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Best of New Zealand

Explore the highlights of North & South islands

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Explore some of New Zealand's most stunning scenery

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Group Size: Max 14, avg 12.

Trip code: ONNS

Duration: 21 days

Group tour
North & South islands
Beaches, culture & cities

Discover the magic of New Zealand on this incredible 21-day trip. You’ll see the best bits of both North and South islands on an action-packed adventure of a lifetime! We’re talking epic mountains, unspoilt national parks, lively Maori culture, vibrant cities, and world-class surf. Cruise through Fjordland, meet the legendary All Blacks, experience the might of Huka Falls, meet a fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind, go stargazing in Lake Tekapo, bungee jump in Queenstown and much, much more. New Zealand will leave you speechless!

Trip highlights

  • Feel the power of the Haka with an experience with the famous All Blacks
  • Visit an authentic Maori geothermal village in Rotorua
  • Swim in sparkling waterfalls and bliss out on pristine beaches in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Get your adrenaline pumping with some thrilling adventure sports in Queenstown
  • Take a cruise down the spectacular Milford Sound
  • Stay in a wilderness lodge in the rainforest in Franz Josef
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What's included
  • 20 nights’ Accommodation
  • 20 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners
  • Meet the All Blacks
  • Walking Tour, Christchurch
  • Night out in Wellington
  • Discover Franz Josef & Queenstown
  • Sea kayaking excursion, Raglan
  • Maori led Te Puia Geyser tour
  • Huka Falls visit
  • Ferry across the Cook Strait
  • Visit to a seal colony
  • Pancake Rocks loop trail
  • Walks in Franz Josef and Abel Tasman National Parks
  • Fiordland NP visit
  • Milford Sound nature cruise
  • Lake Dunstan biking excursion
  • Orientation walk, Wellington
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • 24-hour emergency support
What's not included
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Optional activities
  • Airport transfers
Further trip information

Day 1: Auckland & the All Blacks. Arrive in amazing Auckland no later than 1pm today and head to your hotel in the heart of the city. Meet the rest of the gang at 3pm then witness the Haka and enjoy an immersive experience with the one and only All Blacks rugby team!

Day 2: Auckland to Raglan. Travel to Bridal Veil Falls where we’ll walk through the bush to the spectacular waterfall! Then continue to the laid-back surf town of Raglan. Discover the area’s stunning coastline and wildlife by kayak and enjoy a tasty fish and chips lunch – yum!

Day 3: Raglan to Rotorua via Waitomo. Head to Rotorua with a stop en route at Waitomo. See glow-worms lighting up the famous caves on an underground boating experience, abseil into the fairy-tale caverns, or go black-water rafting. Then continue to the geothermal playground that is Rotorua.

Day 4: Rotorua. You’ve got a free day. Join our optional white-water rafting or mountain biking experiences, or keep it laid back with a visit to some local hot springs. This evening, head to Te Puia an authentic Maori geothermal Village for an unforgettable 2-hour tour.

Day 5: Rotorua to Taupo. Hit the road to Taupo today. Stop at Rainbow Mountain Reserve for a short walk to a mighty volcano, then continue to the majestic Huka Falls. Take some selfies with the cascade of water in the background before continuing to Taupo, home of New Zealand's largest lake.

Day 6: Taupo to Wellington. We’re headed to New Zealand’s capital today, so grab a window-seat, plug in a playlist and chill out. We’ll arrive in time to visit the National Museum, Te Papa. Round off your amazing day with a night exploring Wellington’s awesome selection of bars and restaurants.

Day 7: Wellington to Abel Tasman National Park. Jump on a ferry and set off across the water this morning over the Cook Strait for impressive views of the Marlborough Sounds. Our destination today is Abel Tasman National Park, famous for glistening white sandy beaches and natural beauty.

Day 8: Abel Tasman National Park. Spend the day hiking and exploring the Park. Plunge into a sparkling waterfall nestled deep in the forest, before heading to one of the jewel-like bays that dot the park’s coastline. Then catch a water taxi back to Marahau, for a chilled evening with the group.

Day 9: Abel Tasman National Park to Westport Head. Head down the coast today past a string of striking black sand beaches before stopping at a fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind. Then head to Westport where we’ll grab a beer and immerse ourselves in this quaint coal-mining town.

Day 10: Westport to Franz Josef. Head along the coast to Punakaiki where we’ll hop off the bus and head out on a loop trail to see the strange beauty of the Pancake Rocks. Take in the unique scenery before travelling on to Franz Josef where we’ll stay in a wilderness lodge in the rainforest.

Day 11: Franz Josef: Today’s yours. Head out for some fun optional activities from a glacial hike, and helicopter hike, to a quad biking experience, kayak rental, and hot springs fun.

Day 12: Franz Josef to Queenstown. Sit back and watch the New Zealand scenery pass you by as you journey away from Glacier Country, through forests and mountains and along the coast to Queenstown today - the adventure capital of the world!

Days 13 - 14:Queenstown.Get your adrenaline pumping over the next couple of days with some super exhilarating activities in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We’re talking jet boating, bungee jumping, paragliding, horse-riding, sky diving and more!

Day 15: Milford Sound day trip. Take in the mind-blowing scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound today from the deck of our boat. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and seals. It’s like cruising through a dream!

Day 16: Queenstown to Tekapo. Hit the banks of Lake Dunstan this morning for a 33km bike ride past beautiful vineyards and unspoilt countryside. Then head to beautiful Tekapo where we’ll visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and do some star-gazing – magical.

Day 17: Tekapo. You’ve got a full day to explore Tekapo. Visit some hot springs and relax on the shores of Lake Pukaki. This evening, join the optional excursion to Mt John Observatory for unforgettable views and unparalleled viewing of the stars at the incredible Dark Sky Reserve.

Day 18: Tekapo to Christchurch. Hop back in the private vehicle as we head to the South Island’s largest city. The day’s yours to spend exploring the city. This evening, see what Christchurch’s nightlife is about and bed down in a totally unique accommodation – a converted jailhouse!

Day 19: Christchurch to Kaikoura. Hop back on board our private vehicle and head to one of the best places in NZ to experience local wildlife. Do a spot of whale watching, go seal spotting, swim with dolphins or take a scenic flight overMaori sites and Kaikoura town.

Day 20: Kaikoura to Wellington. Travel to the picturesque little seaside town of Picton before hopping on a ferry back over to Wellington. It’s your last evening so make the most of it with a night out at Blend Bar with competitive games, drinks and dancing. What a trip!

Day 21: Wellington. It’s time to pack your bags, say your goodbyes and head home. If you’d like a final dose of Middle Earth before you leave, there’s a 45-minute guided tour behind the scenes at Weta Workshop on offer – one trip to rule them all!

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Return Flights from £1,052

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Cheapest: £1,052 March, 2023
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Arrival information

You should plan to arrive into Auckland Airport in New Zealand at any time on day 1. On day 21, you can depart at any time from Wellington International Airport. If you would prefer to extend your stay in New Zealand, your trip guide can help you with any onwards travel arrangements.

Accommodation & meals

Accommodation 

20 nights’ accommodation are included on this trip. You’ll spend 11 nights in hostels in multi-share rooms with 4-8 people and 9 nights in basic lodges which are also mostly on a multi-share basis.

Meals

20 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 5 dinners are included. You’ll have to buy the rest of your meals yourself. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements. 

Minimum age & eligibility

The minimum age for this tour is 18. This tour is designed for 18-39 year olds.

Visitors who are transitting through or entering New Zealand as tourists will need to hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) before travelling to New Zealand. Tourists will also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) alongside the ETA. Tourists can enter for up to 6 months. People entering New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa do not require an ETA.

If you are planning on working at all during your time in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (available to 18-30 year olds) and can do this by visiting the New Zealand Immigration website.

Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for up to date information.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Healthcare
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.