Join us on the ultimate NZ Wanderlust Adventure. On your trip, you get the best combination of nature, relaxation, beautiful scenery and adrenaline. In 24 days, you will experience the beautiful nature consisting of rainforests, mountains and volcanoes. We will visit beaches, experience breathtaking views and explore the cities. With options for bungy jumping and skydiving, you have the option of adrenaline when the need arises. Along the way, you will become more and more captivated by the country and the dream of one day living here will grow bigger and bigger. Pack your backpack and make room for experiences and memories to last a lifetime.
✔️ All February & March 2023 departures are GUARANTEED
Book with confidence
✔️ Money-back guarantee: full refund if the tour doesn't go ahead.
✔️ Flexibility: no fee to make changes.
23 nights dorm share accommodation is all included. Stay in quality comfy hostels/backpackers including high country farm, scenic lodges close to waterfront or national park in our unique destinations.
During the tour, you will experience the fantastic NZ by joining activities in both islands.
- Auckland dining & cruise experience
- Rangitoto Island visit
- Hobbiton Tour
- Lake Aniwhenua Cultural Experience
- Guided canoeing on the Whanganui River
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing including shuttle transport
- Abel Tasman National Park hike & water taxi
- Day trip to the Milford Sound including scenic cruise
A mixture of cooked and continental breakfasts are included for 22 mornings on your tour. We've also included other meals here and there, be sure to check your itinerary for details.
Private Coach Transport
Take the pressure off, kick back, relax, soak up the scenery and let someone else do the driving. You'll travel by private, air-conditioned bus.
We are fun and multi-cultural small group tours with a maximum of 24 passengers plus a driver guide per bus. Most travellers on our U-Travel Tour are aged between 18-40 although we have no maximum age because we believe age doesn't matter - it's all about attitude!
Expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support and local insider knowledge from your charismatic guide. They know every inch of this country. You can't get this from a google search!
- 7 February (guaranteed)
- 21 March (guaranteed)
- 2 November
- Experienced tour guide
- Private coach transport
- 24 days of once in a lifetime experiences
- 23 nights’ accommodation (dorm-style)
- 22 x Breakfasts, 2 x Lunches, 3 x Dinners
- 2 x Inter-island ferry
- Auckland Dine and Cruise experience
- Rangitoto Island and Water Taxi
- Kauri Forest visit
- Karangahake Gorge visit
- Cathedral Cove, Coromandel
- Hot Water Beach
- Hobbiton Tour
- Geysers and boiling mud pools
- Lake Aniwhenua Cultural Experience
- Huka Falls
- Guided Canoe on the Whanganui River
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing
- Visit Te Papa National Museum of NZ
- Abel Tasman Track and Water Taxi
- Trip to Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
- Franz Josef Glacier
- Day trip and Cruise to the Milford Sound
- Summit Experience in Lake Tekapo
- Hooker Valley Track, Mt Cook National Park
- Seal Colony
- Sunset Beach Walk in Raglan
NZ Wanderlust Adventure
Auckland Arrival Information
Check in at Attic Backpackers (31 Wellesley Street West, Auckland CBD) between 2pm & 4pm (recommended) on the arrival day.
Then, meet your Guide at 4pm for an introduction to your tour and a welcome drink.
DOWNLOAD FULL PDF ITINERARY
Kia Ora (hello) and welcome to Aotearoa (New Zealand) the land of the long white cloud. Make your way to your hostel and either relax or get out and take a walk around the city, the waterfront is an ideal place to start and an enjoyable walk from your accommodation. Meet your Guide at 4pm for an introduction to your tour and a welcome drink.
This evening, you’re going to experience the Auckland Harbour on a dinner cruise.
Auckland has one of the best harbours in the world, its other name is the “City of Sales” with over 400,000 different watercraft owned within the region. Today you’ll get to experience Auckland from the water as we head out to Rangitoto Island for the day, this dormant volcano which is 1 of 44 in the region sits just out from the city in the Waitemata harbour, the views are simply stunning from the city scape and out to the gulf and surrounding islands. It’s the perfect way to get you in the groove with this amazing country and clear your head to get you ready for the amazing experience over the next 26 days of non-stop adventure!
Today’s the day we say ‘haere rā’ to Auckland and ‘kia ora!’ to the trip of a lifetime! First stop, Hahei Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. This gorgeous little place will capture your heart (and have you calculating how much it would cost to move to NZ’s coast eternally). When the tides are right, we’ll drive over to the nearby Hot Water Beach and dig ourselves an all-natural hot pool in the sand. Who said backpackers can’t do luxury?
Rise and shine for an early start this morning as you walk to Cathedral Cove to watch the sunrise. Then it’s straight back into the bus for a walk through the incredibly scenic Karangahake Gorge.
Before we get to Rotorua, we’ll head to the home of the Hobbit and enjoy a tour of this fantastical land and the real movie set which was created right here in Middle Earth. Rotorua is known as the North Island’s geothermal hot spot and hub for all the very best adventure activities and is 100% one of the best places to explore… even if your nostrils tell you otherwise!
This morning we’ll head to see some geothermal activity at the Kuirau Park where we’ll see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes!
After hanging out in a major tourist destination like Rotorua, you’ll probably feel ready to experience a more authentic slice of New Zealand culture. Today we venture off the beaten track to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua. Kohutapu Lodge is owned by a local Maori family who are passionate about showcasing their Maori tribal heritage. You'll see sacred Maori rock carvings, play traditional stick games and watch the preparation of a ground cooked 'hangi', before tasting it for yourself! Prepare your tastebuds - this will probably be the best meal you eat in New Zealand, or maybe even in your lifetime!
Exclusive experience includes:
1 night’s accommodation at the serene lakeside Kohutapu Lodge
Full traditional hangi buffet dinner & dessert
Guided tour to sacred Maori rock carvings
Introduction to the Murupara area, its people, history and challenges
Rise and shine, strayers! Enjoy your buffet breakfast and get ready for a day of jam-packed adventure. Keep your togs (swimwear) handy, because our first stop is Kerosene Creek – a naturally hot river and the perfect place for a morning soak. Then it’s on to Taupo to see Australasia’s largest lake and the mighty Huka Falls, grab lunch and take a walk to explore or simply relax at your accommodation.
This morning we’ll head to the iconic Tongariro National Park where we’ll have an adventurous couple of days. On arrival at the park we’ll receive a safety briefing for our canoe tour along the Whanganui river, part of one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Whanganui National Park is covered in lush native forest with the Whanganui River flowing through the heart of it, where you’ll be canoeing today. The river is rich with Maori and European history, the largest reminder of which is the famous ‘Bridge to Nowhere’. Paddling downstream you’ll see waterfalls, spectacular sheer gorges and farmland - views for days!
Limber up! Today you get the chance to tick off one of the most popular hikes in New Zealand, the epic Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Considered one of the world’s top one-day walks, this 19km hike takes you across a rocky plateau with dramatic volcanic peaks, craters and turquoise lakes that you (and your Instagram feed) will remember for a lifetime. The Crossing is open to walk year-round (alpine gear and guide are required in winter), but it is subject to the weather conditions. If the weather prevents you from doing the Crossing, there are other awesome short-walks in the area. Tonight, unwind after a big day in your chalet.
Onwards to Wellington, the ‘coolest little capital in the world’! Wellington packs a lot of character into its downtown district, with funky restaurants and bars along Cuba Street and Courtenay Place. Fill your afternoon by browsing through the exhibits at Te Papa National Museum, grab a craft beer at an edgy brewery, climb to the top of Mt Victoria for panoramic views or take a stroll along the waterfront and Oriental Parade. Oh and, most importantly for those who seek 24/7 caffeination, you’ll be glad to know that Wellington’s coffee culture and cafe scene is considered one of the best in NZ.
We catch an early Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait and through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds to the South Island. If the weather’s good, head out to the viewing deck to witness some incredible scenes. From here we’ll set off through the picturesque Marlborough region. Then we continue to Marahau, situated right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park.
Count yourself lucky - you have a full day to explore New Zealand’s most popular national park. From our accommodation we’ll be picked up and take a water taxi 12 kms to Anchorage and you’ll see the park’s natural golden sand beaches and brilliant blue waters along the way. The walk is approx. 4 hours each way but there’s enough photo stops en-route to spend an entire day exploring. Enjoy a picnic on the beach before checking out Cleopatra’s Pools, moss lined fresh water pools with a natural water slide.
Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. Through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road named one of the top drives in the world by Lonely Planet, there’s not much cell phone reception but you are NOT gonna need it – we dare you to peel your eyes away from the window for even just a second. We’ll stop at Cape Foulwind and the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes to explore this unique part of coastline before continuing on to the quaint township of Franz Josef, set amongst the rainforest.
Ice, ice baby! Get ready to experience the Franz Josef Glacier, an iconic highlight of the West Coast. Take a short drive to the beginning of the track. Hike through native bush and across glacial streams to the terminal face of the glacier for spectacular photos or just hang out at the Retreat and relax in one of NZ’s largest spa pools.
It’s another scenic journey today with plenty of photo stops – your Mum isn’t gonna be the only one who thinks your travel photos are world-class! First up is the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson for a short walk. We travel inland through the mountainous Haast Pass and alongside beautiful Lake Hawea to arrive at the Kawarau Bridge on our way into town a.k.a. the first commercial bungy jumping site in the world. If you’re feeling brave you can tick the bungy off your bucket list or if you’d prefer to just watch then you can cheer your mates on from the viewing platform! We’ll head out for a group meal once settled, make sure to bring your dancing shoes, there are over 100 clubs and bars to choose from in Queenstown!
Yaaaasssss Queen(stown)! You’ve got 2 full days in the adventure capital. With a buzzy night life, beautiful mountain scenery and plenty of outdoor activities, it’s easy to understand why so many backpackers refuse to leave this place.
Today you’ll hop aboard the Coach and we’ll take you to the stunning and world famous Milford Sound. After a super scenic drive, you’ll board the boat and cruise across the impressive Sound. Look out for the impressive Mitre Peak, lush rainforests and (if it’s been raining) thundering waterfalls. You’ll also have the opportunity to spot lots of amazing wildlife like Fur Seals, Penguins and Dolphins. Once you’ve snapped as many pics as you possibly can, it’s back to Queenstown. We recommend checking out the buzzy nightlife and many restaurants Queenstown has to offer.
It’s a short drive to Lake Tekapo, an electric blue lake framed by the Southern alps. See the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, a quaint stone church right on the edge of the lake. In the afternoon, take a hike up to the Mount John Observatory to see the incredible views. Or if you'd rather just have a ‘self-care’ afternoon, then the Tekapo Hot Springs are the perfect place to relax.
Tonight, we’ll head to the team at Dark Sky for their Summit Experience where you’ll have the chance to stargaze at one of the best stargazing spots in the country.
Our next stop is Christchurch, a city where old meets new, as the rebuild continues following the devastating 2011 earthquake. Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets to discover creative street art and hidden eateries. See how Christchurch earned its nickname as the Garden City by visiting the Botanic Gardens. Take a walk down Hereford St to see the ‘Cardboard’ Cathedral and the earthquake memorial of 185 White Chairs.
Wakey wakey! We’ve got an early morning start for a beautiful drive up the coast to Kaikoura. Arriving in Kaikoura around midday, you will have the afternoon free to explore. See the Kekeno (NZ fur seal) colony near Goose Bay and hike around the peninsula to check out the breathtaking views from the lookout. You’re likely to see sea birds, seals and maybe even whales or dolphins if you’re lucky!
This morning we’ll hop on the bus and wind our way up the coastal roads towards the top of the South Island. We will catch the afternoon Bluebridge Ferry across the Cook Strait. The evening in Wellington is free for a second chance to explore this funky town’s nightlife at any of the bars and restaurants along Cuba Street. It’s your last night guys – go wild! Alternatively, it’s a good time to craft your master plan on how to stay in New Zealand forever. Either or.
Today is a spectacular drive through the central North Island to the surf town of Raglan, we’ll arrive late afternoon to this jewel on the west coast of the North Island. Raglan is the mecca for surfing in New Zealand and a creative’s delight, life is about living in Raglan where the sunsets are nothing short of jaw dropping set in a slow paced sanctuary.
All good things must come to an end but before that happens we’ll head to Bridal Veil Falls once the surfers have come in from the waves, for those not surfing enjoy a relaxing morning in Raglan perhaps soaking up the amazing cafe scene and shopping the crafts on offer. We’ll arrive in Auckland early afternoon with plenty of daylight left to enjoy your last night in New Zealand where it all started 23 days earlier so soak up the last few moments with your new Stray family.
After an incredible few weeks of exploring New Zealand it’s officially time to head to the airport. We hope this was truly a once in a lifetime experience for you and you’ll take some of New Zealand's way of life home with you and be back and visit us again someday.
NZ Wanderlust Adventure
You'll stay in quality comfy hostel or backpacker standard accommodation including high country farm, scenic lodges close to waterfront or national park in our unique destinations. Upgrade to solo occupancy may be possible and subject to availability.
Upgrades to private rooms are available subject to availability. Please contact us.
- Your private rooms may not be with ensuite, but shared bathroom or kitchen facilities.
- Room upgrades do not apply in Hahei.
- All requests will be subject to availability. If you wish to upgrade rooms after your trip starts, please ask accommodations at check in. You can be upgraded based on the availability and pay for the difference directly with the accommodations.
Pre or Post Accommodation
Please contact us for checking or booking pre/post accommodation.