Arrive in Queenstown in the early afternoon and be escorted by private chauffeur directly to your hotel, situated within walking distance of downtown Queenstown. A delight for scenery lovers and adrenaline junkies alike, Queenstown is the outdoor adventure capital of the country, if not the world. Enjoy an endless supply of activities to fully experience the stunning natural landscape and to get your adrenaline flowing.
Be escorted by luxury glass-roofed coach to a day cruise with Real Journeys in one of the most beautiful places on earth: Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park. Travel the spectacular Milford Road through impressive alpine scenery with time for photo stops and short walks along the way. Board a Nature Cruise of Milford Sound for a leisurely itinerary that allows plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. On board, a nature guide with specialist knowledge of the region’s history, flora, and fauna provides detailed interpretation. View spectacular waterfalls (especially when it’s raining!), rainforest, and towering peaks; plus, keep an eye out for fur seals, dolphins, and penguins. And for your return to Queenstown, enjoy a spectacular scenic flight over the the beautiful landscapes.
The morning is at leisure today to sleep in and enjoy the views from your lakeview suite. In the afternoon, take a small-group boutique winery tour of the Otago wine region, especially well known for its earthy pinot noirs, with Appellation Central Wine Tours. Through the Gibbston Valley and the rolling vine-clad foothills of Bannockburn and beyond, you’ll visit the best wineries for the day’s passengers. Four winery tastings are included, as well as a winery lunch and commentary on the early pioneering history of this rugged region.
Today is entirely at your leisure. If you like, we can arrange additional activities, such as the famous adrenaline pursuits of bungee jumping, skydiving, canyoning, whitewater rafting, scenic helicopter flights (with mountain landings for a quick snowball fight), whitewater sledging, jet boating, and other more leisurely pursuits such as horseback riding, kayaking, excursions on the historic TSS Earnslaw, nature hikes (amazing in this region), and hundreds of other activities that make Queenstown unique.
Private airport transfers and a scenic flight bring you to New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington. The dining and artistic hub of New Zealand, Wellington is filled with cafés, museums, and art; theatre performances and galleries abound. Surrounded almost entirely by beaches and bays, the hills of Wellington leave almost every location with a breathless view of the Cook Strait and the islands beyond. Your accommodations are in the city’s best hotel, where you have a suite in the city center, within walking distance of all the major sites. Special bonuses for booking with Down Under Endeavours include a complimentary bottle of local wine, and a tapas plate for 2 people to be consumed at the stylish lobby bar.
Enjoy a full-day, small group walking tour of the best foodie sites in Wellington with Zest Food Tours. On this tour, you’ll meet a local culinary personality at their home for some special local hospitality; visit a boutique coffee roaster and café; enjoy tastings at Wellington’s best specialist gourmet food stores; meet owners, baristas, and chefs; and savor a delicious, 3-course tasting lunch with matched New Zealand wines at a top restaurant. Meet top food people and taste local specialties all day, with the evening yours to examine one of the delicious downtown restaurants.
This morning, you have a private tour of the National Museum, Te Papa, located minutes from your hotel. You’ll see all of the museum’s major artworks, Maori treasures, the world’s only discovered colossal squid, and other highlights with a private guide. Then, take a few hours at leisure to hike Mt. Victoria or just sit in a café and enjoy the street life with your latte and lunch. Tonight, you’ll learn what New Zealand looked like 1,000 years ago at Zealandia, a nature preserve in the middle of the city where you can spot elusive kiwi birds, rare tuatara lizards, and the strange morepork in a setting that has returned to the way it looked before humans arrived.
Private transfers and a brief flight take you today to New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Auckland is mostly a jumping off point for other destinations, but also provides interest in its museums, nightlife, and natural, native bush island destinations. Your hotel is right in the city center, within minutes of all the major sites.
Today, take an Auckland city and hinterlands tour with a small group as you see the highlights of the city and beyond with TIME Unlimited Tours. See Mt. Eden, Auckland’s most famous volcano (you are on the Pacific ring of fire, after all), with magnificent views across the city on a clear day. Then, check out the old colonial Parnell neighborhood and Tamaki Drive, one of the world’s most beautiful city drives along Auckland’s shoreline. After a picnic lunch, head outside the city to Auckland’s West Coast and the Waitakere Ranges to visit an artist enclave, spectacular ocean vistas, unique indigenous flora and fauna, soaring cliffs, roaring surf, volcanic black sand beaches, and ancient native rainforest. Alternatively, we can arrange a day tour that focuses on Maori culture and history.
Today, a roundtrip ferry ticket to Waiheke Island is included, and ferries depart on the hour every hour, so you can go at a time that suits you. Then the day is yours to explore Waiheke by car hire, by bicycle, or on foot, or we can arrange a guided tour. Waiheke has stunning coastal vistas, as well as some of the Auckland region’s hottest properties. Pass by hillside vineyards, look down on sweeping sandy beaches, and get a real feel for what Auckland’s most populous off-shore island is like. Alternatively, you could do a day tour of rugged Rangitoto Island, the birdwatcher’s paradise Tiritiri Matangi, or a handful of other off-shore islands.
Your flight out of Auckland today heads nonstop to North America on an overnight trip.