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An Authentic Adventure in Aotearoa - Venturing Off the Beaten Track

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  • 1
  • 22 Days

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Valentin Puech

Once Upon A Trip

We pride ourselves in creating fully tailor-made trips and in assisting every step of the way.

  • Local time:08:05

An Authentic Adventure in Aotearoa - Venturing Off the Beaten Track

During this 22-day trip through New Zealand, you will get to see many places provide a most authentic kiwi experience, areas that are not as well-known by tourists and are missing in many guides. You will get to see much of the country, passing through many of its diverse landscapes. Many activities will also be possible, depending on what you wish to do!

Auckland

Welcome to New Zealand! This day will be dedicated to your arrival in the "City of Sails". After collecting your baggage and going through customs you will be transferred to your accommodation. Depending on the time of your arrival and if you are not too jet-lagged, you can have a first look at the city! Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand and in the Pacific Islands! It is often mistakenly assumed to be the capital of the country (the capital is actually Wellington). Read more

One night in Auckland City

Visiting Auckland City

Today, you will have more time to visit the city. Being the biggest city of the country, Auckland is the business centre of New Zealand. Despite this, there are many things to see and do here, such as visiting Waiheke Island for a tour of the vineyards and to check out some of its numerous beaches, or going on a scenic flight in a seaplane, kayaking to Rangitoto Island, or kiwi spotting! As we prepare completely tailor-made trips, we suggest activities and all you have to do is tell us what you would like to do for any of the stops throughout your trip! Read more

One night in Auckland City

Auckland - Bay of Islands

In the Bay of Islands, you will be able to see many different areas such as Waitangu, the official birthplace of New Zealand where the treaty between the Maori people and the British Empire was signed in 1840. Paihia is an animated holiday town in the Bay of Islands, from here you can do all the excursions such as swimming with the dolphins, discovering the 150 islands, or the “hole in the rock” for example. Read more

One night in Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands

You will also find the quaint little village of Russel. This was once the capital of New Zealand and was also known as the “hell hole of the South Pacific” between 1830 and 1840, when whore-houses abounded and drunken brawls between whalers and seamen were the norm. Today it is a much quieter place! You can get to Russell by ferry from Paihia. Long Beach is pretty spot where the locals go for a swim. We recommend lunch or dinner on the waterfront for great views. Tip: the Duke of Marlborough fish and chips are very fresh. Read more

One night in Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands

In the Bay of Islands you will also see the wreck of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, scuttled not far from the Matauri and Tauranga Bays after it was bombed by French agents in 1985. There are many beaches, all slightly different; the beach at Taiaue Bay, just before you turn off for Tauranga Bay has soft pale pink sand. Read more

One night in Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands - Waitakere

As you begin your journey deep into the lush green Waitakere Ranges you’ll discover black sand beaches, beautiful and dramatic landscapes, magical waterfalls, streams and an abundance of wildlife. The forest is a birdwatcher’s paradise with morepork, kingfisher, shining cuckoo and tui among the native species. The rainforest is rich with native bush flora and fauna - see the famous kiwi silver fern, kauri and rimu trees and much more. Award-winning movie ‘the Piano’ and popular TV shows ‘Xena’ and ‘Hercules’ were filmed here. Read more

One night in Waitakere

Waitakere - Raglan

A world-class surf spot, the low-key town of Raglan is renowned for its remote setting and artsy atmosphere. You’re sure to enjoy Raglan’s great eateries and cafes along with local artist’s workshops. Overlooked by the imposing Mt Karioi, the quiet Waikato Township is nested in a large tidal harbour. At its South end, surf hits black sand beaches and volcanic cliffs. Read more

One night in Raglan

Raglan

The harbour fills up and empties almost entirely with the tide. Kayaking or paddle boarding on the harbour are very popular activities and kids can swim safely. Manu Bay is the best surfing spot in New Zealand! With a bit of luck you will be able to catch some of the best kiwi surfers doing their tricks. he harbour fills up and empties almost entirely with the tide. Kayaking or paddle boarding on the harbour are very popular activities and kids can swim safely. Manu Bay is the best surfing spot in New Zealand! With a bit of luck you will be able to catch some of the best kiwi surfers doing their tricks. Read more

One night in Raglan

Raglan - Taranaki

According to Maori legend, Mount Taranaki once resided in the middle of the North Island alongside Ruapehu, Ngaurahoe and Tongariro, but it lost a battle against Mount Tongariro to win the heart of the pretty Mount Pihanga and so fled to the coast. Today, the Taranaki region offers a huge range of outdoor activities, from strolls through native forests and multi-day hikes, to river rafting, surfing and winter snow sports. When it’s time for something a little less energetic, you’ll discover fascinating art trails and festivals, award-winning museums and galleries, a thriving café culture and some great local shopping. Read more

One night in Taranaki

Taranaki

In New Plymouth you will find the award-winning Coastal Walkway : a 10km path that forms an expansive sea-edge promenade stretching all the way to Bell Block. Ideal for walking, running, cycling or skating, or simply enjoying the view of the dramatic west coast, the walkway runs from Hickford Park, Bell Block to the east to Port Taranaki to the west, with numerous pedestrian access points dotted along the way. Read more

One night in Taranaki

Taranaki - Martinborough

Next stop is an area known for its wine: Martinborough. If you are looking for authentic cultural experiences here in New Zealand, this is a great place to go! Martinborough is a small town in rural New Zealand, where you will find many small shops selling local products.

One night in Martinborough

Martinborough

The town’s residents enjoy a relaxed country lifestyle and an involved, friendly community. It is a lovely tiny village surrounded by 35 vineyards, amongst them Palliser Estate, Tirohana, Ata Rangi, Escarpment, Craggy range, Alana Estate and Te Kairanga. Many kiwis from Wellington own a country house in Martinborough which is just over an hour’s drive from the Capital. Martinborough is not the only town in the area, you will also find Featherston and Greytown. Read more

One night at Martinborough

Martinborough - Wellington - Picton

Today you will take a ferry from Wellington to start the South Island part of your trip! The ferry will dock at Picton, a nice sunny seaside town in the Marlborough Sounds. It is the perfect location to use as a launching pad to experience all that the Queen Charlotte Sound offers; jump on a mail boat cruise, take an eco-tour to Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary, kayak in the tranquil waters of Anakiwa or spend the day at a lodge enjoying the local seafood. There are nature reserves and a range of local bush walks with varying degrees of difficulty, all offering spectacular views, or travel by boat to walk the famous Queen Charlotte Track, deep in the heart of the Queen Charlotte Sound. Read more

One night in Picton

Picton - Nelson

Its generous sun that delivers New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours is well known and Nelson is New Zealand's second oldest city, settled in 1841, do not miss South Street with its old 16 cottages. It is a paradise for lovers of coffee and fine art with its numerous galleries and street cafes. Enjoy the year-round sunshine, fine local wines, abundant seafood, and a relaxed holiday atmosphere. Take a walk down a heritage trail, drive out to Richmond for a laidback shopping experience, or perhaps indulge in a glass of the region's finest wines in the vineyards just beyond the centre of Richmond. You can also bring back your own souvenir from the jeweller Jens Hansen Goldsmith, who created the “ring” for the trilogy. And the Richmond Harringtons Brewers makes Pancing Pony beer, from the movie again. For a break with your family, we like two specific spots: Founders Park with its old monuments, its plane and café or Tahunanui beach with its huge playground. Read more

One night in Nelson

Nelson - Golden Bay

Once the summit of Takaka Hill is crossed, at 791 metres above sea level, Golden Bay appears on the horizon with startling beauty. Golden Bay is a region with endless variety, where golden beaches, alpine valleys and tranquil fishing rivers share a close proximity with the sea. Kiwi people love it for holidays. With more than 2500 hours of sun per year, this is the sunniest region of the country. Read more

One night in Golden Bay

Golden Bay

Golden Bay covers Cape Farewell, Farewell Split & Puponga Farm Park up North, a 25km long ornithological sanctuary and the well-known Heaphy Track. You’ll also find lots of beautiful beaches along the coast, especially Wharariki Beach, 1 hour from Takakaka and 20 min walk across some farmland.

One night in Golden Bay

Golden Bay

Around here you will find the Te Waikoropupu Springs which are known for the clarity of the water, and the volume of water discharged. The horizontal visibility of the water in the springs has been measured at an average of 63 metres, a world record for fresh water. The volume of water is estimated that 14,000 litres are produced per second, approximately enough to fill 40 bathtubs. Read more

One night in Golden Bay

Golden Bay - Nelson Lakes

Nelson Lakes National Park was established in 1956. This park protects 102,000 hectares of the northern most Southern Alps. The park offers tranquil beech forest, craggy mountains, clear streams and lakes both big and small. Don’t forget the sand-flies repellent, they love to bite near the lakes and it can get very itchy. Read more

One night in Nelson Lakes

Nelson Lakes - Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs is great all year round, with a different colour palette depending on the season. Set in a breath-taking natural landscape, surrounded by forests and mountains. A great place to rest and soak in some hot pools and a spa, or if you want to be more active, there is a range of walks on offer from short walks like Conical Hill to full day hikes such as climbing Mt Isobel. Read more

One night in Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs - Akaroa

The Banks peninsula is full of picturesque bays, seaside villages, boutique galleries and cafes. The highlight of this peninsula is Akaroa, a historic French and British settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. Explore the village with its colonial architecture, galleries, craft stores, and cafés. Read more

One night in Akaroa

Akaroa

Akaroa Harbour is the only place on the entire planet where you can get up close and personal with NZ's playful Hector's dolphins either by simply watching them or even swimming with them. Here is also where you will find the biggest little blue penguin colony in the country! If you like walking, Akaroa is the starting point of the Banks Track but also of plenty of other day walks. You reach altitude quite fast and the views over the caldera are great. Read more

One night in Akaroa

Christchurch Departure

Today is the day you depart from Christchurch, the end of your journey. By now you have hopefully taken lots of pictures and made many new memories in New Zealand that will stay with you forever!

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Auckland City
Day 3
Location Bay of Islands
Day 6
Location Waitakere
Day 7
Location Raglan
Hotel Sunset Motel
Day 9
Location Taranaki
Hotel Dawson Motel
Day 11
Location Martinborough
Day 13
Location Picton
Day 14
Location Nelson
Day 15
Location Golden Bay
Hotel Mohua Motels
Day 18
Location Nelson Lakes
Day 19
Location Hanmer Springs
Hotel Clear Ridge
Day 20
Location Akaroa
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Auckland City
Day 3
Location Bay of Islands
Day 6
Location Waitakere
Day 7
Location Raglan
Day 9
Location Taranaki
Day 11
Location Martinborough
Day 13
Location Picton
Day 14
Location Nelson
Day 15
Location Golden Bay
Day 18
Location Nelson Lakes
Hotel Alpine Lodge
Day 18
Location Hanmer Springs
Day 19
Location Akaroa
Hotel Banks House
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Auckland
Day 3
Location Bay of Islands
Day 6
Location Waitakere
Day 7
Location Raglan
Day 9
Location Taranaki
Day 11
Location Martinborough
Day 13
Location Picton
Day 14
Location Nelson
Day 15
Location Golden Bay
Day 18
Location Nelson Lakes
Hotel Alpine Lodge
Day 19
Location Hanmer Springs
Day 20
Location Akaroa

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transfer from/to the airport
  • Rental car
  • Accommodation
  • Local guides for activities
  • 24/7 local assistance in English and French
  • Entrance fees
  • Local SIM card
  • Travel documents including a detailed itinerary, map, vouchers for the activities and accommodations

Package excludes

  • International airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa, consular 76fees or any other formalities.
  • Beverages
  • Additional journeys and transfers

More information

  • The accommodations shown here for each category are generally possible but not guaranteed as the final itinerary will be dependent on what is available at the time of booking.
  • The prices are based on double/twin beds, other bedding options are possible but prices will change accordingly.
  • When one person wishes to have their own room, a single supplement will be added.
  • The trips are completely customizable, everything can be modified, whether it be the places you visit or the order in which you see them.

Our wide-ranging experiences are complimentary

Once Upon A Trip
CONTACT US

THE TEAM

Ben Lepage

The Explorer of Hidden Lands

Berenice Burtin

Giving life to your ideas

We pride ourselves in creating fully tailor-made trips and in assisting every step of the way.

If you have any questions or you want to customize your trip we are here for you at any time.

  • Languages:English, French
  • Local time:08:05

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