22 Day Kiwi Adventurer
22 Day Kiwi Adventurer
You’re on the edge of your next adventure. From Christchurch to Auckland, you will experience the magnificent TranzAlpine train, visit Kaikoura - New Zealand's whale watching capitol, see the Franz Josef glacier, cruise on the spectacular Milford Sound and explore the geothermal Rotorua to name just a few. You’ll be delighted at every turn, trading your every day for an unforgettable holiday!
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Christchurch to Auckland|
|Departures:||Jan 2019 - March 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $8359 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|20 nights accommodation & 1 night Overnight Cruise|
|Rental vehicle of your choice|
|4 nights in majestic Queenstown|
|2 night stopovers in Christchurch, Nelson, Franz Josef, Rotorua, Auckland, Bay of Islands & Coromandel|
|Overnight Milford Sound Cruise|
|Entrance to Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve|
|Kaikoura Whalewatch Excursion|
|'The Best Abel Tasman Day Trip'|
|Dart River Wilderness Safari|
|TranzAlpine 4WD High Country Safari Adventure|
|Domestic flight Queenstown-Rotorua is included in the tour price|
|Admission to the Te Puia geothermal region|
|Te Po - Maori cultural experience with traditional hangi|
|Hole in the Rock & Cape Brett cruise|
|Waitangi Treaty Grounds day pass including guided tour & cultural experience|
|Kiwi Dundee Full Day Nature & Coast Guided Tour incl Lunch|
Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel January 2019 – March 2020. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Click on the prices below to enquire.
* Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling).
* 2 Bedroom Motel pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please request a quote for prices.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Haere Mai” Welcome to Christchurch – the Garden City! Disembark, pass through customs and collect your luggage – it’s time to start your holiday. You will be personally met by our representative at the airport and transferred in an executive sedan to your accommodation.
What should you do with the rest of the day? Take it slow, sit back and relax, we suggest punting down the River Avon through the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens. (2 nights)
Your Alpine Safari Adventure begins in Christchurch, where you are picked up from your accommodation, and taken across the Canterbury Plains to the Waimakariri Gorge in the foothills of the rugged Southern Alps.
Travel deep into the Southern Alps by jetboat and explore the inaccessible twists and turns of the rushing waterways. Rendezvous with the Unimog and travel in this unique 4WD vehicle to Flock Hill Station for a bite to eat, before continuing through Arthur’s Pass National Park for scenery and photogenic shots.
Wrap the day up with a return to Christchurch onboard the famous TranzAlpine Train. The TranzAlpine is described as “The Great New Zealand Rail Adventure” and is rated as one of the top six scenic train journeys in the world – with accolades like those, you know it will be good.
Ascend through lush beech forests past the beautiful Lake Brunner via the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass situated 737 metres above sea level, before crossing the spectacular Southern Alps. The TranzAlpine then winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular river gorges and the stunning Waimakariri River valley.
Take delivery of your rental car this morning. Leaving Christchurch, travel inland to the naturally picturesque and tranquil alpine village of Hanmer Springs, nestled in a valley surrounded by a superb expanse of mountains and forest clad hills.
Relax in the hot thermal pools of the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve before continuing on to Kaikoura, located in a narrow strip of stunning coastline that lies between mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean.
This morning, board your boat and enjoy the awesome experience of a 3-hour whale-watch excursion. Every whale watch tour is a unique experience and sightings may vary from day to day. Giant sperm whales are the star of the show and are year-round residents.
A typical Whale Watch tour may encounter fur seals, pods of Dusky dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season, you may also see migrating Hump Back whales, Pilot whales, Blue whales and Southern Right whales. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of Albatross, 14 varieties of Petrel as well as 7 types of Shearwater.
Later, continue north to Blenheim, gateway to the well-known Marlborough Sounds region before arriving at Nelson, a city of charm based on a harbour that is home to the busiest fishing port in New Zealand. (2 nights)
Explore the Abel Tasman National Park’s coastline onboard the Taranui for “The Best Abel Tasman Day Trip”. You will cruise past Split Apple Rock, Kaiteriteri, Marahau, round golden sandy bays, Adele and Fishermans Islands and on to the Tonga Island seal colony, taking time to enable you to get the best views and photo’s during your scenic cruise.
Taranui’s cruise itinerary is flexible so if there is something to see on the day trip, like dolphins riding the bow wave or New Zealand fur seals fishing, then we’ll go take a look. Similarly if there’s a particular bay you want to visit or park feature you want to see, then please do let the skipper know and he’ll try to accommodate your wishes.
After you’ve said goodbye to the seals the skipper will find a sheltered bay for a light lunch. You can swim, sea kayak, go ashore for a bush walk, or just relax onboard Taranui while lunch is prepared. Taranui has plenty of snorkeling equipment and kayaks on board, if you are keen to work up an appetite.
Travel south through the Nelson Lakes region before arriving on the West Coast. Marvel at the bizarre limestone landscapes at Punakaiki, best known for its Pancake Rocks and blowholes – make some time to see these spectacular sights today.
Enjoy a walk along the beach this morning before heading down the West Coast. Home to towering rainforests, mountains and glaciers, tranquil lakes and rushing rivers, this coastal paradise is steeped in history dating back to the gold rush era of the 1860’s.
Tonight you stay at Franz Josef or Fox glaciers – unique in the fact that the glacier descends from the Southern Alps to just 240 metres above sea level, amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest. (2 nights)
Endless opportunities exist to allow you to take in the beauty of this special part of the South Island’s West Coast. You can take an optional guided walk or heli-hike to explore the spectacular ice formations, experience the thrill of a scenic flight and place your footprints onto a high alpine snowfield or feel your adrenaline rush on New Zealand’s most scenic skydive.
Alternatively, you can visit New Zealand’s only White Heron (Kotuku) nesting colony, take in the scenery as you kayak the stunning Okarito lagoon or visit Lake Matheson, renowned for its mirror images of Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, New Zealand’s highest peaks.
Today, view incredible scenery as you travel past the untouched native forests and pristine lakes of the World Heritage Westland National Park and Haast Pass. Travel over the magnificent Southern Alps to the Southern Lakes District.
There is time to wander around the popular lakeside township of Wanaka before travelling over the spectacular Crown Range to the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown. On to Queenstown, a beautiful alpine resort town regarded as New Zealand’s premier holiday destination. (2 nights)
Wear something waterproof and comfortable, you’re about to go on a jetboat ride. Our chosen service provider will collect you from your hotel and travel to Glenorchy in time for your Dart River Wilderness Safari.
Speed on crystal clear waters, watching the wild and scenic landscape of Mt Aspiring National Park pass you by with twists, turns and impressive acceleration. Don’t be fooled by the jet-boat classification – thrills aside, you’ll be afforded a rare chance to glimpse the enchanted wilderness of a World Heritage area.
This afternoon is free for further sightseeing.
Travel by coach along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. Continue along the spectacular Milford Road and through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound where you board the Milford Mariner for a relaxing cruise. Cruise the entire length of the Sound to the Tasman Sea & view spectacular waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and wildlife.
Milford Sound is nothing short of heart-stopping, inducing subconscious smiles in the hard to please and easily bored almost instantly; it’s simply magnificent. Keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins! The Milford Mariner is designed along the lines of a traditional New Zealand trading scow to reflect Fiordland’s heritage and you will be accommodated in private cabins with en-suite bathrooms in this purpose-built vessel.
Join your coach this morning for your journey back to Queenstown. You have the rest of the day to experience this magnificent resort town.
Pick and choose from a long list of adventures – from thrilling funyak tours along the Dart River and horse-riding in Glenorchy, to panning for gold in Arrowtown or taking a tour of Lake Wakatipu via the TSS Earnslaw, there is certainly something for every speed.
Or, if you’re not ready to break the spell of the last few days a scenic walk may do the trick, exploring the diverse range of stunning trails the region delivers in troves. (2 nights)
Return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35mins)
The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.
Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown boasts adventure and leisure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration. There are numerous activities from which to choose.
Running along the Clutha River, Lake Dunstan and the Shotover River, the Central Otago Wine Trail region encompasses Wanaka, Cromwell, Bannockburn, Bendigo, Alexandra, and Gibbston, boasting an international reputation for Pinot Noir. There are over 30 wineries and vineyards in this area offering tastings, tours, lunches and meals.
Further along SH6, 15 minutes from central Queenstown, stands the Arrowtown Junction at Lake Hayes, home of the unmissable Amisfield Winery & Bistro – sink your teeth into a local meal and savour the notes of New Zealand before arriving in Queenstown.
This morning, drop off your car at Queenstown airport and board your aircraft for the flight north to the geothermal city of Rotorua. On arrival, collect your new rental vehicle and make your way to your hotel.
Rotorua’s raw beauty has enchanted visitors from around the world for more than 160 years. Here you can stand upon volcanoes, peer into massive craters, see boiling mud, exploding geysers and marvel at the unspoiled native forests that cloak the land. (2 nights)
Free time to explore Rotorua today. You may like to visit the Agrodome or take a gondola ride to the top of Mt Ngongotaha for spectacular views of Rotorua. Later this afternoon visit Te Puia geothermal area to view the boiling mud pools and cascading Pohutu geyser that make Rotorua famous as New Zealand’s thermal city.
This evening experience Te Po, Te Puia’s cultural experience. It is a feast of cultural storytelling, entertainment and Maori kai (indigenous food). After a formal Maori welcome, relax and enjoy a performance including beautiful songs, the haka and poi dance. After dinner you will be transported by people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and hot chocolate. (D)
Drive north through the Bay of Plenty to Tauranga and the Coromandel Peninsula. It’s worth taking a break at the beachside resort of Mt Maunganui for a walk around the base of the mountain or along the long, sandy beach.
Continue along the East Coast to Tairua; this centrally located seaside town is a great place from which to explore the Peninsula. Walk to the top of Paku Hill for spectacular 360 degree views. (2 nights)
Enjoy a full-day guided tour today with local expert and personality, ‘Kiwi Dundee’. Explore a pristine rainforest surrounded by giant rock faces, rugged volcanic peaks, ancient Kauri, Rimu and Rata trees. Wonder at the world’s largest tree ferns and capture crystal clear rivers on camera.
Visit old historic gold caves, home to hundreds of glittering glowworms and learn more about forest biodiversity. Enjoy your picnic lunch by the rock pools or in the mountains, letting the world go by, one bird call at a time.
Today’s journey takes you over the divide and on down the Thames Coast to Auckland. As New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland is located in an idyllic setting overlooking the forested Waitakere Ranges, the sheltered Manukau Harbour and the island-studded Hauraki Gulf to the north.
No wonder over a million people choose to live here! Beautiful beaches and dreamy offshore islands are just half an hour from the city. In fact, the sea is so much a part of the place that an unusually high number of people own their own boats giving the city its moniker of the ‘City of Sails’.
It’s time to depart the city and head north to the Bay of Islands. If you’re something of an arts, crafts or history buff, a visit to Kerikeri is certainly worth it, as one of the oldest buildings in the country still stands solid – aptly named the Stone Store.
Strap back in for the easy drive to Paihia, the idyllic seaside gateway to the whole Bay of Islands region. On arrival a visit to the historic Waitangi Treaty House is included. (2 nights)
You can relax today and enjoy the Bay of Islands in a number of ways. We’ve included a cruise to the famous Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett for you this morning. Board the luxury catamaran which will whisk you on a comfortable journey out through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse.
Next is Motukokako Island and the famous “Hole in the Rock” where you’ll make a passage through the Hole and on to the Grand Cathedral Cave. On the return journey the cruise takes its time and meanders through the inner islands. View sandy beaches, beautiful bays and marine wildlife as your skipper gives an informative commentary.
Included in the cruise is an island stopover on beautiful Urupukapuka Island. On the way back you might like to stop off at Russell (New Zealand’s first capital) which was also known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific.” It’s now a quaint seaside village where you can take some time to wander around and enjoy.
Exploration is the order of the day, as you travel south again and search for camera-worthy stops along the way – because we care about making your adventure easy, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Relax – Dip, bathe and relax in Waiwera’s thermal springs.
- Sight-See – Turn left to Waipu Cove and add Lang’s Beach to your laid-back bucket list.
- Eat Well – Puhoi has a few local cheeses you just have to try, paired perfectly with a New Zealand red.
- Walk – Take the detour from Warkworth to do the Tawharanui Ridge Walk. It’s an easy walk of about 4 hours that will reward you with spectacular views.
Sadly your holiday is at an end and you drop off your vehicle at Auckland airport to connect with your onward flight. Here we bid you farewell and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
There are 13 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.
New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).
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You’re on the edge of your next adventure. From Christchurch to Auckland, you will experience the magnificent TranzAlpine train, visit Kaikoura - Ne... Read More
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