New Zealand: A 16 Day Journey
New Zealand Tours.
Start: Christchurch New Zealand
Finish: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 16 Days (14 days of travel with NZ)
Accommodations will include: Hotels and Cabins or Villas.
Flights not included.
Fitness level 3
Cost Per Person: $5,485.
Minimum Age: 20 Years Old
Some lunches included. Some dinners will be included. Every day will be an early start. NZ is a small island, but it has much to offer. There will never be enough time to see it all. Airfare to and from NZ will not be included for this portion of the trip. Air travel in NZ will be covered because it will be part of the tour.
What to bring: Health/travel insurance, passport, visa if you are from a country not on the NZ visa waiver listing. Warm clothes to wear because NZ is cool all year round. Pack lightly. Good walking shoes, clothes that will dry quickly, sweaters, sun glasses, hat, gloves or mitts.
You will receive a list of things to do to get ready for your adventure.
Day One: Arrive in Christ Church from LAX late Friday AM or early PM. Drive to your hotel and settle in for the day. Your afternoon will be free to explore this Southern City and take in its sights before enjoying a meal out at one of the local establishments.
Option 1. Travel in time with Ko Tane; Located in Christchurch’s Willowbank Reserve, Ko Tane takes pride in the fact it is the only place in the South Island to offer a fully interactive Maori culture experience. Learn all about Maori life pre- and post-European settlement, including how traditions have evolved into the 21st century. As per local custom, a special Powhiri will welcome you into the grounds, before you’re introduced to Ko Tane’s warriors and hosts. Kapahaka (dance) and waiata (traditional songs) performances will take you on a journey through each time period. A hangi dinner ends your trip in a typical New Zealand fashion. (This tour will depend on our arrival time and if there were delays along the flight route.)
Guide will pick up the rental car this AM or the day before your arrival and meet you at the airport.
Day Two: We will head to the local farmer’s Lyttleton market to pick up some of your favorite snacks and foods. At 10 Am we will drive to Akaroa along rolling hills and past sheep farms to have dinner on the quay in this quaint town along the sea. Returning to our hotel in Christchurch after an early meal. Great Boutique shopping here by the way! One of the most beautiful scenic trips!
This classic New Zealand road trip keeps the Southern Alps ever in view, amidst pastoral scenes, lakes and rivers. Along the way are world-class wineries, excellent photographic opportunities, gold mining and hiking extraordinaire.
Day 3: We travel to Wanaka from Christchurch, stopping for a side trip to Mt Cook, NZ’s highest mountain where you can experience a walk before heading to Burke’s Pass and “a basin of golden tussock and surreal turquoise lakes, the star of which is Tekapo with its famously photogenic lakeside church.” Boutique Camping or hoteling in Wanaka or Cromwell. (Drive time: 5 hours 16 minutes not including sightseeing and shopping) Here we will experience the outdoors with Glamping in fine fashion. If we book early, we can get the best glamping spot in town.
Day 4: We arise early to drive to Queenstown. Here we fly from Queenstown to Milford Sound by plane, enjoying the spectacular views of mountains, lakes and fiords of Fiordland National Park. Connect with a Cruise company for a relaxing cruise before returning to Queenstown by helicopter with an alpine landing for the ultimate experience. Lunch options are available. Watch a haka performance at Queenstown’s Skyline Gondola.
Day 5: We spend the early morning in Queenstown relaxing or hiking one of the smaller trails before heading to Hokitika. Departing Queenstown at 10 AM (Drive time: 6 hours 23 min). Stopping at Hokitika Beach allows us to dine on the beach with fish and chips in plain newspaper and enjoy some creamy NZ ice cream to complete the meal. We will spend the night here.
Day 6: Experience Maori artistry in Hokitika. Pounamu (greenstone) and bone carving are very much part of Maori custom. The town is home to the Bonz ‘n Stonz Carving Studio and Gallery, which makes exquisite creations and gives people the opportunity to carve their own jewellery. Depart for Nelson via the West Coast of NZ. Drive to Nelson and check into our hotel. (Drive time 4 hours 17 minutes)
Day 7: Highlights of the Nelson Tasman region in the top of New Zealand’s South Island: Nelson shines with its great outdoor environment. Plenty of hiking, kayaking, cruising and biking options, great seafood, wine, beer, artists and galleries. We can visit Marlborough Sound or Abel Tasman National Park during the day.
Day 8. Ferry across to Wellington and drive to Whanganui National Park. Whanganui made international headlines after becoming the first place in the world to grant human rights to a river. It’s no wonder, then, that the national park will expose you to lot of tradition and history. You can hike your way towards knowledge, kayak the famed waters, and spend a night at the Tieke Kainga hut as you admire those lush forests. The latter is quite unique, as it is the only Department of Conservation accommodation site that doubles up as a marae. Even the budget-conscious travelers will be able to enjoy this. You can choose to travel up Bob’s Peak on the panoramic Skyline Gondola, or head up to the summit through the free-to- access Tiki Trail. Once you’ve reached the top, you can sit yourself down for a buffet dinner at the Gondola’s Stratosfare Restaurant and prepare yourself for a memorable haka performance. Stay here overnight. (Drive time 2.5 hours)
Day 9: Drive from Whanganui National Park to Rotorua. Spend the night in Rotorua and visit the geothermal wonders of the area. Take in a hot spring. (Drive time 2 hours 22 minutes)
Day 10: Drive to Auckland airport via Hamilton and the hobbit village and fly from there to Bay of Islands. Pick up a new rental car at the Bay of Islands. Depart mid pm to arrive at the Bay of Islands. (Drive time: 2 hours 59 minutes)
Day 11-13: Spend 2 nights at the Bay of Islands here cruising the islands and exploring Maori culture at the Treaty Park. Even enjoy a much-needed sleep in.
1. Waitangi, on the Bay of Islands, is a place of national significance. This is where the controversial agreement among colonial powers and chiefs, known as the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed. Tours are regularly held on the treaty grounds, introducing visitors to the most important landmarks as well as the local museum.
2. Paddle a waka in the Bay of Islands. Not only is the Bay of Islands region home to the historic Waitangi, it is also one of the few places that allow visitors to board a traditional Maori canoe. The local Ngapuhi tribe operates the Taimai Canoe Tours, where you’ll use a Waka Taua (war canoe) to traverse the Waitangi river. As you paddle along, your hosts will share the ancient stories, traditions and histories that shape their rituals and identity.
Day 14: Is a driving day. We will leave the Bay of Islands and travel to Wellsford and on to Helensville, wine and iconic rural scenery with water fall stops along the way. Return to Auckland. Depending on how long people can stay we could stay on the island of Waiheke or remain in Auckland overnight. (Driving time 3 ½ hours to Auckland) We would need a ferry to Waiheke. This would not be included but it is beautiful.
Day 15: Spend the AM on the island or in the city. Visit the Buddhist temple for tea and dinner before checking into the airport for our overnight return home. (WOW the food here was incredible and so peaceful. Worth the stop over)