23
days

Kakapo Tour - Premium New Zealand Touring Experience

For those who enjoy easy adventure and outstanding sightseeing, with the comforts of home. This tour showcases the very best parts of the country at a relaxing pace with multi-night stopovers along the way.

Dolphin Cruise 'Bay of Islands', Maori Forest Tour, Glowworm Caves, Hot Water Beach, Sailing Cruise Rotoiti, Art Deco Napier, Marlborough Wine Tasting, Kaikoura, Milford Sound Cruise, Scenic Flight Alps, Glaciers, Okarito Native Bird Lagoon.

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Itinerary

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1
welcome to Auckland New Zealand

‘Haere Mai’ … welcome to New Zealand. Now you can relax - you are officially on holiday. Everything has been taken care of, we will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation.

Enjoy a relaxing day exploring Auckland, also known as the ‘City of Sails’. Soak up the harbour side beauty of the central city and enjoy the world-class dining options of the Viaduct and Princes Wharf. There’s quality shopping on offer and, for spectacular views over the city and beyond, a visit up Aucklands Sky Tower is not to be missed. For an insight into New Zealand history and culture, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is a great place to explore.

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 Auckland - 1 night

2
Experience Giant Forests & Māori Culture on the West Coast

Departing Auckland, we travel to Muriwai Beach on the beautifully rugged West Coast. Here, we take a short stroll to the huge gannet colony that nests on the cliffs. Heading north, we follow the shoreline of the Kaipara Harbour, soaking up the views as we drive on to the fascinating Matakohe Kauri Museum. Later, we arrive at the ancient Waipoua Forest, where we join Footprints Waipoua for a uniquely spiritual tour through the towering Kauri trees. Included is a visit to 51-metre tall Tane Mahuta, the God of the Forest; a natural giant with an impressive girth of 13.8 metres. Tonight, we enjoy a delicious meal on the edge of the harbour.  

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Hokianga - 1 night

3
The Beautiful BAY OF ISLANDS

We begin the day with a boat cruise across the Hokianga Harbour, a significant and spiritual waterway for local Maori. Enjoy exploring the towering sand dunes on the water’s edge, and – if you’re feeling adventurous – a thrilling body board ride down the dunes awaits. Departing Omapere, we visit the charming, tiny town of Rawene before catching the vehicle ferry from here to Kohukohu. Soak up the stunning coastal views as we follow the scenic road to Matauri Bay. Just off the coast you’ll be able to spot the Cavalli Islands, the resting place for the Rainbow Warrior. Arriving in the creative town of Kerikeri, we visit New Zealand’s oldest building, the Stone Store. Our final destination is Waitangi in the Bay of Islands; a maritime wonderland that’s paradise for lovers of perfect beaches and water activities.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Bay of Islands - 2 night

4
Island Cruise, Dolphin Viewing, Historic Russell.

Today, you’ll explore the maritime park that is the Bay of Islands and have the opportunity to view - and, depending on conditions, swim – with the playful dolphins that call this part of the country home. Regulations from the Department of Conservation decide whether swimming is permitted. The catamaran is purpose-built for optimal dolphin viewing and swimming – getting in the water is optional; mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit are provided. Cruise out to Cape Brett, the ‘Hole in the Rock’ and pretty Otehi Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Returning to the quaint seaside town of Russell around 1pm, you’ll be able to soak up the settlement’s colourful history before we drive up to Flagstaff Hill for stunning views of the coast. We return to Waitangi for the night via the vehicular ferry at Opua.

Meals: Breakfast
 

5
Galaxies of Glowworms & the City of Sails

This morning we visit the Waitangi Treaty House, where the document was signed that made New Zealand a British Colony. Enjoy the magnificent views out over the Bay from Waitangi’s lawns before visiting the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves in the Waiomo Valley. We then head through Whangarei and over the Brynderwyn Hills to Auckland. Tonight, enjoy the vibrant food and wine scene of this pretty city from your harbour side hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Auckland - 1 night

6
Sailing Lake Rotoiti, Natural Hot Pools & Rotorua

We head southeast through the lush dairy farmlands of the Waikato. Touring New Zealand’s dramatic Karangahake Gorge we take a stroll alongside the Ohinemuri River through native bush to the relics and ruins of this region's gold-mining past. We pass through Te Puke, the Kiwifruit capital of the world, the landscape dotted with Kiwifruit orchards before continuing on to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Along the way, at Okawa Bay, we board "Tiua", a 53ft catamaran for a relaxing sail on serene Lake Rotoiti to secluded coves and natural hot pools reached only by boat - a great way to finish your day.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Rotorua - 2 nights

7
ROTORUA at Leisure | Lodge Dinner

This morning there’s time to enjoy one of Rotorua’s many unique attractions before driving out to beautiful Pounamu Lodge above Lake Tarawera. Share your experiences over an exclusive lunch with hosts David and Karen, Rotorua locals, who have many stories to tell of their historic links to this region. 

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 

8
Geothermal Wonder | Tongariro National Park

Today we visit the surreal, geothermal reserve, Wai-O-Tapu. The bubbling mud pools and incredibly colourful silica terraces are unforgettable. 

On the road to Lake Taupo we view the turbulent Huka Falls where the Waikato River thunders through a narrow chasm. From Taupo there are magnificent views across the lake to the three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu (2,797 metres), the highest mountain in the North Island.These mountains of the volcanic plateau are our next destination, the World Heritage Tongariro National Park. Take a walk in the park this afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation National Park - 1 Night

9
HAWKES BAY - ART DECO & WINERIES

From Taupo, look out towards the three active volcanoes of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu, all standing sentinel over a desolate landscape. Winding over the ranges we drive the Taupo – Napier road, arriving in the seaside town of Napier, here we wine taste at a premier vineyard in this acclaimed wine region before a guide joins our coach to take us on a tour of the Art Deco Tour.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Napier - 1 night

10
WELLINGTON - The Cool Little Capital

Leaving Napier we drive through the countryside of farmland and vineyards then pass through the small farming towns of Norsewood and Dannevirke before heading down the Wairarapa Plains to historic, arty Greytown. Its picturesque main street is lined with antique, craft and gift shops. It's also at the centre of the Wairarapa's premium wine-growing region. We continue south to the quirky capital city of Wellington where you can enjoy the city’s bustling food and wine scene.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Wellington - 1 night

11
COOK STRAIT CRUISE | Wine Country

This morning’s three-hour cruise across the Cook Strait and into the beautiful Marlborough Sounds is magical. From here, we explore the ‘Sauvignon Blanc capital of the world’ that is Marlborough – don’t miss tasting a glass or two of the local drop during the vineyard tour. We ascend gradually to St Arnaud village and Lake Rotoiti, a scenic gem nestled in the beech forested mountain range of the stunning Nelson Lakes National Park. We visit the Department of Conservation Centre before driving down to Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Nelson - 2 Nights

12
Abel Tasman National Park Cruise

Today you have a choice of a full scenic cruise or a cruise and walk from Marahau along the stunning Abel Tasman coastline. Abel Tasman National Park is our country's smallest national park. It protects 23,000 hectares of the most natural stretch of easily accessible coastline in New Zealand. The coastline is characterised by islands just offshore, sheltered waters, estuaries and golden, sandy beaches. Lie on a beach, or even go for a swim if the weather is warm. The park is sheltered from ocean swells, and enjoys a mild climate. After your cruise or walk we return to Nelson.

Meals: Breakfast

13
EXPLORE THE KAIKOURA COAST

From Nelson we drive to Pelorus Bridge, Havelock and Blenheim then down the spectacular Kaikoura coastline where big seas pound the rocks. Kaikoura is a small hamlet beside the ocean and beneath the towering Kaikoura Mountains. Seafood, especially crayfish, is a specialty. We stay right on the waterfront. Enjoy relaxing for the afternoon in Kaikours. Take an optional boat cruise or scenic flight to view whales, or stroll along the coastline for encounters with the cheeky fur seals that live here.

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

14
AKANUI FARM HOMESTEAD & MT COOK National Park

Today we continue south, winding inland over the Hunderlee Hills and dropping down to the patchwork beauty of the Canterbury Plains. Lunch on Day 13 is truly something special – Akanui Farm Homestead, owned by Di and Ian Mackenzie, is surrounded by beautiful gardens and the homestead itself oozes history and character. We dine on fresh produce from the bountiful veggie garden and enjoy true kiwi country hospitality. In the afternoon we drive past stunning alpine lakes and fields of golden tussock before arriving at our accommodation in the foothills of the Southern Alps, and into the World Heritage and breathtaking Mt Cook National Park where you stay in the shadow of New Zealand's tallest Mountain. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Mt. Cook - 1 night

15
QUEENSTOWN

Enjoy a stroll in the valley below Mount Cook before we leave for Queenstown. The drive this morning is spectacular; we pass mountains, fields of gold, turquoise lakes and a dramatic gorge. Reaching the famous resort town of Queenstown, we ride the gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range. Our accommodation tonight is only a few minutes’ walk from the central town, and is home to views of the surrounding scenery. Queenstown is known for its world-class dining – your driver/guide will offer expert recommendations this evening.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Queenstown - 3 night

16
MILFORD SOUND CRUISE, SCENIC FLIGHT - QUEENSTOWN

Today is one of the highlights of your holiday in New Zealand. We travel along the breath taking Milford Road; admiring the glacier-carved valleys, sky-scraping mountains and mirror lakes, and making plenty of photo stops along the way. Arriving in Milford Sound we board a boat and cruise the inky blue waters, spotting dolphins, penguins and seals with our onboard nature guide. We return to Queenstown on a scenic flight that showcases the beauty of Fiordland and Central Otago, rounding off an unforgettable day in New Zealand’s Great Outdoors.

Meals: Breakfast

17
A DAY OF LEISURE IN QUEENSTOWN

Take a day to experience the beauty of Queenstown exactly as you want to. From relaxing vineyard tours or boat cruises to extreme adventure activities, Queenstown has it all. Your driver/guide will help you with your plans.

Recommended excursions in Queenstown:

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
 

The Botanic Gardens and lakeside walkways offer a myriad of opportunities for relaxing strolls, while the boutique shops offer kiwi shopping at its best. Queenstown’s stunning location means that however you choose to spend your day you’ll enjoy being surrounded by awe-inspiring scenery.

Meals: Breakfast

18
Historical ARROWTOWN, CARDRONA VALLEY and WANAKA

Today we explore the beauty of the Central Otago region. Gold mining heritage comes alive in the pretty village of Arrowtown, where miner’s huts are still visible today. Heading over the Crown Range we enjoy panoramic views of the Gibbston Valley before calling into the historic Cardrona Hotel. Enjoy a private lunch at a homestead in Wanaka before relaxing for the afternoon – soak up the scenery on one of the many walking or biking trails.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Wanaka - 1 night

19
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER

The landscapes on show today are awe inspiring, diverse and dramatic. We follow the shore of Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka, heading into the stunning scenery of Haast Pass and Mount Aspiring National Park. A short stroll along a well-maintained track reveals native beech forests, waterfalls and clear blue pools. We then visit the local Department of Conservation Centre where we learn more about the region’s history, flora and fauna. North-bound, we drive through the lush rainforests of Westland World Heritage Park, enjoying a stroll on the beach and through swampland forests at Ship Creek. Lake Matheson is known for its mirror-like reflections of the surrounding mountains, and we view the ancient glacier tumbling down to rainforest at Franz Josef.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Franz Josef - 2 nights

20
OKARITO LAGOON - Bird Sanctuary

A relaxing day awaits. We drive towards the West Coast, arriving at the tiny settlement of Okarito, located between the Tasman Sea and the Southern Alps is the beautiful Okarito Lagoon. Choose to explore the lagoon by kayak (optional); a feeding ground for the rare white heron where you’re sure to catch a glimpse of these ornate creatures. Afterwards, you might like to take a heli-hike on the glacier or a scenic flight over the Southern Alps.

End the day with a relaxing soak in the Franz Josef Hot Pools (optional), fed by pristine glacier water, before enjoying a delicious meal in the village.

Meals: Breakfast

21
PUNAKAIKI - Wild Coast and Beautiful Rock Formations

Today’s drive north encompasses perfect lakes and rugged rivers, with the tops of the Southern Alps peaking through the trees. Enjoy the arty town of Hokitika and enjoy green stone carving, glass blowing and copper creations. Follow part of the old Maori Pounamu trails on the beautiful coastal road to tonight’s accommodation at Punakaiki. We enjoy the show created by nature at these Ancient Rock Formations before celebrating our journey in the delicious Jacob’s Restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Punakaiki - 1 night

22
ARTHUR’S PASS National Park | CHRISTCHURCH

On our way to Christchurch we drive the Otira Gorge on a spectacular road that winds through the mountains of Arthur’s Pass National Park. Stopping at a lookout, we watch the mischievous Kea – a colourful native parrot known for its cheeky personality. Stroll the beech forests of Arthur’s Pass village and marvel at the massive limestone formations of Castle Hill. We then drive down through Porter’s Pass and into Christchurch. We reach our accommodation in the late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night 

23
Homeward Bound

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

There maybe time for some last minute excursions or shopping before making your way for your outbound flight. Our promise 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.

Some Suggested Activities 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