New Zealand Uncovered
Destinations Destinations
Queenstown, Lake Tekapo, Rotorua, Coromandel, Kaikoura, Wanaka, Auckland, Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Taupo, Christchurch, Wellington
Activity Activity
Nature & Wildlife, Culture, Active
Tour Type Tour Type
Group tour
Physical Level Physical Level
Easy
Season Season
January - December

Begin your New Zealand trip in Auckland and make the short journey to Coromandel for pristine beaches, rainforests and the chance to go sea kayaking around the coast. Travel on to the surf town of Raglan before stopping at Waitomo to see its famous glow worm caves.

Next, travel to the hot springs of Rotorua, making sure to explore the region’s Maori culture, before visiting Lake Taupo’s cave art and exploring Tongariro National Park. Finish your North Island experience in cultural Wellington, before hopping across the Cook Strait to Kaikoura for whale-watching and spectacular views of the Kaikoura Seaward Range. From Christchurch, you can travel to Lake Tekapo for stargazing, before getting your adrenaline pumping in adventure capital Queenstown and its smaller sister Wanaka. Finally, visit the vast Franz Josef Glacier before ending your trip in Christchurch.

This tour can also be completed in reverse. Departure dates listed include both directions. Enquire for more details.

Tour itinerary

What you'll see and do

Auckland

Settle into your accommodation and be ready for the 6pm pre-tour meeting. Here you will get to know your Tour Manager and be introduced to your new roadtrip friends.

Afterwards, the evening is yours to enjoy. We recommend a good night’s sleep to be ready for tomorrow’s early start, but you may want to experience Auckland’s nightlife.

Auckland to Coromandel

Leaving Auckland behind, we head to the Coromandel Peninsula, a veritable paradise of beautiful beaches and misty rainforests. The drive here is incredibly scenic — the road twists and turns dramatically round the coastline.

The Coromandel is home to the famous Hot Water Beach — thousands visit each year to dig their own personal hot tub. If the tide times allow, we’ll definitely grab our buckets and spades.

We arrive in Whitianga with plenty of time for your guide to show you around. Sample the sandy beaches or simply enjoy the vibes.

Includes: breakfast
Coromandel to Raglan

Today’s road trip to the arty surf mecca of Raglan will give you a first glimpse of the North Island’s rolling tree-lined hills and valleys. Your guide will show you some great sights en route, including the 55-metre high Bridal Veil Falls. If you have always wanted to try surfing, or if you’re dying to get back on your board, Raglan is the perfect destination both for beginners and experienced surfers.

If you're not interested in surfing there’s plenty to enjoy in this laid-back township. With a fantastic blend of cafes, bars, surf shops and galleries, the streets here ooze character and creativity. Relax on the beach and leave any lingering jet-lag behind, or enjoy a variety of bush and coastal scenery on Raglan’s walking trails.

For dinner tonight, tuck into New Zealand’s unofficial dish of fish and chips, before going on a sunset boat cruise of Raglan Harbour.

Includes: breakfast, dinner
Raglan to Waitomo and Rotorua

Your first stop of the day is the Waitomo Caves famous for its glow worms. There are fantastic and informative walking tours of the caves where you can learn more about the history, geology and Māori mythology of this unique area of New Zealand. For those who prefer to stay above ground, you can explore the tree-studded gorges and limestone arches of the nearby Ruakuri Forest Walk.

In the afternoon you'll make your way to Rotorua, where you'll visit the Redwoods Treewalk — a series of suspension bridges and living platforms which weave through the majestic Redwood Forest.

Rotorua

Today is a free day to explore Rotorua and its surrounding area. While the majority of the North Island is volcanic in some way, 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.

This evening you will be welcomed to a Māori village for an unmissable cultural experience featuring combat demonstrations and – of course – the breathtaking haka. This experience extends beyond the performance — you’ll have the chance to see magnificent geothermal activity and get to spot kiwi birds.

Includes: breakfast, dinner
Rotorua to Lake Taupō

Spent the morning in Rotorua. If adrenaline is your thing, you can take a rafting trip on the Kaituna river — the highest commercial waterfall drop in the world. If that’s not your cup of tea, spend the morning exploring Rotorua’s many attractions such as the ultra-relaxing Polynesian Spa, or perhaps the naturally-impressive Kuirau Park full of steaming, hissing and boiling geothermal pools.

It’s only a short drive to your next destination, Lake Taupō, and there’s plenty to discover along the way. From mesmerising mud pools to the thundering rapids of the Huka Falls and Aratiatia Dam, your guide will make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Lake Taupō is New Zealand’s largest lake — believe it or not, it’s roughly the same size as Singapore. This place is all about the thrills and spills, and there are plenty of options in store this afternoon. Get your hair wet with a water touch bungy jump, take an unforgettable skydive or a sunset lake cruise for amazing lake and mountain views.

Includes: breakfast
Tongariro National Park

You can spend today either enjoying one of many short walks around the park or hiking the Tongariro Crossing — often classed as one of the best full-day walks in the world. This 19.4-kilometre mountain trek in Tongariro National Park boasts emerald green lakes, venting steam, lava flows and craters.

Includes: breakfast
Tongariro National Park to Wellington

It’s a big drive from Tongariro National Park to Wellington, but there’s some unmissable scenery on offer. You'll journey through Tongariro National Park and the Rangipo Desert, which is home to three active volcanic peaks — Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe, and Mount Ruapehu. You'll also pass through two of the North Island’s quirkier towns which you'll get a chance to explore.

After a quick afternoon orientation from your guide, head up Mount Victoria for some of the best views in town. This evening you'll get to head out and enjoy the capital's fantastic food and craft beer scene.

Includes: breakfast
Wellington

Soak up the atmosphere of vibrant Wellington. Your guide will introduce you to the city with an orientation tour — including a drive around the bays through central Wellington to the Botanic Gardens and Parliament Buildings.

You will also stop by Weta Studios, most famous for its creative contribution to all things Lord of the Rings. Take an optional tour to see prop-makers in action and learn about the immersive world of filmmaking.

Wellington has a feast of cultural attractions and its crowning glory is Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand. Situated on Wellington’s magnificent waterfront, this internationally acclaimed museum combines leading edge technology with traditional exhibits to tell the stories of New Zealand’s land and people. The museum is free for all.

If you'd rather be outdoors, you can head off to Kapiti Island for an optional nature tour. Here you can see endangered birds up close and learn more about New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna.

Wellington to Kaikōura

Soak up the atmosphere of vibrant Wellington.

Your guide will introduce you to the city with an orientation tour — including a drive around the bays through central Wellington to the Botanic Gardens and Parliament Buildings. If there wasn’t a chance yesterday we’ll take a trip up Mount Victoria for the best views in town.

Later on you'll say farewell to the North Island with a scenic ferry across the Cook Strait. The South Island has a stunning welcome in store for us — gliding through the Marlborough Sounds as we approach Picton Harbour, you’ll feel like you’re in another world.

Your next destination, Kaikōura literally means “to eat crayfish”, and the area is teeming with them. The nutrient-rich waters of this area attract a wide variety of marine wildlife including the stars of the show — the whales and dolphins.

Kaikoura to Christchurch

The chance to swim with dolphins in the wild is a massive New Zealand highlight for many travellers, and Kaikōura is one of the best places to find them, with pods of up to 300 of these playful creatures hanging out here at any one time.

If you want to get up close to the giants of the ocean, a whale watching tour here is the way to do it. Humpbacks, sperm whales and orca all stop by at various times of year, so this is a great chance to meet some of them.

After visiting the local seals on your way out of town, the road trip continues to your home for the night – Christchurch, known as the “Garden City” for its peaceful parklands and lazy rivers.

Includes: breakfast
Christchurch to Ohau, via Lake Tekapo

This morning you’ll explore iconic downtown Christchurch and your guide will show you the creative ways the city is being rebuilt after the life-changing 2011 earthquake here.

After lunch you'll leave the city behind and head for Lake Tekapo. The lake’s breathtaking turquoise colour and mountain backdrop is a photographer’s dream come true.

Tekapo has been declared an International Dark Sky Reserve and the super clear skies make it the best place in New Zealand to see the stars and galaxies on a clear night. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

Includes: breakfast, dinner
Ohau to Queenstown

The drive to Queenstown will take you through the golden tussocklands of Mackenzie country and bungee-jumper favourite Kawarau Gorge to the dramatic peaks of the Southern Alps.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, an avid hiker, wine taster or scenery lover, Queenstown has something for absolutely everyone. You'll have two nights here to enjoy the many options the city has to offer.

Includes: breakfast
Queenstown

With a full day in Queenstown, you'll have plenty of activities to choose from: paragliding over the lake, mountain bike parks and trails, bungy jumping, horse riding through Lord of the Rings scenery, and swinging through a canyon are just a few options on offer.

For scenery lovers, a trip to Milford Sound is a must-see. Whether you fly or drive, the scenery en route is as amazing as the destination. Once on the Sound, sailing beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces, you’ll understand why some call it the “8th Wonder of the World”.

Tonight you have around 40 bars to choose from — your guide will fill you in on their favourites – to share your adventures with your travel buddies.

Queenstown to Wanaka

One last morning in Queenstown with a number of options to choose from, including a canyoning experience, Lord of the Rings 4x4 safari, or a jet boat ride along the Shotover River.

After the excitement of Queenstown, this afternoon is a chance to relax. Wanaka is Queenstown’s slightly quieter little sister, a mere one hour drive away. On the way we’ll stop in at charming Arrowtown, a historic gold rush village with plenty of old-world character.

Blessed with towering peaks and a glacial blue lake, you’ll soon see why Wanaka’s considered to be one of New Zealand’s most beautiful mountain towns. There are stunning hikes and bike rides all around for a welcome chance to relax.

Wanaka

Today is your chance to explore one of the most beautiful towns in the southern lakes region with plenty of activities to tempt every lover of the outdoors.

Included this morning is a guided e-bike tour along Wanaka’s lakeside.

One optional activity today is a visit to Mou Waho Island. Accessible only by boat from Wanaka and famous for being home to an (unnamed) island, in a lake (Arethusa Pool), on an island (Mou Waho), in a lake (Lake Wanaka), on an island (the South Island) in the ocean (the Pacific!).

In Wanaka there are many walks, hikes and biking trails to choose from — check out the famous “Wanaka Tree” while making your way around the lake! Or, if you feel like relaxing, ask your guide to recommend their favourite secret spots to enjoy the surrounding scenery.

One of the best ways to admire Wanaka is from the air. Treat yourself to a skydive or a scenic flight in a vintage plane – you can even take a flying lesson. As always, it’s your trip and your choice: you do you!

We mix things up tonight by heading to the stunning Criffel Station for a night of glamping.

Includes: dinner
Wanaka to Franz Josef

After a relaxing morning in Wanaka the journey to Franz Josef is another stunner — many of our guides rate it as their favourite drive in New Zealand. You’ll stop at one of our favourite lakeside lookout points at Lake Hawea or Lake Wanaka. Your guide will keep an eye on the weather and pick the best option.

From the cascading waterfalls of Haast Pass to classic Kiwi coastal views, you won’t want to nap on the bus in case you miss anything. Your guide will have some fantastic surprise photo stops and short walks along the way.

You will arrive in Franz Josef around late afternoon/early evening. This UNESCO World Heritage area is famous for its spectacular glacier, just 5 kilometres from town, which is begging to be explored tomorrow

Includes: breakfast
Franz Josef

With Aoraki/Mount 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.

Te Wahi Pounamu (which means ‘the place of greenstone’ in Māori) is the name given to this part of the West Coast because of the abundance of pounamu (greenstone/jade) to be found here. Included in your tour today is a special opportunity to carve your very own pounamu pendant at a local gallery.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy Franz Josef Glacier; weather permitting, to get up onto the bluest ice you can take a scenic helicopter flight and hike onto the glaciers. Maybe you’d prefer to kayak on a glacial lake; or just relax in the steamy hot springs down below.

Includes: breakfast
Franz Josef to Christchurch

Before you know it, it’s your last full day. After breakfast you'll head further along the beautiful west coast on another of the most spectacular drives in the country: a rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest juxtaposed against breathtaking beach and ocean waves.

You'll stop at Hokitika and visit a greenstone factory, a great place to stock up on souvenirs for your friends and family back home. Time permitting, you may also visit the National Kiwi Centre where there is guaranteed viewing of rare kiwi birds in their nocturnal house.

On the way back to Christchurch, you'll traverse the South Island on the stunning TranzAlpine Train Crossing. Travelling across the Southern Alps through Arthur’s Pass, you'll arrive in Christchurch around 6.30pm before transferring to your accommodation.

Includes: breakfast
Christchurch

Today is your final day of tour, where you'll exchange photos and stories over breakfast before saying your goodbyes and parting ways.

Includes: breakfast

Upcoming departures

Departing Returning    
26 Oct 2020 14 Nov 2020 Enquire
27 Oct 2020 15 Nov 2020 Enquire
16 Nov 2020 5 Dec 2020 Enquire
17 Nov 2020 6 Dec 2020 Enquire
23 Nov 2020 12 Dec 2020 Enquire
24 Nov 2020 13 Dec 2020 Enquire
7 Dec 2020 26 Dec 2020 Enquire
8 Dec 2020 27 Dec 2020 Enquire
14 Dec 2020 2 Jan 2021 Enquire
15 Dec 2020 3 Jan 2021 Enquire
28 Dec 2020 16 Jan 2021 Enquire
29 Dec 2020 17 Jan 2021 Enquire
4 Jan 2021 23 Jan 2021 Enquire
5 Jan 2021 24 Jan 2021 Enquire
18 Jan 2021 6 Feb 2021 Enquire
19 Jan 2021 7 Feb 2021 Enquire
25 Jan 2021 13 Feb 2021 Enquire
26 Jan 2021 14 Feb 2021 Enquire
8 Feb 2021 27 Feb 2021 Enquire
9 Feb 2021 28 Feb 2021 Enquire
15 Feb 2021 6 Mar 2021 Enquire
16 Feb 2021 7 Mar 2021 Enquire
2 Mar 2021 21 Mar 2021 Enquire
22 Mar 2021 10 Apr 2021 Enquire
23 Mar 2021 11 Apr 2021 Enquire
More dates available   Enquire

Where to stay

Sample accommodation suggested by our New Zealand experts.

All accommodation is in twin-share 3/4 star accommodation, upgrades to private rooms available on request.

Expand
Rainforest Retreat
Superior

Rainforest Retreat

Rainforest Retreat is a unique destination with varied options to suit the budgets and needs of all travellers...

Expand
Haka Hotel Newmarket
Classic

Haka Hotel Newmarket

Hake Hotel Newmarket is Auckland’s first 3-star rated hybrid hotel...

Tour inclusions

Get in touch now for more details

Included Some meals

11 continental breakfasts and 4 dinners, including a traditional Māori hāngī meal cooked in an underground oven.

Included Accommodation

All accommodation is included in the tour price.

Included Guided excursions

All tours include a passionate Kiwi guide.

Testimonials

What people are saying about Haka Tours

K
Kristina
24/09/2020

Don't give it a second thought — visit New Zealand and sign up for a Haka Tour! I just got back from the South Island Haka tour and definitely have to say it was one of the best vacations ever. The trip was entirely stress-free and fun, every city we visited was amazing, scenery unbeatable, accommodation was clean and nice and I made lifelong friends that I hope to travel with again in the future. Worth every penny!

W
Wade
24/09/2020

Best tour ever! Did the Amplified New Zealand Tour from Auckland to Christchurch. It was an amazing experience from front to back, enabled by the flexibility and experience of Andy advising where and when to do activities. Would absolutely recommend this as a great way to see and experience New Zealand quickly!

H
Helena Anne
24/09/2020

Amazing trip last week with Haka Tours. Perfectly paced and flawlessly organised thanks to Andy. Nice size group, good accommodation and long drives were never frustrating. It's lovely to be on an organised tour and still have independence. Very impressed with Haka, I'll certainly be back to explore the North island!

Days

20

From only

NZ$6,174 pp

This tour is operated by Haka Tours
  Start here

Other tours you might like

Why Horizon Guides?

Impartial guidebooks

Impartial guidebooks

Our travel guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for impartial travel advice.

Expert itineraries

Expert itineraries

Suggested itineraries and routes to help you scratch beneath the surface, avoid the tourist traps, and plan an authentic, responsible and enjoyable journey.

Specialist advice

Specialist advice

Get friendly, expert travel advice and custom itineraries from some of the world’s best tour operators, with no spam, pressure or commitment to book.

Loading...