- Immerse yourself in traditional culture with an evening in an authentic Maori village
- Take in Milford Sound’s dramatic landscapes
- Explore Middle Earth, with visits to Hobbiton and some of the Lord of the Rings film sets
- Discover Rotorua’s geo-thermal wonderland
- Take a cruise through Waitomo’s surreal glow-worm caves
Kia ora! From the geothermal wonderlands of the North to the rugged peaks of the South, there are few places on Earth as naturally blessed as New Zealand. Our New Zealand Experience takes you to the absolute best of both islands over 17 epic days. Walk in Gandalf’s footsteps in Hobbiton, get your adrenaline pumping with adventure sports in Queenstown, experience Maori culture in an authentic village, cruise through magical Milford Sound and soak in natural hot springs under the stars in Lake Tekapo. Best of all, you get to experience all this with a ready-made group of mates. It doesn’t get any better than this.
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Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland. Welcome to New Zealand! We’ll pick you up from the airport and take you into the city where you can meet the rest of the gang before a night out in the city.
Day 2: Explore Auckland. Get to know amazing Auckland with an orientation tour. Check out the beautiful beaches, bustling boutiques and cosmopolitan dining scene, before heading out for a night on the town.
Day 3: Waitomo, Hobbiton & Rotorua. First on the menu - a boat cruise through the worm-lit wonderland of Waitomo glow-worm caves! Next stop is one for Tolkien fans - Hobbiton! Wander through the Shire and enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn before continuing to Rotorua.
Day 4: Rotorua. Rotorua is a geothermal theme park! Relax in the naturally heated waters of Kerosene Creek and explore the distinctive landscape of Wai-O-Tapu. Spend the rest of the afternoon chilling, or get your adrenaline pumping with a zorb sesh, or the Skyline Luge.
Day 5: Rotorua volcanic parks & Maori village. Hit the hot springs of Kuirau Park this morning, ahead of an evening of traditional culture in an authentic Maori village. Help the villagers prepare a feast and watch some authentic Maori performances. What a day!
Day 6: Lake Taupo. Head to Taupo, on the shores of the biggest lake in New Zealand. Take in some of the most epic views you’ve ever seen tonight with an unforgettable sunset cruise across the sparkling Lake.
Day 7: Huka Falls & Taupo hot springs. Take a morning hike to the spectacular Huka Falls for some more epic views. Then take it easy with a soak in some mineral-rich hot springs – bliss!
Day 8: Return to Auckland. Head back to amazing Auckland and spend the afternoon chilling out, exploring the sights and getting ready to head south tomorrow.
Day 9: Fly to Queenstown. Take the short flight to Queenstown and enjoy an evening with the gang in the adventure capital of the world.
Day 10: Queenstown jetboating. Explore the beautiful city on a morning orientation tour before an afternoon of high-speed jetboating! Feel your adrenaline pumping as you shoot through Skipper’s Canyon at 80kmh. This evening, we’ll explore Queenstown’s nightlife some more.
Day 11: Milford Sound & Te Anau. A cruise through majestic Milford Sound is on the menu today for jaw-dropping views, tumbling waterfalls and maybe even a seal or two! This evening we’re stopping in Te Anau, a cute little town in the centre of Fjordland.
Day 12: Lord of the Rings locations & Wanaka. Middle Earth here we come - we’re exploring some of the most iconic locations from the Lord of the Rings films today. Then travel on to Wanaka, a picturesque resort perched on the shores of an azure lake.
Day 13: Wanaka. Check out the famous ‘Wanaka Tree’ this morning before a trek up Mount Iron for views to die for over Wanaka, Lake Hawea and Mt Aspiring National Park.
Day 14: Lake Tekapo & Hooker Valley Hike. Take a breath-taking drive through the Southern Alps to the milky blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Then hike down the Hooker Valley trail for incredible views of Aoraki / Mt Cook.
Day 15: Lake Tekapo Springs. Explore Lake Tekapo in your own time before visiting the Church of the Good Shepherd. This evening we’ll kick back in Tekapo Hot Springs under a canopy of stars – just wow.
Day 16: Queenstown. Head back to bustling Queenstown today for a spot of shopping or a final adrenaline blast – skydive or bungee anybody? Then enjoy a last evening out on the town with the gang.
Day 17: Trip end. Say your goodbyes and make your way back to the airport or continue your travels in NZ. See you next time!
- 16 nights accommodation
- 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 4 dinners
- Auckland city orientation
- Waitomo glow-worm caves boat tour
- Hobbiton film set tour
- Kerosene creek
- Wai-O-Tapu thermal pools
- Kuirau geothermal park
- Maori cultural experience
- Lake Taupo sunset sailing
- Huka Falls
- Hot springs
- Queenstown city tour
- Canyon jet boating
- Milford Sound cruise
- Lord of the Rings tour
- Hike Mount Iron
- Mount Cook/Aoraki National Park
- Hot springs star gazing experience
- Group leader
- Airport pick up
- All on-trip transport (including internal flight)
- Help with onward travel
- 24 hour emergency assistance
- Travel insurance
- Some meals, drinks and snacks
- Optional activities
- Return airport transfer
Where you'll be staying...
We’ve hand-picked a selection of vibrant hostels in some of New Zealand’s best destinations. Hostels are all centrally located and feature shared bathrooms, laundry facilities, dining areas and kitchens. Rooms are on a mixed, dorm-style basis, sharing with 4 – 6 people.
- 3 nights at Attic Backpackers (Auckland) – an extremely popular and centrally located hostel
- 3 nights at YHA (Rotorua) - with a lovely outdoor deck and within an easy walk of the geothermal wonders at Kuirau Park
- 2 nights in Taupo YHA Hostel (Taupo) - a chilled out hostel with views of the lake and an outdoor picnic area
- 3 nights in Queenstown Absoloot Hostel (Queenstown) – one of our favourite hostels with lake views to die for
- 1 night at YHA Te Anau Hostel (Milford Sound) - a cosy hostel with real home away from home vibes, gorgeous surroundings and a barbecue area
- 2 nights in Wanaka YHA Hostel (Wanaka) - a laid-back hostel with spectacular views of the lake and mountains and an outdoor terrace
- 2 nights in Lake Tekapo YHA Hostel (Lake Tekapo) – a sleek, modern hostel with lake views and a bustling restaurant and bar
Please note: These are the usual hostels for this trip, but on rare occasions, we may have to provide you with alternative (but equivalent) accommodation.
10 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners are included. You’ll need to cover the rest of your meals, snacks and drinks yourself. This means you’ve got the flexibility to eat where and when you like, and to try a wide variety of New Zealand’s diverse cuisine. Alternatively, you can prepare meals for yourself in the hostel kitchens if you’re on a tight budget.
Fly into Auckland on day 1 of your trip at a time that suits you. You’ll be met from the airport and taken to your starting accommodation by a member of the local team. The trip ends on day 17 in Queenstown. Return transfers are not included so you’ll need to arrange your own transport from the accommodation to the airport. Options include bus (around 30 mins), taxi (10 mins) and shuttle (varies) Your guide can help with this.
You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to join this trip and the trip is aimed at travellers from 18 - 39. This trip requires you to show evidence that you have been fulled vaccinated against covid-19 (final dose administered a minimum of 14 days prior to the start of the trip).
British citizens don’t need a visa to come into New Zealand for up to six months, but you will need to get a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before you travel. You can apply for this online or through the dedicated mobile app. You’ll also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of NZD $35 at the time of applying.
Please ensure that your passport is valid for a minimum of three months from the date you leave New Zealand. You may also need to demonstrate that you have an onward ticket and adequate funds to support you during your stay.
Please note: Visa, passport and entry restrictions can be subject to change. Always check foreign travel advice before your trip.
Can I Travel Alone?
Of course! In fact, many of our adventurers are travelling solo, and our trips are super sociable and friendly, so it’s a great way to make a new group of friends.
Will I Be In The Same Room As My Friend / Partner?
Just let us know at the time of booking that you’re travelling together, and we’ll make the necessary arrangements to ensure you’re in the same room.
When’s The Best Time To Come To New Zealand?
There’s no bad time of year to visit NZ. Summer (Dec to March) is all about long, sunny days, water sports and hiking, and the winter (June to Sept) brings spectacular snowy scenes to the South Island. If you’re visiting outside of these seasons, the weather is generally mild and there are fewer tourists.
How Can I Access My Money While I’m Away?
We’d recommend bringing a Visa or Mastercard debit, credit, or travel money card. ATMs are readily available throughout the country, so you’ll have no problem getting cash.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.