Small Group Tour
Small Group Tour
The ideal trip for any New Zealand first-timer. Experience some of the world’s most picturesque valleys, get up close to fascinating Māori culture and give the ticker a good workout with a plethora of adrenaline activities. This 14-day tour will take you around the country’s hottest spots, with accommodation and some activities included (see below), our all-inclusive tours are hassle-free, authentic experiences for those short on time.
This tour departs Auckland at 8:30am from TMACS Backpackers (118-122 Nelson St, Auckland CBD). Your accommodation has been booked here for the night before departure, meet the group at 6pm in the lobby for a pretour briefing. Let us know if you can't make this.
Tour Dates - 2021
Tour Dates - 2022
Read more on our Booking Guarantee here
Departing Auckland we head south-east to the pristine beaches of the Coromandel and the world-famous Cathedral Cove (included). Here you have the option to kayak around this stunning coastline (optional activity) as well as the opportunity to visit Hot Water Beach (included); a unique surf beach where if you catch the tide right, you can dig a hole in the sand to create your own personal spa pool.
Leaving the gorgeous Coromandel behind we’ll venture into the enchanting Karangahake Gorge nestled among the Kaimai Ranges, for a hike (included) amongst the walkways and old mining tunnels. If that isn’t enough fun for one day, then never fear, next we’ll be heading over to Waitomo ('wai' meaning water, 'tomo' meaning hole) for a magical tour of the world-famous glow-worm caves. For those feeling a little more adventurous, you will have the opportunity to experience a Black Water Rafting trip.
We start the day with a walk through the Ruakuri Reserve and say goodbye to those glowing little critters. Next, we'll pass through The Shire of Hobbiton where you’ll have the opportunity to discover the Hobbiton Movie Set (optional activity) before rolling on through to Rotorua; a mystical land of bubbling mud pools, rocketing geysers and natural hot springs. Optional activities (which are not included) are luging down the SkyLine, White Water Rafting, Hells Gate, Mountain biking through the Redwoods, Zorb, Wai-o-tapu, Polynesian Spa or National Kiwi Hatchery.
Today is going to be pretty special, first we explore the geothermal reserve of Te Puia, with New Zealand’s largest geyser and a chance to see a real live Kiwi bird. Around midday, we head off to visit the Tamaki Māori Village where you will be immersed in the traditions and cultural values of the Māori people. Participate in a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), learn about the history of the marae (village) and the Rotorua-area from a local Māori guide before feasting on some top kai (food) from the hāngi pit. Afterwards, gather around a blazing bonfire where you will enjoy Māori myths and legends before relaxing in a private forest spa pool and retiring for the night in a traditional carved whare moe (sleeping house).
If you haven't had a chance yet to explore the geothermal reserve of Te Puia, we will check it out this morning before heading onto Great Lake Taupo, taking in a walk to the pounding Huka Falls (included). In Taupo there is lots to do, just tell us what you’re in the mood for and we’ll get you there. The lake itself (actually an extinct volcano crater) is a sight to behold from the shoreline (included), but the more adventurous might want to take the opportunity to experience optional activities such as sail across the lake on a yacht to the Māori rock carvings, or even get a birds-eye view by skydiving above it.
Taupo’s central location means it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from other world-class activities which we give you the option to experience on this free day. Head up the Sky Waka (extra activity) to experience Mount Ruapehu or hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (extra activity); a dramatic landscape of stunning contrasts created by extinguished lava flows and emerald lakes. It’s no surprise Tongariro is often described as one of New Zealand’s best one-day hikes.
Today, we’ll cruise through the southern end of the North Island to the capital, Wellington. Here you can experience Mount Victoria (included) and then passengers have the opportunity to experience the national museum, Te Papa (included) and get amongst the thriving craft beer scene.
Today you’ll kick off by experiencing what’s regarded as one of the most beautiful inter-island crossings in the world, the Cook Straight (included). Arriving into the top of the South Island we’ll journey through the dreamy Marlborough region, home to more vineyards than your eyes can see. Stopping off for a tasting (or two…) along the way (included) to Kaikoura to spot unique marine life and experience local Kiwi cuisine.
Start the day with a sleep-in or for the more adventurous head out to sea to witness spectacular marine life such as dolphins, whales, albatrosses and so much more (extra activity). Around mid-morning, we’ll head up the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway to walk among a large seal colony (included). After a morning experiencing a real-life Planet Earth episode we’ll cruise to the diverse city of Christchurch, where we will go on a walking tour of the city (included) to learn about the street art, see the blooming botanical gardens, and learn about the history of a city that’s experienced so much in recent times.
Saying goodbye to Christchurch, we’ll hit the road and cruise into the magnificent Mackenzie Country, home to Lake Tekapo. Here we will visit the charming stone Church of the Good Shepherd (included), sat next to the breathtakingly blue waters of the lake framed with colourful lupins. As night falls, we will visit the Dark Sky Project situated among the UNESCO Dark Sky reserve (included).
Cruising past the ‘powerade factory’ Lake Pukaki (you’ll know what we mean when you see it) we head for Mount Cook village where we will enjoy a couple of breathtaking scenic hikes in the National Park (included) which will break your internet and blow your mind. Here you will have the opportunity to experience the Tasman Glacier by helicopter or take a scenic flight through the Mt Cook National Park (Aoraki). From mid-morning, we will continue to cruise through the National Park, through the stunning Lindis Pass through to Wanaka.
Here in Wanaka, we will have the morning to hike the famous Roys Peak (included), snap ‘That Wanaka Tree’ or climb Mount Iron (included). For the more daring in the group, there’s the option to experience a via Ferrata ‘Wild Wire’ or hit up the lakeside trails on a mountain bike. Late afternoon, you can catch your breath in the back of the bus as we cruise through the Crown ranges and head for the adrenaline fuelled Queenstown. We’ll end the day heading up the Gondola (included) for a tasty dinner at the ‘Skyline’ Stratosfare Restaurant overlooking Queenstown.
Carrying on the adrenaline-pumping theme, you have a full day to fill with activities that suit all budgets and appetites for adventure. Try your hand at activities such as white water rafting, bungy jumping, skydiving, jet-boating or canyon swinging… if you dream it, it probably exists here in Queenstown. Speak to your Driver Guide who will be able to point you in the right direction.
Today we will head out into the heartlands of Otago to the picturesque town of Glenorchy to experience a scenic landscape brimming with southern charm before dropping you back into Queenstown where the tour concludes.
Our Small Group Tours offer a fixed itinerary, with a few bucket list items included. There are plenty of additional activities you can add on to your experience as you travel.
If someone would ask me, what made my trip I would definitely say, it was the people.
My friend and i were really happy that we decided to travel with Kiwi Experience. First, we definitely met more people than we would have if we would have been traveling by a camper vans and second we got so much interesting information about all the places we stopped at or also places we just drove past.
I bought my kiwi tour tentatively as I was nervous about travelling on my own, it turns out it was the best thing I could do. The drivers are informative and fun, you meet people from all over the world and you see one of the most beautiful countries imaginable.
I’m a solo traveller... will I meet other solo travellers?
Absolutely! The majority of our passengers are travelling solo. Kiwi Experience is a social experience guaranteed to leave with new friends from across the globe.
Am I too old/young for Kiwi Experience?
We welcome the young, and the young at heart aboard our buses, there is no upper limit! There is however a lower limit; you’ll need to be 18 at the time of travel.
What visas do I need?
Luckily, many nationalities are able to visit New Zealand for less than 3 months without a visa. However, if you are not from one of these countries, obtaining your own visa is your own responsibility. We ask that you check out the Immigration New Zealand website before booking your Kiwi Experience trip.
Do I need travel insurance?
While not mandatory, travel insurance is recommended and should be taken out when travelling with us. As well as making sure your expensive stuff is covered, you should also get comprehensive travel insurance (covering you for all medical expenses you could incur while travelling).
How much should I budget for each day?
We recommend you budget between $70 - $100 per day to cover food and super fun times. From time to time, it may be worth putting a little more aside to pay for the really crazy stuff like skydiving.
How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
Passengers are allowed one 23kg suitcase/backpack and one day bag, as there are strict weight restrictions on our buses.
Start Auckland | Finish Christchurch Accommodation, activities and breakfast included
Start Wellington | Finish Christchurch Accommodation, activities and breakfast included
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