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New Zealand
Starting From AU$3,549.95
Starting From AU$3,549.95

Flying Kiwi Adventure Tours: Grand Traverse - Auckland to Queenstown (15 days minimum)

If you're short on time but want to see both islands this trip is for you. This fantastic journey takes in the country's finest natural highs as you head south. You'll get to enjoy amazing natural wonders and stunning accommodation by lakes, mountains, beaches and forest.

What makes these tours unique:

1. MORE NATIONAL PARKS....

We have a license with the department of conservation that enables us to visit, and stay in, places other tours can't access.  We ensure our tours give you time to experience New Zealand's best national parks too, including Paparoa, Abel Tasman, Aoraki/Mount Cook, Tongariro and Fiordland.

2. MORE CHANCES TO GENUINELY GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK...

There are a number of World famous highlights on any trip to New Zealand - Milford Sound, Queentown, Rotorua to name a few and we make sure to experience the best these spots have to offer.  However, what makes our trips totally unique is exploring the lesser known spots that other tour groups don't visit.  Whether its a secret glow-worm walk at night, a lush rainforest-fringed pool for a dip, a bike ride along deserted roads hugging the coast or a local cafe that serves quite possibly the best muffins in New Zealand we have found the best secret spots - we know you will love them just try not to tell too many others!

3. MORE ACCOMMODATION BY LAKES, MOUNTAINS AND OCEANS...

Rather than wake up in a hostel dorm we wake up to amazing views, fresh air and away from the crowds.  By staying in these carefully selected sites you get to experience amazing sunrises, spectacular sunsets, campfires, sleeping to the sound of the ocean, morning dips, lakeside dining to name a few.  There are camping and cabin accommodation options (so something for everyone) and we do occassionally use hostels (3 on the entire 28 day trip) to give you access to the bustling city centres.

4. MORE EXPERIENCE = BETTER TRAVEL OPTIONS...  

Flying Kiwi is the original New Zealand tour company.  We are the experts with over 25 year experience in conducting tours of the highest quality and thousands of very, very satisfied customers.  You can be guaranteed that our team will provide a professional and enjoyable experience of a lifetime.

5. MORE TASTY AND HEALTHY MEALS...

Our trips involve a great deal of activity and we appreciate the importance of good food.  We usually offer breakfast, lunch and dinner which saves you time and money.   With an average meal out in NZ costing around $25 you'll save a fortune compared to other tour companies. 

6. MORE CYCLE OPTIONS...

With bikes on board you have the chance to cycle as much, or as little, as you want.  We cover a huge range of rides along the coast, by lakes, through mountain landscapes, downhill, uphill and even across hill - there is something for everyone and every fitness level.

7. MORE HIKES AND ACTIVITY OPTIONS (+LOADS OF FREE STUFF)...

We offer more hikes and activity options than any other tour company.  That gives you more choice everyday to try the hikes you fancy and the activities you have always wanted to try.  Everything is optional and there are always free alternatives.  We also include a number of the activities free of charge such as wine tasting, scenic ferry crossing (both directions) and more.

8. MORE VALUE FOR MONEY...

Quite simply our trips are unbeatable.  With transport, accommodation, most meals and use of sports equipment included you won't find a better value tour.  

Day 1 : AUCKLAND TO COROMANDEL - FROM THE BIG CITY TO THE BEACH
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 :Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 : COROMANDEL TO ROTORUA - HEADING TO THE CULTURAL HEART OF AOTEAROA
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, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 : ROTORUA TO TAUPO - STUNNING LAKES AND CRATERS
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 to 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, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 : TAUPO TO KAPITI COAST - THE BEST WALK IN THE WORLD!
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, Dinner

Day 5 : KAPITI COAST TO PICTON - THE CAPITAL CITY AND ACROSS THE COOK STRAIT
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. This is payable locally and we'll reserve dorm beds for everyone onboard (prices start from approx $31).
Meals :Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 : PICTON TO KAIKOURA - THE INCREDIBLE PACIFIC COAST!
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 and 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, Dinner

Day 7 : KAIKOURA TO RANGITATA - DOLPHIN SWIMMING AND TRAVELLING THE CANTERBURY PLAINS
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 way 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, Dinner

Day 8 : RANGITATA TO LAKE TEKAPO - FOREST, MOUNTAINS AND GLACIER LAKES
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

Day 9 : LAKE TEKAPO TO THE EAST COAST VIA AORAKI/MT COOK - BIG MOUNTAINS AND BACK TO THE PACIFIC COAST
Today is a real chance to immerse yourself in the snow-capped mountain scenery that New Zealand is famous for. We will be exploring Aoraki National Park and hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain - Mount Cook. We then head back to the Pacific coast with a short stop in the historic town of Oamaru. From there it’s a short drive down the coast to the small village of Moeraki. Go for a walk to a view point and take in the views of the Pacific Ocean and try and 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. Mount Cook (Maori name - Aoraki meaning 'cloud piercer') dominates the skyline at 3,724m and is New Zealand's highest mountain. Nestled in between the other 18 peaks above 3000m within Aoraki/Mt Cook national, Mt Cook dominates the skyline and is the main feature in the backdrop of our hike to the bottom of the Hooker valley glacier.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 10 : MOERAKI TO DUNEDIN - MYSTERIOUS BOULDERS AND A SCOTTISH CITY ON THE OTAGO COAST
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

Day 11 : DUNEDIN TO FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK - FARMLAND MAKES WAY TO EPIC MOUNTAINS AND THE HUGE VALLEYS OF FIORDLAND
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

Day 12 : MILFORD SOUND, THE ROUTEBURN AND TE ANAU - EXPLORING THE MIGHTY MILFORD SOUND
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

Day 13 : TE ANAU TO QUEENSTOWN - HEADING TO THE ADRENALINE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
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

Day 14 : QUEENSTOWN - SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE IN THE ADVENTURE CAPITAL
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

Day 15 : QUEENSTOWN - FINAL DAY OF TOUR
A last chance to indulge in the Queenstown action before finishing your tour with us here and saying farewell to your fellow Flying Kiwi travellers by 2:00pm.
Meals :None

Departs Auckland

Optional hires: You can hire any of the following equipment from us for the duration of your trip or bring your own gear. We charge a small handling fee for those who bring their own bikes but there are no charges for your own tent etc.
Cycle hire for entire trip $320
Single tent upgrade $165
Sleeping bag hire $80

Tour extensions: If you have a few days before or after your trip why not extend it with: 
Wild West Tour - After the thrills and spills of queenstown journey up the stunning west coast of the south island to finish in Picton or contact us for options back to Christchurch/Wellington or Auckland. This stunning 7 day trip can be taken after your trip finishes in Queenstown.