North & South Tour - both islands

Starts in Auckland

Ends in Christchurch

10 days

9 nights

North & South Tour

Embark on an exhilarating 10-day, 9-night adventure across the captivating landscapes of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
On this small group tour, you'll be journeying from the vibrant city of Auckland to the charming Christchurch. Immerse yourself in an extraordinary mix of iconic cities, authentic culture, enthralling natural wonders, and world-class culinary experiences.

Embrace the stunning beauty, rich culture, and remarkable history of Aotearoa/New Zealand on a breathtaking 10-day journey from Auckland to Christchurch.

With Kirra Tours, you will delve into the heart of the Kiwi landscape, traversing the luminous glowworm caves of Waitomo, the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, the sacred Maori grounds of Lake Aniwhenua, and the vibrant vineyards of the Marlborough region. Our tour is not just a vacation, it's an unforgettable story waiting to be lived.

Beginning in Auckland, your adventure sets sail amid the city's dual harbours and volcanic landscape. Dive into the subterranean spectacle of Waitomo's glowworm caves, and marvel at the geothermal wonders and rich Maori heritage of Rotorua. Connect with New Zealand's heart and soul in Lake Aniwhenua, where you'll experience local Maori hospitality and a traditional hangi feast.

Experience the roaring beauty of Taupo's Huka Falls and sip your way through the renowned vineyards of Napier's Hawke's Bay region. Explore the captivating cityscape and cultural treasures of Wellington, and relish the sunshine and artistic flair of Nelson in the South Island.

Delight in a scenic vineyard lunch in Blenheim as you travel down the breathtaking coastal stretch to Christchurch, enjoying the panoramic beauty of Kaikoura's coastline and Canterbury's farmland along the way.

Itinerary of the 10-Day North & South Tour

  •  Tour Guide
  • Small Group Tour - Max 24
  • Luxury Coach
  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • 9 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Lake Aniwhenua Cultural Experience
  • Huka Falls
  • Lunch at Mission Estate Winery
  • Marlborough Cellar Door lunch

Season 2024-2025

  • Single: NZ$6,599
  • Twin-share: NZ$5,449

Prices per person, in New Zealand Dollar (NZD).

This is why So Many Travellers Love This North & South Tour

Travellers worldwide still have fond memories and still share stories of their Kirra Tour. We have been creating memorable New Zealand experiences since 1968. Our passion for this country is displayed through our unique itineraries.

See what's included in our Southern Dream Tour: 10-day North & South Tour.

Superior Accommodation

9 nights accommodation in high-end hotels

Premium Coach

luxury coach and world-class tour guide

Small Group Tour

minimum of 9 travellers, maximum: 28


9 breakfasts, 3 lunch and 3 dinners included

Map of 10-Day North to South Tour by Kirra Premium Coach Tours

Itinerary of the 10-day North & South Tour

Day 1: Arrival day to Auckland

Haere Mai and Welcome to Aotearoa/New Zealand. The first stop on your adventure is Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. Often referred to as the ‘City of Sails’ by locals, Auckland is home to 2 harbours and over 44 volcanoes!

On arrival in the city, make your way to the Nesuto Stadium Hotel where you can check in and drop your bags. At the hotel reception, you’ll receive a welcome letter with some tour information, and this evening you’ll meet your group and welcome host at 6:15pm and head for a delicious welcome dinner at 6:30pm.

Arrival: Anytime

Accommodation: Nesuto Hotel @ 40 Beach Road, Auckland City (or similar)

Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Auckland to Rotorua

This morning we’ll be leaving Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and making our way to Waitomo, famous for its enchanting glowworm caves. We’ll be visiting the brightest glowworm cave in Waitomo, which was even visited by Sir David Attenborough! You’ll take a spectacular boat ride through a cave lit entirely by glowworms and experience the magical sight of hundreds of glowworms shining just for you. We'll follow this with a walking tour of another amazing limestone cave shaped over millions of years.

Afterward, we’ll continue down to Rotorua, the geothermal wonderland of New Zealand. This evening we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner together and then settle in for a luxurious night’s sleep in Rotorua.

Visit: Waitomo, Rotorua

Activity: Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Free Day in Rotorua

This morning we’ll skirt around the edge of Lake Rotorua to a lookout point where we’ll have a view of the infamous Mount Tarawera, once the home of the renowned pink and white terraces before a violent eruption destroyed them. We’ll end with a visit to the Buried Village, New Zealand's most visited Archaeological Site, where we’ll learn about the famous 1886 eruption and visit the site of the now-buried Te Wairoa village.

This afternoon we’ll go for a walk in the Whakarewarewa forest where we’ll see towering Redwoods, magnificent Douglas firs, and New Zealand’s native Silver fern and then you have some free time to explore Rotorua on your own. If you’d like to see some geothermal activity for free, we recommend taking a walk around Kuirau Park to see boiling mud pools and steaming lakes. Go for a walk to the lake's edge and through the government gardens, spend some time relaxing at the Polynesian Spa, or take the Gondola up to see the amazing Rotorua Skyline.

Visit: Rotorua

Activity: Visit the Buried Village and take the Waitawa Walk in Whakarewarewa Forest

Accommodation: Distinction Rotorua (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Rotorua to Lake Aniwhenua to Taupo

This morning we’ll travel to the shores of Lake Aniwhenua in Murupara, where you’ll get to experience a slice of the real New Zealand. Owned by a passionate local Maori family who have dedicated their lives to making a difference in their local community, Kohutapu Lodge is situated on the lake, and has been helping to transform the local town of Murupara through community-driven initiatives for years.

Your experience will begin with a guided tour of the sacred Maori rock carvings and then you’ll travel to the Lodge to witness the preparation of a traditional ground cooked hangi. Once the food is ready, you’ll dine at the lodge on arguably the best meal you’ll have in New Zealand! After lunch, we’ll depart for Taupo where you’ll get to see the fiercely blue Huka Falls and explore the charming lakeside town.

Visit: Murupara, Whirinaki, Taupo

Activity: Kohutapu Lodge Tribal Tour

Accommodation: Anchorage Taupo or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Hangi Lunch + Dessert

Day 5: Taupo to Napier

After breakfast this morning we’ll head to the stunning Hawke’s Bay region. Napier boasts some of the best wineries in New Zealand/Aotearoa and a visit here would not be complete without a trip to Mission Estate Winery. After a wine tasting, you’ll sit down for lunch to enjoy an afternoon of delicious food and exceptional wines, while soaking up sunshine and the ambience of this stunning estate.

Later, it’s an easy drive into the beautiful coastal town of Napier, known for its perfectly preserved Art Deco facades. Go for a stroll along the tree-lined promenade this evening and sample some fresh seafood at one of the many restaurants overlooking the beach.

Visit: Mission Estate Winery

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Te Pania (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Napier to Wellington

This morning we’ll depart Napier and journey down to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand and the home of the best cup of coffee in the country!

On the way down, we’ll make a stop in Greytown, Wairarapa's oldest town, for a spot of lunch. A picturesque village with restored Victorian buildings, Greytown is a charming place to stop, refuel and browse the boutiques before we continue down to Wellington.

With a population of fewer than 220,000 people, no city in NZ combines a relaxed atmosphere and a cultured, bohemian spirit better than Wellington. The afternoon is free for you to spend exploring the city - we highly recommend a visit to our national museum Te Papa which offers free entrance and boasts some incredible exhibits.

Visit: Wairarapa, Wellington

Accommodation: Novotel Wellington (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Wellington to Nelson

After breakfast this morning, we’ll take the Ferry across Cook Strait to the South Island. If the weather is fine, make your way up to the deck to see the spectacular Marlborough Sounds and try to spot some local wildlife. On arrival in Picton, we’ll make our way to Nelson. This evening there’s plenty of time to relax, explore the area and taste some of Nelson’s fine local food and beverages.

Visit: Picton, Nelson

Accommodation: Rutherford Nelson (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8: Free Day in Nelson

Today is a free day in the sunshine capital of New Zealand, Nelson is a small city that's full of arts & crafts and on the edge of NZ’s premier hop growing region.

Take a wine or beer tour, you can even do this by bike if you prefer some exercise or just use the day to take a stroll around the area. For those wanting to visit Abel Tasman National Park, you can take a day tour from Nelson to visit the golden sands and idyllic days.

For those wanting a good walk the track to the centre of New Zealand is a must, at the top you’ll also find lovely views of the region too!

Visit: Nelson

Optional Activities: Abel Tasman Cruise, Wine Tour, Craft Beer Tour, Queens Gardens, Centre of NZ walk

Accommodation: Rutherford Nelson (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 9: Nelson to Christchurch

This morning we’ll take a leisurely drive down to Blenheim where we’ll travel to a vineyard for a fabulous lunch among the vines in one of New Zealand’s best Sauvignon Blanc producers

After lunch, we’ll set off for our journey down the coast, soaking up the gorgeous scenery as we go, expect to see some marine life too! From Kaikoura’s rugged coastline and beautiful mountains to the rolling farmland of Canterbury, the views are wonderful today. We’ll arrive late afternoon in Christchurch and this evening, we’ll enjoy a group dinner at our hotel.

Visit: Blenheim, Kaikoura, Canterbury, Christchurch

Activity: Marlborough Cellar Door lunch

Accommodation: Distinction Christchurch (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Depart Christchurch

Today is the final day of the tour, our trip has come to an end. Enjoy breakfast before saying a fond farewell to your tour leader and all your travel companions.

Whether you’re travelling home today or staying in Christchurch for longer, we hope you leave this tour with some happy memories and friends for life.

Meals Included: Breakfast

What Travellers Say About Kirra

Tour Dates

7-Day Northern Explorer 9-Day Southern Dream 10-Day North & South 17-Day Ultimate NZ
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Ready to book a Kirra Premium Coach Tour?

Visit your local travel agent or contact us directly to make a booking.

10-Day Unforgettable North and South New Zealand Journey

Join us and discover the allure of the land of the long white cloud. Auckland, the 'City of Sails,' sets the stage for our journey. Nestled among 44 volcanoes and two magnificent harbours, this bustling metropolis is a testament to the unique geology and vibrant lifestyle New Zealand offers.

Journey into the heart of the island to Waitomo's glowworm caves, a surreal spectacle illuminated by thousands of bioluminescent glowworms, capturing the magic and mystery of the underground world.

Indulge in the geothermal splendour of Rotorua while learning about its deep-rooted Maori culture. Visit the Buried Village, walk amongst towering Redwoods, and feel the pulse of Mother Earth in the boiling mud pools of Kuirau Park.

Experience the authentic New Zealand life in Lake Aniwhenua, where a local Maori family will welcome you into their lodge, share their passionate community initiatives and treat you to a traditional hangi feast.

Marvel at the intensely blue Huka Falls in Taupo and unwind in the charming coastal town of Napier, savouring exceptional wines and soaking up the sunshine at the historic Mission Estate Winery.

In Wellington, the nation's capital, immerse yourself in the bohemian spirit of the city, and enrich your knowledge at the national museum, Te Papa.

Your South Island adventure begins with a picturesque ferry ride across Cook Strait to Nelson, New Zealand's sunniest city. Here, artistic and gastronomic delights are at your fingertips, with optional activities to explore the stunning Abel Tasman National Park.

Travel to Blenheim for a fabulous vineyard lunch before descending the coastal stretch to Christchurch, enjoying the scenic beauty of Kaikoura's rugged coastline, and Canterbury's rolling farmland.

This intimate small group tour, accommodating a maximum of 24 guests, is led by a knowledgeable tour guide, and includes luxury coach travel, 9 nights' comfortable accommodation, meals as specified (9 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners), and unique cultural and natural experiences. Come and craft your unforgettable Kiwi story with us.

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