Total Aotearoa Tour

  • Auckland
  • 24 days
  • Auckland
  • from NZD$4,025.00
Guaranteed departures

Flying Kiwi Local's Tip

Dan - bits of everything
"The walk to the terminal lake at the base of the Hooker Glacier in Mount Cook national park is one of my favourite places in the whole of New Zealand"

THE ABSOLUTE EVERYTHING BUT THE BAY TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND

Our Total Aotearoa trip is the second most popular tour behind the Ultimate Explorer.  It is for people that want absolutely the best of New Zealand but don't quite have enough time to squeeze in the very top, the Bay of Islands. While we absolutely love the Bay of Islands we understand that some people just don't quite have the time and the desire is to hit the rest of the North Island and the South Island first.

The Total Aotearoa takes in both the North and South Island spending time in all the spectacular National Parks of Tongariro, Mount Cook, Mount Aspiring, Fiordland and the Abel Tasman. Staying in extra-ordinary overnight camping spots or small private lodges and hostels in the main centres you will be exasperated by the enormity of the landscape which has been made popular by so many movies like Lord of the Rings, Vertical Limits and Wolverine to name a few. Picture yourself swimming with dolphins, creating your own hot pool on a white sandy beach, solitude in high mountain ranges, incredible bird song under rain forest canopy or a roaring campfire on a secluded beach. Our purpose built buses come equipped with high quality tents, a complete bush kitchen, and enough cricket bats, footballs, frisbees to create your own real world playstation! The Total Aotearoa tour is what memories (#flyingkiwimemories) are made of.

Throughout the country we have included some of the best activities as well as giving you more than enough time to experience some of the optional activities you can do throughout New Zealand that has made it the adventure playground of the world - including Bungy Jumping, natural thermal hot pools, Sea-Kayaking, and Black Water Rafting.  You can also alternate travelling in our purpose built vehicles with optional bike riding and hiking on some of New Zealand’s best trails

TRIP OPTIONS:

The Total Aotearoa trip is a complete loop of New Zealand starting and finishing in Auckland. If you realise in fact you do have time, you can upgrade to include the Bay of Islands for only $500. This is the northern area of the North island past Auckland - an extra 3 days travel.

Customise your trip: On the flip side, maybe you have lots of time in New Zealand and would like to take things a bit slower. Talk to our crew in the office about how you can break your trip up along the way, maybe in Queenstown to get an extra long adrenaline buzz, or Wellington to explore the buzz of our capital city.

TOTAL AOTEAROA TRAVEL DAYS

You can have a look at the detailed day-to-day itinerary on our Flying Kiwi Detailed Itinerary page. The Total Aotearoa Tour takes in everything, does everything but the Bay of Islands, and is (almost) your ultimate taste of New Zealand.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE TOTAL AOTEAROA TOUR

We know New Zealand like the back of our hands, and we are very proud to constantly show it off to visitors as yourselves. We want you to have the best possible experience whilst on the road with us. So, we have included the following in the Total Aotearoa tour which we think shows off the very best:

  • Accommodation: We like to set up in scenic locations so we will usually be residing beside beaches, lakes, mountains and forests. A spacious, shared tent is included in the tour price (sharing with one other person of a similar age/same sex). There is the option to upgrade to a single tent if you prefer for a small cost just let us know before your trip departs.
  • Food: Most meals are included throughout your tour and are cooked for you by our brilliant Guides. We like to eat fresh, and shop for dinners every 1 or 2 days depending on location. This is down to your tour guides so all you have to worry about is your own personal snacks/drinks etc. We also cater for some dietary requirements. (our detailed itinerary outlines exactly what is included on a day-to-day basis)
  • Use of Sports & Game Equipment on Board: Rugby Ball, Soccer ball, frisbees, guitar, books and more.
  • Hikes and Bikes: If you have hired one of our bikes then our guides will point you in the direction of incredible daily rides, you will be given a detailed map, clear instructions and a variety of on road and off road options. A numerous of free walks and hikes are available almost everyday day to keep you nice and active. 
  • Guide tips and local locations: We will share with you extensive knowledge about New Zealand and show you some of our secret spots off the main tourist trails including sunrise hunts, best places for star gazing, glow worm caves, 1,000 year old Kauri trees and the roaring Huka Falls.
  • Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland: Wai-o-tapu is New Zealand’s most colourful geo-thermal area featuring unique volcanic activity, bubbling mud pools, and steaming geysers. Explore the park either on your own or with your newfound travel family. We give you a decent 1.5hrs here - so enough time to see it all!
  • Seafood Feast: We enjoy great food on our trips but in Kaikoura we treat you all to a fresh seafood feast (priceless!) from one of the best seafood locations in New Zealand!  This is a meal not to be missed!
  • Queenstown Gondola: Take in the picture-perfect postcard views as you ride the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of the must-do activities in Queenstown! The Gondola carries you 450 metres above Queenstown and offers spectacular 220 degree panorama views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak, Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown.
  • Wine Tasting Marlborough: The Sauvignon Blanc wines of Marlborough are internationally recognised for their beautiful crisp flavour and distinctive summer citrus aromas. The tastings are on us in our specially arranged wine tasting experience at St Claire vineyard
  • Cook Strait Ferry Crossing: The most scenic way to get from one island to the other is the Cook Strait ferry. You can sit back and relax on the 3 hour scenic crossing between the North and South islands through the stunning Marlborough Sounds - keep your eyes peeled for dusky dolphins and amazing sunsets on the way.

Our bike rides page and the hiking pages give you lots more detail into the rides and hikes our guides will show you along the way. We include printed maps and route notes for any of the hikes and rides you might want to do.

OTHER FREEBIES

Kiwis are a generous bunch and lots of museums and attractions are free of charge, as well as all access to National Parks. We take in many of these on the Total Aotearoa Tour including:

  • Entrance into Tongariro, Abel Tasman, Paparoa, Westland Tai Poutini, Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks
  • Dig your own thermal pool on Hot Water beach (we provide the spades!)
  • Natural hot springs in Taupo
  • Rotorua Mountain Bike Park (bike hire & maps not included)
  • The full-day Tongariro Crossing hike (bus transfer not included)
  • New Zealands National museum - Te Papa
  • Wellington Botanical Gardens
  • Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo
  • Otago Early Settlers museum
  • Hollyford camp quirky museum
  • Lake Matheson mirror lake
  • Hokitika greenstone factory
  • Punakaiki Pancake rocks and blowholes
  • Amazing sunrises and sunsets at beautiful beachside campsites

Our activities page above gives more detail on many of the free and optional activities that you might choose to do on your Total Aotearoa Tour and how it all works while on tour.

IMPORTANT THINGS WE WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE TOTAL AOTEAROA TOUR

Where it goes: The Total Aotearoa trip includes a total of 24 days, 6 days in the North Island and 18 days in the South Island. The Tour will start from Auckland heading South, you will cross over to the South island on the afternoon of Day 5, do the full South Island loop crossing back to the North Island on day 22 and then having your last 2 days in the North, finishing up back in Auckland on day 24. This Tour does not include the Bay Of Islands, which is the far Northern part of New Zealand north of Auckland.

Multiple departures: The Total Aotearoa tour has frequent departure dates. Start dates are 9 days apart across our summer season starting from the 19th of October, departing every 9 days up until the 21st March. The tour departing on the 21st March would be the last departure for the Total Aotearoa tour for our season

Bush camps: During the Total Aotearoa tour we stay at 2 bush camps, and 1 limited campsite, both in the South Island. Bush camps are part of our charm, especially the 2 we have selected for their amazing scenery and often our bush camps are what travellers have fondest memories of. Due to their remote locations there are no cabin upgrade options available and they also come with only basic toilet facilities. For the 1 night at our limited campsite, basic toilet and shower facilities are available but limited power and shelter.

Hostels: There are two nights during the the tour where camping isn’t feasible and we stay in hostels (these are at your own cost and are paid directly to the Hostel on arrival at check-in).  Hostel nights are in Picton and Wellington. Your guide takes care of booking this for you and we have dorm beds reserved for everyone. If you would like a private room (subject to availability) please contact us to book this in advance.

An Interactive tour: The Total Aotearoa Tour, as well as all of our other tours, provides a chance for you to get involved with the prepartion and cooking of meals and helping out your tour guides when you can. We have a great 'cook group' roter system set up which would be a group of 4 or 5 to help out with the prep of dinner each night. This makes it a fair and fun way to get a delicious meal on the table for dinner to share between new made friends! It's also a great way to meet new people, maybe learn some new skills and get to know each other a little bit better! It's nothing to stress over as our guides will be there over seeing and doing most part of the actual cooking.

For more useful information visit our How It Works page.

  1. We leave Auckland at 10pm and start driving south towards the Coromanel Peninsula. This part of New Zealand is an important part of most peoples itinerary when they travel to New Zealand and also a popular holiday spot for us Kiwi’s and you’ll see why when you get here. With a stunning white sandy beaches, dense fern forests and a rich history of both Maori and European settlement the Coromandel Peninsula is an exciting way to start your trip!

    After a lunch stop in the seaside town of Tairua we travel to Hahei Beach which has an incredible white sand beach but is also 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 Price Caspian and is a perfect 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. The camp ground is a short walk away from the beach where, at low tide, you can grab a shovel from camp and head down to the beach to dig your very own hot pool in the sand thanks to a unique geothermal reservoir of hot water under the sand! 

    • Bike Rides: 8km Road Cycling
    • Walks and Hikes: Stunning Coastal Walk to Cathedral Cove
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
  2. After breakfast we start the journey towards the central area of the North Island but before we get there we will explore a little more of the Coromandel Peninsula. We will be driving to the historic goldmining town of Waihi and take a look at the huge working gold mine, Martha’s mine before cyclists get a chance to ride a section of the Huaraki Rail Trail and everyone else will be taken into the Karangahake Gorge for a walk looking into the ‘windows of the past’ of both the mining history and the awesome landscape of the gorge.  When everyone is back together we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the gorge before continuing on for our first drop off of the day, Hobbition!

    Matamata is the gateway town to get to Hobbiton so for those booked on that we’ll drop you here and see you later on in Rotorua. If you’re not going to Hobbtion there are many optional activities in Rotorua including a ziplining eco tour, OGO, Luging or relaxing in a thermal spa! There are also world famous bike trails and walks that take in some of the geothermal features of the area and for the evening you can immerse yourself in Maori culture at the Tamaki Village.

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

    • Bike Rides: Hauraki Rail Trail and the Whakarewarewa Forest Park
    • Walks and Hikes: The Windows Walk in Karangahake Gorge and short walks in Rotorua
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 - 4 hours
  3. Just a short drive to begin the day we visit some of the North Islands 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 Wondrland home to an impressive array of multi coloured rock formations and pools created by super heated water bringing minerals to the surface creating this other worldly landscape.

    Our next stop on the way into to Taupo is the mighty Huka Falls, an impressive waterfalls found along the Waikato river. This also our drop off point for those wanting to go white water rafting or skydiving! If you’re not doing these activities there is a great walk or a bike ride into the city along the rivers edge, remembering to stop of at a natural hot spring on the way or getting 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. 

    • Bike Rides: Huka Falls Trail and Taupo Lake Front
    • Walks and Hikes: Walk along the edge of the Waikato River from Huka Falls stopping off at thermal stream before exploring Taupo
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2 hours
  4. Voted one of the best day hikes in the world this 19.4km walk takes in some of New Zealand’s most impressive and diverse landscapes. The challenging 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 Islands highest peak at 2797m, in the distance as well as Mt Ngaruahoe, which featured in Lord of the Rings as Mt Doom.

    If you’re not keen on the hike there are cycle options and a walk along the Tongariro river near the town of Turangi which also has an beautiful mountainous backdrop. When everyone is back together after the hike we start making our way to our camp, situated along the Kapiti coast.

    • Bike Rides: Tongariro River Trail if not doing the Tongariro Crossing
    • Walks and Hikes: Tongariro Crossing! Best day hike in NZ traversing active volcanoes in Tongariro National Park
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 5 hours
  5. This morning it is a short drive to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city! We arrive before 9am giving you most of the day to explore the Te Papa Museum, Zealandia and the Botanical Gardens. The capital is also home to government buildings as well as great shopping streets and a thriving café culture to explore.

    Later that day we’ll be travelling across the Cook Strait by ferry to the South Island. The ferry takes 3 hours but is quite scenic especially as the boat makes its way through the Marlborough sounds before reaching Picton. The rolling green hills are in stark contrast to the blue waters of the sound and makes for a magical site as the ferry crusies slowly towards the South Island and it’s best to get outside as it’s sometimes possible to spot dolphins in the sounds.

    Camping isn’t feasible tonight so we will be staying at a great hostel with various room options. This is payable locally and we have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board (prices from $31).

    • Bike Rides: None today as you’ll be too sore from Tongariro and there’s lots to see in Wellington city!
    • Walks and Hikes: You’ll have plenty of time on your feet exploring the coolest capital, Wellington!
    • Available Upgrades: No camping tonight in Picton
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 1 hour + 3 hour ferry crossing
  6. As we leave Picton we start travelling through the Marlborough region to the coast where the views of the Pacific Ocean are enhanced by the mountains in the distance. Along this stretch of road we’ll make a stop for lunch and also to spot native Fur Seals that often hang out on the rocks along this stretch of coastline.

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

    Our camp tonight is down at the beach and we’ll be preparing a fresh sea food meal to complement the areas abundant sea life. 

    • Bike Rides: Explore the scenery of Kaikoura by bike
    • Walks and Hikes: Walk the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway where you’ll see a vast coastline, the Kaikoura Ranges, and some pretty cute seals - expect to take lots of snaps!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  7. This is the morning of one of the most popular activities we offer, swimming with dusky dolphins! It’s an early start but it’s great starting the day with an epic sunrise and definitely worth it for a once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with wild dolphins! For those not swimming we’ll have a lesuirely breakfast and a bit more time to check out 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 this city that is still on the mend after two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Evidence of these earthquakes is evident in the city  but there is also evidence of new and exciting prospects for the city as it works to rebuild. You can visit the restart mall which was made from shipping containers 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 will start heading towards the mountains and across the Canterbury plains, a flat open area of farmland. Tonight we stay at a sheepshearers HQ, on a working farm with great mountain views and next to the Rangitata river. 

    • Bike Rides: Cycle into camp along a quite country road through fields of cows, sheep and deer with a mountainous backdrop
    • Walks and Hikes: The Peninsula Walkway is a must if you missed it yesterday! You’ll also have plenty of time on your feet when we stop through Christchurch to check out the awesome rebuild of Christchurch city!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 - 5 hours
  8. Another early start for those who want to try white water rafting! This adrenaline filled activity takes place on the Rangitata River that flows 120km from the Southern Alps and creates grade 5 rapids as it makes its way through a narrow gorge.

    If you’re not rafting there are great walking options in the Peel Forest which is a great place to spot some of New Zeland’s native birds such as the Fantail, Tomtit and Tui.

    Once we’re all back together we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch before travelling inland, getting up close to those Southern Alps and visiting two incredible glacial lakes. Our first stop is Lake Tekapo where turquiose, blue water makes for incredible photos. After exploring Tekapo it’s time to head to camp which is situated right on the edge of another glacial lake, Lake Pukaki. With a similar turquiose colour this lake offers incredible views of the Southern Alps with Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zeland’s highest mountain in view at the end of the lake!

    This is our first bush camp and one of our favourites that gives us a chance to really be in the outdoors with stunning views and some of the darkest skies in the country, perfect for star-gazing, we think you’ll love it too!  

    • Bike Rides: If you're not rafting in the morning hop on your bike and head to the Peel Forest walks. In the afternoon you can follow a canal before cycling around the edge of Lake Pukaki and into camp
    • Walks and Hikes: A variety of walk options today including the protected conifers of Peel Forest and then this afternoon you'll have some time to walk along the edge of two incredible glacial lakes
    • Available Upgrades: Not tonight - Beautiful lakeside wilderness camp
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  9. Today we travel even closer to the country’s biggest mountains as we enter Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Aoraki translates to ‘cloud piercer’ and sometimes it’s possible to see New Zealand’s highest peak coming through the clouds on a not so clear day but if it’s blue sky you’ll be in for a treat as this mountain standing at 3724m looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale landscape. We will be sending you on a walk with wonderful views of Aoraki/Mt Cook and ending at the impressive Hooker Valley Glacier Lake.

    We leave Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park around midday and we start making our way back to the Pacific coast. Once back on the coast we’ll resupply in Oamaru before travelling down to a small sleepy village of Moeraki where we can enjoy ocean views and all the luxuries of showers and washing machines after our bush camp the night before. 

    • Bike Rides: An early morning ride along the edge of Lake Pukaki takes you to one of the most impressive viewpoints in the area. During the afternoon you can ride a short section of the Alps2ocean trail followed by a ride out to Katiki Point Lighthouse where you may s
    • Walks and Hikes: Enjoy walking into the start of Mt Cook National Park in Hooker Valley. A three hour return hike, you’ll be blown away by the mountainous landscape not to mention a glacier during the hike. Enjoy boardwalk terrain as well as crossing numerous swing bridge
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
  10. 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.

    We then travel to Dunedin, a city with a scottish heritage, the name is actually the Scots Gaelic word for Edinburgh, the Scottish capital. The city has an interesting European history which you can learn about in the Otago Settlers Museum, we will be visiting the world’s steepest street and you can choose to do a tour of a local brewery or the Cadbury’s chocolate factory. There is also another opportunity to go wildlife spotting on an optional cruise exploring the Otago Peninsula.

    Our camp is a stones throw from St. Kilda beach and tonight you can either have you own cook group or take a walk along the beach to St. Clair for excellent food options.

    • Bike Rides: An epic short yet sweet, downhill ride into the city of Dunedin. Ensure you use your brakes or you’ll miss out on the view of Otago Peninsula! Ride out to Otago Peninsula later in the day if you’re not doing anything else.
    • Walks and Hikes: You’ll feel your heart pumping through your chest as you take a stroll up the world’s steepest residential street!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  11. During the morning we’ll be travelling across the Southland region passing small towns and rolling farmland before we start to see mountains on the horizon. The gateway town to Fiordland is Te Anau and we’ll make a stop here to resupply, grab lunch and make sure the Routeburn hikers are well prepared before we go off the grid and into the massive National Park.

    Shortly after leaving Te Anau we’ll start seeing awesome views across Lake Te Anau, the South Islands largest lake, as well as the huge mountain ranges of Fiordland. We’ll make a few stops for photos before we turn off onto a gravel road that leads to Gunns Camp, a unique and historic camp ground that simulates the living conditions of those that lived here during the 1930’s when the camp was built for workers building the roads in the area. 

    • Bike Rides: Enjoy riding through the isolated and moody Fiordland National Park into Hollyford Valley where you’ll finish at our camp (literally away from all civilisation, it’s great!)
    • Walks and Hikes: Short walks today as we’re on a mission to get to Fiordland National Park!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 5 hours
  12. This morning is all about exploring Fiordland National Park and we’re heading to Milford Sound, one of the most iconic places in New Zealand. Sometimes referred to as the 8th wonder of the world this Fiord is quite incredible with towering sea cliffs and dramatic waterfalls the Milford cruise is one of the highlights of any trip to New Zealand.

    After exploring Milford Sound we start making our way back to Te Anau and on route it is time to say goodbye to our brave Routeburn hikers who will be walking for the next 3 days and rejoinging us in Queenstown. From the drop off the road follows the edge of Lake Te Anau and back to the town where we will have a few hours that afternoon to explore and spend the night. 

    • Bike Rides: Leisurely ride along the lakefront of Lake Te Anau and up alongside a river before looping back to camp. Go as little or as far as you please.
    • Walks and Hikes: Explore the lakefront of Te Anau in the afternoon once we are out of Fiordland National Park. Routeburn three day hike for those who have pre-booked!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  13. This morning we’ll be making our way to Queenstown! The journey takes us back into Southland before heading north along the edge of Lake Wakatipu as farmland once again gives way to majestic mountain scenery. We arrive in Queenstown around midday and then it’s time to enjoy what this little place has offer, from bungy jumping and skydiving to paragliding and jetboats, there’s a reason this place is known as the adrenaline capital of the world.

    If high octane acitivities aren’t for you then there are scenic tours and a boat trip across the lake or go for a walk around the lake or to a view point with stunning mountain views. Queenstown has an abundance of bike trails and it’s surprisingly easy to escape the busy town centre. There is really something for everyone in Queenstown!

    • Bike Rides: Queenstown offers a variety of different trails, so head out on your bike once we arrive in town
    • Walks and Hikes: Plenty of walks we can recommend once we have arrived in Queenstown. If you’re into taking on a hill for views or leisure lakefront strolling, Queenstown won’t disappoint!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limted options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  14. With so much to do we spend another full day here in Queenstown, the Routeburners will also be rejoinging us today so the day will be action packed as we encourage everyone to make the most of their time in this exciting town. The exciting location of the town nestled in next to the beautiful Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by mountains there are activities, eateries and shop to cater for everyone!

    Don’t forget to try some of the famous eateries in Queenstown, such as the famous Fergburger or a kiwi classic, Cookie Time and as the group rejoins we’ll book a table at a resteraunt so we can enjoy a meal out together (own cost)  

    • Bike Rides: Awesome bike options if you have a free day you can choose short or longer cycling experiences that will take you past jaw dropping landscapes, vineyards, great cafes and more!
    • Walks and Hikes: Plenty of mountains you can hike to enjoy inspirational views of Lake Wakatipu and the alpine surrounds!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: No Driving today
  15. We leave the hustle and bustle of Queenstown at 2.30pm and start making our way north towards Lake Wanaka. First travelling through the Kawarau Gorge we then pass by a series of lakes including Lake Dunstan and then the picturesque Lake Hawea before we get our first glimpses of the northern end of Lake Wanaka. Our camp is right on the lakefront with great views across the lake looking at the peaks of Mt Aspiring National Park in the backdrop.

    The bush camp environment makes for a refreshing change of pace from Queenstown and this quite little camp offers beautiful views and an oppertunity for a quick dip if you’re brave enough, the water here is considerably colder than other places we swim. The camp is a great place to take in the great New Zeland outdoors. 

    • 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.
    • Available Upgrades: No - beautiful lakeside camp with National park views
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  16. Today we have an epic drive through over a mountain pass, through glacier carved valleys and along the wild west coast making stops for short walks and photos along the way. Our first stop is a at the blue pools just as we enter the Mt Aspiring National Park boundary, a short walk leads down through native bush to the beautiful blue pools. Next we go up and over the Haast pass and we’re officially in the Westland Region where we’ll stop at Thunder creek falls before following the huge glacier carved valley out to the Tasman Sea.

    Once on the coast we travel north stopping of at Ship Creek for walks in the swampy native bush and along the sea front where sometimes it’s possible to see Hector dolphins playing in the waves. After Ship Creek we continue on into Fox Glacier township where we will be spending the night.

    • 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
    • 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. 4 hours
  17. This morning is all about visiting Fox Glacier, either by Helicopter or by walking up to the terminal face viewpoint. The heli hike option is one of the most memorable activities you can do during the tour and is the only way to step foot on the ice, you fly up by helicopter and mountain guides take you into cravasses and ice caves before a short return flight to Fox. If you’re not keen to head up by helicopter the terminal face walk is a great way to view the valley and glacier but from a distance, the trail is also open to bikes so make the most of the morning and explore the area.

    During the afternoon we’ll take everyone down to Lake Matheson where we get incredible views over the Southern Alps if the weather is clear, and if it’s calm the lake can reflect the view. We then leave Fox and make our way to Okarito, a tiny west coast town that is famous for its wetlands reserve and bird conservation projects, where it’s possible to spot some rare and endangered bird including the kiwi!

    The camp is right next to a quiet west coast beach where we like to set up a small camp fire and chill out while watching the stars. 

    • 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!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  18. We start travelling north from Okarito stopping at Hokitika, a small town on the coast that has a rich history with Maori explorers coming here in search of Pounamu (Greenstone) and Europeans coming here in search of Gold. There are a number of Greenstone shops in Hokitika and is a great place to pick up a souveneir or gift. After Hokitika we travel through the biggest town on the coast, Greymouth before driving one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in New Zealand up to Punakaiki.

    Punakaiki is the gateway town to Paparoa National Park, an area with dramatic limestone cliffs and dotted with Nikau palms, the worlds southern most palm tree. The pancake rocks and blow holes are a short walk from camp or you can do a longer walk up the Porirari River and loop back past the famous rocks. 

    • 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 Nat
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours
  19. We drive the remainder of the incredible west coast road this morning before travelling through the Buller Gorge and on to the top of the South Island. We stay in the gateway town to Abel Tasman National Park, Marahau at a little place called Old Macdonalds Farm. We’ll arrive late afternoon but you have time to walk down to the water front or if the tide is right go paddle boarding. There is also the opportunity to go Sky diving on the day we arrive and with great mountain and coastal views this is one incredible place to jump out of a plane!

    We’ll be spending 3 nights at this awesome place giving you the time to make the most of this small but beautiful national park. The activities on offer include Canyoning, sailing, and of course Sea Kayaking, which is one of the most famous activities in this part of the country. You can explore the coastal track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, at your own lesuire or take a water taxi to make the most of the day. 

    • 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?!
    • 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).
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: approx. 5 hours
  20. Our first stop after leaving Marahau and Abel Tasman National Park is Nelson, home to craft breweries, artists and the Flying Kiwi office! There’s a reason we’re based here on the top of the South Island, with great sunshine hours and a lifestyle that suits anyone from the most active to the most laidback Nelson is a cool little city. We’ll give you a couple of hours to explore before heading over towards Picton stopping in at the St. Clair winery for a tasting before we hop on the ferry and back to the North Island

    You’ll have the chance to explore the Wellington night life and while camping isn’t feasible in the heart of the nation’s capital 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).

    • 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 to finish your las
    • 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.
    • Available Upgrades: No camping in the Capital
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours + 3 hour ferry crossing
  21. Grab some breakfast in Wellington before we depart at 11am travelling north towards New Plymouth. We’ll pass views of the Kapiti coast and through farming towns before we start to catch glimpses of Mt Taranaki in the distance. This epic volcanic cones stands alone surrounded by flat farmland which really makes this mountain stand out.

    New plymouth sits on the northern side of the mountain next to coastline where you can stretch your legs after a long drive by walking along the New Plymouth waterfront and over Te Rewa Rewa bridge where you can get great views of Mt Taranaki on a clear day! 

    • 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 (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 6 hours
  22. We leave camp early this morning to get to Waitomo in time for people booked onto caving adventures. This optional activity sees you gearing up in a wetsuit and being guided into the vast cave systems of Waitomo to search for the beautiful glow worms that live on the walls and ceiling of the caves. If you’re not heading into the caves we’ll send you on a great walk through some awesome limestone cliffs and through native bush before we all join up for a picnic lunch together.

    After Waitomo we’re heading to Auckland where you tour ends. We arrive in the city before 6pm.    

    • 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.
    • Available Upgrades: No Camping in the Big City
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 - 5 hours

2017-2018 TOUR PRICES (NZD):

Tour Price $4,025     
Bike hire $410
Single tent upgrade  $225
Bring your own bike     $170
Sleeping bag hire $60

 

 

 

 

2017-2018 DEPARTURES FROM AUCKLAND

Month              Departure Dates
October '17                            19th 28th             
November '17 6th                    15th                   24th                            
December '16 3rd 12th 21st 30th
January '18 8th 17th 26th  
February '18 4th 13th 22nd  
March '18  3rd 12th 21st  
         
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