Milford sounds

Overview

As we fly from Hobart to Auck­land, our south­ern jour­ney com­mences with stops at sig­nif­i­cant towns and tourist spots. Our itin­er­ary includes must-see won­ders like the gleam­ing glow worm caves, the enchant­i­ng Hob­biton, the exhil­a­rat­ing Rotorua, and the thun­der­ing Haka Falls. Pri­or to cross­ing to the South Island via the fer­ry through Marl­bor­ough Sounds, we pause at Welling­ton. Our explo­ration con­tin­ues as we arrive at Pic­ton to uncov­er the South Island’s hid­den gems.

Our trip to the West Coast via rail is a delight­ful expe­ri­ence that allows us to wit­ness the breath­tak­ing views of Franz Josef and its glac­i­ers. In addi­tion, we explore Wana­ka, Queen­stown, and embark on a day trip to Mil­ford Sound. The nat­ur­al beau­ty of New Zealand is tru­ly awe-inspir­ing! Take the time to embrace the local cul­ture, taste the deli­cious cui­sine, and immerse your­self in the stun­ning landscapes.


Detailed Itinerary

Please note that the itinerary is subject to change without notice.

  • Day 1: Sunday, 22 October — Hobart - Auckland

    The day starts early as we meet the coach in Launceston and travel to Hobart Airport. Here we embark on our international flight to Auckland. Upon landing at the airport, we collect our bags and head to meet our coach transfer to the inner-city hotel. We get to catch glimpses of Auckland's beautiful sights on the way.

    We settle in at our hotel and take some time to freshen up before heading down for dinner. We settle in as a group get to know each other over a delicious welcome dinner.

    Filled with excitement and anticipation, we retire to our rooms, eager to start exploring New Zealand in the days to come.

    Proposed Flight: Hobart 1230 to Auckland 1800 (3.5hours)
    Overnight: Auckland,
    Meals Included: Lunch & Dinner

  • Day 2: Monday, 23 October — Auckland

    Start your day off with a morning city tour in Auckland, otherwise known as the City of Sails. This popular tour takes you on a journey through some of the most iconic and beautiful spots in the city. You'll start with a visit to the Auckland Museum grounds, to learn about the history and culture of the city and its people. From there, you'll head down to the City Waterfront, take in stunning views of the harbor and the iconic Sky Tower. The tour culminates with a visit to the charming North Shore Village of Devonport, which boasts beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and a laid-back atmosphere that is quintessentially Kiwi. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or simply looking to soak up some of Auckland's unique culture, this morning tour has something for everyone. So why not start your day off with a little adventure and take a memorable trip around the City of Sails?

    Overnight: Auckland,
    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Day 3: Tuesday, 24 October — Rotorua

    Departing Auckland, our journey takes us to the enchanting world of Hobbiton. The rolling hills of the Waikato region pave the path to the lush green pastures that are home to the hobbits of Middle-earth. As we enter the whimsical village of Hobbiton, we are greeted with iconic hobbit holes adorned with colourful flowers, small bridges over babbling brooks and tranquil ponds teaming with koi fish. Our guide narrates stories of how the film set was constructed and the effort that went into creating this surreal world of J.R.R. Tolkien.

    After a captivating tour of Hobbiton, we continue our journey south to Rotorua. The drive takes us through picturesque landscapes, filled with greenery, sparkling streams, and majestic mountains. As we draw nearer to Rotorua, the air becomes filled with the scent of sulfur, signaling we have arrived at the heart of geothermal activity. The city is famous for its Māori culture and geothermal wonders like bubbling mud pools, gushing geysers, and thermal water springs.

    In the evening, we will have the chance to indulge in a special cultural experience which will include a traditional hangi feast. Cooked using heated rocks buried in the ground, food is infused with earthy flavours and aromas that are a testament to the cooking methods practised by the Maori people for centuries.

    The Maori performance that follows the feast will showcase the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the indigenous people of New Zealand. Visitors can expect a high-energy performance that includes Poi dances, Haka (war dance), and waiata (songs) which tell stories of the Maori people and their connection to the land. This cultural experience offers a unique insight into the Maori way of life, making it an unforgettable and enriching experience for visitors to Rotorua.

    Overnight: Rotorua
    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Day 4: Wednesday, 25 October — Rotorua

    A visit to Hells Gate is a truly unforgettable experience, and one that should not be missed. The rugged landscape of Hells Gate is a result of volcanic activity that occurred thousands of years ago. As we walk through the geothermal park, we will learn about the formation of the geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles that make up this unique environment. The smell of sulfur fills the air as we pass by pools of bubbling mud and boiling water. This afternoon you will have some time at your leisure to explore the area nearby

    Overnight: Rotorua
    Meals included: Breakfast

  • Day 5: Thursday, 26 October — Wellington

    The journey to Wellington is a long one, but with many sights along the way. Our first stop for the day is at Huka Falls, a stunning waterfall located on the Waikato River in the central North Island of New Zealand. The sheer force of the water creates a roaring sound that can be heard from miles away. We take our time to admire the beauty of the falls and take some stunning pictures before continuing our journey.

    Next on our itinerary is the charming township of Taupo, situated on the edge of Lake Taupo. This picturesque town is a popular tourist destination with its stunning lakefront and scenic views of nearby mountains. We make a quick stop here to grab some lunch and stretch our legs before continuing our adventure.

    We then continue our journey along the Desert Road by Turangi, which is well known as a fly fishing hotspot. This area is renowned for its crystal clear streams, offering some of the best trout fishing in the world. We take some time to admire the stunning scenery and snap some photos of the majestic mountains that surround us.

    As the day draws to a close, we finally arrive in Wellington. This vibrant city is the capital of New Zealand and is renowned for its natural beauty, vibrant cultural scene, and diverse range of activities. We can't wait to explore what Wellington has to offer and soak up all that this unique city has to offer. We check into our hotel and rest up for what promises to be an exciting few days in the capital.

    Overnight: Wellington
    Meals included: Breakfast

  • Day 6: Friday, 27 October — Wellington

    This morning, our day begins with a city tour that offers us the opportunity to explore some of the most picturesque landmarks of Wellington. We get to start our adventure by visiting Mt Victoria, one of the most famous viewpoints in the city, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the stunning Wellington Harbour. Next, continue past the iconic Parliament Buildings, home of the country's democracy, learn about its rich history. After exploring the Parliament Buildings from the coach, it's time to marvel at the colorful Rose Gardens, which provide a peaceful escape from the bustling city streets.

    We are given the rest of the afternoon to enjoy at our leisure. For those who prefer to delve deeper into New Zealand's culture and history, the National Museum Te Papa is a fantastic option. Located on the waterfront and open every day, it features the most extensive collection of New Zealand treasures in the world. From interactive displays covering geological and natural history to exhibitions showcasing contemporary art and artifacts, there's something for everybody. But for those who want to experience the hustle and bustle of the city, strolling through Wellington's inner city streets never fails to impress. From chic boutiques to quaint cafes, there is much to discover within the compact streetscapes. Whatever we choose, we are sure to have an incredible day in this vibrant, multicultural city.
    Overnight: Wellington
    Meals included: Breakfast

  • Day 7: Saturday, 28 October — Wellington - Christchurch

    This morning we cruise with Interislander Ferry from Wellington to Picton across the Cook Strait and through the stunning Marlborough Sounds in just over three hours. We then board the Coastal Pacific train, taking you along rugged coastlines, across remote beaches, between mountains and sea, on a timeless journey of breathtaking beauty. As we approach Christchurch, we are greeted with expansive views of the Canterbury Plains, contrasted with the majestic Southern Alps towering in the distance.

    Overnight: Christchurch
    Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Day 8: Sunday, 29 October — Christchurch

    Starting your day bright and early with a walking tour of the revitalized Christchurch, a city that showcases a unique blend of contemporary and traditional architectural styles. Witness firsthand the juxtaposition of modern skyscrapers and historic buildings standing tall next to each other, a sight that reflects the city's resilience and determination to rebuild after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

    After the tour, your afternoon is entirely free for you to do as you please. You can spend your time exploring the various neighbourhoods, shopping for souvenirs, visiting art galleries, or simply relaxing in one of the many parks or cafes. Your tour guide will be more than happy to provide recommendations and suggestions based on your interests and preferences, ensuring that you have an unforgettable experience in Christchurch.

    Overnight: Christchurch
    Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Day 9: Monday, 30 October — TranzAlpine Train

    This morning board the Tranz Alpine train to journey Southern Alps across the 'Great Divide' and the indomitable spine of mountains that partitions New Zealand's South Island. The Tranz Alpine train is renowned for its exceptional service, comfortable seating, and panoramic windows that offer uninterrupted views of the splendid scenery. The train journey lasts approximately four and a half hours and covers a distance of 223 kilometers, taking passengers on a breathtaking adventure through the heart of New Zealand's alpine country. With lively commentary from knowledgeable guides, you will learn about the fascinating history, geology, and ecology of the region, as well as the people who inhabit this remote area. This is an experience that truly embodies the spirit of adventure and discovery, offering an up-close and personal encounter with the natural wonders of New Zealand.

    Our journey through Arthurs Pass is nothing short of breathtaking. The towering mountains on either side of the road seem to stretch up into the sky, and the thick forests lining the roadside are a vision of greenery at its best. We ultimately reach Greymouth, where we take a moment to stretch our legs before transferring to our coach.

    The scenic drive to Franz Josef is an experience in itself as we drive through the picturesque landscape of New Zealand's West Coast. The stunning views of the snow-capped Southern Alps, the vast stretches of coastline, and rugged terrain. As we arrive at Franz Josef, we check into our hotel for a two-night stay, where we can finally unwind and enjoy the stunning scenery that surrounds us.

    Overnight: Franz Josef
    Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner

  • Day 10: Tuesday, 31 October — Franz Josef

    Franz Josef Breakfast & Dinner
    There really is something for everyone on a sightseeing day to this unique part of New Zealand, Franz Josef. Whether you choose to indulge yourself with a helicopter flight or simply stroll through the stunning scenery, there is plenty to discover. Take a dip in the hot pools and soak up the peaceful surroundings, or visit the West Coast Wildlife Centre to see rare Kiwi birds and other native animals up close.

    Optional Tour: Franz Josef and Fox Glacier Helicopter Flight. Imagine flying the entire length of the Fox Glacier and there is time for a glacier snow landing before descending the Glacier Valley, with the mountains behind.

  • Day 11: Wednesday, 1 November — Franz Josef - Queenstown

    Today, we continue our journey further south, passing by the breathtaking Fox Glacier. We make our way through the winding roads, eventually leading us back to the coastline.

    After crossing over the Haast Pass, the road then descends down towards the dramatic coastline of the West Coast, where you can stop to take in the rugged beauty of the Tasman Sea. Continuing on, the road then veers inland to cross over the Southern Alps once again, before reaching the tranquil lakeside towns of Wanaka and Hawea.

    As we continue towards Queenstown, the scenery becomes increasingly vineyard-dotted and soon you'll find yourself in the heart of Central Otago wine country at Cromwell. Arriving into Queenstown late afternoon, you'll be greeted by a picturesque town nestled beside the sparkling waters of Lake Wakatipu.
    Overnight: Queenstown
    Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Day 12: Thursday, 2 November — Queenstown

    Today is at leisure to enjoy ‘The Jewel of the South’. There are many local activies on offer, including the popular gondola up to Bob’s Peak to admire the panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu or for the more adventurous a helicopter ride above Lake Wakatipu. The choices are extensive. Tonight we cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw for a Gourmet BBQ Dinner.

    Optional Tour: Queenstown Helicopter Flight. Look down on spectacular scenery as you cross Lake Wakatipu with a special landing during the flight. Continue over Ben Lomond and the famous historic Skippers Canyon. See the renowned steep canyon walls of the Shotover River and fly past Coronet Peak and the Wakatipu Basin
    Overnight: Queenstown
    Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Day 13: Friday, 3 November — Queenstown - Te Anau

    After breakfast, we set out on an adventure along the scenic route that follows the shoreline of Lake Wakatipu, winding its way through lush farmland and breathtaking landscapes.

    We arrive at the stunning Lake Te Anau, where we will be spending the night. The beauty of this location is simply awe-inspiring- a tranquil haven with pristine waters nestled amidst towering mountains and verdant forests.

    As we settle into our accommodation and take in the stunning panoramic views, we are presented with an exciting opportunity to tour the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves! This is an experience like no other- a fascinating underground wonderland illuminated by the magical glow of thousands of tiny glowworms that light up the walls of the caverns. Marvel at the stunning natural formations that decorate these caves, whilst also learning about the fascinating history and culture of the indigenous Maori people. As the day draws to a close, we retire to our comfortable lodgings, feeling rested and rejuvenated from our day of exploration and adventure.
    Overnight: Queenstown
    Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

  • Day 14: Saturday, 4 November — Te Anau and Milford Sound

    Experience the drive through the lush mountain beech forests, captivatingly framed by awe-inspiring, snow-capped mountains in the distance, and emerge at the imposing and daring Homer Tunnel. As you emerge from this tunnel, the heart-stopping scenic Milford Sound awaits you, where you can enjoy a leisure cruise and indulge in a sumptuous lunch, taking in the mesmerizingly beautiful surroundings around you. In the afternoon, we embark on our return journey to Queenstown, where we end our day with a scrumptious farewell dinner, celebrating the memories and experiences of this incredible adventure amidst stunning natural landscapes.
    Overnight: Queenstown
    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Day 15: Sunday, 5 November — Queenstown - Launceston

    After a pleasant and relaxed breakfast, we prepare ourselves to head back home after a fulfilling trip. Our next destination is the airport, one of the most beautiful airport settings in the world, where we'll catch a flight home. We'll be flying out of Queenstown and transferring via Melbourne to Launceston.

    Once we board the flight, we look forward to a comfortable journey as we make our way home to Launceston, via brief stop at Melbourne Airport.

    Landing in Launceston we are greeted by our small coaches ready to return us home this evening

    Proposed flight: Queenstown to Melbourne 1410 – 1550
    Melbourne to Launceston 1930 - 2035

Tour Highlights

  • Auckland
  • Hobbiton
  • Rotorua
  • Coastal Pacific Train
  • TranzAlpine scenic train
  • Milford sound cruise
  • Cultural Experience
  • Franz Josef
  • Glow Worm Caves
  • Milford Sound
Rotorua
Rotorua

Accom­mo­da­tion

We aim to secure 3 & 4‑star accom­mo­da­tion or high­er, in some instances the stan­dards may be less, par­tic­u­lar­ly when trav­el­ling through areas with lim­it­ed options. We try to ensure that each room has an ensuite bath­room with a walk-in show­er (occa­sion­al­ly show­ers are over a bath or spa on rare occa­sions). All accom­mo­da­tion rates are based on twin share with 2 beds in a room. Sin­gle sup­ple­ments are nor­mal­ly allowed and will be described in the pric­ing detail sub­ject to cost and avail­abil­i­ty. Dou­bles can be made up as required.

We select the accom­mo­da­tion with you in mind. Loca­tion is impor­tant to the activ­i­ties or trav­el time on adja­cent days, with a pref­er­ence for onsite restau­rant for meal pur­pos­es. We are mind­ful of accom­mo­da­tion that is acces­si­ble, for guests and coach park­ing when pos­si­ble, with room avail­abil­i­ty and rel­e­vant con­fig­u­ra­tions – so the whole group can stay in one loca­tion, in the same stan­dard of room.

If you would pre­fer to trav­el twin-share, but do not have some­one to trav­el with we will endeav­our to match you with a like-mind­ed trav­eller and encour­age you to meet up pri­or to depar­ture to deter­mine you are suit­able roommates.

Meals

Break­fast is nor­mal­ly includ­ed with accom­mo­da­tion with buf­fet style and a vari­a­tion of con­ti­nen­tal or cooked break­fast, from time to time there may be off the menu breakfasts.

Where lunch is includ­ed it will be as part of an attrac­tion, across select cafes, con­ve­nient loca­tions or a pic­nic style with ful­fill­ing spreads. Often, lunch will be at your own expense, where the itin­er­ary will allow enough time in a loca­tion with as much vari­ety as pos­si­ble or dur­ing a free peri­od where you may opt for some­thing dine-in or take away.

Din­ner will often pro­vide you with 2 cours­es at restau­rants select­ed for their ser­vice and menu. Din­ner may not always be includ­ed so that you can select a restau­rant of your choice and explore some var­ied cui­sine of the region you are visiting.

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Online Booking

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Fare

Date/time

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Adult

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Child

4–14 years old
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Infant

< 4 years old
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Adults
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Infants

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Key Details

Departs

Sunday 22nd October 2023

Returns

Sunday 5th November 2023

Inclusions

  • Return Flights to/from Launceston
  • Luxury coach travel
  • 14 nights, 3-4 star accommodation
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner as per itinerary
  • All entry fees and guides as per itinerary

Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Alcohol and aerated drinks
  • Souvenirs
  • Optional tours

Cost

  • $9,250 per person twin share
  • $11,250 per single supplement

Payment Terms

  • Please refer to booking form for full terms and conditions. Receipt of payment will be taken as acceptance of McDermott’s Coaches terms and conditions. A booking form is required from each person and a copy of current Passport. Minimum numbers of 25 passengers apply for the tour to operate. Itinerary subject to change for reasons beyond our control including availability, hours of operation, weather etc. A $1,000 deposit per person is due to secure your seat by April 14. A secondary non-refundable payment of $1,500 is due by Friday 2 June. Final payment is due by Monday 28 August.

Travel Insurance is strongly recommended. We do not sell Travel Insurance but recommend getting in touch with your car/home insurer, companies like AustraliaPost, SureSave and Covermore are popular ones with our members. Please refer to their individual PDS to determine which will provide you with the best coverage.

Health and Fitness At times, entering and exiting the train can be very demanding for those with limited mobility. To ensure the tour is enjoyable for the whole group, a good standard of fitness is required, the ability to be able to walk 500 meters is necessary and mobility frames are NOT practical or permitted

McDermott’s Coaches assumes no liability for any loss or damage as a result of an Act of God or any other force majeure condition including, but not limited to, volcanic disruption, earthquake, low or high water levels, flood, tropical storms, hurricanes or pandemics. While every effort will be made to adhere to the schedules outlined in the itinerary, please note all stops and sights outlined are subject to