Kakapo North and South Island Small Group Tour

from £6046
excluding flights *
20 nights Jan-Mar, Sep-Dec


Moa Trek offer bespoke, small group tours that go off the beaten track to offer a truly unique experience of New Zealand. Travel in spacious, comfortable coaches, seating just 10-18 people. Enjoy the flexibility and personal touch of experienced and friendly driver/guides. Stay in carefully selected accommodation nestled amongst New Zealand's most breathtaking landscapes. Dine on fresh local food at top quality restaurants and cafes.


  • Walk with Maori guides to Tane Mahuta, the giant Kauri tree in the Waipoua Forest
  • Cruise the Bay of Islands with an opportunity to swim with the dolphins
  • Cruise across Lake Rotoiti, Rotorua on a luxury 16-metre catamaran
  • Taste the fine wines of Marlborough
  • Enjoy a nature and wildlife cruise on Milford Sound
  • Take a stunning scenic flight over the Southern Alps
  • View the extraordinary Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier
  • Explore remote Okarito Lagoon and its native bird life by boat or kayak

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathrooms
  • All breakfasts & 3 lunches
  • Excursions as per itinerary

Full description

This itinerary offers the ultimate small group touring experience travelling more off the beaten track in spacious, comfortable coaches. You’ll explore the beautiful Northland, Abel Tasman National Park and Kaikoura coastlines and travel to majestic Tongariro National Park, Aoraki (Mt Cook), Milford Sound and the West Coast rainforests.

Experience a colourful kaleidoscope of country life, Maori culture and leisurely touring with four two-night stopovers and one three-night stopover.

As you explore the diverse landscapes of this incredible country you'll visit iconic sites from the Bay of Island's Cape Brett to the glaciers of the West Coast as well as some out of the way hidden gems. Enjoy a range of experiences from bathing in hot springs to wildlife encounters, wine tasting to scenic flights. This tour will also introduce you to the myths and legends at the heart of the Maori culture.

Moa Trek name all of their tours after New Zealand Native Birds. The rare Kākāpō "parrot of the night" is flightless and can only be found in New Zealand. In 1995 there were only 50 known Kākāpō surviving on a few small island sanctuaries. Today, with a population of 149 and a comprehensive Kākāpō Recovery Programme, the first steps to survival are underway.

Contact our New Zealand specialists now
worldwide team juliette bowes bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

Prices from £ per person

Departure Duration Twin Price (pp) Single Price
19, 23, 26, 30 Jan 2019 22 nights £6,373 £8,049
02, 06, 09, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27 Feb 2019 22 nights £6,373 £8,049
02, 06, 13, 20, 27 Mar 2019 22 nights £6,373 £8,049
03, 10, 17 Apr 2019 22 nights £6,373 £8,049
24 Oct 2019 20 nights £6,046 £7,636
07, 14 Nov 2019 20 nights £6,046 £7,636
12 Dec 2019 20 nights £6,046 £7,636
05, 12, 19, 26 Jan 2020 20 nights £6,046 £7,636
02, 09, 16 Feb 2020 20 nights £6,046 £7,636
01, 12, 19, 26 Mar 2020 20 nights £6,046 £7,636

Note: Tours from October 2019 onwards will not include the first night in Auckland or the last night in Christchurch. Instead your itinerary will start on day 2 and the total tour duration will be 20 nights / 21 days.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom (in quality accommodation chosen for a ‘sense of place’)
  • All breakfasts, 3 special lunches
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Excursions as per itinerary
  • Services of knowledgeable MoaTrek driver/guide
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Group Size:

Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 18

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1 arrive Auckland

On arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your waterside hotel in central Auckland. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the “City of Sails”. The cafes and restaurants on Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter, Princes Wharf and the Britomart Precinct are all within easy walking distance. For great views of the city catch the lift to the top of the Sky Tower or take a five minute taxi ride to the Auckland War Memorial Museum where there is an outstanding collection of Maori and Polynesian cultural exhibits.
Overnight: Sebel Suites, Auckland

Day 2 Auckland – Northland - Hokianga

We depart Auckland for Muriwai Beach on the West Coast where a short walk takes us to close up views of a gannet colony nesting on the cliffs. We continue north to the Matakohe Kauri Museum, dedicated to the mighty kauri tree. From Muriwai we head for Northland, the "birthplace of the nation". Skirting the Kaipara Harbour we continue to the excellent Matakohe Kauri Museum to learn the history and significance of the mighty kauri tree. In the ancient Waipoua Kauri forest we meet our friends from Ngapuhi, the northernmost Maori tribe. Ngapuhi are the guardians of the Hokianga harbour where Kupe "the great navigator" became the first person to set foot on Aotearoa. We’re welcomed with a special "Karakia" from our hosts and then walk to the magnificent kauri tree "Tane Mahuta". We relax over dinner in our beachside accommodation with new friends
Overnight: Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Hokianga

Days 3-4 Hokianga – Bay of Islands

Our day starts with a harbour cruise with another of our Ngapuhi friends, Pete (a real hard case!). He’ll tell you why all Kiwis have heard of Opononi and take us on our first foray off the beaten track, across the harbour for a walk along the deserted beach and for the adventurous, the chance to try sandboarding! Northland is one of the narrowest spots in the North Island which makes for an easy day from the Hokianga to the Bay of Islands on the "other side". We’re in no rush, there’s time for plenty of stops along the way, like the famous Stone Store in Kerikeri, New Zealand’s oldest stone building. We’re now in the beautiful Bay of Islands, where we continue onto our home for the next two nights. From our hotel walk just across the lawn to the Waitangi Treaty House for our guided tour. You’re standing on the spot where in 1840 Maori chiefs and Queen Victoria’s representatives signed the treaty which gave birth to the nation.

On the following day cruise out from Paihia to a maritime park of 144 islands on a catamaran purpose built for dolphin viewing and swimming (gear provided) or alternatively cruise out to the Hole in the Rock and go ashore at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Disembark at Russell, the first capital of New Zealand and a town with a rollicking past. It was known as the “hell hole of the South Pacific" in the 19th century when it was a favourite haunt of whalers and sealers. Stroll the Russell waterfront and the colonial buildings then rejoin the coach to drive up Flagstaff Hill for the great views before catching the vehicular ferry to Opua and driving back to Paihia and Waitangi.
Overnight: Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Bay of Islands (2 nights)

Day 5 Bay of Islands – Kawiti Glowworm Caves – Auckland

Today’s another chance to get off the beaten track, one of the real advantages of travelling in a small group. Our first port of call are the Kawiti Glowworm Caves. The caves are named after the famous Maori chief of the area Kawiti and still belong to his family. His great grandson Te Tawai Kawiti showed the first visitors through the caves in the 1950s. Glowworms are something most Kiwis grew up with but are surprised to learn that they’re extremely rare in other countries. The ancient limestone caves are home to millions of twinkling glowworms including the famous Milky Way cavern that you’ll learn all about from your friendly guide. This afternoon we’ll head back to Auckland for the night, right in the heart of the city in the viaduct.
Overnight: Sebel Suites, Auckland

Days 6-7 Auckland - Rotorua

We head southeast through the lush dairy farmlands of the Waikato. Be enthralled by the dramatic Karangahake Gorge as we take a stroll alongside the Ohinemuri River through native bush to the relics and ruins of this region's gold-mining past.
We pass through Te Puke, the Kiwifruit capital of the world, the landscape dotted with Kiwifruit orchards before continuing on to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Along the way, at Okawa Bay, we board "Tiua", a 53ft catamaran for a relaxing sail on serene Lake Rotoiti to secluded coves and natural hot pools reached only by boat - a great way to finish your day.
The next morning there's time for relaxation. Perhaps stroll down to Lake Rotorua, a minute from your hotel, or enjoy one of Rotorua's many unique attractions. This afternoon we drive out to beautiful Lake Tarawera. At Pounamu Lodge share your experiences over an exclusive lunch with hosts David and Karen, Rotorua locals, who have many stories to tell of their historic links to this region.
Later there's time to further explore Rotorua. The vibrant museum gives a unique insight into the town's rich Maori culture and its significant impact on New Zealand history.
Overnight: Novotel, Rotorua (2 nights)

Day 8 Rotorua - Tongariro National Park

No small group New Zealand tour would be complete without a visit to the surreal, geothermal reserve, Wai-O-Tapu. The bubbling mud pools and incredibly colourful silica terraces are unforgettable.

On the road into Taupo we view the turbulent Huka Falls where the Waikato River thunders through a narrow chasm. From Taupo there are magnificent views across the lake to the three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu (2,797 metres), the highest mountain in the North Island. These mountains of the volcanic plateau are our next destination, the World Heritage listed Tongariro National Park. Take a walk in the park this afternoon.
Overnight: Chateau Tongariro, Tongariro National Park

Day 9: Tongariro Park - Wellington

Our day starts in style, with breakfast at the historic Chateau Tongariro nestled at the base of the mountains. This is the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, from this volcanic plateau we make our way across the high country and down to our capital Wellington. We stay two nights in Wellington as we reckon you can’t miss "the coolest little capital in the world". We’ll check out the city's sights and head up Mt Victoria for the stunning views over the harbour before getting settled for the night. We’re right in the heart of Wellington's vibrant hub of museums, theatres, galleries, boutiques and cafes. Looking for some local flavour? Ask for one of Wellington's trendy craft beers with your dinner (our pick - Tuatara!)
Overnight: The Bolton Hotel

Day 10 Wellington

The day is yours to enjoy. You are at the heart of all the action at The Bolton Hotel, a short walk to the waterfront, Te Papa National Museum and all the eateries and boutique breweries that Wellington is famous for. Wellington is also the spiritual home of "The Lord of Rings" where you can visit Weta Workshop and see how all the props are made or drop into the Embassy theatre which hosted the world premier back in 2003.
Overnight: The Bolton Hotel, Wellington

Day 11 Wellington - Cook Strait - Picton - Blenheim - Nelson

This morning we cruise on the Interislander ferry for three hours across Cook Strait and up beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton. With our feet firmly planted on “Te Waka a Maui”, Maori for the South Island, our first port of call is Forrest Wines for tasting and lunch, right in the heart of the world famous Marlborough sauvignon blanc region. From wine country we head through the heart of Marlborough toward Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Along the way we cross the Pelorus River bridge, scene of the Barrel Run from the Hobbit movies. In Nelson relax and unpack, this is home for two nights.
Overnight: Beachcomber Hotel, Nelson

Day 12 Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park

Today you have a choice of a full scenic cruise or a cruise and walk from Marahau along the stunning Abel Tasman coastline. Abel Tasman National Park is our country's smallest national park. It protects 23,000 hectares of the most natural stretch of easily accessible coastline in New Zealand.
The coastline is characterised by islands just offshore, sheltered waters, estuaries and golden, sandy beaches. Lie on a beach, or even go for a swim if the weather is warm. The park is sheltered from ocean swells, and enjoys a mild climate. After your cruise or walk we return to Nelson.
Overnight: Beachcomber Hotel, Nelson

Day 13 Nelson - Kaikoura

Return to Blenheim through Pelorus Bridge and Havelock and leave behind the dry hills of Marlborough for the Kaikoura Peninsula. The road hugs the rugged coastline between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikoura Ranges as we head south and the views are truly spectacular. Your afternoon is free to explore Kaikoura’s bountiful marine wildlife - a result of the ocean canyon close offshore.
There are many optional excursions including the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway to whale-watching cruises and flights. One of the many highlights is viewing the seal colony with a backdrop of the Kaikoura mountains and coastline.
Overnight: White Morph Inn

Day 14 Kaikoura - Akaunui Farm homestead - Aoraki/Mt Cook

Waking up at the foot of the Southern Alps in the distance, it's just a short hop to visit Akaunui Homestead, a working farm and Canterbury heritage building surrounded by huge gardens. They'll show us round their farm and home, as we enjoy great Kiwi company and fresh produce straight from the garden of our friends, Di and Ian Mackenzie.
After lunch we continue on our journey through Burke's Pass to the spectacular Mackenzie Country for sweeping vistas of tussock lands and the Southern Alps. We’ll make plenty for stops en route, we can’t miss the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise blue of Lake Pukaki. No, we don’t put dye in the lake, it’s that blue!
Overnight: The Hermitage, Mt Cook

Day 15 Aoraki/Mt Cook - Queenstown

Welcome the day at the foot of Mt Cook, at 3,754 metres New Zealand's highest mountain, known as Aoraki “the cloud piercer”. You have the option of exploring the dramatic landscape by taking an early morning walk in the valleys near Mt Cook or treating yourself to a scenic flight or a cruise on a glacial lake.
Travelling south down the Mackenzie Basin, over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged scenery of Kawarau Gorge we reach Queenstown – the adventure capital of New Zealand. Catch the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for breathtaking views. This evening enjoy the variety of Queenstown's cafes and bars.
Overnight: Scenic Suites, Queenstown

Day 16 Queenstown - Milford Sound - Nature Cruise - Scenic Flight - Queenstown

From Queenstown we tour by coach to Te Anau and magnificent Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park. The Milford Road is one of the most spectacular drives on our small group New Zealand tours - dense beech forests, massive mountains, crystal clear waterfalls and mirror lakes.

On arrival in Milford we board a launch to cruise out onto Milford Sound, dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to birdlife, seal colonies and pods of dolphins. A magical flight over the Southern Alps returns us to Queenstown at the end of a fantastic day of touring by land, sea and air.
Overnight: Scenic Suites, Queenstown

Day 17 Queenstown

This picturesque resort is known as an adrenalin adventure destination but there are also many simple and relaxing options as well. With the whole day to discover Queenstown your Kiwi guide will help you plan and enjoy it in the best way possible for you.
You could take a jet boat ride (optional) on the remote and beautiful Dart River in The Lord of the Rings scenery, walk along the lakeshore and the Botanic Gardens or take a thrilling raft ride on the Kawarau River (optional). Other options include wine touring in the acclaimed boutique vineyards of Central Otago, a guided walk on the Routeburn Track or cruising out on Lake Wakatipu.
Overnight: Scenic Suites, Queenstown

Day 18 Queenstown - Arrowtown - Wanaka

Our first destination is the leafy village of Arrowtown where gold mining history comes alive beside the Arrow River. Heading into tussock country, the road climbs up the Crown Range with expansive views of the Gibbston Valley. We call into picture perfect Cardrona Hotel, its history also traces back to the gold mining era, then continue on to Wanaka. We relax with fine local wines and catch up with the locals over a private lunch at a Wanaka homestead.
There's free time after lunch to discover this lovely lakeside town for yourself. You can can bike the lakefront trail, kayak or even walk up to Rippon Vineyard to wine taste with a view.
Overnight: Edgewater Resort, Lake Wanaka

Day 19 Lake Wanaka - Haast Pass - Franz Josef

We drive beside Lake Hawea and the head of Lake Wanaka before reaching the pristine mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass in Mt Aspiring National Park. Well-maintained short tracks through beech forests lead us to cascading waterfalls and clear blue pools where trout lurk.
Continuing north through the lush, primeval rainforest of Westland World Heritage Park, we stop at Ship Creek to stroll the beach and take the boardwalk through swampland rainforest. Lake Matheson is famous for reflections of the Southern Alps and at Fox Glacier we view the glacier descending the mountain slopes
Overnight: Punga Grove, Franz Josef

Day 20 Franz Josef - Hokitika - Punakaiki

We’ve got the whole day to enjoy the beauty of this remote corner of the country. Your choice of a stunning walk to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier or get right out on the ice on a heli hike or glacier landing. Discover, the "wild" West Coast as we head north through countryside dotted with little lakes and boulder strewn rivers, all under the watchful eye of the mighty Southern Alps. Coffee time in Hokitika, once a centre of commerce and the setting for the Man Booker Prize colonial epic ’The Luminaries’. Hokitika people are crafty folk and of course, it’s the Pounamu (greenstone) capital of the country. Arrive in Punakaiki this evening.
Overnight: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

Day 21 Punakaiki

Enjoy a full day to discover amazing limestone cliffs, draped with tropical looking forest, including New Zealand’s only native palm tree, the Nikau. Punakaiki is home to the Pancake rocks, sculpted limestone sea stacks and towering cliffs. Your "Kiwi Guide" will help you with all your options including our favourites, the amazing Nile River glowworm caves. Our home tonight is a stunning spot right on the beach, perfect for a drink to celebrate our last sunset together!
Overnight: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

Days 22-23 Punakaiki - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch

Wake up to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, traverse the stunning Canterbury High Country and cross the plains into the "Garden City" of Christchurch. In most countries this would take days or weeks, in New Zealand it’s easy, we’ve even got plenty of time for short walks and photo stops. Highlights are the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular cantilevered road through towering mountains to Arthur’s Pass National Park. There are dramatic views from the lookout at the top of the Gorge and it's one of the best places to see the hilarious antics of our alpine parrot, the Kea. Stretch your legs in the beech forests at Arthur’s Pass and again at the massive limestone rocks rising out of bare pasture at Castle Hill before we descend Porter’s Pass to the Canterbury Plains reaching Christchurch in the late afternoon.
Overnight: Distinction Hotel, Christchurch
The following morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast before being picked up from your hotel for transfer to the airport for your flight home after your memorable tour. If you have time before your transfer to the airport you could take a walk in one of this Garden City's many parks, a scenic tram ride through the streets or punt on the tree-lined Avon River. Or even catch up on last minute shopping for New Zealand favourites such as merino clothing. Ka kite ano – “See you again”.

Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Hokianga

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Found in a breathtaking setting of charm and grandeur, the hotel's character is a quaint throwback to New Zealand's colonial times.

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Novotel Lakeside, Rotorua

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Located only 5 minutes from Rotorua's town centre, this lakeside hotel has 199 rooms near one of New Zealand's top tourist destinations.

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Chateau Tongariro Hotel

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Set in the pristine world heritage park of Tongariro, this 106-room property sits at the foot of the elegant Mt Ruapehu

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White Morph Motor Inn, Kaikoura

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

A 22-room waterfront hotel, this motor inn is found in the very centre of Kaikoura,…

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Edgewater Resort Hotel, Wanaka

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

With a lakefront location that offers lake and mountain views, this resort hotel in Wanaka has 104 rooms in one of the country's most notoriously beautiful areas.

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Copthorne Hotel & Resort, Paihia

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

With a beautiful seafront setting, this 180-room hotel is found only a short stroll north of Paihia on the way to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

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The Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook

New Zealand

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

Superbly situated in Mt Cook National Park, the Hermitage offers 164 guestrooms with fabulous mountain…

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Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

A stunning eco-tourism hotel with spectacular views of wild West Coast beaches, the Punakaiki Resort offers 26 hotel rooms alongside 37 self-contained suites.

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