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17 Day Auckland to Christchurch Tour

This one-way tour from Auckland to Christchurch explores some of the best regions of New Zealand. 

This 17 day tour leaving Auckland and finishing in Christchurch is very similar to our 22 day tour leaving Auckland and finishing in Christchurch. You’ll still have the opportunity to explore most of New Zealand’s top spots, you’ll just have to pass up the Northland and Bay of Islands region. Don’t stress, there are plenty of beaches to be had on this tour – from Coromandel to Abel Tasman, you’ll see plenty of the sea.

This tour includes five days on the North Island before heading south for two weeks on the South Island. 

Highlights

  • Cathedral Cove walk on the stunning Coromandel Peninsula
  • Hike The Tongariro Alpine Crossing walk
  • Cultural Night and Maori Experience in Rotorua
  • Doubtful Sound overnight cruise through Fiordland National Park
  • Visit Franz Josef Glacier World Heritage area
  • Full day in Abel Tasman National Park for walks and optional sea kayaking and sailing 

What's Included

All transport: You'll travel in our comfortable mid-sized coaches around New Zealand and your inter-island transport between the North and South Island is included too.

Experienced tour guide: Expect entertaining commentary, insight into local secrets and extra support from your tour guide. 

Accommodation: 16 nights’ quad share accommodation in a variety of quality backpacker hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins.  Upgrades to twin (NZ$455pp) and single (NZ$990) rooms are available.

Meals: 16 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 9 dinners

Top rated activities:

  • Walk to the world famous Cathedral Cove.
  • Kai cooking demonstration
  • Visit Hot Water Beach 
  • See bubbling hot mud pools in Rotorua.
  • Experience Maori culture at Tamaki Maori Village
  • 4WD eco-wilderness farm tour
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Take the Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait to the South Island.
  • Hike Abel Tasman National Park. You can choose to take a water taxi ride or hire a stand up paddle board
  • Visit Cape Foulwind seal colony
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
  • Walk around Lake Matheson
  • Admire the stunning colours of the Blue Pools
  • Thrilling Jet Boat Ride in Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Overnight cruise on a custom designed ship in the Doubtful Sound - this is one of New Zealand's most premier off the beaten track experiences!
  • Sea kayaking in Doubtful Sound
  • Scenic bike ride around Lake Wanaka
  • Walk the Hooker Valley Track in Mount Cook National Park
  • Explore Lake Tekapo area. 

Important Notes

  • Departure Time / Location: 7.00am from Auckland
  • Finish Time: Afternoon arrival in Christchurch

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PRICE: $3,935 NZD

Number of Days 17

Starts: Auckland Finishes: Christchurch

Tour Type: Small Group Tour

DEPARTURES

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Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

We depart Auckland and head south east, stopping for a walk to the famous Cathedral Cove- a ‘must see’ on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Afterwards we’ll drive to Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you dig a hole in the sand and sit in your own personal spa pool (tide dependent). In the afternoon there will be time for a kayaking tour (own expense) before we feast on a delicious BBQ for dinner.

ACCOMODATION

Comfortable beachside accommodation

SIGHTS

Walk to Cathedral Cove, and kayaking tour (as add-on). Dig a hole at Hot Water Beach

Today we head for Rotorua to discover an area well-known for its Maori heritage, adventure and geothermal activity. Here you will get the chance to do some great optional activities, such as a visit to Hobbiton. And in the evening we 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. After dinner, relax in the mineral pools back at your accommodation. Includes breakfast and dinner.

ACCOMODATION

Central city lodge

SIGHTS

Cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, kapa haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive cultural performance. Optional add-ons are a visit to Hobbiton, white water rafting, Zorbing, the Luge

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 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.

ACCOMODATION

Central city lodge

SIGHTS

Optional paid activities: visit Hobbiton, whitewater rafting, zorbing, luging, ziplining, mountain biking, Polynesian spa

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. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

ACCOMODATION

Alpine lodge

SIGHTS

Free activities: Tongariro Alpine Crossing and transfers or Taranaki and Tawhai  falls walks

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. Includes breakfast and dinner.

ACCOMODATION

Blue Duck Lodge

SIGHTS

Included: 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure

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. Includes breakfast.

ACCOMODATION

Central city hostel

SIGHTS

Optional paid activities: Weta Workshop, Te Papa National Museum, craft beer sampling

From Wellington, we travel across the stunning Cook Strait to the coastal town of Picton where we join the coach that takes us through Marlborough, NZ’s premier wine region to Abel Tasman National Park. Participate in a wine tasting and discover our world famous Sauvignon Blanc at a local winery. Visit the beautiful sandy golden beaches before heading back to our exclusive campsite accommodation for a bit of seafood and a BBQ dinner. Includes breakfast and dinner.

ACCOMODATION

Beach accommodation in the national park

SIGHTS

Bluebridge Ferry trip, Winery visit

You have a whole day to experience this incredible area. Walk the coastal track famous for some of New Zealand’s best beaches or choose any of the optional activities on offer, including sailing or sea kayaking (own expense). Tonight we provide you with BBQ facilities for you to self cater. Accommodation is back at our exclusive campsite adjacent to the National Park. Includes breakfast.

ACCOMODATION

Beach accommodation in the national park

SIGHTS

Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches or jump on the Aqua Taxi (price included) and get dropped along the track and walk back.

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. Includes dinner.

ACCOMODATION

Hostel close to all attractions

SIGHTS

Cape Foulwind seal colony, Punakaiki pancake rocks

The day is spent in Franz Josef, a World Heritage area. As well as the glacier, the area is famous for its excellent walking trails (and lots of rain!). There are many great options for activities but a highly recommended guided trip (own expense - Franz Josef Glacier Hike) will enable you to get a hike ON the glacier, with a helicopter trip from the village nonetheless. Tonight is self-catering; there are plenty of local cafes and restaurants to enjoy or make use of the self-catering kitchen. Includes breakfast.

ACCOMODATION

Hostel close to all attractions

SIGHTS

Franz Josef Glacier Hike (extra expense) or loads of other activities. 

We head down the coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park and along the way see some breathtaking scenery including Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake. We also visit a waterfall and travel over a spectacular alpine pass. Once we arrive at the National Park there’s plenty of time to enjoy some of its activities including walking, scenic flights or jet boating (own expense). We spend the night in Chalets. Includes breakfast and dinner.

ACCOMODATION

Unique mountain chalets

SIGHTS

Walk around Lake Matheson - Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools

Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery; it is our first port of call today. Within Fiordland we visit Doubtful Sound, the deepest of all the fiords, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls.

We will board a purpose built boat and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins. There are also sea kayaks to explore the fiord. (B,D)

ACCOMODATION

Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

SIGHTS

 Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, sea kayaking, wildlife spotting.

We depart Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind the stunning Fiordland to head for the ‘adventure capital of the world’ Queenstown. Includes Breakfast.

ACCOMODATION

Lodge located close to town with awesome views.

The world's your oyster in Queenstown. Head out on a Day Tour to Milford Sound, take advantage of loads of walks or choose from a whole range of adventure activities. Adventure not your thing? How about a day sampling wine in Gibbston Valley. Either way you have two FREE days to explore Queenstown. Optional activities and meals are at own expense. Overnight accommodation included. Breakfast included. 

ACCOMODATION

Lodge located close to town with awesome views

SIGHTS

Milford Sound Day Tour, Wine Tasting, adventure activities, relax, go for hike (activities at extra expense) 

We’ll jump back on the bus for a short drive to Wanaka, where we’ll spend the morning biking some of New Zealand’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). This is also one of the best places in New Zealand to join an evening stargazing tour. Includes breakfast and dinner.

ACCOMODATION

Stunning alpine lodge

SIGHTS

Included: scenic bike ride in Wanaka, scenic walk along the Hooker Valley track

Optional paid activity: Big Sky Stargazing or scenic heli-flight

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 around 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. The rafters will rejoin the group in Christchurch this evening. This is where your tour comes to an end – we hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey! Includes breakfast.

SIGHTS

Optional paid activity: Rangitata white water rafting

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