Experience the best of both islands on this top New Zealand family vacation. We offer the best flexible New Zealand escorted tours with no date or itinerary restrictions. Book the best for your family on this privately guided tour of New Zealand inclusive of a private tour guide and chauffeur plus private touring vehicle. This New Zealand family vacation can be customised to suit your interests and budget.
Your intriguing guided holiday begins in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Surrounded by rugged mountains and bordered by the turquoise waters of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a vibrant, buzzing mountain paradise.
Queenstown sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges. Let Queenstown awaken your inner-explorer. Whether you’re interested in exploring trails, indulging in food and wine, seeking adrenaline thrills – there are adventures to be found here of all tastes and tempos.
Explore Queenstown with your guide, with the option to visit the Kiwi Bird Life Park, take a stroll along the lake, or ride the Skyline Gondola for panoramic views over Queenstown.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Enjoy a quintessential Kiwi experience – a delicious gourmet BBQ lunch and a farm tour in a stunning lakeside setting. Your experience starts with a cruise aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw across to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Once there, you can sit back on the lakeside terrace of the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant and savour the delicious aromas as our chef has the best of local produce, sizzling away on the grill. After lunch, you can join an entertaining farm demonstration or explore the beautiful lakeside gardens.
In the afternoon visit Arrowtown with your tour guide. This charming gold rush village sits in a natural paradise. A Queenstown “must-do.” Arrowtown is a lively, quirky, historic village. So many pleasures to choose from – Arrowtown satisfies many sides of your personality. The nature lover, photographer, the museum visitor, the shop browser.
Prepare yourself for the ultimate Jet Boating experience with Shotover Jet – the unique, breathtaking white water ride and adrenaline rush you’ll never forget. From the moment the accelerator hits the floor, your adrenaline hits the roof. You’ll speed over 10cm deep water, along the famous Shotover River and deep into the spectacular Shotover River Canyons.
Continue your quest for adventure and choose from any adventure activity on offer in Queenstown; bungy jumping, skydiving, paragliding, quad biking, zip lining, heli flights, 4WD off-roading, you name it we can book it.
Travel time Queenstown to Te Anau – 2 hours
Tick off any last wish list activities in Queenstown in the morning, before following Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. Te Anau is the hub of Fiordland National Park and offers visitors a great base for visiting Milford Sound.
In the afternoon, take the magical Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour. Explore a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in silent darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of thousands of glowworms. In this mysterious underground world, discover fossils and rock formations, and view rushing waterfalls and whirlpools. Learn how the caves are still being carved out by the incredible and relentless power of nature before gliding through silent darkness to the glowworm grotto. The delicate incandescence of thousands of tiny glowworms is a magical sight!
Stay 2 nights in Te Anau.
The Milford Road (between Te Anau and Milford) is one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The scenery is exceptional, ranging from broad grassy flats, 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, Real Journeys Nature Cruises offer a close-up experience of Milford Sound’s rainforest, soaring rock walls, towering snow capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, hanging valleys and wildlife… words just don’t do it justice, you have to see it for yourself! Throughout the cruise, the guides share stories of the fiord’s history and are happy to answer your questions.
Travel time Te Anau to Wanaka – 3 hours
Continue to Wanaka, an alpine town boasting panoramic views and a relaxing atmosphere.
Wanaka has a reputation for great food and wine, with a wide variety of lakefront bars, cafés and restaurants serving exceptional local cuisine.
The crystal-clear water of the lakes and rivers are ideal for kayaking, fishing, lake cruises, and jet-boating, or to get an aerial perspective of the region and take a scenic helicopter flight.
Explore Wanaka with your guide – 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.
Test out your fishing skills at “Hook”, Wanaka’s very unique interactive Lake to Plate dining experience. Catch a Chinook salmon from the scenic spring-fed fishing lakes and then relax as the team prepares it for you. No experience is necessary and fishing equipment can be hired on the day.
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 a 20 minute scenic helicopter flight sweeping above Westland National Park as you explore Franz Josef Glacier before landing in the snow to enjoy exceptional views of the majestic Southern Alps. There’s nothing like having your feet on the ground at this elevation and really feeling like you’re part of the beautiful landscape. A very popular option to look at the spectacular glacier landscapes.
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 in the evening.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Explore Christchurch with your guide, options include; experiencing Christchurch Tramway, Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Punting on the Avon River or visit the International Antarctic Centre.
At midday catch a domestic flight from Christchurch to Auckland to start your North Island adventure. (Cost of flight not included in package, please enquire for indicative pricing).
Arrive at Auckland Airport and get on the road, first stop Rotorua!
Travel time Auckland to Rotorua – 3 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, enjoy dinner at Rotorua’s most spectacular location – Skyline Restaurant. Sit back and relax as the views from the gondola unfold on your journey to the Skyline complex. The Skyline Restaurant will then serve you a mouthwatering taste of New Zealand cuisine.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
In the morning stroll through Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve, where you will have the opportunity to experience the rich Maori culture and soak in a relaxing sulphur spa.
Next visit the National Kiwi Hatchery for an exclusive behind the scenes private tour. This comprehensive 1-hour guided experience is a truly unique opportunity to learn about the world-renowned kiwi hatchery conservation program. You are invited to step ‘behind the glass’ for an immersive experience to join the hatchery team in a staff-only area to learn about the incubation and chick rearing techniques from global experts. Afterwards, take more time to learn in the interactive kiwi burrow and see adult kiwi roam and forage.
There is more to see! In the evening experience New Zealand’s cultural side with a evening of Maori Culture and delicacies. See a real life haka and be touched by a traditional Maori welcome. Then feast on the three course meal cooked in the traditional hangi pits. Finish your evening next to a fascinating geyser watching it erupt under the night sky.
Travel time Rotorua to Matamata – 1 hour
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 Coromandel Peninsula – 2 hours
Renowned worldwide as a spectacular holiday destination, with warm white-sand beaches, misty rainforest and wilderness aplenty, the Coromandel is the ideal place to relax and unwind.
Whitianga is the main settlement of Mercury Bay, an attractive township with a deep-water harbour. Whitianga has an excellent selection of restaurants and cafes.
Home to the world renowned Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, Mercury Bay is known for its variety of marine experiences both on and under the water. From kayaking and fishing in and around the Mercury Islands to scenic boat trips in the Te Whanganui-O-Hei Marine Reserve, Whitianga and Mercury Bay have it all. Experience the magic and relax in the unspoiled playground of Mercury Bay – a recreational haven just waiting for you.
If the tide is right, visit Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own hot pools and lap up the scenery.
Stay 2 nights on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Today, join the Glass Bottom Boat for a unique boat cruise. Depart from the Whitianga Wharf to explore the breathtaking volcanic coastline, including the famous Cathedral Cove. See the stunning Champagne Bay, plus a range of blow holes and sea caves, including Orua’s Sea Cave, the second largest sea cave in New Zealand! See what lies above and below the surface in the Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve and be amazed by all the marine life to be seen. You can choose your own level of fun. Either sit back and enjoy the amazing marine life through the glass boat, or take the plunge and snorkel amongst the fish.
In the afternoon, your guide will show you some of the best hidden secrets of the Coromandel, including lush forest walks and secluded golden-sand beaches.
Hahei is located 35 km or 30 minutes drive South East of Whitianga. Hahei is an attractive beach, fringed with pohutukawa trees and drifts of pink shells at the northern end. The offshore islands provide something of a breakwater, making this sheltered beach ideal for swimming, boating and snorkeling. Hahei also offers a number of cafes making it the perfect spot for lunch.
Travel time Coromandel to Auckland – 3 hours
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. The Auckland Museum is well worth a visit. With internationally significant Māori and Pacific collections to explore, the Auckland Museum is a must-see place to experience our rich culture.
Option to visit top attractions such as the Sky Tower and Mt Eden’s volcanic crater.
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 2 nights in Auckland.
Explore Auckland with your guide, visiting top attractions such as Mt Eden’s volcanic crater, Waiheke Island or Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium.
At midday head to sea as you finish your New Zealand holiday with a very memorable Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari! Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is home to resident populations of whales, dolphins and seabirds and visited by a staggering one third of all marine mammal species found on earth. Departing directly from the Viaduct Harbour in down-town Auckland, be welcomed aboard a purpose-built research vessel the ‘Dolphin Explorer’ for an unforgettable 4.5hr eco-safari of whale watching, dolphin watching and seabird spotting on the sparkling waters of the Hauraki Gulf.
Your guide will deliver you to Auckland Airport for your departing flight.
Guided tours are the perfect choice for your New Zealand family vacation. Here are a few reasons why:
Contact New Zealand Guided Tours to begin planning.