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New Zealand Wildlife Tours

Tour Code : ITTNZ-06, Duration : 14 Days

Highlights Itinerary at a Glance
- Dunedin, 'The Edinburgh of the South
- The Catlins
- Te Anau
- Majestic Milford Sound
- Doubtful Sound
- Queenstown
- Lake Moeraki
- Franz Josef glacier
- Christchurch
- Kaikoura
- Blenheim
Day 1 : Auckland
Day 2 : Dunedin
Day 3 : Catlins - Te Anau
Day 4 : Milford Sound
Day 5 : Doubtful Sound
Day 6 : Te Anau - Queenstown
Day 7 : Queenstown
Day 8 : Lake Moeraki - Hokitika
Day 9 : Franz Josef
Day 10 : Christchurch
Day 11 : Christchurch
Day 12 : Kaikoura
Day 13 : Blenheim
Day 14 : Blenheim - Auckland

Detailed Itinerary
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Day 1 : Arrival Auckland or Christchurch - Dunedin
Arrive in Auckland or Christchurch. You would be immediately transferred to the domestic terminal for your Air New Zealand flight to Dunedin. Upon arrival at Dunedin, 'The Edinburgh of the South', you would be picked up by our luxury car. The car would carry you to a nearby historic lodge. Depending on your arrival time into New Zealand, you may have time to begin exploring Dunedin.

Day 2 : Dunedin - Catlins
Wake up early if you want to watch the penguins this morning. After an indulgent breakfast at your luxury lodge, you are ready to begin your remote wilderness exploration. Just over one hour south of Dunedin is the wild and rugged coastline called The Catlins. It is a region high in dramatic beauty and wildlife and low on population.

You have the balance of the day to view the penguins, seals, Hector dolphins (world's smallest dolphin found only in New Zealand), see the fossil forest at Curio Bay, walk to the many waterfalls of the region, see the Cathedral Caves or try to absorb the vast view from your motel suite.

Day 3 : Catlins - Te Anau
A saunter on the picturesque beach is suggested before heading to your next destination. It is a three and half hour drive over seemingly endless rivers and streams through the Southland region before reaching Te Anau, the gateway to the Fiordland National Park. Here the flora and landscape quickly change to beech and rain forest with beautiful lakes and mountains as compared to this morning's rugged coastline. There is a wide variety of options to enjoy this afternoon at Te Anau.

Day 4 : Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau
Today is the time for exploring the Majestic Milford Sound. A small group nature and walking trip with only twelve people ensures personal service and learning for everyone. The trip includes transport between Te Anau and Milford Sound with stops for pictures, short hikes with commentary on flora and fauna and bird viewing (usually Keas the cheeky alpine parrot).

Upon arrival at Milford Sound, you hop on a two and a half hour cruise on a small boat that specializes in wildlife viewing. Instead of returning to Te Anau the way you came, you have the option of oard a small plane for a flight up and over the Sound. This flight permits you to get a feel for the vastness of the Sound, see the glacier lakes, the waterfalls and get panoramic views of the Fiordland National Park. Arrive back to Te Anau around 3:00pm.

Day 5 : Te Anau - Doubtful Sound - Te Anau
Visit Doubtful Sound. Different from the Milford because there are three arms to this Sound not just one like Milford. On this full day trip you cruise across Lake Manapouri, then visit the underground power plant. Then a luxury coach transports you past Fiordland's moss forests before boarding your catamaran cruise through the Doubtful Sound. Dolphins and seals are often encountered on this Sound (really a fjord). Back at Te Anau around 5:00pm.

Day 6 : Te Anau - Queenstown
Te AnauYou may want to indulge further in the quiet and natural beauty of Fiordland this morning or choose to immediately head for the bustle of Queenstown. Queenstown often referred to as 'the Aspen of the South' is the adventure capital of the country. Queenstown is not just known for its adventures - it's wines are becoming more popular with quite a few of the local vineyards winning international awards. Endless opportunities to raft, cruise, soar, golf, jump, bike, taste, climb and shop abound in this charming lakeside resort town.

Day 7 : Queenstown
A full day to enjoy and explore Queenstown.
Day 8 : Queenstown - Lake Moeraki
Today is the time for leaving Queenstown to journey to the World Heritage Rain Forest and the remote Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge. You will travel past Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea then through the dense rainforests of the Haast Pass. There are many walks, waterfalls and rivers to enjoy along the way. We will provide you with a map of the various walk options. A late afternoon guided nature experience is available at your lodge.

Day 9 : Lake Moeraki - Franz Josef
After breakfast, another guided nature encounter is available before hitting the road north to Glacier Country. Beaches, rain forests, glaciers and the Southern Alps are all together within a few km of each other in this unique region. To understand the true wonder, a 10 minute scenic flight onto the glacier begins your 2 hour guided glacier hike. Hike through ice archways, discover ice caves and between million year old crevices for a truly memorable adventure.

Day 10 : Franz Josef - Christchurch
This morning you have time to further explore Franz Josef glacier, or an optional morning kayak on Okarito Lagoon; New Zealand's largest wetland and home to the rare White Heron (additional cost). Head north up the coast to the township of Hokitika to shop for handmade crafts. At 2:00 you will drop off your rental car at the Greymouth train station and board the TranzAlpine train for your scenic journey through the Southern Alps, along rivers, skirting gorges and over the patchwork of the Canterbury Plains on the journey to Christchurch.

Day 11 : Christchurch
Your 4WD rental car will be delivered to your accommodation this morning. You will have a full day to explore the wonders of Christchurch, the Garden City.
Day 12 : Christchurch - Kaikoura
ChristchurchThe drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura is just over two hours but it may take you longer if you choose to stop at the Waipara Vineyards along the way. Kaikoura was once a whaling station, now it is at the forefront of mammal conservation. Depending on what time you choose to arrive at Kaikoura, you may or may not have time to explore this quaint seaside town.

Day 13 : Kaikoura - Blenheim
The best time to view dolphins and/or whales is first thing in the morning when the sea is calm. You may choose a whale watch cruise, dolphin watch or swim cruise or pelagic bird cruise tour. Whichever one you choose, lots of film will be required! Once back on solid ground, you journey two hours north to the premier wine-producing region. Blenheim, nestled in the Marlborough Region, is the Napa Valley of the Southern Hemisphere. Large and small boutique vineyards abound offering wine tastings; wine tours and many have cafés for lunches and light snacks. You may choose to go on a guided wine tour (additional cost) or on a self-guided wine tour. We will supply you with vineyard information and locations so you can decide which producers interest you most. The region is best known for their Sauvignon Blancs although their Merlots are becoming increasingly popular. You have the afternoon to become a Marlborough wine connoisseur.

Day 14 : Blenheim - Auckland or Christchurch
An afternoon flight from Blenheim will transport you back to Auckland for connection with your International flight home.
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