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New Zealand
Starting From AU$4,018.31

Stray Journeys - 23 Day - Cook (Auck-Auck) (ANZ23)

23 day - Cook (Auck/Auck) Fixed itinerary through New Zealand 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bay of Islands wildlife cruise
  • Sand Boarding
  • Visit Tane Mahuta, the 'Lord of the Forest', in the Waipoua Forest near Hokianga
  • Cathedral Cove walk / Hot Water Beach 
  • Specially-developed Maori cultural experience with hangi, interactive show and story telling
  • Bubbling hot pools / Huka Falls / Bush safari at unique eco-wilderness stop / Tongariro Alpine Crossing / Te Papa National Museum 
  • Abel Tasman National Park / Hanmer Springs / Kaikoura (for dolphin and whale spotting)
  • Franz Josef glacier / Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Two free days in Queenstown / Exclusive overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound
  • Central Otago historic mining area and Otago Rail Trail with all-level mountain biking.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Experienced tour guide, accommodation transfers, accommodation, meals as indicated, Maori welcome/guide in Opononi, Tane Mahuta visit, Hokianga ferry, sand boarding, wildlife boat trip spotting dolphins and other marine life, Russell Ferry, cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, interactive cultural performance and exclusive story telling, 4WD bush safari/eco-wilderness farm tour, Te Papa Museum, Bluebridge Ferry (southbound trip) and scenic flight (northbound trip) between North and South Islands, Abel Tasman scenic boat transfer, a winery visit, Hanmer Springs Hot Pools, Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise (In winter the overnight cruise does not operate and is substituted with a Doubtful Sound day cruise, a night in Te Anau, and a glacial valley walk and hot pools in Franz Josef), mountain biking on the Otago Rail Trail. Breakfast (15), dinner (11). 

WHAT TO BRING

Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera. 

 

Note:

  • Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Hahei and Doubtful Sound.
  • Standard accommodation is 6-share in Whakahoro.
  • Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.

COOK Tour (ANZ23)

National Stray Journeys Itinerary

 

Start: Auckland

Finish: Auckland

Duration: 23 days/22 nights

 

COOK Tour (ANZ23)

National Stray Journeys Itinerary

 

Start: Auckland

Finish: Auckland

Duration: 23 days/22 nights

 

 

Day 1: Auckland to Paihia

 

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)!  Your journey kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland. Pick-ups start at your accommodation bright and early, before we head north to the seaside town of Paihia. We stop en-route to hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native Kauri, enjoy a hike to a beautiful waterfall and stop for lunch and a swim at scenic Waipu Cove. This is followed by a trip to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds (own expense), before settling into our accommodation where you’ll have a group meal and the evening free to relax. (D)

 

Accommodation included: Beachfront hostel

Activities included: Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest, Waipu Cove

Optional activities: Waitangi Treaty Grounds

 

Day 2: Paihia to Opononi

 

This morning we take a wildlife cruise in the beautiful Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands bursting with marine life, and there’s no better way to see it than by boat. Keep a watchful eye out for wild dolphins.

 

In the afternoon it’s off to the Hokianga Harbour, where we will see the huge sand dunes. Tonight you have the option to take part in a Maori-guided twilight encounter, where you’ll visit the Waipoua Forest, learn about Maori legends and the spiritual inhabitants of the forest, and visit the largest Kauri tree in the world, the “God of the Forest” Tane Mahuta (own expense). Finish the day with a Kiwi classic for dinner, traditional fish and chips. (B,D)

 

Accommodation included: Comfortable Kiwi lodge

Activities included: Bay of Islands wildlife boat trip

Optional activities: Footprints Waipoua twilight encounter, bone carving

 

Day 3: Opononi to Auckland

 

We start the morning with a ferry ride across the Hokianga Harbour to go sand boarding down massive dunes (weather dependant); before we start to make our way south through the mighty Waipoua Forest. Here we will have the opportunity to visit NZ’s largest Kauri trees.  We visit the idyllic Kai Iwi Lakes for a swim in the beautiful crystal clear waters surrounded by a pure white sandy beach, before returning to the ‘big smoke’ for a late afternoon arrival. (B)

 

Accommodation included: Central city hostel

Activities included: Hokianga Ferry ride, sand boarding, visit Waipoua Forest (NZ’s largest Kauri trees), swim in the Kai Iwi Lakes

 

Day 4: Auckland to Hahei (Coromandel)   

We depart Auckland and head south east stopping for a walk to the famous Cathedral Cove.  Accessible only by foot or boat, you’ll discover some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery and stunning views in this beautiful coastal spot. Cathedral Cove is a ‘must see’ on the Coromandel Peninsula.

 

Afterwards we’ll drive to Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you dig a hole in the sand and sit in your own personal spa pool (tide dependent).  In the afternoon there will be time for a kayaking tour (own expense) before we feast on a delicious BBQ for dinner. (D)

 

Accommodation included: Comfortable beachside accommodation

Activities included: Walk to Cathedral Cove, dig a hole at Hot Water Beach

Optional activities: Cathedral Cove Kayaks

 

Day 5: Hahei to Rotorua

 

Today we head for Rotorua, arriving around midday, to discover an area well-known for its Maori heritage, adventure and geothermal activity.  Here you will get the chance to do some great optional activities, such as a visit to Hobbiton.

 

This evening you will be welcomed into the authentic Tamaki Maori Village, where you will discover Maori art, ancient rituals and traditions.  Tonight we dine on a delicious hangi (Maori feast), enjoy an interactive cultural performance and the company of our Maori hosts. (B,D)


Accommodation included: Central city lodge

Activities included: Cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, Kapa Haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive cultural performance

Optional activities: Visit Hobbiton, white water rafting, Zorbing, the luge

 

Day 6:             Rotorua to Whakahoro

 

We start the day by visiting some bubbling mud pools before stopping at the powerful Huka Falls, NZ’s most photographed natural attraction. Our destination today the most remote parts of the North Island by road. We’re heading for the award winning Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro, a 5,200 acre high country farm that is both a working sheep and beef station and an environmental conservation leader. This afternoon you get the opportunity to take part in a 4WD Bush Safari and farm adventure, where you’ll explore this vast land and the New Zealand native bush, discover the remains of an unbelievable local history, and learn about the farm’s conservation efforts.  Your dinner is all cooked using local produce. (B,D)

 

Accommodation included: Remote country station lodge

Activities included: Visit Huka Falls, 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure

 

Day 7: Whakahoro to National Park

 

Today we make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tongariro National Park, where you’ll get the chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one day walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery, past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular treks in New Zealand. Alternatively you can go on one the shorter walks around this volcanic region or visit the Volcanic Centre Museum (own expense). (B,D)

 

Accommodation included: Alpine lodge

Activities included: Tongariro Alpine Crossing and transfers, or Taranaki Falls walk and Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s Pool)

 

Day 8: National Park to Wellington

 

We depart early to arrive into Wellington around midday. Get a taste of ‘Wellywood’ when you head out to the world famous Weta Workshop for an in-depth, behind the scenes look at the studio responsible for blockbuster films such as The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and Avatar. Wellington is known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ thanks to Lonely Planet, and it’s a great place to check out the lively arts, shopping, craft beer and café culture scenes. As New Zealand’s capital city, it is home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. We recommend wandering down Oriental Parade, visiting Te Papa National Museum or the botanical gardens. (B)

 

Accommodation included: Central city hostel

Activities included: Weta Workshop tour

 

Day 9:             Wellington (via Picton) to Abel Tasman

 

Leaving Wellington we’ll travel across the Cook Strait on the Bluebridge Ferry to the South Island’s coastal town of Picton. Here we meet our coach and cruise through the famous Marlborough wine region.  We visit a local vineyard, enjoy a wine tasting and discover a world famous Sauvignon Blanc; before heading to the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. Tonight we enjoy some delicious seafood and a BBQ dinner at our exclusive campsite accommodation. (B,D)

 

Accommodation included: Beach accommodation in the national park

Activities included: Bluebridge Ferry trip, winery visit

 

Day 10:           Full day in Abel Tasman

 

Today is a free day to experience the incredible Abel Tasman National Park. Explore this stunning, coastal area famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand. Walk the coastal track and discover some of New Zealand’s best natural golden beaches or choose an optional activity like sailing or sea kayaking (own expense). Tonight you can self-cater and use the BBQ facilities at our accommodation on the edge of the national park. (B)

 

Accommodation included: Beach accommodation in the national park

Activities included: Abel Tasman Track and Aqua Taxi or paddle board hire

 

Day 11:           Abel Tasman to Hanmer Springs

                                         

Today you’ll travel through beautiful scenery in the Kahurangi and Nelson National Parks where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch, before heading to the peaceful town of Hanmer Springs. This afternoon you are free to enjoy this alpine setting. Spend the afternoon surrounded by mountains and forest as you relax in the thermal hot pools. Tonight is a group dinner. (B,D)

 

Accommodation included: Cozy alpine chalets

Activities included: Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

 

Day 12:           Hanmer Springs to Christchurch

 

Today we head south and drive directly to the quaint seaside township of Akaroa, nestled in the naturally formed Akaroa Harbour in the Banks Peninsula. Here you have the option to cruise around the harbour to learn more about the area’s native wildlife and early French and British settlement history, head out to swim with the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins, or stay on dry land to do any of the awesome walks for breath-taking views of the peninsula. After the afternoon’s activities, we make our way back to the city of Christchurch. Check out the city sights as you make your way to your accommodation in the city centre. (B)

 

Accommodation included: Central city hostel

Activities included: Peninsula walk

Optional activities: Harbour nature cruise, swim with dolphins

 

Day 13:           Christchurch to Franz Josef

 

We depart Christchurch this morning for a stunning journey across the Canterbury Plains and over the famous Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast. Around almost every corner there is a picturesque backdrop to enjoy so have your camera ready as we stop often for walks and photo opportunities. We visit Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade), before our day ends in the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to Franz Josef Glacier. (D)

 

Accommodation included: Hostel close to all attractions

Activities included: Pounamu jade factory

 

Day 14:           Full day at Franz Josef

 

Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a guided glacier tour, which we highly recommend (own expense). There are also many excellent bush hikes available in the region. Tonight you self-cater, giving you the opportunity to dine at one of the many local cafes and restaurants in town or make use of the self-catering kitchen at our accommodation. (B)

 

Accommodation included: Hostel close to all attractions

Optional activities: Glacier Ice Explorer, helicopter flight

 

Day 15:           Franz Josef to Makarora

 

Today we head down the West Coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park, stopping to take in some breathtaking scenery at the amazing mirror Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake.  See waterfalls as we travel through the mountainous Haast Pass towards Makarora then visit the stunning Blue Pools.  On arrival in Mount Aspiring National Park we go jet boating, experience the best in shallow water boating skimming just inches from the riverbed, see pristine waterways, snow-capped peaks and native bush. (B,D)

 

Accommodation included: Unique mountain chalets

Activities included: Walk around Lake Matheson – Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools, jet boat in Mt Aspiring National Park

 

Day 16:           Makarora to Doubtful Sound

Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery; it is our first port of call today. Within Fiordland we visit Doubtful Sound, the deepest of all the fiords, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls. We will board a purpose built boat and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins. There are also sea kayaks to explore the fiord. (B,D)

 

Accommodation included: Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay in a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Activities included: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, sea kayaking, wildlife spotting

 

Day 17:           Doubtful Sound to Queenstown

 

We depart Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind the stunning Fiordland to head for the ‘adventure capital of the world’ Queenstown. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. (B)

 

Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views

 

Days 18 & 19: Full days in Queenstown

 

You have two free days to fully explore everything on offer. Queenstown is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: bungy jumping, zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skiing, sky diving or walk Ben Lomond or Queenstown hill for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. (B)

 

Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views

Optional activities: AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging

 

Day 20:           Queenstown to Central Otago

 

Leaving Queenstown behind, we’ll jump back on the bus to head for the historic town of Naseby.  Located in a shallow valley in the foothills of the Mt Ida Range, Naseby is a unique gold mining village just minutes from the Central Otago Rail Trail. Arriving by midday, there is time to ride our favourite part of the Central Otago Rail Trail in the afternoon. It’s an ideal activity for riders of all abilities and the best way to soak up the incredible scenery of the area. (B,D)

 

Accommodation included: Fully restored historic hotel 

Activities included: Mountain bike Otago Rail Trail

 

Day 21:           Central Otago to Christchurch

 

From Central Otago we head back to the Pacific coast, where we’ll turn to head north on a scenic coastal drive towards Christchurch. Stop along the way to see the fascinating Moeraki Boulders and the town of Oamaru before arriving in Christchurch in the afternoon. Your driver guide will point out the highlights with a tour of the city sights. (B)

               

Accommodation included: Central city hostel

Activities included: Guided city sights tour

 

Day 22:           Christchurch to Wellington

 

Today we’ll travel north on a scenic drive through Lewis Pass as we make our way to Picton to catch a scenic flight across the Cook Strait back to Wellington. Don’t miss the fantastic views of the Marlborough Sounds and Wellington harbour from the air, on a good day it has to be one of the best scenic flights in NZ. The evening in Wellington is free – why not explore this funky town’s nightlife at any of the bars and restaurants along Cuba Street.

 

Accommodation included: Central city hostel

Activities included: Scenic flight across Cook Strait

 

Day 23:           Wellington to Auckland

 

Today is an express day, via National Park back to New Zealand’s largest city Auckland.  We stop along the way for photo opportunities and have lunch in National Park town, before heading back to Auckland for a late afternoon arrival. We hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey! (B)

 

What’s Included

+ Experienced tour guide

+ Meals and touring as indicated

+ Multi-share accommodation (or upgrade to twin/double/single)

+ Bluebridge Ferry and scenic flight between North and South Islands

 

Activities Included

+ Tree hugging at Parry Kauri Forest

+ Swim at Waipu Cove

+ Bay of Islands wildlife cruise

+ Hokianga ferry ride and sand boarding

+ Visit Waipoua Forest and Tane Mahuta (NZ’s largest Kauri tree)

+ Swim at Kai Iwi Lakes

+ Walk to Cathedral Cove

+ Hot Water Beach

+ Maori cultural experience, including traditional hangi meal and interactive performance

+ Huka Falls

+ 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure

+ Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park

+ Weta Workshop tour

+ Winery visit

+ Walk in Abel Tasman National Park

+ Aqua Taxi ride or Paddle board hire

+ Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

+ Peninsula walk in Akaroa

+ Pounamu jade factory

+ Walks around Lake Matheson and the Blue Pools, Mt Aspiring National Park

+ Jet Boat Ride in Makarora

+ Doubtful Sound overnight cruise

+ Sea kayaking in Doubtful Sound

+ Central Otago Rail Trail with mountain bike hire

+ Christchurch city sights tour

 

What to Bring

+ Sturdy walking shoes/boots

+ Bathers/towel

+ Hat & sunscreen

+ Motion sickness tablets

+ Water bottle

+ Toiletries

+ Warm clothing

+ Waterproof jacket

+ Insect repellent

+ Camera

 

Note:

  • ^Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Hahei and Doubtful Sound.
  • *Standard accommodation is 6-share in Whakahoro.
  • Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.

**PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE NO MORE UPGRADES AVAILABLE FOR DEPARTURE 1ST OCTOBER**

***Upgrades are not available in January and February and on request only after this period***

DEPARTURE DATES

The tour is scheduled to depart every Saturday from 1 October 2016 - 29 April 17

When booking please provide your requested departure date on the booking form.

Departure pick-up time will be approximately 7am. The exact time of pick up from your Auckland accommodation will be confirmed with you.

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