Christchurch - Lake Tekapo
Summary of The Day: Today we'll begin our fantastic tour of New Zealand's South Island, starting with our departure city, Christchurch. While Christchurch was seriously damaged during 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.
Then 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, Lake Tekapo couldn’t be prettier.
Once the sun goes down, it gets even better. Thanks to the super clear skies, the area around Tekapo has been declared a “Star Reserve” and is the best place in New Zealand to see the stars and galaxies above. Watch the stars appear over the lake from the hostel that’s just a few feet from the shore.
- You will be informed of the accommodation information once your reservation is confirmed.
Lake Tekapo - Queenstown
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.
- Haka Lodge Queenstown or similar
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 Haka 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. Whether experiencing it from the deck of a boat or kayaking around the steep cliffs, Milford 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.
- Haka Lodge Queenstown or similar
Queenstown - Wanaka
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.
Wanaka - Franz Josef
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 it’s 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.
Franz Josef - Christchurch
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 may also make a quick stop at the Bushman’s centre where you can taste a Possum pie or sink a drink in the Puke Pub (pronounced Pookee).
We reach Greymouth Train Station by lunchtime, where you board the Tranz Alpine train. The crossing takes 4 and a half hours and travels through the absolutely stunning Arthur’s Pass.
Tonight you are privileged to be staying at our very own Haka Lodge, situated on the outskirts of the city centre. We quite often make a home cooked meal or BBQ tonight and we invite you to make yourselves at home.
- Haka Lodge Christchurch or similar
Christchurch - Kaikoura
Summary of The Day: You can have a lie in this morning if you want! Alternatively, there is an opportunity for hot air ballooning, surf lessons and tank driving. There is also a chance to explore the city and do some shopping before we leave for Kaikoura.
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?
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 delicious BBQ.
Kaikoura - Wellington
Summary of The Day: This morning is for activities and you have the chance to swim with dolphins, watch for whales, learn to surf or even play mini golf. Dolphin swimming is incredibly popular, with groups often seeing hundreds of dolphins at a time.
We have lunch from a seafood cart along the esplanade, giving you time to admire the stunning view of turquoise oceans meeting snow-capped mountains. This is the true New Zealand living that we love.
After lunch we head north. Upon arriving into Picton there is a short break to explore the port and get something to eat before catching the Inter-islander Ferry.
One of the most iconic and classic New Zealand activities is sailing the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands. From the decks of the ferry, the city lights of Wellington slowly come into focus to greet you.
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.
Wellington - Taupo
Summary of The Day: In the morning your tour guide will give you a tour of Wellington city and the surrounding bays. This includes a trip to Weta Studios, where films like Lord of the Rings have been made. We also may visit the parliament buildings, cable car and Mt Victoria.
On the way to Taupo we drive along the Desert Road that divides the Rangipo Desert (an area with poor vegetation because of bad soil conditions and drying winds). The climate is harsh and in winter it is not unusual to see snow. However, the biggest attractions on this road are that of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, the volcano better known as Mt Doom in Lord of the Rings. On the other side of the road is the lesser noticed Kaimanawa Range, home to a breed of wild horses that can be spotted on rare occasions.
We make a stop at Mokai Gravity Canyon, an extreme adventure park including the world’s most extreme flying fox and New Zealand’s second largest bungy. Tour members are welcome to do the bungy, flying fox or canyon swing and do not have pre-book.
We arrive at the accommodation by evening. With a whole day to explore Taupo tomorrow, feel free to relax at the hostel or go out to experience some of the town’s best nightlife!
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.
Taupo - Rotorua
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.
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.
Rotorua - Waitomo
Summary of The Day: We’ll start out with optional white water rafting or sledging on the Kaituna River which includes a 7 metre 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.
Waitomo is a distinctive limestone region where surface water and underground streams have dissolved the rock over tens of thousands of years, creating an amazing system of underground caves.
As the small town is only two hours from Rotorua, we reach our accommodation by late afternoon.
Waitomo - Coromandel
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.
It’s no secret that many blockbuster hits have been filmed in New Zealand due to its incredible landscapes. Around lunchtime, we head of to the Coromandel to discover them first-hand.
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.
Coromandel - Auckland
Summary of The Day: 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?
Finally, we head to Auckland, NZ’s biggest city. Auckland sits on the narrow sliver of land where the Northland peninsula tapers south to meet the rest of the North Island. Therefore, the sea is ever present, and it isn’t difficult to guess the origin of its nickname ‘City of Sails’.
We'll arrive at Haka Lodge Auckland at around 5:00pm, where we’ll say our final farewells.
Standard Price/Person By Occupancy
|USD $1,933.79||USD $1,933.79||USD $1,933.79||USD $2,506.26|
* 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.
- Passionate Kiwi guide
- 15 Night Accommodation
- Ride the Tranz Alpine Express Train - one of the world’s top rated train journeys
- Maori Cultural experience in the Coromandel and Rotorua
- Traditional Maori ‘Hangi’ (food cooked using heated rocks in an underground oven)
- Explore an extraordinary geyserland, with candy colored water at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
- Stunning cliff top walk down to Cathedral Cove, which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Narnia
- Sail between the North and South Islands across the iconic Cook Strait
- Gondola ride in Queenstown to witness awesome panoramic views of the "Adventure Capital of the World"
- Daily Breakfast
- Lunches and dinners (unless stated)
- Personal expenses
- Optional activity (availability subject to change)
- Black Water Rafting
- Canyon Swing
- Extra Night’s Accommodation in Christchurch
- Extreme Jet Boating
- Glacier Heli Hike
- Horse Trekking at Glenorchy
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Kawarau Bridge Bungy
- Learn to Surf at Sumner (summer only)
- Lord of the Rings Wellington Tour
- Lost World Caving Experience
- Milford Sound Trip
- Nevis Bungy
- Quad Biking
- Rafting Kaituna River
- Scenic Flight
- Sea Kayaking
- Skydiving over Lake Taupo
- Skydiving over Southern Alps
- Skydiving over The Remarks
- Swimming with Dolphins
- The Shire Set Tour in Rotorua
- The Tongariro Crossing
- The Zorb
- Tiger Moth Acrobatic Plane Ride
- Water Touch Bungy
- Whale Watching
- Heli-Mountain Biking
- Skiing/Snowboarding Day at The Remarkables (winter only)
- Middle-earth Tour in Queenstown
- Heli-Ice Explorer
- While traveling within New Zealand, each passenger is entitled to take one case, the sum of its length, width and depth not to exceed 160 cm (63 inches), weight limit 20 kilos along with a small day pack. Airlines permit only one cabin bag per person, in which personal items such as cameras, make-up etc. should be carried, though you need to check with your airline provider as to their specific requirements. Over-limit luggage cannot be carried.
- Cancellation Policy:
- Cancel outside 30 days - 10% of tour cost
- Within 30 days - 50% of tour cost
- Within 7 days - 100% of tour cost
- Tours4Fun cooperates with top local area tour operators and ensures the best quality of services to all travelers. We provide tour coaches that all are insured with a liability insurance coverage from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 to make sure that your trips are safer and more enjoyable.
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