Day 1 Auckland Arrive in Auckland at any time. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. Visit the Maritime Museum, walk the waterfront, or even take the ferry to Waiheke Island.
Jump right into your adventure by adding the 'Auckland Sailing: America's Cup Experience' extra to your tour. Work with a crew to sail around Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on a competitive yacht, and take in the stunning views. PLEASE NOTE: If booking this extra, a pre-night in Auckland is highly recommended as this activity may start early in the morning on Day 1.
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.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Auckland/Bay of Islands (1B, 1D) Depart early and travel to a local reserve with giant kauri trees. Native to New Zealand, these trees are some of the largest in the world. Learn about their importance to European settlement in New Zealand. Head to the Goat Island Marine Reserve for an included activity of snorkelling to see abundant sea life (seasonal).
Continue on to the Bay of Islands and board a houseboat – your home for the night.
Please note: during the winter months (late April - early November) Goat Island snorkelling will be cancelled due to an earlier departure time for the houseboat. As a result, there will be more time for activities on board the houseboat.
Goat Island Marine Reserve Snorkelling
Bay of Islands Overnight Excursion
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 3 Bay of Islands/Paihia (1B, 1L, 1D) Enjoy a morning of activities from our boat base. Then travel back to the mainland for a walk around the small town of Paihia. An optional visit to the Treaty House in the nearby town of Waitangi is highly recommended.
Day 4 Paihia/Auckland (1B) Take advantage of optional morning activities such as skydiving, dolphin watching, fishing or visiting the historic town of Russell. Travel back to Auckland.
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 5 Auckland/Raglan (1B, 1L) 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.
After, kayak to a remote part of the harbour for a boat cruise and lunch, before heading to our lodge a few minutes drive from the famous surf and arts town of Raglan for the night.
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 160km)
Day 6 Raglan (1B, 1D) Head down to the beach for an included surf lesson. The afternoon is open for optional activities such as yoga, stand up paddle boarding or exploring the many trails in the area.
Day 7 Raglan/Rotorua (1B) Stop en route at Waitomo. Enjoy free time to visit the Waitomo Caves, famous for their glow-worms and adventure activities, or explore this scenic area by foot.
Continue to Rotorua for an engaging cultural experience on the grounds of a historic Maori village.
Maori Cultural Experience
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Rotorua/Taupo (1B) Take advantage of free time in the adrenaline capital of the North Island, and opt to go whitewater rafting, check out a geothermal park with technicolour pools, or hit up a nearby spa. Continue on to spend the night near the shores of Lake Taupo.
Private Vehicle (1.00-2.00 hours, 80km)
Day 9 Taupo/Wellington (1B) Travel to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Arrive early enough for a visit to the National Museum, Te Papa.
Take a short walk from our accommodation to see the sights of the central business district. Finish the day off with an optional night on the town.
Big Night Out
Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 375km)
Day 10 Wellington/Abel Tasman National Park (1B, 1D) Catch a morning ferry and cross the scenic Cook Strait. Make sure to stand outside and enjoy the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Disembark and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park, well-known for its stunning white sand beaches. Board a water taxi to transfer to the middle of the National Park for the night. The night will be spent on a floating boat hostel.
During the winter season (May - Oct), and when there is inclement weather in the summer, we will stay in cabins in a true rural setting on the edge of the park instead of the floating boat hostel.
Ferry (3.50 hour(s), 92km)
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 200km)
Water taxi (0.50 hour(s))
Day 11 Abel Tasman National Park (1B) Hike and explore Abel Tasman's golden beaches and waterways.
Abel Tasman National Park Walk
Day 12 Abel Tasman National Park/Westport (1B, 1D) Head south down the coast of black-sand beaches. Visit a seal colony before travelling to Westport, the stop for the night.
Seal Colony Visit
Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 270km)
Day 13 Westport/Franz Josef (1B, 1D) Continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night.
Pancake Rocks Trek
Private Vehicle (5.00-5.50 hours, 285km)
Day 14 Franz Josef (1B) Free day for optional activities. Options include various hikes, horseback riding and quad biking.
Day 15 Franz Josef/Queenstown (1B) Visit the adventure capital of the world—Queenstown.
Private Vehicle (8.00-9.00 hours, 365km)
Days 16-17 Queenstown Free time in Queenstown. Get the heart pumping with some adrenaline-filled options, such as jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.
If you have pre-booked the Queenstown Jet Boating, your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity during your tour, as days are subject to change.
Please note - in the winter months (late April - early Nov) skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps is a highlight for any visitor. Most of the optional activities are also available, ask your CEO which ones are in season.
Day 18 Queenstown/Te Anau (1B, 1L) Visit Fiordland National Park and enjoy a boat cruise through breathtaking Milford Sound. In the evening, opt to cruise across Lake Te Anau and visit a cave that is home to thousands of glowworms.
Milford Sound Cruise
Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 120km)
Day 19 Te Anau/Central Otago (1B, 1D) Enjoy free time in the morning to discover the natural beauty of Te Anau. Later, transfer to Wedderburn in Central Otago.
Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 300km)
Day 20 Central Otago (1B) Bike 35 km of the Otago Rail Trail, passing through one historic town to the next. Along the way sample some local food and drink.
Biking Otago Rail Trail
Day 21 Wedderburn/Christchurch (1B) Overnight in the very unique converted jail house.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 400km)
Day 22 Christchurch/Kaikoura (1B) Spend the afternoon swimming with dolphins or taking a scenic flight over the peninsula.
Bird watchers will be pleased to know that big ocean birds such as albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters frequent the area.
Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))
Day 23 Kaikoura/Wellington (1B) Travel to Picton to catch the ferry back to Wellington. Opt for a final night out with the group.
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 150km)
Ferry (3.00 hour(s), 92km)
Day 24 Wellington (1B) We highly recommend post-accommodation to fully explore this vibrant city. Looking for a lift back to Auckland? Add on the "Auckland Express" and ride with your CEO back north. Ask your sales CEO or agent about this Extra.
What is the Auckland Express Extra? Depart Wellington at 6am and return to the Nomads Auckland hostel for around 5pm (8-9 hours driving time). If you have booked this transfer NOT on the last day of your tour, you must book post-accommodation through G Adventures. All services must be connected.