Experience the best of New Zealand on this 5* reviewed iconic private guided tour. Offering the best flexible New Zealand escorted tours with no date or itinerary restrictions. Book the best on this privately guided tour of New Zealand inclusive of a private tour guide and chauffeur plus private touring vehicle.
Your fantastic guided holiday begins in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Home to one third of New Zealand’s population and bordered by two stunning harbours, Auckland is thriving, diverse city surrounded by natural wonders.
Explore Auckland with your guide, visiting top attractions such as the Sky Tower, Mt Eden’s volcanic crater, Waiheke Island, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, or Piha Beach.
Stay 1 night in Auckland.
Travel time Auckland to Matamata – 2 hours
Experience the magic of Middle-earth as you tour the Hobbiton Movie Set, where the charming village from The Lord of the Rings has been brought to life.
Travel time Matamata to Rotorua – 1 hour
Enjoy the scenic drive through rolling farmland to Rotorua, the geothermal capital of New Zealand. Tour the exciting geothermal attractions with your guide, visiting sulphur springs, mud pools, geysers, and sinter terraces.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
In the morning, stroll through Hell’s Gate, a steaming thermal reserve. See bubbling mud pools, steaming craters, mineral pools, learn about New Zealand’s history and culture, and even try Maori weaving and wood carving! After you have explored the thermal reserve, enjoy a relaxing sulphur spa overlooking the reserve. There is no limit on how long you can spend at Hell’s Gate – enjoy the experience at your leisure.
In the evening, enjoy a Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi Dinner. Hear stories and learn how Maori traditions live on today. Experience an authentic Maori welcome. Watch a challenge by the Maori warriors, a karanga (call) from the Maori women welcoming you into the marae, and a whaikorero (welcome speech). Relax and enjoy the beautiful waiata (songs), the world-renowned haka (challenge), and the elegant poi dance. Learn Maori customs including Maori musical instruments, haka and poi. The dining experience is a culinary opportunity like no other. Following dessert, you will be transported down into the valley to conclude your evening beside the awe-inspiring Pohutu geyser.
Travel time Rotorua to Waitomo Caves – 2 hours
Venture off the beaten track as your guide takes you on a scenic drive to the Waitomo Caves. The land is wilder around here, with limestone outcroppings emerging from farmland and densely forested hills rising all around, but the wildest landscape of all lies underground.
Witness the marvels of these vast caverns as you explore two fantastic caves – the Ruakuri Cave, home to a dizzying array of cave formations, and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where you will be dazzled by a galaxy of glowworms overhead.
Travel time Waitomo Caves to Auckland – 2.5 hours
Return to Auckland in the evening and relax in the city.
Stay 1 night in Auckland.
Board a domestic flight today from Auckland to Queenstown (price of flight not included in holiday package). Upon arrival in Queenstown, your guide will collect you at the airport and take you to your accommodation.
In the afternoon, you have the option to visit the historic mining community of Arrowtown with your guide or visit a few top wineries in the Gibbston Valley.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
In the morning, get ready for the world’s most exciting jet boat ride – Shotover Jet!
Explore the Lord of the Rings locations around Queenstown with your guide in the afternoon on an excursion to the stunning Glenorchy region. Stop along the way for majestic views up Lake Wakatipu, and visit the stunning Paradise Valley and Dart Valley at the head of the lake. Along the way, you will get the chance to see the filming locations for Isengard, Lothlorien, and Ithilien Camp.
Stop in Glenorchy for a coffee or a relaxing lunch, and soak in the incredible views of snow-capped peaks and turquoise rivers.
Embark on a scenic coach journey to Milford Sound, known as the “eighth wonder of the world.” As you venture deep into the heart of Fiordland National Park, you will get the chance to stop and view a number of must-see destinations along the way.
At Milford Sound, witness the grandeur of this mighty fiord up close on a 2.5-hour nature cruise.
Travel time Queenstown to Wanaka – 1 hour
Your scenic tour will continue as you enjoy the drive over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Your guide will stop along the way for photos at fantastic viewing points.
Explore the alpine town of Wanaka in the afternoon – your guide could take you to Puzzling World or Rippon Winery, or you could simply relax on the lakefront and do a bit of boutique shopping.
Stay 1 night in Wanaka.
Travel time Wanaka to Franz Josef – 4 hours
The Haast Pass Highway is one of the most scenic alpine routes in New Zealand. Explore the pass with your guide, stopping to view cascading waterfalls, broad alpine meadows, craggy snowcapped mountains, and the turquoise depths of the Blue Pools.
Continuing along the West Coast, your guide will take you to Lake Matheson, where you can take a 20 minute walk (one-way) to the jetty, to admire the reflected views of the Southern Alps on the surface of the lake.
In the afternoon, take an unforgettable helicopter flight over Franz Josef Glacier, where you will land in the snow to enjoy incredible views of the majestic Southern Alps.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Travel time Franz Josef to Greymouth – 2.5 hours
Train travel time Greymouth to Christchurch – 4.5 hours
Leave the rugged West Coast behind today as you board the TranzAlpine Train for a fantastic journey through Arthurs Pass. Travel past the soaring peaks and braided rivers of the Southern Alps, through the gorges of the Waimakariri River, and past the rolling Canterbury Plains.
Your guide will meet you at the train station and bring you to your accommodation.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Your guide will deliver you to Christchurch Airport for your departing flight.
Take a look at our 14-day guided tour. Or check out some recommendations for choosing the perfect New Zealand guided road trip itinerary–no matter the length of your stay.
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