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Grand Kiwi (ex. Auckland) 2017-18

From US$ 2,184
  • No booking or credit card fees
  • E-ticket/Mobile voucher
highlights
  • Explore Tongariro National Park and Lake Taupo
  • Wine tasting in Marlborough
  • Stay in Fox Glacier
  • Kiwi farm experience in Fairlie
The Grand Kiwi (ex. Auckland) 2017-18 tour starts in Auckland and ends in Christchurch. The Grand Kiwi (ex. Auckland) 2017-18 is a Explorer tour that takes 18 days taking you from Auckland to Christchurch and 11 other destinations. The Grand Kiwi (ex. Auckland) 2017-18 includes trip leader, accommodation, meals, transport and some activities. Please see the Includes section for details.

Discover the very best of New Zealand on Topdeck's Grand Kiwi trip between Auckland and Christchurch. From North Island's Bay of Islands and Tongariro National Park to South Island's Milford Sound and Fox Glacier, New Zealand's incredibly diverse natural beauty is revealed. Visit cool Wellington, quaint Christchurch and adventure capital Queenstown; anyone for a bungy jump?! As the locals would say, Topdeck’s Grand Kiwi is sweet as bro!
Day 1 Auckland to Bay of Islands

Steal away from 'the maiden with a thousand lovers' (aka Auckland) and become a tree-hugging hippie as you wrap your arms around NZ's botanical elder, the Kauri tree. James Cook named our next stop the 'Bay of Islands'. Well, you know what to expect. Seeing all 144 islands might take a while, so grab the optional 'Rock the Boat' island tour for 24 solid hours cruising and snorkeling the archipelago. Instagram your first Pacific sunset then get your mind blown by the southern night sky. You could get used to this.

**Pre-book your Rock the Boat trip to secure a spot as spaces fill up quickly. All meals, epic company and good times included.

Included today:
-Parry Kauri Park

Optional activities:
-Rock The Boat trip

Day 2 Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is big on numbers: 144 islands, 90 miles of beach in one stretch, and 100-metre high Te Paki sand dunes ready for some serious sand boarding action. Get a dose of Kiwi history at the Waitangi Treaty house or in Russell-NZ's first capital then grab a kayak and paddle under the Haruru Falls. We're having fish and chips for dinner so good thing you did all that exercise.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Cape Reinga
-Hole in the Rock
-Dolphin sailing
-Kayak Hururu Falls
-Waitangi Treaty House
-Parasailing

Day 3 Auckland

NZ is so gorgeous it has waterfalls like Whangarei hidden just off the highway. We'll make a pit stop to walk to the falls on our way back to Auckland. Maori legends and mythology have been passed down for thousands of years. You have one night in this sacred meeting house, so pay attention. After learning the tongue-thrusting Haka dance moves of the All Blacks and the finesse of the ladies' Poi dance, you'll polish off a traditional maori dinner and end the night feeling like a local. You lucky thing, you.

Included today:
-Maori Marae cultural talks
-Haka & Poi class

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Day 4 Rotorua

Mud, Middle Earth and massages are the order of the day in the bubbling, sulphur-soaked town of Rotorua. If you're starting to resemble a muddy prune, flush out the mud rafting over the waterfalls, discover the Disneyland of mountain biking, or jump into the real-life landscapes of Tolkien's dreams on the Hobbiton Shire escape.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Hobbiton tour
-Whitewater rafting
-Te Puia Maori Thermal Grounds
-Hells Gate Mud Baths
-Canopy tours
-Ogo
-Mountain biking
-Day spas & massage

Day 5 Rotorua to Tongariro National Park

Geothermal activity gets turned up to 11 with bubbling mud pools, and if that's not enough, you can jump off a bridge as we pass by the largest lake in New Zealand. Lake Taupo was formed by an explosion that extended the Ice Age, so yeah, it's pretty big. It's also time to meet the dessert that's caused a battle between NZ and Australia since someone whipped an egg white: the pavlova.

Included today:
-Huka Falls
-Lake Taupo

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Taupo bungy jump

Day 6 Tongariro National Park

With dual cultural and natural heritage status, and often described as the most epic hike in NZ, Tongariro NP is home to two active volcanoes that will hopefully keep a lid on things. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing will quickly top your list of favourites if you don't mind heights and the odd dormant lava chamber (and walks from 20 mins to 8 hours). Hike, raft or mountain bike then hit the spa and warm your feet by the fire in an alpine lodge overlooking Mt Doom.

Included today:
-Short walks

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Tongariro Crossing hikes
-Winter skiing
-Mountain biking

Day 7 Tongariro National Park to Wellington

From hiking over lava to readjusting to city life, today we hit the nation's capital, Wellington (no, it's not Auckland!). After you conquer the six floors of the Te Papa museum, you'll probably be ready for a big city nightlife hit. With more bars and restaurants per capita than New York and a well-earned spot as the sporting capital of NZ, you can't go wrong with a craft beer and some local rugby action.

Included today:
-Te Papa Museum
-Wellington city tour including Mt Victoria

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 8 Wellington to Nelson

Ferry across the Cook Strait through Marlborough Sounds and into the arms of the world's best Sauvignon Blanc for a private tasting in a family-owned vineyard. Work out how many bottles you can fit in your suitcase without breaking your back. With postcard-perfect vistas and 35,000 hectares under vines, it's a slice of heaven.

Included today:
-Cook Strait ferry crossing
-Marlborough wine tasting

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 9 Nelson

Dense forest, snow-capped mountains and acres of pinot noir grapes. Green, white and red... no wonder Nelson has been referred to as the Naples of the southern hemisphere. Throw clay or wield a paintbrush in the creative artist hub. Skydive, kayak or take a hike through the mountains, forests and waters of
Abel Tasman National Park. Or go treasure hunting in Nelson's galleries. Round out the day with a traditional Kiwi BBQ dinner catered by yours truly. Not bad, Nelson. Not bad.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Abel Tasman National Park
-Kayaking
-Skydiving
-Horse riding
-Quad biking
-Wine & brewery tours

Day 10 Nelson to Kaikoura

More wine you say? Ok. Today we head back through the Rai Valley and Marlborough Wine Region to stop at our secret Marlborough Winery for some famous NZ wine tastings. Then it's down the coast to spy New Zealand fur seals at Ohau Point before reaching our destination at Kaikoura. This afternoon we can tackle the elements on the very scenic Kaikoura Peninsular Walk. Seafood fans can settle in for a crayfish bonanza.

Included today:
-Kaikoura Peninsula walk
-Ohau Point seal colony

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Dolphin swimming
-Whale watching
-Seal swimming
-Scenic flights over whales

Day 11 Kaikoura to Christchurch

Make some marine mates and brace yourself for the triple threat of dolphin swimming, seal swimming or whale watching. Fancy a little more altitude? Jump in an incredible whale watching scenic flight. Then on to Christchurch, which has recovered from the 2011 Earthquake and bounced back with new pop-up bars and a shopping precinct, with still more to come.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Dolphin swimming
-Whale watching
-Seal swimming
-Scenic flights over whales

Day 12 Christchurch to Fox Glacier

Roll across the pastoral patchwork quilt that forms the Canterbury Plains and watch 50 shades of green melt into snow-topped peaks. Hang out in Hokitika for whitebait fritters and Pounamu (Jade) shopping, then take your best photography shot of NZ's two tallest mountain peaks reflected in Lake Matheson for the #picoftheday. Excited? You should be.

Included today:
-Lake Matheson walk

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Day 13 Fox Glacier to Queenstown

Today's your chance to walk on water. Well, frozen glacial water to be precise. Scale a mountain in minutes to get amongst ethereal ice caves and formations. With barely enough time to let your heart rate slow, we journey back through the mountains past Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. Feel your pulse start to quicken as we roll into Queenstown.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Fox Glacier hikes
-Helicopter scenic flights
-Glacier transfers

Day 14 Queenstown

Here's some basic math: Queenstown has over 220 activities-you have two days. No rush. This lakeside city has adrenaline on tap and will match any adventure you had in mind and then throw a Fergburger (amazing Queenstown burger place) in there for good measure. Get your fix with bungy, a narrow canyon swing, Shotover Jet, or paragliding, hiking, horse riding and the skyline gondola. If you're bored here, there's something wrong. Need some time out? Head to the Kiwi Birdlife Park, or kick back with a local pinot.

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Optional activities:
-Jet boating
-Bungy jumping
-Canyon swinging
-Horse riding
-Skydiving
-Skiing in winter
-Wine tours
-Hang-gliding
-Zip lining
-Birdlife Park
-Whitewater rafting

Day 15 Queenstown

Free day, take two. Jump off more stuff or chill out and let your pulse drop. Your call.

Meals:
-Breakfast

Optional activities:
-Jet boating
-Bungy jumping
-Canyon swinging
-Horse riding
-Skydiving
-Skiing in winter
-Wine tours
-Hang-gliding
-Zip lining
-Birdlife Park
-Whitewater rafting

Day 16 Queenstown to Fiordland

By now you might be becoming a little desensitised to the otherworldly beauty of NZ but when you see the Fjords for the first time, it's okay to enter a total Instagram meltdown! Carved by glaciers during the ice age, the Milford Sound comes complete with seals, dolphins and thundering waterfalls. Steeped in
Maori myth, this is a history and geology lesson rolled into one, minus the homework.

Included today:
-Milford Sound Nature Cruise
-Fiordland National Park Walks

Meals:
-Breakfast

Day 17 Fiordland to Lake Ohau

Back in the heyday of Arrowtown, everyone was here for the gold. Recharge your batteries with venison burgers and a central Otago pinot noir in Arrowtown then zigzag across the five bridges that span the ever-changing Arrow River. Test your nerves on the suspension bridge then chill out by the crystal clear river waters while you catch your breath. Cue relaxation and a chance to practice your stone-skimming skills in Lake Ohau.

Included today:
-Mountain bike ride (13km/2hrs) along Arrow River

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Dinner

Day 18 Lake Ohau to Christchurch

Lap up Lake Pukaki under the shadow of Mt Cook. It's about as Kiwi as 'fush and chups' (fish and chips with a local accent). Then shift into sheep country, where these furry things outnumber humans 12:1. It makes sense that today includes the Church of the Good Shepherd, a monument to the faithful sheep dog and a chance to watch them in action on a Kiwi farm. Then back to into the city of Churches as our trip winds to a close.

Included today:
-Mt Cook Village (weather dependant)
-Scenic walks

Meals:
-Breakfast
-Afternoon tea

what’s included
  • 17 breakfasts, 1 afternoon tea, 7 dinners
  • 15 nights in hotels, motels & lodges, 1 night in a hostel & 1 night in a traditional Maori Marae
  • Cook Strait ferry crossing
  • Modern air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi
  • Awesome Trip Leader + Driver
  • Other services as per the itinerary
what’s excluded
    International Flights
  • Any international flights to Auckland and from Christchurch are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Grand Kiwi (ex. Auckland) 2017-18 tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Tour Type Group Tour
Duration 18 days
guiding method Live guide/instructor
guide language English
meeting/Start point Auckland, New Zealand
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Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Grand Kiwi (ex. Auckland) 2017-18
Good to know Travel Insurance

The Grand Kiwi (ex. Auckland) 2017-18 tour requires that you have a travel insurance covering emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Payment

Bookmundi only requires a deposit of 81 USD to confirm this tour. For any departures before 18 January 2017 full payment is required.

Visa

For this Grand Kiwi (ex. Auckland) 2017-18 tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Availability
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Cancellation No additional cancellation fees apply for this Grand Kiwi (ex. Auckland) 2017-18 tour. You can cancel the tour up to 43 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 43 days of departure.
other information
Topdeck / Product Category: Explorer
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