16 Day South to North Tour

16 Day South to North Tour


Our most popular trip offers you a jam-packed experience across the top destinations in just over two weeks. Golden beaches, Maori culture, surreal landscapes and a big dose of adventure are all yours.

Starting in Christchurch, we explore the best of the South Island before catching a ferry to cross the Cook Strait (the body of water between the North and South Islands). From our arrival in Wellington, we make our way up the North Island taking in all the highlights before ending in NZ's biggest city: Auckland.

Note that this tour can also run from Auckland to Christchurch - as you select a departure date, the start location will be displayed.

Day one begins at 8am at our very own Haka Lodge Christchurch and ends around 5pm in Auckland at the Haka Hotel Newmarket. If you have the time, we have a great three day tour to the Bay of Island. Departing from Auckland, this tour showcases the Northland region of New Zealand.

Our Amplified tour comes complete with some unique inclusions: carving your very own 'tiki' pendant in Coromandel, entrance to Orakei Korako Thermal Geyserland, Maori cultural night, Queenstown Gondola ride and more.

As you build your tour online, you will see many optional activities available to add - but remember, none of these are compulsory.

As the tour starts early in the morning, you can opt to stay at Haka Lodge the night before the tour - only having to walk downstairs on the day the tour starts makes for a stress free morning. Likewise, you can book an extra night at Haka Lodge Auckland so you are not in a rush once we go our separate ways.

Upgrading your accommodation to a two person private room costs $1099. The cost is per room, so if you share the room with someone else you can split the cost between you.


  • Transport, breakfast and accommodation (max 6 share, upgrades available)
  • Passionate Kiwi guide
  • Ride the Tranz Alpine Express Train – one of the world’s top rated train journeys
  • Maori Cultural experience in the Coromandel and Rotorua
  • Traditional Maori ‘Hangi’ (food cooked using heated rocks in an underground oven)
  • Explore an extraordinary geyserland, with candy coloured water at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
  • Stunning cliff top walk down to Cathedral Cove, which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Narnia
  • Sail between the North and South islands across the iconic Cook Strait
  • Learn to carve your own ‘Tiki’ pendant from bone
  • Gondola ride in Queenstown to witness awesome panoramic views of the "Adventure Capital of the World"
  • Small groups - max 16
  • Guided tour of every location. We show you places you would miss when travelling on a bus pass
  • Plus many surprise stops on the way

Booking Conditions

Age Restriction: Minimum age of 18

Fitness Requirement: Moderate

What's included

  • Transport, breakfast and accommodation, max 6 share, upgrades available.
  • Passionate Kiwi guide
  • Ride the Tranz Alpine Express Train – one of the world’s top rated train journeys
  • Maori Cultural experience in the Coromandel and Rotorua
  • Traditional Maori ‘Hangi’ (food cooked using heated rocks in an underground oven)
  • Explore an extraordinary geyserland, with candy coloured water at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
  • Stunning cliff top walk down to Cathedral Cove, which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Nar
  • Sail between the North and South islands across the iconic Cook Strait
  • Learn to carve your own ‘Tiki’ pendant from bone
  • Gondola ride in Queenstown to witness awesome panoramic views of the
  • Small Groups - max 16
  • Guided tour of every location.

What To Bring

  • Hat & Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain Jacket
  • Sneakers
  • Togs - Swimwear
  • Beach Towel
  • Padlock - for luggage storage compartments



Day 1 : Day 1: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo
We’ll explore the iconic downtown area and check out the cool ways the city has reunited and is being rebuilt. With lots of quirky shops, specialized cafes and spots to dine, along with a young fun Kiwi culture, Christchurch shouldn’t be missed. After exploring Christchurch, we’ll make our way to Tekapo, one of New Zealand’s most famous lakes. Surrounded by the jagged Southern Alps, the bright turquoise Lake Tekapo will leave you questioning if someone dropped blue food coloring in it. Minerals left by ancient glaciers give the lake its iconic turquoise colour. Combine this with the towering mountains and purple and pink Lupin flowers along its banks, and you’ll understand why Lake Tekapo couldn’t be prettier.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 2 : Day 2: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown
The road to Queenstown (scattered with dozens of glacial blue lakes, soaring mountains and lush valleys) is almost as beautiful as the town itself. Between wine tasting in the famous Otago region, to exploring some of the local salmon farms, we’ll have the chance to see a more diverse side of the South Island. The undisputed adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is always at the top of the list of any trip around the South Island. Surrounded by the stunning Remarkables, some of the most beautiful mountains in NZ, and sprawling along the banks of the dazzling Lake Wakatipu, its location is straight from a postcard. Together we’ll hop on up the gondola and see Queenstown from above. There is nothing like watching the sunset over New Zealand’s prettiest town with new friends before experiencing the famous Queenstown nightlife. We’ll crash for the night at the Haka Lodge, cook some meals together, and chill out in the best, luxury hostel-lodge in town.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 3 : Day 3: Queenstown
With a full day in Queenstown, you can pack in as many bucket list activities as you wish. There are many different options to choose from: paragliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping while your Haka friends cheer you on, horse riding through some stunning Lord of the Rings locations in Glenorchy and swinging through a canyon Tarzan-style with a new friend. Queenstown is definitely a highlight of any trip to New Zealand. Queenstown is also home to New Zealand’s most famous burger: Fergburger. Why not grab one with your new friends as you explore the town? If you’re into hiking, you might even be able to hop on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks and tackle part of the Routeburn track. One of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, Milford Sound, is not to be missed. Driving into the park is stunning in and of itself, but just wait ‘til you get on the water! Sailing around the fiords beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular spots in New Zealand. Beautiful in rain or shine, Milford is universally loved by all, and takes the biscuit as one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful areas of the South Island. With the occasional sea lion or dolphin popping up to say hello, it makes the journey there and around even more special.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 4 : Day 4: Queenstown to Wanaka
The drive to Wanaka from Queenstown is spectacular, filled with great views, beautiful stops and plenty of surprises. We’ll stop in the stunning and historic Arrowtown for a bit of exploring. En route to Wanaka, we stop in at New Zealand’s oldest pub for a drink or two in Cardrona before arriving at the lakeside holiday town of Wanaka. A year round destination, Wanaka is surrounded by towering mountains and a glacial blue lake with plenty of things to do and with a thriving young vibe in town. In the warmer months, there are tons of lake activities to choose from, such as swimming, waterskiing, kayaking and wakeboarding. There are beautiful hikes and bike rides all around the lake and plenty of adventure activities to get stuck into. In the winter, Wanaka is one of New Zealand’s most popular snow sports destinations, with several great ski fields close by. Hit the cafes on the lakefront for a drink at the end of the day with the group to unwind.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 5 : Day 5: Wanaka to Franz Josef
Start the day off right with a skydive over Wanaka, taking in the spectacular glaciers we’ll head to later in the day, and even get views of Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. If you’re feeling nostalgic, take a step back in time with a flight over the lake and town in a vintage Tiger Moth biplane. You’ll also have the chance to mountain bike along the lake, climb up the iconic Mt. Iron in town for some sweet views or hit up the iconic Puzzling World for a bit of fun and games. We’ll then make our way towards the wild west coast of the South Island, traversing the beautiful mountains in Haast and getting a good look towards the sea. Get excited, this is one of the most scenic and iconic road trips around New Zealand. Apart from the sick west coast views, there are plenty of surprises and secret spots in store today. Between September and December its whitebait season (a small fish that’s a delicacy in New Zealand). Fried up with eggs and served on toast, it’s a local treat and shouldn’t be missed. We’ll stop at a one of the secret local spots to try it out.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 6 : Day 6: Franz Josef
Another New Zealand favorite: Franz Josef Glacier. You’ll marvel at the sight of bright blue ice fields, surrounded by luscious green mountains, dropping down into a temperate rainforest (the only kind in the world). Relatively easy to access, hiking on or around the glaciers is a must-do. There are plenty of different ways to enjoy Franz Josef; you can take a scenic helicopter flight and hike on the glaciers, try ice-climbing for the first time, or relax in the hot springs down below. You can even carve your own Greenstone necklace in town. Apart from the beautiful glaciers, there are also plenty of opportunities for kayaking, quad biking, horseback riding and even a bit of group karaoke in Franz Josef! With Mt. Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 7 : Day 7: Franz Josef to Christchurch
We head to the beautiful west coast on one of the most spectacular drives in the world; the rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest is juxtaposed against breathtaking beaches and ocean waves. En route from Franz Josef we pass through Ross, a town that arose from gold mining. The gold rush days of the second half of the 19th century were largely responsible for opening up the west coast for settlement. Before this, there was a small number of Maori who searched for greenstone (jade). We take a break at Hokitika to visit a greenstone factory. This place experienced a massive gold rush in the late 1860s and today remnants from all the activity can be seen in original buildings and in the landscape, altered by excavations and vast mounds of tailings. We may also make a quick stop at the Bushman’s centre where you can taste a Possum pie or sink a drink in the Puke Pub (pronounced Pookee). We reach Greymouth Train Station by lunchtime, where you board the TranzAlpine train. The crossing takes 4 and a half hours and travels through the absolutely stunning Arthur’s Pass. Tonight you are privileged to be staying at our very own Haka Lodge, situated on the outskirts of the city centre. We quite often make a home cooked meal or BBQ tonight and we invite you to make yourselves at home.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 8 : Day 8: Christchurch to Kaikoura
Rugged snowcapped mountains drop right down to the beach in Kaikoura, making it an incredible backdrop to experience the famous sea life in the area. There’s something for every traveler in Kaikoura: go giant whale watching, take a surf lesson, go fishing, kayak, play mini-golf or swim with hundreds of friendly and curious wild dolphins in the bright blue water; how often do you get to swim with dolphins in the wild? Eventually we’ll make our way down to Christchurch, a beautiful garden-filled city with lazy rivers and heritage buildings. We finish the day by coming home to our very own Haka Lodge. Having a family BBQ together, while hanging out with new friends as the sun goes down, makes for a perfect way to end an epic day on the South Island.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 9 : Day 9: Kaikoura to Wellington
One of the most iconic and classic New Zealand activities is sailing the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands. From the decks of the ferry, the city lights of Wellington fade but before long we’ll be greeted with views of the vast ocean. Keep a look out for the occasional dolphin leaping alongside the boat; as if the views couldn’t be more perfect! After taking in a vineyard or two, soon the sweeping mountains around the Marlborough Sounds rise up, welcoming us to the South Island. Road tripping along the rugged coast to Kaikoura offers views of tremendous mountains that crash down to the turquoise ocean, with seal colonies and waterfalls dotted here and there. Be sure to have your camera ready for a visit to the fur seal colonies (there may even be even baby seals!) and for all of the great sea life you’re going to spot. If it’s warm enough, we’ll even have a bonfire on the beach together and cook up a Haka family BBQ.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 10 : Day 10: Wellington
Tucked away at the bottom of the North Island, New Zealand’s capital is anything but boring. A fun young city with tons of green spaces and beaches, it feels more like a small town than an urban capital. Packed with quirky bars, quaint cafes, beautiful street art and heaps of things to do, it’s impossible not to love Wellington. There is something for everyone here: be amazed at Weta Studios, where the Lord of the Rings movies were produced; ride the old fashioned cable car to the Botanic Gardens; visit Te Papa, Wellington’s famous (and free) museum filled with peculiar things, interactive exhibits as well as the stories and legends behind the history of New Zealand; or explore the various beautiful beaches around town. Go on, let your inner kid come out to play. Join the group on a trip up Mt. Victoria, one of Wellington’s most iconic spots. With the best views in town and plenty of walks and tracks to tackle, Mt. Vic is a Wellington icon and a highlight of the trip.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 11 : Day 11: Wellington to Taupo
On our way down to Taupo, we will get spectacular views of the famous volcanoes – Ruapehu, Tongariro and of course, Ngauruhoe, which is better known as Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings films. Your guide will definitely have a surprise or two in store along the way as well. When we arrive in Taupo, kick back, relax and let our knowledgeable guide sort out the planning for an exciting night on the town.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 12 : Day 12: Taupo
Lake Taupo is actually a giant volcanic crater created 70,000 years ago in one of the biggest eruptions in history. Peaceful nowadays, it’s one of New Zealand’s best places to escape and vacation. Also, being New Zealand, there are plenty of adventure sports to be found there too. If you’re looking for a thrill, we suggest skydiving over the lake or bungy jumping over New Zealand’s longest river (and, for the really brave, getting dunked in). There are heaps of other activities on offer such as quad biking, cruising the lake to see Maori rock carvings, hiking along the shores, mountain biking and even the chance to soak in some of the local geothermal pools. There is definitely an activity for everyone in Taupo and your guide will certainly have plenty of tips and suggestions. If you want to experience New Zealand’s most famous day hike, the 19.4 km Tongariro Crossing is begging you to visit. An alpine crossing around Tongariro, one of the North Island’s most famous and most beautiful volcanoes. It may be a calf burner but it’s worth every minute for the great views and volcanic landscape. Turquoise and green volcanic lakes greet you at the top, along with vistas that stretch on for miles to the coast. If you are feeling fit, you can even scramble up Mt. Ngauruhoe, which starred as Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 13 : Day 13: Taupo to Rotorua
While the North Island is predominantly volcanic, Rotorua is exceptional for its geothermal activity. With neon blue and red lakes, steaming rivers, active volcanoes and geysers galore, there are more unique natural wonders to be found in Rotorua than many other places in the world. We’ll start out with optional white water rafting or sledging on the Kaituna River which includes a 7 metre waterfall, though if you prefer a more relaxed morning, there are plenty of other spots to explore around town, including some local hot springs if you want to take it easy. Here you’ll have the chance to head over to Matamata and tour the Hobbiton film set from the Lord of the Rings, as well the Otorohonga Kiwi House where you can get a glimpse of our national icon. Reenact scenes from the movies with the rest of the group or just pretend to be a Hobbit while sipping some of the pub’s famous ginger beer. On the way to Taupo we stop at what makes Rotorua famous, along with giving it its unique smell: Orakei Korako or Waiotapu. These are extraordinary geyserland and thermal parks where you can walk around and check out all the unique geothermal activity in the area.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 14 : Day 14: Rotorua to Waitomo
Waitomo has become famous around the world thanks to its magnificent glowworm caves. How many chances do you get to go caving in a place with blue glowworms twinkling on the ceiling? There are many different ways to explore the caves, but if you are open to adventure and getting your feet wet, the best way to experience Waitomo is by black water rafting. (Optional Add-on) Dressed in a wetsuit, sitting on top of an inner tube, you can float down the caverns and underground maze. With your headlamp off, it seems as if you are looking up at the sky filled with blue stars. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you can opt on one of the caving tours where you abseil down into the caverns, tube, zipline and climb waterfalls before popping out at the end. But don’t worry, there’s a different way to explore the caves for everyone. After lunch we’ll hop on over to Rotorua, famous for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. Nicknamed the "Vegas" of New Zealand, Rotorua has heaps of activities and things to do for everyone. A favourite activity for many is the Zorb – a Kiwi invention that involves rolling down a hill whilst inside a giant air cushioned ball! Taking in one of the Maori cultural evenings, getting to experience the traditional Maori heritage and welcome, is another tour highlight.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 15 : Day 15: Waitomo to Coromandel
It’s no secret that many blockbuster hits have been filmed in New Zealand due to its incredible landscapes. We’ll walk together out along the cliffs down to Cathedral Cove (which you might recognize from the Chronicles of Narnia). Beautiful in its own right, with perfect beaches and massive rock arches and columns, it’s one of the most popular spots in the Coromandel and for a good reason: It doesn’t look real. From the Coromandel, we’ll head west through some beautiful lush green hills dotted with New Zealand’s iconic sheep before making our way to Waitomo, home of the one of a kind glowworm caves.
Meals :Breakfast

Day 16 : Day 16: Coromandel to Auckland
Beautiful remote beaches, dense wooded forest and clear blue waters make the Coromandel one of New Zealand’s favorite getaways. Together, at low tide, we’ll make our way to the world-famous Hot Water Beach. When the tide’s out, you can dig a hole in the sand where natural hot springs bubble up to create your own personal hot tub! You’ll also carve your own tiki pendant from bone here, a very special and unique Kiwi experience. What a better souvenir to take home than one you made yourself in a traditional activity? Finally, we head to Auckland, NZ’s biggest city. Auckland sits on the narrow sliver of land where the Northland peninsula tapers south to meet the rest of the North Island. Therefore, the sea is ever present, and it isn’t difficult to guess the origin of its nickname ‘City of Sails’. We arrive around 5pm, where we’ll say our final farewells. You can always book extra accommodation for this night, and if you have a few spare days, jump on our three day Bay of Islands tour.
Meals :Breakfast


This tour is availiable from Auckland to Christchurch please see 16 Day Amplified tour 


  • Starts  :Haka Lodge Christchurch, 518 Linwood Ave, Christchurch 
  • Ends : Haka Hotel Newmarket, 9 Manukau Road, Auckland 

Please view dates that are available on https://hakatours.com/departures 

Please note, that we need a minimum of 4 people to guarantee departures and take no more than 16 people 

Need more information - www.hakatours.com 


Optional Excursions

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

  • Geothermal Parks
  • Adventure

Available Extras

  • Upgrade your Accommodation from dorm to private for $1199.  If you will share the room with someone else you only need to book one upgrade and split the price between you both.
  • You can also extend your accommodation before or after your tour

Add-ons (optional activities on tour)

  • ·         Milford Sound Trip, Queenstown
  • ·         Tongariro Crossing, Taupo
  • ·         Sky Diving, Wanaka
  • ·         Canyon Swing, Queenstown
  • ·         Rafting or Sledging, Rotorua
  • ·         Heli-Hike, Franz Josef


No Credit Card or Booking Fees!!

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Recent Independent Reviews

  • On Tourradar

    Andy is a great and hard working tour manager with a very light-hearted attitude. He takes every moment out of his busy schedule when he can to enjoy and to be a kid again. His attitude makes people on the trip more relaxed and enjoy the moments. We enjoy stay at YHA accommodations the most. The itinerary is excellent, it covers pretty much the whole NZ

    On Tourradar

    Amazing experience ; truly one in a lifetime :))) couldn’t be happier with our guides and our group of awesome people . Everything was just amazing

    On Tourradar

    Gracey was an awesome guide. A lot of fun. The tour was amazing, the landscape fabulous and the ambiance was unique!

    On Tourradar

    I had an amazing time on this tour. Jackson was a great tour guide, he allowed for the tour to be as customizable as possible, and was very knowledgable about the entire country. I loved all the activities that I did, and had a great time visiting all the little towns and cities. I would highly recommend this tour!!

    On Tourradar

    It was awesome! Baby J was the best guide anyone could wish for. Thank you very much for showing me your beautiful country. This was truly the road trip of a lifetime. All the best in the future and thank you again.