New Zealand Experience

17-18 days

from £1,317.00

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
The adventure begins here! You’ll be heading to the Bay of Islands, where golden sands are topped with emerald trees and the crystal clear water laps against the shore. The Bay is home to over 144 islands, a picturesque patchwork of stunning 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
The Bay of Islands deserves its name – it is home to 90 miles of uninterrupted, blissful beach, and if lounging in the sun isn’t for you, you can sand board on the 100 metre high Te Paki dunes! There are a range of optional activities on offer today, including kayaking beneath the iridescent Haruru Falls and swotting up on local history at the Waitangi Treaty house. Just let your guide know what you’d like to get involved with! 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
Today we’ll be heading off to Auckland, but we’ll be stopping off along the way to marvel at the Whangarei waterfalls. Prepare to be awestruck as you see the falls crash between tree lined cliffs. Once we’re back in Auckland you’ll be getting a dose of local culture with some Maori Marae cultural talks, learning about the intriguing myths and legends that paint a vivid picture of the rich culture. Then it’s time to put your best foot forward, learning the iconic All Blacks Haka moves and getting to grips with the more delicate Poi dance steps in an energetic dance class. You’ll be feeling like an honorary local in no time, so what better way to round off the day than with a delicious Maori dinner. Perfect!

Day 4: Discover Rotorua
Today is really what you make of it, and we have a range of exhilarating optional activities available to ensure you get the most out of it! 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 after those energetic Maori moves! For thrill seekers, mountain biking and white water rafting excursions are available – so be sure to tailor make your time in Rotorua!

Days 5 - 6: Tongariro National Park
Grab the chance to get up close and personal with some natural wonders over the next couple of days as we discover Tongariro National Park! You’ll love traversing the spellbinding landscape, and we’ll even 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! On Day 6 you’ll be heading out for a refreshing hike, taking in the Park’s mesmerising views. The Park features two active volcanoes, and you’ll have the chance to cross some dormant lava chambers as you walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. As the day winds down you can mountain bike or raft before grabbing a meal with your group – the Park is your playground!

Day 7: Head to Wellington
You’ve immersed yourself in magical natural beauty, so now it’s time to get a dose of city splendour! We’ll be heading off the capital of Wellington today. First up is the Te Papa museum, which prides itself on displaying the cultural treasures of indigenous and non-indigenous communities, promoting harmony and shining the spotlight on some stunning art! You’ll also enjoy a city tour, so be sure to ask your guide some handy questions as once it’s over you’ll be free to head off and find a popular bar, enjoy a drink with the locals, and watch the sun set on another perfect day in New Zealand!

Day 8: Ferry Crossing and Wine Tasting!
Live a life of luxury today with a ferry crossing to Nelson for a private wine tasting! This picturesque, family owned vineyard offers a glimpse of rural charm – you may even be drunk from the sights before you get to the wine! Be sure to arrive with room in your bag, you’ll definitely want to leave with a bottle – or two – of the tempting Sauvignon Blanc!

Day 9: Discover Nelson
You’ve got a free day in Nelson today! There are plenty of optional activities available, and your guide will be on hand to help you to plan your day. Nelson is renowned for its local arts scene, so add your creative flair to the mix if you’re feeling artistic, or tour a few local galleries. Nelson’s stunning terrain makes it ideal for nature lovers, too – there’s the opportunity to go mountain hiking or kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park! Today you’ll be helping out at the grill, cooking up a traditional Kiwi barbecue feast. If you’ve managed to save some, whip out a bottle of that local wine and raise a glass to Nelson before tucking in!

Day 10: Head to Kaikoura
Today we’ll be heading through the scenic Rai Valley to a Marlborough Winery to try a few more delicious New Zealand wind! After a cheeky tipple we’ll head to the coast for some pristine panoramas and the chance to spot a few fur seals at Ohau Point! We’ll then continue on to Kaikoura, a stunning coastal town framed by white capped mountains and known for its fascinating marine life. This afternoon we’ll head out on an exhilarating Kaikoura Peninsula Walkto soak up the sights and sensations of the invigorating coast!

Day 11: Kaikoura to Christchurch
Spend a morning getting know Kaikoura’s magical marine life with some optional activities today! You have the chance to go dolphin swimming, seal swimming or whale spotting if you want to – or if altitude is your attitude then reach new heights with an awe-inspiring flight over the whales! Later, we’ll head on to Christchurch, a vibrant city dotted with bars and restaurants!

Day 12: Fox Glacier
Keep your eyes open for some spectacular scenery today as the tapestry of greenery that is the Canterbury Plains transforms into snow-capped mountain peaks before your very eyes! 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
Hike the glaciers today, scaling glittering, frozen waters and explore enigmatic ice caves - today’s optional activities bound to are sure to create memories that will last a life time! 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
Get to know Queenstown over the next couple of days! This town tops the list when it comes to action and adventure, so get your adrenaline on and jump in! There’s over 200 activities to choose from in this incredible little town - paragliding, horseback riding or hiking, or choose to get quintessentially Queenstown as you feel the thrills on a once in a lifetime cable car ride – the choice is yours! If you want some respite from the action, pack a picnic and head to the tranquil Queenstown Garden for some serenity amidst the buzz! It’s well worth spending a day checking out the exotic species at the Kiwi Birdlife Park, or maybe you want to experience the sensation of flying for yourself, with an epic skydiving experience! Whatever you want to get up to, Queenstown offers endless fun!

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
It’s time to wave goodbye to your epic Queenstown adventures and head on to Fiordland! Nothing can prepare you for the evocative beauty of the Fjords, and soaring mountains reflected in crystalline waters is a truly unbeatable sight. You’ll enjoy a Milford Sound Nature Cruise 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 – an amazing opportunity to learn more about the region and find out why it is so immersed in mystical Maori mythology!

Day 17: Fiordland to Arrowtown
Grab some traditional Arrowtown foodie fare before traversing the five bridges that sit across the meandering Arrow River on your mountain bike today! You’ll get to recharge by the waters of Lake Ohau, reminiscing about your epic experiences in New Zealand and getting another dose of the dream like scenery the region is known for!

Day 18: Christchurch and Departure
Our trip will be coming to a close today, but not before we’ve rounded things off in style! We’ll start the day with a visit to Lake Pukaki under the imposing watch of Mount Cook – the highest mountain in New Zealand – and quite possibly the most iconic! We’ll be visiting Mount Cook Village too (weather permitting) where we’ll get a glimpse of a local, working farm and get to watch those sheep dogs in action! Later we’ll head back into Christchurch where our tour ends at approximately 6:30pm. We hope to see you again soon for your next epic experience!

This itinerary is for depatures from 1st April 2017 onwards, if you are travelling before this date please contact us for details. 

The New Zealand Experience also operates in the opposite direction, starting in Christchurch and finishing in Auckland. For further details on dates and prices for the Christchurch to Auckland itinerary, please contact us. 

Please Note: Due to the recent earthquake in New Zealand, this itinerary is subject to change without prior notice. Whilst we will always try and notify you of any changes prior to departure, this is not always possible and is outside of the control of ourselves or our in-country operators. We ask that you are remain open-minded and understanding to any itinerary changes that may occur during your travels with us.

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.

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

Reviews

I've done this trip

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Overall Rating 9/10

(10 Reviews)

patrick barber

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

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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?

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?

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

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 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

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

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

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 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

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

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.

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?

Skydive at Fox Glacier, Queenstown, Doubtful sound, Glacier walk at Franz Josef.

Tips for other travellers?

To participate in activities be prepared to spend alot of money - overall was a very expensive trip. Also very active, lots of walking.

Dates & Prices

Showing all departures (37)

New Zealand Experience - 17 days (For departures before 31st March 2017) 14th Mar 2017 Now £1,317 was £1,550 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 17 days (For departures before 31st March 2017) 26th Mar 2017 Now £1,317 was £1,550 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 8th Apr 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 16th Apr 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 28th Apr 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 11th May 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 20th May 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 1st Jun 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 12th Jun 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 23rd Jun 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 6th Jul 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 16th Jul 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 27th Jul 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 9th Aug 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 19th Aug 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 30th Aug 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 14th Sep 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 23rd Sep 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 5th Oct 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 20th Oct 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 24th Oct 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 28th Oct 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 10th Nov 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 24th Nov 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 29th Nov 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 3rd Dec 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 16th Dec 2017 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 4th Jan 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 7th Jan 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 20th Jan 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 28th Jan 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 8th Feb 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 12th Feb 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 24th Feb 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 5th Mar 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 16th Mar 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now
New Zealand Experience - 18 days (For departures from 1st April 2017) 19th Mar 2018 Now £1,581 was £1,860 Book Now

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