Mountains in New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND

THE WONDERS DOWN UNDER 
September 9 – 18, 2023

Introduction

10 days in magical New Zealand, from Auckland to Christchurch to Queenstown, with customized excursions on both the North and South Islands

Prices starting at $8,990 per person with one sighted guide for two travellers.

$11,990 per person with one sighted guide for each traveller.

Single room supplement $1,000.

Itinerary

DAY 1, September 9
AUCKLAND – 2 NIGHTS

Arrive Auckland International Airport.  

Auckland City is nestled between two picturesque harbours and is dotted with volcanic hills. Also known as the city of sails, it has many scenic islands and enjoys a temperate climate. Enjoy a walking tour of the central city including the viaduct harbour, location of Americas Cup matches, before checking into your hotel around mid-afternoon.

Included Meals – Dinner

DAY 2, SEPTEMBER 10
AUCKLAND

Today enjoy a ferry ride from downtown Auckland to nearby Tiri Tiri Matangi Island.  Here at this wildlife sanctuary which is one of New Zealand’s most important and exciting conservation projects you will be introduced to some of the unique native flora and fauna of New Zealand.

Included Meals – Breakfast

Day 3, SEPTEMBER 11
AUCKLAND TO ROTORUA – 2 NIGHTS

Today’s journey takes you south to the green rolling hills of the Waikato agricultural  district and onto the Taupo Volcanic Zone, one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. On route you will enter ‘middle earth with a visit to Hobbiton, the renowned Lord of the Rings Movie Set. 

Mid-afternoon continue the short distance on to Rotorua. This area of New Zealand is steeped in Maori (New Zealand’s indigenous people) history. This evening enjoy a special Maori cultural experience.

Included Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4, SEPTEMBER 12
ROTORUA

This morning travel to Lake Taupo and visit the mighty Huka Falls. On returning to Rotorua there is the opportunity to enjoy activities of your choosing. Rotorua has something for all tastes – from adventure activities to arts and crafts, and some excellent shopping. Late afternoon visit New Zealand’s internationally acclaimed thermal spa and enjoy a relaxing soak in these lakeside natural hot mineral spring pools. 

Included Meals – Breakfast

day 5, SEPTEMBER 13
rotorua to christchurch – 2 nights

This morning take a domestic flight from the North Island of New Zealand to Christchurch, locally known as the ‘garden city’. Following the devastating earthquakes of 2010/11 Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city. This afternoon visit the renowned International Antarctic Centre where you will experience what life is like on this ‘frozen continent’ to the south of New Zealand.  

Included Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

day 6, September 14
christchurch

Today is a day to explore the central city rebuild by tram and river punt. Early afternoon venture by gondola up onto Christchurch’s Port Hills, and enjoy a walk along the rim of the extinct Banks Peninsula Volcano. Later in the day, for those that are interested (and wind permitting) there is the option to add a blokarting (sail powered tandem land carts) adventure. 

Included Meals – Breakfast

day 7, September 15
Christchurch to mt cook

Travel south across the Canterbury Plains to the dry, arid inland Mackenzie basin. At Lake Tekapo explore along the shores of this beautiful turquoise coloured glacial fed lake which lies in stark contrast to its barren surrounds. Continue on to Mt Cook Village in the heart of the Southern Alps.  Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain stands at 3,754m and is within the internationally recognized Southwest New Zealand (Te Wahipounamu) World Heritage Area. The region is characterized by snow-capped peaks, glacial ice, alpine vegetation and the crispest, clearest mountain air your lungs can inhale. Enjoy the grandeur of this spectacular area, whether by exploring some of the village trails, visiting the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre or simply soaking up the peaceful alpine environment. For those that wish other optional activities include: glacial lake excursion by small boat or kayak, and helicopter/small plane flights

Included Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

day 8, September 16
mt cook to queenstown – 2 nights

Late morning continue south over the tussock clad Lindis Pass into Central Otago and on through the rugged Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown. On route enjoy a vineyard tour and tasting at one of the regions earliest wineries. There is the option for those that are keen to also visit an adjoining cheesery or alternatively embark on a bungy jump or zipride adventure.

Late afternoon continue the short distance onto Queenstown.

Included Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

day 9, September 17
Queenstown

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and flanked by the Remarkable and Eyre Mountains, Queenstown is arguably one of the most scenic locations in the world and the adventure capital of New Zealand. Today is a day to indulge in Queenstown area activities of your choosing: lake front trails; ice bar; Kiwi Birdlife Park; botanic gardens; Skyline Gondola; sky diving; tandem biking; jet boat trip on river or lake; retail therapy; plus much more.

Early evening board the iconic steamship TSS Earnslaw for a cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station.  Here learn about sheep farming in the high country before enjoying a sumptuous final evening BBQ meal together. Late evening return by boat to Queenstown.

Included Meals – Breakfast, Dinner

day 10, September 18
Queenstown to international flights home

Depending on your flight time there may be an opportunity for some further exploring or shopping, before transferring to Queenstown International Airport in time for your journey home.

Included Meals – Breakfast

The Details

Pricing Excluding Optional Activities:

  • 1 sighted guide for 2 travelers, $8,990

  • 1 sighted guide for each traveler, $11,990

  • Single room supplement $1000

  • Optional activites are priced individually 

Included:

  • Tiri Tiri Matangi Island excursion

  • Hobbiton – Lord of the Rings Movie Set

  • Geothermal Valley

  • Maori Cultural experience

  • Thermal Pool entry

  • International Antarctic Centre

  • Christchurch City Tram 

  • Avon River Punt

  • Gondola Ride

  • Winery tour and tasting – Queenstown

  • Queenstown lake cruise, farm visit and

  • Gourmet BBQ Dinner

Optional Activities Priced Individualy (Prices Shown in New Zealand Dollars):

  • Rotorua Duck tour in WW2 4WD landing crafts from $85

  • Christchurch Blokarting from $40 per person

  • Mt Cook - Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre $20pp

  • Mt Cook - Glacial lake excursion $170pp

  • Mt Cook - Helicopter or small plane flight and glacial landing from $400 pp

  • Queenstown Kawarau Bungy Jump  $205 pp

  • Queenstown Kawarau Zip ride $50 pp

  • Queenstown Kiwi Birdlife Park $55

  • Skyline Gondola $46

  • Tandem sky dive from $400

  • Tandem bike hire from $80 per day

  • Jet boat trip on river or lake from $135

Please Note

  • A $1,500 deposit per person is required to hold space; the balance will be due 60 days prior to the trip, after which fees will no longer be refundable.

  • $100 nonrefundable.

  • Until further notice, full COVID-19 vaccination required.

  • Flight from Rotorua to Christchurch) is nonrefundable.

  • Prices are for double or single occupancy and do not include airfare, alcoholic beverages, personal items or any gratuities. 

  • Mind’s Eye Travel recommends trip insurance. 

  • Our trips are non-smoking and not combinable with any other offer.

  • Flights must depart from the US on the evening of September 7, in order to arrive in New Zealand on the morning of September 9, after crossing the International Date Line. The actual flying time from California to NZ is about 14 hours. Since there are no stops en route, the flight is surprisingly comfortable, with time for meals, movies and plenty of sleep.