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Enquire about Stray Journeys - 23 Day - Cook (Auck-Auck) (ANZ23)

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Stray Journeys - 23 Day - Cook (Auck-Auck) (ANZ23)

23 day - Cook (Auck/Auck) Fixed itinerary through New Zealand 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bay of Islands wildlife cruise
  • Sand Boarding
  • Visit Tane Mahuta, the 'Lord of the Forest', in the Waipoua Forest near Hokianga
  • Cathedral Cove walk / Hot Water Beach 
  • Specially-developed Maori cultural experience with hangi, interactive show and story telling
  • Bubbling hot pools / Huka Falls / Bush safari at unique eco-wilderness stop / Tongariro Alpine Crossing / Te Papa National Museum 
  • Abel Tasman National Park / Hanmer Springs / Kaikoura (for dolphin and whale spotting)
  • Franz Josef glacier / Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Two free days in Queenstown / Exclusive overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound
  • Central Otago historic mining area and Otago Rail Trail with all-level mountain biking.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Experienced tour guide, accommodation transfers, accommodation, meals as indicated, Maori welcome/guide in Opononi, Tane Mahuta visit, Hokianga ferry, sand boarding, wildlife boat trip spotting dolphins and other marine life, Russell Ferry, cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, interactive cultural performance and exclusive story telling, 4WD bush safari/eco-wilderness farm tour, Te Papa Museum, Bluebridge Ferry (southbound trip) and scenic flight (northbound trip) between North and South Islands, Abel Tasman scenic boat transfer, a winery visit, Hanmer Springs Hot Pools, Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise (In winter the overnight cruise does not operate and is substituted with a Doubtful Sound day cruise, a night in Te Anau, and a glacial valley walk and hot pools in Franz Josef), mountain biking on the Otago Rail Trail. Breakfast (15), dinner (11). 

WHAT TO BRING

Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera. 

 

Note:

  • Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Hahei and Doubtful Sound.
  • Standard accommodation is 6-share in Whakahoro.
  • Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.

Stray Journeys

Cook (ANZ23)

Start: Auckland

Finish: Auckland

Total Days: 23

 

Day 1:                       Auckland to Paihia

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)!  Your Stray journey kicks off in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland, known by those who live here as the ‘city of sails’ because of its location between the Waitemata and Manukau harbours, making it a boaters and yachters paradise. 

Pick-ups start at your accommodation bright and early, before we head north to the seaside town of Paihia. We stop en-route to hug some of the world’s mightiest trees, the native Kauri, enjoy a hike to a beautiful waterfall and snorkel off the beach and spot amazing marine life in Goat Island. This is followed by a trip to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds (own expense), before settling into our accommodation where you’ll have the evening free to relax.

Accommodation included: Haka Lodge Hostel

Activities included: Tree hugging huge kauri trees at Parry Kauri Forest, snorkel Goat Island

 

Day 2:            Paihia to Opononi

This morning we take a wildlife cruise in the beautiful Bay of Islands, a collection of 144 islands bursting with marine life. There’s no better way to see it than by boat, keep an eye out for wild dolphins.

In the afternoon it’s off to Opononi and Hokianga, where we will see huge sand dunes and be greeted by a local Maori guide who will give a traditional welcome to the area. Tonight you have the option to take part in a Maori guided twilight encounter, where you’ll visit the Waipoua Forest, learn about Maori legends and the spiritual inhabitants of the forest and visit the largest Kauri tree in the world (Tane Mahuta “God of the Forest”) for some pretty amazing photo opportunities (own expense). Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: Copthorne Hotel

Activities included: Bay of Island’s wild life boat trip, see sand dunes, traditional Maori welcome

 

Day 3:                        Opononi to Auckland

We start the morning with a ferry ride across the Hokianga Harbour to go sand boarding down massive dunes (weather dependant); before we start to make our way south through the mighty Waipoua Forest. Here we will briefly stop to view Tane Mahuta (NZ largest Kauri tree) during the day.  We visit the idyllic Kai Iwi Lakes for a swim in the beautiful crystal clear waters surrounded by white sandy beach, before returning to the big smoke (Auckland) for a late afternoon arrival.

Accommodation included: Nomads Auckland (Central city hostel)

Activities included: Sand boarding, swim in the Kai Iwi lakes, visit Waipoua Forest, Hokianga Ferry Ride, Tane Mahuta (NZ largest Kauri)

 

Day 4:            Auckland to Hahei (Coromandel)                

We depart Auckland and head south east stopping for a walk to the famous Cathedral Cove.  Accessible only by foot or boat, you’ll discover some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery and stunning views in this beautiful coastal spot. Cathedral Cove is a ‘must see’ on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Afterwards we’ll drive to Hot Water Beach, a unique surf beach where you dig a hole in the sand and sit in your own personal spa pool (tide dependent).  In the afternoon there will be time for a kayaking tour (own expense) before we feast on a delicious BBQ for dinner. Includes dinner

Accommodation included: Hahei Holiday Resort

Activities included: Walk to Cathedral Cove, dig a hole at Hot Water Beach

 

Day 5:            Hahei to Rotorua

Today we head for Rotorua, arriving around midday, to discover an area well-known for its Maori heritage, adventure and geothermal activity.  Here you will get the chance to do some great optional activities like a visit to Hobbiton, white water rafting, zorbing or the luge (own expense).

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. After dinner, relax in the underground hot pools back at your accommodation.  Includes breakfast and dinner
Accommodation included: Four Canoes, Rotorua

Activities included: Cultural experience with traditional hangi meal, kapa haka (Maori song and dance) and interactive cultural performance

 

Day 6:            Rotorua to Whakahoro

We start the day by visiting some bubbling mud pools before travelling to the powerful Huka Falls. Huka mean’s ‘foam’ in Maori and describes the gushing rapids that squeeze through the narrow gorge and burst over this impressive 20 metre drop.

Our destination today is one of the most remote parts of the North Island. We’re heading for the award winning Blue Duck Station, in Whakahoro, a 5,200 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 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 farms conservation efforts.  Your dinner is all cooked using local produce.  Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: Blue Duck Station: country station lodge

Activities included: Visit Huka falls, 4WD eco-wilderness farm adventure

 

Day 7:                        Whakahoro to National Park

Today we make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Tongariro National Park’, where you’ll get the chance to do what is rated 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 (own expense).  Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: The Park Hotel, Ruapehu

Activities included: Tongariro Alpine Crossing and transfers, or Taranaki Falls walk and Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s Pool)

 

Day 8:            National Park to Wellington

Today we make our way to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Wellington is a cool place to just hang out and check out the arts, shopping and café culture scene, is home to New Zealand’s parliament and the iconic Beehive building. We recommend wandering down Oriental Parade, visiting Te Papa National Museum or the botanical gardens. Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: Nomads Capital (Central Hostel)

 

Day 9:            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, enjoy a wine tasting and discover a 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.  Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: The Barn

Activities included: Bluebridge Ferry trip, Winery visit

 

Day 10:          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 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 rustic accommodation on the edge of the national park.  Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: The Barn

Activities included: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches or jump on the Aqua Taxi and get dropped along the track and walk back

 

Day 11:          Abel Tasman to Hanmer Springs                                     

Today you’ll travel through beautiful scenery in the Kahurangi and Nelson National Parks where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch, before heading to the peaceful town of Hanmer Springs.

This afternoon you are free to enjoy this alpine setting. Spend the afternoon surrounded by mountains and forest as you relax in the thermal hot pools. Tonight is a group dinner.   Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: Green Acres Motel

Activities included: Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

 

Day 12:          Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura

Today we head for the East Coast and the coastal village of Kaikoura, famous for a huge array of natural wonders from land to sea.  We arrive in Kaikoura early, so you are free to experience all this location has to offer.  Why not go out on the water and experience one of Kaikoura’s famous dolphin and whale spotting tours (own expense), see seals sitting right beside the road at Goose Bay or wander around the peninsula and check out the breath-taking views from the lookout. We spend the night in this charming coastal village. Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: The Lazy Shag

 

Day 13:          Kaikoura (via Christchurch) to Franz Josef

Don’t forget your camera today as there will be many fantastic photo opportunities.  The day starts with a stunning journey across the Canterbury Plains. We do quick pick-ups at Christchurch Airport, before continuing over the famous Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast. Around almost every corner there is a picturesque backdrop to enjoy. 

We visit Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade) before our day ends in the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Joseph Glacier. Includes dinner

Accommodation included: Rainforest Retreat

Activities included: Pounamu jade factory

 

Day 14:          Full day at Franz Josef

Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the mighty Franz Joseph Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a Franz Josef Glacier guided tour (own expense) or visit the glacial terminal face for some spectacular photos. 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 many local cafes and restaurants in town or make use of the self-catering kitchen at our accommodation. Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: Rainforest Retreat

 

Day 15:          Franz Josef to Makarora

Today we head down the West Coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park, stopping to take in some breathtaking scenery at the amazing mirror Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake.  We’ll take a short walk to a waterfall as we travel through the mountainous Haast Pass towards Makarora.  On arrival in Mount Aspiring National Park there’s plenty of time to enjoy some activities including a short walk through beech forest to the stunning Blue Pools, take a scenic flight or go jet boating (own expense).  Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: Makarora Tourist Centre

Activities included: Walk around Lake Matheson – Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools

 

Day 16:          Makarora to Queenstown

Today we visit Wanaka a picturesque lakeside town and a great place to stop for lunch before we cruise to the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and spiritual home of commercial bungy, Queenstown. We’ll head to Bungy Bridge, home to the world’s first commercial bungy and you’ll have the option to throw yourself over the edge  (own expense) or watch others take the leap; it’s entirely up to you. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: Reavers Lodge Queenstown (located close to town with awesome views)

 

Day 17 & 18: Full Days Queenstown

You have two free days to explore. Queenstown is a great place to spend some extra time no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skiing, sky diving and local walks, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Optional activities and meals are at your own expense.

Accommodation included: Reavers Lodge Queenstown (located close to town with awesome views)

 

Day 19:          Queenstown 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; 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 cruise past fur seals, penguins and dolphins.   There are also sea kayaks to enjoy. Includes dinner

Accommodation included: Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay

Activities included: Doubtful Sound Cruise, sea kayaking

 

Day 20:          Doubtful Sound to Central Otago

We leave Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind the stunning Fiordland to head for Central Otago.

We stop at the historic village of Arrowtown, a charming gold rush village located among beautiful peaks and surrounded by the Arrow River. We’ll jump off the bus and stretch our legs by doing one of the short walks in the area, before jumping back on the bus to head for the historic town of Naseby.  Located in a shallow valley in the foothills of the Mt Ida Range, Naseby is a unique gold mining village just minutes from the Central Otago Rail Trail. Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: Royal Hotel Naseby 

 

Day 21:          Central Otago to Rangitata

This morning we kick off the day with an active mountain bike ride past parts of the Central Otago Rail Trail.  Cycle the historic gold mining rail trail, explore remaining gold mine relics and learn the history of the area. The trail is a lot of fun, suitable for all levels of riding abilities and a mountain bike ride is an ideal way to explore it.  Afterwards we’ll board the bus and make our way through Lord of the Rings landscape towards our overnight stop in Rangitata. Tonight we spend the night in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations, a great place to get outdoors and wander the native bush in Peel Forest. Includes breakfast                                        

Accommodation included: Rangitata Rafting Lodge: one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations

Activities included: Mountain bike hire

 

Day 22:          Rangitata (via Christchurch) to Picton/Wellington

It’s an early departure for an express haul across the Canterbury Plains, and after a quick stop at Christchurch Airport, we’ll travel up the beautiful coast to the Marlborough Sounds. We’ll stop briefly in Kaikoura for a bite to eat, before heading to Picton to catch a flight across the Cook Strait back to Wellington. The evening is free.

Accommodation included: Nomads Capital (central hostel)

Activities included: Scenic flight across Cook Strait

 

Day 23:          Wellington to Auckland

Today is an express day, via National Park back to New Zealand’s largest city Auckland.  We stop along the way for photo opportunities and have lunch in National Park town, before heading back to Auckland for a late afternoon arrival. We hope you had a blast on your Stray journey! Includes breakfast

 

What’s Included

+ Experienced tour guide

+ Meals and touring as indicated

+ Multi-share accommodation (or upgrade to twin/double)

+ Activities as per your itinerary

 

What to Bring

+ Sturdy walking shoes/boots

+ Bathers/towel

+ Hat & sunscreen

+ Motion sickness tablets

+ Water bottle

+ Toiletries

+ Warm clothing

+ Waterproof jacket

+ Insect repellent

+ Camera

 

Note:

  • Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Hahei and Doubtful Sound.
  • Standard accommodation is 6-share in Whakahoro.
  • Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.

 

***Upgrades are not available in January and February and on request only after this period***

DEPARTURE DATES

The tour is scheduled to depart every Saturday from 4 October 2015 - 30 April 16

When booking please provide your requested departure date on the booking form.

Departure pick-up time will be approximately 7am. The exact time of pick up from your Auckland accommodation will be confirmed with you.