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20 Day Ultimate New Zealand Experience Tour Jan & Mar 2018

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This is the ultimate travel experience for travelers who want to enjoy New Zealand but may need that extra time or some special care or assistance along the way. We will show you the best New Zealand has to offer and will ensure your needs are met at every step along the way. These tours are specifically tailored for seniors, travelers facing challenges, limited mobility or who may need a helping hand along the way but are in no way limited to that. Breathe in the fresh air in what we fondly know as “Paradise”. Let us show you all we have to offer as we invite you to experience our beautiful country, New Zealand.

Aotearoa meaning.. The land of the long white cloud.

Arrive Auckland – Depart Christchurch

(This tour can also be done as a 9 Day North Island Tour or 14 Day  South Island Tour Option)

Welcome to New Zealand !

We recommend you consider arriving in Auckland a couple of days earlier if you will be flying long haul. This will enable you to throw off the effects of jetlag and be able to start refreshed and ready on day one for your New Zealand Adventure.


Day 1 – Auckland

Today we will be meeting you at Auckland airport and taking you to your accommodation in the heart of Auckland City. Once you’re checked in and settled in, you can decide what you want to do. If you just want to relax and catch up on some sleep if you have travelled a long way, then please do. We will do a bit of a drive around Auckland for those who are up to it so you can see how one of New Zealand’s major cities functions and how the locals make their way in this ‘city of sails’. If someone feels like bungy jumping off the sky tower, not a problem, we can organize that too.

Dinner will be at the Auckland Sky Tower orbiting restaurant which was the tallest building in the Southern hemisphere until Melbourne built a monster, however you can still imagine the views. Enjoy your perfectly cooked New Zealand meats or enjoy one of the many vegetarian options all while enjoying 360 degree views across the city. This is a day for you to settle in and prepare for the adventure ahead. Dinner provided.

Wheelchair accessible accommodation Sky City Auckland

Accessible Bathroom in Queenstown

Day 2 – Auckland and Coromandel Town

This is the first day of your adventure through New Zealand. This morning we will meet at around 10am to indulge in a harbor cruise which will give you a fantastic view of Auckland city while you breathe in that refreshing ocean air. Auckland has more boats per capita than any other city in the world, hence where it got its name as being the “City of Sails”.

Following this we will be slipping into “cruise” mode and heading south. The Coromandel Coast is a favourite NZ location and you will see why. From now on we will be switching to “beach time”. You will feel it immediately. Time just slows down as the white sandy coasts just roll on by. Arriving around 5pm and get checked into you accommodation to sit back and watch the sun go down.

New Zealand's coastline

Day 3 – Tauranga/Mount Maunganui

9am Start. Today is just about sitting back and enjoying the ride. We will be heading south to Tauranga and Mt Maunganui where we will be relaxing for tonight. Your luxury beach side accommodation will enable you to be in the center of everything with the main shopping area, hot salt water pools and accessible boardwalk lining the beach right at your doorstep.

Watch the sun go down with the locals. This is one of New Zealand premier holiday destinations with white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, continuous surf rolling in, and a lifestyle for locals which makes it the fastest growing city in New Zealand.

The “Mount” boasts numerous summertime activities, hosting everything from surf lifesaving events to beach volleyball, national surf contests to sandcastle-building.

Mount Maunganui, or Mauao, is also the name of the extinct volcano which rises above the town. Shrouded in history and legend, the mountain is a dominant feature of the landscape, and a climb to the summit offers amazing views of the surrounding city and ocean.

For those that are interested we can arrange activities such as kayaking, blokarting, if some would like to swim with dolphins we can organize that too. The Mount is a fantastic place to people watch, which is what a lot of people tend to do. Sit out and have a coffee and watch the people go by.

Accessible beach walkway - Mount Maunganui

Guests making use of the wonderful accessible beach boardwalk in Mount Maunganui New Zealand

Accessible New Zealand guide providing assistance


Day 4 & 5 - Rotorua

10am Start. We will leave The Mount in the Morning as our journey leads us further South to Rotorua. Rotorua is NZ’s most dynamic thermal area. From the moment you enter Rotorua you know you are somewhere like nowhere else. This is nature’s spa of the Pacific. Spiritual home of the Maori.  Throughout this hugely volcanic area, natural geysers and mud pools are found all over the city and are often found popping up in local’s back yards. Yes they are dangerous due to the heat and pressure however locals are used to it now and it’s just a natural part of the surroundings. The area is made up of over 16 lakes and a lot of native bush which you will see.

The evening where we will be attending Mitai Cultural Experience. Here you will taste a traditional Maori meal, the Hangi, and watch the traditional Maori dance and haka. The Maori locals will welcome you in a traditional Maori way on to their land and believe me you will love it. We get shivers every time we see the Haka performed and this is an evening of culture and good food. You will leave smiling with a full belly, a warm heart and cultural experience never to be forgotten.

On the second day here you will have some free time to look around the shops, the government gardens or have a soak in the hot pools or a relaxing massage.

In the afternoon we will visit Te Puia and experience the unique environment of geothermal wonderland. See firsthand the geothermal activity with hot springs and steam vents used for cooking (natural cooktops and ovens) and the natural mineral waters used for communal bathing.

The natural environment here in the central North Island is so varied, as you will experience, with something new and natural around every bend.

Tamaki Tours experience in Rotorua

Day 6 – Napier

We will stop along the way to the Huka Falls among other scenic points. The Huka falls mark the spot where NZ’s largest river, the mighty Waikato, is forced into a narrow chasm making a dramatic 10 metre drop into a surging pool. There are great viewpoints for all. We will continue to Taupo and then head across the Rangitaiki Plain and into the mountains before we descend into the Hawkes Bay coastal port of Napier where we will stay the night at your beachfront hotel. Napier is the Art Deco capital of New Zealand and was essentially rebuilt in the 30′s after a huge earthquake in 1931 devastated the city and killing 258. Today it is a premier wine growing centre and famous for fruit and vegetables that are exported worldwide.

Day 7 & 8- Napier to Wellington

9am start. The capital of New Zealand here we come! We are heading down to the bottom of the North Island to NZ’s capital city. Wellington is known as New Zealand’s art city and has a name of being a little alternative. Its nickname is “Windy Wellington” and it generally never fails to live up to its name. Wellington is draped around bushy hillsides encircling a magnificent harbour with super lookouts on hilltops, golden sands on the promenade and spectacular craggy shores on the south coast.


On your next day in Wellington you will have a 9am Start. Today we will do a bit of a “Tiki tour” (Little tour) around Wellington city past The Beehive (NZ Parliament building- It’s shaped like a beehive). The tour will continue round the coast to Mount Victoria which generally allows you to experience why Wellington has such a reputation for its wind. Hold on to the rails so you don’t get blown away and take time to enjoy the views right across the city. We will visit Zelandia if weather permits. This is 80 million years of natural history in a fascinating Exhibition and 225ha of remarkable nature in a beautiful sanctuary valley. This is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary – a conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand’s rarest native animals. Remarkable species of birds, reptiles, insects and more are living wild within a beautiful 225ha (one square mile) valley.

Day 9 – Wellington – Picton

Before we leave Wellington we will visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s best museum.  We will catch the ferry to Picton at 3pm. This ferry crossing takes around 3 hours of actual sailing which depending on the weather can be a really beautiful crossing from the North Island to theSouth Island. Other times, if the weather is not so good, the crossing can become quite “adventurous” shall we say. Look out for dolphins which are known for enjoying the ferries wake.

Once off the ferry, we will get you checked in and then head down to the local pub/restaurant on the waterfront to enjoy a relaxing casual meal.


Day 10- Picton – Kaikoura


Today we are heading into Marlborough. This is an area where some of New Zealand’s top wines are produced.  There are approximately 40 wineries in such a small space so we really are spoiled for choice. We will also take you to a chocolate factory where they will tempt you with their delicious taste tester treats.

Driving through the Malbourough Sounds and you will get a small taste here of some of the extraordinary scenery that you will be faced over the course of the south Island.

We will travel down to Kaikoura which is about an hour and a half drive where a bed for you to rest your head awaits. We will stop for lunch along the way.

Kaikoura… the rugged coast of Kaikoura. This is a wild coastline. You will get up close and personal with the wild fur seals which line these coasts. Kaikoura has some extreme scenery, spring time is fantastic when you can stand on the rocky coastline with the sun shining and looking out over the rough ocean and see snow topped mountains meeting the ocean. We will spend the rest of the day here in Kaikoura. Kaikoura is renowned for its whales and marine life and you have the opportunity to whale watch for those who are interested. Either from the air or from the sea, www.whalewatch.co.nz  (sea) www.whales.co.nz  (air) we must book ahead so we will make arrangements for these activities. (Both are reliant on the weather and neither is included in the tour cost). These activities are not wheelchair accessible, but with a little pushing and depending on ability levels we have always managed ok, and the experience is fantastic. This is something that can change your life. Being so close to these amazing mammals, you cannot imagine how big they are till you see them up close and personal. You will feel uplifted and renewed, I guarantee it.

Day 11 – Kaikoura to Hokitika

This morning in Kaikoura you have the opportunity to whale watch for those who are interested or we can do some sight seeing around Kaikoura.

After lunch we will be on the road heading for the West Coast of New Zealand. Today’s drive is approximately 4 and half hours not including stops. The West Coast is known as New Zealand’s wildest and diverse region of New Zealand. With the highest level of rainfall in New Zealand and the lowest population it has an abundance of lush bush and wildlife.

We will then start to make our way along the South Islands West Coast of New Zealand towards Hokitika. Hokitika, an attractive sleepy little town. A hundred or so years ago miners fought over gold, today there is still gold around but Hokitika is New Zealand’s leading Green Stone (Jade) centre.

You will enjoy your luxury beach front accommodation tonight. Most of our guests never want to leave.

Day  12 – Hokitika

Today we will pick you up and take you to breakfast before we enjoy a stunning “Tree Tops” walk. Here you will wander across bridges suspended high in the trees. An experience not to be missed.

We will then take a short drive up the west coast. You will be able to enjoy the famous Punakaiki Rocks which are limestone formations that began forming 30 million years ago. When conditions are right, heavy ocean swells thunder into the caverns beneath the rocks and huge water spouts blast skywards through the blowholes in a truly spectacular manner.

Day 13 – Haast

Today we are continuing south into Haast. It is a short drive to Franz Josef . Here we also have the opportunity of viewing Franz Josef Glacier, unfortunately, the track to the glacier  is definitely not for wheelchairs. If you have a few spare dollars you may be interested in a Glacier Helicopter flight over both glaciers (Fox and Franz Joseph) and New Zealands’s highest mountain  - Mt Cook

Fox Glacier by Accessible New Zealand and Distinction Motel

Lunch will be had at the absolutely stunning Lake Matheson. Enjoy a light lunch while taking in the views of New Zealand’s highest peak, Mt Cook, out across the Lake. After our stop here we carry on past Fox Glacier and on to Haast.


Day 14   Queenstown

From Haast we will leave around 9am to make our way to Queenstown.  Queenstown is one of the major spots in the South Island as its activities are endless. For those who are keen to try something different, we will be Jet Boating or bungy jumping, this is where you step up and get involved. A high-speed jet boat will race excitingly down the cliff encompassed river, with all of us in tow! Wheel chair accessible so no excuses. You will not regret this one I promise you that! Bungy jumping is also highly recommended here. It’s where it all began and there can’t be a better location to throw yourself off a bridge.

   Disabled Bungy jumper

Here we we will enjoy a ride up the gondolas and take our time with a delicious meal overlooking Queenstown. This is one of the best viewpoints so what better way to enjoy fresh NZ cuisine.


Day  15 & 16  Te Anau

We will take a return cruise on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station overshadowed by the Remarkable Mountains on board the iconic Steam Ship TSS Earnslaw

 We will then take a drive to historic and very picturesque ARROWTOWN nestled alongside the Arrow River where we can wander around the township amongst the many gift and souvenir shops and cafes and enjoy a hearty  lunch.

In the afternoon we will take a stunning drive skirting Lake Wakitipu en route to Te Anau where we will be staying for two nights.

On our second day we will visit the world heritage area of Milford Sound, Fiordland. It is a spectacular drive along the Eglington Valley past the mirror lakes through the Homer Tunnel to Milford where we will take a  one and a half hour scenic luncheon cruise before our return to our hotel in Te Anau for the night

Mountain helicopter landing en route to Milford soundWheelchair user landing on the top of New Zealand Mountains



Day 17 – Dunedin

We will be passing through Lumsden, Gore, and Balclutha. This is Southland at its best !. We will arrive at our hotel in Dunedin late afternoon after many stops along the way.


Day 18– Tekapo

We leave Dunedin behind and travel along the coast past the Moeraki Boulders to the historic port of Oamaru. We will then make a quick stop at the Riverstone Kitchen to wander around the amazing garden before heading inland up the Waitaki River passed the hydro electric towns of Benmore , Aviemore and on to Pukaki where we will hope for a stunning view of Mt Cook across Lake Pukaki. Then on to Tekapo where will stay the night on the edge of the blue lake of the same name.


Day 19 – Christchurch

Today we travel across the south Canterbury Plains via Geraldine and Ashburton en route to Christchurch for our last night on tour. We will arrive at our accommodation late afternoon


On 22 February 2011 the city of Christchurch was hit by a devastating 6.3 earthquake. These have continued to shake the city ever since. This had devastating effects to the city and to New Zealand as a whole. There was destruction to some of Christchurch’s major icons not to mention the lives lost and people who lost their homes and businesses.

New Zealand being the small community that it is has come together in support. The city is steadily being rebuilt and will soon be on its feet again to be once again the hub of the South Island.


Day 20 – Christchurch

Depending on your departure flight time we may have time to look fit in an activity or morning shopping before sad goodbyes. We will accompany you to the airport for your journey home. Departures from Christchurch airport.


Tour Inclusions:

All accommodation which is 4-star in most places including beach front and central city. All accommodation is fully wheel chair accessible and we can adjust rooms to suit your needs.

Activities Included: Auckland Harbour Cruise, Auckland Sky Tower Observatory and Orbiting Restaurant, War Memorial Museum, Mitai Cultural Experience, Te Puia,Wine tasting (optional), Te Papa National Museum, Cook Straight Ferry crossing, NZ Fur Seal viewing, Punakaiki Rocks, Tree Tops walk, Queenstown Gondola, Earnslaw Steam Ship and farm show, Milford Sound.

(Activities are optional and weather dependent and refunds will not be given if weather does not permit)

All breakfasts and  evening meals where specified

All transportation; including airport transfers; using our wheelchair accessible vehicles with hoists and transfer seating available. Transport is complimentary as part of your package.

A knowledgeable, experienced and friendly, local guide to escort you personally throughout your stay. Our guides are available to offer a helping hand along the way, however if a carer is needed we ask that this be provided by yourself or we can organise one here.

All reservations included

Optional Activities: These activities are not included.

Kaikoura whale watching, Bungy jumping, Jet Boating, Jade carving, Agrodome, Blokarting,  and any other activities not specified above.


Please click here for a breakdown of tour Terms and Conditions and more detailed information