22 Day New Zealand Explorer Northbound Itinerary

This New Zealand tour takes in the best of both the North and South islands. Visit attractions like Mt Ruapehu and Rotorua, plus Auckland, Wellington, Franz Josef, Queenstown and more.

    • 22
    • PTOAC
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new zealand kaikara whale tail sea life fish marine nz

nz new zealand bay of islands rock ocean

nz new zealand franz Josef glacier

nz new zealand kaikara whale tail marine

nz new zealand kaikoura marine dolphin

nz new zealand milford sound trees lady forest trees

nz new zealand mt mount cook hiking

nz new zealand rotorua geyser

Day 1 Christchurch

Arrive in Christchurch and start exploring the cafes, restaurants and pop-up bars gaining ground in this rapidly re-emerging city. Perhaps stroll down to Re:START, the exciting new development initiative, and relax with a coffee in a converted shipping container or toast the city's resilience with a glass of Marlborough wine.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1

Day 2 Punakaiki

Travel west across the Canterbury Plains watching as the dry landscape of the east slowly gives way to green fields, deep blue rivers and sheer mountainsides. Arrive in Punakaiki and take in the spectacular views along the west's windswept coastline.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1

Days 3-4 Franz Josef Glacier

Get ready for another beautiful drive today as we wind through rich forests, shimmering lakes and secluded beaches en route to Franz Josef. Trek across the region's massive glacier on a guided hike, or board a ski-plane or helicopter and peer down at it from above.
ACCOM: Hostel - 2

Days 5-9 Queenstown and Doubtful Sound

Ascend the Haast Pass into the Southern Alps and travel to the vibrant resort town of Queenstown. Perched by the shores of Lake Wakatipu and with an unpretentious atmosphere and backed by spectacular mountain scenery, this is a place sure to leave an impression. Spend the next few days getting your adrenaline kicks whizzing around by jet boat, taking to the skies paragliding, hitting the hill trails by mountain bike, bungee jumping, kayaking, rafting or choosing from any other number of activities on offer.
ACCOM: Hostel - 4, Overnight boat - 1

Day 10 Mt Cook

Drive into Mt Cook National Park for a night's lodge accommodation at the base of New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki (Mt Cook).
ACCOM: Hostel - 1

Day 11 Christchurch

Arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand's city on the upswing. Spend some time visiting the pop-up Re:START development or head to dynamic SOMO.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1

Day 12 Kaikoura

Head up the coast to Kaikoura, where sperm whales, dolphins and wandering albatrosses can usually be spotted.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1

Days 13-14 Nelson

Set out on a bushwalk through Nelson’s gorgeous inlets and coves, take a winery tour or browse the town’s eclectic range of shops.
ACCOM: Hostel - 2

Day 15 Wellington

Enjoy a cruise through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds between the North and South Island. Explore Wellington's buzzing cafe scene or ride a cable car to the Botanic Gardens, taking in spectacular views of the city and harbour.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1

Days 16-17 Mt Ruapehu

Be captivated by the majesty of Mt Ruapehu. Perhaps hike the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing track through stunning forest scenery.
ACCOM: Hostel - 2

Day 18 Taupo/Rotorua

Visit the spectacular Huka Falls and take the opportunity to bungy or jet boat in Taupo - the North Island's home of extreme sports. Discover Rotorua's geysers, bubbling mud pools and volcanic cliffs that have been shaped by seismic forces.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1

Day 19 Waitomo

Discover Waitomo, which is famous for its limestone caves, glow worms and blackwater rafting - an unforgettable trip involving hiking and descending an underground river floating on an inner tube.
ACCOM: Hostel - 1

Days 20-21 Waitomo/Bay of Islands

Head north to the always sunny, always beautiful Bay of Islands. Consider kayaking to see this area's pristine beaches and untouched wildernesses or take a boat trip to the islands to discover true paradise. If that all sounds too hard, chill out in Russell for a historical look at New Zealand.
ACCOM: Hostel - 2

Day 22 Auckland

Finish up this New Zealand adventure in the country’s 'City of Sails'.