- Get up to $90 cash back per person when you book with us
- A 12-day premium tour of New Zealand, discovering the best of the North Island, with a sample of the South
- An itinerary designed for small groups of travellers in their mid-thirties & upwards
- 11 nights in twin-share 3–4 star accommodation, with a mix of hotels, motels, & lodges
- 6 continental breakfasts & 2 dinners, including a traditional Maori hangi cooked in an underground oven
- Walk a stunning coastal track to Cathedral Cove
- Soak up a sunset boat cruise in the West Coast surf town of Raglan with a fish'n'chip dinner
- Visit a Maori Village & see the mighty Pohutu Geyser, watch the haka & learn more about Maori culture
- Brave the Redwoods Treewalk, crossing 23 raised suspension bridge
- Hike through the forested gorge of Ruakuri
- Take the iconic & scenic Interislander ferry over the Cook Strait
- Taste some of the world’s best sauvignon blanc at a Marlborough wine tasting
- Services of an expert tour manager
- Transport onboard a comfortable 22-seat Toyota Coaster
- Auckland to Christchurch tours depart from the meeting point at Ramada by Wyndham Newmarket Auckland, 41 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket, Auckland (meeting location may change, please check your final documents for the confirmed location
- Christchurch to Auckland tours depart from the meeting point at Bealey Suites, 263 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch (meeting location may change, please check your final documents for the confirmed location)
Important - Please note bookings are on a request basis. You will be contacted within 72 hours to confirm your booking or discuss alternative dates.
- Optional activities & accommodation upgrades
What to Expect
This tour, created for travellers in their mid-thirties and upwards, is a sampler platter of North and the South Island highlights – you'll get an excellent overview of New Zealand's scenic wonders.
From Auckland, you'll visit beautiful Coromandel and Raglan beaches; the thermal wonderland of Rotorua and Taupo, and stop at Tongariro National Park. Next, enjoy vibrant Wellington before crossing the Cook Strait from the North Island and on to the South Island wine region of Marlborough, then to the whale-watching mecca of Kaikoura before ending in Christchurch. Or – vice versa! – you can also take this tour from Christchurch to Auckland.
Plus, there's also free time for you to choose optional add-ons such as hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, kayaking to a natural hot pool, visiting an offshore eco-sanctuary, visiting Hobbiton, having a surf lesson, or viewing whales on a whale-watching flight!
At the end of the day, you can relax in comfortable 3–4 star twin-share accommodation to ensure you have a great night's sleep ready for the following day's activities.
Day 1 – Auckland
Day 1 is pretty chill! All you need to do is check in, settle into your accommodation and be ready for the 6:00 pm pre-tour meeting. Here you will meet your Tour Manager and be introduced to your new road trip friends.
Afterwards, the evening is yours to enjoy. A good night's sleep is recommended in order to be ready for tomorrow's early start, but you may want to experience Auckland's exciting nightlife – the choice is yours!
Day 2 – Auckland to Coromandel
After a continental breakfast, it's time to board the comfortable air-conditioned vehicle for the journey away from the city and towards the Coromandel Peninsula, a paradise of beautiful beaches and misty rainforests. The drive is truly spectacular, and you'll want to have your cameras ready as the magnificent coastline and ocean come into view.
The Coromandel is home to the famous Hot Water Beach, where if the tide times allow, you can dig your own personal hot tub.
You'll arrive in Whitianga with plenty of time for your guide to show you around. Sample the sandy beaches, take a surf lesson with the locals, or simply enjoy the vibes.
Day 3 – Coromandel to Raglan
Today's road trip to the arty surf mecca of Raglan will give you a first glimpse of the North Island's rolling tree-lined hills and valleys. Plus, your guide has some incredible sights for you along the way, including the 55-metre high Bridal Veil Falls.
There's plenty to enjoy in this laid-back township. As a surf town, it's the perfect place to grab a board and hit the waves. It's the ideal destination both for beginners and experienced surfers.
If surfing isn't your vibe, then check out the excellent blend of cafes, bars, and galleries – the streets ooze character and creativity. Relax on the black sand beach and leave any lingering jet lag behind, or enjoy a variety of bush and coastal scenery on Raglan's walking trails.
For dinner tonight, tuck into New Zealand's unofficial dish – fish and chips – on board a relaxing sunset boat cruise of Raglan Harbour.
Day 4 – Raglan to Rotorua (via Waitomo)
The day's first destination is an optional stop at the Waitomo Caves, famous for its glow worms. There are fantastic and informative walking tours of the caves where you can learn more about the history, geology and Maori mythology of this unique area of New Zealand.
For those who prefer to stay above ground, why not explore the tree-studded gorges and limestone arches of the nearby Ruakuri Forest Walk – it's a firm favourite amongst the guides.
This afternoon you'll make your way to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. The adventures here begin with The Redwoods Treewalk. This amazing included activity allows you to experience the majestic Redwood Forest from a series of suspension bridges and living decks (platforms), elevated from 9-metres to 12-metres at the highest point.
Day 5 – Rotorua
Rotorua has it all: natural beauty, unique geothermal landscapes, and iconic Lord of The Rings destinations. You'll spend a full day here, with plenty of time to explore as you like and join a variety of optional activities.
A visit to the picturesque Hobbiton movie set is a must-do activity for any Lord of the Rings fan. But, even if you haven't seen the films, it's impossible not to be charmed by this gorgeous Hobbit village set amongst the lush green hills of Matamata.
Alternatively, for a truly epic brush with nature, fly high through the lush ancient forest canopy on a zipline tour complete with swing bridge crossings and treetop platforms. It's a brilliant way to get to know the native plants and birds – many of which are unique to New Zealand.
This evening you're welcomed to a Maori village for an unmissable cultural experience featuring combat demonstrations and, of course, the breathtaking haka. However, this experience extends beyond the performance – you'll have the chance to see magnificent geothermal activity, including the Pohutu Geyser and get to spot kiwi birds. Finally, enjoy the perfect finish to the evening with dinner included in the form of a delicious hangi cooked in an underground oven.
Day 6 – Rotorua to National Park (via Taupo)
Rotorua is a spectacular whitewater rafting destination, and with expert guidance, it can be experienced by first-timers and pro-paddlers alike. For the ultimate thrill this morning, you can raft the highest commercial waterfall drop in the world – the 7-metre Tutea Falls on the Kaituna River.
If that's not your cup of tea, spend the morning exploring Rotorua's many attractions, such as the ultra-relaxing Polynesian Spa or perhaps the naturally-impressive Kuirau Park full of steaming hissing and boiling geothermal pools.
From Rotorua, it's a quick drive to Taupo, a beautiful lakeside town with a stunning mountain backdrop. However, your guide will take the slow and scenic route, with time to check out bubbling mud pools and thundering waterfalls, including Huka Falls, en route.
You'll finish the day nestled in Tongariro National Park, where you'll spend the next two nights. This is also home to one of the ten best one-day walks in the world – the Tongariro Crossing.
Day 7 – National Park
Is today the day you brave the Tongariro Crossing? Considered one of the world's top 10 best one-day walks, this 19.4km mountain trek boasts emerald green lakes, venting steam, lava flows, craters and rich green bush. It's not for the faint-hearted, as it's a challenging day! However, every step of the way, the views are spectacular.
If 19.4km is a little too far for you, there are plenty of shorter walks and hikes to enjoy. However you choose to spend today in this UNESCO World Heritage Area, you won't forget it.
Day 8 – National to Wellington
The next stop is the hip and happening Wellington. Perched on the edge of a spectacular harbour encircled by green, towering hills, Wellington is a stunning and compact city. Vibrant, exciting and cultured, the nation's capital combines the stimulation and sophistication of a big city with the quirkiness and personality of a much smaller town.
After a quick afternoon orientation from your guide, head up to Mount Victoria for some of the best views in town.
This evening, the city lights are yours to enjoy. Discover why Wellington is celebrated for its foodie culture – you are truly spoilt for dining choices tonight. Wellington is also widely regarded as the craft beer capital of New Zealand, so feel free to enjoy a pint or two.
Day 9 – Wellington
Soak up the atmosphere of vibrant Wellington. Famous for being a bit windy, be prepared to ditch the hairspray and go with the flow.
Today includes a drive around the bays through central Wellington to the Botanic Gardens and Parliament Buildings. You will also stop by Weta Studios, most famous for its creative contribution to all things Lord of the Rings. Take an optional tour to see prop-makers in action and learn about the immersive world of filmmaking.
Wellington has a feast of cultural attractions, and its crowning glory is Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand. Situated on Wellington's magnificent waterfront, this internationally acclaimed museum combines leading-edge technology with traditional exhibits to tell the stories of New Zealand's land and people. The museum is free for all.
If being outdoors is more your thing, head off to Kapiti Island for an optional nature tour. Here you can see endangered birds up close and learn more about New Zealand's unique flora and fauna.
Day 10 – Wellington to Kaikoura
This morning you'll say farewell to the North Island and take one of the world's most scenic ferry journeys across the Cook Strait. The South Island has a lovely welcome in store as the ship glides through the Marlborough Sounds, approaching Picton Harbour. You'll feel like you're in another world!
One of the best ways to explore Marlborough, the region at the top of the South Island, is with your tastebuds. That's why you'll jump straight on an included wine tasting to sample some of the best vineyards in the country and their famous sauvignon blanc.
After lunch, the next destination is Kaikoura which literally means "to eat crayfish" – and the area is teeming with them. The nutrient-rich waters of this area attract a wide variety of marine wildlife, including the stars of the show – the whales and dolphins.
Day 11 – Kaikoura to Christchurch
The optional chance to swim with dolphins in the wild is a massive New Zealand highlight for many travellers, and Kaikoura is one of the best places to find them, with pods of up to 300 of these playful creatures hanging out here at any one time.
Alternatively, if you want to get up close to the giants of the ocean, a whale watching tour here is the way to do it. Humpbacks, sperm whales and orca all stop by at various times of the year, so this is a great chance to meet some of them.
Finally, after visiting the local seals on the way out of town, the road trip continues to your home for the night – Christchurch, known as the "Garden City" for its peaceful parklands and lazy rivers.
Day 12 – Christchurch
Today is the final day of the tour, where you'll exchange photos and stories over breakfast before saying your goodbyes and parting ways.
Where we Visit:
- Coromandel Peninsula
- Hot Water Beach
- Tongariro National Park
- Cook Strait
Frequently Asked Questions
Everyone has their own favourites, but in general, these are the most popular:
- The Tongariro Crossing – National Park
- Hobbiton & Rafting – Rotorua
- Skydiving – Taupo
Yes! The wonderful thing about a small group tour is that even if you join the tour as a solo traveller, by the end of the tour, you will have met new friends from around the world!
Accommodation is a twin-share room, and if you are travelling alone, the crew will arrange for you to share a room with a fellow guest (of the same gender), or you have the choice to upgrade to a private room.
Please also note that there are no single person supplements unless you want to have your own private room - in this case, upgrades are available.
Included in this tour are 6 continental breakfasts and 2 dinners – including a traditional Maori hangi, cooked in an underground oven.
The guides know the best places in each town and city for different budgets and tastes, and they will point these out on the way to each location.
The tour group, along with your guide, will often head out to a local pub for a beer and a meal. Evening meals can range from NZ$25 upwards.
Yes – they often have vegetarian/vegan guests and all cafes and restaurants in New Zealand will offer meat-free options. If you can’t see anything on the menu, just ask, as most places will happily prepare something for you.
This tour was designed for travellers in their mid-thirties and upwards; however, anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to join. More important than age is an attitude – the guides have found over the years that if you have a thirst for adventure, then age is no barrier. Please do keep in mind, though, that a reasonable level of fitness is required for any optional activities.
- The minimum age is 18 years
- The Operator requires a minimum number of bookings in order for a tour to be financially viable & to have a pleasant group atmosphere
- Itineraries are subject to alteration without notice & are intended as a guide only. The Operator reserves the right to change the itinerary without any notice
- Some activities are strenuous in nature. Passengers should be of reasonable health and fitness and carry all required medication and accept that degrees of risk are involved. The Operator must be advised of any prior medical conditions at the time of booking
- If for any reason you do need to cancel your tour there are a few things to be aware of. Your $99 is a non-refundable deposit, however, in the event that you need to cancel outside of the cancellation period The Operator will hold your deposit on file for life & this can be used towards a future departure
- Upon cancellation, you will be liable to pay a fee to cover the cost of expenses incurred by The Operator at the time of booking in the below schedule. Tour Cost is inclusive of any additional activities and pre/post accommodation
- Outside 60 days – Loss of 99NZD
- 30–59 days – 50% of tour cost
- 15–29 days – 75% of tour cost
- Within 14 days – 100% of tour cost
- Changes to activities & additional accommodation are not permitted within 45 days of departure to tour
- If you need to change to an alternative departure date you may do so in accordance with the below fees:
- Outside 45 days Notice – No fee
- 8–44 days Notice – $500 Admin Fee
- Within 7 Days Notice – 100% of tour cost
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