Beautiful Destinations Itinerary

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21 days

Highlights

  • Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tours
  • Volcanoes and geysers
  • Mountains and glaciers

Proximity

  • by car:

    Starting in Auckland ending in Christchurch

     

     

As the FIFA Women's World Cup™ approaches, you’re invited to embark on an unforgettable journey to the Beautiful Game through New Zealand's breathtaking landscapes.

 

 

Days 1 - 2 Auckland

Highlights

  • Sky Tower
  • Te Ara I Whiti/ The Lightpath
  • Waiheke Island
auckland

Auckland

Vibrant city style and spectacular landscapes

Discover Auckland

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Begin your journey to the beautiful game in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand's largest city with a vibrant waterfront, beaches and islands. Start your day off with panoramic views of the city at the iconic Sky Tower. Take a stroll through the heart of the city on Te Ara I Whiti / The Light path(opens in new window) or Pink Light Path which stretches from Upper Queen Street to Victoria Street West. Enjoy delicious local cuisines from the waterfront restaurants at Viaduct Harbour while taking in the mesmerising views of the Waitematā Harbour. 

If you're looking for an escape from the city centre, Fullers(opens in new window) offers regular ferries from Auckland city to Waiheke island, Rotoroa island and Rangitoto island. Waiheke is known for its stunning vineyards, pristine beaches and adrenaline-pumping activities. Sample world-class wines in picturesque vineyards or zipline(opens in new window) through native forests. 

Day 3 Auckland – Rotorua (via Hobbiton™)

Highlights

  • Hamilton Gardens
  • Waitomo glowworm caves
  • Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tours

Proximity

  • by car:

    1hr 55min | From Auckland to Matamata 167 km via SH1

  • by car:

    56 min | From Matamata to Rotorua 67 km via SH5 

Discover Hamilton & Waikato

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Take a day trip Matamata, home to the famous Hobbiton™ Movie Set. Head down south on the freeway towards the Waikato region which is approximately 2 hours away from Auckland. On your way, make a stop at Hamilton Gardens to see beautifully landscaped gardens representing different civilisations and garden styles from around the world. If you've got extra time up your sleeve, spend an extra night and explore the top things to do in Hamilton.

Embark on a magical journey through Middle‑earth™ as you explore Hobbiton. Nestled in the rolling hills of Matamata, immerse yourself in the whimsical landscapes with hobbit holes, lush gardens and the iconic Green Dragon Inn. If you're not already awe-inspired, venture underground to Waitomo Caves and experience the breathtaking starry glowworm caves(opens in new window)

 

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Days 4-5 Rotorua

Highlights

  • Te Pā Tū
  • Waimangu Valley
  • Redwoods Nightlights
rotorua

Rotorua

From explosive geysers to fascinating Māori culture, Rotorua has it all

Discover experiences in Rotorua

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Start the day with a visit to Te Puia, where you'll explore the fascinating world of geothermal wonders with bubbling mud pools and soaring geysers. In Waimangu Volcanic Valley, you can take a walk and immerse yourself in the breathtaking vistas shaped by the volcanic activity. Visit Te Pā Tū for evening kai (food) which offers an unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich traditions of Māori culture. 

For an adrenaline-packed day, Skyline Rotorua has got you covered. Take a gondola ride(opens in new window) up Mount Ngongotaha and admire the scenic views of Rotorua's surrounding landscapes. Hop on the luge(opens in new window) and race down the thrilling tracks providing fun for all ages. For those seeking an extra thrill, the sky swing(opens in new window) offers a heart-pumping adventure swinging high above the ground.

 

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Day 6: Rotorua – Taupō – Napier

Highlights

  • Huka Falls Jet
  • Lake Taupō cruise
  • Kayak to Mine Bay

Proximity

  • by car:

    1 hr | From Rotorua to Taupō 79 km via SH5

  • by car:

    2 hr 13min | From Taupō to Napier 143 km via SH5

lake-taupo

Taupō

Adventure activities and water sports

When you depart from Rotorua, make a day trip to Taupō on your way to Napier. Visit the mesmerising turquoise waters of the magnificent Huka Falls. Choose between two options to explore: opt for a thrilling Huka Falls Jet boat ride(opens in new window), where you'll speed and get up close to the thundering falls, or take a Huka Falls walk(opens in new window) immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Head to Lake Taupō, the largest lake in Aotearoa New Zealand. Here, you can take a scenic cruise to see the Māori carvings(opens in new window) called Ngātoroirangi. Alternatively, for those seeking a more active adventure, you can kayak to Mine Bay(opens in new window) and get a look of the Māori carvings up close. 

After your adventures in Taupō, continue your journey to Napier, a city renowned for its Art Deco architecture and fine wineries.

 

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Days 7-8: Napier – Wellington

Highlights

  • Art Deco Tour
  • Zealandia By Night tour
  • Winery Cycle tour at Elephant Hill

Proximity

  • by car:

    4hr 10 min | 323 km via SH50 and SH1

Discover Hawke's Bay

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Take an Art Deco Tour, where you'll explore the city's captivating streets lined with beautifully restored buildings from the 1930s. Pedal your way through renowned vineyards such as Elephant Hill and Church Road, where you can savour exquisite wines and take in the beautiful sceneries.

Hit the road and drive along State Highway 2 towards Wellington, but not before making a stop lunch in Martinborough or Greytown in the Wairarapa region. 

Arrive in Wellington, New Zealand's vibrant capital city. Take the Zealandia By Night tour(opens in new window), a unique experience that allows you to discover the magic of New Zealand's native wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for tuatara, an ancient reptile species found only in New Zealand, and if luck is on your side, catch a glimpse of the kiwi, Aotearoa New Zealand's iconic flightless bird.

 

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Day 9: Wellington – Kaiteriteri via Nelson

Highlights

  • Pelorus Bridge
  • Pic's Peanut Butter World

Proximity

  • by ferry:

    3 hr 30 min | Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton

  • by car:

    1 hr 58 min | From Picton to Nelson 139 km via SH6

  • by car:

    53 min | From Nelson to Kaiteriteri 54 km via SH60

Discover Nelson

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Head to the Interislander Ferry Terminal(opens in new window) to catch the morning ferry to Picton. Enjoy the scenic journey across the Cook Strait, taking in the stunning views of the Marlborough Sounds

From Picton, drive to Pelorus Bridge, a scenic location known for a bit of Middle‑earth™ magic. Peter Jackson chose Pelorus Bridge as a filming location for scenes from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. 

Continue your journey to Nelson(opens in new window), a city renowned for year round sunshine, long golden beaches, and untouched forests. Take a tour of Pics Peanut Butter World(opens in new window) and indulge in some delicious peanut butter treats. 

 

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Day 10: Kaiteriteri – Punakaiki

Highlights

  • Paddle to Split Apple Rock
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks sunset walk

Proximity

  • by car:

    3 hr 51 min | 278 km via SH6

Discover Kaiteriteri

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Make your way to Abel Tasman National Park. Highlights including paddling in a waka to Waka Toka Ngawhā (Split Apple Rock). This giant granite formation looks like, you guessed it, a split apple. Unlike the other famous split apple of history, this one’s made of 120-million-year-old rock that split when water seeped into a crevice and froze during the ice age. 

Head to the small village of Punakaiki, which lies on a wonderfully remote and wild stretch of coastline bordering Paparoa National Park. Before you settle in for the night, take a sunset stroll to Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. These limestone formations are, essentially, the final resting place for millions of marine creatures that have become mixed in with alternating layers of hard and soft rock.

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Days 11-12: Punakaiki – Franz Josef

Highlights

  • West Coast Wildlife Centre
  • Waiho Hot Tubs
  • Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike

Proximity

  • by car:

    2 hr 51 min | 217.5 km via SH6

Discover Franz Josef Glacier

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From Punakaiki, make your way to the small town of Hokitika. Make sure you get a selfie with the world’s most environmentally friendly destination sign. The Hokitika sign is made from driftwood tied with flax, and, despite harsh weather conditions – and thanks to careful repair work by the sign’s creator – the sign stands all year round.

Then head to the small town of Franz Josef. Plan to spend two nights here to hedge your bets against the weather. Spend the afternoon at the West Coast Wildlife Centre(opens in new window), a hatching facility for New Zealand’s rarest species of Kiwi, the Rowi and Haast Tokoeka.

Afterwards, it’s time to take a break from the worries of the world with a wood-fired hot tub in a rainforest with Waiho Hot Tubs(opens in new window). Start your second day with a heli-hike on New Zealand’s fastest moving glacier, Franz Josef glacier. Then take a stroll along the Te Ara Kairaumati Walk to Lake Matheson.

 

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Days 13: Franz Josef – Queenstown (via Wānaka)

Highlights

  • Haast
  • Wānaka town

Proximity