Active Adventures |  Kotuku -  Pristine New Zealand

Auckland to QueenstownYou simply have to experience the contrast between the North and South of New Zealand, while still keeping the pace smooth and easy (just like our pinot noir), and your journey starts here.Cruise out to Waiheke Island, New Zealand’s most sought after island lifestyle destination, to walk the coast and sample wine before taking a short trip to the cultural heart and most dynamic geothermal area of New Zealand - Rotorua. Explore the outrageously beautiful landscapes of the volcanic central plateau, and then it’s on to the South Island where you’ll discover a new meaning of the word ‘dramatic’ in Fiordland and Milford Sound.Walk the valleys and forests surrounding Lake Wakatipu and relax with some of the world’s finest wines from Central Otago. In true kiwi comfort and style, relish the diversity that is the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’.

  • Highlights

    Cruise
    Waiheke Island
    Milford Sound
    Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw steam ship

    Plus...
    Te Puia Maori Experience
    Delicious wines of New Zealand's North and South Islands
    Explore Queenstown
    Te Anau glow worm experience
    Afternoon tea at Chateau Tongariro
    Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
    Sanctuary Mountain conservation project
    Explore Glenorchy and jet boat the Dart River

    Walk
    Waiheke Island
    Huka Falls and Lake Rotopounamu
    Milford Track
    Routeburn Track
    Kepler Track

  • What's Included

    All accommodations
    A range of hotels, lodges, chalets and inns, all 4 stars (even in remote locations!). The only tour company to overnight at the Milford Lodge in Milford Sound!

    All activities
    Take some of New Zealand's best shorter walks, throw in a world class glow worm cave experience, jet boating that'll knock your socks off and a healthy dose of wine-tasting. And you have an epic comfort-focused NZ trip!

    All guiding services
    Two experienced New Zealand guides per trip. Having two guides allows for much greater flexibility, meaning you're able to go at your own pace.

    All meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days, except where indicated on the itinerary (usually 1 day per trip is a free day, allowing you to choose your own dining location). We'll feature a couple of bottles of local wine with dinner every night (where included).

    All transport
    Airport transfers on the first & last days.
    Domestic Flight from Auckland to Queenstown.
    When you're not travelling under your own steam, there will be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.

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      • Start Date:23 Nov 20
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  • Itinerary

    DAY 1 - WAIHEKE ISLAND WINE & WALKING

    What better way to kick off 13 days of walking and indulgence than a short cruise across the Hauraki Gulf from our largest cosmopolitan city, to Waiheke Island? A spectacularly beautiful place where bohemians decided to escape the rat race in the 60s, now home to some of our most exclusive wineries and stunning coastline. We’ll check out the coastal Park Point Peninsula walk and eat a delicious lunch, before sampling the acclaimed local artisan red wines. After a short cruise back into Auckland Harbour, we’ll head south through the rolling green countryside to Rotorua for our first night.Wai Ora Resort, Rotorua (Lunch, dinner included)Waiheke Island Walking Time: 2 hours

     

    DAY 2 - WAI-O-TAPU THERMAL WONDERLAND, TE PUIA MAORI EXPERIENCE

    Wake up in Rotorua, the cultural hub of New Zealand, and sample our fine espresso coffee. Once we’re wide awake and well fed we’ll drive a short distance down the road to the thermal wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu – New Zealand’s premier area of geothermal activity. Bubbling mud, steaming cracks in the earth, myriad sulphuric colours and smells abound in this fascinating area. Tonight we’ll spend the evening appreciating local culture and history at a Maori cultural & dining experience at Te Puia.Wai Ora Resort, Rotorua (All meals)Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Walking Time: short walks only

     

    DAY 3 - WALK HUKA FALLS, VISIT LAKE ROTOPOUNAMU

    No need to hurry this morning - we’ll take our time with breakfast, before heading south to our largest inland body of water - Lake Taupo. Draining from the lake is the Waikato River, which starts its journey through a tight cataract and spectacular chute - Huka Falls. We’ll walk the trail to the Falls and have lunch on the lakefront. For those who are keen, we’ll then walk some of the loop track around a crater lake, Lake Rotopounamu.  Afterwards we’ll head to our accommodation, Oreti Village, where your guides will cook up a delicious dinner.Oreti Village, Turangi (All meals)Huka Falls Walking Distance: 3 kilometres (1.8 miles), 1.5 hours along the riverbankLake Rotopounamu Walking Distance: 5 kilometres (3.1 miles), 2 hours

     

    DAY 4 - EXPLORE TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK, AFTERNOON TEA AT CHATEAU TONGARIRO

    Wide open arid volcanic landscapes, picture perfect volcanic peaks, waterfalls and clear flowing waters; it’s no wonder this is a World Heritage site. Today we’ll take the Silica Rapids walk, which follows a cascading stream through mountain beech forest to the creamy white terraces carved out from thousands of years of volcanic activity. If you’re up for another waterfall, we’ll take a 6 kilometre loop track to Taranaki Falls, where the water tumbles 20 metres over a 15,000 year old lava flow to crash into the pool below. This afternoon we’re heading to one of New Zealand’s most iconic hotels, in the volcanic central plateau, the Chateau Tongariro, where we’ll have afternoon tea. This evening your wonderful guides will prepare another delicious meal.Oreti Village, Turangi (All meals)Silica Rapids Walking Distance: 4.7 kilometres (2.9 miles), 2 hoursTaranaki Falls Walking Distance: 6 kilometres (3.6 miles), 2 hours (Optional)

     

    DAY 5 - SANCTUARY MOUNTAIN, EXPLORE CAMBRIDGE TOWNSHIP

    Today we’ll take a beautifully scenic drive north, around the west side of Lake Taupo, to Maungatautari, where we’ll explore Sanctuary Mountain. This conservation project is a gigantic predator-proof area of 3400 hectares. The project aims to continue the re-introduction of threatened and endangered species via breeding programmes, and gives visitors the opportunity to see some of New Zealand’s most incredible animals in a sound ecological environment. Later today we’ll head for the town of Cambridge where we’ll spend the night. Known as ‘the town of trees and champions’ as well as New Zealand’s equine capital, we’ll explore this quaint community on the banks of the powerful Waikato River, before dinner out at a Cambridge restaurant.Kelly Road Cambridge Lodge, Cambridge (All meals)Hiking Time: as much as you want at Sanctuary Mountain

     

    DAY 6 - FLY TO QUEENSTOWN, TSS EARNSLAW CRUISE TO WALTER PEAK

    We’ll head north to Auckland airport this morning and board a short flight to Queenstown, where another world awaits. The rugged peaks of the Remarkables Mountain range rise sharply out of the crystal clear waters of Lake Wakatipu on one side. Turn 180 degrees and the spectacular views carry on as far as the eye can see - simply stunning. This afternoon you’ll have some free time to explore the resort town, before gathering again at Steamer Wharf in town to take a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, a steam ship built in 1912, for a cruise on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak, where we’ll enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and a sheepdog demonstration on a working sheep station.Queenstown Lodgings, Queenstown (All meals)

     

    DAY 7 - QUEENSTOWN, FREE DAY

    Elegant, exciting, welcoming, compact and always beautiful, Queenstown is a place for anyone and anything. On the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by stunning peaks, you’ll find a quiet sanctuary indoors or outdoors here, or an activity to get the adrenaline flowing. Dine, indulge, drink, walk, fly, float, ride - just let your guide know how you’d like to spend your time here. Take time to appreciate the beauty of the local gardens and the lake, and forget about the world outside this amazing place.Queenstown Lodgings, Queenstown (No meals)

     

    DAY 8 - SHORT WALKS ON THE WAY TO MILFORD SOUND

    As we drive into Fiordland National Park, ‘glorious’ is just one word that will pop into your head. As the granite peaks get steeper, higher and more imposing, the rainforest flanking them grows ever thicker and the rivers ever clearer. To really explore the area we’ve chosen a series of short walks to take on the way to our ultimate destination, Milford Sound. We’ll explore the Eglinton Valley and eat lunch at a stunning picnic spot. As for Milford Sound - you can expect to see waterfalls like nowhere else in the world. This place receives around 7 metres of rain a year, so it might well be raining during your time here - and if it is, you’ll see this place REALLY come alive!Milford Sound Chalets (All meals)Hiking Time: 15-minute loop track at The Chasm & short walks

     

    DAY 9 - WALK THE MILFORD TRACK & AFTERNOON CRUISE MILFORD SOUND

    Wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed, sit out on the deck of your chalet, listen to the roar of waterfalls, spy the native Kea (the world’s only alpine parrot) and prepare for a walk through exquisite native forest on the world famous Milford Track. Later today, we’ll board a boat for a scenic cruise of the Sound and a unique perspective on this glorious wilderness area. Today is a day to immerse yourself in an area unique to New Zealand and a balm for busy minds and bodies.Distinction Hotel, Te Anau (All meals)Walking Distance: 10 kilometres (6 miles), 3 hours

     

    DAY 10 - GLOW WORM CAVE EXPERIENCE & WALK KEPLER TRACK

    A boat journey across Lake Te Anau brings us to a glittering grotto of glow worms. These fascinating bugs light the way in a 200 metre system of caves, underground waterfalls, sculpted walls and swirling pools. From the darkness of the glow worm caves, we’ll head back into the light of Te Anau and on to the world famous Kepler Track, where we’ll walk a section that skirts the edge of the Waiau River under the canopy of pristine mountain beech forest.Distinction Hotel, Te Anau (All meals)Walking Distance: 10 kilometres (6 miles), 3 hours

     

    DAY 11 - GLENORCHY & JET BOAT THE DART RIVER

    Begin the day on the shores of one awe inspiring lake and mountain vista and end it on another, with the beauty of Southland and a jet boat ride up one of New Zealand’s most incredible river valleys. We’ll make the journey back to Queenstown through rolling hills that eventually turn into the jagged peaks of the Wakatipu area. After a little time to enjoy lunch, we’ll replace the hustle of Queenstown with the beauty of the Dart River valley via jet boat - a high speed journey on the glacial waters of this incredible wilderness area. Finish the day in the beautiful and isolated Glenorchy at the furthest and most stunning end of Lake Wakatipu.Camp Glenorchy, Glenorchy (All meals)

     

    DAY 12 - WALK ROUTEBURN TRACK

    Start the day with breakfast and incredible lakeside views before we delve back into the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. We’ll head to the world famous Routeburn Track, close to a place that really is called Paradise. We’ll walk along the banks of the Routeburn River, absorbing the deep greens of native beech forest, crystal clear waters cascading below, and narrow valleys opening out to wide open spaces make this a varied and unforgettable day of walking. Of course if you’d like to take things slower today, there’s no better place than Glenorchy to relax and unwind with a good book as you soak up the surroundings. Tonight we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner together at Camp Glenorchy.Camp Glenorchy, Glenorchy (All meals)Walking Distance: 3.6 kilometres (2.2 miles), 1.5 hours

     

    DAY 13 - RETURN TO QUEENSTOWN, DEPART

    We’ll enjoy the quiet at the head of the lake this morning, before making our way back along the shoreline to Queenstown. We’ll wave goodbye at Queenstown airport for departing flights, unless of course you can’t get enough of Queenstown and decide to stay, in which case we’ll drop you off at your choice of accommodation.(Breakfast included)

 

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