Flavouring New Zealand

WITH the breathtaking snow-capped Mt Cook in the background, the lamb, venison, whitebait and local salmon served in the famous Panorama Room at the acclaimed Hermitage Hotel take on even more flavour.

New Zealand’s best Japanese restaurant, Miyazu in Nelson, is also on the menu, as is the five-star Hotel Continental’s award-winning restaurant Chameleon in Wellington.

But you’re not locked into venues. What are known as “Dine around Dinners” in Nelson, Mt Cook, Christchurch and Queenstown means travellers can choose where to dine and it’s all included in the tour price.

Also, a “Freedom of Choice” dining concept means travellers can choose to dine early or late, with friends or alone, and select from a la carte menus.

This is not a restaurant review story, just an appetiser to the dining experiences of Premier Plus coach touring which combines New Zealand’s fantastic scenery and cultural history with the country’s wine and superb fresh food, the best available resorts and hotels and luxury 48-seater European coaches carrying just 38 passengers which means less hassle with transfers, closer attention from tour director and more time to enjoy yourself.

An overnight stay at the Hermitage with guaranteed Mt Cook view rooms is another good example of the special treatment availed to Premier Plus clients because some tour operators spend just a few hours there. 

Premier Plus coach tours are APT tours specially designed for discerning travellers who want style and comfort incorporated in their experiences of this country’s must-see natural attractions.

The most popular APT Premier Plus tour is the 18-day Great New Zealand Experience which visits key sites such as Bay of Islands, Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, Nelson, Franz Josef Glaciers, Haast, Te Anau, Queenstown, Mt Cook and Christchurch.  It cruises the Milford Sound and even takes a ride on the TranzAlpine train.

APT’s trademark “Freedom of Choice Touring” offers a selection of local tours at no extra cost in Auckland, Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Queenstown and Dunedin, so again travellers are not locked in to strict itineraries.

New Freedom of Choice touring options are a Maori Culture Show in the Bay of Islands (where the Waitangi Treaty was signed), the ‘Kiwi Encounter’ at Rotorua, and AJ Hackett’s ‘Secrets of Bungy’ Tour at Queenstown.

To provide plenty of time for local exploring, APT has allocated two-night stays in each of the Bay of Islands, Rotorua and Queenstown.

This tour includes accommodation, 39 meals, cruises, tipping, sightseeing and entrance fees, so there are just incidentals to budget for, like pre-dinner drinks and wine with dinner, or adventure options such as scenic flights or helicopter rides.

On the other hand, if you want to see the icon sites without the five-star trimmings, APT’s Premier Touring offers traditional coach tour in four-star quality coach and similar accommodation in excellent locations and four-star coach.

Contact: call 1300 337 158, visit or see a travel agent. 

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