So close. Worlds away.
Discover the incomparable beauty that lies just beyond our shores. The Land of the Long White Cloud, draped in breathtaking landscapes, waits to be discovered; its abundant mountain peaks and fiords seeming almost at odds with the modest size of its twin islands. From its largest city, Auckland, and the subtropical Bay of Islands to the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, the North Island showcases the country’s unique culture and landscapes. Crossing Cook Strait to the South Island, witness the striking Marlborough Sounds, as well as a host of other natural wonders, including Milford Sound and the World Heritage-listed Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
Explore New Zealand with APT
Its proximity to Australia means New Zealand is ideal for those wanting the benefits of an overseas adventure without the hassle of sitting on a plane for the better part of a day. You’ll enjoy the country’s finest destinations, which are to be found brimming with natural beauty, on an engaging APT 17-day tour. And with the flexibility to choose experiences that peak your own interests, you’ll reap the benefits of experiencing New Zealand your way, with a wide selection of cultural, culinary, historical and adventurous experiences available.
Following a relaxing introduction to New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, you’ll become acquainted with an enthralling local history. The Kauri Museum grants insights into the region’s pioneering days, while at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, you’ll be brought to the spot where the original treaty was signed between the British and Māori people. A place of great cultural, spiritual and historical significance, Waitangi brings together the diverse stories of the people, events and places that paved the way in creating the New Zealand we have come to know. From here, the vast beauty of the Bay of Islands is revealed as a catamaran delivers you to Cape Brett. Here, an historic lighthouse looks out over the legendary Hole in the Rock. As you chart a course alongside the many islands here, serene views of spectacular rocky outcrops and sandy beaches are to be enjoyed.
Rotorua to Wellington
Heading south to Rotorua, relish the chance to deepen your understanding of Māori culture as you enjoy a traditional HāngīFeast and performance. The opportunity to visit a few of the sets from the Lord of the Rings movies also presents itself. Afterwards, head to the Wairakei Steam Valley, followed by a visit to the impressive Huka Falls, which is sustained by the gushing waters of the Waikato River. At the midpoint between Auckland and Wellington, the World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park reveals its vast volcanic landscape. Renowned for being New Zealand’s oldest national park, it features three active volcanoes: Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro. Arriving in Wellington, the capital’s myriad sights are yours to discover, with ample time allocated for you to explore at your own pace.
Turn your attention now to the South Island, as the Interislander ferry takes you across Cook Strait. Along the way, take in stunning views of Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds, with sharply rising hills lining the water’s edge on either side. Back on land, head south from the coastal town of Picton, before making a stop in the charming fishing town of Kaikoura. A short drive along the coast brings you to Christchurch in time to board the TranzAlpine train for one of the great rail adventures. Crossing the Canterbury Plains, striking views of the Southern Alps are afforded as you make your way to Arthur’s Pass National Park. In the small coastal town of Hokitika, witness the locally sourced stone, pounamu, carved into jewellery. Also known as New Zealand jade, the stone is only found on the South Island of New Zealand. The striking topography of Franz Josef then becomes evident for all to see. Surrounded by lush rainforest and snow-capped mountains, as well as the glacier that shares it name, the region is blessed with an abundance of flora and fauna, while close by, one of the rarest species of New Zealand’s native kiwi can be found. Retiring to your distinctive forest retreat, enjoy the feeling of inhabiting the treetops in this unique environment, before waking to the soothing sound of birdsongs.
New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown, awaits. Here, a range of activities include a scenic gondola ride, a cruise aboard a vintage steamship, and a river safari. From Queenstown, a short journey by road brings you to the otherworldly Milford Sound. With its series of cliffs rising majestically from the water to tower above you, a discernible contrast between the landscapes of our respective nations becomes clear. As your vessel steers a course across the tranquil waters of this majestic fiord, you’ll get up close to several of the surrounding cliffs, including the epic Mitre Peak. In the evening, local authentic flavours will tantalise your palate during a special Taste of Fiordland dinner.
Mt Cook National Park and Lake Tekapo
Further north, arrive at Aoraki Mt Cook National Park and witness the lofty peak of New Zealand’s highest mountain. The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre then shines a light on the region’s place within the wider universe – the jump across the Tasman has never seemed shorter.
Moving further inland, Lake Tekapo turns on the charms with its Church of the Good Shepherd, built of stone and oak. Delightful rural scenes further paint the landscape on the drive back to Christchurch.
Your visit to our cousins across the water concludes in Christchurch; our countries’ cultural, historic and geographical distinctions making for a captivating experience, while their relative nearness to one another proves especially convenient.
New Zealand’s incomparable beauty is abundant and waiting to be explored. Learn more here.
This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with APT Luxury Travel.