New Zealand Experience
17 days from $3,866
- Sip a tasty vintage at a family-run vineyard in wine country
- Visit the fairy-tale caves of Waitomo that sparkle with glow-worms
- Hike the rugged volcanic landscape of Tongariro National Park
- Learn the All Blacks’ iconic Haka dance
- Discover Fox Glacier - NZ’s most famous hunk of ice
- Cruise the jaw-dropping fjords of Milford Sound
Discover New Zealand’s treasure trove of natural wonders on this epic group trip. Visit the other-worldly Waitomo glow worm caves, see active volcanoes in Tongariro National Park, and prepare to be spellbound by the mountain framed fjords of Fiordland. There are some iconic Kiwi activities to get stuck into as well – taste delicious local wine in Marlborough, hike a glacier, go mountain-biking through dramatic landscapes, visit Hobbiton, and learn some traditional Haka moves. It’s an unforgettable experience.
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Days 1 - 2: Rotorua. Welcome to New Zealand! We’ll stop en route to Rotorua at the magical Waitomo Caves where the grottoes are lit up by a galaxy of glow worms! We’ll spend the night in a traditional Maori marae, where you’ll learn how to do the Haka and watch a traditional Poi dance. Day 2 is a free day. Visit some volcanic attractions or head downtown for museums, cafes and bars. Optional activities include a mud bath spa, zorbing, white water rafting and a canopy tour. Fantasy fans can take a visit to the famous Hobbiton movie set!
Days 3 - 4: Tongariro National Park. Visit New Zealand’s largest lake, discover the mighty Huka Falls, enjoy a traditional Hangi lunch cooked in the ground, and see bubbling geothermal mud pools. You’ll also have the opportunity to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (one of the best one-day hikes in the world) and ride quad bikes through the lunar landscape!
Days 5 - 6: Wellington. Take a tour of Wellington, including mind-blowing views at the top of Mount Victoria. Then you’re free to explore as you choose. Check out the earthquake simulator in Te Papa Museum, visit the Weta Workshop for another dose of Middle Earth, and drink in the many bars with the locals.
Days 7 - 8: Nelson. Our first stop on the South Island is a picturesque vineyard for a private tasting – yum! Then we’ll travel on to the seaside town of Nelson, where we’ll enjoy a traditional Kiwi barbecue. Day 8 is yours - explore the art galleries, cafes and stunning natural surroundings, or opt to go kayaking, seal-spotting, skydiving or take a day tour of Abel Tasman National Park.
Day 9: Kaikoura. Walk the Kaikoura Peninsula to look for fur seals and grab some super-fresh seafood from one of the fish restaurants. You can also choose to swim with dolphins this afternoon!
Day 10: Kaikoura to Christchurch. Check out the Canterbury Museum, the amazing food trucks in Cathedral Square, and the street art all over the city centre. The nightlife is thriving here as well, so grab your friends and hit the bars!
Day 11: Fox Glacier. You’ll be walking Lake Matheson today, so be sure to grab your camera and take some enviable shots of your serene surroundings. The lake acts as a mirror for two of New Zealand’s tallest peaks – it’s a truly remarkable sight.
Day 12: Fox Glacier & Queenstown. Opt to hike the glaciers today, scaling frozen waters and exploring magical ice caves. Once we’ve had time to explore, we’ll head over to Queenstown – adventure capital of the world. Get ready for more dramatic mountain scenery as we approach.
Day 13-15: Queenstown. You’ll have lots of free time over the next couple of days. There are over 200 activities to choose from here, from paragliding and horseback riding to canyon swinging, jet boating and cable car rides. On day 14, we’ll take a trip into Fiordland with a magical cruise to Milford Sound, widely thought of as one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Day 16: Arrowtown. Today you’ll traverse the five bridges that sit across the meandering Arrow River on your mountain bike. Then, chill by the waters of Lake Ohau for another dose of the dreamy scenery the region is known for. We’ll enjoy a delicious home-made dinner as a group tonight.
Day 17: Christchurch. We’ll squeeze in a final stop at the milky-blue waters of Lake Tekapo, and a city tour in Christchurch before our tour ends. We hope to see you again soon for your next epic experience!
Please note - If you're beginning the tour in Christchurch, the destinations visited on the South Island will be in the following order: Fox Glacier - Queenstown - Lake Ohau - Christchurch. The rest of the tour will run in reverse order of the itinerary departing from Auckland. All inclusions and included activities will remain the same.
- Trip leader
- Some meals
- Air-conditioned coach (Wifi onboard)
- Visit to Waitomo Caves
- Overnight stay in a traditional Maori marae
- Traditional Hangi lunch
- Visit to Lake Taupo and Huka Falls
- Wine tasting in the Marlborough region
- Visit to Lake Matheson
- Stay in the Fox Glacier region
- Cruise Milford Sound
- Mountain biking in Arrowtown
- 24-hour emergency support
- Airport transfers
- Travel insurance
- Meals not listed on the itinerary
- Optional activities
Your New Zealand Experience includes 16 nights’ accommodation. This is on a multi share basis, in a range of hotels, hostels, motels and cabins. You’ll be in same-sex dorms with four people sharing each room. Twin or double rooms are available at an extra charge. You’ll also have a night in a traditional Maori marae. A marae is a fenced in collection of traditional carved wood houses belonging to a particular tribe, with a central meeting house at their heart. Marae life is very communal with everybody usually sleeping in the same room and eating all together.
We provide some meals on this trip - 16 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 6 dinners. The rest of the time you’ll have to buy your meals (and all your snacks and drinks) yourself. This allows you to really explore the local cuisine (an important part of any cultural experience) and to eat wherever you like.
You’ll need to fly into Auckland Airport (AKL). We’re kicking off early on day 1, so you will need to book your flight to arrive the day before or earlier. You’ll need to arrange your own transfer from the airport and your own accommodation if you arrive the day before.
Your trip will end in Christchurch in the late afternoon/early evening of day 17. We strongly recommend you book an extra night after your trip ends and fly home the following day. The nearest airport is Christchurch International Airport (CHC).
If you have selected the Christchurch to Auckland route, you will need to arrange flights to land into Christchurch and out of Auckland.
We can advise you on arranging extra accommodation. Please contact us for more details
This trip is available to those aged 18-39 years. This trip is designed for 18-39 year olds.
British passport holders can enter New Zealand, staying as a visitor for up to six months. You must have sufficient time left on your passport and a return ticket home. To ensure you meet immigration rules, please visit the New Zealand Embassy website. If you plan to take paid work during your time in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa.
Visitors who are transitting through or entering New Zealand as tourists will need to hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) before travelling to New Zealand. Tourists will also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) alongside the ETA. People entering New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa do not require an ETA.
I'm Planning To Travel On My Own, Will I Be Okay?
Of course! Most of our travellers will be doing the trip solo, so you won't be alone. You'll be introduced to your tour guide and the rest of your group on the first day of the tour – so you'll be making friends from the off.
How Many People Will Be In My Group?
Numbers on this tour will vary depending on the time of year, but the maximum number of travellers at any one time will be capped at 30.
Do I Have To Have Travel Insurance?
100% yes! You'll need to make sure you have sufficient cover for the activities you're planning on taking part in during your trip as well as general travel concerns. One of our travel advisors will be more than happy to help set up travel insurance for you – our policies have been specifically designed for gap year travellers, and are among some of the most competitive on the market. Give us a call for more information.
Should I Take A Backpack Or A Suitcase?
We recommend you use a soft bag or frameless backpack, plus a small bag for excursions.