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Group Size: Avg 20-30
Trip code: NZKD
Duration: Up to 12 months
Are you looking for the ultimate New Zealand travel adventure? Snap up this open-dated, hop-on-hop-off bus pass valid for 12 months of flexible travel in NZ! See all the highlights of New Zealand's North and South Islands, experience local culture and try amazing activities en route. You can complete the tour route in as little as 28 days or you can hop on and off wherever you want for up to a year. Enjoy highlights including the Bay of Islands, Wellington, Rotorua, Queenstown, Tongariro NP, Lake Taupo, Franz Josef Glacier, Stewart Island and Lord of the Rings country. Whether you are looking for culture, relaxation and sensational scenery in unspoilt New Zealand, or you want to turn up the dial with some action and adventure, this flexible bus tour has it all!
Valid for 12 months, your bus pass allows you to spend up to a year exploring New Zealand, or if you prefer you can complete the entire tour route in a minimum of 28 days (although we recommend you allow around 38 days to make the most of your travel pass experience).
You don't have to start in Auckland! You can start and end at any stop along the route!
You should arrange your arrival into Auckland the day before the tour begins, as there is an early start in the morning!
Day 1: Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands. Your flexible, hop-on-hop-off tour begins today at 7am in the lively city of Auckland. Your destination is the relaxing seaside town of Paihia, known as the ‘gateway to the Bay of Islands’. Visit Parry Kauri Forest Park.
Day 2: Paihia to Cape Reinga and Back. Stop off at Te Paki Stream to try some inclusive dune surfing and sandboarding, before arriving at Cape Reinga. Please note: Today is a round day trip from Paihia and you cannot hop off the bus today.
Day 3: Paihia to Auckland. Today is a free day to relax and enjoy Paihia at your leisure. Join a boat cruise, sign up to swim with dolphins, laze on the beach or hike to the famous Harura Falls. In the afternoon, the bus will take you back to the bright lights of Auckland.
Day 4: Auckland to Hahei. Travel south to the stunning Coromandel Peninsula and settle into your beachfront accommodation. Head over to Hot Water Beach to dig and relax in your own personal hot water pool! (weather & tide dependent)
Day 5: Hahei. Free day to relax and soak up the beautiful surroundings and awesome optional activities of Hahei.
Day 6: Hahei to Raglan. Visit the amazing Bridal Veil Falls en route to Raglan. Chill out in this cool surfer town.
Day 7: Raglan (via Waitomo) to Rotorua. Visit Waitomo Caves, famous for their glow-worms. Optional activities include visiting The Lord of the Rings Hobbiton set.
Day 8: Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua. Maori guided tour, activities, meals and stay at Lake Aniwhenua (optional: extra cost of NZD89). Optional activities include: traditional fishing, eeling, weaving lessons, cooking classes and kayaking (cost NZD10-20).
Day 9: Lake Aniwhenua (via Taupo) to Whakahoro. See the stunning Huka Falls then visit Lake Taupo. Optional skydiving (approx NZD250). Rural country farm visit and overnight stay.
Day 10: Whakahoro. Explore the countryside around the rural country farm. Optional activities include a 4x4 tour, a horse trek or kayaking.
Day 11: Whakahoro to Raetihi. Explore the Tongariro National Park. Option to do legendary 1-day Tongariro Crossing Alpine Walk (extra cost). Stay overnight at a historic Nurses’ Home in Raetihi.
Day 12: Raetihi to Wellington. Travel to Wellington. Free time to explore New Zealand’s capital city.
Day 13: Wellington to Marahau (Abel Tasman National Park). 8am ferry to South Island (extra cost of approx. NZD55). Visit to Marlborough wine-making region (optional wine tasting). Final destination of the day is Marahau, on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park.
Day 14: Marahau (Abel Tasman National Park). Explore Abel Tasman National Park. Optional activities on offer include sailing, kayaking, skydiving, stand up paddleboarding or hang gliding. All optional activities are at an extra cost.
Day 15: Marahau to Westport. Leave a legacy behind you as you plant your very own tree! Stop at Cape Foulwind to see the amazing fur seal colony. Your final destination of the day is the historic coal mining town of Westport.
Day 16: Westport to Franz Josef. See the unusual Punakaiki Pancake Rocks with their impressive blowholes. Stop off at the mining town of Greymouth and Hokitika en route to Franz Josef.
Day 17: Franz Josef. Free day to explore the area around the fantastic Franz Josef Glacier. Join a guided bush hike, or enjoy a heli-hop and tour of the unique icy area, including entry to hot pools (extra cost of NZD250).
Day 18: Franz Josef to Wanaka. See Lake Matheson, travel through Haast Pass and Makarora, see Lake Hawea then end up in Wanaka in the late afternoon.
Day 19-20: Wanaka to Queenstown. Early walk up Mount Iron or skydive (skydive extra cost). On to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world! Spend 2 unforgettable nights here.
Day 21: Queenstown to Gunn’s Camp. Start early for a scenic drive past Lake Wakatipu, before arriving in magical Milford Sound. Opt to do a Milford Sound boat cruise (extra cost) before travelling on to Gunn’s Camp.
Day 22: Gunn’s Camp to Invercargill/Stewart Island. Take a leisurely stroll through beautiful beech forests on a Viewing Gantry walk. Travel South to Invercargill. Hop across to Stewart Island (ferry at own cost) or stay in Invercargill overnight instead.
Day 23: Invercargill/Stewart Island to Queenstown. If you stayed on Stewart Island, enjoy a free morning before travelling back to the mainland (ferry at own cost). If you chose to stay in Invercargill overnight, you’ll head out on a tour sea-lion, penguin and dolphin spotting. Travel back to Queenstown.
Day 24: Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook. Arrive at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/ Mt Cook in the early afternoon. Take a short walk, join a 4WD tour or visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
Day 25: Mount Cook to Christchurch. Visit Lake Tekapo, where you can try optional activities such as ice-skating, snow tubing or swimming at hot springs (winter months only). In Geraldine you can try white water rafting! Spend the night in the wonderful city of Christchurch.
Day 26: Christchurch to Kaikoura. Journey up the beautiful east coast to Kaikoura. Spot seals, soak up the spectacular views, swim with dolphins or go whale-spotting (seasonal).
Day 27: Kaikoura (via Picton) to Wellington. Travel along the wild coast, stopping at a seal colony en route to Picton. You can choose to stop off here, or catch a ferry (extra cost of NZD51-75) across the Cook Strait to Wellington.
Day 28: Wellington to Auckland. Leaving at 6.40am, you’ll zip back to your starting point in Auckland today, arriving in the late afternoon. Here your epic hop-on-hop-off adventures come to an end!
Don’t forget, you can hop on and off along the route for up to a year!
Please Note: This itinerary is for guidance only and is subject to change. There are lots of extra, optional activities on offer all along the tour route and all optional activities are at your own, extra cost. Ferry costs are not included in your trip price.
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