Auckland - Paihia
Summary of The Day: After kicking things off in NZ’s largest city, we’ll make our way north to the Bay of Islands, exploring Northland and Paihia. The most tropical and hottest part of New Zealand, Northland is home to some of the North Island’s best beaches and scenery. Kick back, relax and leave the planning and surprises to our guides.
Enjoy bonding with the group and getting to know each other whilst taking in your first glimpses of the lush New Zealand landscape including volcanic islands, turquoise waters and perfect beaches; this is where the locals go on holiday.
Apart from having some of the best weather in New Zealand, Northland’s tropical climate and plentiful beaches leave all travelers with a smile on their faces.
You will be informed of the accommodation information once your reservation is confirmed.
Summary of The Day: Paihia is the perfect base to explore the Northland region and Bay of Islands. Home to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock,’ there are plenty of boat trips here as well as other activities to choose from in the area. You can swim with dolphins, skydive, go sailing or just chill out with new friends and take it all in.
This is also one of the most historically important areas of New Zealand. Rich in Maori heritage and culture, we’ll have the chance to visit some spectacular waterfalls, take scenic walks or ferry over to one of the islands.
If you would like to visit the very top of New Zealand, you can choose to do a day tour to Cape Reinga, situated where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet. You may drive on 90 Mile Beach and try sand boarding while on this optional day tour.
If you would prefer to have a relaxing day, you can do one of the scenic walks from the town center. Russell is also easily accessed by from Paihia and has awesome views.
Paihia - Auckland
Summary of The Day: We'll visit a tree today. Not just any old tree, this is the mighty Tane Mahuta, “The Lord of the Forest”, in the Waipoua Forest.
Tane Mahuta is the largest known kauri tree standing today; estimates put his age at between 1,250 and 2,500 years old. Ask him his age when you get there!
We’ve got a few more secret spots to visit during the day before heading back to Auckland to spend the evening in New Zealand’s biggest city.
Auckland - Coromandel
Summary of The Day: After saying goodbye to New Zealand’s own metropolis, 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?
Coromandel - Waitomo
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.
Waitomo - Rotorua
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.
Rotorua - Taupo
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.
Taupo - Wellington
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.
Wellington - Kaikoura
Summary of The Day: 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 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 delicious BBQ.
Kaikoura - Christchurch
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 the 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.
- Haka Lodge Christchurch or similar
Christchurch - Lake Tekapo
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.
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 it’s 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.
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 nightlife in town.
We’ll crash for the night at the Haka Lodge in Queenstown, cook some meals together, and chill out in this luxury hostel-lodge. Tomorrow is going to be action packed, so be sure to get at least a few hours sleep!
- 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 decks of a boat to 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.
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 choose from too.
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.
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 here 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 - Punakaiki
Summary of The Day: Many Kiwis are fond of saying that the west coast of the South Island is what all of New Zealand used to look like. Sweeping, ancient rainforests drop down to rugged coastlines where huge waves crash onto beautiful beaches with the magnificent Southern Alps in the background. It doesn’t get much prettier than that!
Driving along the coastal road and exploring the lush forests around Punakaiki, it almost feels like you’ve stepped back in time before people even arrived in New Zealand. Get excited; the knowledgeable guides have some surprises up their sleeves for this part of the trip, including a spot or two to get your feet wet.
Te Waipounamu (which means ‘the water Greenstone’ in Maori) is the name given to the South Island because of the abundance of Greenstone (jade) to be found there. We’ll get to visit one of the famous artisan Greenstone factories in Hokitika as we make our way north, as well as passing through many old gold mining towns before arriving in Punakaiki.
Summary of The Day: North of Punakaiki’s famous Pancake Rocks, we’ll get to sleep in the rainforest next to the beach at the unique Te Nikau Retreat, one of the best places to sleep in the area. Watching the sunset over the ocean, while building a bonfire on the beach, is the perfect way to enjoy this wild part of New Zealand.
The Pancake Rocks are one of the South Island’s many natural wonders; formed by huge basalt columns along the coast, at high tide seawater shoots up through the many blowholes creating a roaring performance.
Around Punakaiki you’ll find surfing, kayaking, caving and even the chance to make your own knife (the perfect souvenir to take home). There are also opportunities for horseback riding and walks along the Paparoa National Park.
Punakaiki - Abel Tasman
Summary of The Day: Making our way north from Punakaiki, the scenery and weather gets better and better. There’s plenty here to keep you busy: explore caves, visit fur seal colonies, hunt secret water holes, fly a stunt plane, skydive or go hang gliding. You’ll be sure to find various adventure activities to keep you satisfied.
Eventually we’ll arrive at one of the gems of the South Island: Motueka - the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park. Golden beaches meet up with tranquil lagoons and crystal clear water to make the Abel Tasman the perfect getaway from the mountains.
Summary of The Day: Enough of the big mountains, it’s time for some sandy beaches. Abel Tasman can be explored many different ways, by walking, kayaking, water taxi or a combination of all three. There are also opportunities for getting out on the water for a bit of a sail or getting adventurous and canyoning.
One of New Zealand’s great walks, the Abel Tasman trail is easy and meanders along the coastline. Anyone can do it. There are great viewpoints, secluded beaches and even waterfalls hidden about this part of the South Island. And the best part: it’s one of the sunniest regions of New Zealand!
In the park we’ll get to overnight on a boat-turned-hostel, have a BBQ together on the deck, swim off the boat and hang out together under the stars. This is one of the most unique experiences you can have in New Zealand. How often do you get to sleep on a boat under the stars in a national park?
Abel Tasman - Wellington
Summary of The Day: Nelson, the sunniest place in New Zealand, is a traveler’s paradise. From beautiful beaches and bays with drastic tidal flows, to bright blue skies and more vineyards than you can imagine, Nelson has a lot to offer.
In addition to beautiful landscapes, Nelson also has great cafes, unique art galleries and boutique shops to explore. In Havelock, on the way to the port, we may even get to try some famous New Zealand mussels.
We’ll journey on back to Picton to catch the ferry as the sun sets over the Cook Strait on our way back to Wellington. Be on the lookout for leaping dolphins!
Wellington - Auckland
Summary of The Day: Take a deep breath, swap stories and photos and journey back to Auckland, where it all started a few weeks ago.
- Tour ends at Haka Lodge Auckland at around 7:00pm.
Standard Price/Person By Occupancy
|USD $2,849.91||USD $2,849.91||USD $2,849.91||USD $4,203.24|
* 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
- 23-Night Accommodation
- Maori Cultural experience in the Coromandel and Rotorua
- Traditional Maori ‘Hangi’ (food cooked using heated rocks and buried in an underground oven)
- Explore an extraordinary geyserland, with candy coloured water at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
- Sail between the North and South islands across the iconic Cook Strait
- Stay for two nights deep in the rain forest on the South Island's west coast
- Learn to carve your own ‘Tiki’ pendant from bone
- Gondola ride in Queenstown to see panoramic views of the "Adventure Capital of the World"
- Spend time in the stunning Abel Tasman National Park, an overnight boat trip (summer only)
- Daily Breakfast
- Lunches and dinners (unless stated)
- Personal expenses
- Optional activity (availability subject to change)
- Black Water Rafting
- Canyon Swing
- Day Trip to Cape Reinga
- Extra Night’s Accommodation in Auckland
- Extreme Jet Boating
- Glacier Heli Hike
- Heli-Ice Explorer
- Heli-Mountain Biking
- Hole in the Rock Cruise
- Horse Trekking at Glenorchy
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Kawarau Bridge Bungy
- Kayak in Glacier Country
- Learn to Surf at Sumner (summer only)
- Lord of the Rings Wellington Tour
- Lost World Caving Experience
- Middle-earth Tour in Queenstown
- Milford Sound Trip
- Nevis Bungy
- Quad Biking
- Rafting Kaituna River
- Scenic Flight
- Scuba Diving
- Sea Kayaking
- Skiing/Snowboarding Day at The Remarkables (winter only)
Skydiving - Abel Tasman
- Skydiving over Lake Taupo
- Skydiving over Southern Alps
- Skydiving over The Remarks
- Swimming with Dolphins
- Tall Ship Sailing
- The Shire Set Tour in Rotorua
- The Tongariro Crossing
- The Zorb
- Tiger Moth Acrobatic Plane Ride
- Underground Rafting
- Water Touch Bungy
- Whale Watching
- 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
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