Unforgettable 19 days exploring New Zealand's North & South Islands!
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Group Size: Avg 22, Max 36
Trip code: NXGKBC
Duration: 19 days
An action-packed grand tour of New Zealand, taking in the vast diversity of this spectacular country, from snow-capped mountains to tropical, crystal blue waters, and lush green vineyards to rugged fiords. This amazing trip provides an opportunity to soak up traditional Maori culture, get your heart racing with adrenaline activities, witness some jaw-dropping wild scenery and sample the world-famous New Zealand wines. Over 19 days you will visit all the main sights of both the North and South Islands and create some incredible memories.
This trip also runs in reverse from Christchurch to Auckland. Select the direction of travel you'd prefer in the booking section to see the start dates.
- Spend 19 unforgettable days exploring this spectacular country
- Relax by the idyllic azure waters of the Bay of Islands, experience the dramatic natural thermal springs in Rotorua and explore stunning Tongariro National Park and Lake Taupo
- Visit the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown, spot whales on the Kaikoura Peninsula, spend the night at a Traditional Maori Marae and be amazed by the stunning scenery of Fox Glacier
- Sail through the rugged mountains and waterfalls on a Milford Sound nature cruise, watch the sun set over the snow-capped Mt Cook and experience life on a Kiwi sheep farm
- Add in optional tours and activities to make the most of your New Zealand adventure
Day 1: Auckland. As this trip departs at 8:30am, we recommend you arrive into Auckland the day before. The tour starts by crossing the scenic harbour heading north to the Bay of Islands.
Day 2: Bay of Islands. Enjoy free time to explore the stunning azure waters or enjoy the optional activities on offer, including kayaking, dolphin spotting, sand boarding and hiking (extra cost).
Day 3: Auckland. Stop off at the Whangarei Falls for a beautiful walk, before heading back to Auckland
Day 4: Marae Stay. Walk to see the stunning Waitomo Caves. Overnight in a traditional Maori Marae, with a cultural performance and evening entertainment.
Day 5: Rotorua. After breakfast enjoy free time to explore this beautiful area. Optional activities include thermal spa pools, white water rafting or a visit to The Hobbiton movie set (all at extra cost).
Day 6: Tongariro National Park. Travel south to the spectacular volcanic region. See the mighty Huka Falls before reaching Lake Taupo. Free time. Continue to the World Heritage listed Tongariro National Park.
Day 7: Tongariro National Park. A full day free to explore on short walks. Optional full day Tongariro Crossing hike, one of the best in NZ (extra cost).
Day 8: Wellington. Head for New Zealand’s vibrant capital city and a city tour and visit to the Te Papa Museum.
Day 9: Nelson. Travel by ferry across the Cook Strait, through Marlborough Sound to the South Island. Visit a winery before reaching Nelson.
Day 10: Nelson. A free day to explore this breathtaking region, including National Parks, ocean kayaking or a skydive! (extra cost).
Day 11: Kaikoura. Travel down the coast to Kaikoura stopping off at Ohau Point to spot seals. Opt to go whale watching or swimming with dolphins (extra cost).
Day 12: Christchurch. Head south to the quaint town of Christchurch. Explore the shops and bars with your group.
Day 13: Fox Glacier. Travel through awe-inspiring scenery along the wild west coast. Stop at Lake Matheson for photo opportunities and an afternoon walk.
Day 14: Queenstown. A chance to explore mountain peaks and glaciers, and an optional half day guided ice hike or heli-hop (extra cost). Arrive in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.
Day 15 & 16: Queenstown. Two free days to try out the many activities on offer in this trendy resort town.
Day 17: Fiordland. Head south into the wild Fiordlands. Enjoy an amazing afternoon nature cruise in Milford Sound.
Day 18: Lake Ohau. Head towards the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. Explore the river area on mountain bikes. Stay on the shores of Lake Ohau.
Day 19: Christchurch. Depart for the dramatic Mt Cook National Park, followed by a visit to a Kiwi sheep farm and afternoon tea. Tour ends today in your final destination, Christchurch.
This itinerary is subject to change. Some activities and locations may change due to the size of the group, the weather, time of year and feedback from past customers.
Please note: This trip also runs in reverse, departing from Christchurch and finishing in Auckland. Please select the direction of travel you'd prefer in the booking section to see the start dates. If you travel from Christchurch to Auckland you will enjoy crayfish tasting in Kaikoura instead of a city tour in Wellington.
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You will need to arrange your own travel into Auckland where the tour begins. The tour departs at approximately 8:30am on day 1, so we recommend you arrive one day earlier.
Your trip will end in Christchurch in the late afternoon/early evening. We recommend you book an extra night after your trip ends and fly home the following day.
We can advise you on arranging extra accommodation. Please contact us for more details.
18 nights accommodation is included as part of this Grand Kiwi adventure. This is on a multi share basis, in a range of hotels, hostels, motels, cabins and 1 night in a traditional Maori Marae.
Accommodation is based on four people sharing in same-sex dorms. Twin or double rooms are available at an extra charge.
Some but not all meals are included during this 19-day tour. You will have a total of 18 continental style breakfasts included and 7 dinners.
Minimum age to take this Grand Kiwi trip is 18. Average age of travellers is between 18-39.
UK citizens don’t need a visa for New Zealand and can stay in the country for up to six months. If you are planning on working at all during your time in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (available to 18-30 year olds) and can do this by visiting the New Zealand Immigration website. We are happy to help, so please don’t hesitate to ask us for more details.
From 1st October 2019, visitors who are transitting through or entering New Zealand as tourists will need to hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) before travelling to New Zealand. Tourists will also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) alongside the ETA. People entering New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa do not require an ETA.