Best of New Zealand: Mountain Biking & Black-Sand Beaches - New Zealand
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 kayaking 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.
Day 1 Auckland
Arrive to your hotel by 3pm today to jump straight into the action. Join your CEO and group of travelmates for an exclusive introduction to the All Blacks. Dive straight into this immersive experience to learn all about the famed All Blacks and the significance to Kiwis country wide. Afterward opt to grab dinner with your new friends.
Day 2 Auckland/Raglan
Begin your journey along backroads to Bridal Veil Falls where the group will head out on a short walk through north island native bush to this stunning waterfall. Continue onwards to the surf town of Raglan. After, get on the water for some sea kayaking and a boat trip; exploring remote parts of the harbour before, enjoy some fish & chips. With full stomachs and a relaxed atmosphere the group will head to our accommodation right in the middle of the surf and arts town of Raglan for the night.
Day 3 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.
Day 4 Rotorua
Spend a free day in fascinating Rotorua. Opt to explore a geothermal park, walking past bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools, or go on a white-water rafting excursion. In the evening, you'll visit a thermal valley for an engaging cultural experience by night at the Te Puia Village.
Day 5 Rotorua/Taupo
Depart Rotorua in the morning and travel to Taupo. Along the way stop for a visit to Rainbow Mountain Reserve for a short walk to a volcano. Then, continue on for a visit to the mighty Huka Falls. These impressive falls are not to be missed on the North Island. Arrive in Taupo, home to New Zealand's largest lake and the world's biggest crater lake in the evening.
Day 6 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.
Day 7 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.
Day 8 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!
Day 9 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 Foulwind 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.
Day 10 Westport/Franz Josef
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.
Day 11 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!
Day 12 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.
Day 13 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 a free day that is sure to leave you breathless. Opt to 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.
Day 14 Milford Sound Day Trip/Queenstown
Let your breathing return to normal today as the group heads out for a visit to 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 before we make our way back to Queenstown for the night.
Day 15 Queenstown
Gear up for round two of free time in Queenstown that is sure to leave you breathless. Choose to 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 or simply take in the breathtaking scenery and vibrant atmosphere as you find restaurants to try and cafes to wind down and relax.
Day 16 Queenstown to Tekapo
Hit the bike trail on a 33km cycle along the banks of Lake Dunstan. Take in stunning views as you pedal a varied, undulating track in the heart of Central Otago. Later, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and at night be on the lookout for some of the brightest stars you’ll ever see.
Day 17 Tekapo
You have a full free day to explore Tekapo today. Spend your time at the hot springs, relax around Lake Pukaki, or hike to the Mt John Observatory and check out the incredible Dark Sky Reserve.
Day 18 Tekapo to 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.
Day 19 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.
Day 20 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.
Day 21 Wellington
Depart at any time.
- Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Meeting - Meet Your CEO and Group Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends 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
- Orientation walk in Wellington
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
- 20 breakfasts
- 1 lunch
- 5 dinners