New Zealand Holidays
|Duration||16 Day Tour|
|Meals||13 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners and 1 Afternoon Tea|
|Group Size||Maximum 34 People|
|Accommodation||May Be Mixed Dorms, Hotels, Motels or Cabins|
Some of the highlights of this epic tour are:
Day 1: Auckland to Rotorua
Maori legends and mythology have been passed down orally for thousands of years. You have one night in this sacred meeting house, so pay attention. After learning the tongue-thrusting Haka dance moves of the All Blacks, and the finesse of the ladies' Poi dance, polishing off a traditional maori dinner, you will no longer be a guest but a part of their people. You lucky thing.
-Maori Marae cultural talks
-Haka & Poi class
Day 2: Rotorua
Mud, Middle Earth and massages are the order of the day in the bubbling, sulphur-soaked town of Rotorua. If you're starting to resemble a muddy prune, flush out the mud rafting over the waterfalls, discover the Disneyland of mountain biking, or jump into the real-life landscapes of Tolkien's dreams on the Hobbiton Shire escape.
Day 3: Rotorua to Tongariro National Park
Geothermal activity gets turned up to 11 with bubbling mud pools, and if that's not enough, you can jump off a bridge as we pass by the largest lake in New Zealand. Lake Taupo was formed by an explosion that extended the Ice Age, so yeah, it's pretty big. It's also time to meet the dessert that's caused a battle between NZ and Australia since someone whipped an egg white: the pavlova.
Day 4: Tongariro National Park
With dual cultural and natural heritage status, and often described as the most epic hike in NZ, Tongariro NP is home to two active volcanoes that will hopefully keep a lid on things. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing will quickly top your list of favourites if you don't mind heights and the odd dormant lava chamber (and walks from 20 mins to 8 hours). Hike, raft or mountain bike then hit the spa and warm your feet by the fire in an alpine lodge overlooking Mt Doom.
Day 5: Tongariro National Park to Wellington
From hiking over lava to readjusting to city life, today we hit the nation's capital, Wellington (no, it's not Auckland!). After you conquer the six floors of the Te Papa museum, you'll probably be ready for a big city nightlife hit. With more bars and restaurants per capita than New York and a well-earned spot as the sporting capital of NZ, you can't go wrong with a craft beer and some local rugby action.
-Te Papa Museum
-Wellington city tour including Mt Victoria
Day 6: Wellington to Nelson
Ferry across the Cook Strait through Marlborough Sounds and into the arms of the world's best Sauvignon Blanc for a private tasting in a family-owned vineyard. Work out how many bottles you can fit in your suitcase without breaking your back. With postcard-perfect vistas and 35,000 hectares under vines, it's a slice of heaven.
-Cook Strait ferry crossing
-Marlborough wine tasting
Day 7: Nelson
Dense forest, snow-capped mountains and acres of pinot noir grapes. Green, white and red... no wonder Nelson has been referred to as the Naples of the southern hemisphere. Throw clay or wield a paintbrush in the creative artist hub. Skydive, kayak or take a hike through the mountains, forests and waters of
Abel Tasman National Park. Or go treasure hunting in Nelson's galleries. Round out the day with a traditional Kiwi BBQ dinner catered by yours truly. Not bad, Nelson. Not bad.
Day 8: Nelson to Kaikoura
More wine you say? Ok. Today we head back through the Rai Valley and Marlborough Wine Region to stop at our secret Marlborough Winery for some famous NZ wine tastings. Then it's down the coast to spy New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point before reaching our destination at Kaikoura. This afternoon we can tackle the elements on the very scenic Kaikoura Peninsula Walk. Seafood fans can settle in for a crayfish bonanza.
-Kaikoura Peninsula walk
-Ohau Point seal colony
Day 9: Kaikoura to Christchuch
Make some marine mates and brace yourself for the triple threat of dolphin swimming, seal swimming or whale watching. Fancy a little more altitude? Jump in an incredible whale watching scenic flight. Then on to Christchurch, which has recovered from the 2011 Earthquake and bounced back with new pop-up bars and a shopping precinct, with still more to come.
Day 10: Queenstown to Fox Glacier
Roll across the pastoral patchwork quilt that forms the Canterbury Plains and watch 50 shades of green melt into snow-topped peaks. Hang out in Hokitika for whitebait fritters and Pounamu (Jade) shopping, then take your best photography shot of NZ's two tallest mountain peaks reflected in Lake Matheson for the #picoftheday. Excited? You should be.
-Lake Matheson walk
Day 11: Fox Glacier to Queenstown
Today's your chance to walk on water. Well, frozen glacial water to be precise. Scale a mountain in minutes to get amongst ethereal ice caves and formations. With barely enough time to let your heart rate slow, we journey back through the mountains past Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. Feel your pulse start to quicken as we roll into Queenstown.
Day 12: Queenstown
Here's some basic math: Queenstown has over 220 activities-you have two days. No rush. This lakeside city has adrenaline on tap and will match any adventure you had in mind and then throw a Fergburger (amazing Queenstown burger place) in there for good measure. Get your fix with bungy, a narrow canyon swing, Shotover Jet, or paragliding, hiking, horse riding and the skyline gondola. If you're bored here, there's something wrong. Need some time out? Head to the Kiwi Birdlife Park, or kick back with a local pinot.
Day 13: Queenstown
It’s free day, take two. Jump off more stuff or chill out and let your pulse drop. Your call.
Day 14: Queenstown to Fiordland
By now you might be becoming a little desensitised to the otherworldly beauty of NZ but when you see the Fjords for the first time, it's okay to enter a total Instagram meltdown! Carved by glaciers during the ice age, the Milford Sound comes complete with seals, dolphins and thundering waterfalls. Steeped in
Maori myth, this is a history and geology lesson rolled into one, minus the homework.
-Milford Sound nature cruise
-Fiordland National Park Walks
Day 15: Fiordland to Lake Ohau
Back in the heyday of Arrowtown, everyone was here for the gold. Recharge your batteries with venison burgers and a central Otago pinot noir in Arrowtown then zigzag across the five bridges that span the ever-changing Arrow River. Test your nerves on the suspension bridge then chill out by the crystal clear river waters while you catch your breath. Cue relaxation and a chance to practice your stone-skimming skills in Lake Ohau.
-Mountain bike ride (13km/2hrs) along Arrow River
Day 16: Lake Ohau to Christchurch
Lap up Lake Pukaki under the shadow of Mt Cook. It's about as Kiwi as 'fush and chups' (fish and chips with a local accent). Then shift into sheep country, where these furry things outnumber humans 12:1. It makes sense that today includes the Church of the Good Shepherd, a monument to the faithful sheep dog and a chance to watch them in action on a Kiwi farm. Then back to into the city of Churches as our trip winds to a close.
-Mt Cook Village (weather dependant)
*Please note that this tour also runs in reverse from Christchurch to Auckland*
Pick up at 1:00 pm from Mecure Hotel, 8 Customs Street East, Auckland
Drop off at 7:00 pm at Breakfree on Cashel Hotel, 165 Cashel Street, Christchurch
Pick up at 7:00 am from Breakfree on Cashel Hotel, 165 Cashel Street, Christchurch or
Pick up at 7:30 am from Jailhouse Hostel, 338 Lincoln Road, Christchurch
Drop off at 11:30 am from Mecure Hotel, 8 Customs Street East, Auckland