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New Zealand / National

21 Day Auckland Return Fat Kiwi - Kiwi Experience

5.0 (1 review)

Details

Highlights:

  • On Day 3, you'll embark on an unforgettable journey to the Coromandel region. Explore the world-famous Cathedral Cove, a picturesque coastal spot, and have the option to kayak around the stunning coastline. Afterward, you can visit Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you can create your own personal spa pool by digging a hole in the sand at low tide. This day offers a blend of natural beauty and relaxation in two iconic destinations.
  • Day 15 takes you on a breathtaking day trip to Milford Sound, one of the must-see locations in the South Island. Travel through stunning landscapes, including the famous Homer Tunnel, before arriving in Milford Sound. Embark on a scenic boat cruise through the steep, glacially carved valley, surrounded by majestic peaks like Rahotu/Mitre Peak. Discover the diverse marine life within the Milford Sound Marine Reserve, a truly awe-inspiring experience.
  • On Day 16, you'll journey to Lake Tekapo, a destination known for its clear starry skies. Enjoy the awe-inspiring views of snow-capped alps and take in the untouched beauty of the lake. Lake Tekapo is the world's largest dark sky reserve, making it a perfect place for stargazing. Whether you relax at the lakeside, soak in the hot springs, or explore the scenic walkways, the beauty of Lake Tekapo's night sky is a sight not to be missed.

Included:

  • Ticket includes transport only.
  • Milford Sound boat cruise.

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 to 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

 

Day 18 : Christchurch to Kaikoura

Departing Christchurch *, we arrive in Kaikoura in time for you to check out what it's most famous for – whale watching or swimming with the dolphins. Spend the evening chilling on the beach or sampling some of the best seafood New Zealand offers for your dinner. The name Kaikoura means to eat crayfish (“kai” means to eat, “koura” means crayfish). *Christchurch departure times may vary, impacting some tour options.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 19 : Kaikoura to Wellington

We head north and take in the last of the dramatic Kaikoura coastline. It’s a spectacular drive and we stop for a close look at the seals that lay about on the rocks. We make our way to the Picton ferry terminal in time to catch the afternoon sailing to the North Island. Say farewell to the South Island (Te Wai Pounamu) and we’re on our way! The ferry ride takes a few hours so chill out and enjoy the view of the amazing Marlborough Sounds!

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 20 : Wellington to Taupo

With an early start from windy Wellington, we head north through Taihape, the gumboot capital of New Zealand and the Central Plateau, home of the Tongariro National Park. Then it’s through to Taupo*, driving alongside New Zealand's biggest lake. If the weather suits, it’s time to skydive. *This bus is an express service to Auckland, via Rotorua you can jump off the bus in Taupo.

Meal(s) included : None

 

Day 21 : Taupo to Auckland (Via Rotorua)

Heading to Rotorua, renowned for its Maori heritage and thermal activity, jump off the bus in Rotorua* or continue onwards through the rolling countryside to Auckland, known as the ‘City of Sails’. *Please note this bus is an express service to Auckland, but you can jump off the bus in Rotorua.

Meal(s) included : None


Pickups / Departures

Start Anywhere finish where you started.
Minimum travel time 21 days.
Maximum travel time 12 months from the first day of travel


Extras

What to Bring:

Comfortable walking shoes.


Reviews

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Gizelle S. 02 Sep 2023
Wonderful informative and enjoyable group of hosts, tours and guests.

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21 Day Auckland Return Fat Kiwi - Kiwi Experience

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