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New Zealand may be small but it packs an adventurous punch. In one week, you can see a lot, but be prepared for a little bit of driving. Another option is to stay in Queenstown or Christchurch and take day trips.
Days 1-3, Queenstown: Take an all day Lord of the Rings tour, experience the thrill of Jet boating, Bungee Jumping, Skyline Luge, and Paragliding. Enjoy a demonstration of the native dance, the Haka, and learn about the native culture.
Day 4, Milford Sound: Take a half day cruise around beautiful Milford Sound, see waterfalls, hike, and catch a glimpse of a seal. Return to Queenstown for dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants along the lake.
Day 5, Mount Cook & Fox Glacier: Walk on a real glacier, hike the Mount Cook trail and enjoy a meal at the lodge before hitting the road.
Day 6-7, Nelson & Wellington: Visit and spend the night in the small seaside town of Nelson before making your way across the water to Wellington.
Day 1, Wellington: Visit the Wellington Museum and Weta Workshop - where the famous prosthetics from Lord of the Rings were created.
Days 2, Nelson: Enjoy this seaside town on the south island, just across the water from the north. Take half a day to explore Kahurangi National Park.
Day 3, Marlborough: Wine tasting premier Sauvignon Blanc and other wines from this new yet growing wine region.
Day 4-6, Mt. Cook & Fox Glacier: Walk on a real glacier, hike the Mount Cook trail and enjoy a meal at the lodge before hitting the road.
Day 7, Milford Sound: Spend a full day cruising around beautiful Milford Sound, see waterfalls, hike, and catch a glimpse of a seal. Head on to Queenstown for dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants along the lake.
Day 8-9, Queenstown: Take an all Lord of the Rings tour, experience the thrill of Jet boating, Bungee Jumping, Skyline Luge, and Paragliding. Enjoy a demonstration of the native dance, the Haka, and learn about the native culture.
Day 10, Fiordland National Park: Take a full day to explore this beautiful national park before heading to Christchurch.
Day 11-13, Coastal Drive: Enjoy a long coastal drive up the South Island’s east coast on your way to Christchurch.
Day 14, Christchurch: End your journey in bustling Christchurch, do some shopping and sightseeing around the city.
Day 1, Wellington: Take the ferry across to the South Island - the thrills start here as waters can be choppy!
Day 2-3, Nelson: Abel Tasman National Park, sea kayaking along the Abel Tasman coastline, Tonga Arches, go whitewater rafting on Buller River
Day 4, Paparoa National Park: Pancake Rocks, go rafting through a black-water cave lit by glow-worms
Day 5-6, Franz Joseph: View Franz Josef glacier from a thrilling helicopter ride and walk on Fox Glacier.
Day 7-8, Wanaka: Hike Wilkin River, go mountain biking, and enjoy leisure time by Lake Wanaka. Hike to Rob Roy Glacier.
Day 9-11, Queenstown: Visit the original bungee jumping site at AJ Hackett, go jetboating, take in the views as you soar down in the Skyline Luge or enjoy a tandem paraglide.
New Zealand is much more than Australia’s little brother -- it’s a star in its own right. The country is best known for its natural attractions, and the sheep famously outnumber the people (who are called Kiwis). But its major cities, Auckland and Wellington on the North Island, and Nelson, Queenstown and Christchurch on the South Island, make for nice stops.
New Zealand’s three islands are like three different worlds: the subtropical North Island, the generally much cooler South Island, and the even cooler Stewart Island to the far south, the smallest of the three.
North of Auckland on the North Island is the Bay of Islands, a subtropical paradise of green islands, turquoise waters, marine and bird life (including whales and penguins), and loads of water activities.
The South Island, which served as the backdrop for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, is just as breathtaking in person as on screen. Whether hiking the famous “tracks” – long hiking trails such as Milford, Routeburn or Abel Tasman – taking a boat ride on Fjordland’s Milford Sound, or exploring the Southern Alps mountain range (remindful of the mountains in northern Norway, Alaska and Patagonia), the South Island is an active traveler’s fantasy island.
New Zealand’s Stewart Island – its third largest island but tiny compared to the others – is 85 percent national parkland and another center of outdoor activities, though comparatively rarely visited.
While many Kiwis are descended from Britons, there is also a substantial indigenous population of Maoris, often easily recognizable by elaborate facial tattoos. Maori culture had suffered considerably until recent years, but its language and arts are now being revived. Some New Zealand tours place a priority on exploring Maori life.
You may be surprised to encounter a number of Turkish, Vietnamese and other ethnic restaurants in cities like Nelson and Wellington, but New Zealand has attracted a number of immigrants from around the world, adding to a growing cosmopolitan atmosphere. But you’ll still find plenty of lamb stew, fish and chips, and other British-style dishes.
Whether you’d like your New Zealand guided trip to be one of challenging mountainous tracks like Milford and Routeburn or rappelling deep into remote caverns and scaling volcanoes, or a more leisurely tour that takes you walking through glow worm caves and on Milford Sound cruise boats, you can weigh all your best options for a Kiwi vacation on Stride.
|Australia & the Pacific|
|Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, Bay of Islands, Kaikoura, Sky Tower, Abel Tasman National Park and Many More|
|Nature Sightseeing & Wilderness Walk|