You will be welcomed to NZ and met by one of our friendly guides and your road trip begins. Your guide will take you on a short city tour featuring the Auckland Sky tower and waterfront and get ready for the up and coming tour ahead.
Today we head south through both the Waikato and King Country areas to reach Waitomo. Waitomo has the most extensive underground cave network in New Zealand and is world renowned for glow-worms. Late morning you will undergo an adventure of a lifetime on the Lost World experience. This is a 4 hour trip that involves abseiling and amazing dry caverns. In between adventures you will see glow-worms in their natural environment. This afternoon our drive takes us through to Rotorua. Rotorua is a fascinating place famous for our Maori culture, mudpools, geysers and thermal activity. We will take a city tour together and view sights such as the Government Gardens, Ohinemutu Maori Church and Kuirau Park and its bubbling mud pools. Tonight you will experience Maori culture at its best with a Hangi. This is very important in the Maori culture and involves a cultural performance and 3 course sumptuous buffet meal.
Today is an action packed day around this North Island adventure hub. This morning you will get the opportunity to go white water rafting on one of the most famous rivers in the North Island. The Kaituna River is home to the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world – 7m Tutea Falls. Pass through steep, bush clay canyons and over 13 awesome drops. This afternoon you will experience Zorbing, The Drop! Beginning with a leisurely roll to the edge of the hill followed by a vertical drop of approximately 25m into the unknown. With three deep switch-back corners built into it, The Drop provides thrills you won’t experience anywhere else! This afternoon you will be taken on a guided walk around Te Puia village and experience geysers, mudpools, Maori arts and crafts and see our New Zealand native kiwi bird.
Heading south we stop at the mind-blowingly powerful Huka Falls to reach Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. For those of us feeling really adventurous it is your chance to ‘take the plunge’. Sky diving is a popular pastime in New Zealand and a once in a lifetime experience. You will feel the rush as you plummet up to 12,500 feet over Lake Taupo and its stunning backdrop (optional). This afternoon our tour continues through to Tongariro National Park and the three most active volcanoes in New Zealand (Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe) This is where we will be based for the next 2 nights.
Today you will experience one of the most amazing one day walks in the world with the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. On this 19.4km walk you will experience blue volcanic pools, craters and other stunning volcanic scenery. For those that choose not to undertake the walk your guide will take you on a shorter scenic walk around the foot of the volcanoes.
Heading south we arrive in Wellington in the afternoon to discover New Zealand’s capital city. We take a Wellington city tour taking in sights such as Mt Victoria, Wellington’s most spectacular viewpoint with 360 degree views of the city, harbour and mountain ranges in the background. We will take a trip up Wellington’s Cable Car and visit the botanic gardens and New Zealand Parliament. This evening is free to stroll the streets of our fantastic capital city and enjoy a meal on the waterfront.
Today we say farewell to the North Island and take a 3 hour ferry crossing through the Marlborough Sounds to the South Island of New Zealand, also known as New Zealand’s mainland. Upon arrival in the south island, the first place that we sight is Picton, known as the gateway to the Marlborough sounds and a great base for kiwi families that holiday there every summer. Driving south we head through the Marlborough wine growing region, the largest and premier wine growing region of New Zealand, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc among other varieties. We have the opportunity today to visit one of or several of these fantastic wineries. Further down the coast we will visit one of our secret spots featuring New Zealand’s native fur seals playing and bathing in their natural environment. We arrive in Kaikoura late afternoon.
This morning you will get to see whales on an amazing 3 hour whale watching experience. Kaikoura boasts around 17 different species of whale located within 8km of the coastline. Species include Orca, Killer Whales and even blue whales. This afternoon your journey takes you south to Christchurch known as ‘The Garden City’. You will be taken on a city tour including sights such as the Botanic Gardens, Museum, Port Hills and New Regent Street.
Today we leave the city of Christchurch and head west towards the Southern Alps. From Christchurch- Greymouth you will travel on the ‘Tranz Alpine’ train through the Southern Alps. Arthurs Pass is the main divide between Christchurch and the West Coast that was crossed by the early gold miners on horse and cart in the 1800’s. Upon arrival in Greymouth we will make our way North to for our afternoon 4WD tour. New Zealand’s west coast is one of the best places in New Zealand for this type of activity and you will get the opportunity to drive one of your own 4WD bikes through native forests and farmland over a 1 hour tour. Later this afternoon we head south to Hokitika. Hokitika is our destination for this evening and is known for its greenstone, gold and glassblowing trade. Your accommodation for the evening overlooks the Tasman Sea.
Today your tour heads through native bush to Fox Glacier. Fox Glacier is one of the only glaciers in the world that one can access almost from sea level and to be surrounded by native rainforest. You will be taken on a guided half-day glacier walk on this spectacular glacier- a once in a lifetime experience. We overnight in Fox Glacier with accessible views of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, New Zealand’s 2 highest mountains.
One of the prettiest and most dramatic journeys in the country is what you can experience on this tour over the Haast Pass through to Wanaka. En route we visit Lake Matheson, otherwise known as ‘Mirror Lakes’ where on a clear day it is possible to see the reflection of New Zealand’s highest mountain Mt Cook (3754m/12,316ft). The walking possibilities are endless today around Haast and Haast Pass and we can do one of or several walks, some of which feature spectacular waterfalls and deep blue coloured pools where it is possible to see trout swimming. Tonight we stay in Wanaka, one of the most popular kiwi vacation hot spots situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka.
This morning in and around Wanaka there are many options. For those feeling adventurous we can take a walk up Mt Iron where at the top we can take can admire the breath-taking views of the nearby Mt Aspiring National Park and Lake Wanaka. Other options include a visit to Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World or a kayak tour on the lake. For those who would like to try something extreme, a skydive over Lake Wanaka is not to be missed. This afternoon our South Island tour takes us over The Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest highway to Arrowtown which was one of New Zealand’s most important towns in the gold rush to Central Otago in the 1860’s. We also visit AJ Hackett Bungy, home of the original Bungy Bridge site and you have the choice here to undertake this fantastic 43m dive over the Kawarau Gorge. This afternoon we drive a further 2 hours to Te Anau situated on the shores of New Zealand’s 2nd largest lake and the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Be prepared for one of the jewels of the New Zealand landscape. The spectacular drive from Te Anau- Milford Sound is one of the most spectacular in the world and certainly a highlight on any New Zealand tour. En route you will see spectacular valleys, breath taking mountains and hopefully spot the cheeky Kea (New Zealand’s mountain parrot). You will take a boat cruise on the fjords and really get up close and personal with this stunning New Zealand land feature. We return the same way back to Te Anau stopping en route to visit some of The Road Trip’s secret spots!
Skirting our way around Lake Wakitipu makes for some stunning photography and you will be amazed by the Remarkables Mountain Range, one of the most famous back drops for Lord Of the Rings. We arrive in Queenstown late afternoon and take a trip up the Gondola together to view Queenstown and surrounds from a 360 degree viewpoint. You will also get to experience a ride on Queenstown’s luge as you control your cart down an 800 metre track full of fast paced fun and freedom. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore Queenstown at leisure.
Today in and around Queenstown there are many possibilities. It is a day entirely for your leisure. For the adventurous among us there is skydiving, bungy-jumping, paragliding and white water rafting. For those of us who prefer to take a more relaxed approach to the day a cruise on the 100 year old TSS Earnslaw Steam Ship or a walk alongside Lake Wakitipu are not to be missed.
We leave Central Otago today through the Kawarau Gorge and Cromwell where we make a stop en route and visit a local fruit shop and a chance to try ‘Real Fruit Ice cream’ and sample a few of the New Zealand famous manuka honey products. From there we cross the Lindis Pass (965m) to the Mackenzie Country, known for its Merino Sheep and wool industry. This afternoon you will experience jet boating at its best with a trip on the renowned Glacier Explorer. Using custom built boats you are able to cruise the rapidly growing terminal lake taking in spectacular mountain views and scenery Icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the glacier allowing you to touch and taste the 300-500 year old glacial crystals, a jaw dropping experience. This afternoon our trip takes us through to Lake Tekapo where we overnight on the shores of this turquoise coloured lake.
In clear weather there is the possibility to take a one hour flight around Mt Cook and its spectacular surrounding valleys. There may even be time for one of the many short walks in the area each with its superb views. In the afternoon we drive back to Christchurch and enjoy a farewell dinner together in the evening and toast to a memorable New Zealand tour.
Today you will be transferred to your ongoing travel arrangements. We trust that you have had a memorable Road Trip.