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Enquire about Flying Kiwi Adventure Tours: Reverse Traverse

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Flying Kiwi Adventure Tours: Reverse Traverse

*HIGHLY RECOMMENDED* - Enjoy both islands from the bottom of the South to the tip of the North. If you're starting South and want to see it all from the wild West coast to the Bay of Islands then this is the one for you. You can also spend some time exploring Queenstown pre-trip.

What makes these tours unique:

1. MORE NATIONAL PARKS....

We have a license with the department of conservation that enables us to visit, and stay in, places other tours can't access.  We ensure our tours give you time to experience New Zealand's best national parks too, including Paparoa, Abel Tasman, Aoraki/Mount Cook, Tongariro and Fiordland.

2. MORE CHANCES TO GENUINELY GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK...

There are a number of World famous highlights on any trip to New Zealand - Milford Sound, Queentown, Rotorua to name a few and we make sure to experience the best these spots have to offer.  However, what makes our trips totally unique is exploring the lesser known spots that other tour groups don't visit.  Whether its a secret glow-worm walk at night, a lush rainforest-fringed pool for a dip, a bike ride along deserted roads hugging the coast or a local cafe that serves quite possibly the best muffins in New Zealand we have found the best secret spots - we know you will love them just try not to tell too many others!

3. MORE ACCOMMODATION BY LAKES, MOUNTAINS AND OCEANS...

Rather than wake up in a hostel dorm we wake up to amazing views, fresh air and away from the crowds.  By staying in these carefully selected sites you get to experience amazing sunrises, spectacular sunsets, campfires, sleeping to the sound of the ocean, morning dips, lakeside dining to name a few.  There are camping and cabin accommodation options (so something for everyone) and we do occassionally use hostels (3 on the entire 28 day trip) to give you access to the bustling city centres.

4. MORE EXPERIENCE = BETTER TRAVEL OPTIONS...  

Flying Kiwi is the original New Zealand tour company.  We are the experts with over 25 year experience in conducting tours of the highest quality and thousands of very, very satisfied customers.  You can be guaranteed that our team will provide a professional and enjoyable experience of a lifetime.

5. MORE TASTY AND HEALTHY MEALS...

Our trips involve a great deal of activity and we appreciate the importance of good food.  We usually offer breakfast, lunch and dinner which saves you time and money.   With an average meal out in NZ costing around $25 you'll save a fortune compared to other tour companies. 

6. MORE CYCLE OPTIONS...

With bikes on board you have the chance to cycle as much, or as little, as you want.  We cover a huge range of rides along the coast, by lakes, through mountain landscapes, downhill, uphill and even across hill - there is something for everyone and every fitness level.

7. MORE HIKES AND ACTIVITY OPTIONS (+LOADS OF FREE STUFF)...

We offer more hikes and activity options that any other tour company.  That gives you more choice everyday to try the hikes you fancy and the activities you have always wanted to try.  Everything is optional and there are always free alternatives.  We also include a number of the activities free of charge such as hot pools, Wai-O-Tapu thermals, gondola ride, wine tasting, scenic ferry crossing (both directions) and more.

8. MORE PEACE OF MIND WITH GUARANTEED DEPARTURES...

Once you are booked you are going.  Unlike other tour companies all our trips have guaranteed departures.  This gives you complete peace of mind and enables you to plan and look forward to your trip - trips do fill fast though so get in quick.

9. MORE FLEXIBILITY...

Our tours are designed to fit around you.  We aren't a traditional tour - you choose the activities you want to do, you choose the style of accommodation you want and you can even take extended breaks along the way - Flying Kiwi is the perfect combination of independant travel and touring convenience.

10. MORE VALUE FOR MONEY...

Quite simply our trips are unbeatable.  With transport, accommodation, most meals and use of sports equipment included you won't find a better value tour.  Our tours add up to around $125 per day which is a great measure to compare with other options (don't forget a meal out in NZ averages around $25 for starters and bike hire starts at approx $35 per day).

Activities to try are:
-Superb cycle rides (for all levels)
-Excellent hikes (for all levels)
-Dolphin swimming
-Sailing
-Sea kayaking
-Sandboarding
-Skydiving
-Bungy jumping
-White and black water rafting
-Paragliding
-Horse riding
-Glacier hiking or Heli hiking

Places to visit are:
-Stunning Bay of Islands
-Cruise the Marlborough Sounds
-Adrenalin rush of Queenstown
-Chilling Glaciers
-Picturesque Abel Tasman National Park
-Amazing Waitomo Caves
-Real Lord of the Rings country
-The lush vineyards and hilly pastures of Picton and Marlborough
-Cultural and historical treasures

ITINERARY: 

+ You can take extended breaks at any of the points on the tour
+ Most nights you can upgrade to cabins for a small fee and a taste of rural luxury

 

The following itinerary shows the trip starting in Queenstown. You can also start a day earlier from Christchurch and head across the wonderful Canterbury plains before joining the group for a night in Queenstown

 

Day 1: Leaving Queenstown at 2:30pm we head to the scenic alpine village of Wanaka for some excellent walk and cycle options. There is also the chance to test your IQ at Puzzle World. After the thrills and spills of Queenstown we wind down with a beautiful campsite beside the tranquil lake with spectacular views of Mount Aspiring National Park.

hikes: hike to the summit of Mount Iron to enjoy stunning 360 degree views 

bike rides: some great road rides heading to camp 

optional activities: Puzzle World

meals: dinner 

 

Day 2: Start your day with thrilling optional jet boat ride in Mount Aspiring National Park. We then begin heading up the West Coast – this region was rated by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 drives in the World. The bus ride is scenic but the bike rides are even better with the chance to cycle along the dramatic Haast Pass taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps. This area is home to majestic rainforest, thundering waterfalls and tranquil pools - the wild West Coast. Tonight we will be staying in glacier country at the picturesque village of Fox Glacier – ask your guide about our secret glow-worm walks. Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: range of short walks + secret night time glow-worm caves 

bike rides: downhill cycle from Haast Pass + numerous short rides at camp 

optional activities: jetboating 

meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner 

 

Day 3: Today is your chance to explore one of NZ’s most unique and spectacular natural wonders - Fox Glacier. This staggering beautiful work of nature is over 13 kilometres in length and plummets 2,600 metres from its peak in the Southern Alps. It is fed by four alpine glaciers that receive approximately 30 metres of snowfall each year. This snow compacts at the top to produce the wonderful blue ice hundreds of metres deep. You have the chance to hike or ice climb on the glacier, but if glaciers aren’t your thing then the area itself is a wonderland to explore. We would also recommend a cycle or hike around 

Lake Matheson where crystal clear reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman make the perfect photo opportunity. We then have a short drive up the coast to our beautiful beachside campsite next to the Okarito lagoon – one of the very few places where there are still rare sightings of our native kiwi bird.

hikes: wonderful hike around Lake Matheson 

bike rides: great hilly sections of various lengths 

optional activities: ½ day or full day glacier hike, heli hike, ice climb 

meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner 

 

Day 4: Enjoy an early morning walk with a chance to spot a Kiwi in the wild. We then continue up this spectacular coastal stretch Hokitika – home to the Greenstone factories where you can see these skilled craftsmen at work and a great place for a traditional souvenir of your visit. We travel on through pristine native forest to Paparoa National Park where giant columns of water shoot 

skywards at Pancake Rocks! We will be staying at this great beach camp for a couple of nights with wonderful sunsets and a chance to explore hidden glow-worm caverns. Cabin upgrades available. 

hikes: sunrise trek to view the Southern Alps, coastal walks and night time cavern trek 

bike rides: cycle rides of various lengths along the coast to camp 

meals: breakfast & dinner

 

Day 5: Start the day with a hearty pancake breakfast then it’s your day to explore the dramatic Paparoa National Park. The region has walks and cycle rides galore along with the opportunity for an optional river kayak. If you didn’t get the chance the day before then time the tides right and you will get the chance to view the explosive blow holes and hidden wave rock. We’ll spend a second night at this magnificent camp. Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: multiple hikes in the Paparoa National Park, Pancake Rocks 

bike rides: lots of rides to explore the wonderful area

optional activities: river kayaking, knife making

meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner 

 

Day 6: Today we head through the majestic Buller Gorge to our favourite National Park (and NZ’s only coastal park) – Abel Tasman. In one of the sunniest areas of the country you will discover beautiful secluded bays and stunning golden sands. There are all kinds of options to experience the park including skydiving, hang gliding or flying an aerobatic plane - all of which give you the perfect bird’s eye view with varying levels of adrenalin. Our campsite is located at the entrance to the park – perfect for exploring. We will be staying here for 2 nights to give you every chance to explore all corners of the park. 

Cabin upgrades available. 

hikes: short walk options 

bike rides: a great coastal ride to camp 

optional activities: skydive, hang glide or fly an aerobatic plane 

meals: breakfast & dinner 

 

Day 7: Taking time to explore arguably the best beaches and clearest waters in New Zealand - there are excellent options for everyone here. You can walk, sail or kayak around the numerous golden bays and dive into the crystal clear waters along the way. There will be plenty of chance for wildlife spotting (dolphins, seals and even Orcas!) Explore the heart of the park by canyoning high flow waterfalls and rapids! Enjoy a fantastic group dinner (own cost). Cabin upgrades available. 

hikes: an excellent day for walks - hike along the Abel Tasman track + the option to combine this with a boat ride home! 

bike rides: cycle rides of various distances available from camp 

optional activities: kayaking, sailing, water taxi, canyoning, horse riding, paddle boarding 

meals: breakfast 

 

Day 8: Today we head to sunny Nelson – the headquarters for Flying Kiwi and you will soon find out why. In addition to being one of the sunniest areas of NZ its home to more than 350 working artists and craftspeople creating traditional, contemporary and Maori arts – a visit to their studios is highly recommended. Alternatively sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine and café culture of our hometown We leave Nelson for wine country – Marlborough, home to some of the World’s best known grapes and we will be treating you to a free tasting in one of their best vineyards. Finish this fantastic day with a scenic ferry (cost included) through the Marlborough sounds to Wellington - our base for the evening. Camping isn’t feasible in the heart of the nation’s capital so we will be staying a great hostel with various room options giving you the best access to explore. This is payable locally and we have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board (prices from $28).

hikes: take a leisurely stroll around the cafes and studios of Nelson and enjoy an evening in the Capital 

bike rides: great option to cycle various lengths of the Tasman taste trail – part of the great New Zealand Cycle Trail 

optional activities: wine tasting (free - this one is on us ?) 

meals: breakfast 

 

Day 9: You’ll have time to explore the waterfront and sights of beautiful Wellington before we hit the road for our 11am departure. We travel up the scenic Kapiti Coast into the heart of the North Island. This is a wonderful region for beautiful river walks and cycle options before we rest our heads in Taupo. Cabin upgrades available. 

hikes: Turangi river track 

bike rides: Turangi river track 

meals: no meals 

 

Day 10: Early departure to the limestone wonderland of Waitomo Caves. The glow-worm (Arachnocampa luminosa) is unique to our shores and thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light through this network of caves. The black water rafting is a totally unique experience – sitting in your rubber ring, your experienced and knowledgeable guides will take you through a maze of underground caves and streams whose ceilings are coated in glow-worms that produce a radiant light to lead you through. There are a range of options to explore the caves, from walks to rafting, dependent upon your adrenalin levels. We take time to enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking farmland before heading to Auckland and a taste of big city life “kiwi style”. Auckland nightlife is second to none and it’s a great chance to join your group for a taste of the harbour bars and restaurants. Camping isn’t feasible in the heart of the country’s largest city so we will be staying in a great hostel with various room options giving 

you the best access to explore. This is payable locally and we have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board (prices from $30). If you would prefer a private room ($49 - subject to availability) please contact us prior to your trip.

hikes: farmland hikes or great cave walk through the glow worm caves 

bike rides: farmland cycle 

optional activities: black water rafting, glow worm cave tour 

meals: breakfast & lunch 

 

Day 11: We leave the City of Sails (Auckland) at 10am heading north to the golden beaches and warm waters of the Bay of Islands. On route we take time for a break, and a quick swim for those that are keen, at beautiful Uretiti beach. It’s a great place to relax and make use of the free sports gear we have on board – frisbees, body boards and volleyballs. We head to the historically significant 

town of Paihia, the main gateway for the Bay of Islands before a mangrove walk to the thundering Haruru waterfalls. Our campsite is nestled next to the river and we will be spending 2 nights here giving you time to explore the best of the Bay. Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: mangrove walk to Haruru Falls 

bike rides: scenic cycle ride to camp 

optional activities: Waitangi Treaty house (Maori culture) 

meals: dinner 

 

Day 12: Experience a full day exploring the Bay of Islands and its turquoise waters. This subtropical region is known for its great beaches and history and with 144 islands to explore we have got some great options to get out and view the best of them. Whether its dolphin swimming , sailing or fishing this is a heaven for water activities. Alternatively there are plenty of walk and cycle options around the region. Relax and enjoy a second night at the same great riverside camp. Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: scenic viewpoint or coastal walkway 

bike rides: coastal and farmland options 

optional activities: sailing, fishing, Cape Reinga day trip, diving, hole in the rock fast boat, dolphin swimming 

meals: breakfast & dinner 

 

Day 13: Today we cross the top of the north to the giant sand dunes of Opononi for beach fun and optional sand boarding (boat crossing included). After time on the dunes we head to Waipoua Forest, home to the giant Kauri trees and a variety of scenic short walks and bike rides. We end the day heading down the Hibiscus Coast to our beachside camp at Orewa. Enjoy a tasty evening meal 

with a sea view before a spot of star gazing in the crystal clear skies. Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: short walks through giant Kauri forests 

bike rides: cycle coastal estuary or forest landscapes 

optional activities: sand boarding, hot pools & slides 

meals: breakfast & dinner 

 

Day 14: Take a beachside morning stroll and enjoy breakfast with a view before we hit the road back to Auckland. We head through scenic landscapes before crossing the harbour bridge back into Auckland. 

meals: breakfast

 

Have more time? 

Extend your trip by connecting with our 5 day Northern Light tour to Wellington 

- contact one of our friendly team with any questions. 

 

 

REVERSE TRAVERSE DEPARTING FROM CHRISTCHURCH

(the dates below leave one day before our Queenstown departure but you can start your tour in Christchurch on any day giving you as long as you want in Queenstown prior to joining the main tour - ask our team for more details)

2016 departures:

8, 17, 26 FEB

6, 15, 24 MAR

2 APR 

MAY > SEPT - winter

1, 10, 19, 28 NOV

7, 16 DEC

 

2017 departures:

3, 12, 21, 30 JAN

8, 17, 26 FEB

7, 16, 25 MAR

3 APR 

 

REVERSE TRAVERSE DEPARTING FROM QUEENSTOWN

2016 departures:

9, 18, 27 FEB

7, 16, 25 MAR

3 APR

MAY > SEPT - winter

2, 11, 20, 29 NOV

8, 17, 26 DEC

 

2017 departures:

4, 13, 22, 31 JAN

9, 18, 27 FEB

8, 17, 26 MAR

4 APR

Optional hires: You can hire any of the following equipement from us for the duration of your trip or bring your own gear. We charge a small handling fee for those who bring their own bikes but there are no charges for your own tent etc.

Cycle hire for entire trip $155

Bring your own bike $95 

Single tent upgrade $85 

Sleeping bag hire $60 

 

Tour extensions If you have a few days after your trip why not extend it with this great trip:

Northern Light Tour - Discover New Zealand's hot spots and the remarkable contrasting northern landscapes on this quick thermal blast! Its a short trip from Auckland to Wellington but its packed with some of the best parts of New Zealand.