New Zealand Explorer Northbound

Trip Map


Trip Validity

  • 2013-04-01 - 2014-03-31

This tour captures the best of both the North and South Islands

From sprawling glaciers, snow-capped mountains and spectacular fjords on the South Island, to the secluded beaches, volcanic craters and cosmopolitan cities of the North Island, this three-week NZ tour has it all. Including Franz Joseph Glacier, Milford Sound, Kaikoura, Mt Ruapehu, the Bay of Islands and so much more. This trip is packed with adrenaline activities for those with an adventurous streak including sea kayaking, snorkelling, blackwater rafting, bungee jumping, jet boating, mountain biking and kayaking. Travellers after a slower pace will enjoy walking trails, picture-postcard scenery plus galleries, shops and restaurants. With a perfect combination of sights and activities, the New Zealand Explorer has something for everyone.

  • Be dwarfed by spectacular Mt Cook
  • Bushwalk in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Discover why Christchurch is known as the 'Garden City'
  • Experience Rotorua's geysers and bubbling mud pools
  • Go wild in the adrenaline-rush capital of the world
  • Meet Waitomo's glow-worms
  • Take a guided hike across ancient ice and rock at Franz Joseph Glacier
  • Visit Wellington's Te Papa Tongarewa museum

New Zealand Explorer Northbound Summary

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Day 1 Christchurch

Known as the Garden City, Christchurch's beautiful location and easy access to a fun range of activities makes it the perfect gateway to New Zealand's South Island.

Day 2 Punakaiki

Nestled in the foothills of Paparoa National Park, Punakaiki has a magnificent oceanfront location with dramatic views of the wild West Coast beaches.

Days 3-4 Franz Josef Glacier

The impressive Franz Josef Glacier offers many hiking opportunities to explore this spectacular area of mountains, valleys and glaciers.

Days 5-8 Queenstown

The adrenaline sports capital of the world, Queenstown is a lively alpine resort on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with an incredible array of year-round activities on offer.

Day 9 Milford Sound

An area of breathtaking scenery, Milford Sound is a stunning combination of tall mountain peaks, crystal-clear water and fascinating marine life, including dolphins, seals and penguins.

Day 10 Mt Cook

Home to New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook National Park has grand vistas across the Southern Alps, featuring rocky peaks and glacial lakes.

Day 11 Christchurch

New Zealand's second-largest city is well on the way to recovery with a whole new range of pop-up cafes, restaurants and bars to explore in Christchurch.

Day 12 Kaikoura

Set on a beautiful stretch of coastline where towering mountains fall into the Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura is famous for its seafood and marine life.

Days 13-14 Nelson

A pleasant, sunny place in the heart of a wine-producing region, Nelson is home to some of the most beautiful sea kayaking in the world.

Day 15 Wellington

New Zealand's vibrant capital, Wellington has something for everyone - a picturesque harbour, fascinating museums and a great restaurant/bar scene.

Days 16-17 Mt Ruapehu

Located in the beautiful surrounds of Tongariro National Park, Mt Ruapehu is one of the world's most active volcanoes and a majestic sight to behold.

Day 18 Taupo/Rotorua

The North Island's home of extreme sports, Taupo sits on the shore of New Zealand's largest lake - the water-filled crater of an ancient volcano. Renowned as a geothermal wonderland, Rotorua's bubbling geysers and steaming mud pools provide an amazing display of mother earth's power.

Day 19 Waitomo

Famous for its limestone caves, glow worms and black-water rafting, Waitomo is one of New Zealand's most awe-inspiring destinations.

Days 20-21 Bay of Islands

A secluded marine area of amazing beauty, the Bay of Islands boasts stunning coral reefs, fascinating marine life and excellent beaches.

Day 22 Auckland

Popularly referred to as the 'City of Sails', a distinct Pacific flavour is apparent in Auckland's cosmopolitan markets and lively waterfront precinct.