15 Day Auckland to Queenstown Tour

    Grand Traverse adventure tour where you can cycle sections of the New Zealand Cycle trail, Camp out by beaches and lakes, and Hike the amazing Routeburn Track and Tongariro Crossing!

    Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with our 15-day Auckland to Queenstown tour, exploring the stunning landscapes of both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Our small group guided tour offers an unforgettable experience with a wide range of adventure activities to suit all tastes.

    Highlights include the world-renowned Tongariro Crossing and the South Island’s famous Routeburn Track, which has been rated as one of the best walks in the world. Start your adventure in Auckland, and then travel south through Coromandel, Rotorua, and Te Anau before reaching your final destination. Queenstown!

    This North to South Island tour offers a huge range of adventure activities to suit all tastes. These include sea kayaking, Hobbiton, Ogo, Maori village, hot pools, zipline canopy tour, luge, giant swing, skydive, Bungy, whale watching, dolphin swimming, deep sea fishing, surfing, and heaps to do in NZ’s adventure capital, Queenstown.

    We visit the Lord of the Rings locations and walk in the landscapes you have only seen in the films. From Mount Doom to Hobbiton you’ll experience these otherworldly locations.

    Our experienced tour leaders will guide you through the tour, offering insights into the history and culture of the Maori people who first explored this vast country. Aotearoa (New Zealand) is known for its stunning natural beauty, and this tour is designed to showcase the very best of it. If hiking is your passion, you’ll love this adventure, as you’ll have the chance to do several walks on the tour, including the Tongariro Crossing, which is considered one of the world’s best day hikes. However, if you’re looking for more adventure, you can try mountain biking instead.

    Our Auckland to Queenstown tour is a small group active camping tour. Camp in remote locations and get involved in cycling and hiking. The buses are specially designed to carry mountain bikes. Either bring your own or hire one on tour.


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      Our travellers often combine this trip with some of these trips:


      Day 1: Auckland to Hot Water Beach

      We leave Auckland at 8am and drive south towards the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel is a popular holiday spot for us Kiwi’s and it’s not hard to see why. With stunning white sandy beaches, dense fern forests and a rich history of both Maori and European settlement, the Coromandel Peninsula is the perfect place to start your trip!

      After a lunch stop in the seaside town of Tairua, we’ll travel to Hahei Beach – the gateway to Cathedral Cove. You can either walk along the coastline or get stuck in to the first optional activity on your trip with one of the best sea kayak options in the country. Cathedral Cove has a stunning limestone archway that featured as the gateway to Narnia in the movie ‘Prince Caspian’ and is a great place take a dip in the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean before heading back to Hahei and on to camp at another iconic location, Hot Water Beach. Our campground is a short walk away from the beach where, at low tide, you can grab a shovel and head down to dig your very own hot pool in the sand! This is all thanks to a unique geothermal reservoir of hot water under the sand, what a way to round off your first day on tour!

      Meals included: Dinner
      Walks: Stunning coastal walk with views over the Pacific
      Bike rides: 8km scenic road cycling
      Activities (own cost): Sea kayaking
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 2: Hot Water Beach to Rotorua

      After breakfast, we’ll start our journey towards the central area of the North Island but before that, we’ll explore a little more of the Coromandel Peninsula. We’ll drive down to the historic gold mining town of Waihi and take a look at the huge ‘Martha’s Mine’, a working gold mine! Afterward, the cyclists among us will have the chance to ride a section of the Hauraki Rail Trail and the rest of us will head to the Karangahake Gorge for a historic walk. We’ll look through the ‘windows of the past’ of mining history and see some pretty spectacular landscapes along the way. When everyone is back together we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the gorge before continuing on to Rotorua.

      There are heaps of optional activities in Rotorua including a zipline eco tour, zorbing, luging or relaxing in a thermal spa. If you’d prefer to explore the natural geothermal features of the area, there’s plenty of world-famous bike trails and walks in the area too. In the evening, we recommend immersing yourself in Maori culture at the Tamaki Village where you’ll learn about Maori culture, experience an equally stunning and terrifying Haka and feast on a traditional Hangi meal.

      There’s a lot to pack into one day but we promise it’ll leave you wanting more!

      Meals included: Breakfast & lunch
      Walks: Stroll through towering, ancient forests & unique thermal landscapes
      Bike rides: Hauraki Rail Trail, Te Ara ahi trail to Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest
      Activities (own cost): Hobbiton, Tamaki Tours, OGO, luge, Polynesian hot pools, zipline canopy tour
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 3: Rotorua to Taupo

      We begin the day with a short drive to visit some of the North Island’s most impressive geothermal sites. We’ll see bubbling mud pools, a huge Geyser and then take some time to explore the Wai o Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, home to an impressive array of multi-coloured rock formations and pools created by superheated water bringing minerals to the surface creating this otherworldly landscape.

      Our next stop on the way into Taupo is the mighty Huka Falls, an impressive waterfall found along the Waikato river. This is also our drop off point for those wanting to go white water rafting or skydiving! If you’re not doing these activities there’s a great walk or a bike ride into the city along the river’s edge – be sure to stop off at the natural hot spring along the way or get an adrenaline buzz from the Taupo Bungy which is conveniently located on your way into town. You’ll have some time in Taupo to grab some lunch and check out New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, before we make our way to camp later that afternoon.

      Meals included: Breakfast & dinner
      Walks: Walks of various distances past dramatic waterfalls and around Lake Taupo
      Bike rides: Waikato River MTB Trail Huka Falls 6.4km, cycle on the lakefront – up to 10km
      Activities (own cost): Skydive, bungy, giant swing, white water rafting
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 4: Taupo to Kapiti Coast

      Voted one of the best day hikes in the world, today’s 19.4km walk takes in some of New Zealand’s most impressive and diverse landscapes. The challenging Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike covers a small section of the country’s oldest national park and dual UNESCO world heritage area, the Tongariro National Park. On a fine day you’ll be able to see Mt Ruapehu, the North Island’s highest peak which stands at a towering 2797 metres. You’ll also be able to see Mt Ngauruhoe, which featured in Lord of the Rings as Mount Doom.

      If you’d prefer not to do this hike, there’s cycle options or a walk along the Tongariro river where you’ll have a beautiful mountainous backdrop. When everyone is back together after the hike we’ll start making our way to our camp, situated along the Kapiti Coast.

      Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
      Walks: Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro river track
      Bike rides: Tongariro river track
      Activities (own cost): Tongariro Alpine Crossing (transfer fee only), white water rafting
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 5: Kapiti Coast to Wellington to Picton

      This morning it’s a short drive to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city! We’ll arrive before 9 am giving you most of the day to explore the Te Papa Museum, Zealandia and the Botanical Gardens. The capital is also home to the Beehive, our government building, as well as great shopping areas and a thriving café culture to explore – Wellington is renowned for serving NZ’s best cup of coffee.

      Later on we’ll be travelling across the Cook Strait by ferry to the South Island. The ferry takes approximately 3 hours and is very scenic, particularly as the boat makes its way through the Marlborough sounds just before reaching Picton. The rolling green hills offer a stark contrast to the blue waters of the sound and make for a magical sight. If you can, make your way outside and try and spot dolphins playing in the sounds.

      Camping isn’t possible tonight so we’ll stay at a great hostel with various room options, we’ve booked everyone’s dorm beds so there’s no need to do anything.

      Meals included: Breakfast
      Accommodation: Dorm bed
      Activities (own cost): Te Papa museum (free), Zealandia, cable car

      Day 6: Picton to Kaikoura

      We’ll depart Picton and travel through the Marlborough region towards the coast where the views of the Pacific Ocean are complemented by the mountains in the distance. Along this stretch of coastline, we’ll make a stop for lunch and try to spot the native Fur Seals that often relax on the rocks in front of the ocean.

      Kaikoura is all about the ocean and offers options to go whale watching, sea kayaking and fishing. If you’d prefer to explore the area on foot, there’s a great walk around the peninsula or you can hop on your bike and take in the views on two wheels.

      Our camp tonight is down at the beach and we’ll be preparing a fresh seafood meal to complement the area’s abundant sea life (unless of course you don’t eat seafood, in which case we’ll prepare something equally delicious for you).

      Meals included: Breakfast & dinner
      Walks: Kaikoura peninsula walk
      Bike rides: 9km ride from South Bay to camp
      Activities (own cost): Whale watching, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 7: Kaikoura to Christchurch to Rangitata

      This morning you’ll have the opportunity to take part in one of the most popular activities in New Zealand: swimming with dusky dolphins! It’s an early start but it’s a great way to begin your day from the epic sunrise to swimming with wild dolphins, this is the kind of once in a lifetime experience you won’t soon forget. For those of us who aren’t swimming, we’ll have a leisurely breakfast and the chance to explore Kaikoura before heading south to Christchurch.

      We’ll arrive in Christchurch in time for lunch and you’ll have a couple of hours to explore the city that’s still on the mend after two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Evidence of these earthquakes can be found all over, but there’s also some new and exciting rebuilding happening. Visit the restart mall, made from shipping containers which were brought in shortly after the quakes, check out the botanical gardens and see the remains of the Christchurch Cathedral which famously collapsed during the earthquakes.

      After leaving Christchurch we’ll start heading towards the mountains and across the Canterbury plains, a flat open area of farmland. Tonight we’ll stay in Peel Forest, close to the Rangitata river.

      Meals included: Breakfast & dinner
      Walks: Take an early walk around our coastal camp, evening walk in peel forest
      Bike rides: 9 – 18km country road cycling
      Activities (own cost): Dolphin swimming, dolphin viewing
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 8: Rangitata to Lake Tekapo

      Wake up to mountain views and try white water rafting on the mighty Rangitata River! If rafting isn’t for you, soak it all in with a morning cycle or walk through Peel forest. We then head through more jaw dropping landscapes (they don’t stop in the South Island) to the picture postcard, Lake Tekapo. Here you will view the most spectacular turquoise waters which get their colour from the glacial flour brought down from the rivers flowing from glaciers high up in the mountains.

      Relax in the nearby hot pools or enjoy star gazing at the Mt John Observatory and make the most of staying in an International Dark Sky Reserve, plus there are plenty of hike and cycle options to choose from.

      Meals included: Breakfast & lunch
      Walks: Peel forest, Mt John walkway
      Bike rides: Peel forest cycle ride then Lake Tekapo Regional Park
      Activities (own cost): White water rafting (grade 5 rapids!), horse riding, Mt John Observatory tour
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 9: Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook to Moeraki

      Immerse yourself in the snow-capped mountain scenery that New Zealand is famous for and explore Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain following a trail up the Hooker valley where you’ll cross swing bridges and get stunning views of the mountains before finishing up at a glacial lake with views of the Hooker Valley glacier. We then travel back towards the Pacific coast for a quick stop in the historic town of Oamaru before continuing onwards to the small village of Moeraki. Walk to a great view point offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and try to spot a little Blue Penguin along the shore. If you have a bike it’s possible to visit a colony of extremely rare Yellow-eyed Penguins near to camp.

      Meals included: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
      Walks: To the base of Mount Cook & Hooker Valley, explore the Moeraki Heritage Trail
      Bike rides: 13km Alps2Ocean trail ride, Yellow-eyed penguin colony
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 10: Moeraki Village to Dunedin

      If the tide is low then we can walk along the beach to the mysterious Moeraki boulders. These perfectly round spheres of rock have formed over millions of years and have found their way onto the beach near Moeraki and make for some fun photo opportunities.

      Afterwards it’s onto the historic Scottish city of Dunedin, the South Island’s second-largest city. This southern city is home to the world’s steepest residential street and the coastline is home to some fantastic and rare wildlife. It’s possible to take a tour onto the Otago Peninsula to view some of this diverse wildlife which includes Albatross and Fur Seals. For the adventurous, why not try surfing at one of Dunedin’s best breaks! Our camp is a short distance from St. Kilda beach with a variety of restaurants close by to choose from.

      Meals included: Breakfast
      Walks: Moeraki heritage trail, World’s steepest street, explore Dunedin city
      Bike rides: Dunedin soldier memorial 12km, ride from the city to camp or along the waterfront
      Activities (own cost): Surfing, Otago Peninsula wildlife tour
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 11: Dunedin to Fiordland National Park

      Today is one of our longer travel days as we drive through some of New Zealand’s most dramatic natural scenery on our way to Fiordland. Large parts of the landscape have been carved out over thousands of years to leave stunning paths that weave through snow-capped mountains. We stop briefly in Te Anau, the hub and gateway town for Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound and your last chance to get supplies for those doing the Routeburn Track tomorrow. Tonight’s camp is on the lakeside in Te Anau.

      Meals included: Breakfast & dinner
      Walks: Plenty of short walks from camp
      Bike rides: 8km road cycle to camp
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 12: Te Anau to Milford Sound to Te Anau

      Travel one of the world’s most scenic routes into Milford Sound! Described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. We highly recommend taking a cruise on Milford Sound where you’ll see dramatic waterfalls, snow-capped peaks and have the chance to spot wildlife such as dolphins, penguins and seals! As it’s just the one road in and out, we head back along the same breath-taking route to our lakeside camp in Te Anau. Along the way, we drop off those doing the 3-day Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks. This 3-day hike passes through two National Parks and is a haven for native birdlife. Charge up your camera as this hike offers everything from mountainous peaks and sheer rock faces to pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls and dense, luxuriant forest.

      Meals included: Breakfast & lunch
      Walks: The awesome 3-day Routeburn Track (rejoin group in Queenstown on day 14)
      Bike rides: 10.5km Te Anau loop, Ivan Wilson Park Mountain bike trail
      Activities (own cost): Milford boat cruise, Routeburn Track, Te Anau glow worm caves & boat ride
      Cabin upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 13: Te Anau to Queenstown

      Today we journey to Queenstown along the shores of the photogenic Lake Wakatipu. Once we arrive at the adventure capital of New Zealand you have a huge selection of activities to choose from. There is everything here, from adrenalin-pumping bungy, canyon swing, and skydiving to a relaxing horse trek or boat cruise – this place has it all. There are great tracks around the lake ideal for bikers and hikers and all with wonderful views of this alpine region. Camping isn’t feasible in this bustling alpine village, for the next two nights we stay in dorm-share accommodation (cost included) in a centrally located hostel. Perfect for making the most of all Queenstown has to offer.

      Meals included: Breakfast
      Walks: Queenstown walks, lakefront, Queenstown hill
      Bike rides: Lake Wakatipu trail 16km
      Activities (own cost): Too many to list – something for everyone (see our website or ask us for details)
      Private room upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 14: Queenstown

      With so much to do we spend the full day in fantastic Queenstown with the opportunity to enjoy those once in a lifetime experiences (don’t forget to try the legendary and very tasty Fergburger!). Routeburn Track walkers rejoin the group here at midday with time to try some of the many exciting activities this vibrant city has to offer. Tonight, we dine out at one of Queenstown’s many delicious eateries – a great chance for your group to enjoy a true kiwi feast (own cost).
      Meals: Breakfast
      Bike Rides: Road cycling around town or on one of the many Queenstown trails

      Meals included: Breakfast
      Walks: Queenstown walks, Ben Lomond
      Bike rides: Lake Wakatipu trail, Queenstown trail 48km
      Activities (own cost): Too many to list – something for everyone (see our website or ask us for details)
      Private room upgrades: Yes – subject to availability

      Day 15: Queenstown

      The last chance to indulge in the Queenstown action before finishing your tour with us here and saying farewell to your fellow Kiwi travelers by 2:00 pm.

      Meals included: Breakfast
      Bike rides: Road cycling around town.

      Booking Info
      • Dolphin swimming
      • Visit Milford Sound
      • Cycle sections of the New Zealand Cycle trail
      • Camp out by beaches & lakes
      • Hike the amazing Routeburn Track and Tongariro Crossing
      • Mt Cook Hooker Valley Walk
      • Dig your own hot pool
      • Great food including fresh crayfish
      • Visit a UNESCO World Heritage site
      • Discover the wild, rugged beauty of the West Coast
      • Enjoy stunning sunrises and sunsets
      • Small Group Active Camping Tours – This tour is designed for all ages that want an active tour of NZ. Camp in remote locations and get involved in cycling and hiking. The buses are specially designed to carry mountain bikes. Either hire one on tour or bring your own.
      Where will I sleep on tour?

      With a department of conservation license, we have access to beautiful sites by beaches, lakes, mountains, and forests. A spacious, shared tent is included in the tour price or upgrade and have the tent to yourself.  For a taste of rural luxury, you can also upgrade to cabins most nights.

      Can I hire a bike on tour?

      If you decide to hire a bike on this tour you’ll find an excellent range of rides to enjoy.  From forest rides in Rotorua to wonderful coastlines stretches by the Pacific.  You will fill your lungs with the freshest air and escape the crowds.

      Bike Hire: $320NZD

      Bring your own Bike: $145NZD

      Do you cater for dietary requirements?

      Most meals are included, see the detailed itinerary which outlines exactly what is included on a day-to-day basis  We can also cater for a broad range of dietary requirements.


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        Mt Cook National Park, Group Tours New Zealand, Flying Kiwi

        15 Day Auckland to Queenstown Tour


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