21
days

Best of New Zealand Adventure Tour (18-39)

Biking to old gold mining sites, kayaking remote coves or hiking some of the most breathtaking routes in the whole world, New Zealand has a lot to offer. This trip combines the best of the North and South Islands into an affordable, action-packed 21-day itinerary.

Conservation Farm Visit, Sea Kayaking, Surf Lesson, Maori Cultural Experience, Tongariro Alpine Crossing (seasonal), Te Papa Museum, Seal Colony, Hike Franz Josef and Abel Tasman National Parks, Mountain Biking Excursion

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Itinerary

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1
Arrive in Auckland

Arrive in Auckland at any time. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the accommodation and explore the city. ​The adventure begins tonight, make sure you're back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour.

Some activities and sightseeing options available are:

Explore Waiheke Island Island Kayaking Adventure America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach

 

PLEASE NOTE: This tour departs Auckland early on Day 2. If you are interested in booking extras or exploring the city and other nearby attractions it is highly recommended you book additional pre-trip accommodation nights.

Accommodation: Nomads Travellers Lodge - 1 night (or something similar)

2
Eco Farm | Coastal Kayak | Raglan

Drive the southern scenic route through the rolling hills of the Waikato, visit a special conservation farm to learn about their methods before sea kayaking to a harbour for a picnic lunch. 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.

Tour Raglan’s secluded bays and unique coastline by kayak. Paddle the inner harbour to get up close to wildlife, fish, and (fingers crossed) orcas. Discover the pancake rocks on the harbour's northern side. before heading to our lodge a few minutes drive from the famous surf and artsy little town of Raglan for the night.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Lava Lounge - 2 nights (or something similar)

3
RAGLAN (LITTLE HAWAII) FOR SOME BOHEMIAN TRANQUILITY

Surf Lessons
Head down to the beach, we have arranged for you to learn how to catch a wave in this three-hour surf lesson. Start with instruction on dry land before heading into the surf. Take advantage of the large soft boards used in class (they help everyone stand up).

Relax -  Free Time
Enjoy free time any way you want in this surfing town. Head to the beach to hang ten or relax with a cold drink and plan your next activities.

Optional Activities
Bone Carving Hiking Raglan Mountain Biking 
Stand Up Paddle Lesson  Yoga Raglan Style More Surfing

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

4
Waitomo Caves / Rotorua

Depending on the weather conditions and the desires of the group, opt to visit the Waitomo Caves region, famous for their Glow-Worms. For the adventurous, there is the option of trying the New Zealand sport of ‘Black Water Rafting’.

Immerse yourself in a Maori cultural experience on the grounds of a historic Maori Village. Participate in a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), and learn about the history of the marae (village) and the Rotorua from a local Maori guide. Discover the abundant Geothermal Energy surrounding the village that’s used for cooking, heating, and communal bath houses.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation Four Canoes Travellers Lodge - 1 night (or similar)

5
Tongariro National Park

Join the guide today for a full days walking on the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, regarded as one of the best day walks in the world. The track is extremely well built and even a novice hiker will enjoy the gradual ascent up to the top of Mt Tongariro. Your guide will set a pace that lets you stop and admire the views of the Red Crater, Emerald Lakes and steaming vents that make this hike so iconic. It will all be worth it when you celebrate at dinner with a bottle of fine New Zealand wine. Those who prefer a more restful day can find plenty to do at the village: Soda Springs walk, Taranaki Falls walk, or simply drink coffee and view the great exhibits at the Park Visitor Centre.

Note: 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.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Skotel Alpine Resort (or similar)

6
WELLINGTON - Our cool little Capital

Rest your legs this morning as we drive south through rolling hill country to the capital city of Wellington. The rest of the afternoon is yours, so take your time as you stroll along the fabulous waterfront and through the busy streets of this buzzing wee city. Absorb some of New Zealand’s history in the national museum - Te Papa, explore the waterfront or simply get lost admiring the heritage houses along one of the many improbably steep streets. Nowhere is very far in Wellington. You are spoilt for choice for places to dine this evening, so take your pick.

Suggested outings in and around Wellington.

National Museum - Te Papa Visit Cuba Street Weta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve  Wellington Cable Car
 
Carter Observatory 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Nomads Wellington (or similar)

7
Abel Tasman National Park

Travel by InterIsland Ferry to the South Island, travel to Marahau at the start of the Park and then transfer by water taxi into Abel Tasman National Park.

Abel Tasman National Park

Golden beaches border the translucent turquoise sea, and sandy estuaries fringed by natural forests. The walking tracks here, both in land and costal, are world famous for their outstanding beauty. Walking and Kayaking and then just kicking back on one of the many unspoilt beaches you will discover along the way is what its all about. Plus you have the added bonus of face-to-face encounters with marine wildlife and birds. The Abel Tasman National Park is home to the ever-entertaining seal colony and who knows you may be lucky enough to spot visiting dolphins and Orcas playing in the Abel Tasman National Park waters.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Aqua Packers Farm (or similar)

8
Hiking the Abel Tasman Coastal Track

Hike and explore Abel Tasman's golden beaches and waterways. Walk along the Coastline Track from Anchorage to Marahau to one of the world's most scenic golden sand beaches. French names left by Dumont d’Urville and his crew add character to this part of the Abel Tasman Track. After Yellow Point it turns inland, winding in and out of several little gullies before emerging in open country overlooking Torrent Bay and the coast and islands to the north. On the far side of the estuary the track passes through open country to Tinline Bay.
 
The track rounds Guilbert Point to Apple Tree Bay then passes through beech forest with large kanuka trees. After Yellow Point it turns inland, winding in and out of several little gullies before emerging in open country overlooking Torrent Bay and the coast and islands to the north.
 
Time: 4 hours   Distance: 12.4 km (7.5 mi)

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Old MacDonalds Farm (or similar)

9
PUNAKAIKI - Wild Coast, Seals and Beautiful Rock Formations

Today we head south down the coast of black-sand beaches. The West Coast is wild and untamed, sparsely populated but the views are impressive.

Seal Colony - Cape Foulwind
Stop by a viewing platform over a New Zealand fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind. Female seals will live in the same colony for the duration of their lives, whereas male seals move around more. The males visit the Cape Foulwind colony between late November and mid-January for mating season. All seasons offer plenty of activity to check out, from mating to the raising of baby pups and feeding out at sea.

Pancake Rocks Trek
​Walk along a loop trail with informative signs detailing how the 'Pancake Rocks' were formed millions of years ago. When the trail reaches the coast, there are many lookouts for photo stops and beautiful views of the coast, the rocks and the blowholes found along the area.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Te Nikau (or similar)

10
Paparoa National Park

Head out and get on one of the local hiking trails to explore the area, or hike some of the trails in nearby beautiful Paparoa National Park. There is the option to kayak the river into the Paparoa National Park or stick to the local trails for some awe inspiring day hikes - Your Friendly Guide will lead you in the right direction.

This afternoon we continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Rainforest Retreat 2 nights (or Similar)

11
Explore Franz Joseph

Spend the day exploring the stunning region around Franz Josef. Opt for various hiking adventures in the area, the most popular being a glacier trek. If relaxing is more your style, there are shorter day hikes and bush walks or local hot pools to take a dip. You are in the heart of Westland National Park, considered to be the most diverse and beautiful area in New Zealand.

Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:

Kayak Okarito Lagoon    Glacier Hot Pools    Glacier Scenic Flight
Horseback Riding   Walk to Glacier Face Glacier Heli-hike

 

Meals: Breakfast 

12
Queenstown - The Adventure Capital of the World

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and ringed by towering mountains, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s ultimate holiday destinations. It may be the adventure capital of the world, but it’s also home to an excellent food and wine scene as well as great shopping, hiking and endless opportunities to relax. It’s just as easy to go fishing, golfing, gold panning or wine tasting as it is to bungy jump or sky dive. Famed for its international winter skiing profile and outdoor beauty, Queenstown is a brilliant destination to visit year-round. One thing is certain here: you won’t run out of things to do.  

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Nomads Queenstown 2 nights (or similar)

13
Two Days off | Queenstown at Leisure

Explore everything Queenstown has to offer and do it your way on a day of leisure. You can get your adrenaline pumping with a thrilling Wilderness Jet Boat Ride  or if you prefer something more relaxing like a wine tour in the stunning vineyards of the Gibbston Valley, you won’t be disappointed. 

Recommended Queenstown excursions:

Routeburn Track Guided Day Walk Explore Historic Arrowtown Highest Bungy Jump
Wine Tasting Tour Central Otago Biking Skippers Canyon Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise Dart River Jetboat Safari Gibbston Valley Wine Trail
 

Meals: Breakfasts 

15
Fiordland Walk | Doubtful sound

Today we drive deep into Fiordland and enjoy a guided interpretive bush walk in Deep Cove with a visit to the beautiful Helena Falls.

Doubtful Sound is the deepest of all fiords. A haven with its ancient rain forest and abundant wildlife it is quite simply and unquestionably breathtaking. Practically untouched by man the physical grandeur of towering peaks, outstanding waterfalls (Browne Falls cascade 619 metres (2030 feet) to the fiord near Hall Arm) and lack of wind create a powerful atmosphere of solitude and serenity. See Fiordland crested penguins, bottlenose dolphins and New Zealand fur seals.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Deep Cove Lodge 1 night (or similar)

16
Kayaking The Sound of Silence | Wedderburn

Throw on a life jacket, pick up a paddle and prepare to be wowed during this 3-4 hour kayaking trip through New Zealand's largest national park. Paddle through icy clear waters below towering cliffs and waterfalls and marvel at the moss-covered slopes and verdant rainforest terrain. Spot dolphins, seals and penguins below while birds soar above.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Wedderburn Cottages 2 nights (or similar)

17
MOUNTAIN-BIKING A SECTION OF THE OTAGO RAIL TRAIL

This morning we head into Central Otago to spend the afternoon cycling from best starting points of the Historic Central Otago Rail Trail 42 km (26 mi). Pass through scenery unspoiled by traffic and not visible from any roads. 

Highlights include seeing The Rock and Pillar Range, this is Otago's most distinctive upland features; its summit ridge dominated by impressive schist tors or rocky pillars. The Taieri River, the Kakanui Mountains, the trail provides beautiful scenery and a peaceful scenic atmosphere

Meals: Breakfast

18
Christchurch - The Garden City

New Zealand’s second-largest city 'Christchurch' has bounced back after a series of major earthquakes, and has shown its resiliency with a number of new and exciting developments popping up everywhere. Don’t miss the Re Start shopping area, made out of shipping containers, as well as the many funky Pop Up bars dotted throughout the city. All public services and spaces are running as normal, and Christchurch continues to be a vibrant city to live, work and play. 

Some suggested excursions if you have time.

Easygoing Cycling Tour Punting the Avon River Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural Evening French Akaroa Tour Southern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch Gondola Clearwater Golf Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Jailhouse Accommodation 1 night (or similar)

19
Kaikoura - Serengeti of the Sea

The road to kaikoura has impressive coastal views, roaring surf, rocky bays dotted with fur seals sunbathing on rocks. The township of Kaikoura is a great place for lunch, take the opportunity to join an excursion to get up close and personal with dolphins, seals, whales and other sea creatures.

Suggested Wildlife Encounters in Kaikoura

Whale Watching Cruise Swim with the Seals in Kaikoura
Whale Watching Flight Kaikoura Dusky Dolphin Viewing or Swimming
Kayaking with Fur Seals Albatross & Pelagic Bird Watching Kaikoura

 

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Dusky Lodge 1 night (or similar)

20
Wellington

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Stop to experience a close encounter with the many southern fur seals lying about on rocks just off the highway. Catch the ferry back to Wellington where you have the afternoon to explore and relax.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Nomads Wellington (or similar)

21
Homeward Bound

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

We know you will enjoy the 'The Best of New Zealand Adventure Tour' and our promise to you is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.