Glacial Adventures: Exploring New Zealand's North and South Islands | Yampu Tours

Custom Travel Experiences Since 1998

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Glacial Adventures: Exploring New Zealand’s North and South Islands

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PRIVATE/GROUP TOUR - 14 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

Private/Group Tour Highlights

  • Walk beneath New Zealand’s highest mountain, climb to towering waterfalls and take a thrilling jet boat ride through narrow river canyons.
  • Choose from the array of shorter walks and take in the stunning alpine landscapes of herb fields, morraines, glaciers and cheeky kea.
  • Enjoy hiking and biking (on and off road) water activities, airborne adventures and climbing. There's something for everyone!
  • Relax in Queenstown, a great destination for luxury and indulgence with gourmet food, wine, and spa treatments.
  • Explore the Chinese gold miners’ settlement by the Arrow River, visit the Lakes District Museum, then find a convivial café to soak up the surroundings.
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

Explore New Zealand’s Fiords and Glaciers with Yampu’s exhilarating Glacial Adventures: Exploring New Zealand’s North Island itinerary.

Yampu Travelers will discover a world of beauty and adventure with this unforgettable New Zealand voyage. Like every Yampu Itinerary, this trip is completely customizable to your travel tastes and needs. With numerous activities including swimming with dolphins, gazing upon geothermal wonders, bungee jumping and crossing ancient glaciers, avid adventure enthusiasts can choose from an array of epic experiences.

Begin with an introduction to New Zeland with a tour of Christchurch before transferring to Queenstown and the glacier region. While there, explore the World Heritage Westland National Park before being whisked off by helicopter to wander the tops of one of the region’s most massive glaciers.

Once in Nelson, travelers will appreciate the area’s magnificent golden beaches before traveling across the volcanic plateau country to the Bay of Plenty region, arriving in the “thermal city” of Rotorua. For your last few days in New Zealand, learn about our huge colorful hot springs, erupting geysers and active boiling mud pools, spectacular volcanoes and lush native forest.

 

 

 

 

 

Inclusions
Price includes domestic and regional flights within the itinerary; all hotel accommodations including daily continental or buffet breakfast and daily city tax; all transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling; guided tours in English including entrance fees.
Exclusions

International airfare (unless specifically included), airport departure taxes that must be paid on-site, gratuities, meals not mentioned, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages with meals, early / late check-out, room service, visa fees/services, and other personal items or services not mentioned.

Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

Welcome to New Zealand!

Upon arrival to Christchurch, you will be met at the airport and privately transferred to your hotel.

Upon arrival to Christchurch, you will be met at the airport and privately transferred to your hotel.

Day
2

Group Christchurch Grand Tour

The fully guided Grand Tour shows the best of Christchurch. Includes a punt ride on the Avon River, Christchurch’s famous Botanic Gardens, the Christchurch Gondola, see the central city from the newly re-opened heritage Tram.

The fully guided Grand Tour shows the best of Christchurch. Includes a punt ride on the Avon River, Christchurch’s famous Botanic Gardens, the Christchurch Gondola, see the central city from the newly re-opened heritage Tram.

Day
3

Group Transfer to Queenstown with Visit to Mt. Cook

Today, you will travel across the fertile Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo before continuing on to New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt Cook. Depart Mt Cook and follow the shores of Lake Pukaki south through the historic Central Otago region to the 'Alpine Resort' of Queenstown.

Today, you will travel across the fertile Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo before continuing on to New Zealand's highest mountain, Mt Cook. Depart Mt Cook and follow the shores of Lake Pukaki south through the historic Central Otago region to the 'Alpine Resort' of Queenstown.

Day
4

Group Milford Sound Tour, Lunch Included

Today, follow the southern arm of Lake Wakatipu to Lumsden, and onward to Lake Te Anau. Enter the Eglinton Valley and travel through the breathtaking man-made Homer Tunnel to reach Milford Sound. Enjoy a cruise on this world-famous fiord, dominated by Mitre Peak and the cascading Bowen Falls. Return to Queenstown.

Today, follow the southern arm of Lake Wakatipu to Lumsden, and onward to Lake Te Anau. Enter the Eglinton Valley and travel through the breathtaking man-made Homer Tunnel to reach Milford Sound. Enjoy a cruise on this world-famous fiord, dominated by Mitre Peak and the cascading Bowen Falls. Return to Queenstown.

Day
5

Scenic Glenorchy, Shotover Jetboat Ride & Buffet Dinner at Skyline Queenstown

This scenic tour offers a little off-road action in the 12 Mile Delta area, plus breathtaking mountain and forest views along the shores of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and on to Paradise. The tour includes the film locations of Isengard and Ithilien Camp, plus beech forests near those used for Lothlorien. You can also visit the area used to film the Seat of Seeing / the Battle of Amon Hen. Refreshments are provided.

Enjoy a raw and exciting ride in the famous Hamilton jet boat on the Shotover River. The area is steeped in the history of early relics from the gold mining days and offers spectacular views. Your adrenaline hits the roof as you speed in mere centimeters of water along the famous Shotover River and deep into the Shotover River Canyons. Hold on tight and enjoy the thrill as the driver does the world-famous full 360-degree spin and without losing momentum, keeps speeding along the river. It is an adrenaline rush you'll never forget!

Take a cable car ride to the summit of Bob's Peak. The best views are found here spread out in a 220-degree panorama. Enjoy a Taste of New Zealand buffet dinner at one of Queenstown's most spectacular locations. ...read less

Day
6

Group Glacier Region Tour

Depart Queenstown this morning and travel along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea to the Haast Pass, a gateway to World Heritage Westland National Park. Continue up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to the glacier region of Fox and Franz Josef.

Depart Queenstown this morning and travel along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea to the Haast Pass, a gateway to World Heritage Westland National Park. Continue up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to the glacier region of Fox and Franz Josef.

Day
7

Group Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike with Glacier Hot Pools

Take a scenic flight over three ice-falls. Land high up on the glacier and undertake a guided walk.

Take a scenic flight over three ice-falls. Land high up on the glacier and undertake a guided walk.

Day
8

Glacier Region - Nelson

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to your hotel in Nelson.

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to your hotel in Nelson.

Day
9

Group Abel Tasman National Park Tour

Today, you will enjoy BBS Beaches, Bays & Seals with Kayak in Abel Tasman National Park.

Today, you will enjoy BBS Beaches, Bays & Seals with Kayak in Abel Tasman National Park.

Day
10

The Great Journeys of New Zealand

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the port for your interisland ferry to Wellington. Travel across Cook Strait, the stretch of water that separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand and into the Marlborough Sounds with its sparkling clear waters and lush forests.

Then, upon arrival to the Ferry terminal, you will be transferred to your hotel in Wellington.

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the port for your interisland ferry to Wellington. Travel across Cook Strait, the stretch of water that separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand and into the Marlborough Sounds with its sparkling clear waters and lush forests.

Then, upon arrival to the Ferry terminal, you will be transferred to your hotel in Wellington.

Day
11

Wellington - Rotorua

This morning depart Wellington and travel north by sea vistas and satellite towns, past cropping and sheep farming country to the Tongaririo National Park. With Mt Ruapehu as the backdrop, travel across the volcanic plateau country, past Lake Rotoaria to the summit of the Te Poninga saddle. On reaching Turangi, follow the shores of Lake Taupo to Wairakei, where geothermal steam is harnessed to produce electricity. Travel on to the Bay of Plenty region arriving in the "thermal city" of Rotorua.

Enjoy the relaxing Lake Spa Retreat. soaking in the thermally heated waters, overlooking the beautiful Lake Rotorua. Spend time to unwind with any of the Spa Therapies on offer (own expense). ...read less

Day
12

Group Full Day Eco Thermal Park & Te Puia Geothermal Reserve Tour

See it all, the ultimate thermal and volcanic Rotorua Tour. Learn about our huge colorful hot springs, erupting geysers and active boiling mud pools, spectacular volcanoes and lush native forest. All on a fully guided half-day tour in Rotorua. These are small group tours with no more than 15 people. Medium level of fitness required. Visit Rotorua's most natural and popular geothermal parks: Wai O Tapu, Lady Knowx Geyser, Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Boiling Mud Pools.


Rainbow Mountain and its craters Drive through forestry and farmland to New Zealand's largest boiling mud pool and a series of colorful hot springs at Wai-o-tapu. View the Lady Knox geyser erupting. Next a short drive to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley where your guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption which blew open this spectacular, bush covered, geothermal park, winner of New Zealand Eco-Tourism Award 2001.

Later today visit Te Puia Geothermal Reserve and see the boiling mud pools and cascading Pohutu geyser that makes Rotorua famous as New Zealand's "thermal city". Enjoy a visit to the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute with local Maori carvers in action. This evening, enjoy an authentic Maori Hangi (feast) and Concert. ...read less

Day
13

Rotorua - Auckland

This trip from Rotorua to Auckland includes visiting two of the iconic New Zealand attractions - Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Departing from Rotorua at 8 am, this is a wonderful way to get to Auckland.

The day includes a fully guided tour of the Hobbiton movie set and a sumptuous lunchtime feast in their Party Marquee. This is followed by a guided tour of the Waitomo Caves with a boat ride through the glowworm grotto.

Enjoy full commentary when you are with your Bush and Beach guide with insights into the areas you are traveling through and background to both Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves.
The first stop is at Hobbiton where we will drive you down to the set itself and have one of the specialists Hobbiton guides take you on a walking tour around the 44 Hobbit holes. You will get the chance to have a photo in the doorway of a Hobbit house, see the Party Tree and stand by the gate to Bilbo's house - Bag End' overlooking the whole set to the hills in the distance. Before your buffet lunch feast in the Party Marquee (which is included in the price) enjoy a complimentary ale, cider or ginger beer in the Green Dragon Inn. After lunch, we'll give you a $10 souvenir voucher to spend at the Hobbiton gift shop before we continue on to Waitomo caves. The drive to Waitomo Caves goes through some beautiful countryside beside Lake Karapiro and across the famous Arapuni Dam.

At Waitomo Glow Worm Caves one of their experienced guides will take you on a walking tour through the caves and talk about the limestone formations and the glowworms. At the end of the cave tour take the iconic boat ride to glide along through the world-famous glowworm grotto (subject to water levels). Marvel in silence at thousands of magical glow worms, which are unique to the southern hemisphere, before exiting the cave.

This evening, you may want to visit Auckland's Sky Tower. At 328 meters the Sky Tower visit offers views in every direction. ...read less

Day
14

Auckland - Home

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and privately transferred to the airport for your flight home.

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and privately transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand

Glaciar Franz Josef, West Coast, New Zealand

Nelson, New Zealand

Wellington, New Zealand

Rotorua, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

Places You'll See

  • Christchurch

    Christchurch is the city of exploration, where urban regeneration and heritage thrive. The city is constantly evolving, always giving locals and visitors something new to explore. Expect street art and innovative projects, a bustling hospitality scene and established green spaces. Christchurch is the newest city in the world, and it’s time the world rediscovered its secrets.

    The central city is filled with cutting-edge architecture alongside some of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. The Avon River intersects the city, bringing a natural landscape to the urban environment. Christchurch is the basecamp for South Island exploration, with the Banks Peninsula within reach, as well as the stunning Southern Alps and famed Canterbury Plains.

    The surrounding Canterbury region offers visitors unforgettable journeys and picturesque towns, zen-like retreats and thrill-seeking opportunities. Escape to Hanmer Springs for a thermal soak, or north to Kaikōura to encounter the local wildlife. Everything New Zealand has to offer can be found here.

  • Queenstown

    Queenstown sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges; it’s rumoured that gold prospectors – captivated by the majestic beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers – gave this now cosmopolitan town its name.

    With a smorgasbord of outdoor activities, Queenstown is the home of the ultimate adventure bucket list. There’s skiing from winter right through to spring, and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round. It is also a renowned cycling destination, providing everything from easy scenic tracks to backcountry trails, road rides to heli-biking and the Southern Hemisphere’s only gondola accessed downhill mountain biking.

  • Glacier Region

    While glaciers around the world are retreating, the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers still flow almost to sea level. The temperate climate at this low altitude means these glaciers are among the most convenient to visit in the world. An easy walk is available to the foot of Franz Josef Glacier along the river valley with steep sides bearing gigantic horizontal scars from when the glaciers have retreated and advanced over millennia. You can also take in the view of magnificent Fox Glacier from Cook Flat Road (on your way to Lake Matheson). The sheer enormity of both glaciers is very humbling.

  • Nelson

    Nelson Tasman is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, with diverse geography capturing everything from long golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains.

    Perhaps it’s the sun, perhaps it’s the location, but Nelson Tasman has long been a magnet for creative people. With one of the largest numbers of working artists and galleries in the country, you’ll find an array of craftspeople living in the region; traditional, contemporary and Māori. Visit their studios, explore the weekend craft markets, taste the delicious locally made artisan products and find something extraordinary to take home with you.

  • Wellington

    Relax at Oriental Bay, Wellington’s golden-sand inner-city beach and delve into the many museums, art galleries and theatre show that make up the city’s pulsing cultural scene. If you’re into the outdoors, Wellington has action-packed adventure activities like mountain biking and sea-water kayaking, as well as beautiful walks around the harbor and surrounding hills. Try the visually stunning Makara Peak track, as well as the City to Sea walk where you can experience the best of Wellington’s waterfront. Ride the cable car up the hill to Kelburn for amazing views over the city and enjoy an ice cream at the top.

    On the waterfront itself, you’ll find Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, New Zealand’s national museum. Te Papa, as it’s colloquially known, means ‘our place’ and is one of the best interactive museums in the world.

  • Rotorua

    From crystal-clear streams and magical forests to epic biking trails and thermal mud pools, Rotorua has it all. The city offers a raft of attractions and experiences for everyone from adventure-seekers to those just looking to unwind.

    Sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire, Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland with bubbling mud pools, clouds of steam, and natural hot springs perfect for bathing and relaxing in. After marveling at the distinctive landscapes and volcanic activity within a geothermal park, enjoy a simple soak in a natural hot stream or indulge in a wellness getaway at a luxurious spa.

  • Auckland

    Auckland’s diverse landscapes provide countless opportunities to get immersed in nature. In the west, lush native rainforest plunges down the hills to meet the sea on dramatic black sand beaches, while the east’s sheltered golden sand beaches are fringed with red-flowering pohutukawa trees. To the north, the rolling hills of wine country meet stunning coastlines and in the south, you’ll find picturesque country gardens, unspoilt forest and tranquil bays to explore.

Hotel Options

4 Star Properties

Christchurch : Chateau on the Park

Queenstown : Millennium Hotel

Glacier Region : Scenic Franz Josef Glacier

Nelson : Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco

Wellington : James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

Rotorua : Sudima Lake Rotorua Hotel

Auckland : Sky City Hotel

Testimonials

Bryony and Peter C, from Australia

Traveled April, 2013

Everything went completely to plan and we cannot speak highly enough of all our guides

Just letting you know that we arrived safely back in Australia today. We would like to thank you for arranging such a great trip through central-america for us. Everything went completely to plan and we cannot speak highly enough of all our guides. We were picked up and dropped off at the advised times with the minimum of fuss, tours were excellent, well planned and our guides were extremely knowledgeable and easy to get on with. Our accommodation was very good and all included meals were of top quality and organized for our requests.

Chris

Traveled July, 2007

Thank you so much for looking after us so well.

My girlfriend, Annie, and I had the most awesome time in South America. We arrived to snow which was a bit of bonus for me, coming from Australia. Apparently it was the first time in 80 years that they had had snow in BsAs (Buenos Aires).The Kempinski Hotel was absolutely fabulous. They had a helpful staff, and it was probably the best position in town for us. They looked after our luggage while we went off to Iguazu Falls and Uruguay, and couldn’t have been more helpful.In fact, all arrangements were on time in Argentina (apart from Aerolinas’ flights!) and after that first hiccup I must say we were impressed.Iguazu Falls, what can I say? You booked the Grand Adventure for us and I shall never forget the boat trip and seeing the falls for the first time from the water! It was awesome. I am so glad we booked the Sheraton Hotel for its situation.Staff at all hotels were excellent. Mabel and Mercedes at Colonia sorted out our vouchers and travel details for us, and we found that one of the male members on staff at The Balmoral spoke excellent English and even tuned the TV in so that we could watch the BBC World News.I would definitely recommend the tour we did and we are even talking about seeing more of Argentina later on, perhaps combining it with a trip to Chile.We met some very interesting people and thoroughly enjoyed all our tours. Thank you so much for looking after us so well.

Traveled To


Paul from Australia

Traveled March, 2013

Thanks again for your co-ordination of our trip

Just to advise you that we arrived home in Australia yesterday after another successful trip to Chile and Argentina (plus a short side trip to Uruguay!). Apart from a couple of hiccups in the first half of the trip that you were aware of, the trip overall went very well. All the connections worked out, the hotel/hospedaje accommodation was overall very good, with some outstanding (e.g. Tierra Atacama, KKala, Nothofagus, Entre Hielos) and we lucked a presidential suite (without the President) at the Hotel Antofagasta. Bahia Bustamante was also a refreshing highlight. The guide services also worked out well and as it eventuated, all aspects of the original itinerary were met, including the remote area crossing from Chile into Argentina from Cochrane to Los Antiguos. There were many geographic, geological and cultural highlights and we were generally very fortunate with weather conditions. Thanks again for your co-ordination of our trip. Graham and Anita were spending an extra couple of days in Santiago and return to Australia tomorrow.

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