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21 Day Complete New Zealand Auckland To Christchurch Summer Tour
Doubtful Sound overnight cruise
from $4185 NZD
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PRICE

Quad Share $4,185
Twin / Double - per person* $4,745
Single / Private room - one person* $5,435

*Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Hahei and Doubtful Sound

DEPARTURES

Starts:

Saturdays from October 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017 and October 7, 2017 to March 31 2018

Travelling from May to September, 2016? Check out our 23 Day Complete New Zealand Auckland to Christchurch Winter Tour

Ends: Christchurch

Trip Style

Fitness: Can I do this tour?

It is very important that customers understand that a reasonable level of fitness is required for all tours.

The areas in which we operate vary greatly in  terrain and weather conditions. Travellers may be required to undertake walking experiences up to 4 hours in duration in challenging conditions. Travellers must be aware that depending on which region the tour is visiting  & the southern hemisphere weather season in which you are travelling, you could encounter extremes of heat ( 40C+) or cold (-5C).

By law it is required that customers advise Real Kiwi Adventures or our travel partners in New Zealand of any pre-existing medical conditions &/or Dietary conditions before they join the tour. Customers may also be asked at time of each tour commencement to sign a liability waiver.

Travellers are requested to contact us on: [email protected] in relation to all medical or dietary issues.


Accommodation: Hostel

Ranging from 4 – 8 bed dormitories some with private bathroom facilities in New Zealand's best backpacker hostel accommodation. Twin and double upgrades often available.


Vehicle: Mini Coach - 24 seats

Forward facing seats, air-conditioned vehicle


WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Professional tour guide
  • Meals and touring as indicated
  • 20 nights accommodation
  • Tree hugging at Parry Kauri Forest
  • Swim at Waipu Cove
  • Bay of Island’s wildlife cruise
  • Hokianga ferry ride and sand boarding
  • Visit Waipoua Forest and Tane Mahuta (NZ’s largest Kauri tree)
  • Swim at Kai Iwi Lakes
  • Walk to Cathedral Cove
  • Hot Water Beach 
  • Maori cultural experience, including traditional hangi meal and interactive performance
  • Huka Falls
  • 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park
  • Weta Workshop tour
  • Ferry to South Island
  • Winery visit
  • Walk in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Aqua Taxi ride or Paddle board hire
  • Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa
  • Seal spotting in Kaikoura
  • Pounamu jade factory
  • Walks around Lake Matheson and the Blue Pools, Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Jet Boat Ride in Makarora
  • Doubtful Sound overnight cruise
  • Sea kayaking in Doubtful Sound
  • Central Otago Rail Trail with mountain bike hire
  • Christchurch city sights tour

WHAT TO BRING

  • Sturdy walking shoes/boots
  • Bathers/towel
  • Hat & sunscreen
  • Motion sickness tablets
  • Water bottle
  • Towel
  • Toiletries
  • Warm clothing
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Itinerary is subject to change due to cultural or seasonal conditions
  • ^Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Hahei and Doubtful Sound.
  • *Standard accommodation is 6-share in Whakahoro.
  • Child rate available to one passenger 8-12 years sharing with 2 adults.
  • Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 23kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.

Tour Code

ANZ21

Highlights

  • Bay of Islands Wildlife Cruise
  • Full day in Abel Tasman National Park for walks and optional sea kayaking and sailing
  • Cathedral Cove walk on the Coromandel Peninsula
  • Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Visit Franz Josef Glacier World Heritage area
  • Doubtful Sound overnight cruise through Fiordland National Park

Tour Map

SUMMER ITINERARY QUESTIONS &
ANSWERS
Tour
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Day 1 - Auckland to Paihia
Nau mai, haere mai (welcome) to your exciting adventure of the beautiful Aotearoa! (New Zealand) Our journey starts in Auckland, the country's largest city. Also known as the 'City of Sails' due to its geogrpahical location between Waitemata and Manukau harbours, it is a boaters and yachters paradise.

Your day will start early in the morning with pick up from select CBD accommodation and then we begin to head north towards the town of Paihia, the gateway to the Bay of Islands. On the way we get in touch with nature and visit some of the world's biggest trees, the native Kauri, and take a hike to a beautiful waterfall before lunch and a swim at scenic Waipu Cove.

You can then take a trip to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where the the most signifcant document in New Zealand's modern history was signed in 1840 between Māori Chiefs and the British Crown (visit at own expense).

We sit down for our first group dinner before you have the evening to explore the small seaside town of Paihia (D).

Activities included: Share the love and hug the giant trees at the Parry Kauri Forest. Swim at Waipu Cove
Optional activities: Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Day 2 - Paihia to Opononi
There are not many mornings you can start with a cruise around the 144 islands of a beautiful archipelago looking for marine life. As you cruise around the gorgeous Bay of Islands, keep an eye out for bottlenose and common dolphins as well as baleen whales, orca, penguins, seals and plenty of other sea and bird life.

In the afternoon we journey west to another part of the Northland region, Hokianga Harbour, to view the enormous sand dunes. Tonight you have the choice to relax at our hotel or take a Māori-guided twilight encounter through the Waipoua Forest, learning about Māori tales and legends. You will also get to visit the 'God of the Forest' or Tane Mahuta - the largest Kauri tree on the planet. (Activity at own expense). We complete the day with a traditional Kiwi dinner, fish and chips! (B,D)

Activities included: Bay of Island’s wildlife boat trip
Optional activities: Footprints Waipoua twilight encounter, bone carving

Day 3 - Opononi to Auckland
We make the most of the outdoors again today with a ferry ride across Hokianga Harbour to go sandboarding down the dunes (weather dependent). We then head south through the lush Waipoua Forest to visit New Zealand's largest Kauri trees before dropping by the Kai Iwi Lakes for a swim in beautiful clear waters surrounded by white sand. It's then back to Auckland for the night, before our journey south continues tomorrow. (B)

Activities included: Hokianga Ferry ride, sand boarding, visit Waipoua Forest (NZ’s largest Kauri trees), swim in the Kai Iwi Lakes

Day 4 - Auckland to Hahei (Coromandel)  
Our coastal exploration continues today as we venture south east to famous Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula. Only accessible by foot or boat, you'll see some of New Zealand's most heavenly scenery at this stunning spot.

It's then onto Hot Water Beach, a special surf beach where you can dig yourself your own personal warm water bath in the sand (tide dependent). We spend the afternoon in the area, allowing time for a kayaking tour (complete with a unique cappucino machine onboard the lead kayak!) (own expense) before a delicious BBQ dinner. (D)

Activities included: Walk to Cathedral Cove, dig your own hot bath at Hot Water Beach
Optional activities: Cathedral Cove Kayaks

Day 5 - Hahei to Rotorua
Today we learn more about Māori culture as we journey to Rotorua, arriving about midday. The afternoon is free for you to partake in a range of optional activities, including a visit to Hobbiton (at own expense).

In the evening you will be treated to a fantastic cultural experience at Tamaki Māori Village. Discover Māori art, ancient rituals and traditions, an interactive cultural performance and feast on a delicious hangi - a traditional Māori way of cooking food in a pit with heated stones.

We spend the night in our central city accommodation. (B,D)

Activities included: Cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, kapa haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive cultural performance
Optional activities: Visit Hobbiton, white water rafting, Zorbing, the luge

Day 6 - Rotorua to Whakahoro
As well as being a cultural centre, Rotorua is famous for its geothermal attractions such as mud pools, geysers and hot springs. We visit some mud pools before discovering the powerful Huka Falls - rushing rapids squeezing through a narrow gorge and spilling over a 20-metre cliff.

Our next stop is the award-winning Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro. The beauty of this 5,200 acre high country farm is that it is not only a working sheep and cattle station but an environmental conservation leader too. The station's owners have developed a fantastic project to help increase numbers of endangered native New Zealand species including the Blue Duck or (Whio in Māori). Learn about their important efforts on a 4WD bush safari and farm adventure where you'll also get to witness some pretty spectacular scenery and the remains of intriguing local history.

Our dinner tonight is prepared using local produce. (B,D)

Activities included: Visit Huka falls, 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure

Day 7 - Whakahoro to National Park
Yet another special day awaits us as we venture into the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tongariro National Park. Here you will get the chance to do what has been voted one of the world's best one-day walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek by volcanic peaks, vast craters and awe-inspiring turquoise lakes on one of the most dramatic and spectacular treks in the country. If the 19.4 kilometre journey isn't for you, then you can opt for a shorter, easier walk in the park or visit the Volcanic Centre Museum (own expense). (B,D) 

Activities included: Tongariro Alpine Crossing and transfers, or Taranaki Falls walk and Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s Pool)

Day 8 - National Park to Wellington
After an energetic yesterday we take things relatively easy as we make our way to the capital of New Zealand, Wellington. To introduce you to 'Wellywood' we embark on an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the studio responsible for Hollywood blockbusters such as The Hobbit, Lord of The Rings and Avatar, at Weta Workshop.

Wellington has been nicknamed the "coolest capital in the world" by Lonely Planet due to its lively arts scene, great shopping, craft beer breweries and vibrant café culture.

The afternoon is yours to check out any of these great features or some other attractions we recommend including the Te Papa National Museum, botanical gardens or going for a wander down Oriental Parade. (B)

Activities included: Weta Workshop tour

Day 9 - Wellington (via Picton) to Abel Tasman
Today we bid farewell tothe North Island and begin our journey across the Cook Strait via ferry to the coastal town of Picton. We board our bus and cruise through the famous Marlborough wine region, stopping at a local vineyard to taste some of the wine that hs put this region on the world map for high quality and delicious Sauvignon Blanc.

After a sample and a purchase of a bottle or two (not compulsory!) our next stop is the magnificent Abel Tasman National Park. You may like to open some of your purchased Marlborough wine to accompany our delicious seafood BBQ dinner at our exclusive accommodation. (B,D)

Activities included: Bluebridge Ferry trip, winery visit

Day 10 - Full day in Abel Tasman
The day is yours to experience the Abel Tasman National Park as you wish. Walk the coastal track famous for some of New Zealand’s best beaches or choose any of the optional activities on offer including sailing or sea kayaking (own expense). Tonight we provide you with BBQ facilities for you to self-cater. Accommodation is back at our cabins adjacent to the National Park. (B)

Activities included: Abel Tasman Track and Aqua Taxi or paddle board hire

Day 11 - Abel Tasman to Hanmer Springs
The scenery that makes the South Island so famous continues today as we travel through the beautiful Kahurangi and Nelson National Parks, the latter where we stop for a picnic lunch.

Our destination today is the peaceful thermal town of Hanmer Springs. Spend the afternoon soaking in the thermal hot pools surrounded by mountains and forest. Enjoy a dinner with your group tonight. (B,D)

Activities included: Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

Day 12 - Hanmer Springs to Christchurch
The South Island's East Coast awaits us today as we journey to Kaikoura, famous for its incredible marine life and year-round whale migrations. Arriving early at Kaikoura allows you to partake in any of the optional activities on offer in this town including dolphin and whale-spotting boat tours or a unique experience called Albatross Encounter, where you can head out to see to feed the giant seabirds (own expense).

If you wish to stay on dry land then you can check out the seals sitting by the road at Goose Bay or take a stroll around the peninsula to see the amazing views from the look-out.

It's then onto the city of Christchurch where we will spend the night in the city centre. (B)

Activities included: Peninsula walk and seal colony visit
Optional activities: Whale watching, swim with dolphins, Albatross feeding

Day 13 - Christchurch to Franz Josef
A beautiful drive across the Canterbury Plains, over the famous Arthur's Pass and back to the West Coast is on the itinerary for this morning. At almost every turn there is a beautiful landscape to enjoy so make sure your camera batteries are charged as we break for walks and photo stops.

Jewellery lovers will enjoy our stop at Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade) before we finish up at the little town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty glacier of the same name, and our home for two nights. (D)

Activities included: Pounamu jade factory

Day 14 - Full day at Franz Josef
How you choose to explore this amazing glacier is up to you today. You may choose to take a self-guided walk to the base or take one of the excellent bush hikes available in the area. The best way to truly appreciate the enormity of this natural wonder is by guided tour including a helicopter ride onto the glacier. (own expense).

Tonight for dinner you may like to check out one of the many local cafes and restaurants or cook your own meal in the kitchen available at our accommodation. (B)

Optional activities: Glacier Ice Explorer, helicopter flight

Day 15 - Franz Josef to Makarora
Today we get a bit of an adrenalin fix while taking in some more captivating scenery in Mount Aspiring National Park. On our way we stop at the picturesque Lake Matheson, commonly known as 'Mirror Lake' due to the reflections cast on its surface of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman.

Keep an eye out for waterfalls as we journey through mountainous Haast Pass towards the stunning Blue Pools before arriving at the cute 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' town of Makarora. Here, we get our hearts racing as we go jet boating through the National Park, skimming just inches from the riverbed on the pristine waterways framed by mountain peaks. Spend the night in quaint hillside bungalows. (B,D)

Activities included: Walk around Lake Matheson – Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools, Jet Boat Mt Aspiring National Park

Day 16 - Makarora to Doubtful Sound
Just when you think you've seen beautiful scenery, we head toward Fiordland National Park with its gorgeous ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountains which are sure to impress. The jewel in this area's crown is Doubtful Sound where we will spend the afternoon and also overnight - a truly special experience. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of all the fiords in the National Park, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls.

After a ferry ride and a coach journey over a mountain pass, we arrive at our purpose-built boat where we will enjoy afternoon tea while keeping watch for fur seals, penguins and dolphins. Those wanting to get active can take out the sea kayaks to explore a little further.

As the boat moors in a secluded bay, enjoy a hearty meal and bunker down in your cosy cabin for the night. (B,D)

Activities included: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, sea kayaking, wildlife spotting

Day 17 - Doubtful Sound to Queenstown
The pace picks up today as we bid farewell to the Fiordland National Park and head to the 'Adventure Capital of the World', Queenstown. Whether you're a gourmet enthusiast, a party-goer or a fan of live music, there is something in this vibrant scenic town for everyone. (B)

Days 18 and 19: Queenstown
Queenstown is your oyster for the next two days. It doesn't matter what you're interested in, you will be able to satisfy every interest here. If you are interested in long hikes, discover Ben Lomond or Queenstown Hill for amazing views, if you want to get that adrenalin pumping then you can bungy, zipline, go canyoning, jet boating, skydiving or canyon swinging - there is plenty to fill your two days. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. Real Kiwi Adventures customers receive discounts on a multitude of activities, just ask your guide. (B)

Optional activities: AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging plus many, many more

Day 20 - Queenstown to Central Otago
It's time to explore some more of the great outdoors and learn about New Zealand's gold mining history. Our destination is the historic town of Naseby and the Central Otago Rail Trail where we will provide you with mountain bikes to cycle as little or as long as you want. The Otago region is also famous for Pinot Noir wine, which may just be a nice reward for the exercise at the end of the day. (B,D)

Activities included: Mountain bike Otago Rail Trail

Day 21 - Central Otago to Christchurch
We make our way back up the east coast to Christchurch via the fascinating Moeraki Boulders and the town of Oamaru. Upon arrival in Christchurch in the afternoon you can choose to stay with your guide to take you on a city sights tour to inspire you to do some more exploring, after which your New Zealand adventure comes to an end (accommodation tonight is not included). (B)

Optional activities: Guided city sights tour

(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

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