1
Introductory to Moderate
Activities
  • 22 days sight-seeing and soft adventure
Accommodation
  • 21 nights premium hotel
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 1 Breakfast

22 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG8175

Trip highlights


  • Spend a day visiting vineyards on Waiheke Island
  • Visit the thermal wonderland of Waimangu Volcanic Valley
  • Enjoy a night-time tree top walk amongst majestic 75-metre-tall redwoods
  • Walk in the Tongariro National Park, amongst extraordinary landscapes and 3 stunning volcanoes
  • Enjoy a special lunch and tasting at Cloudy Bay winery
  • Explore the Abel Tasman National Park both on foot and on the water
  • A thrilling ski plane and glacier hike excursion over Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
  • Hike in Aoraki/Mt Cook World Heritage National Park
  • Head deep into Mt Aspiring National Park via jetboat and inflatable canoes.
  • Overnight on an expedition style small ship amidst spectacular Milford Sound, a once in a lifetime experience!
  • Enjoy superb local cuisine and accommodation, hand-picked by locals!

The Taste of New Zealand experience! This trip encompasses some of the very best that New Zealand has to offer. Starting in Auckland, the City of Sails, with a day trip across the harbour to beautiful Waiheke Island, for a relaxed vineyard tour. Next stop, the geothermal and volcanic wonderland of Rotorua, also home to stunning native forest. The next couple of days are spent exploring the incredible landscapes of the Tongariro National Park before a fun-packed 1/2 day in the capital city of Wellington, a compact city with a powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine. Continuing to the South Island to enjoy world-famous Sauvignon Blanc wines in Marlborough and then across to hike and kayak in the pristine waters of the Abel Tasman National Park. The West Coast beckons next with its wild coastline and a visit to the Pancake Rocks, a geological natural wonder. Crossing the Southern Alps, Aoraki Mt Cook National Park is the next destination, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and glacial lakes. A ski-plane flight onto the magnificent Tasman Glacier will definitely be a trip highlight. Heading further south the tour ducks into the delightful lakeside town of Wanaka before crossing the Crown Range to Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of New Zealand and surrounded by stunning mountain and lake scenery. On the agenda here is a jetboat and funyak excursion deep into the heart of Mount Aspiring National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The last excursion is an overnight cruise on Milford Sound, claimed by Rudyard Kipling to be the 8th Wonder of the World and a very fitting finale.


Welcome to New Zealand! On arrival into Auckland, a Corporate Cab driver will be waiting for you in the international arrivals hall to transfer you to your central city accommodation. An early check in is possible at your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to recover from your journey and explore the city, with the viaduct/harbour area particularly vibrant. Dinner : Dinner at your leisure with plenty of top quality restaurants on your doorstep Stay : Sofitel Viaduct Harbour 21 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Phone: 09-909 9000

Meals:  Nil

You will be met after breakfast at 8am in the hotel reception by your guide. After a 30 min welcome and trip overview, your guide will take you to the ferry terminal to check in for a 45 minute scenic ferry ride across the sparkling Waitemata Harbour to the island of Waiheke. This small island is one of the most beautiful places to visit in New Zealand with gorgeous white sand beaches, walking trails and a micro-climate perfectly suited to growing grapes! You will be met by your island guide for the day, who will host you on a tour sampling some of Waiheke Island’s finest food and wine. Visit three wineries, each with deliciously different wines and food specialties. Wine tastings are included and feel free to purchase more to enjoy during your trip! Returning on the 4pm ferry, you just need to retrace your steps to your hotel and then enjoy another waterfront dinner at your leisure. Stay : Sofitel Viaduct Harbour 21 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Phone: 09-909 9000

Meals:  L

After breakfast we head south to Rotorua, renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. On the way, we'll stop to experience the magic of the Hobbiton Movie Set with a tour and delicious lunch, served inside the festive Party marquee. Later on, after enjoying dinner in the bustling hub of Eat Street in Rotorua, it's time for Redwoods Nightlights, one of New Zealand’s top design led tourism experiences that features 34 exquisite lanterns designed by world-renowned designer and sustainability champion David Trubridge. Floating between 9-20 metres above the forest floor, this award-winning, eco-tourism walk is 700 metres long and spans across 28 suspension bridges and 27 platforms. Dinner : Atticus Finch, Eat Street, Rotorua Stay : Pullman Hotel, 1135 Arawa Street, Rotorua Phone: 07-346 9750

Meals:  D

This morning we'll head to Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the world's youngest geothermal system with a unique history and legacy. You can explore the geothermal valley at your own pace, with walking trails for all abilities and ambitions. Walks vary in length from 1.5km to 4.5km, covering a range of geothermal activity, enormous hot springs, spectacular volcanic craters, nature and wildlife. Some highlights to look out for include the world's largest hot spring, the Mt Haszard trail, and the brilliant blue Inferno Crater. The trails ultimately lead you down to the lake, where you’ll enjoy a relaxing 45 minute cruise around the tranquil waters of Lake Rotomahana. Throughout the cruise, you'll encounter stunning geothermal activity only accessible by boat, as well as rare native birdlife. You can also listen to the onboard commentary about the historic stories of the lake, the Mt Tarawera volcanic eruption, its people, and the resulting dramatic landscape changes that created Rotorua's geothermal park. Options for this afternoon include relaxing at the Polynesian Spa, New Zealand’s original and iconic geothermal bathing experience, or hiking the trails of the Whakarewarewa Forest. Dinner : Traditional Maori Cultural Experience & Hangi Stay : Pullman Hotel, 1135 Arawa Street, Rotorua Phone: 07-346 9750

Meals:  D

Today we drive through the heart of the Central North Island volcanic plateau stopping for lunch in the town of Taupo, which sits on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo. Just north of the town are the Huka Falls and a short detour to view is highly recommended. Following the lake edge, we then continue onto the high central plateau driving what is commonly known as 'the desert road'. Skirting Tongariro National Park, one of New Zealand’s three world heritage sites, and clouds permitting, you can see the 2,500 metre peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. A little further on we pass through the military town of Waiouru which hosts the Army Museum, an incredible collection of New Zealand’s military history and a memorial to its servicemen. Our road trip finishes in the small town of Ohakune, a great base for exploring the Tongariro National Park. Dinner : Own Dinner Stay : Powderhorn Chateau

Meals:  Nil

The varying landscape of Tongariro National Park features herbfields, forests, lakes, streams and desert-like areas, as well as dramatic terrain formed by volcanic activity. The landforms, volcanoes and ecosystems of Tongariro National Park are now recognised as having outstanding international significance and have been awarded UNESCO dual World Heritage status for natural and cultural values. Some ways to enjoy the park include hiking, fishing, mountain biking, scenic flights or simply taking a drive to the top of the ski field road at Whakapapa. There are numerous hikes amongst the tussock landscape with options to consider include : 1. Taranaki Falls Track :This wonderful short walk takes in a variety of landforms, forest and shrubland along with excellent views of mountains and cascading waterfalls - big bang for your buck! 6km loop, 2 hrs 2. Silica Rapids : Experience a range of vegetation types as well as the creamy-white Silica Rapid terraces. 7 km loop 2-3 hrs. 3. Tongariro Crossing : Rated as one of the best day hikes in New Zealand, this is a challenging route climbing up between the volcanoes through many unique environments. 19km 6-8hrs 4. Soda Springs walk : Tackles the first section of the Crossing : 6km return, 3 hrs Dinner : Dinner at your leisure Stay : Powderhorn Chateau

Meals:  L

Enjoy another full day exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dinner : Dinner at your leisure Stay : Powderhorn Chateau

Meals:  L

After breakfast we continue our journey south, reaching Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand around lunchtime. A delightful city, Wellington's not just the seat of central government. Surrounded by nature and fueled by creative energy, it's a compact city with a powerful mix of culture, history, nature and cuisine and well worth exploring. Ride the cable car up the hill to Kelburn for amazing views over the city and enjoy an ice cream at the top. On the waterfront itself you’ll find New Zealand’s national museum. Te Papa, as it’s colloquially known, means ‘our place’ and is one of the best interactive museums in the world. Other attractions include the native reserve, Zealandia, the Weta Workshop, artists behind the Lord of the Rings and Hannah's Laneway, the world's tastiest laneway full of gourmet treats. Dinner : Own Dinner - a Dockside restaurant on the waterfront boardwalk should be a memorable experience to finish the day. Stay : Sofitel Hotel, 11 Bolton Street, Wellington Central

Meals:  Nil

This morning, sail between Wellington and Picton across the mighty Cook Strait and through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds on one of the most scenic ferry journeys in the world. Lunch at Saint Clair winery, one of New Zealand's most renowned producers of premium Sauvignon Blanc, and then a 2 hour drive to Nelson, officially the sunniest place in New Zealand. The city is known for local arts and crafts stores, and art galleries. It's also a popular base for exploring local vineyards and the Abel Tasman National Park. Dinner : Dinner at your leisure Accommodation : Grand Arden Monaco, Nelson (Seaview Rooms)

Meals:  L

We spend today exploring the stunning Abel Tasman National Park. You will be collected from your hotel by your tour guide from Abel Tasman Kayaks and driven to Marahau, the gateway to the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. Embark on a morning guided kayak adventure setting out from Marahau and paddling your way to Observation Beach.The southern end of the national park boasts some of the Abel Tasman’s most picturesque scenery. Here, you’ll find twelve stunning beaches, awe-inspiring rock formations, and opportunities to spot a seal or two. Enjoy lunch at Observation Beach before spending the afternoon walking the famous coastal track, unguided. Discover clear streams, native bush and breathtaking panoramas over the Astrolabe Islands.The track is well formed and drops into several beautiful sheltered bays and golden sand beaches. Once back at Marehau, you'll be transferred back to your hotel in Nelson. Walking Distance: 10-12km/ 3 hrs Kayaking: 2 hours Dinner : Dinner at your leisure Stay : Grand Arden Monaco, Nelson (Seaview Rooms)

Meals:  L

New Zealand’s 2nd oldest city still has a village feel, full of character with its historic precincts, grand old houses and colourful personalities. We’ll take a scenic loop, visiting the seaside village of Mapua, the golden sands of Kaiteriteri, the artists of Moutere Village and perhaps a couple of the best of Nelson’s boutique wineries, all while enjoying fantastic views of Tasman Bay and the mountains beyond . Dinner : The Boat Shed Stay : Grand Arden Monaco, Nelson (Seaview Rooms)

Meals:  D

Today we journey across to the Wild West Coast! We pass through the picturesque small town of Murchison, set on the mighty Buller River and from there continue through the Buller Gorge along the river to Hawks Crag, a one way road cut into the cliff that drops into the Buller River below. Make a stop at the Kilkenny Lookout just before the bridge to get a good look at the road, fast moving river below and the beautiful surrounding scenery. It's just a short 20 min drive from here to the coast and the town of Westport where we'll divert to Cape Foulwind and it's seal colony. There's a short walk up to the point which offers great views of the wind swept beach, coast and hopefully large numbers of seals chilling on the rocks below the track. We'll follow the dramatic coastline all the way to Punakaiki, with the raging sea on the right and steep rainforest covered mountains on the left. Once at Punakaiki we'll check out the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, limestone formations which began forming 30 million years ago and today have been shaped and formed by the crashing seas, rain and wind that this area is prone to. During high tide each day the sea rushes under the rocks and up through holes in the rocks to create blowholes, spouting water metres into the air. Dinner and Accommodation : Scenic Hotel, Punakaiki

Meals:  D

It's a 7 hour drive but very scenic, crossing over the Southern Alps and through picturesque high country before heading back up into the mountains via stunning glacial lakes. On a clear day, fingers crossed!, the view up the shoreline of Lake Pukaki to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park is breathtaking. Aoraki/Mt Cook village is tiny with limited accommodation but it's the best place to stay to access the Park. Dinner : Hermitage Hotel Accommodation : Hermitage Hotel

Meals:  D

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a rugged land of snow, ice and rock full of towering mountains and glaciers. Walking one of the tracks is the best way to experience this ancient landscape. The Hooker Valley track leads up the Hooker Valley and along the Hooker River, ending at the glacier lake, where, on a clear day, there are amazing views of Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, and the Mueller Glacier. Along the way we’ll cross the Hooker River via three swingbridges and encounter picturesque icebergs, glaciers and majestic mountains. Time to relax in this stunning environment this afternoon with the option to visit the highly recommended Department of Conservation visitor centre and/or the Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre to learn more about the history of this amazing place and its people. For those keen on more hiking, there are plenty of shorter walks to enjoy. Hiking : Hooker Valley 10km rtn, 3-4hrs; Overnight & Dinner : The Hermitage Hotel or Aoraki Court Motel

Meals:  L

To truly experience this totally unique environment, take a ski plane to explore the immense beauty of the upper snowfield of the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier, this is where its 23-kilometre journey begins. As you fly in to 2200 metres (7200 ft.) marvel at the rock and ice debris transform to glistening white. Get ready to explore the glacier by walking, hiking and snowshoeing, the latter a great way to confidently make your way across snow-covered terrain. After your gear is fitted, explore the ice formations in this ever-changing environment; you’re in the heart and birthplace of New Zealand mountaineering. Your flight home tracks down the eastern side of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook and the stunning Hochstetter icefall. The total excursion takes 5 hrs with 3 hrs on the glacier. - Note this adventure is heavily weather dependent so we may switch around our 2 days exploring, to optimise the weather. Overnight & Dinner : The Hermitage Hotel or Aoraki Court Motel

Meals:  Nil

Today we head further south on a stunning 3 hour drive, retracing our steps down Luke Pukaki, crossing the McKenzie Plains and then heading over the Lindis Pass, a beautiful alpine area of tall, tussock-covered mountains. On the other side we enter the Otago region and our destination is the pretty town of Wanaka, gateway to the Mt Aspiring National Park and located right on the lakefront of stunning Lake Wanaka, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. After lunch and a short drive, we enjoy a walk offering stunning panoramic views over the lake and mountains. We start by climbing gently around the east side of Rocky Mountain to the grassy summit offering a superb vista into the Mount Aspiring National Park. On a fine day we should be able to see the snowy peak of Mount Aspiring/Tititea. We descend via the beautiful Diamond Lake. Returning to Wanaka, our accommodation tonight is close to town, so easy to wander to one of the many restaurants for dinner. Dinner at your leisure tonight. Accommodation : Clearbrook Motel, Wanaka

Meals:  Nil

This morning, we drive over the Crown Range Road, NZ's highest motorable road, and drop into Arrowtown, a delightful historic gold mining town where we'll enjoy a wander and lunch. A short drive brings us into Queenstown, New Zealand's Adventure Capital, and a place humming with activities and adventures. Our accommodation for the next 3 nights is the Rees Hotel, situated right on the deep, sparkling water of Lake Whakatipu, framed by mighty snow-capped mountains and the jewel of the iconic Queenstown landscape. Wander down to the lake and perhaps into town (30 mins) and enjoy dinner at your leisure. Dinner : Dinner at your leisure Stay : The Rees Hotel 377 Frankton Road, Phone: 03-450 1100

Meals:  Nil

Today you'll journey deep into the heart of world-renowned Mount Aspiring National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Area where myth, heritage and fantasy come to life. The day starts with a coach transfer to the small town of Glenorchy, at the top of Lake Whakatipu and home to Dart River Adventures, your hosts for the day. Next is the ultimate wilderness jet boat adventure up the braided, glacier-fed Dart River. With unrivalled National Park access, you'll cover up to 90km of river at a relaxed pace ideal for those looking to take their time and make the most of being in this phenomenal place. After your jet boat ride, you'll travel back down stream with expert guides in unique Funyaks (inflatable canoes) working your way through pristine waters as they flow from the Southern Alps to Lake Whakatipu. Explore channels and side-streams in this spectacular wilderness location and witness the native flora and fauna of the area. Take a break at the river's edge to enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch while you take in the sounds of the native birds and the serenity of the native beech forest. Finish up your epic adventure by jumping aboard our coach back to Glenorchy. Travel through paradise and pass some of New Zealand's most renown filming locations, seen in movies such as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and X-Men Origins - Wolverine. Dinner : Dinner at your leisure Stay : The Rees Hotel 377 Frankton Road, Phone: 03-450 1100

Meals:  L

Another full day to enjoy this playground - just a few of the options to choose from : -Moke Lake Walk – just a short drive from Queenstown this is a lovely trail that goes around the lake (which is mirror-like on a calm day) (2-3 hours, easy-moderate). -Take the Skyline Gondola to see the city and the lake from above – great to do at sunset – have a glass of wine at the top! - Cruise Lake Whakatipu on an old steamship. - Unwind at Onsen Hot Pools – private hot tubs with beautiful views. - Go Canyoning. - Zipline (or Zipline + wine). Dinner : Dinner at your leisure Stay : The Rees Hotel 377 Frankton Road, Phone: 03-450 1100

Meals:  Nil

This morning we drive into the Fiordland National Park amid the beech forests and mountains that the region is famous for. The beautiful Milford road tracks through the wilderness and we stop to enjoy some of the short walks and views on the way. We drive through the Homer Tunnel and onto Milford Sound, stopping en-route to explore the famous Chasm walkway before arriving at our accommodation for the night, our very own floating hotel! The boat takes us out into the Milford Sound, where there is the option to explore by kayak or tender boat. The fiord is packed with spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. Once back onboard the main boat, we enjoy a wholesome meal before sailing into the open seas beyond and then returning to a sheltered spot for the night. Remember to take a walk on deck after dark to admire the amazing stars of the Southern Hemisphere. Dinner & Accommodation : Milford Mariner Leave your main luggage with your guide and just bring an overnight bag for the trip.

Meals:  D

Wake up to dawn in one of the most beautiful places on Earth! After a hearty breakfast and further exploring of the fiord, we return to shore and head back to Queenstown enjoying a short walk at the Chasm and a visit to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuaryto see some of Fiordland's special birds. Your accommodation for the final night will be right in the heart of Queenstown so enjoy a wander around the town before a final group dinner, sharing stories and memories from your New Zealand adventure! Dinner : Rata restaurant Stay : Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel

Meals:  B,D

This morning, you will be transferred to the airport at a time to suit you. You will need to book a domestic flight from Queenstown to connect with your international flights; it is recommended you stay in one of the airport hotels tonight before flying home from the international terminal tomorrow.

Meals:  Nil


Inclusions

  • 1 breakfast, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
  • 21 nights in hand picked accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Van and experienced guide support
  • Waiheke Island return ferry and vineyard tour
  • Redwoods Tree Tops night-time walk
  • Entry to Waimangu Volcanic Valley and boat trip on Lake Rotomahana
  • Traditional Maori Hangi dinner
  • Lunch and tasting at Marlborough winery
  • Abel Tasman guided Walk & Kayak full day excursion
  • Ski-plane and glacier hike excursion in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
  • Dart River jetboat and inflatable kayak excursion
  • Overnight cruise on Milford Sound
  • Tasty nutritious snacks, drinks and treats
  • Airport transfers x 2
  • Ferry Wellington to Picton (North to South Island)

  • International and Domestic flights
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages
  • Any Optional Activities eg, Auckland/Queenstown harbour/lake cruises,
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets and we pride ourselves on their level of quality and high standards. You will have the company of one of our highly experienced senior guides and she will be sure to give you the best possible experience, fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you.


Grading

Introductory to Moderate  
1

This tour is graded introductory to moderate. The activities included are not technical but you do need to be capable of hiking for 2-3 hours.


Departure dates


Notes

BP
Base Price

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementNZD$6195
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Carol & Friends New Zealand Adventure trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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