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17 Day Ultimate Highlights

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Pace
Moderate Pace

A portion of this tour runs as a group tour where you will be escorted by an expert tour leader. Another portion is self-guided, whether conducted by rail, cruise or land, and you will travel between destinations on your own, with free time to explore at your own pace.

Escorted Type
Partially Escorted

Often regarded as one of the world's great train journeys for the mountian scenery, as it travels over massive viaducts, river valleys & spectacular gorges.

Rail
TranzAlpine
749 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Travel with Grand Pacific Tours
✓ BONUS OFFER - Includes Savings of up to $375pp off RRP
✓ BONUS OFFER - Includes Free Night in Christchurch, pre tour

✓ Professional Coach Captain
✓ 20 Business Class seats on a full-size coach
✓ Ultimate Small Group Touring
16 nights 4.5 star accommodation
✓ 5 two night stays
✓ Hotel porterage
✓ 1 rail journey
✓ 4 cruises
✓ All sightseeing and prepaid attractions
✓ Extensive Optional Activities
✓ Ultimate Documentation Pack
✓ 15 cooked breakfasts including a specialty breakfast: Stratosfare Restaurant, Rotorua
✓ 12 sumptuous dinners including 3 specialty dinners: Walter Peak Homestead, Queenstown; Mãori Hãngi and Concert, Rotorua; Intimate Farewell Dinner with selected beverages, Auckland
1 lunch: Milford Sound Cruise
✓ 1 Ultimate High Tea: Larnach Castle
✓ Enjoy GPT Wine Time (discounted drinks)



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What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
The George or Similar

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel.

Hotel
The George or Similar
Meals
Dinner

Today is a free day to explore Christhchurch. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink as you meet your travelling companions.

Hotel
The Hermitage Hotel (Aoraki Wing) or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

After an introductory city sights tour depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, The Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps.

Hotel
Distinction Dunedin Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Depart Mt Cook and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy a city tour followed by some free time. You might be interested in a tour of the Speight’s Brewery (optional) or the chance to see local wildlife in their natural habitat (optional).

Hotel
Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland and your overnight stay. Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).

Hotel
Millennium Hotel Queenstown or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a nature cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year-round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is at leisure, you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Hotel
Millennium Hotel Queenstown or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown with many optional activities available. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour to Skippers Canyon or to get up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.

Hotel
Distinction Fox Glacier or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Arrowtown, an old goldmining village and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel north to the township of Fox Glacier. Time is available (weather permitting) to experience a scenic flight (optional) over the spectacular glaciers before arriving at your hotel.

Hotel
The George or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue to Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains. On arrival into the elegant city of Christchurch, your Ultimate Coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

Please note: Due to scheduled maintenance the TranzAlpine will not operate on the 03 September 2024 departure. This journey will instead be done by coach.

Hotel
InterContinental Wellington or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Travel along the East Coast to the seaside village of Kaikōura. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you travel through Marlborough Country, famous for its food and wine. Continue to Picton, where you will board the Interislander Ferry for your journey through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait to Wellington.

Hotel
InterContinental Wellington or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

A highlight this morning will be time to explore Gallipoli: A Scale of War exhibition at Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum. Cutting edge technology brings these stories to life through the eyes of New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Reboard your coach for an extensive city tour which showcases the history and culture on show. Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements.

Hotel
Regent of Rotorua or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Depart Wellington and view the snow-capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as you travel to Lake Taupo. Visit the spectacular Huka Falls then travel along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

Hotel
Regent of Rotorua or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Today begins with a gondola ride and breakfast at Skyline Rotorua where spectacular views are on offer. There is also time for a thrilling luge ride! Next stop is the Agrodome for an action-packed hour of farming entertainment and education that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Free time is available this afternoon before travelling to Te Puia to see the boiling mud pools and awesome geysers that Rotorua is famous for. This evening experience an entertaining Mãori Hãngi and Concert.

Hotel
Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning depart Rotorua and travel north via Auckland to the Parry Kauri Park to see a magnificent example of a Kauri Tree. Continue through Whangarei to the Bay of Islands. This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location of the signing of the treaty between the Mãori tribes and the British.

Hotel
Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today you will explore the scenic beauty of the Bay of Islands aboard a luxury catamaran. Cruise to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’, keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. On return to Paihia, enjoy a free afternoon where a range of optional activities are available, or you may choose to relax and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the waterfront. This evening is also at leisure, you may like to enjoy a relaxing dinner cruise (optional).

Hotel
The Grand by SkyCity or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Depart the Bay of Islands this morning and travel via Whangarei and Dargaville to Matakohe. Enjoy a visit and informative talk at the Kauri Museum before continuing to Auckland for a city sights tour. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including selected beverages with your new found friends.

Meals
Breakfast

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

Inclusions

  • Travel with Grand Pacific Tours
  • Professional Coach Captain
  • 20 Business Class seats on a full-size coach
  • Ultimate Small Group Touring
  • 16 nights 4.5 star accommodation
  • 5 two night stays
  • Hotel porterage
  • 1 rail journey
  • 4 cruises
  • All sightseeing and prepaid attractions
  • Extensive Optional Activities
  • Ultimate Documentation Pack
  • 15 cooked breakfasts including a specialty breakfast: Stratosfare Restaurant, Rotorua
  • 12 sumptuous dinners including 3 specialty dinners: Walter Peak Homestead, Queenstown; Mãori Hãngi and Concert, Rotorua; Intimate Farewell Dinner with selected beverages, Auckland
  • 1 lunch: Milford Sound Cruise
  • 1 Ultimate High Tea: Larnach Castle
  • Enjoy GPT Wine Time (discounted drinks)

  • Larnach Castle*
  • Milford Sound Cruise and Lunch
  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
  • Lakes District Museum
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • Cruise on the Interislander Ferry, Premium Lounge
  • Te Papa, NZ’s National Museum
  • Skyline Rotorua Gondola and Luge Ride
  • Agrodome
  • Thermal mud pools and geysers*
  • Te Puia traditional Mãori Hãngi and Concert
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Hole in the Rock Dolphin Cruise
  • Kauri Museum
  • City sights tour of Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland"

Fine Print

Secure your trip with a $99.00 deposit per person.

Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice with your remaining balance and payment options.

Instalment Schedule:

  1. At the time of booking pay a $99.00 deposit per person.
  2. Pay a 1st installment of $200.00 per person within 7 days.
  3. Pay a 2nd installment of $3,065.00 per person within 90 days.
  4. You will then be invoiced for final payment 120 days prior to departure.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. 

Airport Transfers
Airport transfers in New Zealand are included on the first and last day of your tour. This includes any pre or post tour accommodation directly linked with the tour hotel. Transfer vehicles will wait up to 1 hour after the flight lands in New Zealand.

Single Supplement
Single supplement is $2,800.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.

Triple Share
Not Available

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

We have partnered with nib to offer our customers competitive rates for their travel insurance. You can book Comprehensive or Essentials cover for your domestic, international or multi-trip journeys simply by clicking HERE.
 
Note that Inspiring Vacations cannot provide advice with regards to any insurance product.

Visa & Passport Information
It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return.

Visa's may be required.

Please note that these details are subject to change without notice. We recommend visiting https://smartraveller.gov.au for up to date information in terms of entry requirements.

Group Size
Ultimate Small Group Tour itineraries are for a maximum of 20 travellers.

Tour Type
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Fully Escorted - This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

Children
On Ultimate Small Group Touring and Signature Mid-Size Group Touring, children under 16 years are not permitted. 

This package is sold as land only, however you do have the option of adding domestic & international airfares to your booking. Simply click on’ book now’, and under upgrades ,  you will be asked “Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?”. By selecting this option Inspiring Vacations will contact you to discuss adding flights to your chosen destination. We can then assist with turning your booking into a flight inclusive package.

Upon completing the purchase of your package and fulfilling the following booking requirements, you will be granted access to our flight portal via your Traveller Hub.

  • 1st installment or full payment has been made
  • Your booking is within 11 months of departure
  • Your booking is labeled as ‘confirmed’ in Traveller Hub

Once these criteria have been met, access will be made available to you via Traveller Hub to book your flights via our flight portal.

The following requests are able to be processed through the online flight portal:

  • Airline Preferences - You may wish to fly with a particular airline
  • Cabin Preferences - These include upgrading to premium economy or business class
  • Extensions (start and end cities must remain the same) - You may request to extend your stay pre or post tour.

The online flight portal is unable to process the following requests and you must book these yourself independently:

  • Stopovers - Is where you might want to stop in transit for a certain amount of days prior to your tour or after your tour.
  • One way flights
  • Different start or end city to the tour - you may not amend the arrival or departure city of your itinerary. 
  • Around the world tickets  - Is when a ticket includes multiple stops in different continents.
  • Return home to a different city from the one you departed.
  • Frequent Flyer point redemption - Is when an airline allows you to redeem points to pay for your flights or upgrade your ticket.  

Online check-in 

Some airlines may not permit online check-in where flights have been booked by a travel company. Where unavailable to do so online, you will be required to check-in at the airport. Inspiring Vacations cannot check-in online on behalf of our customers

  • International airfares
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

*Conditions apply. Prices are land only. **Travel on selected seasonal departures in Sep 2024 and May 2025 and save up to $750 per couple ($375 pp). All other departure dates save $175 per person off the brochure price. Maximum savings are reflected in the advertised prices. Bonus Night is a pre tour night in Christchurch, at the nominated tour hotel, subject to availability upon request. Only if a hotel is not available at the time of booking, receive $100 per person, twin share discount instead. Special Offer Valid on new bookings only until 12 April 2024 for travel Sep 2024 - May 2025. Not to be used in conjunction with any other special offer; not applicable on group departures; can be withdrawn at any time without notice. 

Please note that your tour is operated by Grand Pacific Tours and documentation is provided via delivery to your residential address approximately 14 days prior to departure.

In order to ensure a smooth process for delivery of your documents, you will receive a phone call directly from Grand Pacific Tours leading up to the delivery dispatch date to confirm your delivery address details.

Please ensure you answer this call and provide accurate details to the supplier. In the event that an incorrect address is provided there may be additional costs to redirect the delivery to the correct address.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above please do not hesitate to contact us.

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