Winter Kiwi
11 Night / 12 Day New Zealand Winter Tour
Tongariro National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Mount Cook
Milford Sound

New Zealand’s best kept secret is out! Winter is truly a spectacular time to visit New Zealand! More and more people are visiting New Zealand in winter time to experience its breath taking alpine scenery, snow-capped mountains and pristine lakes. Experience a Kiwi winter wonderland with this 12 day New Zealand tour from favourite destinations such as Rotorua, Tongariro, Abel Tasman, Mount Cook National Park and Milford Sound to a few new favourites in winter such as renowned Thermal Hot Pool and Spas of Hanmer Springs and the world class alpine village of Queenstown!

The New Zealand winter is from June - August and our Cosy Kiwi Winter Tour is available for Private Groups from May to September.

Cosy Kiwi Winter 12 Day North & South Island Tour

Cosy Kiwi Winter 12 Day North & South Island Tour

$ pp twin
$ pp single
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What Tanya loves about this tour:

Day 1: Auckland - Rotorua

Lake Rotoiti Hot Pools

After connecting with your travel companions in Auckland our tour continues to Rotorua, via the lush pastures of the Waikato and fruit basket of the Bay of Plenty. Our first stop is the dramatic Karangahake Gorge for a stroll alongside the Ohinemuri River through native bush to the relics and ruins of this region's gold-mining past.

We pass through Te Puke, the Kiwifruit capital of the world, where we'll visit a working Kiwifruit orchard before continuing on to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Along the way, at Okawa Bay, we board "Tiua", a 53ft catamaran for a relaxing sail on serene Lake Rotoiti to secluded coves and finish the day with a warm relaxing soak in natural hot pools reached only by boat - a memorable end to an awesome day. 

What you'll love today
  • The rich gold mining history of the stunning Karangahake Gorge
  • Sailing across Lake Rotoiti for a soak in secluded hot pools
Your accommodation tonight

Day 2: Rotorua tours and activities

Ohinemutu village meeting house

We’ve got two nights in Rotorua, so take it easy this morning! Perhaps stroll down to the lakeside, just minutes from your hotel, or enjoy one of Rotorua's many guided tours and attractions. Don’t miss nearby Ohinemutu marae, one of only two living Maori villages left in New Zealand.  We'll head to the famous Lake Tarawera for a hosted lunch with our friends David and Karen, you’ll love them and their stories from their Maori and European histories.

What you'll love today
  • Explore the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua
  • Relax over a hosted lunch at Lake Tarawera
Your accommodation tonight

Day 3: Rotorua - Tongariro National Park

Huka Falls

No Kiwi holiday would be complete without a visit to the surreal, geothermal reserve of Wai-O-Tapu. The bubbling mud pools and incredibly colourful silica terraces are unforgettable. We continue on our adventure to "Great Lake" Taupo and stroll to view the famous Huka Falls.

We’ll stop around the lake on our way to Tongariro National Park. You can either relax in your hotel, the Chateau Tongariro, and enjoy the close up views of the mountains - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu or walk to the Taranaki Falls. This is a classic North Island walking trail with gentle terrain, great views and unique native plants. After the fresh mountain air dinner is included at the Ruapehu Room at the Chateau.


What you'll love today
  • Boiling mud and unbelievable colour at Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Area
  • A choice of spectacular short walks to New Zealand's beautiful waterfalls
Your accommodation tonight

Day 4: Tongariro National Park - Wellington

Chateau Tongariro Winter Kiwi Tour

After a relaxed breakfast at the historic Chateau Tongariro we drive around the slopes of Mt Ruapehu before we make our way down the centre of the island to our capital Wellington. 

We stay two nights in Wellington as we reckon you can’t miss "the coolest little capital in the world". We’ll check out the city's sights and head up Mt Victoria for the stunning views over the harbour before getting settled for the night. We’re right in the heart of Wellington's vibrant hub of museums, theatres, galleries, boutiques and cafes. 

What you'll love today
  • A winter wonderland at the Chateau Tongariro
  • Wellington's vibrant creative culture of food, wine and craft beer
Your accommodation tonight

Day 5: Explore Wellington

Mt Victoria Lookout Wellington

The day is yours to enjoy, you are at the heart of the action at The Bolton Hotel a short walk to the waterfront and Te Papa National Museum. Wellington is the food lovers' capital of New Zealand with a huge selection of cafes and boutique breweries to choose from. Ask your MoaTrek Kiwi guide his favourites.

Wellington is also the spiritual home of "The Lord of Rings" where you can visit Weta Workshop and see how all the props are made.

What you'll love today
  • The very best of Wellington at your door
  • Explore New Zealand's National Museum Te Papa
Your accommodation tonight

Day 6: Wellington - Cook Strait Crossing - Picton - Blenheim - Nelson

Forrest Estate Vineyard Marlborough

We cruise on the Interislander ferry across Cook Strait and into beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton to plant our feet firmly on “Te Waka a Maui”, the South Island. Our first port of call is Forrest Wines for tasting and lunch with a local right in the heart of the world famous Marlborough sauvignon blanc region.

From wine country we head through the heart of Marlborough toward Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. In Nelson relax and unpack, this is home for two nights.

What you'll love today
  • Cruising the Marlborough Sounds on the Interislander 
  • Marlborough sauvignon blanc with lunch, delicious
Your accommodation tonight

Day 7: Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman beach

Today is a highlight of the tour for many people – everyone has seen stunning photos of Abel Tasman National Park and now you’re here! Take your pick from a full scenic cruise or a cruise / walk combo to hike a section of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Autumn and winter are one of the best times to visit with little wind. Days are crisp and clear, perfect to take in the picturesque scenery and beautiful beaches, and there are less people on the tracks at this time of year!

What you'll love today
  • Cruising the crystal clear blue waters of Abel Tasman National Park
  • Walk a section of the beautiful coastal track
Your accommodation tonight

Day 8: Nelson - Hanmer Springs

Hanmner Springs Thermal Hot Pools

We depart Nelson for the famous Pelorus River (scene of the Barrel Run from the Hobbit) before leaving the orchards and artisans behind for the foothills of the Southern Alps and Canterbury. The road travels through the picturesque countryside of the upper South Island before traversing the Southern Alps at the Lewis Pass and continuing on to the picturesque alpine village of Hanmer Springs!

In the evening relax and wind down in the world renowned Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spas set amongst breath taking alpine scenery

What you'll love today
  • First views of the Southern Alps, playground for the rest of our journey.
  • Relaxing in the world renowned thermal pools amongst breath taking alpine scenery
Your accommodation tonight

Day 9: Hanmer Springs - Akaunui Homestead - Aoraki / Mt Cook

Lake Pukaki New Zealand

We travel from the alpine village of Hanmer Springs to visit Akaunui Homestead, a working farm and Canterbury heritage building surrounded by huge gardens.  They'll show us round their farm and home, as we enjoy great Kiwi company and fresh produce straight from the garden of our friends, Di and Ian Mackenzie.

After lunch, we continue on our journey through Burke's Pass to New Zealand’s spectacular Mackenzie Country, for sweeping vistas of tussock lands and the backbone of the South Island, the Southern Alps. We’ll make plenty for stops en route, we can’t miss the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise blue of Lake Pukaki. In the evening, enjoy a drink by the fireplace at the Hermitage hotel.

What you'll love today
  • A hosted country lunch with friends at Akaunui homestead.
  • The glacial fed lakes of Pukaki and Tekapo.
Your accommodation tonight

Day 10: Aoraki/Mt Cook - Queenstown

Tasman Glacier Cruise Mt Cook

Always a memorable time on tour, your day in Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain and ‘home ground’ of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Take your pick from exploring the dramatic landscape on one of the many easy walking tracks around the village. Kea Point is our favourite, a gentle undulating track with incredible close up views of the valley and the mountain itself. Alternatively take a boat cruise on a glacier lake, scenic flight or heli-hike on the Tasman glacier!

After lunch we head over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged Kawarau Gorge onto Queenstown - the adventure capital of New Zealand and our home for two nights. In winter, Queenstown transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting snow sports enthusiasts, with its finest ski and snowboard terrain and vibrant après ski scene. 

What you'll love today
  • Surround yourself in New Zealand’s most stunning alpine scenery - there’s nowhere like ‘Aoraki Mt Cook and the Tasman Glacier
  • Settle in for two nights in Queenstown and take in the buzz of the après ski scene.
Your accommodation tonight

Day 11: Queenstown - Milford Sound

Milford Sound Flight Southern Alps

Today is all about the one and only Milford Sound, from Queenstown we follow the shores of the great southern lakes before heading into the heart of Fiordland National Park on the spectacular Milford Road.  Everything you’ve heard is true, this is unreal countryside.

On arrival into Milford head out onto the water on our cruise out onto the sound, dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to birdlife, seal colonies and pods of dolphins. A magical flight over the Southern Alps returns us to Queenstown at the end of a fantastic day of touring by land, sea and air. The very best of Milford!

What you'll love today
  • Milford Sound cruise and scenic flight, no better way to experience Fiordland
  • New Zealand’s most stunning road, through the heart of Fiordland National Park
Your accommodation tonight

Day 12: Queenstown Activities and Day Tours

Queenstown Aerial

Today is yours to make the most of the infinite choice of day tours and activities Queenstown has to offer. What do we love in Queenstown?  A jet boat ride on the remote and beautiful Dart River in "The Lord of the Rings" scenery, walking along the lakeshore and the Botanic Gardens or take a thrilling raft ride on the Kawarau River. Other favourites are wine tasting in the celebrated boutique vineyards of Central Otago, golf on one of New Zealand’s best courses, a day walk on the famous Routeburn Track or cruising Lake Wakatipu on the 1912 Steamship, the TSS "Earnslaw". 

After your activity fly out in the evening or do what many of our travellers do and extend your stay a day or two in Queenstown ­the MoaTrek team will be happy to make additional accommodation recommendations in Queenstown.

What you'll love today
  • Take your pick from literally hundreds of activities and tours on offer in Queenstown
  • Look back on your wonderful adventures over the last 12 days