NEW ZEALAND TOURS 2014/2015, NEW ZEALAND TOURISM, TRAVEL & TRIPS

15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour Both Islands Tours, New Zealand

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    15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour - Abel Tasman, Photo: www.theplanetd.com
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    15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour - Coastline, Photographer: Megan Simpson
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    15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour - Flying Kiwi Bus, Photo taken by Chris Reynolds
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    Fox Glacier, Photo taken by Megan Simpson
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    15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour, Photographer: Chris Reynolds
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    15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour - Beach kayaking, Photographer: Randy Law
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    15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour - Camping under the stars, Photographer: Randy Law
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    15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour - Cycling lookout, Photographer: Randy Law
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    15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour - Skydive, Photo: www.theplanetd.com
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    15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour -South island rafting, Photo: www.theplanetd.com

15 Day Grand Traverse Adventure Tour launches in the City of Sails (Auckland) and takes in the country’s finest natural highs as you head south. You get to enjoy amazing natural wonders, fantastic hike and cycle options and stunning accommodation by lakes, mountains, beaches and forest. You will see a diverse set of landscapes from white sand beaches and dramatic Fiords to thermal geysers and towering forests.

  •    TOUR DURATION:
    15 days
  •    TOUR STARTS/ENDS:
    Auckland to Queenstown
  •    TOUR CATEGORY:
    Independent Coach Tour
  •    TRANSPORTATION:
    Coach
  •    TOUR DEPARTURES:
    Daily
  •    AIRPORT TRANSFERS:
    Included
  •    MEALS:
    12 x Breakfast ,4 x Lunch ,10 x Dinner 
  •    ACCOMMODATIONS:
    Hotels, Camps, Backpackers, Holiday Parks, Motels
  •    PASSENGERS:
    no minimum number of passengers
  •    TOUR CODE:
    FLKI01
  •    PRE & POST ACCOMMODATION:
    “Available“
  •    CITIES/REGIONS VISITED:

    AUCKLANDCOROMANDEL PENINSULA - ROTORUATONGARIROKAPITI COASTPICTONKAIKOURARANGITATALAKE PUKAKIAORAKI NATIONAL PARKOTAGO PENINSULAMILFORD SOUNDFIORDLAND NATIONAL PARKQUEENSTOWN

ITINERARY

Depart from United States, US

DAY 1 : AUCKLAND TO COROMANDEL

Depart Auckland at 10am. The beautiful Coromandel Peninsula awaits so bring your swim gear. Enjoy a great coastal walk or kayak the coast to Cathedral Cove. Visit unique Hot Water Beach to dig your own thermal pool. Coastal cycle to beachside camp.

Meals Included: Dinner
Upgrades Available: Yes
Driving distance: approx 4 hours

On our way to the fantastic and unique Hot Water Beach. We head back through Auckland and welcome some new faces on the bus. From Auckland we head to the Coromandel, renowned worldwide for its natural beauty, misty rainforests and pristine golden beaches.

We stop in Tairua where there is a excellent place to start todays’ optional ride. The scenery includes some great native bush and the striking Pohutukawa trees (or NZ Christmas trees). You will cycle to Hot Water Beach but save some energy as there’s plenty to keep you entertained once you arrive, as there is a great walk or Kayak to the magnificent Cathedral Cove. Bring your swimming gear to enjoy these turquoise waters.

At low tide the guides will take you to Hot Water Beach where they will show you the best place to dig yourself your very own natural hot pool to bathe. Tonight you will enjoy a favourite on the Flying Kiwi menu, the famous Flying Kiwi fish dish.

DAY 2 : COROMANDEL TO ROTORUA

Heading to the thermal wonderland of Rotorua. For the keen cyclist there is an early morning option. On the way south we enjoy a beach stop for a swim or a chance to stroll around a natural reserve brimming with Pohutukawa trees. After lunch it’s onto Rotorua where we give you time to soak up the atmosphere and sulphur of Rotorua and its thermal wonders.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Upgrades Available: No – beautiful bush camp
(alternatives will be found if weather is poor)
Driving distance: approx 3-4 hours

This is the cultural and geological heart of the North Island. The area is the perfect place to experience and learn about Maori culture and to experience first hand the dramatic thermals of the country.

We’d highly recommend a dip in the soothing pools to relax and unwind! You can also try the mind blowing OGO, Agrodome Adventures or the famous Rotorua Luge. There is the opportunity for mountain bikers to explore the Whakarewarewa Forest – home to one of the oldest mountain bike networks in the country.

DAY 3 : ROTORUA TO TONGARIRO

Enjoy a relaxed start to the day before we check out the geysers, mud pools and other cool thermal stuff! There is a morning cycle option for those who are keen. Midday we will be heading towards Taupo and on the way we visit the very impressive Huka Falls with great walk and cycle options into Taupo. We spend some time exploring this area and its adventure options before heading to camp by the Tongariro National Park.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
Upgrades Available: Yes
Driving distance: approx 2 hours

Taupo is a great little town where you can enjoy some spectacular lakeside scenery, and for the adventure junkies it’s a great day with the option to test your fear of heights on the Rock n Ropes course, bungy or skydiving. If you prefer something a little more relaxing then you can kayak on Lake Taupo to the amazing Maori rock carvings. The scenery we pass through today includes the largest man made forest in the Southern Hemisphere – the Kaingaroa forest and a crossing of the Waikato River – NZ’s longest and only river streaming northbound.

DAY 4 : TONGARIRO TO KAPITI COAST

Giving many of you the chance to enjoy New Zealand’s (and possibly the World’s) finest one day walk – the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. For others though there’s still plenty to enjoy. You will have the chance to enjoy short local walks or cycle the new Turangi river track. There is also the chance to go White Water Rafting. We wrap up the day at a wonderful camp next to the beach

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Upgrades Available: Yes
Driving distance: approx 3 hours

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is described by many as the best one day walk in the World. It’s an amazing hike and an excellent opportunity to absorb a huge diversity of landscapes in a few hours. For those who aren’t keen on hiking there are still plenty of options and everyone will love the evening campsite on the Kapiti coast.

DAY 5 : KAPITI COAST TO PICTON

Heading south to the coolest little capital – Wellington! You have most of the day to experience some of Wellington’s awesome attractions such as Te Papa museum, Botanical Gardens and Zealandia. We then enjoy a scenic ferry crossing to Picton (included in trip price).

Meals Included: Breakfast
Upgrades Available: Yes
Driving distance: approx 1 hour + ferry crossing

Soak up the culture and buzz in the nations capital. There are plenty of attractions to appeal to all tastes and the highly recommended (and free) Te Papa museum. We give the culture vultures plenty of time to soak up everything kiwi before we jump on the ferry (cost included) to cruise across the Marlborough Sounds to the picturesque town of Picton – eyes peeled for whale and dolphins on the ferry crossing.

DAY 6 : PICTON TO KAIKOURA

Enjoying the stunning coastal road to Kaikoura where close encounters with fur seals, sea birds and other wildlife are common. We stop off at a beautiful lunch spot with great opportunities for walks on and around the beach. The kayak and whale watching activity options are both excellent highly recommended.

Meals Included: Dinner
Upgrades Available: Yes
Driving distance: approx 2.5 hours

We head down towards Kaikoura where you can enjoy the informative and unique Whale watching tour to view the incredible sperm whales. Other activities are sea kayaking and deep sea fishing where you can catch your very own Crayfish!

Cyclists and hikers have some great choices with wonderful coastal tracks. We are staying in a beautiful coastal campsite tonight where you get to enjoy some of New Zealand’s finest coastal scenery with a camp fire on the beach.

DAY 7 : KAIKOURA TO RANGITATA

Making the most of the unique and diverse sea life around the shores of Kaikoura from our coast side camp. We’d highly recommend starting the day with a dolphin swim as the dolphins around the Kaikoura coast are some of the most playful performers in the World and its very common to get pods in excess of 20 dolphins.

Those starting their trip in Christchurch join us at 2:30pm by the Antarctic centre as we head out to Rangitata.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Upgrades Available: Yes
Driving distance: approx 3.5 hours

This is a unique chance to get up close and personal with dolphins in their natural environment. There are a few hours to enjoy some great walks around the area or to just relax in town.

We then continue south to Christchurch to pick up our new friends meeting us there, before heading out towards the Southern Alps with fantastic views across the Canterbury plains – real Lord of the Rings country! We set up camp near Peel Forest at shearers headquarters where we will enjoy a classic kiwi bbq. There is a great cycle ride into camp.

DAY 8 : RANGITATA TO LAKE PUKAKI

Waking by stunning Peel Forest near the foot of the Southern Alps. We get the chance to try rafting at one of the most consistent spots in the South Island offering exciting conditions throughout the year. Peel Forest is a great place to enjoy shorter walks and rides and get your cameras ready for the most photogenic lake in New Zealand.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Upgrades Available: No – beautiful lakeside camp (alternatives will be found in bad weather)
Driving distance: approx 2.5 hours

We pass through some real southern country gems and Geraldine (home of the World’s largest jersey!!!).

After a very scenic drive we arrive in stunning Lake Tekapo with its fantastic lake and beautiful Alpine surround. You have some time here to take in the beautiful scenery before we head to Lake Pukaki – our camp for the night – get your swimmers and cameras ready!

DAY 9 : LAKE PUKAKI TO AORAKI NATIONAL PARK

Today we have some excellent options for hikers and cyclists around the Mount Cook region. Be prepared for snow capped mountain backdrops and amazing views around every corner – just check out the photos in our gallery. We then head to the coast to set up camp in a stunning spot right on the beach.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Upgrades Available: No – beautiful beach camp
Driving distance: approx 2.5 hours

Today we explore the area around Mount Cook National Park – this staggeringly beautiful area is home to snow capped peaks, turquoise waters and the Tasman Glacier – the largest in New Zealand. We then head back to the east coast passing through a few classic NZ country towns including Kurow, birth place of All Black rugby legend Richie McCaw! A quick stop in Oamaru then a short drive to our magnificent beach camp at Kakanui. An optional coastal bike ride into camp and penguin viewing at night

DAY 10 : AORAKI NATIONAL PARK TO OTAGO PENINSULA

Enjoying waking up to the sound of waves lapping the beach, with the option to clear your head with a sunrise beach stroll. Today is our chance opportunity to visit the wildlife capital of New Zealand, the Otago Peninsula, home to an abundance of magnificent wildlife including albatross and penguins. Tonight we camp out on the peninsula with fantastic cycle and walk options.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner
Upgrades Available: Yes
Driving distance: approx 2.5 hours

We will be heading out towards the mystical Moeraki Boulders and onto the historic Scottish city of Dunedin – home to the World’s steepest street. This southern city is also home to the Cadbury chocolate factory and the famous Speight’s brewery.

DAY 11 : OTAGO PENINSULA TO MILFORD SOUND

Journey through scenic southern pastures and enjoy a peaceful lakeside picnic. We stop in the lakeside town of Te Anau before heading to Fiordland National Park and our historic camp in the unspoilt Hollyford Valley – this site is a true wilderness escape. Excellent rides & an awesome bush trek

Meals Included: Breakfast & Dinner
Upgrades Available: Yes
Driving distance: approx 3.5 hours

Heading through some of New Zealand’s most dramatic natural scenery on our way through Fiordland. Large parts of the landscape have been carved out over thousands of years to leave stunning paths that weave through snow-capped mountains. We stop off at magnificent Lake Manapouri for a picnic lunch and swim, then head to Te Anau with an optional cycle and a chance to explore the lakeside town. On the way to our rugged camp deep in the Fiordland National Park we will stop to take in the amazing views with some short walks.

DAY 12 : MILFORD SOUND TO FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK

Travel one of the World’s most scenic routes into Milford Sound and enjoy a relaxing downhill ride to one of NZ’s best sights! Boat cruise to enjoy the fiord up close. Routeburn Track walkers depart for their 3 day adventure. Stunning lakeside camp which has a huge variety of track, road & lakeside bike rides.

Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch
Upgrades Available: Yes
Driving distance: approx 2.5 hours

Taking in one of the most scenic drives in the world on our way to Milford Sound. The scenery is breathtaking and make sure your cameras are well charged as there are amazing views to be seen. On the way in we stop at the beautiful Chasm for a chance to stretch your legs.

We then spend some time at one of the world’s natural wonders and we highly recommend taking in the boat trip on Milford Sound with dramatic waterfalls, snow-capped peaks and possible wildlife spotting of dolphins, penguins and seals! As it’s just the one road in we head back along the same breathtaking route to our lakeside camp. Along the way we drop off the lucky ones who will be doing the three day hike on the Routeburn Track. Keep an eye out for Keas – they are not shy, especially if you’ve got food!

DAY 13 : FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK TO QUEENSTOWN

An early start to the activities capital of the world…Queenstown!

Meals Included: Breakfast
Upgrades Available: Yes – free lodge upgrades
Driving distance: 2.5hrs

In the morning we journey to Queenstown on the shore of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown has the well-deserved reputation for being the adventure capital of the world with an abundance of activities! Test yourself with an adrenalin pumping bungy, canyon swing, skydive or paraglide just to name a few, or enjoy a more relaxed horse trek, sail or gondola ride – this place has it all, as well as spectacular views. Great cycle rides and walks in scenic alpine areas.

DAY 14 : QUEENSTOWN

A full day to enjoy Queenstown and it’s many activities on offer!

Meals Included: Breakfast
Upgrades Available: yes – free upgrade to lodge
Driving distance: 0 – a non driving day!

Providing the adrenalin junkies with the ultimate fix – Queenstown! Every mad thrill sport is here, so get ready, charge yourself up and leap, scream and ride your way along some of the best attractions in New Zealand!

Queenstown is also a stunning place with excellent shops, cafes and bars and we will be making the most of all of them. On board we have got some guides to flick through with a heap of activities to choose from including bungy, jet boat, horse riding and much, much more.

For cyclists there’s also a great route along the lake shore. At midday the Routeburn walkers will re-join the group with their amazing stories to share.

DAY 15 : QUEENSTOWN

Another chance to try any of the numerous activities including bungy, canyon swing, skydive, paraglide, horse trek or gondola ride – to name a few! This is the last day of the tour and there is plenty to keep you busy with options to extend the trip or stay on for more fun and frolics in the stunning, adrenalin capital.

Meals Included: no meals
Upgrades Available: na
Driving distance: 0

Giving you a last chance to throw yourself off a bridge before the end of your tour! There’s the chance to try any of the great Queenstown buzzes in the morning before your trip wraps up.

Arrive to United States, US

Inclusions & Highlights

Below are a few of our favourite parts of this tour  - but check out the itinerary as there are plenty more…

 Amazing activity options including dolphin swimming, kayaking, skydiving, white water rafting, bungy jumping, Milford Sound cruise, glow-worm caves, whale watching and more

 Visit one of the World’s new natural wonders – Milford Sound

 Visit NZ’s best national Parks

 Cycle sections of the New Zealand Cycle trail and heaps of excellent optional rides along coastlines, through forests and past towering mountains

 Camp out at the foot of the Southern Alps, by beaches and by lakes

 Hike the amazing Routeburn Track & Tongariro Crossing

 Dig your own hot pool on a stunning beach

 Tuck in to fresh crayfish by the coast

 Visit a UNESCO World Heritage site

 Learn about kiwi culture and traditions

 Visit secret spots other tourists don’t know about

 Enjoy dining out in amazing locations by lakes mountains and oceans

 Discover the wild, rugged beauty of the Catlins region

 Enjoy stunning sunrises with accommodation on the Pacific coast

 Scenic ferry crossing through the Marlborough sounds included

Optional hires:
Cycle hire $245
Private cycle handling $95
Single tent upgrade (inc. mattress) $85
Sleeping bag hire $40

ACCOMMODATION

- A spacious, shared tent is included in the price (sharing with one other person of a similar age/same sex). For those travelling together you will get your own private tent. The tents are actually designed for 3 people so there’s plenty of room to stretch out.

- You can upgrade to have the tent to yourself for a small fee (just $75 for the 28 day Ultimate Explorer trip) 

- You can upgrade to cabins most nights for a small fee. You will be able to decide on the day and its a great option if you fancy treating yourself for a few extra $s. It also ensures that you dont need to worry about unpredictable weather.  If you would like to book any upgrades prior to the trip then no problem – just let our office know and they can sort this for you for a small service fee ($NZ20).

- Tents are easy to put up (even for those who haven’t camped before) and our friendly guides are always there to give you a helping hand

- Comfy mattresses are included to ensure a great nights rest

- There are many great sites where we spend 2 nights and 3 days giving you more time to explore the best areas

-  For those doing the longer trips there are a few nights where we visit the major cities (Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown). In some of these places we will help arrange accommodation in a centrally located hostel to give you the chance to explore the city and enjoy a big night out for those that are keen.

- Our customised vehicles have a trailer behind with all equipment – kitchen, sports gear, tents and much more so we are self sufficient as we explore the best parts of New Zealand.

WHERE DO WE CAMP?

In some of the most stunning areas of New Zealand. The big advantage of choosing tents and cabins over hostels (apart from busy dorms and crowded kitchens) is easy access to amazing landscapes.

We use a carefully chosen combination of well managed camp sites. These range from wonderful DOC (department of conservation) camps often in wilderness locations to commercial camping grounds usually run by local kiwi families and great places to hang out with the locals.

DOC camping grounds are ideal for those looking to get “beyond the tourist trail”, often located in stunning spots near lakes, mountains and coasts. You will find facilities a little more basic but still everything we need with running water, toilets and fireplaces.

Commercial camping grounds offer facilities of a high standard with communal kitchens, dining areas and many with games and TV rooms. What makes camp sites in New Zealand so appealing is the excellent locations and immerse yourself in kiwi culture

HOW DO I UPGRADE?

If the weather isn’t great or you fancy a break from the tent, upgrades to cabin or dorm type options are available most nights. The cost to upgrade varies from approximately NZ$12 to $30 per night. Most of these upgrade options also provide twin and double upgrades.

In some of our more remote and most stunning campsites upgrades aren’t always available. However, don’t worry  – if the weather isn’t great we will generally find alternatives to these sites.

You can decide if you want to upgrade on the day but if your very keen to upgrade then contact us prior to your trip and we can book your accommodation in advance. Upgrades are subject to availability and around the busier months of December and January it is worth giving prior notice if you are interested in upgrades.

HOSTELS & HOTELS

We also use hostels on our trip for accommodation in cities and before and after trips. These hostels are carefully chosen to give you great access to all the city highlights in a great value, fun environment.

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