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Haka Tours12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour

The tour kicks off in Wellington and wraps up 12 days later in Christchurch.  In under two weeks you'll travel through the most magical scenery you could hope to see in your lifetime.  National Parks, rainforests, mountain ranges, UNESCO World Heritage Areas... everywhere you turn, there's something different to behold.
Stay each night in twin-share 3-4 star accommodation: a mix of hotels, motels, lodges and rainforests.

 New Zealand small group tour
 Starts in Wellington, finishes in Christchurch
 12 days/ 11 nights
 Hotel 3 star
  Pre and post tour options? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 10 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
Kawarau Gorge, Queenstown
Lake Pukaki New Zealand

At a glance - 12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour

Day 1: Arrive in Wellington and meet the team. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Wellington

Day 2: Wellington to Kaikoura, including the Interislander ferry crossing. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Kaikoura

Day 3: Kaikoura to Christchurch. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Christchurch

Day 4: Christchurch to Ohau via Lake Tekapo. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Ohau

Day 5: Ohau to Queenstown. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Queenstown

Day 6: Free time in Queenstown. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Queenstown

Day 7: Queenstown to Wanaka. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Wanaka

Day 8: Relax in Wanaka and try a night of glamping!. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Criffel Station

Day 9: Wanaka to Franz Josef. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Franz Josef

Day 10: Explore Franz Josef. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Franz Josef

Day 11: Franz Josef to Christchurch on the TranzAlpine Scenic Train. Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Christchurch

Day 12: Bid a fond farewell to your Haka tours team.

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12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Arrive in Wellington and meet the team

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 1

Haka Plus Tours Arrive in Wellington

Settle into your accommodation and be ready for the 6pm pre-tour meeting. It is here you will be introduced to your tour manager and meet your new roadtrip friends. 
After the meet the evening is yours a good night sleep is recommended ready for your early start tomorrow morning but you may prefer to enjoy the Wellington nightlife instead. 

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Wellington

A night in the capital has so much to offer, feel very cosmopolitan as you see the city night lights, taste the local craft beer or sample fine cuisine tonight.

Haka Plus Tours Wellington

Day 2: Wellington to Kaikoura, including the Interislander ferry crossing

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 2

Wellington to Kaikoura including the Interislander ferry

This morning you say farewell to the North Island and take the incredibly scenic ferry ride across the Cook Strait. Arriving in Marlborough, an iconic region known for its fantastic wine industry.  You can make the most of this by partaking in the inclusive wine tasting.
After sampling some of New Zealand's best wines journey on to Kaikoura which literally means "to eat crayfish".  The nutrient-rich waters of this area attract a wide variety of marine wildlife including crayfish (of course), seals, dolphins and if you're lucky you'll even spot a whale. 

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Kaikoura

This accommodation is close to the ocean and ideally located for seeing the best Kaikoura has to offer.

Haka Plus Tours Kaikoura

Day 3: Kaikoura to Christchurch

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 3

Kaikoura to Christchurch

A morning in Kaikoura allows you the chance to swim with dolphins in the wild.  This is a massive highlight for many travellers with pods of up to 300 of these playful creatures hanging out in Kaikoura at one time. If you'd prefer not to get wet and see the ocean giants instead, a boat trip searching for humpbacks, sperm whales or even orca is the optional activity for you. As a tour inclusion, your guide will take you to see the seal colony before you head south to Haka's home the "Garden City", Christchurch.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dolphin Encounter - Suggested activity

Experience a magical swimming encounter with dusky dolphins off the coast Kaikoura. You’ll be taken out in the catamaran and have the chance to swim in the water with these wild mammals in an completely natural environment. The dusky dolphin inhabits the waters around Kaikoura for most of the year - making it one of the only places in the world where dolphins can be encountered every day.

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Christchurch

Enjoy a comfortable nights stay in the city Haka calls home.

Haka Plus Tours Christchurch

Day 4: Christchurch to Ohau via Lake Tekapo

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 4

Christchurch to Ohau via Lake Tekapo

After a continental breakfast this morning we'll explore iconic downtown Christchurch and your guide will show you the cool and creative ways the city is being rebuilt after the life-changing 2011 earthquake here. Christchurch folk are an innovative and creative bunch - the Transitional Cathedral, created from cardboard, is totally inspirational.
Mid-morning we head for Lake Tekapo. Ready your camera - the lake's breathtaking turquoise colour and mountain backdrop is a photographer's dream come true.
The tiny Church of the Good Shepherd stands right at the water's edge, proving that small is bold and definitely beautiful. Grab some confetti and congratulate any passing brides. Couples travel from all over the world for wedding shots in front of this chapel.

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Ohau

Sleep amongst the mountains in this beautiful alpine village.

Haka Plus Tours Ohau

Day 5: Ohau to Queenstown

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 5

Ohau to Queenstown

From the golden tussock lands of Mackenzie country - where epic battles of Return of the King were filmed - to the dramatic peaks of the Southern Alps, it's like you're driving into a postcard.
We'll pause for lots of photo stops en route to give your camera a workout, including a stop at the spectacular Kawarau Gorge. This also happens to be the world home of Bungy! Give it a go or enjoy watching the jumpers scream their way into the gorge. 
Whether you're an adrenaline junkie, an avid hiker, wine taster or scenery lover, Queenstown has something for absolutely everyone. With 2 nights and plenty of daylight hours here, get ready - this town certainly knows how to live life to the max.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - NZONE Skydive Queenstown 12000 ft jump

NZONE skydive are New Zealand's premier skydiving outfit located in the Adventure Capital of Queenstown. Experience the thrill of a lifetime with a Tandem Skydive over some of the most breath taking scenery in the world. On the ride to altitude, take in the magnificent scenery of this world heritage area with snow capped mountains all year round surrounded by beach forests, sheer rock faces and winding rivers which promise an amazing flight and an exhilarating and breathtaking descent over Lake Wakatipu.

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Queenstown

Sleep peacefully tonight surrounded by New Zealand's city that never sleeps.

Haka Plus Tours Queenstown

Day 6: Free time in Queenstown

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 6

Queenstown Exploration Day

The activities are endless in Queenstown; paragliding over the lake, mountain bike parks and trails to die for, bungy jumping while your Haka friends cheer you on, horse riding through Lord of the Rings scenery, and swinging through a canyon are just a few of the favourites.
For scenery lovers, Milford Sound is a must-see. Whether you fly or drive, the scenery en route is as awesome as the destination. Once on the Sound, you sail beneath thundering waterfalls when you see the towering cliff faces you’ll understand why we call it the “8th Wonder of the World”.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Milford Sound Coach Trip

Located in the south west of the South Island, uncover hidden secrets of the World Heritage Fiordland National Park and the breathtaking Milford Sound. Bus to Milford Sound on a Juicy Coach, beginning with a scenic drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Your Juicy driver will entertain and inform you of the scenic highlights on your journey. Stop in Te Anau for a refreshment, before carrying on down the famous Milford road. Experience the grandeur and beauty of Fiordland National Park and enjoy photo stops and short walks along the way, allowing you to get close to native flora & fauna and the majestic glacial scenery. When you arrive into Milford Sound you will hop onto the Juicy Cruise boat to enjoy the stunning scenery up close, before your Juicy Coach returns you back to Queenstown.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Milford Sound Flight Trip

Located in the south west of the South Island, uncover hidden secrets of the World Heritage Fiordland National Park and the breathtaking Milford Sound. Your tour begins with a complimentary pick-up from your central Queenstown accommodation provider. Your pilot will give a thorough pre-flight briefing on the route and scenic highlights likely to be encountered. These include the famous Skippers Canyon, the Paradise region (recently made popular as film locations for Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Trilogies), and the Donne glacier among many other awe-inspiring features. Your 35 minute flight concludes with an over flight of the fiord of Milford Sound, prior to landing. The second half of the adventure begins in Milford Sound, where your pilot will personally escort you to the boat docks to board either the Pride or Spirit of Milford. Both purpose-built catamarans, which traverse the full length of the 12km fiord over 1 hour and 45 minutes. Spacious outdoor viewing decks allow you to take in all of the scenic highlights, including waterfalls taller than Niagra Falls, and an array of indigenous flora and fauna. Following the cruise your return flight takes in many of the pristine alpine lakes and waterfalls that Fiordland National Park is recognised for.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Nevis Bungy Jump

Queenstown is where bungy jumping was pioneered by AJ Hackett and the first commercial jump started in 1988 at the Kawarau Bridge (on the main road into Queenstown from the east). If a bungy jump is on your 'to do' list them Queenstown is the place. AJ Hackett operates 3 sites in Queenstown. The Nevis Bungy is New Zealand's highest bungy at 134 metres and 8 1/2 seconds of freefall. Located in the Nevis Valley high above the Nevis River this is the ultimate adrenalin experience.

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Queenstown

Sleep peacefully tonight surrounded by New Zealand's city that never sleeps.

Haka Plus Tours Queenstown

Day 7: Queenstown to Wanaka

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 7

Queenstown to Wanaka via historic Arrowtown

With the morning in Queenstown, you have another chance to tick off your bucket list today. What will it be? A trip to the top of the Skyline Gondola, or perhaps an adrenaline-pumping jet boat ride through the Shotover Canyon? You decide!
This afternoon we jump back onto the road and head off to Wanaka, a quick one hour drive away.
The drive is a scenic highlight in itself, so make sure your camera is fully charged and ready to go. En route, we'll stop in charming Arrowtown, a historic gold rush village with heaps of old-world character.
This afternoon is your chance to relax in stunning Wanaka, known as Queenstown's slightly quieter little sister.
Blessed with towering peaks and a glacial blue lake. you'll soon see why Wanaka's considered to be one of New Zealand's most beautiful mountain towns. There are breathtaking hikes and easy bike rides for a welcome chance to relax.

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Wanaka

Queenstown's smaller sister town provides fresh air great views and much time to explore, adventure and relax.

Haka Plus Tours Wanaka

Day 8: Relax in Wanaka and try a night of glamping!

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 8

Wanaka

Today is your chance to explore one of the most beautiful towns in the southern lakes region with plenty of activities to tempt every lover of the outdoors. Included this morning is a guided e-bike tour along Wanaka’s lakeside.
In Wanaka, there are many walks, hikes and biking trails to choose from – check out the famous “Wanaka Tree” while making your way around the lake! Or, if you feel like relaxing, ask your guide to recommend their favourite secret spots to enjoy the surrounding scenery.
One of the best ways to admire Wanaka is from the air. Treat yourself to a skydive or a scenic flight in a vintage plane – you can even take a flying lesson. As always, it’s your trip and your choice: you do you! We mix things up tonight by heading to the stunning Criffel Station for a night of glamping (AKA glamorous camping)! Think fancy canvas tents with decadently comfortable beds and the great outdoors right on your doorstep. The views from Criffel are sublime… to get the real experience, you’ll have to see it for yourself!

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Criffel Station

Nestled in the hills this accommodation is camping on a whole new level with a view to die for you will certainly not forget this in a hurry.

Haka Plus Tours Criffel Station

Day 9: Wanaka to Franz Josef

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 9

Wanaka to Franz Josef

After a relaxing morning in Wanaka, the journey to Franz is another stunner – many of our Haka Guides rate it as their most favourite drive in New Zealand. As we hit the road, we’ll stop at one of our most popular lakeside lookout points at Lake Hawea or Lake Wanaka. Your guide will keep an eye on the weather and pick the best option. From the cascading waterfalls of Haast Pass to classic Kiwi coastal views, you won’t want to nap on the bus in case you miss anything. Your guide will have some epic surprise photo stops and short walks along the way.
We roll into Franz Josef around late afternoon/early evening. This UNESCO World Heritage area is famous for its spectacular glacier, just 5km from town, which is begging to be explored tomorrow.

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Franz Josef

Possibly one of the most tranquil places in New Zealand you'll spend tonight under the rainforest canopy.

Haka Plus Tours Franz Josef

Day 10: Explore Franz Josef

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 10

A day to enjoy Franz Josef

With Aoraki/Mount Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand. Te Wahi Pounamu (which means ‘the place of greenstone’ in Māori) is the name given to this part of the West Coast because of the abundance of pounamu (greenstone/jade) to be found here. Included in your tour today is a special opportunity to carve your very own pounamu pendant at a local gallery.
There are heaps of ways to enjoy Franz Josef Glacier; weather permitting, to get up onto the bluest ice you can take a scenic helicopter flight and hike onto the glaciers. Maybe you’d prefer to kayak on a glacial lake, or just relax in the steamy hot springs down below. As well as the awesome glacier activities, you could also try out quad biking, horseback riding and even a bit of group karaoke!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Heli Hike with Franz Josef Glacier Guides

The Franz Josef Glacier helicopter tour is a once in a lifetime experience that should not be missed. From the moment you step on board our chopper, your experienced and highly trained pilot will whisk you away, up and over the jaw-dropping landscape. After a thrilling flight, high above the rugged terrain, you will land on the glacier, ready to undertake a two hour guided glacier hike. Your friendly guide will lead you through some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery in the world. You'll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, and with plenty of photo opportunities, and the chance to learn more about this magnificent glacier, this will almost certainly be your most memorable New Zealand experience and one you will remember forever.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Heli Ice Explorer with Franz Josef Glacier Guides

Take a short helicopter ride from the township to the remarkable Pinnacles area on the glacier. Your experienced guide will navigate you through a maze of ice and explain the dramatic environmental changes over the last few years. See this unique and fascinating landscape up close spending around 3 hours on the glacier. All equipment is provided and entry to the hot pools is included also to soak and relax following your adventure.

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Franz Josef

Possibly one of the most tranquil places in New Zealand you'll spend tonight under the rainforest canopy.

Haka Plus Tours Franz Josef

Day 11: Franz Josef to Christchurch on the TranzAlpine Scenic Train

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 11

Franz Josef to Christchurch via Hokitika including TranzAlpine Train

After breakfast head further along the beautiful west coast, through rugged primaeval landscapes and along the ocean roads. Stopping in Hokitika for a break and visit to the greenstone factory.  Time permitting there may also be the chance to visit the National Kiwi Centre where you are guaranteed to see the Kiwi, New Zealand's national bird. The final leg of the journey is on the TranzAlpine Train from Greymouth.  This train ride is world famous and traverses through the stunning south island, arriving into Christchurch you will be transferred to your accommodation.

Your Accommodation: Haka Plus Tours Christchurch

Enjoy a comfortable nights stay in the city Haka calls home.

Haka Plus Tours Christchurch

Day 12: Bid a fond farewell to your Haka tours team

12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour - Day 12

Christchurch departure

Today is the final day of your tour.  You will have the opportunity to swap photos, contact details and share memories of your trip with your travel companions over breakfast then you say goodbye and enjoy your onward adventures!

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