Visit highlights of New Zealand's North and South Islands

This is a 'kiwi' adventure like no other. Dive headfirst into New Zealand's cultural heart and soul, all done in comfort and style. Kick off your journey in Christchurch and travel across the Canterbury Plains to soak up incredible vistas of Mt Cook from the shores of tranquil Lake Ohau. Glide across the breathtaking Milford Sound and visit Queenstown - a haven for adventurers and leisure-seekers alike. Trek across Fox Glacier, see the quirky Pancake Rocks and sip Nelson's world-famous wine. Take a ferry from South to North Island across the magnificent Marlborough Sounds to Wellington. Discover bubbling mud pools in Rotorua and relax in the Bay of Islands. With dramatic scenery, fascinating culture and plenty of opportunities for both adventure and relaxation, this NZ trip has it all.

Start
Christchurch, New Zealand
Finish
Auckland, New Zealand
Countries
New Zealand
Themes
Explorer
Code
PIKRC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 1
Group size
Min 4, Max 14
Carbon offset
237kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Cross the Canterbury Plains
  • Soak up incredible views of Mt Cook from the shores of Lake Ohau
  • Cruise the length of glorious Milford Sound
  • Get adventurous in daredevil city, Queenstown
  • Trek Fox Glacier
  • Visit Punakaiki's unusual Pancake Rocks
  • Explore Abel Tasman National Park
  • Enjoy a guided museum tour at Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Be enthralled by exciting Rotorua
  • Discover the Bay of Islands
  • Enjoy the Waipoua Kauri Forest after dark
  • Relax in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city

Itinerary

Arrive early and perhaps take a day trip to Hamner Springs thermal pools. Then, leave the city behind on a journey across the Canterbury Plains. Call into Lake Tekapo before continuing on to Lake Pukaki to enjoy incredible vistas of Mt Cook. Stay overnight on the shores of tranquil Lake Ohau.
Nestled on Lake Te Anau, this peaceful town is a great place to unwind.
Travel through Fiordland National Park to magnificent Milford Sound for an unforgettable cruise. Pass sheer cliffs, gushing waterfalls and perhaps even spot dolphins, seals and penguins. Resting in the shadows of the majestic Southern Alps, Queenstown is a haven for adventurers and leisure-seekers alike. For the adventurous, skiing, hiking, jet boating, whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, mountain biking and fishing are all on offer in Queenstown. However, for those after some relaxation, enjoy a peaceful forest walk or winery tour. Cruise along Lake Wakatipu and travel via Haast Pass to Lake Matheson.
Journey along the spectacular west coast of New Zealand to Fox Glacier village. Tackle the immense Fox Glacier, exploring ice ridges and caves while enjoying stunning views of the icefalls. Stay overnight in Punakaiki, nestled into the foothills of the Paparoa National Park. This magnificent ocean-front location has spectacular views of the wild West Coast beaches.
Explore Punakaiki's fantastic beach and bush walks then visit the quirky Pancake Rocks. Travel past glistening lakes to Nelson, known for its wineries, breweries and its edgy arts scene.
Spend a glorious morning in the Abel Tasman National Park - perhaps go kayaking or walk one of the many walking trails to discover the area further.
Travel to Picton and board a ferry from the South to North Island of New Zealand. Cruise through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds en route to Wellington. Enjoy a guided tour at Te Papa Tongarewa. Farewell the capital for the vast volcanic plateau of Tongariro National Park. Spend the afternoon exploring the alpine forests.
A geothermal wonderland with bubbling mud pools and gushing geysers, Rotorua never fails to enthral and excite. Spend free time discovering the highlights of the area - perhaps visit a Maori village, go rafting or climb an active volcano.
Continue north, through Auckland and onto Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Home to 144 islands, this stunning area has plenty of outdoor activities on offer.
Soak up the sights and sounds of Hokianga Harbour and visit Waipoua Kauri Forest after dark.
Gaze up at the towering kauri tree, Tane Mahuta, or 'Lord of the Forest' on a daytime walk through the forest. Learn about the fascinating history of the Far North at the Kauri Museum in Matakohe then continue on to Auckland. Perhaps stay on for a few extra days to discover New Zealand's largest city.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
16 breakfasts6 dinners
Transport
Minivan
Accommodation
Hotel (15 nights), Lodge (1 night)
Included activites
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Fox Glacier hike
  • Kauri and Pioneer Museum
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Nelson Lakes National Park
  • Queenstown - Skyline Gondola
  • Tongariro National Park
  • Twilight Encounter in the Waipoua Forest
  • Waipoua Kauri Forest Reserve
  • Wellington - Te Papa Museum

Dates

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Notes

This trip starts at 7:45am on day 1 and finishes in the evening on day 17. Please consider this when bookings any flights and accommodation.

Important notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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