This tour includes a small group (average 24 tour members), a top-rated professional tour guide, centrally located hotels, tour bus with extra space for more comfort, all sightseeing, all breakfasts, 9 other meals (including a special last night dinner), all tips for drivers, local guides and wait staff at group meals, and countless unforgettable experiences.

Experience Highlights

  • Auckland Museum guided tour
  • Waiheke Island visit
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tour (Lord of the Rings)
  • Rotorua authentic Māori experiences
  • Wai O Tapu Geothermal Wonderland
  • Māori concert and traditional hangi meal
  • Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony
  • Otago Winery visit and tasting
  • 2 hour Nature Cruise on Milford Sound
  • Full day free in Queenstown
  • Wanaka local artist experience
  • Guided Franz Josef Glacier Valley walk
  • Greenstone (jade) carving experience in Hokitika
  • TranzAlpine scenic train ride
  • Quake City visitor centre in Christchurch

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 – Welcome!

Overnight: Auckland, North Island

Welcome to New Zealand! / Nau mai ki Aotearoa!

We'll gather for our welcome meeting and drinks at our Auckland hotel at 4pm. Short walking tour to get orientated to our neighborhood, then to dinner, where we'll begin to get to know our fellow tour members.

Day 2 - Auckland

Overnight: Auckland, North Island

Exploring Auckland

We begin today with a walking tour of Auckland, taking a local bus to Auckland Museum, and enjoy a guided tour of the museum where we'll get an introduction to the history, flora, fauna, and culture of this land. At conclusion of our museum tour just before lunchtime the rest of the day is yours to explore the city with a full day pass for the Auckland Hop on Hop off buss. Auckland is your oyster! Free for dinner.

Day 3 - Waiheke Island

Overnight: Auckland, North Island

Waiheke - "Island of Wine" (and whisky)

Board the passenger ferry for a 40-minute scenic ferry ride to Waiheke Island. Upon arrival meet our private bus and driver. Visit Waiheke Whisky distillery and a local winery. Tastings at both, and lunch at one or other. In the afternoon visit a local sculpture park and learn about the local arts scene. Return to Auckland city in late afternoon or early evening. Free for dinner.

Day 4 - Hobbiton

Overnight: Rotorua, North Island

Hobbiton, Lord of the Rings

Depart Auckland and head south to Matamata. Today we visit Hobbiton; film set for Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy movies The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Whether you can quote the movies word-for-word, or you don't even know what a hobbit is, everyone comes away enjoying this insight to the fantasy land of Middle Earth. Lunch at Hobbiton and then onwards to Rotorua, where we sleep for the next 2 nights.

Day 5 - Rotorua

Overnight: Rotorua, North Island

Māori immersion day

New Zealand first people the Māori, have a strong presence in the geothermal town of Rotorua. We have special connections for more intimate experiences that most tours don’t have access to. Visit Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, Te Whakarewarewa village and an exclusive family homestead. Some free time in the afternoon. Concluding our Māori immersion day with a Māori cultural performance and traditional hangi meal. Lunch and dinner included.

Day 6 - Oamaru

Overnight: Oamaru, South Island

Rotorua to South Island

A morning flight takes us from Rotorua to Christchurch on the South Island. From Christchurch we drive south across the Canterbury Plains, the Southern Alps to the west provide a natural barrier for this area. After a lunch stop en route, we continue to the Victorian heritage town of Oamaru. Dinner together at the hotel, then out to see the world’s smallest penguins in their natural environment returning from their day’s fishing. Learn about the life cycles of the Little Blues and conservation efforts from the colony guides. We watch from an outdoor seated area (sea lion sightings also possible).

Day 7 - New Zealand Wines

Overnight: Queenstown, South Island

Central Otago – wine and kiwi hospitality

Our first stop is at Moeraki where mysterious large boulders up to 60 million years old line the beach. Then inland to the heart of Central Otago Wine Region. Enjoy great kiwi hospitality and a gourmet lunch at Ophir. Otago is the world’s most southerly wine region, we’ll discover what makes this the ideal place for Pinot Noir at a local winery. Tasting included. Arrive into Queenstown in the early evening.

Day 8 - Fiordland

Overnight: Queenstown, South Island

Fiordland and Milford Sound

A long but stunning daytrip today, destination: Milford Sound. We’ll take various stops for short hikes along the way in the Fiordland National Park. At Milford Sound we enjoy a 2 hour nature cruise with commentary from the local guide. We cruise the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea, admiring waterfalls, rainforest, towering peaks and wildlife. Lunch is included on board the cruise. Return to Queenstown in time for dinner and perhaps a beautiful sunset. Option to take a scenic flight or helicopter ride back from Milford Sound to Queenstown at extra cost.

Day 9 - Queenstown

Overnight: Queenstown, South Island

Free day in Queenstown

Today is a vacation from our vacation! You have the full day at leisure in Queenstown. There are plenty of options available from cruising on an old steamboat on Lake Wakatipu, to mountain biking, luge riding, jet boating, spa/massage (optional activities not included).

Day 10 - Franz Josef

Overnight: Franz Josef, South Island

Queenstown to Franz Josef

Leaving Queenstown, we make a short drive to the Wanaka. Stop by Lake Wanaka for a visit with a local artist. Free for lunch stop en route. We then skirt the western side of Lake Hawea and climb gradually to cross Haast Pass. Stops for short walks along the way, and arrive into Franz Josef township in the early evening, where we’ll dine together.

Day 11 – Glacier Valley Walk

Overnight: Franz Josef, South Island

Franz Josef Glacier Valley

This morning is at leisure, there is an option to take a helicopter ride with glacier landing (extra cost), keen hikers and landscape photographers may wish to join a morning excursion to Lake Matheson (no extra cost). This afternoon our main activity is the Franz Josef Glacier Valley walk. We visit the valley with local guides who allow us to gain access beyond the public barriers. We’ll learn how glaciers have shaped this remarkable landscape and more about New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna.

Day 12 - Train Ride

Overnight: Christchurch, South Island

Greenstone carving and TranzAlpine Scenic Train Ride

Travelling up the west coast this morning we’ll arrive to the town of Hokitika, famous centre for greenstone (jade) carving. We meet master carvers who will have pre-shaped our stones that we get to polish and take home as our taonga (treasure) from the whenua (land) of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Learn about the importance of greenstone to Māori and its cultural significance today. Free for lunch on Hokitika – local whitebait sandwich recommended. At Greymouth we board the TranzAlpine Train to Christchurch. One of the world’s great train rides, we travel in comfort through chiseled alpine mountains, crossing deep gorges and alongside ice-fed rivers. Arrive into Christchurch in the evening.

Day 13- Christchurch

Overnight: Christchurch, South Island


This morning we start with a walking tour of Christchurch, which concludes at “Quake City”. This multi-sensory attraction informs, engages and educates visitors about the region’s earthquakes. Your afternoon is free in Christchurch, known as the ‘Garden City’. Options to hire a bike, go punting, rowing or kayaking on the Avon River, visit Canterbury Museum, Hagley Park and/or the Botanic Gardens. Tonight we’ll share memories of New Zealand and toast new friends at our final dinner together.

Day 14 – Final breakfast

No overnight accommodation

Tour over after breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Christchurch Airport is easily reachable by public transport, taxi or Uber from our accommodation. There are various car rental companies located close to our B&B and near the airport if you are going to extend your South Island road trip. For those flying home, some international flights depart from Christchurch but the majority are out of Auckland airport; a short hop flight will take you there. The main airlines for this are Air New Zealand and JetStar. Your guide will be on hand to offer any other onward travel advice.

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

All details bound by Mondumo Terms and Conditions.

If you have any questions about this tour, please email

More Details


Tour starts in Auckland, and ends in Christchurch.

Tour Dates

Feb 5 - 18, 2024 - REGISTER NOW! (Tour Guide: Colin Mairs)

March 4 - 17, 2024 - Fully booked. JOIN WAITLIST (Tour Guide: Colin Mairs)
Oct 28 - Nov 10, 2024 - REGISTER NOW! (Tour Guide: Sharron Hickman)

Nov 25 - Dec 8, 2024 - REGISTER NOW! (Tour Guide: Louisa Tipene Opetaia)

Meet our tour guides here.


13 nights accommodation in Auckland (3 nights), Rotorua (2 nights), Oamaru (1 night), Queenstown (3 nights), Franz Josef (2 nights), Christchurch (2 nights)

Activity Level

This tour is fairly active. To get the most out of the experience, you should be in reasonably good shape. The most active days average 5-6 miles of walking (often over uneven surfaces and including climbing hills or steps). You will have to carry your own bag up to your hotel room, so we also advise packing light!

Tour Price

  • Tour price per person in a single room: USD $7,695
  • Tour price per person in a twin share / double room: USD $7,200

Tour price covers: accommodation every night of the tour; all breakfasts; 9 other meals; transportation throughout the tour; internal flight from Rotorua to Christchurch; services of a professional tour guide; admissions for all group activities mentioned on the itinerary; all tips/gratuities for drivers, local guides and waiting staff at group meals.

Solo Travellers

There are a limited number of single occupancy rooms available on each tour. Solo travellers who are open to the idea of a roommate may be able to arrange a same gender non-smoking twin room share. Email to discuss.


You are responsible for the cost of your own drinks at meals and costs of free-time sightseeing. International flights and airport transfers are not included in the tour cost and should be arranged by yourself or with the help of a travel agent. We strongly recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of tour and flight booking. See Terms and Conditions for important details regarding all of the above.

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