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Around New Zealand in 2 weeks

New Zealand
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16 Day Amplified Tour around New Zealand

 

 

http://hakatours.com/

 

Our most popular trip offers you a jam-packed experience across the top destinations in just over two weeks.
Golden beaches, Maori culture, surreal landscapes and a big dose of adventure is all yours.

 

Day 1: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo
While Christchurch was seriously damaged during several earthquakes a few years ago, the city is undergoing a wonderful transformation and has nothing but potential. We’ll explore the iconic downtown area and check out the cool ways the city has reunited and is being rebuilt. With lots of quirky shops, specialized cafes and spots to dine along with a young fun kiwi culture, Christchurch shouldn’t be missed.


We’ll then make our way to Tekapo, one of New Zealand’s most famous lakes. Surrounded by the jagged Southern Alps, the bright turquoise Lake Tekapo will leave you questioning if someone dropped blue food coloring in it. Minerals left by ancient glaciers give the lake its iconic turquoise color, combined with the high mountains and purple and pink summer Lupin flowers along its banks, Lake Tekapo couldn’t be prettier.


And once the sun goes down it gets even better. Thanks to the super clear skies, the area around Tekapo has been declared a “Star Reserve” and it’s the best place in New Zealand to see the stars and galaxies above. Watch the stars come out over the lake from the hostel that’s just a few feet from the shore.


Additional Activities : Learn to Surf at Sumner

 

Day 2: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown
The road to Queenstown is almost as beautiful as the town itself. Between wine tasting in the famous Otago region to exploring some of the local salmon farms, we’ll have the chance to see a more diverse side of the South Island. Not to mention dozens of glacial blue lakes, soaring mountains and lush valleys.


The undisputed adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is always at the top of the list of any trip around the South Island. Surrounded by the stunning Remarkables, some of the most beautiful mountains in New Zealand, and sprawling along the banks of blue Lake Wakatipu, its location is straight from a postcard.


Together we’ll hop on up the gondola and see Queenstown from above. There is nothing like watching the sunset over New Zealand’s prettiest town with new friends before experiencing the famous Queenstown nightlife. We’ll crash for the night at the Haka Lodge, cook some meals together, and chill out in the best, luxury hostel-lodge in town.


Additional Activities
• Scenic Flight
• Kawarau Bridge Bungy
• Paragliding

 

Day 3: Queenstown
With a full day in Queenstown, you can pack in as many activities and things to do as you wish. From the Gondola to mountain biking, to bungy jumping while your Haka friends cheer you on, and local walks, there are many different options to choose from.


From horse riding and taking in some of the stunning Lord of the Rings locations in Glenorchy to swinging through a canyon Tarzan-style with a new friend, Queenstown is definitely a highlight of any trip to New Zealand.


Queenstown is also home to New Zealand’s most famous burger at Fergburger, and grabbing one with friends is a great way to spend a meal in town. If you’re into hiking you might even be able to hop on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and tackle part of the Routeburn track.


One of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, Milford Sound, is not to be missed.


Driving into the park is stunning in and of itself, but just wait ‘til you get on the water! Sailing around the fiords beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular spots in New Zealand.


Beautiful in rain or shine, Milford is universally loved by all. Whether experiencing it from the decks of a boat to kayaking around the steep cliffs, Milford takes the cake as one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful areas of the South Island. With the occasional sea lion or dolphin popping up to say hello, it makes the journey there and around even more special.


Additional Activities
• Canyoning Queenstown
• Heli-Mountain Biking
• Canyon Swing
• Kawarau Bridge Bungy
• Paragliding
• Skiing/Snowboarding Day at The Remarks
• Skydiving over The Remarks
• Milford Sound Trip
• Extreme Jet Boating
• Middle-earth Tour in Queenstown
• Nevis Bungy

 

Day 4: Queenstown to Wanaka
The drive to Wanaka from Queenstown is spectacular, filled with great views, beautiful stops and plenty of surprises. We’ll stop in the stunning and historic Arrowtown for a bit of exploring.


En route to Wanaka, we stop in at New Zealand’s oldest pub for a drink or two in Cardrona before arriving at the lakeside holiday town of Wanaka.


A year round destination, Wanaka is surrounded by towering mountains and a glacial blue lake with plenty of things to do and with a thriving young vibe in town. In the warmer months, there are tons of lake activities to choose from, such as swimming, waterskiing, kayaking and wakeboarding. There are beautiful hikes and bike rides all around the lake and plenty of adventure activities to get stuck into.


In the winter, Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s most popular snow sports destination, with several great ski fields close by. Hit the cafes on the lakefront for a drink at the end of the day with the group to unwind.


Additional Activities
• Canyoning Queenstown
• Extreme Jet Boating
• Heli-Mountain Biking
• Horse Trekking at Glenorchy
• Canyon Swing
• Kawarau Bridge Bungy
• Nevis Bungy
• Paragliding
• Skydiving over The Remarks
• School Bully: Drive a Monster Truck
• Tiger Moth Acrobatic Plane Ride
• Skydiving over Southern Alps

 

Day 5: Wanaka to Franz Josef
Start the day off right with a skydive over Wanaka taking in the spectacular glaciers we’ll head to later in the day, and even get views of Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Or take a step back in time with a flight over the lake and town in a vintage Tiger Moth biplane.


You’ll also have the chance to mountain bike along the lake, climb up the iconic Mt. Iron in town for some sweet views or hit up the iconic Puzzling World for a bit of fun and games.


We’ll then make our way towards the wild west coast of the South Island, traversing the beautiful mountains in Haast, and getting a good look towards the sea. Get excited, this is one of the most scenic and iconic road trips around New Zealand. Apart from the sick West Coast views, there are plenty of surprises and secret spots in store today.


Between September and December it’s whitebait season, a small fish that’s a delicacy in New Zealand. Fried up with eggs and served on toast, it’s a local treat and shouldn’t be missed. We’ll stop at a one of the secret local spots to try it out.


Additional Activities
• Skydiving over Southern Alps
• Wakeboarding / Waterskiing
• Tiger Moth Acrobatic Plane Ride

 

Day 6: Franz Josef
Another New Zealand favorite - Franz Josef Glacier. Here bright blue ice fields surrounded by green mountains drop down into a temperate rainforest, the only kind in the world. Relatively easy to access, hiking on or around the glaciers is a must-do.
From taking a scenic helicopter flight and then hiking on the glaciers to trying ice-climbing for the first time to relaxing in the hot springs down below, there are plenty of different ways to enjoy Franz Josef. You can even carve your own Greenstone necklace in town.


Apart from the beautiful glaciers, there are also plenty of opportunities for kayaking, quad biking, horseback riding and even a bit of group karaoke in Franz Josef.


With Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand.


Additional Activities
• Quad Biking
• Heli-Experience with Snow Landing
• Heli-Ice Explorer
• Glacier Hike
• Glacier Heli Hike

 

Day 7: Franz Josef to Christchurch
We head to the beautiful west coast on one of the most spectacular drives in the world. A rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest juxtaposed against breathtaking beach and ocean waves.


Along the way from Franz Josef we pass through Ross, a town that arose from gold mining. The gold rush days of the second half of the 19th century were largely responsible for opening up the West Coast for settlement. Before this there was a small number of Maori who searched for greenstone, or Jade. We take a break at Hokitika to visit a Jade factory. This place experienced a massive gold rush in the late 1860s and today remnants can be seen everywhere: in original buildings and in the landscape, altered by excavations and vast mounds of tailings.


We reach Greymouth Train Station by lunchtime, where you board the Tranz Alpine train. The crossing takes 4 and a half hours and travels through the absolutely stunning Arthur’s Pass.


Tonight you are privileged to be staying at our very own Haka Lodge, situated on the outskirts of the city centre. We quite often make a home cooked meal or BBQ tonight and we invite you to make yourselves feel at home.

 

Day 8: Christchurch to Kaikoura
You can have a lie in this morning if you want! Alternatively there is another opportunity for Hot Air Ballooning, surf lessons and tank driving. There is also a chance to explore the city and do some shopping before we leave for Kaikoura.


Rugged snowcapped mountains drop right down to the beach in Kaikoura, making it an incredible backdrop to experience the famous sea life in the area.


From swimming with hundreds of friendly and curious wild dolphins in the bright blue water to watching for giant whales, to even taking a surf lesson, fishing, kayaking or playing mini-golf, there’s something for every traveler in Kaikoura. How often do you get to swim with dolphins in the wild?


Be sure to have your camera ready for fur seal colonies (even babies!) and plenty of great sea life to spot. If it’s warm enough we’ll even have a bonfire on the beach together and cook up a Haka family BBQ.


Additional Activities
• Hot Air Ballooning
• Learn to Surf at Sumner
• Tank Driving

 

Day 9: Kaikoura to Wellington
This morning is for activities and you have the chance to swim with dolphins, watch for whales, learn to surf or even play mini golf. Dolphin swimming is incredibly popular, with groups often seeing hundreds of dolphins at a time.


We have lunch from a seafood cart along the esplanade, allowing you to admire the stunning view of turquoise ocean met with snow-capped mountains. This is the true New Zealand living that we love.


After lunch we head north. Upon arriving into Picton there is a short break to explore the port and get something to eat before catching the Inter-islander Ferry.


One of the most iconic and classic New Zealand activities is sailing the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands. From the decks of the ferry, the city lights of Wellington slowly come into focus to greet you.


Additional Activities
• Whale Watching
• Swimming with Dolphins

 

Day 10: Wellington
Tucked away at the bottom of the North Island, New Zealand’s capital is anything but boring. A fun young city with tons of green spaces and beaches, it feels more like a small town than an urban capital. Packed with quirky bars, quaint cafes, beautiful street art and heaps of things to do, it’s impossible not to love Wellington.


From visiting Weta Studios, where the Lord of the Rings movies were produced to riding the old fashioned cable car to the Botanic Gardens or visiting Te Papa, Wellington’s famous and free museum filled with peculiar things, interactive exhibits and the stories and legends behind the history of New Zealand, there is something for everyone here. Go on, let your inner kid come out to play.


There are plenty of accessible beautiful beaches around town to explore as well as join the group on a trip up Mt. Victoria, one of Wellington’s most iconic spots. With the best views in town and plenty of walks and tracks to tackle, Mt. Vic is a Wellington icon and a highlight of the trip.


Additional Activities
• Mountain Bike Hire
• Lord of the Rings Wellington Tour

 

Day 11: Wellington to Taupo
In the morning your tour guide will give you a tour of Wellington city and the surrounding bays. This includes a trip to Weta Studios, where films like Lord of the Rings have been made. We also may visit the parliament buildings, cable car and Mt Victoria.


On the way to Taupo we drive along the Desert Road that divides the Rangipo Desert, an area with poor vegetation because of bad soil conditions and drying winds. The climate is harsh and in winter it is not unusual to see snow. However, the biggest attractions on this road are that of Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, the volcano better known as Mt Doom in Lord of the Rings. On the other side of the road is the lesser noticed Kaimanawa Range, home to a breed of wild horses that can be spotted on rare occasions.


We make a stop at Mokai Gravity Canyon, an extreme adventure park including the world’s most extreme flying fox and New Zealand’s second largest bungy. Tour members are welcome to do the bungy, flying fox or canyon swing and do not have pre-book.

 

Day 12: Taupo
Lake Taupo is actually a giant volcano crater created 70,000 years ago in one of the biggest eruptions in history. Peaceful nowadays, it’s one of New Zealand’s best places to escape and vacation. Also being New Zealand, there are plenty of adventure sports to be found there too.


From skydiving to bungy jumping over the lake (and getting dunked in) on a clear day you can see both sides of the North Island. There are heaps of activities such as quad biking or cruising the lake to see Maori rock carvings and even soak in some of the local geothermal pools. From sailing around the lake to hiking along the shores or even mountain biking, there is definitely an activity for everyone in Taupo and your guide will certainly have plenty of tips and suggestions.


If you want to experience New Zealand’s most famous day hike, the 17km Tongariro Crossing is begging you to visit. An alpine crossing around Tongariro, one of the North Island’s most famous and most beautiful volcanoes, Tongariro may be a calf burner but it’s worth every minute for the great views and volcanic landscape. Turquoise and green volcanic lakes greet you at the top, along with vistas that stretch on for miles to the coast. If you are feeling fit, you can even scramble up Mt. Ngauruhoe, which starred as Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings.


Additional Activities
• Water Touch Bungy
• Skydiving over Lake Taupo
• The Tongariro Crossing

 

Day 13: Taupo to Rotorua
While the North Island is predominantly volcanic, Rotorua is exceptional for its geothermal activity. With neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore, there are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than many other places in the world. Vegas indeed.


We’ll start out with optional white water rafting or sledging on the Kaituna River which includes a 7 metre waterfall, though if you prefer to stay dry, there are plenty of other spots to explore around town, include some local hot springs if you want to take it easy.


Here you’ll have the chance to head over to Matamata and tour the Hobbiton film set from the Lord of the Rings, as well the Otorohonga Kiwi House where you can get a glimpse of our national icon. Reenact scenes from the movies with the rest of the group or just pretend to be a hobbit while sipping some of the pub’s famous ginger beer.


Together we’ll ride up the Rotorua cable car for great views of the area with the chance of racing each other down to the bottom in a luge. (Luge is purchased on tour) Have your cameras ready!


On the way to Taupo we stop at Orakei Korako or Wai-O-tapu, extraordinary geyserland and thermal parks where you can walk around and check out all the unique geothermal activity in the area and what makes Rotorua famous, along with what gives it its unique smell.


Additional Activities
• Water Touch Bungy
• The Zorb

 

Day 14: Rotorua to Waitomo
We’ll start out with optional white water rafting or sledging on the Kaituna River which includes a 7 metre waterfall, though if you prefer to stay dry, there are plenty of other spots to explore around town, include some local hot springs if you want to take it easy.


Together we’ll ride up the Rotorua cable car for great views of the area with the chance of racing each other down to the bottom in a luge which is included in the tour. Have your cameras ready!


At Waitomo there is a distinctive limestone region where surface water and underground streams have dissolved the rock over tens of thousands of years, creating an amazing system of underground caves.


Additional Activities
• Sledging
• Rafting Kaituna River
• The Shire Set Tour in Rotorua

 

Day 15: Waitomo to Coromandel
Waitomo has become famous around the world thanks to its magnificent glowworm caves. How many chances do you get to go caving in a place with blue glowworms twinkling on the ceilings? There are many different ways to explore the caves and by boat, but if you are open to adventure and getting your feet wet, the best way to experience Waitomo is by black water rafting.
Suiting up in a wetsuit you can float down the caverns and underground maze in an inner tube. With your headlamp off, it seems as if you are looking up at the sky filled with blue stars. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can opt on one of the caving tours where you abseil down into the caverns, tube, zipline, and climb waterfalls before popping out at the end. But don’t worry, there’s a different way to explore the caves for everyone.


It’s no secret, many blockbuster hits have been filmed in New Zealand, in a large part due to its incredible landscapes. Understandable – and at around lunchtime we head of to the Coromandel to discover them first-hand.


We’ll walk together out along the cliffs down to Cathedral Cove, which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Narnia. Beautiful in its own right with perfect beaches and massive rock arches and columns, it’s one of the most popular spots in the Coromandel and for a good reason. It doesn’t look real.


Additional Activities
• Sea Kayaking
• Lost World Caving Experience
• Black Water Rafting

 

Day 16: Coromandel to Auckland
Beautiful remote beaches, dense wooded forest and clear blue waters make the Coromandel one of New Zealand’s favorite getaways. Together at low tide we’ll make our way to the world-famous Hot Water beach. When the tide’s out, you can dig a hole in the sand where natural hot springs bubble up creating your own personal hot tub. Toast some drinks together from your impromptu jacuzzi with your new group of friends and take in the views.


You’ll also carve your own kiwi pendant from bone here, a very special and unique kiwi experience. What better souvenir to take home than one you made yourself in a traditional activity?


Finally, we head to Auckland, NZ’s biggest city. Auckland sits on the narrow sliver of land where the Northland peninsula tapers south to meet the rest of the North Island. Therefore the sea is ever present, and it isn’t difficult to guess the origin of its nickname ‘City of Sails’.


We arrive around 5pm, where we’ll say ‘good bye’. You can always book extra accommodation for this night, and if you have a few spare days, jump on our 3 day Bay of Islands tour.

 

Details and reservations on http://hakatours.com/

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