Learn about the Maori culture, conquer the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, get an adrenaline rush in Queenstown, weave through the remote fiords of the Doubtful Sound by sea kayak, discover Abel Tasman National Park by foot
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Compared with their enormous western neighbour, the islands of New Zealand don’t look especially big on the map, but don’t let their small stature deceive you. There is much, much, much to do here, be it biking to old gold mining sites, kayaking remote coves and hiking some of the most breathtaking routes in the whole world. But if you’re short on travel dollars, fear not; this trip squeezes in the very best of both the North and South Islands into an affordable, action-packed 21-day itinerary that moves swiftly without ever seeming rushed.
- Conservation farm visit (Raglan). Sea kayaking excursions (Raglan & Doubtful Sound). Surf lesson (Raglan). Maori cultural experience. Tongariro Alpine Crossing (seasonal). Te Papa Museum (Wellington). Visit to a seal colony. Walks in Franz Josef and Abel Tasman National Parks. Mountain biking excursion (Central Otago). Orientation walks in Wellington and Christchurch. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- 20 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 9 dinners. (Allow NZD200-250 for meals not included.)
- Hostels (8 nts), basic hotel (4 nts), basic lodges (7 nts), floating boat hostel (1 nt, summer, cabin in winter months). Most nights are multi-share.
- Private bus, kayak, boat, ferry
- Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
- Small group experience; Max 20, avg 16
- New Zealand
Please note that most accommodation in New Zealand is multi-share.
Day 1 Auckland
Arrive at any time.
Day 2-3 Raglan (2B,1L,1D)
Visit a conservation farm to learn about their farming methods before sea kayaking to a harbour for a picnic lunch. Enjoy an included surf lesson, then opt to take bone carving lesson with the local Maori.
Day 4 Rotorua/Maori Village Visit (1B,1D)
Travel to Rotorua, notable for its geothermal activity and culture. Visit a local Maori village, and enjoy a traditional 'Hangi' experience.
Day 5 National Park (1B,1D)
Travel around Lake Taupo, then conquer the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, New Zealand's top-rated 1-day trek (seasonal).
Day 6 Wellington (1B)
Hit the nation's capital and visit Te Papa, the national museum. Check out some of the area's great bars and cafés.
Day 7-8 Abel Tasman National Park (2B,2D)
Ferry over to the South Island. Hike and explore Abel Tasman's golden beaches and waterways.
Day 9 Punakaiki (1B,1D)
Visit a seal colony and take in the pancake rock formations at Punakaiki.
Day 10-11 Franz Josef (2B,1D)
Stay in a lodge surrounded by rainforestc and explore this UNESCO World Heritage Area.
Day 12-14 Queenstown (3B)
Visit the adventure capital of the world—Queenstown. Get the heart pumping with some adrenaline-filled options, such as jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.
Day 15 Doubtful Sound (1B,1L,1D)
Visit Fiordland NP en route to Doubtful Sound. Enjoy a guided kayak excursion though jaw-dropping scenery.
Day 16-17 Central Otago (2B,1D)
Travel to Central Otago, and bike 35 km of the rail trail from one historic town to the next, with the chance to sample local food and drink along the way.
Day 18 Christchurch (1B)
Orientation walk and a free afternoon of exploration of Christchurch.
Day 19 Kaikoura (1B)
Opt to go whale watching, swim with seals or take a walk along the coast.
Day 20 Wellingtion (1B)
Morning visit to a seal colony before catching the ferry back to Wellington.
Day 21 Auckland (1B)
Take an express journey from Wellington to Auckland, stopping in the king country town of Tamaranui for lunch. Tour ends upon arrival in Auckland at 7pm. Feel free to book onward travel anytime after 10:30pm.
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