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New Zealand / National

17 Day Auckland to Christchurch Flexible Bus Pass Top & Tail - Kiwi Experience

4.0 (1 review)

Details

Highlights:

  • Explore the pristine beaches of the Coromandel and visit the world-famous Cathedral Cove, a stunning natural wonder. You'll have the opportunity to kayak along the breathtaking coastline (optional activity) and visit Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you can dig your own personal spa pool in the sand if you catch the tide right. This day offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation in a beautiful coastal setting.
  • Discover Rotorua, a mystical land of bubbling mud pools, rocketing geysers, and natural hot springs. You'll have the option to experience a variety of exciting activities such as luging down the SkyLine, white water rafting, visiting Hells Gate, mountain biking through the Redwoods, Zorbing, or relaxing at the Polynesian Spa. Rotorua is a unique destination where you can immerse yourself in New Zealand's geothermal wonders and adrenaline-pumping adventures.
  • Kayak around the golden bays near Kaiteriteri or take a water taxi to explore the Abel Tasman National Park's native New Zealand forest. The journey then continues to the iconic Nelson Lakes, where you can capture a legendary wharf jumping shot. The day culminates in the surf town of Westport, providing a diverse and adventurous experience amid breathtaking landscapes.

Included:

  • Ticket includes transport only.
  • Milford Sound boat cruise
  • Flexible Bus Pass.
  • Minimum 17 Days Travel.
  • Up to 12 months travel.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Auckland - Paihia

Departing Auckland, we stop at Whangarei Falls on our way North, arriving in the Bay of Islands around midday. Check out the sights surrounding Paihia, including NZ's most historical location Waitangi - the 'Birthplace of the Nation'. Northland is rich in history and Maori culture and with its crystal clear water, huge kauri forests, and plentiful islands to explore - you will soon see why Kiwi Experience heads up north. Swim with the dolphins, ride out to the famous hole in the rock, or go kayaking, sailing, fishing, diving, snorkelling, or just relax on the beach!

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 2 : Paihia To Auckland

Departing mid-afternoon, you have the best part of the day to experience one of the many activities on offer in the Bay, or simply chill on the beach with a good book. The drive back to the “big smoke” is relaxed and we have you back in the city in time to find some dinner in Auckland and hit the town.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 3 : Auckland - Hot Water Beach

Departing Auckland we head south-east to the pristine beaches of the Coromandel and the world-famous Cathedral Cove (included). Here you have the option to kayak around this stunning coastline (optional activity) as well as the opportunity to visit Hot Water Beach (included); a unique surf beach where if you catch the tide right, you can dig a hole in the sand to create your own personal spa pool.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 4 : Hot Water Beach - Waitomo

Leaving the gorgeous Coromandel behind we’ll venture into the enchanting Karangahake Gorge nestled among the Kaimai Ranges, for a hike (included) amongst the walkways and old mining tunnels. If that isn’t enough fun for one day, then never fear, next we’ll be heading over to Waitomo ('wai' meaning water, 'tomo' meaning hole) for a magical tour of the world-famous glow-worm caves. For those feeling a little more adventurous, you will have the opportunity to experience a Black Water Rafting trip.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 5 : Waitomo - Rotorua

We start the day with a walk through the Ruakuri Reserve and say goodbye to those glowing little critters. Next, we'll roll on through to Rotorua; a mystical land of bubbling mud pools, rocketing geysers and natural hot springs. Optional activities (which are not included) are luging down the SkyLine, White Water Rafting, Hells Gate, Mountain biking through the Redwoods, Zorb, Wai-o-tapu, Polynesian Spa or National Kiwi Hatchery.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 6 : Rotorua to Taupo

If you haven't had a chance yet to explore the geothermal reserve of Te Puia, we will check it out this morning before heading onto Great Lake Taupo, taking in a walk to the pounding Huka Falls (included). In Taupo there is lots to do, just tell us what you’re in the mood for and we’ll get you there. The lake itself (actually an extinct volcano crater) is a sight to behold from the shoreline (included), but the more adventurous might want to take the opportunity to experience optional activities such as sail across the lake on a yacht to the Māori rock carvings, or even get a birds-eye view by skydiving above it. On your free day in Taupo, head to Tongariro National Park and hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (extra activity); a dramatic landscape of stunning contrasts created by extinguished lava flows and emerald lakes. It’s no surprise Tongariro is often described as one of New Zealand’s best one-day hikes.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 7 : Taupo Free Day

Taupo’s central location means it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from other world-class activities which we give you the option to experience on this free day. Head up the Sky Waka (extra activity) to experience Mount Ruapehu or hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (extra activity); a dramatic landscape of stunning contrasts created by extinguished lava flows and emerald lakes. It’s no surprise Tongariro is often described as one of New Zealand’s best one-day hikes.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 8 : Taupo to Wellington

We head south around the “great lake” towards the Tongariro National Park for a picnic lunch and a two-hour walk through native bush and waterfalls. In the afternoon we travel through to Wellington City. This city is the undisputed capital of culture, the arts, restaurants, fashion and nightlife. Here you can experience Mount Victoria (included) and then passengers have the opportunity to experience the national museum, Te Papa and get amongst the thriving craft beer scene.

Meal(s) included : None

Day 9 : Wellington to Abel Tasman

We take the Interislander ferry across to the South Island through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds. Travel through vineyards to Nelson, New Zealand’s sunniest city, then on to Kaiteriteri at the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park. Kaiteriteri is a great spot to begin an adventure (on foot, by kayak or by water taxi) into Abel Tasman National Park, or see it all from above by jumping out of a plane!

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 10 : Abel Tasman to Westport

Spend the morning kayaking out to Split Apple Rock and along the golden bays near Kaiteriteri, looking out for the local marine wildlife; or catch a water taxi to one of the bays in the Abel Tasman National Park to go for a morning stroll in the native New Zealand forest. This afternoon we stop at the iconic Nelson Lakes, so you can get your legendary wharf jumping shot before hitting surf town Westport.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 11 : Westport to Franz Josef

Today we start our journey down spectacular State Highway 6, that stretches 435 kilometres along the rugged Tasman shoreline. The road winds through a diverse series of landscapes which never cease to amaze. Highlights today include the Cape Foulwind seal colony walk, rugged beaches, and the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. We then hit the road on our way to Franz Josef. Franz Josef is the northern gateway to Te Wahipounamu, the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage area. The region includes Aoraki/Mount Cook, Westland Tai Poutini, Mount Aspiring, the Fiordland National Parks, and surrounding conservation lands. We factor in a free day in Franz Josef so that you can get out there and experience what Franz Josef has to offer. It’s a wicked spot and whatever you get out and do, you will be blown away by the views of the glacier and Alps.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 12 : Franz Josef (Extra Day)

Today we have a free day in Franz Josef where you have the opportunity to experience a Heli-Hike to New Zealand’s most famous Franz Josef Glacier or you can explore this lush corner of New Zealand (for free) on foot; hitting up the many walking trails in the area.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 13 : Franz Josef to Queenstown

We start out early in order to catch the perfect mirror reflection of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps on Lake Matheson. We then cruise down the last stretch of Highway 6, stopping at popular scenic spots along the way. Then it’s into Mount Aspiring National Park, arriving in the awe-inspiring destination of Wanaka. After a stroll round Lake Wanaka and some lunch, we head to the world’s first commercial bungy site - the Kawarau Bridge. Only the brave will sign themselves up for this iconic New Zealand activity. On arrival in Queenstown, we will head down to the spectacular waterfront before it’s out on the town exploring Queenstown’s infamous nightlife with all the crew!

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 14 : Queenstown (Extra Day)

Queenstown is one of the most amazing places on Earth. No matter what time of the year it is rated as one of our passenger’s favourite spots. Take the time to spend a few days here as it is one of the most picturesque places in the world. Make the most of the beautiful lake and surrounding walks, or get into a whole range of adrenalin pumping activities. If there was one activity that you couldn’t miss it would be the day trip to Milford Sound, commonly referred to as The Eighth Wonder of the World.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 15 : Milford Sound day trip

Visiting Milford Sound is a must-do when visiting the South Island. The Milford Explorer departs Queenstown early, and the first stop for breakfast, coffee or just a snack is at the picturesque town of Te Anau. Before getting to the Homer Tunnel, with plenty of Instagram-worthy photo stops along the way. Once we arrive in Milford, you will go on an unforgettable scenic boat cruise through the sound. Beginning under the watchful eye of Rahotu / Mitre Peak, Milford Sound Piopiotahi runs 16 kilometres to the Tasman Sea. A treasure trove of ecological delights awaits within this steep, narrow, glacially carved valley. Discover dolphins, penguins and seals safe within the protection of the Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve. Explore the phenomenon known as deep-water emergence, where species usually found at great depths are just metres below the surface due to a constant layer of dark, cool freshwater blocking light to creatures below.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 16 : Queenstown - Lake Tekapo

We head out of Queenstown, through the Lindis Pass, so get your cameras ready because this is ‘Lord of the Rings’ territory. After stopping to admire Mt Cook at Lake Pukaki, we travel to Lake Tekapo with its amazing location by snow-capped alps and clear starry skies. Lake Tekapo has something for everyone - relaxing at the lakeside and taking in the untouched view, soaking in the hot springs, discovering one of the many scenic walkways or checking out the mind-boggling stars in what is the world’s largest dark sky reserve.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 17 : Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

We have a straight run into Christchurch, our largest city in the South Island and the 3rd largest in New Zealand. Witness a city rebuilding and flourishing in the wake of the 2011 earthquakes, and explore the street art, see the blooming botanical gardens and learn about the history of a city that’s experienced so much in recent times.

Meal(s) included : None


Pickups / Departures

Start Auckland finish Christchurch.
Minimum travel time 17 days.
Maximum travel time 12 months from the first day of travel.


Extras

What to Bring:

Comfortable walking shoes.


Reviews

4.0 (1 review)
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Sean 24 Feb 2020
My thoughts on the kiwi experience 17 day tour are as follows; I loved the places we visited, although I felt like in some places such as Wellington and Christchurch I could of done with another night. This was because by the time our driver had got us there after the long drive it was often between 4-5pm. Then due to the nature of the tour we had to leave most days before 9am which doesn't leave you a lot of time to explore. However all the accommodation met my expectations, some more so. The inclusion of breakfast was good for most of the tour. Some hostel breakfasts were very basic, just cereal and toast, but it did the job. I was able to get the opportunity to do most extra optional activities, only the weather stopped me on a couple but that's no one's fault. All I would say is there a lot more optional activities than I thought there would be, so I would of budgeted a bit more for this. The bus itself we travelled on was fine, nothing amazing but did the job. I do think the old fashioned clipboard system that the driver passed back for us to choose our activities on was a bit weird, but I guess it worked. The best thing about this trip was the friends I made along the way and got on so well with everyone. So if you're looking for an easy way to meet people then this is the one! Overall a great tour with room for some small improvements to the itinerary and timings

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17 Day Auckland To Christchurch Flexible Bus Pass Top & Tail - Kiwi Experience

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