From volcanic peaks, lush native canopies and black sand beaches, to hip entertainment districts, contemporary art scenes and gourmet experiences, there’s something for everyone in this populous waterfront city, the largest in New Zealand!
Paihia, the main tourist town in North Island, is the perfect base for exploring the coves and beaches of the Bay of Islands. It’s beautiful sandy shores call out to sun worshippers, offering stunning views across the bay.
Group Hole in the Rock Cruise Welcomed by seabirds on the Paihia wharf, embark on catamaran cruise across the Bay of Islands, off New Zealand’s northeastern coast. Enjoy native flora and fauna while soaking in seascape vistas of rocky shores and hilly forested islands from the sunny deck. Watch seals basking in the sun, as you circle around the Seal Rock. Hopping between islands, you may be delivering mails and supplies enroute. Sipping on hot beverages from the onboard café, learn about the islands’ inhabitants, and Maori coming of age stories, thanks to informative onboard commentary. Tides permitting, pass through the majestic natural formation of the narrow ‘Hole in the Rock’ at Motukōkako. Stall for photo ops at its Grand Cathedral Cave, and await dripping water drops from the rock ceilings, considered as a good omen in the local culture. Continuing along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula, see the Cape Brett lighthouse nestled amid meadows, and observe other attractions including the Marsden Cross and the volcanic black rocks. (Time: 0900/0910 hrs; Duration: 3 hrs approx; Shared Activity; Fitness level: Easy; Please bring a hat, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes)
A binocular’s view across the gulf from Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula is everything that a big city isn’t. With a mountainous interior cloaked in native rainforest and more than 400 kilometres of dazzling white sand beaches, it is rustic, unspoiled and relaxed.
With its massive lake framed by the snowy peaks of Tongariro National Park, Taupo is a nature lover’s dream come true. Located within the caldera of Taupo Volcano, there is never a dull moment in this photographer’s paradise.
Group Maori Rock Carvings Tour Visit one of the North Island’s most iconic attractions on this tour! The awe-inspiring Maori Rock Carvings tower more than 50 feet above the glimmering waters of Lake Taupo and are accessible only by water. With your kayaking instructor by your side, paddle past truly scenic vistas as you make your way to the Maori Rock Carvings. Savor the scenic sights of native bush-clad hills, steep pumice cliffs and beautiful bays while you glide your kayak over the crystal-clear waters of Lake Taupo. Admire stunning views of the three live volcanos and glean insight into the history of the carvings and understand various Maori legends from your instructor. Once you have had your fill of the stunning carvings, enjoy an adrenalin rush with a few rock jumps as you swim in Australasia’s largest freshwater lake. (Half Day; Shared Activity; Refreshments included; Please note that all kayaking and safety equipment, including waterproof jackets will be provided and no prior kayaking experience is required. Please arrive at the departure point 15 minutes before the start of your tour.)
Discover Tongariro National Park – a World Heritage site located on North Island and the oldest national park in New Zealand. It is home to three active volcanoes – Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu – as well as several Maori spiritual sites.
Discover Wellington, a cosmopolitan harbor city brimming with art, culture, entertainment, and natural wonders. Wellington is also home to the protected Matiu/Somes Island reserve, and the Zealandia Ecosanctuary that conserves rare native flora and fauna.
Home to seal colonies, dolphins, little blue penguins and other marine life, the Abel Tasman National Park is a beautiful nature reserve on New Zealand’s South Island.
Group Tour of Abel Tasman National Park Adventure Embark on an exciting day full of adventure at Abel Tasman National Park! Start your day by boarding the Taranui catamaran and setting off on a beautiful cruise. Once you have alighted from the boat, you can head out for a picturesque bush walk through the wild, observing the local flora and fauna as you pass. Savor a gourmet platter-type lunch with a glass of local beer and wine when you have worked up an appetite. You can go kayaking, snorkeling or swimming post-lunch, and round off your day by paying a visit to the scenic Tonga Island Marine Reserve. (Duration: 6 hrs; Time of Day: 1000 hrs; Shared Activity; Lunch, snacks, refreshments including beer and wine included; Please bring swimming gear, a hat and sunglasses, a warm jacket and a camera. Please specify if you have any food allergies, and details on how active you would like to be on this trip.)
Surrounded by dense rainforests, secret waterfalls, suspension bridges, and tartare tunnels with glow worms, Franz Josef is a treasure trove of natural wonders, making it an ideal base to enjoy numerous outdoor activities.
Group Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk Begin your walk on the one-way Bailey bridge, and set out into the lush Westland Tai Poutini National Park that protects the famous Franz Josef glacier. During this leisurely experience, hop across streams, traverse rocky river beds of the Waiho River, and soak in the rainforest surrounds to a background of birdsong. Take short breaks to admire native flora and fauna, and a few gushing waterfalls along the way. You can also catch glimpses of the glacier, and a few peaks of the Southern Alps in the distance. Heading up the valley, see other dramatic natural formations such as schist boulders, the Split-Apple rock, and the Champness rock, while your guide shares local Maori folklore, as well as facts about glaciology and the region’s natural history. Upon reaching the viewpoint, sip on hot drinks and gaze into the terminal face of the Franz Josef glacier, glistening against the lofty rock walls. Back at Franz Josef town, relax in the glacier hot pools. (Time: 1015 or 1415 hrs; Duration: 3 hrs; Shared Activity; Includes hiking gear and entry to glacier hot pools; Please note this trip does not take you onto the glacier).
Queenstown is where adventure seekers head out to for a shot of adrenalin! The region’s dramatic landscape is wrapped around the scenic lakes, velvety mountains and valleys of the Southern Alps.
Group Shotover Jet and 4×4 Adrenaline Tour Arriving at the upper Shotover River, suit up in your life jackets, and hop onto a world-famous red jet boat, unique to New Zealand. Zoom past narrow canyons and several features on the bright blue river during an adrenaline-inducing experience. Between stops for photo ops and 360-degree spins, learn about Queenstown’s fascinating history, courtesy of your expert local guide. Enjoy beverages and light refreshments on the river bank before your next leg of the adventure. Set out on customized 4×4 coaches, for a safari around the abandoned gold mining region, near Arrow River. Follow historic trails that were once used by Maori for Pounamu expeditions in the area. Enjoy panoramic vistas over lush valleys, navigating narrow off road routes amid native forests, and multiple river crossings. Enroute, visit several locations that were used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings franchise. You can also try your hand at gold panning just outside of Arrowtown. (Duration: 3.5 hrs; Time of Day: 0815/0945/1330/1445 hrs; Shared Activity; Fitness level: High; Please wear warm clothes.)
Known as the gateway to Fiordland National Park, the picture perfect town of Te Anau is located amid spectacular glaciers, endangered birdlife, limestone cave, beech forests, and majestic mountains all within easy reach.
Group Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise Discover the quiet, pristine heart of fiordland beauty with your Doubtful Sound cruise. Set off from your Te Anau hotel in the morning to arrive at the picturesque Pearl Harbor in Manapouri. Come aboard your modern Real Journeys vessel that will take you on a comfortable cruise through Lake Manapouri till you arrive at West Arm. Enjoy a scenic drive by coach across Wilmot Pass as you take in the grandeur of ancient rainforests and the striking mountainous horizon. From Deep Cove, move to a stylish catamaran to coast past thunderous waterfalls, towering peaks and lush rainforests. If lucky, spot fur seals sunning themselves on rocks or a pod of dolphins playing in the gentle waves. As the vessel engines are turned off on your return journey, soak in the serenity of Sounds of Silence. (Duration: 9 hrs; Shared Activity; Time: 0930 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; Please note that optional picnic lunch boxes will need to be pre-ordered).
Dunedin, also known as the ‘Edinburgh of New Zealand’, is a charming city in Otago Harbor on the idyllic South Island.
Group Tour of Otago Peninsula Explore the rich natural and cultural history all around Dunedin on this exciting trip. Discover the volcanic Otago Peninsula that stands on the easternmost corner of town, leading down to the valley and Otago Harbour. Home to a great many flocks of water birds and waders, this unique hilly and oceanside landscape is perfect for bird sightings. Take photographs if you wish, before taking a wildlife cruise. Have fun spotting sea lions, fur seals, Little Blue Penguins and the only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross on our planet. Visit the Larnach Castle, which stands on top of the peninsula. Built in the late 19th century, this is the country’s only castle and has recently been recognized as a national heritage building. Admire the spectacular views from the castle top, taking in the elegant architectural details, the sprawling grounds and gardens, as well as its fascinating history. Return to your hotel after sailing down the Otago Harbour on a leisurely cruise in the warm winter sun. (Time of the day: 1030 or 1130 hrs, depending on the season; Duration: 5 hrs; Shared Activity; Fitness level: Moderate; Please wear comfortable walking shoes).
Lake Tekapo is about three hours drive south-west of Christchurch in the Mackenzie Basin. The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps.
Group Stargazing Tour in the Southern Hemisphere Stargazing in the Southern Hemisphere: Starting your tour at Lake Tekapo’s lonely church at midnight, set out for Mount John Observatory, a few minutes away, listening to local tales. After a welcome orientation by your astrologist guides, soak in this unique experience amid the Gold Status Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. Learning about myths and legends surrounding celestial objects across global cultures, marvel at the spectacular night skies. Notice the Southern Cross, the haze of Milky Way, and Southern Hemisphere’s unique Magellanic Clouds. Get a closer look at distant galaxies and their features, thanks to powerful astro-binoculars, and telescopes. Sipping on hot chocolate, watch the moonrise cast shadows of the dramatic landscape, and silhouettes of the Southern Alps around. Alternately, considering bad weather, enjoy virtual reality and high-resolution images of celestial wonders on a projection screen at the Astro Café indoors. Later, relax on floating hammocks in the hot pools under the stars to a background of ambient space music, before returning to town. (Time of Day: 2030/2330/0000 hrs depending on the season; Duration: 2 hrs; Shared Activity; Fitness level: Easy; Please note in case of bad weather, the tour will be moved to the cafe indoors).
The quaint harborside town of Akaroa sits tucked into the heart of an ancient volcano. With its Gallic vibe, this charming town continues to hold on to its roots as the country’s first French settlement.
Christchurch is a vibrant city with a rich English heritage nestled on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, bordered by the Waimakariri River and the Pegasus Bay.
Price & Inclusions
Option 1 From $ 6,790 /person
Option 2 From $ 9,490 /person
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
Accommodation & meals as specified in the itinerary
Activities & excursions as specified in the itinerary
Transportation services as specified in the itinerary
Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact supporting you during your trip
Entrance fees & meals, unless mentioned in the itinerary description