The Long White Cloud

The Long White Cloud (Summer 2019)

Duration: 22 days Visiting: New Zealand

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
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Delve into the scenic delights of New Zealand with a small group of explorers. Combine natural beauty with creature comforts as you stay in the rainforests of Franz Josef at the foothills of Mitre Peak in the Fiordland National Park, immerse yourself in to the era of art deco in Napier and journey into the deep south to the highland country of Dunedin. Experience the country in the best possible way - discover Milford Sound by sea kayak, explore the magical Glowworm Grotto and gain an insight in Māori culture with a unique Māori Hāngi dinner and concert in Rotorua.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Christchurch.

    On arrival at Christchurch International Airport you'll be driven by private car to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the International Antarctic Centre or Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand's only open range zoo? In the evening meet your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception.

  2. Day 2

    Christchurch to Franz Josef.

    It's all aboard the TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world's great scenic railway journeys, you'll travel in comfort across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast. Continue to Franz Josef where your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush and has an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or perhaps a massage?

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    The Mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

    During a Glacier Valley Walk, explore the area with a local guide who will explain the history behind the surrounding fascinating landscape and the importance of Pounamu, better known as jade or greenstone.

  4. Day 4

    Romantic Arrowtown and on to Queenstown.

    This morning it’s time for an adventure as you journey down the Haast River in a purpose-built, fully enclosed, river jet boat. After a lunch stop at Makarora travel to Arrowtown where there is time to stop and explore this historic gold-mining village on the Arrow River. Continue to Queenstown for an orientation tour.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Queenstown Your Way.

    Experience Queenstown Your Way with an included choice of sightseeing. You could join a wine tour, view The Lord of the Rings film locations and scenery of Queenstown and Glenorchy on a scenic tour, or spend time having a relaxing massage in the spa. Tonight you can dine at one of the local restaurants along the waterfront in town or simply relax at your hotel.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Queenstown at leisure.

    Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not take an optional jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River or get wet white water rafting down the Kawarau River? In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner at one of Queenstown’s exclusive restaurants.

  7. Day 7

    Queenstown to Milford Sound.

    Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the South Island's largest lake, to reach Te Anau. Continue through the rainforest of the UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sit of Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to reach the amazing Mirror Lake. Walk to see the Chasm on your way into Milford Sound, considered to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. Enjoy a two-night stay at the magical Milford Sound Lodge, with views of the Cleddau Valley.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Milford Sound Cruise and Kayaking.

    Wake up to the startling beauty of Milford Sound. Board the Southern Discoveries vessel for a half day cruise of Milford Sound. Sail out to the Tasman Sea looking for wildlife, and return to go sea kayaking in Harrison Cove.

  9. Day 9

    Milford Sound to Dunedin.

    We leave the majestic Fiordland National Park for the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago. Travel through Te Anau and on to the country music town of Gore before continuing to Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city. Enjoy dinner and wine at Parcels Restaurant.

  10. Day 10

    Larnach Castle and Dunedin at Leisure.

    You are treated to an exclusive tour of Larnach Castle before an afternoon at your leisure - relax or continue exploring as you wish. Perhaps take a train ride or wildlife cruise?

  11. Day 11

    Dunedin to Christchurch.

    See Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, and stop to view the Church of the Good Shepherd. Travel along the Canterbury Plains to the Garden City of Christchurch. On a sightseeing tour see how Christchurch is being rebuilt after the earthquake of 2011.

  12. Day 12

    Christchurch to Wellington.

    Travel along the rugged Pacific Ocean coast to Kaikoura, famous for its whales. There's time to take a whale watching flight, if you wish. Continue your journey to the seaside town of Picton. Cruise on Queen Charlotte Sound and across Cook Strait to reach Wellington for a city orientation tour.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Wellington Your Way.

    Explore Wellington Your Way with an included choice of sightseeing. You can experience Weta Cave, home of the creative wizards behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, join a local guide for city walking tour around Wellington or learn about New Zealand’s history and culture during a guided visit to Te Papa, New Zealand’s incredible national museum and art gallery.

  14. Day 14

    Wellington to Hawke's Bay.

    Travel through the dairy farming land of Manawatu to Napier in Hawke's Bay. In the evening, enjoy a wine tasting and three-course dinner at Mission Estate Winery, one of the region's world-famous wineries.

  15. Day 15 - Relaxed Start

    Exploring Napier.

    Enjoy a relaxed start before venturing out to explore the surrounding area. Join a local guide for a tour of the city and see the varying art deco architecture, the style in which Napier was rebuilt after a devastating Earthquake in 1931.

  16. Day 16

    Geothermal Rotorua.

    Travel past Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand, and visit the spectacular Huka Falls. Then it’s on to Rotorua where on arrival a sightseeing tour offers the chance to take in views of Lake Rotorua. Experience local customs like the Hongi greeting and learn some customary phrases when you visit the Whakarewarewa Living Village set amongst a highly active landscape erupting with geothermal activity. Savour the unique flavours of a Māori Hāngī feast, a meal cooked in the ground using geothermal steam, followed by a traditional concert, at the Tamaki Family Marae.

  17. Day 17

    The Sights of Rotorua.

    Your first stop is Rainbow Springs Nature Park, where you'll discover the native beauty around the crystal clear mineral water springs. Take a behind-the-scenes tour through a working kiwi nursery and hatchery dedicated to the conservation of the national icon. Continue to Redwoods - The TreeWalk which consists of 21 suspension bridges traversing between 22 Californian Coastal Redwoods. It provides a unique view of the native undergrowth below from up to 12 metres above the ground, and with a 553-metre-long walk there is plenty of time to appreciate the beauty of the forest. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to continue exploring at your leisure or perhaps relax at your state-of-the-art hotel.

  18. Day 18

    Footwhistle Cave and Auckland.

    During your five-star, exclusively guided, Eco Glowworm experience, admire the magical subterranean world of Footwhistle Cave. Later in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, embark on an afternoon sightseeing tour before having the rest of the day at your leisure to enjoy the city as you wish.

  19. Day 19

    Auckland to Bay of Islands.

    Travel to Orewa and the scenic Hibiscus Coast. Continue to the Waipoua Forest, a sanctuary and home to many native trees including the largest Kauri tree in existence, Tane Mahuta, which is over 2,000 years old. A Māori guide will walk you through the native bush and explain the history and legend behind the mighty Kauri. Head to your waterfront resort in the heart of the beautiful Bay of Islands.

  20. Day 20 - Relaxed Start

    Bay of Islands at Your Leisure.

    With a full day at your leisure, make the most of your extended stay in the Bay of Islands. Why not sail aboard a historic tall ship, enjoy wine tastings around Kerikeri, or discover Russell, the first European settlement and capital of New Zealand, on a highlights tour of this small township? Your Travelling Concierge can assist you with booking your choice of activity.

  21. Day 21

    Cruise the Bay of Islands and onto Auckland.

    Cruise through the Bay of Islands Maritime Park and explore some of the 144 islands in the bay. Your journey continues through the small towns of Northland and over the Harbour Bridge as you return to Auckland. Toast your travels together at your Celebration Dinner.

  22. Day 22

    Farewell Auckland.

    Bid farewell to your fellow travellers after breakfast, as your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Auckland Airport for your onward flight.

Highlights

 

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Christchurch: Journey on the iconic TranzAlpine Train.
  • Christchurch: Visit the coastal town of Hokitika and find out about its local history.
  • Franz Josef Glacier: Experience the impressiveness of this mighty natural wonder and meet a local jade carver.
  • Haast River: Enjoy a fully enclosed jet boat ride down the Haast River.
  • Makarora: Take part in an orientation in Makarora and hear about the beauty of this town.
  • Queenstown: Experience Queenstown Your Way with a choice of joining a wine tour, viewing The Lord of the Rings film locations and scenery of Queenstown and Glenorchy on a scenic tour, or a relaxing massage in the spa.
  • Queenstown: Take a walk in the Fiordland National Park to view the Chasm.
  • Milford Sound: Sea kayaking is by far the best way to discover Milford Sound. Look out for the New Zealand fur seals, Fiordland crested penguins, famous blue penguins and even bottlenose dolphins.
  • Tasman Sea: Board a cruise vessel and set sail out to the Tasman Sea.
  • Dunedin: Take part in an exclusive tour of Larnach Castle.
  • Christchurch: Stare in awe as you see Lake Pukaki and Tekapo, two of New Zealand's most beautiful lakes.
  • Christchurch: Enjoy a day of sightseeing in the vibrant city of Christchurch.
  • Wellington: Take a cruise on Queen Charlotte Sound to cross Cook Strait.
  • Wellington: See the sights of New Zealand's capital during your orientation.
  • Wellington: Explore Wellington Your Way with a choice of visiting Weta Cave, home of the creative wizards behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, joining a local guide for a city walking tour around Wellington or a guided visit to Te Papa, New Zealand’s incredible national museum and art gallery.
  • Napier: Take part in a guided tour of the city of Napier.
  • Hawke's Bay: Take your morning of leisure to explore the beautiful area of Hawke's Bay.
  • Huka Falls: Take a visit to the beautiful Huka Falls that drains from Lake Taupo.
  • Rotorua: Learn about the city of Rotorua when you embark on a sightseeing tour.
  • Rotorua: Visit the Whakarewarewa Living Village and gain an insight into the lives of the Māori community and their special bond with this ancient land.
  • Rotorua: Visit the Rainbow Springs Nature Park to see a working kiwi nursery and hatchery and learn more about the conservation of this national creature.
  • Rotorua: During your visit to Redwoods - The TreeWalk, enjoy the unique perspective from 12 metres above the ground.
  • Waitomo Cave: Discover the native glowworms, fascinating, bright creatures of Waitomo Cave, with your Local Expert.
  • Auckland: Enjoy a sightseeing tour around the city of Auckland.
  • Waipoua Forest: Visit the Waipoua Forest which is home to the largest Kauri tree in existence.
  • Waipoua Forest: Walk with a Maori guide and learn about the history and legend behind the Kauri tree.
  • Bay of Islands: Cruise through some of the 144 islands in the Bay of Islands Maritime Park and view some very unique wildlife.

EXCEPTIONAL DINING

  • Queenstown: Experience a first-class dining experience in one of Queenstown’s most popular and exclusive restaurants.
  • Dunedin: Set in an old post office, this dinner is in a private room at Parcels Restaurant.
  • Hawke's Bay: Indulge in a wine tasting followed by a 3-course dinner at Mission Estate Winery, one of the region's world famous wineries.
  • Rotorua: Gather round for a feast of succulent meats and vegetables, cooked in a Hāngi and prepared using the traditional Māori method of cooking over geothermal steam coming from the earth.
  • Auckland: Celebrate in style at an elegant Celebration Dinner with wine in Auckland.
  • Dining Summary: 21 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (L) and 13 Dinners with Wine (DW).

LUXURY HOTELS

  • Franz Josef: Surrounded by natural rainforest on New Zealand's West Coast, Te Waonui Forest Retreat is a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier. This five-star retreat offers luxuriously appointed rooms which include organic cotton bed sheets, pillow menu and large private bathrooms.
  • Wellington: Forming part of an exclusive collection of luxury hotels, the vintage-inspired Sofitel Wellington places you in the heart of the city near lush botanical gardens, stately parliamentary buildings and a collection of museums.
  • Hawke's Bay: Porters Boutique Hotel is a privately owned, boutique hotel that delivers a luxurious experience.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Luxury Gold is proud to offer various modes of transportation, from luxury coach to safari jeep and more, so that you always travel in comfort and experience your journey and destination in the best possible and most appropriate way.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with a Luxury Gold Flourish, which is a local speciality representing the destination.
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold.

Accommodation

 

Hotel Montreal

Christchurch (Traditional) - New Zealand

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Franz Josef (Boutique) - New Zealand

Surrounded by natural rainforest on New Zealand's West Coast, Te Waonui Forest Retreat is a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier. This five-star retreat offers luxuriously appointed rooms which include organic cotton bed sheets, pillow menu and large private bathrooms.

Crowne Plaza Queenstown.

Crowne Plaza Queenstown.

Milford Sound Lodge.

Milford Sound (Traditional) - New Zealand

Distinction Dunedin Hotel.

Dunedin (Historic) - New Zealand

Sofitel Wellington

Wellington (Contemporary) - New Zealand

Forming part of an exclusive collection of luxury hotels, the vintage-inspired Sofitel Wellington places you in the heart of the city near lush botanical gardens, stately parliamentary buildings and a collection of museums.

Porters Boutique Hotel

Havelock North, Hawke's Bay (Boutique) - New Zealand

Porters Boutique Hotel is a privately owned, boutique hotel that delivers a luxurious experience.

Pullman

Rotorua (Contemporary) - New Zealand

Regent of Rotorua

Rotorua (Scenic) - New Zealand

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Auckland (Contemporary) - New Zealand

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands.

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands.

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
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All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.