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Highlights of New Zealand
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Two weeks is barely enough time to thoroughly explore your hometown, let alone a place as fascinating as New Zealand. For adventurers on a tight time-budget, this 15-day trip wraps up the must-sees of both islands with a nice little bow. Check out the Coromandel's gorgeous beaches, hang with the Maori in a traditional village, walk the beaches of Kaikoura and get your adrenaline fix in Queenstown. Consider this your New Zealand starters kit.

Australasia
  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Tour code: 141551
  • Starts: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Finishes: Christchurch, New Zealand
You will Visit
  • Auckland
  • Christchurch

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Auckland

There are no activities until an evening welcome meeting, so head out and enjoy the city.

Additional Notes:
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/Hahei (1B, 1D)

Depart early for the stunning Coromandel Peninsula. Take a walk to Cathedral Cove or opt out in favour of sea kayaking. If the tide is right, grab a shovel and dig a natural jacuzzi in the sand on Hot Water Beach.

Included Activities:
Coromandel Peninsula Visit
Cathedral Cove Scenic Walk
Hot Water Beach Excursion

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))

03

Day 3: Rotorua/Maori Village (1D)

Rotorua sits over an active volcano with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. Opt to visit one of the sites, like Hell's Gate, or go whitewater rafting nearby.

In the evening visit a Maori village for traditional ceremonies, a Hangi meal and entertainment. After dinner, lounge by the bonfire and have some time to get to know the Maori hosts.

Additional Notes:
Accommodation is in a Maori wharepuni (sleeping house). Groups will often stay together in one sleeping house (multi-share, mixed gender), staying in line with Maori traditions.

Included Activities:
Maori Village Visit with Overnight

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.50-4.00 hours)

04

Day 4: Rotorua/Wellington (1B)

Take in the ever-changing scenery of the North Island and travel to the capital, Wellington.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours, 452km)

05

Day 5: Wellington (1B)

Enjoy the atmosphere in this relaxed but lively city. After an orientation walk, enjoy a free day to explore. Opt to visit the Te Papa Museum or take the cable car up to the botanical gardens.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk

06

Day 6: Wellington/Kaikoura

Fly to the South Island, then travel to the seaside town of Kaikoura, known for its volcanic black-sand beaches.

Additional Notes:
An earthquake in November 2016 greatly damaged road and rail access to Kaikoura. As a result, all groups will fly from Wellington to Christchurch on Day 6 until the road and rail north of Kaikoura have been repaired. Completion is expected in late 2018.

• Groups departing before Oct 31, 2017 will travel directly from the Christchurch airport to Hanmer Springs instead of Kaikoura. Exception - the August 13 departure will spend this night in Christchurch and travel to Hanmer Springs on Day 7.
• Groups departing Nov 1, 2017 or later will travel from the airport to Kaikoura by road (access pending).

Transport:
Plane
Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))

07

Day 7: Kaikoura/Hanmer Springs

Opt to swim with dolphins or go whale watching during a free morning in Kaikoura before travelling to Hanmer Springs, stopping en route for a wine tasting at a local winery. Opt to take a soak in the hot springs.

Additional Notes:
For groups departing before Oct 31, 2017, this will be a full free day in Hanmer Springs. Opt to hike, visit local hot springs, go whitewater rafting, or spend the day exploring the town.

Groups departing November 1, 2017 or later will operate as per the itinerary, pending road access to Kaikoura.

Included Activities:
Winery Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))

08

Day 8: Hanmer Springs/Franz Josef (1B)

Travel across the Southern Alps via the stunningly scenic Arthur's Pass. Go for a hike in the mountains or rainforest. Stay in the rainforest near the world's fastest moving glacier.

Transport:
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Driving time includes stops.
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s))

09

Day 9: Franz Josef (1B)

There are dozens of optional activities in the area to suit just about any budget and preference. Try heli hiking, scenic helicopter flights, horse trekking, quad biking, skydiving, glacier valley walk, lake kayaking or a hot pools visit.

10

Day 10: Franz Josef/Queenstown

Continue to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. With beautiful scenery and tons of activities, there's something for everyone. Enjoy the great night life.

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

11

Day 11: Queenstown (1B)

With free time here, opt to go bungee jumping (in its birthplace), jet boating (also born here!), skydiving, paragliding, hiking or mountain biking. Or take it a little slower and travel by gondola to the top of a local peak.

12

Day 12: Queenstown/Fiordland National Park (1B, 1D)

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife.

Additional Notes:
Due to weather during the winter (May - Oct), instead of staying overnight in Milford Sound we'll be taking a day cruise around Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound before returning to Queenstown for the night.

Included Activities:
Milford Sound Overnight Boat Excursion

Transport:
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Driving time includes stops.
Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s))

13

Day 13: Fiordland National Park/Twizel (1B)

Head through the centre of the South Island to Twizel, near New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook.

Transport:
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Drive time includes stops.
Private Vehicle (7.00-9.00 hours)

14

Day 14: Twizel/Christchurch

Travel to the Garden City of Christchurch, a little piece of England in New Zealand, still recovering from a devastating earthquake.

Included Activities:
Mount Cook Visit
Visitor's Centre

Transport:
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Drive time includes stops throughout the day, including a couple of hours to visit Mt Cook (weather permitting).
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 380km)

15

Day 15: Christchurch (1B)

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Coromandel Peninsula visit
    • Cathedral Cove visit
    • Hot Water Beach stop
    • Traditional Maori ceremony and hangi dinner
    • Overnight in Maori village
    • Orientation walk in Wellington
    • Scenic train journey
    • Beach time in Kaikoura
    • Wine tasting
    • Scenic drive through Arthur's Pass
    • Fiordland NP visit
    • Milford Sound overnight boat excursion (seasonal; May through September will be a day cruise)
    • Mt Cook NP visit with hiking opportunity (weather permitting)
    • Mt Cook NP Visitor's Centre visit
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (12 nts), Maori village (1 nt, multi-share), boat (1 nt, seasonal)
    • 9 breakfasts, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Private vehicle, walking, plane, boat
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Check out Hot Water Beach
  • Feast on a hangi in a Maori village
  • Let loose in Queenstown
  • Cruise around the fiords of Milford Sound
  • Travel a scenic rail route