Operated by ?
Select Cosmos South Pacific vacations are limited to an average of just 20 guests per departure. There’s always room to roam with extra space between you and other travelers—while still getting up close and personal to the experiences you’ve been dreaming of. Small-Group Discoveries include all the features of a traditional Cosmos escorted tour, complete with expert Tour Director, Driver, and Local Guides who ensure that your health and safety is our top priority. A Small-Group Discovery South Pacific vacation is the perfectly sized tour—without the crowds.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
No meals included
Kia ora and welcome to New Zealand! Hotel rooms are available for immediate check-in. A pre-night is not required for early check-in. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or start exploring.
This morning begins with a welcome briefing to meet fellow passengers and your Tour Director. Then, enjoy a sightseeing tour, discovering first hand why Auckland is regarded as one of the best places in the world to live. See the Domain, the city’s oldest park, developed around an extinct volcano. Highlights also include charming Parnell Village, bustling Queens Street, and the Viaduct Harbour. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for additional sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
Leave Auckland this morning and journey through lush farm land to Rotorua, home to New Zealand’s Máori culture and geothermal wonders. Our first stop is Te Puia where a guided tour allows you to see bubbling mud, pools of boiling water, and the famous Pohutu Geyser, the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere. You’ll also have a chance to witness traditional Máori carving and weaving along with a Máori cultural performance. Then, visit Agrodome to learn more about one of the country’s major industries—sheep! This evening is at leisure.
Today is free to explore more of Rotorua. You may wish to take an optional excursion to visit magical Hobbiton, the set used as the Shire in the movie trilogies, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Other options include a zipline and canopy tour, helicopter and floatplane flights over the volcanic valley, or a relaxing soak in a natural hot spring at the Polynesian Spa. In the evening, you may want to attend an optional Máori Hangi dinner and cultural performance.
Today we continue our journey on the North Island traveling past Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Later, arrive in Napier, located in the beautiful Hawk’s Bay region. This afternoon, a walking tour explains how a natural disaster resulted in Napier becoming one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. With the rest of the day at leisure, you may wish to take a stroll on the beach, shop for a favorite souvenir, or visit the National Aquarium to see sharks, stingrays, penguins, and more.
Continue to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city known for is vibrant art scene, world-class restaurant culture, and active outdoor lifestyle. Upon arrival, a sightseeing tour includes the famous Beehive and Parliament building and panoramic views of the city and harbor from the top of Mount Victoria.
Today, enjoy a special treat as you sail from Wellington to Picton and enjoy the spectacular Marlborough Sound on one of the most scenic ferry journeys in the world. Make sure to have your camera ready as dolphins are frequent traveling companions of the ferry. On occasion, you might even spot a pod of whales or some penguins swimming by. Continue to Christchurch, the largest city on the South IsIand for an overnight stay.
Our journey continues across New Zealand’s South Island today. This is the land of towering mountains, rugged coastlines, and sweeping plains. Stop at beautiful Lake Tekapo for a visit to the picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd. Later, arrive in Queenstown, the “Adventure Capital,” for a 3-night stay. This evening you may want to take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak, where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu below.
Today is free to explore on your own. You may want to take the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamship to Walter Peak Farm for a delicious lunch or dinner, discover a favorite boutique or art gallery, or take an exciting helicopter ride over the Remarkables Mountains.
Today, enjoy a full-day excurison to breathtaking Milford Sound. Cruise to see cascading waterfalls, sheer cliff walls, tropical rainforest, wildlife including seals and dolphins, and fantastic scenery. It’s sure to be a highlight of your trip! Return to Queenstown late this evening. Note—The excursion to Milford Sound may occur on Day 9, based on weather and road conditions.
Your vacation ends this morning.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
Situated in the heart of downtown Auckland, President Hotel features 120 air-conditioned and non-smoking guestrooms, fully-equipped gym, on-site restaurant, dry-cleaning and laundry, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Quest Auckland offers guests a relaxed and comfortable Auckland accommodation experience. Located in downtown Auckland, the hotel is nearby ample shops and restaurants. Comfortable guestrooms feature cable TV, laundry, hairdryer, and internet access.
Set on the shores of mystical Lake Rotorua, Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua offers spectacular vistas. The hotel features a lakeside restaurant and bar, pool, currency exchange, spa services, coin-operated, self-service laundry, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Adjacent to picturesque Clive Square in the heart of Napier, expressotel Napier features spacious and well-appointed guestrooms, on-site restaurant, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Located at the doorstep of downtown Wellington, the Thorndon Hotel Wellington offers fresh, comfortable and light guestrooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, on-site restaurant and bar, complimentary use of City Fitness Gym Thorndon, and coin-operated, self-service laundry.
Centrally located in downtown Christchurch, Quest Christchurch offers apartment-style guestrooms and complimentary Wi-Fi. Located in downtown Christchurch, the hotel is within walking distance of Cathedral Square. Bright and comfortable guestrooms feature cable TV, laundry, kitchenette, and internet access.
Superbly situated in the very heart of this historic garden city, Ibis Christchurch is located just off Cathedral Square, and is close to cafes, restaurants, museums and many of Christchurch's most popular attractions.
Overlooking the Frankfort Arm inlet of Lake Wakatipu, Holiday Inn Queenstown Frankton Road is a modern, contemporary hotel featuring spacious guestrooms, on-site restaurant, coin-operated, self-service laundry, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
The Swiss-style Heartland Hotel Queenstown offers stunning views of the mountains and Lake Wakatipu. The hotel features guest laundry and dry cleaning, on-site restaurant and bar, 24-hour room service, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.