Auckland to Christchurch

15 days from 2,529pp

Two weeks is barely enough time to thoroughly explore your hometown, let alone a place as fascinating as New Zealand. For adventurers on a tight time-budget, this 15-day trip wraps up the must-sees of both islands with a nice little bow. Check out the Coromandel Peninsula’s gorgeous beaches, hang with the Maori in a traditional village, and get your adrenaline fix in Queenstown. Consider this your New Zealand starter kit.
Need a flight to go with your holiday?  We can help with that too!  Just give us a call.

15 days Auckland to Christchurch

From 2,529 per person

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: Classic

All of the highlights, culture, access, and I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments, all at a great price.

Service Level: Standard

Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character; mix of public and private transport.

Physical Rating: 3 – Average

Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: Auckland

Arrive at any time.

There are no activities until an evening welcome meeting, so head out and enjoy the city.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Optional Activities – Day 1

Waiheke Island Excursion
Waiheke Island3h-8h

45-130NZD per person

Take a ferry ride to Waiheke Island for a quick, fun getaway. Swim or kayak at white-sand beaches in the Hauraki Gulf. Tour the island’s tracks and bush reserves, or sample your way through some of the island’s 19 boutique wineries (the island produces some of New Zealand’s finest reds).

Maritime Museum Visit

20NZD per person

Tour the museum’s seven galleries to learn more about New Zealand’s relationship with the sea. Be inspired by the country’s most celebrated mariner, Sir Peter Blake, and his many accomplishments, and see maritime art that speaks to the sentiment of a nautical nation.

Auckland Sailing: America’s Cup Experience (Pre Tour)

160NZD per person

As part of the boat crew, you’ll work together with your teammates to sail around Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour in this competitive yacht. Either take the helm and participate or sit back and enjoy the spectacle – the choice is yours.


Ramada Auckland – Federal Street (or similar)


Day 2: Auckland/Hahei
Depart early for the stunning Coromandel Peninsula. Take a walk to Cathedral Cove or opt out in favour of sea kayaking. If the tide is right, grab a shovel and dig a natural jacuzzi in the sand on Hot Water Beach.
Private Vehicle
Auckland – Hahei3h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Coromandel Peninsula Visit

The Coromandel is one of many scenic regions of New Zealand. Set off into the mountain forest in search of the elusive “Hairy Moehau” monster. Check out the beaches and cliffs and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales. Make friends with the locals, including “hippies” who arrived in the 1970s and never left.

Cathedral Cove Scenic Walk
Cathedral Cove1h-1h30m 2-4km

Pack your swimsuit and walk from the north end of Hahei Beach along a cliff-top path that leads down to Cathedral Cove. A giant arch formed into the headland separates two secluded coves. Swim, lay in the shade, and enjoy the beauty of this idyllic spot.

Recharge: Hot Water Beach Excursion

Hot Water Beach is a unique spot on the Coromandel Peninsula. If the tide is right, you can dig into the sand to create a natural jacuzzi.

Optional Activities – Day 2

Sea Kayaking

85NZD per person

Head out by kayak to experience the Coromandel from sea level.

Hahei Boat Cruise

85NZD per person

Hop on board and cruise the coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. Check out caves, an impressive blowhole, and enjoy views of stunning Cathedral Cove from the water. Keep on the lookout for marine life such as dolphins, seals and seabirds.



Tatahi Lodge Hahei (or similar)

Meals included:


Day 3: Rotorua/Maori Village

Visit Rotorua and opt to check out the geothermal area or go whitewater rafting. Later, enjoy a cultural overnight in a Maori village featuring a traditional hangi dinner and show.

Rotorua sits over an active volcano with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. Opt to visit one of the sites, like Hell’s Gate, or go whitewater rafting nearby.

In the evening visit a Maori village for traditional ceremonies, a Hangi meal and entertainment. After dinner, lounge by the bonfire and have some time to get to know the Maori hosts.

Private Vehicle
Hahei – Rotorua3h30m-4h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Local Living: Maori Village Visit with Overnight

Visit the Tamaki Maori Village. Receive the traditional Powhiri welcome ceremony followed by a captivating stage performance explaining Maori history and culture. For dinner, enjoy a traditional Hangi meal, similar to the Hawaiian Luau, with dishes cooked in the ground. After, enjoy some quiet time with our Maori hosts by a fire.

Optional Activities – Day 3

Whitewater Rafting

89NZD per person

Get your adrenaline fix on this exhilarating white water rafting trip. Enjoy the amazing scenery along the way, but don’t forget to paddle!


35-50NZD per person

Mountain Biking

35-130NZD per person

Head out on an exhilarating cycling adventure. Explore the stunning Redwood Forest on two wheels on what some call the world’s best mountain biking trails. Whether you’re a beginner or expert mountain bike enthusiast there’s sure to be a trail perfect for you.

Hot Springs

30-50NZD per person

Soak tired muscles in the area’s natural hot springs and let the mineral water work its magic. Rotorua is home to a number of amazing geothermal parks – be sure you don’t miss the healing and relaxing benefits of the city’s naturally heated waters.


Tamaki Maori Village (or similar)

Meals included:



Day 4: Rotorua/Wellington

Take in the ever-changing scenery of the North Island and travel to the capital, Wellington.

Private Vehicle
Rotorua – Wellington7h-8h452km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.



Willis Wellington Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:


Day 5: Wellington
Enjoy the atmosphere in this relaxed but lively city. After an orientation walk, enjoy a free day to explore. Opt to visit the Te Papa Museum or take the cable car up to the botanical gardens
Free Time

Spend some time exploring the city.

Orientation Walk

Enjoy a brief walk with your CEO. He/she will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended.

Optional Activities – Day 5

Te Papa Museum Visit


Visit this must-see museum, home to displays of historical Maori artifacts and modern exhibits. See how the museum is constructed on shock absorbers to withstand New Zealand’s many earthquakes – find the stairwell just outside the entrance and descend into the foundations of the building.

Wellington Cable Car

4-7.50NZD per person


9-95NZD per person

Weta Workshop Tour

25-65NZD per person

Martinborough Wine Tour

199NZD per person


Willis Wellington Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:


Day 6: Wellington/Kaikoura

Fly to the South Island, then travel to the seaside town of Kaikoura, known for its diverse marine life.

Wellington – Christchurch

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Private Vehicle
Christchurch – Kaikoura2h30m

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Optional Activities – Day 6

Kaikoura2h-10h 1-9km


Set off along one of many hiking trails to take in the beautiful scenery surrounding Kaikoura.

Scenic Flight

135-180NZD per person

Take a 30-minute flight and set off to search for whales, dolphins, and other marine life. On land, you’ll see Maori sites, Kaikoura town and New Zealand’s southern fur seals.



White Morph (or similar)


Day 7: Kaikoura/Hanmer Springs
Opt to swim with dolphins or go whale watching during a free morning in Kaikoura before travelling to Hanmer Springs, stopping en route for a wine tasting at a local winery. Opt to take a soak in the hot springs.
Private Vehicle
Kaikoura – Hanmer Springs3h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Winery Visit
Hanmer Springs

Stop at a local winery and opt to sample some of the wines produced on site.

Free Time
Hanmer Springs

Enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Optional Activities – Day 7

Whale Watching

145NZD per person

Follow in the path of Paikea, the Maori “whale rider”, and set out in search of Giant Sperm Whales as they spray and dive their way through the waters off Kaikora.

Swimming With Dolphins
Kaikoura3h-4h 5km

170NZD per person

Hop aboard a boat and head out to the open seas to search for wild dusky dolphins. Depending on conditions, most groups have 20-40 minutes of swim time with the dolphins.



Drifters Inn Hanmer Springs (or similar)


Day 8: Hanmer Springs/Franz Josef

Take in the stunning scenery while travelling across the Southern Alps to the rugged and remote West Coast, before staying in the rainforest near the world’s fastest moving glacier.

Private Vehicle
Hanmer Springs – Franz Josef8h

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Driving time includes stops.



Rainforest Retreat (or similar)

Meals included:


Day 9: Franz Josef

Enjoy a free day to explore the area around Franz Josef. Opt to explore the glacier with a heli hike.

There are dozens of optional activities in the area to suit just about any budget and preference. Try heli hiking, scenic helicopter flights, horse trekking, quad biking, skydiving, glacier valley walk, lake kayaking or a hot pools visit.

Carte Blanche
Franz Josef Full Day

There’s plenty to see and do in Franz Josef, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like a glacial hike, quad biking, and a helicopter hike. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities – Day 9

Helicopter Hike
Franz Josef3h-4h

459-539NZD per person

Take a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride high up on Franz Josef Glacier. Hop out and trek on the white and blue ice. Cool!

Franz Josef Kayaking
Franz Josef3h-4h

99-129NZD per person

Explore the stunning Lake Mapourika by kayak. This lake was created as the Franz Josef glacier retreated 14,000 years ago, and the still water has created a natural mirror allowing you to soak in the incredible panoramic views.

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Franz Josef

79NZD per person

Enjoy spectacular views on a guided interpretive walk that follows a riverbed along the Franz Josef Glacier’s retreat. At the end, you’ll be rewarded with a great view of the glacier off in the distance.

Franz Josef Quad Bike
Franz Josef

65-160NZD per person

Hop aboard the two-seater ATV quad and drive along ancient glacial pathways carved into the landscape by ice and water. Be amazed at what lies around every twist and turn as you are guided through rainforests, riverbeds, grasslands, sand and mud. Feel the thrill of fresh air in your face and the excitement of riding in the wild.

Franz Josef30m-8h 3-17km


Take your pick of many scenic and memorable treks in Franz Josef – a true hiker’s haven. Get prepared before heading out, and be mindful of signs along the track. See majestic mountains, glaciers, rivers, and amazing views that you’ll definitely want your camera on hand for.

Horseback Riding
Franz Josef

65-150NZD per person

Hop in the saddle and explore Franz Josef’s amazing glacier landscape on horseback. Ride amid rainforests and mountain scenery, and enjoy fresh open air and natural beauty on this unforgettable trip.


Rainforest Retreat (or similar)


Meals included:


Day 10: Franz Josef/Queenstown

Continue to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. With beautiful scenery and tons of activities, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy the great night life.

Private Vehicle
Franz Josef – Queenstown8h-9h365km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.


Peppers Beacon Hotel (or similar)


Day 11: Queenstown
With free time here, opt to go bungee jumping (in its birthplace), jet boating (also born here!), skydiving, paragliding, hiking or mountain biking. Or take it a little slower and travel by gondola to the top of a local peak.
Carte Blanche
Queenstown Full Day

There’s plenty to see and do in Queenstown, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like mountain biking, bungee jumping, and jet boating. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities – Day 11

Bungee Jumping

175-510NZD per person

Adrenaline junkies will be happy with a stop at the world’s original commercial bungee site (bungy in New Zealand!). Opt to take the plunge or simply observe where it all started from the comfort of solid ground. Shoot some amazing photos of those brave enough to dive into the abyss.


299-439NZD per person

Enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Queenstown from an eagle’s perspective. Suit up, get briefed and board the prop plane to soar high about the rugged alpine landscape. Strap onto your instructor, take a breath and leap into a once-in-a-lifetime free fall. This is what a natural high truly feels like!

Shotover Jet Boating

149NZD per person

Jet boating is a typical New Zealand activity— go as fast you can in a boat over water. Hang on tight as you fly across the surface of the water. Shoot through narrow rocky gorges and dare to watch as the driver takes hairpin turns frighteningly close to the cliffs.

Gondola Ride

35-56NZD per person

Take a ride up to the top of the mountain by cable car gondola. Get a spectacular 220º view of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables mountain range, and Lake Wakatipu below.


210NZD per person

Hang on! Get a birds-eye view of Queenstown on an exciting ride in the sky.

Earnslaw Steamship Cruise

55-95NZD per person

Discover the breathtaking Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a 103 year old traditional steamship. This 90 minute cruise highlights that stunning alpine scenery that surrounds Queenstown, and lets you check out the views while relaxing on deck.

Vineyard Tour

185-230NZD per person

Visit vineyards in New Zealand’s fastest growing wine region. Taste some of Queenstown’s finest Pinot Noir, as well as Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Sample local cheeses and learn more about the grape varietals that flourish here. Pick up a few bottles to savour back home.

Lord of the Rings Horse Riding Tour

165-325NZD per person

Escape New Zealand and head to Middle-earth on a horseback riding tour of sites used in the Lord of the Rings films. Take in the breathtaking views and see if you can spot places where the films were shot.


120-170NZD per person

Canyon Fox

165NZD per person

Canyon Swing

205NZD per person

Get your heart racing as you launch yourself from the world’s highest canyon swing. Free fall for 60m before a 200m swing across Shotover Canyon. See you at the other side!



Peppers Beacon Hotel (or similar)

Meals included:


Day 12: Queenstown/Te Anau

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Doubtful Sound on a day cruise. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife. In the evening, opt to boat across Lake Te Anau and visit a cave that is home to thousands of glowworms.

Private Vehicle
Queenstown – Doubtful Sound4h250km

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Driving time includes stops.

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Doubtful Sound

Cruise through the stunning Doubtful Sound, one of the most untouched, remote places in the world. Marvel at the steep cliff walls and cascading waterfalls, and keep an eye out for area wildlife: dolphins, penguins, seals, and a variety of birds.

Private Vehicle
Doubtful Sound – Te Anau1h30m-2h120km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Optional Activities – Day 12

Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Te Anau

88NZD per person

Head underground to see the mysterious and beautiful glowworms that magically shine bright deep in limestone caves. Learn about local history, and experience an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind natural wonder.


The Village Inn (or similar)


Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 13: Te Anau/Twizel
Head through the centre of the South Island to Twizel, near New Zealand’s highest peak, Mt Cook.
Private Vehicle
Te Anau – Twizel4h-5h350km

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Drive time includes stops.


Mountain Chalet Twizel (or similar)


Meals included:


Day 14: Twizel/Christchurch

Stop at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and spend the morning hiking the region surrounding Mt Cook, taking in the alpine scenery. Learn more about mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary at the Aoraki/Mt Cook Visitor’s Centre. Continue on to Christchurch for one final night together.

Travel to the Garden City of Christchurch, a little piece of England in New Zealand, still recovering from a devastating earthquake.

Mount Cook Visit
Mount Cook

Aoraki/Mount Cook is both a village, a national park and the name of New Zealand’s highest mountain. Located in central South Island, the park includes a mix of rocks and glaciers, as well as alpine plants including the world’s largest buttercup, the Mount Cook lily. There are several short walks that reward with spectacular views.

Visitor’s Centre

Stop by the visitor’s centre to learn more about the region.

Private Vehicle
Twizel – Christchurch8h380km

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle. Drive time includes stops throughout the day, including a couple of hours to visit Mt Cook (weather permitting).

Free Time
Christchurch Evening

Enjoy a last night out.

Optional Activities – Day 14

Scenic Flight

Take to the skies and get a bird’s eye view of the gorgeous landscape from above. Recharge your camera and go snap happy!


All Stars Inn on Bealey (or similar)


Day 15: Christchurch

Depart at any time.

Meals included:


What’s Included

  • Recharge: Hot Water Beach Excursion, Hahei
  • Local Living: Maori Village Visit with Overnight, Rotorua
  • Coromandel Peninsula visit
  • Cathedral Cove visit
  • Orientation walk in Wellington
  • Beach time in Kaikoura
  • Wine tasting
  • Fiordland NP visit
  • Doubtful Sound day cruise
  • Aoraki/Mt Cook NP visit with hiking opportunity (weather permitting)
  • Aoraki/Mt Cook NP Visitor’s Centre visit
  • Free time in Rotorua, Wellington, Franz Josef, and Queenstown
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


Hotels/motels (13 nts), Maori village (1 nt, multi-share).


8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Allow USD515-670 for meals not included.


Private vehicle, walking, plane, boat.

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.


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