15
days

Highlights of New Zealand Adventure Tour

For adventurers on a tight time-budget, this 15-day trip includes all the must-sees of both islands such as Coromandel's gorgeous beaches, a traditional Maori village, Kaikoura Peninsula where you can see native wildlife unique to New Zealand as well as a visit to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown.

Coromandel Peninsula, Traditional Maori Hangi Dinner, Overnight Maori Village, Kaikoura, Arthurs Pass, Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound Overnight Cruise, Mt Cook National Park.

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Itinerary

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1
Auckland

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand!

Today is Arrival Day. You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending what time you arrive, you will then have some time to explore the city of Auckland before meeting your travelling companions over a complimentary pre-dinner drink after which your Tour Leader will review the details of your trip.

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

Accommodation Nomads Travellers Lodge - 1 night (or similar)

2
Coromandel Peninsula | Hahei

The Coromandel Peninsula lies east of Auckland, on the other side of the Hauraki Gulf. An impressive, heavily forested mountain range runs up the middle of this peninsula, bordered on each side by kilometres of spectacular coastline. Check out the beaches and cliffs and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales. Make friends with the locals, including "hippies" who arrived in the 1970s and never left.

Pack your swimsuit and walk from the north end of Hahei Beach along a cliff-top path that leads down to Cathedral Cove. Swim, lay in the shade, and enjoy the beauty of this idyllic spot.

Hot Water Beach is a unique spot on the Coromandel Peninsula. If the tide is right, you can dig into the sand to create a natural jacuzzi.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Tatahi Lodge - 1 night (or similar)

3
Rotorua - The Pacific Rim of Fire

Rotorua is a geothermal spectacular. Giant geysers rocket into the air and colourful sulphur terraces hiss and boil. The earths crust at its most exciting and accessible in the downtown parks and lake front-  the smell of sulphur and sight of steaming vents invade the senses.  But Rotorua is more than boiling mud, there are ancient forests set amongst prisitine lakes, and the area is steeped in the history and tikanga (culture) of Maori, the First People of New Zealand. 

Enjoy the Volcanic Wonderland and experience boiling mud, steaming geysers and geothermal activity at Whakarewarewa.Your evening begins with a traditional greeting on the Marae, learn the arts of the Haka and Poi before a Traditional Hangi dinner.

Recommended excursions in and around Rotorua:

See Geysers & Boiling Mud Polynesian Hot Springs Whirinaki Forest Walk
Thermally Active Golf Biking the Mighty Forests Flight to Volcanic Island
Museum of Art & History Evening Cultural Experience White Water Rafting

 

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

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

4
Rotorua to Wellington

Rest your legs this morning as we drive south through rolling hill country to the capital city of Wellington

Wellington is a picture perfect city. It is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. The city has long been recognized as the cultural and arts capital of New Zealand (with festivals almost every month), and is home to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, opera companies, theater and a large number of art galleries.The cosmopolitan nature of Wellington is reflected in the 350 restaurants and cafes serving innovative New Zealand and ethnic cuisine - so take your pick.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Downtown Backpackers Waterloo Hotel - 2 nights (or similar)

5
WELLINGTON - Our cool little Capital

Enjoy the atmosphere in this relaxed but lively city. After an orientation walk the rest of the afternoon is yours, so take your time as you stroll 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 this walkable city.

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 Downtown Backpackers - Waterloo Hotel

6
Travel to Kaikoura

Take the ferry to the South Island, then travel on the Coastal Railway heading through Marlborough the winemaking capital of New Zealand, continuing south the vines will keep you company as you reach the headlands of the East Coast. Nestled between soaring mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura is known as New Zealand’s ‘Serengeti of the Sea’. The natural wonders here are breath taking. Fur seals lounge on the rugged coastline and, just offshore, whales and dolphins thrive in an ocean that teems with life.

For dinner, opt to chow down on the national dish – fish and chips – near the beach.

Accommodation: Sierra Beach Hotel (or similar)

7
Hanmer Springs

There are plenty of wildlife encounters to be had during our free morning in Kaikoura........

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

 

Then travel to Hanmer Springs, a charming alpine village where you can take a soak in the hot springs.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Drifters Inn Hanmer Springs (or similar)

8
Franz Joseph

Travel across the Southern Alps via the stunningly scenic Arthur's Pass. Stretch your legs with a mountain or rainforest walk as we head south into the National Park known as ‘Glacier Country’ – in parts, huge valleys of ice tumble down almost to sea level. Also blessed with lakes, rivers and wetlands; Westland is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Here, the landscapes are highly revered by those kiwis who have lived here for generations, as well as by the local Ngai Tahu tribe who hold this wild place in high spiritual esteem.

On arrival at Franz Josef Glacier, take an hour to walk to the Glaciers Terminal face and treat yourself to a soak on your return. Nestled in lush rainforest enjoy a soak in the fabulous Glacier Hot Pools, a perfect way to unwind after your days drive and walk.

Meals: Breakfast 

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat(or something similar)

9
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.

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

 

Meals: Breakfast 

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat (or something similar)

10
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 Peppers Beacon Hotel 2 nights (or similar)

11
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: Breakfast

Accommodation: Peppers Beacon Hotel (or similar)

12
Fiordland National Park

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife before the Milford Sound Overnight Boat Excursion where you will be able to see native New Zealand wildlife and waterfalls along the verdant shores. Accommodation on board is twin-share cabins and the meals are excellent.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Milford Cruise

13
Twizel

Spend the morning exploring this region surrounding Mt Cook taking in the alpine scenery with the chance to learn more about mountaineer Sir Edmond Hillary. Aoraki/Mount Cook is both a village, a national park and the name of New Zealand's highest mountain. Located in central South Island, the park includes a mix of rocks and glaciers, as well as alpine plants including the world's largest buttercup, the Mount Cook lily. There are several short walks that reward with spectacular views.

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

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: All Stars Inn on Bealey (or similar)

14
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 All Stars Inn on Bealey (or similar)

15
Homeward Bound

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

We know you will enjoy the 'The Highlights 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. 

Meals: Breakfast