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New Zealand Explorer

New Zealand Explorer

14 Day Adventure

Our most popular New Zealand itinerary showcases iconic experiences across both the North and South Islands. From Auckland to Queenstown in 14 days, you’ll embark on exhilarating adventures, mingle with the Maori culture, indulge in gourmet food and wine, and experience true kiwi hospitality.

Itinerary & Adventure Highlights

Day 1: Auckland

Upon arrival, you will be greeted in kiwi style and transferred to your accommodation. Your first day is spent in the “City of Sails,” where you embark on a hands-on sailing experience aboard a yacht in beautiful Waitemata Harbour. Make sure to take a trip up the Sky Tower for a panoramic view of Auckland. The views from the water and from the Sky Tower are equally stunning!

2 nights Auckland

Day 2: Auckland – Waiheke Island Tour & Tasting

Board your ferry at the Downtown Auckland Ferry Terminal and enjoy a pleasant cruise through the Hauraki Gulf to Waiheke Island. Enjoy a tour of this island paradise, with its pristine beaches and rolling countryside, and indulge in wine tasting at the local vineyards. We can also book a gourmet winery lunch for you before you board the ferry back to Auckland and bid farewell to this special haven.

Day 3: Auckland to Rotorua – Waitomo Black Water Rafting

Pick up your car rental and drive through lush farmland to the tiny hamlet of Waitomo, where a fantastic network of caves provide the perfect setting for your next adventure, known as cave tubing or black water rafting. Gear up in a wetsuit, gumboots, and hardhat with custom-built electric light, and marvel at the glow worms as you navigate the cave system via innertube. Later today, continue driving to Rotorua and check-in for your next two nights. This evening’s “hangi” feast is the perfect introduction to the rich traditions of Maori culture, through song, dance, dinner, and storytelling.

2 nights Rotorua

Day 4: Rotorua – Adventure

Welcome to the geothermal capital of the North Island. Your choice of adventure today: white water rafting the Class V Kaituna River, mountain biking through the lush redwood forest, or exploring Middle-earth on a tour of Hobbiton. At the end of this exhilarating day, you’ll undoubtedly be ready to relax at the geothermal hot pools, set at the serene shoreside of Lake Rotorua.

Day 5: Rotorua to Nelson

Fly to Nelson, the sunniest location in all of New Zealand, at the top of the South Island. Upon arrival, pick up a rental car and head to your accommodation. Enjoy an afternoon of rest, or explore the local area. Nelson is known for its local art studios, boutique wineries, and an idyllic location facing the Tasman Sea. If time permits, be sure to visit the World of Wearable Arts & Classic Cars Museum.

2 nights Nelson

Day 6: Nelson – Abel Tasman National Park

Sub-tropical Abel Tasman includes thousands of hectares of native forest, beaches of golden sand, clear coastal waters, and the best climate in the country! Enjoy a one-day guided sea kayaking and hiking tour in this spectacular region.

Day 7: Nelson to Punakaiki – “Pancake” Rocks

Say farewell to Nelson and drive to Punakaiki on the West Coast for a short walk beneath a canopy of nikau palms and tree ferns to view the unique “pancake” rock formations and explosive blowholes. Optional afternoon adventures include horseback riding, river canoeing, or a river canyon walk.

1 night Punakaiki

Days 8: Punakaiki to Fox Glacier

Drive to Fox Glacier today, fed by alpine glaciers and world-renowned for its untamed natural beauty. Your drive down the wild West Coast is a stunner, framed by the Tasman Sea to the west and the dramatic white-capped peaks of the Southern Alps to the east.

2 nights Fox Glacier

Day 9: Fox Glacier

Board a helicopter to fly over pinnacles and crevasses and land on the upper levels of the glacier. With a qualified alpine guide, spend 2.5 hours exploring the glacier’s awesome ice formations on a glacier hike. If time permits, you may wish to venture to nearby Lake Matheson, one of New Zealand’s most photographed lakes. Famous for its mirror-like reflections on a clear day of Mount Cook (Aoraki) and Mount Tasman (Rarakiroa), New Zealand’s highest peaks. A delightful bush track walk follows the lake edge.

Day 10: Fox Glacier to Queenstown

Make the journey south to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. Return your car in central Queenstown and check into your accommodation, nestled at the shore of Lake Wakatipu. This is the perfect location for exploring the vibrant city on foot.

4 nights Queenstown

Day 11: Queenstown – Milford Sound

This morning, you will be collected from your accommodation and transferred by glass-roofed coach to the iconic Milford Sound. For a truly epic experience, we recommend opting for a small plane flight across a dramatic landscape of mountains, glaciers, lakes and forests into Fiordland. On reaching Milford Sound, step aboard your vessel to cruise the full length of the Sound to the Tasman Sea, marveling at the dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and amazing wildlife.

Day 11: Queenstown – Milford Sound

Queenstown is a breathtaking and beautiful playground for all seasons. Bungy jumping, jet boating, rafting, kayaking, and hiking can all be enjoyed. A trip to the Gibbston Valley to taste local wines of Otago is a must do for wine lovers. For a spectacular view of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the surrounding white-capped peaks, a ride up the Skyline Gondola is in order. After absorbing the stunning scenery, you may want to speed down the luge track, zipline through the lush forest, or even paraglide back to town. A special dinner may be in order for your final evening in New Zealand, be it a hot spot in town or a BBQ dinner at a high country sheep station. Bid farewell and “haere rā” to New Zealand on Day 14.

Land package pricing based on 4-star accommodation starts at $3999* per person


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