New Zealand is a destination that’s rich with natural beauty: from fiords carved by ancient glaciers to sleeping volcanoes and geothermal areas. Now picture yourself relaxing in armchair comfort as you travel through each unique region, some days by rail and others by coach, and all in the hands of professional guides whose reliable knowledge includes numerous facts and figures, stories, legends and many laughs along the way. It’s a wonderful way to unwind and experience a destination, knowing that hassles like overlooking hidden locations or taking a wrong turn have been removed.
If that sounds like your kind of holiday, a coach tour that takes in the main highlights New Zealand has to offer is an excellent option, allowing you to experience the `Land of the Long White Cloud’ in absolute luxury. Be sure to choose an itinerary that visits all the `best-of’ attractions of the North and South Islands.
One of the highlights of any New Zealand tour has to be the TranzAlpine rail journey, which is renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. The train features huge panoramic windows and roof skylights to ensure that you get the best possible view of the scenery, while the comfortable seats have plenty of legroom. This unforgettable journey departs from Christchurch and follows the Waimakariri River westward through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains. It then climbs into alpine scenery on a series of spectacular viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass in the centre of the Southern Alps, and finally descends to the lush forests and wild coastline of the West Coast.
Another must-do activity is to take an overnight cruise aboard the Milford Mariner on Milford Sound. You’ll have plenty of time to relax aboard the ship as you view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife; but stay alert for an encounter with resident seals, dolphins and even penguins. The ship anchors in a sheltered cove for the night, with time set aside to join the nature guide ashore, explore the cove in the vessel’s tender craft and kayaks, or simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place.
While you’re in the vicinity, you may also like to add on an overnight cruise of Doubtful Sound aboard the magnificent Fiordland Navigator. Blending old world charm with modern facilities, you will cruise through some of the fiord’s most stunning, tranquil scenery, enjoying a delicious three-course buffet dinner in the evening before heading to the ship’s upper deck for some serious star gazing.
It’s a good idea to choose a tour operator whose groups are kept small, to ensure that every aspect of your holiday is personalised. For information on a wide range of New Zealand guided tour options, talk to your personal travel manager.