4 nights Auckland
2 nights in Paihia, Bay of Islands
2 nights Taupo
2 nights Napier
3 nights Christchurch
2 nights Queenstown
1 night Aoraki/Mt Cook
Auckland Harbour dinner cruise
Titirangi Golf Club, Auckland
Kauri Cliffs Golf Course, Matauri Bay
Waiheke Island gourmet wine and food tour
Kinloch Golf Course, Taupo
Huka Jet Boat Ride
Twilight Odyssey Progressive Winery Dinner
Christchurch sightseeing tour
Akaroa Day Tour and Harbour Nature Cruise
Clearwater Golf Course, Christchurch
Glaciers Explorers Tour, Mt Cook
Big Sky stargazing at Mt Cook
Over The Top Golf Fly-Drive-Putt
Earnslaw Walter Peak Farm tour with gourmet BBQ dinner
Millbrook Golf Course, Queenstown
Destinations: Auckland, Bay of Islands, Taupo, Napier, Christchurch, Aoraki/Mt Cook, Queenstown
Experiences: Scenery, Wildlife, Food and Wine, Adventure, Relaxation
No. of days: 17 Days/16 Nights
If you love golf, then this is the itinerary for you. Start in Auckland and play at world renowned golf courses as you drive your way through amazing scenery and experience the best of New Zealand down to the South Island and end up in Queenstown. We have chosen activities along the way to showcase elements of New Zealand that shouldn’t be missed. Gourmet food and wine tours are intermingled with a thrilling jet boat ride, nature cruise, Aoraki/Mt Cook glacier visit, star gazing in a gold rated Dark Sky Reserve, golf on top of a mountain, and a cruise on Lake Wakatipu. New Zealand has hundreds of golf courses. We have recommended some of the most spectacular courses for this itinerary however you can change these to suit your plans. With plenty of time for golf, activities and leisure, you can kick back in New Zealand and truly relax.
DAY BY DAY:
Day 1: Arrive early into Auckland, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation. To get orientated with Auckland City you can relax on a private Auckland half day tour. Your guide will show you the most iconic highlights of Auckland and hidden treasures away from the crowds including beautiful beaches, panoramic views of several volcanoes and the Auckland Domain. Experience the very best of this beautiful city with its spectacular ocean vistas, ancient volcanoes, lush green parkland, iconic landmarks, tranquil harborside bays and a historic picturesque marine village. (2 nights Auckland)
Day 2: This morning you’re golfing at Titirangi Golf Course in Auckland. The only New Zealand golf course designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie. You’ll find a short tree lined and challenging 18 hole course that ranks in the top 10 New Zealand golf courses. This evening you get to wine and dine on an Auckland Harbor Dinner Cruise. Enjoy great sailing and as the sun sets watch the night lights of the cityscape come alive. Sail where the wind takes while enjoying Auckland's city highlights; including sailing under the Harbor Bridge and other well-known landmarks along the harbors edge.
Day 3: Leaving Auckland today you head to Paihia, Bay of Islands through Puhoi and Whangarei. The drive takes 3.5 hours but allow more time to stop and enjoy the scenery. (2 nights Paihia)
Day 4: Today you’re golfing at the stunning Kauri Cliffs Golf Course, a 45 minute drive from Paihia. Listed in the Golf Digest Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in the World. This is a par 72 championship golf course. The views on the course are stunning with fifteen holes viewing the Pacific Ocean, six are played alongside cliffs that plunge to the sea.
Day 5: Leaving Paihia today you drive back to Auckland down the Kauri Coast. Driving time is 4.5 hours. Allow for stops along the way visiting Waipoua Forest and see the amazing Kauri trees. (2 nights Auckland).
Day 6: It’s a relaxing day today on Waiheke Island where you join a gourmet food and wine tour. Enjoy succulent fresh oysters, award-winning olive oil and other locally-produced specialty foods, accompanied by wines from some of the Island's top boutique vineyards. Visit an award-winning olive oil mill, followed by two vineyards, each offering a range of gourmet tastes to accompany their wines. Lunch is a platter lunch at one of the top vineyard restaurants. After lunch you catch the ferry back to Auckland. This evening we suggest dinner on Auckland waterfront at a restaurant of your choice.
Day 7: Today you drive from Auckland to Lake Taupo. Driving time is 3 hours. This afternoon you get to experience the famous Huka Jet Boat Ride. This half hour of thrills, fun and excitement takes you along a beautiful river environment, lined with native bush, sheer rock cliff face and natural hot springs. It combines 360° spins and passing nature at disorientating speeds before reaching the awe inspiring Huka Falls. From the unique vantage point on the boat you have the best water level view of New Zealand's most visited natural attraction. (2 nights Taupo)
Day 8: It’s back to golfing today at The Kinloch Club close to Taupo. The course is a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course with stunning views on the edge of Lake Taupo.
Day 9: Today you drive from Taupo to Napier, a drive time of 1.5 hours. Enjoy Napier at leisure in the afternoon, it is the Art Deco center of New Zealand with beautiful 1930s architecture. This evening you get to enjoy a progressive twilight winery dinner which includes a scenic drive through the vineyards as you learn about the region and its wines. Enjoy a full interactive wine tasting alongside gourmet platters at Vidal Estate. Take in the breathtaking panoramic views from Te Mata Peak while enjoying a glass of bubbles as the sun sets from 399m above sea level. Proceed to Craggy Range or Elephant Hill for the main course served with wine. Finish the evening at the country’s oldest and grandest winery the Mission Estate for dessert and dessert wines. (2 nights Napier)
Day 10: Spend the day at leisure today. Explore the Hawkes Bay in your own time and relax and enjoy the beautiful area.
Day 11: Today you fly from Napier to Christchurch. This afternoon you get so see and learn about Christchurch on an afternoon sightseeing tour. See city highlights such as the Cathedral and Victoria Square, The Flock Clock, Botanical Gardens, the Bridge of Remembrance and Hagley Park. Visit Mt Pleasant which offers views of the city and beach, Cave Rock and Port of Lyttelton. (3 nights Christchurch).
Day 12: You’re off to the historic French village of Akaroa for the day today. You can either drive yourself the 90 minutes or take a guided tour from Christchurch. Once in Akaroa you’ll join an afternoon Akaroa Harbor Nature Cruise. Here you can cruise around an extinct volcanic crater. You will see the rare, native dolphin - the Hector's or New Zealand Dolphin. There's also the chance to spot the world's smallest penguin, the White Flippered Little Blue Penguin, Fur Seals and other sea birds. Other cruise highlights are a working salmon farm, Cathedral Cave and signs of Akaroa's fascinating past including early Maori, French and British settlements.
Day 13: This morning you’re golfing at the Clearwater Golf Course, home to the HSBC NZ PGA Championships. The course meanders around spring-fed lakes and trout-filled streams set within 490 acres of the Clearwater Resort.
Day 14: Today you head off on the drive from Christchurch to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Drive time is 4 hours, not including stopping for photos at Lake Tekapo. This afternoon you get to view the Tasman Glacier ice face from a safe distance on a Glacier Explorers Tour on the Aoraki/Mt Cook terminal lake. After dinner there is a Big Sky Stargazing tour. Mt Cook Village is located within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve – a gold rated reserve with unbeatable darkness, perfect for stargazing. Trained guides show you the beautiful southern night sky using the naked eye, state of the art astronomy telescopes and binoculars at the outdoor viewing. Unleash your imagination as you discover the neighborhood in the universe including the Southern Cross, seasonal ecliptic objects, planets, star clusters, moons, distant galaxies and even their very own galaxy, the spectacular Milky Way. (1 night Aoraki/Mt Cook)
Day 15: You’re leaving Aoraki/Mt Cook this morning and heading to Queenstown. Drive time is 3 hours. This afternoon you’re playing golf at 4500 feet in the Southern Alps on a unique 3 par golf course accessible only by helicopter. You’ll fly in, drive, chip and putt out on the top. This evening you’re on a leisurely 90 minute cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw. You are heading to Walter Peak Station for a gourmet BBQ dinner. After your meal, guests join an entertaining farm experience which gives guests an insight of life in the New Zealand high country including a sheep shearing demonstration. The night-time cruise home is magical. (2 nights Queenstown)
Day 16: Today you’re golfing at Millbrook Golf Course in Arrowtown, designed by Sir Bob Charles and renovated by Greg Turner in October 2010. This 27-hole course delivers world class golf in stunning surroundings. If you’ve had enough golf, we can suggest other activities for the day.
Day 17: Drive to Queenstown airport for your flight home.
*New Zealand has hundreds of golf courses. We have recommended some of the most spectacular courses for this itinerary however you can change these to suit your plans. If the courses are in different locations, we can accommodate by modifying the itinerary, accommodations and activities to suit.
All aspects of this itinerary can be changed to suit your requirements.
The itineraries provided are great introductions to your chosen destination. You can create a travel plan using the itinerary provided or make modifications to destinations, activities and accommodation and create the dream trip you want.
Not every traveler is the same, we get that and so that’s why we recommend making changes to suit your needs. In fact, we insist - we want you to have the best trip.
If you would like any recommendations for dinner or shopping areas please let us know we are happy to help and make bookings for you where necessary.
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To travel to New Zealand you will need a US passport valid for at least 6 months and an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. More information on the NZeTA application requirements and process can be found on our FAQ page here.
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A product that we can offer is a Cancel For Any Reason policy that will provide you with 80% back in refunds. If the cancellation is for medical reasons there is a 100% refund..
Downunder Journeys services travel requests from the United States and Canada for travel to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands and Tahiti. All pricing on this website is in US Dollars.
All of the sample itineraries on this website do not include airfares as the airfare price changes daily and to ensure you get the best possible price we will work with the best airfares at the time. If you happen to buy your airfare first and then need a package to fit it, we can certainly help with that as well, just let us know.
As an idea for a 2-week vacation to Australia or New Zealand we recommend a budget of around $8,000-10,000 (including economy airfare), this would be for a 4 star and above itinerary, a little cheaper if we did more moderate accommodations.