Best of New Zealand
Explore the highlights of North & South islands
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Group Size: Max 20
Trip code: ONNS
Duration: 21 days
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, experience the might of Huka Falls, step into a fairytale world in Waitomo’s glow-worm caves, 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!
- 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
- Explore a rugged land of ice and rock in Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park
- Stay in a wilderness lodge in the rainforest in Franz Josef
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland. Fly into amazing Auckland today and head to your hotel in the heart of the city. There are no activities planned until you get together with the group this evening, so arrive at a time that suits you.
Day 2: Auckland to Raglan. Travel to Bridal Veil Falls where we’ll take a short walk to the spectacular waterfall before continuing on to the laid-back surf town of Raglan. Explore the area’s stunning coastline and secret bays by sea kayak before stopping for a tasty fish and chips lunch.
Day 3: Raglan. Spend the whole day in Raglan, enjoying its world-famous breaks, hiking trails, and café culture. Make like the locals with an included surfing lesson, then pull on your hiking boots and hit the local tracks, or just soak up the town’s mellow vibe on the waterfront.
Day 4: Raglan to Rotorua via Waitomo. Head to Rotorua, with a stop en route at Waitomo’s magical glow-worm caves for a surreal subterranean boat tour. Arrive in Rotorua where we’ll spend the evening exploring Te Puia Village and an active geyser with our Maori guide.
Day 5: Rotorua to Taupo. Enjoy a free morning in Rotorua. Then hit the road to Taupo, home of New Zealand’s largest lake, stopping along the way at Rainbow Mountain Reserve for some volcano action, and the majestic Huka Falls – a must see on the North Island.
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 via Mt Cook. Hop back into our private vehicle and journey to Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park, a rugged land of ice and rock. We’ll give you some free time to enjoy hiking in this natural wonderland, before continuing to beautiful Tekapo.
Day 17: Tekapo. Start today with a 35km bike ride on quiet country roads with spectacular mountain views. The rest of the day is yours. Visit some hot springs and relax on the shores of Lake Pukaki. This evening, join the optional excursion to Mt John Observatory 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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Most expensive: £1,584 October, 2023
You will need to fly into Auckland Airport in New Zealand. Due to the long travel time, we suggest arriving the day before or earlier where possible. Your travel advisor can recommend where to book pre-night accommodation.
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.
20 nights’ accommodation are included on this trip. You’ll spend 11 nights in hostels in multi-share rooms with 4-6 people and 9 nights in basic lodges which are also mostly on a multi-share basis.
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.
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.