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The Kiwi Bucket List
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Without Tranz Alpine Rail Base

In a land as spellbinding as New Zealand, it can be hard to narrow down the essentials. But if we had to, it would look like this: cruising to the glistening bays of Waiheke island, feasting on a hangi meal with Maori locals, geeking out at Hobbiton, going BTS at a Kiwi hatchery, bungy-jumping off the original Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, heli-hiking up glaciers, the chance to travel one of the best rail journeys in the world, the TranzAlpine, and perhaps best of all, gliding through the hushed beauty of Milford Sound on an unforgettable overnight cruise. Get ready to swoon over and over again.

  • Duration: 10 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Supplier Tour ID: 319.908/250702
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Finishes: Queenstown (Nz), New Zealand
  • Age requirement: 18 - 35
You will Visit
  • Auckland
  • Rotorua
  • Christchurch
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Queenstown
  • Milford Sound



Day 1: Auckland

Kia ora Auckland! Meet up with your brand new travel family this morning and get to know each other over included breakfast at the hotel. We'll then jump on a ferry to Waiheke Island famed for its crystal clear bays, stunning beaches and abundance of wine vineyards. On return we'll set out to explore this urban harbourside 'City of Sails', with the iconic Sky Tower at its centre, surrounded by quirky neighbourhoods, cool cafes and volcanic black sand beaches. Your Trip Manager will give you the low down on all of Auckland's best bits as you get a tour of the highlights. Tonight is your chance to explore Auckland's cocktail bars and cosmopolitan nightlife.


Day 2: Auckland to Rotorua

This morning we'll hit the road and head the cultural capital of New Zealand: Rotorua.When you catch a first whiff of that 'unusual' sulphur smell, you'll know we've arrived in Rotorua! Famous for its spurting geysers, boiling mud pools and hot springs, Rotorua is a natural wonderland and then some. You'll have free time this afternoon to try out Rotorua's gondola, luge or original OGO ball to get your adrenaline pumping. Tonight the culture will skyrocket when we head to a Māori village for a traditional Māori dinner & cultural performance. We'll feast on the steaming smoked hangi food and best of all, you'll have the chance to get involved in the world-famous haka. Tongues at the ready peeps.


Day 3: Rotorua

With a full free day to choose your own adventure, we have plenty of Free Time Add-Ons for you to pick from. Lord of the Rings fans, try to stay calm - today you can live out your middle earth dreams with a guided tour of Hobbiton, the perfectly preserved film set nestled in the rolling hills of Matamata (followed by a flagon of ale at the Green Dragon, of course). If that's not your thing, you can opt to spend the day exploring the wonders of nature here in Rotorua. Think hiking a dormant Volcano in Mt Tarawera, a day trip to an active Volcano with White Island, ziplining through the forest or classic whitewater rafting, the choice is yours.


Day 4: Rotorua to Christchurch

With the South Island in our sights today, we'll make the most of our final day in Rotorua with a visit to the Kiwi Hatchery. Here we'll take a behind the scenes visit into a special nocturnal enclosure to view New Zealand's shy kiwi, and learn what they do at the centre to protect this iconic native flightless bird. With our cuteness satisfaction levels at a high by midday we'll jump on a plane to Christchurch where we'll start to immerse ourselves into the breathtaking scenery of the South Island.Landing in the 'garden city' of Christchurch, we'll drop off our bags at the accomodation and get acquainted with a city tour on arrival. This evening we'll explore this vibrant city with a street art walking tour on the way to dinner in one of Christchurch's unique and hip areas.


Day 5: Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier

Today is all about views and nature vibes, we set off this morning to travel to the other side of the South island through stunning Arthurs Pass. Here you have the option to experience what is regarded as one of the world's greatest train journeys - the TranzAlpine - from Christchurch to Greymouth. Jump on board and settle in by one of the panoramic viewing windows as you're treated to some of the South Island's most striking scenery, from the edges of the Waimakariri River to the majestic Canterbury plains and rugged peaks of the Southern Alps through miles of native forest. Those who opt not to take the train will make the journey by coach, via the gold rush town of Hokitika. The coach will stop at the west coast town of Greymouth to pick up the train travellers, where we'll continue on the scenic journey together to Franz Josef.Arriving into the small town of Franz Josef we'll settle in to our lodge accomodation for the evening, awed by our surroundings of native NZ forest and snow-capped moutains, with the promising glint of glaciers on the horizon for tomorrow.


Day 6: Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown via Haast Pass

Rise & shine, this morning is your opportunity to go see the glaciers up close with the once-in-a-lifetime option for a guided Fox Glacier Heli-Hike or scenic flight, or opt for quad biking or glacier kayaking. At midday we'll set off for Queenstown via the Haast pass, another piece of New Zealand eye candy, beautified by ancient forests, small glaciers and waterfalls. The scenery gets even more extra as we roll into Queenstown through the Southern Alps and region of Otago.Incredible natural scenery just keeps on coming at us as we cruise out of the Southern Alps and arrive into the hub of Queenstown early evening. After dropping off your bags at the hotel, your Trip Manager will take you out tonight to check out some of the local eats and nightlife.


Day 7: Queenstown

Get ready for a HUGE injection of adrenaline, 'cos you've just woken up in the adventure capital of the world! Today you have a full free day to throw yourself into everything Queenstown has to offer, from canyoning to horse trekking, Funyaks kayaking, bungy jumping (of all kinds), canyon swinging, sky diving and - the latest in extreme thrillseeking activites - human catapulting. Be sure to chill out this evening, maybe with an iconic Fergburger or an Ice Bar experience (or both) to round off your day.


Day 8: Queenstown

Queenstown, we officially love you and we have one more day to explore you. Today you're free to try any and all of the activites you didn't get around to yesterday in this buzzing adventure capital. This evening we have a special treat available as an option for those who want to enjoy our last night in Queenstown in style, on historic steamboat the HSS Earslaw. We'll cruise out from the city along Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak, feasting on a gourmet BBQ dinner on the way. After dinner we'll jump off for a guided tour of a local working farm and a peek into how rural New Zealanders live. We'lll return on the HSS Earnslaw before meeting up with the rest of the group again for a final night out in Queenstown.


Day 9: Queenstown to Milford Sound

Before we roll out of Queenstown this morning we'll pit-stop by the famed Kawarau bridge, the OG home to bungy. Those who want pay tribute to the original (it'd be rude not to) can say 'Haere rā' in style with an optional last-chance bungy jump. Then, it's time to return our adrenaline to a normal level and make tracks to the natural wonder of Milford Sound.Welcome to New Zealand's most stunning attraction, with a magical combination of mountain peaks, forest-clad cliffs and deep dark waters. Leaving Queenstown won't be a serious heartbreak, considering we have the one and only Milford Sound on the agenda. We'll soak up all the spectacular scenery on route, with potential to spot a Kea, New Zealand's naughty native parrot. For our final night tonight we have a extra Special Stay lined up, with an included overnight cruise in the breathtaking surroundings of Milford Sound. You may think you've seen breathtaking already on this trip, but trust us, this is the one with truly the most spectacular scenery to date. We'll set out to explore the beauty of this pristine destination by boat, the best way to see Milford in all its glory. We'll drink in the vistas of plummeting waterfalls, jagged peaks and spectacular fjords fas we cruise, maybe even spotting dolphins and fur seals. Back on board, we'll bunk down for the night and drift to sleep under the twinkling Southern stars.


Day 10: Milford to Queenstown

Wake up to the best view you've ever seen in your life as the sunrise breaks with us surrounded by the otherwordly forest, mountains and birdsong of the Sounds. This morning we'll cruise back to shore and get ready to depart Milford, but this landscape will be imprinted on our hearts forever. We'll take time for a pitstop in Te Anau for lunch, then we'll jump on the coach for final roadtrip hangs, rolling back into Queenstown by 3pm.This is it! And what an adventure we've had. Make sure you say your goodbyes to your new-found family as your trip ends on arrival here in Queenstown late afternoon.

    • All accomodation is twin share with the option to upgrade to a single room for extra cash. 7 nights will be spent snuggled down in comfy 3
    • /4
    • Hotels, with 1 night in a rustic Lodge at Franz Josef and one extra special night on an overnight cruise in the breathtaking Milford Sound
    • We'll provide breakfast every day plus 3 dinners, and the rest are up to you. That means you'll have all of the opportunities to explore modern New Zealand cuisine and local eats - think hot steak and cheese pies, classic 'fush n'chups', famous Fergburgers and all the flat whites you can handle. Our TM's will always be on hand with their must-try meal recommendations
    • Your experienced Trip Manager will always be on-hand to show you the ropes and make the best recommendations whether it be for eats, activities , providing local knowledge or lols. Our TM's are people you can trust 100%
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Tour Highlights:
  • Auckland: Auckland City Tour,Visit Waiheke Island with guided tour visiting beach, wine vineyards
  • Rotorua to Christchurch: Visit Kiwi Hatchery for behind the scenes tour,Midday fight to Christchurch
  • Queenstown to Milford: Visit Kawarau Bridge Bungy