Cook Winter Tour

Cook Winter Tour

Travelling New Zealand over the winter months is arguably one of the most beautiful times to be here. Snow-capped mountains in the South Island, snow-capped volcanoes in the North Island and white sand beaches on both offer a stunning dichotomy not found most places in the world!

This tour allows you to experience the best of NZ over the winter months on a guided, small group adventure. There's loads of incredible inclusions as you'll see below. It's an epic trip, and we think you'll agree - read on below to find out more. 

Highlights

  • Bay of Islands wildlife cruise
  • Sand Boarding on giant sand dunes
  • Day trip to see the meeting of two oceans at NZ's northernmost point, Cape Reinga
  • Hot Water Beach - dig your own hot tub in the sand!
  • Walk to Cathedral Cove - considered one of New Zealand's most beautiful beaches. 
  • Specially-developed Maori cultural experience with traditional meal, interactive show and story telling
  • Bubbling hot pools in Rotorua
  • 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: 26 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:

  • Paihia: day trip to Cape Reinga
  • Paihia: Hole in the Rock marine cruise
  • 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: 7am from Auckland
  • Finish Time: Arriving late afternoon/early evening at Auckland

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PRICE: $3,095 NZD

Number of Days 27

Starts: Auckland Finishes: Auckland

Tour Type: Small Group Tour

DEPARTURES

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Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

KIA ORA! Welcome to New Zealand. We depart 7.30am and head north to the stunning Bay of Islands today. On the way you’ll learn about the rich local European and Maori history. We will head straight to the Bay Of Islands after seeing some giant Kauri trees where you will have some free time to explore this seaside town. In the afternoon you go to Russell on the ferry.

ACCOMODATION

Hostel along from the beach

SIGHTS

Included: Russell Ferry, tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest.

Today you travel to the northernmost point of the country, the spiritually significant Cape Reinga. Visit 90 Mile Beach, try dune surfing and see the clashing of 2 oceans! Sample some of the best fish and chips available on your way back to Paihia.

ACCOMODATION

Hostel along the beach

SIGHTS

Included: Cape Reinga day trip, surf sand dunes

We'll explore the Bay of Islands a bit further today, before heading south to the Big Smoke - Auckland. We will do the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise and make an island stop in the bay. Be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine life as they're often spotted in this area. Around mid-afternoon we will head back to Auckland to spend the night, before continuing onto the rest of the North Island.

ACCOMODATION

Central city hostel

SIGHTS

Included: Hole in the Rock marine cruise.

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).

ACCOMODATION

Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront 

SIGHTS

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.

ACCOMODATION

Exclusive accommodation by the waterfront 

SIGHTS

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.

ACCOMODATION

Comfortable central city hostel

SIGHTS

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.

ACCOMODATION

Central city lodge

SIGHTS

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.

ACCOMODATION

Scenic lakefront lodge 

SIGHTS

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.  

ACCOMODATION

Country station lodge.

SIGHTS

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.

ACCOMODATION

Country station lodge

SIGHTS

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. 

ACCOMODATION

Alpine Lodge. 

SIGHTS

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. 

ACCOMODATION

Central city hostel.

SIGHTS

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.

ACCOMODATION

Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park 

SIGHTS

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.

ACCOMODATION

Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park

SIGHTS

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.

ACCOMODATION

Lodge in the middle of the rainforest 

SIGHTS

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

Today you have to option to do one of the best experiences in New Zealand - the Franz Josef Ice Explorer (added expense). After a helicopter trip from the village, you'll be guided around this ancient and stunning piece of ice. Truly magical. 

ACCOMODATION

Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.

SIGHTS

Free activities: Any of the good bush walks in the area 

Optional paid activities: Ice Explorer Trip (short helicopter flight onto the glacier) Glacier Valley Walk

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.  

ACCOMODATION

Central hostel.

SIGHTS

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. 

ACCOMODATION

Central Hostel. 

SIGHTS

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. 

ACCOMODATION

Central hostel

SIGHTS

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. 

ACCOMODATION

Stunning alpine lodge inside the National Park. 

SIGHTS

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. 

ACCOMODATION

One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations. 

SIGHTS

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. 

We depart at 9:45am from the Christchurch International Airport and have a beautiful drive up the coast to Kaikoura. You have the afternoon free for activities.

ACCOMODATION

Historic seaside hotel.

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.

Optional Paid Activities: Whale watching, swimming with seals, piloting your own plane or swimming with dolphins. Try the amazing fresh fish and chips!

 

Depart 8.30am. We wind our way up the rugged coastal roads with stops for photos and a seal colony. Then we take the ferry crossing over the Cook Strait, back to Wellington.

ACCOMODATION

Central hostel

SIGHTS

Included: Ferry crossing from Picton to Wellington.

Free activities: Seal colony, Queen Charlotte View walk, explore the city.

Depart 6.40am. This is an express day via National Park to Auckland, arriving back in New Zealand’s largest city in the late afternoon. We hope you had a blast on your adventure! 

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