Explore roads less travelled on this special New Zealand small group tour and discover country hospitality and nature in the wild. In the North Island we discover authentic Maori culture around Rotorua and visit Tongariro National Park. In the South Island we tour the Mount Cook region and visit famous Milford Sound by land, sea and air. Meet the locals over private lunches at Lake Tarawera, a mid-Canterbury farmhouse and Lake Wanaka.
Stay in a great standard of accommodation which is extremely well located and comfortable, some with pools, all with a high standard of hospitality. The basic price is more than you might expect, but take a look at what’s included to understand why – there are a great many additional treats to this small group tour of New Zealand.
Auckland – Rotorua – Tongariro National Park – Napier – Wellington – Nelson – Abel Tasman National Park – Kaikoura – Mount Cook National Park – Milford Sound – Queenstown – Wanaka – Franz Josef Glacier – Punakaiki – Christchurch
- Travel the dramatic highway through the Karangahake Gorge.
- Discover Rotorua’s impressive lakes; Rotoiti and Tarawera.
- Enjoy all the highlights of Rotorua, its cultural and geothermal activities.
- See the powerful Huka Falls and the Wairakei geothermal power station.
- See three of New Zealand’s active volcanoes with views across Lake Taupo.
- Explore the sights of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.
- On the Kaikoura Coast encounter seals.
- Stand on the edge of paradise with a visit to Lake Tekapo and the snow-capped, glacier filled Aoraki/Mt Cook region.
- See landscapes change before your eyes as we drive over the Lindis Pass and Kawarau Gorge.
- Explore untouched remote wilderness in Fiordland, Mt Aspiring, Tai Poutini Westland and Arthur’s Pass National Parks.
- Learn about the history of gold-mining in leafy Arrowtown.
- Take in sights of the three Great Southern Lakes – Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hawea.
- Stroll in Haast Pass’ where the natural wonders of this secluded area of New Zealand will delight.
- View Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, two of the most easily accessible glaciers in the world.
- Watch as the Tasman Sea meets the Punakaiki Pancake rocks, walk in the rain forests.
- Drive Otira Gorge highway to Arthur’s Pass, where you will be treated to a nature showcase by the cheeky kea birds that have made the towering mountains their home.
- Enjoy comfortable transport in air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
- Know that you are in safe hands with your experienced MoaTrek Kiwi guide.
- Enjoy beautifully appointed accommodation with scenic outlooks and great facilities.
- All airport transfers pre and post tour.
- Included Meals: All breakfasts (B), Four special lunches (L) – Pounamu Lodge, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua; Akaunui Farm homestead, Canterbury, private Wanaka homestead, Wanaka. One special dinner (D) – celebratory final dinner at Punakaiki Resort.
Included Activities & Entrance Fees.
- Experience the thrill of a scenic boat-cruise across Lake Rotoiti on the luxury 16 metre yacht ‘Tiua’.
- Explore an ancient geothermal wonderland at Wai-O-Tapu.
- Explore with a privately guided tour of Napier, New Zealand’s Art Deco capital
- Enjoy a breathtaking three hour scenic cruise on the Interislander ferry across the Cook Strait, up the Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton.
- Taste wines in Marlborough, a premier wine-growing region in the South Island.
- Take a cruise to the golden sands of the Abel Tasman National Park.
- Catch the Skyline Gondola to be rewarded with impeccable views of Queenstown.
- Explore the world-famous Milford Sound on a 2.5 hour nature and wildlife cruise.
- Take flight high above the majestic Southern Alps as we fly from Milford Sound to Queenstown on a fabulous scenic flight.
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland
On arrival in Auckland – a stunning city set between two glistening harbours and dotted with dormant volcanoes – you will be met at the airport and transferred to your waterside hotel.
Your day is at leisure to take a short walk to the central city shopping district, enjoy the local cafes and restaurants or jump on a ferry to the quaint seaside suburb of Devonport or the boutique vineyards of Waiheke Island. For great views of the city catch the lift to the top of the Sky Tower or take a five minute taxi ride to the Auckland War Memorial Museum where there is an outstanding collection of Maori and Polynesian cultural exhibits.
Accommodation: Auckland Harbour Sebel Suites
Day 2: Auckland - Rotorua (B)
Today our small group New Zealand tour begins with our drive southeast over Auckland’s Bombay Hills and across the Hauraki Plains to the Karangahake Gorge where we stretch our legs with a walk through tunnels and native bush to the historic Victoria Battery gold mining site. Travelling through Te Puke we learn about the history of the Kiwifruit industry.
A fitting finale for your first day is our cruise on Lake Rotoiti on a 16 metre catamaran “Tiua” exploring secluded coves with the chance to take the helm, fish for trout, swim in the lake or soak in hot pools. The skipper and crew share local legends and point out historic sites.
Accommodation: Rotorua Novotel Lakeside
Day 3: Rotorua sightseeing (B, L)
The morning is free to relax at your lakeview hotel or enjoy one of Rotorua’s many attractions. We drive out out of town past the Blue and Green Lakes which are true to their names. Our exclusive lunch is at Pounamu Lodge above beautiful, bushclad Lake Tarawera where you can share your experiences of the morning with our hosts David and Karen, Rotorua locals who have close historic ties to the area.
Back in town we visit Rotorua’s museum in a former Bath house spa set in stunning gardens. This museum is a treasure trove of Maori cultural exhibits and also provides an insight into Rotorua’s early days as a spa town.
Accommodation: Rotorua Novotel Lakeside
Day 4: Rotorua - Tongariro National Park (B)
Today our small group New Zealand tours visits one of our favourite destinations, Wai-O-Tapu. At this geothermal wonderland walk across brilliantly coloured silica terraces, see a massive mud pool and watch the Lady Knox geyser erupt.
Huka Falls is our next stop, where the might Waikato River rushes through a narrow gorge. Across the lake from Taupo are three active volcanoes of the Central Plateau – Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu – located in our next destination, the World Heritage Tongariro National Park. From your hotel you can walk out to a waterfall or just relax and enjoy this beautiful alpine location.
Accommodation: National Park – The Chateau
Day 5: Tongariro National Park - Napier (B)
Returning from the Central Plateau, the road heads north around Lake Taupo then winds south east over the ranges to the oceanside Art Deco city of Napier. We meet our local guide at the Art Deco Centre for our private walking tour of the impressive buildings dating back to 1931 when the city was rebuilt after a catastrophic earthquake.
We drive out to the heart of this premier wine growing community dominated by Te Mata Peak. From the top of the peak there are magnificent views across the Hawkes Bay countryside. Your hotel is just across the road from the waterfront park. In the early evening it’s a great place for a stroll.
Accommodation: Napier Scenic Hotel Te Pania
Day 6: Napier - Wellington (B)
Driving south from Napier through a pastoral landscape of orchards, vineyards and farmland we pass through the rural farming centres of Norsewood and Dannevirke, named for the early Scandinavian settlers, before stopping in Greytown, a favourite weekend escape for Wellingtonians. The wooden buildings lining the main street date back to Victorian times.
Later we drive cross the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, touring the sights along the waterfront and up Mt Victoria for the harbour views. The cafes and restaurants are within easy reach from our centrally located hotel.
Accommodation: Wellington, The Bolton Hotel
Day 7: Wellington - Cook Strait - Picton - Blenheim - Nelson (B)
We cruise on the InterIslander ferry across the Cook Strait and up Tory Channel into beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound where holiday homes, reached only by water, dot the bushclad bays.
We disembark at Picton in the South Island and a short drive away wine taste at a renowned Marlborough vineyard, famous for Sauvignon Blanc. We climb gradually through vineyards and farmland up the road to Lake Rotoiti, a tranquil mountain lake fringed by beech forests at the heart of the Nelson Lakes National Park. Nelson is our destination, the sunshine capital of New Zealand and the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.
Accommodation: Nelson Century Park Motor Lodge
Day 8: Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park - Nelson (B)
We arrive at Kaiteriteri Beach to join either a full day’s scenic cruise or a cruise and walk along the stunning Abel Tasman coastline of native bush, beaches and estuaries with wonderful views out to the offshore islands.There are seals and penguins at the Tonga Island Marine Reserve and, if you feel like a swim, a host of golden, sandy beaches to choose from.
At 23,000 hectares, The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest park but it features one of the longest stretches of easily accessible coastline. After your cruise or walk we return to Nelson for the evening.
Accommodation: Nelson Century Park Motor Lodge
Day 9: Explore the Kaikoura coast (B)
From Nelson we drive to Pelorus Bridge, Havelock and Blenheim then down the spectacular Kaikoura coastline where big seas pound the rocks. Kaikoura is a small hamlet beside the ocean and beneath the towering Kaikoura Mountains. Seafood, especially crayfish, is a specialty. We stay right on the waterfront.
You have the afternoon free to see the marine wildlife. Optional excursions include swimming with seals and dolphins to whale watching flights and cruises. The local seal colony hangs out close to the shore at Kean Point and across the road Fyffe House, built in 1860 on whale bone piles is a reminder of the town’s pioneering days.
Accommodation: Kaikoura White Morph Motor Inn
Day 10: Kaikoura - Akaunui Farm homestead - Aoraki/Mt Cook (B, L)
We drive over the Hunderlee Hills and down the Canterbury Plains. Skirting Christchurch we continue to Akaunui to join our hosts Di and Ian Mackenzie for our exclusive lunch in their 110 year old farm homestead. One of the highlights of our New Zealand small group tour is enjoying the warm hospitality of local Kiwis. We pick up farming tips from Ian and lunch on fresh produce from Di’s garden.
Driving towards the Southern Alps through a landscape of alpine tussock and towering mountains, we stop for photos at aquamarine Lake Tekapo and drive up the valley towards Aoraki/Mt Cook, at 3,754 metres New Zealand’s highest mountain.
Accommodation: Aoraki/Mount Cook – The Hermitage
Day 11: Aoraki/Mt Cook - Queenstown (B)
Stroll out from your hotel to walk in a beautiful valley flanked by mountains. Or take a scenic flight over the Main Divide or a cruise on the Tasman Glacier terminal lake among icebergs calved off the ancient glacier. Later we continue down the Mackenzie Basin, over the Lindis Pass and through the Kawarau Gorge.
On arrival in Queenstown we ride the Skyline Gondola up Bob’s Peak for a scenic overview of our home for three nights. Your hotel is a couple of minutes walk above the town with views to Lake Wakatipu, Bob’s Peak and the Remarkables Range. There’s an eclectic mix of cafes and restaurants and your driver will let you know his favourites.
Accommodation: Queenstown – Scenic Suites
Day 12: Queenstown - Milford Sound - Nature Cruise - Scenic Flight - Queenstown (B)
We travel alongside Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau and Milford Sound deep in the heart of Fiordland National Park. The Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, The Chasm and Homer Tunnel are stunning short walks and photostops along the Milford Roads, one of the most spectacular roads in New Zealand.
We cruise down Milford Sound past Mitre Peak and high, cascading waterfalls. Out on the Tasman Sea fur seals lounge on rocky islets. Flying back to Queenstown over mountains, glaciers and alpine lakes is a breathtaking experience and caps off a day you will always remember.
Accommodation: Queenstown – Scenic Suites
Day 13: At leisure in Queenstown (B)
You have a full day to explore this picturesque region. Your knowledgeable Kiwi guide can assist in your choice of activities. If you feel like relaxing – browse the town’s boutique shops and art galleries, wander the lakefront or cruise on Lake Wakatipu on the vintage steamer, tss “Earnslaw”.
If you feel like getting out on a river – experience the thrill of jet boating on the beautiful Dart River or white water rafting on the Kawarau River. Other possibilities include taking a guided walk on the famous Routeburn Track or touring Central Otago’s premier wine region, renowned for pinot noir.
Accommodation: Queenstown – Scenic Suites
Day 14: Queenstown - Cardrona Valley - Wanaka (B, L)
Leaving the thrills and spills of Queenstown we head to Arrowtown, a leafy village overflowing with history thanks to its role in the gold mining boom of the 1800s. Our small group New Zealand tour drives over the tussock covered Crown Range. From the lookout there are expansive views of the Gibbston Valley.
We call in for refreshments at the Cardrona Hotel with a history also traced back to the gold-mining era. In Wanaka we relax over a leisurely private lunch in a Wanaka homestead with our local hosts. From your hotel this afternoon there’s time to walk or bike out along the lakefront or paddle a kayak.
Accommodation: Wanaka – Edgewater Resort
Day 15: Wanaka - Haast Pass - Franz Josef (B)
Driving by Lake Hawea and the head of Lake Wanaka we enter the beech forests and stunning mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass in the Mt Aspiring National Park. Short walking tracks through the forests lead us to clear blue pools and waterfalls plummeting into crystal clear water.
We continue north through the lush, primeval rainforest of the Westland World Heritage Park. Reaching the coast at Ship Creek we stretch our legs on the beach and on the boardwalk through the rainforest. We stop to view Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson, famous for its reflections of Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps.
Accommodation: Franz Josef – Punga Grove
Day 16: Franz Josef - Okarito Lagoon - Franz Josef (B)
This morning we drive out to the tiny settlement of Okarito nestled between the wild Tasman Sea coast and the calm, shallow waters of Okarito Lagoon. You can choose to either take a leisurely kayak or boat cruise out on the lagoon, a feeding ground for the rare white heron (kotuku) which breeds nearby.
Later in the day there’s time to enjoy some of the optional activities available in this World Heritage Park. Perhaps take a helihike on a glacier or an optional flight over the Southern Alps to Aoraki/Mt Cook with a glacier landing included. Or if you want to relax, just sit back and soak in hot pools fed by the glacier.
Accommodation: Franz Josef – Punga Grove
Day 17: Franz Josef - Hokitika - Punakaiki (B, D)
Travelling north to the Paparoa National Park we stop at Hokitika to visit artisan craft galleries known for their Pounamu (jade) carving. Our New Zealand small group tour takes us along the coastal road, part of an ancient trail used by Maori in search of Pounamu. Not far from your hotel is the leading local attraction – the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks.
The rocks, sculptured limestone sea stacks, are just a short walk through unique coastal flora, including the southernmost nikau palms. If the tide is in our favour, blowholes thunder and there’s spray everywhere. We celebrate our travels over dinner tonight.
Accommodation: Paparoa National Park – Punakaiki Resort
Day 18: Punakaiki - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch (B)
Returning down the coast, we head east driving up the road cantilevered over the Otira Gorge. The view from the summit is great for photos and so are the cheeky keas (mountain parrots) who hang out there. They have no qualms about getting up close to visitors and pecking at the coach’s trim with their beaks.
We drive through alpine beech forests to Arthur’s Pass village and beside the braided Waimakariri River. It’s a short walk across paddocks to the large limestone rocks at Castle Hill. We leave the mountains, descending through Porter’s Pass and onto the plains, reaching your hotel in Christchurch in the late afternoon.
Accommodation: Christchurch – Chateau on the Park
Day 19: Depart Christchurch (B)
Your New Zealand small group finishes today after breakfast. If you have time before we transfer you to the airport you could walk through Hagley Park and visit the city centre to catch up on last minute shopping. The Re:Start Container shopping mall in Cashel Street is the ideal place to browse – there’s a diverse variety of creative boutique shops, food carts and coffee shops. Or if you feel like a lazy day, why not take a punt down the Avon River, a traditional pastime in this very English city.
Day 1: Auckland Harbour - Sebel Suites
You will be free to explore the ‘City of Sails’ from the spacious harbour side Sebel Suites, where a short stroll from your accommodation brings you to many of Auckland’s main attractions including, sublime dining experiences, a vibrant harbour and the world-class downtown shopping district.
Facilities include: Broadband internet facilities, direct dial telephones, fully equipped kitchen with well-stocked mini bar and refrigerator.
Day 2 & 3: Rotorua - Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
Situated on the serene shores of Lake Rotorua, this hotel offers a relaxing environment with unsurpassed views of the impressive lake. The central location, with wonderful facilities, means it is an easy walking distance to many local attractions, including cafés, bars and restaurants.
Facilities include: Spa pool, gymnasium, laundry, room service.
Day 4: Tongariro National Park - The Chateau
Constructed during the roaring twenties the Chateau Tongariro is a classic, landmark hotel at the foot of Mount Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park. Enjoy the stunning views and four star service and ambience.
Facilities include: Internet facilities, fitness room, indoor pool and sauna.
Day 5: Napier - Scenic Hotel Te Pania
Napier’s modern Te Pania Hotel offers four star accommodation, a central waterfront location and wonderful sea views. All rooms face out to the ocean.
Facilities include: Internet facilities and WiFi, on-site restaurant, bar/lounge, tea and coffee making facilities.
Day 6: Wellington - The Bolton Hotel
Located within easy walking distance to many of Wellington’s main attractions, the five star Bolton Hotel offers stylish accommodation in the heart of the capital city’s business district and political heart.
Facilities include: Internet facilities and WiFi, on-site restaurant and bar, fully equipped gym and heated swimming pool.
Day 7 & 8: Nelson - Century Park Motor Lodge
Family owned and priding itself on personal service it’s only a 3 minute stroll from the centre of Nelson an easy walk to the restaurants and cafés.
Facilities include: Internet, complimentary bike hire and tea/coffee making facilities.
Day 9: Kaikoura - White Morph Motor Inn
Enjoy the sounds of the sea and views out to gardens in bloom at Kaikoura’s White Morph Motor Inn. This well-placed accommodation is just a short walk from the waters-edge and Kaikoura’s village centre.
Facilities include: Wifi internet access, laundry and tea/coffee makers.
Day 10: Aoraki/Mount Cook - The Hermitage
Located in one of the most beautiful settings New Zealand has to offer, the Hermitage is surrounded by the Southern Alps. It offers spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding National Park World Heritage area; the Hermitage is synonymous with the Kiwi spirit of adventure.
Facilities include: Wifi internet access, tea and coffee making facilities.
Day 11/12/13: Queenstown - Scenic Suites
Your Queenstown accommodation is housed in one of the alpine-resort towns’ most desirable locations, due to its elevated position and central location near stunning Lake Wakatipu. It is also just a few minutes-walk to the centre of the bustling town and many of the alpine-resorts thrilling adventures and relaxing distractions.
Facilities include: Laundry, internet facilities and WiFi, on-site restaurant, bar/lounge, room service.
Day 14: Wanaka - Edgewater Resort
The four star plus hotel at Wanaka’s Edgewater Resort is one of the most scenic places to soak up the atmosphere of this gorgeous and relaxing lakeside town. Your senses are sure to be delighted with spectacular mountain and lake views from your balcony or patio.
Facilities include: Wifi internet access, direct-dial telephones, tea/coffee makers, spa and sauna.
Day 15 & 16: Franz Josef - Punga Grove
Located right in the heart of the glacial Franz Josef village is Punga Grove. Surrounded by lush rainforest and native fernery you feel like you are miles away from reality – despite the fact you are not far from the heart of this glacial alpine-resort town.
Facilities include: Wifi internet access, direct-dial telephones, tea/coffee makers and laundry.
Day 17: Paparoa National Park - Punakaiki Resort
Flanked by the Tasman Sea and surrounded by natural rainforests, the four star Punakaiki Resort is so close to the wild Punakaiki Beach you can almost smell the fresh sea air and hear the waves crashing against the famous Pancake Rocks & Blowholes.
Facilities include: Laundry, internet facilities and WiFi, on-site restaurant, bar/lounge, direct beach access, room service.
Day 18: Christchurch - Chateau on the Park
Chateau on the Park is a resort style hotel nestled amongst 5 acres of beautifully manicured gardens, situated between the tree-lined Hagley Park and the beautiful Mona Vale gardens. This hotel has wonderful facilities and offers a relaxing break and seclusion from the sounds of the city.
Facilities include: Broadband internet access, direct-dial telephones, tea/coffee makers and cable television.
Activities Are Optional
Rotorua – Maori Indigenous Evening and Hangi Dinner Experience
Situated in the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, Te Puia’s 60 hectare site is home to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, a live kiwi enclosure, the world-famous Pohutu Geyser, and more than 500 geothermal wonders. With land steeped in ancestral history, and a guiding legacy that stretches back to the 1800s, Te Puia extend their unique hospitality and rich cultural heritage to all visitors. The Te Pō Indigenous Evening Experience at Te Puia is a unique Rotorua attraction that will leave you with a deeper understanding of Māori culture and traditions, a full puku (stomach) and many great memories to take home.
Rotorua – Treetop Canopy Tour
Take on the sights, smells and sounds of the forest on a tour where you will spot tree and bird species not seen on any other country on earth – centuries old giant trees, monster tree ferns and perching plants dominate the landscape that has never been modified by human beings. If you are lucky you may even hand feed wild native birds. The journey traverses a 1.2 km network of ziplines walking trails, suspended bridges and treetop platforms up to 22 metres above the ground. Along the way the guides will bring the forest to life as you learn about its history, inhabitants and the conservation dream driving it all.
Rotorua – Active Volcanic White Island Landing Helicopter Tour
Volcanic Air is located at Rotorua City Lakefront on the shores of Lake Rotorua. The company offers an extensive range of scenic helicopter flights and scenic floatplane air tours. Land on the active volcano of White Island or take a flight over Mt Tarawera and view from above the dramatic destination of Rotorua. The main theme of Volcanic Air’s scenic flight tours is to showcase the many crater lakes, volcanic and geothermal landscape of the region Rotorua and Bay of Plenty.
Rotorua – Polynesian Spa
Polynesian Spa is New Zealand’s leading international day spa. In a picturesque, tranquil setting over-looking Lake Rotorua you can enjoy a fusion of relaxing hot spring pool bathing, spa and massage therapies and picturesque lake views. Polynesian Spa has the use of two types of hot mineral water, one alkaline and one acidic, that are the unique point of difference.
Kaikoura – Whale Watching Cruise
Whale Watch is New Zealand’s only vessel based whale watching company offering an exciting up-close encounter with the world’s largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment at all times of the year, The company’s 95% success rate means it guarantees an 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale.
Kaikoura – Whale Watching Helicopter Scenic Flight
With Kaikoura Helicopters you will get to see the entire whale from head to tail as the helicopter hovers and flies slow orbits. Put yourself in the ultimate vantage point, as you fly for 30 minutes in the spectacular environment that plays host to one of the world’s largest marine mammals, the Sperm Whale. Gain knowledge of the mighty Sperm Whale during a personal 20 minute briefing, before departing from beachfront heli pads. You will get a remarkable view and photo opportunity of the entire whale from head to tail as the helicopter hovers and flies slow orbits uninterruptedly above him.
Kaikoura – Whale Watching Fixed Wing Scenic Flight
Go whale watching by aeroplane. In a typical 30 minute flight you will see the Sperm Whale preparing for his next dive and up to 500 Dusky Dolphins playfully swimming. Flying over Kaikoura Peninsula, you can see evidence of Maori fortifications (Pa sites), the township of Kaikoura and New Zealand Fur Seals relaxing on the rocks. During favourable conditions, passengers can enjoy a spectacular flight over the 2800m high Seaward Kaikoura Ranges. Wings over Whales provides comfortable flights with experienced pilots giving an informative in-flight commentary.
Kaikoura – Seal Swim Tour
Seal Swim Kaikoura is both Kaikoura’s and New Zealand’s original seal swimming crew and caters solely to seal swimmers. The tours are licenced by the New Zealand Department of Conservation and the company works hard to ensure the natural behavioural patterns of the seals don’t get disturbed.You’ll be part of an intimate group of like minded adventurers suited up with warm wetsuits and guided on one of the boat-based or land-based seal snorkelling tours.
Kaikoura – Guided Seal Kayaking Tours
This small, locally owned family business is operated by Kiwis and our objective is to provide excellent customer service with our friendly and knowledgeable guides. Kayaking with the marine life in Kaikoura has been the highlight for a lot travellers and families while in New Zealand. Watch NZ Fur Seals, dive and manoeuvre around and under your kayak. Paddle with them as they swim around the Kaikoura Peninsula hunting for Octopus. Keep your distance as they devour their dinner in front of you, then duck for cover as hundreds of Pelagic (ocean going) birds swoop in to clean up the left-overs
Kaikoura – Fishing & Crayfishing Tour
On your way out to the fishing grounds you will lift crayfish pots where Ian will explain the regulations and show you how to measure this famous Kaikoura delicacy. You are encouraged to participate in this – an excellent time for photos. You then head out to the fishing grounds, where the commonly caught species are Blue Cod, Sea Perch, Red Cod, Rays Bream, Sharks and many other species. Your fish is filleted and bagged, ready for the pan. Or catch and release if you prefer.
Kaikoura – Maori Cultural Tour
Travel by mini coach to some of the Maori’s important places, hear tales of bygone days and see legends hidden in the landscape today. Right from the start you’ll be involved and as you join in customs and traditions you can ask questions about the things you want to know more about. Throughout the journey there are opportunities to learn Maori ways – a traditional greeting, weave with harakeke (the native flax plant) and much more. This is a real intimate and personal cultural exchange – with a maximum of 10 guests per departure – and offers genuine insight into Maori people and way of life.
Mount Cook – Stargazing Tour
Mount Cook is far from city lights and therefore has some of the darkest skies in New Zealand – perfect for viewing the night sky! Big Sky Stargazing tours operate within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. The informative astronomy guides take you on a short drive (transport provided) to their outdoor stargazing site. Use telescopes, astronomy binoculars and the naked eye to put your newly acquired knowledge into practice, identifying and exploring different elements of the spectacular southern sky.
Mount Cook – Helicopter Scenic Flight
Many of the scenic flight options are within New Zealand’s national parks and The Helicopter Line has a large number of concessions from the Department of Conservation allowing flights to parts of the country which may not otherwise be accessible. Aoraki/Mount Cook dominates the Southern Alps mountain range that divides New Zealand’s South Island. The Helicopter Line’s Mount Cook base operates from Glentanner Park 15 minutes drive from the Aoraki/ Mount Cook Village and the Hermitage Hotel.
Mount Cook – Tasman Glacier and Terminal Lake Cruise
Visit New Zealand’s Tasman Glacier terminal lake for a fascinating glacial encounter. Cruise the rapidly growing terminal lake taking in spectacular mountain views and scenery. Icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the glacier allowing you to touch and taste the 300-500 year old glacial crystals. Between mid September and late May the company offers the opportunity to access the rapidly growing Tasman Glacier terminal lake to view New Zealand’s largest glacier, and its icebergs.
Queenstown – Dart River Jet Boat Wilderness Experience
The sheer diversity of what’s on offer means you experience a unique combination of breathtaking scenery matched with exciting jet boating on braided, glacier-fed rivers. Highly informative guides add the personal touch, talking about the area’s history, the Greenstone trail and Maori legends. Walk among ancient beech forest unchanged for 80 million years and view the scenic backgrounds for many Middle Earth movie scenes. An authentic New Zealand experience in an untouched world.
Queenstown – Vintage Steamship Cruise on Lake Wakatipu
The leisurely 90 minute cruise across the lake showcases some of Queenstown’s spectacular alpine scenery while offering you plenty of time to explore a piece of Queenstown’s living history – the 100 year old TSS Earnslaw.You can visit the engine room and see its giant steam engines at work, view the collection of historical photos in our mini-museum, check out the bridge or even join a sing-along with the pianist. Or if you’d much rather, kick back and enjoy a wine or beer or some café-style food at our on-board Promenade Café and Bar
Queenstown – Kawarau River Rafting
The Kawarau River is ideal for first time rafters or suited to those looking for a more relaxed rafting experience. It’s the Kawarau River that starred as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings. The grandeur of the canyons imparts a feeling of paddling through the heart of Middle Earth. Whether you are a Lord of The Rings fan or not, this rafting trip offers an insight into the beauty of the New Zealand wilderness. Enjoy the unforgettable 400m long Dog Leg rapid, New Zealand’s longest commercially rafted rapid.
Queenstown – Famous Routeburn Day Walk
Guided Nature Walks caters for the adventurous or passive hiker, with all fitness and ages levels catered for. Guided Walks NZ are chosen for their natural history, scenic beauty, remoteness and varied terrain. They are working to make Guide Walks NZ to a memorable part of your New Zealand experience. The Routeburn Track is an excellent walk for people interested in variety, lake river valley forests, mountain views, native birds or photography.
Queenstown – Boutique Wine Tour
An afternoon among the boutique vineyards is a perfect introduction to the region. During your stay tour, you will be able to taste at 4 vineyards in Gibbston Valley, Cromwell and Bannockburn, to enjoy a delightful platter lunch at Carrick Winery restaurant and to visit the Old Cromwell Town. A stunning drive through the Kawarau Gorge will reveal the early pioneering history of this rugged region
Franz Josef – Glacier Heli Hike
The Heli Hike tour is imply the ultimate Glacier experience! Take in the Franz Josef Glacier by helicopter before descending onto the ice itself for an adventure like no other. From the crevasses and ice caves to the splendour of the clean blue ice, immerse yourself in the unique surroundings and touch the ice, breath the fresh air and enjoy one of the world’s most exhilarating experiences.
Franz Josef – Glacier Hot Pools
Nestled in lush rainforest, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of natural tranquillity and the perfect way for visitors to unwind and experience a blissful state of pure relaxation after travelling along Te Tai o Poutini (The West Coast). The three warm main pools and three secluded private pools are nestled within the bosom of Tāne Mahuta – Guardian of the Forest with his children, the native bush and birdlife creating a tranquil space to revive your tinana (body), hinengaro (mind) and wairua (spirt).Your highly skilled and professional Massage Therapist will create an experience specifically to suit your needs and requirements.