Tailor-Made Holiday

New Zealand - The Ultimate Lions Tour Explorer

North and South Island Touring to include all three Test Matches

22 days

from £9,995pp

After a four-year break, the British & Irish Lions are back with the highly anticipated 2017 Tour of New Zealand. Described as one of the greatest rugby experiences ever, here is an opportunity to be at the centre of the celebrations next summer. The atmosphere is just out of this world.

  •  Travel the country to watch all three test matches next summer
  • Visit the highlights of  the North and South Island
  • Guaranteed hospitality packages with pre-test day entertainment
  • Secure “A” Class Test Match tickets – currently sold out in the UK 

This holiday includes all three Test matches against the All Blacks that the British and Irish Lions will play during their 10 match tour of the country. Eden Park will host the first and third Tests, on the 24th June and 8th July respectively, while Wellington's Westpac Stadium will stage the second Test on the 1st July. The Lions will be looking to win their first test series against New Zealand since 1971.

This Ultimate Lions Tour Explorer holiday includes ‘A Class’ tickets for the all the Test matches, including the hospitality passes giving privileged access to events. These tickets are now sold out through UK sporting agencies.

Something not to be missed if you love the very best rugby entertainment is the eve of Test match special events. Not only is the atmosphere special as Lions fans mingle together, swap stories and enjoy a relaxed drink in the build up to the next day’s Test match, you will be blown away by the array of legends who will be there to entertain you.

In Australia in 2013, a legion of great names, including Scott Quinnell, Will Greenwood, David Campese, former Lions’ tour manager Donal Lenihan, Paul Wallace and Sir Graham Henry captivated audiences with their humour, stories, memories and big match thoughts.

And with complimentary food and drink included, there is no better way to hear first-hand from the biggest legends of the game. It’s special; it’s what makes a Lions tour such a wonderful rugby experience.

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS

The Lions Tour provides a sporting experience like no other, where four proud countries come together as one with a sense of comradeship and sportsmanship that creates a bond with one purpose in mind; to win. The players selected for the 2017 Tour will represent England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, going up against the All Blacks in three intense test matches.

EDEN PARK - AUCKLAND

Eden Park will play host to the first and third test matches of the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour, 24 June and 8th July. This stadium is the largest in New Zealand and is located in Auckland, the country's largest city. The 50,000 capacity stadium is located approximately 3km from the Central Business District and lies on the boundary between Mount Eden and Kingsland. Its rich sporting and social history and its international profile are unmatched by any other stadium in the country.

WEST PAC STADIUM – WELLINGTON

Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand could quite possibly be the location where the test series is clinched by either side. Also known as the Wellington Regional Stadium, the 35,000 capacity stadium is familiarly referred to as the 'Cake Tin' due to its shape and silver coloured external walls. The Westpac Stadium is situated in close proximity to  Wellington Harbour and a short distance from the Wellington District. The second test match will be played here on the 1st July.

NORTH ISLAND TOURING

Self-drive through spectacular ranges, rich pastures and boutique vineyards of Martinborough, giving way to rugged coastal shores as you travel north from Wellington towards farming land of Hawkes Bay and Havelock. Home for a few nights will be Napier – the art deco capital of New Zealand. Heading inland past the famous Lake Taupo and Huka Falls before arriving into geothermal Rotorua and the heart of the Maori culture. 

AUCKLAND

Whilst in the capital, experience the thrill of being on the ocean on a sailing excursion in the Americas Cup Yacht. Staying with our water theme, travel to Waiheke Island, cruising through the Hauraki Gulf on the Fuller Ferry. Spend the day exploring Waiheke Island, famous for its vineyards and pristine beaches.

WELLINGTON

Time to explore the windy city – a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner-city vibe. Go behind the scenes of Lord of the Rings in the Oscar Award Winning design studio located in the city. 

SOUTH ISLAND TOURING

Travel into the heart of Marlborough at the top end of the island. New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. Blenheim has a great county atmosphere and of course world class wines. On crossing the dry hills, arrive at the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, at Kaikoura Coast. Take a whale watching tour to encounter the prolific marine wildlife in this area.

Following the spectacular coastline before heading in land to Canterbury, home to Christchurch and the Antarctic Attraction. Learn about Akaroa’s coastline on board a classic sailing yacht and even try your hand at steering.

ACCOMMODATION

The chosen accommodation for this holiday is of four-star city standard. The hotels have been chosen for their central locations, and close to the waterfronts in both Wellington, Auckland and Napier and minutes walks to all attractions.

We have chosen boutique hotels in Rotorua and Kaikoura with great access to the vibrant restaurant zone or lakefront area. Accommodation is based on twin share room throughout on a bed and breakfast basis.

It is possible to upgrade hotels outside of the core cities, so Rotorua, Blenheim, Christchurch and Napier.

These packages are sold strictly on first come first served basis. Steppes Travel have exclusive access to 10 Test Match packages which are proving to be gold dust! Flights can be adjusted to suit your individual requirements with stopovers arranged at an additional charge. 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • International flights
  • Internal flights
  • All accommodation and meals as stated in the itinerary
  • All transfers

what is excluded

  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities

PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Singapore overnight

Day 2

Fly Singapore to Auckland


You will be staying at Grand Millennium Auckland

Day 3

Choice of activities and excursions
Day at leisure to explore the city, take a ferry over to historic Devonport, volcanic Rangitoto Island or beautiful Waiheke Island with its rolling hills and inviting vineyards. Get a bird’s eye view of the city from the Skytower, take a yacht out on the Huaraki golf or visit one of the museums or galleries in the city.


Pre Match Evening Entertainment
Something not to be missed if you love the very best rugby entertainment - the eve of Test match special events. Not only is the atmosphere special as Lions fans mingle together, swap stories and enjoy a relaxed drink in the built up to the next day's Test match, you will be blown away by our array of legends who will be there to entertain you. With complimentary food and drink included, there is no better way to hear first-hand from the biggest names of the game. It's special, it's what makes The Lions different, it's simply a wonderful rugby experience.


You will be staying at Grand Millennium Auckland

Day 4

Lions Test Match
Return group match transfers will be provided this afternoon to and from your city hotel and Eden Park.

The 2017 British & Irish Lions will play 10 matches on their tour of New Zealand including three test matches against the All Blacks. Experience the live action and true New Zealand rugby culture. Included in your tour is tickets to today's match against the All Blacks at Eden Park. Kick off at 3pm.

There will be access to the Lions Supporter Villages are where you come and meet on a match day and enjoy food, drink and entertainment from a host of Lions greats.


This is the first Test Match of the British & Irish Lions 2017


You will be staying at Grand Millennium Auckland

Day 5

Harbour Sailing Cruise
Taka a 90-minute sailing tour through Auckland's Viaduct Harbour with Americas Cup Yacht Sailing. Learn about the area's history, the America's Cup and the giant yachts that fill the exclusive marina. After the sails are set, glide under the Harbour Bridge and continue past Westhaven Marina, Chelsea Sugar Works, Devonport Naval Base and the city waterfront. Have the chance to help sail the yacht or just sit back, relax and admire the views.

Day 6

Drive from Auckland to Whitianga (Road Journey)


Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata; a popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers, the town boasts one of the best beaches in the region. Next you come to the old mining town of Waihi which still has an operating open cast gold mine (Martha Mine) that can be viewed from a vantage point signposted from the town centre. For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. For Lord of the Rings fans a detour to Matamata is recommended as this is the location of Hobbiton. Arriving into Rotorua from the north you are welcomed with some great views of the lake.

Driving time today is approximately three to four hours today.


Self Drive from Auckland to Whitianga via Coromandel
Today collect your rental car from Auckland city depot. As you leave the Auckland city boundary the landscape changes to lush farmland. You'll cross the fertile Hauraki Plains - one of New Zealand's largest dairy producing regions. Pass the Thames Estuary, a haven for wildlife and shore birds.Take a short detour to nearby Miranda (well sign posted) to see the large flocks of godwits and oystercatchers. Arriving into the old gold mining town of Thames, there are two different routes to the east coast of the Coromandel. Directly over the Coromandel Ranges will deliver you to the coast in a snappy 45 minutes, however the more scenic - and three hours longer - route takes you North to Coromandel Town along the Pohutukawa Coast. This is one of the most spectacular drives in the region and not to be missed. The driving time is approximately three hours.


You will be staying at 970 Lonely Bay Lodge

Day 7

Drive from Whitianga to Rotorua (Road Journey)


Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata; a popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers, the town boasts one of the best beaches in the region. Next you come to the old mining town of Waihi which still has an operating open cast gold mine (Martha Mine) that can be viewed from a vantage point signposted from the town centre. For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. For Lord of the Rings fans a detour to Matamata is recommended as this is the location of Hobbiton. Arriving into Rotorua from the north you are welcomed with some great views of the lake.

Driving time today is approximately three to four hours today.


Rotorua sits right in the centre of the world's most volcanically active region and this is highly evident through the smell of sulphur. No visit to Rotorua would be complete without visiting one of the many geothermal parks. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is around 30 minutes from Rotorua and here a network of paths will take you past bubbling pools, sulphur ponds, geysers and waterfalls. For a more relaxing thermal experience, you can't go past the Polynesian Spa, either soak in their mineral pools or experience a unique 'mud massage'. White Island sits around 40 kilometres off the Bay of Plenty coast and is still one the most active volcanoes in the world. Volcanic Air Safaris offer scenic flights to the island and the opportunity to land and explore the original sulphur mines. They also offer scenic flights over Mt. Tarawera and float plane flights to Orakei Korako Hidden Valley. Rotorua is also the heartland of Maori culture in New Zealand and Mitai Maori Village lets you experience the stories, singing and traditional Maori kai (food) cooked in a hangi. For a deeper understanding of Maori arts and crafts, visit Te Puia the premier Maori Arts and Cultural centre. As well as the lake which is teeming with trout for the anglers amongst you, there are opportunities to get up close to our national animal the sheep at Agrodome and the kiwi at Rainbow Springs. For those looking to enjoy some of the adrenalin packed adventures New Zealand is renowned for you'll be pleased to know Rotorua rivals Queenstown for adventure, so whether you are zorbing, rafting or flying through the forest canopy you'll have a blast.


Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is a geothermal sightseeing attraction just outside of Rotorua. The area is known as New Zealand's most colourful and diverse geothermal site. Its English translation is "sacred waters". Features of this area include geysers, mud pools, mineral terraces, colourful hot and cold pools and steaming volcanic lakes. Famous attractions include the Lady Knox Geyser that erupts daily at the same time, the Champagne Pool, the Devil's Bath, the Artist's palette and New Zealand's largest boiling mud pool.


You will be staying at Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel & Spa

Day 8

Explore Rotorua
Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Spend time at leisure exploring at your own pace. Here are our recommendations. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, Rotorua is the perfect place to immerse yourself in our local culture. Spend at evening at Mitai Maori Village for a hangi dinner and Maori performance. Book in for some relaxation at the Polynesian Spa and choose between a mud wrap, coconut oil massage or private mineral pool soak - or perhaps just get them all!

Land in a helicopter on White Island, New Zealand's most active volcano and traverse the crater for a once-in-a-lifetime hike. Those in need of an adrenalin rush, should spend time at Agroventures Adventure Park static skydiving, bungy jumping, and ‘swooping’ on the giant swing. For a calmer day out, head up the Skyline Gondola for awe-inspiring views of the lake. While you're there, grab a night luge pass for an extra thrill.

A fifty minute drive to nearby Matamata will land you directly in ‘middle earth’ Hobbiton, and is must see for even the most half hearted Lord Of The Rings fans. For the die-hard however, spend the night at one of the many nearby farm stays to maximise your time in movie-land. Round off your Rotorua stay at the Wia-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and see the multicolored hot springs, geysers and boiling, mud pools.


You will be staying at Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel & Spa

Day 9

Self Drive from Rotorua to Napier
This drive will take you through the thermal region just south of Rotorua. Home to a plethora of unique geothermal attractions including boiling mud pits, natural hot springs and steaming geysers, this area is a must do before you move on to Napier. Notable attractions are Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu and Craters of the Moon.

Continue on to Taupo and marvel at the lake - a giant crater formed following a volcanic eruption in the year 180 CE. As you approach the city, be sure to stop at Huka Falls to view the spectacular sight of 222,000 litres of water spilling down the narrow 11 metre drop.

For an extra thrill take a jet-boat ride to the base of the falls. Leaving Taupo, follow the road as it climbs the rugged Ahimanawa Range before descending back down the Pacific Coast to art deco Napier.

The driving distance for this leg is approximately two to three hours.

Drive from Rotorua to Napier (Road Journey)


Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata; a popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers, the town boasts one of the best beaches in the region. Next you come to the old mining town of Waihi which still has an operating open cast gold mine (Martha Mine) that can be viewed from a vantage point signposted from the town centre. For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. For Lord of the Rings fans a detour to Matamata is recommended as this is the location of Hobbiton. Arriving into Rotorua from the north you are welcomed with some great views of the lake.

Driving time today is approximately three to four hours today.


With is mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. A trip to Mission Estate, touted as the the birthplace of NZ wine, can't be missed. For the truly enthused, head out on a tour of the vines. We recommend the Grape Escape to make the most of what's on offer. Those into Gatsby will enjoy the chance to view prominent Art Deco landmarks on a 1930s Vintage Car Tour. Passengers will spend just over an hour learning about the history of the city's architecture - including the Napier Municipal Theatre, one of the top ten Art Deco Buildings in the world. If you're after some fresh air, hire a bike and take your pick of one of over 200km of cycling trails or head on down to one of the many beaches that ring the area. Ocean or Waimarama beach are good choices, and both are patrolled by surf lifeguards during the summer. Indulge in some local produce and head out on a cheese, chocolate, honey or orchard tour. Climb on the apple wagon at Pernell Orchard for a hour long ride through its 33 hectares of fruit or Tempt your taste buds with a trip to the Silky Oak Chocolate Company. End on a high with another ride, this time in comfortable trailer pulled by a tractor en-route to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony - the largest of its kind in the world.


You will be staying at Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Day 10

Self Drive from Napier to Wellington City
The rolling countryside of the Hawke's Bay leads you into some of New Zealand’s richest farmland, located around the Manawatu region. Passing along the Manawatu Gorge the Wairarapa welcomes you. Masterton is home to the golden shears sheep shearing competition while just further south Greytown boasts the largest concentration of historic wooden buildings in the country.

Nearby Martinborough is home to dozens of boutique wineries. The route takes you over the Rimutaka Range and along the magnificent natural harbour that the capital city of Wellington sits upon.

Driving time today is approximately four hours.

Drive from Napier to Wellington (Road Journey)


Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata; a popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers, the town boasts one of the best beaches in the region. Next you come to the old mining town of Waihi which still has an operating open cast gold mine (Martha Mine) that can be viewed from a vantage point signposted from the town centre. For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. For Lord of the Rings fans a detour to Matamata is recommended as this is the location of Hobbiton. Arriving into Rotorua from the north you are welcomed with some great views of the lake.

Driving time today is approximately three to four hours today.


Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.


Rest of the day at leisure


Lions Tour 2017 - Pre Match Evening Function
Something not to be missed if you love the very best rugby entertainment - our eve of Test match special events. Not only is the atmosphere special as Lions fans mingle together, swap stories and enjoy a relaxed drink in the built up to the next day's Test match, you will be blown away by our array of legends who will be there to entertain you. With complimentary food and drink included, there is no better way to hear first-hand from the biggest names of the game. It's special, it's what makes The Lions different, it's simply a wonderful rugby experience.


You will be staying at Travelodge Wellington

Day 11

British & Irish Lions Test Match - All Blacks vs Lions at Westpac Stadium
The 2017 British & Irish Lions will play 10 matches on their tour of New Zealand including three test matches against the All Blacks. Experience the live action and true New Zealand rugby culture. Included is your tickets to tonights match against the All Blacks at Westpac Stadium Wellington.

You will have official category A match tickets to All Blacks vs The British & Irish Lions in the city.

There will be access to the Lions Supporter Villages are where you come and meet on a match day and enjoy food, drink and entertainment from a host of Lions greats.


You will be staying at Travelodge Wellington

Day 12

Explore Wellington City at your leisure
You have free time to see the sights of your choice. Perhaps take a tour of Parliament or one of the Lord of the Rings movie tours, or even a cruise to Somes Island in Wellington Harbour.


Choice of activities and excursions
Today is at leisure. If you are keen to start exploring ideas are listed below.

Head to Te Papa Museum for a history lesson and a ticket to one of its many international exhibitions or jump aboard the Wellington Cable Car at Lambton Quay - the only running funicular railway in the country. For those with an eye for boutique fashion wander through Cuba St to sample some of the city's best vintage stores. Break for coffee at a hipster cafe and be sure to snap a pic outside the ‘Beehive,’ New Zealand’s parliamentary debate chamber.

Go behind the scenes at Weta Workshop, the Oscar Award Winning design studio behind Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, and Avatar. We recommend a 45 minute guided tour through both the Workshop and Weta Cave. If you're a foodie at heart, a two hour round trip to Martinborough is a must do. Take your time as you wind through spectacular wine country, and be sure to stop in at Martinborough Wines or Ata Rangi Martinborough. For a educational day out, learn about New Zealand's native species at Zealandia - the world's first fully fenced eco-sanctuary and home to over 40 types of endangered and native bird.


You will be staying at Travelodge Wellington

Day 13

Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton
The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around three hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the country's highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph). From the Cook Strait spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen. Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds. This region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays is a remarkable photographic opportunity. At the end of Queen Charlotte Sound the cruise comes to an end in the picturesque town of Picton.


Drop your rental car at the ferry terminal this morning. Park your vehicle in the marked car parks.

Drive from Picton to Blenheim (Road Journey)


Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata; a popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers, the town boasts one of the best beaches in the region. Next you come to the old mining town of Waihi which still has an operating open cast gold mine (Martha Mine) that can be viewed from a vantage point signposted from the town centre. For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. For Lord of the Rings fans a detour to Matamata is recommended as this is the location of Hobbiton. Arriving into Rotorua from the north you are welcomed with some great views of the lake.

Driving time today is approximately three to four hours today.


Picton to Blenheim
Only a short 30 minute drive, you’ll follow the valley south to arrive in Blenheim, located in the heart of Marlborough - New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. Go through acres of leafy green vines and marvel at the the magnificent ‘dry hills’ of Marlborough in the distance.


You will be staying at Chateau Marlborough Blenheim

Day 14

Explore Blenheim
Surrounded by row upon row of vines, Blenheim sits at the heart of the Marlborough Wine region. A compact town centred on an old fashioned market place, Blenheim is a great place to soak up the country atmosphere. A great choice of cafes, restaurants and shops will help you while away time. Of course the region is most famous for its world class wines and a visit would not be complete without sampling the vintages at the many wineries.

Drive from Blenheim to Kaikoura (Road Journey)


Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata; a popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers, the town boasts one of the best beaches in the region. Next you come to the old mining town of Waihi which still has an operating open cast gold mine (Martha Mine) that can be viewed from a vantage point signposted from the town centre. For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. For Lord of the Rings fans a detour to Matamata is recommended as this is the location of Hobbiton. Arriving into Rotorua from the north you are welcomed with some great views of the lake.

Driving time today is approximately three to four hours today.


Self Drive - Blenheim to Kaikoura
Cross the 'dry hills' of Marlborough and head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view native wildlife. To the east is the South Pacific Ocean and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Kaikoura Township is a bustling little place with many cafes, restaurants and shops - but the main reason for visiting here is the wildlife - and it’s one of the only places in New Zealand you can see whales year round.

Driving time today is just over one hour.


Whale Watching Trip
Kaikoura is New Zealand's world famous whale watching destination. Sperm Whales can be seen here year-round while 7 other whale species visit regularly. Encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. See migrating Humpback, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales, although this will depend on the time of year. Whale Watch is New Zealand's only marine-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale at all times of the year.

You should reconfirm your Whale Watch tour the day prior or in the morning if you are taking an afternoon tour. Sailings can be cancelled or postponed if sea conditions are not suitable. Call Whale Watch on 0800 655 121 and quote you.

A full safety briefing is given first and you will spend approximately 2 1/2 hours at sea. If you suffer from motion sickness then please take precautions and please make sure you are dressed for the conditions.


You will be staying at Manakau Lodge

Day 15

Self Drive from Kaikoura to Christchurch
The drive from Kaikoura to Christchurch continues to follow the spectacular coastline before heading inland and through North Canterbury’s major wine region, the Waipara Valley. You are also introduced you to the South Island’s most numerous inhabitant, the sheep. A great detour to take is the side trip to Hanmer Springs for a relaxing dip in the thermal pools. Christchurch you'll see a new and improved city, steadily rising from the ruins of the 2011 earthquake.

The driving time today is approximately two hours.

Drive from Kaikoura to Christchurch (Road Journey)


Heading south from the Coromandel Peninsula you pass through the seaside town of Whangamata; a popular location for Kiwi holidaymakers, the town boasts one of the best beaches in the region. Next you come to the old mining town of Waihi which still has an operating open cast gold mine (Martha Mine) that can be viewed from a vantage point signposted from the town centre. For rail enthusiasts the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. The route now takes you into the Bay of Plenty and the port town of Tauranga before you head along the scenic Pyes Pa Road to Rotorua. For Lord of the Rings fans a detour to Matamata is recommended as this is the location of Hobbiton. Arriving into Rotorua from the north you are welcomed with some great views of the lake.

Driving time today is approximately three to four hours today.


International Antarctic Centre Genaral Admission
At the Antarctic Attraction their aim is to re-create the atmosphere and environment of Antarctica, providing visitors with an interactive, fun and exciting experience of the "Great White South". For most people this will be the closest they will be able to come to experiencing this continent.

General Admission includes entry to all indoor attractions, unlimited Hagglund rides and the 4D show.


You will be staying at Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

Day 16

Akaroa Day Trip - Cruise & Lunch with Canterbury Leisure Tours
Board the Classic ‘A-Class' Keeler, for a 2½ hour sailing experience discovery tour. The 1946 Classic Ocean sailing yacht has no engine, so you will cruise using the power of the wind with no noise or diesel exhaust smell, and no pollution to harm the endangered wildlife.

You will have the opportunity to see and hear the Hector Dolphins, the penguins calling to each other, and the unique sea bird life. Learn about Akaroa's historic secrets and legends from your experienced, local Kiwi crew. Take a turn steering the yacht yourself, or simply relax in the ‘Royal seats’ and watch the action.

Your cruise departs at the end of the Akaroa Main Wharf (past the blue buildings).


Choice of activities and excursions
Time to yourself in Christchurch to enjoy:
- The botanic gardens of Hagley Park, rated among the top ten botanic gardens in the world.

- The city’s stunning art gallery features international and New Zealand artwork dating back centuries.

- Overlooking the city are the old volcanic hills of Banks Peninsula, and close by is the quaint, French- influenced town of Akaroa, where you can join a wildlife cruise and discover penguins, seals, seabirds and the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins.

- Beside Christchurch International Airport, a major departure point for Antarctica, is the International Antarctic Centre, which has been judged New Zealand’s top visitor attraction.

- The city caters well for golfers, with three of the country’s top courses Russley, Terrace Downs and Clearwater all nearby.
- If you are seeking more serious adventure, balloon flights, tandem skydiving and jet boat tours provide the added bonus of views of the Southern Alps.

- For wining, dining and entertainment there are boutique breweries, themed pubs, award winning restaurants, a casino, and New Zealand’s fastest growing wine region in the immediate vicinity.

-Punting on the Avon. Sink back into the velvet cushions of the boat as the Edwardian punter gently glides you down the Avon River, through the beautiful historic inner city of Christchurch and the trailing willows and leafy banks of the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens.


You will be staying at Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

Day 17

Drop your rental car at the airport depot. Remember to fill up the car with fuel.

Fly Christchurch to Auckland


Pre Match Evening Entertainment
Something not to be missed if you love the very best rugby entertainment - the eve of Test match special events. Not only is the atmosphere special as Lions fans mingle together, swap stories and enjoy a relaxed drink in the built up to the next day's Test match, you will be blown away by our array of legends who will be there to entertain you. With complimentary food and drink included, there is no better way to hear first-hand from the biggest names of the game. It's special, it's what makes The Lions different, it's simply a wonderful rugby experience.


You will be staying at City Life Auckland

Day 18

Lions Test Match
Return group match transfers will be provided this afternoon to and from your city hotel and Eden Park.

The 2017 British & Irish Lions will play 10 matches on their tour of New Zealand including three test matches against the All Blacks. Experience the live action and true New Zealand rugby culture. Included in your tour is tickets to today's match against the All Blacks at Eden Park. Kick off at 3pm.

There will be access to the Lions Supporter Villages are where you come and meet on a match day and enjoy food, drink and entertainment from a host of Lions greats.


You will be staying at City Life Auckland

Day 19

Explore Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island is the most visited island in the gulf. Spend the day exploring. A delightful 45 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland will find you standing at Matiatia Wharf set to enjoy a multitude of diverse attractions. The island is home to around 7,000 people but during the summer weekends there can be as many as 35,000 people enjoying the vineyards, restaurants, cafes, arts and the idyllic scenery. Among the two dozen or so vineyards on the island, Mudbrick, Goldwater Estate, Stoneyridge and Te Whau are some of the best known. The beaches are pristine and the countryside provides many interesting walks. Most notable is the trip to Stoney Batter where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Hauraki Gulf. The area also has the remains of gun emplacements and a series of tunnels and chambers, protected by the historic places trust.

Day 20

Choice of activities and excursions
Day at leisure to explore the city, take a ferry over to historic Devonport, volcanic Rangitoto Island or beautiful Waiheke Island with its rolling hills and inviting vineyards. Get a bird’s eye view of the city from the Skytower, take a yacht out on the Huaraki golf or visit one of the museums or galleries in the city.

Fly Auckland to Singapore overnight

Day 21

Fly Singapore to London

Destination Experts

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Charles Knights, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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