Kiwi Surprise

Day1-Begin your tour | Arrive in Christchurch
Kia Ora! Welcome to your 'Merair Travel & Tours Kiwi Surprise Tour' - to Aotearoa, 'the Land of the Long White Cloud' the Maori name for New Zealand. Home of Bungee Jumping and Jet-Boating, New Zealand is a country for the open-air enthusiast. Its unique flightless bird has lent its name to the people - Kiwi! From endless beaches to the rocky inlets of Fjordland and the beauty of the landscape pictured in the 'Lord of the Rings', New Zealand is a country blessed! On arrival at Christchurch Airport, you will be met and transferred by our local representative to your hotel. You have the rest of the day to experience this beautiful 'Garden City' on your own.

Day2- In Christchurch | Optional - Hot Air Ballooning | Guided Tour of Christchurch | International Antarctic Centre and Penguin Encounte
This morning experience an exclusive Optional Hot Air Balloon ride. There is no other place in the world where it is possible to fly from the centre of the city and watch the sun rising out of the ocean in the east, as you view the Southern Alps to the west. You can also enjoy breakfast in the clouds while you float over the Canterbury Plains! Unforgettable! Later proceed on a guided panoramic city tour of Christchurch. Drive past Cathedral Square, Town Hall, Bridge of Remembrance, Christ's College, original Provincial Government buildings. Travel along the banks of the beautiful tree lined waterway of the Avon River. Later, we visit the International Antarctic Centre - recreating the atmosphere of the Antarctic - the Frozen Continent. The Snow & Ice Experience is great fun for all ages - where you will slide down an icy slope, shelter in the ice cave, brave the wind chill machine at minus 18° Celsius or get 'exhilarated' in the 'Antarctic Storm'. Complete with stunning lighting, storm audio and 40 km/h winds. Also, see Little Blue penguins in the Penguin Encounter, this state of the art encounter is New Zealand's first combined indoor/outdoor penguin viewing area. (B, D)

Day3-Onto Franz Josef | TranzAlpine train journey from Christchurch to Greymouth
Today board the renowned TranzAlpine train as it passes through fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. The views are breathtaking. Then it climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth. Drive to Franz Josef. Franz Josef glaciers are without doubt the greatest lure of this region. Nestled on the edge of the rainforest these great cascading frozen rivers are only 6 km from the Tasman Sea. Evening is at leisure to experience the natural quiet of the mountains. (B, D)

Day4-Proceed to Queenstown | Enroute visit Wanaka - Puzzling World
After a delicious breakfast, check out of the hotel and proceed to Queenstown. Drive via Haast Pass, a long one-lane bridge over the Haast River which leads into the settlement of Haast. We visit the Puzzling World at Wanaka, a unique attraction specializing in puzzling eccentricity. For over 35 years this remarkable place has entertained and amazed visitors of all ages, attracted to this beautiful part of the world. Offering the world's first "modern-styled" great maze, incredible illusion rooms, a puzzle café and a large gift shop. A short drive from Wanaka brings you to Queenstown, home of bungee jumping and the adventure capital of New Zealand. This town is beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The evening is free for you to explore this town. (B, D).

Day5-Queenstown | Full day Milford Sound tour with Cruise | Minus 5 - Ice Bar
you could make a personal list of great Wonders of the World, after seeing Milford Sound you would place it near the top! Milford is the most famous of more than a dozen grand fjords that make up majestic Fiordland National Park on South Island. Today you visit this fjord of spectacular beauty, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, deep blue water, cascading waterfalls and dense rainforests!
The journey is as beautiful as the destination! Leave Queenstown along the edge of Lake Wakatipu, beneath the rugged mountain range, on the road to Te Anau, the 'Gateway to Fiordland'. Drive through the town and enjoy a stop at Lake Te Anau, New Zealand's second-largest lake, with caves full of glow worms, waterfalls and whirlpools. Enter the Fiordland National Park and marvel at the grandeur of this region. Pass through the Eglington Valley and see ancient alpine beech forest and the famous Mirror Lakes. Fiordland has a huge amount of rain and the forest reflects this - giant trees wreathed in moss, vines and ferns, all dripping with water. Drive on through the Upper Hollyford Valley, past the stunning Christie Falls and enter the Homer Tunnel, drilled through the solid rock of the mountain. As you exit the tunnel, prepare yourself for the breathtaking impact of the Cleddau Valley and the descent into Milford Sound.
A glorious cruise takes you through this wonderland, which has as its centerpiece Mitre Peak, a glacier scarred pinnacle whose reflection in the mirror-calm water is one of the Pacific's most photographed sites! The quiet beauty of Milford Sound is broken by waterfalls cascading from mountain ridges and crashing into the sound far below. Keep a lookout for playful dolphins, fur seals and gulls that call its waters home.
This city is known for its high energy fun and after dinner we invite you to sample some at Minus 5, an ice lounge in the heart of Queenstown! It is on the famous Steamer Wharf, conveniently placed between a glut of fine dining and shopping places. Your ice guide takes you on a tour you will never forget. Just the place to totally chill out! (B, L, D)

Day6-In Queenstown | Guided panoramic tour of Queenstown | Optional Kawaru Jet Boat Ride | Optional Lord of the Rings Middle Earth Tour | Optional Skyline Gondola Ride
Today, we take you on a guided panoramic tour of Queenstown. Visit Lake Wakatipu & view Bungee jumping. We also take you to Arrowtown where you can leisurely browse through the shops for a wide range of New Zealand made merchandise.
The rest of the day is free but you must choose one or two of our exciting optional tours, like the Kawaru Jet Boat Ride. This is an exciting jet boat cruise down Lake Wakatipu towards the remarkable mountain range, down the rapids and under Kawarau Falls Dam. Skim the turquoise waters and take an occasional 360° spin in the water!
Not-to-be-missed is our optional 'Lord of the Rings' Middle Earth Tour. Planned around the 'Lord of the Rings' movie, take a four-wheel drive to the Wakatipu region, whose heart-stopping beauty gave the movie much of its character. There's some gold panning at Ford in Bruinen too.
If you prefer to take to the skies, opt for the Skyline Skyrides tour that includes a ride in a gondola to the Skyline Rooftop, with a panoramic view of the city. Relax at the rooftop food court café or get adventurous and try exciting attractions like 'The Luge Ride', which winds down a scenic track or take a bungee jump. (B, D)

Day7-Onto Rotorua | Agrodome Farm Show | Te Puia Hot Springs | Maori Arts and Crafts Institute
Fly to Rotorua, where, on arrival, you proceed to the Agrodome to join in a unique Kiwi experience - the world-famous sheep show. Participate in an interesting farm tour. Visit Te Puia, Rotorua's best known reserve of thermal springs; formerly known as Whakarewarewa Hot Springs where boiling mud pools and roaring geysers greet you. Then visit the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute. Where you will be exposed to native Maori culture and have an opportunity to meet some of them. Enjoy this geo thermal city on your own, the rest of the evening. (B, D)

Day8-Onto Auckland | Waitomo Glow Worm Caves | Guided panoramic city tour of Auckland
On your way to Auckland visit the famous Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Our guided tour takes you through over 250 metres of stunning underground scenery, starting with the impressive Cathedral cavern. The acoustics here are world renowned. Begin at the upper entrance of the cave and proceed along a narrow passage to the Tomo, a deep limestone shaft. Marvel at the ethereal light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glow Worm Grotto! Meander underground along the Waitoo River and gaze in fascination at this galaxy of tiny living lights that brighten your way.
Onto Auckland, the largest city, has a lively atmosphere and a modern feel. Known as the 'City of Sails', it claims to have more pleasure boats per capita than any other city in the world! This evening we take you on a guided panoramic city tour. Take in landmarks like the War Memorial Museum and the Harbour Bridge. Auckland's harbours are filled with yachts - this is one of the most popular places in the world for sailors! Don't miss the view from the Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. (B, D)
Day9-Homeward Bound
Good times need never end! As you get ready for the airport and your flight back home, relive the high points of your Merair Travel & Tours tour. We are confident you will join us again, sometime soon... (B either in the hotel or on board the flight)