- Meals (all breakfasts, x2 lunch, x3 dinner)
- Accommodation and bedding
- Fun guide
- Entry to the National Army Museum
- Cook Strait Ferry
- Jade Carving Tour
- Access to Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier
- Gold panning at Cromwell
WHERE WE VISIT
- National Army Museum
- Marlborough Sounds
- Otira Viaduct lookout
- Franz Josef Glacier
- Fox Glacier
- Blue Pools
- Cardrona Bra Fence
- Mackenzie Country
- Lake Tekapo
- New Plymouth
- Blue Springs
Optional tours available at additional cost:
- Franz Josef: Pub Crawl ($10), Scenic Flight and Glacier Landing ($245), Glacier Kayak Tours ($115), Cross Country Quad Biking ($160), Glacier Hot Pools ($28)
- Queenstown: Highest Bungy Jump in NZ ($275 approx), Skydiving ($299), Ski/Snowboarding ($144), Jet-boating ($149), Lord of the Rings Tour ($175), Milford Sound Coach and Cruise ($190), Canyoning ($299), River Boarding ($225), Pub Crawl ($35)
- Christchurch: City Tour ($20)
- Hobbiton movie set ($80 approx.)
Why do we love this
We love that this tour gives you plenty of time to explore Queenstown. Three days mean you can really dive in and experience all it has to offer!
WHAT TO EXPECT
New Zealand’s South Island is a place of breathtaking beauty, and there’s no better time to explore it than winter! Snow-covered mountains, crisp blue lakes, unbeatable nightlife... you'll see it all on this trip!
Day 1: Auckland - Lake Taupo (dinner, drinks)
Welcome aboard! Today is the first day of your New Zealand adventure.
A nice early start sees you leave the busy city of Auckland and head south for some epic glowworm caving in world-famous Waitomo. Plunge into the darkness with only the glowworms to light your way!
Afterwards, head south to your accommodation in Taupo. Paint the town red as you explore the bars and pubs, and enjoy a night with new friends you’ll never forget!
Day 2: Taupo - Wellington (breakfast, lunch)
Rise and shine! You might have a bit of a sore head this morning, but there are a few hours of driving ahead for you to nap and relax.
Make the journey south to NZ’s capital, Wellington stopping along the way to check out NZ’s military history at the National Army Museum.
Once you arrive in Wellington, the afternoon is yours to explore. If craft beer, street art or an alternate music scene is your thing, you’ll be in heaven!
Tonight, it's the drinking game Olympics. Pick your beer pong partner wisely.
Day 3: Wellington - Kaikoura (breakfast)
After two days in the North Island, it’s time to board the ferry and cross the Cook Strait for the South!
Arriving in Picton through the stunning Marlborough Sounds, your journey along the east coast begins. Your destination: Kaikoura. This beautiful seaside town is ‘world famous in NZ’ for its abundance of sea life sightseeing.
Today you'll see a seal colony in the wild and Sperm Whales feeding out from the coastline!
Day 4: Kaikoura - Hokitika (breakfast, dinner)
Today you'll hit the coast on one of the best scenic drives in New Zealand. Soak in the incredible views as you make your way towards beautiful Hokitika.
On the way, stop in at Otira Viaduct lookout to take in the breathtaking views of Arthurs Pass and meet New Zealand’s cheekiest native bird, the famous Kea.
Tonight, it’s time for a yummy home-cooked Kiwi dinner, prepared by your awesome guides. Following that, get ready for a drunken talent show! Start practising your party tricks now!
Day 5: Hokitika - Franz Josef and Fox Glacier (breakfast, dinner)
Today you’ll get your chance to experience New Zealand's legendary glaciers - the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers! This is a real once-in-a-lifetime activity.
At Franz Josef, it’s a free walk to check out the glacier, but if you’ve got a bit of extra spending money, optional activities like heli-tours and treks are a great way to explore.
Next, it's off to Fox Glacier village for your second glacier of the day!
Afterwards, return to Franz Josef for the night and embark on an epic pub crawl through this beautiful winter town! Please note pub crawl cost is $10.
Day 6: Franz Josef - Queenstown (breakfast)
Often described as 'other-worldly', Queenstown really has to be seen to be believed. With three nights in this incredible southern paradise, you’ll get your chance to do all the seeing you want.
On the way down to Queenstown, visit the Blue Pools in Haast Pass, and stop in at NZ’s famous Cardrona Bra Fence.
Arriving late in the afternoon, check into your accommodation before heading to the world’s best burger joint: Fergburger. After that, the night is yours. Have some drinks at the Ice Bar, take a trip through the haunted house, or head back to your accommodation to rest up for the two more big days in Queenstown.
Day 7: Queenstown
You'll love waking up to stunning Queenstown! Today is your first of two completely free days in this incredible wonderland. Spend it how you want; bungy jumping, skiing, snowboarding, skydiving, jet-boating… the list of bucket-list activities available in Queenstown is endless! Please note these activities are at an additional cost : Highest Bungy Jump in NZ ($275 approx), Skydiving ($299), Ski/Snowboarding ($144), Jet-boating ($149), Lord of the Rings Tour ($175), Milford Sound Coach and Cruise ($190), Canyoning ($299), River Boarding ($225).
Later tonight, let your hair down as you hit the town on a famous Queenstown pub crawl ($35).
Day 8: Queenstown (breakfast)
Didn’t manage to do everything you wanted yesterday? No worries! Your last day in Queenstown, today is another entirely free day!
If it’s more action-packed excitement you’re after, the town will be bustling as the weekend hits. But, if you’re needing a rest after last night’s antics, that's fine too! Queenstown has an abundance of warm bars, restaurants and hide-outs where you can relax with a hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire.
Day 9: Queenstown - Twizel (breakfast, lunch)
It’s never fun saying “goodbye” to Queenstown, but the turquoise lakes and snow-capped peaks of Mackenzie Country are waiting!
On the way there, try your luck at finding riches in Cromwell as you pan for gold. You'll also stop to check out the clay cliffs of Omarama.
Later, escaping the crowds for the day, call into the unique little town of Twizel where you can put your feet up while you take in the awe-inspiring scenery the High Country has to offer. This is home for the night.
Day 10: Twizel - Christchurch (breakfast)
This morning, head towards South Island’s largest city, Christchurch. But first - a cheeky stop at Lake Tekapo, home to the famous ‘Church of the Good Shepherd’ - built in 1935. With views over one of the bluest lakes you’re likely to ever see, make sure the camera is charged!
Afterwards, it's onto Christchurch. Ravaged by 2011’s devastating earthquake, Christchurch the ‘Garden City’ has been in rebuild mode ever since, and is once again widely regarded as New Zealand’s most beautiful city.
Arriving early afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the city at your own pace. Spend an afternoon packed full of plenty of activities (and bars) to keep you busy. This will be your last night in the south so make the most of it!
Day 11: Christchurch - Wellington (breakfast)
Today it's goodbye to the South. An early start brings you back up to Picton to catch the ferry back to the North Island.
Make your way back to Wellington where you'll spend the night. Rest up or hit up your favourite bars tonight.
Day 12: Wellington - New Plymouth (breakfast, discounted drinks all night)
Taranaki locals are some of the proudest people in New Zealand - today you’ll see why. Departing from Wellington, head north towards the region, stopping in for some lunch in the ‘bread capital of New Zealand’, the small coastal town of Manaia.
After that, it’s on to tonight’s stop - New Plymouth! Make the most of your accommodations in-house bar tonight - it's the perfect chance to celebrate your last night of the trip. There are cheap drinks to be had all evening.
Day 13: New Plymouth - Auckland
The final day of the tour has arrived!
Today, take a trip to Middle Earth with a visit to the famous Hobbiton movie set! Constructed for the Lord of the Rings films, this breathtaking scene in rural New Zealand has been incredibly maintained and, today is one of the countries leading tourist attractions. The tour costs $80 approx.
For the budget-tight travellers, the majestic ‘Blue Spring’ is an option. Here, unbelievably crystal-blue water appears deep in the heart of the forest. And it's free!
Reunite with the rest of the group later, then it's back on the bus and back to the bright lights of Auckland. It's time to wave goodbye to your new travel friends and New Zealand.
This is a 13-day tour, starting and finishing in Auckland. Tour runs May-September.