All about the 26 Day North and South Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour

This 26 day tour starts in Christchurch and finishes in Christchurch. Explore the length of New Zealand on this comprehensive tour of both the North and South Islands. The South is know for its snow-capped mountains, alpine lakes and adventure capital Queenstown. The North Island has culture in abundance plus more than a few hidden beaches.

Real Kiwi Adventures is about adventure and getting involved. We don’t define by age but our trips are quite active. We get travellers from all over the world, people travelling by themselves, couples and groups A great way to meet new people and with an experienced and fun tour guide. Accommodation is dorm share or you can upgrade to a twin share (2 people travelling) or single share if your a solo traveller.

Discover the very best of New Zealand on this trip. New Zealand's incredibly diverse natural beauty is revealed around every winding corner. As the locals would say, Real Kiwi Adventures is sweet as bro!

26 Day North and South Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour Itinerary - 26 days

  • Day 1 Christchurch to Picton
    Depart from the Christchurch International Airport at 8:00am. Once out of the city, we head north across the Southern Alps through scenic Lewis Pass and drive past Nelson Lakes National Park on our way to our next destination Picton, a picturesque town nestled on the edge of the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Feel free to unwind this evening in the spa pool at the accommodation.
    Accommodation: Cosy villa.
    Free activities: Relax in the accommodation’s spa pool.
  • Day 2 Picton to Wellington
    You have the morning in Picton free to explore. We recommend checking out the Queen Charlotte Sound view walk or taking advantage of the free fishing gear and bikes provided by the accommodation. At midday, meet your group to catch the afternoon Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait (from Picton to Wellington) to spend the evening in Wellington.
    Accommodation: Central Wellington hostel.
    Included Activities: Ferry crossing from Picton to Wellington
    Free activities: Queen Charlotte Sound view walk, go fishing/mountain biking in Picton; explore Wellington city.
  • Day 3 Wellington north (via Taupo) to Auckland
    Depart 6.40am. This is an express day via Taupo to Auckland, arriving in the early evening. Why not stretch your legs with a walk along the Viaduct, where you can find a selection of popular restaurants and bars on the waterfront.
    Accommodation: Central city hostel
  • Day 4 Day in Auckland
    Take a free day to explore New Zealand’s largest city! Enjoy one of the many sailing trips on the harbour, head up the Sky Tower for panoramic views or do some souvenir shopping on Queen Street.
    Accommodation: Central city hostel
  • Day 5 Auckland to Hahei
    Depart Auckland in the morning and head south to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. We’ll settle into our accommodation in Hahei before heading to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own natural spa in the sand (tidal dependent).
    Accommodation: Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront
    Included Activities: Hot Water Beach visit
  • Day 6 Day in Hahei
    Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid back Coromandel lifestyle. Get up early to catch the sunrise on the beach, then take a scenic coastal walk or opt to kayak to stunning Cathedral Cove. You can also take a glass bottom boat tour through the nearby marine reserve.
    Accommodation: Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront
    Optional Activities: Kayaking, glass bottom boat tour
    Free Activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, sunrise on the beach
  • Day 7 Hahei to Raglan
    We leave Hahei early to travel towards the mighty Waikato River. Head on to the world-renowned Raglan surf beach, with cow spotting and a walk to Bridal Veil Falls on the way. Chill out on the beach or go hard surfing the waves in this funky surf and arts town.
    Accommodation: An eco-lodge surrounded by native bush near the beach
    Optional Activities: Learn to surf
    Free Activities: Waterfall walk, relax on the beach, spot glowworms in the bush, West Coast sunset, Inspiration Point.
  • Day 8 Raglan (via Waitomo) to Rotorua
    Depart 8am. Head to the rural town of Waitomo with time to explore its famous caves and see glowworms. We then carry on towards our overnight destination Rotorua, where you can spend the afternoon touring the Hobbiton Movie Set or checking out this popular tourist town.
    Accommodation: Comfortable central city lodge
    Optional Activities: Waitomo must-do caving options, Hobbiton Movie Set tour.
    Free Activities: Walk around Ruakuri Reserve, Waitomo Valley Caves walk.
  • Day 9 Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua
    The morning is free to try one of the many adventure activities on offer in Rotorua. We depart Rotorua at midday and drive into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua. We will meet a local Maori guide who will take us to visit the area’s sacred sites and a local Marae for a traditional welcome and afternoon tea. Tonight, we feast on a traditional Hangi dinner at our lakeside accommodation. (D)
    Accommodation: Scenic lakefront lodge
    Included Activities: Kohutapu Experience – guided tour of sacred Maori rock carvings, Marae experience, afternoon tea, delicious ground cooked hangi feast and buffet breakfast.
    Optional Activities: White water rafting, zorbing
  • Day 10 Lake Aniwhenua to Whakahoro
    After breakfast we depart and head to Taupo to see Huka Falls, and for the brave, we have time for skydiving! At 10am we make our way to Blue Duck Station, a 5,200 acre high country farm that is both a working station and an environmental conservation leader. Settle in and learn a little more about what makes this destination so special. Spend the evening listening to tales from this unique region. (B)
    Accommodation: Country station lodge
    Optional Activities: Skydiving
    Free activities: Walk around the truly amazing property at Whakahoro and take in the lush scenery, walk to the Kaiwhakauka waterfall, enjoy your hosts’ hospitality and stories on the local wildlife and history.
  • Day 11 Day in Whakahoro
    Today you have a free day to explore this truly amazing and secluded location in depth. There are plenty of farming and conservation-based activities for you to experience around the property.
    Accommodation: Country station lodge
    Included Activities: Eco-Warrior 4WD farm tour
    Optional Activities: Horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and goat hunting
  • Day 12 Whakahoro to National Park
    We depart at 6am and head to the active volcanoes of the nearby dual World Heritage Site of Tongariro National Park. Today you get a chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one day walks: the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Be prepared for some epic scenery as you walk around the base of “Mt Doom” from the Lord of the Rings films.
    Accommodation: Alpine lodge
    Optional Activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing
    Free activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre.
  • Day 13 National Park to Wellington
    Depart 8:30am. We head to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, via Ohakune, Taihape and Bulls. You have the afternoon to cruise around the shops and cafes along popular Cuba Street, explore the New Zealand wonders found in Te Papa or stroll along the waterfront.
    Accommodation: Central city hostel
    Free Activities: Walk Oriental Parade, head up Mt Victoria for fantastic views, visit Te Papa National Museum.
  • Day 14 Wellington to Marahau
    We catch the 8am Bluebridge Ferry (check-in 7am) across to Picton on the South Island and meet the Stray bus. We will cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and the coastal town of Nelson, before heading through Motueka to our amazing overnight stop of Marahau, right on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park.
    Accommodation: Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park
    Included: Ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton
    Optional Activities: Wine tasting, skydiving
    Free activities: Swim, walk, mussel tasting around the fire
  • Day 15 Day in Marahau
    You have the entire day free to explore this stunning coastal national park. Whether by land, sea or air, there are tons of fantastic options for getting around.
    Accommodation: Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park.
    Included Activities: Walk part of the Abel Tasman track and catch an Aqua Taxi home.
    Optional Activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, hang gliding.
  • Day 16 Marahau to Westport
    Today we head south towards the ‘wild’ West Coast passing through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was rated one of the Top 10 drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We stop at Cape Foulwind to visit the seal colony and then head for the historic coal mining town, Westport. The sunset from our accommodation tonight is a must see if the weather is clear!
    Accommodation: Charming character villa in the centre of town.
    Optional Activities: Surfing, caving, craft brewery tour.
    Free activities: Westport seal colony, West Coast sunset.
  • Day 17 Westport to Franz Josef
    An early start takes us down the rugged West Coast to the spectacular limestone Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes. We’ll stop to take a short walk and grab refreshments at the café before we head for the historic gold mining town, Greymouth. We do pick-ups in Greymouth and make a stop in Hokitika before heading to the quaint little town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.
    Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
    Free Activities: Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and their mighty blowholes, Truman Track walk.
  • Day 18 Day in Franz Josef
    Enjoy a full free day to explore the glacier. Live your glacier walking dream with a guided tour on the glacier or hike to view it from below, then unwind in the spa pools afterwards.
    Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
    Optional Activities: Ice Explorer Trip (short helicopter flight onto the glacier), Glacier Valley Walk
    Free Activities: Many bush walks in the area
  • Day 19 Franz Josef to Wanaka
    Depart at 8am. We head to Lake Matheson for a walk at the amazing mirror lake, stop at Fox Glacier for pickups, and then travel through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora. We pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late afternoon.
    Accommodation: Central hostel
    Free Activities: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.
  • Day 20 Wanaka to Queenstown
    This morning, head out on a guided bike tour around the lake before we depart Wanaka at 10.30am and cruise down to the famous A.J. Hackett bungy site, where you can take the plunge - if you dare! Then, it’s on to the ‘Adventure Capital of the World!’ Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.
    Accommodation: Central hostel
    Included Activities: Guided Bike Tour
  • Days 21, 22 and 23 Queenstown
    With so much to see and do in and around Queenstown, you need three full days to take it all in! To get you started, a couple highlight activities are included – an exhilarating Shotover Jet Boat ride in the morning on Day 21 and a full day trip to jaw dropping Doubtful Sound on Day 22. Day 23 is free for you to do as you please.
    Accommodation: Central hostel
    Included Activities: Shotover Jet (Day 21) and Doubtful Sound day trip (Day 22)
    Optional Activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…), trip to Milford Sound.
    Free Activities: Sleep in, great walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.
  • Day 24 Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook
    Depart from 8.40am. We head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past Lake Pukaki, then head north to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook, arriving in the early afternoon.
    Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge
    Optional Activities: Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
    Free Activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker Glacial Lake.
  • Day 25 Mt Cook to Christchurch
    Today we make our way through a landscape made famous by the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films. We head past turquoise Lake Tekapo, where we stop for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim at the hot springs. We arrive in Christchurch later in the afternoon, giving you time to explore parts of the South Island’s largest city.
    Accommodation: Purpose built backpackers near the city centre
    Optional Activities: Ice skating, snow tubing or soak in the hot springs
    Free Activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk around central Christchurch
  • Day 26 Day in Christchurch
    Christchurch is where your journey ends - if you are catching a flight today, you can be dropped off at the International Airport at 8:00am. Otherwise, you can take an optional free day to spend more time exploring the South Island's largest city. We especially recommend checking out the Re:Start Mall, Quake City exhibition, Canterbury Museum or the gorgeous Botanical Gardens.
Real Adventure Group Real People
Real Kiwi Says:
During the winter our Real Kiwi Adventures tours are operated with our partners on the hop on hop off network, so you can guarantee we depart with a good group of travellers every week. There is plenty to see in New Zealand in the winter, with some saying its even better at that time of year! This incredible 26 day adventure journeys through all the best bits of New Zealand's North and South Islands.

26 Day North and South Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour Price information
AUD per person

Price

Description

Tour code: TNZ21W
$3429
Dorm share
$3989
Twin/ Double share
$4679
Single share

Departure information

Starts

Sundays from Christchurch International airport at 9.45am from May 1 to October 13, 2017

Travelling from October 2016 to April 2017? Check out our 21 Day North and South Christchurch to Christchurch Summer Tour

Ends
Christchurch


More information

Important Notes

Things you need to know about this tour

Itinerary is subject to change due to cultural or seasonal conditions
*Twin / Double upgrades based on two people sharing.
Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
Winter tours will operate in conjunction with the Stray Travel Network allowing all Real Kiwi winter departures to be 100% guaranteed. Clients will still have a set itinerary with included accommodation and activities however less meals are included and the guide and group may change during the tour.

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