The Royal Tour of New Zealand

Best New Zealand Tours vacations


The Royal Tour is the Travel Channel’s special series…, insider’s tour of a country hosted by its Head-of-State.

Peter Greenberg, travel editor for NBC and chief correspondent for the Discovery Networks/The Travel Channel, invited the Prime Minister of New Zealand to co-host The Royal Tour of New Zealand. The Rt Honourable Helen Clark, has gained a reputation for her love of the outdoors, adventurous lifestyle, and interest in New Zealand’s arts and culture.

Experience “The Royal Tour” of an extraordinary land—New Zealand, truly an unspoiled and totally surprising destination. Enjoy exceptional food from fresh and local ingredients, unbelievable scenery and participate in a diverse range of activities.
Stay at some of the country’s best small luxury Bed & Breakfasts with wonderful hosts offering genuine and friendly Kiwi hospitality.

Self-Drive package for two includes:

  • Round trip Economy airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Auckland on Air New Zealand
  • Three Domestic flights within New Zealand and all taxes
  • Standard Size rental car from AVIS with automatic transmission & unlimited miles
  • Fourteen nights accommodations at some of New Zealand’s most stylish properties
  • Ten breakfasts
  • An exciting Jetboat experience on the Shotover River
  • Full day private tour in Rotorua
  • Maori welcome, hangi dinner & concert
  • Special reduced “add-on” airfares available from most cities to Los Angeles & return.
  • Plus, earn United Mileage Plus miles

rentalcar1The following information is a highlights view of what is possible.

We are able to customise the program to make it the perfect vacation for you.


One of New Zealand’s most picturesque towns. The peaks of The Remarkables soar up to over 7,500 feet above Lake Wakatipu.

On the drive into Queenstown you might stop and visit one of the award winning wineries along the route. Maybe cruise across lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a BBQ dinner.

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and set at the base of the magnificent Remarkables, Queenstown has something to offer everyone all year round. Action-packed adventures include jet boating, bungy jumping, 4×4 trips and river rafting. Leisure seekers may opt for a bit of trout fishing, lake cruising, picturesque walks or wine tasting in the Otago wine-growing district.

Highly recommended is a trip to Milford Sound by helicopter with a Glacier Landing. The views of the glaciers will astound you, with the many crevasses, and blue ice falls. The flight ends with a sweep over the stunning Southern Lakes before returning to Queenstown.

The Haast Pass and Wanaka

Enjoy more breath-taking scenery as you head north and cross over the Haast Pass. Drive over the Crown Range Road to Wanaka (1 hr.) with a quick stop to see the Cardrona Hotel, one of NZ’s oldest pubs. Stop in Wanaka to admire the mountains, lake and cafés. Then continue over the over the Haast Pass to the West Coast

Franz Josef/Fox Glaciers

Take a helicopter ride over the numerous glaciers in this area, over Aoraki/Mt Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) and even land on the glacier to see it close up. Take a walk up to the Franz Josef or Fox glaciers and walk around picturesque Lake Matheson for photographs of Mt Cook reflected in its mirror-like surface.

The West Coast

Drive on what is the most scenic drive in New Zealand—along the West Coast with it’s rugged beaches; rain forests; 18 peaks over 12,000 feet; and glaciers coming down to sea level. Note: Travel book Lonely Planet has recently rated this South Island Highway as one of the world’s greatest road trips.

Stop in Hokitika which offers good shopping for West Coast crafts. (visit the Gold Store!)

15 miles south of Hokitika you can experience the West Coast Treetops Walk. An exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rainforest giants.

Experience life with the birds high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform 20 metres high and over 450 metres long. A leisurely 45 minute to one hour stroll through the beautiful West Coast rainforest tree tops.


Watch the of sunset over the thundering Tasman Sea and wind-weathered Punakaiki Rocks.

Be sure to take the 30 minute Pancake Rocks walk to see the blow holes and rugged rock formations. Walk on the beach and take the short Truman Track through rainforest to the beach. The blowholes are active at high tide – check in at the Department of Conservation Visitors Centre for times. When a heavy sea swell is running, saltwater is pushed at great force through holes in the limestone rock, exiting as a fine spray mist many meters above sea level. The blowholes at full blast are an amazing sight.

A five minute walk north from the Pancake Rocks walkway is the Punakaiki Cavern, hidden away on the eastern side of the main road. Car parking is available on the sea-side of the road, slightly north of the cavern

In the evening have a drink at the local pub and say hi to Pete the bartender.


Home to many of New Zealand’s finest potters, weavers, glassblowers, carvers and crafts persons, Nelson has a unique and emerging lifestyle. The region is experiencing a rebirth with its revival of the traditional carving and weaving. Products created from wood, metal, clay, glass or paper can be purchased by tourists. The setting for this revival is diverse with its alpine lakes, expansive beech forests, bays edged with azure blue and forested foothills.

The more active might opt for sea kayaking to the Tonga Island Marine Reserve. Sea kayaking is an exciting way to explore the Abel Tasmania beautiful and extensive coastline, and an excellent way to get up close and personal with the local seal colony.

Experience the diverse environment as you paddle along the impressive and distinct coastline from Anchorage to visit the Tonga Island Marine Reserve, sanctuary to penguins, seabirds and a thriving seal colony.


The capital of New Zealand is perched on the edge of Cook Strait in the southwest corner of the North Island. Wellington is fun to explore with its imposing Parliament buildings, brilliant harbor, modern skyscrapers or historic districts.

Spend the afternoon at New Zealand’s bold and innovative national museum, Te Papa. You will gain an understanding into the origins of people, who they are and what the future holds for this uniquely blended culture.

The interactive and imaginative exhibits present the remarkable people, the resplendent land and diverse wildlife.

Not to be forgotten are the ancient treasures and contemporary art at Te Papa.


All types of natural activities abound in the Rotorua region, but best known are the hot springs, dramatic geysers, soothing mineral baths and simmering mud pools.

Rotorua is an ideal base for exploring the contrasting features of the region: crystal-clear trout streams, dense forests and the Maori culture. This afternoon visit the award winning Rotorua Museum and discover the essence of this unique area: its people, culture and volcanic landscape. The museum is located in the famous “Bath House” within the Edwardian elegance of the Government Gardens, surrounded by bush walks, geothermal fields and the shores of Lake Rotorua. A unique cinema experience explains the fascinating history, mythology and geology of the Rotorua area.

Take a short walk to the Polynesian Spa, to enjoy a relaxing bathe in the Lake Spa Retreat. The soft alkaline water in the bathing pools, flows from a boiling spring 100 metres from the complex. Thousands of visitors have attested to the remedial effect of the hot mineral waters on such ailments as muscular complaints, arthritis and rheumatism. The alkaline waters have a very soothing effect on the skin. A perfect opportunity to completely relax.


A vibrant city that has something to offer both the outdoor enthusiasts and those that thrive on the hustle and bustle of a flourishing metropolis. Known for its many enchanting beaches, gorgeous parks and gardens, terrific variety of shops and restaurants, not to mention the nightlife, Auckland has something for everyone.

Auckland has been affectionately nicknamed the “City of Sails” and is home of the America’s Cup.

Take time to explore the city, perhaps a walking tour, and finish some last minute shopping before your return.

The Dairy, Queenstown

The Dairy Boutique Hotel

A delightful 10 room Bed & Breakfast. In the centre of Queenstown and yet private and quiet. Not just a Bed and Breakfast, the property is renowned for its excellent service from the minute that you walk through the door.

Punga Grove Superior Studios, Franz Josef

Tthe natural accommodation choice for your visit, step from your room into the luxuriant rainforest, be spellbound by superb alpine and glacier views.

Wave Watchers Retreat, Punakaiki

A private self catering, luxury two bedroom three bathroom cottage on a large private beach front site. The retreat was built with every room capturing the spectacular views of the garden, the cliffs and the beach. Both bedrooms have French Doors with panoramic views directly to the sea. Each bedroom has an ensuite. The cottage is equipped with a fireplace, flat screen television with Sky TV, CD player, telephone, desktop computer, wireless & broadband cable for laptop computers, full laundry with washing machine, drier and iron, and a fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher, thermal oven, microwave and fridge-freezer. The cottage has three spacious outdoor decks, a large covered verandah, outdoor furniture, gas barbecue, a delightful garden, and an unbelievable view of sunset over the thundering Tasman Sea and wind-weathered Punakaiki Rocks.

Bronte Lodge, Nelson

Bronte Lodge is unique, it borders an estuary paradise on the historic Bronte Peninsula, an area of stunning beauty in Nelson’s Tasman Bay.

Duxton Hotel, Wellington

Situated in the heart of the Harbour Capital of New Zealand, a city famous for its culture, atmosphere, lifestyle and history, opposite Te Papa – the Museum of New Zealand, and the Wellington Convention Centre.

The Springs, Rotorua

The Springs was purpose built in 1998. The design is that of a 1930’s New Zealand bungalow ensuring the property complemented the already established neighbourhood. The setting is a simple, yet elegant garden of white Iceberg roses and sasanqua camellias evoking a sense of restful contentment.

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