New Zealand Vacation Itinerary - Wilderness, Wildlife, Walks & Wine - by New Zealand Encounters and Travel
We've put together a collection of unique and exciting itinerary ideas for you based on what our clients have wanted over the past 12 years. These itineraries can form the base for your New Zealand experience.

New Zealand Vacation Itinerary - Wilderness, Wildlife, Walks & Wine

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Wilderness, Wildlife, Walks & Wine


If you like cities, museums and require room service each day, then this is not the tour for you. If outdoor encounters with some indulgent comforts are your style, then here is the perfect holiday!

Our Wilderness, Wildlife, Walks and Wine itinerary includes the Marlborough Sound wine region, dolphins and whales in Kaikoura, World Heritage Rain Forest, the West Coast Glaciers, the albatross of Dunedin, penguins, both Doubtful and Milford Sounds & the lakeside resort of Queenstown.

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Itinerary


Day 1 - Arrival Auckland or Christchurch - Dunedin 1 - 2 hour flight
Arrival Auckland or Christchurch with an immediate transfer to the Domestic Terminal for your Air New Zealand flight south to Dunedin.

Upon arrival at Dunedin, 'The Edinburgh of the South', you will pick up your Budget Rental Car. Your first driving experience is a short journey to your nearby cottage.

Depending on your arrival time into New Zealand, you may have time to begin exploring Dunedin.
   
Accommodation:
Your accommodation provides comfort and privacy with spectacular views over Dunedin City.

Two night stay.

Region:
Dunedin

Day 2 - Dunedin Guided Day Tour
Your day starts with a tour that views the Yellow-eyed penguins when they are at their most active. Witness the sunrise and the start of a new day with a beach walk, penguin viewing and guided nature tour.

Your full day tour incorporates the natural beauty of the city, including its history and heritage and the magnificent Otago Peninsula with its unique wildlife. Your day will be a lasting memory of scenic splendour set to a wonderful backdrop of lush green hills, clear water and golden sands.
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night

Region:
Dunedin

Day 3 - Dunedin - Te Anau 3 hour drive
It is a three and half hour drive over seemingly endless rivers and streams through the Southland region before reaching Te Anau, the gateway to the Fiordland National Park. Here the landscape quickly changes to beech and rainforest with picturesque lakes and mountains as compared to this morning's rugged coastline. There is a wide variety of options to enjoy this afternoon at Te Anau.
   
Accommodation:
Set in a World Heritage area your Lodge accommodation offers elegance and splendour while mirrored in the breathtaking views of Lake Te Anau and Fiordland.

Two night stay.

Region:
Fiordland

Day 4 - Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau Guided Day Trip
Today you explore the Majestic Milford Sound. A small group nature and walking trip ensures personal service and learning for everyone. The trip includes transport between Te Anau and Milford Sound with stops for pictures, short hikes with commentary on flora and fauna and bird viewing (usually Keas the cheeky alpine parrot).

Upon arrival at Milford Sound, you cruise on a small boat that specializes in wildlife viewing. Instead of returning to Te Anau the way you came, you have the option of boarding a small plane for a flight up and over the Sound. This flight allows you to get a feel for the vastness of the Sound, see the glacier lakes above that feed the many waterfalls and get panoramic views of the Fiordland National Park.
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night.

Region:
Fiordland

Day 5 - Te Anau - Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
The three arms to this sound, differentiates Doubtful Sound from Milford Sound. On this trip you cruise across Lake Manapouri and board a coach travelling past the moss forests before boarding your catamaran cruise through the Sound. You moor at a sheltered point where you have the opportunity to board a small boat to land on shore and/or kayak.
   
Accommodation:
On board the boat offers private bedrooms with private attached bathrooms, which are simple but comfortable.

One night cruise.

Region:
Fiordland

Day 6 - Doubtful Sound - Queenstown 2 hour drive
We suggest waking up with the first rays of light so you can kayak a bit around the Sound from the boat before disembarking. Once you have reunited with your car you may wish to indulge further in the quiet and beauty of Fiordland before driving to Queenstown.

Queenstown often referred to as 'the Aspen of the South' is the adventure capital of the country. Queenstown is not just known for its adventures - its wines are becoming more popular, with quite a few of the local vineyards winning international awards. Endless opportunities to raft, cruise, soar, golf, jump, bike, taste, climb and shop abound in this charming lakeside resort town.
   
Accommodation:
Your small intimate Hotel is only three minutes walk to the centre of town and features stunning views of the Remarkables mountain range from every room.

Two night stay.

Region:
Queenstown

Day 7 - Queenstown No travel
A full day to enjoy and explore Queenstown.

Please check the Queenstown Activities list below.
   
Accommodation:
Same as previous night.

Region:
Queenstown

Day 8 - Queenstown - Lake Moeraki 5 hour drive
Today you leave the excitement of Queenstown to journey to the World Heritage Rain Forest and your remote Lodge. You will travel past Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea then through the dense rainforests of the Haast Pass. There are many walks, waterfalls and rivers to enjoy along the way. We will provide you with a map of the various walk options. A late afternoon guided nature experience is available at your lodge.
   
Accommodation:
Biologist Gerry McSweeney built the Lodge so the other people could enjoy and learn about the treasures of the World Heritage Rain Forest and the nearby Tasman Sea coastline. Two free, guided nature activities are offered each day. Dinner and Breakfast are also included.

One night stay.

Region:
West Coast

Day 9 - Lake Moeraki - Franz Josef 2 hour drive
After breakfast, another guided nature encounter is available before hitting the road north to Glacier Country.

Beaches, rainforests, glaciers and the Southern Alps are all together within a few kilometres of each other in this unique region. Your helicopter flight high onto the glacier begins your 2 hour guided glacier hike.

Hike through ice archways, discover ice caves and million year old crevices for a truly memorable adventure.
   
Accommodation:
Your Lodge is raised into the forest canopy where the flora and fauna are your constant companion. You will be surrounded by beautiful and primeval native rainforest.

One night stay.

Region:
West Coast

Day 10 - Franz Josef - Greymouth - Christchurch 3 hour drive + 4 hour train
This morning you have time to further explore Franz Josef Glacier, or an optional morning kayak on Okarito Lagoon; New Zealand's largest wetland and home to the rare White Heron (additional cost).

Head north up the coast to the township of Hokitika to shop for handmade crafts. At Greymouth Train Station you board the TranzAlpine train for your scenic journey through the Southern Alps, along rivers, skirting gorges and over the patchwork of the Canterbury Plains on the journey to Christchurch.
   
Accommodation:
This Italian style historic home has been renovated and tastefully refurbished into one of the finest boutique hotel accommodations in Christchurch and only steps away from the city centre.

Two night stay.

Region:
Canterbury

Day 11 - Christchurch No travel
Your 4WD rental car will be delivered to your accommodation this morning. You will have a full day to explore the wonders of Christchurch, our Garden City.
   
Accommodation:
Same as the previous night.

Region:
Canterbury

Day 12 - Christchurch - Kaikoura 2 hour drive
The drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura is just over two hours but it may take you longer if you choose to stop at the Waipara Vineyards along the way.

Kaikoura was once a whaling station, now it is at the forefront of mammal conservation. Depending on what time you choose to arrive at Kaikoura, you may or may not have time to explore this quaint seaside town.
   
Accommodation:
Your accommodation is a brand new boutique B&B, set atop the Kaikoura Peninsula amidst a half acre of extensive private gardens. Relax and enjoy the 180 degree views which take in the rural area, township, bay, mountains and a long stretch of coastal horizon.

One night stay.

Region:
Canterbury

Day 13 - Kaikoura - Blenheim 2 hour drive
Rise & Shine! The best time to view dolphins and/or whales is first thing in the morning when the sea is calm. You may choose a whale watch cruise, dolphin watch or swim cruise or pelagic bird cruise tour. Whichever one you choose, lots of film will be required!

Once back on solid ground, you journey two hours north to the premier wine-producing region. Blenheim, nestled in the Marlborough Region, is the Napa Valley of the Southern Hemisphere. Large and small boutique vineyards abound offering wine tastings; wine tours and many have cafes for lunches and light snacks.

You may choose to go on a guided wine tour (additional cost) or on a self-guided wine tour. We will supply you with vineyard information and locations so you can decide which producers interest you most. The region is best known for their Sauvignon Blancs although their Merlots are becoming increasingly popular.

You have the afternoon to become a Marlborough wine connoisseur.
   
Accommodation:
Located near Blenheim your relaxing modern stone and cedar homestay is nestled within 20 acres of sauvignon blanc vines.

One night stay.

Region:
Marlborough

Day 14 - Blenheim - Auckland or Christchurch Domestic flight
If you are booked on a late afternoon or late night flight this allows another day to further explore (and taste!) the region.

An afternoon flight from Blenheim will transport you back to Auckland for connection with your international flight home.
   
Accommodation:


Region:
Marlborough



Pricing and Inclusions


From $5,700 NZD per person based on share twin


Inclusions


    • Preferred Accommodations as listed.
    • Milford Sound Tour, cruise, lunch.
    • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
    • Glacier Heli Hike
    • TranzAlpine Train
    • Budget Rental Car - 4WD automatic transmission with airconditioning.
    • Exclusive travel pack with highlighted map(s) with your route, area guides for each region you visit and your comprehensive daily planner with sightseeing & activity options and suggestions.

Exclusions


    • International Airfares
    • Internal Domestic Airfares
    • Meals not specified
    • Optional activities not specified

Departures


Departures for this trip are on a daily basis.

Accommodation and Meals



All accommodations have been chosen for their uniqueness, location and high standards. Breakfast is included wherever B&B's are chosen.

Meals:
  • Breakfast and dinner are included in the Doubtful Sound overnight. Lunch is included in the Milford Sound Day Tour.
  • Dinner is included at Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge.


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