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Eighteen Day Small Group Tour Covering Both Islands

19 bytes removed, 02:18, 30 August 2006
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==Understand==
This is a typical example of a 18 day small group coach tour of the of [[New Zealand]]. Cost for a tour of this length would be approx $NZ 3000 - $NZ 7000 depending on the quality of the accommodation. Accommodation is always the biggest cost factor in a tour, so you really do get what you pay for. There are many [http://www.relaxingjourneys.co.nz/small_group_tours/index.php New Zealand small group tour operators] throughout NZ and an amazing variety of itineraries available. This itinerary starts in [[Auckland]] in the [[North Island]] and finishes in [[Christchurch]] in the [[South Island]].
==Prepare==
'''Day 2: Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula (B)'''
Today, travel south to the [http://www.relaxingjourneys.co.nz/guide/coromandel.php [Coromandel Peninsula]], a beautiful rugged area fringed with dozens of excellent beaches that separates the Pacific Ocean from the Hauraki Gulf. It is place where many kiwis choose to escape the hustle & hype of city life and is home to many arts & crafts people who seek an alternative lifestyle. At the quaint township of [[Coromandel]], we ride the Driving Creek narrow gauge railway to a fascinating artist colony before crossing the divide to the eastern side of the peninsula for our overnight stay in Tairua.
'''Day 3: Coromandel, Rotorua (B)'''
'''Day 4: Lake Tarawera Cruise & the Buried Village (B,L)'''
The days highlight is an exclusive cruise across the pristine, clear waters of [[Lake Tarawera]] at the base of a gigantic dormant volcano. You'll have the opportunity to soak in the thermal waters of [[Hot Water Beach]] and experience some of the country's best trout fishing before enjoying a gourmet picnic lunch. This afternoon, visit the Blue & Green Lakes and then wander around the famous Buried Village of Te Wairoa.
'''Day 5: Lake Taupo, Art Deco Napier (B)'''
'''Day 7: Picton & the Marlborough Sounds (B)'''
Free time this morning to explore Wellington at leisure and a visit to [[Te Papa National Museum]] is highly recommended. This afternoon, we board the Interislander ferry for the leisurely and scenic crossing of Cook Strait to Picton, via the Marlborough Sounds. On arrival, join our water taxi for the short cruise to Kenepuru Sound where a warm welcome at our resort awaits us in this remote, picture-perfect bay.
'''Day 8: Stunning Kenepuru Sound (B)'''
A day to relax & marvel at the magic that is the [http://www.relaxingjourneys.co.nz/guide/nelson.php [Marlborough Sounds]]. Resort staff will share their love of the Sounds with you through the range of water and nature based experiences they put at your fingertips. The wide beach access is great for fishing, boating, sailing, swimming & sea-kayaking and there is a wealth of walks and meanderings in the immediate vicinity. There is also the opportunity to visit the vineyards & wineries that are located in the famous [[Marlborough wine region]].
'''Day 9: Kaikoura Coast, Christchurch (B)'''
After breakfast, we return to the picturesque fishing village of [[Picton]] and reboard our coach and travel through Blenheim to [[Kaikoura]], world renowned as the whale watching centre of New Zealand. Optional excursions include the opportunity to view giant sperm whales by boat or air; see dolphins, fur seals & [[Royal Albatross]] at close range in their natural habitat; or swim with pools of Dusky Dolphins … wetsuits provided! Later, we continue south to the "Garden City" of Christchurch, thought of as the most English of New Zealand cities.
'''Day 10: Spectacular TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef Glacier (B)'''
Regarded as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, the famous [[TranzAlpine Train]] will take you deep into the heartland of the South Island … a coast to coast journey through some of the world's most extreme and beautiful scenery. This afternoon, travel along the dramatic West Coast, steeped in history dating back to the gold rush era of the 1800's, to the glacier township of [[Franz Josef]].
'''Day 11: Haast, Wanaka, Queenstown (B)'''
'''Day 16: Oamaru, Mt Cook National Park (B,D)'''
This morning, travel the Ocean Highway north to Moeraki Beach with its 60 million year old, perfectly spherical boulders. On to Oamaru with its stunning marble architecture before continuing on to the world-heritage listed [http://www.relaxingjourneys.co.nz/guide/mt_cook.php [Mt Cook National Park]]. The park covers over 70,000 hectares of breathtaking alpine scenery and boasts Australasia's highest mountain, Aoraki or Mt Cook, at 3,764 metres. There are a further 140 peaks over 2000 metres high and the Tasman Glacier, the longest in the southern hemisphere. Optional ski-plane and helicopter flights are available subject to weather conditions.
'''Day 17: Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch (B)'''
'''Day 18: Depart Christchurch (B)'''
Sadly, your holiday is at an end and you will be transferred to Christchurch airport today for your onward flight. Here, we bid you a fond farewell to your homeland and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay in Aotearoa, [[New Zealand]].
 
 
===Small Group Tour Operators===
*'''[http://www.relaxingjourneys.co.nz Relaxing Journeys]''', Address, Phone: +64 09 4256332 (Email: [email protected]). Small group tours operators of both New Zealand's main islands.
{{usableitinerary}}

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