All about the 14 Day Queenstown to Auckland Tour

This 14 day Queenstown to Auckland trip soaks up the best of Kiwiana on this great journey from the bottom of the South to, almost, the top of the North. This trip takes in some of the most diverse scenery in the world in 14 days where you can visit some of the best National Parks, explore glaciers, fiords, golden sand beaches, rugged coastlines, lush subtropical forests and dramatic mountain formations.

You get to enjoy two nights at the following places; Punakaiki to explore the Paparoa National Park, Marahau to explore the Abel Tasman National Park and in the Bay of Islands.

Perfect if you’re wanting to explore the South Island first before meeting up with the  crew in Queenstown to head to the wild west coast, iconic Abel Tasman and then crossing to the North.

Before finishing in Auckland, you’ll have plenty of time to immerse yourself in sun and sand, try some sailing and sand-duning in the twin coast - you’ll also get to meet some pretty special trees, our ancient New Zealand native Kauri, the size will blow you away!

We know the best of New Zealand which is why we have included the following in the Reverse Traverse tour:

- Accommodation: Pitch your tent beside beaches, lakes, mountains, and forests. A spacious, shared tent is included in the tour price (sharing with one other person of a similar age/same-sex). There is the option to upgrade to a single tent if you prefer for a small cost.

- Queenstown Hostel Stay: When starting your tour in Christchurch, we've chosen the perfect, centrally located hostel to spend your one night in Queenstown - cost included!

- Food: Our portable kitchen turns into a restaurant under the stars! Most meals are included (our detailed itinerary outlines exactly what is included on a day-to-day basis). We can also cater for a broad range of dietary requirements.

- Wine Tasting: The Sauvignon Blanc wines of Marlborough are internationally recognized for their beautiful crisp flavor and distinctive summer citrus aromas. The tastings are on us in our specially arranged wine tasting experience.

- Cook Strait Ferry Crossing: The most scenic way to get from one island to the other is the Cook Strait ferry. You can sit back and relax on the 3-hour scenic crossing between the South and North islands through the stunning Marlborough Sounds - keep your eyes peeled for whales and dolphins on the way.

- Sports Equipment: What a great way to spend time around camp, make use of sports equipment we’ve put on board for you, such as bodyboards, frisbee and more depending upon the bus.-

- Hikes: Marvel at the reflection on Mt Cook as you walk around Lake Matheson mirror lake, free walks are enjoyed every day and vary from 10mins to a few hours in length. Our bike rides page and the hiking pages give you lots more detail into the rides and hikes our guides will show you along the way.

A few more of our free inclusions are Abel Tasman, Paparoa, Westland Tai Poutini, Te Papa museum, Wellington Botanical Gardens, Hokitika greenstone factory, Punakaiki Pancake rocks and blowholes and of course amazing sunrises and sunsets at beautiful beachside campsites!

Come with us on this New Zealand adventure! 

14 Day Queenstown to Auckland Tour Itinerary - 14 days

  • Day 1 Queenstown to Makarora
    Leaving Queenstown at 2:30pm, we travel through mountains and on towards stunning glacial lakes. On the final stretch to camp we start getting views of Mt Aspiring National Park in the distance. Lake Wanaka is just over the next ridge and it’s on the edge of this glacial lake that we find our next wilderness camp. Enjoy great views of Lake Wanaka and the mountains beyond as we absorb the beauty of the area.
    Bike rides: Lake Wanaka lookout to Boundary Creek
    Cabin upgrades: no – wilderness camp no upgrade options
    Meals: dinner
  • Day 2 Makaroa to Fox Glacier
    Enjoy a relaxed morning at our lakeside camp then it's northward bound through Mt Aspiring National Park. Just before we reach the West Coast we stop for a walk to the amazing Blue Pools, and then head over the dramatic Haast Pass. As we travel towards the wild West Coast, the road follows braided rivers and huge glacier carved valleys. There are two more great walk options along the way before we arrive in glacier country and our camp
    for tonight, at the picturesque village of Fox Glacier.
    Walks: Blue Pools, Ship Creek
    Bike rides: 13km scenic downhill cycle from Haast Pass, 22km Copland track to Fox Glacier
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $53, basic double from $18pp
    Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Day 3 Fox Glacier to Okarito
    Today is your chance to explore one of NZ’s most unique and spectacular natural wonders - Fox Glacier. This staggering beautiful work of nature is over 13 kilometres in length and plummets 2,600 metres from its peak in the Southern Alps. To get on the ice you must go up by helicopter but it’s possible to view the glacier with a stunning walk through the main valley up to the terminal face. A walk around Lake Matheson is highly recommended where crystal clear reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman make the perfect photo
    opportunity. In the afternoon, we have a short drive up the coast to our beautiful beachside campsite next to the Okarito lagoon – one of the very few places where there are still rare sightings of our native kiwi bird and the home to NZ’s only colony of the White Heron (kotuku). Enjoy a fire down on the beach taking in the rugged coast and epic mountain views.
    Walks: wonderful hike around Lake Matheson, Te Weheka walkway to view the glacier
    Bike rides: Te Weheka Cycleway, Okarito road ride 10km
    Activities (own cost): Guided Heli-Hike, Terminal Face Walk
    Cabin upgrades: dorm bed (shared room) $15pp
    Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Day 4 Okarito to Punakaiki
    Enjoy an early morning walk, with a view of the sunrise over the Southern Alps as a reward. We then continue up this spectacular coastal road to the quirky town of Hokitika, home to the Greenstone factories and a great place to pick up a traditional souvenir of your visit. We then keep following the coast to Punakaiki where you’ll notice a change in the landscape and vegetation with huge limestone cliffs appearing and Nikau Palm trees become abundant. Our beach camp has great sunsets, a beautiful river and incredible views of Paparoa National
    Park. The pancake rocks and blowholes are the main attraction in Punakaiki where limestones rocks are stacked on top of each other and ocean swells are forced through gaps in the rock creating a whale’s blowhole effect. In the evening, explore a cavern with some glow worms hanging out in the dark then relax at the local tavern.
    Walks: Okarito Trig Walk, Point Elizabeth walk
    Bike rides: West Coast Wilderness Trail 14km, road ride to camp 37km
    Activities (own cost): Punakaiki blow holes (free), Bush n Bogs
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $60, basic double from $23pp - (limited rooms available!)
    Meals: breakfast & dinner
  • Day 5 Punakaiki to Marahau
    Before leaving Punakaiki we take time to explore part of the Paparoa National Park with a walk along the Porarari river or cycle up Bullock creek road to visit a cave resurgence. Leaving mid-morning we travel inland through the majestic Buller gorge and onto our
    favourite National Park, Abel Tasman. In one of the sunniest areas of the country you will discover beautiful secluded bays and stunning golden sand beaches. On arrival, you have the option to skydive or hang glide and then we look forward to spending 3 nights at our
    perfectly located campground, close to the park entrance which makes it the idea place to explore all corners of the park. Tonight, we’ll be eating at a local hang out, The Fat Tui (own cost)
    Walks: Porarari inland track, Truman track
    Bike rides: Bullock Creek 16km, Cave Creek, coastal ride to camp, Kaiteriteri bike park
    Activities (own cost): skydive, hang glide
    Cabin upgrades: dorm bed (shared room) $12pp, basic single from $50, basic double from $18pp
    Meals: breakfast
  • Day 6 Marahau
    Taking time to explore arguably the best beaches and clearest waters in New Zealand - there are excellent options for everyone here. You can walk, sail or kayak around the numerous golden bays and dive into the crystal-clear waters along the way. There will be plenty
    of chances for wildlife spotting (dolphins, seals and even Orcas!) Explore the heart of the park on one of our most highly rated optional
    Activities - canyoning high flow waterfalls and rapids!
    Walks: Abel Tasman National Park track
    Bike rides: Kaiteriteri Mountain bike park
    Activities (own cost): kayaking, canyoning, water taxi, sailing
    Cabin upgrades: dorm bed (shared room) $12pp, basic single from $50, basic double from $18pp
    Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Day 7 Marahau
    We spend another full day at the doorstep to New Zealand’s smallest but most visited national park and our personal favourite, the
    Abel Tasman.
    Walks: Abel Tasman National Park track
    Bike rides: Kaiteriteri Mountain bike park
    Activities (own cost): kayaking, canyoning, water taxi, sailing
    cabin upgrades: dorm bed (shared room) $12pp, basic single from $50, basic double from $18pp
    Meals: breakfast & dinner
  • Day 8 Marahau to Wellington
    Leaving early, we make our way towards Wellington stopping for a brief visit in sunny Nelson, the home of Flying Kiwi. Before leaving Nelson be sure to farewell your Tour Assistant as a new Tour Assistant will join you here for the remainder of your tour. Your Tour
    Leader will say farewell in Picton. On route to Picton we’ll make a stop at Pelorus bridge, a Hobbit film location and great place for a quick dip on a warm day. Finish this fantastic day with a scenic ferry (cost included) through the picturesque Marlborough sounds to
    Wellington - our base for the evening. Camping isn’t feasible in the heart of the nation’s capital so we will be staying at a great hostel giving you the best access to explore the city. We have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board.
  • Day 9 Wellington to New Plymouth
    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast (own cost) before checking out the sights of New Zealand’s beautiful capital before we hit the road for our 11am departure. We travel up the scenic Kapiti Coast towards the Taranaki region – home to wonderful beaches, crashing waves and
    the spectacular Mount Taranaki, one of the most symmetrical volcanic cones in the world. Our campsite is beside the Taranaki coastline offering a short scenic walk or cycle to camp at the end of the day.
    Walks: the coastal walkway to camp
    Bike rides: the coastal walkway, easy path cycling to camp
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $63, basic double from $23pp - (limited rooms available!)
    Meals: dinner
  • Day 10 New Plymouth to Auckland
    We depart early towards the limestone wonderland of Waitomo Caves, home to an endemic species of glow-worms that inhabit the vast cave systems. Black water rafting (optional) is a unique way to experience the caves as you float through the underground maze
    with the radiant light of the glow-worms to lead the way. We take time to enjoy a picnic lunch before heading to “the city of sails”, New Zealand’s largest city for a taste of big city life “kiwi style” and a great chance to join your group for a taste of the harbour bars and
    restaurants. Camping isn’t feasible in the heart of the country’s largest city so we will be staying in a great hostel giving you the best access to explore the city. This is payable locally and we have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board. walks: farmland walk or cave walk through limestone formations
    Bike rides: 7km – 22km road options
    Activities (own cost): blackwater rafting, glow-worm cave tour
    Hostel (own cost): dorm bed (shared room) from $39pp, basic single from $72, basic double room from $85
    Meals: breakfast & lunch
    Walks: walk to the geographical centre of New Zealand
    Bike rides: great option to cycle various lengths of the Tasman taste trail – part of the great New Zealand Cycle Trail
    Activities: wine tasting (free - this one is on us)
    Hostel (own cost): dorm bed (shared room) from $31pp, basic single from $75, basic double room from $89
    Meals: breakfast
  • Day 11 Auckland to Paihia
    Leaving Auckland at 10am we head to the "winterless north" and the pristine beaches of the Bay of Islands. We stop at the incredible Uretiti beach for a swim and a walk along the sand. Grab a rugby ball and frisbee off the bus and brush up on your passing skills at this
    picturesque beach spot. On arrival into Paihia, the gateway town to the Bay of Islands, choose from the Mangrove walk or a beautiful cycle to the thundering Haruru waterfall.
    Walks: mangrove walk to Haruru Falls - highly recommended
    Bike rides: Twin Coast Trail – 16km trail ride
    Activities (own cost): Waitangi Treaty House (Maori culture), twilight kayak
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $45, basic double from $20pp - (limited rooms available!)
    Meals: dinner
  • Day 12 Paihia
    Experience a full day exploring the Bay of Islands and its turquoise waters. This subtropical region is the perfect playground for water lovers and a great place to soak up the sunshine. With a staggering 144 islands, the Bay of Islands offers diving, sailing, swimming and
    fishing along with some excellent walks in the native forests leading to quiet beaches and special views. This region is also home to some of the oldest European settlement in New Zealand and many historic buildings.
    Walks: scenic viewpoint or coastal walkway
    Bike rides: road cycling or Waitangi forest trail of varying lengths
    Activities (own cost): sailing, fishing, diving, dolphin swimming, kayaking, parasailing, Maori Culture
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $50, basic double from $20pp - (limited rooms available!)
    Meals: breakfast & dinner
  • Day 13 Paihia to Orewa
    There is a day full of adventure ahead as we travel to the rugged and soulful West Coast. Our first stop comes with a chance to try your skills sand boarding or if you don’t fancy heading down the sandy slopes there’s a nice coastal walk. Then it’s back on board as we head south towards the Waipoua Forest, travelling through the largest remaining tract of native kauri forests in northland. We leave the West Coast and cross back over to the East towards our final destination and camp for tonight, Orewa. Home to one of the Auckland regions longest and safest beaches it’s a great place for a stroll and a swim, or relax at the local hot pools.
    Hikes: coastal walk to Omapere, walk amongst the Kauri trees of the Waipoua forest
    Bike rides: 32km road cycling, Twin Coast Cycle Way, Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway
    Activities (own cost): sand boarding, hot pools & slides
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $50, basic double from $25pp - (limited rooms available!)
    Meals: breakfast & dinner
  • Day 14 Orewa to Auckland
    Orewa is often blessed with a beautiful sunrise over the sea which is well worth the early start to check it out. Leaving early from camp we travel the short distance to Auckland arriving there by 9:30am where it’s time to say our final farewells.
    Bike rides: 8km – Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway
    Meals: breakfast
Real Adventure Group Real People
Real Kiwi Says:
New Zealand is perfect for the active traveller who likes to walk. They call it 'tramping' in New Zealand. Walks on this tour are un-guided. What will happen is your expert tour guides will give you and your fellow walkers all the info you need for the trek. If you don't fancy them you will always find plenty of other activities to try or just relax and enjoy the scenery. Or you can rent a bike and cycle the beautiful scenery. There are cricket sets and even a mini library on all our buses so there's plenty to keep you entertained without spending too much extra money. As a kiwi owned and operated company we take time and effort to ensure we use local operators who reflect our values on sustainability and community. We also provide numerous opportunities to interact and learn about the Maori culture and people.

14 Day Queenstown to Auckland Tour Price information
NZD per person



Tour code: RT14
Secure your seat today with only a 10% deposit!
Camping (Twin-Share) September 2020 to March 2021
Local fees payable
Supplement for Single Tent September 2020 to March 2021

Departure information


2:30 pm from outside The Station & AJ Hackett Bungy building, Cnr Shotover and Camp St Central Queenstown


January 4, 13, 22, 31
February 9, 18, 27
March 8, 17, 26

November 2, 11, 20, 29
December 8, 17, 26

January 4, 13, 22, 31
February 9, 18, 27
March 8, 17, 26
April 4


More information

Important Notes

Things you need to know about this tour

This tour is recommended for persons 18 years and older, however, requests for younger participants will be considered on a case by case basis.


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