AAA Travel introduces one of our newest partner additions, Audley Travel. With trips to more than 80 destinations across the world, Audley's mission is to offer you the most unique, meaningful and personalized travel experience possible. Each trip is handcrafted down to the finest details - your tastes, budget and interests by a country specialist with extensive firsthand knowledge of your desired destination. Experts share their passion, advice and commitment to quality to design an authentic travel experience that stays with you long after you return home.
AAA Membership grants you access to your own travel team! Let a AAA Travel advisor personalize your vacation from start to finish. Wherever you want to go, our travel team has likely been there, so ask questions and gain insider information.
What You May See:
New Zealand offers one-of-a-kind wildlife, high-quality cuisine and wine, and the sense of complete freedom along its many hiking trails amid striking natural beauty. This 12-day trip shows focuses on making the most of your time along the way as you take in mountains, glaciers, vineyards and fjords across both islands. Spend your days exploring the thermal wonderland of Rotorua, taking flight in a helicopter to hike the surface of the Franz Josef glacier, cut through epic scenery on the TranzAlpine train and skim through the Dart River on a jet boat journey.
Explore the thermal wonderland of Rotorua.
Experience a helicopter flight over the mountains before hiking on a glacier.
Enjoy a memorable journey on board the TranzAlpine train.
Take a thrilling jet boat ride on the Dart River.
The Audley Way:
Browse ideas on the Audley website, then speak to a country specialist to gain firsthand advice and start planning your trip. A conversation with a country specialist will ensure they understand who you are and what you want.
Your specialist will design a full itinerary based on your tastes and interests. They will work with you to perfect the trip until every detail is just right. The itinerary will reflect your requests as well as incorporate the specialist's local insight.
After confirming your plans, your specialist will be on hand to answer any questions you have and provide helpful tips to prepare for your departure.
The adventure begins. Audley's service continues throughout your trip while abroad, you'll be in the capable hands of Audley's partners and have access to support 24-hours a day.
Nobody will be more excited to hear about your trip than your Country Specialist. They'll call you upon your return to see how things went and suggest a cure or two for any remaining wanderlust. Audley will be ready to help you start planning the next adventure.
Sample Itinerary - Highlights of New Zealand ~ 12 nights ~ 13 meals - all breakfasts, plus a Hangi feast
Day 1: Auckland
Upon arrival in Auckland, you will be welcomed by one of our representatives and spend the morning exploring the city with your guide prior to checking in at your hotel. Your guide will show you main highlights of the city along with great places to eat. After your tour, you could head up the city’s Sky Tower which, at 1,076 ft tall, affords far-reaching views over Auckland and the bay.
Day 2: Rotorua
This morning, pick up your rental car and make the three hour drive south to Rotorua. The straightforward drive takes in the green farmlands of the region and the forested plateau before arriving at Lake Rotorua, where you’ll stay for two nights.
Day 3: Rotorua
Spend the morning exploring Rainbow Springs and the Kiwi sanctuary with a keeper. This evening, you have tickets to a Maori cultural evening, where you'll experience traditional performances and a delicious 'Hangi' feast.
Day 4: Blenheim wine region
In the morning, drive to the Rotorua airport in time for your onward flight to Blenheim. In Blenheim, you will be collected by a representative and transported by private vehicle to your accommodation. The rest of the day is open to explore the wine region of New Zealand.
Day 5: Blenheim wine region
Spend the day biking around, with your small group, the stunning Blenheim wine region while doing a variety of wine tastings at places like Cloudy Bay.
Day 6: Kaikoura
This morning you will be transported from your accommodation to the train station in time for your afternoon train journey from Blenheim to Kaikoura. In the late afternoon, you will arrive into Kaikoura, where the mountains and ocean meet. You will spend the next two nights here.
Day 7: Kaikoura
This morning head out to the Pacific Ocean and don snorkel gear to jump in the water. Here you have the potential to swim with wild dolphins that frequent the region, these curious animals love to interact with humans.
Day 8: Christchurch
Today, you will have the morning to explore Kaikoura before taking the TranzCoastal train from Kaikoura to Christchurch. Try out one of the excellent restaurants in Christchurch tonight — we suggest dining in one along New Regent Street, which has a wide range of options.
Day 9: Franz Josef Glacier
Early this morning, take a taxi to the train station where you board the TranzAlpine train. This three-hour scenic journey takes you across the Southern Alps through Arthur's Pass National Park to South Island's west coast. Upon arrival in Greymouth you collect your car rental from the train station and take a leisurely drive down to the Glaciers. We can highly recommend stopping en route at the small town of Hokitika for lunch. The drive to Franz Josef takes around three hours.
Day 10: Franz Josef Glacier
Today you will enjoy a fabulous heli hike on the Franz Josef glacier. You will be flown up over the glacier before landing where you will put on your crampons and your guide will pick out a path with his pick axe, enabling him to show you the best ice formations on the glacier that day. Your helicopter will collect you and fly you back down to the township where you have access to the relaxing hot pools for the afternoon.
Day 11: Queenstown via Wanaka
This morning, you will drive south to Queenstown. On the way, there are plenty of short walks to take in the Haast Pass and scenic spots to enjoy. Stop off for the afternoon in Wanaka, a beautiful lakeside town surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Then take the road over the Cardrona range to Queenstown which offers you spectacular views of the Queenstown area.
Day 12: Queenstown
You will join the Dart River Wilderness Safari today - a great half day excursion including an exhilarating jet boat ride followed by a short, guided walk and scenic 4WD trip through the forest where you will learn about the local flora and fauna as well as local Maori and colonial history. The trip will take you to Glenorchy and you will have the opportunity to view some of the filming locations of Lord of The Rings during the tour!
Day 13: Fly home
Today make your own way to the airport in time for your onward flight.
Terms and Conditions:
Rates vary by departure date and selected experiences. Prices shown are per person based on double occupancy, exclusive of international airfare. They are intended as a broad indication of how much you should budget for a similar trip. Your trip can be customized to match your preferred budget, interests, trip duration, departure date and accommodation style. The deposit price is 5% of the total cost of the tailor-made tour. Call a AAA Travel advisor for more details.