Nature’s Realm: A Wildlife Exploration of New Zealand

13 Days | 12 Nights

Price per person from *$4639pp (*Based on Double Occupancy)
Land Only

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Experience New Zealand's diverse wildlife and natural beauty while exploring different regions of the country. Discover Waitomo Caves, Tiritiri Matagani, Tongariro National Park, Wellington and Queenstown.

  • 12 Nights Superior Accommodation including breakfast
  • 11 Tours/Experiences including Whirinaki Forest Walk, Tiritiri Matangi, Tongariro NP, Zealandia and Milford Sound
  • 4 Days Group D Hybrid Compact Car Hire including unlimited mileage
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Description

Discover and experience a wildlife journey of New Zealand, where every moment is infused with natural beauty and cultural richness. Your vacation commences in Auckland, the vibrant gateway to this island nation.  Prepare for an afternoon of adventure as you delve into the heart of the Waitakere Ranges on a guided Wilderness Experience. From sweeping panoramic views to lush native rainforests and rugged west coast beaches, immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes that define New Zealand's enchanting allure.

From Auckland, your journey continues to Rotorua via the captivating wonders of Waitomo Caves. Explore the ancient limestone formations adorned with stalactites and stalagmites before embarking on a guided glowworm boat cruise. As you journey towards Rotorua, be captivated by the stunning Waikato countryside, passing hydro dams, rivers, and iconic landmarks. In Rotorua, delve into the essence of Māori culture with an authentic evening at the Mitai Maori Village, where traditional dances, ancient rituals, and a traditional 'hangi' feast await.

Continue to the lakeside town of Taupo, nestle around the serene waters of Lake Taupo. A cruise to the iconic Māori Rock Carvings offers a glimpse into the region's rich cultural heritage before you journey south to Tongariro, home to the legendary Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

In Wellington, New Zealand's cosmopolitan capital, enjoy a scenic ride on the iconic Wellington Cable Car, offering panoramic views of the cityscape below. Discover the wonders of Zealandia, a sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of native flora and fauna, where you'll encounter rare and endangered species in their natural habitat.

Last stop on your New Zealand vacation is Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. From scenic flights over Milford Sound to invigorating hikes along the renowned Routeburn Track, Queenstown promises an exhilarating finale to your vacation. Soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of Fiordland National Park, cruise through the majestic fjords, and traverse ancient beech forests teeming with life.


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Price

Travel Dates

Price*
*Price per person from Based on Double Occupancy
May 1, 2024 - Sep 24, 2024 from $4639pp*
Sep 25, 2024 - Mar 25, 2025 from $4899pp*

*Prices are quoted in USD and are ‘from’, per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplements apply. Advertised price valid for departures April 1- September 24, 2024. Other date ranges are available, however seasonal surcharges apply. Black-out dates apply Auckland: Apr 1, Jun 28, Jul 10-20, Oct 28, Dec 31-Jan 1, Jan 29, Feb 6; Wellington Aug 17, Aug 24, Sep 7, Sep 19-21, Sep 26-29, Oct 3-6; Oct 10-12; Queenstown: Dec 24-28; Dec 29-Jan 2; Jan 27-31. Other dates may be unavailable due to special events. Rooms are limited and subject to availability at the time of booking. Prices are current at the time of posting (14/3/2024) and may differ when you book your travel and are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. Travel Answers Group terms and conditions apply to change fees and cancellations. Packages must be booked by August 31, 2024. All prices, itineraries and routing are subject to change without notice. Please call for our current prices based on availability. An ETA Visa is required to enter or transit in New Zealand.CA CST: 2076233-40 | WA ID: 601 684 531


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Inclusions

  • One-way Auckland Private Arrival Transfer Airport/Hotel
  • 2-nights Auckland at Fable Auckland, Classic King including breakfast
  • Half-day Wilderness Experience
  • Full day Explore Tiritiri Matangi
  • One-way Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves experience
  • 2-nights Rotorua at Regent of Rotorua, Superior Room including breakfast
  • Whirinaki Forest Day Hike
  • Mitai Maori Cultural Experience
  • Redwoods Daytime Treewalk
  • 4-days Group D Hybrid Compact Car Hire including unlimited mileage
  • 2-nights Taupo at Millennium Hotel & Resort Taupo Manuels, Superior Lakeview Room including breakfast
  • Scenic Cruise to the Maori Rock Carvings
  • 1-night Tongarario at Tongariro Suites, Waka Suite including Continental Breakfast
  • Half-day Tongariro Alpine Guided Group Walk
  • 2-nights Wellington at Travelodge Wellington, Executive Room including breakfast
  • Wellington Cable Car Return Journey
  • Zealandia by Night
  • Round-trip Queenstown Private Transfers Airport/Hotel
  • 3-nights Queenstown at Millennium Queenstown, Superior King Lakeview Room including breakfast
  • Milford Sound Fly/Nature Cruise/Fly
  • Full-day Routeburn Guided Walk

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Map


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Itinerary

  • 01
    enjoy beautiful views

    Day 1 - Auckland

    On arrival at Auckland Airport, meet your driver in the Arrivals Hall for your private transfer to your Auckland accommodation for a 2-night stay.

    This afternoon you will join a guided Afternoon Wilderness Experience.  A 30-minute drive from downtown Auckland takes you to the Arataki Centre, perched high in the Waitakere Ranges, a ridge of hills separating Auckland from its surf fringed west coast. Here the sweeping decks give breathtaking panoramic views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Absorb the local history and admire the magnificent traditional Māori carvings that stand guard there. With your knowledgeable and experienced guide, your eco-tour continues to the lush native rainforest where you walk the easy tracks among giant tree ferns. See and find out about the famous New Zealand silver fern, manuka and kauri trees as your guide talks about what makes New Zealand nature so unique. Learn about the original Māori uses for some of the plants in the forest. Head further west and experience the power of the wild and rugged west coast. Feel the soft, black sand beneath your feet as you stroll along some of the most awe-inspiring beaches the world has to offer before returning to Auckland.

    • Fable Auckland  (Deluxe)
  • 02
    Tiritiri Matangi

    Day 2 - Auckland (B)

    Cruise from Auckland through Tikapa Moana - the Hauraki Gulf, to the island sanctuary of Tiritiri Matangai. This pest-free island provides a safe haven for a wide range of native species including kōkako, takahē, tīeke and more. Take a guided walk with an experienced guide to help you spot the native species and find out more about the island’s conservation program. Enjoy the time to explore the island's other walking tracks, swimming or snorkeling at the quiet sandy beaches and discovering the regenerating forest at your leisure.

    • Fable Auckland  (Deluxe)
  • 03
    Waitomo Glowworms 2

    Day 3 - Rotorua (B)

    Check-out of your hotel and join a tour transfer from Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves. Travel through the stunning Waikato countryside on a fully guided journey to Waitomo Caves. During the journey to Waitomo you will encounter New Zealand's longest river, beautiful mountains, and see several different farm animals along the way. 

    Once in Waitomo you will explore the ancient and amazing caves, with its many different cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites and Lime Columns, before descending even further underground for your glowworm experience. Board your glowworm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms - which are unique to New Zealand - glittering above your head.

    Continue your adventure with another fully guided journey south to Rotorua, with many more attractions to see along the way, including hydro dams, rivers and lots more animals. On arrival in Rotorua, you will pass many of its famous and historical sites, including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa, before you are dropped off at your accommodation or a central Rotorua location.

    • Regent of Rotorua  (Superior)
  • 04
    Whirinaki Te Pua a Tane c.Whanganui Tourism

    Day 4 - Rotorua (B,L,D)

    Today join one of New Zealand’s best one day walks. Whirinaki is a world-class example of unique rainforest that’s barely changed since dinosaurs roamed under the canopy. Discover ancient trees, extraordinary ecology and learn about the conservation challenges to protect some of the rarest creatures on earth. This lush forest is unlike anything else in New Zealand with ancient trees such as rimu, kahikatea, miro and matai. Whirinaki provides an outstanding habitat for many of New Zealand’s rarest birds – kaka (North Island parrot), yellow-crowned kakariki (parakeet) and toutouwai (North Island robin), to name just a few. Enjoy lunch under a beautiful waterfall before returning to Rotorua.

    This evening, enjoy authentic introduction to Maori culture with an evening at the Mitai Maori Village of Rotorua. See warriors in traditional dress paddle in an ancient canoe and be captivated by the displays of weaponry. You'll watch 'haka' and poi dances and view glowworms in their natural habitat. This 3-hour experience includes round-trip hotel transport and a traditional 'hangi' feast with your admission ticket.

     

    • Regent of Rotorua  (Superior)
  • 05
    Redwoods Tree Top Walk Rotorua c.Miles Holden

    Day 5 - Taupo (B)

    This morning collect your rental vehicle from the downtown location and make your way to Redwoods Treewalk. This award-winning eco-tourism walk is 700-meters long, spans 28 suspension bridges, 27 platforms and take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete. You will be presented with a unique, birds’ eye perspective of the forest below and the treetops above.

    After experiencing the magnificent Redwoods, continue to Taupo, just a short one-hour drive from Rotorua. If time permits, stop enroute at Huka Falls for an amazing jetboat ride along the Waikato River (own expense).

    • Millennium Hotel & Resort Taupo Manuels  (Superior)
  • 06
    Great Lake Taupo Scenic Cruises with Chris Jolly Outdoors

    Day 7 - Tongariro (B)

    This morning, see the majestic Māori Rock Carvings in complete comfort on the two storied catamaran. Explore the largest crater Lake in the North Island with a live commentary, whilst enjoying a homemade muffin and hot drink.

    After the cruise, head south through the ever-changing scenery to Tongariro for an overnight stay.

     

    • Tongariro Suites  (Superior)
  • 07
    Ruapehu Adrift Outdoors Tongariro Alpine Crossing

    Day 8 - Wellington (CB)

    Embark on a half day Tongariro Alpine Guided Walk. Start on the Tongariro Crossing track and experience some of its splendor as you walk amongst the volcanoes up to the Soda Springs waterfall. Mt. Ngauruhoe’s cold-water springs create a small oasis of lush yellow mountain buttercups and white foxgloves, and the pure Soda Springs provide the opportunity to refill your water bottles with Tongariro pure spring water, whilst having morning tea. Here you will be shown all things relevant to Tongariro and New Zealand including recent and past eruptions, geology, flora and fauna discovery and settlement. At Soda Springs, you will return to the start of the walk.

    Continue traveling south to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington for a 2-night stay.

    • Travelodge Wellington  (Superior)
  • 08
    Wellington Cable Car Selfie c Wellington Tourism

    Day 9 - Wellington (B)

    This morning make your way to 280 Lambton Quay for a return scenic ride on Wellington Cable Car. There is simply no better way to experience the hidden charm that Wellington has to offer than to take this 5-minute ride from the heart of the city center, up through the hillside terraced houses of Kelburn, to the lookout perched high above the city.

    Enjoy free time exploring Wellington at your leisure before making your way to Zealandia for an evening experiencing many of the rare and endangered species and see those who only come out at night. Zealandia is the world’s first fully fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore the valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to pre-human state. Gain insights into New Zealand’s natural history and the significance of the unique species within Māori culture. The tour will end with a replenishing cup of hot kawakawa (bushman’s tea) in the Visitors Centre.

    • Travelodge Wellington  (Superior)
  • 09
    Queenstown c.Air Milford

    Day 10 - Queenstown (B)

    Return your rental vehicle to Wellington Airport prior your flight to Queenstown (not included). On arrival in Queenstown, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a three-night stay. The remainder of your day is free to explore the town center, or perhaps have a relaxing session at the Onsen Pools, go ziplining or jetboating (own expense).

    • Millennium Queenstown  (Superior)
  • 10
    Air Milford Milford Sound Aircraft

    Day 11 - Queenstown (B)

    This morning, take to the skies on a 35-minute scenic flight from Queenstown to Milford Sound. From the sky, view the famous Skippers Canyon, the Paradise region (recently made popular as film locations for Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Trilogies), and the Donne glacier among many other awe-inspiring features.

    The second half of the adventure begins in Milford Sound, where your pilot personally escorts you to the boat docks where you will board the “Spirit of Milford” to enjoy your Milford Sound Nature Cruise. The catamaran explores nooks and crannies along the edge of the fiord, nudging into sheer rock faces to examine flora and fauna in detail.

    Following your Milford Sound cruise your return flight takes in many of the pristine alpine lakes and waterfalls that Fiordland National Park is recognized for, including the Sutherland Falls which span 580m (1900ft). Flight time is another 35 minutes, with a total trip time of approximately five hours.

    The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure.

    • Millennium Queenstown  (Superior)
  • 11
    Routeburn Track Guided Walks

    Day 12 - Queenstown (B)

    Rated one of the world’s “Top Ten Classic Hikes”, the Routeburn Track combines personal achievement with awe-inspiring scenery.

    Enjoy a beautiful drive along the picturesque Queenstown-Glenorchy Road beside Lake Wakatipu. Drive through Paradise to the entrance of Mt Aspiring National Park and the renowned Routeburn Track, where you will cross the swing bridge and enter a spectacular Beech Forest. The path is smooth and flat, allowing you to look for birds as they flit through the trees - a treat is to see the Mohua (yellowhead) a rare endemic bird usually seen in small breeding flocks plus the native bush robin and New Zealand's smallest native bird the rifleman.

    The track follows the Routeburn River as it roars through a magnificent gorge before plunging beneath the rocks. It is a gradual ascent through a 130-million-year-old magical world of ferns, mosses, lichens & beech forest.  The wide variety of flora and fauna on display is sure to impress. Your guide will also share information about the historical significance of the Routeburn Track and how it was used by Māori and European pioneers. There are plenty of waterfalls to enjoy and lots of places to rest along the river. The trail is moderately paced, rising gradually towards stunning snow-capped peaks. Return to Queenstown late afternoon.

    • Millennium Queenstown  (Superior)
  • 12
    Views Towards Frankton 169605 c.Queenstown Tourism

    Day 13 - Depart Queenstown (B)

    Your Wildlife Exploration concludes today when you are transferred to Queenstown Airport for your onward flight arrangements.

  • 13
    Lake Taupo L351 cDestination Lake Taupo noex

    Day 6 - Taupo (B)

    Today is free to explore and discover Taupo at your leisure. Perhaps a round of golf, a day out fishing or just simply relax.

    • Millennium Hotel & Resort Taupo Manuels  (Superior)

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