In this small group tour of New Zealand you can expect all of the highlights, culture, access, and magic moments, all at a great value for money price. Small group on this tour means a maximum of 16 but average of 12 fellow minded travellers (all travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult). Expect comfortable, tourist-class, character- full accommodations with a mix of public and private transport.

Relax on the Coromandel’s gorgeous beaches, hang with the Maori in a traditional village, walk the beaches of Kaikoura (try their take on fish and chips!) and get your adrenaline fix in Queenstown. Consider this your introduction to New Zealand. The great thing about this tour is that you can build in many optional activities (additional expense) or simply take yourself off for a hike or a contemplative afternoon in a park or on the beach at no cost.

Our itinerary is based on travel from October to early May. For the rest of the year the tour may need to adapt slightly. We can check at the time of booking how that might affect your trip, if at all.

Image: Aoraki, Mount Cook © Julian Apse

Highlights

  • Coromandel Peninsula visit
  • Hot Water Beach stop
  • Traditional Maori ceremony and Hangi dinner
  • Overnight in Maori village
  • National Park walks
  • Scenic train journey
  • Beach time in Kaikoura
  • Arthurs Pass
  • Franz Josef Glacier visit
  • Fiordland National Park visit
  • Milford Sound overnight boat excursion (Seasonal; May -September you will have a day cruise)

What’s Included

  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities. Transportation is by train, private van/bus, walking, boat.
  • Accommodations: Hotels (12 nts), Maori village (1 nt, multi-share), boat (1 nt, seasonal).
  • Meals: 13 breakfasts, 3 dinners. (Allow USD455-595 for meals not included).
  • Staff & experts: Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
  • Visits and excursions where listed in the itinerary. There are lots of possibilities to build in additional experiences at extra cost; just check out the options for each area on the dedicated tab.

Available extras

(Add these to your tour when you book – other tour options decide whilst you are on the tour.)

  • Queenstown Jet Boating – £55.00
    It’s a jet-boating ride along the Shotover River of Queenstown – need we say more? Okay, how about this? Imagine a white-water ride with the turns and paces expertly done by a trained driver up to 85kph. All you need to do is strap in and get ready to get wet.
  • My Own Room – £989.00
    If you’re travelling solo and would prefer to have your own private room throughout your trip, select this option during the online booking process.
1

Day 1: Auckland

Arrive at any time.
There are no activities until an evening welcome meeting, so head out and enjoy the city.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting: 19:00
The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles Auckland (or similar) Hotel

2

Day 2: Auckland/Hahei

Depart early for 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.

Private Vehicle Auckland – Hahei

Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

The Coromandel is one of many scenic regions of New Zealand. Set off into the mountain forest in search of the elusive “Hairy Moehau” monster. Check out the beaches and cliffs and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales. Make friends with the locals, including “hippies” who arrived in the 1970s and never left.

Hot Water Beach Excursion Hahei: Hot Water Beach is a unique spot on the Coromandel Peninsula. If the tide is right, you can dig into the sand to create a natural jacuzzi.

Optional Activities: See our separate tab for details
Accommodation: Tatahi Lodge Hahei (or similar) Lodge
Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner

3

Day 3: Hahei/Rotorua

Visit Rotorua and opt to check out the geothermal area or go whitewater rafting. Later, enjoy a cultural overnight featuring a traditional dinner and show, and stay in a Maori village.
Rotorua sits over an active volcano with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. Opt to visit one of the sites, like Hell’s Gate, or go whitewater rafting nearby.
In the evening visit a Maori village for traditional ceremonies, a Hangi meal and entertainment. After dinner, lounge by the bonfire and have some time to get to know the Maori hosts.
Accommodation is in a traditional sleeping house with separate houses for men and women.

Private Vehicle Hahei – Rotorua (3h-4h)

Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Maori Village Visit with Overnight Rotorua (12h-15h)

Visit the Tamaki Maori Village. Receive the traditional Powhiri welcome ceremony followed by a captivating stage performance explaining Maori history and culture. For dinner, enjoy a traditional Hangi meal, similar to the Hawaiian Luau, with dishes cooked in the ground. After, enjoy some quiet time with our Maori hosts around the bonfire.

Optional Activities: See our separate tab for details
Accommodation: Tamaki Maori Village (or similar) Hostel
Meals included:Breakfast | Dinner

4

Day 4: Rotorua/Wellington

Enjoy the ever-changing scenery of the central North Island as you travel to the capital, Wellington.
Private Vehicle Rotorua – Wellington (7h-8h / 452km)
Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.

Accommodation: Downtown Backpackers – Waterloo Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

5

Day 5: Wellington

Enjoy the atmosphere in this relaxed but lively city.
Free TimeWellington

Accommodation: Downtown Backpackers – Waterloo Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

6

Day 6: Wellington/Kaikoura

Take the ferry to the South Island. Travel the Coastal Railway to the seaside town of Kaikoura, known for its volcanic black-sand beaches.

Early morning ferry to the South Island. Travel the Coastal Railway from Picton to the seaside town of Kaikoura, known for its volcanic black-sand beaches.

For dinner, opt to try the local dish – fish and chips – on the beach.

Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat; Ferry Wellington – Picton (3h30m)

Train Picton – Kaikoura (2h30m): Climb aboard, take your seat, and enjoy the ride.

Please note: that the train on the south island is seasonal and does not run from May to September. During this period we will take a public bus from Picton to Kaikoura.

Accommodation: Sierra Beach Hotel (or similar) Hotel

7

Day 7: Kaikoura/Hanmer Springs

Enjoy a free morning in Kaikoura before travelling to Hanmer Springs, a charming alpine village. Take a soak in the hot springs.
Free Time Hanmer Springs. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Private VehicleKaikoura – Hanmer Springs (3h)
Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Optional Activities: See our separate tab for details
Accommodation: Drifters Inn Hanmer Springs (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

8

Day 8: Hanmer Springs/Franz Josef

Travel across the Southern Alps via the stunningly scenic Arthur’s Pass. Stretch your legs with a mountain or rainforest walk. Enjoy staying in the rainforest near the world’s fastest moving glacier.
Private VehicleHanmer Springs – Franz Josef (5h)
Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Optional Activities: See our separate tab for details
Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat (or similar) Resort
Meals included: Breakfast

9

Day 9: Franz Josef

Enjoy a free full day to explore the area around Franz Josef. Opt to explore this glacier with a heli hike.
There are dozens of optional activities in the area to suit just about any budget and preference. Try heli hiking, scenic helicopter flights, horse trekking, quad biking, skydiving, glacier valley walk, lake kayaking or a hot pools visit.
Don’t waste a minute—get exploring.

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat (or similar) Resort
Meals included: Breakfast

10

Day 10: Franz Josef/Queenstown

Continue to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. With beautiful scenery and tons of activities, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy the great night life.
Private Vehicle Franz Josef – Queenstown (6h/365km)
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Accommodation: Peppers Beacon Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

11

Day 11: Queenstown

With a full day of free time here, opt to go bungy jumping (in its birthplace), jet boating (also born here!), skydiving, paragliding, hiking or mountain biking. Alternatively opt to take it a little slower and travel by gondola to the top of a local peak for some great views.

Optional Activities: See our separate tab for details
Accommodation: Peppers Beacon Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

12

Day 12: Queenstown/Fiordland National Park

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife before an overnight on board.
Private Vehicle Queenstown – Milford Sound (4h30m)
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.
Milford Sound Overnight Boat Excursion Milford Sound (18h)
Head out to Milford Sound located in scenic Fjordlands National Park. Board the boat and cruise the sound looking for dolphins and waterfalls along the verdant shores. Accommodation on board is twin-share cabins and the meals are excellent.

Accommodation: Milford Cruise (or similar) Riverboat
Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner

13

Day 13: Fiordland National Park/Twizel

Head through the centre of the South Island to Twizel, near New Zealand’s highest peak, Mt Cook.
Private Vehicle Fiordland National Park – Twizel (5h-7h)
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.
Explore the town of Twizel during the afternoon at your leisure.

Optional Activities: See our separate tab for details
Accommodation: Mountain Chalet Twizel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

14

Day 14: Twizel/Christchurch

Spend the morning exploring this region surrounding Mt Cook taking in the alpine scenery with the chance to learn more about mountaineer Sir Edmond Hillary. Continue on to Christchurch for one final night together.
Travel to the Garden City of Christchurch, a little piece of England in New Zealand, well on the road to full recovery after the 2011 earthquake.
Free Time in Twizel: Morning
Private Vehicle: Twizel – Christchurch (4h30m/290km)
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.
Free Time in Christchurch: Evening
Enjoy a last night out.

Accommodation: All Stars Inn on Bealey (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

15

Day 15: Christchurch

Depart at any time.

Meals included:Breakfast

CODE: ONAC

Optional Activities

Hahei / Coromandel

  • Sea Kayaking Hahei (85NZD per person)
  • Head out by kayak to experience the Coromandel from sea level.
  • Cathedral Cove Scenic Walk Cathedral Cove (1h-1h30m)
  • Or simply pack your swimsuit and walk from the north end of Hahei Beach along a cliff-top path that leads down to Cathedral Cove. A giant arch formed into the headland separates two secluded coves. Swim, lay in the shade, and enjoy the beauty of this idyllic spot.

Rotorua

  • Whitewater Rafting Rotorua (89NZD per person). Get your adrenaline fix on this exhilarating white water rafting trip. Enjoy the amazing scenery along the way, but don’t forget to paddle!
  • Whakarewarewa Geothermal Village. Visit Rotorua (1h30m-2h)
  • Visit an authentic Maori Geothermal Village. With a local guide, follow the path past bubbling mud pits and mineral pools with different fluorescent coloured water. Learn how geothermal energy is used around the village and hear the history of the area. Just try to ignore the sulfurous smell; that’s just Mother Earth making magma magic.

Kaikoura

  • Whale Watching Kaikoura (3h-3h30m) 145NZD per person
  • Follow in the path of Paikea, the Maori “whale rider”, and set out in search of Giant Sperm Whales as they spray and dive their way through the waters off Kaikora.
  • Swimming With Dolphins Kaikoura (3h-4h) 170NZD per person. Hop aboard a boat and head out to the open seas to search for wild dusky dolphins. Depending on conditions, most groups have 20-40 minutes of swim time with the dolphins.

Arthurs Pass

  • Various treks. (30m-45m)
  • Stop midway through Arthur’s Pass to stretch your legs and go for a short hike or two. The beautiful scenery and fresh air will keep you going for the rest of the ride. Possible stop at Castle Hill, a location used in the films The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Lord of the Rings.

Franz Josef

  • Helicopter Hike Franz Josef (3h-4h) 325-429NZD per person. Take a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride to the top of the Franz Josef Glacier. Hop out and trek on the white and blue ice.

Queenstown

  • Paragliding Queenstown (15m-30m) 210NZD per person
  • Totally amazing trip. Get a birds-eye view of Queenstown on an exciting ride in the sky.
  • Bungee Jumping Queenstown (1h30m-4h) 175-510NZD per person. Adrenaline junkies will be happy with a stop at the world’s original commercial bungee site (bungy in New Zealand!). Opt to take the plunge or simply observe where it all started from the comfort of solid ground. Shoot some amazing photos of those brave enough to dive (and pretend it’s you when you get home! Rumbled, after all these years.)
  • Skydiving Queenstown 299-439NZD per person. Enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Queenstown from an eagle’s perspective. Suit up, get briefed and board the prop plane to soar high about the rugged alpine landscape. Strap onto your instructor, take a breath and leap into a once-in-a-lifetime free fall. This is what a natural high truly feels like!
  • Jet Boating Queenstown (2h-3h) 129NZD per person. Jet boating is a typical New Zealand activity— go as fast you can in a boat over water. Hang on tight as you fly across the surface of the water. Shoot through narrow rocky gorges and dare to watch as the driver takes hairpin turns frighteningly close to the cliffs.
  • Gondola Ride Queenstown (1h-2h30m) 30-82NZD per person. Take a ride up to the top of the mountain by cable car gondola. Get a spectacular 220º view of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu below.

Twizel

  • Scenic Flight Twizel. Take to the skies and get a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous landscape from above. Make sure you have plenty of camera power!
  • Cycling. Get on your bike and enjoy the ride.

Mount Cook Visit

  • Aoraki/Mount Cook is a village, a national park and the name of New Zealand’s highest mountain. Located in central South Island, the park includes a mix of rocks and glaciers, as well as alpine plants including the world’s largest buttercup, the Mount Cook lily. There are several short walks that reward with spectacular views.
  • Visitor’s Centre Twizel: Stop by the visitor’s centre to learn more about the region.
NZ small group tour -Mount-Cook-Aoraki-Canterbury-Julian-Apse Trekking New Zealand Small group tour
small group tour Auckland christchurch new zealand
NZ small group tour -Mount-Cook-Aoraki-Canterbury-Julian-Apse Trekking New Zealand Small group tour