The Great Kiwi Adventure
The best of North and South Islands
Book now for £49
Group Size: Average 45
Trip code: CTGK
Duration: 21 days
If there’s one word we could use to describe New Zealand it’d be EPIC!! With gushing geysers, huge glaciers, rugged fjords and soaring mountains it’s a ‘pinch me, I’m dreaming’ kind of destination. This unforgettable 21-day group trip takes you through North and South Islands’ best bits. Explore Rotorua’s geothermal landscapes and rich Maori culture, party the night away in Auckland and Wellington, go full white knuckle in Queenstown with some bungee, experience the power of the Huka Falls, make like Wim Hof on Franz Josef Glacier, and go Lord of the Rings location spotting in Middle Earth. One trip to rule them all!
- Watch a Maori performance, dance the Haka and tuck into a hāngi dinner in Rotorua
- Explore the icy wonderland of Franz Josef Glacier
- Cruise through New Zealand’s most epic landscapes on Milford Sound
- Meet Rotorua’s adorable kiwis and a colony of cute seals in Kaikoura
- Feel the power of Mother Nature at the breath-taking Huka Falls
- Get your adrenaline pumping with some high-octane activities in Queenstown
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Day 1: Auckland to Paihia (via Whangarei). Kia ora friends! We’re going large today with Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, Maori artworks at Whangarei, a guided tour at Waitangi Treaty grounds and Museum, and a Kiwiana fish'n'chips dinner looking out over the Bay of Islands!
Day 2: Paihia. You’ve got a free day in this beautiful coastal town. Beach bums will be in heaven, blissing out on Paihia’s pristine sands, or if you’re more of an adrenaline junky, how about an optional parasailing or tandem skydiving experience?
Day 3: Paihia to Auckland. Shake the sand out of your backpack and head back to amazing Auckland. Today’s optionals read like a white-knuckle ‘to do’ list with bungee jumping, sky jumping, and a climbing experience on the Harbour Bridge. If you’re after something that’s (literally) a bit more chill, how about an ice cream experience at Giapo?
Day 4: Auckland to Rotorua. See ya Auckland, we’re headed to Rotorua! Pay a visit to the New Zealand Kiwi Hatchery to see some seriously adorbs little birds before a Māori hāngi dinner and cultural experience, including a performance of the world-famous Haka!
Day 5: Rotorua. You’ve got a free day in Rotorua. Chill in a hot spring, hit the rapids on an optional white-water rafting experience, soar through ancient rainforest on a zipline, walk in Bilbo’s footsteps in Hobbiton, or strap your hiking boots on and head up a volcano.
Day 6: Rotorua to Lake Taupo (via Huka Falls). We’re headed to Lake Taupo but not before a quick stop off at the jaw dropping Huka Falls. Kick back at Taupo with your travel fam or go full adrenaline with an optional skydive followed by a sunset dinner cruise.
Day 7: Lake Taupo to Ruapehu. Later lake-life! The scenery is totally epic today - keep your eyes peeled for Lord of the Rings film locations! Take an optional mountain biking experience before settling into our buzzing ski lodge at the base of Mt Ruapehu.
Day 8: Mount Ruapehu to Wellington. We’re headed back into the city today as we make our way to the capital. With a banging craft beer scene, good shopping, and excellent restaurants, it's one of New Zealand's premier destinations. We’ll give you a quick city orientation before leaving you to explore at your own pace. We’d recommend lining your stomach with an optional group dinner before hitting the city’s vibrant pubs and bars.
Day 9: Wellington. Start your day with a flat white in one of Wellington’s famed cafés, before heading to Zealandia on an optional excursion to meet rare birds like the hihi and the takahe, and the tuatara, a prehistoric reptile which can only be found in New Zealand!
Day 10: Wellington to Kaikoura. We’re making tracks today to Kaikoura on the South Island, sailing across the Cook Strait via the Inter-Island ferry. We’ll pay a visit to a seal colony before heading to Kaikoura Wildlife Rescue to meet a local wildlife biologist.
Day 11: Kaikoura. Kaikoura is famous for its whale-spotting opportunities, so we’d defo recommend taking a whale-watching tour today. You can also take a helicopter ride, go kayaking, or join an albatross experience. Make sure you’re back in town for sundowners!
Day 12: Kaikoura to Christchurch. Next stop, Christchurch! Explore the leafy parks, cutting-edge street art and innovative architecture, before a big night out on the town with your buddies.
Day 13: Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier (via Hokitika). Stay cool Christchurch, we’ve got a date with a glacier! Meander across Arthur’s Pass and see a jade carving demonstration and some traditional Maori art at Hokitika before continuing to Franz Josef.
Day 14: Franz Josef. Today’s a bucket list biggie as we head to the glacier. There’s an optional heli-hike on the table, a jade pendant carving workshop, or a boat cruise across Lake Mapourika followed by a stand-up paddleboard sesh. What a day!
Day 15: Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown (via Wanaka). We’re making tracks to the Adventure Capital of the World today, with a few stops en route. First up it’s the Haast Pass, followed by lunch in the alpine town of Wanaka. Kick off your stay in Queenstown with a cable-car ride up to the highest restaurant in the city. Just wow!
Days 16 - 18: Queenstown. Start day 16 with a visit to the legendary Kawarau Bungy Bridge, where you can get your morning thrill if you’re feeling brave enough! Then make your way into wine country and sample some of the region’s famous Sauvignon Blanc. Yum! You’ll have lots of free time over the next couple of days to your chosen activities. From bungee jumps, skydives, zip-trekking and helirafting, to wine-tasting or horse-riding, this beautiful city has something for you.
Day 19: Queenstown to Te Anau (via Milford Sound). Queenstown you’ve been amazing, but we’re headed to NZ’s most epic attraction, Milford Sound. Cruise into the fjord and take in the awe-inspiring scenery before continuing to the pretty lakeside town of Te Anau.
Day 20: Te Anau to Lake Ohau (via Kingston and Arrowtown). Today’s first stop is an immersive farm experience, followed by a historic gold mining town where we'll enjoy lunch. Our home tonight is Lake Ohau, an alpine village with incredible views of Mt Cook.
Day 21: Lake Ohau to Christchurch. Our last day kicks off with a stop at beautiful Lake Tekapo. Wander the shores before enjoying an unforgettable ‘Dark Sky’ experience. Then continue to Christchurch where our awesome adventure ends. See you next time!
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Most expensive: £1,803 July, 2023
This trip begins in Auckland. You’ll want to arrive early on day 1 or come a day or two before and book yourself some pre-trip accommodation. You’ll be given details of where to meet your group once you’ve booked. Your tour ends on day 21 in Christchurch. We’d recommend that you book any onward flights for the following day or later.
20 nights’ accommodation are included on this trip. You’ll spend 11 nights in hotels, 5 nights in hostels, 3 nights in lodges and 1 night in a special stay.
19 breakfasts and 6 dinners are included on this trip. You’ll have to source the rest of your meals yourself.
You’ll need to be 18 – 35 years to join this trip.
You do not need a visa to enter New Zealand as a visitor for up to 6 months, but you will need to get a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before you travel.
If you are visiting New Zealand, your passport should be valid for three months from the date you intend to depart.
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.
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.