- Price from:
- 1995 NZD /person
- +64 (0) 7 823 3943
- +64 (0) 7 823 3943
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- 30 days
- Location Start:
- Location Finish:
- Start time:
- 09.00 am
- End time:
- 12.00 pm
- We Speak:
Last updated: 09/15/2008
A 30 day adventure Overland tour that traverses both the North and the South Islands. Fully guided and mostly inclusive (accom, meals, highlights)on New Zealands only self sufficent overland vehicle.
Our tour starts in the cosmopolitan city of Auckland, which has a population base of 1,250,000 - over a 1/3 of New Zealand's total population. We drive along the water front towards the Harbour Bridge, heading north via the West Coast road and 'Twin Coast Discovery Highway' towards the Bay of Islands, stopping along the way to visit Tane Mahuta, New Zealand's oldest Kauri Tree, before arriving at the coastal town of Paihia.
You now have 2 days to explore the subtropical region of Northland. You can opt for a cruise though the famous "Hole in the Rock", sail to a deserted island for lunch, indulge in some deep sea fishing, try some sea kayaking or just relax on the beach. You also have the opportunity to take a trip along Ninety Mile Beach to Cape Reinga, New Zealand's Northern most point, or explore the town of Russell, New Zealand's first settlement. The Bay of Islands has great historical significance as it was the area where the first Europeans settled. It is also where the signing of the Waitangi Treaty took place on the 6th February, 1840 - and the start of an uneasy 'voyage' of New Zealand's bi-cultural society.
Today we head back down the 'Twin Coast Discovery Highway' through Whangarei and Warkworth to Leigh and the Marine Reserve of Goat Island. Here you can either take a glass bottom boat tour or for the more adventurous snorkel amongst New Zealand's abundant marine life. The sheltered channel between Goat Island and the mainland provides a opportunity to see red moki, snapper, moral eel, blue cod and of course crayfish, which is a favourite on the dinner table of upmarket restaurants. Tonight we can relax around an open fire, star gaze and listen to the relaxing sound of the ocean from our campsite.
Our first stop today as we leave Leigh is to the 'city of sails' - Auckland. We take advantage of the views from the top of Mount Eden, which is 196m high and the closest volcano to the city centre. From up here you come to terms with how this city was made from volcanic forces. 'One Tree Hill' is another land mark that you will see. The first thing you will notice is that it's a hill with no trees - as over the years, the one tree was subject to a number of vandalized attacks before being officially cut down in 1999. We now make our way east on the 'Pacific Coast Highway' to one of New Zealand's popular beach holiday destinations, Coromandel Peninsula with its beautiful sandy beaches, crashing surf, rock strewn shorelines and huge Pohutukawa trees. We make ourselves comfortable here for two nights.
Today we have the day to either explore the local area and Cathedral Cove or just relax on the beach. You can either take a leisurely walk out to the very famous Cathedral Cove or an optional half morning kayaking trip to take in the sights of this majestic rock formation. Other optional activities that can be enjoyed are snorkelling and diving.
Our day starts off with a scenic drive South via more popular white sand beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula. We then cross the heart of New Zealand's dairy farms on our way to a geothermal wonderland - Rotorua. Tonight we have an optional evening out in Rotorua
Rotorua is the thermal and volcanic capital of New Zealand, and offers endless amounts of sights and activities you can participate in. You are free to explore Rotorua as you wish. You can soak the morning away at the Polynesian Natural Thermal Pools, take a 4x4 trip up Mt Tarawera or ride the Skyline gondola, followed by a luge ride back down, or take in the spectacular wildlife amid trees and ferns at Rainbow Springs. There is also plenty of water based activities, like kayaking and rafting, or take a walking/cycle trail through the redwood forest that stands at the end of town. We then venture back in time to a Maori Village for a cultural experience of a life time, and this evening enjoy a traditional concert and Hangi (dinner cooked on hot stones in an earth oven).
This morning we take the 'Thermal Highway South.'. We can take an optional trip to the astonishing volcanic craters at Wai-O-Tapu Valley, where you can walk past the worlds largest hot springs. We will make one more stop before we reach Lake Taupo at the base of the Huka falls. Here you will see the equivalent of two Olympic size swimming pools of water tumbling over the falls every second. A short drive brings us to Lake Taupo - New Zealand's largest lake covering 619sq km, Lake Taupo was formed in AD186 by the biggest volcanic eruption in the last 5,000 years. The amount of ash that was spewed into the air was seen in China and Rome. The view across the Lake is something not to be missed with its wide open spaces, snow capped mountains and clear blue water. We then drive South East to Hawkes Bay, our destination for the following two nights and camp close to the World's biggest mainland colony of Gannets.
Hawkes Bay is New Zealand's leading food and wine region. Hawkes Bay is home to the oldest winemaker and producer of award-winning red wines. Hawkes Bay is also renowned for its world-class concentration of Art Deco Architecture, a result of rebuilding after a devastating earthquake in 1931. Your day could start off with an optional early morning hot air balloon flight over the Hawkes Bay. You then have a selection of optional activities to choose from to full your day. You could spend your day at Napier's Splash Planet theme and Water Park, take an adrenaline pumping River Gorging trip, or visit Napier's Marine land Zoo, or take a tractor ride to visit the Gannet Colony, maybe take the Hawkes Bay Wine trail or simply take a guided walk of Napier's Art Deco Architecture. Tonight we have the option of navigating and winding our way around the Amazing Maze 'n' Maize. A maze made with real live maize!!
Our journey continues south through Tararua, past the' World Famous in New Zealand' Mangatainoka's Tui Brewery and the Manawatu Gorge before we hit the capital of New Zealand. Wellington enjoys a small town atmosphere and is noted for its art and cafÃ© culture. You will have free time to visit Te Papa - The Museum of New Zealand, Wellington Cathedral, or relax in the Botanic Gardens, or take a ride on the famous cable car. Tonight we head out for a night on the town.
Today we cross the Cook Strait and enter the South Island through the scenic Marlborough Sounds, often dubbed New Zealand's 'little slice of Norway'. We arrive at Picton, the gateway to the Sounds, and make our way to Kaikoura via Marlborough which is New Zealand's top producing wine region. Here we have the chance to sample some of New Zealand's fine wines.
This morning before we depart Kaikoura we have the chance to go in search for the mighty Sperm Whale (weather permitting) - or maybe a swim with dolphins/seals in their natural environment. A drive along the Kaikoura coast and the 'Alpine Pacific Triangle' brings us to the very English looking city of Christchurch. The 'Garden City' has plenty to offer and you will have time to explore. Don't miss the Cathedral Square and the chance to meet the famous wizard! Take time out with a walk through tree lined Hagley Park which borders the city centre, and end your afternoon with a relaxed punt down the Avon River. Tonight we head into town for a bit of local culture.
We depart Christchurch and head South through the Canterbury Plains towards McKenzie Country. We stop for views along the way at Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki. We have the option of a flight over New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook, which is 3764m and produces fantastic aerial views of the mountains and surrounding areas. Tonight we spend the night at one of McKenzie Countries remote farm stations.
Today as we make our way to Dunedin, New Zealand's Scottish and Victorian City, we stop along route to see Moreraki Boulders. Formed some 60 million years ago, these boulders have long been a subject of legend and curiosity. Dunedin is at the heart of one of New Zealand's most renowned eco tourism areas. Not only can one see the world's rarest penguin's, the Royal Albatross, New Zealand's Oldest University, but the world's steepest street, and a 19th Century Castle. And let's not forget an optional tour of the Speight's Brewery, 'The Southern Man's beer'. Tonight we can enjoy a night out in this Scottish City.
We head into Southland on the 'Southern Scenic Route' towards the famous Milford Sound. We make the ascent up to the Homer Tunnel, which is 1200m long and an experience on its own. As we drive into Milford Sound you will soon understand why we have travelled so far off the beaten track to get here. Come rain or shine this is truly New Zealand at its unparalleled and glorious best. Tonight we will relax before we take in the spectacular scenery.
Today we hop aboard the 'Milford Wonderer' for a breathtaking cruise in the heart of the sounds. You will see Mitre Peak, which has a dominate presence on the skyline. Milford Sound is 15km long and about 290m at its deepest. You also have the chance to visit the 160m Bowen falls. The fiords are home to a number of different wildlife, with Fur seals commonly being seen lying about on the rocks. Here you have the option of a Helicopter Flight over Milford Sound. We head back to Te Anau, New Zealand's second largest lake. This lovely little lake side town will allow you to appreciate the spacious open areas, beautiful lake views and the amazing contrasts that the South Island has on offer.
Today we head to the adventure capital of New Zealand, where it will be time for your adrenaline to get pumping. You now have a few options available to you as we arrive into Queenstown. First, you can take time to relax and get your breath back, or you can fasten your seatbelt and indulge in the adrenaline capital of New Zealand! With the variety of activities on offer in and around Queenstown, you will be spoilt for choice. Jump off the bungee bridge, go white water rafting and follow that by a jet boat ride. When you think you have had enough, there's always more! It's out of the wet cloths and on with the dry, as we paint the town red by night. (Winter trips have the option of hitting the slopes, to catch up on some skiing).
You have the next couple of days to explore this adventure town or just relax in the array of coffee shops on and around the lakes edge; the surrounding view will see your day pass very easily.
Today we make our way to the wild and wet West Coast but first we will stop at Arrowtown, one of the first gold mining settlements in New Zealand. Its tree lined streets and historic buildings lie beautifully nestled at the foothills of the Crown Range. We will then make one more stop before arriving at Fox Glacier, and that is at Wanaka, one of the most desirable places to live in New Zealand. With Lake Wanaka lapping at the shores, the picture postcard Southern Alps as its background and bordering Aspiring National Park, you will soon feel the same way as many others. We now head through the remote area of Haast and the dense rain forests, as we make our way to the foot of Fox Glacier.
Covering 13 kilometres and descending 1200 metres, these glaciers are only 6 km from the Tasman Sea and are amongst the fastest moving in the world. Here you have the chance to partake in some optional excursions such as a guided walk on ice, or maybe you would like to experience the thrill of a helicopter flight over this amazing mass of frozen water. We now head up the West Coast to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast, where you can browse the souvenir shops for the sacred Pounamu, (Greenstone that the Maori people used for tools and weapons that was found in the West Coast Rivers).
We drive further North today towards Abel Tasman National Park stopping along the way at Paporoa National Park where you can view the stunning Pancake Rocks and blow holes of the small coastal settlement of Punakaiki. For the next two nights we camp at Marahau, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.
Today you have the option of visiting Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand's smallest National Park, but one of the most beautiful. 23,000 ha of rolling hills, native bush, hidden golden sand beaches and over 91km of coastal scenery - your day will be filled with images that will last a lifetime. This National Park can be enjoyed by walking the coastal track one way and with the return trip by launch or water taxi , or by sea kayaking the Coast and drifting slowly taking in the spectacular sights and watching dolphins, seals and the wildlife.
We make our way north today but before we leave the South Island behind us we will visit Nelson which is known as the sunniest place in the country. Nelson is a very lively and modern town and is renowned as a vibrant arts, crafts and festival centre. Once again we board our ferry to enjoy the scenery as we leave the South Island and head for Wellington. You will have time now to enjoy New Zealand's Capital city one more time.
An early start today as we make our way up the West Coast of the North Island to New Plymouth and the solitary dormant volcano, Mount Taranaki, standing 2518m high. Ice and snow permanently cover the peak of this majestic mountain. We will follow the 'Surf Highway 45' to reach New Plymouth. This is 105km of road, hugging the rugged coastline that sweeps around the feet of Mt Taranaki that produce's some of New Zealand's most legendary surf breaks. Tonight we can have a night out on the town local style on New Plymouth's Devon Street where there is a range of bar's and entertainment to suit everyone tastes.
The day is yours to do as you wish. Perhaps take the day to explore Egmont National Park and the spectacular Mount Taranaki, or walk the award winning 7km Coastal walkway and view Sugar Loaf Islands. Or spend the day wandering the city visiting magnificent Pukekura Park, Govett-Brewster Modern Art Gallery and Puke-Ariki Contemporary Museum. Finally a visit to New Plymouth is not complete with out seeing Len Lye's famous sculpture the Wind Wand.
We leave Mount Taranaki behind us today and continue our journey north to the famous Waitomo Caves, home of the Glow Worms. The caves were first extensively explored in 1887 and were opened to tourists in 1889. We take a 45min tour through the main cave network, which ends with a boat trip. This is where the silence and darkness, reveals the galaxy of light around us emanating from the Glow Worms. You also have a number of optional activities to choose from; do a Tandem Abseil into the lost world, try Black Water Rafting in a rubber tube or take a relaxing horse ride. Tonight we can relax at our camp for the evening.
We are now back in the Waikato region, one of New Zealand's richest agricultural areas, with its green rolling hills and the largest river in the country snaking its way north. We make our way west to what is called the 'rugged coast' and to one of New Zealand's small rustic beach towns - Raglan. Internationally renowned for its surfing, this black sand beach town with its palm lined streets will suck you into the relaxed mode of Kiwi beach life. You can spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach, learning to surf or walk in the native bush. This evening is our last evening together; we can enjoy a night on the town, local style, reminiscing the last 30 days touring around New Zealand.
We head North over the Bombay Hills before arriving in Auckland where this tour comes to an end.
- Inclusions -
- Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach
- Exclusions -
- Local Tour Payment
- Extras -
- Local Tour Payment: $880NZD per person
Winter Tour Supplement on specific tours: $390NZD per person.
We have designed a virtually all inclusive Tour Price combined with our Local Payment System. **Local Tour Payment is non refundable. The Local Tour Payment covers all your accommodation (camping, hostel and farmstay as per itinerary) and food costs whilst on tour.
Camping: Camping is always great fun and our vehicles are loaded with all the equipment needed. Campsites vary from established sites with all facilities to the occasional free camp. We use two person dome tents and we will team you up with another group member if you are planning to travel alone. We always stay at the best possible campsite in the area - nearly all of the campsites we use have very clean and ample shower facilities. Some of the more basic camps may be in places of spectacular beauty or in the National Parks. Here generally facilities may be limited but you will have a chance to get a real feel for the New Zealand wilderness. Whilst on tour there will occasionally be the opportunity to upgrade to â€roomsâ€ in the campsites if you fancy a break from camping. These range from and additional $15 - $25 per night and usually come up once or twice a week. The local payment contributes your camping portion and you add the rest if you would like to upgrade from camping. The upgrades are usually simple chalets like rooms, some en-suite and some not. Some of our clients regularly upgrade and some camp 100% of the trip. Cooking and Food: When camping, cooking is usually done on a roster basis with 2 - 4 people cooking each day. Gas burners and BBQâ€s are used for cooking and are supplied along with pots, baking trays, frying pans, woks, lighting, camp seats etc. All eating utensils are also provided. Food on tour ranges from simple barbeques to, traditional meals, and buffets, an of course â€' your own restaurant dining. There is no shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables in New Zealand. Breakfasts are generally tea, coffee, toast, muesli/cereals and fresh fruit, while lunches are a range of filled rolls, salads and fruit. You will eat incredibly well, and we can cater for all special dietary needs.Group Size : Our group size is usually around 7- 18 people, but at high times of the year we may run trips with a maximum of 22-24.
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Email the tour operator - Absolute NZ
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