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Ref: N11

Feathers and Footprints Fly Drive

Auckland * Waipoua * Matakana * Miranda * Rotorua * Kapiti Coast * Wellington * Interislander Ferry * Kaikoura * Hanmer * Oamaru * Dunedin * The Catlins Region * Stewart Island * Te Anau * Manpouri * Doubtful Sound * Wanaka * Lake Tekapo * Christchurch

A comprehensive self drive tour of New Zealand with a special emphasis o­n the rare birds and wildlife of New Zealand. Highlights include a visit to Stewart Island - the ultimate bird watching destination and an overnight cruise o­n beautiful Doubtful Sound. Accommodation is based o­n some of the upmarket unique and boutique properties that are such a feature of New Zealand.

25 days from £5,832 per person twin share + flights

Itinerary

Day 1 - UK/Auckland

Your New Zealand holiday starts with a departure from the UK on a scheduled Air New Zealand flight to Auckland via Los Angeles.

Day 2 - In flight

Day 3 - Auckland

You will be met on arrival at Auckland Airport and a private transfer is included to your first hotel.

Overnight (1): Auckland - Hotel DeBrett

Day 4 - Auckland – Waipoua (229 km)

Depart Auckland and head north via the rugged West Coast. You may like to stop off at Muriwai Beach to marvel at the black sands and take time to visit the gannet colony. Muriwai is one of New Zealand's most spectacular black sand surf beaches. At its southern end, Otakamiro Point is the site of one of this country's few mainland Gannet breeding colonies. The Takapu Refuge is located at the southern end of Muriwai beach and is an established breeding area for gannets. About 1,200 pairs of adult gannets nest here each summer and can be seen between August and March each year. Fur seals feed and rest at Oaia Island, 1.6km off the coast and can sometimes be seen during spring. This evening enjoy the Twilight Encounter Tour of Waipoua Forest. Your Maori guides will relate stories and legends of the forest and how Maori used plants for medicinal purposes. Learn of the rich bird life and other fauna that inhabits the forest. As night falls, the shyest creatures of the forest awaken and begin to go about their work.
Deep in the forest among the towering trees and surrounded by the sounds of the nocturnal creatures awakening, you will meet the ancient kauri tree guardians of the forest. Breakfast and Dinner included
Overnight (1): Waipoua Lodge

Day 5 - Waipoua – Matakana (178 km)

Travel on to the Matakana Coast a place of stunning countryside, coastal landscapes, vineyards, beaches, artisan food products, sculpture tails and characterful villages. Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): Sugar Loaf Lodge

Day 6 - Matakana – Devonport, Auckland (70km)

Recommended today is optional sightseeing to Tiritiri Matangi from Gulf Harbour (Wed-Sun only)
Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf is an open sanctuary with over 283,000 trees planted over 10 years and many rare and endangered birds have been translocated to the predator free island. These include Takahe, Saddleback, Kakariki, Kokako, Whitehead, Little Spotted Kiwi, Stitchbird, Teal, NZ Robin and Fernbird Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): The Peace & Plenty Inn
 

Day 7 - Devonport - Miranda - Rotorua (260 km)

Travel today via the Seabird Coast. The Miranda Shorebird Centre records 131 bird species including 43 waders. The extensive tidal flats and rare shell bank create a world renowned and accessible site for migratory and endemic waders. Continue through farmland, lake land and forest until the distinctive smell of sulphur and constant steam drifts lets you know you are in tempestuous, geothermal Rotorua. Visit Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park with its Kiwi Encounter, a breeding recovery programme for native New Zealand Kiwi. Enjoy a unique behind-the-scenes tour of a working Kiwi nursery and hatchery. Breakfast Included
Overnight (2): Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel

Day 8 - Rotorua

Day at leisure. A full day to enjoy the many sights and activities on offer in and around Rotorua. Breakfast Included

Day 9 - Rotorua - Kapiti Coast (380 km)

Today’s journey takes you to the west coast with its spectacular sea vistas, glorious sunsets, untouched native forest and dramatic hillscapes. Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): Vista Del Sol

Day 10 - Kapiti Coast

Take the ferry to Kapiti Island, home to the Little Spotted Kiwi (now extinct on the mainland). Your evening guided Kiwi spotting walk provides the opportunity to engage with endangered New Zealand birds like Takahe, Kākā, Weka, Tīeke (Saddleback), Kereru, Kokako, Hihi, and Toutouwai (Robin). There is also the chance to get up close to some extraordinary New Zealand native flora and fauna. The lodge is remote with limited facilities but is welcoming with genuine Maori hospitality. Breakfast and Dinner included
Overnight (1): Kapiti Island

Day 11 - Kapiti Coast - Wellington (75 km)

A short journey to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. Nestled between harbor and hills, the city is compact, cultured and full of character. Just minutes from the city is Zealandia, a living ecosystem, home to some of New Zealand’s most rare and extraordinary wildlife. Forty different species of native birds have been recorded in the sanctuary valley, twenty four of them endemic (found in no other country). Dozens of reptile species, hundreds of plant species and thousands of kinds of invertebrates have made Zealandia their home. Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): Booklovers B&B

Day 12 - Wellington - Picton – Kaikoura (157 km)

Drop your car off in Wellington and take the Interisland Ferry through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds to Picton. There will be plenty of seabirds to spot along the way. On arrival in Picton, collect another hire car and travel through Marlborough Wine Country before reaching Kaikoura. Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): Manakau Lodge

Day 13 - Kaikoura – Hanmer (130 km)

The unique marine geography of Kaikoura provides the perfect environment for the local Sperm Whales which cohabitate close to land whilst hunting deep sea squid. At any time of the year you are almost guaranteed to see whales, Dusky and common dolphins, seabirds, seals and small marine creatures. Today’s Albatross Encounter brings you up close to a diverse array of seabirds including albatross, petrels, shearwaters, shags, terns and gulls. These species all occur naturally within a close proximity of the Kaikoura Peninsula. Kaikoura's marine environment is home to more seabird species in a small area than anywhere else in the New Zealand. Later, continue on to Hanmer Springs, a beautiful and popular alpine resort, known for its thermal pools and spa. Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): Cheltenham House

Day 14 - Hanmer - Oamaru (375 km)

Travel south to Oamaru and enjoy an Evening Viewing of the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. The best view is at nightfall when the penguins return from the day’s fishing, make their way onto the beach and cross into the Colony. Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): Pen-y-Bryn Lodge

Day 15 - Oamaru - Dunedin (112 km)

Drive to Dunedin today. Enjoy a half day tour of the Otago Peninsula where you can see the Royal Albatross Colony, Hookers sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins and a Pelagic tour of the harbour. Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): Camp Estate

Day 16 - Dunedin -The Catlins (111 km)

The Catlins region is rugged, remote and endowed with large tracts of native rainforest. It has abundant wildlife, is sparsely populated and is very scenic and unspoilt. Here, close to the rich Sub-Antarctic feeding grounds, can be found some of the world's rarest marine animals - three penguin species, Hooker's Sea Lions, Hector's Dolphins, Elephant Seals, as well as New Zealand Fur Seals. Notable seabirds include : Mollyhawks, Shags, Gannets and millions of Titi (Sooty Shearwaters). Rocky platforms carved by the sea, secret coves and sweeping beaches of gleaming, wave-combed sand are all part of the exhilarating variety of coastal scenery. Breakfast and Dinner Included
Overnight (1): Catlins Farmstay

Day 17 - The Catlins – Bluff (149 km) - Stewart Island

On arrival in Bluff, catch the ferry to Stewart Island (small additional charge for car storage in Bluff). The ultimate bird watching destination - Stewart Island is largely untouched by humans, providing an excellent habitat for native and endangered birds. The Stewart Island Brown Kiwi - or Tokoeka - is active during the day and night, with numbers estimated at 20,000. Residents on the island share their gardens with native birds and summer evenings resound with the melody of Kākā and cheeky Weka strut around Oban township. Breakfast Included
Overnight (2): Kaka Retreat

Day 18 - Stewart Island

Today’s half day guided tour takes you to Ulva Island, an open bird sanctuary. Covered in unspoilt forest, the island is home to birds including the native Tui, Kaka, Rifleman and Fantail, as well as the endangered South Island Saddleback. Breakfast Included

Day 19 - Stewart Island – Bluff -Te Anau (180 km)
This morning catch the ferry back to the mainland. Travel to Te Anau is via the Southern Scenic Route, a drive featuring a myriad of landscapes shaped by natural processes in New Zealand’s young but varied geological history.Breakfast Included  Overnight (1): Prospect Lodge

Day 20 - Te Anau – Manapouri (22 km) – Doubtful Sound

Today’s Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise takes you into the wilderness of one of New Zealand’s most spectacular and pristine fiords. With stunning views of waterfalls, rainforest and mountains it is home to bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins.
Dedicated nature guides provide specialist knowledge of the region’s history, flora and fauna and kayaking and exploring by tender craft is offered. Please note: As the overnight cruise does not operate over winter it will be replaced with a day cruise including lunch and additional night in Te Anau Breakfast and Dinner included
Overnight (1): Doubtful Sound Cruise

Day 21 - Doubtful Sound – Manapouri - Wanaka (273 km)

Travel today to scenic Lake Wanaka. A stop enroute in Queenstown is highly recommended. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown has earned a reputation as the Southern Hemisphere’s premier lake and alpine resort and is described as the adventure capital of New Zealand.
From Queenstown travel through the Kawarau Gorge and via Cromwell and Lake Dunstan to Wanaka. An alternative route today is via the Crown Range Road which is New Zealand’s highest sealed highway. This route is shorter than the one via Cromwell however travel time may take longer due to the winding nature of the road (note this route is not recommended over winter). Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): Wanaka Springs Lodge

Day 22 - Wanaka – Lake Tekapo (200 km)
View braided river valleys, native beech forests and lush alpine meadows before reaching beautiful, turquoise Lake Tekapo. Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): Lake Tekapo Lodge

Day 23 - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch (227 km)
If time permits a detour to enjoy the views at Aoraki, Mt Cook is recommended before travelling across the patchwork farmlands that make up the Canterbury plains, to Christchurch. Breakfast Included
Overnight (1): The Classic Villa

Day 24 - Christchurch - UK
Tour concludes with the return of your rental car to Christchurch Airport depot. Check in for your flight to London via Auckland and Los Angeles.

Day 25 - Arrive UK

Why not extend your holiday with a stopover in Los Angeles? This can be included as part of your outward or return journey (or both) and for many the journey thus becomes part of the holiday. Please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss accommodation options, as well as transfers and sightseeing possibilities - we are very happy to tailor make your holiday to your own requirements.
  

Air New Zealand Upgrades -  EconomySkycouch™, Premium Economy & BusinessPremier™

Click here to view your seat information and the choice of upgrades perfect for families, couples or anyone who wants the ultimate upgrade experience.

*Available daily to New Zealand via Los Angeles

British Airways Economy Class Domestic Add-on's

Available in conjunction with your TransAtlantic and TransPacific Flights with Air New Zealand between London and to/from Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle. Details on request.

Departing Between

2017 - 2018

Twin Share
August to March £POA
 
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Included

  • Scheduled Air New Zealand flights in Economy Class from London (Heathrow) to Auckland with return from Christchurch
  • All pre-payable airport taxes, security charges and the UK Air Passenger Duty
  • 21 nights unique/boutique accommodation
  • Hire of a fullsize rental car - Holden Commodore or similar inclusive of Accident Excess Reduction, Unlimited kms and Airport / Ferry Collection Fees.
  • Twilight Encounter Tour
  • Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park & Kiwi Encounter
  • Kapiti Island Overnight experience
  • Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Interisland Ferry Crossing
  • Albatross Encounter, Kaikoura
  • Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony, Evening Viewing
  • Otago Peninsula Toue with Penguin Place
  • Ferry transfers to/from Stewart Island
  • Ulva Island Tour, Stewart Island
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise - (Sep-May only)
  • Includes a Handy Atlas, New Zealand Exploring guide, regional brochures of areas visited, accommodation location maps, tourism radio guide and itinerary
  • 24-hour customer service support in New Zealand

 

Not Included

  • Fuel for hire car
  • Meals (unless indicated)
  • New Zealand airport tax, payable locally - currently NZ$25


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All offers are subject to availability. once a booking is confirmed your holiday price is 100% GUARANTEED against any increase in price such as currency exchange fluctuations or fuel surcharges. Other companies may surcharge you by up to 10% more!