20 Day New Zealand  Ultimate Thrills


Starts in : Ends inDurationPrice starts from ($NZD)
Auckland  : Christchurch20 days5200 per person (twin/double)


  Introduction

The tour for the ultimate adrenaline seeker! New Zealand is world renowned for being an adventure playground and has invented some of the most unique adventure activities on the planet. We've compiled many of them in this once in a lifetime adventure. Skydiving, bungy jumping, jet boating, rafting, caving, wilderness kayaking, heli-hiking....it's all on the menu!

In between all of these adrenaline pumping activities, this tour still shows you the most breathtaking places in New Zealand at the same time, so you won't miss anything.

Are you ready?

Highlights

 

 Auckland Bridge Climb.

 Cathedral Cove Kayaking Coromandel

 Waitomo Caves Tumu Tumu Toobing.

 Rotorua rafting

Taupo skydiving 1200 ft.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

2-day Abel Tasman Coastal Track

 Frans Josef heli-hike.

 Queenstown Bungy

 Doubtful Sound overnight kayaking.

 Wanaka Wildwire

 

Itinerary map

 

 


 

 

Tour Details

 

Duration  : 20 Days / 19 Nights.

Departure Location : Auckland.

Departure Time : Any Time.

Departure dates : All year.

Category :  Self drive adventure.

 

 

 

 

  • Day 1 : Auckland

    Welcome to Auckland and New Zealand. On arrival you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your first night’s accommodation. Or if you’ve decided to pick up your rental vehicle immediately, you pick up your vehicle at the airport and drive to your accommodation.

    Your detailed tour information pack will be given to you once you arrive at your accommodation.

    You’ll most likely be pretty tired from a long flight, so take the rest of the day to relax and explore the inner city. The city centre of Auckland is not too big, so you can easily walk around. Visit the Skytower to take in great views of the city, and stroll around the waterfront with its many nice bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a great meal.

    Hotel : Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland

    Motel : Abaco on Jervois


  • Day 2 : Auckland- Coromandel

    Once you've collected your car first thing in the morning (in case you don't already have it), your adventure starts immediately with the Auckland Bridge Climb. Get over those fear of heights and enjoy unparalleled access to the Auckland Harbour Bridge. This is not just the most unique Auckland attraction - this is the only Bridge Climb in all of New Zealand. 

    In the afternoon your destination will be the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula with its secluded bays, white sandy beaches, and spectacular but rugged mountainous interiour. Thames is the first town you pass in the Coromandel, which is full of history from New Zealand's early gold mining and logging days. You'll climb over the Coromandel Forest Park ranges with its magnificent ferns and from a distance you can see views of the Pacific Ocean. As you approach Tairua you'll the see dramatic Pinnacles on your left.

    Motel : Blue Water (Tairua)

    Driving Distance : 151 Km - Driving Time :  approximately 2hours

    Click map to enlarge


  • Day 3 : Coromandel

    We've organized an amazing kayaking trip to Cathedral Cove this morning, no doubt one of the best in the country. This trip will show you stretches of coast line no other travellers get to see.

    After your kayaking experience , dig your own spa at the nearby Hot Water Beach. On your way to Coromandel town, your destination for the day, stop in Whitianga to enjoy some great seafood.

    Between Coromandel Town and Whitianga we recommend you visit New Chums beach, which was voted one of the best 10 beaches in the world!

    B & B : Jacaranda.

    Click map to enlarge


  • Day 4 : Coromandel - Waitomo

    Your drive this morning will take you along the Firth of Thames. It's a delightful drive along the waterfront and once you arrive in Thames, you've completed the Coromandel loop. You'll head south now across the lush farmlands of the Waikato region to Waitomo, where your caving adventure awaits, the epic Tumu Tumu ToobingThis ripper of a trip combines the best elements of blackwater rafting with walking, climbing, swimming and tubing through distinctive sections of the spectacular TumuTumu Cave. 

    Motel : Caves motor Inn, Waitomo.

    Driving distance : 219 km - Driving time  approximately 3 hrs 10 mins

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 5 : Waitomo- Rotorua

    It's a fairly short drive to Rotorua today. Rotorua s also nicknamed Roto Vegas by Kiwis for the amount of attractions it has. The main attractions are Maori culture and amazing geothermal activity. The region also has many beautiful lakes to explore. World-class biking trails, excellent hiking traills, natural hot streams, luxurious spas, a whole range of adventure activities such as rafting, sledging, jetboating, zorbing, racing down a steep hill in a luge, Rotorua won't bore you.

    More water action is in store for you today as you embark on a thrilling rafting trip down the Waituna River.

    Motel : Heritage Tuscany Villas Rotorua.

    Motel : Rotorua Arista Motel.

    Driving distance : 138 km - Driving time approximately  1 hr 55min

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 6 : Rotorua - Taupo

    The drive to Taupo from Rotorua is only about an hour, but there are many things to see en-route. Wai-O-Tapu geothermal wonderland with its colorful hot springs, boiling mud pools and barren moon landscapes will leave you in awe. This is one of the most unique places you'll ever visit. 

    About 2kms north of Taupo, a must see are the impressive Huka Falls. This is where the Waikato River, New Zealand's longest river, enters a shallow ravine of hard volcanic rock. The resulting sight is nothing but spectacular. More than 220,000 liters of water per second rushes by.

    What we have in store for you today though is the ultimate adrenaline rush. Yes you are jumping out of a plane at 12,000 ft altitude. You will be buzzing for days after this.

    Hotel : Millennium Hotel Taupo.

    Motel : Bella Vista Taupo.

    Driving distance : 82 km - Driving time approximately 1 hour.

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 7 : Taupo - National Park

    Get your hiking boots ready on this early morning!  You'll drive along Lake Taupo on your way to the Dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park. Often described as New Zealand's greatest day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a challenging journey across a remarkable volcanic landscape. Lava flows, an active crater, steam vents, emerald-coloured lakes and magnificent views combine to make this an unforgettable walking journey.

    Motel : Plateau Lodge.

    Driving distance : 100 km - Driving time approximately : 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 8 : National Park -Wellington

    Today is a rest day from all the excitement, as you make your way down to Wellington, the coolest little capital in the world. Find out yourself why Wellington was named the best liveable city in the world in 2016!

    A visit to the national museum Te Papa is a must-do. A trip on the iconic cable car gives you great views across the city and bay at the top.

    Stroll around in Cuba street, with its many funky bars known for their craft beers, cafes, and excellent restaurants.

    Hotel : Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay Wellington.

    Motel : Wellington 10 Gilmer.

    Driving Distance : 322 Km - Driving time approximately 4 hours 

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 9 : Wellington - Picton - Nelson

    Today you will say goodbye to the North Island and cruise across the Cook Strait on the Interislander ferry, with great views of the Marlborough Sounds.

    Upon your arrival in the small but picturesque fishing town of Picton, you will carry on your journey to creative Nelson, the sunniest place in New Zealand.

    Hotel : Trailway Hotel Nelson.

    Lodge: Nelson Saxton.

    Interislander Wellington - Picton : 3 h 37 min (97.6 km)

    Driving distance : 134 Km - Driving time  (Picton - Nelson):  approximately  1 hr 50 min. 

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 10 : Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park

    A two day independent hiking trip in the coastal paradise of the Abel Tasman National Park is your next adventure. A 9am water taxi will leave from Marahau and will take you to Torrent Bay where your 2 day hike starts.

    The idyllic Abel Tasman Coastal Track links a myriad of crescent-shaped coves of glittering golden sand, washed by the crystal-clear waters of Tasman Bay. Wander along beaches that constantly invite you in for a swim and hike around headlands with commanding views. Fur seals are found along the coast of the park, particularly on the headlands at Separation Point and near Tonga Island. Little blue penguins feed at sea during the day and return to the park’s islands at night. Common dolphins are often seen playing in the waves.

    The first day is the longest day with approximately 6.5 hours (18km) walking from Torrent Bay to the Awaroa inlet. 

    Accommodation : Awaroa Lodge.

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 11 : Abel Tasman National Park - Hokitika

    The second walking day in the Abel Tasman National Park is shorter, and takes about 2.5 hours (5.5km) from the Awaroa inlet to the beautiful golden bay of Totoranui. Once in Totoranui, a water tax will take you back to Marahau.

    You'll continue your journey south through the Motueka Valley with its many fruit orchards and hops. The scenery changes dramatically driving through the Buller Gorge on the way to the West Coast. The first town you pass on the West Coast is the coal mining town of Westport, once a gold mining town. Nearby you can find the seal colony at Cape Foulwind. 

    A little further south lies Paparoa National Park and the famous pancake rocks, where columns of water shoot skyward from rocks that resemble giant stacks of hotcakes. 

    The seaside town of Hokitika will be your final desintation of today. Hokitika is a place to appreciate the fascinating history of the west coast. The Arahura River, which enters the sea just north of Hokitika, is a traditional source of pounamu (greenstone). There are a number of jewelry stores selling greenstone in town, and are well worth a look.

    Motel : Bella Vista Hokitika.

    Driving distance : 366km -  Driving time : approximately 5 hours 10 mins

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 12 : Hokitika - Frans Josef

    It's a short drive to Franz Josef in Westland National Park today, an area of magnificent primeval vistas – snow-capped mountains, glaciers, forests, tussock grasslands, lakes, rivers, wetlands and beaches.

    And you'll have the best view of all today, from a helicopter. After a thrilling flight, high above the rugged terrain, you will land on the glacier, ready to undertake a three hour guided glacier hike. Your friendly guide will lead you through some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery in the world.

    Hotel : Scenic Hotel Franz Josef.

    Motel : Franz Josef Bella Vista.

    Driving distance : 134 km   - Driving time : approximately 1 hours 45 mins

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 13 : Franz Josef- Queenstown

    Your drive today takes you through a number of national parks. The road between Frans Josef and Haast winds its way along the rugged West Coast with lush native bush and rainforest. Haast is located in the heart of Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area, with national parks to the north, south and east.  You'll head inland and into the Mt Aspiring National Park with its towering mountains and glaciel fed rivers with crystal clear waters. The road then takes you along Lake Hawea before arriving into Wanaka.

    In winters skiers from all over the world flock to Wanaka for its great skiing, and in summer the impressive mountains provide for a range of adventure activities. You will return here  in a few days , but for now you carry on to the adventure capital of the world...Queenstown! Regardless of the season, Queenstown gets your adrenaline flowing year round, and the options are endlesss. Want to throw yourself out of a plane in amazing scenery, jump off a bridge in the birthplace of Bungy, jetboat, raft down a river, you name it...Queenstown has it all. 

    For us it is also the town where you need to experience Bungy jumping, as it was here that is was first invented by AJ Bungy. So get read to throw yourself of a platform of your choosing!

    Hotel : Heritage Queenstown.

    Motel : Bella vista Queenstown.

    Driving distance : 350 km - Driving time :  approximately : 4 hrs 40 mins.

    Click map to enlarge 

     


  • Day 14 : Queenstown

    You'll be staying in Queenstown for another day today. It is the adventure capital of the world after all! 

    A fun wilderness experience awaits you today. Dart River Wilderness Jet

    Hotel : Heritage Queenstown.

    Motel : Bella vista Queenstown.

     

     


  • Day 15 : Queenstown -Milford Sound - Te Anau

    Heading south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu you are heading for Te Anau today. This picturesque town on the shores of Lake Te Anau is your base for the Fiordland National Park wilderness. When you arrive in Te Anau, your will continue onwards to Milford Sound on one of the most spectacular drives in New Zealand. Once you arrive you will board for a cruise through the fiords. Also keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins and fur seals as you cruise along.

    Milford Sound is truly breathtaking in any weather. The fiord's cliffs rise vertically from the dark waters, mountain peaks scrape the sky and waterfalls cascade downwards, some as high as 1000 metres. When it rains in Milford Sound, and it often does, those waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect. You will feel humbled by the magnitude of nature upon your return to Te Anau late in the afternoon.

    Hotel : Distinction Hotel Te Anau.

    Motel : Te Anau Red Tussock.

    Driving distance : 173 km   - Driving time : approximately 2 hours 10 mins

    Driving Te Anau - Milford Sound : 118 km   - Driving time : approximately 1 hour 45 mins

     

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 16 and 17 : Fiordland National Park (Doubftul Sound Kayaking)

    A true wilderness adventure deep in Fiordland National Park awaits you today. You'll be kayaking for 2 days in an untouched world of spectacular mountains, lush rain forests and dramatic landscapes. Doubtful Sound is three times longer and a staggering ten times larger than Milford with equally spectacular scenery and an abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna. Doubtful Sound is dramatic and unspoilt and one thing that will strike you when you visit is its silence, broken only by birdsong or the sound of rushing waterfalls. 

    Your tour starts off with a cruise across Lake Manapouri by ferry and a coach across the Southern Alps, via the Wilmot Pass. As you arrive into the sound, make sure you put on plenty of insect repellent, the sandflies will be waiting for you! Once on the water though, they will not bother you. Each day involves around 5 hours of kayaking, and in the evening you'll camp out at a camp nestled in the forest up Hall Arm.

    This could very well be the highlight of your journey! 

     

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  • Day 18 : Te Anau - Wanaka

    When you get back to Te Anau you'll know you've experienced something truly special.

    Your journey then takes you back to Wanaka via Queenstown, on the same road as you came. 

    Hotel : Edgewater Wanaka.

    Motel : Wanaka Aspiring.

    Driving distance : 226 km - Driving time :  Approximately : 2 hrs 55 mins

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 19 : Wanaka - Mt. Cook

    In the morning we have one more adventure planned for you, Wanaka Wildwire. Expect loads of fun, an amazing adventure and incredible scenery on this tour. You will be climbing ladder rungs that run next to a waterfall and crossing bridges over the waterfall. There are opportunities to swim in hidden pools and picnic along the way. 

    In the afternoon you'll then be heading to New Zealand's tallest mountain, Mt Cook. You will cross the the Lindis Pass, one of the highest roads in New Zealand. The contrast in scenery will be noticeable as you leave Otago and enter the McKenzie Country. Once you arrive at Lake Pukaki, Mt Cook dominates the landscape, and how! It will leave a memorable impression, and the drive along the lake with its green and turquoise water is nothing but spectacular. This is New Zealand driving at its best!

    Motel : Mount Cook Lodge.

    Activity : Mount Cook Heli Flights Aoraki / Mt. Cook Discovery.

    Driving distance : 209 km   - Driving time : approximately 2 hours 30 mins

    Click map to enlarge

     


  • Day 20 : Mt. Cook - Christchurch

    Before you head back to Christchurch and finish your tour, we recommend you do one of the hikes in the Aoraki National Park for spectacular view of Mt Cook. 

    On your return to Christchurch, Lake Tekapo will leave you dazzled with its remarkable turquoise coloured water against the backdrop of the Southern Alps. The picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd is a great place for great photo opportunities, but please note that photos are not allowed inside the church.

    As you leave the Southern Alps you're now on your final stretch to Christchurch along the vast Canterbury plains.

    Driving distance : 333 km   - Driving time : approximately 4 hours 10 mins

    Click map to enlarge

 

 

Complimentary airport transfers.

Detailed tour pack upon arrival at accommodation.

20 day car rental with unlimited daily kilometers

Standard insurance with zero excess reduction option.

19 Nights Accommodation.

Interislander Ferry crossing.

Auckland Bridge Climb

Cathedral Cove Kayaking 

Waitomo Adventures Tumu Tumu Toobing.

Rafting Rotorua.

Skydive 12.000 ft Taupo.

 Tongrariro Alpine Crossing transfers

2 day hiking trip Abel Tasman National Park

Franz Josef Heli Hike.

Queenstown Bungy The Ledge Bungy.

 Kayaking - Doubtful Sound Overnight.

 Wanaka Wildwire Go Wild.

Dart River Jet.

  Milford Sound Cruise.

 

All prices in $NZDSingleTwin/Double
Motel 71005200
Hotel87006400  

Prices may vary slightly depending on the season, preferred type of travel and accommodation.

To receive an exact quote, please fill out the form below.

Price are per person.

Request a quote

You may customise this tour as much as you want by adding or removing days and/or activities

 

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Auckland

 

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and will most likely be your entry point into New Zealand. Also known as the City of Sails, or as Kiwis themselves name it Little Big City, Auckland is certainly the most vibrant and most happening city in New Zealand. By international standards it's quite small, but it's also one of the world's most exciting waterside cities. Situated in the Hauraki Gulf the city is surrounded by water, and this is reflected in the number of leisure boats per capita, which is the highest in the world. To really appreciate it, you have to take to the waters, sailing on the harbour or taking a ferry to one of the numerous islands, including Waiheke and Rangitoto Islands, or a little bit more off the beaten track, Great Barrier Island.

 

Bay of Islands

 

Northland is a region in New Zealand rich with historic significance, and it is also the birthplace of New Zealand. It is one of the first regions settled from Polynesia, and also the place where the European settlers first made contact with the Maori. The main attraction in this region is the sublime maritime park of the Bay of Islands, with no less than 144 islands and secluded bays. Most visitors queue up for the Bay of Islands, but all along the East Coast you'll find scenic, sheltered bays and exquisite beaches.

Also called the "Winterless North", the subtropical climate is pleasant throughout the year, and an aquatic playground for a whole range of leisure and adventure activities such as diving, fishing, sailing, surfing, kayaking and dolphin swimming. The main gateway for these activities is Paihia.

 

Rotorua

 

Green rolling hills and lush farmlands are the main decor in Waitomo/Waikatoa, and it is home to some well known icons such as the world class surf breaks in the bohemian seaside town of Raglan, which also happens to be our home. The set for the Shire in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbiton movies in Matamata is a unique experience not to be missed, and the world famous Waitomo Caves are a magical place, with numerous options to explore the caves, whether participating in one of the many adventure activities or marvelling at the wonderful light display created by glowworms.

Rotorua is New Zealand's main geothermal area and a centre where Maori culture thrives. It is situated on the shore of Lake Rotorua, and the whole region offers a mix of pristine lakes to enjoy. Explore the many geothermal wonderlands with boiling mud pools, geysers, steamy and colorful lakes, and unwind at a natural hot spring spa or choose from one of the therapeutic spa and massage therapies

Coromandel

 

The Coromandel Peninsula is a favourite among New Zealanders themselves, and it's not hard to understand why. Its only a 2 hour drive from the major cities Auckland and Hamilton, but yet it feels quite remote and isolated, so it's an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The fact that is also boasts some of New Zealand's finest and most pristine beaches may obviously play a big role as well!

Lifestyle in the Coromandel is very relaxed and there are many coastal towns each with their own distinct character scattered across the peninsula. It is a haven for those seeking an alternative lifestyle away from the city. 

 

Taupo - Central North Island

 

New Zealand's main volcanic area, the Taupo Volcanic Zone, stretches in a line from White Island, north of the Bay of Plenty, through Rotorua and down to Tongariro National Park, which proudly claims the title of dual UNESCO World Heritage Area. The Central Plateau, at the heart of the North Island, is the centre of New Zealand's volcanic activity, and the volcanoes put on a spectacular show from time to time, perhaps once  around every 7 years.

The Ruapehu/Tongariro National Park region is a mecca for outdoor lovers, year round! Summer is a great time to hit the hiking or biking trails, and in winter you can ski down an active volcano, and it is also the largest ski field in New Zealand! The world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing is New Zealand's premier day hike, if not one of the world's! For an even greater appreciation of all the volcanoes, the Tongariro Circuit is a 3-4 day tramp around the volcanoes and is one of New Zealand's Great Walks. The fresh rivers near Turangi provide for world class trout fishing, which can also be found in Taupo.

Lake Taupo is New Zealand's largest lake. In fact, it is the largest fresh water lake in Australasia, and with the plethora of activities on offer (from fishing and boating on the lake or scenic flights over the voclanoes to the adrenaline pumping activities such as skydiving, bungy jumping, jetboating) it is on most traveller's itineraries. Taupo is also the source of New Zealand's longest river, the Waikato River, and the Huka Falls are a spectacular sight to behold.

 

Hawke's Bay - East Coast

 

The East Coast of New Zealand is a sun blessed region and receives most sunshine hours annually across the entire country. No surprise it is also one of the largest wine regions in the country, and there's no shortage of world class wine to sample on a variety of available wine tours. 

Beautiful beaches can be found all along the East Coast, and as the first place to see a new day in the world, the sunrises on show every morning are devastatingly spectacular. Inland you'll find towering forested hills in the Kaweka and Raukumara Forest parks, and a little more inland the majestic Te Urewera Park, taking you back in time with ancient and enchanting forests.

The East Cape is a scenic, isolated and little known region in the North Island where the pace of life is laid back and the settlements are predominantly Maori.  The drive around the Cape offers magnificent views of the wild coast dotted with little bays, inlets and coves that change their mood together with the weather. For a unique, remote experience off the main tourist trail, this is a must place region to visit in New Zealand.

 

Southland

 

Southland is most famous for Milford Sound, and while a visit to Milford Sound simply cannot be missed, it is well worth spending a little more time in this incredible frontier of rugged fiords, mountains, spectacular coastal scenery and an abundance of marine and bird wildlife.

The spectacular Fiordland National Park, part of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, includes some of the best walks in New Zealand such as the world famous Milford and Routeburn Tracks. Along the Milford track you'll find a sign somewhere "the finest walk in the world", and we don't argue that. It is right up there and the scenery is jaw-dropping from start to finish. Three of the walks in Fiordland National Park also belong to the Great Walks of New Zealand, the Milford, Kepler and Routeburn. The gateway into Fiordland National Park is Te Anau, beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Te Anau.

 

Wellington

 

Wellington is a destination with many superlatives. It is beautifully nestled between bush clad hills and one of the most picturesque harbours in the world, it was named the best city to live in the world in 2017, and it is also one of the windiest cities in the world. But as Wellingtonians say : You can't beat Wellington on a good day, and we certainly have a soft spot for this fantastic city.

Wellington is the nation's centre for arts and culture, with the National Museum Te Papa one of the main icons of the city.  The city also contains a plethora of restaurants, cafes, bars, nightlife and activities and is also home to New Zealand's parliament. Due to its compact size it is easy to explore the city on foot.

 

Taranaki

 

Taranaki might be a slightly less known region in New Zealand, unless you're a keen surfer or windsurfer. The landscape is dominated by the perfectly shaped volcanic cone which is Mt Taranaki, or Mt Egmont. At 2500m not only does it entirely dominate the landscape, but it also creates its own climate. On any given day, the winds may be reaching gale force on one side of the mountain, while on the other side you may be relaxing on the beach without a sigh of wind, such is the impact of the mountain.

In winter you may ski down the mountain in the morning, and in summer there are a number of excellent hiking opportunities, including hikes to the summit or right around the mountain.

Surf Highway 45 offers word class surf and windsurfing conditions and the black iron sandy beaches are wild and beautiful and aplenty.

 

Marlborough

 

When travelling from the North Island to the South Island on the Interislander ferry, the sheltered waterways of the Marlborough Sounds are the first sight. Picton is the destination port, and a good base to go walking, fishing, sailing, kayaking and exploring the many secluded bays in the Sounds. 

The Marlborough region is internationally recognized for its world class wine, most notably its Sauvignon Blanc, and there are many different ways to sample these wines as their are many wineries offering excellent wine tours. By bike, or by luxury old timer cars, the creativity with which these tours are organized is brilliant. The seafood in this region is also sumptuous, great to combine with a glass of the local wines.

Those put off by the large crowds on the Abel Tasman Track will love the Queen Charlotte Track. The beaches are a little less exquisite, but the coastal scenery is still stunning and there are many accommodation options aolong the track.

Nelson - Tasman

 

The Nelson-Tasman region is blessed with an incredibly diverse natural beauty, offering no less than three of the finest National Parks in the country. From the golden beaches of Abel Tasman National Park, dramatic and lush rainforests in Kahurangi National Park, to the alpine environment of Nelson Lakes National Park, this region has it all. The area around Nelson is also one of the sunniest in the country, due to the protecting surrounding hills, so it's a popular region with travelers.

Nelson is the South Island's second largest city, noted for its fruit-growing industry in the Motueka Valley, wineries and micro-breweries. It also has an energetic local arts and crafts community with local artists exhibiting their products on the famed Nelson market every Saturday. Nearby Rabbit Island boasts great swimming beaches, boating fishing and forest walks. 

Further west, Motueka is the centre of a green tea, hops and fruit-growing area, and is a good base to explore the nearby parks. The drive over Takaka Hill takes you into Golden Bay, whre you may find the biggest cave in the Southern Hemisphere as well as New Zealand's largest freshwater spring, the Waikoropupu Springs, simply called "Pupu Springs", with reputedly the clearest water in the world.

Kaikoura

 

Kaikoura is a unique place by the sea where marine wildlife lives in abundance, against the backdrop of the impressive Kaikoura mountain ranges. It is well known for its range of eco-tourism activities and getting up close with the main inhabitant along its shores, the giant Sperm Whale.

Whale watching in Kaikoura is simply a must-do as you're guaranteed to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, and along the way you're most likely to see a pod of bottlenose or duksy dolphins play in the water, be impressed by the take-off and water landing of the Royal Albatross, and see a bunch of sea lions lazing about on a rock, suc is the diversity.

The ocean here also provides some spectacular seafood, and a stay in Kaikoura may not go by without having tried the crayfish

Aoraki - Mt Cook

 

The approach to new Zealand's tallest mountain, Mt Cook, via the blue lake of Lake Pukaki is something you will remember for a lifetime. At 3754m Mt Cook entirely dominates the landscape and as you draw ever closer, its imperious glaze on you only gets more and more impressive.

Mt Cook National Park, along with Aspiring and Westland National Parks, have been incorporated into a World Heritage Area extending from the Cook River in Westland down to the base of Fiordland. Of the 27 mountains in New Zealand which are over 300om, 22 of them are in Mt Cook National Park. The park also boasts New Zealand's longest glacier, the Tasman Glacier.

The park offer numerous hikes to get up close with Mt Cook, but also offer many other exciting adventure activities, such as mountaineering, helicopter flights, heli-skiing and sea-kayaking on glacial waters.

West Coast - Glaciers

 

The West Coast or Westland is a rugged and wild land with rocky beaches, deep river gorges,  bush-clad hills and towering icy-peaks. Extending across a 600km long stretch on the western side of the Southern Alps, a visit here takes you through a myriad of five National Parks, yes five!!, including the World Heritage Area - Te Wahipounamu. Each of the national parks - Kahurangi, Paparoa, Arthur's Pass, Westland and Mt Aspiring National Parks - have their their own unique and distinct features. You'll find New Zealand's highest mountains, most dense and lush rainforests, natural rivers, glacial lakes, deepest gorges,  and of course the two phenomenal Glaciers themselves, Fox and Franz Josef.

Canterbury

 

Canterbury is the hub of the South Island and contains its largest city, Christchurch. It is also one of the driest and flattest areas of New Zealand. The moisture-laden westerlies from the Tasman Sea hit the Southern Alps and dump their rainfall on the West Coast before reaching Canterbury. The region is dominated by the expansive Canterbury Plains, dead-flat farming land backed by the Southern Alps.

Christchurch was hit by devastating earthquakes in 2011 which damaged a lot of the inner city's infrastructure, but the city is bouncing back remarkably and the creativity and community spirit has made the city a vibrant place once again. The city's botanic gardens receive international acclaim and a great place to relax before you start your journey or have concluded your journey, as you're most likely to start or end your tour in Christchurch. The nearby Banks Peninsula was formed by two giant volcanic eruptions and has a strong French influence. The picturesque harbour of Akaroa is well worth a visit.

In North Canterbury the thermal waters of Hanmer Springs have been attracting visitors for many years, but the region is also popular for outdoor activities including hiking, rafting, bungy jumping and skiiing in winter. All of this action means it is a favourite weekend spot for people from Christchurch.

Wanaka

 

Wanaka receives slightly less attention than it's more famous neighbour Queenstown, only about an hour away, but one may argue which of the two towns is nestled in the most impressive scenery. While that may be a very difficult question to answer, Wanaka boasts a similar range of adrenaline activities, but with some more serenity about it all.  The town offers fine dining and living and is the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park and the Treble Cone, Cardrona, Harris Mountains and Pisa Range ski areas. Every second Easter, Wanaka hosts the incredibly popular Warbirds over Lake Wanaka, a huge international air show that sees the town swell with visitors.

The central feature of the region is Mt Aspiring, surrounded by the national park with the same name. The alpine scenery does not get any more dramatic than this in New Zealand, and offers some of the best hiking in the country. The park has wide valleys, secluded flats, more than 100 glaciers and towering mountains. The southern end of the park around Glenorchy receives most visitors and includes popular hikes such as the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand's great walks, but there are also excellent shorter walks and more demanding hikes in the Matukituki Valley close to Wanaka. 

Queenstown

 

For a long time Queenstown in Central Otago has had an international reputation for its spectacular scenery and adventure activities, but the region is now also recognized for its award winning wines. 

Queenstown is the unofficial 'adventure capital of the world', but the entire Wakatipu region with its stunning lake and surrounding mountains alone are a real attraction. The aptly named Remarkable mountains provide the most breathtaking backdrop, whether snow capped in winter, or at sunrise or in the afterglow at dusk.

Facilities in Queenstown are excellent as well, from budget to boutique accommodation options, some of the best dining in New Zealand and a buzzing nightlife with numerous cafes and bars. 

There's also great skiing in winter on Coronet Peak and Cardrona and plenty of substitute adrenaline activities in summer. Bungy jumping was invented in New Zealand and Queenstown offers a plethora of jumping options. There's also skydiving, jetboating, mountainbiking, canyoning, white water rafting, hiking, sledging, parapenting, the list is simply endless.

Dunedin

 

Dunedin is the second city of the South Island after Christchurch, a quaint city with many historic buildings and blessed with a magnificent harbour. The surrounding Otago Peninsula and area is renowned for its incredible diversity of marine wildlife, and eco-tourism thrives here.  You can get up close with the world's rarest penguins, visit the world's only mainland breeding ground of the Royal albatross and see fur seals ans sea lions laze about on a rock or beach.

The dramatic coastline in this region has many stunning white sandy beaches with excellent surfing as well, though the water is cold here. Tunnel Beach just south of St Clair beach has sea-carved limestone cliffs rock arches and caves and kids will love the walk through an the excavated cave to a secluded and spectacular beach.

Further down the coast is the region known as the Catlins, which stretches from Waipapa Point to Nugget Point. It includes a number of fine forests with many beautiful waterfalls, bays and scenic reserves and also a great place for wildlife spotting. 

Terms and Conditions

1.0   Interpretation and general

1.1   “We”, “our” or “us” means SOUTHERN JOURNEYS LIMITED

1.2    “Services” means the services undertaken by us as travel agents on your behalf in arranging “package tour” holidays in New Zealand

1.3   "The CGA” means the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993

1.4   You acknowledge that these terms and conditions shall apply to all contracts and transactions between us and you, and that any other conditions, descriptions and representations are    expressly excluded. Any addition or variation must be in writing and signed by both of us to be enforceable.

2.0  Contract

2.1   These terms and conditions shall be the only terms and conditions of the contract between us and you, and shall apply to all transactions between us.

2.2   The contract becomes effective upon your acceptance of the travel package proposal prepared by us and presented to you.

2.3   Any quotation may be withdrawn by us at any time.  Quotations otherwise remain open for acceptance for a maximum period of 14 days from the date of quotation and shall then be deemed to be withdrawn.

 

3.0   Price, forfeiture and price variations

3.1   All prices set out on our website and our quotations are in New Zealand Dollars and include Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 15%.

3.2   You are required to pay us a deposit of 20% immediately upon receipt of our invoice. The invoice will be issued to you upon your acceptance of our travel package proposal. 

3.3   We reserve the right to vary our quoted price at any time prior to the payment of the deposit and any variation in price thereafter due to changes in exchange rates, transport, freight, insurance, GST, or circumstances beyond our control between the date of quotation and the date of the tour, are payable by you.

3.4   The balance of the price must be paid not later than 45 days prior to the commencement of the tour. All payments are to be made in New Zealand Dollars by way of electronic banking or credit card. Failure to pay timeously will result in the cancellation of the tour and forfeiture by you of the deposit.

3.5   If you wish to vary the tour booking in any way, you must request it in writing. Any such variation/s may incur additional costs and any additional extras will increase the original contract price. You must pay any such additional costs before the tour commences and you acknowledge that our agreeing to any variations or extras is entirely within our discretion and that we are not obliged to accept any such variations or extras.          

3.6   You accept and acknowledge that certain costs are not included in the contract price and remain your responsibility such as the cost of insurances, insurance cover for cancellation, repatriation costs, medical expenses, emergency evacuation, gratuities and beverages, optional meals and any optional excursion not reflected on the booking reservation. Meals are not included in the price unless otherwise stated. We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance.

3.7   All accommodation prices listed on the website are based on twin/double occupation, unless otherwise specified. Any cost incurred by the hotel resulting from any act or damage to the hotel will be payable by you. We will not be liable for any loss, theft or damage of personal belongings while staying in one of our accommodation options

 

4.0          Cancellations and refunds

4.1   If you wish to cancel a booked tour, you must notify us in writing and the date of receipt by us of your notice of cancellation will be deemed to be the date of cancellation. Cancellation fees will apply.

4.2   The following are the cancellation fees that will apply:

  • Where the date of cancellation is a date 45 days or more before the start of the tour, the cancellation fee will be equivalent to the deposit paid
  • Where the date of cancellation is a date 30 to 45 days before the start of the tour the cancellation fee shall be 25% of the contract price
  • Where the date of cancellation is a date 7 to 30 days before the start of the tour the cancellation fee shall be 50% of the contract price
  • Where the date of cancellation is a date 7 days or less before the start of the tour the cancellation fee shall be 100% of the contract price

4.3   The cancellation fee is due and payable on the date of cancellation and we have the right to take such fees from the deposit or from any other monies paid by you. If payment is not made in full promptly on the due date, you will be liable to pay penalty interest at the rate of 2% per calendar month from the due date until the date those monies are paid in full, together with all or any costs (including solicitor and own client costs) incurred by us in collecting any such payment from you.   

4.4   No refunds will be made once travel has commenced, or where you fail to show up at a particular activity/meeting point/accommodation.

4.5   Refunds may be made at our discretion as a result of weather conditions, natural disasters, or lack of availability of services. You accept and agree that there may be some variance in the amount refunded compared to the amount initially charged due to exchange rate fluctuations, and we accept no liability for any such fluctuations or any subsequent card/bank

5.0          Liability and ACC

5.1   Whilst we fully accept our obligations under the CGA and undertake to exercise reasonable care and skill in performing the services we are contracted to perform for you:

        5.1.1  You acknowledge that activities such as skydiving, jet boating, bungee jumping, horse riding and any other activities of an adventurous nature, carry inherit risks and that you   undertake any such activities entirely at your own risk and will sign all or any indemnities presented to you by our agents or third party operators; and    

        5.1.2  We shall not be liable in any way if we are unable to perform our obligations as a result of circumstances beyond our reasonable control such as fire, floods, earthquakes, strikes, lock outs, and delays or breakdowns in transport; and

        5.1.3  We shall not be liable whether in contract or in tort for any loss or damage resulting from injury or death or theft whilst you are on tour, either in connection with any activities undertaken by you or services performed by any of our employees or agents, or otherwise.

5.2   In the event of any personal injury caused by accident, compensation cover is available through ACC in New Zealand. However, you acknowledge and understand that ACC cannot be sued for personal injury - ACC replaces that right. ACC also only covers treatment costs whilst in NZ and does not count as a replacement for travel insurance.

5.3   For the avoidance of any doubt, we shall not be liable under any circumstances for any consequential, indirect or special damages or loss of any kind whatsoever nor shall we be liable for any damage or loss caused by our agents, contractors or other persons whomsoever.

 

6.0   Documents

6.1   You are responsible for carrying valid travel documents, such as passports and visas, and a valid driver’s licence.

6.2   In the event that you are refused entry to New Zealand for whatever reason, no refund will be made.

 

7.0   Car/Camper rentals

7.1   In the event that the travel package includes the rental of a car or camper, you will be subject to the terms and conditions provided by the rental agency, which terms and conditions will be provided by the agent on its website. It is your responsibility to read and understand those terms and conditions.

7.2   Hire includes unlimited kilometres and basic daily insurance. An excess applies to all rentals. The amount of excess depends on type of vehicle.

7.3   The Excess may be reduced to nil by including Accident Excess Reduction in our quote. You can also purchase excess reduction directly with the rental agency upon arrival.

7.4   All drivers must be 21 years old and over. There is no maximum age for drivers providing they hold a full, valid driver’s licence. All  drivers must present a valid full national driving licence which has been held for at least one year and a current International Driving Licence must accompany driving licences issued in a language other than English

 

8.0   Third party services

8.1    Many activities offered during the tour or which can be booked individually are operated by independent companies. These companies have been carefully selected by us and are well established, professional companies who assume all responsibility for their safety and satisfactory delivery.

8.2   We only act as your agent in procuring these 3rd party services. The third party suppliers are not our agents and we shall not under any circumstances be liable for their acts and omissions

 

9.0   Special requests/complaints

9.1   We will endeavour to accommodate any special requests made by you provided that you must advise us of any special request at the time of booking, and provided further that we accept no liability in this regard.

9.2   Any complaints that you may have in regard to the services we provide must be made by you in writing, and no later than 30 days after your return home. We will endeavour to resolve any complaint in a timely fashion.

 

10.0   Governing Law

10.1   These terms and conditions will be interpreted in accordance with and governed by the laws of New Zealand and the New Zealand courts will have exclusive jurisdiction in respect of all disputes between us arising therefrom

Custom Tour Form

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