24 Day Complete New Zealand (Auckland to Christchurch)

  • Duration: 24 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • Supplier Tour ID: AKLNZN/168205
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Finishes: Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Auckland
  • Christchurch



Day 1

Auckland to Paihia
Depart 7:30am and head north to the stunning Bay of Islands today. On the way you’ll learn about the rich local European and Maori history of the region. After stopping to see some giant kauri trees en-route, we continue on to Paihia, where you have the afternoon free to explore this charming seaside town.
Accommodation: Hostel along from the beach
Optional Activities: Skydiving


Day 2

Paihia to Cape Reinga and back
Today you travel to the top of NZ, the spiritually significant Cape Reinga. Visit 90 Mile Beach, try dune surfing and see the clashing of 2 oceans! Sample some of the best fish and chips around on your way back to Paihia.
Accommodation: Hostel along from the beach


Day 3

Paihia to Auckland
This morning we will do the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise and make an island stop in the bay. Keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. We depart in the afternoon to head back to Auckland.
Accommodation: Central city hostel


Day 4

Auckland to Hahei
Depart Auckland in the morning and head south to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. We’ll settle into our accommodation in Hahei before heading to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own natural spa in the sand (tidal dependent).
Accommodation: Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront


Day 5

FREE day in Hahei
Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid back Coromandel lifestyle. Get up early to catch the sunrise on the beach, then take a scenic coastal walk or opt to kayak to stunning Cathedral Cove. You can also take a glass bottom boat tour through the nearby marine reserve.
Accommodation: Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront
Optional Activities: Kayaking, glass bottom boat tour


Day 6

Hahei to Rotorua
Our drive today will take us through the Waikato region to Rotorua. You will have to option to a guided tour through the world famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Even if you’re not a fan, this truly unique experience which explores a whimsical garden village, home to Frodo and Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogies is loved by all. If this is not for you, then you can continue on to Rotorua where there are plenty of other activities on offer. The Hobbiton goers will return early evening.
Accommodation included: Comfortable central city hostel
Optional activities: Hobbiton Movie Set tour, white-water rafting, zorbing, adrenaline fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungees and more)


Day 7

Often labelled the adventure capital of the North Island, you have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area rich in Maori heritage, adventure activities and bubbling geothermal wonders. There are plenty of exciting local activities to get the adrenaline pumping, such as whitewater rafting, ziplining through native bush, zorbing or a truly unique guided jet boat adventure up to bath in a hot waterfall. You can opt to visit the incredible Waitomo Caves, or head out on the highly regarded White Island tour. The choice is yours!
Accommodation included: Comfortable central city hostel
Optional activities: Waitomo caving trip, White Island tour, river jet tour, zip lining, zorbing, geothermal parks, luging, Maori village & performance experience


Day 8

Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua
Today we head further off the beaten track to the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua. A local Maori guide will share the area’s history and lead us to visit the area’s sacred archaeological sites. Tonight, your hosts will teach you how to prepare a traditional `Hangi` (a feast cooked underground) and introduce you to a fun stick game to challenge your hand-eye coordination. For those visiting during school term, you will be both touched and inspired as you learn about a local community program in which Stray passengers are participating. (D)
Accommodation included: Scenic lakefront lodge


Day 9

Lake Aniwhenua to Whakahoro
After breakfast we depart and head to Taupo to see Huka Falls, and for the brave, we have time for skydiving! At 10am we make our way to Blue Duck Station, a 5,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. Settle in and learn a little more about what makes this destination so special. Spend the evening listening to tales from this unique region. (B)
Accommodation: Country station lodge
Optional Activities: Skydiving


Day 10

Blue Duck Station.
Today you have a free day to explore this truly amazing and secluded location in depth. There are plenty of farming and conservation-based activities for you to experience around the property.
Accommodation: Country station lodge
Optional Activities: Horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and goat hunting


Day 11

Blue Duck Station (via Tongariro) to Raetihi
We depart at 6am and head to the active volcanoes of the nearby dual World Heritage Site of Tongariro National Park. Today you get a chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one day walks: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Be prepared for some epic scenery as you walk around the base of "Mt Doom" from the Lord of the Rings films.
Accommodation: Historic residence with mountain views
Optional Activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing


Day 12

Raetihi to Wellington
We head to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, via Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. You have the afternoon to cruise around the shops and cafes along popular Cuba Street, explore the New Zealand wonders found in Te Papa or stroll along the waterfront.
Accommodation: Central city hostel


Day 13

Wellington to Marahau
We catch an early Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait to the South Island where you meet the Stray bus in Picton. We will cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and the coastal town of Nelson on our way to our amazing overnight stop of Marahau, right on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park.
Accommodation included: Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park
Optional activities: Wine tasting


Day 14

FREE day in Marahau
You have the entire day free to explore this stunning coastal national park. An Aqua Taxi ride is included in your tour, but you are welcome to upgrade to sailing or kayaking. Hike, sail, kayak or skydive – Abel Tasman National Park is gorgeous no matter which option you choose.
Accommodation: Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park.
Optional Activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, hang gliding.


Day 15

Marahau to Franz Josef
Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. We’ll pass through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was labelled one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We’ll view the seal colony at Cape Foulwind before continuing further down the coast to the geographic wonder of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Here we’ll take a walk around these unique limestone rock formations and stop for a bite of lunch. Our next stop is the historic gold mining town of Greymouth to collect passengers connecting from Christchurch. From here we’ll continue on, via Hokitika, to the quaint township of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.
Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest


Day 16

FREE day in Franz Josef
Enjoy a full free day to explore the glacier. Live your glacier walking dream with a guided tour on the glacier or hike to view it from below, then unwind in the spa pools afterwards.
Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
Optional Activities: Guided Glacier Heli-hike, Glacier Valley Walk Free Activities: Any of the good bush walks in the area


Day 17

Franz Josef to Wanaka
Depart early to take a walk along the shores of the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson, and then travel through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora with plenty of photo stops along the way. We pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea on our way to arrive in Wanaka by late afternoon.
Accommodation: Central hostel


Day 18

Wanaka to Queenstown
This morning, head out to cycle some of New Zealand’s most beautiful bike paths along the lake before we depart Wanaka and cruise down to the famous original A.J. Hackett bungy site, where you can take the plunge - if you dare! Then, it’s on to the ‘Adventure Capital of the World!’ Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with a variety of excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.
Accommodation: Central hostel


Day 19-21

With so much to see and do in and around Queenstown, you need three full days to take it all in! To get you started, a couple highlight activities are included - an exhilarating Shotover Jet Boat ride in the morning on Day 19 and a full day trip to jaw dropping Doubtful Sound on Day 20. Day 21 is free for you to do as you please.
Accommodation: Central hostel
Optional Activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…), trip to Milford Sound.


Day 22

Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook
We head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past Lake Pukaki, then head north to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook, arriving in the early afternoon.
Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge
Optional Activities: Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, scenic flights, 4WD Tasman Valley tour


Day 23

Mt Cook to Rangitata
Leaving Mt 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 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 Rangitata Peel Forest. Tonight, we’ll stay in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations.
Accommodation included: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations
Optional activities: Tekapo Hot Springs, Ice skating (April-Sept), Snow tubing (June-Sept)


Day 24

Rangitata to Christchurch
This morning, you will have the opportunity to sign up to a Lord of the Rings tour or to explore the stunning Peel Forest scenery on horseback. We’ll arrive in Christchurch late afternoon, where your tour comes to an end - we hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey!
Optional paid activities: LOTR tour, horse trekking

    • Experienced guide, multi-share accommodation (or upgrade to double, single), touring as indicated, ferry between North and South Islands

      Accommodation Style: Hostel

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