This Cosmos travel package does not include meals. Most of our hotels offer anything from coffee to a full breakfast, so you can start the day the way you like best. At most lunch stops, your Tour Director will have information on local restaurants. Dinnertime is your chance to sample local cuisine. Sometimes your Tour Director will offer an optional dinner outing.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Kia ora and welcome to New Zealand! Hotel rooms are available for immediate check-in. A pre-night is not required for early check-in. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or start exploring.
Day 2 AUCKLAND
This morning begins with a welcome briefing to meet fellow passengers and your Tour Director. Then, enjoy a sightseeing tour, discovering first hand why Auckland is regarded as one of the best places in the world to live. See the Domain, the city’s oldest park, developed around an extinct volcano. Highlights also include charming Parnell Village, bustling Queens Street, and the Viaduct Harbour. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. You may wish to take a trip to the top of Sky Tower, enjoy a sailing experience on Auckland Harbour, or visit nearby picturesque Waiheke Island. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for additional sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
Day 3 AUCKLAND–ROTORUA
Leave Auckland this morning and journey through lush farm land to Rotorua, home to New Zealand’s Maori culture and geothermal wonders. Our first stop is TE PUIA where a guided tour allows you to see bubbling mud, pools of boiling water, and the famous Pohutu Geyser, the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere. You’ll also have a chance to witness traditional Maori carving and weaving along with a Maori cultural performance. Then, visit AGRODOME to learn more about one of the country’s major industries—sheep! This evening is at leisure.
Day 4 ROTORUA
Today is free to explore more of Rotorua. You may wish to take an optional excursion to visit magical Hobbiton, the set used as the Shire in the movie trilogies, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Other options include a zipline and canopy tour, helicopter and floatplane flights over the volcanic valley, or a relaxing soak in a natural hot spring at the Polynesian Spa. In the evening, you may want to attend an optional Maori Hangi dinner and cultural performance.
Day 5 ROTORUA–LAKE TAUPO–NAPIER
Today we continue our journey on the north island traveling past Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Later, arrive in Napier, located in the beautiful Hawk’s Bay region. This afternoon, a WALKING TOUR explains how a natural disaster resulted in Napier becoming one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. With the rest of the day at leisure, you may wish to take a stroll on the beach, shop for a favorite souvenir, or visit the National Aquarium to see sharks, stingrays, penguins, and more.
Day 6 NAPIER–WELLINGTON
Continue to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city known for is vibrant art scene, world-class restaurant culture, and active outdoor lifestyle. Upon arrival, a sightseeing tour includes the famous Beehive and Parliament building and panoramic views of the city and harbor from the top of Mount Victoria.
Day 7 WELLINGTON–INTERISLANDER FERRY–PICTON–CHRISTCHURCH
Today, enjoy a special treat as you sail from Wellington to Picton and enjoy the spectacular Marlborough Sound on one of the most scenic FERRY journeys in the world. Make sure to have your camera ready as dolphins are frequent traveling companions of the ferry. On occasion, you might even spot a pod of whales or some penguins swimming by. Continue to Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island for an overnight stay.
Day 8 CHRISTCHURCH–LAKE TEKAPO–QUEENSTOWN
Our journey continues across New Zealand’s south island today. This is the land of towering mountains, rugged coastlines, and sweeping plains. Stop at beautiful Lake Tekapo for a visit to the picturesque CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD. Later, arrive in Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital,” for a 3-night stay. This evening you may want to take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak, where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu below.
Day 9 QUEENSTOWN
Today is free to explore more of Queenstown on your own. You may want to take the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamship to Walter Peak Farm for a delicious lunch or dinner, discover a favorite boutique or art gallery, take an exciting helicopter ride over the Remarkables Mountains, or enjoy a wine tour.
Day 10 QUEENSTOWN. EXCURSION TO MILFORD SOUND
Today, enjoy a full-day excursion to breathtaking Milford Sound. CRUISE to see cascading waterfalls, sheer cliff walls, tropical rainforest, wildlife including seals and dolphins, and fantastic scenery. It’s sure to be a highlight of your trip! Return to Queenstown late this evening.
Day 11 QUEENSTOWN
Your vacation ends this morning.