Highlights of New Zealand

Classic, Auckland to Christchurch

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

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.

What’s included

  • Coromandel Peninsula visit
  • Cathedral Cove visit
  • Hot Water Beach stop
  • Traditional Maori ceremony and Hangi dinner
  • Overnight in Maori village
  • Orientation walk in Wellington
  • Scenic train journey
  • Beach time in Kaikoura
  • Arthurs Pass
  • Fiordland National Park visit
  • Milford Sound overnight boat excursion (Seasonal; May through September will have a day cruise)
  • Visit to Mt Cook NP with hiking opportunity (weather permitting)
  • Visit to Mt Cook NP Visitor's Centre
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Check out a hot water beach
  • Feast on a hangi in a maori village
  • Let loose in queenstown
  • Cruise around the fjords of milford sound
  • Travel a scenic rail route

Itinerary

Day 1 Auckland There are no activities until an evening welcome meeting, so head out and enjoy the city. Additional Notes: This tour departs Auckland early on Day 2. If you are interested in exploring the city and its nearby attractions, like a local winery, it is recommended you book additional pre-trip accommodation nights. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Auckland/Hahei (1D) 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. Included Activities: Coromandel Peninsula Visit Cathedral Cove Scenic Walk Hot Water Beach Excursion Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Rotorua/Maori Village (1D) Rotorua sits over an active volcano with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. Opt to visit one of the sites, like Hell's Gate, or go whitewater rafting nearby. In the evening visit a Maori village for traditional ceremonies, a Hangi meal and entertainment. After dinner, lounge by the bonfire and have some time to get to know the Maori hosts. Additional Notes: Accommodation is in a Maori wharepuni (sleeping house). Groups will often stay together in one sleeping house (multi-share, mixed gender), staying in line with Maori traditions. Included Activities: Maori Village Overnight Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (3.50-4.00 hours)
Day 4 Rotorua/Wellington (1B) Take in the ever-changing scenery of the North Island and travel to the capital, Wellington. Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours, 452km)
Day 5 Wellington (1B) 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. Included Activities: Orientation Walk
Day 6 Wellington/Kaikoura Fly to the South Island, then travel to the seaside town of Kaikoura, known for its diverse marine life. Transport: Plane Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))
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. Included Activities: Winery Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Hanmer Springs/Franz Josef (1B) 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. Transport: Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Driving time includes stops. Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s))
Day 9 Franz Josef (1B) There are dozens of optional activities in the area to suit just about any budget and preference. Try heli hiking, scenic helicopter flights, horse trekking, quad biking, skydiving, glacier valley walk, lake kayaking or a hot pools visit.
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. Transport: Private Vehicle (8.00-9.00 hours, 365km)
Day 11 Queenstown (1B) 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/Te Anau (1B, 1L) Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Doubtful Sound on a day cruise. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife. In the evening, opt to boat across Lake Te Anau and visit a cave that is home to thousands of glowworms. Included Activities: Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise Transport: Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Driving time includes stops. Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 250km) Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 120km)
Day 13 Te Anau/Twizel (1B) Head through the centre of the South Island to Twizel, near New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook. Transport: Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Drive time includes stops. Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 350km)
Day 14 Twizel/Christchurch Travel to the Garden City of Christchurch, a little piece of England in New Zealand, still recovering from a devastating earthquake. Included Activities: Mount Cook Visit Visitor's Centre Transport: Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Drive time includes stops throughout the day, including a couple of hours to visit Mt Cook (weather permitting). Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 380km)
Day 15 Christchurch (1B) Depart at any time.
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