17 Day North to South Tour

Fun Times and Huge Experiences Over 17 Days Covering Both the North and the South Islands.


If you want to be able to say you’ve ‘been there, done that, and got the photo’ then this  guided tour is perfect for you!  Designed by our local guides to hit all the NZ highlights From Auckland to the Doubtful Sounds you’ll cover the lush North and the stunning South over 17 spectacular action packed days.

Fill your journey up with meaningful cultural experiences such as our specially-developed Maori cultural experience with hangi, interactive show, and storytelling. 

We’ll challenge the outdoor enthusiast or adrenalin junkie with many optional or inclusive activities such as san, swimming in the ocean or freshwater lakes, white water rafting, luging, zorbing, ziplining through native bush, mountain biking, trekking, jet boating, a 4WD bush safari & farm adventure and so much more.

Visit the wonders that are the face of NZ tourism such as Cathedral Cove and Hot Water beach, Rotorua, Franz Josef glacier and Mount Aspiring National Park, the Doubtful Sounds, Huka Falls, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Abel Tasman National Park, and Te Papa Museum.

Simply enjoy being a local, at vineyards, in the parks, on the streets of Wellington or in the front set of a jet boat in Queenstown.  Waterfalls, fjords, mountains, lakes and sea – this is one epic New Zealand adventure!

Booking Conditions

Age Restriction: 7

Fitness Requirement: Easy

What's included

  • Experienced tour guide
  • 16 nights’ accommodation
  • Meals: 16 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 9 dinners
  • Multi-share accommodation (or upgrade to twin/double/single)
  • Bluebridge Ferry between North and South Islands
  • Walk to Cathedral Cove
  • Kaimoana cooking class
  • Hot Water Beach
  • Kaituna waterfall walk
  • Maori cultural experience, including traditional hangi meal and interactive performance
  • 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure
  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Tongariro National Park
  • Winery cellar door visit
  • Walk in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Aqua Taxi ride or Paddle board hire
  • Visit Cape Foulwind seal colony
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks walk
  • Walks around Lake Matheson and the Blue Pools, Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Jet Boat Ride in Makarora
  • Doubtful Sound overnight cruise
  • Sea kayaking in Doubtful Sound
  • Mountain biking in Wanaka
  • Walk up Hooker Valley track, Mt Cook National Park
  • Explore Lake Tekapo area

What To Bring

  • Camera
  • Sturdy walking shoes/boots
  • Warm clothing
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Hat & sunscreen
  • Bathers/towel
  • Water bottle
  • Toiletries
  • Motion sickness tablets
  • Insect repellent



Day 1 : Auckland to Hahei
Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! Your journey kicks off from New Zealand’s largest city Auckland, heading southeast to the pristine sands of Hahei Beach, from which you can access the famous Cathedral Cove. Accessible only by foot, boat or kayak, you’ll discover some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery and stunning sea views in this beautiful coastal spot. Cathedral Cove is a ‘must see’ on the Coromandel Peninsula. Afterward an afternoon of seaside exploration, we gather for an entertaining hands-on ‘Kaimoana’ (seafood) cooking class to prepare a delicious feast of fresh local seafood for dinner (non-seafood option available). Accommodation included: Comfortable beachside accommodation Activities included: Walk to Cathedral Cove, Kaimoana cooking class Optional activities: Cathedral Cove Kayaks
Meals :Dinner

Day 2 : Hahei to Rotorua
Today we start by driving to Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you can dig a hole in the sand to create in your own personal spa pool (tide dependent). After the beach, we’ll make our way towards Rotorua, stopping before we get to town to stretch our legs with an easy walk to watch white water rafters navigate the waterfalls of the Kaituna River. This evening you will be welcomed into the authentic Tamaki Maori Village, where you will discover Maori art, ancient rituals and traditions. Tonight we dine on a delicious hangi (Maori feast), enjoy an interactive cultural performance and the company of our Maori hosts. Accommodation included: Central city lodge Activities included: Dig your own spa pool at Hot Water Beach, Kaituna waterfall walk, cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, kapa haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive performance
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 : Full day in Rotorua
You have a full free day in Rotorua to discover an area well-known for its Maori heritage, adventure and geothermal activity. Here you have the chance to do some great optional activities, such as a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, white water rafting, ziplining through native bush, mountain biking and more. A great option to finish the day is to spend the evening soaking in the hot pools at the luxurious Polynesian Spa. Accommodation included: Central city lodge Optional activities: Visit Hobbiton, white water rafting, Zorbing, the luge, ziplining, mountain biking, Polynesian Spa
Meals :Breakfast

Day 4 : Rotorua to National Park
It’s a very early start this morning so we can make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Tongariro National Park,’ where you’ll get the chance to do what is rated as one of the world’s best one day walks, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Trek through dramatic natural scenery past volcanic peaks, vast craters and stunning turquoise lakes on one of the most spectacular treks in New Zealand. Alternatively you can go on one the shorter walks around this volcanic region or visit the Volcanic Centre Museum. Accommodation included: Alpine lodge Activities included: Tongariro Alpine Crossing and transfers, or Taranaki Falls walk and Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s Pool)
Meals :Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 : National Park to Blue Duck Station
After your big day of hiking, you get a chance to sleep in and we won’t depart until mid-morning. Our destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island by road. We’re heading for the award winning Blue Duck Station in Whakahoro, a 7,200 acre high country farm that is both a working sheep and beef station and an environmental conservation leader. This afternoon you get the opportunity to take part in a 4WD Bush Safari and farm adventure, where you’ll explore this vast land and the New Zealand native bush, discover the remains of an unbelievable local history, and learn about the farm’s conservation efforts. Your dinner is cooked using local produce. Accommodation included: Remote country station lodge Activities included: 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 : Blue Duck Station to Wellington
We depart early to arrive into Wellington around midday. Wellington is known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ thanks to Lonely Planet, and it’s a great place to check out the lively arts scene, shopping, craft breweries and café culture. As New Zealand’s capital city, it is home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive government building. This afternoon, you have the option to tour the world famous Weta Workshop, marvel at the wonders of Te Papa National Museum or wander along the Oriental Parade. Accommodation included: Central city hostel Optional activities: Weta Workshop Tour, Te Papa National Museum, craft beer sampling
Meals :Breakfast

Day 7 : Wellington (via Picton) to Abel Tasman
Leaving Wellington we’ll travel across the Cook Strait to the South Island’s coastal town of Picton. Here we meet our coach and cruise through the famous Marlborough wine region. We visit a local vineyard’s cellar door to sample New Zealand’s world famous Sauvignon Blanc, before heading to the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. Tonight we enjoy some delicious seafood and a BBQ dinner at our exclusive campsite accommodation. Accommodation included: Beach accommodation in the national park Activities included: Bluebridge Ferry trip, winery cellar door visit
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 : Full day in Abel Tasman
Today is a free day to experience the incredible Abel Tasman National Park. Explore this stunning coastal area famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand. Walk the coastal track and discover some of New Zealand’s best natural golden sand beaches or choose an optional activity like sailing or sea kayaking (own expense). Tonight you can self-cater and use the BBQ facilities at our accommodation on the edge of the national park. Accommodation included: Beach accommodation in the national park Activities included: Abel Tasman Track and Aqua Taxi or stand-up paddle board hire (SUP)
Meals :Breakfast

Day 9 : Abel Tasman to Franz Josef
We start early to head south along the ‘wild’ West Coast, travelling on the rugged rocky coastline that makes this stretch of road one of the country’s top drives. We’ll stop at Cape Foulwind to view a wild seal colony that’s active year round, then make our way further down the coast to visit the spectacular limestone Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes. From there, we carry on to our next overnight stop in the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Accommodation included: Hostel close to all attractions Activities included: Cape Foulwind seal colony, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks walk
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 : Full day at Franz Josef
Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a Franz Josef Glacier guided tour which we highly recommend (own expense). There are also many excellent bush hikes available in the region. Tonight we self-cater, giving you the opportunity to dine at one of the local cafes and restaurants in town or make use of the communal kitchen at our accommodation. Accommodation included: Hostel close to all attractions Optional activities: Glacier heli-hike, scenic helicopter flight
Meals :Breakfast

Day 11 : Franz Josef to Makarora
Today we head further down the West Coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park, stopping to take in the breathtaking scenery at the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake. See waterfalls as we travel through the mountainous Haast Pass towards Makarora then visit the stunning Blue Pools. On arrival in Mount Aspiring National Park we go jet boating to experience the best in shallow water boating, skimming just inches from the riverbed, viewing pristine waterways, snow-capped peaks and native bush. Accommodation included: Unique mountain chalets Activities included: Walk around Lake Matheson – Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools, Jet Boat Mt Aspiring National Park
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12 : Makarora to Doubtful Sound
Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery; and it is our first port of call today. Within Fiordland we visit Doubtful Sound, the deepest of all the fiords, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls. We will board a purpose-built boat and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins. There are also sea kayaks available to explore the fiord. Accommodation included: Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay in a UNESCO World Heritage Site Activities included: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, sea kayaking, wildlife spotting
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 : Doubtful Sound to Queenstown
We depart Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind stunning Fiordland to head for the ‘adventure capital of the world’, Queenstown. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views
Meals :Breakfast

Day 14 : Days 14: Queenstown
You have two free days to fully explore everything on offer. Queenstown is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: bungy jumping, zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skydiving or walk up Ben Lomond or Queenstown Hill for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery around you and do nothing. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views Optional activities: AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging
Meals :Breakfast

Day 15 : Days 15: Queenstown
You have two free days to fully explore everything on offer. Queenstown is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: bungy jumping, zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skydiving or walk up Ben Lomond or Queenstown Hill for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery around you and do nothing. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views Optional activities: AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging
Meals :Breakfast

Day 16 : Queenstown to Mt Cook
We’ll jump back on the bus for a short drive to Wanaka, where we’ll spend the morning cycling along some of the world’s most beautiful lakeside bike paths. After lunch, we head over the Lindis Pass through the picturesque Mackenzie region to the base of the country’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. There is time for a hike through the Hooker Valley for breathtaking views of the dramatic mountain landscape, or opt to take an alpine scenic flight (own expense). This is also one of the best places in New Zealand to join an evening stargazing tour. Accommodation included: Alpine lodge Activities included: Mountain biking in Wanaka, scenic walk in Hooker Valley Optional activities: Big Sky Stargazing or scenic heli-flight
Meals :Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17 : Mt Cook to Christchurch
Today we make our way through a landscape made famous in the 'Lord of the Rings' films. We’ll take a break for a stroll around Lake Tekapo, iconic for its historic church and turquoise waters. Between Tekapo and Christchurch there is an option for thrill seekers to hop-off and join a top-notch Grade 5 white water adventure on the Rangitata River (own expense). Those not rafting will continue on to Christchurch, where your driver guide will point out the highlights of the South Island’s largest city. The rafters will rejoin the group at the accommodation in Christchurch this evening. This is where your tour comes to an end - we hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey! Activities included: Explore Lake Tekapo area Optional activities: Rangitata white water rafting
Meals :Breakfast


NS17 – North to South

Start:               Auckland CBD

Start time:      7:45am

Finish:            Christchurch

Finish time:     5:00pm

Duration:        17 days/16 nights

Departs:          Wednesdays

Optional Excursions

Optional Activities (Available to sign up on tour with your guide)

  • Adventure

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Recent Independent Reviews

  • On Tourradar

    I had the most amazing time. The destinations were fantastic and even if the weather disrupts the day, there is always things to do. The accommodation in the majority of places is brilliant and the views are amazing. The only comment would be the accommodation within QueensTown isn’t the best, the showers don’t always work and some were off the wall. It can be very noisy during the early hours of the morning and it had a huge hill to climb to get there. The drivers I had on my tour are exceptional and ensured we made the most out of our trip.

    On Tourradar

    I spent 16 days and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were all ages from 18 to me at 69 and the our guide was a mine of information and helped foster a friendly family atmosphere with different activity alternatives to suit our different interests. We were maximum 24 people on a small bus covering most of the best bits of NZ. Accommodation was good (with the occasional top bunk) and food was excellent. Our guide was helpful and informative and often went the extra mile to make sure we were OK. People got on well with each other and those who joined us part way through quickly felt included. There was flexibility in that I could leave the trip early and join a Hop on Hop off bus for a couple of days at the end to go to Mount Cook which our trip didn't go to. With only 16 days to see most of NZ and a wish for someone else to make the arrangements and give me information (rather than having to consult the guidebook) it was the best option for me. Some activities are extra cost which needs to be noted and factored into the budget.and there is a lot of time on the bus some days but there is wifi and good company and the nature of NZ is that there are a lot of miles to cover if you want to see most of the country in a short time

    On Tourradar

    Thank you for this incredibly beautiful and unforgettable trip! This was the most beautiful trip of my life so far. I would like to especially thank our guide Lolly! With her always lovable character, her extensive knowledge of land, people and nature she has made this trip to a unique experience. Be grateful to have such a dedicated employee in your team! This trip was much more breathtaking than I could have imagined. The accommodations were great and better than I expected. Also the offered excursions were perfectly organized and worth every penny. Only at your bus fleet you should work. The seats in the old FUSO-minibuses (such as Gollum) are far too tight for these longer trips and the vehicles are noisy and poorly motorized. I would like to thank the entire team for this great experience! I will definitely recommend you!