Kakapo 23 Day Tour

23 Days / 22 Nights
From NZ$10,990 per person Per Person Twin Share
Per Person Twin Share

Enjoy seeing New Zealand at a leisurely pace with a group of like-minded travellers.  Maximum 18 people.

These tours are extremely popular and book out months in advance.  

Highlights

  • Maori Culture
  • Marlborough wine region
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Aoraki (Mt Cook)
  • Milford Sound
  • West Coast Glaciers

Departure Dates

2017: Apr 12. Oct 11, 25. Nov 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. Dec 6, 13. Contact us for 2018 departure dates.

Day 1:  Arrive in Auckland
You will be met at the airport and transferred to The Sebel Suites for the night.  The rest of the day is free to do a bit of sightseeing, or take a nap after your international flight.

Day 2:  Auckland to Omapere, Hokianga
Today the adventure begins with a drive to Muriwai Beach for a stroll along the headlands to see the gannet colony.  Onwards to Matakohe to visit the famous Kauri Museum, then a drive through Waipoua Forest to visit Tane Mahuta, a remnant from an ancient subtropical rainforest, estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old.

Day 3:  Omapere to Bay of Islands
A cruise on the MV "Hokianga Express" to the golden sand dunes begins your day.  Try a new experience by body boarding down the 500ft high dunes.  From there your journey takes you across to the East Coast to visit the Stone Store in Kerikeri, New Zealand's oldest stone building.  This historic building now serves as a souvenir shop specialising in authentic frontier trade goods as well as Kiwiana products.

Included today is a guided tour through the Waitangi Treaty House, the site where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Maori Chiefs and representatives of the British Crown.  Enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful Bay of Islands from the Treaty grounds.

Day 4:  Bay of Islands Cruise & Russell tour
You have a choice of a relaxed cruise to the Hole in the Rock and go ashore to Urupukapuka Island, or cruise by catamaran to swim with friendly dolphins in the warm coastal waters.

Both cruises disembark at Russell, a small township with a rich background of whalers, sailors and escaped convicts.  Today it is a charming village full of quaint cafes and galleries.  Stroll along the waterfront or climb Flagstaff Hill for spectacular views. A ferry takes you back to Paihia later in the day.

Day 5:  Paihia to Auckland
Travel back to Auckland, visiting Kawiti Glowworm Caves on the way.  Explore a cavern filled with glowworms, see stalactites and stalagmites in hidden chambers and learn about the life cycle of the luminous worms.

The evening back at your Auckland accommodation is free to relax or explore the city.

Day 6:  Auckland to Rotorua
Your travels take you through lush dairy country and kiwifruit orchards to Rotorua, the geothermal wonderland of New Zealand.  The highlight of your day is sure to be a relaxing catamaran cruise at Lake Rotoiti to secluded coves and natural hot pools.

Day 7: At Rotorua
The morning is free to explore and enjoy our geothermal and cultural capital.  Relax in a soothing hot mineral pools, watch a stirring Maori cultural performance or meet a NZ icon at Kiwi Encounter.  

An exclusive lunch at Pounamu Lodge by beautiful Lake Tararewa is included, after which your return to Rotorua leaves more time to further explore at your leisure.  Ask us about the evening Maori concert and Hangi (feast).

Day 8:  Rotorua to Tongariro National Park
Before leaving Rotorua you'll visit Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters), spectacular with its colourful volcanic features and bubbling mud pools.

On the way to National Park a stop at Taupo to view the mighty Huka Falls is scheduled.  See (and hear) the rapids thundering down into the crystal clear blue waters at the base of the falls.  Onwards from there takes you around Lake Taupo and on to the World Heritage Tongariro National Park area where you'll catch sight of the three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.

Day 9:  National Park to Napier
After breakfast it is onwards to Napier, renowned as the Art Deco centre of New Zealand.  On arrival you will be taken on an informative walking tour of the unique Art Deco styled town, learning about the 1931 earthquake and Napier's recovery from the damage.

Following the tour there is a drive up to Te Mata Peak in Havelock North to enjoy stunning views over the pastoral landscape and vineyards of Hawkes Bay.  The afternoon is free for you to explore Napier at your leisure.

Day 10:  Napier to Wellington
Todays travels take you through the Wairarapa Plains to historic Greytown at the centre of a premium wine-growing region. Stroll the main street with its array of cute boutiques and eateries in restored heritage buildings.

From Greytown it is on to the capital city via the rugged Rimutaka Ranges.  An afternoon's tour takes you up to Mt Victoria to admire Wellington city, set on a beautiful harbour.

Day 11:  Wellington to Nelson
The journey by ferry to the South Island is often described as the best short cruise in the world.  3 hours on the Interislander takes you from Wellington through the stunning Marlborough Sounds where you will disembark at Picton.  Afer a short stop at a local winery to sample Marlborough's sauvignon blanc it is on to Nelson, the sunshine capital of our country, and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.

Day 12:  Explore Abel Tasman National Park
Choose between a full scenic cruise or a cruise and walk along the stunning coastline.  See sheltered golden sandy bays and if the water is warm take a dip in the clear blue water.  The afternoon returns you to Nelson for another night's enjoyment of this hub ot creativity, home to many artisans.

Day 13:  Nelson to Kaikoura (kai - food/meal, koura - crayfish)
Return to the dry hills of Marlborough and travel on to Kaikoura along the rugged coastline between the Pacific Ocean and Kaikoura Ranges enjoying spectacular views.  The afternoon is free to explore Kaikoura's bountiful marine wildlife. Take a whale watch cruise or scenic flight, or snorkel with wild New Zealand Fur Seals in the shallow waters of the beautiful Kaikoura Peninsula.

Day 14:  Kaikoura to Aoraki/Mt Cook
Today you will travel through the Canterbury Plains to a 100-year-old farm homestead for lunch.  Dine on wonderful fresh produce straight from the vegetable garden in a beautiful landscaped gardens.

The afternoon takes you through Burke's Pass to the spectacular Mackenzie country , famous for sheep farming and tussock grasslands.

A photo stop is made at Lake Tekapo for a visit to The Church of The Good Shepherd, then it is on through Twizel and past Lake Pukaki with its distinctive blue colour.  Continue to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, and spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring.  There are a few nature walks to get you out in the fresh air, or you might like to wander around the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre.

Day 15:  Mt Cook to Queenstown
You have some time to yourself this morning so treat yourself to a scenic flight or cruise on a glacial lake.  You might be lucky enough to get up close enough to touch a glacier!

The afternoon's journey takes you over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged scenery of Kawarau Gorge enroute to Queenstown, lovingly nicknamed the "adventure capital" of New Zealand.  Catch the gondola up to Bob's Peak for amazing mountain and lake views.  The six course Taste of New Zealand Buffet Dinner at the Skyline Restaurant is recommended (additional cost).

Day 16:  Milford Sound
Sit back and enjoy the driver's comentary as your glass roofed coach travels along the spectacular Milford Road.  This journey is often described as one of the world's most scenic drives.  On reaching Milford Sound you will board a luxury vessel for a 1 hr 45 mins cruise of Milford Sound, dominated by iconic Mitre Peak, and home to birdlife, seal colonies and pods of dolphins.  The return to Queenstown is a magical flight over the Southern Alps.

Day 17:  At Queenstown
There is so much to see and do in Queenstown you will be spoilt for choice.  Ask your tour guide for suggestions from relaxing sightseeing to adrenalin pumping action activities.

Day 18:  Queenstown to Wanaka
Travel through historic Arrowtown where gold mining prospered andenjoy the pretty tree-lined streets of restored cottages, then via the Crown Range road onto Wanaka.  There is a stop at Cardrona Hotel, one of New Zealand's oldest and most iconic hotels, between Queenstown and Wanaka.  Enjoy fine local wines and catch up with the locals over a private lunch at a Wanaka homestead.

The afternoon is free for you to explore this picture perfect area, surrounded by the spectacular backdrop of the Southern Alps.  Stroll along to Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World for an hour or so of amusing entertainment, or explore the vaious scenic photo points around town.

Day 19:  Wanaka to Franz Josef
Travel alongside Lake Hawea and the head of Lake Wanaka towards the Haast Pass in Mt Aspiring National Park.  There is a short walk through beech forests to view cascading waterfalls and clear blue pools where trout lurk.

Continue north through lush rainforest and stroll along a boardwalk through swampland rainforest at Ship Creek.  Lake Matheson is famous for reflections of the Southern Alps and at Fox Glacier you will see the glacier descending the mountain slopes.

Day 20:  Okarito Lagoon
Today might very well be the highlight of your tour.  Take a boat cruise or kayak on the shallow waters of the lagoon, a feeding groundof the rate white heron (kotuku) which breeds nearby.

Possible options for the afternoon are a scenic flight over the Alps to Aoraki/Mt Cook, or joining a guided helihike onto the glacier. Make sure you have a soak in the hot pools fed by glacier water, under a rainforest canopy.  Absolute bliss!

Day 21:  Franz Josef to Punakaiki
It's on to Hokitika today to visit craft galleries where you can see Pounamu (greenstone) carving, glass blowing, wood and copper artisans at work.

Just up the road is the leading location attraction - the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, sculpted limestone sea stacks and towering cliffs.  If the tide is right, blowholes thunder spreading clouds of spray.

Day 22:  Punakaiki - Christchurch
Today you drive through the dramatic and memorable Otira Gorge highway through Arthur's Pass National Park.  There are dramatic views from the lookout at the top of the Gorge and you will have the chance to watch the mischievous antacis of the alpine parrots in the carpark.  Take a walk at Arthur's Pass village to see the massive limestone rocks rising out of bare pasture.

The afternoon takes you across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch for your last night in New Zealand.

Day 23:  Depart Christchurch
A leisurely breakfast starts your departure from Christchurch.  If you have time before your transfer to the airport you could take a walk in one of the "garden city's" many parks, a scenic tram ride through the streets or enjoy a punt ride on the treelined Avon River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 2 special dinners
  • Cruise at Abel Tasman National Park
  • Skyline Gondola Queenstown
  • Milford Sound Nature and Wildlife Cruise
  • Scenic Flight Milford Sound to Queenstown
  • Kayak on Okarito Lagoon
  • Dolphin Cruise and a visit to the Hole in the Rock in the Bay of Islands
  • Art Deco tour in Napier
  • Interislander Ferry
  • Marlborough wine tasting

 

 

Single Supplement Available

Description & Highlights

Enjoy seeing New Zealand at a leisurely pace with a group of like-minded travellers.  Maximum 18 people.

These tours are extremely popular and book out months in advance.  

Itinerary

Day 1:  Arrive in Auckland
You will be met at the airport and transferred to The Sebel Suites for the night.  The rest of the day is free to do a bit of sightseeing, or take a nap after your international flight.

Day 2:  Auckland to Omapere, Hokianga
Today the adventure begins with a drive to Muriwai Beach for a stroll along the headlands to see the gannet colony.  Onwards to Matakohe to visit the famous Kauri Museum, then a drive through Waipoua Forest to visit Tane Mahuta, a remnant from an ancient subtropical rainforest, estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old.

Day 3:  Omapere to Bay of Islands
A cruise on the MV "Hokianga Express" to the golden sand dunes begins your day.  Try a new experience by body boarding down the 500ft high dunes.  From there your journey takes you across to the East Coast to visit the Stone Store in Kerikeri, New Zealand's oldest stone building.  This historic building now serves as a souvenir shop specialising in authentic frontier trade goods as well as Kiwiana products.

Included today is a guided tour through the Waitangi Treaty House, the site where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Maori Chiefs and representatives of the British Crown.  Enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful Bay of Islands from the Treaty grounds.

Day 4:  Bay of Islands Cruise & Russell tour
You have a choice of a relaxed cruise to the Hole in the Rock and go ashore to Urupukapuka Island, or cruise by catamaran to swim with friendly dolphins in the warm coastal waters.

Both cruises disembark at Russell, a small township with a rich background of whalers, sailors and escaped convicts.  Today it is a charming village full of quaint cafes and galleries.  Stroll along the waterfront or climb Flagstaff Hill for spectacular views. A ferry takes you back to Paihia later in the day.

Day 5:  Paihia to Auckland
Travel back to Auckland, visiting Kawiti Glowworm Caves on the way.  Explore a cavern filled with glowworms, see stalactites and stalagmites in hidden chambers and learn about the life cycle of the luminous worms.

The evening back at your Auckland accommodation is free to relax or explore the city.

Day 6:  Auckland to Rotorua
Your travels take you through lush dairy country and kiwifruit orchards to Rotorua, the geothermal wonderland of New Zealand.  The highlight of your day is sure to be a relaxing catamaran cruise at Lake Rotoiti to secluded coves and natural hot pools.

Day 7: At Rotorua
The morning is free to explore and enjoy our geothermal and cultural capital.  Relax in a soothing hot mineral pools, watch a stirring Maori cultural performance or meet a NZ icon at Kiwi Encounter.  

An exclusive lunch at Pounamu Lodge by beautiful Lake Tararewa is included, after which your return to Rotorua leaves more time to further explore at your leisure.  Ask us about the evening Maori concert and Hangi (feast).

Day 8:  Rotorua to Tongariro National Park
Before leaving Rotorua you'll visit Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters), spectacular with its colourful volcanic features and bubbling mud pools.

On the way to National Park a stop at Taupo to view the mighty Huka Falls is scheduled.  See (and hear) the rapids thundering down into the crystal clear blue waters at the base of the falls.  Onwards from there takes you around Lake Taupo and on to the World Heritage Tongariro National Park area where you'll catch sight of the three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu.

Day 9:  National Park to Napier
After breakfast it is onwards to Napier, renowned as the Art Deco centre of New Zealand.  On arrival you will be taken on an informative walking tour of the unique Art Deco styled town, learning about the 1931 earthquake and Napier's recovery from the damage.

Following the tour there is a drive up to Te Mata Peak in Havelock North to enjoy stunning views over the pastoral landscape and vineyards of Hawkes Bay.  The afternoon is free for you to explore Napier at your leisure.

Day 10:  Napier to Wellington
Todays travels take you through the Wairarapa Plains to historic Greytown at the centre of a premium wine-growing region. Stroll the main street with its array of cute boutiques and eateries in restored heritage buildings.

From Greytown it is on to the capital city via the rugged Rimutaka Ranges.  An afternoon's tour takes you up to Mt Victoria to admire Wellington city, set on a beautiful harbour.

Day 11:  Wellington to Nelson
The journey by ferry to the South Island is often described as the best short cruise in the world.  3 hours on the Interislander takes you from Wellington through the stunning Marlborough Sounds where you will disembark at Picton.  Afer a short stop at a local winery to sample Marlborough's sauvignon blanc it is on to Nelson, the sunshine capital of our country, and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park.

Day 12:  Explore Abel Tasman National Park
Choose between a full scenic cruise or a cruise and walk along the stunning coastline.  See sheltered golden sandy bays and if the water is warm take a dip in the clear blue water.  The afternoon returns you to Nelson for another night's enjoyment of this hub ot creativity, home to many artisans.

Day 13:  Nelson to Kaikoura (kai - food/meal, koura - crayfish)
Return to the dry hills of Marlborough and travel on to Kaikoura along the rugged coastline between the Pacific Ocean and Kaikoura Ranges enjoying spectacular views.  The afternoon is free to explore Kaikoura's bountiful marine wildlife. Take a whale watch cruise or scenic flight, or snorkel with wild New Zealand Fur Seals in the shallow waters of the beautiful Kaikoura Peninsula.

Day 14:  Kaikoura to Aoraki/Mt Cook
Today you will travel through the Canterbury Plains to a 100-year-old farm homestead for lunch.  Dine on wonderful fresh produce straight from the vegetable garden in a beautiful landscaped gardens.

The afternoon takes you through Burke's Pass to the spectacular Mackenzie country , famous for sheep farming and tussock grasslands.

A photo stop is made at Lake Tekapo for a visit to The Church of The Good Shepherd, then it is on through Twizel and past Lake Pukaki with its distinctive blue colour.  Continue to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, and spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring.  There are a few nature walks to get you out in the fresh air, or you might like to wander around the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre.

Day 15:  Mt Cook to Queenstown
You have some time to yourself this morning so treat yourself to a scenic flight or cruise on a glacial lake.  You might be lucky enough to get up close enough to touch a glacier!

The afternoon's journey takes you over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged scenery of Kawarau Gorge enroute to Queenstown, lovingly nicknamed the "adventure capital" of New Zealand.  Catch the gondola up to Bob's Peak for amazing mountain and lake views.  The six course Taste of New Zealand Buffet Dinner at the Skyline Restaurant is recommended (additional cost).

Day 16:  Milford Sound
Sit back and enjoy the driver's comentary as your glass roofed coach travels along the spectacular Milford Road.  This journey is often described as one of the world's most scenic drives.  On reaching Milford Sound you will board a luxury vessel for a 1 hr 45 mins cruise of Milford Sound, dominated by iconic Mitre Peak, and home to birdlife, seal colonies and pods of dolphins.  The return to Queenstown is a magical flight over the Southern Alps.

Day 17:  At Queenstown
There is so much to see and do in Queenstown you will be spoilt for choice.  Ask your tour guide for suggestions from relaxing sightseeing to adrenalin pumping action activities.

Day 18:  Queenstown to Wanaka
Travel through historic Arrowtown where gold mining prospered andenjoy the pretty tree-lined streets of restored cottages, then via the Crown Range road onto Wanaka.  There is a stop at Cardrona Hotel, one of New Zealand's oldest and most iconic hotels, between Queenstown and Wanaka.  Enjoy fine local wines and catch up with the locals over a private lunch at a Wanaka homestead.

The afternoon is free for you to explore this picture perfect area, surrounded by the spectacular backdrop of the Southern Alps.  Stroll along to Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World for an hour or so of amusing entertainment, or explore the vaious scenic photo points around town.

Day 19:  Wanaka to Franz Josef
Travel alongside Lake Hawea and the head of Lake Wanaka towards the Haast Pass in Mt Aspiring National Park.  There is a short walk through beech forests to view cascading waterfalls and clear blue pools where trout lurk.

Continue north through lush rainforest and stroll along a boardwalk through swampland rainforest at Ship Creek.  Lake Matheson is famous for reflections of the Southern Alps and at Fox Glacier you will see the glacier descending the mountain slopes.

Day 20:  Okarito Lagoon
Today might very well be the highlight of your tour.  Take a boat cruise or kayak on the shallow waters of the lagoon, a feeding groundof the rate white heron (kotuku) which breeds nearby.

Possible options for the afternoon are a scenic flight over the Alps to Aoraki/Mt Cook, or joining a guided helihike onto the glacier. Make sure you have a soak in the hot pools fed by glacier water, under a rainforest canopy.  Absolute bliss!

Day 21:  Franz Josef to Punakaiki
It's on to Hokitika today to visit craft galleries where you can see Pounamu (greenstone) carving, glass blowing, wood and copper artisans at work.

Just up the road is the leading location attraction - the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, sculpted limestone sea stacks and towering cliffs.  If the tide is right, blowholes thunder spreading clouds of spray.

Day 22:  Punakaiki - Christchurch
Today you drive through the dramatic and memorable Otira Gorge highway through Arthur's Pass National Park.  There are dramatic views from the lookout at the top of the Gorge and you will have the chance to watch the mischievous antacis of the alpine parrots in the carpark.  Take a walk at Arthur's Pass village to see the massive limestone rocks rising out of bare pasture.

The afternoon takes you across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch for your last night in New Zealand.

Day 23:  Depart Christchurch
A leisurely breakfast starts your departure from Christchurch.  If you have time before your transfer to the airport you could take a walk in one of the "garden city's" many parks, a scenic tram ride through the streets or enjoy a punt ride on the treelined Avon River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Included In Package

  • 2 special dinners
  • Cruise at Abel Tasman National Park
  • Skyline Gondola Queenstown
  • Milford Sound Nature and Wildlife Cruise
  • Scenic Flight Milford Sound to Queenstown
  • Kayak on Okarito Lagoon
  • Dolphin Cruise and a visit to the Hole in the Rock in the Bay of Islands
  • Art Deco tour in Napier
  • Interislander Ferry
  • Marlborough wine tasting

 

 

Optional Extras

Single Supplement Available

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