Taking it all in

Like a gourmet platter, this tour offers a wonderful taste of some of the best of New Zealand. Packed with scenic and activity highlights that take you from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South, this trip accentuates the diversity of the two islands. Wildlife encounters, volcanoes, beaches, wilderness walks, vineyards, cultural connections, and more make for an unforgettable two-weeks.

per person from
14440
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All payment is in NZD. Pricing in other currencies is indicative based on the current exchange rate. Final payment amount is determined by your bank based on the latest conversion.

Single supplement from: NZ$3,370
Price based on double occupancy. Single supplement is a surcharge for single occupancy.

Summary
Length15 days | 14 nights
DestinationAuckland to Queenstown
LodgingPremier

Classic Stays
Modern, well-appointed properties that provide a comfortable, convenient base from which to explore. Perfect for the region, they’re typically within easy access to cafes and other amenities.

Premier Stays
Quality lodgings in superb settings, from stylish lakeside lodges to restful alpine retreats. Note that in a few cases, Classic Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Premier to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Premier Stays are not available.

Luxe Stays
Exclusive, indulgent hideaways with exceptional facilities and service. The best in New Zealand (and perhaps the world). Note that in a few cases, Premier Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Luxe to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Luxe Stays are not available.

Special Stays
Some tours feature overnight cruises and multiple-day hikes, with stays in private lodges or Department of Conservation huts, for special wilderness experiences.

FitnessModerate

Easygoing
You’re comfortable on tracks with gently undulating terrain and can move comfortably and freely. Suitable for families with young children. Note, activity add-ons may change rating.

Moderate
You enjoy walking/light hiking, can handle a hill or two, and appreciate life-affirming soft adventures that dip a toe outside your comfort zone.

Active
You’ve got a bit of Kiwi in you and are ready to hit the hills and push yourself a little. Some of these trips include multi-day hikes that get you further into the wild. It’s not all Bear Grylls, though. You’re happy to enjoy a rewarding glass of pinot at day’s end.

This is an overall guide. Our trips include a range of activities across the spectrum. Request a Detailed Itinerary for more details on fitness levels needed for individual activities.

StyleSmall Group

Small Group
Scheduled, guided adventures with just the right number of like-minded travellers to share in the laughs and make new friends.

Private
Guided, professionally crafted trips with your own group and your choice of travel dates.

Self Drive
Self-guided, stress-free road trips with all the elements sorted for you. Our professionally crafted itineraries and booking team, your dates and travel companions.

Bespoke
Guided or self-guided, this is your personal New Zealand dream made manifest. A fully customized experience based on your passions, finessed with our professional planning.

Interests
Soft Adventure,

Trip Departures

All
2018
2019
MAKE IT PRIVATE

Want to make this itinerary exclusive to your own group? Request As a Private Trip and we can advise pricing based on your dates and the number of travellers in your group.

Daily Brief

Click on the orange icons to read about lodging along the way (not available on mobile). C=Classic, P=Premier, L=Luxe, S=Special Stays. Note accommodation may vary based on departure date. For hotel links and more information, Request a Detailed Itinerary above.
1
P

Be greeted by your Black Sheep guide in Auckland and head to the Bay of Islands, a popular yet peaceful retreat. Take a rejuvenating walk or rest from your overseas journey before our welcome dinner overlooking the beauty of the Bay.

2

Spend the day sailing amongst the picturesque islands of the bay. Set the sails or just sit back and enjoy a bit of penguin-spotting before anchoring at a secluded island bay for lunch, a walk and a swim.

3

Giant, ancient kauri trees once dominated the land here, but early milling has left only a precious handful of protected stands. Spend the morning walking amongst these lords of the forest. This afternoon, a guided tour of the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds and a cultural performance provide deeper insight into New Zealand’s Maori and colonial past.

4
P

Bid the Bay farewell and return to Auckland via New Zealand’s largest gannet colony. Perched on cliffs high above a wild surf beach, the colony provides a close-up view of its residents as they court, breed, and nest. Your Auckland hotel is in the heart of downtown. Dinner is on your own so you’re free to explore this vibrant waterfront city.

5
P

Travel south to Rotorua, a centre for Maori culture and hotbed of geothermal activity. Test the water’s therapeutic properties with a soak at a modern lakeside spa before settling into your boutique hotel. Relaxed and rejuvenated, enjoy dinner in the city’s diverse dining district.

6

Enjoy a day of volcanic and cultural exploration. Take a helicopter flight to White Island, an active volcano 30 miles offshore. Hike with professional geothermal guides amongst the volcano’s hot streams, steaming lakes, and sulphur vents. Visit the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute this afternoon then enjoy a free evening.

7
P

Fly to Wellington and enjoy a day exploring New Zealand's picturesque capital city on your own. Visit the exhibits at Te Papa, the country's national museum; tour Parliament; ride the cable car to the botanical gardens; or stroll through galleries and along the bustling waterfront, all an easy walk from your hotel.

8
P

Ferry from the North Island to the South via the crenulated coastline of the Marlborough Sounds. On land, travel to the renowned Marlborough wine region for a vineyard lunch and visit Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre to view war exhibitions brought to life by internationally acclaimed Weta Workshop. Settle into your lodging amongst the vines before a special winery dinner this evening.

9
P

This morning, choose either an eco cruise to an island bird sanctuary in the Marlborough Sounds or a guided cycling tour, ambling along scenic country roads to some of the world’s top wineries. Request a Detailed Itinerary for full descriptions. After your morning’s adventure, travel to Nelson for your two-night stay

10

The nearby Abel Tasman, with its temperate forest, aquamarine waters, and golden beaches, is arguably one of the most beautiful parks in the country. Travel there this morning for a very special sea kayaking and hiking experience along its coast. Alternatively, choose a guided hike-only or scenic cruise option, returning to Nelson to dine and relax after your adventure.

11
C

Pass through the beautiful Buller Gorge on route to the wild and woolly West Coast. This part of the South Island is honeycombed with intricate cave systems. Stop and explore one of these systems on a scenic caving tour before continuing to your seaside eco lodge at the base of the Paparoa National Park. For the truly intrepid, a cave rafting alternative is available.

12
P

Head south to the village of Franz Josef, gateway to spectacular Glacier Country. Take a scenic helicopter flight over the glacier’s blue-ice crevasses to land on its neve. Continue your drive to the sister village of Fox and explore the region on foot. Take a self-guided hike to the Fox Glacier face and a walk through a stand of old-growth rainforest, narrowly missed by the glacier long ago.

13
P

Take a morning walk around Lake Matheson, created by retreating glaciers. From there, it's a stunning drive through the Mt Aspiring National Park, with stops at hidden trails and secluded waterfalls. Pause in the lakeside town of Wanaka before crossing the spectacular Crown Range and descending to your lakeside lodging in Queenstown.

14

Queenstown is replete with options you never even knew you wanted on your bucket list. After breakfast, the day is yours to pick and choose whatever optional activities you desire, from the sublime to the ridiculous (we have recommendations for both). Your farewell dinner this evening is a chance to share tales of the day’s adventures and celebrate your time together.

15

Depending on your flight schedule, take a lakeside stroll, fulfill your gift list, or consider one last adventure before you’re dropped at the airport for your return flight home.

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Trip Inclusions

While Black Sheep prides itself on the intangibles that make our Small Group trips so special, our packages are known for being stuffed with features. Check out what’s included in your Black Sheep adventure below.

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation during your tour

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ACTIVITIES

Bay of Islands sailing cruise
Maori cultural experience
Heli-flight and guided tour of White Island
Lakeside spa entry
Wine tasting in Marlborough
Island bird sanctuary visit or vineyard cycling tour
Abel Tasman hike and kayak, cruise, or guided hike
Glow-worm cave expedition
Scenic glacier heli flight
Additional guided tours, museum visits, walks and more

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MEALS

All breakfasts
8 lunches
8 dinners with NZ wine sampling
Onboard snacks & beverages

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TRANSPORT

Tour vehicle with professional driver/guide
Rotorua to Wellington flight
Ferry ride to South Island
Airport transfers within tour dates
All baggage transport within tour

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SUPPORT

Services of a doting Black Sheep guide
Background support from Black Sheep HQ
Flight assistance available

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GEAR & AMENTITIES

Stainless steel water bottle & holder
NZ map & travel journal
Use of walking sticks, neck pillows, onboard library, and more
A few surprises

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New Zealand Sampler
Guided
Small Group

MY HUSBAND AND I JUST RETURNED FROM THE BEST VACATION EVER!

KAREN BALDWIN, OMAHA, NE, USA