Skip to contentSkip to menu

16 Day Amplified New Zealand Christchurch to Auckland

Days
16

Pricing From
$2999

North Island / South Island
Book Now

Overview

Join us on a NZ experience loaded with adventure on this most popular 16 day Amplified New Zealand Christchurch to Auckland trip we offer across New Zealand’s top destinations.

Out-of-this-world landscapes, golden beaches, fascinating Maori culture and a generous dose of adventure await in this tour taking a little more than two weeks.

With our customisable business model, you can create the tour of your dreams online by adding only experiences and activities that meet your needs. This unique approach allowing our customers to build their own tours has earned us a stack of awards. Book with us and we will take you on a journey you will never forget.

Amplified New Zealand Adventure

Quad Biking, Franz Josef

Amplified New Zealand Adventure

Kayak in Glacier Country

Amplified New Zealand Adventure

Kayak in Glacier Country

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

While Christchurch was seriously damaged during several earthquakes a few years ago, the city is undergoing a wonderful transformation and has nothing but potential.

We’ll explore the iconic downtown area and check out the cool ways the city has reunited and is being rebuilt. With lots of quirky shops, specialized cafes and spots to dine, along with a young fun Kiwi culture, Christchurch shouldn’t be missed.

After exploring Christchurch, we’ll make our way to Tekapo, one of New Zealand’s most famous lakes. Surrounded by the jagged Southern Alps, the bright turquoise Lake Tekapo will leave you questioning if someone dropped blue food coloring in it.

Minerals left by ancient glaciers give the lake its iconic turquoise colour. Combine this with the towering mountains and purple and pink Lupin flowers along its banks, and you’ll understand why Lake Tekapo couldn’t be prettier.

Day 2Lake Tekapo to Queenstown

The road to Queenstown (scattered with dozens of glacial blue lakes, soaring mountains and lush valleys) is almost as beautiful as the town itself. Between wine tasting in the famous Otago region, to exploring some of the local salmon farms, we’ll have the chance to see a more diverse side of the South Island.

The undisputed adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is always at the top of the list of any trip around the South Island. Surrounded by the stunning Remarkables, some of the most beautiful mountains in NZ, and sprawling along the banks of the dazzling Lake Wakatipu, its location is straight from a postcard.

Together we’ll hop on up the gondola and see Queenstown from above. There is nothing like watching the sunset over New Zealand’s prettiest town with new friends before experiencing the famous Queenstown nightlife.

We’ll crash for the night at the Haka Lodge, cook some meals together, and chill out in the best, luxury hostel-lodge in town.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy - Additional Cost
No trip to Queenstown would be complete without at least considering a Bungy jump.

Bungy was born in Queenstown and quickly rocketed this once sleepy town to the envious status of the adventure-tourism capital of the world.

Paragliding - Additional Cost
Treat yourself to an incredible paragliding experience, enjoying breathtaking views taking off from Coronet Peak, the highest take off in Queenstown!

To get to the Paragliding site, you ride the Queenstown Gondola. This ride is included on one of your days in Queenstown, as part of your tour.

However if for whatever reason you can't Paraglide on that day, you will need to pay an additional $33 NZD to get to the Paragliding site on an alternative Queenstown day.

Scenic Flight - Additional Cost
Well worth the cost, this is a flight of a lifetime over two World Heritage National Parks and 200km of New Zealand’s most memorable and spectacular scenery.

The 50 minute flight passes over Mt Cook (Aoraki) and Westland National Parks, 12 major glaciers, the highest peaks in Oceania and the sub tropical rain forests of the South Island's West Coast.

Day 3Queenstown

With a full day in Queenstown, you can pack in as many bucket list activities as you wish.

There are many different options to choose from: paragliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping while your Haka friends cheer you on, horse riding through some stunning Lord of the Rings locations in Glenorchy and swinging through a canyon Tarzan-style with a new friend. Queenstown is definitely a highlight of any trip to New Zealand.

Queenstown is also home to New Zealand’s most famous burger: Fergburger. Why not grab one with your new friends as you explore the town?

If you’re into hiking, you might even be able to hop on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and tackle part of the Routeburn track. One of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, Milford Sound, is not to be missed. Driving into the park is stunning in and of itself, but just wait ‘til you get on the water! Sailing around the fiords beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular spots in New Zealand.

Beautiful in rain or shine, Milford is universally loved by all, and takes the biscuit as one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful areas of the South Island. With the occasional sea lion or dolphin popping up to say hello, it makes the journey there and around even more special.

Middle-earth Tour in Queenstown - Additional Cost
Come see Middle-earth in Queenstown! Hop on the safari and see the sets of Lord of the Rings.

Canyon Swing - Additional Cost
The canyon swing is a bit different to a bungy. You are secured in a full body harness enabling you to depart from the 109 metre high platform in any position imaginable.

Day 4Queenstown to Wanaka

The drive to Wanaka from Queenstown is spectacular, filled with great views, beautiful stops and plenty of surprises. We’ll stop in the stunning and historic Arrowtown for a bit of exploring.

En route to Wanaka, we stop in at New Zealand’s oldest pub for a drink or two in Cardrona before arriving at the lakeside holiday town of Wanaka.

A year round destination, Wanaka is surrounded by towering mountains and a glacial blue lake with plenty of things to do and with a thriving young vibe in town. In the warmer months, there are tons of lake activities to choose from, such as swimming, waterskiing, kayaking and wakeboarding. There are beautiful hikes and bike rides all around the lake and plenty of adventure activities to get stuck into.

In the winter, Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s most popular snow sports destinations, with several great ski fields close by. Hit the cafes on the lakefront for a drink at the end of the day with the group to unwind.

Middle-earth Tour in Queenstown - Additional Cost
Come see Middle-earth in Queenstown! Hop on the safari and see the sets of Lord of the Rings.

Canyon Swing - Additional Cost
The canyon swing is a bit different to a bungy. You are secured in a full body harness enabling you to depart from the 109 metre high platform in any position imaginable.

Day 5Wanaka to Franz Josef

Start the day off right with a skydive over Wanaka, taking in the spectacular glaciers we’ll head to later in the day, and even get views of Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. If you’re feeling nostalgic, take a step back in time with a flight over the lake and town in a vintage Tiger Moth biplane.

You’ll also have the chance to mountain bike along the lake, climb up the iconic Mt. Iron in town for some sweet views or hit up the iconic Puzzling World for a bit of fun and games.

We’ll then make our way towards the wild west coast of the South Island, traversing the beautiful mountains in Haast and getting a good look towards the sea. Get excited, this is one of the most scenic and iconic road trips around New Zealand. Apart from the sick west coast views, there are plenty of surprises and secret spots in store today.

Between September and December its whitebait season (a small fish that’s a delicacy in New Zealand). Fried up with eggs and served on toast, it’s a local treat and shouldn’t be missed. We’ll stop at a one of the secret local spots to try it out.

Skydiving over Southern Alps - Additional Cost
Scared? Believe it or not, 15,000 feet is recommended over 12,000 feet because you have more time to adjust to the freefall.

Tiger Moth Acrobatic Plane Ride - Additional Cost
See Lake Wanaka like you've never seen it before in a 1941 open cockpit bi-plane.

Day 6Franz Josef

Another New Zealand favorite: Franz Josef Glacier. You’ll marvel at the sight of bright blue ice fields, surrounded by luscious green mountains, dropping down into a temperate rainforest (the only kind in the world). Relatively easy to access, hiking on or around the glaciers is a must-do.

There are plenty of different ways to enjoy Franz Josef; you can take a scenic helicopter flight and hike on the glaciers, try ice-climbing for the first time, or relax in the hot springs down below. You can even carve your own Greenstone necklace in town.

Apart from the beautiful glaciers, there are also plenty of opportunities for kayaking, quad biking, horseback riding and even a bit of group karaoke in Franz Josef!

With Mt. Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand.

Glacier Heli Hike - Additional Cost
Glacier trekking is considered an absolute #nzmustdo, and is actually suitable for all abilities. We recommend the heli-hike as a quick way to reach the bluer ice of the glacier.

Heli-Experience with Snow Landing - Additional Cost
From sea level rising to the heart of the magnificent Southern Alps, this flight explores the icefalls on either the Franz Josef or Fox Glaciers. Experience the seclusion of a snow landing in this largely inaccessible alpine region.

Kayak in Glacier Country - Additional Cost
Leaving from Jetty Bay, this unique guided half day kayak tour takes you across the glacial lake past rain forest and imposing vertical walls of glacial moraine.

You then paddle through the pristine environment of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary and 900-year-old kahikatea trees.

Quad Biking - Additional Cost
A ton of fun as you embark on a 4WD adventure and head across stony braided riverbeds, see glacial fed rivers and listen to your guide tell you about local history.

The vehicles are incredibly easy to ride. There is a passenger option if you would prefer not to drive.

Day 7Franz Josef to Christchurch

We head to the beautiful west coast on one of the most spectacular drives in the world; the rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest is juxtaposed against breathtaking beaches and ocean waves.

En route from Franz Josef we pass through Ross, a town that arose from gold mining. The gold rush days of the second half of the 19th century were largely responsible for opening up the west coast for settlement.

Before this, there was a small number of Maori who searched for greenstone (jade). We take a break at Hokitika to visit a greenstone factory.

This place experienced a massive gold rush in the late 1860s and today remnants from all the activity can be seen in original buildings and in the landscape, altered by excavations and vast mounds of tailings.

We may also make a quick stop at the Bushman’s centre where you can taste a Possum pie or sink a drink in the Puke Pub (pronounced Pookee).

We reach Greymouth Train Station by lunchtime, where you board the TranzAlpine train. The crossing takes 4 and a half hours and travels through the absolutely stunning Arthur’s Pass.

Tonight you are privileged to be staying at our very own Haka Lodge, situated on the outskirts of the city centre. We quite often make a home cooked meal or BBQ tonight and we invite you to make yourselves at home.

Day 8Christchurch to Kaikoura

Rugged snowcapped mountains drop right down to the beach in Kaikoura, making it an incredible backdrop to experience the famous sea life in the area.

There’s something for every traveler in Kaikoura: go giant whale watching, take a surf lesson, go fishing, kayak, play mini-golf or swim with hundreds of friendly and curious wild dolphins in the bright blue water; how often do you get to swim with dolphins in the wild?

Eventually we’ll make our way down to Christchurch, a beautiful garden-filled city with lazy rivers and heritage buildings. We finish the day by coming home to our very own Haka Lodge.

Having a family BBQ together, while hanging out with new friends as the sun goes down, makes for a perfect way to end an epic day on the South Island.

Swimming with Dolphins - Additional Cost
Get up close and personal with the Dusky - regarded as the worlds most playful Dolphin.

There is a complete guided commentary throughout the duration of the activity.

Whale Watching - Additional Cost
Every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience, with sightings of whales varying all the time. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year round residents.

Day 9Kaikoura to Wellington

One of the most iconic and classic New Zealand activities is sailing the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands. From the decks of the ferry, the city lights of Wellington fade but before long we’ll be greeted with views of the vast ocean. Keep a look out for the occasional dolphin leaping alongside the boat; as if the views couldn’t be more perfect!

After taking in a vineyard or two, soon the sweeping mountains around the Marlborough Sounds rise up, welcoming us to the South Island. Road tripping along the rugged coast to Kaikoura offers views of tremendous mountains that crash down to the turquoise ocean, with seal colonies and waterfalls dotted here and there.

Be sure to have your camera ready for a visit to the fur seal colonies (there may even be even baby seals!) and for all of the great sea life you’re going to spot. If it’s warm enough, we’ll even have a bonfire on the beach together and cook up a family BBQ.

Day 10Wellington

Tucked away at the bottom of the North Island, New Zealand’s capital is anything but boring. A fun young city with tons of green spaces and beaches, it feels more like a small town than an urban capital. Packed with quirky bars, quaint cafes, beautiful street art and heaps of things to do, it’s impossible not to love Wellington.

There is something for everyone here: be amazed at Weta Studios, where the Lord of the Rings movies were produced; ride the old fashioned cable car to the Botanic Gardens; visit Te Papa, Wellington’s famous (and free) museum filled with peculiar things, interactive exhibits as well as the stories and legends behind the history of New Zealand; or explore the various beautiful beaches around town. Go on, let your inner kid come out to play.

Join the group on a trip up Mt. Victoria, one of Wellington’s most iconic spots. With the best views in town and plenty of walks and tracks to tackle, Mt. Vic is a Wellington icon and a highlight of the trip.

Day 11Wellington to Taupo

On our way down to Taupo, we will get spectacular views of the famous volcanoes – Ruapehu, Tongariro and of course, Ngauruhoe, which is better known as Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings films. Your guide will definitely have a surprise or two in store along the way as well.

When we arrive in Taupo, kick back, relax and let our knowledgeable guide sort out the planning for an exciting night on the town.

Day 12Taupo

Lake Taupo is actually a giant volcanic crater created 70,000 years ago in one of the biggest eruptions in history. Peaceful nowadays, it’s one of New Zealand’s best places to escape and vacation. Also, being New Zealand, there are plenty of adventure sports to be found there too.

If you’re looking for a thrill, we suggest skydiving over the lake or bungy jumping over New Zealand’s longest river (and, for the really brave, getting dunked in). There are heaps of other activities on offer such as quad biking, cruising the lake to see Maori rock carvings, hiking along the shores, mountain biking and even the chance to soak in some of the local geothermal pools. There is definitely an activity for everyone in Taupo and your guide will certainly have plenty of tips and suggestions.

If you want to experience New Zealand’s most famous day hike, the 19.4 km Tongariro Crossing is begging you to visit. An alpine crossing around Tongariro, one of the North Island’s most famous and most beautiful volcanoes. It may be a calf burner but it’s worth every minute for the great views and volcanic landscape. Turquoise and green volcanic lakes greet you at the top, along with vistas that stretch on for miles to the coast. If you are feeling fit, you can even scramble up Mt. Ngauruhoe, which starred as Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings.

Sail Fearless (October to May) - Additional Cost
Be Fearless! Join our crew for a sail on Fearless, Great Lake Taupo’s only 48’ ketch offering small groups, of up to 14 people, pure sailing magic.

Experience the beauty and thrill of a scenic journey out to the infamous Maori rock carvings taking in the popular Te Kopua and Acacia Bays en route.

The trip includes a swimming stop in summer or winter if your brave, and be sure to bring your camera to capture some of the most breathtaking views around. Come and join us on Fearless for a trip to remember.

Trips take 2 to 2 1/2 hours and are weather dependent. Bring a warm jacket just in case and a towel if you fancy a swim.

Sail Lake Taupo - Additional Cost
Join the locals on a boutique Lake Taupo cruise to the renowned Maori Rock Carvings. Sailing Taupo's beautiful bays, Barbary offers the perfect mix of relaxation, fun and adventure at an awesome price.

Soak up the sun or roll up your sleeves; you can take the wheel, help hoist the sails or just sit back and enjoy the view. Barbary is nothing like your run-of-the-mill Lake Taupo cruise; our eco-friendly yacht offers year-round water activities the Kiwi way.

Skydiving over Lake Taupo - Additional Cost
With expert tandem skydive instructors; you’ll jump out of an aircraft from up to 15,000ft and into an incredible free-fall over the worlds most stunning drop zone, surrounded by snow tipped peaks and the clean, fresh blue of lake Taupo, you’ll slow from a 200KM/H descent to a safe, controlled canopy landing.

The Tongariro Crossing - Additional Cost
Rated as the best one day trek in New Zealand and listed by many as one of top 10 day treks in the world, the Tongariro Crossing is a challenging hike taking 7 - 8 hours covering a distance of 19.4 km.

Water Touch Bungy - Additional Cost
Located in the stunning volcanic Waikato River Valley, Taupo Bungy is considered one of the world’s most spectacular jump sites and also boasts NZ’s highest water touch bungy!

(Water touching is optional)

Day 13Taupo to Rotorua

While the North Island is predominantly volcanic, Rotorua is exceptional for its geothermal activity. With neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore, there are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than many other places in the world.

We’ll start out with optional white water rafting or sledging on the Kaituna River which includes a 7 metre waterfall, though if you prefer a more relaxed morning, there are plenty of other spots to explore around town, including some local hot springs if you want to take it easy.

Here you’ll have the chance to head over to Matamata and tour the Hobbiton film set from the Lord of the Rings, as well the Otorohonga Kiwi House where you can get a glimpse of our national icon. Reenact scenes from the movies with the rest of the group or just pretend to be a Hobbit while sipping some of the pub’s famous ginger beer.

On the way to Taupo we stop at what makes Rotorua famous, along with giving it its unique smell: Orakei Korako or Waiotapu. These are extraordinary geyserland and thermal parks where you can walk around and check out all the unique geothermal activity in the area.

OGO - Additional Cost
Owned and operated by the inventors, OGO Rotorua is an adventure activity that is great all year round.

Visitors are rewarded with spectacular views over Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island as they Superman-dive into the OGO ride of their choice.

Slip and slide with 40 litres of water (warm in the winter, cool in the summer) down the world’s longest H2OGO Sidewinder track, or race one another down the two-double straight H2OGO tracks or try out their latest creation the DRYGO.

Just five minutes from town, next door to Mitai, Rainbow Springs and Skyline Rotorua.

Day 14Rotorua to Waitomo

Waitomo has become famous around the world thanks to its magnificent glowworm caves. How many chances do you get to go caving in a place with blue glowworms twinkling on the ceiling? There are many different ways to explore the caves, but if you are open to adventure and getting your feet wet, the best way to experience Waitomo is by black water rafting. (Optional Add-on)

Dressed in a wetsuit, sitting on top of an inner tube, you can float down the caverns and underground maze. With your headlamp off, it seems as if you are looking up at the sky filled with blue stars.

If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can opt on one of the caving tours where you abseil down into the caverns, tube, zipline and climb waterfalls before popping out at the end. But don’t worry, there’s a different way to explore the caves for everyone.

After lunch we’ll hop on over to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. Nicknamed the "Vegas" of New Zealand, Rotorua has heaps of activities and things to do for everyone.

A favourite activity for many is the Zorb – a Kiwi invention that involves rolling down a hill whilst inside a giant air cushioned ball! Taking in one of the Maori cultural evenings, getting to experience the traditional Maori heritage and welcome, is another tour highlight.

Cave Tubing - Additional Cost
This two hour cave tubing trip is a mixed bag of fun, mystery with flashes of excitement, where you get to jump off a waterfall and zip down the underground waterslide, just relax and glide through the brilliant glow worm displays on an inner tyre tube or crawl up to a hidden waterfall!

Glowworm Cave Tour - Additional Cost
Enjoy the beauty of Footwhistle Cave (also known to local Maori as Te Anaroa Cave) where you will see the magnificent glowworms and cave formations up close and learn about the rich history of Waitomo and it's caves and about the animal life deep down in the caves.

After enjoying a relaxed stroll through the cave, you'll be seated in Footwhistle's Cathedral to see it lit up by a dazzling magnesium torch. Although the display only lasts a few seconds, your memories of the Footwhistle Cave will last a lifetime.

Complete the tour by enjoying a Kawa Kawa tea whilst you relax in our punga hut nestled in native forest and surrounds.

Rafting Kaituna River - Additional Cost
The Kaituna River is home to the highest commercially rafted waterfall, the 7 metre Tutea falls.

This trip is a fantastic introduction to white water rafting for those who have never or barely rafted before.

A unique mix of history, culture and adrenalin overload.

Sledging - Additional Cost
Sledging is otherwise known as river boarding which means navigating down river rapids on a specially designed body board!

The Shire Set Tour in Rotorua - Additional Cost
See and explore The Shire from the movie The Lord of the Rings! Leaves from Rotorua.

Day 15Waitomo to Coromandel

It’s no secret that many blockbuster hits have been filmed in New Zealand due to its incredible landscapes.

We’ll walk together out along the cliffs down to Cathedral Cove (which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Narnia). Beautiful in its own right, with perfect beaches and massive rock arches and columns, it’s one of the most popular spots in the Coromandel and for a good reason: It doesn’t look real.

From the Coromandel, we’ll head west through some beautiful lush green hills dotted with New Zealand’s iconic sheep before making our way to Waitomo, home of the one of a kind glowworm caves.

Lost World Caving Experience - Additional Cost
Enjoy the best caving adventure tour on a four hour expedition that combines abseiling the breathtaking tomo, with climbing and tight rock squeezes!

Abseil 100m into this unique and spectacular chasm alongside your instructor. The beauty of this iconic cavern is unsurpassed.

Day 16Coromandel to Auckland

Beautiful remote beaches, dense wooded forest and clear blue waters make the Coromandel one of New Zealand’s favorite getaways. Together, at low tide, we’ll make our way to the world-famous Hot Water Beach.

When the tide’s out, you can dig a hole in the sand where natural hot springs bubble up to create your own personal hot tub!

You’ll also carve your own tiki pendant from bone here, a very special and unique Kiwi experience. What a better souvenir to take home than one you made yourself in a traditional activity?

Finally, we head to Auckland, NZ’s biggest city. Auckland sits on the narrow sliver of land where the Northland peninsula tapers south to meet the rest of the North Island. Therefore, the sea is ever present, and it isn’t difficult to guess the origin of its nickname ‘City of Sails’.

We arrive around 5pm, where we’ll say our final farewells. You can always book extra accommodation for this night, and if you have a few spare days, jump on our three day Bay of Islands tour.

Sea Kayaking - Additional Cost
This is what we consider one of the best kayaking trips in the country - paddle through amazing sea caves, explore volcanic islands in the marine reserve and enjoy a cappuccino at the exclusive Cathedral Cove beachfront cafe.

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

While Christchurch was seriously damaged during several earthquakes a few years ago, the city is undergoing a wonderful transformation and has nothing but potential.

We’ll explore the iconic downtown area and check out the cool ways the city has reunited and is being rebuilt. With lots of quirky shops, specialized cafes and spots to dine, along with a young fun Kiwi culture, Christchurch shouldn’t be missed.

After exploring Christchurch, we’ll make our way to Tekapo, one of New Zealand’s most famous lakes. Surrounded by the jagged Southern Alps, the bright turquoise Lake Tekapo will leave you questioning if someone dropped blue food coloring in it.

Minerals left by ancient glaciers give the lake its iconic turquoise colour. Combine this with the towering mountains and purple and pink Lupin flowers along its banks, and you’ll understand why Lake Tekapo couldn’t be prettier.

Day 2Lake Tekapo to Queenstown

The road to Queenstown (scattered with dozens of glacial blue lakes, soaring mountains and lush valleys) is almost as beautiful as the town itself. Between wine tasting in the famous Otago region, to exploring some of the local salmon farms, we’ll have the chance to see a more diverse side of the South Island.

The undisputed adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is always at the top of the list of any trip around the South Island. Surrounded by the stunning Remarkables, some of the most beautiful mountains in NZ, and sprawling along the banks of the dazzling Lake Wakatipu, its location is straight from a postcard.

Together we’ll hop on up the gondola and see Queenstown from above. There is nothing like watching the sunset over New Zealand’s prettiest town with new friends before experiencing the famous Queenstown nightlife.

We’ll crash for the night at the Haka Lodge, cook some meals together, and chill out in the best, luxury hostel-lodge in town.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy - Additional Cost
No trip to Queenstown would be complete without at least considering a Bungy jump.

Bungy was born in Queenstown and quickly rocketed this once sleepy town to the envious status of the adventure-tourism capital of the world.

Paragliding - Additional Cost
Treat yourself to an incredible paragliding experience, enjoying breathtaking views taking off from Coronet Peak, the highest take off in Queenstown!

To get to the Paragliding site, you ride the Queenstown Gondola. This ride is included on one of your days in Queenstown, as part of your tour.

However if for whatever reason you can't Paraglide on that day, you will need to pay an additional $33 NZD to get to the Paragliding site on an alternative Queenstown day.

Scenic Flight - Additional Cost
Well worth the cost, this is a flight of a lifetime over two World Heritage National Parks and 200km of New Zealand’s most memorable and spectacular scenery.

The 50 minute flight passes over Mt Cook (Aoraki) and Westland National Parks, 12 major glaciers, the highest peaks in Oceania and the sub tropical rain forests of the South Island's West Coast.

Day 3Queenstown

With a full day in Queenstown, you can pack in as many bucket list activities as you wish.

There are many different options to choose from: paragliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping while your Haka friends cheer you on, horse riding through some stunning Lord of the Rings locations in Glenorchy and swinging through a canyon Tarzan-style with a new friend. Queenstown is definitely a highlight of any trip to New Zealand.

Queenstown is also home to New Zealand’s most famous burger: Fergburger. Why not grab one with your new friends as you explore the town?

If you’re into hiking, you might even be able to hop on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and tackle part of the Routeburn track. One of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, Milford Sound, is not to be missed. Driving into the park is stunning in and of itself, but just wait ‘til you get on the water! Sailing around the fiords beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular spots in New Zealand.

Beautiful in rain or shine, Milford is universally loved by all, and takes the biscuit as one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful areas of the South Island. With the occasional sea lion or dolphin popping up to say hello, it makes the journey there and around even more special.

Middle-earth Tour in Queenstown - Additional Cost
Come see Middle-earth in Queenstown! Hop on the safari and see the sets of Lord of the Rings.

Canyon Swing - Additional Cost
The canyon swing is a bit different to a bungy. You are secured in a full body harness enabling you to depart from the 109 metre high platform in any position imaginable.

Day 4Queenstown to Wanaka

The drive to Wanaka from Queenstown is spectacular, filled with great views, beautiful stops and plenty of surprises. We’ll stop in the stunning and historic Arrowtown for a bit of exploring.

En route to Wanaka, we stop in at New Zealand’s oldest pub for a drink or two in Cardrona before arriving at the lakeside holiday town of Wanaka.

A year round destination, Wanaka is surrounded by towering mountains and a glacial blue lake with plenty of things to do and with a thriving young vibe in town. In the warmer months, there are tons of lake activities to choose from, such as swimming, waterskiing, kayaking and wakeboarding. There are beautiful hikes and bike rides all around the lake and plenty of adventure activities to get stuck into.

In the winter, Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s most popular snow sports destinations, with several great ski fields close by. Hit the cafes on the lakefront for a drink at the end of the day with the group to unwind.

Middle-earth Tour in Queenstown - Additional Cost
Come see Middle-earth in Queenstown! Hop on the safari and see the sets of Lord of the Rings.

Canyon Swing - Additional Cost
The canyon swing is a bit different to a bungy. You are secured in a full body harness enabling you to depart from the 109 metre high platform in any position imaginable.

Day 5Wanaka to Franz Josef

Start the day off right with a skydive over Wanaka, taking in the spectacular glaciers we’ll head to later in the day, and even get views of Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. If you’re feeling nostalgic, take a step back in time with a flight over the lake and town in a vintage Tiger Moth biplane.

You’ll also have the chance to mountain bike along the lake, climb up the iconic Mt. Iron in town for some sweet views or hit up the iconic Puzzling World for a bit of fun and games.

We’ll then make our way towards the wild west coast of the South Island, traversing the beautiful mountains in Haast and getting a good look towards the sea. Get excited, this is one of the most scenic and iconic road trips around New Zealand. Apart from the sick west coast views, there are plenty of surprises and secret spots in store today.

Between September and December its whitebait season (a small fish that’s a delicacy in New Zealand). Fried up with eggs and served on toast, it’s a local treat and shouldn’t be missed. We’ll stop at a one of the secret local spots to try it out.

Skydiving over Southern Alps - Additional Cost
Scared? Believe it or not, 15,000 feet is recommended over 12,000 feet because you have more time to adjust to the freefall.

Tiger Moth Acrobatic Plane Ride - Additional Cost
See Lake Wanaka like you've never seen it before in a 1941 open cockpit bi-plane.

Day 6Franz Josef

Another New Zealand favorite: Franz Josef Glacier. You’ll marvel at the sight of bright blue ice fields, surrounded by luscious green mountains, dropping down into a temperate rainforest (the only kind in the world). Relatively easy to access, hiking on or around the glaciers is a must-do.

There are plenty of different ways to enjoy Franz Josef; you can take a scenic helicopter flight and hike on the glaciers, try ice-climbing for the first time, or relax in the hot springs down below. You can even carve your own Greenstone necklace in town.

Apart from the beautiful glaciers, there are also plenty of opportunities for kayaking, quad biking, horseback riding and even a bit of group karaoke in Franz Josef!

With Mt. Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand.

Glacier Heli Hike - Additional Cost
Glacier trekking is considered an absolute #nzmustdo, and is actually suitable for all abilities. We recommend the heli-hike as a quick way to reach the bluer ice of the glacier.

Heli-Experience with Snow Landing - Additional Cost
From sea level rising to the heart of the magnificent Southern Alps, this flight explores the icefalls on either the Franz Josef or Fox Glaciers. Experience the seclusion of a snow landing in this largely inaccessible alpine region.

Kayak in Glacier Country - Additional Cost
Leaving from Jetty Bay, this unique guided half day kayak tour takes you across the glacial lake past rain forest and imposing vertical walls of glacial moraine.

You then paddle through the pristine environment of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary and 900-year-old kahikatea trees.

Quad Biking - Additional Cost
A ton of fun as you embark on a 4WD adventure and head across stony braided riverbeds, see glacial fed rivers and listen to your guide tell you about local history.

The vehicles are incredibly easy to ride. There is a passenger option if you would prefer not to drive.

Day 7Franz Josef to Christchurch

We head to the beautiful west coast on one of the most spectacular drives in the world; the rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest is juxtaposed against breathtaking beaches and ocean waves.

En route from Franz Josef we pass through Ross, a town that arose from gold mining. The gold rush days of the second half of the 19th century were largely responsible for opening up the west coast for settlement.

Before this, there was a small number of Maori who searched for greenstone (jade). We take a break at Hokitika to visit a greenstone factory.

This place experienced a massive gold rush in the late 1860s and today remnants from all the activity can be seen in original buildings and in the landscape, altered by excavations and vast mounds of tailings.

We may also make a quick stop at the Bushman’s centre where you can taste a Possum pie or sink a drink in the Puke Pub (pronounced Pookee).

We reach Greymouth Train Station by lunchtime, where you board the TranzAlpine train. The crossing takes 4 and a half hours and travels through the absolutely stunning Arthur’s Pass.

Tonight you are privileged to be staying at our very own Haka Lodge, situated on the outskirts of the city centre. We quite often make a home cooked meal or BBQ tonight and we invite you to make yourselves at home.

Day 8Christchurch to Kaikoura

Rugged snowcapped mountains drop right down to the beach in Kaikoura, making it an incredible backdrop to experience the famous sea life in the area.

There’s something for every traveler in Kaikoura: go giant whale watching, take a surf lesson, go fishing, kayak, play mini-golf or swim with hundreds of friendly and curious wild dolphins in the bright blue water; how often do you get to swim with dolphins in the wild?

Eventually we’ll make our way down to Christchurch, a beautiful garden-filled city with lazy rivers and heritage buildings. We finish the day by coming home to our very own Haka Lodge.

Having a family BBQ together, while hanging out with new friends as the sun goes down, makes for a perfect way to end an epic day on the South Island.

Swimming with Dolphins - Additional Cost
Get up close and personal with the Dusky - regarded as the worlds most playful Dolphin.

There is a complete guided commentary throughout the duration of the activity.

Whale Watching - Additional Cost
Every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience, with sightings of whales varying all the time. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year round residents.

Day 9Kaikoura to Wellington

One of the most iconic and classic New Zealand activities is sailing the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands. From the decks of the ferry, the city lights of Wellington fade but before long we’ll be greeted with views of the vast ocean. Keep a look out for the occasional dolphin leaping alongside the boat; as if the views couldn’t be more perfect!

After taking in a vineyard or two, soon the sweeping mountains around the Marlborough Sounds rise up, welcoming us to the South Island. Road tripping along the rugged coast to Kaikoura offers views of tremendous mountains that crash down to the turquoise ocean, with seal colonies and waterfalls dotted here and there.

Be sure to have your camera ready for a visit to the fur seal colonies (there may even be even baby seals!) and for all of the great sea life you’re going to spot. If it’s warm enough, we’ll even have a bonfire on the beach together and cook up a family BBQ.

Day 10Wellington

Tucked away at the bottom of the North Island, New Zealand’s capital is anything but boring. A fun young city with tons of green spaces and beaches, it feels more like a small town than an urban capital. Packed with quirky bars, quaint cafes, beautiful street art and heaps of things to do, it’s impossible not to love Wellington.

There is something for everyone here: be amazed at Weta Studios, where the Lord of the Rings movies were produced; ride the old fashioned cable car to the Botanic Gardens; visit Te Papa, Wellington’s famous (and free) museum filled with peculiar things, interactive exhibits as well as the stories and legends behind the history of New Zealand; or explore the various beautiful beaches around town. Go on, let your inner kid come out to play.

Join the group on a trip up Mt. Victoria, one of Wellington’s most iconic spots. With the best views in town and plenty of walks and tracks to tackle, Mt. Vic is a Wellington icon and a highlight of the trip.

Day 11Wellington to Taupo

On our way down to Taupo, we will get spectacular views of the famous volcanoes – Ruapehu, Tongariro and of course, Ngauruhoe, which is better known as Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings films. Your guide will definitely have a surprise or two in store along the way as well.

When we arrive in Taupo, kick back, relax and let our knowledgeable guide sort out the planning for an exciting night on the town.

Day 12Taupo

Lake Taupo is actually a giant volcanic crater created 70,000 years ago in one of the biggest eruptions in history. Peaceful nowadays, it’s one of New Zealand’s best places to escape and vacation. Also, being New Zealand, there are plenty of adventure sports to be found there too.

If you’re looking for a thrill, we suggest skydiving over the lake or bungy jumping over New Zealand’s longest river (and, for the really brave, getting dunked in). There are heaps of other activities on offer such as quad biking, cruising the lake to see Maori rock carvings, hiking along the shores, mountain biking and even the chance to soak in some of the local geothermal pools. There is definitely an activity for everyone in Taupo and your guide will certainly have plenty of tips and suggestions.

If you want to experience New Zealand’s most famous day hike, the 19.4 km Tongariro Crossing is begging you to visit. An alpine crossing around Tongariro, one of the North Island’s most famous and most beautiful volcanoes. It may be a calf burner but it’s worth every minute for the great views and volcanic landscape. Turquoise and green volcanic lakes greet you at the top, along with vistas that stretch on for miles to the coast. If you are feeling fit, you can even scramble up Mt. Ngauruhoe, which starred as Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings.

Sail Fearless (October to May) - Additional Cost
Be Fearless! Join our crew for a sail on Fearless, Great Lake Taupo’s only 48’ ketch offering small groups, of up to 14 people, pure sailing magic.

Experience the beauty and thrill of a scenic journey out to the infamous Maori rock carvings taking in the popular Te Kopua and Acacia Bays en route.

The trip includes a swimming stop in summer or winter if your brave, and be sure to bring your camera to capture some of the most breathtaking views around. Come and join us on Fearless for a trip to remember.

Trips take 2 to 2 1/2 hours and are weather dependent. Bring a warm jacket just in case and a towel if you fancy a swim.

Sail Lake Taupo - Additional Cost
Join the locals on a boutique Lake Taupo cruise to the renowned Maori Rock Carvings. Sailing Taupo's beautiful bays, Barbary offers the perfect mix of relaxation, fun and adventure at an awesome price.

Soak up the sun or roll up your sleeves; you can take the wheel, help hoist the sails or just sit back and enjoy the view. Barbary is nothing like your run-of-the-mill Lake Taupo cruise; our eco-friendly yacht offers year-round water activities the Kiwi way.

Skydiving over Lake Taupo - Additional Cost
With expert tandem skydive instructors; you’ll jump out of an aircraft from up to 15,000ft and into an incredible free-fall over the worlds most stunning drop zone, surrounded by snow tipped peaks and the clean, fresh blue of lake Taupo, you’ll slow from a 200KM/H descent to a safe, controlled canopy landing.

The Tongariro Crossing - Additional Cost
Rated as the best one day trek in New Zealand and listed by many as one of top 10 day treks in the world, the Tongariro Crossing is a challenging hike taking 7 - 8 hours covering a distance of 19.4 km.

Water Touch Bungy - Additional Cost
Located in the stunning volcanic Waikato River Valley, Taupo Bungy is considered one of the world’s most spectacular jump sites and also boasts NZ’s highest water touch bungy!

(Water touching is optional)

Day 13Taupo to Rotorua

While the North Island is predominantly volcanic, Rotorua is exceptional for its geothermal activity. With neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore, there are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than many other places in the world.

We’ll start out with optional white water rafting or sledging on the Kaituna River which includes a 7 metre waterfall, though if you prefer a more relaxed morning, there are plenty of other spots to explore around town, including some local hot springs if you want to take it easy.

Here you’ll have the chance to head over to Matamata and tour the Hobbiton film set from the Lord of the Rings, as well the Otorohonga Kiwi House where you can get a glimpse of our national icon. Reenact scenes from the movies with the rest of the group or just pretend to be a Hobbit while sipping some of the pub’s famous ginger beer.

On the way to Taupo we stop at what makes Rotorua famous, along with giving it its unique smell: Orakei Korako or Waiotapu. These are extraordinary geyserland and thermal parks where you can walk around and check out all the unique geothermal activity in the area.

OGO - Additional Cost
Owned and operated by the inventors, OGO Rotorua is an adventure activity that is great all year round.

Visitors are rewarded with spectacular views over Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island as they Superman-dive into the OGO ride of their choice.

Slip and slide with 40 litres of water (warm in the winter, cool in the summer) down the world’s longest H2OGO Sidewinder track, or race one another down the two-double straight H2OGO tracks or try out their latest creation the DRYGO.

Just five minutes from town, next door to Mitai, Rainbow Springs and Skyline Rotorua.

Day 14Rotorua to Waitomo

Waitomo has become famous around the world thanks to its magnificent glowworm caves. How many chances do you get to go caving in a place with blue glowworms twinkling on the ceiling? There are many different ways to explore the caves, but if you are open to adventure and getting your feet wet, the best way to experience Waitomo is by black water rafting. (Optional Add-on)

Dressed in a wetsuit, sitting on top of an inner tube, you can float down the caverns and underground maze. With your headlamp off, it seems as if you are looking up at the sky filled with blue stars.

If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can opt on one of the caving tours where you abseil down into the caverns, tube, zipline and climb waterfalls before popping out at the end. But don’t worry, there’s a different way to explore the caves for everyone.

After lunch we’ll hop on over to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. Nicknamed the "Vegas" of New Zealand, Rotorua has heaps of activities and things to do for everyone.

A favourite activity for many is the Zorb – a Kiwi invention that involves rolling down a hill whilst inside a giant air cushioned ball! Taking in one of the Maori cultural evenings, getting to experience the traditional Maori heritage and welcome, is another tour highlight.

Cave Tubing - Additional Cost
This two hour cave tubing trip is a mixed bag of fun, mystery with flashes of excitement, where you get to jump off a waterfall and zip down the underground waterslide, just relax and glide through the brilliant glow worm displays on an inner tyre tube or crawl up to a hidden waterfall!

Glowworm Cave Tour - Additional Cost
Enjoy the beauty of Footwhistle Cave (also known to local Maori as Te Anaroa Cave) where you will see the magnificent glowworms and cave formations up close and learn about the rich history of Waitomo and it's caves and about the animal life deep down in the caves.

After enjoying a relaxed stroll through the cave, you'll be seated in Footwhistle's Cathedral to see it lit up by a dazzling magnesium torch. Although the display only lasts a few seconds, your memories of the Footwhistle Cave will last a lifetime.

Complete the tour by enjoying a Kawa Kawa tea whilst you relax in our punga hut nestled in native forest and surrounds.

Rafting Kaituna River - Additional Cost
The Kaituna River is home to the highest commercially rafted waterfall, the 7 metre Tutea falls.

This trip is a fantastic introduction to white water rafting for those who have never or barely rafted before.

A unique mix of history, culture and adrenalin overload.

Sledging - Additional Cost
Sledging is otherwise known as river boarding which means navigating down river rapids on a specially designed body board!

The Shire Set Tour in Rotorua - Additional Cost
See and explore The Shire from the movie The Lord of the Rings! Leaves from Rotorua.

Day 15Waitomo to Coromandel

It’s no secret that many blockbuster hits have been filmed in New Zealand due to its incredible landscapes.

We’ll walk together out along the cliffs down to Cathedral Cove (which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Narnia). Beautiful in its own right, with perfect beaches and massive rock arches and columns, it’s one of the most popular spots in the Coromandel and for a good reason: It doesn’t look real.

From the Coromandel, we’ll head west through some beautiful lush green hills dotted with New Zealand’s iconic sheep before making our way to Waitomo, home of the one of a kind glowworm caves.

Lost World Caving Experience - Additional Cost
Enjoy the best caving adventure tour on a four hour expedition that combines abseiling the breathtaking tomo, with climbing and tight rock squeezes!

Abseil 100m into this unique and spectacular chasm alongside your instructor. The beauty of this iconic cavern is unsurpassed.

Day 16Coromandel to Auckland

Beautiful remote beaches, dense wooded forest and clear blue waters make the Coromandel one of New Zealand’s favorite getaways. Together, at low tide, we’ll make our way to the world-famous Hot Water Beach.

When the tide’s out, you can dig a hole in the sand where natural hot springs bubble up to create your own personal hot tub!

You’ll also carve your own tiki pendant from bone here, a very special and unique Kiwi experience. What a better souvenir to take home than one you made yourself in a traditional activity?

Finally, we head to Auckland, NZ’s biggest city. Auckland sits on the narrow sliver of land where the Northland peninsula tapers south to meet the rest of the North Island. Therefore, the sea is ever present, and it isn’t difficult to guess the origin of its nickname ‘City of Sails’.

We arrive around 5pm, where we’ll say our final farewells. You can always book extra accommodation for this night, and if you have a few spare days, jump on our three day Bay of Islands tour.

Sea Kayaking - Additional Cost
This is what we consider one of the best kayaking trips in the country - paddle through amazing sea caves, explore volcanic islands in the marine reserve and enjoy a cappuccino at the exclusive Cathedral Cove beachfront cafe.

Similar Tours

12 Day Haka Plus Christchurch to Auckland Adventure Tour
12 Day Haka Plus Christchurch to Auckland Adventure Tour

Read more

7 Day South Island Lick Tour
7 Day South Island Lick Tour

Read more

10 Day Haka Plus Northern Trail Wellington to Auckland
10 Day Haka Plus Northern Trail Wellington to Auckland

Read more

10 Days Southern Light South Island Adventure Tour
10 Days Southern Light South Island Adventure Tour

Read more