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Guided Tours

Ruru 18 Day SELECT Tour - AKLCH





Accommodation is in a mixture of hotels, cabins and lodges. All accommodation is twinshare as standard (solo travellers are roomed with another person of the same gender) and customers can upgrade to a single room if they wish. Some accommodation facilities have self-catering kitchen facilities. 


Breakfast is included each morning and some other meals are included, please see the specifications of each day for this.

Private coach transport

Take the pressure off, kick back, relax, soak up the scenery and let someone else do the driving. You'll travel by private, air-conditioned bus. 

Stray Guide

Expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support and local insider knowledge from your charismatic guide. They know every inch of this country. You can't get this from a google search!

Lake Aniwhenua - Strademark Experience

This experience is an introduction to modern-day Maori culture. You’ll be hosted by a local Maori family, taken on a guided tour to a sacred archaeological site, be introduced to the local Maori stories and games and be treated to a delicious hangi dinner, cooked under the ground!

 Inter-island Ferry

You'll travel on the Bluebridge ferry twice between the North and South island.  


Day 1 : Auckland to Rotorua
Haere Mai and Welcome! Your tour begins in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) the city of sails, the largest city in New Zealand and home to over 2 million people. We’re departing this morning for a short trip to Rotorua and, let’s just say, the ‘unusual’ sulphur smell will be a telltale sign that you’ve arrived! Known as the North Island’s geothermal hot spot and hub for all the very best adventure activities, Rotorua is 100% one of the best places to explore… even if your nostrils tell you otherwise! We’ll stop at the Whakarewarewa Forest for a walk amongst the giant California Redwoods planted over 100 years ago before checking in at our hotel. Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua Meal Options: Local eateries Optional activities: Hobbiton Free activities: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk
Meals :Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 : Rotorua
You’re in luck because today is a free day for you to explore Rotorua! There’s heaps of cool activities to do here including white water rafting, ziplining, zorbing or just relaxing in a geothermal spa! If you want to see some geothermal activity for free, head to Kuirau Park to see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes. Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua or similar Meals included: Breakfast Meal options: Local restaurants Free activities: Kuirau Park
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 : Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua
After hanging out in a major tourist destination like Rotorua, you’ll probably feel ready to experience a more authentic slice of New Zealand culture. Today we venture off the beaten track to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua. Kohutapu Lodge is owned by a local Maori family who are passionate about showcasing their Maori tribal heritage. You'll see sacred Maori rock carvings, play traditional stick games and watch the preparation of a ground cooked 'hangi', before tasting it for yourself! Prepare your tastebuds - this will probably be the best meal you eat in New Zealand, or maybe even in your lifetime! Exclusive experience includes: Welcome to the tribal lands and a guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings Introduction to to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges Afternoon tea Mau Rakau (Maori stick games) Weaving Lesson Haka Lesson 1 night’s accommodation at the serene lakeside Kohutapu Lodge Full traditional hangi buffet dinner & dessert Storytelling around the fire pit Continental breakfast Accommodation: Scenic lakefront cabins Meals included: Breakfast, full traditional hangi dinner and dessert Free activities: Maori rock carvings, volleyball
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 : Lake Aniwhenua to Blue Duck Station
Rise and shine, strayers! Enjoy your buffet breakfast and get ready for a day of jam-packed adventure. Keep your togs (swimwear) handy, because our first stop is Kerosene Creek – a naturally hot river and the perfect place for a morning soak. Then it’s on to Taupo to see Australasia’s largest lake and the mighty Huka Falls before venturing about as far off the beaten track as you can get in the North Island! Blue Duck Station is a sprawling 7,200-acre high country farm that is both a working station and an eco-conservation pioneer dedicated to protecting the native environment for its namesake, the rare blue duck. On arrival, we will settle in to learn a little about daily life at Blue Duck, the station’s interesting settlement history and their sustainability efforts before cooking some dinner and chilling out around the bonfire. Accommodation: Country station lodge Optional paid activities: Skydiving or bungy in Taupo Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner Meal options: Breakfast included. We’ll stop at a supermarket to stock up on supplies - Self-cater or join the optional group dinner Free activities: Huka Falls, Spa Park walk Taupo
Meals :Breakfast

Day 5 : Blue Duck Station
Good news - You have a full free day to explore this ruggedly charming destination. For entertainment, you have the option to go horseback riding over rolling green hills, or jump on a 4WD and travel through native bush to the ‘Top of the World’ where you can see the three peaks of Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe. If you’d prefer to explore on foot, hike to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall and see if you can spot a rare blue duck in the flesh. Whatever you decide, we have no doubt this will be the start of your love affair with this lush kiwi paradise. Those holiday romances, aye! Accommodation: Country station lodge Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included activities: 4WD farm eco-tour Free activities: Hike to Kaiwhakauka waterfall
Meals :Breakfast

Day 6 : Blue Duck Station to Ohakune
Rise and shine this morning for your trip to Ohakune. First, we’ll head straight to Tongariro National Park so you can tick off one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand, the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Considered one of the world’s top one-day walks, this 19km hike takes you across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks, craters and turquoise lakes that you (and your Instagram feed) will remember for a lifetime. The Crossing is open to walk year-round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but it is subject to the weather conditions. If the weather prevents you from doing the Crossing, there are other awesome short-walks in the area. Tonight, unwind after a big day at your accommodation, the Powderhorn Chateau for a relaxing evening. Accommodation: Powderhorn Chateau or similar Meals included: Breakfast Meal options: Local restaurants Optional activities: Tongariro Crossing
Meals :Breakfast

Day 7 : Ohakune to Wellington
Rise and shine for your scenic bike ride along the Old Coach Road. You’ll be fitted for your Bike and then shuttled to Horopito where your easy but epic 4-hour unguided bike trail begins. Download the free app before you start if you’d like to get some info along the way about your route. You’ll cycle on a unique cobbled road, past historic Viaducts and limestone cliffs and there’ll be plenty of stops along the way to take photos for the ‘gram. Afterwards, it’s onwards to Wellington, the ‘coolest little capital in the world’! Wellington packs a lot of character into its downtown district, with funky restaurants and bars along Cuba Street and Courtenay Place. Fill your afternoon by browsing through the exhibits at Te Papa National Museum, grab a craft beer at an edgy brewery, climb to the top of Mt Victoria for panoramic views or take a stroll along the waterfront and Oriental Parade. Oh and, most importantly for those who seek 24/7 caffeination, you’ll be glad to know that Wellington’s coffee culture and cafe scene is considered one of the best in NZ. Accommodation: Ibis Wellington or similar Meals included: Breakfast Meal options: Local restaurants Included activity: Electric bike along the Old Coach Road Free activities: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum
Meals :Breakfast

Day 8 : Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman)
We catch an early Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait and through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds to the South Island. If the weather’s good, head out to the viewing deck to witness some incredible scenes before arriving in Picton and setting off through the picturesque Marlborough region. Then we continue to Marahau, situated right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. Accommodation: The Barn or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Wine tasting (usually $5-10) Meal options: We’ll stop at a supermarket to stock up on supplies - Self-cater or join the optional group dinner Free activities: Stargazing
Meals :Breakfast

Day 9 : Marahau (Abel Tasman)
Count yourself lucky - you have a full day to explore New Zealand’s most popular national park. From our accommodation you can hike straight into the park (no water taxi required!). It’s a cool 12kms to Anchorage and you’ll see the park’s natural golden sand beaches and brilliant blue waters along the way. The walk is approx. 4 hours each way but there’s enough photo stops en-route to spend an entire day exploring. Enjoy a picnic on the beach before checking out Cleopatra’s Pools, moss lined fresh water pools with a natural water slide. Accommodation: The Barn or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Kayaking, water taxi, canyoning Meal options: Pack a picnic lunch and lots of snacks for your hike, Self-cater in the kitchen or use the BBQs Free activities: Hike in the national park, relax on the golden sand beaches, see Cleopatra’s Pools
Meals :Breakfast

Day 10 : Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Hokitika
Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. Through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road named one of the top drives in the world by Lonely Planet, there’s not much cell phone reception but you are NOT gonna need it – we dare you to peel your eyes away from the window for even a second. We’ll stop at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes to explore this unique part of coastline before continuing on to the vibrant, artistic township of Hokitika. Accommodation: Hokitika Beachfront Hotel or similar Meals included: Breakfast Meal options: Local eateries Free activities: Head down to Hokitika Beach for sunset
Meals :Breakfast

Day 11 : Hokitika to Franz Josef Glacier
It’s a short drive today towards the quaint village of Franz Josef. The scenery will change from serene coastline to dramatic, lush rainforest. We’ll get to Franz Josef around lunchtime so you’ll have the rest of the day to explore the town or relax at your accommodation. Accommodation: Franz Josef Motels or similar Meals included: Breakfast Meal options: Local restaurants Free activities:
Meals :Breakfast

Day 12 : Franz Josef Glacier
Ice, ice baby! Get ready to experience Franz Josef Glacier, an iconic highlight of the West Coast. Take a short drive to the beginning of the track. Hike through native bush and across glacial streams to the terminal face of the glacier for spectacular photos or just relax in the township and enjoy the views. Accommodation: Franz Josef Motels or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Shuttle to the track Meal options: Local restaurants Free activities: Glacier Valley hike, bush tracks
Meals :Breakfast

Day 13 : Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown
This morning we’ll go for a scenic walk around Lake Matheson and then we’ll make our way to Queenstown, known in New Zealand as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ and the spiritual home of bungy jumping. We stop at Kawarau Bridge on our way into town a.k.a. the first commercial bungy jumping site in the world. If you’re feeling brave you can tick the bungy off your bucket list or if you’d prefer to just watch then you can cheer your mates on from the viewing platform! Accommodation: Mercure Queenstown or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Puzzling World Meal options: Local restaurants and cafes Free activities: Lake Matheson scenic walk, watch people jumping off a bridge!
Meals :Breakfast

Day 14 : Queenstown
Today you’ll hop aboard a Coach which will take you to the stunning Milford Sound. You’ll take a Cruise across this impressive Sound and see towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls as well as spotting some amazing wildlife like Fur Seals, Penguins and Dolphins. Once you’ve snapped as many pics as you possibly can, it’s back to Queenstown. We recommend checking out the buzzy nightlife and many restaurants Queenstown has to offer. Accommodation: Mercure Queenstown or similar Meals included: Breakfast Included activity: Milford Sound Day Cruise Meal options: Local restaurants
Meals :Breakfast

Day 15 : Queenstown
Yaaaasssss Queen(stown)! You’ve got a full day in the adventure capital today. With beautiful mountain scenery and plenty of outdoor activities, it’s easy to understand why so many backpackers refuse to leave this place. Accommodation: Mercure Queenstown or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…) Meal options: Local restaurants Free activities: Hike Ben Lomond, the Queenstown Hill, or Bob’s Peak
Meals :Breakfast

Day 16 : Queenstown to Mount Cook
Depart Queenstown early to drive over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past the vivid blue waters of Lake Pukaki on the way to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. We arrive in the early afternoon with time to do an optional experience like a boat tour on a glacial lake surrounded by snow capped alps and views of the gigantic Tasman Glacier Ice wall. Alternatively you can check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre or do one of the many great short walks in the park. If it’s a clear night, make sure you head outside to experience one of the best stargazing spots in the country. Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, Glacier Explorer boat tour Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent), stargazing
Meals :Breakfast

Day 17 : Mount Cook to Christchurch
Leaving Mount Cook we make our way through a landscape made famous in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films. We’ll stop to admire the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd, a famous photo stop. Relax in the Tekapo hot pools, go snow tubing or ice skating (winter only) or hike up to the Mt John Observatory where you’ll witness stunning views of the lake from above. After lunch, we will continue to our overnight stop in Christchurch, a city where old meets new, as the rebuild continues following the devastating 2011 earthquake. Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art intended to bring cheer and colour to a city once buried in rubble. On arrival in Christchurch, we’ll make our way to the Ibis hotel which is our accommodation for the evening. Accommodation: Ibis Christchurch or similar Meals included: Breakfast
Meals :Breakfast

Day 18 : Depart Christchurch
Today your adventure comes to an end. We hope you had a blast! If you have some time at the end of your trip, why not stay a few extra days in Christchurch and explore the city. Meals included: Breakfast
Meals :None

Pickups / Departures

Start:               Auckland CBD

Finish:             Christchurch CBD

Duration:        18 days/ 17nights

Departs:          Thursdays



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Ruru 18 Day Select Tour - Aklch