21 day departing Auckland
Head north over the harbour bridge from Auckland, then up via Warkworth to Goat Island marine reserve - hire snorkelling gear and check out the abundant sea life. Stop off at one of the many golden sand beaches (Mangawhai, Cooks Beach, Leigh) for a night or two and then head up to the Bay of Islands. Enjoy one of the many water-based activities in Paihia such as dolphin spotting and swimming, sailing, kayaking, or catch the ferry over to historic Russell.
Head further north to Cape Reinga (the most northern part of NZ) and Ninety Mile Beach – this is a long day trip so either pay to go on one of the many bus trips up to this area or stop off on the way back at one of the gorgeous remote beaches for a night.
For an alternative route head south back to Auckland via the west coast for Kauri forests, beautiful scenery and sand dunes.
Head south-east from Auckland to the Coromandel region. Check out the beautiful golden sand beaches and chill out for a couple of days. Then go via Waitomo to see the twenty million year old caves with glowworms, stay a night here or travel on to Rotorua for some boiling mud and Maori culture.
Head via Taupo to see New Zealand’s largest lake and to jump out of a plane if you dare and then on to Tongariro National Park for the Tongariro Crossing or smaller walks around Mordor/Mt Doom (or skiing/snowboarding in winter).
If heading down the southwestern coast stop off at the historic city of Wanganui and soak in the city's historical Victorian buildings. The city is situated at the mouth of the stunning Whanganui River that is best enjoyed by a popular cruise on New Zealand’s only coal paddle steamer, the Wiamarie - or by jetboat for the more adventurous. There is also an array of beautiful gardens, rainforest, farm and walking tracks available.
Make your way to Wellington (NZ’s capital city) to see Te Papa our national museum and check out the city’s nightlife. Then jump on the ferry over to ‘The Mainland’ for its spectacular scenery.
Head west to the gorgous Nelson/Marlborough region for wine tasting and exploring the Abel Tasman National Park (sail it, kayak it or walk it). Then head south along the rugged West Coast of the South Island – visit the historic small mining towns on this remote coastline and view the mighty Franz Josef and Fox glaciers.
Stop off in Wanaka and Queenstown for amazing scenery, mountain ranges and all the adventure activities you can think of.
Head down to Te Anau and see the magnificent fiords of Milford Sound. Enjoy the scenic home stretch from Queenstown to Christchurch via Tekapo with views of Aoraki/Mt Cook.