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$4,675.00

Main Highlights

  • NZs top 5 National Parks
  • World heritage site
  • NZ cycle trail
  • Glacier hikes
  • Dolphin swimming
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Rotorua
  • Wellington
  • Queenstown
  • Fiordland
  • Routeburn Track
  • Milford Sound
  • Abel Tasman
  • Kayaking


Our Total Aotearoa tour is ideal if you don't quite have time for the Ultimate Explorer.  It covers all the main attractions and whilst you will skip the Bay of Islands there is no shortage of beaches on this tour with 2 days in the stunning Abel Tasman.

We cram a lot into 23 days but here are some of our customers favourites:

- Exploring the country's best National Parks:  With a department of conservation license we have access to amazing spots and you'll get a chance to explore the most amazing locations.  Form NZ's highest peak at Mount Cook to the Worlds best one day walk at Tongariro you will be immersed in the most amazing natural beauty.

- Sleeping under the stars to the sound of the ocean:  Does this sound like you?  if you love wide open spaces, fresh air, spectacular views and chatting around the campfire then you'll love our accommodation.  In addition to our camping there are plenty of options to upgrade to cabins so choose as much outdoors as you want.

- Everything from dolphin swimming to bungy jumping:  New Zealand is an outdoor paradise and for 30 years we have been finding the best adventures to try.  On this tour you will get the chance to try as much as you can handle - a few highlights include dolphin swimming, black water rafting, skydiving, canyoning, paddle boarding, surfing, hiking on a glacier, sailing, canyoning and 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!  All offer spectacular vistas and lifelong memories.  The same applies to the bike rides - from short downhill rides to challenging off-road tracks - choose your favourites and go!

- 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


- Accommodation: Included is your accommodation in our carefully selected campsites staying in a shared tent, two people per tent. You can upgrade to your own tent for $NZ265.

- Food: We enjoy good food and supply tasty & healthy meals suitable for all diets + hot drinks.  This trip includes 22 tasty breakfasts, 8 lunches and 14 evening meals.  

- Use of sports equipment on board: (bodyboards, frisbee and more dependent upon bus), amazing sunrises and sunsets at beautiful beachside campsites, and so much more!

- 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 and national parks.

- 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!

- 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.

- 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 - eyes peeled for whales & dolphins.

- Use of Sports Equipment on Board: Body boards, frisbee and more depending upon the bus.

A few more of our free inclusions are Tongariro, Abel Tasman, Paparoa, Westland Tai Poutini, Aoraki Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring & Fiordland National Parks, dig your own thermal pool on Hot Water beach (we provide the spades!), the full-day Tongariro Crossing hike (bus transfer not included), Te Papa museum, 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 and of course 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 tour.

hiking the routeburn track on tour

Hiking the Routeburn track by Brian Guest


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 will find alternatives.

Hostels: There are two nights where camping isn’t feasible and we stay in hostels (at your own cost). Your guides will sort all the details for this and the rooms can be paid for locally (around $35 per night). 

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! 

    • Meals: Dinner
    • Bike Rides: 8km Road Cycling
    • Walks and Hikes: Stunning Coastal Walk to Cathedral Cove
    • Optional Activities: Sea Kayaking
    • 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!

    • 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: Hobbiton, Tamaki Maori Village, OGO, Luge, hot pools, Zipline Canopy Tour
    • 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. 

    • 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, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland (free - this one is on us)
    • 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.

    • 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 Crossing, white water rafing (grade 3 rapids)
    • 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).

    • 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 museum (free), WLG city tour, Zealandia, cable car
    • 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. 

    • 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, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing
    • 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 leisurely 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 sheep shearers HQ, on a working farm with great mountain views and next to the Rangitata river. 

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

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

    • Meals: 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: White water rafting (grade 5 rapids!), horse-riding, Mt John Observatory tour
    • Available Upgrades: Yes - limited options
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2 hours
  9. Today is a real chance to immerse yourself in the snow-capped mountain scenery that New Zealand is famous for. We will be exploring Aoraki National Park and hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain - Mount Cook. We then head back to the Pacific coast with a short stop in the historic town of Oamaru. From there it’s a short drive down the coast to the small village of Moeraki. Go for a walk to a view point and take in the views of the Pacific Ocean and try and spot a little blue penguin along the shore. If you have a bike it’s possible to visit a colony of extremely rare yellow-eyed penguins near to camp.

    Mount Cook (Maori name - Aoraki meaning 'cloud piercer') dominates the skyline at 3,724m and is New Zealand's highest mountain. Nestled in between the other 18 peaks above 3000m within Aoraki/Mt Cook national, Mt Cook dominates the skyline and is the main feature in the backdrop of our hike to the bottom of the Hooker valley glacier.

    • 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.

    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 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.

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Ride around town from camp 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!
    • 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. 

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • 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. 

    • Meals: Breakfast and lunch
    • 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!
    • Optional Activities: Milford boat cruise, Routeburn Track, Te Anau glow worm caves & boat ride
    • 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!

    • 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 (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)  

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • 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!
    • 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. 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. 

    • 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, 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. 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. Tonight, we will be staying beside the beautiful Lake Paringa enjoying a true West Coast wilderness experience. 

    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: 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. This morning is all about the highly recommend Lake Matheson hike where you 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 travel the short distance to Franz Josef where the afternoon is all about visiting the Franz Josef 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 Franz Josef. If you’re not keen to head up by helicopter, you can view the valley and glacier but from a distance, the trail is also open to bikes so make the most of the afternoon and explore the area. There is something for everyone here and if glaciers aren't for you explore the nearby water ways with a guided kayak tour or take to the skys with a scenic skydive.

    We then leave Franz Josef 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. 

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Ride along the walk/cycleway to the Glacier viewpoint. There is also a beautiful ride on the quiet road that leads to Okarito
    • Walks and Hikes: A highly recommended walk around Lake Matheson in the morning then if you're not hiking on the ice, head up to the terminal face viewpoint in the afternoon.
    • Optional Activities: Guided Heli-Hike, guided kayak tour, hot pools, skydiving
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 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. 

    • 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 Nat
    • Optional Activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks & blow holes (free)
    • 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. 

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

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • 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, conservation projects (free), conservation tour
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: No driving today
  21. 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).

    • 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 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.
    • Optional Activities: Wine tasting (free - this one is on us!)
    • Available Upgrades: No camping in the Capital
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours + 3 hour ferry crossing
  22. 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! 

    • 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 (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 6 hours
  23. 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.    

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

2021/22 TOUR PRICES:

 Tour Price


 Bike hire


 Single tent upgrade 


 Bring your own bike    


 Sleeping bag hire



Due to the recent NZ Government announcement, we have cancelled our 2021/22 tours. Our International Borders will be open from May 2022 and we'll update this page when we've released our 2022/23 season tour dates.  


Show nearby:

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