Explore roads less travelled on this special small group New Zealand tour and discover country hospitality and nature in the wild. In the North Island we discover authentic Maori culture around Rotorua and visit Tongariro National Park, in the South Island we tour the Mount Cook region and visit famous Milford Sound by land, sea and air. Meet the locals over private lunches at Lake Tarawera, a mid-Canterbury farmhouse and Lake Wanaka.
What Miles loves about this tour:
With a spectacular flight out of Milford Sound and private lunches with wonderful Kiwi hosts along the way, I can't think of a better way to see New Zealand. My favourite experiences include a catamaran cruise on a geothermal lake and lunch with Di and Ian Mackenzie on a South Island farm.
Experience the astonishingly abundant marine life of the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park just minutes from downtown Auckland. Enjoy life long memories on one of New Zealand’s Premier Tourist Attractions. As New Zealand’s only research-based marine mammal experience AWADS works closely with the Department of Conservation and several universities to combine up-close viewing of whales, dolphins and sea birds with important marine-biology research conducted on board. This allows the passengers the chance to encounter, understand and help protect this incredible marine resource.
Auckland Pre Tour Day - Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour
Discover for yourself why Waiheke is world-renowned for its wines. Visit three of the Island's fine vineyards with one of our local guides. On the way, stunning scenery is around every corner, and you will be entertained by your guide’s commentary on the history, geography, culture, people and produce of Waiheke. You'll need a full day in Auckland before your MoaTrek tour starts for this one too.
Auckland Pre Tour Day - Half Day Wilderness Experience
Auckland’s coastal rainforest and the Waitakere Ranges are only 30 kilometres from downtown Auckland. In just 30 minutes you leave behind the bustle of the city and step into the tranquillity of the rainforest. Our experienced guides unfold the story of the forest that covers this land with its unique flora and fauna. During the afternoon we also include a New Zealand style afternoon tea including Anzac biscuits and tea and coffee or juice. Please note: lunch is not included but there is the opportunity to purchase it enroute (cash is required to buy lunch). Departure at 12.30 pm every day.
Auckland Pre Tour Day - Tiritiri Matangi Island Wildlife Discovery Cruise
Combine a cruise out on the Hauraki Gulf, a short walk to stretch the legs and learn all about our unique native wildlife. Tiritiri Matangi Island is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary for New Zealand's native and coastal birds situated in the Hauraki Gulf only a 75 minute ferry ride away from downtown Auckland. The island is a protected haven for native and endangered species, and is a nature lover’s paradise, particularly for avid birdwatchers. From the moment you step onto the island to the moment you leave, you’ll be serenaded by bird song while exploring walking tracks through native bush and coastal forests. Amazing views too! Perfect for people who arrive a few days early, you’ll need a full day before your trip starts for this one.
Auckland Pre Tour Day - Hobbiton Day Tour
Take a magical journey through Middle-earth to the Hobbiton Movie Set from "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" films for a fascinating guided tour. You see 44 hobbit holes including Bilbo’s house, "Bag End", the Mill and double arch bridge and the Party Tree. Grab your own photo at the gate to Bag End, looking out over the whole of Hobbiton to the hills in the distance, then go home and watch the DVDs to compare notes! You'll need a full day in Auckland before your MoaTrek tour starts for this one too.
Auckland Pre Tour Day - Auckland City Revealed
Auckland is set on 53 dormant volcanic cones and between two harbours, the sparkling Waitemata and the brooding Manukau. Known as the City of Sails, it’s New Zealand’s largest and busiest city. You'll get the best view of the city, from one of our own volcanic peaks! You'll need a full day in Auckland before your MoaTrek tour starts for this one too.
Auckland Pre Tour Day - Harbour Dinner Cruise
Getting out on the water in the 'City of Sails' is an absolute must, and what better way to do it than a harbour cruise with dinner. Glide past the city as it lights up and watch the sun set over the inner harbour on this 2.5 hour cruise on the Waitemata. You'll be treated to canapés and a drink as you set off towards Westhaven Marina. Your choice of a formal dinner in the downstairs cabin or take in the iconic sights of the Auckland while you eat on deck.
Rotorua - Treetop Canopy Tour
Take on the sights, smells and sounds of the forest on a tour where you will spot tree and bird species not seen on any other country on earth – centuries old giant trees, monster tree ferns and perching plants dominate the landscape that has never been modified by human beings. If you are lucky you may even hand feed wild native birds. The journey traverses a 1.2 km network of ziplines, walking trails, suspended bridges and treetop platforms up to 22 metres above the ground. Your friendly guide will show you the way and bring the forest to life as you learn about its history, inhabitants and the conservation dream driving it all. We've all done this tour and loved it!
Rotorua - Maori Culture Evening & Hangi Dinner
Situated in the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, Te Puia’s 60 hectare site is home to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, a live kiwi enclosure, the world-famous Pohutu Geyser, and more than 500 geothermal wonders. This is the centre of the universe for Maori, rich in ancestral history, and a guiding legacy that stretches back to the 1800s, Te Puia extend their unique hospitality and rich cultural heritage to all visitors. The Te Pō Cultrual Evening at Te Puia is a unique Rotorua experience that will leave you with a deeper understanding of Māori culture and traditions, a full puku (stomach) and many great memories to take home.
Rotorua - Mt Tarawera / White Island Floatplane Adventure
Experience the beauty of our lakes district, the peaks and craters of Mount Tarawera and a flight over New Zealand’s only permanently active volcano ‘White Island’. This flight of approximately 1 hour 25 minutes in duration takes in aerial views of the wider Bay of Plenty and in addition to these renowned highlights you will see contrasting landscapes including national parks, fertile farming plains and hill country sheep and beef stations. Our stunning coastline features as do aerial views of orchards where much of the regions Kiwifruit are grown.
Rotorua - Mt Tarawera Volcano Helicopter Landing
Fly to the site of the largest eruption in New Zealand’s living memory. Landing on Mount Tarawera offers a privileged view of spectacular craters and domes formed by the 1886 eruption. Here you will enjoy an interesting commentary based on the region’s history, culture and geology. Flights to and from the volcano take in expansive views of our stunning Lakes District, National Parks and a view of Mount Tarawera from above!
Rotorua - White Island Helicopter Tour & Scenic Flight
Where else can you visit an active volcano so easily than from the shores of Lake Rotorua? Take your pick from the range of scenic helicopter flights and scenic floatplane air tours. Land on the active volcano of White Island or take a flight over Mt Tarawera and view from above the dramatic destination of Rotorua. Seeing it all from above is the best way to showcase the many crater lakes, volcanic and geothermal landscapes that make Rotorua and Bay of Plenty totally unique.
Napier - Sunset Cycle on the Water Trail
Your sunset cycling adventure starts in the historic port village of Ahuriri, Napier. You will be set up on your comfortable, hybrid style bike and given a short safety briefing before cycling the sort distance to the National Tobacco Building, one of New Zealand’s most photographed buildings with its distinctive Art Deco style. Joining the cycle trail we make our way past fishing boats and old port warehouses to the Ahuriri Estuary. The trail then meanders for approx 10kms (6 miles) through this low-lying wetlands area, home to many species of wading birds and other wildlife. Leaving the estuary behind we continue a further 5kms (3 miles) through sheep farming country before looping back around to complete our circuit back to Ahuriri. Our tour ends with a well-deserved drink on the deck of a waterside bar where we can enjoy views of the sun setting over the water.
Napier - Twilight Dinner and Winetasting
Take an evening scenic drive through the vineyards and learn all about the stunning Hawke's Bay region and its wines. Get started with an 'interactive' wine tasting with gourmet platters at Vidal Estate before heading up to the breath-taking panoramic views from Te Mata Peak to enjoy a glass of bubbles as the sun sets from overlooking the twinkling lights of Havelock and Napier. Then we'll head to Craggy Range or Elephant Hill for the main course served with wine before finishing the evening at the country’s oldest and grandest winery the Mission Estate for dessert and (of course) dessert wines!
Wellington - Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary by Night
See New Zealand's rarest birds, reptiles and insects living wild in their natural environment, including hihi, tuatara, saddleback, kākā and little spotted kiwi. Indoors, New Zealand’s incredible natural history and world-renowned conservation movement are brought to life in a state-of-the-art exhibition. The Zealandia by NightExperience is also known as Te Māra a Tāne - The garden of Tāne. Tāne is the Māori creator of trees and plants. Main reason for going at night? That's when our little friends the kiwi are active!
Mount Cook - Glacier Helicopter Flight & Snow Landing
The very best way to see Mt Cook National Park and its vast glaciers and snowfields. See the ancient waters of the Tasman Glacier lake before flying the length of the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s longest at 27 km (17 miles). Experience what it feels like to stand in snow amongst the mountains as you take in a spectacular view of New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook during your snow landing. Cross to the West Coast and view the formidable Franz Josef and Fox glaciers before completing your journey with uninterrupted views of the summit ridge of Aoraki/Mt Cook. There's no better way to see the 'Cloud Piercer', you'll be buzzing for days after this!
Mount Cook - Tasman Glacier and Terminal Lake Cruise
Visit New Zealand's Tasman Glacier terminal lake for a fascinating glacial encounter. Cruise the rapidly growing terminal lake taking in spectacular mountain views and scenery. Icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the glacier allowing you to touch and taste the 300-500 year old glacial crystals. This is New Zealand’s largest glacier and terminal lake, the surrounding alpine scenery and icebergs are awesome, it's a lot of fun buzzing around in our inflatable boat too!
*Only available on the 03 September departure date.
Queenstown - Boutique Wine Tour
An afternoon among the boutique vineyards perfectly captures the flavour of the region, in more ways than one! Your friendly guide will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the 'new world' wines of New Zealand, you'll be an expert in no time. Visit and try the wines at 4 vineyards in Gibbston Valley, Cromwell and Bannockburn, and enjoy a delightful platter lunch at Carrick Winery restaurant before visiting Old Cromwell Town. You'll see both sides of the stunning Kawarau Gorge and get a glimpse of the early pioneering history of this rugged region. If you like the idea of spending a day with friends enjoying fine wine, great food and amazing scenery (who doesn't?!), then this is for you.
Queenstown - Routeburn Track Day Hiking
One of New Zealand's 'Great Walks', the Routeburn Track is one of the crown jewels of Kiwi walking tracks. The Glenorchy end of the track is easily accessed from Queenstown, your guided tour picks you up and drops you back at your accommodation and will provide everything you need. The walk to Routeburn Flats or Falls is on a beautifully graded track, through the most beautiful section of red beech forest in the country, follows the emerald Routeburn river up to the alpine sanctuary of Routeburn Flast. The best day walk in the entire country, according to one very biased ex Routeburn guide who wrote this! You be the judge, it's day you'll never forget.
Queenstown - TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise with BBQ Lunch
You'll love this iconic South Island experience, the perfect combination of taking it easy and seeing a bit more of the Queenstown area. Head off from the Steamer Wharf right downtown on your cruise aboard the historic 100 year old TSS Earnslaw across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Sit back on the lakeside terrace of the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant and leave the cooking to our chef, with the best local produce sizzling away on the grill for your delicious gourmet BBQ lunch before seeing first hand how these high country farmers and their dogs used to work the land. You can see why the early settler families chose this side of the lake, it's pretty special!
Queenstown - Dart River Jet Boat Wilderness Experience
The 'head of the lake' around Glenorchy and the Dart River is so amazing, you simply cannot miss this! A breathtaking drive along the famous Glenorcy road for your thrilling jet boat ride on braided, glacier-fed rivers into the heart of Mount Aspiring National Park. Your friendly driver adds the personal touch, looking after you all the way and sharing the area’s history, the Greenstone trail and Maori legends. Break up the ride for a walk through ancient beech forest unchanged for 80 million years and view the scenic backgrounds for many Middle Earth movie scenes. The river is the only way to get up here, this is the New Zealand you've come to see!
Queenstown - Kawarau River Rafting
The Kawarau River is ideal for first time rafters or those looking for a more relaxed rafting experience. It’s the Kawarau River that starred as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings. The grandeur of the canyons imparts a feeling of paddling through the heart of Middle Earth. Whether you are a Lord of the Rings fan or not, this rafting trip is a really fun way to get right out into the heart of the great Kiwi outdoors. You'll love the unforgettable 400m long Dog Leg rapid, the longest on any guided rafting trip in New Zealand.
Franz Josef - Glacier Heli Hike
A Heli Hike is simply the ultimate Glacier experience and now the only way to walk on the ice in New Zealand! Take in the Franz Josef Glacier by helicopter before descending onto the ice itself for an adventure like no other. Follow your guide from the crevasses and ice caves to the splendour of the clean blue ice, immerse yourself in the unique surroundings and touch the ice, breath the fresh air and enjoy one of the world’s most exhilarating experiences.
Franz Josef - Twin Glacier Scenic Heli Flight and Snow Landing
Fly over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers and land at the head of either the Franz Josef Glacier or Fox Glacier. View the incredible natural phenomenon of the glaciers as they wind slowly down the carved valleys from its origin in the mountains high above you. You can see it all from up hear, Mount Cook, Mount Tasman and the heart of the World Heritage Area. Wow!
West Coast - TranzAlpine Train
The TranzAlpine is one of the world's great rail journeys, which is the most stunning section of the journey? We reckon it's from the heart of the Southern Alps at Arthur's Pass, through over viaducts and through bridges along the Waimakariri Gorge before descending to the Canterbury Plains on and on Christchurch. On arrival in Christchurch, make your own way from the Railway Station to the Chateau on the Park, your bags will be at reception or in your room.
Christchurch Post Tour Day - Akaroa Day Tour and Harbour Cruise
You will travel to Akaroa over the beautiful Banks Peninsula on a high summit route which gives glorious views of farmlands, the Canterbury Plains and the distant Southern Alps as well as remote bays indenting the coastline. From the main wharf in Akaroa boats depart for a Nature Cruise on the harbour. You will have an opportunity to wander around the charming 175 year old French harbour side village of Akaroa with it’s museum of settlers’ history, art and craft shops and studios before enjoying lunch at an award winning cafe.
Christchurch Post Tour Day - Kaikoura Day Tour and Whalewatch Cruise
During your tour you will take a Whale Watch Kaikoura cruise to look for majestic Sperm Whales and Dusky Dolphins. Other sightings might include Southern Right, Humpback, and Pilot whales. After enjoying a café lunch, drive to a lookout with spectacular views of the peninsula and the Pacific Ocean and experience some local wines at a Waipara Winery. At the end of the day, visit the Kaikoura Peninsula where sightings can be made of the NZ Fur Seals.