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Independent New Zealand Travel Packages

New Zealand

Totally New Zealand Hostel & Coach

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Location Start: Auckland     End: christchurch 

Starting in Auckland and heading south to Wellington. Board the interislander to the South Island. Down to Christchurch across to the West Coast onto Queenstown into TeAnau and Milford back through Dunedin to Christchurch.

Tour Options:




Each FIXED Package Includes


Arrival airport transfer
17 nights accommodation
Coach transport as per itinerary
Lunch on day 3 only
Waitomo Caves Tour - day 3
Rotorua Sightseeing Tour - day 4
Wellington half-day Tour - day 9
Interislander Ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton - day 10
Tranzalpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth - day 12
Red Boat Cruise on Milford Sound - day 16


Tour Itinerary


Day One - Auckland
Arrive in Auckland - the City of Sails - and transfer to YHA Auckland City. With a population of 1.5 million people, Auckland is New Zealand's largest city.


Overnight: YHA Auckland City


Day Two - Auckland
Today is free for you to enjoy the city. There are many options available to fill in your day, some examples are:


Cruise over to Devonport and enjoy the views back over the city
Head up the Sky Tower at SkyCity, at 328 metres, it is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand
Auckland Museum
Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World and Antarctic Centre
Howick Historical Village

Overnight: YHA Auckland City


Day Three - Auckland to Rotorua (via Waitomo)
Great Sights Coach Auckland - Rotorua

Farewell the City of Sails and depart for Rotorua - New Zealand's geothermal wonderland. The coach will stop for lunch in the King Country at the Big Apple Orchard (today's lunch is included). After lunch continue travelling south to Waitomo Caves. Upon arrival at Waitomo you will join a guided tour of the Caves. Aranui Cave's chambers are adorned with stalagmites and stalactites. Then board the boat and glide silently through the glowworm grotto. Return to daylight, reboard the coach and continue on to Rotorua.


This evening we recommend that you take in a Maori Hangi and Cultural Experience.


Overnight: YHA Rotorua


Day Four - Rotorua
Rotorua Morning Tour


Rotorua is an unusual town - you will notice steam rising out of the stormwater drains, boiling hot puddles and the faint sounds of plopping mud. This morning you will join the Rotorua Sightseeing Tour and take in the sights, sounds and smells that make Rotorua so unique. The tour will visit Te Puia (NZ Maori Arts & Crafts Institute and Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve), Rainbow Springs Nature Park and the Agrodome.

This afternoon you are free to explore the city at your own leisure.



Cruise on Lake Rotorua
Visit the Polynesian Pools or the Orchid Garden
Stroll through the Government Gardens
Visit the Rotorua Museum

Overnight: YHA Rotorua, Treks


Day Five - Rotorua to Taupo
InterCity Coach Rotorua to Taupo


Board the coach and travel south to Taupo. Taupo is located on the shores of Lake Taupo, which is renowned worldwide for its trout fishing. The lake itself is the result of a massive volcanic eruption in AD186, the explosion reddened skies as far away as China and Rome and diverted the Waikato River from the east to the west coast.

Thermal areas, smaller than those in Rotorua can be found at nearby Wairakei, at the edge of Lake Taupo or at the southern edge of the lake. At Wairakei Tourist Park, you can visit the Prawn Park - the world's only geothermal prawn farm!



Jet boat to the Huka Falls
Cruise aboard the African Queen to the mighty Huka Falls
Go trout fishing - after all Taupo is a trout fishing mecca!

Overnight: YHA Taupo


Day Six - Taupo to Napier
Coach Taupo to Napier


This afternoon board the coach bound for Napier - New Zealand's Art Deco City. Napier was virtually destroyed by a huge earthquake and fires in the 1930's - after the earthquake the city was 40 square kilometres larger due to the amount of land lifted above sea level. The city was then rebuilt in the Art Deco Style. Nowadays Napier is known for its Art Deco appearance and its vineyards. In 1850 vines were first planted in Hawkes Bay by a French Catholic mission, the climate in this region is similar to that of the best grape-growing areas in Europe.



Winery Tour
Art Deco Walk
Stroll along Marine Parade
Visit Hawkes Bay Museum (includes a simulated earthquake experience)

Overnight: YHA Napier


Day Seven - Napier
Free day to explore the region at your leisure.


Popular options include a visit to Cape Kidnappers or to take part in a full day winery tour. The Cape is home to the world's only mainland gannet nesting site. The gannets usually arrive in late July, lay their eggs in October and November, then start to migrate north in March. You do not need a special permit to visit the colony but note the best times to visit the Cape are from late July to February.


Overnight: YHA Napier


Day Eight - Napier to Wellington
Coach Napier to Wellington


This afternoon board the coach to Wellington - New Zealand's capital city. The city is located on the doorstep of a harbour, that was formed by the flooding of a large, extinct volcano and is surrounded by hills. Te Papa - New Zealand's National Museum - is located on the Wellington waterfront and like many other attractions in the central city, is just a short stroll from YHA Wellington City.


Overnight: YHA Wellington City


Day Nine - Wellington
This morning you will be collected from the hostel for a morning tour around Wellington City.


You will view the Parliament Buildings, known as the Beehive due to it's appearance, Old St Paul's Cathedral - built in early 1860's, Lady Norwood Rose Gardens and ride the Cable Car. The Wellington Cable Car runs from downtown Wellington to Kelburn, one of the suburbs overlooking the city. It began service in 1902 and by 1912 was transporting one million passengers a year. At the top are the Wellington Botanic Gardens - 26 hectares of native bush and grounds. Upon the conclusion of the tour you will be dropped off at YHA Wellington City.


Overnight: YHA Wellington City


Day Ten - Wellington to Christchurch (via Picton)
Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton
Coach Picton to Christchurch


This morning farewell the North Island as you board the Interislander ferry for your journey across Cook Strait. Cook Strait is the stretch of water separating New Zealand's North and South Islands. The ferry crossing takes an average of three hours so you will have plenty of time to view the spectacular scenery, especially the Marlborough Sounds.

Upon arrival in Picton, transfer to the coach and depart for Christchurch - the Garden City. Christchurch is known as the most English City in New Zealand and is the largest city in the South Island.


Overnight: as our Christchurch hostels remain closed, the Christchurch accommodation option will be confirmed at the time of booking


Day Eleven - Christchurch
Christchurch is recovering from a major earthquake in February 2011 and while some of the CBD remains closed, the remainder of the city and region are open for business. Today you are free to explore the city or you may choose to take a day trip to Akaroa - Canterbury's oldest town. Akaroa was an early French settlement, which is reflected today in the street names and early architecture. This town is home to the world's smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hectors Dolphin. Take a cruise on the Harbour for a chance of sighting one, you may also see little blue penguins and seals.


There are still plenty of options around the city to fill your day, some examples are:


The first pop up retail precinct in Christchurch is due to open late 2011. The innovative precinct, dubbed Re:Start will feature 27 shops and cafes in Christchurch's City Mall
Punting on the Avon
City Bike Tours
Visit Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Ride the Gondola up Mount Cavendish - an extinct volcano
Stroll through Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens
Overnight: as our Christchurch hostels remain closed, the Christchurch accommodation option will be confirmed at the time of booking


Day Twelve - Christchurch to Franz Josef (via Greymouth)
TranzScenic train Christchurch to Greymouth
Coach Greymouth to Franz Josef


Sit back and enjoy a spectacular rail journey across the South Island. The TranzAlpine excursion is rated in the top six rail journeys in the world. The TranzAlpine travels over huge viaducts, through gorges and river valleys before tracking across New Zealand's greatest mountain range - the Southern Alps. At Greymouth, board the coach for Franz Josef. The township of Franz Josef is surrounded by Westland National Park.


Overnight: YHA Franz Josef Glacier


Day Thirteen - Franz Josef
This glacier was first explored back in 1865 by Austrian, Julius Haast. Haast named the glacier after the Austrian emperor. The glacier is currently moving forward at about 30 centimetres a day. You may choose to take part in a Glacier Walk, alternatively you may prefer to view the glacier from the air. If you take the helicopter flight option, you will experience an on-glacier landing.


Overnight: YHA Franz Josef Glacier


Day Fourteen - Franz Josef to Queenstown
Coach Franz Josef to Queenstown


Leave behind the picture postcard scenery of the West Coast and travel inland to Queenstown - New Zealand's adrenalin capital. In 1862, two shearers discovered gold in the Shotover River and began the gold rush that led to the birth of Queenstown.


Overnight: YHA Queenstown Lakefront


Day Fifteen - Queenstown
Today you can explore Queenstown at your leisure.


The town of Queenstown is on the shores of Lake Wakatipu - meaning place of the giant. The lake "breathes" every five minutes - the water level rises and falls. Maori legend tells of an evil giant who abducted a Maori maiden. He was set alight by the maiden's rescuer and his burning body melted the surrounding glaciers to form a huge water-filled crater. Only the giant's beating heart survived, which is the cause of the lake's regular rising and falling.



Ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob's Peak for inspiring views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains
Ride the Shotover Jet
Cruise aboard the steamship TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu
White Water Rafting
Ride the Double Decker Bus over to Arrowtown - one of the few goldmining towns to survive the Gold Rush of the 1800s

Overnight: YHA Queenstown Lakefront


Day Sixteen - Queenstown to Te Anau (via Milford Sound)
Coach Queenstown to Milford Sound (via Te Anau)
Red Boat Cruise from 13:00 to 14:40
Coach Milford Sound to Te Anau


Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau - gateway to Fiordland National Park and the Milford Track. Leave Te Anau behind and you're on your way to Milford Sound. The drive into Milford Sound is through Fiordland National Park and is truly spectacular. Numerous photo stops will be made along the way. Milford Sound is the only fiord accessible by road. Upon arrival in Milford, board the Red Boat vessel for a one and a half hour cruise on the Sound. Majestic waterfalls, crested penguins, Mitre Peak, dolphins, seals and sandflies - Milford Sound has it all.

At the end of the cruise, reboard the coach and return to Te Anau.


Overnight: YHA Te Anau


Day Seventeen - Te Anau to Dunedin
Coach Te Anau to Dunedin


Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of the South. The name Dunedin is in fact the Celtic word for Edinburgh. Dunedin was settled in 1848, but shortly after the first settlers arrived gold was discovered in Otago. Dunedin quickly became the commercial capital of New Zealand and the richest city in the province. Today Dunedin is largely a student town - it is home to New Zealand's first (and finest) university.



Cruise on the Otago Harbour
Ride the Taieri Gorge Railway
Visit the Albatross Colony, Larnach's Castle (New Zealand's only castle)
Stroll through the grounds of Otago University

Overnight: YHA Dunedin, Stafford Gables


Day Eighteen - Dunedin to Christchurch
Coach Dunedin to Christchurch

This afternoon farewell Dunedin and board the coach for your journey to Christchurch. Travel along the coastline, past the Moeraki Boulders. These spherical boulders were formed in the seabed over 60 million years ago by the gradual accumulation of lime salt. Each boulder weighs several tonnes and measures up to four metres in circumference.

Travel through Oamaru, Timaru and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

Tour ends upon arrival in Christchurch.


Please note meals and optional activities are not included in the price of the tour.




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