Kakapo 21 Day Tour from $9,999 per person including international flights

Your tour starts from Auckland, New Zealand’s "City of Sails" and one of the friendly MoaTrek team will meet you on arrival. With 3 weeks you won’t miss a thing - from the Bay of Islands and Rotorua in the north, to Queenstown and Milford Sound in the south, with plenty of time off the beaten track too. You'll love feeling like a local, not a visitor.

Moatrek knows what really makes any trip extra special, they'll introduce you to people they're lucky to call mates - guardians of ‘Tane Mahuta’ Lord of the Forest and hear legends from guides who were literally born into Maanakitanga (hospitality) and Kaitiakitanga (guardianship). MoaTrek is a family owned New Zealand company, started in 1971 and run by mother and son team Ena and Miles - with a few more ‘extended’ family around these days too and of course wonderful 'Kiwi Guides'. From planning your big trip, right through to finding that special Kiwi momento once you’re touring with Moatrek, you will be looked after you every step of the way.

 

Inclusions

  • Round trip coach class air travel from Los Angeles to New Zealand
  • All travel in comfortable, air conditioned coaches (maximum of 18 travelers)
  • Your MoaTrek 'Kiwi Guide' is at your service every day of your tour
  • Relax in quality accommodation handpicked for the best views and location, porterage
  • Learn about the history of Northland and the mighty Kauri tree at the Kauri Museum, Matakohe.
  • Enjoy a spiritual journey with Maori guides to Tane Mahuta, the ancient ‘Lord of the Forest.’
  • Cruise across the glistening waters of Hokianga Harbour and sand boarding.
  • Learn about the history of New Zealand at the Waitangi Treaty House.
  • Enjoy a dolphin cruise out to the famous Hole in the Rock and Cape Brett, with the chance to swim with the dolphins in the Bay of Islands.
  • See thousands of twinkling glowworms on a guided tour through Kawiti Caves.
  • Visit a working Kiwifruit orchard, meet the growers and taste the fruit fresh off the vine.
  • Cruise across Lake Rotoiti on the luxury yacht “Tuia” before soaking in mineral hot pools on the edge of the lake.
  • Wander New Zealand's most colourful geothermal park at Wai-O-Tapu.
  • Enjoy a scenic cruise across the Cook Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound on-board the Interislander ferry.
  • Taste a selection of wines in Marlborough, New Zealand’s premier wine-growing region.
  • Take a cruise to the golden sands of the Abel Tasman National Park.
  • Experience the pristine landscapes of Milford Sound with a 1.45 hour nature and wildlife cruise.
  • Soar high above the Southern Alps from Milford Sound to Queenstown on a scenic flight.
  • All breakfasts
  • Four lunches; Lake Tarawera,Rotorua, with the Walmsley family; Forrest Estate Vineyard, Marlborough, with wine tasting; Akaunui Farm homestead, Canterbury, with Di & Ian Mackenzie; Picnic on beach, in Abel Tasman National Park

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart US
Ask about our options with Premium Economy and Business class airfare.

Day 2 - Cross International Date Line

Day 3 - Auckland - Matakohe - Waipoua Forest - Omapere

Your adventure begins by heading to the 'birthplace of the nation' - Northland. We visit the Kauri Museum at Matakohe and in Waipoua Forest, accompanied by our Maori guide, we see the greatest kauri of all, Tane Mahuta, Lord of the Forest. Our waterside hotel The Heads has stunning views over the Hokianga Harbour.

Accommodation - The Heads

Day 4 -  Omapere - Hokianga Harbour - Waitangi, Bay of Islands

Cruise across the harbour to the dunes to sandboard or walk the beach. Back in Omapere experience the unique cultural and multisensory Manea - Footprints of Kupe. In the Bay of Islands meet our guides at Waitangi Treaty Grounds and attend a cultural performance in the beautifully carved meeting house. Stay two nights at Copthorne Hotel & Resort.

Accomodation - Copthorne Hotel & Resort

Day 5 - Waitangi - Bay of Islands Cruise - Russell - Waitangi

Look out for dolphins on your relaxed cruise among the islands to Cape Brett and the famous “Hole in the Rock”. We come ashore at Russell, a pretty town with a rollicking 19th century past, once known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific”, and the first capital of New Zealand. Later return by ferry to Paihia and Waitangi.

Accommodation - Copthorne Hotel & Resort

Day 6 - Bay of Islands - Kawiti Caves - Whangarei - Auckland

At Kawiti Caves thousands of twinkling glowworms are a breath­ taking sight on our guided walk through the limestone cave. Still owned today by descendants of Maori chief Kawiti, the first visitors were shown through the caves in the 1950s. We call into Whangarei and continue down the East Coast to stay at the Nesuto Stadium Hotel, Auckland.

Accommodation - Nesuto Stadium Hotel

Day 7 - Auckland - Karangahake Gorge - Lake Rotoiti - Rotorua

We walk in the Karangahake Gorge with its dramatic river scenery, native bush and relics of early goldmines. At a Kiwifruit orchard we hear all about this famous fruit. Our private cruise on a new hybrid boat on Lake Rotoiti is a special highlight, calling into secluded bays and hot pools reached only by water. Stay two nights at Novotel Rotorua Lakeside.

Accommodation - Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Day 8 - Rotorua activities - Lake Tarawera lunch

There's time to enjoy one of Rotorua's unique optional activities or simply wander beside Lake Rotorua near your hotel. We drive out to beautiful Lake Tarawera to lunch with the Walmsley family who have many stories to tell of their Maori and Pakeha (European) history in this region once famous for the Pink and White Terraces.

Accommodation - Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Day 9 - Rotorua - Lake Taupo - Tongariro National Park
The surreal, geothermal reserve Wai­ O-Tapu is alive with bubbling mud pools, silica terraces and deep pools of unforgettable colours. We stop at thundering Huka Falls and on the shores of Lake Taupo then drive up Mt Ruapehu for the panoramic views. We walk a trail in World Heritage Tongariro National Park before staying the night nearby

Accommodation - Ruapehhu Village

Day 10 - Tongariro National Park - Ohakune - Wellington

Enjoy short walks in this beautiful region before we continue down the centre of the island to the gumboot capital of the world, Taihape - find out how far you can throw one. In Wellington, we check out the city sights and the stunning views from Mt Victoria and stay two nights at The Bolton Hotel in "the coolest little capital in the world".

Accommodation - Bolton Hotel

Day 11 - At leisure in Wellington - activities and day tours

The day is yours to enjoy. The waterfront and Te Papa National Museum are just a short walk away. There's a selection of activities to choose from plus great cafes and boutique breweries. Wellington is also the spiritual home of "The Lord of the Rings" and you can visit Weta Workshop too.

Accommodation - Bolton Hotel

Day 12 - Wellington - Cook Strait - Picton - Marlborough - Nelson

We cruise across Cook Strait on the lnterislander ferry and up stunning Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton to step ashore on the South Island. At Forrest Estate Wines in Marlborough we call in for a tasting and lunch in this premier wine region before continuing to Nelson and Tides Hotel, our home for two nights.

Accommodation - Tides Hotel

Day 13 - Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park - Nelson

At Kaiteriteri Beach we meet our local guide and cruise by catamaran and walk, as much or as little as you choose, along the stunning Abel Tasman coastline of islands, sheltered bays, estuaries and golden, sandy beaches. There's time to relax on the beach with a picnic lunch and take a swim before returning to Nelson.

Accommodation - Tides Hotel

Day 14 - Nelson - Kaikoura

The road hugs the spectacular coastline between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikoura Ranges. Your afternoon is free to see Kaikoura's bountiful marine life, the result of the ocean canyon close offshore. Optional excursions include whale watching flights and kayaking at sunset. We stay not far from the seal colony at The White Morph.

Accommodation - White Morph

Day 15 - Kaikoura - Akaunui Farm - Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

From Kaikoura the Hunderlee Hills lead to the Canterbury Plains where we join our hosts Di and Ian Mackenzie for a memorable lunch at their Akaunui Farm homestead set amid beautiful gardens. The turquoise-coloured lakes, Tekapo and Pukaki, are unforgettable photo stops on our way to stay at Aoraki/Mt Cook Village in the alps.

Acommodation - Mount Cook Village

Day 16 - Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park - Lindis Pass - Queenstown

Explore the magnificent landscape crowned by Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, on an easy walking track from the village or treat yourself to a scenic flight over the Tasman Glacier. Later we drive over the golden tussock lands of the Lindis Pass and onto Scenic Suites, Queenstown our home for three nights.

Accommodation - Scenic Suites Queenstown

Day 17 - Queenstown - Milford Sound Cruise - Scenic Flight Queenstown

We follow the shores of the great lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau into the mountains and waterfalls of

Fiord land National Park. We cruise on Milford Sound dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to seal colonies and dolphins. A magnificent scenic flight back over the Southern Alps to Queenstown ends this fantastic day.

Accommodation - Scenic Suites Queenstown

Day 18 - At leisure in Queenstown - activities and day tours

Today is yours to make the most of the infinite number of activities Queenstown has to offer. Your Kiwi Guide can help you choose from a jet boat ride on the Dart River in The Lord of the Rings scenery, wine tasting at the vineyards or a day walk on the famous Routeburn Track and many more.

Accommodation - Scenic Suites Queenstown

Day 19 - Queenstown - Arrowtown - Cardrona Valley - Wanaka
In the leafy village of Arrowtown gold mining history comes alive beside the Arrow River. We drive over the Crown Range and stop for the last views of the Wakatipu basin then call in for refreshments at picture perfect Cardrona Hotel. From Edgewater, our lakeside hotel, you can bike the waterfront trail or kayak on the lake.

Accommodation - Edgewater

Day 20 - Wanaka - Haast Pass - Franz Josef

The pristine Haast Pass in Mt Aspiring National Park has well-maintained short tracks leading to cascading waterfalls and clear blue pools. Discover the beauty of Westland Tai Poutini National Park's wild West Coast beaches and lush, primeval rainforest, stop at Lake Matheson before we reach Franz Josef to stay at the Scenic Hotel.

Accommodation - Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Day 21: Franz Josef - Hokitika - Punakaiki

The morning is free to walk to the Franz Josef Glacier Valley lookout or take an optional helihike or flight or cruise out on Okarito lagoon in search of the rare Kotuku, White Heron. In Hokitika, the home of Pounamu (greenstone). meet the carvers of this treasured stone. We stay for two nights beside the beach at the Scenic Hotel, Punakaiki.

Accommodation - Scenic Hotel Punakaiki

Day 22: Punakaiki - Paparoa National Park - Charleston - Cape Foulwind

Walk to the leading local attraction, the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Paparoa Park has towering limestone cliffs and karst rock formations with river valleys of subtropical forest. Walk to an isolated beach or the seal colony at Cape Foulwind. A favourite option is the glow worm cave at Charleston.

Accommodation - Scenic Hotel Punakaiki

Day 23 - Punakaiki - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch

Leaving the West Coast we head inland to drive up the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular cantilevered road to the alpine beech forests of Arthur's Pass National Park. We stop to take short walks in the forest and to the rock formations at Kura Tawhiti Castle Hill. The dramatic landscapes make a fitting finale to your adventure. We'll drop you off at the airport for your flight home after your New Zealand "Trip of a Lifetime".

 

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Costing Per Person

Starting from $9,999

 

Note: Daily departures, this package is an independent itinerary with flexible departures (not a group tour)

Single Supplement: From $2,499

 

New Zealand Entry Requirements

Before committing to a trip, please ensure you have a valid passport. New Zealand welcomes US travelers with an approved Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).

Read More about NZETA & IVL

Additional departure gateways & pricing

Add on airfares are available from most major airports – please ask an Aspire consultant for a quote.

Upgrade Options

  • Upgrade to premium economy from $1,250 per person each way*
  • Upgrade to business class from $3,500 per person each way*
  • Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket

* Upgrade from pricing based on Monday through Thursday departures from Los Angeles - ask an Aspire consultant for the upgrade fee from other departure points and travel Thursday through Saturday.

 

 

Terms & Conditions

The package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for low-season stays for travel Mondays through Thursdays in both directions. A $60 air supplement applies each way for international travel from Friday to Sunday. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Specific blackout dates apply to the accommodation and tour value offers. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by check/wire; please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply. The purchase of travel Insurance is highly recommended for travel to New Zealand. Aspire Down Under partners with CSA Travel Protection.

 

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