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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$6,705.00

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 23 Day Total Aotearoa is our most popular national tour! It covers all the highlights of Aotearoa/New Zealand as well as exploring the more remote locations that showcase the country’s natural beauty! This tour is crammed full of amazing things to do and see from hiking in our stunning National Parks to camping under the stars with great mates. Travel from tropical lush rainforest to stunning mountainous regions, see shockingly blue lakes and swim in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. We prioritise getting to remote locations, experiencing the beauty of nature, getting to know the friendly locals and of course - having fun!

Some things you can expect from your Full New Zealand adventure tour

- Exploring the country's best National Parks: 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 enjoy a bit of self-care and privacy some nights too.

- 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, skydiving, canyoning, 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! 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



- 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.



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

    Welcome to the first day of your Flying Kiwi adventure! We’ll leave Auckland at 8am and drive south towards the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel 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 arrive at our Hot Water Beach campsite, where we’ll spend the next two nights. Go for a walk along the beach once we’ve set up camp, and this evening we’ll enjoy our very first group dinner together.

    • Meals: Dinner
    • Bike Rides: 8km scenic road cycling from Hahei Beach to Hot Water Beach camp
    • Walks and Hikes: Stunning coastal walk with views over the Pacific
    • Optional Activities: Sea Kayaking, Hahei Explorer
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  2. Today you have a full free day to spend relaxing or exploring. We’ll head to Hahei Beach where you can go for a walk along the shoreline or take a boat or kayak to see the iconic Cathedral Cove. Later, we’ll head back to 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 cheapest spa day ever!



    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: 8km scenic road cycling from Hahei Beach to Hot Water Beach camp
    • Walks and Hikes: Stunning coastal walk with views over the Pacific
    • Optional Activities: Sea kayaking, Hahei Explorer
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  3. This morning after breakfast, we'll make our way down to the southern end of the Coromandel Peninsula where we’ll stop at the historic Karangahake Gorge which offers great biking and hiking options through old mining relics. This stunning region combines the natural beauty of the area with some NZ history and is a must-see on the North Island. 

    Afterwards we’ll continue on to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity, adventure activities and cultural experiences. This evening we’ll set up camp and enjoy a group meal together. 

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Karangahake Gorge
    • Walks and Hikes: Stroll through Karangahake Gorge & unique thermal landscapes in Rotorua
    • Optional Activities: Polynesian Spa
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  4. Today you have a full day to enjoy everything that Rotorua has to offer. There are heaps of optional activities in Rotorua and something for everyone. If you’re interested in adventure, we recommend 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, opt for a healing soak at the Polynesian 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. This evening, we recommend heading to the incredible Te Puia where you'll learn about Maori culture, experience the breathtaking Haka and feast on a traditional Hangi meal. 



    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Whakarewarewa Forest Loop (33 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Walk through Kuirau Park or the Whakarewarewa Forest to see the towering redwoods
    • Optional Activities: Zipline Canopy Tour, Rotorua Rafting, Te Puia
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  5. We begin the day with a drive to visit Wai-o-Tapu bubbling mud, a unique experience not to be missed. Next we’ll stop at the mighty Huka Falls, an impressive waterfall found along the Waikato river. This is also our drop off point for those wanting to go skydiving! If you’re not going skydiving there's a great bike ride to Spa Park 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 & Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Huka Falls to Spa Park
    • Walks and Hikes: Walks of various distances past dramatic waterfalls and around Lake Taupo
    • Optional Activities: Skydiving, bungy, giant swing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  6. 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 the Lord of the Rings movies 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 make our way to our camp, situated on the beach.


    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Marton Sash & Door (if not doing the Tongariro Crossing)
    • Walks and Hikes: Tongariro Alpine Crossing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  7. This morning we’ll drive down to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand! We'll arrive early, giving you most of the morning to explore. We recommend checking out the exhibits at the famous Te Papa Museum, getting to some Lord of the Rings locations on Mt Victoria or taking 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 3.5 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. Tonight, we'll stay at a great campground in Picton. 



    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Walks and Hikes: Explore Wellington!
    • Optional Activities: Te Papa National Museum of NZ (free), Cable car
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  8. 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
    • Walks and Hikes: Kaikoura peninsula walk
    • Optional Activities: Whale watching by boat or by plane, deep sea fishing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  9. 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 and 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. 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. We won’t overnight here, as campers we’re averse to big cities, so after we’ve welcomed some new travellers, we’ll continue on down to the stunning Lake Tekapo where we’ll spend the next two nights!


    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Lake Tekapo Lake Front
    • Walks and Hikes: Take an early walk around our coastal camp
    • Optional Activities: Dolphin swimming, dolphin viewing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  10. This morning, we’ll wake up in arguably the most beautiful part of the South Island. Lake Tekapo is incredibly scenic, and home to 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.

    We’ll go and see some incredible sights today, heading for Aoraki/Mt Cook where 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! This evening, we recommend going for a soak in the nearby hot pools or enjoying some world famous star gazing at the Mt John Observatory - you are staying in an International Dark Sky Reserve, after all! 

    • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
    • Bike Rides: Lake Tekapo Regional Park, A2O Cycle
    • Walks and Hikes: Mt John walkway, Hike to the base of Mount Cook & Hooker Valley
    • Optional Activities: Scenic Flight, Tekapo Hot Pools, Star Gazing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  11. Today we’ll spend the morning in Lake Tekapo before departing this afternoon to travel back towards the Pacific coast. We'll camp in the historic town of Oamaru this evening, close to the unique Moeraki Boulders and the Scottish city of Dunedin. 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 and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: 13 km Alps2Ocean trail ride
    • Walks and Hikes: Explore the Moeraki Heritage Trail
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  12. If the tide is low this morning, we’ll go for a walk along the beach to see 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.

    Next it’s onto the historic Scottish city of Dunedin, the South Island's second-largest city and home to NZ’s only castle. Dunedin is home to the world’s steepest residential street and the coastline is home to some fantastic and rare wildlife. Afterwards, we’ll continue down to the gateway to the Milford Sound, situated on the edge of Lake Te Anau.  Tonight’s camp is on the lakeside in Te Anau, which is the South Island's largest lake.  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
    • Bike Rides: Lake Te Anau Lakefront Cycle Upukerora Trail (5km+)
    • Walks and Hikes: World’s steepest street, explore Dunedin city
    • Optional Activities: Te Anau glowworm caves tour & boat ride
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  13. 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 & Lunch
    • Bike Rides: Lake to Lake Te Anau trail, Lakefront Upukerora trail (5 km+)
    • Walks and Hikes: Plenty of short walks from camp
    • Optional Activities: Milford Sound Cruise, Te Anau glowworm caves tour & boat ride
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  14. After a chance for a morning bike ride on the Lake to Lake Trail, if not done already, we will make our way along the Devil’s Staircase, and catch our first glimpses of Queenstown.  The Adventure Capital of NZ,  Queenstown is located on the shores of the South Islands second largest lake, Lake Wakatipu.  There are many cycle trails & walks for everyone to enjoy.  




    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Walks and Hikes: Routeburn Track (must be pre-booked and hikers will rejoin the group in Queenstown)
    • 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
    • Drive Distance: No Driving today
  15. 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! 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: Lake Wakatipu trail (16km), Queenstown trail (48 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Queenstown walks, Ben Lomond
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  16. This is our final morning in Queenstown and your last chance to indulge in one more walk or bike ride before we wave farewell to those finishing their tour and welcome new travellers joining us here. Leaving at 10:00am, 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 Hawea is just over the next ridge and it’s on the edge of this glacial lake that we find our next wilderness camp at Lake Hawea where we can enjoy great views of the lake and the mountains beyond as we absorb the beauty of the area. 



    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Hawea River Track (12 km), Lake Wanaka to Lake Hawea (30km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Multiple walking options
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  17. We’ll enjoy a relaxed morning at our lakeside camp and then we’re continuing north through Mt Aspiring National Park. Before we reach the West Coast, we’ll stop for a walk to the amazing Blue Pools, then head 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 in the iconic Fox Glacier on the wild west coast.



    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Gladstone Track (13kms Return from Lake Hawea Camp), Fox Glacier Cycle Way (12kms Return from Fox Glacier Holiday Park)
    • Walks and Hikes: Blue Pools, Ship Creek
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  18. 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. Next, we’ll 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: Trail to Lake Matheson (4.3kms one way), Bullock Creek trail (15 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Sunrise Lake Matheson
    • Optional Activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks & blow holes (free)
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  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: Bullock Creek, Coastal ride to camp and Kaiteriteri bike park, Great Taste Trail
    • Walks and Hikes: Truman track
    • Optional Activities: Skydiving
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  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
    • Bike Rides: Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park
    • Walks and Hikes: Abel Tasman National Park track
    • Optional Activities: Kayaking, canyoning, sailing, water taxi / walk
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  21. Today we’re heading back to the North Island, but first we’ll take a trip to 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 and onto the stunning Paekakariki situated along the Kapiti Coast

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Optional Activities: Activities (included): Wine tasting in Marlborough, Ferry back to Wellington
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  22. This morning we’re travelling up the scenic Kapiti Coast, back through the Tongariro National Park to Waitomo, famous for its incredible caves filled with magical glow worms. There will be a chance to go for some walks or bike rides before we settle into our campground for the night where we’ll enjoy our final dinner together as a group. 



    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Ride through Waitomo
    • Walks and Hikes: Forest and Cave trail
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  23. This morning 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.

    Once we re-group, we’re heading to Auckland where your tour ends. We’ll arrive in the city in the late afternoon where we’ll say goodbye to all the friends we’ve made along the way.



    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Ride through Waitomo if you’re not going to see the Caves
    • Walks and Hikes: Forest and Cave trail
    • Optional Activities: Waitomo caving adventures, Glow worm cave tour, Blackwater rafting
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 - 5 hours


Prices are in New Zealand Dollars








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13TH, 27TH

MARCH 2025

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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