariner overnight cruise – not the best of weather, we couldn’t get out on the kayaks – but a wonderful experience.
Chris and Joyce Brill
Very much enjoyed the superb Gallipoli exhibition at Te Papa Museum, Wellington. Loved the jet boat trip on our day out to Arthur’s Pass and the caves at Charleston.
A wonderful holiday!