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Kiwi Culture

Become enlightened in Maori history and modern culture through this expansive Kiwi Culture tour. Drive yourself around the North and South islands to experience New Zealand first hand. Get outside and do as the Kiwis do; hike, bike and enjoy the great outdoors. Take to the sea and cruise the Milford Sound. If you’re feeling gutsy, get high with a bungee jump or take to the sky and see New Zealand from above. The opportunities are endless as you chauffer yourself to quaint towns, through beautiful mountains and across scenic valleys.

Trip Type: Adventure, Cultural, Family, Wildlife

MapKiwi CultureKiwi Culture

Day By Day

Day 1 – USA to Auckland
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price. 

Day 2 – Cross the International Date Line
Cross the International Date Line, an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North to the South Pole - and defines one calendar day from the next. Crossing the International Date Line adds one day (24 hours) traveling west, and subtracts one day (24 hours) traveling east.

Day 3 – Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand
On arrival into Auckland, collect your rental vehicle and drive to your accommodation.

Auckland, ‘City of Sails’, located between two stunning harbors, enjoys a mild year-round climate Auckland is the country's most visited region and largest urban area, offering exciting activities and great shopping.

The city lies across a 7-mile wide volcanic isthmus separating two harbors. The Waitemata to the east opens into the Hauraki Gulf, and to the Pacific Ocean. The Manukau Harbour to the west offers many estuaries and surf beaches and opens to the Tasman Sea.

Starting Accommodation: Rydges Auckland

Day 4 – Drive Auckland to Rotorua
Commence the leisurely drive to Rotorua. Drive time is around 4 hours, but allow most of the day to take in the sights along the way. You have a couple of options with the road via Waitomo Caves and the Glow Worm Grotto being the most popular (if you want to see the caves), or alternatively take the road via the Coromandel Peninsula for some breathtaking scenery (this will take a little longer as you will want to make quite a few extra stops).

New Zealand, or Aotearoa, is a mythical land steeped in legend and mystery. The diverse landscape of Rotorua is where adventure abounds. There are great forest trails for mountain biking or hiking. Take your chance to spy from the sky by helicopter, biplane, or floatplane – and maybe land on a dormant volcano – or an active one!

Try tandem skydiving or tumble head over heels down a hillside in the revolutionary Zorb. Safaris through native forest and over rugged farmland on horseback or by farm-bike, jet boating and fishing are other activities that abound in the area.

Starting Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 5 – Hangi Dinner and Concert
This Twilight Cultural Tour offers transport to and from a Marae by coach. Tonight is a spiritual experience you will never forget with Marae protocol, entertainment, Maori culture and feasting.

En route to the Marae, the guide explains the protocol to take place. The group on board is prepared for the wero (challenge) and welcome to the Marae. Upon entering the exquisitely carved meeting house, you will hongi (greet - pressing of noses) with your host. The tradition means you are a friend and may consider yourself one of the family. Now sit back and enjoy the culture of the Maori people. See the fierce Haka (war dance), twirling of poi balls, stick games and other entertainment.

From here we move to the Hangi pit to see the traditional Maori method of food preparation before heading into the dining room for a Hangi (feast). After the feast, you are transferred back to your Rotorua accommodation by coach.

Starting Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua (D)

Day 6 – Drive Rotorua to Wellington
At your leisure for this 5-6 hour drive through the center of the North Island. The main features of the area are the farmlands, the active volcano area of Tongariro National Park and Lake Taupo and the Ruahine Forest Park.

The Wellington region of the lower North Island, which includes Wellington City (New Zealand's capital), the Wairarapa, Hutt valley, Porirua and the Kapiti Coast, is a vibrant new visitor destination. It is a gateway to New Zealand's culture, both urban and rural.

Starting Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay

Day 7 – At leisure, Wellington
At your leisure to explore Wellington, New Zealand's National Capital and center of the arts. An excellent city café lifestyle abounds with lots of museums and art centers including the new and incredible Te Papa Museum.

Starting Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay

Day 8 – Drive Picton to Nelson
Return your rental vehicle at the Wellington ferry terminal before taking the Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton. The 82 kilometer journey takes little more than three hours, yet it's one of the world's great scenic cruises. And when you cruise across on the Interislander you'll find a wonderful combination of entertainment and services that will make your Cook Strait crossing even more memorable.

On arrival, collect your rental car and enjoy the drive directly across the Richmond Range as you head towards Nelson. Approximate time to allow is 2 hours for this drive.

Starting Accommodation: Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco

Day 9 – At leisure, Nelson
The beach, shining sea, cool cafés, forest walks, beautiful landscapes, sun and blue skies, a thoroughly relaxed lifestyle, the artists attracted for the same reasons, their amazing art, the seafood, the wine, boutique breweries... this is Nelson.

Starting Accommodation: Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco

Day 10 – Drive Nelson to Christchurch
Today's drive will take you through the Marlborough region at the north-east tip of the South island. It is an area of diverse geography containing a complex network of drowned river valleys, textured with myriad islands, coves and bays. As you drive down State Highway 1 you will pass the rugged, snow-capped peaks of the Kaikoura Ranges. The drive is approximately 280 miles and will probably take around 7 hours.

Starting Accommodation: Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch

Day 11 – At leisure, Christchurch
Christchurch, the city of parks and gardens, trees and beauty, is also buzzing with street life. Wine bars, street cafes and exciting entertainments give the central city vitality unique in New Zealand. Christchurch is said to be the most English city outside England. The downtown district focuses on Cathedral Square, where you’ll find buskers, speakers and the eccentric Wizard of Christchurch (who is classified as a living work of art).

You can sedately cruise the Avon River by punt, on its meandering course through town, under many bridges and past historic landmarks, or do your own thing by canoe. Vintage car, horse and carriage, hot air ballooning and guided walking tours: these are just a few ways to explore the Garden City.

Starting Accommodation: Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch

Day 12 – Drive Christchurch to Queenstown
The drive today is around 7-8 hours, but there are many interesting diversions along the way as you pass through the Canterbury Plains into the Southern Alps and finally onto Queenstown. Stop at Lake Tekapo and take a scenic flight over Mt. Cook if you have time.

Nestled beside the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, at the foot of the Remarkables Mountain Range, Queenstown is a year round resort, where you can be as active as you want, or just leisurely enjoy the magnificent scenery.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Day 13 – Milford Sound Tour
An early start as you leave your hotel and coach through some of the most beautiful countryside in New Zealand. On arrival at Milford Sound, board the vessel for a leisurely cruise along the sound to the Tasman Sea. The vessel stops at various points and plenty of time is available to view waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and seals. You may even see dolphins frolic alongside the boat. A picnic lunch is included during the cruise.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside (L)

Day 14 – At leisure, Queenstown
At your leisure to explore the adventure capital of New Zealand. Set between the towering Remarkable Ranges and the bottomless Lake Wakitipu, Queenstown has it all - bungee jumping, jet boating, rafting, amazing scenic helicopter flights. You may wish to visit Milford or Doubtful Sound or the old gold mining town of Arrowtown. Explore the surrounding area on your own or on one of our additional day excursions.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Day 15 – Queenstown to USA (Via Auckland)
Drive to Queenstown airport and drop off your rental car before boarding your departure flights.

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Highlighted Activities

Milford Sound Tour
Milford Sound Tour
Length: Full-day


AucklandRydges Auckland
RotoruaMillennium Hotel Rotorua
WellingtonCopthorne Hotel Oriental Bay
NelsonGrand Mercure Nelson Monaco
ChristchurchRendezvous Hotel Christchurch
QueenstownNovotel Queenstown Lakeside


Please note all prices listed below are approximations and subject to current rate of exchange adjustments. Each itinerary can be fully customized to your interests and needs.

Twin Share
10/1/2017 - 11/30/2017$3,905
12/1/2017 - 3/31/2018$4,070
Single Traveler
10/1/2017 - 11/30/2017$6,370
12/1/2017 - 3/31/2018$6,690

Add internal air to this package from $170*

Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: