Get outdoors and get active on this journey into New Zealand’s pristine wilderness.
Follow the ever-changing landscape, from volcanoes and lakes, to mountains and glaciers, and breathe in the fresh air as you drive, hike, walk, cruise, swim and jet boat your way around the beautiful Kiwi countryside.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of New Zealand’s best walks
- See the frozen crevasses of Franz Josef Glacier up close
- Kayak and walk the glorious coastline of Abel Tasman National Park
- Keep an eye out for dolphins on a cruise of Doubtful Sound
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- Indirect international flights
- 11 nights in 4–4.5* hotels
- 12 days' car hire
- Premium Tongariro Guided Walk
- Glacier Valley Walk
- Dart River Wilderness Jet
- Wilsons Abel Tasman 3 day guided Kayak & Walk
- Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
- Wellington to Picton ferry
- Airport transfers
Need to know+
- Arrives: Auckland Airport (AKL)
- Time difference: GMT+13
- Visa requirements: British passport holders do not require a visa
- Language: English and Maori
- Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)
- Flying time from UK: around 27 hours
- Plug type: 3-prong flat blade plug
- Voltage: 240 volts/50 cycles
Fly from UK to Auckland
In a region dotted with no less than 48 volcanoes, multicultural Auckland is a thriving and exciting city, surrounded by glittering harbours and golden beaches, with a vibrant arts and culture scene. Stroll around the chilled waterfront, people-watch in buzzing Queen Street, filled with cool cafés and funky bars, browse the boutique shops of K’Road and stroll around the rose gardens and museums of Parnell.
Head on to the World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park, where you’ll stay at the beautifully situated Chateau Tongariro, which was built in 1929 and boasts a spectacular setting not far from the peaks of Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe. While you’re here, set off on New Zealand’s best one day walk, the 19km Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Take in the fabulous scenery, including coloured craters, scoured volcanic rocks, mountain springs, and brightly coloured emerald lakes.
Continue to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, for the night. Here you can soak up the vibrant culture and sample the fresh local food in one of the many restaurants. It’s a pretty place, with a lovely harbour and some attractive Victorian buildings dotted about the hillsides. While you’re in town, don’t miss Te Papa, the National Museum, which tells fascinating stories about New Zealand’s history and Maori culture.
Take the ferry to the South Island, where your next stop is the warm beaches, rugged mountains and pristine forests of sunny Nelson, home to many traditional and Maori artists. It’s definitely got a creative vibe, with studios and galleries abound. Take a look around the Miyazu Japanese Garden for a spot of peace and quiet or head to WOW The World of Wearable Art to learn more about New Zealand’s fashion scene.
Abel Tasman National Park
Head across crystal-clear turquoise seas by water taxi to nearby Abel Tasman National Park for your Wilsons Abel Tasman guided Kayak & Walk, three days of cruising the coastline, walking along the beaches and through the forests, swim in the blue waters, sailing by catamaran to Torrent Bay, and kayaking on the gently lapping waves. Follow the walking tracks to explore the varied coastline and investigate the birds and marine life of this beautiful park.
After three days of adventure, return to Nelson for another night. Take the time to see any sights you missed the first time around – perhaps head to the Suter Art Gallery to admire the 19th century artworks, or make the short walk up to the Centre of New Zealand for a pretty view of the city. In the evening, it’s a good idea to test out one or two of the myriad dining options – why not try the deliciously fresh Nelson Bay scallops for dinner overlooking the bay?
Continue south to the icy formations and frozen landscape of the Franz Josef Glacier, located just outside the cosy little town of the same name. Franz Josef is one of the most visited glaciers in New Zealand, and for good reason. This stunning frozen formation is 7.5 miles long, descends to less than 300 metres above sea level and is surrounded by lush rainforest, making for an incredible sight. Here you’ll participate in a scenic Glacier Valley Walk, walking along the river to the dramatic face of the ice.
Your next stop is New Zealand’s adrenaline-fuelled capital Queenstown, where you can scare yourself silly with a range of adventurous activities – there’s everything from bungee jumping and jet boating, to skiing and river rafting, all topped off with a pulsating nightlife. The town has a stunning setting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by majestic mountains which are best appreciated from the Skyline Gondola.
Set off on an overnight trip to Doubtful Sound. You’ll travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu for your cruise on board the Fiordland Navigator. You’ll traverse the fiord, past coves and waterfalls, while keeping an eye out for bottlenose dolphins and fur seals, plus the occasional crested or little blue penguin. Once you’ve moored for the night, you can explore by kayak or, if you’re feeling brave, a refreshing dip in the cool waters before dinner. Return to Queenstown the following day.
Back in Queenstown, you’ll return to the water with a ride on the Dart River Wilderness jet. First, you’ll drive the very scenic route to Glenorchy and then you’ll be treated to 90 minutes of high speed wilderness jet boating along the Dart River into the Te Waipounamu World Heritage Area, where you’ll learn about the local flora and fauna with your guide. After all that excitement, return to Queenstown and relax by the lake with a cool glass of New Zealand sauvignon.
Depart Queenstown and return to the UK
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