Experience the best of New Zealand on this fantastic whirlwind tour. Your private guide will meet your group at the airport and take you on an insider’s tour of New Zealand, visiting iconic landmarks and local secrets alike.
Offering New Zealand’s top escorted tour operators and highly experienced tour guides, we cater for groups between 1-20 people. With no date or itinerary restrictions, your New Zealand tour can be completely customised.
12 Day New Zealand Guided Tour Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Auckland
Your fantastic guided holiday begins in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Home to 1/4 of New Zealand’s population and bordered by two stunning harbours, Auckland is a 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.
Day 2 Rotorua + Maori Evening Experience
Travel time Auckland to Rotorua – 3.5 hours
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.
In the evening, get a taste of Maori culture with a traditional performance and a delicious hangi dinner – cooked underground over slow heat. Following dinner, visit the awe-inspiring Pohutu Geyser, which is beautifully lit at night.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
Day 3 Geothermal Wonders
In the morning, stroll through Hells 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 Hells Gate – enjoy the experience at your leisure.
In the afternoon, you have the option to visit any of the nearby geothermal reserves with your guide. Alternatively, take a day trip to Hamurana—this small township with 900 dwellings is renowned for the stunning Hamurana Springs. A stream-side walk runs through a redwood grove with beautiful views of the crystal clear water that runs into Lake Rotorua.
Day 4 Taupo + Scenic Floatplane Flight
Travel time Rotorua to Taupo – 1 hour
Your geothermal experience will continue as you enjoy the short drive to Taupo, a small town set beside New Zealand’s largest lake. With the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park looming in the distance, and the lake itself formed from an ancient volcanic crater, you will get a close-up look at the immense forces that shaped New Zealand. Visit Huka Falls with your guide and relax on the lakefront.
In the afternoon, sample the best of Lake Taupo on a Peek at the Lake scenic floatplane flight.
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Day 5 Wellington
Travel time Taupo to Wellington – 4.5 hours
Continue south to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Your guide will help you become acquainted with this charming city – you could visit the Te Papa Museum, ride the Wellington Cable Car, visit Weta Workshop, or take in the views from the top of Mt Victoria.
Stay 2 nights in Wellington.
Day 6 Wellington
Today is a free day to relax and explore Wellington. Visit any of the top sights such as Te Papa or Weta Workshop, or add on a Lord of the Rings tour.
Day 7 Scenic Interislander Cruise + Kaikoura
Sailing time Wellington to Picton – 3 hours
Travel time Picton to Kaikoura – 2 hours
Begin your day with a cruise across the windswept Cook Strait.
Upon reaching the South Island, your guide will take you on a scenic drive through the Marlborough wine region, with the option to stop at a winery (or two!) along the way for samples of the award-winning wines.
Spend the evening in Kaikoura, a stunning coastal town with a backdrop of majestic mountains. Be sure to sample the superb local seafood at dinner!
Stay 1 night in Kaikoura.
Day 8 Christchurch
Travel time Kaikoura to Christchurch – 3 hours
Continue down the picturesque east coast to Christchurch, New Zealand’s “garden city.” Explore the city with your guide in the afternoon, visiting the Canterbury Museum, the historic cathedral, and the botanic gardens.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Day 9 Mount Cook Village
Travel time Christchurch to Mount Cook Village – 4 hours
Your scenic journey through the Mackenzie Basin begins today as you cross over Burkes Pass. As the Southern Alps loom before you, there will be photo opportunities around every corner. You have the option to stop for lunch at Lake Tekapo, where you can visit the Church of the Good Shepherd or take in panoramic views of the surrounding mountains from the Mount John Observatory.
Continue past Lake Pukaki on your way to Mt Cook Village, nestled at the foot of New Zealand’s highest mountain.
Option to add on a scenic helicopter flight of Tasman Glacier with a snow landing.
Stay 1 night in Mt Cook Village.
Day 10 Queenstown – The Adventure Capital of New Zealand!
Travel time Mount Cook Village to Queenstown – 3.5 hours
Continue the spectacular drive south. Once you pass over the dramatic Lindis Pass and through the Kawarau Gorge, you will reach Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Explore the town independently in the evening, or add on a lake cruise and high country farm dinner with the TSS Earnslaw to make the most of your holiday.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Day 11 Milford Sound Tour
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.
Day 12 Queenstown
Explore Queenstown winter your guide today, with the option to make a trip to Arrowtown. You’ll be enchanted by historic Arrowtown, a New Zealand treasure located 20 minutes from Queenstown. Arrowtown is charming and quirky – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. 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 – many classy, most individual, and not one from an international chain.
You also have the option to visit wineries in the Gibbston Valley, or enjoy the scenic drive to Glenorchy.
In the evening, celebrate the end of a fantastic holiday with dinner at Queenstown’s most spectacular location – Skyline Restaurant. Sit back and relax as the views from the gondola unfold while you journey to the Skyline complex. The Skyline Restaurant will then serve you a mouthwatering taste of New Zealand, a buffet of legendary proportions. Feast on South Island salmon, seafoods, salads, roast meats and delicious desserts – and feast your eyes on the most spectacular scenery in the country.
Day 13 Depart Queenstown
Your guide will deliver you to Queenstown Airport for your departing flight.
- Exploring the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua – see geysers, bubbling mud pools, turquoise sulphur springs, and colourful sinter terraces.
- Experiencing an authentic Maori cultural show and enjoying a traditional hangi meal cooked underground!
- Visiting the magnificent Huka Falls.
- Sampling the best of Lake Taupo’s natural wonders on a scenic floatplane flight.
- Cruising the stunning Cook Strait on the Interislander Ferry.
- Taking a scenic drive through the rolling Marlborough wine region – maybe even stop to taste a few of the award-winning wines along the way!
- Sampling the famous crayfish, blue cod, and paua in Kaikoura, a spectacular seaside town ringed by mountains.
- Driving through the Mackenzie Basin, with countless photo opportunities along the way – see the craggy, snow-capped Mt Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain), drive past two stunning turquoise lakes, and witness the grandeur of the Southern Alps.
- Staying in Queenstown, the vibrant adventure capital of New Zealand.
- Driving the incredible Milford Highway and experiencing the grandeur of Milford Sound on an unforgettable nature cruise.
Your privately guided tour includes:
- All transportation within New Zealand – you will be collected at the arrivals hall of Auckland Airport, and dropped off at the departures hall of Queenstown Airport
- Excellent 4-star accommodation
- Private tour guide
- Sightseeing and Photo Stops En Route
- Te Puia Te Po Maori Evening Experience with Hangi Dinner
- Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve Walk and Sulphur Spa
- Peek at the Lake Scenic Floatplane Flight over Lake Taupo
- Interislander Wellington to Picton Ferry
- Milford Sound Nature Cruise ex Queenstown by Scenic Coach
** Your privately guided tour does NOT include flights, food (except where included in activities) or travel insurance. **
As guide prices are split between travellers, the pricing will vary depending on the number of travellers on your tour.
1 Traveller: NZD$23,099
2 Travellers: NZD$12,149 per adult | NZD$11,749 per child
3 Travellers: NZD$8949 per adult | NZD$8549 per child
4 Travellers: NZD$7299 per adult | NZD$6949 per child
5 Travellers: NZD$6349 per adult | NZD$5999 per child
6 Travellers: NZD$5699 per adult | NZD$5349 per child
7 Travellers: NZD$5299 per adult | NZD$4899 per child
8 Travellers: NZD$4899 per adult | NZD$4549 per child
9 Travellers: NZD$4899 per adult | NZD$4499 per child
10 Travellers: NZD$4649 per adult | NZD$4299 per child
11 + Travellers: Please enquire for your custom quote