Experience the best of New Zealand on this iconic private guided tour. Your private guide will meet you at the airport and take you on an insider’s tour of New Zealand, visiting iconic landmarks and local secrets alike. Offering the best flexible New Zealand escorted tours with no date or itinerary restrictions.
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 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 Bay of Islands – 3 hours
Leave the city behind as your tour continues north to the Bay of Islands, a stunning stretch of coastline with secluded beaches, forested hills, and fantastic marine wildlife.
In the afternoon, board your premium cruise ‘Discover the Bay’ and see for yourself the best of what the Bay of Islands has to offer. Journey to the Hole in the Rock and if weather permits, sail through it. See marine wildlife including Dolphins and stop off at Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island to have a swim, go for a walk, have a bite to eat and relax.
Stay 2 nights in Paihia.
Discover the wild northern reaches of New Zealand today with your guide – venture past forests and farmland and windswept beaches on the journey to Cape Reinga, where a lighthouse marks the northernmost tip of New Zealand.
On the way, take in the vast expanse of 90 Mile Beach and visit an ancient Kauri grove hidden within lush native bush.
Travel time Bay of Islands to Coromandel Peninsula – 6 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.
Discover the rugged coastline today on a boat tour that takes through the marine reserve and past immense sea caves and sandy bays. Stop at the famous Cathedral Cove to soak in the views! Explore places only accessible by boat, including coastal islands in the marine reserve and spectacular sea caves. When the tide is right, you will be taken inside an amazing blowhole 80 feet high – a truly magical place.
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 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.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
Stroll through Hells 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! The Skyline Restaurant will then serve you a mouthwatering taste of New Zealand, a buffet of legendary proportions. 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.
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.
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 Christchurch – 2.5 hours
With a thriving restaurant scene, a string of beautiful parks, and a historic town centre, Christchurch is an excellent holiday destination.
Explore Christchurch with your guide, visiting the botanic gardens, the Christchurch Cathedral, the RE:Start Container Mall, and the Canterbury Museum.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Travel time Christchurch to Mt 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. Continue past Lake Pukaki on your way to Mt Cook Village, nestled at the foot of New Zealand’s highest mountain.
In the evening, take an unforgettable scenic helicopter flight over Tasman Glacier, with a fantastic snow landing. Encounter the incredible vistas of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, with unsurpassable scenery in every direction!
Stay 1 night in Mt Cook Village.
Travel time Mt Cook Village to Wanaka – 2 hours
The scenery remains just as spectacular as ever while you continue your tour south to Wanaka, an alpine town boasting panoramic views and a relaxing atmosphere. Along the way, your guide will take you to sample the fresh fruit from the orchards of Cromwell.
Explore the town with your guide, with the option to visit Puzzling World or Rippon Winery, take a scenic drive into Mt Aspiring National Park, or enjoy a peaceful lakeside stroll.
Stay 1 night in Wanaka.
Travel time Wanaka to Te Anau – 3 hours
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.
Visit Arrowtown with your guide on your way through Queenstown, and explore the quaint historic mining settlement. If there are any Lord of the Rings fans in the group, your guide will show you the filming locations for Minas Tirith, Argonath, the Misty Mountains, and the Ford of Bruinen.
In the afternoon, continue to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Stay 2 nights in Te Anau.
Embark on a fantastic journey along the Milford Highway today to New Zealand’s most iconic fiord – Milford Sound. Travel with a small tour group on this extended day trip to Milford Sound, stopping along the way for countless scenic photo opportunities and short walks plus a delicious morning tea. At Milford Sound, enjoy a scenic nature cruise that takes you up close to the majesty of the fiord – you might even spot keas, seals, dolphins, or the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin!
Travel time Te Anau to Dunedin via the Catlins – 5 hours
Along the way to Dunedin, your guide will take you on a tour of the remote Catlins coast, where you will find pounding waterfalls, an iconic lighthouse, lush native bush, a petrified forest, and maybe even penguins and dolphins! Stop for a number of nature walks and photo opportunities along the way, and soak in the wild natural beauty.
In the evening, relax in Dunedin, where you will find a number of striking historic buildings in the compact town centre.
Stay 2 nights in Dunedin.
Today, join the Taieri Gorge Railway for one of the world’s great train trips, an experience not to be missed. Departing from Dunedin’s beautiful railway station, the Taieri Gorge Railway begins its scenic journey into some of New Zealand’s most rugged, ever-changing scenery. The train travels into the Taieri Gorge, a narrow and deep canyon carved out over aeons by the ancient Taieri River. The train negotiates the gorge with ease as it travels through ten tunnels and over countless bridges and viaducts.
In the afternoon, your guide will show you around Dunedin – you have the option to visit Larnach Castle, the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, Speight’s Brewery, or the Otago Peninsula.
Travel time Dunedin to Queenstown – 3.5 hours
Your adventure continues through the ever-changing hills of Central Otago, past bluffs and gorges, farmland and vineyards, to reach Queenstown.
Start your stay in the adventure capital of New Zealand with a bang as you ride the thrilling Shotover Jet through the spectacular canyons of the turquoise Shotover River! It’s a thrilling ride – skimming past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet ‘Big Red,’ you’ll twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breathtaking speeds. And a major highlight – hold tight for the world-famous full 360º spins!
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Travel into the past today on the Skippers Canyon 4WD safari. As you travel along the fantastically rugged backcountry road, you will have the opportunity to visit a number of historic icons – and even pan for gold.
Relax and soak in the atmosphere in Queenstown, or ask your guide to take you on a scenic drive to one of the nearby towns or viewpoints. Arrowtown is fantastic thing to do in 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.
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.
In the evening, celebrate the end of a fantastic holiday 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.
Your guide will deliver you to Queenstown Airport for your departing flight.