20 Day Sheppard Tour

20 Day Sheppard Tour

On this tour, you'll see all the key parts of the country that make New Zealand world famous; from the massive sand dunes in the far north, to Queenstown which has become the Adventure Capital of the World and all of the beautiful landscapes in between! With all your accommodation and some meals already booked and paid for, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Small Group Tours
From: Christchurch
Departures: Dec 2018 to Apr 2019
Price: From (NZD) $4575 per person
Tour Operator: Stray Journeys
Duration: 20 Days
Tour Code: AKCH20


19 nights accommodation in Lodges, cabins and comfortable hostels, except at Blue Duck Station, Hahei & Doubtful Sounds which is shared accommodation.
18 breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L) and 11 dinners (D)
Bluebridge Ferry between North and South Islands
Tree hugging at Parry Kauri Forest, Northland
Swim at Waipu Cove, Northland
Hole in the Rock cruise, Paihia
Hokianga ferry ride and sand boarding, Hokianga
Visit Waipoua Forest and Tane Mahuta (NZ’s largest kauri tree), Hokianga
Swim at Kai Iwi Lakes, Northland
Walk to Cathedral Cove, Hahei
Kai cooking demonstration, Hahei
Hot Water Beach, Hahei
Maori cultural experience, including traditional hangi meal and interactive performance, Rotorua
4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure, Blue Duck Station
Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park
Winery cellar door visit, Marlborough
Walk in Abel Tasman National Park, Abel Tasman
Aqua Taxi ride or stand-up paddle board hire (SUP), Abel Tasman
Visit Cape Foulwind seal colony, West Coast
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks walk, West Coast
Walks around Lake Matheson and the Blue Pools, Mt Aspiring National Park
Jet Boat Ride in Makarora
Doubtful Sound overnight cruise, Fiordland National Park
Sea kayaking in Doubtful Sound, Fiordland National Park
Mountain biking in Wanaka
Walk on Hooker Valley track, Mt Cook National Park
Explore Lake Tekapo area

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Auckland to Paihia

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! Your journey kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Pickups start at your accommodation bright and early before we head north to the seaside town of Paihia. We stop en-route to hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native kauri, enjoy a hike to a beautiful waterfall and stop for lunch and a swim at scenic Waipu Cove. This is followed by a trip to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds (own expense), before settling into our accommodation where you’ll have a group meal and the evening free to relax in Paihia.

Accommodation included: Hostel near the beach (D)
Activities included: Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest, Waipu Cove
Optional activities: Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Day 2
Paihia - Hokianga

This morning we take a scenic cruise around the beautiful Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands bursting with marine life, and there’s no better way to see it than by boat. Keep a watchful eye out and you may see wild dolphins!

In the afternoon it’s off to the Hokianga Harbour, where we will see the huge sand dunes. Tonight you have the option to take part in a Maori-guided twilight encounter, where you’ll visit the Waipoua Forest, learn about Maori legends and the spiritual inhabitants of the forest, and visit the largest kauri tree in the world, the “God of the Forest” Tane Mahuta (own expense). Finish the day with a Kiwi classic for dinner, traditional fish and chips.

Accommodation included: Waterside lodge (B,D)
Activities included: Hole in the Rock cruise
Optional activities: Footprints Waipoua twilight encounter, bone carving

Day 3
Hokianga - Auckland

We start the morning with a ferry ride across the Hokianga Harbour to experience the thrill of sand boarding down massive dunes (weather dependant) before we start to make our way south through the mighty Waipoua Forest. Here we will have the opportunity to visit NZ’s largest kauri trees. We visit the idyllic Kai Iwi Lakes for a swim in the beautiful crystal-clear waters surrounded by a pure white sandy beach, before returning to the ‘big smoke’ for a late afternoon arrival.

Accommodation included: Central city hostel (B)
Activities included: Hokianga Ferry ride, sand boarding, visit Waipoua Forest (NZ’s largest kauri trees), swim in the Kai Iwi Lakes

Day 4
Auckland - Hahei

We depart Auckland and head south east to the pristine sands of Hahei Beach, from which you can access the famous Cathedral Cove. Accessible only by foot, boat or kayak, you’ll discover some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery and stunning sea views in this beautiful coastal spot. Cathedral Cove is a definite ‘must see’ on the Coromandel Peninsula.

After an afternoon of seaside exploration, we gather as a group for an entertaining hands-on cooking demonstration to prepare some delicious ‘kai’ (Maori for ‘food’) together for dinner.

Accommodation included: Comfortable beachside accommodation (D)
Activities included: Walk to Cathedral Cove, Kai cooking demonstration
Optional activities: Cathedral Cove Kayaks

Day 5
Hahei - Rotorua

Today we start by driving to Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you can dig a hole in the sand to create in your own personal spa pool (tide dependent). After the beach, we’ll make our way towards Rotorua, stopping on the way to drop off those who want to visit the hobbit holes at the world-famous Hobbiton Movie Set. For those who choose to head straight to Rotorua, we’ll stop before we get to town to stretch our legs with an easy walk to watch white water rafters navigate the waterfalls of the Kaituna River.

This evening you will be welcomed into the authentic Tamaki Maori Village, where you will discover Maori art, ancient rituals and traditions. Tonight, we dine on a delicious hangi (Maori feast), enjoy an interactive cultural performance and the company of our Maori hosts.

Accommodation included: Central city lodge, 2 nights (B,D)
Activities included: Dig your own spa pool at Hot Water Beach (tide dependent), Kaituna waterfall walk, Tamaki cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, Kapa Haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive cultural performance
Optional activities: Visit Hobbiton

Day 6
Rotorua Sightseeing

You have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area well-known for its Maori heritage, adventure activities and geothermal wonders. Here you have plenty of great optional activities to choose from, such as a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, white water rafting, ziplining through native bush, mountain biking and much more. A great option to finish the day is to spend the evening soaking in the hot pools at the luxurious Polynesian Spa. (B)

Optional activities: Visit Hobbiton, white water rafting, Zorbing, the luge, ziplining, mountain biking, Polynesian Spa

Day 7
Rotorua - National Park

It’s a very early start this morning so we can make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tongariro National Park, where you’ll get the chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one-day walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular treks in New Zealand. Alternatively, you can go on one the shorter walks within this volcanic region or visit the Volcanic Centre Museum.

Accommodation included: Alpine lodge (B,L,D)
Activities included: Tongariro Alpine Crossing and transfers, or Taranaki Falls walk and Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s Pool)

Day 8
National Park - Blue Duck Station

After your big day of hiking, you get a chance to sleep in because we won’t depart until mid-morning. Our destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island accessible by road. We’re heading for the award winning Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro, a 7,200-acre high country farm that is both a working sheep and beef station and an environmental conservation leader.

This afternoon you get the opportunity to take part in a 4WD Bush Safari and farm adventure, where you’ll explore this vast land and the New Zealand native bush, discover the remains of an unbelievable local history, and learn about the farm’s conservation efforts. Your dinner tonight is cooked using local produce.

Accommodation included: Remote country station lodge (B,D)
Activities included: 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure

Day 9
Blue Duck Station - Wellington

We depart early to arrive into Wellington around midday. Wellington is known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ thanks to Lonely Planet, and it’s a great place to check out the lively arts, shopping and craft beer and café culture scene. As New Zealand’s capital city, it is home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. This afternoon, you have the option to tour the world famous Weta Workshop, marvel at the natural and cultural wonders of Te Papa National Museum or wander along the waterfront Oriental Parade.

Accommodation included: Central city hostel (B)
Optional activities: Weta Workshop Tour, Te Papa National Museum, craft beer sampling

Day 10
Wellington - Picton - Abel Tasman

Leaving Wellington, we’ll travel across the Cook Strait on the Bluebridge Ferry to the South Island’s coastal town of Picton. Here we meet our coach and cruise through the famous Marlborough wine region. We visit the cellar door shop at a local vineyard to sample New Zealand’s world-famous Sauvignon Blanc before heading to the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. Tonight, we enjoy some delicious seafood and a BBQ dinner at our exclusive campsite accommodation on the edge of the national park.

Accommodation included: Beach accommodation on the edge of the national park 2 nights (B,D)
Activities included: Bluebridge Ferry trip, winery cellar door visit

Day 11
Abel Tasman

Today is a free day to experience the incredible Abel Tasman National Park. Explore this stunning, coastal area famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand. Walk the coastal track and discover some of New Zealand’s best natural golden beaches or choose an optional activity like sailing or sea kayaking (own expense). Tonight, you can self-cater and use the BBQ facilities at our accommodation from dinner. (B)

Activities included: Abel Tasman Track and Aqua Taxi or stand-up paddle board hire (SUP)

Day 12
Abel Tasman - Franz Josef

We start early to head south along the ‘wild’ West Coast, travelling on the rugged rocky coastline that makes this stretch of road one of the country’s top drives. We’ll stop at Cape Foulwind to view a wild seal colony that’s active year-round, and then make our way further down the coast to visit the spectacular limestone Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes. From there, we carry on to our next overnight stop in the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

Accommodation included:
Hostel close to all attractions 2 nights (D)
Activities included: Cape Foulwind seal colony, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks walk

Day 13
Franz Josef

Enjoy a free day to get out and explore the natural wonder of Franz Josef Glacier. We highlight recommend a guided glacier tour to navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible glacier (own expense). There are also many excellent bush hikes available in the region if you decide not to get up on the glacier. Tonight’s dinner is up to you with the opportunity to dine at one of the local cafes or restaurants in town or make use of the self-catering kitchen at our accommodation. (B)

Accommodation included: Hostel close to all attractions
Optional activities: Glacier heli-hike, scenic helicopter flight

Day 14
Franz Josef - Makarora

Today we head down the West Coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park, stopping to take in some breathtaking scenery at the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake. We’ll see the region’s best waterfalls as we travel through the mountainous Haast Pass towards Makarora then visit the stunning Blue Pools. On arrival in Mount Aspiring National Park we go jet boating to experience the best in shallow water boating skimming just inches from the riverbed, see pristine waterways, snow-capped peaks and native bush.

Accommodation included: Unique mountain chalets (B,D)
Activities included: Walk around Lake Matheson, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools, jet boat in Mt Aspiring National Park

Day 15
Makarora - Doubtful Sound

Today we venture into Fiordland National Park, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful and untouched locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery. Within Fiordland we visit the magnificent Doubtful Sound, deepest of all the fiords, for a truly magical cruise experience surrounded by towering peaks and unspoiled wilderness. We will board a purpose-built boat and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins on our way to tonight’s anchorage. There are sea kayaks available if you’re keen to paddle in the fiord. If it’s a clear night, make sure to go up to the upper deck after dinner for exceptional stargazing.

Accommodation included: Overnight on the boat (B,D)
Activities included: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, sea kayaking, wildlife spotting

Day 16
Doubtful Sound - Queenstown

We depart Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind stunning Fiordland to head for the thrill and excitement of the ‘adventure capital of the world’ Queenstown. For your first evening here, Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge!) night out with many excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.

Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views 3 nights (B)

Day 17

You have two free days in Queenstown to fully explore everything on offer. With so many fantastic activity options, it’s a great place to spend a couple days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: skydiving, a walk up Ben Lomond or Queenstown hill for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. (B)

Optional activities: AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging

Day 18

You last free day in Queenstown to fully explore everything on offer. Options include: bungy jumping, zipline tours, canyoning or Shotover River jet boating. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense.(B)

Optional activities: AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging

Day 19
Queenstown - Mt Cook

We’ll jump back on the bus for a short drive to Wanaka, where we’ll spend the morning biking along some of the world’s most scenic lakeside trails. After lunch, we head over the Lindis Pass through the picturesque Mackenzie region to the base of the country’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. There is time for a hike through the Hooker Valley for breathtaking views of the dramatic mountain landscape, or opt to take an alpine scenic flight (own expense). With very little manmade light interference, this is also one of the best places in New Zealand to join an evening stargazing tour.

Accommodation included: Alpine lodge (B,D)
Activities included: Mountain biking in Wanaka, scenic walk along the Hooker Valley track
Optional activities: Big Sky Stargazing or scenic heli-flight

Day 20
Mt Cook - Christchurch

Today we make our way through a landscape made famous in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films. We’ll take a break for a stroll on the shores of Lake Tekapo, iconic for its historic church and turquoise waters. Between Tekapo and Christchurch there is an option for thrill seekers to hop-off and join a top-notch Grade 5 white water adventure on the Rangitata River (own expense). Those not rafting will continue on to Christchurch, where your driver guide will point out the highlights of the South Island’s largest city. This is where your tour comes to an end – we hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey! (B)

Activities included: Explore Lake Tekapo area
Optional activities: Rangitata white water rafting

Enquire about our 20 Day Sheppard Tour

20 Day Sheppard Tour
Small Group Tours
Tour Code: AKCH20
From (NZD) $4575 per person
Save (NZD) $240 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Dec 2018 to Apr 2019

On this tour, you'll see all the key parts of the country that make New Zealand world famous; from the massive sand dunes in the far north, to Queenst... Read More

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