New Zealand packs quite a reputation for a country so far out on the map. Whether it is surfing in the ocean, hiking up a volcano, or skiing down the glacial slopes, the two islands combined present such a varied topography that there is no shortage of adventures. Moreover, New Zealand is overflowing with history and culture. Maori influence is evident in rugby, food, and entertainment, and the locals are more than delighted to pass on their knowledge to anyone who is willing to learn. Follow this New Zealand tour to find out more:
On the Milford Sound Mariner Overnight Cruise, you will be able to witness these magnificent creations of nature for yourself.
The dynamic landscape of the glacier shifts almost daily due to the fast flow of melting snow.
The significance of Abel Tasman becomes all the keener as a guide relays the history of the area and the diverse ecology of the region.
Day 1: Arrival in New Zealand
Day 2: Milford Sound Multi Transport Tour
Day 3: Full Day Abel Tasman National Park Hiking Tour with Cruise
Day 4: Small Group Franz Josef Glacier Walk
Day 5: Black Water Rafting Waitomo Caves Tour
Day 6: Whakarewarewa Maori Village
Day 7: 'Lord of the Rings' Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
Day 8: Christchurch to Queenstown via Mount Cook One-Way Tour
Day 9: Last Day in New Zealand
The very first day is completely reserved for the arrival in the city and settling in the hotel. After check-in, you can leave the hotel to explore the nearby area.
What would be the better way to start your New Zealand tour with Milford Sound? Milford Sound on the South Island is a spectacular fjord carved by glacier erosion during the Ice Age. The narrow inlets are flanked by steep cliffs that cast a protective shadow over the waters. From these towering peaks, waterfalls cascade down in a continuous roar, some from as high as 100 m (328 ft). The fjord is also teeming with wildlife such as fur seals and penguins. On the Milford Sound Mariner Overnight Cruise, you will be able to witness these magnificent creations of nature for yourself. The journey begins on land with a scenic drive from Queenstown to Te Anau, the beautiful countryside known as the gateway to Milford Sound. From there, you will board a cruise to travel through the inlets, where the occasional curious dolphin might swim by to say hello. There is also a chance to kayak and explore the shores when the cruise docks at Harrison Cove.
The third day is perfect to explore the Abel Tasman Coast, which is known for its golden bays, with turquoise waters gleaming on its left, and the lush forest of the National Park extending far to its right. On this one-day coastal track, a private vehicle takes you from Nelson to the seaside town of Kaiteriteri, passing by blossoming gardens and orchards brimming with fruit along the way. There, a water taxi awaits to ferry you across the crystal-clear bay waters. The significance of Abel Tasman becomes all the keener as a guide relays the history of the area and the diverse ecology of the region. After lunch on the idyllic Torrent Bay beach, it is time for a trek. Feel the sand shift beneath your feet and the salty air fill your lungs, as you embark on the final trek around the estuary to the Anchorage campsite. This coastal cruise and hike tour is the perfect way to appreciate the beauty of the Abel Tasman region.
The fourth day is reserved for the white peaks of Franz Josef Glacier are impressive from afar. However, to truly appreciate why it draws thousands of awestruck visitors each year, you must experience scaling up the glacier for yourself. The dynamic landscape of the glacier shifts almost daily due to the fast flow of melting snow. Nevertheless, under the care of a guide, it is safe to explore the higher altitudes of the glacier. After a safety briefing at the base, where you will be equipped with the necessary gear, a scenic helicopter ride flies you over the breathtaking Southern Alps onto the top of the Franz Josef Glacier. There, you will go on a one to two-hour hike along an ethereal route, where scenes of soaring ice pinnacles and deep crystalline crevasses unfold before you. As a bonus, the tour ends with a trip to the Glacier Hot Pools, where you can almost feel the tension in your muscles melting away in the heat.
The fifth day is ideal for discovering the Waitomo Caves, the name Waitomo derives from the Maori words Wai, which means water, and Tomo, which means hole. Yet this understates the fascinating phenomenon that is the Waitomo Caves. In the darkest depths of these tunnels, native glow worms light up the layers of ancient limestone in a stunning display of iridescence. While a walking or boat tour might suffice to see this surreal sight, a more memorable excursion is to view it on a raft. Float and careen through the network of tunnels in Waitomo caves on an inner tube. Even better, rappel 37 m (121 ft.) into the dark waters for an exhilarating adventure of canyons and waterfalls in The Dark Abyss. Whichever way you choose, you will feel as if you have traversed a different realm when you finally emerge into daylight.
Anyone who travels to New Zealand can appreciate how monumental M?ori culture is to the Kiwis. From daily conversations to sacred ceremonies, the history and language of NZ’s indigenous people are imprinted deeply into the local way of life. At the Whakarewarewa M?ori Village, participants will get to partake in the practices of an actual M?ori community. Learn about the significance of these traditions from residents of the village. Tread the grounds of historical buildings and sacred sites. Be awed by the roars of the Kapa Haka Groups during the cultural performance. To end the tour, request for dinner served in a sumptuous hangi, a traditional M?ori meal cooked over natural geothermal waters. The Tuhourangi/Ngati Wahiao tribe have been hosting visitors for more than 200 years, so you can be assured of a warm welcome to the village.
Most people already know what Hobbiton looks like. The stout hobbit holes, framed by rolling hills and graceful trees, are an iconic sight. The tour takes you on a scenic drive through Rotorua before arriving at the Shire. There, you can see for yourself the places where the Hobbits and Gandalf revealed and conferred before their epic journey. While certain scenes required heavy construction of the location, the owners have also made it a point to preserve the natural splendor of the landscapes as much as possible. Peter Jackson took a look at the place and fell utterly in love. Without a doubt, you will too.
The last day of the tour can only be justified if you take in the unblemished majesty of South Island which is an 11hr coach ride, with a knowledgeable guide at the helm. The journey traverses almost the entire length of the island, going past Mount Cook – the highest mountain in New Zealand, Lake Tekapo – where the dazzling turquoise water is fed directly from the alps, and the rocky Canterbury Plains, known better to Lord of the Rings fans as the wild city of Endora. It also includes a stop at the tranquil Mount Cook Village, from which you can simply rest and be humbled by the soaring peaks of the mountain range, or venture closer for an inspection of nature’s wonder. There is also a second stop at Omarama, a small town in Otago where you can get a feel of rural New Zealand.
Enjoy the last meal at the hotel before you leave for the airport. Call the private transfer that will take you to the airport. Hope you like this New Zealand itinerary and soon will plan for New Zealand tour.
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