Kiwi Encounter trip for 17 days with Modern air-conditioned vehicle
‘Book with Flexibility
Book with confidence with our flexible holiday options, knowing that if things change, you’ll have room to move without the fear of fees! See the inclusions below for more details on flexible bookings.
AAT Kings Kiwi Encounter Tour for 17 days from Auckland
3 nights accommodation in a Lodges.
12 nights accommodation in a Hostels.
1 night accommodation in a Traditional Maori Marae.
16 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches & 5 Dinners.
Modern air-conditioned vehicle with Free Wi-Fi.
Bucket list inclusions:.
Overnight stay in a traditional Maori marae and hangi dinner.
Tour of Te Puia geothermal reserve.
Traditional hangi lunch.
Visit Lake Taupo and Huka Falls.
Orientation walk around Tongariro National Park.
Orientation tour of Wellington.
Wine tasting in the Marlborough region.
Orientation tour of Christchurch.
Visit Lake Matheson.
Stay in the scenic Franz Josef Glacier region.
Scenic cruise on Milford Sound (including lunch).
Mountain biking excursion in Arrowtown.
WAS $4610*, NOW $4380*, SAVE $230*.
Day 1 Auckland to Marae Stay.
You’ve got your home life, and home friends…and home routine. But this is your chance to leave it all behind. Ready? Meet us in Auckland and say kia ora to your fellow Topdeckers. First stop on our Kiwi adventure: Waitomo Caves. A glowworm-studded labyrinth of underground caves and rivers – this place is like something out of a sci-fi movie. Spend your free time exploring Ruakuri Cave on foot. Cruising through the magical grotto. Or strap in for a unique blackwater rafting experience (disclaimer: you’re gonna get wet). Later, we’ll receive a traditional welcome at the marae (Maori meeting ground) and will tuck into a hangi with the gang. Hear local Maori stories and learn the meaning of whanau as we bunk down in this sacred ancestral meeting place. This is as authentic as it gets.
Day 2 Rotorua.
To say Rotorua has it ‘going on’ would be the understatement of the century. We’re talking: adrenalin-pumping activities, geothermal spas and nerd-central movie sets. And you’ve got 24hrs to embrace it all. For the LOTR fans (or closet fans), take a walk through Tolkien’s dreams at the Hobbiton movie set. Adrenalin junkie? Get your hit on a rapid ride down the mighty Kaituna River. Play Tarzan on a sky-high canopy tour. Or race your trip mates inside a giant Zorb ball (when in NZ, right?). And for you thrill-dodgers, slap on a thermal mud mask and soak up allll the healing properties of Rotorua’s sulphur spas. Locals have been using them for over 800 years, so it’s gotta have some benefits. Tonight is up to you, so gather the gang and compare today’s thrills and spills at one of the local haunts in town.
Day 3 Rotorua to Tongariro National Park.
Before we make tracks today, there’s a steamy visit to the geothermal valley of Te Puia on the cards. We’ll check out Pohutu (think: poor-hoo-too) – the largest geyser in the Southern Hemisphere and tuck into a traditional hangi lunch with the gang. Then: we’ll make a stop at roaring Huka Falls and play spot-the-extreme-kayaker as they tackle the immense 11-metre plunge down the canyon falls. Finally, we’ll take in the A-Mazing views over Lake Taupo before putting our feet up at our accommodation near Tongariro National Park. What. A. Day. Dinner tonight is on us, so pile up your plate – you’re gonna need it for what’s in store for tomorrow.
Day 4 Tongariro National Park.
Dramatic volcanic peaks dominating the horizon. Rugged terrain that looks like you landed on Mars. And intense turquoise lakes gathered in steep valleys. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the best one-day hikes in the world – and it 100% deserves the rep. You’ve got a full day to find your Samwise up Mt Ngauruhoe (aka Mt Doom), soak up all the I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E views and wish you’d broken in those new hiking boots. If four-wheeled adventuring is more your style – there’s a quad biking excursion on the cards too. Back at base camp, sit back and enjoy the serenity with a cold beverage. You’ve earnt it
Day 5 Tongariro National Park to Wellington.
Next up: Wellington. Get your bearings around the capital on an orientation tour before we head to Mt Victoria for 360-degree views over the harbour. Then: the rest is up to you. Get your Middle Earth fix at the Weta Workshop. Head to the MAC’s Brewbar on the waterfront. Or catch a free tour of parliament. Tonight, dinner is up to you – but with more bars and restaurants per capita than New York, you’re not going to be stuck for options. Trust us.
Day 6 Wellington.
You wanted more free time to delve deeper – so this is your chance. Get lost amongst the incredible exhibitions at the Te Papa museum. Take the cable car up to the Botanic Gardens. Grab brunch along Cuba Street. Soak up some rays at Scorching Bay. Get your sugar fix with a Snickers milkshake at Fidel’s Cafe. And spot a kiwi bird (or two) at the Zealandia ecological sanctuary. Tonight: gather the gang, grab some fresh ‘fush and chups’ from The Chippery and head down to the harbour for dinner-with-a-view. This is livin’.
Day 7 Wellington to Nelson.
Wave goodbye to the North Island – we’re heading across the Cook Strait into the gob-smackingly beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Sounds familiar? Chances are you’ve picked up a bottle (or two) of Savvie B from this region. And after docking in picturesque Picton, we’ll get a chance to sample a drop of the good stuff at a local cellar door. Onwards to Nelson Home of Pic’s Peanut Butter World and some of New Zealand’s most pristine beaches. Settle into our idyllic beach-side accommodation – then a delicious group dinner is on the menu tonight.
Day 8 Nelson.
Free day = your chance to do your own spontaneous this-is-what-I-came-here-for thing. Ever heard of the Abel Tasman National Park? Think: golden sandy beaches. Picturesque turquoise bays. Lush native forests. And cute locals (of the wildlife-kind). Hire a kayak and head out solo. Jump aboard a water taxi and go bay-hopping. Hit the trails and explore on foot. Or let the experts take the lead on a full-day guided tour. Feeling extra? Take in allll the views with a spine-tingling 16,500ft skydive. Tonight, get the gang together for a mean chicken parmi at Smugglers or take a stroll along Tahuna Beach at sunset. This is your moment.