Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour

Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour

  • Auckland
  • Auckland
  • 23 days
  • 5 / 5.0 (14 reviews)
  • from NZD$5,485.00

Main Highlights

  • Explore both islands
  • Camp in gorgeous locations
  • Visit NZs top 5 National Parks
  • See 2 World heritage sites
  • Join cycle trails
  • Complete the Tongariro Crossing
  • Discover geothermal Rotorua
  • Visit the capital city Wellington
  • Bungy in Queenstown
  • Optional Routeburn Track
  • See the Milford Sound
  • Book heaps of optional activities

THE BEST OF BOTH ISLANDS - A TOTAL NEW ZEALAND ADVENTURE: 

Our Total Aotearoa tour covers all the main attractions and takes you to some stunning places that are off the tourist trails. We cram a lot into 23 days but here are some of our customers favourites:

- Exploring the country's best National Parks:  A department of conservation license ensures we have access to the best spots and means that you'll get a chance to explore the most amazing locations.  From New Zealand's highest peak at Mount Cook to one of the world's best one day walks: the Tongariro Crossing, you'll be immersed in the most incredible natural beauty.

- Sleeping under the stars to the sound of the ocean:  Does this sound like a bit of you?  if you love wide open spaces, clean fresh air, spectacular views and sitting around the campfire with mates then you'll love our accommodation.  In addition to camp tents there are options to upgrade to cabins at most of the campsite we stay at so you can decide how much of the outdoors you'd like.

- Everything from dolphin swimming to bungy jumping:  New Zealand is an outdoor paradise and for 30 years we've been finding the best adventures to throw ourselves into.  On this tour you'll have the chance to try as much as you can handle - highlights include dolphin swimming, black water rafting, skydiving, canyoning, paddle boarding, surfing, hiking on a glacier, sailing and so much more. Check our activity page for more details.

- Optional hikes and bike rides everyday:  Our unique trip style gives you the chance to try a huge variety of walks from 10 minutes to 3 days!  For bike rides you'll have the chance to take easy, short downhill rides or challenging off-road tracks - just choose your favourites and go! All walks and rides will offer spectacular views and lifelong memories.

- Get to know the locals:  We love New Zealand and we want you to get to know all about our history, culture and people.  Our knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories with you whilst the trip style gets you away from tourist crowds to locations where you'll hang out and mix with the locals!

kayaking on tour in the abel tasman

Escaping the crowds in Abel Tasman by The Planet D

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

- Accommodation: Included is your accommodation at our carefully selected campsites staying in a shared tent, two people per tent. You can upgrade to your own tent if you prefer.

- Food: We enjoy good food and we supply tasty & healthy meals suitable for all diets as well as hot drinks. Check your trip itinerary to see how many meals your tour includes.

- Use of sports equipment on board: Bodyboards, frisbees and more are supplied (dependent on the bus)

- Hikes: There are heaps of free hikes included in this trip.  View a few of our favourites here.

- Museums and National Parks:  Kiwis are a generous bunch - there are no costs to access the national museum or our national parks.

- Seafood Feast:  We enjoy great food on our trips but in Kaikoura we treat you all to a fresh seafood feast (priceless!) from one of the best seafood locations in New Zealand.  Trust us, this is a meal not to be missed!

- Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland: Wai-o-tapu is New Zealand’s most colourful geothermal area featuring unique volcanic activity, bubbling mud pools, and steaming geysers.

- Wine Tasting in Marlborough: The Sauvignon Blanc wines of Marlborough are internationally recognised - tastings are on us in our specially arranged wine tasting experience.

Cook Strait Ferry Crossing: Sit back and relax on the 3 hour scenic crossing between the North and South islands through the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Keep your eyes peeled for whales & dolphins.

A few more of our free inclusions are Tongariro, Abel Tasman, Paparoa, Westland Tai Poutini, Aoraki Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring & Fiordland National Parks, dig your own thermal pool on Hot Water beach (we provide the spades!), the full-day Tongariro Crossing hike (bus transfer not included), Te Papa museum, Wellington Botanical Gardens, Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo, Otago Early Settlers museum, Lake Matheson mirror lake walk, Hokitika greenstone factory, Punakaiki Pancake rocks and blowholes and of course amazing sunrises and sunsets at beautiful beachside campsites!

Our activities page above gives more detail on many of the free and optional activities that you might choose to do on your tour.

hiking the routeburn track on tour

Hiking the Routeburn track by Brian Guest

HOW IT WORKS AND ACCOMMODATION:  

Campsites: We use a carefully chosen mixture of bush and more commercial campsites.  All have facilities but you will find the bush camps to be a little more basic (although their locations are always the most spectacular).  Cabin upgrades are available most nights for a taste of rural luxury and don't worry if the weather is bad, we'll find alternatives.

Hostels: There are two nights where camping isn’t feasible and we stay in hostel dorm rooms.

For more useful information visit our How It Works page.

  1. We leave Auckland at 8am and drive south towards the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel is a popular holiday spot for us Kiwi’s and it's not hard to see why. With stunning white sandy beaches, dense fern forests and a rich history of both Maori and European settlement, the Coromandel Peninsula is the perfect place to start your trip!

    After a lunch stop in the seaside town of Tairua, we'll travel to Hahei Beach - the gateway to Cathedral Cove. You can either walk along the coastline or get stuck in to the first optional activity on your trip with one of the best sea kayak options in the country. Cathedral Cove has a stunning limestone archway that featured as the gateway to Narnia in the movie 'Prince Caspian' and is a great place take a dip in the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean before heading back to Hahei and on to camp at another iconic location, Hot Water Beach. Our campground is a short walk away from the beach where, at low tide, you can grab a shovel and head down to dig your very own hot pool in the sand! This is all thanks to a unique geothermal reservoir of hot water under the sand, what a way to round off your first day on tour!

    • Meals: Dinner
    • Bike Rides: 8km Road Cycling
    • Walks and Hikes: Stunning Coastal Walk to Cathedral Cove
    • Optional Activities: Sea Kayaking
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
  2. After breakfast we'll start our journey towards the central area of the North Island but before that, we'll explore a little more of the Coromandel Peninsula. We'll drive down to the historic gold mining town of Waihi and take a look at the huge 'Martha's Mine', a working gold mine! Afterwards, the cyclists among us will have the chance to ride a section of the Hauraki Rail Trail and the rest of us will head to the Karangahake Gorge for an historic walk. We'll look through the ‘windows of the past’ of the mining history and see some pretty spectacular landscapes along the way. When everyone is back together we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch in the gorge before continuing on to Rotorua.

    There are heaps optional activities in Rotorua including a zipline eco tour, zorbing, luging or relaxing in a thermal spa. If you'd prefer to explore the natural geothermal features of the area, there's plenty of world famous bike trails and walks in the area too. In the evening, we recommend immersing yourself in Maori culture at the Tamaki Village where you'll learn about Maori culture, experience an equally stunning and terrifying Haka and feast on a traditional Hangi meal.

    There’s a lot to pack into one day but we promise it’ll leave you wanting more!

    • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
    • Bike Rides: Hauraki Rail Trail and the Whakarewarewa Forest Park
    • Walks and Hikes: The Windows Walk in Karangahake Gorge and short walks in Rotorua
    • Optional Activities: Hobbiton, Tamaki Maori Village, OGO, Luge, hot pools, Zipline Canopy Tour
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 - 4 hours
  3. We begin the day with a short drive to visit some of the North Island's most impressive geothermal sites. We'll see bubbling mud pools, a huge Geyser and then take some time to explore the Wai o Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, home to an impressive array of multi coloured rock formations and pools created by superheated water bringing minerals to the surface creating this otherworldly landscape.

    Our next stop on the way into Taupo is the mighty Huka Falls, an impressive waterfall found along the Waikato river. This is also our drop off point for those wanting to go white water rafting or skydiving! If you’re not doing these activities there's a great walk or a bike ride into the city along the river's edge - be sure  to stop off at the natural hot spring along the way or get an adrenaline buzz from the Taupo bungy which is conveniently located on your way into town. You’ll have some time in Taupo to grab some lunch and check out New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo, before we make our way to camp later that afternoon. 

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Huka Falls Trail and Taupo Lake Front
    • Walks and Hikes: Walk along the edge of the Waikato River from Huka Falls stopping off at thermal stream before exploring Taupo
    • Optional Activities: Skydiving, bungy, giant swing, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland (free - this one is on us)
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2 hours
  4. Voted one of the best day hikes in the world, today's 19.4km walk takes in some of New Zealand’s most impressive and diverse landscapes. The challenging Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike covers a small section of the country’s oldest national park and dual UNESCO world heritage area, the Tongariro National Park. On a fine day you’ll be able to see Mt Ruapehu, the North Island's highest peak which stands at a towering 2797 metres. You'll also be able to see Mt Ngauruhoe, which featured in Lord of the Rings as Mount Doom.

    If you'd prefer not to do this hike, there's cycle options or a walk along the Tongariro river where you'll have a beautiful mountainous backdrop. When everyone is back together after the hike we'll start making our way to our camp, situated along the Kapiti Coast.

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Tongariro River Trail if not doing the Tongariro Crossing
    • Walks and Hikes: Tongariro Crossing! Best day hike in NZ traversing active volcanoes in Tongariro National Park
    • Optional Activities: Tongariro Crossing, white water rafing (grade 3 rapids)
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 5 hours
  5. This morning it's a short drive to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city! We'll arrive before 9am giving you most of the day to explore the Te Papa Museum, Zealandia and the Botanical Gardens. The capital is also home to the Beehive, our government building, as well as great shopping areas and a thriving café culture to explore - Wellington is renowned for serving NZ's best cup of coffee.

     

    Later on we’ll be travelling across the Cook Strait by ferry to the South Island. The ferry takes approximately 3 hours and is very scenic, particularly as the boat makes its way through the Marlborough sounds just before reaching Picton. The rolling green hills offer a stark contrast to the blue waters of the sound and make for a magical sight. If you can, make your way outside and try and spot dolphins playing in the sounds.

     

    Camping isn’t possible tonight so we'll stay at a great hostel with various room options, we’ve booked everyone's dorm beds so there’s no need to do anything.

     

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: None today as you’ll be too sore from Tongariro and there’s lots to see in Wellington city!
    • Walks and Hikes: You’ll have plenty of time on your feet exploring the coolest capital, Wellington!
    • Optional Activities: Te Papa museum (free), WLG city tour, Zealandia, cable car
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 1 hour + 3 hour ferry crossing
  6. We'll depart Picton and travel through the Marlborough region towards the coast where the views of the Pacific Ocean are complemented by the mountains in the distance. Along this stretch of coastline, we’ll make a stop for lunch and try to spot the native Fur Seals that often relax on the rocks in front of the ocean.

    Kaikoura is all about the ocean and offers options to go whale watching, sea kayaking and fishing. If you’d prefer to explore the area on foot, there's a great walk around the peninsula or you can hop on your bike and take in the views on two wheels.

    Our camp tonight is down at the beach and we’ll be preparing a fresh seafood meal to complement the area's abundant sea life (unless of course you don't eat seafood, in which case we'll prepare something equally delicious for you). 

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Explore the scenery of Kaikoura by bike
    • Walks and Hikes: Walk the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway where you’ll see a vast coastline, the Kaikoura Ranges, and some pretty cute seals - expect to take lots of snaps!
    • Optional Activities: Whale watching, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  7. This morning you'll have the opportunity to take part in one of the most popular activities in New Zealand: swimming with dusky dolphins! It’s an early start but it’s a great way to begin your day from the epic sunrise to swimming with wild dolphins, this is the kind of once in a lifetime experience you won't soon forget. For those of us who aren't swimming, we’ll have a leisurely breakfast and the chance to explore Kaikoura before heading south to Christchurch.

    We’ll arrive in Christchurch in time for lunch and you’ll have a couple of hours to explore the city that's still on the mend after two major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Evidence of these earthquakes can be found all over, but there's also some new and exciting rebuilding happening. Visit the restart mall, made from shipping containers which were brought in shortly after the quakes, check out the botanical gardens and see the remains of the Christchurch Cathedral which famously collapsed during the earthquakes.

    After leaving Christchurch we'll start heading towards the mountains and across the Canterbury plains, a flat open area of farmland. Tonight we'll stay in Peel Forest, close to the Rangitata river. 

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Cycle into camp along a quite country road through fields of cows, sheep and deer with a mountainous backdrop
    • Walks and Hikes: The Peninsula Walkway is a must if you missed it yesterday! You’ll also have plenty of time on your feet when we stop through Christchurch to check out the awesome rebuild of Christchurch city!
    • Optional Activities: Dolphin swimming, dolphin viewing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 - 5 hours
  8. Wake up to mountain views and try white water rafting on the mighty Rangitata River! If rafting isn’t for you, soak it all in with a morning cycle or walk through Peel forest. We then head through more jaw dropping landscapes (they don’t stop in the South Island) to the picture postcard, Lake Tekapo.  Here you will view the most spectacular turquoise waters which get their colour from the glacial flour brought down from the rivers flowing from glaciers high up in the mountains.

    Relax in the nearby hot pools or enjoy star gazing at the Mt John Observatory and make the most of staying in an International Dark Sky Reserve, plus there are plenty of hike and cycle options to choose from. 

    • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
    • Bike Rides: If you're not rafting in the morning hop on your bike and head to the Peel Forest walks. In the afternoon enjoy the trails at Lake Tekapo Regional Park then ride to camp
    • Walks and Hikes: A variety of walk options today including the protected conifers of Peel Forest and then this afternoon you'll have some time to walk along the edge an incredible glacial lake or walk to the Mt John Observatory and take in 360 degree views of Tekapo
    • Optional Activities: White water rafting (grade 5 rapids!), horse-riding, Mt John Observatory tour
    • Available Upgrades: Yes - limited options
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2 hours
  9. Immerse yourself in the snow-capped mountain scenery that New Zealand is famous for and explore Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain following a trail up the Hooker valley where you’ll cross swing bridges and get stunning views of the mountains before finishing up at a glacial lake with views of the Hooker Valley glacier. We then travel back towards the Pacific coast for a quick stop in the historic town of Oamaru before continuing onwards to the small village of Moeraki. Walk to a great view point offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and try to spot a little Blue Penguin along the shore. If you have a bike it’s possible to visit a colony of extremely rare Yellow-eyed Penguins near to camp. 

     

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: During the afternoon you can ride a short section of the Alps2ocean trail followed by a ride out to Katiki Point Lighthouse where you'll find a Yellow-eyed penguin colony
    • Walks and Hikes: Enjoy walking into the start of Mt Cook National Park in Hooker Valley. A three hour return hike, you’ll be blown away by the mountainous landscape not to mention a glacier during the hike.
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 hours
  10. If the tide is low then we can walk along the beach to the mysterious Moeraki boulders. These perfectly round spheres of rock have formed over millions of years and have found their way onto the beach near Moeraki and make for some fun photo opportunities.

    Afterwards it’s onto the historic Scottish city of Dunedin, the South Island's second-largest city. This southern city is home to the world’s steepest residential street and the coastline is home to some fantastic and rare wildlife. It’s possible to take a tour onto the Otago Peninsula to view some of this diverse wildlife which includes Albatross and Fur Seals. For the adventurous, why not try surfing at one of Dunedin’s best breaks! Our camp is a short distance from St. Kilda beach with a variety of restaurants close by to choose from.

     

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Ride around town from camp or out to the Otago Peninsula later in the day if you’re not doing any optional activities.
    • Walks and Hikes: You’ll feel your heart pumping through your chest as you take a stroll up the world’s steepest residential street!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  11. Today is one of our longer travel days as we drive through some of New Zealand’s most dramatic natural scenery on our way to Fiordland. Large parts of the landscape have been carved out over thousands of years to leave stunning paths that weave through snow-capped mountains. We stop briefly in Te Anau, the hub and gateway town for Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound and your last chance to get supplies for those doing the Routeburn Track tomorrow. Tonight’s camp is on the lakeside in Te Anau.

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Enjoy riding through the isolated and moody Fiordland National Park into Hollyford Valley where you’ll finish at our camp (literally away from all civilisation, it’s great!)
    • Walks and Hikes: Short walks today as we’re on a mission to get to Fiordland National Park!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 5 hours
  12. Travel one of the world’s most scenic routes into Milford Sound! Described as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. We highly recommend taking a cruise on Milford Sound where you'll see dramatic waterfalls, snow-capped peaks and have the chance to spot wildlife such as dolphins, penguins and seals! As it’s just the one road in and out, we head back along the same breath-taking route to our lakeside camp in Te Anau. Along the way, we drop off those doing the 3-day Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks. This 3-day hike passes through two National Parks and is a haven for native birdlife. Charge up your camera as this hike offers everything from mountainous peaks and sheer rock faces to pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls and dense, luxuriant forest.  

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and lunch
    • Bike Rides: Leisurely ride along the lakefront of Lake Te Anau and up alongside a river before looping back to camp. Go as little or as far as you please.
    • Walks and Hikes: Explore the lakefront of Te Anau in the afternoon once we are out of Fiordland National Park. Routeburn three day hike for those who have pre-booked!
    • Optional Activities: Milford boat cruise, Routeburn Track, Te Anau glow worm caves & boat ride
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  13. Today we journey to Queenstown along the shores of the photogenic Lake Wakatipu. Once we arrive at the adventure capital of New Zealand you have a huge selection of activities to choose from. There is everything here, from adrenalin pumping bungy, canyon swing and skydiving to a relaxing horse trek or boat cruise – this place has it all. There are great tracks around the lake ideal for bikers and hikers and all with wonderful views of this alpine region.  Camping isn’t feasible in this bustling alpine village, for the next two nights we stay in dorm-share accommodation (cost included) in a centrally located hostel. Perfect for making the most of all Queenstown has to offer.

     

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Queenstown offers a variety of different trails, so head out on your bike once we arrive in town
    • Walks and Hikes: Plenty of walks we can recommend once we have arrived in Queenstown. If you’re into taking on a hill for views or leisure lakefront strolling, Queenstown won’t disappoint!
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on! You are in the adventure capital of the world!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limted options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 2.5 hours
  14. With so much to do we spend the full day in fantastic Queenstown with the opportunity to enjoy those once in a lifetime experiences (don’t forget to try the legendary and very tasty Fergburger!). Routeburn Track walkers rejoin the group here at midday with time to try some of the many exciting activities this vibrant city has to offer. Tonight, we dine out at one of Queenstown’s many delicious eateries - a great chance for your group to enjoy a true kiwi feast (own cost).  

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Awesome bike options if you have a free day you can choose short or longer cycling experiences that will take you past jaw dropping landscapes, vineyards, great cafes and more!
    • Walks and Hikes: Plenty of mountains you can hike to enjoy inspirational views of Lake Wakatipu and the alpine surrounds!
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on! You are in the adventure capital of the world!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: No Driving today
  15. Our final morning in Queenstown and your last chance to indulge in the Queenstown’s action before we farewell those finishing their tour and welcome new travellers joining us here. Leaving at 2:30pm, after the thrills and spills of Queenstown we travel past mountains and on towards stunning glacial lakes. On the final stretch to camp we start getting views of Mt Aspiring National Park in the distance. Lake Wanaka is just over the next ridge and it’s on the edge of this glacial lake that we find our next wilderness camp. Enjoy great views of Lake Wanaka and the mountains beyond as we absorb the beauty of the area. 

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: You can make the most of the Queenstown bike trails before we leave at 2.30pm and you can ride into camp later in the day along the edge of Lake Wanaka
    • Walks and Hikes: Lakefront walks or other walks you may have missed yesterday when doing activities.
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on!
    • Available Upgrades: No - beautiful lakeside camp with National park views
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  16. Enjoy a relaxed morning at our lakeside camp then it's northward bound through Mt Aspiring National Park. Just before we reach the West Coast, we stop for a walk to the amazing Blue Pools, and then head over the dramatic Haast Pass. As we travel towards the wild West Coast, the road follows braided rivers and huge glacier carved valleys. There are two more great walk options along the way, one through lush and ancient forests and the other through swampy vegetation, ending on the beach where it is possible to spot Hector dolphins. Tonight, we will be staying beside the beautiful Lake Paringa enjoying a true West Coast wilderness experience.  

    The wild "West Coast" refers to the beautiful and diverse area lodged between the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. This area is home to arguably the most dramatic scenery in New Zealand and the the least number of people - a perfect combination for our tours. The region is dotted with towering mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, thundering rivers and rainforest. The national parks in this region have been designated as World Heritage Areas to help keep this area of supreme natural beauty intact. Residents of the region are known as "coasters" and known for their genuine friendliness. 

    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Later in the day you have an option of a long ride into camp from Knights Point lookout to Lake Paringa
    • Walks and Hikes: There are quite a number of short walks today as we make frequent stops on this epic journey to the West Coast
    • Available Upgrades: Yes limited options
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  17. Today is your chance to explore one of NZ’s most unique and spectacular natural wonders – Franz Josef Glacier.  This staggering beautiful work of nature is 12 kilometres and descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres above sea level. To get on the ice you must go up by helicopter but it’s possible to view the glacier with a stunning walk through the main valley up to the terminal face. Before arriving at Franz Josef, we take a highly recommended walk around Lake Matheson where crystal clear reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman make the perfect photo opportunity. Late afternoon, we have a short drive up the coast to our beautiful beachside campsite next to the Okarito lagoon – one of the very few places where there are still rare sightings of our native kiwi bird and the home to NZ’s only colony of the White Heron (kotuku). Enjoy a fire down on the beach taking in the rugged coast and epic mountain views.    

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Ride along the walk/cycleway to the Glacier viewpoint. There is also a beautiful ride on the quiet road that leads to Okarito
    • Walks and Hikes: A highly recommended walk around Lake Matheson in the morning then if you're not hiking on the ice, head up to the terminal face viewpoint in the afternoon.
    • Optional Activities: Guided Heli-Hike, guided kayak tour, hot pools, skydiving
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3 hours
  18. Enjoy an early morning walk, with a view of the sunrise over the Southern Alps as a reward. We then continue up this spectacular coastal road to the quirky town of Hokitika, home to the Greenstone factories and a great place to pick up a traditional souvenir of your visit. Passing through Greymouth we keep following the coast to Punakaiki where you’ll notice a change in the landscape and vegetation with huge limestone cliffs appearing and Nikau Palm trees becoming abundant. Our beach camp has great sunsets, a beautiful river and incredible views of Paparoa National Park. The pancake rocks and blowholes are the main attraction in Punakaiki where limestone rocks are stacked on top of each other and ocean swells are forced through gaps in the rock creating a whale’s blowhole effect. In the evening, explore a cavern with some glow worms hanging out in the dark then relax at the local tavern.  

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Road ride on a stretch of highway that has been voted one of the most scenic roads in the world! Expect some hills but extensive views of coastline, totally rewarding!
    • Walks and Hikes: If you're up for an early start then head out to the okarito trig for fantastic views of the Southern Alps as the sun comes up. Once we reach Punakaiki there are a number of different trails you can explore to get the best out of our visit to Paparoa Nat
    • Optional Activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks & blow holes (free)
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours
  19. Before leaving Punakaiki we take time to explore part of the Paparoa National Park with a walk along the Pororari river or cycle up Bullock creek road to visit a cave resurgence. Leaving mid-morning we travel inland through the majestic Buller gorge and onto our favourite National Park, Abel Tasman. In one of the sunniest areas of the country you will discover beautiful secluded bays and stunning golden sand beaches. We look forward to spending 2 nights at our perfectly located camp, close to the park entrance which makes it the ideal place to explore all corners of the stunning Abel Tasman. 

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Trail, biking past a local beer brewer, local fruit and vegetable roadside stands, a hill to get those legs pumping, a brilliant mountain bike park and views of golden sand and invitingly warm waters, what more can you ask for?!
    • Walks and Hikes: Enjoy an afternoon or evening walk into Abel Tasman National Park from camp (yes that rights, it’s on your backdoor step).
    • Optional Activities: Skydiving
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: approx. 5 hours
  20. Taking time to explore arguably the best beaches and clearest waters in New Zealand - there are excellent options for everyone here. You can walk, sail or kayak around the numerous golden bays and dive into the crystal-clear waters along the way. There will be plenty of chances for wildlife spotting (dolphins, seals and even Orcas!) Explore the heart of the park on one of our most highly rated optional activities - canyoning high flow waterfalls and rapids!   

     

    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Kaiteriteri mountain bike park, cycle rides from camp if not on activities
    • Walks and Hikes: Exploring the Abel Tasman National Park - single & multi day walk options
    • Optional Activities: Multi day & single day kayaking options, canyoning, sailing, water taxi / walk, conservation projects (free), conservation tour
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: No driving today
  21. Today we head to sunny Nelson. In addition to being one of the sunniest areas of NZ its home to more than 350 working artists and craftspeople creating traditional, contemporary and Maori arts + it's a wonderful place to live! Relax and enjoy the sunshine and café culture before we depart for wine country – Marlborough, home to some of the World’s best known grapes and where we’ll treat you to a free tasting in one of their best vineyards. Finish this fantastic day with a scenic ferry (cost included) through the Marlborough sounds to Wellington - our base for the evening. Camping isn’t feasible in the heart of the nation’s capital so we will be staying in a great hostel with various room options giving you the best access to explore. We have dorm beds reserved for everyone so there’s nothing to worry about.

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Hit another section of the Great Taste Trail this morning enroute to sunshine capital, Nelson. Ride over well established boardwalks through the Tasman Estuary, keep an eye out for local birdlife, this is a really easy and relaxing ride to finish your las
    • Walks and Hikes: Walking around Nelson town in the morning before jumping back on the bus and continuing towards Picton for the ferry that will take you to the North Island.
    • Optional Activities: Wine tasting (free - this one is on us!)
    • Available Upgrades: No camping in the Capital
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 3.5 hours + 3 hour ferry crossing
  22. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast by the waterfront (own cost) and check out the sights of beautiful Wellington before we hit the road for our 11am departure. We travel up the scenic Kapiti Coast to the Taranaki region – home to wonderful beaches, crashing waves and spectacular Mount Taranaki – a perfectly formed snow-capped peak. Wellington is the nation's capital and from Maori legend its earliest name is Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui, meaning ‘the head of Maui's fish’. This relates to the legend when a giant fish was pulled to the surface by Maui, the fish became the North Island. Halfway between Wellington and Auckland we find Taranaki.

    • Meals: Dinner
    • Bike Rides: A leisurely coastal ride following the New Plymouth Walkway. Plenty of local artwork and sculptures along the ride to keep an eye out for. If it’s a clear evening, don’t miss this ride as all going well you’ll get to experience an amazing sunset.
    • Walks and Hikes: Walk some of the New Plymouth walkway in the evening from camp to capture some of the best sunsets!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes (limited options)
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 6 hours
  23. We leave camp early this morning to get to Waitomo in time for people booked onto caving adventures. This optional activity sees you gearing up in a wetsuit and being guided into the vast cave systems of Waitomo to search for the beautiful glow worms that live on the walls and ceiling of the caves. If you’re not heading into the caves we’ll send you on a great walk through some awesome limestone cliffs and through native bush before we all join up for a picnic lunch together.

    After Waitomo we’re heading to Auckland where your tour ends. We arrive in the city before 6pm.    

    • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
    • Bike Rides: If you’re not doing any Waitomo activities, jump on a bike and enjoy a countryside road ride into Waitomo. You’ll be riding through the Waikato District, home to many four legged wooly friends, sheep!
    • Walks and Hikes: Enjoy a trail walk taking you through forest in Waitomo to caves and a lookout overlooking the Waitomo district.
    • Optional Activities: Blackwater rafting, glow worm cave tour
    • Available Upgrades: No Camping in the Big City
    • Drive Distance: Approx. 4 - 5 hours

2023 TOUR PRICES:

 Tour Price

$5485

 Bike hire

$450

 Single tent upgrade 

$260

 Bring your own bike    

$230

 Sleeping bag hire

$90


2023 DEPARTURES FROM AUCKLAND

MONTH

DEPARTURE DATE

JANUARY 2023

24TH 

FEBRUARY 2023

9TH & 25TH 

MARCH 2023

13TH & 29TH

 

 

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Trip Reviews

  • It was exactly what I was looking for and the driver & guide were amazing.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 15/11/2019

  • The experience was great, Becca was amazing! Booked 4 days and stayed 25! I honestly loved the tour.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 01/03/2019

  • The knowledge shared by the guides was invaluable, learning about the wildlife, scenery and Maori culture was amazing and something we couldn't learn by ourselves.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 01/03/2019

  • Really enjoyed this trip and how much we saw in a short space of time. Really enjoyed the camping aspect and all the walks.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 01/03/2019

  • We were lucky to have an amazing group of people. The very best driver and tour guide. A very well organised trip and amazing 3 and a half weeks. This time I will keep in mind.

    , travelled Total Aotearoa - 23 day New Zealand Tour on 01/02/2019

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