Best of New Zealand: Maori Culture & Mountain Coastlines

Best of New Zealand: Maori Culture & Mountain Coastlines
Best of New Zealand: Maori Culture & Mountain Coastlines
Best of New Zealand: Maori Culture & Mountain Coastlines
Best of New Zealand: Maori Culture & Mountain Coastlines
Best of New Zealand: Maori Culture & Mountain Coastlines
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • FAQ
  • Dates
  • G Adventures

Now's the time to explore New Zealand on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. They say good travel happens on small islands. Regardless of whether or not that's an actual saying, the small islands of New Zealand pack plenty of exploratory punch. Go from surfing in Raglan to hiking in Abel Tasman National Park to cruising remote fjords and taking in some Insta-worthy views. But if you’re short on travel dollars, fear not; this trip squeezes in the very best of both the North and South Islands into an affordable, action-packed 21-day itinerary where you'll move swiftly without feeling rushed.

Highlights
  • Cycle a historic rail trail
  • Learn about Maori culture
  • Discover Abel Tasman National Park by foot
  • Surf some waves
  • Get an adrenaline rush in Rotorua and Queenstown
Transport
Private vehicle, kayak, boat, ferry
Accommodation
Hostels (11 nts, multi-share with 4-8 people), basic lodges (9 nts). Most nights are multi-share on this trip.
Meals Included
19 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners
Destinations
  • Australasia
  • New Zealand
Tour Types
  • Canoeing-Kayaking
  • Skydiving (Tandem)
  • Walking
  • White water rafting
  • Cultural
  • Photography
  • Adventure
  • Small Group
  • 18-30 somethings

Location: Auckland

Arrive at any time. It’s time to make some memories! Join your CEO and group for a night out in Auckland. Dinner, drinks, ice cream? You’ll mix and match these depending on the mood of the group to enjoy a wonderful evening. So what are you waiting for? Grab dinner somewhere tasty, or head to Giapo ice cream parlour—contributor to Planeterra for a sweet snack, or wander downtown to check out craft beer bars like Little Creatures and Habana Joe's. The options seem endless, so regardless of where the night takes you just make sure to snap loads of pictures because there’s no doubt you’ll want to remember this experience.<p>Arrive in Auckland at any time. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. If you arrive early enough, opt to visit the Maritime Museum, walk the waterfront, or even take the ferry to Waiheke Island.</p><p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Jump right into your adventure by adding the 'Auckland Sailing: America's Cup Experience' extra to your tour. Work with a crew to sail around Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on a competitive yacht, and take in the stunning views. PLEASE NOTE: If booking this extra, a pre-night in Auckland is highly recommended as this activity may start early in the morning on Day 1. If you are interested in visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set, we recommended that you book additional pre-trip accommodations and purchase a day trip from Auckland on (or prior to) Day 1 of this tour. OR, you can opt to wait until your tour begins, and book a ticket with your CEO (please note that there are limited tickets on the ground - which could result in you missing out if you wait to book with your CEO).</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Your opportunity to meet your CEO and fellow travellers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards. Don't forget to see the notice in the lobby (or ask reception) for the official time and place to meet up with the group.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Connect with new friends on your first night out in a new destination. Only available on 18-to-Thirtysomethings tours.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Jucy Snooze Auckland (or similar)

Meals: ,No Meals,

Location: Auckland, Raglan

Begin your journey along backroads to a remote eel farm (this might sound strange, but life’s more fun when you embrace the bizarre) where you will learn about sustainable aquaculture and the conservations farm’s methods regarding traditionally farmed marine life. After, get on the water for some sea kayaking; exploring remote parts of the harbour before indulging in a picnic lunch. With full stomachs and a relaxed atmosphere the group will head to our lodge just a few minutes drive from the famous surf and arts town of Raglan for the night.<p>Travel backroads to a remote conservation farm where they are using natural means to boost the stocks of traditionally farmed marine life. Farmers have created a balanced ecosystem to attract native birds and animals back to the area. After, kayak to a remote part of the harbour for a boat cruise and lunch, before heading to our lodge a few minutes drive from the famous surf and arts town of Raglan for the night. </p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit a local sustainable eel farm which focuses on developing sustainable aquaculture and biological solutions for dairy farms in an effort to restore lowland wetland eco-systems. Be inspired by their green initiatives – they practice the art of giving more back to the environment than they take out.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Tour Raglan’s secluded bays and unique coastline by kayak. Paddle the inner harbour to get up close to wildlife, fish, and (fingers crossed) orcas. Discover the pancake rocks on the harbour's northern side.</p>

Accommodation: ,

Accommodation Name: Lava Lounge (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,Lunch,

Location: Raglan

Wake up amid the adventurous in the picturesque North Island town of Raglan. This laid-back place may well be New Zealand’s perfect surf town and you’ll get to enjoy an included surf lesson to get you out in the waves. The afternoon is yours for the taking; head on a hike around the Wainui Reserve, grab a kayak or stand up paddle board and traverse the harbour, or embrace the Indigenous art scene and shop from place to place finding the perfect memento for your trip. Your only job today is to get out, relax, and have fun!<p>Head down to the beach for an included surf lesson. The afternoon is open for optional activities such as yoga, stand up paddle boarding or exploring the many trails in the area.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Learn how to catch a wave in this three-hour surf lesson. Start with instruction on dry land before heading into the surf. Take advantage of the large soft boards used in class (they help everyone stand up).</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: AFTERNOON</strong> Enjoy free time any way you want in this surfing town. Head to the beach to hang ten or relax with a cold drink and plan your next activities.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Lava Lounge (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Raglan, Rotorua

Another day another chance to explore! Today the group will begin journeying to Rotorua with a stop along the way in Waitomo. Here you can choose to go caving in the famous Waitomo caves, where you will see glow worms light up the cave’s ceiling just like stars in the night sky (sounds like a pretty unforgettable experience to us.) Next stop is Rotorua, notable for its geothermal activity (think hot springs galore) and culture. Once the group arrives here you will visit a local village for an engaging cultural experience to help you better understand the Maori way of life.<p>Stop en route at Waitomo. Enjoy free time to visit the Waitomo Caves, famous for their glow-worms and adventure activities, or explore this scenic area by foot. Continue to Rotorua for an engaging cultural experience on the grounds of a historic Maori village.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Immerse yourself in a Maori cultural experience on the grounds of a historic Maori village. Participate in a pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), and learn about the history of the marae (village) and the Rotorua-area from a local Maori guide. Discover the abundant geothermal energy surrounding the village that’s used for cooking, heating, and communal bath houses.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Rock Solid Backpackers Rotorua (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Rotorua, Taupo

Make the most of your morning in Rotorua. There's lots to see and do! Opt to go whitewater rafting or mountain biking for an adrenaline rush, try your hand at zorbing, or relax at a hot spring. Later, continue to Taupo.<p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: MORNING</strong> With lots to see and do in Rotorua, get out and explore!</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Base Taupo (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Taupo, Wellington

Hit the road to the nation’s capital at the southern end of the North Island. Take in the ever-changing scenery, swap travel stories with your group, and simply reflect on your journey. The group will arrive early enough to visit the National Museum, Te Papa — home to displays of historical Maori artifacts and modern exhibits. Then the choice is yours, so take that cable car ride to the hills overlooking the city, or make that stroll along the Oriental Parade happen because you're here now and you might as well take advantage of everything around you. The group will finish the day off with an optional night out on the town together in the central business district.<p>Travel to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Arrive early enough for a visit to the National Museum, Te Papa. Take a short walk from our accommodation to see the sights of the central business district. Finish the day off with an optional night on the town.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: AFTERNOON</strong> Spend some time exploring the city.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Whether it’s a pub crawl, drink specials or a bonfire on the beach, celebrate late into the night with your new best friends.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Nomads Capital (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Wellington, Abel Tasman National Park

Don't forget those cameras before hopping on the morning ferry to cross the Cook Strait. Pro tip: make sure you stand outside and marvel at the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the tip of the South Island. Then drive past lush native forests, beautiful clear waters, blue skies, and golden sands as the group travels to Abel Tasman National Park.<p>Catch a morning ferry and cross the scenic Cook Strait. Make sure to stand outside and enjoy the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Disembark and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park, well-known for its stunning white sand beaches.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p>

Accommodation: ,

Meals: ,Breakfast,Dinner,

Location: Abel Tasman National Park

Picture this: birdsong ringing from the treetops as you wander through the undergrowth stumbling upon occasional waterfalls nestled in the midst of the forest. You take a dip in one of the refreshing pools before finding your way to pristine coastline and turquoise bays where you can soak up the sun and relax in the sand. This is the kind of day that awaits you in Abel Tasman NP, you are free to explore the golden beaches and winding waterways any way you’d like! So have fun, build a sand castle for us, and let the adventures continue!<p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Walk along a coastline track from Anchorage to Marahau to one of the world's most scenic golden sand beaches.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Old MacDonalds Farm (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Abel Tasman National Park, Westport

It’s off to Westport today! Breathe in the fresh air and soak in the beautiful views as the group heads south down the coast of black-sand beaches. Make a (very cool) pit stop to a seal colony in Cape Fouldwind and watch these majestic animals in their habitat before continuing on to Westport for the evening. Once you arrive grab a beer, talk to some locals, and discover the true charm of this coal mining town.<p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Stop by a viewing platform over a New Zealand fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind. Female seals will live in the same colony for the duration of their lives, whereas male seals move around more. The males visit the Cape Foulwind colony between late November and mid-January for mating season. All seasons offer plenty of activity to check out, from mating to the raising of baby pups and feeding out at sea.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Tripinn Hostel YHA Westport (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,Dinner,

Location: Westport, Franz Josef / Waiau

Continue on a scenic drive south along the coast to Punakaiki; think pancake rocks and blowholes (man, those are two random things we never thought would be in the same sentence). As a special spot full of local secrets Punakaiki is a great place to hop out of the bus, stretch those legs, and appreciate the strange beauty nature can create.<p>Continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Walk along a loop trail with informative signs detailing how the 'Pancake Rocks' were formed millions of years ago. When the trail reaches the coast, there are many lookouts for photo stops and beautiful views of the coast, the rocks and the blowholes found along the area.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: FULL DAY</strong> With tons of optional activities available around Franz Josef, get out there and explore!</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Rainforest Retreat (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,Dinner,

Location: Franz Josef

Enjoy a free day in Franz Josef. Today is all yours to spend as you please! From hiking to kayaking and walking on a glacier, there’s bound to be something you’ll want to check off that bucket list. If your goal is to make actual contact with the glacier then try a heli-hike or guided ice walk. Or you could let nature be your guide and lose yourself in the rainforests, lakes, and waterfalls that surround Franz Josef. If you’d rather stay in town, then grab a bite to eat before booking a spa treatment at the Glacier Hot Pools... the choice is yours!<p><strong>FREE TIME: FULL DAY</strong> Enjoy a free day to explore the beautiful Franz Josef area.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Rainforest Retreat (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Franz Josef, Queenstown

Hit the road to the adventure capital of the world — Queenstown. Sit back, relax and gaze out the window as you drive away from Glacier Country and wind through lush forests back to the coast and into the mountains over Haast Pass. The photo opportunities will seem endless (make sure those cameras are charged.) Then gear up and get ready because the adrenaline is going to be pumping the next few days.<p><strong>TRANSPORT: MORNING</strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Snooze Queenstown

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Queenstown

Let’s put it this way, if you’re the sort of person that loves adventure mixed with adrenaline all while exploring one of the most scenic places in the country, then Queenstown is for you! Gear up for two days that are sure to leave you breathless. Free time in Queenstown is no joke, so be a dare devil and get ready to have those hearts pumping with some adrenaline-filled options like jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> If you have pre-booked the Queenstown Jet Boating, your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity during your tour, as days are subject to change. Please note - in the winter months (early/mid June to early/mid October) skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps is a highlight for any visitor. Most of the optional activities are also available, ask your CEO which ones are in season.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: FULL DAY</strong> Do as much or as little as wanted during a free day to explore the area.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Jucy Snooze Queenstown (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Queenstown

Let’s put it this way, if you’re the sort of person that loves adventure mixed with adrenaline all while exploring one of the most scenic places in the country, then Queenstown is for you! Gear up for two days that are sure to leave you breathless. Free time in Queenstown is no joke, so be a dare devil and get ready to have those hearts pumping with some adrenaline-filled options like jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> If you have pre-booked the Queenstown Jet Boating, your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity during your tour, as days are subject to change. Please note - in the winter months (early/mid June to early/mid October) skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps is a highlight for any visitor. Most of the optional activities are also available, ask your CEO which ones are in season.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: FULL DAY</strong> Do as much or as little as wanted during a free day to explore the area.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Jucy Snooze Queenstown (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Queenstown, Te Anau

Let your breathing finally return to normal as the group departs Queenstown to visit Fiordland National Park. After arriving, soak up the chill vibes on a boat cruise through one of the most iconic places in New Zealand — Milford Sound. Marvel at the views of one of the wettest places on Earth and then if you are feeling up to it, book a cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit a cave that is home to thousands of glowworms.<p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Recharge your camera and be ready to shoot stunning photos of waterfalls, mountains stretching up to the sky and down to the sea and then search for dolphins and seals. This place is any artist's dream!</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p>

Accommodation: ,Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park (or similar)

Meals: ,No Meals,

Location: Te Anau, Central Otago

It’s time to discover the natural beauty of Te Anau with a morning of free time. Head out to hike on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, visit the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, and try a savoury pie from Miles Better Pies. Then, it’s time to transfer to Wedderburn in Central Otago to give the eastern part of the South Island some love.<p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Mt Ida Shearers Quarters (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,Dinner,

Location: Wedderburn

Enjoy the unique landscape of Central Otago while biking 35 km on the Otago Rail Trail. Cycle through one historic town after another and sample some local food and drink as you go.<p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Drive to one of the best starting points of the Historic Otago Rail Trail. Spend the better part of the day cycling along an easy gradient through stunning scenery along 35km of the old rail trail. Cycle through scenery unspoiled by traffic and not visible from any roads. </p>

Accommodation: ,Hostel,

Accommodation Name: Mt Ida Shearers Quarters (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Wedderburn, Christchurch

Scoot on up to Christchurch to explore the South Island’s largest city and one of the places in New Zealand with the strongest English influences. Enjoy free time to explore and see what the nightlife is all about with your travel tribe, and grab some shut eye in a converted jailhouse to finish the evening.<p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: </strong> Spend the afternoon exploring Christchurch during free time.</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Jailhouse Accommodation (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Christchurch, Kaikoura

Mountains, marine life, and magic! Kaikoura is pretty darn special, so special in fact, that it may be the South Island’s best kept secret. The best way to experience it is to get out there and witness what this rugged coastal town does best. Book a whale watching cruise, swim with seals, or just take a walk along the coast admiring the scenery. In the afternoon try bird watching, swim with dolphins or splurge on flight over the peninsula.<p>Spend the afternoon swimming with dolphins or taking a scenic flight over the peninsula. Bird watchers will be pleased to know that big ocean birds such as albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters frequent the area.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: AFTERNOON</strong> Head out and explore this beautiful area. View some of the wildlife in the area or hit the trails to get a workout with a view. </p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Dusky Lodge (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Kaikoura, Wellington

Reminisce and reflect as you and the group travel to Picton to catch a ferry back to Wellington. Watch the majestic scenery of this country unfold before you and simply appreciate the moment (we know you’re probably already making plans to return.) Once back in the city grab some grub with your travel crew and let the good times roll for one last night out together.<p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Immerse yourself in the nightlife of Wellington on this night out with the group. Put those competitive hats on and play games at Blend Bar (may the best person win) and then put those dancing shoes to good use as you shimmy and shake the night away with your adventure buddies by your side. There’s no one cooler than this travel crew right here!</p>

Accommodation: ,Hotel,

Accommodation Name: Nomads Capital (or similar)

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Location: Wellington

Depart at any time.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> If you are interested in experiencing the Weta Workshop please talk to your CEO about booking post nights for this tour as this activity is on the final day of the trip in Wellington.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure. </p>

Accommodation: ,

Meals: ,Breakfast,

Included
  • -Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
  • -Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends
  • -Your Big Night Out Moment: Wellington
  • -Your Hands-On Moment: Surf Lesson, Raglan
  • -Your Big Night Out Moment: Wellington.
  • -Your Discover Moment: Queenstown
  • -Your Discover Moment: Franz Josef
  • - Sea kayaking excursion (Raglan)
  • - Conservation farm visit (Raglan)
  • - Maori cultural experience
  • - Walks in Franz Josef and Abel Tasman National Parks
  • - Visit to a seal colony
  • - Milford Sound nature cruise
  • - Mountain biking excursion (Central Otago)
  • - Fiordland NP visit
  • - All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • - Orientation walk in Wellington
  • Accommodation
    -Hostels (11 nts, multi-share with 4-8 people), basic lodges (9 nts). Most nights are multi-share on this trip.
  • Meals
    -19 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners Allow USD440-575 for meals not included.
  • Fully Guided
    -CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.

Not Included
  • Tipping and Gratuities
    -
  • International Travel
    -
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.
Multi-share accommodation, on a single-sex basis (typically 4-6 people per room), is very common in New Zealand and is the way you will be spending most of your nights. We have specifically chosen unique accommodations to give local flavour to your trip. Couples: Please note that due to the types of accommodation used in New Zealand, couples will likely be split into separate rooms where we use multi-share hostels. Pending availability, couples may be able to pay extra while on tour to have their own room in some destinations. Accommodation will be varied throughout your adventure. Towels and soap are not always provided at overnight stops, so it's best to bring your own for bathing. Bathroom and showering facilities are shared and are very rarely en-suite. PRE/POST ACCOMMODATION: If booking additional nights before or after your tour, accommodation will be multi-share on a mixed gender basis.
Our vans are mini-coaches. Occasionally with smaller group sizes we will use smaller, equally comfortable 13-seater vehicles. All mini-coaches tow a trailer for luggage and camping equipment (when needed). All groups have one CEO/Driver. The vehicles are factory built with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. It is mandatory to wear a seatbelt while riding in our vehicles.
Hostels (11 nts, multi-share with 4-8 people), basic lodges (9 nts). Most nights are multi-share on this trip.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office in Melbourne. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Local Office and after office hours emergency number From outside Australia: +61 432 705 621 From within Australia: 0432 705 621 If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operations manager, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups. As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
Max 20, avg 16
Learn about Maori culture, surf some waves, get an adrenaline rush in Rotorua and Queenstown, discover Abel Tasman National Park by foot, cycle a historic rail trail
1. This tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures prior to Day 1 of your tour, and some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour after your trip concludes. 2. Please be aware that wifi and internet access is not as readily available in New Zealand as in other parts of the world. There are often additional charges to connect to the internet, and speeds may be slower than what you are used to. 3. Over public holidays in Australia and New Zealand (such as Christmas, New Years Day, Easter, and Anzac Day) there may be some limitations of services and disruptions to schedules. In general our tours still operate effectively over public holidays, but there may be closures of optional activities and restaurants, and slight itinerary adjustments in order to provide all tour inclusions.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1) Please also note that when in Franz Josef optional activities may be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. 2) COMBO TRIP Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
By Taxi: $70-80, approximately 30 minutes. By Shuttle Bus: $33 for 1 person, $8 per additional. The "Super Shuttle" is a 24-hour service that takes approximately 1 hour. The shuttle waits outside of the terminal and provides door-to-door service. By Skybus: $18 per person. Leaves from outside the airport terminal every 10-15 minutes and takes approximately 1 hour. Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets. Please note that most included breakfasts will consist of cereal, milk, bread and spreads, juice, tea and instant coffee. Having a simple breakfast together most days allows us the flexibility to get on the road early and get from point A to B all that much faster.
19 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners
Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in New Zealand and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases. Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of local currency (preferably smaller bills, 5's, 10's and 20's), traveller’s cheques and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is easy to find in New Zealand in the gateway cities and most banks do accommodate. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at <a href="https://www.gadventures.com/newsletters/">www.gadventures.com/newsletters/</a> Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for <a href="http://letsgo.gadventures.com/Planeterra-Consumers_Planeterra-Newsletter-Signup-Page.html">Planeterra's monthly news</a> to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
Auckland - Maritime Museum Visit (20NZD per person) - Auckland Sailing: America's Cup Experience (Pre Tour) Waiheke Island - Waiheke Island Excursion (45-130NZD per person) Rotorua - Hobbiton Tour (112NZD per person) - Whitewater Rafting (89NZD per person) - Mountain Biking (35-130NZD per person) - Hot Springs (30-50NZD per person) - Zorbing (35-50NZD per person) - Hells Gate Geothermal Park (35-90NZD per person) Raglan - Stand Up Paddle Lesson (79NZD per person) - Hiking (Free) Whale Bay - Karioi Loop Walk (Free) Waitomo Caves - Waitomo Lost World Cave Abseil (324NZD per person) - Waitomo Cave Excursion (68NZD per person) Waitomo - Waitomo TumuTumu Toobing (Black Water Rafting) (172NZD per person) - Waitomo Valley Walk (Free) - Waitomo Haggas Honking Holes (220NZD per person) Wellington - Te Papa Museum Visit (Free) - Wellington Cable Car (4-7.50NZD per person) - Zealandia (9-95NZD per person) - Weta Workshop Tour (25-65NZD per person) Abel Tasman National Park - Abel Tasman National Park Kayaking (110NZD per person) - Sailing (90-176NZD per person) - Skydiving (249-399NZD per person) - Canyoning (235NZD per person) Franz Josef - Helicopter Hike (459-539NZD per person) - Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk (79NZD per person) - Hiking (Free) - Franz Josef Kayaking (99-129NZD per person) Queenstown - Vineyard Tour (185-230NZD per person) - Mountain Biking (31.50-140.00NZD per person) - Bungee Jumping (165-205NZD per person) - Paragliding (210NZD per person) - Gondola Ride (35-56NZD per person) - Ziptrek (120-170NZD per person) - Scenic Horse Riding Tour (165-325NZD per person) - Shotover Canyon Swing/Shotover Canyon Fox (169-299NZD per person) - Queenstown Jet Boating - Skydiving (299-459NZD per person) Te Anau - Te Anau Glowworm Caves (88NZD per person) - Hiking (Free-25NZD per person) Otago - Curling (30NZD per person) Kaikoura - Hiking (Free) - Scenic Flight (135-180NZD per person) - Whale Watching (145NZD per person) Kaikoura - Sea Kayaking (95NZD per person)
Cold Weather: • Long-sleeved shirts or sweater • Scarf • Warm gloves • Warm hat • Warm layers Documents: • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border) • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies) • Passport (required) (With photocopies) • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies) • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required) Essentials: • Binoculars (optional) • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries) • Cash, credit and debit cards • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights) • Ear plugs • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal) • Fleece top/sweater • Footwear • Hat • Locks for bags • Long pants/jeans • Moneybelt • Outlet adapter • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.) • Reusable water bottle • Shirts/t-shirts • Sleepwear • Small travel towel • Sunglasses • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable) • Watch and alarm clock • Waterproof backpack cover • Windproof rain jacket Health & Safety: • Face masks (required) • Hand sanitizer (required) • Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.) • Rubber gloves Light Hiking: • Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes • Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended) Warm Weather: • Sandals/flip-flops • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended) • Sun hat/bandana • Swimwear Note: The weather in New Zealand varies depending on the season. Make sure to check the forecast for the time you will be visiting and pack weather appropriate clothing for your trip.
Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures’ itineraries globally. G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need. G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with <a href="https://www.planeterra.org">Planeterra Foundation</a>. Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment. Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions. Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s). Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. <a href="/travel-resources/safety/">Read more about travel safety</a> for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
It is not customary in New Zealand or Australia to tip service providers, but if you do experience outstanding service it is good to do so.  Such service would only usually be in places like quality restaurants and it would be very rare that you would tip more than 10%.  Unless specifically asked to do so at the time (by your CEO) - do not tip your local guides. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, you may consider a small tip - but it certainly isn't expected.
Private vehicle, kayak, boat, ferry
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements as some nationalities need to show proof of an onward travel from New Zealand at the time entry. Important notice for passport holders from 60 visa waiver countries, including the UK, Canada, USA, and EU: Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) From 1 October 2019, passport holders from 60 visa waiver countries travelling by air or cruise and entering New Zealand without a visa (tourists) will need to hold an ETA before travelling to New Zealand. You will be able to apply for an ETA from July 2019. For more information and full list of eligible countries please visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz/nzeta
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. Heavy luggage is not recommended for the health of the CEO, who will take a lead in loading the storage trailer. Due to space in the trailer, we will not be able to accommodate more than one piece of main luggage per person. A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential to carry your personal gear for the day, as access to luggage between destinations will be limited. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends Your Hands-On Moment: Surf Lesson, Raglan Your Big Night Out Moment: Wellington Your Discover Moment: Franz Josef Your Discover Moment: Queenstown Your Big Night Out Moment: Wellington. Conservation farm visit (Raglan). Sea kayaking excursion (Raglan). Maori cultural experience. Visit to a seal colony. Walks in Franz Josef and Abel Tasman National Parks. Fiordland NP visit. Milford Sound nature cruise. Mountain biking excursion (Central Otago). Orientation walk in Wellington. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

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Touring Holidays with G Adventures

Founded in 1990 by Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures is proud to offer the most awe-inspiring selection of affordable small-group tours, safaris and expeditions, all carefully created to appeal to adventure-craving travellers. G Adventures started as a one-man business and is now an award-winning escorted tour operator and the world’s largest adventure travel company of more than 2,200 people in 28 offices around the globe. The team is made up of people who believe in responsible travel and have a desire to create memorable trips that embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport to ensure travellers get behind the scenes and experience the real world in an authentic and sustainable manner.

As the small group adventure travel experts, G Adventures is well-known for offering impressive escorted tours in the most fabulous destinations, such as Italy, Spain, Greece, Norway, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Kenya, South Africa, Antarctica, Canada and Australia. More than 150,000 keen travellers choose a G Adventures tour year on year, resulting from the overabundance of tours and destinations on offer to suit each individual style. You can pretty much travel anywhere with G Adventures and, no matter what kind of traveller you are, the company promises you a tour and a life-changing experience that you will never forget.

Travel styles include active tours, national geographic journeys, marine tours, rail tours, classic tours and family tours. G Adventures also offers wellness tours, 18-to-thirtysomethings tours and local living tours. This means you can enjoy yoga sessions in Thailand, get to know the quirky capital of Iceland or explore the sunny beaches and lush jungles of Central America. Alternatively, you can see southern India by rail, go on an Amazon riverboat adventure or climb the world’s tallest free-standing mountain on a Kilimanjaro escorted tour.

One of the nice things about booking a tour with G Adventures is that you don’t lose your deposit if you cancel or delay your trip. Your deposit remains valid until you’re ready to start your adventure, and you can even pass it on to a friend if you wish. Also, G Adventures offers escorted tours under ABTA protection, guarantees every single departure and has staff available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about a tour. On top of all of that, the company can deliver the tour of a lifetime at a fraction of the cost and will pair up single travellers with a roommate of the same sex to avoid charging a single supplement fee.

G Adventures has won numerous awards to date, including Best Escorted Tour Operator, Best Adventure Travel Company and Best Sustainable Tour Operator, to name just a few. You can also rest assured that G Adventures is committed to doing the right thing all the time for not just the staff and travellers but also the people and the places that the team help you to visit. This includes working with small local businesses and entrepreneurs to strengthen their communities and to ensure your travel money stays where you have spent it.

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tour details

This tour is operated by G Adventures

20 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:Auckland
Finish:Wellington
Group size:16 - 20
Suitable for: Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Accommodation:Hostels (11 nts, multi-share with 4-8 people), basic lodges (9 nts). Most nights are multi-share on this trip.
Physical rating:3 - Average
Meals:19 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners
Diets:Vegetarians, Vegans
Tour operated in: English
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