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Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour

Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour

  • Auckland
  • Auckland
  • 23 days
  • 5 / 5.0 (14 reviews)
  • from NZD$6,095.00

Main Highlights

  • Explore both islands
  • Camp in gorgeous locations
  • Visit NZs National Parks
  • See World heritage sites
  • Join cycle trails
  • Complete the Tongariro Crossing
  • Discover geothermal Rotorua
  • Visit the capital city Wellington
  • Bungy in Queenstown
  • See the Milford Sound
  • Book heaps of optional activities

THE BEST OF BOTH ISLANDS - A TOTAL NEW ZEALAND ADVENTURE: 

DOWNLOAD PDF ITINERARY

Our most popular national tour, the Total Aotearoa, covers all the main “must see” attractions of New Zealand! This 23 day tour is crammed full of amazing things including walking through stunning National Parks, swimming with dolphins, enjoying good company under the stars and being lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean. Travel from tropical lush rainforest to stunning mountainous regions, see shockingly blue lakes and swim in the beautiful Pacific Ocean, and go for optional hikes or bike rides along the way. We prioritise getting to remote locations and experiencing the beauty of nature, as well as getting to know the locals and of course - having fun!

 

- Exploring the country's best National Parks:  A department of conservation license ensures we have access to the best spots and means that you'll get a chance to explore the most amazing locations.  From New Zealand's highest peak at Mount Cook to one of the world's best one day walks: the Tongariro Crossing, you'll be immersed in the most incredible natural beauty.

- Sleeping under the stars to the sound of the ocean:  Does this sound like a bit of you?  if you love wide open spaces, clean fresh air, spectacular views and sitting around the campfire with mates then you'll love our accommodation.  In addition to camp tents there are options to upgrade to cabins at most of the campsite we stay at so you can decide how much of the outdoors you'd like.

- Everything from dolphin swimming to bungy jumping:  New Zealand is an outdoor paradise and for 30 years we've been finding the best adventures to throw ourselves into.  On this tour you'll have the chance to try as much as you can handle - highlights include dolphin swimming, black water rafting, skydiving, canyoning, paddle boarding, surfing, hiking on a glacier, sailing and so much more. Check our activity page for more details.

- Optional hikes and bike rides everyday:  Our unique trip style gives you the chance to try a huge variety of walks from 10 minutes to 3 days!  For bike rides you'll have the chance to take easy, short downhill rides or challenging off-road tracks - just choose your favourites and go! All walks and rides will offer spectacular views and lifelong memories.

- Get to know the locals:  We love New Zealand and we want you to get to know all about our history, culture and people.  Our knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories with you whilst the trip style gets you away from tourist crowds to locations where you'll hang out and mix with the locals!

kayaking on tour in the abel tasman

Escaping the crowds in Abel Tasman by The Planet D

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

- Accommodation: Included is your accommodation at our carefully selected campsites staying in a shared tent, two people per tent. You can upgrade to your own tent if you prefer.

- Food: We enjoy good food and we supply tasty & healthy meals suitable for all diets as well as hot drinks. Check your trip itinerary to see how many meals your tour includes.

- Use of sports equipment on board: Bodyboards, frisbees and more are supplied (dependent on the bus)

- Hikes: There are heaps of free hikes included in this trip.  View a few of our favourites here.

- Museums and National Parks:  Kiwis are a generous bunch - there are no costs to access the national museum or our national parks.

- Wine Tasting in Marlborough: The Sauvignon Blanc wines of Marlborough are internationally recognised - tastings are on us in our specially arranged wine tasting experience.

Cook Strait Ferry Crossing: 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 whales & dolphins.

 

Our activities page above gives more detail on many of the free and optional activities that you might choose to do on your tour.

hiking the routeburn track on tour

Hiking the Routeburn track by Brian Guest

HOW IT WORKS AND ACCOMMODATION:  

Campsites: We use a carefully chosen mixture of bush and more commercial campsites.  All have facilities but you will find the bush camps to be a little more basic (although their locations are always the most spectacular).  Cabin upgrades are available most nights for a taste of rural luxury and don't worry if the weather is bad, we'll find alternatives.

Hostels: Some nights where camping isn’t feasible and we stay in hostel dorm rooms.

For more useful information visit our How It Works page.

  1. Pickup location: 31 Wellesley Street West, 7:45am

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

    We’ll stop for lunch in the seaside town of Tairua before continuing on to Hahei Beach - the gateway to Cathedral Cove. You can either go for a walk along the coastline or take to the water on one of the best sea kayak activities in the country. Cathedral Cove has a limestone archway that featured as the gateway to Narnia in the movie 'Prince Caspian' and is a great place to take a dip in the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean. Our camp this evening is very close to another iconic location, Hot Water Beach, so named because there is a unique geothermal reservoir of hot water under the sand. At low tide, we’ll grab our shovels and head down to dig our very own hot pools in the sand - the perfect way to start off our adventure!

     

    • Meals: Dinner
    • Bike Rides: 8km Road Cycling
    • Walks and Hikes: Stunning Coastal Walk to Cathedral Cove
    • Optional Activities: Sea Kayaking, Hahei Explorer
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
  2. This morning after breakfast, we'll drive down to the historic gold mining town of Waihi, home to an awesome beach and 'Martha's Mine', an actual working gold mine. Afterwards, we’ll continue on our journey to Rotorua, a geothermal wonderland!

    There are heaps of optional activities in Rotorua and something for everyone. If you’re interested in adventure, go for the award winning Canopy Tours eco zipline tour, or go white water rafting down the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall. If you’d prefer to relax, go for a healing soak at the Polynesia spa, or if you’d like to explore the natural geothermal features of the area, there's plenty of walks where you can see the activity for free. For a cultural  immersion experience, we recommend heading to the incredible Mitai Maori Village where you'll learn about Maori culture, experience the breathtaking Haka and feast on a traditional Hangi meal. There’s a lot to pack into one day but we promise it will leave you wanting more!

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
    • Bike Rides: Hauraki Rail Trail and the Whakarewarewa Forest Park
    • Walks and Hikes: The Windows Walk in Karangahake Gorge and short walks in Rotorua
    • Optional Activities: Mitai Maori Village, Zorb, Luge, hot pools, Zipline Canopy Tour
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 - 4 hours
  3. We begin the day with a drive to visit a natural hot spring, wake up with a nice soak in the geothermally heated water and listen to the calming sounds of nature - the perfect way to start the day! Our next stop on the way into Taupo is the mighty Huka Falls, an impressive waterfall found along the Waikato river. This is also our drop off point for those wanting to go white water rafting or skydiving! If you’re not doing these activities there's a great walk or a bike ride into the city along the river's edge - be sure to stop off at the natural hot spring along the way or get an adrenaline buzz from the Taupo bungy which is conveniently located on your way into town. You’ll have some time in Taupo to grab some lunch and check out New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, before we make our way to Tongariro National Park, where we’ll be spending the night.

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • 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
    • Optional Activities: Skydiving, bungy, giant swing, Te Puia - Te Ra Guided Experience
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2 hours
  4. Voted one of the best day hikes in the world, today's 19.4km walk takes in some of New Zealand’s most impressive and diverse landscapes. The challenging Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike covers a small section of the country’s oldest national park and dual UNESCO world heritage area, the Tongariro National Park. On a fine day you’ll be able to see Mt Ruapehu, the North Island's highest peak which stands at a towering 2797 metres. You'll also be able to see Mt Ngauruhoe, which featured in Lord of the Rings as Mount Doom.

    If you'd prefer not to do this hike, your Guide will take you to see some lesser known but equally stunning views and offer up some cycle options for our bikers. When everyone is back together after the hike we'll start making our way to our camp, situated along the Kapiti Coast.

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • 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
    • Optional Activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 5 hours
  5. This morning it's a short drive to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand! We'll arrive before 9am giving you most of the day to explore. We recommend checking out the exhibits at the famous Te Papa Museum, getting some Lord of the Rings behind the scenes insight at Weta Workshop or take the iconic red cable car up to the Botanical Gardens. The capital also boasts a thriving café culture, as Wellington is renowned for serving NZ's best cup of coffee.

    Later on we’ll be travelling across the Cook Strait by ferry to the South Island. The journey takes around 3 hours and travels through the incredibly scenic Marlborough Sounds. The rolling green hills coupled with the deep blue waters make for a magical sight, especially on a clear day. If you can, make your way outside and try to spot dolphins playing in the sounds. As camping isn’t possible, we'll stay at a great hostel in Picton. 

     

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • 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!
    • Optional Activities: Te Papa National Museum of NZ (free), Weta Workshop, Cable car
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 1 hour + 3 hour ferry crossing
  6. This morning we'll depart Picton and travel through the Marlborough region towards the coast where we’ll see amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and mountains in the distance. We’ll make a stop for lunch along this stretch of coastline and try to spot the native Fur Seals that often relax on the rocks in front of the ocean.

    When we arrive in Kaikoura, there are some great optional activities that all involve the ocean! Go whale watching, sea kayaking or fishing, or if you’d prefer to stay on dry land, there’s a great walk around the peninsula or you can hop on your bike and take in the views on two wheels. Our camp tonight is down at the beach and we’ll be preparing a fresh seafood meal, perfect for Kaikoura (unless of course you don't eat seafood, in which case we'll prepare something equally delicious for you).

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • 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!
    • Optional Activities: Whale watching by boat or by plane, deep sea fishing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  7. This morning you'll have the opportunity to take part in one of the most popular activities in New Zealand: swimming with dusky dolphins! It’s an early start but it’s a great way to begin your day from the epic sunrise to getting to spend time with wild dolphins - this is the kind of once in a lifetime experience you won't soon forget. For those of us who aren't swimming, we’ll have a leisurely breakfast and the chance to explore Kaikoura before heading south to Christchurch.

    Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s most famous destinations, and there is so much to see and explore. Still on the mend after two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, you can see evidence of rebuilding happening all over the city. With the chance to rebuild, comes new opportunities and Christchurch has seized the opportunity to become NZ’s coolest city, rivalling Wellington in terms of laneway bars and amazing eateries. Christchurch is also known locally as the Garden City, thanks to the vast Hagley park and the Avon River which runs through it. Jump on a scooter or take the tourist tram and explore that Christchurch has to offer this afternoon. This evening, we’ll be staying in some great accommodation just outside the city centre.

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • 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!
    • Optional Activities: Dolphin swimming, dolphin viewing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 - 5 hours
  8. This morning, we’ll wake up after a great night’s sleep and hit the road towards arguably the most beautiful part of the South Island. We’ll take an incredibly scenic journey to the breathtaking Lake Tekapo, where you will see the most spectacular turquoise waters which get their colour from the glacial flour brought down from the rivers flowing from glaciers high up in the mountains.

    Today, go for a hike, a bike ride, or just relax at camp. If you’d like to see some if the amazing sights of Tekapo from the skies, go for an epic scenic flight this afternoon, and this evening, you can go for a soak in the nearby hot pools or enjoy some world famous star gazing at the Mt John Observatory - you are staying in an International Dark Sky Reserve, after all! 

    • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
    • Bike Rides: If you're not rafting in the morning hop on your bike and head to the Peel Forest walks. In the afternoon enjoy the trails at Lake Tekapo Regional Park then ride to 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 an incredible glacial lake or walk to the Mt John Observatory and take in 360 degree views of Tekapo
    • Optional Activities: Tekapo Hotel Pools, Dark Sky Project - Dark Sky Experience, Virtual Stargazing Experience or Summit Experience
    • Available Upgrades: Yes - limited options
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2 hours
  9. Today you get to immerse yourself in the snow-capped mountain scenery that New Zealand is famous for. This morning we’ll explore the spectacular Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. We’ll hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain following a trail up the Hooker valley where you’ll cross swing bridges and experience stunning views of the mountains before finishing up at a glacial lake with some awe inspiring views of the Hooker Valley glacier - trust us, you’ll want to bring your camera for this!

    Next, we’ll travel back towards the Pacific coast and make a quick stop in the historic town of Oamaru before getting to the small village of Moeraki, where we’ll camp for the night. Go for a walk this evening to a great view point offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and try to spot a little Blue Penguin along the shore. 

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: During the afternoon you can ride a short section of the Alps2ocean trail followed by a ride out to Katiki Point Lighthouse where you'll find a Yellow-eyed penguin colony
    • 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.
    • 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.

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

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Ride from camp into town or out to the Otago Peninsula later in the day if you’re not doing any optional activities
    • Walks and Hikes: You’ll feel your heart pumping through your chest as you take a stroll up the world’s steepest residential street!
    • Optional Activities: Otago Peninsula Wildlife Tour, Otago Early Settlers Museum
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  11. Today is one of our longer travel days as we drive through some of New Zealand’s most dramatic natural scenery on our way to Fiordland. Make sure you have some snacks, and that all your devices are fully charged, particularly your camera! Large parts of the landscape along the drive today have been carved out over thousands of years, leaving stunning paths weaving through snow-capped mountains. Tonight’s camp is on the lakeside in Te Anau. The bikers can go for a ride on the lake to lake Te Anau trail and the rest of us can enjoy a leisurely walk along the lakefront or head up to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary where we can see the endangered native Takahē. If you’d like to do an activity, we recommend the incredible glowworm caves tour and boat ride.

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • 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. Today we’ll travel along one of the world’s most scenic roads and into Milford Sound! Described as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. We highly recommend boarding a cruise, where you'll see dramatic waterfalls and snow-capped peaks and if you’re lucky, some wildlife! At different times of year, penguins, dolphins, seals and even whales have been spotted at Milford. As it’s just the one road in and out, we head back along the same breath-taking route to our lakeside camp in Te Anau. Along the way, we drop off those doing the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks. This hike is a haven for native birdlife. Charge up your camera as this hike offers everything from mountainous peaks and sheer rock faces to pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls and dense, luxuriant forest. 

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
    • Walks and Hikes: Routeburn Track (must be pre-booked and hikers will rejoin the group in Queenstown)
    • Optional Activities: Milford Sound Cruise, Te Anau glowworm caves tour & boat ride
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  13. After breakfast this morning, we’ll make our way to Queenstown, the adventure capital of NZ that sits along the shores of the photogenic Lake Wakatipu. There’s a huge selection of activities to choose from here, from an adrenaline pumping bungy, canyon swing and skydive to a relaxing steam boat cruise or gondola ride  – this place has it all. There are great tracks around the lake ideal for bikers and hikers and all with wonderful views of this alpine region. Camping isn’t feasible in this bustling alpine village, for the next two nights we stay in dorm-share accommodation in a centrally located hostel. Perfect for making the most of all Queenstown has to offer!

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • 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!
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on! You are in the adventure capital of the world!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes to a private room
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  14. With so much to do we’ll spend another full day in the fantastic Queenstown, so everyone has the opportunity to have those once in a lifetime experiences. Speaking of experiences, may we suggest trying the legendary Fergburger! For those on the Routeburn Track, you will rejoin the group here today and this evening you’ll be able to experience everything this vibrant resort town has to offer. Tonight, we dine out at one of Queenstown’s many delicious eateries - a great chance for your group to enjoy a feast at an iconic Queenstown eatery (own cost).  

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Awesome bike options to choose from! Cycle 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!
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on! You are in the adventure capital of the world!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: No Driving today
  15. This is our final morning in Queenstown and your last chance to indulge in one more activity before we wave farewell to those finishing their tour and welcome new travellers joining us here. Leaving at 2:30pm, after the thrills and spills of Queenstown we’ll travel past mountains and on towards stunning glacial lakes and calmer shores. 

    On the final stretch to camp we’ll get views of Mt Aspiring National Park in the distance. Lake Wanaka is just over the next ridge and it’s on the edge of this glacial lake that we find our next wilderness camp. Enjoy great views of Lake Wanaka and the mountains beyond as we absorb the beauty of the area. 

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Hawea River Track (12 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Lakefront walks or other walks you may have missed yesterday when doing activities.
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on!
    • Available Upgrades: No - beautiful lakeside camp with National park views
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  16. We’ll enjoy a relaxed morning at our lakeside camp and then we’re continuing north through Mt Aspiring National Park. Just before we reach the West Coast, we’ll stop for a walk to the amazing Blue Pools, before heading through the dramatic Haast Pass, on roads woven over braided rivers and huge glacier carved valleys. There are two more great walk options along the way, one through lush and ancient forests and the other through swampy vegetation, ending on the beach where it’s possible to spot Hector dolphins. Tonight, we’ll stay beside the beautiful Lake Paringa, enjoying a true West Coast wilderness experience.  

     

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Later in the day you have an option of a long ride into camp from Knights Point lookout to Lake Paringa
    • 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 limited options
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  17. Today is your chance to explore one of NZ’s most unique and spectacular natural wonders – the Franz Josef Glacier.  This staggeringly beautiful work of nature descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres above sea level. To get on the ice you must go up by helicopter but it’s possible to view the glacier via a stunning walk through the main valley. We also recommend taking a walk to Peter’s Pool for another incredibly scenic view.

    Before arriving at Franz Josef, we’ll take a highly recommended walk around Lake Matheson where crystal clear reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman make the perfect photo opportunity. Late afternoon, we have a short drive up the coast to our beautiful beachside campsite next to the Okarito lagoon – one of the very few places where there are still rare sightings of our native kiwi bird and the home to NZ’s only colony of the White Heron (kotuku). Enjoy a fire down on the beach taking in the rugged coast and epic mountain views.    

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Te Ara a Waiau cycleway, Okarito road ride (10 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: A highly recommended walk around Lake Matheson in the morning
    • Optional Activities: Guided Heli-Hike, guided kayak or SUP tour, West Coast Wildlife Centre, skydiving
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  18. Enjoy an early morning walk, with a view of the sunrise over the Southern Alps as a reward before we board the bus and continue up this spectacular coastal road to the quirky town of Hokitika, home of the Greenstone and a great place to pick up a traditional souvenir. Passing through Greymouth we’ll keep following the coast to Punakaiki where you’ll notice a change in the landscape as huge limestone cliffs appear and Nikau Palm trees become abundant. Our beach camp for tonight offers great sunsets, a beautiful river and incredible views of Paparoa National Park. The pancake rocks and blowholes are the main attraction in Punakaiki where limestone rocks are stacked on top of each other and ocean swells are forced through gaps in the rock creating a whale’s blowhole effect. This evening, explore a cavern with some glow worms hanging out in the dark and then enjoy a beverage at the local tavern.  

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: West Coast Wilderness Trail (14 km), Bullock Creek trail (15 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: 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)
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours
  19. Before leaving Punakaiki we’ll take some time to explore part of the Paparoa National Park, walking along the Pororari river or cycling up Bullock creek road to visit a cave resurgence. Leaving mid-morning we’ll travel inland through the majestic Buller gorge and onto the famous Abel Tasman National Park. Situated in one of the sunniest areas of the country and home to heaps of beautiful secluded bays and stunning golden sand beaches. We look forward to spending 2 nights at our perfectly located camp, close to the park entrance which makes it the ideal place to explore all corners of the stunning Abel Tasman. 

     

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Coastal ride to camp and Kaiteriteri bike park, Great Taste Trail
    • Walks and Hikes: Truman track
    • Optional Activities: Skydiving
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: approx. 5 hours
  20. Take time today to explore arguably the best beaches and clearest waters in New Zealand - there are excellent options for everyone here. You can walk, sail or kayak around the numerous golden bays and dive into the crystal-clear waters along the way. There will be plenty of chances for wildlife spotting (dolphins, seals and even Orcas!) and for those seeking a thrill, join the one in a lifetime canyoning experience!

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park
    • Walks and Hikes: Exploring the Abel Tasman National Park
    • Optional Activities: Kayaking, canyoning, sailing, water taxi / walk
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: No driving today
  21. Today we’re heading back to the North Island, but first we’ll take a trip to sunny Nelson. In addition to being one of the sunniest areas of NZ, Nelson is home to more than 350 working artists and craftspeople creating traditional, contemporary and Maori arts and it's a wonderful place to live! Relax and enjoy the sunshine and café culture before we depart for wine country – Marlborough, home to some of the World’s best known grapes and where we’ll treat you to a free tasting in one of their best vineyards. Finish this fantastic day with a scenic ferry back 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’ll be staying in a great hostel giving you the best access to explore. 

     

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Hit another section of the Great Taste Trail this morning enroute to sunshine capital, Nelson.
    • 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
  22. This morning we recommend going for a leisurely breakfast by the waterfront and getting some last looks at the beautiful city before we hit the road. Today, we’re travelling up the scenic Kapiti Coast to the Taranaki region – home to wonderful beaches, crashing waves and the spectacular Mount Taranaki – a perfectly formed snow-capped peak. In Maori legend, Taranaki fell in love with the beautiful Pihanga, but Tongariro was also in love with her and was stronger too. Beaten in battle, Taranaki withdrew underground and carved out the bed of the Whanganui River eventually surfacing where he now stands. beautiful Pouākai range standing inland and he was drawn towards her. Eventually, Taranaki found his soulmate, Pouākai, and their children became the trees, plants, birds, rocks and rivers flowing from their slopes. This evening, we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner camp and relax in this special place.

     

    • 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.
    • 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
  23. We’ll leave camp this morning and head for Waitomo, famous for its magical glowworm caves. There are plenty of options to explore the caves, from an adventurous exploration involving abseiling and climbing through the vast cave systems, to black water rafting or a nice dry, relaxing boat experience. If you’re not heading into the caves we’ll send you on a great walk through some awesome limestone cliffs and native bush before we all join up for a picnic lunch together.

    After Waitomo we’re heading to Auckland where your tour ends. We’ll arrive in the city before 6pm, where we’ll say goodbye to all the friends we’ve made along the way.

    • 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, Waitomo caving adventures, glow worm cave tour
    • Available Upgrades: No Camping in the Big City
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 - 5 hours

TOUR PRICES:

 Tour Price

$6095

 Bike hire

$450

 Single tent upgrade 

$260

 Bring your own bike    

$230

 Sleeping bag hire

$90


2023/24 DEPARTURES FROM AUCKLAND

MONTH

DEPARTURE DATE

NOVEMBER 2023

2ND

JANUARY 2024

16TH

FEBRUARY 2024

1ST, 17TH 

MARCH 2024

4TH, 20TH

APRIL 2024

5TH

 

 

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Trip Reviews

  • It was exactly what I was looking for and the driver & guide were amazing.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 15/11/2019

  • The experience was great, Becca was amazing! Booked 4 days and stayed 25! I honestly loved the tour.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 01/03/2019

  • The knowledge shared by the guides was invaluable, learning about the wildlife, scenery and Maori culture was amazing and something we couldn't learn by ourselves.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 01/03/2019

  • Really enjoyed this trip and how much we saw in a short space of time. Really enjoyed the camping aspect and all the walks.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 01/03/2019

  • We were lucky to have an amazing group of people. The very best driver and tour guide. A very well organised trip and amazing 3 and a half weeks. This time I will keep in mind.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 01/02/2019

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