New Zealand classic tour
Itinerary day by day
DAY 1 : ARRIVAL IN AUCKLAND
Welcome to New Zealand!
Arrival in Auckland and transfer to your hotel.
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. Located between two large bays and endowed with the craters of long-extinct volcanoes, it is also the crossroads of different cultures. Not forgetting of course its All Back and America’s Cup!
Also known as the “City of Sails”, you can’t miss the hundreds of sailing boats gliding in the wind in the magnificent bay of Auckland.
DAY 2 : TAIRUA
Pick up your rental car and departure for the next stop on your route: The Coromandel Peninsula.
Known worldwide for its natural beauty, mysterious forests and golden beaches with crystal clear waters, this area is full of heavenly corners!
DAY 3 : COROMANDEL - ROTORUA
Head north to the peninsula where you can relax at Hot Water Beach. Natural hot water with bubbles from the mainland, you can choose your Jacuzzi on the beach (only at low tide)… and admire the ocean right in front of you!
You will continue your journey to Hahei Beach. You will cross Te Pare, a historic reserve, belonging to an ancient Māori Pa (fortified village). After a short walk of an hour along the cliff, you can walk down to the breathtaking cathedral bay beach: a giant arch of white rock.
Arrival in Rotorua at the end of the day: you will discover the heart of the Pacific geothermal activity, an integral part of Rotorua’s past and present.
The city is also home to the Te Arawa tribe, which has been on the site of the geothermal lake for over 600 years.
DAY 4 : ROTORUA
A day of diving in the world of Rotorua. Rotorua will fascinate you with its unique geothermal phenomenon and offer you an incomparable cultural experience: geysers and bubbling mud baths, marae, Hangi festival, etc..
You can take the opportunity to buy your own souvenirs, you will not find as many choices as in Rotorua for everything related to Māori art and culture.
There are many activities to choose from such as the Polynesian Spa, Te Puia Park, Rainbow Springs Park with Kiwi Encounter, and much more.
You can opt for a helicopter or floating plane flight over White Island, a volcanic island still in activity.
End the day with a Māori dinner show and enjoy the traditional Hangi dinner at Te Puia.
DAY 5 : TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, drive to Tongariro National Park via the Wai-O-Tapu site, located about 30 minutes from Rotorua. Its geyser Lady Knox can reach 20 meters (the geyser explodes at 10:30 am)!
You can explore the hot tubs, geysers, and natural beauty of this geothermal park!
On the way you will pass through pine forests to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, created by a huge volcanic explosion a few thousand years ago. Stop at Huka Falls: “the sparkling waterfalls”, formed by the flow of the Waikato River.
Follow the Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. Mount Ruapehu, the oldest of the three volcanoes in the area, dominates the northern island.
DAY 6 : WELLINGTON
Departure for the capital of New Zealand: Wellington, a colourful and charming city situated between hills and bays.
“Windy Welli” is also known for its nightlife: numerous concerts in the cafes and bars of Cuba Street and Courtenay Place.
Don’t miss Te Papa, a national museum that offers a unique and authentic experience of the culture, history, and treasures of this country.
Overnight stay at Travelodge Hotel (or similar) in Standard room.
DAY 7 : ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK
Leaving early in the morning to leave the vehicle. After 3 hours on the ferry you disembark at Picton on the South Island.
During the crossing you will discover the Marlborough Sounds dotted with small islands, bays, and forests.
You will pick up a new vehicle on arrival.
On the way to Abel Tasman National Park take the scenic Queen Charlotte Highway with a stop in the charming town of Nelson.
DAY 8 : ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK
Free day to discover the park, you will be seduced by its forests and beaches with turquoise waters.
Abel Tasman offers a wide range of activities: hiking along marked trails, kayaking, cruising or simply lazing on the beach!
DAY 9 : HOKITIKA
You will leave the Abel Tasman area for the west coast of South Island. Drive along the coastal road to Greymouth without missing the Pancake Rocks. Located in Paparoa National Park, these are pancake-like rock formations stacked on top of each other, on which the Tasman Sea is unleashed. You can admire them during a 30-minute walk on a marked path (the start is in front of the information point).
DAY 10 : FRANZ JOSEF
On arrival at Franz Josef, walk to the glacier.
Along with Argentina, New Zealand is one of the rare countries where you can see glaciers descending so low (250 meters), and so close to the ocean, unusual in this universe of forests, rocks, and water.
DAY 11 : QUEENSTOWN
Morning departure for Queenstown and passage through Fox Glacier.
Stop along the way in the small town of Wanaka. Located on the southern tip of the lake, Wanaka is one of the most popular tourist resorts in the country.
Arrive late afternoon in Queenstown, an iconic mountain resort in a fantastic location between lake and mountain.
DAY 12 : QUEENSTOWN
Free day to discover the dynamic and trendy Queenstown. Known for extreme sports but also for gastronomy and wine, lake cruises, spas, shopping, and golf!
Don’t miss Bob’s Peak cable car, one of Queenstown’s landmarks, and the way up the Dart River to Glenorchy.
For the more adventurous, don’t miss the Shotover Jet Boat experience… not to mention bungee jumping!
DAY 13 : TE ANAU
Morning departure in the direction of the Fiordland National Park via the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. The road to Milford Sound is considered one of the most beautiful in the country.
Upon arrival in Milford, departure for a 1.5-hour cruise in the fjords.
Return to Te Anau at the end of the day.
DAY 14 : TWIZEL
Crossing the land by the fruit-growing region of Central Otago and then discovering Lake Pukaki from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Mount Cook: the highest point in New Zealand, 3720 meters above sea level.
Possibility to extend the route to the village of Mount Cook (about 1h30) round trip from Twizel: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park offers a variety of excursions.
Visit the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre which has a planetarium and a small museum that traces the history of the region.
DAY 15 : CHRISTCHURCH
Road to Christchurch along Lake Tekapo. Located in the Mackenzie region, its turquoise water is due to the rocky bottom of this glacier.
You can take a short walk to the chapel of the Good Shepherd Church or simply admire the view.
Before arriving in Christchurch, take the scenic route between Lyttelton and Sumner to appreciate the beauty of the Banks Peninsula.
DAY 16 : END OF ITINERARY
Morning at leisure to visit the town of Christchurch. The central city is full of cutting-edge architecture, alongside some of New Zealand’s oldest buildings. The Avon River runs through the city, bringing a natural landscape into the urban environment. Expect street art and innovative projects, a vibrant hospitality scene, and established green spaces.
Drop off your rental car at Christchurch Airport before your return flight.
End of our services, see you soon!