20 Day Complete New Zealand (Auckland to Christchurch) Summer Itinerary

  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: AKLNZZ/168207
  • Starts: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Finishes: Christchurch, New Zealand
You will Visit
  • Auckland
  • Christchurch



Day 1

Auckland to Paihia
Pick-ups start at your accommodation bright and early, before we head north to the seaside town of Paihia. We stop en-route to hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native Kauri, enjoy a hike to a beautiful waterfall and stop for lunch and a swim at scenic Waipu Cove. This is followed by a trip to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds (own expense), before settling into our accommodation where you’ll have a group meal and the evening free to relax. (D)


Day 2

Paihia to Opinoni
This morning we take a wildlife cruise in the beautiful Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands bursting with marine life. There’s no better way to see it than by boat, keep an eye out for wild dolphins.
In the afternoon it’s off to the Hokianga Harbour, where we will see the huge sand dunes. Tonight you have the option to take part in a Maori-guided twilight encounter, where you’ll visit the Waipoua Forest, learn about Maori legends and the spiritual inhabitants of the forest, and visit the largest Kauri tree in the world, the ‘God of the Forest’ Tane Mahuta (own expense). Finish the day with a Kiwi classic for dinner, traditional fish and chips. (B,D)


Day 3

Hokianga Harbour - Auckland
It’s across the Hokianga Harbour to go sand boarding today down the massive dunes (weather permitting) before we start to make our way south through the mighty Waipoua Forest littered with 1000 year old trees. We visit the idyllic Kai Iwi Lakes for a swim in the crystal clear waters draped with beautiful white sand before departing for Auckland arriving late afternoon. (B)


Day 4

Auckland to Hahei (Coromandel)
Depart from Auckland heading South East stopping off at the famous Cathedral Cove. Accessible only by foot or by boat, this beautiful coastal spot is one of the ‘must see’ sites on the Coromandel Peninsula. We then drive to the unique Hot Water Beach where you can dig up your own personal spa pool in the sand (tide dependent). Overnight in beach side cabins and enjoy a BBQ dinner. (D)


Day 5

Hahei to Rotorua
We arrive into Rotorua around lunchtime, an area known for its Maori heritage and thermal activity. This gives you the opportunity to do some great optional activities such as a visit to Hobbiton, white water rafting, zorbing or the luge (additional cost). In the evening, you will be welcomed into the authentic Tamaki Maori Village, where you can discover and learn more about Maori art forms, ancient rituals and traditions. Sit down to a traditional Maori hangi (feast) with your Maori hosts. (BD)


Day 6

Rotorua to Whakahoro
We start the day by visiting some bubbling mud pools before travelling to the spectacular Huka Falls. Then it’s off to the eco award winning Blue Duck Station, a working sheep and cattle farm. This afternoon you get the opportunity to take part in a 4WD Bush Safari farm adventure. Your dinner is all cooked using local produce. (BD)


Day 7

Whakahoro to National Park
Today we head back to the Tongariro National Park to give you the chance to hike the Tongariro Crossing; rated as New Zealand’s best one-day walk. Alternatively other options include shorter walks around this volcanic region or visiting the Volcanic Centre Museum (own expense). Accommodation tonight is at the Alpine Lodge. (BD)


Day 8

National Park to Wellington
We depart early to arrive into Wellington around midday. Wellington is known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ thanks to Lonely Planet, and it’s a great place to check out the lively arts, shopping, craft beer and café culture scenes. As New Zealand’s capital city, it is home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. Don’t miss your chance to visit the wonders of Te Papa National Museum or wander along the Oriental Parade. (B


Day 9

Wellington (via Picton) to Abel Tasman
Leaving Wellington we’ll travel across the Cook Strait to the South Island’s coastal town of Picton. Here we meet our coach and cruise through the famous Marlborough wine region. We visit a local vineyard’s cellar door to sample New Zealand’s world famous Sauvignon Blanc, before heading to the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. Tonight we enjoy some delicious seafood and a BBQ dinner at our exclusive campsite accommodation. (B,D)


Day 10

Full day in Abel Tasman
You have a whole day to experience this incredible area. Walk the coastal track famous for some of New Zealand’s best beaches or choose any of the optional activities on offer including sailing or sea kayaking (own expense). Tonight we provide you with BBQ facilities for you to self-cater. Accommodation is back at our exclusive campsite adjacent to the National Park. (B)


Day 11

Abel Tasman to Hanmer Springs
We are heading to the peaceful Hanmer Springs, first travelling through Kahurangi and Nelson National Parks. Both boast beautiful scenery and superb walks. We have a picnic lunch today before spending the afternoon relaxing in the hot pools. Dinner is a group meal. (BD)


Day 12

Hanmer Springs to Christchurch
Kaikoura is known for its huge array of wildlife such as whales, dolphins, seals and albatross. We get to Kaikoura early so you can choose from the many optional activities such as walking around the cliff tops to see the seals and amazing views to joining a whale-watching cruise (additional cost). After the afternoon’s activities, we make our way to the city of Christchurch. Check out the city sights as you make your way to your accommodation in the city centre. (B)


Day 13

Christchurch to Franz Josef
Don’t forget your camera today, as there are many fantastic photo opportunities. The day starts with a stunning journey across the Canterbury Plains. Next we travel over the famous Arthur’s Pass and down onto the West Coast. Around almost every corner there’s a new picturesque backdrop to enjoy. We also visit Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade) before the day ends at Franz Josef to see the famous glacier. (D)


Day 14

Full day at Franz Josef
The day is spent in Franz Josef, a World Heritage area. As well as the Glacier, the area is famous for its excellent walking trails. There are many great options but a highly recommended guided trip (own expense) will enable you to get closer to the glacier. Tonight is self-catering; there are plenty of local cafes and restaurants to enjoy or make use of the self-catering kitchen. (B)


Day 15

Franz Josef to Makarora
Today we head down the West Coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park, stopping to take in some breathtaking scenery at the amazing mirror Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake. See waterfalls as we travel through the mountainous Haast Pass towards Makarora then visit the stunning Blue Pools. On arrival in Mount Aspiring National Park we go jet boating, experience the best in shallow water boating skimming just inches from the riverbed, see pristine waterways, snow-capped peaks and native bush. (B,D)


Day 16

Makarora to Doubtful Sound
Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery; it is our first port of call today. Within Fiordland we visit Doubtful Sound, the deepest of all the fiords, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls. We will board a purpose built boat and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins. There are also sea kayaks to explore the fiord. (B,D)


Day 17

Doubtful Sound to Queenstown
We depart Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind the stunning Fiordland to head for the ‘adventure capital of the world’ Queenstown. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. (B)


Day 18

The first of two free days to fully explore everything on offer. Queenstown is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: bungy jumping, zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skiing, sky diving or walk Ben Lomond or Queenstown hill for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. (B)


Day 19

Second free day in Queenstown to keep exploring the city. Please refer to day 18 to check the optional activities we offer. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. (B)


Day 20

Queenstown to Mt Cook
We’ll jump back on the bus for a short drive to Wanaka, where we’ll spend the morning biking some of New Zealand’s most scenic lakeside trails. After lunch, we head over the Lindis Pass through the picturesque Mackenzie region to the base of the country’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. There is time for a hike through the Hooker Valley for breathtaking views of the dramatic mountain landscape, or opt to take an alpine scenic flight (own expense). This is also one of the best places in New Zealand to join an evening stargazing tour. (B,D)


Day 21

Mt Cook to Christchurch
Today we make our way through a landscape made famous in the `Lord of the Rings` films. We’ll take a break for a stroll around Lake Tekapo, iconic for its historic church and turquoise waters. Between Tekapo and Christchurch there is an option for thrill seekers to hop-off and join a top-notch Grade 5 white water adventure on the Rangitata River (own expense). Those not rafting will continue on to Christchurch, where your driver guide will point out the highlights of the South Island’s largest city with a tour of the city sights. (B)

    • Experienced tour guide, meals and touring as indicated, multi-share accommodation (or upgrade to twin/double), cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, interactive cultural performance, wild life boat trip, Bluebridge ferry, Abel Tasman boat transfer, jet boat ride, winery visit, hot pools entry at Hanmer, mountain biking and Doubtful Sound cruise

      Accommodation Style: Hostel
      Standard accommodation is 6-share in Whakahoro. Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Hahei and Doubtful Sound

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