New Zealand Experience

Hiking, biking and natural wonders!

18 days

from £1,860

Trip Highlights

  • Walk the stunning Kaikoura Peninsula
  • Learn the moves of the All Blacks in Auckland!
  • Hike past volcanoes in Tongariro National Park
  • Discover Fox Glacier’s spellbinding caves
  • Marvel at the unique scenery of Fiordland

Trip Summary

This 18 day trip from Auckland to Christchurch is your gateway to New Zealand! Tick this dream destination off your bucket list and find out just what makes it such a unique location. Get to grips with New Zealand’s treasure trove of natural wonders – walk the Kaikoura Peninsula, see active volcanoes in Tongariro National Park, and prepare to be spellbound by the mountain framed fjords of Fiordland! There are also some iconic New Zealand activities to get stuck into – you’ll experience a wine tasting in Marlborough, discover the Bay of Islands, and learn some Haka moves like an honorary All Blacks member!

As well as coming face to face with these natural wonders, you’ll be heading to Auckland, New Zealand’s most populous city, and you’ll be immersing yourself in Wellington’s vibrant art scene! This New Zealand experience showcases the very best of what this compelling country has to offer, so get your Kiwi on and jump in!

Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!

Trip Info

Day 1: Auckland to Bay of Islands
Today you’ll head to the breath-taking Bay of Islands, a patchwork of picturesque coves! Why not make sure you see the highlights and take the optional boat tour for a whole 24 hours of cruising and snorkelling? You’ll even get to watch the sun go down while onboard! Unmissable!

Places on the boat tour are limited and fill up quickly, to avoid disappointment you can pre-book this excursion – contact us for further details. 

Day 2: Beautiful Bay of Islands
Spend a day sun lounging or surfing the 100m high Te Paki dunes! There are a range of optional activities on offer today, including kayaking beneath waterfalls and a cultural excursion! It’s a traditional fish and chips dinner with your mates later this evening so be sure to make the most of the Bay and work up an appetite!

Day 3: Amazing Auckland
Head off to Auckland today! We’ll stop off along the way to marvel at the Whangarei waterfalls. Back in Auckland, we’ll hear some Maori Marae cultural talks, learn a few All Blacks Haka moves and get to grips with Poi dance steps in an energetic dance class. Round off the day than with a delicious Maori dinner. Perfect!

Day 4: Discover Rotorua
Today there’s a range of exhilarating optional activities available to ensure you get the most out of Rotura! Fantasy fans can take a tour of Middle Earth for a taste of Tolkien, while mud baths and massages are the perfect way to relax and recharge! For thrill seekers, mountain biking and white water rafting excursions are available!

Days 5 - 6: Tongariro National Park
Time to head to Tongariro National Park! Pass New Zealand’s largest lake, see the azure Huka Falls and listen to the bubble of the geothermal mud pools. There’s an optional Taupo bungee jump experience for the brave! We’ll also get to hike over dormant lava chambers and head out biking or rafting!

Day 7: Head to Wellington
We’ll be heading off the capital of Wellington today. First up is the Te Papa museum, which showcases the cultural treasures of indigenous and non-indigenous communities. There’s also a city tour, and then you’re free to head off to a bar and meet the locals!

Day 8: Ferry Crossing and Wine Tasting!
We’ll head to Nelson today for a private wine tasting! This picturesque vineyard offers a glimpse of rural charm – you may even be drunk from the sights before you get to the wine! You can even buy a bottle of your favourite afterwards!  

Day 9: Discover Nelson
You’ve got a free day today! Why no tour a few local galleries to sample Nelson’s vibrant art scene, or go mountain hiking or kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park! Tonight you’ll be helping out at the grill, cooking up a traditional Kiwi barbecue feast. Delicious!

Day 10: Head to Kaikoura
Today we’ll head through the Rai Valley to a Marlborough Winery to try a few more delicious New Zealand tipples! Then we’ll head to the coast for the chance to spot a few fur seals at Ohau Point! Then it’s onto the coastal town of Kaikoura where we’ll experience an exhilarating Kaikoura Peninsula Walk to soak up the sights and sensations of the invigorating coast!

Day 11: Kaikoura to Christchurch
Get to know the local marine life with some optional activities today! You have the chance to go dolphin swimming, seal swimming or whale spotting! If altitude is your attitude then reach new heights with an awe-inspiring flight over the whales! Later, we’ll head on to vibrant Christchurch.

Day 12: Fox Glacier
You’ll be walking Lake Matheson today, so be sure to grab your camera and take those unmissable shots of your serene surroundings! The Lake acts as a mirror for two of New Zealand’s tallest peaks, and this is a truly remarkable way to take in the sights!

Day 13: Glacier Hiking and Queenstown
Opt to hike the glaciers today, scaling sparking frozen waters and exploring magical ice caves! Once we’ve had time to explore and enjoy some of the optional activities available today we’ll head over to Queenstown – a location fit for a king. Get ready for more dramatic mountain scenery as we approach!

Day 14 - 15:  Explore Queenstown
You’ll have free time in Queenstown over the next couple of days! There are over 200 activities to choose from in this incredible little town - paragliding, horseback riding,  hiking and cable car rides! You may also want to go skydiving or spot exotic species at the Kiwi Birdlife Park!

You’ll have plenty of free time in Queenstown to take advantage of the many optional activities available, please note that these activities are at your own cost.

Day 16: Queenstown to Fiordland
We’ll transfer to Fiordland today! You’ll love the soaring mountains and glittering waters! A magical Milford Sound Nature Cruise is in store today, a region formed during the Ice Age and home to seals and dolphins as well as dynamic waterfall views. You’ll also be walking through the Fiordland National Park, home of mystical Maori mythology...

Day 17: Fiordland to Arrowtown
Today you’ll traverse the five bridges that sit across the meandering Arrow River on your mountain bike! Then, chill by the waters of Lake Ohau for another dose of the dream like scenery the region is known for!

Day 18: Christchurch and Departure
We’ll start our day with a visit to Lake Pukaki under the imposing watch of Mount Cook – the highest mountain in New Zealand! We’ll be visiting Mount Cook Village too (weather permitting) where we’ll get a glimpse of a working farm! Later we’ll head back into Christchurch where our tour ends. We hope to see you again soon for your next epic experience!

Accommodation & Meals

You’ll stay in multi share accommodation throughout your trip in a combination of hotels, motels, lodges, hostels and a traditional Maori Marae. The number of people you’ll be sharing with will be dependent on accommodation type, but all rooms are provided on a same sex basis.

During your New Zealand Experience, you'll be spending 15 nights in hotels, motels & lodges, 1 night in a hostel and 1 night in a traditional Maori Marae.

There are 17 breakfasts, 1 afternoon tea, and 7 dinners included as part of this trip. Where meals are not included you’ll have the opportunity to try out some of New Zealand’s delicious dishes!

You will find a range of cuisine in New Zealand to suit all taste buds. But quintessential New Zealand cuisine takes inspiration from Europe, Asia and Polynesia. Meat and fish feature majorly in native dishes, and keep an eye out for kumara (sweet potato). Those with a sweet tooth will be pleased to know that Pavlova is the national dessert along with the kiwi fruit.

It is really important that you let Real Gap Experience know before you depart if you are a vegetarian or have any other dietary requirements or allergies.

Eligibility & FAQ's

This trip is available to those aged 18-39 years. 

Whats Included

  • Accommodation
  • Trip Leader
  • Driver
  • 17 breakfasts, 7 dinners, 1 afternoon tea
  • Air conditioned coach (Wi-Fi on-board)
  • Parry Kauri Park
  • Maori Marae talks
  • Haka and Poi dance class
  • Huka Falls visit
  • Lake Taupo visit
  • Tongariro National Park walk
  • Te Papa Museum visit
  • Wellington city tour
  • Ferry crossing
  • Marlborough wine tasting
  • Kaikoura Peninsula walk
  • Ohau Point seal spotting
  • Lake Matheson walk
  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise
  • Fiordland National Park walk
  • Arrow River mountain biking
  • Mount Cook Village (weather permitting)

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Vaccinations
  • Meals not listed
  • Optional Activities
  • Onward Travel

Flights

Flights
Your flight to New Zealand should arrive at Auckland Airport (airport code AKL) the day before your programme start date, and your return flight should be arranged for the day after your programme end date departing from Christchurch Airport (airport code CHC).

The trip starts at 11:30am in Auckland on your programme start date (day 1 of your itinerary) so make sure you arrive in plenty of time. You may want to arrive a day early and arrange a night of accommodation to ensure you’ll be on time to start the trip. Your trip finishes in Christchurch at approximately 6:30pm on your programme end date.

To book your flights, please contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277040 who will do their best to get you the best deal on the day. Please provide them with your full name as it is stated in your passport. Before you make the call please make sure you have your required departure dates, return dates and other details you may require.

Please note: If you are flying to New Zealand via the USA you will need to obtain Travel Authorisation by registering online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) no later than 72 hours before departure. This is compulsory and will cost USD$14 to register. To register, please visit: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

Insurance
Please note, you must have adequate cover in place before your trip begins. Whether you’re travelling for two weeks or two years, insurance is an essential part of your adventure and will help you enjoy your travels, secure in the knowledge that you have the protection you need.

Of course you are free to buy insurance from any provider, however at Real Gap Experience, we have travel insurance that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of global travel that’s far from run-of-the-mill.

If you think you’re already covered by an existing policy, such as those provided by credit card providers, check the policy very carefully to ensure it covers you for your Real Gap Experience, specifically:

  • For the duration you require
  • For the activities you’re planning on doing

If you would like some further information about our insurance options please speak to one of our travel advisors.

Visa Information
You should ensure that you have a full passport that is valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information provided below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

For stays up to 6 months, the following nationals DO NOT need a visa to enter New Zealand as they will be issued with a 6-month tourist visa on: holders of passports endorsed British Citizen & other British passport holders who produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom, holders of Australian passport. For all other nationalities, please visit the following website for the most up to date information on visa requirements: http://www.immigration.govt.nz

Working Holiday Visa
If you intend to get paid work in New Zealand then you must apply for a working holiday visa instead and this must be granted before you enter New Zealand. To be eligible for a work visa under this scheme you must:

  • Be a British citizen resident in the United Kingdom at the time of applying, and
  • Aged between 18 and 30 years, and
  • Not accompanied by children on your visit.

You can apply online for the working holiday visa at: http://www.immigration.govt.nz  

Internet
We cannot guarantee that there will be Wi-Fi available at your accommodation, however you should be able to access the internet on the coach and most towns and cities will have internet cafes that you can utilise during your free time.

Telephone
The dialling code for New Zealand is +64, so be sure to tell your friends and families to type this code in before dialling a New Zealand number.

Laundry
We cannot guarantee that you’ll be able to do your laundry at your accommodation, and you may not have time to make use of local laundromats as we’ll be visiting a variety of destinations! We suggest bringing along some travel wash or biodegradable soap so that you can do your own washing.

Reviews

I've done this trip

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Overall Rating 9/10

(11 Reviews)

Danielle Hibbert

How would you rate your overall experience?

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Would you recommend Real Gap Experience?

Yes

What were the highlights of your trip?

The Rock the boat trip was a fantastic way to start the trip and break the ice with everyone in the group. Absolute Must! The Fox Glacier was phenomonal, you will never see anything quite like it. The optional extras were all awesome, made it really difficult to choose between and if you are brave enough, definitely do a canyon swing or something similar in Queenstown.. such a rush.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I'd made the trip longer if I could.

Tips for other travellers?

Pack lots of layers in prep for any weather. It's more than likely you will see all seasons in one day!!

patrick barber

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Queenstown is a place that has something for all ages & tastes. The wide range of optional activities was brilliant & most don't depend on others for them to take place.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Perhaps extend our time in the bay of islands & try to fit in Hanmer Springs or lake wanaka into the routing.

Tips for other travellers?

Not everyone on the trip is doing the exact same tour you are! Expect people to hop on & hop off the coach.

Any other comments?

It is a lot of long days & a lot of time spent on a coach but it is definitely the best way to see the island especially as the guides are so knowledgeable. They will take you to cool places you wouldn't otherwise find.

James Nicholls

How would you rate your overall experience?

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What were the highlights of your trip?

Everything! Totally loved the whole trip.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

Can't think of anything!

Tips for other travellers?

Definitely go on this trip!

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

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What were the highlights of your trip?

I particulary enjoyed the Blue Duck Lodge and The Parks though the weather ruined many of the activities. On the south island it was all very good but in particular Kaikora (dolphin swim), Queenstown for its activities and the Doubtful Sound was amazing.

Tips for other travellers?

Tip 1 : Definitely jump off at Christchurch on day 19 if you want to explore more, but if you aren't bothered about the 30K cycle you could jump off after the Doubtful Sound trip as Naseby is awful and there is nothing to do at the Rafting Lodge. See more sights yourself and fly back up. Tip 2: Take lots of money! Although there are free things (like hiking) and those activities included - several places are very quiet and unless you spend the money you will be missing out on many adventures! Tip 3: Ensure you like sitting on a bus. Although it never feels like a chore you are often traveling from 7am to 4pm though the many stops make it more enjoyable and you get to see lots of little spots. Only 2 days were really long. (I never travelled back up on days 19/20 though)

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

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What were the highlights of your trip?

all of it, except our intial issue with the first driver of the south island!

Tips for other travellers?

CAMERA - in such a beuatiful country how could you not bring one, so much to see and capture BUNGY SWING/SKYDIVE - just DO IT!! GO BACK AGAIN - I plan to!

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

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What were the highlights of your trip?

Skydiving from 15000 feet over lake wannaka, absolutely amazing. The whole trip was a highlight new zealand is such a stunning country there were no negative points.

Tips for other travellers?

1,Go skydiving over lake wannnaka 2, take plenty of SD cards for photos 3, Enjoy it!

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

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What were the highlights of your trip?

franz joseph glazier and queenstown freetime.

Tips for other travellers?

pack warm clothes

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

skydiving

Tips for other travellers?

bring more cash than you think you need. try everything once be prepared for bad weather

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

I loved the activities, especially the 19km crossing in the North Island, the Blue Duck Lodge, the scenery is beautiful, Queenstown was so much fun, walking the Glacier was a great experience and I even loved the journies on the bus!

Tips for other travellers?

1) Be prepared to spend a lot of time travelling on the bus - some times it is up to 6/7 hours at a time. 2) You do not need to take with you a sleeping bag as you do not stay at campsites and at no point is a sleeping bag required (the tour leader was quite surprised that I bought one with me) 3) The activities on offer are quite expensive. If you are travelling to more than one country you may want to consider doing certain activities somewhere else.

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Staying at blue duck lodge on the north island where we had a three hour kayaking session to get to the lodge and then we had a goat curry around the fire. A really amazing day.

Tips for other travellers?

Do not bring a sleeping bag, even though it states on the kit list, this is not correct as you stay in hostels where there is no need for this. Get off at Christchurch and spend a few days there, (around day 18) instead of getting the express up to Auckland. Fly up to Auckland for under $100 as it is a long two days travelling on the bus, plus, you don't see much of Christchurch in the general itinery. Real Gap, please offer the optional extra of the three day Bay of Islands tour, which Adventure Tours NZ offer, before the trip from Auckland starts, or at least state on the trip pack that they offer this, as it is relatively cheap to go on and it was a highlight of the whole trip for some.

Dates & Prices

Showing all departures (35)

New Zealand Experience - 18 days 8th Apr 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 16th Apr 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 28th Apr 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 11th May 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 20th May 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 1st Jun 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 12th Jun 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 23rd Jun 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 6th Jul 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 16th Jul 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 27th Jul 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 9th Aug 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 19th Aug 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 30th Aug 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 14th Sep 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 23rd Sep 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 5th Oct 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 20th Oct 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 24th Oct 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 28th Oct 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 10th Nov 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 24th Nov 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 29th Nov 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 3rd Dec 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 16th Dec 2017 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 4th Jan 2018 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 7th Jan 2018 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 20th Jan 2018 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 28th Jan 2018 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 8th Feb 2018 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 12th Feb 2018 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 24th Feb 2018 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 5th Mar 2018 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 16th Mar 2018 £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days 19th Mar 2018 £1,860 Book Now

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