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14 Day Reverse Traverse Adventure Tour

Days
14

Pricing From
$2144

North Island / South Island
Book Now

Overview

JULY SALE NOW ON!!

We are pleased to announce our biggest sale yet.

Bookings must be made by 15 July 2019 to receive a whopping 20% off all tours (excluding December & January departures). 

The name says it all. Embark on an epic Reverse Traverse Adventure Tour that will take you from the deep South to near the top of the North of New Zealand, taking in the best of Kiwiana in 15 days. On this trip, feast your eyes on a range of breathtaking scenery as diverse as magnificent national parks, glaciers, golden sand beaches, fiords, wild coastlines, verdant subtropical forests, and incredible mountain formations.

Settle in for two nights at these gorgeous locations: Marahau to discover the hidden gems of the Abel Tasman Natinal Park; Punakaiki to see more of the Paparoa National Park; and in the Bay of Islands.

This is an ideal itinerary for those keen to experience the best of the South Island first before joining the Flying Kiwi team in Queenstown for a journey along the rugged West Coast. The trip continues to the stunning Abel Tasman before crossing to the north.

Finish in Auckland, but not before getting your fair share of time on the sand and under the sun, perhaps going on sand duning and sailing in the Twin Coast. Stand before the giants of our forests, New Zealand’s ancient native kauri, whose sheer size will leave you breathless.

Trip Options

You have a choice of starting the trip in Queenstown or Christchurch. Except on Christmas Day, a daily bus service connects Christchurch to Queenstown so if you would like to spend a few days exploring Queenstown before the tour starts, let us know. The dates and standard trip price are applicable for Queenstown departures.

 

Reverse Traverse Adventure Tour

Bay of Islands

Reverse Traverse Adventure Tour

Sand Boarding

Reverse Traverse Adventure Tour

Queenstown

Reverse Traverse Adventure Tour

Fox Glacier helihike

Reverse Traverse Adventure Tour

Kayaking at Abel Tasman National Park

Reverse Traverse Adventure Tour

Black water rafting, Waitomo

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstown to Boundary Creek(B,D)

Leaving at 2:30pm, after the thrills and spills of Queenstown we wind down with a beautiful campsite beside the tranquil lake with spectacular views of Mount Aspiring National Park.

Boundary Creek is located on the shores of Lake Wanaka, just north of Queenstown. Surrounded by the mountains of Mt Aspiring Naitonal Park, this wilderness camp is refreshing change from the fast pace of Queenstown. The crystal clear waters reflect the snow capped peaks year round and it's the perfect place to absorb the beauty of another incredible National Park.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: You can make the most of the Queenstown bike trails before we leave at 2.30pm and you can ride into camp later in the day along the edge of Lake Wanaka
Walks and Hikes: Lakefront walks or other walks you may have missed yesterday when doing activities.
Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, canyon swing, skydiving, boat cruise plus much more!
Available Upgrades: No - beautiful lakeside camp with National park views
Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours

Day 2Boundary Creek to Fox Glacier(B,L,D)

Today we're heading to the wild west coast! Today is a substantial drive but the scenery we'll be travelling through is quite dramatic plus we'll be making stops along the way for walks, views, waterfalls, coastline and a couple of bike options! We start the day tracing the northern edge of Mt Aspiring National park crossing the Haast pass and the gateway to the Westland region before meeting the Tasman Sea. From here we travel north to the small township of Fox Glacier along the start of a road that has been voted one of the top 10 coastal journeys in the world!

The wild "West Coast" refers to the beautiful and diverse area lodged between the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. This area is home to arguably the most dramatic scenery in New Zealand and the the least number of people - a perfect combination for our tours. The region is dotted with towering mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, thundering rivers and rain forest. The national parks in this region have been designated as World Heritage Areas to help keep this area of supreme natural beauty intact. Residents of the region are known as "coasters" and known for their genuine friendliness.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Bike Rides: The first of two options today is a downhill ride from the top of the Haast pass and finishing up at the mighty Thunder Creek Falls. Later that day you have an option of long ride into Fox Glaicer Township or ride roughly half the distance for a shorter ride
Walks and Hikes: There are quite a number of short walks today as we make frequent stops on this epic journey to the West Coast
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours

Day 3Fox Glacier to Okarito(B,L,D)

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. It is fed by four alpine glaciers that receive approximately 30 metres of snowfall each year. This snow compacts at the top to produce the wonderful blue ice hundreds of metres deep. To get on the ice you have to take a guided trip by helicopter!

If you're not keen for a Heli hike it is still possible to see the glacier. From camp follow a walking track through beautiful native fern forests before the huge valley that holds the glacier opens up in front of you. Follow the walking track up the valley and you'll get to an impressive viewpoint where you can see the terminal face of this epic glacier!

Later that day we'll be heading down to Lake Matheson that has a nice, easy walking trail and, if conditions permit, the view of the southern alps gets reflected by the still waters of the lake.

We'll leave Fox Glacier mid afternoon and head towards our camp in a small town called Okarito. This has become a favourite on the tour as the tranquil little town is right on the coast and view across the Tasman sea are often accompanied by awesome sunsets. Okarito is also famous for its bird life and remains one of New Zealand's largest unmodified wetlands reserves! It is also possible to see other birds in the surrounding woodlands such as the rarest species of kiwi, the Rowi, that only lives in the small area that surrounds this quiet little settlement.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Bike Rides: Ride along the walk/cycleway to the Glacier viewpoint and then ride to Lake Matheson later in the day. There is also a beautiful ride on the quiet road that leads to Okarito
Walks and Hikes: If you're not hiking on the ice then definitely head up to the terminal face viewpoint and then in the afternoon a walk around Lake Matheson is a must do!
Optional Activities: Guided heli-hike, Terminal Facewalk
Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours

Day 4Okarito to Punakaiki(B,D)

If you're feeling up to it then you can head out on an early morning walk to watch the sunrise before we continue up this spectacular coastal stretch to Hokitika – home to the Greenstone factories where you can see these skilled craftsmen at work and a great place for a traditional souvenir of your visit. We travel on through pristine native forest to Paparoa National Park where giant columns of water shoot skywards at Pancake Rocks! This 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 we can relax at the local tavern and explore a cavern with some glow worms hanging out in the dark.

Hokitika and the surrounding area is a traditional source of greenstone (pounamu) - several stores and outlets offer a variety of jewellery and other items in this thriving arts and crafts scene. Paparoa National Park is home to a plethora of luxuriant coastal forests, limestone cliffs, canyons, caves and underground streams, and an absolutely spectacular coastline, all packed into one national park.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: Road ride on a stretch of highway that has been voted one of the most scenic roads in the world! Expect some hills but extensive views of coastline, totally rewarding!
Walks and Hikes: If you're up for an early start then head out to the okarito trig for fantastic views of the Southern Alps as the sun comes up. Once we reach Punakaiki there are a number of different trails you can explore to get the best out of our visit to Paparoa National Park
Optional Activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks & blow holes (free!), Paddleboarding, River canoeing
Available Upgrades: Yes (limited)
Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours

Day 5Punakaiki to Marahau(B,D)

Leaving Punakaiki mid-morning we make our way inland through the majestic Buller Gorge to one of our favourite National Parks, Abel Tasman. In one of the sunniest areas of the country you will discover beautiful secluded bays and stunning golden sands. There are all kinds of options to experience the park but on the day we arrive it's all about getting a birds eye view by skydiving over the area. If you're not keen for this adrenaline activity we'll take you to camp and you can explore from there. Our campsite is located near the entrance to the park and we will be staying here for 3 nights to give you every chance to explore all corners of the park.

New Zealand has a range of fantastic national parks but this is our favourite - maybe it's because this little gem lies on the doorstep of Flying Kiwi HQ but mainly it's due to the the golden sandy beaches, twisting rocky outcrops, turquoise clear waters and beautiful hidden bays. The park is also home to a range of life from dolphins and orcas to tuis and bellbirds. Whether from the ground, water or air the Abel Tasman never fails to disappoint aspiring photographers looking for the perfect beach shot!

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: Trail, biking past a local beer brewer, local fruit and vegetable roadside stands, a hill to get those legs pumping, a brilliant mountain bike park and views of golden sand and invitingly warm waters, what more can you ask for?! Riding the Great Taste Trail
Walks and Hikes: Enjoy an afternoon or evening walk into Abel Tasman National Park from camp (yes that rights, it’s on your backdoor step).
Optional Activities: Skydiving
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: Approx. 5 hours

Day 6Marahau - Abel Tasman National Park(B,L)

Free day to explore the National Park by kayaking or sailing the crystal-clear waters, or multiple walking options.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Bike Rides: Kaiteriteri mountain bike park, cycle rides from camp if not on activities
Walks and Hikes: Exploring the Abel Tasman National Park - single & multi day walk options
Optional Activities: Multi day & single day kayaking options, canyoning, sailing, water taxi / walk, horse riding, conservation projects (free), conservation tour
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: No driving today

Day 7Marahau(B,D)

Your second free day to explore New Zealand's only coastal National Park.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: Kaiteriteri mountain bike park, rides from camp
Walks and Hikes: Exploring Abel Tasman National Park
Optional Activities: Kayaking, canyoning, sailing, water taxi / walk, horse riding, conservation projects (free), conservation tour
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: No driving today

Day 8Marahau to Wellington(B)

Today we head to sunny Nelson – the headquarters for Flying Kiwi and you will soon find out why. In addition to being one of the sunniest areas of NZ its home to more than 350 working artists and craftspeople creating traditional, contemporary and Maori arts + it's a wonderful place to live! Relax and enjoy the sunshine and café culture of our hometown. We leave Nelson for wine country – Marlborough, home to some of the World’s best known grapes and we will be treating you to a free tasting in one of their best vineyards. Finish this fantastic day with a scenic ferry (cost included) through the 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 a great hostel with various room options giving you the best access to explore. This is payable locally and we have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board (prices from $31).

Meals: Breakfast
Bike Rides: Hit another section of the Great Taste Trail this morning enroute to sunshine capital, Nelson. Ride over well established boardwalks through the Tasman Estuary, keep an eye out for local birdlife, this is a really easy and relaxing ride
Walks and Hikes: Walking around Nelson town in the morning before jumping back on the bus and continuing towards Picton for the ferry that will take you to the North Island.
Drive Distance: 3.5 hours plus ferry crossing

Day 9Wellington to New Plymouth(D)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast by the waterfront (own cost) and check out the sights of beautiful Wellington before we hit the road for our 11am departure. We travel up the scenic Kapiti Coast to the Taranaki region – home to wonderful beaches, crashing waves and spectacular Mount Taranaki – a perfectly formed snow-capped peak.

Wellington is the nation's capital and from Maori legend its earliest name is Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, meaning ‘the head of Maui's fish’. This relates to the legend when a giant fish was pulled to the surface by Maui, the fish became the North Island. Half way between Wellington and Auckland we find Taranaki.

Meals: Dinner
Bike Rides: A leisurely coastal ride following the New Plymouth Walkway. Plenty of local artwork and sculptures along the ride to keep an eye out for. If it’s a clear evening, don’t miss this ride as all going well you’ll get to experience an amazing sunset.
Walks and Hikes: Walk some of the New Plymouth walkway in the evening from camp to capture some of the best sunsets!
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: Approx. 6 hours

Day 10New Plymouth to Auckland(B,L)

Early departure to the limestone wonderland of Waitomo Caves. The glow-worm (Arachnocampa luminosa) is unique to our shores and thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light through this network of caves. The black water rafting is a totally unique experience – sitting in your rubber ring, your experienced and knowledgeable guides will take you through a maze of underground caves and streams whose ceilings are coated in glow-worms that produce a radiant light to lead you through. There are a range of options to explore the caves, from walks to rafting, dependent upon your adrenalin levels. We take time to enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking farmland before heading to Auckland and a taste of big city life “kiwi style”. Auckland nightlife is second to none and it’s 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 with various room options giving you the best access to explore. This is payable locally and we have twin rooms reserved for everyone on board (twin / triple share from $39pp). If you would prefer a private room (from $72 - subject to availability) please contact us prior to your trip. For those that started their loop on the Auckland - Bay of Islands day this will be the last leg of your tour.

Auckland is bordered by 2 harbours, Waitemata and Manukau and lies at the southern end of the Auckland Peninsula. Auckland is NZs largest city and the main gateway for all elements of commerce, tourism and industry. Although this is the largest urban area its also has great beaches, excellent shopping and the buzzing nightlife and culture you'd hope for in a large city. Auckland is also known as the City of Sails and this has been added to with the America’s Cup event regularly held here.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Bike Rides: If you’re not doing any Waitomo activities, jump on a bike and enjoy a countryside road ride into Waitomo. You’ll be riding through the Waikato District, home to many four legged wooly friends, sheep!
Walks and Hikes: Enjoy a trail walk taking you through forest in Waitomo to caves and a lookout overlooking the Waitomo district.
Optional Activities: Blackwater rafting, glowworm cave tour
Drive Distance: Approx. 4-5 hours

Day 11Auckland to the Bay of Islands(D)

We leave the City of Sails (Auckland) at 10am heading north to the golden beaches and warm waters of the Bay of Islands. On route we take time for a break, and a quick swim for those that are keen, at beautiful Uretiti beach. It’s a great place to relax and make use of the Frisbee, football and rugby ball on board. We then head to the historically significant town of Paihia, the main gateway for the Bay of Islands before doing a highly recommend mangrove walk to the thundering Haruru waterfalls. Our campsite is nestled next to the river and we will be spending 2 nights here giving you time to explore the best of the Bay.

Meals: Dinner
Bike Rides: Forest trail rides that will give you views of the Bay of Islands, good exercise and go past the Haruru Waterfalls.
Walks and Hikes: A great afternoon walk taking you past mangroves, over boardwalks, through forest before ending at the Haruru Waterfalls. A beautiful walk and highly recommended!
Optional Activities: Waitangi Treaty House (Maori culture), twilight kayaking
Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours

Day 12Bay of Islands(B,D)

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 swimming, sailing, parasailing, dolphin swimming, kayaking plus much more along with some excellent walks in the native forests. This region is also home to some of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: If not doing an activity hop on a bike to explore Paihia
Walks and Hikes: If not doing an activity walk into Paihia or take a trip over to the historic town of Russell
Optional Activities: Sailing, fishing, diving, dolphin swimming, kayaking, parasailing, Maori Culture
Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
Drive Distance: No driving today

Day 13Bay of Islands to Orewa(B,D)

we head to Waipoua Forest, home to the giant Kauri trees and a variety of scenic short walks and bike rides. We end the day heading down the Hibiscus Coast to our beachside camp at Orewa. Enjoy a tasty evening meal with a sea view before a spot of star gazing in the crystal-clear skies.

The roads around this region pass through forest dominated by huge kauri trees. These tower above you at heights of up to 60 metres with a trunk five or more in diameter. These trees are slow growing and some are over 2000 years old. Beautiful Opononi is an excellent stop with its endless dunes lined by beautiful pohutakawa trees (the New Zealand Christmas tree).

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: Ride through the Waipoua forest and the historic settlement of Donnelleys crossing and later on in the day there's a short casual ride around quiet estuary walkway
Walks and Hikes: Enjoy getting up close and personal as you walk through one of New Zealand’s largest remaining protected Kauri tree forests.
Optional Activities: Sand boarding
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: Approx. 3-4 hours

Day 14Orewa to Auckland(B)

Orewa is often blessed with a beautiful sunrise over the sea which is well worth an early start before we travel the short distance to Auckland arriving by 9:30am where we say our final farewells.

Meals: Breakfast
Bike Rides: 8km – Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway
Optional Activities: Sand boarding, hot pools
Drive Distance: Approx 50 minutes

COST PER PERSON

Nov 2019 - Apr 2020

  • JULY SALE: 15 Days departing Christchurch: NZ$2,308
  • JULY SALE: 14 Days departing Queenstown: NZ$2,144
  • 15 Days departing Christchurch: NZ$2,885
  • 14 Days departing Queenstown: NZ$2,680

OPTIONS

  • Bike Hire: NZ$280
  • Bike (bring your own): NZ$130
  • Single Tent Upgrade: NZ$140
  • Sleeping Bag Hire: NZ$75

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Queenstown to Boundary Creek(B,D)

Leaving at 2:30pm, after the thrills and spills of Queenstown we wind down with a beautiful campsite beside the tranquil lake with spectacular views of Mount Aspiring National Park.

Boundary Creek is located on the shores of Lake Wanaka, just north of Queenstown. Surrounded by the mountains of Mt Aspiring Naitonal Park, this wilderness camp is refreshing change from the fast pace of Queenstown. The crystal clear waters reflect the snow capped peaks year round and it's the perfect place to absorb the beauty of another incredible National Park.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: You can make the most of the Queenstown bike trails before we leave at 2.30pm and you can ride into camp later in the day along the edge of Lake Wanaka
Walks and Hikes: Lakefront walks or other walks you may have missed yesterday when doing activities.
Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, canyon swing, skydiving, boat cruise plus much more!
Available Upgrades: No - beautiful lakeside camp with National park views
Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours

Day 2Boundary Creek to Fox Glacier(B,L,D)

Today we're heading to the wild west coast! Today is a substantial drive but the scenery we'll be travelling through is quite dramatic plus we'll be making stops along the way for walks, views, waterfalls, coastline and a couple of bike options! We start the day tracing the northern edge of Mt Aspiring National park crossing the Haast pass and the gateway to the Westland region before meeting the Tasman Sea. From here we travel north to the small township of Fox Glacier along the start of a road that has been voted one of the top 10 coastal journeys in the world!

The wild "West Coast" refers to the beautiful and diverse area lodged between the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. This area is home to arguably the most dramatic scenery in New Zealand and the the least number of people - a perfect combination for our tours. The region is dotted with towering mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, thundering rivers and rain forest. The national parks in this region have been designated as World Heritage Areas to help keep this area of supreme natural beauty intact. Residents of the region are known as "coasters" and known for their genuine friendliness.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Bike Rides: The first of two options today is a downhill ride from the top of the Haast pass and finishing up at the mighty Thunder Creek Falls. Later that day you have an option of long ride into Fox Glaicer Township or ride roughly half the distance for a shorter ride
Walks and Hikes: There are quite a number of short walks today as we make frequent stops on this epic journey to the West Coast
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours

Day 3Fox Glacier to Okarito(B,L,D)

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. It is fed by four alpine glaciers that receive approximately 30 metres of snowfall each year. This snow compacts at the top to produce the wonderful blue ice hundreds of metres deep. To get on the ice you have to take a guided trip by helicopter!

If you're not keen for a Heli hike it is still possible to see the glacier. From camp follow a walking track through beautiful native fern forests before the huge valley that holds the glacier opens up in front of you. Follow the walking track up the valley and you'll get to an impressive viewpoint where you can see the terminal face of this epic glacier!

Later that day we'll be heading down to Lake Matheson that has a nice, easy walking trail and, if conditions permit, the view of the southern alps gets reflected by the still waters of the lake.

We'll leave Fox Glacier mid afternoon and head towards our camp in a small town called Okarito. This has become a favourite on the tour as the tranquil little town is right on the coast and view across the Tasman sea are often accompanied by awesome sunsets. Okarito is also famous for its bird life and remains one of New Zealand's largest unmodified wetlands reserves! It is also possible to see other birds in the surrounding woodlands such as the rarest species of kiwi, the Rowi, that only lives in the small area that surrounds this quiet little settlement.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Bike Rides: Ride along the walk/cycleway to the Glacier viewpoint and then ride to Lake Matheson later in the day. There is also a beautiful ride on the quiet road that leads to Okarito
Walks and Hikes: If you're not hiking on the ice then definitely head up to the terminal face viewpoint and then in the afternoon a walk around Lake Matheson is a must do!
Optional Activities: Guided heli-hike, Terminal Facewalk
Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours

Day 4Okarito to Punakaiki(B,D)

If you're feeling up to it then you can head out on an early morning walk to watch the sunrise before we continue up this spectacular coastal stretch to Hokitika – home to the Greenstone factories where you can see these skilled craftsmen at work and a great place for a traditional souvenir of your visit. We travel on through pristine native forest to Paparoa National Park where giant columns of water shoot skywards at Pancake Rocks! This 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 we can relax at the local tavern and explore a cavern with some glow worms hanging out in the dark.

Hokitika and the surrounding area is a traditional source of greenstone (pounamu) - several stores and outlets offer a variety of jewellery and other items in this thriving arts and crafts scene. Paparoa National Park is home to a plethora of luxuriant coastal forests, limestone cliffs, canyons, caves and underground streams, and an absolutely spectacular coastline, all packed into one national park.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: Road ride on a stretch of highway that has been voted one of the most scenic roads in the world! Expect some hills but extensive views of coastline, totally rewarding!
Walks and Hikes: If you're up for an early start then head out to the okarito trig for fantastic views of the Southern Alps as the sun comes up. Once we reach Punakaiki there are a number of different trails you can explore to get the best out of our visit to Paparoa National Park
Optional Activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks & blow holes (free!), Paddleboarding, River canoeing
Available Upgrades: Yes (limited)
Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours

Day 5Punakaiki to Marahau(B,D)

Leaving Punakaiki mid-morning we make our way inland through the majestic Buller Gorge to one of our favourite National Parks, Abel Tasman. In one of the sunniest areas of the country you will discover beautiful secluded bays and stunning golden sands. There are all kinds of options to experience the park but on the day we arrive it's all about getting a birds eye view by skydiving over the area. If you're not keen for this adrenaline activity we'll take you to camp and you can explore from there. Our campsite is located near the entrance to the park and we will be staying here for 3 nights to give you every chance to explore all corners of the park.

New Zealand has a range of fantastic national parks but this is our favourite - maybe it's because this little gem lies on the doorstep of Flying Kiwi HQ but mainly it's due to the the golden sandy beaches, twisting rocky outcrops, turquoise clear waters and beautiful hidden bays. The park is also home to a range of life from dolphins and orcas to tuis and bellbirds. Whether from the ground, water or air the Abel Tasman never fails to disappoint aspiring photographers looking for the perfect beach shot!

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: Trail, biking past a local beer brewer, local fruit and vegetable roadside stands, a hill to get those legs pumping, a brilliant mountain bike park and views of golden sand and invitingly warm waters, what more can you ask for?! Riding the Great Taste Trail
Walks and Hikes: Enjoy an afternoon or evening walk into Abel Tasman National Park from camp (yes that rights, it’s on your backdoor step).
Optional Activities: Skydiving
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: Approx. 5 hours

Day 6Marahau - Abel Tasman National Park(B,L)

Free day to explore the National Park by kayaking or sailing the crystal-clear waters, or multiple walking options.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Bike Rides: Kaiteriteri mountain bike park, cycle rides from camp if not on activities
Walks and Hikes: Exploring the Abel Tasman National Park - single & multi day walk options
Optional Activities: Multi day & single day kayaking options, canyoning, sailing, water taxi / walk, horse riding, conservation projects (free), conservation tour
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: No driving today

Day 7Marahau(B,D)

Your second free day to explore New Zealand's only coastal National Park.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: Kaiteriteri mountain bike park, rides from camp
Walks and Hikes: Exploring Abel Tasman National Park
Optional Activities: Kayaking, canyoning, sailing, water taxi / walk, horse riding, conservation projects (free), conservation tour
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: No driving today

Day 8Marahau to Wellington(B)

Today we head to sunny Nelson – the headquarters for Flying Kiwi and you will soon find out why. In addition to being one of the sunniest areas of NZ its home to more than 350 working artists and craftspeople creating traditional, contemporary and Maori arts + it's a wonderful place to live! Relax and enjoy the sunshine and café culture of our hometown. We leave Nelson for wine country – Marlborough, home to some of the World’s best known grapes and we will be treating you to a free tasting in one of their best vineyards. Finish this fantastic day with a scenic ferry (cost included) through the 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 a great hostel with various room options giving you the best access to explore. This is payable locally and we have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board (prices from $31).

Meals: Breakfast
Bike Rides: Hit another section of the Great Taste Trail this morning enroute to sunshine capital, Nelson. Ride over well established boardwalks through the Tasman Estuary, keep an eye out for local birdlife, this is a really easy and relaxing ride
Walks and Hikes: Walking around Nelson town in the morning before jumping back on the bus and continuing towards Picton for the ferry that will take you to the North Island.
Drive Distance: 3.5 hours plus ferry crossing

Day 9Wellington to New Plymouth(D)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast by the waterfront (own cost) and check out the sights of beautiful Wellington before we hit the road for our 11am departure. We travel up the scenic Kapiti Coast to the Taranaki region – home to wonderful beaches, crashing waves and spectacular Mount Taranaki – a perfectly formed snow-capped peak.

Wellington is the nation's capital and from Maori legend its earliest name is Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, meaning ‘the head of Maui's fish’. This relates to the legend when a giant fish was pulled to the surface by Maui, the fish became the North Island. Half way between Wellington and Auckland we find Taranaki.

Meals: Dinner
Bike Rides: A leisurely coastal ride following the New Plymouth Walkway. Plenty of local artwork and sculptures along the ride to keep an eye out for. If it’s a clear evening, don’t miss this ride as all going well you’ll get to experience an amazing sunset.
Walks and Hikes: Walk some of the New Plymouth walkway in the evening from camp to capture some of the best sunsets!
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: Approx. 6 hours

Day 10New Plymouth to Auckland(B,L)

Early departure to the limestone wonderland of Waitomo Caves. The glow-worm (Arachnocampa luminosa) is unique to our shores and thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light through this network of caves. The black water rafting is a totally unique experience – sitting in your rubber ring, your experienced and knowledgeable guides will take you through a maze of underground caves and streams whose ceilings are coated in glow-worms that produce a radiant light to lead you through. There are a range of options to explore the caves, from walks to rafting, dependent upon your adrenalin levels. We take time to enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking farmland before heading to Auckland and a taste of big city life “kiwi style”. Auckland nightlife is second to none and it’s 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 with various room options giving you the best access to explore. This is payable locally and we have twin rooms reserved for everyone on board (twin / triple share from $39pp). If you would prefer a private room (from $72 - subject to availability) please contact us prior to your trip. For those that started their loop on the Auckland - Bay of Islands day this will be the last leg of your tour.

Auckland is bordered by 2 harbours, Waitemata and Manukau and lies at the southern end of the Auckland Peninsula. Auckland is NZs largest city and the main gateway for all elements of commerce, tourism and industry. Although this is the largest urban area its also has great beaches, excellent shopping and the buzzing nightlife and culture you'd hope for in a large city. Auckland is also known as the City of Sails and this has been added to with the America’s Cup event regularly held here.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Bike Rides: If you’re not doing any Waitomo activities, jump on a bike and enjoy a countryside road ride into Waitomo. You’ll be riding through the Waikato District, home to many four legged wooly friends, sheep!
Walks and Hikes: Enjoy a trail walk taking you through forest in Waitomo to caves and a lookout overlooking the Waitomo district.
Optional Activities: Blackwater rafting, glowworm cave tour
Drive Distance: Approx. 4-5 hours

Day 11Auckland to the Bay of Islands(D)

We leave the City of Sails (Auckland) at 10am heading north to the golden beaches and warm waters of the Bay of Islands. On route we take time for a break, and a quick swim for those that are keen, at beautiful Uretiti beach. It’s a great place to relax and make use of the Frisbee, football and rugby ball on board. We then head to the historically significant town of Paihia, the main gateway for the Bay of Islands before doing a highly recommend mangrove walk to the thundering Haruru waterfalls. Our campsite is nestled next to the river and we will be spending 2 nights here giving you time to explore the best of the Bay.

Meals: Dinner
Bike Rides: Forest trail rides that will give you views of the Bay of Islands, good exercise and go past the Haruru Waterfalls.
Walks and Hikes: A great afternoon walk taking you past mangroves, over boardwalks, through forest before ending at the Haruru Waterfalls. A beautiful walk and highly recommended!
Optional Activities: Waitangi Treaty House (Maori culture), twilight kayaking
Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours

Day 12Bay of Islands(B,D)

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 swimming, sailing, parasailing, dolphin swimming, kayaking plus much more along with some excellent walks in the native forests. This region is also home to some of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: If not doing an activity hop on a bike to explore Paihia
Walks and Hikes: If not doing an activity walk into Paihia or take a trip over to the historic town of Russell
Optional Activities: Sailing, fishing, diving, dolphin swimming, kayaking, parasailing, Maori Culture
Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
Drive Distance: No driving today

Day 13Bay of Islands to Orewa(B,D)

we head to Waipoua Forest, home to the giant Kauri trees and a variety of scenic short walks and bike rides. We end the day heading down the Hibiscus Coast to our beachside camp at Orewa. Enjoy a tasty evening meal with a sea view before a spot of star gazing in the crystal-clear skies.

The roads around this region pass through forest dominated by huge kauri trees. These tower above you at heights of up to 60 metres with a trunk five or more in diameter. These trees are slow growing and some are over 2000 years old. Beautiful Opononi is an excellent stop with its endless dunes lined by beautiful pohutakawa trees (the New Zealand Christmas tree).

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Bike Rides: Ride through the Waipoua forest and the historic settlement of Donnelleys crossing and later on in the day there's a short casual ride around quiet estuary walkway
Walks and Hikes: Enjoy getting up close and personal as you walk through one of New Zealand’s largest remaining protected Kauri tree forests.
Optional Activities: Sand boarding
Available Upgrades: Yes
Drive Distance: Approx. 3-4 hours

Day 14Orewa to Auckland(B)

Orewa is often blessed with a beautiful sunrise over the sea which is well worth an early start before we travel the short distance to Auckland arriving by 9:30am where we say our final farewells.

Meals: Breakfast
Bike Rides: 8km – Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway
Optional Activities: Sand boarding, hot pools
Drive Distance: Approx 50 minutes

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