From sublime landscapes to world-famous vineyards, from Kiwi hospitality to rich Maori culture, there are many reasons that New Zealand is considered a world-class destination. Here are some of the highlights you can expect from a luxury coach tour holiday in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Memorable dining experiences can be a highlight of any holiday, and the unique and dramatic Larnach Castle, whose ridgetop position amid 35 acres of carefully-designed gardens provides breath-taking views over Otago Peninsula, can deliver just that. This Gothic Revival-style mansion was originally constructed in the late nineteenth century and is described as New Zealand’s only castle. It has been carefully restored over the last fifty years, and the result is an incredible example of what can be achieved with time, passion and dedication. Wandering through the exquisitely-furnished rooms and lovingly-tended gardens before retreating to the castle’s grand ballroom for a sumptuous High Tea is like stepping back in time.
Equally memorable dining experiences can be had throughout New Zealand, from a gourmet barbecue dinner at the historic Colonel’s homestead, gazing out at the mountains and lake that surround Queenstown’s remote Walter Peak Station, to an authentic Maori hangi accompanied by a thrilling cultural performance in the thermal wonderland of Rotorua.
Kiwis seem to pride themselves on adorning their geographic features with prosaic names – the South Island, the Far North and Bluff are good examples. It may be a way of ensuring that they under-promise and over-deliver: from the moment your luxury catamaran departs from the lovely town of Paihia, you’ll realise that your cruise to the “Hole in the Rock” will be considerably more enticing than the name suggests. Sail across the tranquil waters of the Bay of Islands, watch for the dolphins that frequently play in the vessel’s wake, then get ready for the exhilarating dash through the 60-foot hole in the island (more correctly known as Motu Kōkako). At the other end of the country, an overnight cruise aboard the majestic, old-world Fiordland Navigator will take you into the heart of the almost untouched Fiordland National Park, where you can explore the pristine waters and shoreline by tender or kayak.
When your historic Silver Fern rail car pulls out of Dunedin Railway station for a day trip past the bays, inlets and beaches of Otago Harbour to pretty Port Chalmers, you won’t know where to look first. The station itself is considered New Zealand’s most photographed building, but you’ll soon be out of the city and eagerly awaiting a glimpse of the seals and other marine wildlife that call this coastline home. This is just one of the amazing rail journeys that New Zealand has to offer – there’s also the spectacular Coastal Pacific, which follows the dramatic coastline between Christchurch and Picton, and the TranzAlpine, which is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest rail journeys.
Treat yourself to a small-group coach holiday in New Zealand and you’ll experience this remarkable country in style, with VIP treatment every step of the way. From custom-built coaches with luxurious leather recliner seats that ensure every seat is a window seat, to vastly-experienced coach captains who are dedicated to attending to your needs, your personal travel manager can help you choose a small-group itinerary that’s right for you.