Reverse Traverse - from Christchurch
Why Choose Flying Kiwi...?
1. MORE EXPERIENCE = BETTER TRAVEL OPTIONS...
Flying Kiwi is the original New Zealand tour company. We are the experts with 30 years' experience in conducting tours of the highest quality and thousands of very, very satisfied customers. You can be guaranteed that our team will provide a professional and enjoyable experience of a lifetime.
2. MORE PEACE OF MIND WITH GUARANTEED DEPARTURES...
Once you are booked you are going! ALL our summer tours (Oct-Apr) are guaranteed departures. This gives you complete peace of mind and enables you to plan and look forward to your trip - trips do fill fast though so get in quick.
3. MORE NATIONAL PARKS....
We have a license with the Department of Conservation that enables us to visit, and stay in, places other tours can't access. We ensure our tours give you time to experience New Zealand's best national parks too, including Paparoa, Abel Tasman, Aoraki/Mount Cook, Tongariro and Fiordland.
4. MORE CHANCES TO GENUINELY GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK...
There are a number of World famous highlights on any trip to New Zealand - Milford Sound, Queentown, Rotorua to name a few and we make sure to experience the best these spots have to offer. However, what makes our trips totally unique is exploring the lesser known spots that other tour groups don't visit. Whether it's a secret glow-worm walk at night, a lush rainforest-fringed pool for a dip, a bike ride along deserted roads hugging the coast or a local cafe that serves quite possibly the best muffins in New Zealand we have found the best secret spots - we know you will love them just try not to tell too many others!
5. MORE ACCOMMODATION BY LAKES, MOUNTAINS AND OCEANS...
Rather than wake up in a hostel dorm we wake up to amazing views, fresh air and away from the crowds. By staying in these carefully selected sites you get to experience amazing sunrises, spectacular sunsets, campfires, sleeping to the sound of the ocean, morning dips, lakeside dining to name a few. There are camping and cabin accommodation options (so something for everyone) and we do occasionally use hostels (2 nights on the Reverse Traverse) to give you access to the bustling city centres.
6. MORE TASTY AND HEALTHY MEALS...
Our trips involve a great deal of activity and we appreciate the importance of good food. We usually offer breakfast, lunch and dinner which saves you time and money. With an average meal out in NZ costing around $30 you'll save a fortune compared to other tour companies.
7. MORE CYCLE OPTIONS...
With bikes on board you have the chance to cycle as much, or as little, as you want. We cover a huge range of rides along the coast, by lakes, through mountain landscapes, downhill, uphill and even across hill - there is something for everyone and every fitness level.
8. MORE HIKES AND ACTIVITY OPTIONS (+LOADS OF FREE STUFF)...
We offer more hikes and activity options than any other tour company. That gives you more choice every day to try the hikes you fancy and the activities you have always wanted to try. Everything is optional and there are always free alternatives. We also include a number of the activities free of charge such as wine tasting, scenic ferry crossing and more.
9. MORE FLEXIBILITY...
Our tours are designed to fit around you. We aren't a traditional tour - you choose the activities you want to do, you choose the style of accommodation you want and you can even take extended breaks along the way - Flying Kiwi is the perfect combination of independent travel and touring convenience.
10. MORE VALUE FOR MONEY...
Quite simply our trips are unbeatable. With transport, accommodation, most meals and use of sports equipment included you won't find a better value tour. Our tours add up to around $160 NZD per day which is a great measure to compare with other options (don't forget a meal out in NZ averages around $30 for starters and bike hire starts at approx. $35 per day).
11. WE SPEND 2-3 NIGHTS IN THE BEST LOCATIONS....
Our main tour is longer than others for a reason - we want this to be the trip of a lifetime. Extra nights in the best locations ensure you can enjoy and relax - simple!
12. FREE HIGHLIGHTS...
Some operators may list these as free activities specific to their tour but as Kiwis are such a generous bunch all those listed below are free for everyone!
Glow worm walks, heaps of free hikes, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks walk, Abel Tasman National Park walk, Lake Matheson mirror lake, Kauri forest walks, Waitomo museum, Hokitika greenstone factory, explore the Bay of Islands region and more.
13. PLACES WE VISIT ARE...
- Stunning Bay of Islands
- Cruise the Marlborough Sounds
- Adrenalin rush of Queenstown
- Chilling Glaciers
- Picturesque Abel Tasman National Park
- Real Lord of the Rings country
- The lush vineyards and hilly pastures of Picton and Marlborough
- Cultural and historical treasures
- New Zealand’s World Heritage Sites
- The nation's capital - Wellington
- The wild west coast of the South Island
- Numerous remote locations that other tours and tourists don't reach
14. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES TO CHOOSE FROM...
- Superb cycle rides (for all levels)
- Excellent hikes (for all levels)
- Sea kayaking
- Hot pools
- Zipline tours
- Bungy jumping & giant swings
- White water rafting
- Deep sea fishing
- Dolphin swimming
- Horse riding
- Nature tours
- Glow worm tours
- Glacier heli hiking
- Hang gliding
- Black water rafting
- Sand boarding
15 days, 14 nights
- Tasty meals - 12 x Breakfasts, 4 x Lunches, 10 x Dinner
- Bus/coach transport
- Shared tent accommodation, 2 people per tent
- Inflatable camping mattress
- Numerous free walks
- Scenic ferry crossing
- Wine Tasting - in the beautiful Marlborough region
- Use of sports equipment (bodyboards, cricket sets and more)
- 2 friendly & knowledgeable Flying Kiwi guides
- Amazing sunrises & sunsets at beautiful beach side campsites
This tour is recommended for persons 18 years and older however requests for younger participants will be considered on a case by case basis.
- Day 1 : CHRISTCHURCH - QUEENSTOWNDepart Christchurch at 8:30am by shuttle via an independant bus service where you'll arrive into Queenstown at approximately 4:40pm. The time and pickup location will be confirmed at the time of booking. The bus service from Christchurch to Queenstown runs daily (apart from Christmas day) so if you would like to have a few days to explore Queenstown this is your chance, contact us to arrange your bus transfer to Queenstown a few days earlier! Enjoy a group dinner out in Queenstown and get to know your fellow travellers (own cost).Meals :NoneDay 2 : QUEENSTOWN- LAKE WANAKALeaving Queenstown at 2:30pm, after the thrills and spills of Queenstown we travel through more mountains and on towards more stunning glacial lakes. On the final stretch to camp we start getting views of Mt Aspiring National Park in the distance. Lake Wanaka is just over the next ridge and it’s on the edge of this glacial lake that we find our next wilderness camp. Enjoy great views of Lake Wanaka and the mountains beyond as we absorb the beauty of the area.Meals :Breakfast, DinnerDay 3 : LAKE WANAKA - GLACIER COUNTRYEnjoy a relaxed morning at our lakeside camp then it's northward bound through Mt Aspiring National Park. Just before we reach the West Coast we stop for a walk to the amazing Blue Pools, and then head over the dramatic Haast Pass. As we travel towards the wild West Coast, the road follows braided rivers and huge glacier carved valleys. There are two more great walk options along the way, one through lush and ancient forests and the other through swampy vegetation, ending on the beach where it is possible to spot Hector dolphins. Tonight, we will be staying beside the beautiful Lake Paringa enjoying a true West Coast wilderness experience.Meals :Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerDay 4 : GLACIER COUNTRY - OKARITOToday is your chance to explore one of NZ’s most unique and spectacular natural wonders – Franz Josef Glacier. This staggering beautiful work of nature is 12 kilometres and descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres above sea level. To get on the ice you must go up by helicopter but it’s possible to view the glacier with a stunning walk through the main valley up to the terminal face. Before arriving at Franz Josef, we take a highly recommended walk around Lake Matheson where crystal clear reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman make the perfect photo opportunity. Late afternoon, we have a short drive up the coast to our beautiful beachside campsite next to the Okarito lagoon – one of the very few places where there are still rare sightings of our native kiwi bird and the home to NZ’s only colony of the White Heron (kotuku). Enjoy a fire down on the beach taking in the rugged coast and epic mountain views.Meals :Breakfast, DinnerDay 5 : OKARITO - PUNAKAIKIEnjoy an early morning walk, with a view of the sunrise over the Southern Alps as a reward. We then continue up this spectacular coastal road to the quirky town of Hokitika, home to the Greenstone factories and a great place to pick up a traditional souvenir of your visit. Passing through Greymouth we keep following the coast to Punakaiki where you’ll notice a change in the landscape and vegetation with huge limestone cliffs appearing and Nikau Palm trees become abundant. Our beach camp has great sunsets, a beautiful river and incredible views of Paparoa National Park. The pancake rocks and blowholes are the main attraction in Punakaiki where limestones rocks are stacked on top of each other and ocean swells are forced through gaps in the rock creating a whale’s blowhole effect. In the evening, explore a cavern with some glow worms hanging out in the dark then relax at the local tavern.Meals :Breakfast, DinnerDay 6 : PUNAKAIKI – ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARKBefore leaving Punakaiki we take time to explore part of the Paparoa National Park with a walk along the Porarari river or cycle up Bullock creek road to visit a cave resurgence. Leaving mid-morning we travel inland through the majestic Buller gorge and onto our favourite National Park, Abel Tasman. In one of the sunniest areas of the country you will discover beautiful secluded bays and stunning golden sand beaches. On arrival, you have the option to skydive or hang glide and then we look forward to spending 3 nights at our perfectly located campground, close to the park entrance which makes it the idea place to explore all corners of the park.Meals :Breakfast, DinnerDay 7 : ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARKTaking time to explore arguably the best beaches and clearest waters in New Zealand - there are excellent options for everyone here.You can walk, sail or kayak around the numerous golden bays and dive into the crystal-clear waters along the way. There will be plenty of chances for wildlife spotting (dolphins, seals and even Orcas!) Explore the heart of the park on one of our most highly rated optional activities - canyoning high flow waterfalls and rapids!Meals :Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerDay 8 : ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARKWe spend another full day at the doorstep to New Zealand’s smallest but most visited national park and our personal favourite, the Abel Tasman.Meals :BreakfastDay 9 : ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK - WELLINGTONLeaving early, we make our way towards Wellington stopping for a brief visit in sunny Nelson, the home of Flying Kiwi. Before leaving Nelson be sure to farewell your Tour Assistant as a new Tour Assistant will join you here for the remainder of your tour. Your Tour Leader will say farewell in Picton. On route to Picton we’ll make a stop at Pelorus bridge, a Hobbit film location and great place for a quick dip on a warm day. Finish this fantastic day with a scenic ferry (cost included) through the picturesque Marlborough sounds to Wellington - our base for the evening. Camping isn’t feasible in the heart of the nation’s capital, so we will be staying at a great hostel giving you the best access to explore the city. We have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board (payable locally).Meals :BreakfastDay 10 : WELLINGTON – NEW PLYMOUTHEnjoy a leisurely breakfast (own cost) before checking out the sights of New Zealand’s beautiful capital before we hit the road for our 11am departure. We travel up the scenic Kapiti Coast towards the Taranaki region – home to wonderful beaches, crashing waves and the spectacular Mount Taranaki, one of the most symmetrical volcanic cones in the world. Our campsite is beside the Taranaki coastline offering a short scenic walk or cycle to camp at the end of the day.Meals :DinnerDay 11 : NEW PLYMOUTH - AUCKLANDWe depart early towards the limestone wonderland of Waitomo Caves, home to an endemic species of glow-worms that inhabit the vast cave systems. Black water rafting is a unique way to experience the caves as you float through the underground maze with the radiant light of the glow-worms to lead the way. We take time to enjoy a picnic lunch before heading to “the city of sails”, New Zealand’s largest city for a taste of big city life “kiwi style” and a great chance to join your group for a taste of the harbour bars and restaurants. Camping isn’t feasible in the heart of the country’s largest city, so we will be staying in a great hostel giving you the best access to explore the city. We have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board (private rooms available on request subject to availability). Payment is required prior to travel through Flying Kiwi.Meals :BreakfastDay 12 : AUCKLAND – BAY OF ISLANDSLeaving Auckland at 10am we head to the "winterless north" and the pristine beaches of the Bay of Islands. We stop at the incredible Uretiti beach for a swim and a walk along the sand. Grab a rugby ball and frisbee off the bus and brush up on your passing skills at this picturesque beach spot. On arrival into Paihia, the gateway town to the Bay of Islands, choose from the Mangrove walk or a beautiful cycle to the thundering Haruru waterfall.Meals :DinnerDay 13 : BAY OF ISLANDSExperience a full day exploring the Bay of Islands and its turquoise waters. This subtropical region is the perfect playground for water lovers and a great place to soak up the sunshine. With a staggering 144 islands, the Bay of Islands offers diving, sailing, swimming and fishing along with some excellent walks in the native forests leading to quiet beaches and special views. This region is also home to some of the oldest European settlement in New Zealand and many historic buildings.Meals :Breakfast, DinnerDay 14 : BAY OF ISLANDS - OREWAThere is a day full of adventure ahead as we travel to the rugged and soulful West Coast. Our first stop comes with a chance to try your skills sand boarding or if you don’t fancy heading down the sandy slopes there’s a nice coastal walk. Then it’s back on board as we head south towards the Waipoua Forest, travelling through the largest remaining tract of native kauri forests in northland. We leave the West Coast and cross back over to the East towards our final destination and camp for tonight, Orewa. Home to one of the Auckland regions longest and safest beaches it’s a great place for a stroll and a swim, or relax at the local hot pools.Meals :Breakfast, DinnerDay 15 : OREWA - AUCKLANDOrewa is often blessed with a beautiful sunrise over the sea which is well worth the early start to check it out. Leaving early from camp we travel the short distance to Auckland arriving there by 9:30am where it’s time to say our final farewells.Meals :Breakfast
8:30 am Christchurch city - Outside Bus Interchange on Lichfield Street, near Colombo Street. The bus will arrive into Queenstown at approximately 4:40pm where a Flying Kiwi guide will be waiting to accompany you to camp.
A Christchurch to Queenstown bus travel voucher will be sent on confirmation of the Reverse Traverse tour.
2019 TOUR DEPARTURE DATES:
November: 1, 10, 19, 28
December: 7, 16
2020 TOUR DEPARTURE DATES:
February: 8, 17, 26
March: 6, 15, 24
Optional hires: You can hire any of the following equipment from us for the duration of your trip or bring your own gear. We charge a small handling fee for those who bring their own bikes but there are no charges for your own tent etc.
$280 Cycle hire for entire trip
$130 Bring your own bike
$140 Single tent upgrade
$ 75 Sleeping bag hire
Hostel nights: There are 2 nights where camping isn't feasible, and we stay in hostels, payable on arrival. We have dorm beds reserved for everyone on board. Contact us prior to travel if you would like to pre-book a private room (subject to availability).
Cabin upgrades (optional): Are available most nights for a small fee, payable on the day (subject to availability). During the peak travel months of Dec, Jan, Feb we recommend pre-booking upgrades prior to travel through the Flying Kiwi office. Pre-booking upgrades incur a 10% pre-booking service fee of the total upgrade cost.
Optional Activities: Most days there are a selection of optional activities you can choose to do (i.e. skydiving, heli hiking etc). Payment for optional activities are made direct to the operator on the day.
Tour extensions If you have a few days after your trip why not extend it with this great trip:
Northern Light Tour - Discover New Zealand's hot spots and the remarkable contrasting northern landscapes on this quick thermal blast! Its a short trip from Auckland to Wellington but its packed with some of the best parts of New Zealand.