Aroha luxury New Zealand Tours
21 Day – 'The Real New Zealand Tour' – Nationwide
Hokinaga harbour, Bay of Island, Waitomo, Geothermal areas, Rangatikei Valley,Wellington, Golden Bay, Punakaiki, Glacier area, Wanaka, Fiordland, Catlins, Otago Peninsula, Mt Cook
This tour is what we consider the real journey through our magnificent country. It takes you to the hidden treasures and allow you to spend time with the local people of this country. You see all highlights while travelling with your private host and get to know the best there is to see. You staying in remote smaller areas to be able to fully enjoy our local warm hospitality. You get opportunities to get close to our wildlife, while anticipating in some fun adventure activities.
Scenic Highlights Tours
All tours are private, depart daily, and can be customized to suit individual interests and schedules. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0064-21-890611 for more information about our luxury New Zealand tours. Our Vehicles Travel Guide Profiles
Day 1: Auckland (many flights arrive early morning) - Waipoua Forest-Hokianga Harbour (Footprint to Kauri Trees) driving distance 3h
Start of private guided tour! On our first day we drive North of Auckland. 'Step into our World' and let your local guides take you on a memorable journey through nature's stages of evolution, whilst providing a mythological and interactive interpretation of life in the forest .Meet our ancestors; the mighty Te Matua Ngahere ('The Father of the Forest') estimated to be between 3,000 and 4,000 years old, his mighty girth is over 5 metres (15ft) in diameter. 'The Four Sisters' are a graceful collection of kauri trees that have grown close together in sibling harmony and finally, Tane Mahuta ('The Lord of the Forest') who stands an impressive 51 metres (150ft) tall. Join a tour for an intimate encounter to learn how these trees are inter-twined with the lives of local Maori and the important role they play in the eco-system that is the Waipoua Forest. We take you further North. Explore the historic townships of Kohukohu and Rawene connected by vehicle ferry across the upper Hokianga Harbour. On the way see a natural phenomenon. You stay tonight at Mitimiti, (one of Northlands best kept secrets), which is a small rural/coastal contemporary Maori community. Enjoy a home cooked meal at your Homestay and learn more about the significant history of this are from your native host. Accommodation: Hokianga Harbour
Day 2: Hokianga Harbour - Bay of Islands (Hokinaga Sandtrails, Historic Russell) driving distance 5h
The beach, like so much of this coastline, can be walked uninterrupted for kilometres. In the morning take a private buggy tour to the Opounui sand dunes including the unique ‘Sand sculptures’, and ‘Sand canyon’. Enjoy the panoramic views of the harbour and it entrance from this unique location. Ride along the stunning West Coast and hear local stories and legends of this area. Return along the beach and buggy over the dunes. We take you East and our first major destination point Paihia, the first the first European settlement in New Zealand. Dotted with 144 islands and a myriad of secluded beaches, the entire region offers a fantastic opportunity to fish in waters that are rich with an abundance of sea-life! We arrive in Paihia, the center of the beautiful Bay of Islands, and the first European settlement in New Zealand by midday. Take you on a walk along the spectacular Paihia waterfront and Waitangi beach to the historic Waitangi Treaty grounds, the location of the signing of the peace treaty between the Maori and the British Crown in 1840. In Opua you board the ferry to Russell, where you will experience New Zealand’s volatile colonial history. Take time out to have lunch in one of the historic buildings, enjoying glorious views out over the idyllic wharf Settle into your accommodation for the evening, and enjoy a leisurely dinner in the Russell town-ship. Accommodation: Bay of Islands
Day 3: Bay of Islands (Boat trip to Hole in the Rock)
Day free for guide! In the morning, we take you on a 5 hour boat cruise around the many islands that make up the Bay of Islands, passing through the famous “Hole in the Rock” at Cape Brett, a fascinating natural geological attraction. Dolphin watching tours can also be arranged. OR: take a 2h drive to the top of the North Island, take a look at 90 mile beach and drive to Cape Reinga. After a 20 minute drive, you will reach the Cape Reinga Lighthouse where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. Walk to the lighthouse, sharing the myths and legends or this very spiritual area. From there we will take you pass Parengarenga Harbour and Great Exhibition Bay, which are only visible from the air or sea. This area is very remote and without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand with it's pure white silica sand and crystal clear water. Highly recommended: (Optional) A fly/drive tour to Cape Reinga: The initial stage of the tour consists of a flight up to Cape Reinga via Northlands spectacular harbours, such as the Whangaroa Harbour and the Rangaunu Harbour. We also pass across some beautiful beaches such as Coopers Beach, Doubtless Bay and of course the famous Ninety Mile Beach. From Ninety Mile Beach we then fly inland where we land at our airfield, which is only 20km from the Cape Reinga lighthouse. Once on the ground a comfortable air-conditioned mini-bus will meet the aircraft. It will take you on a 2½ hour tour around the top of New Zealand. After a 20 minute drive, we reach the Cape Reinga Lighthouse where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. Our local guide will accompany you on your walk to the lighthouse, sharing the myths and legends or this very spiritual area. The return flight to the Bay of Islands includes some of the most spectacular coastal scenery Northland has to offer. In the afternoon, we can organise a fast boat cruise around the many islands that make up the Bay of Islands, passing through the famous “Hole in the Rock” at Cape Brett, a fascinating natural geological attraction. If you just want to relax you can spend the afternoon strolling the beach, and the shops for local arts and crafts, enjoy a game of golf or maybe take to the waters of one of the world's most renowned game fishing regains and lunch at one of the areas wonderful vineyards... there are many excursions available. Accommodation: Bay of Islands
Day 4: Bay of Island – Auckland - Waitomo (Farm-stay) driving distance 5h
On our way we can take you South to Matakana, famous for the numerous award-winning wineries and their restaurants in the area. Stops en route may include stunning Orewa Beach and Wenderholm Regional Park. After midday we take you on a relaxing sightseeing tour of Auckland, a chance to explore the CBD and outer areas of the city, taking in the spectacular harbour views of the Waitemata from Auckland's illustrious waterfront, and through some of the most expensive real estate in NZ.We take you south through the lush green rural farm land of the Waikato region, the rich and fertile pastoral land of the Waikato is one of New Zealand’s major dairy producing and horse breeding areas. Tonight you stay at a working farm. Nestled on the foothills of Mt. Pirongia the farm covers 200 acres of fertile soils and rolling paddocks. It was once a dairy farm but now the owners organically farm dairy heifers, fatten beef cattle, and have a small flock of Angora goats. They are very friendly and look forward to our guests feeding them their favourite nuts. Lots of other wildlife also enjoy the farm and the views – including pheasants, the native Tui, Kingfisher birds, rabbits, hares, ducks and you may even get lucky and see a NZ native Falcon! There is a beautiful stand of native bush and lovely clear streams flowing down the mountain. Highly recommended. (Optional) Hobbiton Movie Set Tour: Before midday discover the real Middle-earth on the most picturesque private farmland near Matamata in the North Island of New Zealand, where you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. There are spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set, which is still a working sheep and beef farm. Accommodation: Waitomo
Day 5: Waitomo – Rotorua (Glow worm caves) driving distance 2h
One of the major attractions of the Waikato/King Country region is the famous Waitomo Caves (translation: 'where the water disappears into a hole in the ground'). Enjoy a short shuttle ride to the cave while your experienced guide reveals the rich history of Waitomo. Then, take a short walk through breath taking New Zealand native bush to the cave entrance. There, your guide lights the candles setting the scene for an intimate cave experience, where you will see glow-worms up close, cave formations up close and appreciate the beauty of Footwhistle Cave (also known to local Maori as Te Anaroa Cave). The solar powered lights are kept low so you can appreciate the magnificent glow worm displays at their best, only inches away. Around a corner lie the bones of one of New Zealand's lost treasures, the ancient Moa. The soothing sound of Footwhistle cave stream flows in the darkness below. Formation lights are especially turned on to cast a warm glow over stunning cave formations. The guide tells the stories of the insect life that live here - titiwai, the glow worm, and tuna, the eel. After enjoying a relaxed stroll through the cave, you'll be seated in Footwhistle's Cathedral to see it lit up by a dazzling magnesium torch. Although the display only lasts a few seconds, your memories of the Footwhistle Cave will last a lifetime. Highly recommended: (Optional) Blackwater rafting or Tubing experience: We can book for you a Cave tubing experience. Drift through our beautiful cave on an inner tyre tube and float under the most amazing displays of glow-worms! Jump off a waterfall, ZOOM down our hydro slide and for those of you who are keen to get their 'cave crawl on' - crawl up to our hidden waterfall which for many of our customers is the highlight of their trip... Accommodation: Rotorua
Day 6: Rotorua - Taupo (Maori culture, Pohuto Geyser, Kiwi house, geothermal area and Huka Falls) driving distance 3h
Visit Te Puia is the premier Māori cultural centre in New Zealand - a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. The Māori tradition lives on at Te Whakarewarewa, our Māori culture, and our National Carving and Weaving Schools of New Zealand. The environment alone is of enormous geological significance, with thermal activity ranging from boiling mud to the world famous 30-metre (100-foot) Pohutu geyser, erupting up to 20 times each day. The Kiwi Conservation Centre is a valuable part of a national Kiwi breeding programme. Here you can see our New Zealand native flightless bird and national icon in a specially lit purpose-built nocturnal house, with expert guides and information at hand From here you will also see the world famous Pohutu Geyser, the largest such geyser in the Southern hemisphere. Visit Te Puia is the premier Māori cultural centre in New Zealand - a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. The Māori tradition lives on at Te Whakarewarewa, our Māori culture, and our National Carving and Weaving Schools of New Zealand. The environment alone is of enormous geological significance, with thermal activity ranging from boiling mud to the world famous 30-metre (100-foot) Pohutu geyser, erupting up to 20 times each day. The Kiwi Conservation Centre is a valuable part of a national Kiwi breeding programme. Here you can see our New Zealand native flightless bird and national icon in a specially lit purpose-built nocturnal house, with expert guides and information at hand. Following on from this you take another journey through a world of unique thermal formations at Waitapu Thermal Wonderland. View the fascinating 'Champagne Pool' and experience the panorama of vividly colourful hot and cold pools, steaming fumaroles and hot boiling mud pools. We continue through the Waikato region, one of New Zealand's greenest places, and richest agricultural regions. You will pass land with lush grass for raising cattle, thoroughbred horses and vast stands of exotic timber. Today we stay at Lake Taupo, the largest Lake in this country on the way we stop at the Huka Falls - these spectacular falls roar through a 15-m wide chasm before plunging a further 11-m. Today you are visiting on the edges of the township of Lake Taupo with the largest Lake in this country. Lake Taupo is also the world’s largest volcanic crater, created in one giant explosion. The ash cloud floated all over the world - ice samples from as far apart as Antarctica and Alaska have determined the explosion to have occurred in 186AD. The effects of the ash were even recorded in China and Rome. Just about everywhere you look in the Lake Taupo region, you'll see a volcano. Accommodation: Lake Taupo
Day 7: Taupo - Volcanic National Park - Rangatikai Valley (Soft rafting trip through a deep gorge/Lord of the Rings scenery) driving distance 3h
After Breakfast we travel around the edges of the Lake and stop at the remote Lake Rotoaira to get our first spectacular view of the Volcanic Plateau and Mount Tongariro. We pass the park ranges, which include wildly differing landscape and scenery: from deserts to vast areas of tussock land, mountain beech forests and wetlands, all with a mix of native flora and fauna. You will see active volcanic craters, natural springs, and valleys filled with jagged lava flows. Driving through the National Park area, which is a World Heritage Site, you will get superb views at the volcanic peaks of Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. By midday we drive deeper into farming country to the remote Mokai Valley, where the picturesque Rangitikei River meets the rugged Ruahine Ranges. The location is set at the edges of the crystal clear waters of the Rangitikei River amongst the beautiful native flora and fauna, which provides a stunning and picturesque backdrop. Here we have organised a rafting trip through the gentle rapids and the crystal clear waters of the Rangitikei River. We pass secret waterfalls and unbelievable scenery you will float quietly through Middle Earth and pass scenes from the Movie. Here you can stop to fish, swim or have a picnic. For our thrill seekers! We can organize instead of a soft rafting experience, a 5 grade adventure rafting ride through the same valley. Unwind and relax with a home cooked dinner at this magical place. Just before you settle back in your Tree House, take a soak in a hot pool, which overlooks this remote valley. Accommodation: Mokai Valley
Day 8: Rangatikai Valley - Wellington (Capital, Te Papa Museum) driving distance 3h
Relax in the morning, swim in the pool or take a 4wheel drive with your hosts through their farm property. Not far from your accommodation we can organise a bungy jump or try the largest flying fox in the world (Optional). By late afternoon we reach Wellington. New Zealand’s capital city is nestled between rolling hills and a stunning harbour, and has a vibrant and compact downtown area that's best explored on foot. Get your city bearings and some of Wellington’s best views at the Mount Victoria Lookout. The city is home to Te Papa, the national museum, which tells the story of New Zealand’s history through bold and interactive exhibits. Visit the dynamic and interactive National Museum of NZ - Te Papa on the waterfront. In Wellington you’ll discover an amazing range of cafes, art galleries, theatres, attractions and a humming night. From your stay ride the historic Wellington Cable Car to the Botanic Garden. Or head to Cuba Street for a slice of Bohemia, boutique shopping and some of the best coffee in town. Your B&B is located in the heart of the City, and this evening you can walk to some of the best restaurants in Wellington. Accommodation: Wellington City
Day 9: Wellington – Picton/South Island (Ferry Crossing Cooks Straight) ferry 3h, driving distance 1h
We board a ferry to cross the Cook Strait encounter a glorious world as the ferry enters the Marlborough Sounds, from the Tory Channel into the Queen Charlotte Sound. “It must be one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world” Commented a Wine Spectator recently. Another option is to take a short domestic flight from Wellington to Picton. (Optional) If you hit one of those magic days of great weather it will be one of the most wonderful panoramas of an introduction to an area one could hope for. Even under the worst scenario the middle part through the Straits is the only really bad area even on the hardest of days. You will discover a region of myriad inlets and bay's with dramatic hills that plunge steeply into the sea. The steep, wooded hills and small quiet bays of the sounds are sparsely populated, as access is difficult. Many of the small settlements and isolated houses are only accessible by boat. The main large port is Picton on the mainland, at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound. Accommodation: Marlborough Sounds
Day 10: Marlborough Sounds – Nelson – Golden Bay (Abel Tasman Park, Pupu Springs) driving distances 4h
From Picton, we enter the sun-drenched wine region, New Zealand’s pre-eminent grape-growing area. Here you can taste some of the country’s best wines and visit wineries world famous for their Sauvignon Blanc’s and Chardonnays. We lunch at one of the wineries and enjoy the local delicacies and relax in the convivial atmosphere. The Nelson district is known for is irresistible blend of lifestyle and stunning landscape at the top northwest corner of the South Island. Apples, cherries and classic wine varietal grapes are well suited to the mild climate around the Nelson areas. From there we take you to you over the Takaka Hill and drive to the “Golden Bay” Zealand's best kept secrets because there is only one road in. On the drive over the Takaka Hill you catch your first sight of Golden Bay and it takes your breath away. The idyllic charm and lifestyle of Golden Bay attracts an interesting variety of artists and crafts-folk. Accommodation: Golden Bay
Day 11: Golden Bay (Kayak trip to remote area of Abel Tasman park, Pupu Springs)
Here we have organized a half day guided Kayak trip in the Abel Tasman National Park and experience 'the Park' the way it used to be. No other sea kayak companies, no sea taxis just you and Mother Nature at its best! Tata Islands provide a stunning backdrop as you launch straight in the Abel Tasman National Park. The Abel Tasman is New Zealand's smallest national park at 225sq km. Small in size but big on beauty! Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for its Golden beaches that border the translucent turquoise sea, sculptured granite cliffs with itsworld-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track and sandy estuaries fringed by natural forests. In this hidden corner of New Zealand are the world class Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks and the famous Farewell Spit and Waikoropupu (Pupu) springs. The "Pupu" springs, as they are affectionately known to the locals are home to the clearest spring water in the world (the only place with clearer water is the salt water Weddell Sea in Antarctica). Underwater clarity tests have shown the water from the springs to have underwater visibility of 63 metres! Accommodation: Golden Bay
Day 12: Golden Bay – West Coast - Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks) driving distance 4h
Depart Golden Bay for the start of your 'Wilderness Tour'. Your tour takes you deep into the heartland of the south. Your first encounter will be through the Buller Gorge. The West Coast – New Zealand’s longest region – is a narrow 600km stretch of wild coastline, mountain peaks, glaciers, clear lakes and sparsely populated towns. This immense untamed natural environment is New Zealand’s most protected region. Your day has an interesting flavour of mountains, and native flora and fauna, as you travel through the rugged terrain that divides the east from the west. From Westport your journey winds its way through the western slopes of the West Coast which displays a series magnificent mountain ranges, and native New Zealand vegetation. Nearing the coast it passes through typical West Coast coastal flax flats before emerging onto a coastal headland with stunning views up and down the local coastline. In the morning afternoon walk the Truman track. The track begins in the beautiful sub-tropical rainforest of ferns, Nikau palms, rimu etc. We follow the windy road along one of the most stunning coast lines in the country. We stop and stay at Punakaiki the jewel of the West Coast, Punakaiki is world renowned for its pancake rock formation and blowholes. Walk along some of the stunning and remote beach treks, though a dense rainforest with Nikau Palms and large ferns. Accommodation: West Coast
Day 13: Punakaiki - Franz Josef Glacier (Treettop walk, Hokitika Gorge, jet boat trip to White Heron colony, Glaciers) driving distance 3h
On arriving in Greymouth, your driver/guide will take you to the upper West Coast. The West Coast – New Zealand’s longest region – is a narrow 600km stretch of wild coastline, mountain peaks, glaciers, clear lakes and sparsely populated towns. This immense untamed natural environment is New Zealand’s most protected region. In the morning midday we stop at nearby Punakaiki, the Jewel of the West Coast. Punakaiki is world renowned for its pancake rock formation and blowholes. Walk along some of the stunning and remote beach treks, though a dense rainforest with Nikau Palms and large ferns. By midday enjoy an exhilarating treetop adventure on New Zealand’s first treetop walk among temperate rainforest giants as you experience life with the native birds, high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. It is an easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform 20 meters high and over 450 meters long. Before midday we visit the historical gold mining town of Hokitika. Nearby take a walk over a swing bridge to the Hokitika Gorge, this is truly one of the beautiful places in New Zealand! The beautiful turquoise waters is quite breathtaking as is the gorge itself. We take a leisurely and scenic drive to the famous glacier region and your day’s itinerary will end in the tiny settlement of Franz Josef. The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the Tasman Sea and the imposing Southern Alps, making for spectacular contrasts in the surrounding scenery. Two glaciers are located only 25 km from each other and are unique in the world as they seem to nearly reach the ocean. Recommended: (Optional) Helicopter flight and landing on ice: Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier snowfields with a landing at high altitude. Step out of your helicopter and experience how it feels to stand in snow. The flight includes fantastic views of the Tasman Glacier and Mount Cook. Accommodation: Franz Josef Glacier. Accommodation: West Coast
Day 14: Franz Josef Glacier - Haast - Mt Aspiring National Park - Wanaka (Rainforest walks, wetlands, and remote water-falls) driving distance 4h
In the morning visit nearby Lake Matheson. The forested path skirts the shores of the mist-shrouded lake and on a clear day, New Zealand’s highest peaks are spectacularly reflected in the mirror-like waters. A spectacular and scenic road links Haast and Wanaka. It reaches beyond wind-whipped Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, through golden tussock-covered hills, to wind among steep mountains cloaked in lush rainforest and cross tumbling rivers. Just 20 min from Haast take a 20 min walk to the Roaring Billy Waterfall, an easy fern line walk take you to the shores of the Haast River. Shortly later make a short stop at the 28m drop Thunder Creek falls. By midday, take a 30 min in return walk to the Blue pools. It features a carefully maintained gravel path and boardwalks that wind through a native silver beech forest and lead to a swing bridge strung high above the Makarora River. The views back to the mountains of the Main Divide are absolutely breath-taking. The glacier-fed water in these deep pools is the colour of deep azure blue, and so clear that you can see right to the bottom, making the resident brown trout look like they are suspended in the air. As you exit Mt Aspiring National Park you will travel through what is known as “The Neck” a formation of land that separates two of our great South Island lakes Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. Wanaka is a new and modern Alpine resort and mostly visited by us New Zealanders. A year-round destination set against the pristine alpine backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park, you can still discover that totally relaxed Kiwi way of life at Lake Wanaka. Accommodation: Wanaka
Day 15: Wanaka (Half day hike to Rob Roy Glacier) driving distance 2h return
Day free fir guide! As braided river valleys, native beach forests and lush alpine meadows give way to the dramatic glaciated Southern Alps, the pure beauty of the scenery pushes daily pressures a million miles away. Part of Te Wahipounamu - Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area, Mt Aspiring National Park is an area of unrivalled natural beauty and host to hundreds of hiking tracks, rock climbing routes and trout fishing rivers, all within easy reach of Lake Wanaka, New Zealand. At its heart is Mt Aspiring, the park’s highest mountain at 3,027m and known to early Maori as ‘Tititea’ or ‘glistening peak’. Since the age of mountaineering began in New Zealand it’s been a draw card for climbers the world over. Today you hike to the majestic Rob Roy Glacier and picnic by a cascading waterfall with native alpine parrots for company, while listening to the cracks of the hanging glacier high overhead. The track is an ideal entry point to Mt Aspiring National Park - an area of spectacular alpine scenery, snowfields, glaciers, sheer rock cliffs and waterfalls. A one hour drive from Wanaka brings you to the Raspberry Creek car-park. After a 15 minute valley walk you cross the West Matukituki River into beech forest as the track climbs through a small gorge along the Rob Roy Stream, then into alpine vegetation at the head of the valley, with good views of the Rob Roy Glacier. Highly recommended: (Optional) Small scenic plane flight into Siberia Valley, hike and Jet boat on local river. Join us for a 4 hour wilderness adventure tour in Mount Aspiring World Heritage National Park. Take a 25 minute unforgettable scenic flight with views of Southern Alps, capturing the rugged beauty of New Zealand's World Heritage National Park. See glaciers, ice, snow, mountain lakes, hanging valleys, vast rain forests, and dramatic unspoiled beauty. Land in the glacially carved Siberia Valley in the middle of the Southern Alps and to begin a 2hr walk through valleys and native beech forest on a well marked track linking the remote Siberia Valley with the wilderness of the Wilkin Valley! And join a 30 minute exciting Jet Boat ride. Your Siberia Experience leaves from Makarora at the head of Lake Wanaka and allows you to enjoy some of New Zealand's untouched scenery from the air, on land and from the water. Accommodation: Wanaka
Day 16: Wanaka - Queenstown – Te Anau (Kawarau Gorge, Arrowtown, Fiordland) driving distance 4h
Central Otago is New Zealand’s fastest growing wine region and also it’s most scenic. Take the time to explore these incredible vineyards set in small micro-climates in a landscape dominated by high snow-capped mountains, and tussock clad slopes. Visit the surrounding areas to Arthur's Point it's on to Coronet Peak for more spectacular views of Queenstown, to your next stop in Arrowtown, a historic colonial village that takes you back into the Gold Mining days of the Otago region. From there you can encounter which is widely regarded as a safe spectator attraction the famous Kawarau Gorge Bungy Jumping exhibition. For lunch we take you to Queenstown. Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath majestic mountains. There’s a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you’ll find a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping. In the afternoon the journey takes you pass the Eastern shores of Lake Wakatipu to Lake Te Anau. Here you will be visiting one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand. The extraordinary scenic beauty has earned this region a reputation as a significant sightseeing and walking destination, and a 'Must See' for anyone travelling to New Zealand. The Kepler Track is located just 1km from Dock Bay Lodge. The scenery is spectacular and the track passes through many landscapes of the Fiordland National Park ranging from rocky mountain ridges to tall mossy forests along the lake shores. The walking track is constructed to a very high standard, most streams are bridged, boardwalks cover boggy areas and the very steep sections have steps. It is a moderate walking track. Accommodation: Wanaka
Day 17: Te Anau – Day trip to Milford Sounds (Encounter Cruise) driving distance 4h return
We are heading for the spectacular Milford Sound, described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world” which was carved out during successive ice ages and, at its deepest point off Mitre Peak, plunges to a depth of 265 meters. The awesome splendour of this region is unsurpassed anywhere else in the World, a daring claim in a country which offers extraordinary beauty around every corner. Getting there is half of the experience; we take you through the Fiordland National Park, pass staggeringly beautiful valleys, lakes and creeks. If the time allows we will stop at the” Mirror Lakes”, before entering the narrow and dark 1km long Homer Tunnel. We take you on a day cruise into the magnificent wonder-world of the Milford Sound. You may encounter Kea’s, New Zealand’s cheeky alpine parrots and we stop and explore some of nature’s wonders on the way. At Milford we board a vessel and cruise on the Fiord through sheer cliffs covered with vegetation that plunges into the sea. View the Bowen Falls, hurtling 165 meters into the sea, and the Stirling Falls further down the sound, set amidst the towering cliffs and dwarfed by Mitre Peak. On the way back we take a board walk into the “Chasm” to see surreal, water-hewn rock sculptures. Also recommended (Optional) Doubtful Sound: Doubtful Sound is located in a World Heritage Area. It is an overwhelming place! You can feel the power of nature here - the remoteness, the wildness and the peace. Known for its wilderness and wild life, Doubtful Sound is the second largest of the 14 fiords in Fiordland National Park and it is three times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound. Following a short cruise across beautiful Lake Manapouri and a coach trip over Wilmot Pass, you will board the Fiordland Navigator at Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound. There is plenty of time on your overnight cruise to enjoy the stunning views and to discover the hidden arms of Doubtful Sound. Fur seals and bottlenose dolphins are often seen and at times, rare penguins can be observed. Accommodation: Te Anau
Day 18: Te Anau - Catlin’s (Wilderness Jet boat experience at Wairaurahiri River)
Today you take part in the Longest, Most Daring and Exhilarating Jet Boat Trip In New Zealand. Hump Ridge Jet services the South Coast of Fiordland National Park including Lake Hauroko and the Wairaurahiri River. Lake Hauroko is the deepest lake in New Zealand and is drained by the Wairaurahiri River, which falls 200meters to sea level and is 27 kilometres of grade 3 white water rapids. The river is commonly described as New Zealands longest waterfall. Take short walk to explore the Wild South coast Line ( Lovely beach walk with views of Stewart Island and the Solander Islands )as well a as short Walk to Waitutu Virgin Podocarp Forest ( Oldest Podocarp Forest in NZ). On this journey you experience wonders of the Wild South Coast and can be still and hear the call of the Wild (Native Bird Song). For lunch enjoy a uush style Venison BBQ Lunch. Late afternoon we take you to the Catlins. The Catlin’s is an area of untamed beauty, forests, farmland, remote beaches and splendid isolation. Only recently has it been discovered by national and international tourists. The “Southern Scenic Route” winds through the Catlins from Nugget Point to Curio Bay. Accommodation: Kaka Point
Day 19: Catlins – Dunedin – Otago Peninsula (Penguins tour, and Albatross Colonies) driving distance 4h
Natural curiosities and beauty combine to make this corner of the South Island a scenic treasure. Fossilized trees, beautiful waterfalls, golden beaches, high cliffs and secret caves are all part of a unique mix of attractions in this area. (McLean Falls and Cathedral Caves) A varied coastline provides a home to a wide range of wildlife, see sea-ions at Waipapa Point Lighthouse. Visit the unique fossil forest at Curio Bay. Take with us a short walk to the Purakaunui Falls through beech and prodocarp forest to a viewing platform overlooking these attractive waterfalls. By late afternoon we reach Dunedin is the smallest of the 4 major New Zealand cities and displays a wealth of pioneering history within the city. We take you from Te Anau through our leading fruit growing areas to the Otago Coast and the town of Dunedin. The splendour of many of its public buildings reflects Dunedin's economic and cultural pre-eminence in Victorian New Zealand. Today, Dunedin has a rightly deserved reputation as one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. From here, views out to sea and back towards the city emphasise the singular beauty of Dunedin and its jewel-like harbour. Drive further to the tip of the Otago Peninsula is Taiaroa Heads, about forty minutes from the city centre. Otago Peninsula is home to New Zealand Fur Seals, rare Hooker’s Sea Lions, Yellow-Eyed Penguins, and the only mainland Royal Albatross colony anywhere. Take a private tour to unrivalled viewing of estuarine and marine wildlife. Watching Hooker's Sea lions, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Blue Penguins and Royal Albatross in their natural environment is unique. A further 25-30 other estuarine and marine bird species are seen during the experience. Close up unobtrusive viewing from beach locations and strategically placed observation hides is guaranteed and your guide is specialised in finding best spots and is very knowledgable in all aspects of regional flora and fauna. Accommodation: Otago Peninsula
Day 20: Dunedin - Twizel (Oamaru, Moeraki Boulders, Clay cliffs, Mt Cook area) driving distance 4h
We stop over at the fascinating Moeraki Boulders. The Moeraki Boulders are huge spherical stones that are scattered over the sandy beaches, but they are not like ordinary round boulders that have been shaped by rivers and pounding seas. From there we take you further to the white sandstone town of Oamaru. Oamaru is a gorgeous harbour town centrally located on the South Island’s east coast 90 minutes north of Dunedin. Visitors can explore museums, shops and galleries within some of New Zealand’s best 19th century architecture. Oamaru has a very proud heritage which is told through the Victorian Precinct and tours at a variety of locations in town and the best-preserved collection of historic and commercial buildings in New Zealand. Another stop is the Clay Cliffs of Omarama, which are a spectacular naturally occurring land formation. We travel into deep into the heart of the Southern Alps and to the southern slopes of Mt Cook National Park. The region is renowned for its incredibly clear starry nights, brilliant sunny days, and remarkable turquoise blue lakes, valleys of emerald green and snow-capped mountains. Shaped by the giant forces of nature, massive glaciers have scoured the land leaving a trail of lakes and rivers across the landscape. Today you will see awesome mountain ranges - the snow capped Southern Alps stretching across the western horizon. Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain at 3,754 metres above sea level, towers over the expansive countryside. Highly recommended: (Optional) Glacier Lakes Explorer cruise: In the afternoon we can take you on a small boat trip to the bottom of Tasman Glacier. The only tour of its kind in New Zealand, and one of three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of these are accessible to the average person. Accommodation: Twizel
Day 21: Twizel - Lake Tekapo – Christchurch airport (Afternoon departure) driving distance 3h
We pass the small township of Lake Tekapo. The Lake Tekapo is an unusual beautiful turquoise colour, and reflects the surrounding mountains. Relax at this mystical, tranquil place and take a stroll along the lake’s shores. Our trip will take us through some of the most evocative hill county in New Zealand. Speckled with small agricultural outposts, the Canterbury Plains are an area of serene, rural beauty. To the east lie the coastal climes of Timaru while, to the west, Mackenzie Country accounts for a large percent of New Zealand’s sheep population. We drive you through Canterbury and back to your starting point in Christchurch. Described by the Lonely Planet as a "vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively,” Christchurch is showing off its vibrancy with new developments popping up all over the place. Whilst part of the central city of Christchurch is still cordoned off due to the impact of a series of earthquakes, there’s plenty to do in and around this rapidly changing city, like visiting the Re:Start shopping area and Pop Up City bars.
We are specialized in custom made tours for the desiring traveller. Each tour package will be tailored to your specific needs. Individual choices of accommodation style and the amount of activities you anticipate in will reflect on the general overall cost of the tour. Please make an enquiry.
We use quality accommodations which are handpicked and have great hosts and are located in beautiful locations. All rooms are modern with private on suites or bathrooms! If you decide on 5 Star travel that we will offer you the best boutique lodging that New Zealand has to offer.
We have decided not to include lunches and most dinners in the package (Exceptions’: Wilderness and Farm-stays and superior Lodges are inclusive private dinners), as we believe that each individual has different needs and tastes and that New Zealand had great restaurants in each area, that are within reach. It also allows you to choose places to your own budget. Your guide will advise you in each area about your best options. Special dietary needs can be catered for.
We pride ourselves on a wide range of activities in your tour package. We chosen those that we feel will enhance your New Zealand experiences. You can participate in as many or as few as you like. If you are unable to participate in any activity or there are weather restrictions, alternatives will be provided where possible. Please check our activity list on 'Links' site
All our vehicles are comfortable, luxury sedans (max 4 people) or luxury vans (max 8 people).
You will receive detailed pre-trip information. Including passport and visa requirements, packing tips and general travel information for New Zealand!
We have professional office staff to help you plan every aspect of your trip inside of New Zealand.