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Compared with their enormous neighbour to the left, the islands of New Zealand dont look especially big on the map, but dont let their small stature deceive you. There is much to do here, be it biking to old gold mining sites, kayaking remote coves or hiking some of the most breathtaking routes in the whole world. But if youre short on travel dollars, fear not; this trip squeezes in the very best of both the North and South Islands into an affordable, action-packed 21-day itinerary that moves swiftly without ever seeming rushed.

Australasia
  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Tour code: 133107
  • Starts: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Finishes: Wellington, New Zealand
You will Visit
  • Auckland
  • Wellington

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Auckland

Arrive in Auckland at any time. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. If you arrive early enough, opt to visit the Maritime Museum, walk the waterfront, or even take the ferry to Waiheke Island.

Additional Notes:
Jump right into your adventure by adding the 'Auckland Sailing: America's Cup Experience' extra to your tour. Work with a crew to sail around Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on a competitive yacht, and take in the stunning views. PLEASE NOTE: If booking this extra, a pre-night in Auckland is highly recommended as this activity may start early in the morning on Day 1.

This tour departs Auckland early on Day 2. If you are interested in exploring the city and its nearby attractions, like the Hobbiton Movie Set or local wineries, it is recommended you book additional pre-trip accommodation nights.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

02

Day 2: Auckland/Raglan (1B, 1L)

Travel backroads to a remote conservation farm where they are using natural means to boost the stocks of traditionally farmed marine life. Farmers have created a balanced ecosystem to attract native birds and animals back to the area.

After, kayak to a remote part of the harbour for a boat cruise and lunch, before heading to our lodge a few minutes drive from the famous surf and arts town of Raglan for the night.

Included Activities:
Sea Kayaking

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 160km)

03

Day 3: Raglan (1B, 1D)

Head down to the beach for an included surf lesson. The afternoon is open for optional activities such as yoga, mountain biking or exploring the many trails in the area.

Included Activities:
Surf Lessons

04

Day 4: Raglan/Rotorua (1B)

Depending on the weather conditions and the desires of the group, opt to visit the Waitomo caves, famous for their glow-worms. For the adventurous, there is the option of ‘black water rafting'.

Continue to Rotorua for an engaging cultural experience on the grounds of a historic Maori village.

Included Activities:
Maori Cultural Experience

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 260km)

05

Day 5: Rotorua/Tongariro National Park (1B, 1D)

Start early to walk the Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand's top-rated 1-day trek. Collect all your supplies before the hike – the transfer will drop the group off at the beginning of the self-guided trek and pick up everyone at the end.

After the trek, travel to a ski lodge on the side of a mountain for the night. An on-site spa and sauna is available to help ease tired muscles.

Additional Notes:
Please note that the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is self-guided and will be without a CEO. The trail is clearly marked. Please note that during winter months (June-October), this is an optional hike. There is an extra cost of approximately $135NZD for winter equipment and guide if you opt to do this activity.

Included Activities:
Tongariro Alpine Crossing Trek

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 180km)

06

Day 6: Tongariro National Park/Wellington (1B)

Travel to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Arrive early enough for a visit to the National Museum, Te Papa.

Take a short walk from our accommodation to see the sights of the central business district. Finish the day off with an optional night on the town.

Included Activities:
Te Papa Museum Visit
Big Night Out

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 400km)

07

Day 7: Wellington/Abel Tasman National Park (1B, 1D)

Catch a morning ferry and cross the scenic Cook Strait. Make sure to stand outside and enjoy the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Disembark and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park, well-known for its stunning white sand beaches. Board a water taxi to transfer to the middle of the National Park for the night. The night will be spent on a floating boat hostel.

Additional Notes:
During the winter season (May - Oct), and when there is inclement weather in the summer, we will stay in cabins in a true rural setting on the edge of the park instead of the floating boat hostel.

Transport:
Ferry (3.50 hour(s), 92km)
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 200km)
Water taxi (0.50 hour(s))

08

Day 8: Abel Tasman National Park (1B)

Hike and explore Abel Tasman's golden beaches and waterways.

Included Activities:
Abel Tasman National Park Walk

09

Day 9: Abel Tasman National Park/Franz Josef (1B, 1D)

Head south down the coast of black-sand beaches. Visit a seal colony and take in the pancake rock formations at Punakaiki before continuing on to Franz Josef.

Included Activities:
Pancake Rocks Trek
Seal Colony Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (8.00-8.50 hours, 475km)

10

Day 10: Franz Josef (1B, 1D)

Opt to kayak the river into the Paparoa National Park or stick to the local trails for some day hikes. Continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night.

11

Day 11: Franz Josef (1B)

Free day for optional activities. Options include various hikes, horseback riding and quad biking.

12

Day 12: Franz Josef/Queenstown (1B)

Visit the adventure capital of the world—Queenstown.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 365km)

13

Day 13: Queenstown

Free time in Queenstown. Get the heart pumping with some adrenaline-filled options, such as jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.

Additional Notes:
If you have pre-booked the Queenstown Jet Boating, your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity during your tour, as days are subject to change.

Please note - in the winter months (late April - early Nov) skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps is a highlight for any visitor. Most of the optional activities are also available, ask your CEO which ones are in season.

14

Day 15: Queenstown/Doubtful Sound (1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit Fiordland National Park en route to Doubtful Sound.

Additional Notes:
Depending on weather the walk and kayak may be reversed to fall on different days.

Included Activities:
Fiordland National Park Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)

15

Day 16: Doubtful Sound/Wedderburn (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a guided kayak excursion through jaw-dropping scenery (seasonal), then travel to Central Otago.

Additional Notes:
Due to cold weather during the winter months (approx May to late September), we will be going on a three hour nature cruise in Doubtful Sound instead of kayaking in the area.

Included Activities:
Kayaking Excursion

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 350km)

16

Day 17: Wedderburn (1B)

Bike 35 km of the Otago Rail Trail, passing through one historic town to the next. Along the way sample some local food and drink.

Included Activities:
Biking Otago Rail Trail

17

Day 18: Wedderburn/Christchurch (1B)

Overnight in the very unique converted jail house.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 400km)

18

Day 19: Christchurch/Kaikoura (1B)

Spend the afternoon swimming with dolphins or taking a scenic flight over the peninsula.

Bird watchers will be pleased to know that big ocean birds such as albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters frequent the area.

Additional Notes:
As a result of the recent earthquake in New Zealand, groups departing before Oct 31, 2017 will be rerouted to Picton or Nelson instead of Kaikoura today.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 180km)

19

Day 20: Kaikoura/Wellington (1B)

Travel to Picton to catch the ferry back to Wellington. Opt for a final night out with the group.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 150km)
Ferry (3.00 hour(s), 92km)

20

Day 21: Wellington (1B)

We highly recommend pre- or post-accommodation to fully explore this vibrant city.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Conservation farm visit (Raglan)
    • Sea kayaking excursions (Raglan and Doubtful Sound)
    • Surf lesson (Raglan)
    • Maori cultural experience
    • Tongariro Alpine Crossing (seasonal)
    • Visit to a seal colony
    • Walks in Franz Josef and Abel Tasman National Parks
    • Mountain biking excursion (Central Otago)
    • Orientation walks in Wellington and Christchurch
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hostels (8 nts), basic hotel (4 nts), basic lodges (7 nts), floating boat hostel (1 nt, summer, cabin in winter months). Most nights are multi-share
    • 20 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 dinners
    Transport
    • Private vehicle, kayak, boat, ferry
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Learn about the Maori culture
  • Conquer the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Get an adrenaline rush in Queenstown
  • Weave through the remote fjords of the Doubtful Sound by sea kayak
  • Discover Abel Tasman National Park by foot