For wildlife and nature lovers, New Zealand is a paradise. Home to countless bird species and marine mammals, there are trips throughout the country to get you up close to the native species in their natural environments. New Zealanders are very good at protecting their wildlife, and the trips recommended in this itinerary are responsibly operated, contributing to the overall well-being of the species involved. Beginning in the north where you swim with the dolphins, you will journey through both islands and as far south as Stewart Island, taking in the best of the wildlife viewing opportunities en route.
Swim with the playful dolphins in the warm waters of the Bay of Islands.
Hear the call of the birds on Tiritiri Matangi.
Spot rare kiwi at Zealandia.
Encounter huge sperm whales at Kaikoura.
Watch the cheeky penguins on the Otago Peninsula.
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Treat this trip purely as a starting point for your own tour to New Zealand. Your specialist will ask you what you want and then shape your itinerary to match.
- Your trip will be unique
- We work to your interests and budget
- Advice from first-hand expertise
- Coromandel Peninsula
- Stewart and Ulva Islands
- Te Anau and Manapouri
- Te Anau and Manapouri
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Day 1 Russell
Day 2 Russell
Day 3 Auckland
Make your way south from the Bay of Islands to the international city of Auckland where you will stay for two nights. This afternoon is at leisure to explore the city. I recommend making a stop at the Viaduct Harbour region to have a nice meal or stop my the Auckland War Memorial Museum to learn about the New Zealand war history.
Day 4 Auckland
Today you'll be collected from your hotel in the morning and enjoy a full day tour of the Tiritiri Matangi Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary. This is an excellent chance to learn of the history and evolution of New Zealand's birds and animals. Along with time to independently explore, the day includes a guided walk through the native bush.
Day 5 Coromandel Peninsula
Day 6 Coromandel Peninsula
You will be collect from your accommodation for a full day tour of the Coromandel. You will tour around the entire peninsula, visiting beautiful coastline and seemingly endless mountains. Your guide will ensure you learn of the Coromandel's significant Maori cultural history. In terms of industrial history, you will visit old gold mining site from the area's mining hay day. Your guide will also highlight the native Kauri trees (New Zealand Redwoods), and the impressive Hot Water Beach, where you can have a hot spring experience like none other on Earth!
Day 7 Rotorua
Make your way south to Rotorua, the thermal centre of New Zealand. Here you can see bubbling mud-pools, steaming lakes and impressive geysers. In the evening you will be collected from your accommodation and head to a local Maori cultural center. Enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi meal and cultural experience at the Mitai Maori Village. You will learn of New Zealand's indigenous culture, be treated to a Haka performance, and walk through the sacred Fairy Springs, which is a renowned spot for glow worms. Finish the night by taking a trip into Rainbow Springs where you have the chance to see kiwi.
Day 8 Rotorua
Day 9 Wellington
Day 10 Wellington
Day 11 Kaikoura
Day 12 Kaikoura
Day 13 Christchurch
Day 14 Christchurch
Day 15 Dunedin
Day 16 Dunedin
You join a wildlife cruise today that will allow you to see the fantastic wildlife of this area in its natural environment. The trip includes a visit to the yellow-eyed penguin colony, an extremely rare species, where you can get very close to the penguins via some specially designed underground walkways.
Day 17 Stewart and Ulva Islands
Day 18 Stewart and Ulva Islands
Day 19 Te Anau and Manapouri
You return to Invercargill by light aircraft today and continue onto Te Anau where you will stay for one night. In the evening make your way down to the Real Journeys Visitor Centre for an evening excursion to the renowned Te Anau Glow Worm Caves, one of the few places on earth to see these bioluminescent creatures!
Day 20 Manapouri
Te Anau and Manapouri , Manapouri
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Manapouri, where you'll get a ferry across to the Manapouri Power Station and then board another coach, bringing you to the Doubtful Head via Wilmot Pass, allowing you to see the Sound from far above. You'll board the Fjordland Navigator for your overnight scenic cruise. There are a number of ways to experience the Sound, with its dominating peaks and cascading waterfalls, enjoy this magical place as you wish!
Day 21 Queenstown
Day 22 Queenstown
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When to go
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