Experience the best of New Zealand on this 5* reviewed iconic private guided tour. We offer flexible New Zealand tours by locals, including the highlights of both islands. Your private tour package has no date or itinerary restrictions.
Our New Zealand guided tours by locals are all-inclusive and fully customisable. Travel with a personal tour guide in your private tour vehicle, with accommodation and activities included. Each of our experienced guides are New Zealand locals, which means they add a vast range of knowledge to their tours.
Your fantastic guided holiday begins in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland.
Auckland is a multi-cultural urban oasis of food, music, arts and culture. World-class shopping and phenomenal dining is never too far from harbours, islands, native bush and black-sand beaches.
Explore Auckland with your guide.
In the evening the fairy lights of Federal Street will lure you into some of the finest restaurants in Auckland or head down to The Viaduct, a food and drinks hub in central Auckland.
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. You will be fully guided around the 12 acre set; past Hobbit Holes, the Mill and into the world-famous Green Dragon Inn. You will be presented with a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit Southfarthing beverage to conclude your own Middle-earth adventure.
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.
Top recommendations for the evening include taking the Skyline Gondola to enjoy a delicious dinner atop the Skyline Complex.
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
Explore Auckland with your guide this evening. You may want to do a spot of shopping at the Britomart Shopping Precinct, Britomart is a treasure trove for fashion, beauty and specialty boutiques. Its hip bars and eateries are also the perfect place to wind down after you’ve shopped up a storm.
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 take you to your Queenstown accommodation.
Queenstown sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges. Let Queenstown awaken your inner-explorer.
Option to visit Arrowtown. Arrowtown is charming and quirky. The heart of its history is Buckingham Street, a procession of heritage buildings that stretches into a tree-lined avenue of tiny miner’s cottages. The buildings in this lovely precinct house shops, galleries, bars and restaurants.
You also have the option to visit top wineries in Gibbston Valley with your guide.
World-renowned for its adventure, Queenstown is home to a huge choice of adrenaline activities including jet boating, bungy jumping, white water rafting, skydiving and even indoor thrills – all guaranteed to get your blood pumping! Add any adventure activity to your tour.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Today, get ready for the world’s most exciting jet boat ride! Shotover Jet is the only company permitted to operate in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons. It’s a thrilling ride, you’ll twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breathtaking speeds. A major highlight – hold tight for the world-famous 360º spins!
In the afternoon discover adventure activities or Queenstown’s Gondola.
Enjoy an iconic Queenstown experience and take the Queenstown Gondola up 450 metres to Bob’s Peak. From the top, enjoy panoramic views. Try your hand at the Queenstown Luge and zoom down the course of banked corners, tunnels and dippers. Add dinner to this experience for a truely memorable experience.
Enjoy a scenic journey through heartland New Zealand to reach Milford Sound. The Milford Road is one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The scenery is exceptional, ranging from dense rainforest, and towering mountains through to glacial lakes and alpine herb fields. The schedule includes plenty of time for short nature walks and photo opportunities along the way.
Upon reaching Milford Sound, you will enjoy a 2 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise. With specialist nature guides on board, RealNZ Nature Cruises offer a close-up experience of Milford Sound. See rainforest, soaring rock walls, towering snow capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, hanging valleys and wildlife. Throughout the cruise, the guides share stories of the fiord’s history and are happy to answer your questions. After your cruise, relax while your guide delivers you back to Queenstown.
*Option to upgrade your return journey to a magical scenic flight from Milford Sound to Queenstown. Please enquire if you are interested in this option.
Travel time Queenstown to Wanaka – 1 hour
Enjoy the scenic drive over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Option to stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel and the Cardrona Distillery.
Wanaka has a reputation for great food and wine, with a wide variety of lakefront bars and restaurants.
You may want to visit Puzzling World, Wanaka’s illusional attraction; the National Toy and Transport Museum or the Wanaka Lavender Farm located just a few minutes from Wanaka, where you can experience 20 acres of beautiful lavender fields, farm animals & display gardens.
Stroll the streets and be inspired by galleries and stylish shops, visit ‘That Wanaka Tree’ for the perfect photo, or enjoy one of the many famous walking tracks such as Mt Iron.
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
Enjoy more West Coast beauty today. You will find an amazing attraction in the West Coast Treetop Walk. The walkway is 450 metres in total and reaches heights of 20 metres giving you fantastic panoramic views. Hokitika is a great location worth exploring, famous for its rugged beach and arts and crafts scene.
Travel north to reach Greymouth where you will climb aboard the TranzAlpine Train, one of the world’s most famous train journeys. Ascend through thick stands of native beech forest before traversing the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape will take your breath away at every turn. Enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River, then cross the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, before arriving in the Garden City of Christchurch.
Your guide will be waiting for you at Christchurch Railway Station ready to take you to your Christchurch City accommodtion.
Choose from your guide’s range of restaurant recommendations as you celebrate your final night in paradise.
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.