14-nights Discovering New Zealand’s North & South Islands (7- nights in Auckland and 7-nights in touring South Island). Recommended a minimum of 4, or up to 6 persons
Auckland Your first vacation begins in the coastal city of Auckland, located on New Zealand’s North Island, and is one of the few cities in the world sitting between two harbours on two separate major bodies of water, the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
Its Waltermata Harbour is very popular with cruises, sailing boats jet-boating and swimmers. With close proximity to beaches, wildlife and countryside, it’s not surprising that this sophisticated city is one of the most desirable locations in the world live. As NZ’s largest city, it has a diverse and vibrant mix of cultural heritage, multicultural distinctiveness and the world’s largest Polynesian centre (around 10% of the population).
The city enjoys a mild, sub-tropical climate with a stunning shoreline dotted with restaurants, hotels and entertainment outlets.Auckland Your first vacation begins in the coastal city of Auckland, located on New Zealand’s North Island, and is one of the few cities in the world sitting between two harbours on two separate major bodies of water, the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its Waltermata Harbour is very popular with cruises, sailing boats jet-boating and swimmers.
With close proximity to beaches, wildlife and countryside, it’s not surprising that this sophisticated city is one of the most desirable locations in the world live. As NZ’s largest city, it has a diverse and vibrant mix of cultural heritage, multicultural distinctiveness and the world’s largest Polynesian centre (around 10% of the population). The city enjoys a mild, sub-tropical climate with a stunning shoreline dotted with restaurants, hotels and entertainment outlets. You will be checking into the luxurious Avani Metropolis,
Auckland’s tallest residential building, located in the city centre next to Albert Park and only a couple of hundred metres from the city’s metro system, where you can get a AT Hop for around US$7 per person. The units are contemporary designed and comfortable. Being in the heart of the City, the taste of the world is at the doorstep. It is just so simple to embark on a gourmet journey, discovering the hidden dining gems in the alley or experiencing the best culinary in Auckland. GVC has identified a few of the popular excursions you may wish to participate in:
Hop On Hop Off
For around US$20 you can get to see the city’s main tourist attractions, such as Parnell Village, Auckland Museum, Auckland Zoo, Mt Eden or the Sky Tower, and all at your own pace. The bus tour takes one hour to complete each loop with 2 circle routes to explore. Enjoy the flexibility where you can hop off at key points, create your own sightseeing itinerary.
Tiritiri Matangi Tiritiri Matangi
Is an island wildlife sanctuary and conservation projects is located 30km north east of central Auckland. Rectifying years of abuse from farming, in 1984 and 1994, volunteers planted between 250,000 and 300,000 trees, resulting a forested area of 60% and the remaining 40% as grassland for animal species that require open habitat. Successfully reintroduced are several species of endangered birds such as the takahe and species of reptiles. Upon arrival a Dept. of Conservation (DOC) Ranger will give all visitors a biosecurity briefing. You can also get to see Kororā (little blue penguins) nesting boxes. The ferry to the island costs around US$30 and US$ for children up to the age of 15. A guide provided at the sanctuary costs around US$7 for an adult and US$1 for children.
Whale & Dolphin Watching Auckland is quite unique when it comes to whales, as in most cases around the world, they are migratory creatures and may only be around several months of the year. However, the Bryde’s whale, a national endangered species, is regarded as the resident whale population and are seen in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park all-yearround, making Auckland one of the very few places in the world where you can see a baleen species pretty much 12-months of the year.
Waiheke Island Exploration and Zipline
Day Trip from Auckland Jump a ferry (US$23 return per person) to Waiheke Island which takes around 40-minutes and upon arrival you will be picked up by a professional guide. You will enjoy a 25-minute tour of the island, on route to the Trig Hall visitor centre, taking in panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. Then into your safety gear on your way to the first viewing platform for your three exhilarating (200m) Zipline flights, taking you above an undulating vineyard. The second and third flights take you acros
RV Tour of New Zealand
What’s on board?
The kitchen has a large 3-way automatic fridge freezer, gas cooker (3 rings and 1 electric) with oven grills, microwave, electric outlets, sleek LED lighting throughout, crockery, glassware, cooking equipment, swivel multi adjustable chairs, central heating, LPG gas (thrombotically controlled) with 2 x bottles, grade-three-classified insulation (-18° outside 25° inside) or cool inside on hot days, 2 x TV’s/DVD with satellite channels, roof-mounted self-seeking push-button controlled satellite, separate shower cubicle, rushing-toiler cassette system with cleaning chemicals, vanity washbasin, 3 x opening rooflights and large sky view window all with flyscreen’s and insulated blinds, doubleglazing with night latch ventilation, hanging wardrobes and ample storage, full length outdoor awning with lights, super large under-bed storage and outside storage locker. High-quality bed linen, towels, pillows and duvets are provided for your trip.
Luxury Boutique on Wheels
One must take one’s hat off to the New Zealand authorities, the designated motorhome parking stops is exceptionally well-planned throughout the South Island. You may want to select the Dept. of Conservation camps throughout your journey, they are all set in wonderful locations. Overnight camping at these camps, where you can plug in and recharge your batteries, clean out your toilet and replenish your water for your next road trip is anywhere from US$0 to US$12 per person per night.
South Island has many magnificent lakes with awe-inspiring views, each having their own identity. There are many hidden gems off the beaten track to be discovered, we listed a few to whet your appetite:
Lake Tekapo (227km from Christchurch)
Located in the Mackenzie Basin, the town faces the turquoise coloured lake, created from the ground fine rock of the glaciers and the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. It sits 700m above sea-level and is a great midway point if you are travelling towards Queenstown. You can relax in Tekapo Natural Springs with temperatures ranging from 27° to 38°, soaking up the stunning views, or for thrill seekers NZ’s largest inflatable waterslide (entry fee around US$8 per person. For thrill-seekers you can fly in a helicopter and immerse yourself in the stunning views of the lakes and mountains, and even a snow-landing. This is an awesome location to cook up a wonderful meal in your motorhome, grab a bottle of that great NZ wine you bought, ready to view some of the clearest skies in the world. In 2012, the 4,300 square kilometre area was declared the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, where light pollution strictly controlled. It’s one of only eight in the world and the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Lake Pukaki (290km from Christchurch)
Another spectacular lake located in the McKenzie Basin, NZ’s highest peak ‘Mt. Cook’ sits at the head of the lake, dominating the turquoise ribbon of lake that fills a stretched ancient glacier-carved valley. The craggy peak is a magnet, drawing serious alpinists and mountaineers from around the world. Sir Peter Jackson used this region as the backdrop in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ as well as ‘The Hobbit Trilogies’, due to its distinctive light, turquoise hues, and the sharp alpine peaks. While here you may wish to visit the Dark Sky Reserve Observatory
Pukaki Wine Cellar and Observatory
If you would like a stellar experience, you can take a Wine Cellar and Pukaki Observatory tour of the universe using the latest stargazing technology and astrophotography. The organised tour starts in the wine cellar you will be treated to a wine matching experience with top wines from the local region, whilst being introduced the stars, planets, nebula and cluster objects currently present in the night sky. You will get to view the Milky Way Galaxy, stars and planets through the observatory’s six-inch refractor telescope (starts from US$80 per person).
Lake Wanaka (301km from Christchurch)
You will be entranced by its outstanding beauty. The lake is 45km long, covering 193 km2 with Mt Aspiring National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Area near, making it the ultimate base for jetboaters, kayakers, sailboats and outdoor hiking and biking enthusiasts. In the winter months it’s a location for skiers and snowboarders. There is an array of cool cafes, excellent restaurants, craft breweries, award-winning wineries, and an artisan distillery.
Lake Hawea (18km from Lake Wanaka)
Only a 15-minute drive from Lake Wanaka, covering an area of 141 km2, Lake Hawea is fantastic location for kayaking, wind kite surfing, boating as well as numerous biking and hiking trails. It’s a place of scintillating beauty, mountainous extremes and legendary fishing spots with a good population of brown and rainbow trout and also quinnat salmon. From Lake Hawea township you can find an excellent walk by following Timaru River Road to Timaru Creek, an idyllic setting for a barbeque.
Lake Ohau (305km from Christchurch)
Ohau is an off-the-beaten-track small town, popular with skiers and snowboarders and only a couple of hours drive to Queenstown. Its located just far enough off the main roads to miss being spotted by passing traffic, the perfect tranquil spot to cook up a wonderful lunch and become engulfed by the surrounding untouched beauty. For hiking lovers, you will enjoy the numerous walking tracks and cycle trails. The towering Ben Ohau mountain range stands majestically over the far side of Lake. The quaint village is surrounded by mountains and water, and on a clear day Mt. Cook can be seen in the distance. If you are a fishing enthusiast the lake holds a good population of both rainbow and brown trout, averaging 1-2 kilos and some landlocked sockeye salmon, however if you are planning to travel between March and April, the sockeye is off limits (not allowed).
Lake Wakatipu (495km from Christchurch)
The lake fills a deep valley carved into the mountains by ancient glaciers. Bordered by tall mountains on all sides, it occupies a single glacier gully, the highest being Mt. Earnslaw at 2,819m. Here you will find the famous Queenstown, Kingston villages and Glenorchy at the North-western end. Due to its shape, the water rises and falls by just under four inches, around every 25mins, and folklore legends link this phenomenon to the heartbeat of the lake monster named Matau, said to be lurking at the bottom. A wonderful way to see the lake and astonishing mountainous terrain (and if you are lucky, Matau) is by Steamship, which cruise daily. For fishing enthusiasts, there is an all-year round supply of trout.
Queenstown’s irresistible human gravitational pull of world-class entertainment is impossible to ignore. The local Maori may share with you about the legend of Wkatipu, involving a giant, a Maori Princess and an angry mob. Queenstown is a year-round vacation resort town where adventure seekers gather to experience anything from thrilling highspeed jet boat rides, bungee jumping from a cable car suspended above a canyon, skydiving, world-class skiing (best in June) and many more exhilarating attractions, guaranteed to satisfy adrenaline junkies. For the not so extreme travellers, the Underwater Observatory, Kiwi Birdlife Park, historic goldmining town of Arrowtown, Gondola rides and spas provide a relaxing and delightful encounter. There is a vast number of restaurants, bars and entertainment outlets to keep you fuelled up and entertained well into wee hours.
If you are not mesmerised by all the activities in Queenstown, you may want to drive over to Milford Sound, just under 300km and as Milford Sound has limited hotel space, you begin to appreciate your very own Boutique on Wheels. Despite its name, Milford Sound is in fact a fjord and not a sound and is the only fjord to be accessed by road. Described by Richard Kipling as the eighth wonder of the world, most people say its New Zealand’s most stunning natural attraction, due to its magical combination of mountain peaks, ink-coloured waters and forest-clad cliffs. Carved by glaciers during the ice age, the mountain peaks rise vertically from the dark water, while 1,000m high waterfalls cascade downwards. Rainfall multiplies many of the existing falls, a truly spectacular sight to embrace.
There is an abundance of wildlife here, from birds nesting in the rainforest fringes of the cliffs to malas such as seals and dolphins. The natural wonder of Milford Sound is after heavy rainfall, the top layer of the water is freshwater while the underlying is Tasmanian Seawater. Its dark inky colour comes from the tannin stained water cascading through the forest into the fjord. There are many activities available here, such as day walks, fishing, kayaking, scuba-diving and more, or you may wish to embark on Nature Cruise and Underwater Discovery tour. Hidden under the surface in Harrison Cove is a unique and sensational environment, there is nowhere else like it in the world. At Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, the Underwater Observatory descends 10m into an airconditioned viewing area where large windows mesmerise your eyes to a clear marine paradise. This tour lasts around a couple of hours and costs around US$65 for an adult and US$13 for a child, and comes with a picnic lunch.
Tour of New Zealand