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Home » Destinations » Australasia and Pacific » New Zealand » Riviera Travel Grand Tour of New Zealand & Australia
Join this Grand Tour for a once-in-a-lifetime journey, traversing New Zealand’s epic landscapes via airplane, coach, train, helicopter, and ship. Immerse yourself in its rich history, savour renowned wines, experience traditional Maori culture, and explore beloved cities like Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown. In Australia, embrace the beauty of its beaches, lively cities, and laid-back lifestyle. Discover the iconic landmarks of Sydney and the charming alleys and cafes of Melbourne.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Head to the airport for your overnight flight to Auckland
Day 2: In Flight
Spend the day in the air as you continue to New Zealand
Day 3: Arrival in Auckland
Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to either relax after your flight or head out exploring the city.
Day 4: Bay of Islands
Head north along the Hibiscus coast today, reaching the Bay of Islands in the afternoon. On route, you’ll visit Parry Kauri Park, home to the giant kauri trees. When you arrive in Piahai, enjoy a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House.
Day 5: Bay of Islands Cruise
In the morning, head out on a cruise of the bay, during which you may get the chance to see wild dolphins. During the tour, you’ll visit Cape Brett’s historic lighthouse and enjoy free time at Urupukapuka Island for a dip in the water and to find some lunch. Later on, head to the town of Russell, where you can enjoy a walk along the waterfront. In the afternoon, you have some free time to take part in many of the activities available in the Bay before heading back to Paihia.
Day 6: Auckland
Travel back to Auckland for a sightseeing tour. View a local volcano as you drive along the waterfront. Visit Parnell Village and the Auckland Museum.
Day 7: Waitomo Caves & Rotorua
Leave Auckland and head south to the Waitomo Caves, famous for its glowworm grotto, which you can view on a silent boat ride. Continue on to Rotorua where you’ll visit Te Puia, where a local Māori guide will explain traditional arts and crafts.
In the evening, visit a recreation of a Maori forest community village where you’ll enjoy an evening of ceremonial rituals and storytelling, with a cultural performance in a Te-Aronui-a-Rua meeting house before a traditional Hangi buffet dinner.
Day 8: Middle Earth or Free Day
Situated in the heart of the Mighty Waikato region, your journey takes you through the scenic Kaimai Ranges to the Hobbiton Movie Set for a guided tour. Inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels and brought to life by Peter Jackson, the ten-acre site showcases iconic structures from The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, including the Old Mill and the Green Dragon Inn. After the tour, enjoy a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn before returning to Shires Rest and then heading back to Rotorua. Alternatively, you can remain in Rotorua to explore or enjoy the hotel facilities
Day 9: Napier
Departing Rotorua, travel to the picturesque lakeside town of Taupo, with a stop at the captivating Huka Falls along the way. Next, proceed to Napier, acclaimed as the Art Deco capital of the world, boasting beautifully restored architecture. A guided walking tour introduces you to the city’s finest buildings, and the remainder of the day is yours to explore Napier’s Sea Walls murals, wineries, and diverse dining options.
Day 10: Wellington
Head further south to the capital city, Wellington. On arrival, enjoy a sightseeing tour before visiting Te Papa, the national Museum and art gallery. Explore the country’s history through hands-on exhibits.
Day 11: Nelson
Cruise across the Cook Strait this morning to reach the South Island, arriving in Picton. From here, travel to Blenheim, and the famous wine region of Marlborough where you’ll sample some wines. The day’s final destination is Nelson, a town known for its art galleries which you can explore this afternoon.
Day 12: Abel Tasman Cruise
Today, join a catamaran cruise along the shoreline of Abel Tasman, learning about the history of national park. There is an option of landing ashore at Kaiteriteri and walking to Anchorage (two hours). The rest of the afternoon is free to spend independently exploring Nelson.
Day 13: Christchurch
Travel towards Christchurch, passing through Maruia Forest and over the Lewis Pass. Stop in Hanmer Springs for some free time to find lunch. Continue onto to Christchurch where you’ll visit the Cardboard Cathedral, built after the 2011 earthquake and the Botanical Gardens.
Day 14: TranzAlpine Train & helicopter flight
Travel over the Southern Alps on the famous TranzAlpine train to Arthurs Pass. At Arthurs Pass, hop back on the coach for the journey to the West Coast, stopping in Hokitika to visit a Greenstone workshop. Continue on to the village of Franz Josef. Here you’ll be able to experience a 20-minute helicopter flight over the nearby glacier. (Helicopter flight is subject to weather conditions)
Day 15: Queenstown
Travel to the year-round resort of Queenstown and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 16: Free day in Queenstown
Spend the day exploring Queenstown, or join in some exciting activities in offer such as kayaking, bungee jumping or take a relaxing cruise across the lake
Day 17: Milford Sound Cruise
Leaving the resort, head along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and onwards to the famous Milford Sound. Take a boat trip on the fjord, with a chance of seeing dolphins, fur seals or penguins. Later in the afternoon, there will be time for an optional visit to the nearby Te Anau Glowworm Caves, unique to New Zealand
Day 18: Omarama
Travel back north, visiting Arrowtown, a former gold-mining town. Then continue through the Kawarau Gorge, passing Lake Dunstan and going across the Central Otago countryside. Then head over the Lindis Pass to the Mackenzie Basin.
Day 19: Mount Cook
Today is a day of awe-inspiring landscapes as you journey north along Lake Pukaki’s glacier-fed turquoise waters to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak at 12,316 feet, surrounded by snow-covered peaks. Weather permitting, enjoy a brief walk in the Hooker Valley and a visit to the Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (entrance fee), or opt for a helicopter flight over the West Coast glaciers. The route continues to Lake Tekapo, where you’ll explore the Church of the Good Shepherd, then cross Burkes Pass and the Canterbury Plains on the way back to Christchurch for the final night in New Zealand.
Day 20: Melbourne
Say goodbye to New Zealand and take a flight to Australia, arriving into Melbourne. On arrival, take an introductory tour of the city.
Day 21: Puffing Billy and Philip Island
Head to the Dandenong Ranges, where you’ll ride on Puffing Billy, a traditional steam train. Disembark at Lakeside Museum. From here, head to Philip Island, where you’ll visit the Koala Centre and the Nobbies Centre, which showcase marine life from the southern oceans. After this, you’ll get to see the Penguin Parade, when the Little Penguins make their daily journey from the ocean to their burrows. Return to Melbourne
Day 22: Fly to Sydney
Leave Melbourne and fly to Sydney, with the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 23: Sydney
After break, visit The Rocks, where the first fleet landed from Great Britain. You’ll also visit iconic Bondi Beach with some free time to get some lunch. In the afternoon, visit Mrs Macquaries Chair, from which you can enjoy great views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The final visit of the day is to the Opera House itself for a guided tour.
Day 24: Free day in Sydney
Spend the day exploring Sydney independently before ending the day with an dinner cruise through the harbour.
Day 25: Return Home
Transfer to the airport for your flight home
Day 26: Arrive home
Arrive back in the UK the following day
Grand Millenium Hotel, Auckland
Located in the centre of the city, this hotel has a pool, fitness centre and a restaurant and café. The rooms are spacious and all have a bath with shower, a minibar, a safe, a tv, tea/coffee making facilities and free wi-fi
Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands, Paihia
The recently refurbished rooms here have a shower, minibar, tv, tea/coffee-making facilities and free wi-fi. Onsite you’ll also find a pool, restaurant and bar.
Distinction Rotorua, Rotorua
This hotel features three dining venues and an outdoor pool. The modern rooms feature either a bath or shower, as well as an iron & ironing board, a mini fridge, a tv, tea & coffee making facilities and a safe.
Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier
Sitting on Marine Parade, this hotel overlooks the ocean and is near to the centre of town. You’ll find a bar and restaurant on-site. All the rooms feature bath/shower, hairdryer, iron/board, minibar (local charges apply), flat-screen TV, tea/coffeemaker and free Wi-Fi.
James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington
This hotel is close to the waterfront and the city centre, and offers a café and restaurant. The rooms all have bath/shower, hairdryer, iron/board, minibar (local charges apply), TV, tea/coffeemaker and free Wi-Fi.
Rutherford Hotel, Nelson
Here you’ll find a number of facilities including a gym, sauna and pool. There is also a restaurant, bar and café. The rooms feature a bath or shower, TV, mini fridge, tea/coffee-making facilities, complimentary wi-fi.
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef
This hotel has two restaurants and a bar. The rooms have a shower, fridge, tv, tea/coffee maker and free wi-fi.
Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Queenstown
Near the lively centre of Queenstown, this hotel has a popular bar and a restaurant with lake views. All the rooms have a bath/shower, hairdryer, minibar, iron/board, TV, tea/coffee-maker and town, garden or partial lake views. Wi-Fi is free in the lobby but charged extra in rooms.
Distinction Christchurch Hotel, Christchurch
Sitting in Cathedral Square, this hotel offers an on-site restaurant and bar and the rooms have a bath or shower, hairdryer, fridge, mini bar (extra charge), iron/board, TV, tea/coffee-maker, safe and complimentary wi-fi.
Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau
The hotel has a popular bar, two restaurants and a fitness room. The rooms here have a bath/shower, hairdryer, fridge, iron/board, TV and tea/coffee-maker.
Heritage Gateway Hotel, Omarama
This simple, motel-style property has a bar and restaurant with outside seating which is available in good weather. The rooms are arranged in several low rise buildings and include a bath/shower, hairdryer, fridge, iron/board, TV, tea/coffee-maker and free Wi-Fi.
Pan Pacific Melbourne, Melbourne
Located near South Wharf, this hotel is just a short walk from the city’s attractions. All the rooms feature large windows, king-size beds (twin on request), a safe, desk, mini-bar, tea & coffee making facilities and a tv.
Park Royal Darling Harbour, Sydney
Park Royal Harbour is a modern hotel featuring a spacious restaurant serving a delightful full breakfast, and a fitness center equipped with state-of-the-art training facilities including weights and yoga mats. Each room includes a desk, high-speed internet access, a TV, tea and coffee-making amenities, and a bathroom with a shower and bathtub.
*All transfer times listed here are approximate and dependent on traffic.
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