Summary of The Day: After breakfast, we'll begin our tour in the country’s largest city: Auckland. It is unsurprising that a quarter of the population reside here when you consider it is a region of stunning beaches, enchanted holiday islands, a sunny climate, with a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping. Depending on the season and weather for that day, your guide will take you on an orientation tour to let you get acquainted with the city.
Then we'll hit the road together on our way south to the North Island’s best-kept secret: the Coromandel. Beautiful remote beaches, dense wooded forest and clear blue waters make the Coromandel one of New Zealand’s favorite getaways.
Together, at low tide, we’ll make our way to the world-famous Hot Water Beach. When the tide’s out, you can dig a hole in the sand where natural hot springs bubble up to create your own personal hot tub!
You’ll also carve your own tiki pendant from bone here, a very special and unique Kiwi experience. What a better souvenir to take home than one you made yourself in a traditional activity?
Summary of The Day: It’s no secret that many blockbuster hits have been filmed in New Zealand due to its incredible landscapes.
We’ll walk together out along the cliffs down to Cathedral Cove (which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Narnia). Beautiful in its own right, with perfect beaches and massive rock arches and columns, it’s one of the most popular spots in the Coromandel and for a good reason: It doesn’t look real.
From the Coromandel, we’ll head west through some beautiful lush green hills dotted with New Zealand’s iconic sheep before making our way to Waitomo, home of the one of a kind glowworm caves.
Summary of The Day: Waitomo has become famous around the world thanks to its magnificent glowworm caves. How many chances do you get to go caving in a place with blue glowworms twinkling on the ceiling? There are many different ways to explore the caves, but if you are open to adventure and getting your feet wet, the best way to experience Waitomo is by black water rafting.
Dressed in a wetsuit, sitting on top of an inner tube, you can float down the caverns and underground maze. With your headlamp off, it seems as if you are looking up at the sky filled with blue stars. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can opt on one of the caving tours where you abseil down into the caverns, tube, zipline and climb waterfalls before popping out at the end. But don’t worry, there’s a different way to explore the caves for everyone.
After lunch we’ll hop on over to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. Nicknamed the “Vegas” of New Zealand, Rotorua has heaps of activities and things to do for everyone.
A favorite activity for many is the Zorb - a Kiwi invention that involves rolling down a hill whilst inside a giant air cushioned ball! Taking in one of the Maori cultural evenings, getting to experience the traditional Maori heritage and welcome, is another tour highlight.
Summary of The Day: While the North Island is predominantly volcanic, Rotorua is exceptional for its geothermal activity. With neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore, there are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than many other places in the world.
We’ll start out with optional white water rafting or sledging on the Kaituna River which includes a 7 meter waterfall, though if you prefer a more relaxed morning, there are plenty of other spots to explore around town, including some local hot springs if you want to take it easy.
Here you’ll have the chance to head over to Matamata and tour the Hobbiton film set from the Lord of the Rings, as well the Otorohonga Kiwi House where you can get a glimpse of our national icon. Reenact scenes from the movies with the rest of the group or just pretend to be a Hobbit while sipping some of the pub’s famous ginger beer.
Together we’ll ride up the Rotorua cable car for great views of the area with the chance of racing each other down to the bottom in the Luge (Luge is purchased on tour). Have your cameras ready!
On the way to Taupo we stop at what makes Rotorua famous, along with giving it its unique smell: Orakei Korako or Waiotapu. These are extraordinary geyserland and thermal parks where you can walk around and check out all the unique geothermal activity in the area.
Summary of The Day: Lake Taupo is actually a giant volcanic crater created 70,000 years ago in one of the biggest eruptions in history. Peaceful nowadays, it’s one of New Zealand’s best places to escape and vacation. Also, being New Zealand, there are plenty of adventure sports to be found there too.
If you’re looking for a thrill, we suggest skydiving over the lake or bungy jumping over New Zealand’s longest river (and, for the really brave, getting dunked in). There are heaps of other activities on offer such as quad biking, cruising the lake to see Maori rock carvings, hiking along the shores, mountain biking and even the chance to soak in some of the local geothermal pools. There is definitely an activity for everyone in Taupo and your guide will certainly have plenty of tips and suggestions.
If you want to experience New Zealand’s most famous day hike, the 19.4 km Tongariro Crossing is begging you to visit. An alpine crossing around Tongariro, one of the North Island’s most famous and most beautiful volcanoes. It may be a calf burner but it’s worth every minute for the great views and volcanic landscape. Turquoise and green volcanic lakes greet you at the top, along with vistas that stretch on for miles to the coast. If you are feeling fit, you can even scramble up Mt. Ngauruhoe, which starred as Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings.
Summary of The Day: On our way down to Wellington, we will get spectacular views of the famous volcanoes - Ruapehu, Tongariro and of course, Ngauruhoe, which is better known as Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings films.
On the road we will also have the chance to stop at Mokai Gravity Canyon, an extreme adventure park which offers New Zealand’s second largest bungy and the world’s most extreme Flying Fox (a 1.2km zipline, which reaches a top speed of 160kp/h). Pair up with a new buddy or two on the tour and fly down the canyon together! Go on, we dare you! Your guide will definitely have a surprise or two in store along the way as well.
When we arrive in Wellington, kick back, relax and let our knowledgeable guide sort out the planning for an exciting night on the town.
Summary of The Day: Tucked away at the bottom of the North Island, New Zealand’s capital is anything but boring. A fun young city with tons of green spaces and beaches, it feels more like a small town than an urban capital. Packed with quirky bars, quaint cafes, beautiful street art and heaps of things to do, it’s impossible not to love Wellington.
There is something for everyone here: be amazed at Weta Studios, where the Lord of the Rings movies were produced; ride the old fashioned cable car to the Botanic Gardens; visit Te Papa, Wellington’s famous (and free) museum filled with peculiar things, interactive exhibits as well as the stories and legends behind the history of New Zealand; or explore the various beautiful beaches around town. Go on, let your inner kid come out to play.
Join the group on a trip up Mt. Victoria, one of Wellington’s most iconic spots. With the best views in town and plenty of walks and tracks to tackle, Mt. Vic is a Wellington icon and a highlight of the trip.
Summary of The Day: One of the most iconic and classic New Zealand activities is sailing across Cook Strait between the North and South Islands. From the decks of the ferry, the city lights of Wellington fade but before long we’ll be greeted with views of the vast ocean. Keep a look out for the occasional dolphin leaping alongside the boat; as if the views couldn’t be more perfect!
After taking in a vineyard or two, soon the sweeping mountains around the Marlborough Sounds rise up, welcoming us to the South Island. Road tripping along the rugged coast to Kaikoura offers views of tremendous mountains that crash down to the turquoise ocean, with seal colonies and waterfalls dotted here and there.
Be sure to have your camera ready for a visit to the fur seal colonies (there may even be even baby seals!) and for all of the great sea life you’re going to spot. If it’s warm enough, we’ll even have a bonfire on the beach together and cook up a family BBQ.
Summary of The Day: Rugged snowcapped mountains drop right down to the beach in Kaikoura, making it an incredible backdrop to experience the famous sea life in the area.
There’s something for every traveler in Kaikoura: go giant whale watching, take a surf lesson, go fishing, kayak, play mini-golf or swim with hundreds of friendly and curious wild dolphins in the bright blue water; how often do you get to swim with dolphins in the wild?
Eventually we’ll make our way down to Christchurch, a beautiful garden-filled city with lazy rivers and heritage buildings. We finish the day by coming home to our very own Haka Lodge.
Having a family BBQ together, while hanging out with new friends as the sun goes down, makes for a perfect way to end an epic day on the South Island.
Summary of The Day: While Christchurch was seriously damaged during several earthquakes a few years ago, the city is undergoing a wonderful transformation and has nothing but potential.
We’ll explore the iconic downtown area and check out the cool ways the city has reunited and is being rebuilt. With lots of quirky shops, specialized cafes and spots to dine, along with a young fun Kiwi culture, Christchurch shouldn’t be missed.
After exploring Christchurch, we’ll make our way to Tekapo, one of New Zealand’s most famous lakes. Surrounded by the jagged Southern Alps, the bright turquoise Lake Tekapo will leave you questioning if someone dropped blue food coloring in it.
Minerals left by ancient glaciers give the lake its iconic turquoise color. Combine this with the towering mountains and purple and pink Lupin flowers along its banks, and you’ll understand why Lake Tekapo couldn’t be prettier.
Summary of The Day: The road to Queenstown (scattered with dozens of glacial blue lakes, soaring mountains and lush valleys) is almost as beautiful as the town itself. Between wine tasting in the famous Otago region, to exploring some of the local salmon farms, we’ll have the chance to see a more diverse side of the South Island.
The undisputed adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is always at the top of the list of any trip around the South Island. Surrounded by the stunning Remarkables, some of the most beautiful mountains in NZ, and sprawling along the banks of the dazzling Lake Wakatipu, its location is straight from a postcard.
Together we’ll hop on up the gondola and see Queenstown from above. There is nothing like watching the sunset over New Zealand’s prettiest town with new friends before experiencing the famous Queenstown nightlife. We’ll crash for the night at the Haka Lodge, cook some meals together, and chill out in the best, luxury hostel-lodge in town.
Summary of The Day: With a full day in Queenstown, you can pack in as many bucket list activities as you wish. There are many different options to choose from: paragliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping while your
friends cheer you on, horse riding through some stunning Lord of the Rings locations in Glenorchy and swinging through a canyon Tarzan-style with a new friend. Queenstown is definitely a highlight of any trip to New Zealand.
Queenstown is also home to New Zealand’s most famous burger: Fergburger. Why not grab one with your new friends as you explore the town?
If you’re into hiking, you might even be able to hop on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and tackle part of the Routeburn track.
One of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, Milford Sound, is not to be missed. Driving into the park is stunning in and of itself, but just wait ‘til you get on the water! Sailing around the fiords beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular spots in New Zealand.
Beautiful in rain or shine, Milford is universally loved by all, and takes the biscuit as one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful areas of the South Island. With the occasional sea lion or dolphin popping up to say hello, it makes the journey there and around even more special.
Summary of The Day: The drive to Wanaka from Queenstown is spectacular, filled with great views, beautiful stops and plenty of surprises. We’ll stop in the stunning and historic Arrowtown for a bit of exploring.
En route to Wanaka, we stop in at New Zealand’s oldest pub for a drink or two in Cardrona before arriving at the lakeside holiday town of Wanaka.
A year round destination, Wanaka is surrounded by towering mountains and a glacial blue lake with plenty of things to do and with a thriving young vibe in town. In the warmer months, there are tons of lake activities to choose from, such as swimming, waterskiing, kayaking and wakeboarding. There are beautiful hikes and bike rides all around the lake and plenty of adventure activities to get stuck into.
In the winter, Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s most popular snow sports destinations, with several great ski fields close by. Hit the cafes on the lakefront for a drink at the end of the day with the group to unwind.
Summary of The Day: Start the day off right with a skydive over Wanaka, taking in the spectacular glaciers we’ll head to later in the day, and even get views of Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. If you’re feeling nostalgic, take a step back in time with a flight over the lake and town in a vintage Tiger Moth biplane.
You’ll also have the chance to mountain bike along the lake, climb up the iconic Mt. Iron in town for some sweet views or hit up the iconic Puzzling World for a bit of fun and games.
We’ll then make our way towards the wild west coast of the South Island, traversing the beautiful mountains in Haast and getting a good look towards the sea. Get excited, this is one of the most scenic and iconic road trips around New Zealand. Apart from the sick west coast views, there are plenty of surprises and secret spots in store today.
Between September and December its whitebait season (a small fish that’s a delicacy in New Zealand). Fried up with eggs and served on toast, it’s a local treat and shouldn’t be missed. We’ll stop at a one of the secret local spots to try it out.
Summary of The Day: Another New Zealand favorite: Franz Josef Glacier. You’ll marvel at the sight of bright blue ice fields, surrounded by luscious green mountains, dropping down into a temperate rainforest (the only kind in the world). Relatively easy to access, hiking on or around the glaciers is a must-do.
There are plenty of different ways to enjoy Franz Josef; you can take a scenic helicopter flight and hike on the glaciers, try ice-climbing for the first time, or relax in the hot springs down below. You can even carve your own Greenstone necklace in town.
Apart from the beautiful glaciers, there are also plenty of opportunities for kayaking, quad biking, horseback riding and even a bit of group karaoke in Franz Josef!
With Mt. Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand.
Summary of The Day: We head to the beautiful west coast on one of the most spectacular drives in the world; the rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest is juxtaposed against breathtaking beaches and ocean waves.
En route from Franz Josef we pass through Ross, a town that arose from gold mining. The gold rush days of the second half of the 19th century were largely responsible for opening up the west coast for settlement. Before this, there was a small number of Maori who searched for greenstone (jade). We take a break at Hokitika to visit a greenstone factory. This place experienced a massive gold rush in the late 1860s and today remnants from all the activity can be seen in original buildings and in the landscape, altered by excavations and vast mounds of tailings.
We also make a quick stop at the National Kiwi Centre where you will be privileged to see a real, but very rare, Kiwi bird!
We reach Arthur's Pass Train Station by midafternoon, where you board the Tranz Alpine train. The crossing takes two hours and travels through absolutely stunning scenery. You reach Christchurch at 6.30pm and say your final goodbyes before going your separate ways. If you wish to stay an extra night in Christchurch, simply add it to your package as you build your tour.
|USD $1,930.89||USD $1,930.89||USD $1,930.89||USD $2,502.50|
* Customers under 18 years old are not permitted on this tour.|
* The included accommodation is dorm share with maximum 6 guests.
* Due to limited availability at time of booking, multi-share accommodation for two or more guests may be provided in separate rooms. Every endeavor will be made to ensure this does not occur, but should this be necessary you will be advised at check-in.
* Tour prices are based on NZD and are converted into USD. Prices will change day to day, due to the currency exchange rates. Tours booked and paid for will be charged at the current rate at which the tour price is shown. We will not refund any price differences, should prices drop for the tour. Tours will be subject to Cancellation Fees, should any changes be made for a reservation.
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