Day 1 : AUCKLAND > HOT WATER BEACH
Departing Auckland we head south east to the pristine beaches of the Coromandel and the world famous Cathedral Cove (included). Here you have the option to kayak around this stunning coastline as well as the opportunity to visit Hot Water Beach (included); a unique surf beach where if you catch the tide right, you can dig a hole in the sand to create your own personal spa pool.
Day 2 : HOT WATER BEACH > KARANGAHAKE GORGE > WAITOMO
We’ll leave the Coromandel behind and venture into the enchanting Karangahake Gorge nestled amongst the Kamai ranges, for a hike (included) amongst the walkways and old tunnels. If that isn’t enough fun for one day, then never fear, next we’ll be heading over to Waitomo for a magical tour of the glow-worm caves (Included!). For those feeling a little more adventurous you will have the opportunity to upgrade to a Black Water Rafting trip.
Day 3 : WAITOMO > HOBBITON > ROTORUA
Saying goodbye to those glowing little critters, we’ll get on the road to Rotorua, passing through The Shire of Hobbiton where you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Hobbiton movie set. We’ll then roll on through to Rotorua; a mystical land of bubbling mud pools, rocketing geysers and natural hot springs. First we’ll stop off at Kuirau Park (included) walk for a relaxing hot pool, before leaving you the remainder of the day to experience Rotorua your way. Optional activities (which are not included) are: SkyLine, White Water Rafting, Hells Gate, Waiatapu, Mountain biking through the Redwoods, Zorb, Polynesian spa or Kiwi Encounter.
Day 4 : ROTORUA > TAMAKI Māori VILLAGE
Today is going to be pretty special as we head off around midday to visit the Tamaki Māori Village where you will be immersed in the traditions and cultural values of the Māori people. Participate in a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), learn about the history of the marae (village) and the Rotorua-area from a local Māori guide before feasting on some top kai (food) from the hangi pit. Afterwards, gather around a blazing bonfire where you will enjoy Māori myths and legends before relaxing in a private forest spa pool and retiring for the night in a traditional carved wharemoe (sleeping house).
Day 5 : TAMAKI Māori VILLAGE > TAUPO
Onto Great Lake Taupo we go, taking in a walk to the pounding Huka Falls (included) before heading up river to the more tranquil Spa Park to experience a geothermic natural spa (included). In Taupo there is lots to do, just tell us what you’re in the mood for and we’ll get you there. The lake itself (actually an extinct volcano crater) is a sight to behold from the shoreline (included), but the more adventurous might want to take the opportunity to sail across the lake on a yacht to the Māori rock carvings, or even get a birds-eye view by skydiving above it.
Day 6 : FREE DAY IN TAUPO
Taupo’s central location mean it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from other world class activities which we give you the option to experience on day six. Head up the Sky Waka to experience Mount Ruapehu or hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; a dramatic landscape of stunning contrasts created by extinguished lava flows and emerald lakes. It’s no surprise Tongariro is often described as one of New Zealand’s best one-day hikes.
Day 7 : TAUPO > WELLINGTON
For the final day of our North Island tour, we’ll cruise through the southern end of the North Island to the capital, Wellington. Here you can experience Mount Victoria (included) and then passengers have the opportunity to experience the national museum, Te Papa and get amongst the thriving craft beer scene.
Day 8 : WELLINGTON > PICTON > KAIKOURA
We’re heading to the South Island! You’ll kick off your day experiencing what’s regarded as one of the most beautiful inter-island crossings in the world, the Cook Straight (included). Arriving into the top of the South island we’ll journey through the dreamy Marlborough region, home to more vineyards than your eyes can see. Stopping off for tasting along the way (included) we’ll then head onto Kaikoura to spot wildlife and experience local Kiwi cuisine.
Day 9 : KAIKOURA > CHRISTCHURCH
Start the day with a sleep-in or for the more adventurous head out to sea to witness spectacular marine life such as dolphins, whales, albatrosses and so much more. (Not included.) Around mid-morning we’ll head up the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway to experience the seal colony (included). After a morning experiencing a real life Planet Earth episode we’ll cruise to the diverse city of Christchurch where we will go on a walking tour of the city (included) to learn about the street art, see the blooming botanical gardens, and learn about the history of a city that’s experienced so much in recent times
Day 10 : CHRISTCHURCH > LAKE TEKAPO
Saying goodbye to Christchurch we’ll hit the road and cruise into the magnificent Mackenzie Country, home to Lake Tekapo. Here we will visit the charming stone Church of the Good Shepherd (included), sat next to the breathtakingly blue waters of the lake framed with colourful lupins. As night falls, we will visit the ‘Dark Sky Project’ situated amongst the UNESCO Dark Sky reserve
Day 11 : TEKAPO > MOUNT COOK > WANAKA
Cruising past the ‘powerade factory’ Lake Pukaki we head for Mount Cook village where we will hike the Hooker Valley Walk (included) which has breath-taking views which will break the internet. Here you will have the opportunity to experience the Tasman Glacier by helicopter or take a scenic flight through the Aoraki National Park. From mid- morning, we will continue to cruise through the National Park, through the stunning Lindas Pass through to Wanaka.
Day 12 : WANAKA > QUEENSTOWN
Here in Wanaka, we will have the morning to hike the famous Roys Peak (included), snap ‘That Wanaka tree’ or climb Mount Iron (included). For the more daring in the group there’s the option to experience a via ferrata ‘Wild Wire’ or hit up the lakeside trails on a mountain bike. Late afternoon, you can catch your breath in the back of the bus as we cruise through the Crown ranges and head for the adrenaline fuelled Queenstown. We’ll end the day heading up the Gondola (included) for a tasty dinner at the ‘Skyline’ overlooking Queenstown.
Day 13 : QUEENSTOWN
Carrying on the adrenaline pumping theme, you have a full day to fill with activities that suit all budgets and appetites for adventure. Try your hand at activities such as white water rafting, bungy jumping, skydiving, jet-boating or paragliding… if you dream it, it probably exists here in Queenstown. Speak to your Guide who will be able to point you in the right direction.
Day 14 : QUEENSTOWN
Today we will head out into the heartlands of Otago to the picturesque town of Glenorchy to experience a scenic landscape brimming with southern charm.
Day 15 : QUEENSTOWN > FRANZ JOSEF
Leaving bright and early we leave behind Queenstown and set off for Franz Josef. This is one of the most scenic drives of your tour. We’ll cruise by the breath-taking Lake Hawea, past the aptly named ‘Blue Pools’ and visit the pounding Thunder Creek Falls before visiting Lake Matheson; a spot that makes a mockery of Instagram filters. We’ll then arrive in Franz Josef where we’ll retire to a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself.
Day 16 : FRANZ JOSEF
Today free day in Franz Josef where you have the opportunity to experience a Heli-Hike to the famous Glacier or you can explore this lush corner of New Zealand (for free) on foot and hit up the many trails in the area. For those wanting something a little more special to take home with them; passengers can head up the road to nearby Hokitika to carve their own greenstone necklace (pounamu).
Day 17 : FRANZ JOSEF > CHRISTCHURCH
On your final day we will cruise through the Arthur’s Pass National Park, a landscape of two halves. On the eastern side you'll see wide, shingle-filled riverbeds and vast swathes of beech forest. Descend the western side and you venture through dense rainforest alongside and over deeply gorged rivers. Along this road we will stop off at the Devil’s Punch Bowl and the breath-taking Castle Hill. (Included.) You tour will end in Christchurch, a small city with a big heart.