Experience the best of New Zealand on this 5* reviewed 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, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, or Piha Beach.
Stay 1 night in Auckland.
Travel time Auckland to Coromandel – 3 hours
Embark on a scenic tour of the Coromandel Peninsula, taking in views of the lush rainforest and idyllic beaches. If the tide is right, visit Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own hot pools, on your way to Whitianga.
Stay 2 nights in Whitianga, Coromandel.
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.
Travel time Coromandel 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. The set has been completely rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in the films. There are spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set, which is still a working sheep and beef farm. You can relax and soak up the unique atmosphere with a great cup of coffee or a light meal in the Shires Rest Cafe.
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.
Stroll through Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve in the morning, where you will have the opportunity to experience the rich Maori culture and soak in a relaxing sulphur spa.
In the evening, enjoy a sumptuous dinner at Rotorua’s most spectacular location – the top of the Skyline Gondola! At the top of the gondola you also have the option to add on a thrilling Luge Ride, enjoy nature walks, and visit the Jelly Belly Shop and Volcanic Hills winery and tasting room.
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.
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Travel time Taupo to Wellington – 4.5 hours
Continue your scenic tour as your guide takes you south to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.
Famous for a vibrant creative culture fuelled by great food, wine, craft beer, coffee and events, Wellington is a cosmopolitan city with an energetic personality.
Stay 2 nights in Wellington.
Your guide will help you become acquainted with this charming city today – 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.
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.
In the afternoon, take a fantastic scenic whale-watching flight and look out for sperm whales, dolphins, and seals.
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.
Travel time Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs – 1.5 hours
When you reach the quiet mountain town of Hanmer Springs, relax and unwind in the hot springs or go for a short guided forest walk with your escort.
Stay 1 night in Hanmer Springs.
Travel time Hanmer Springs to Lake Tekapo – 4.5 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.
While you rest and explore the quaint lakeside town of Lake Tekapo, paying a visit to the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, you have the option to add on a flight-seeing tour of the Southern Alps or a nighttime observatory tour at Mt John.
Stay 1 night at Lake Tekapo.
Travel time Lake Tekapo to Queenstown – 3 hours
As you continue the spectacular drive south, you have the option to make a side trip to Mt Cook Village – ask your guide for more details.
Along the way to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand, your guide will take you to sample the fresh fruit from the orchards of Cromwell. You also have the option to visit several top wineries with your guide on the drive through the Kawarau Gorge.
In the evening, relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. Disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a stunning gourmet BBQ meal and farm tour.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
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.
Upon reaching Milford Sound, you will enjoy a 2.5 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. After your cruise, relax while your coach delivers you back to your Queenstown accommodation.
Explore the Lord of the Rings locations around Queenstown with your guide today 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 relaxing lunch, and soak in the incredible views of snow-capped peaks and turquoise rivers.
Your guide will deliver you to Queenstown Airport for your departing flight.
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