Highlights of New Zealand

15 days,Auckland to Christchurch

Check out a hot water beach, attend a Hangi in Rotorua, eat fish and chips on the beach like a real Kiwi, let loose in Queenstown, cruise around the fjords of Milford Sound, travel famous scenic rail routes

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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-dos 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 black sand beaches of Kaikoura and get your adrenaline fix in Queenstown. Consider this your New Zealand Starter’s Kit.

What's Included

  • Coromandel Peninsula visit. Hot Water Beach stop. Geothermal area visit. Traditional Hangi ceremony and dinner. Overnight in Maori village. National Park walks. Tongariro Crossing hike (weather permitting). Scenic train journeys. Beach time in Kaikoura. Takeaway fish & chips dinner on the beach. Arthurs Pass. Franz Josef Glacier visit. Fiordland National Park visit. Milford Sound overnight boat excursion (Seasonal. May- September will have a day cruise). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
  • 13 breakfasts, 7 dinners. (Allow NZD300-400 for meals not included.)
  • Hotels (12 nts), Maori village (1 nt, multi-share), boat (1 nt, seasonal).
  • Train, private van/bus, walking, boat, bike, ferry
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
  • Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12
Itinerary Notes

Please note: The overnight boat does not operate in the winter. Departures between May and September will visit Milford Sound on a day cruise and return to Queenstown for another night in the hotel.

Day 1 Auckland

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Hahei (1B,1D)

Drive to the stunning Coromandel Peninsula. If the tide is right, grab a shovel and dig a natural Jacuzzi in the sand on Hot Water Beach. Take a walk to Cathedral Cove or opt to try sea kayaking.

Day 3 Tamaki Marae (Rotorua) (1B, 1D)

Visit a geothermal area to see the boiling mud pools. Opt to raft a waterfall before enjoying a cultural overnight featuring a traditional dinner and show, and a night staying in a Maori village.

Day 4 National Park (1B,1D)

Start early and enjoy the walks of National Park. If conditions allow, hike the famous Tongariro Crossing (seasonal). Alternatively, enjoy some shorter walks on an active volcano.

Day 5 Wellington (1B)

Free morning before hopping the train for a scenic journey to New Zealand's capital, Wellington. Enjoy the atmosphere in this relaxed but lively city.

Day 6 Kaikoura (1B,1D)

Take the ferry to the South Island. Travel the Coastal Railway from Picton to the seaside town of Kaikoura, known for its volcanic black sand beaches. Opt to swim with seals or go whale watching. Chow down on the national dish – fish and chips – for dinner.

Day 7 Christchurch (1B)

Travel the coast by train to the garden city of Christchurch, a little piece of England in New Zealand still rebuilding from a devastating earthquake.

Days 8-9 Franz Josef (2B,1D)

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

Days 10-11 Queenstown (2B)

Continue to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. Opt to go bungee 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. Enjoy the great night life.

Day 12 Milford Sound (1B,1D)

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife or venture out by kayak before an overnight on board (seasonal).

Day 13 Twizel (1B,1D)

Head up through the centre of the South Island to Twizel, near New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook.

Day 14 Christchurch (1B)

Spend the morning exploring this region surrounding Mt Cook taking in the alpine scenery with the chance to learn more about mountaineer Sir Edmond Hilary. Continue on to Christchurch for one final night together.

Day 15 Christchurch

Depart at any time.

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