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Highlights of New Zealand
Check out Hot Water Beach, feast on a hangi in a Maori village, let loose in Queenstown, cruise around the fjords of Doubtful Sound
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 Peninsula's gorgeous beaches, hang with the Maori in a traditional village, and get your adrenaline fix in Queenstown. Consider this your New Zealand starter kit.
Day 1 — Auckland
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 — Auckland/Hahei
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.
Day 3 — Rotorua/Maori Village
Visit Rotorua and opt to check out the geothermal area or go whitewater rafting. Later, enjoy a cultural overnight in a Maori village featuring a traditional hangi dinner and show.
Day 4 — Rotorua/Wellington
Take in the ever-changing scenery of the North Island and travel to the capital, Wellington.
Day 5 — Wellington
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.
Day 6 — Wellington/Kaikoura
Board a ferry to the South Island, then travel to the seaside town of Kaikoura, known for its diverse marine life.
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.
Day 8 — Hanmer Springs/Franz Josef
Take in the stunning scenery while travelling across the Southern Alps to the rugged and remote West Coast, before staying in the rainforest near the world's fastest moving glacier.
Day 9 — Franz Josef
Enjoy a free day to explore the area around Franz Josef. Opt to explore the glacier with a heli hike.
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.
Day 11 — Queenstown
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.
Day 12 — Queenstown
Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Doubtful Sound on a day cruise. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife, then return to Queenstown for the night.
Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH
Day 13 — Queenstown/Twizel
Head through the centre of the South Island to Twizel, near New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook. Visit Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and spend the afternoon hiking the region, taking in the alpine scenery. Learn more about mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary at the Visitor's Centre.
Day 14 — Twizel/Christchurch
Continue on to Christchurch and learn about how the city was rebuilt following an earthquake in 2011. Enjoy one final night together with the group.