Highlights of New Zealand

Two weeks is barely enough time to thoroughly explore your hometown, let alone a place as fascinating as New Zealand. For adventurers on a tight time-budget, this 15-day trip wraps up the must-sees of both islands with a nice little bow. Check out the Coromandel's gorgeous beaches, hang with the Maori in a traditional village, walk the beaches of Kaikoura and get your adrenaline fix in Queenstown. Consider this your New Zealand starters kit.


Duration: 15 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Photography, Beer Tasting Physical rating: Average
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 141551
Starts: Auckland, New Zealand Finishes: Christchurch, New Zealand
You will visit
  • Auckland
  • Christchurch



Day 1: Auckland

There are no activities until an evening welcome meeting, so head out and enjoy the city.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting


Day 2: Auckland/Hahei (1B, 1D)

Depart early for the stunning Coromandel Peninsula. Take a walk to Cathedral Cove or opt out in favour of sea kayaking. If the tide is right, grab a shovel and dig a natural jacuzzi in the sand on Hot Water Beach.

Included Activities:
Coromandel Peninsula Visit
Cathedral Cove Scenic Walk
Hot Water Beach Excursion

Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))


Day 3: Hahei/Rotorua (1B, 1D)

Rotorua sits over an active volcano with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. Opt to visit one of the sites, like Hell's Gate, or go whitewater rafting nearby.

In the evening visit a Maori village for traditional ceremonies, a Hangi meal and entertainment. After dinner, lounge by the bonfire and have some time to get to know the Maori hosts.

Additional Notes:
Accommodation is in a Maori wharepuni (sleeping house). Groups will often stay together in one sleeping house (multi-share, mixed gender), staying in line with Maori traditions.

Included Activities:
Maori Village Visit with Overnight

Private Vehicle (3.50-4.00 hours)


Day 4: Rotorua/Wellington (1B)

Enjoy the ever-changing scenery of the central North Island as you travel to the capital, Wellington.

Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours, 452km)


Day 5: Wellington (1B)

Enjoy the atmosphere in this relaxed but lively city. After an orientation walk, enjoy a free day to explore. Opt to visit the Te Papa Museum or take the cable car up to the botanical gardens.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk


Day 6: Wellington/Kaikoura

For dinner, opt to chow down on the national dish – fish and chips – near the beach.

Ferry (3.50 hour(s))
Train (2.50 hour(s))


Day 7: Kaikoura/Hanmer Springs (1B)

Opt to swim with dolphins or go whale watching during a free morning in Kaikoura before travelling to Hanmer Springs, a charming alpine village. Take a soak in the hot springs.

Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))


Day 8: Hanmer Springs/Franz Josef (1B)

Travel across the Southern Alps via the stunningly scenic Arthur's Pass. Stretch your legs with a mountain or rainforest walk. Enjoy staying in the rainforest near the world's fastest moving glacier.

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Driving time includes stops.
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s))


Day 9: Franz Josef (1B)

There are dozens of optional activities in the area to suit just about any budget and preference. Try heli hiking, scenic helicopter flights, horse trekking, quad biking, skydiving, glacier valley walk, lake kayaking or a hot pools visit.


Day 10: Franz Josef/Queenstown (1B)

Continue to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. With beautiful scenery and tons of activities, there's something for everyone. Enjoy the great night life.

Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 365km)


Day 11: Queenstown (1B)

With free time here, opt to go bungy jumping (in its birthplace), jet boating (also born here!), skydiving, paragliding, hiking or mountain biking. Opt to take it a little slower and travel by gondola to the top of a local peak.


Day 12: Queenstown (1B, 1D)

It's a long day driving from Queenstown and back but the experience of Milford Sound is worth the effort.

Included Activities:
Milford Sound Cruise

Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s))


Day 13: Queenstown/Twizel (1B)

Head to Twizel, near New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook.

Private Vehicle


Day 14: Twizel/Christchurch (1B)

Travel to the Garden City of Christchurch, a little piece of England in New Zealand, still recovering from a devastating earthquake.

Included Activities:
Mount Cook Visit
Visitor's Centre

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Drive time includes stops throughout the day, including a couple of hours to visit Mt Cook (weather permitting).
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 380km)


Day 15: Christchurch (1B)

Depart at any time.

    • Coromandel Peninsula visit
    • Cathedral Cove visit
    • Hot Water Beach stop
    • Traditional Maori ceremony and Hangi dinner
    • Overnight in Maori village
    • Orientation walk in Wellington
    • Scenic train journey
    • Beach time in Kaikoura
    • Arthurs Pass
    • Fiordland National Park visit
    • Milford Sound overnight boat excursion (Seasonal; May through September will have a day cruise)
    • Visit to Mt Cook NP with hiking opportunity (weather permitting)
    • Visit to Mt Cook NP Visitor's Centre
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    • Hotels (12 nts), Maori village (1 nt, multi-share), boat (1 nt, seasonal)
    Meals Included
    • 13 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 3 dinners
    • Private van/bus, walking, ferry, train, boat
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Check out a Hot Water Beach
  • Feast on a hangi in a Maori village
  • Let loose in Queenstown
  • Cruise around the fjords of Milford Sound
  • Travel a scenic rail route