Auckland or Christchurch, New Zealand
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clock-o5 days (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English


Journey by coach, ferry and railway from the North Island to the South Island of New Zealand during this 5-day trip from Auckland to Christchurch, or vice versa. Ride a boat into the Waitomo Glowworm Caves; see the geothermal wonderland at Te Pua and the Agrodome Sheep Show in Rotorua; take the Interislander ferry across Cook Strait from Wellington; and hop on a Coastal Pacific train from Picton to Kaikoura, where you’ll watch giant sperm whales at play. Enjoy overnight accommodation in Rotorua, Wellington and Kaikoura.
  • Explore the best of New Zealand's natural beauty in five-days
  • Boat ride through the glow worm grotto at Waitomo Caves
  • Relax at Rotorua's geothermal parks
  • Cross Cook Straight by ferry between Wellington and Picton
  • Take in the spectacular coastal scenery on the train journey between Picton and Kaikoura (only from 01 October, to 30 April)
  • Spot giant sperm whales in Kaikoura
You’ll be mesmerized by the natural beauty of New Zealand on this 5-day tour. Travel from Auckland to Christchurch, or take the tour in reverse, with four nights’ accommodation and all transportation included. Guided tours include Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Rotorua’s thermal pools and Kaikoura whale watching, and you have plenty of time at leisure to relax between sightseeing.


Day 1: Auckland – Waitomo – Rotorua
Today you will depart from Auckland and drive to the magical Waitomo Caves. Here you will have a guided tour of the caves, before taking a short boat ride along the river to the Glowworm Grotto. Be enchanted by thousands of glow worms emitting tiny lights that twinkle in the darkness. Later, you drive to Rotorua, passing through Fitzgerald Glade, a section of highway where native bush forms a canopy overhead. 

Overnight: Sudima Rotorua or similar in Rotorua 

Day 2: Rotorua
This morning explore Rotorua's geothermal wonderland and discover the unique culture of New Zealand's Maori people. Enjoy a guided tour of Te Puia, see Rainbow Springs and watch the Agrodome Sheep Show. The rest of the day is at leisure and in the evening you might like to experience a Maori hangi (a traditional barbecue) and concert (own expense). 

Overnight: Sudima Rotorua or similar in Rotorua 

Day 3: Rotorua – Wellington
There is more stunning scenery on offer today as you travel by coach to Wellington, passing Lake Taupo, Palmerston North and the Kapiti Coast. 

Overnight: James Cook Grand Chancellor or similar in Wellington 

Day 4: Wellington – Picton – Kaikoura
This morning, travel by InterIslander ferry, via Cook Strait to Picton. Then it’s all aboard the Coastal Pacific train to Kaikoura. This is a spectacular railway journey that passes through stunning coastal scenery and rugged mountain ranges. 

Overnight: White Morph or similar in Kaikoura 

Day 5: Kaikoura – Christchurch
The highlight this morning is a whale-watching tour by boat or light aircraft. See the gentle giants of the sea and be thrilled as the giant sperm whales breach, and watch the dolphins and seals at play. Later in the afternoon you will drive to Christchurch where your tour concludes.

Please note: This tour itinerary can also be operated in reverse, from Christchurch to Auckland


Viator Traveller's Reviews

9 reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
, Dec 2017

BOTTOM LINE: Do not book this package tour as it has a hidden commission fee of between 600.00 to 800.00 in US Dollars that will go to the vendor who operates this tour. All activities that are described in the tour information section can be booked separately online from the direct companies that the vendor utilizes to put this package together. The tour package price for a single person was 1700.00 in US Dollars when I booked this tour. While conducting this tour. I gathered information on the exact cost of each activity had I booked everything separately. This included getting room rates for the same hotel rooms listed in the tour information section i.e., I asked the front desk clerks what the nightly rate would have been had I just walked in to obtain a room that night. I found the total cost to be 1072.94 had I booked everything separately. The vendor for this tour made 627.06 money that I could have saved had I booked everything separately. The vendor can make more money when the hotel room rates drop during slow times of the year as the tour price does not drop during these slow periods. I confirmed this when I obtained the vendor's own brochure on the tours it operates - all prices were listed as fixed prices that did not adjust during slow periods of any given travel year. The bus ride from Rotorua to Wellington listed in Day 3 is a bus ride on Intercity Bus. This bus company is the equivalent of Greyhound Bus Lines in the United States. The Intercity Bus is good and I found the bus to be more clean and better maintained than a Greyhound Bus. However, the cost of the Intercity Bus ticket from Rotorua to Wellington was just 31.50 in US Dollars had I booked the ticket myself. I plan to submit a formal complaint to Viator about this vendor when I return to the United States next month in January 2018.

, Apr 2017

Well, to be honest this is basically two days tour. We got to have a real tour on the first and last day. All those three days we had to fill it up on our own. Not to mention that one day is completely waisted by taking the bus (BTW public bus!), with basically no stopping. Wouldn't recommend!!!

, Apr 2016

I don't know if I booked something wrong or misread but I did not expect to be completely by myself for the tour, I thought that I would be part of a tour group. Other than that the places and the sights and activities were great! I would love the same tour but with more people to meet!

, Jan 2016

Wish that the transit in Taupo Lake was longer...10 minutes was like touch and go...and should not be listed as highlight of the tour...

, Jan 2014

The tour was ok, but why 5 days' tour is only 4 days tour with one free day? Heidi and Uolevi

, Feb 2013

Great tour with a well timed itinerary and wonderful local staff. Would have been useful to know of the names of the local places of accommodation or at least what type of rooms we were booked into as we could have made better use of the kitchenettes if we had known. It would also be helpful to have it stated clearly and upfront, that this is a self-guided tour with the occasional input from local operators. It was not a draw back for us, but certainly not expected when booking a "tour".

, Mar 2012

The details of this trip read that it was a tour. I signed up alone for my first trip to New Zealand. I expected a tour where the same people would be with me for the duration. This was very different. One day, I was transported to a public bus, which I rode for the day to Wellington. The hotel was in an area too far for any real sight seeing. You are left on your own quite a bit. That was OK in a couple of stops since there were things you could do and see on your own. I did enjoy NZ quite a bit and was able to see a bit of both islands. The tour ends in Christchurch. I was moved by what the people of Christchurch have been through. I think you should reconsider the end city of the tour. Access to the city, where most tourist attractions were, is closed. Based on the other Viator tours I've taken, this rated very low.

, Dec 2011

very nice trip
would book again!

, Oct 2010
Make sure you travel light when you take this tour. You will be at the bus station, waiting for your particular bus to get you to your tour. One of the hotel ( Mercure)we stayed as not nice and no elevator, so we have to carry our large heavy luggage naad there was no porter to help us.

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Product code: 2950CLT43

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