TOURS & BUS PASSES / 21 Day Auckland to Christchurch Winter Tour

21 Day Auckland to Christchurch Winter Tour

Discover New Zealand's best kept secrets on this 21 day Auckland to Christchurch tour that gets you to the top spots, and off the beaten track locations. 

Check out Raglan's gorgeous beaches, hang with the Maori in a traditional village in Mourea, experience the white-sand beaches of Abel Tasman and get your adrenaline fix in Queenstown. Hike the Franz Josef Glacier and Cruise in Doubtful Sound. This trip does it all - consider this your essential winter New Zealand tour package. 


  • Hot Water Beach - dig your own hot tub in the sand!
  • Walk to Cathedral Cove - considered one of New Zealand's most beautiful beaches. 
  • Maori cultural experience with traditional meal and story telling
  • Bubbling hot pools in Rotorua
  • Mighty Huka Falls
  • Bush safari at unique eco-wilderness stop
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Te Papa National Museum in Wellington
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Two free days in Queenstown
  • Day trip to stunning Doubtful Sound

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: 21 nights’ dorm-share accommodation in a variety of quality backpacker hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins. Upgrades to twin and single rooms are available.

Top rated activities:

  • Lake Aniwhenua: Kohutapu experience –  guided tour of sacred Maori rock carvings, introduction to the Murupara area, Hangi and Maori bread cooking demonstration, delicious ground cooked hangi feast, dessert and continental breakfast. 
  • Whakahoro: Eco-Warrior 4WD farm tour
  • Marahau/Abel Tasman: Aqua Taxi
  • Wanaka: Scenic bike ride around the lake
  • Queenstown: Shotover Jet
  • Queenstown: Day trip to Doubtful Sound

Important Notes

  • Departure Time / Location: 7.30am from Auckland
  • Finish Time: Arriving approximately 9.40am at Christchurch International Airport

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PRICE: $2,495 NZD

Number of Days 21

Starts: Auckland Finishes: Christchurch

Tour Type: Small Group Tour


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Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

Depart Auckland in the morning and head south to the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. We’ll settle into our accommodation in Hahei before heading to Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own natural spa pool in the sand (tidal dependent).


Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront 


Hot Water Beach visit 

Today you have a full free day to embrace the laid back Coromandel lifestyle. Get up early to catch the sunrise on the beach, then take a scenic coastal walk or opt to kayak to stunning Cathedral Cove. You can also take a glass bottom boat tour through the nearby marine reserve.


Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront 


Free activities: Walk to Cathedral Cove, sunrise on the beach

Optional Paid activities: Kayaking, glass bottom boat tour

We leave Hahei early travelling through to Paeroa, home of New Zealand’s oldest and largest soft drinks company – L&P, where we’ll stop for breakfast. Our drive today will take us through the Waikato region, known for its many dairy farms, rolling hills and the mighty Waikato River (the largest river in New Zealand). This afternoon you’ll have free time to explore the sights and smells of Rotorua.


Comfortable central city hostel


Free activities: Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest walk

Optional paid activities: White-water rafting, zorbing, adrenaline fuelled adventure park (big swings, bungees and more)

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.


Central city lodge


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

The morning is free to try one of the many adventure activities on offer in Rotorua. We depart Rotorua at midday and drive into the remote area of Lake Aniwhenua. We will meet a local Maori guide who will take us to visit the area’s sacred sites and a local Marae for a traditional welcome and afternoon tea. Tonight, we feast on a ground cooked hangi dinner at our lakeside accommodation.


Scenic lakefront lodge 


Included activities: Kohutapu Experience – guided tour of sacred Maori rock carvings, Marae experience, afternoon tea, delicious ground cooked hangi feast and buffet breakfast. 

Other optional paid activities: White water rafting, zorbing, ziplining 

We depart at 7.00am and head to Taupo, see Huka Falls and have time to experience skydiving if you’re brave! Our destination is Blue Duck Station, a 7,200 acre high country station that is both a working farm and an environmental conservation leader.  


Country station lodge.


Free Activities: Huka Falls, walk around the stunning Whakahoro Station.

Paid Activities: Bungy Jump in Taupo, Skydive, jet boat ride. 

Consider yourself lucky as you're getting another traditional NZ experience, that most people would miss out on completely. You have a free day to explore this truly amazing and secluded location. Start with a tour of the property; then immerse yourself in farm life with any of the activities on offer.


Country station lodge


Included: Eco-Warrior 4WD farm tour.

Optional paid activities: Horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and goat hunting.

Up early today to head to Tongariro National Park. You have a chance to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – one of the world’s best day walks. 


Alpine Lodge. 


Free Activities: Taranaki Falls walk, visit the Volcanic Centre, Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool).

Paid Activities: New Zealand's best one-day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. 

Today is mostly an express day to get to Wellington, and the afternoon is yours to explore the sites of the capital. Wellington is an awesome place to just hang out and check out the arts, shopping and the cafe scene. 


Central city hostel.


Free Activities: We recommend wandering down Oriental Parade or visiting Te Papa national museum.

We catch the 8am ferry across to Picton on the South Islands. We will cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and the coastal town of Nelson, before heading to our amazing overnight stop of Marahau, right on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park.


Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park 


Included: Ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton

Optional Paid Activities: Wine tasting, skydiving

Free Activities: Swim, walk, mussel tasting around the fire

You have the entire day at leisure to explore this stunning coastal national park. Whether exploring by land, sea or air, there are tons of fantastic options for getting around to see as much as possible.


Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park


Included Activities: Walk part of the Abel Tasman track and catch an Aqua Taxi home

Optional Paid Activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, horse riding or hang gliding

Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. We’ll pass through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was labelled one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We’ll view the seal colony at Cape Foulwind before continuing further down the coast to the geographic wonder of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Here we’ll take a walk around these unique limestone rock formations and stop for a bite of lunch. Our next stop is the historic gold mining town of Greymouth to collect passengers connecting from Christchurch. From here we’ll continue on, via Hokitika, to the quaint township of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.


Lodge in the middle of the rainforest 


Buller Gorge, Cape Foulwind Seal Colony, Pancake Rocks and Blow holes, Hokitika greenstone store

Today is yours to explore Franz Josef. Most choose to go on a guided trip of the EPIC Franz Josef Glacier. 


Lodge surrounded by the rainforest. 


Free Activities: Explore the village, go for a hike.

Paid Activities: Franz Josef Glacier Hike, quad biking, scenic flights. 

We depart in the morning stopping for hostel pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading for the amazing mirror Lake Matheson. Today we cross the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. We’ll pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon in time to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town.  


Central hostel.


Free Activities: Stunning views on the way to Wanaka, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.

We depart around mid-morning, giving you time to check out amazing views of the lake either by skydiving or taking a walk up Mt Iron! Then we’re off to Queenstown – the Adventure Capital of the World. 


Central Hostel. 


Free Activities: Watch people bungy jump, go for a hike.

Paid Activities: Bungy jump, skydiving, jet boat tour. 

Enjoy three full days in Queenstown to get amongst the action in NZ’s ‘Adventure Capital.’ Your tour price includes the famous Shotover Jet trip as well as the highly-reccomended day trip to Doubtful Sound. You'll have plenty more time to get your adventure on, or simply relax in this chilled out resort town. 


Central hostel


Included: Shotover Jet and Doubtful Sound Day Trip (these can be done on day of your choice).

Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding...), trip to Milford Sound.

Free activities: Sleep in, great walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.

Today it’s off over the Lindis Pass en route for New Zealand’s highest peak. We arrive in the early afternoon with time to do a Mt. Cook 4WD and Argo Tour, check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine centre or do one of the many great short walks in the park. 


Stunning alpine lodge inside the National Park. 


Free Activities: Take photos of stunning scenery.

Paid Activities: Cruise on a lake filled with iceburgs. Scenic flights. 

Leaving Mt. Cook we’re off to Rangitata. We make a stop at the insanely blue Lake Tekapo. Tonight spend the night in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations, a great place to get outdoors, go horse trekking or wander through native bush in Peel Forest. 


One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations. 


Free Activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk.

Paid Activities: Tekapo Hot Springs, Ice skating, Snow tubing

Today we express from Rangitata to Christchurch where you have the day to explore Christchurch further. 

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