based on 13 nights inc. flights & selected experiences
* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
Price based on 2 people sharing.
Explore the highlights of both the North and South Islands of New Zealand
Perfect for couples or families alike
A great itinerary for those wanting to explore New Zealand by car, at their own pace
A diverse range of scenery, from lakes and rolling hills to glaciers and mountains
The climate in New Zealand is incredibly pleasant, with warm and balmy summers and cold crisp winter months with wonderful clear, blue skies. The warmer high-season months of November to April are perfect for outdoor exploration. The colder months of June to August are the best time to ski.
Both North and South Islands are drier on the east coast, rather than on the west, where mountain ranges act as a trap for the moisture-rich winds from the Tasman Sea. It is also worth remembering that it is usually a few degrees cooler on the South Island than the North Island and as New Zealand has a maritime climate, the weather can change rapidly.
Experience the highlights of the North and South islands of New Zealand on this classic tour of Aotearoa. Discover our top picks from cosmopolitan Auckland to geothermal Rotorua, Art-Deco Napier to the marine Mecca that is Kaikoura.
Starting in Auckland, take in the sights of this buzzing city and its surroundings either by foot or even air. Explore the many shops and boutiques of Queens Road or climb to the summit of Mount Eden – the highest mainland volcano for breath-taking views over the city and the Hauraki Gulf. We have included a tour to the neighbouring island of Waiheke, renowned as a place of beauty and at just a mere 40 mins ferry journey away, it’s a must visit. On arrival you will be whisked around the island visiting both small and large wine producers, sampling both wines and matching foods as you revel in the spectacular scenery. From rolling vineyards to coves where sailing boats dot the horizon, Waiheke offers the ultimate introduction to New Zealand’s wine and scenery.
From the bustling city of Auckland, drive south to the geothermal heart of New Zealand Rotorua, a culturally rich area where boiling mud pools and spouting geysers can be found in abundance. Included is a tour of the award-winning cultural attraction, Te Puia. Enjoy a Maori guided tour of the geothermal landscape admiring the bubbling mud pools and spontaneously spouting geysers before visiting the resident kiwi house to catch a glimpse of these elusive nocturnal animals. After exploring the parks natural wonders you will be treated to a cultural Maori performance where you will get to see the Haka performed from within a traditional treaty house. The rest of your time is at leisure in Rotorua. You might like to visit the Polynesian Spa - a natural geothermal spa overlooking Lake Rotorua or drive to nearby Taupo to enjoy a relaxing luncheon overlooking New Zealand’s largest lake.
Continue further south to the Hawkes Bay region, famed for its superb wine and varied gastronomic scene. Your base here is the town of Napier, completely rebuilt after an earthquake in 1931 in the art deco style of the era. Spend your time in Napier at leisure. You might like to join one of the daily free art-deco guided city tours or jump on the traditional Hawkes Bay Express – a replica steam train offering guided tours of the area. Alternatively visit one of Hawkes Bay’s many wineries and enjoy an iconic cellar doors experience sampling a variety of wines from producers big and small.
Fly to the South Island to the superb wineries of the Marlborough Nelson wine region. Collect your car hire and spend a few nights on the edge of Abel Tasman National Park one of New Zealand’s sunniest areas and a favourite destination for Kiwi’s to holiday. Hire bikes and explore the many cycling tracks around the coast or cycle the Great Taste Trail travelling along purpose-built cycle paths through the areas many wineries and vineyards. Included is a full day cruise around Abel Tasman National Park’s coastline where you will get the opportunity to kayak independently around the waters coming face to face with inquisitive dolphins before enjoying a freshly prepared luncheon on one of the empty beaches.
Your next destination is the coastal town of Kaikoura on the South Island’s east coast. A small resident settlement this town is famous New Zealand wide for its huge variety of marine life. Nestled in the shadows of the Kaikoura Ranges and the mighty Pacific Ocean the waters of the Hikurangi Trench attract a huge variety of whales from the year-round resident Sperm whales to orcas, Dusky dolphins and if you are lucky sometimes even the immeasurable blue whale. We have included a must-do whale watching experience here.
Your last destination on this classic tour of New Zealand is the garden city of Christchurch. At leisure here, you might like to explore the ingenious pop-up mall made entirely of shipping containers or enjoy an emotional concert in the carboard cathedral- a life-size cardboard replica of Christchurch Cathedral that was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake. Stoll amongst the beautiful flora and fauna of Hagley Park or enjoy a leisurely punt along the River Avon, reminiscing about your classic exploration of the world’s youngest country.
Discover the varied delights of the Hawkes Bay region on this private full day tour. With each tour being custom designed you can rest assured that you will experience the Best of the Bay tailored exactly to your needs.
Make one of life's dream a reality and not only watch dolphins in the wild but get the chance to swim with them as well, just off the coast of Kiakoura.
Waiheke Island located in Auckland’s Hauruki Gulf is renowned for its verdant vineyards, empty beaches and freshly caught seafood. Explore this island escape on a guided food and wine tour.
Experience the sheer adrenaline rush of the Huka Falls Jet, as you speed along the Waikato River at an incredible 80km an hour.
Each year in Kaikoura New Zealand fur seal pups can be seen resting and playing in the fresh water while their mothers are out at sea fishing. Enjoy a guided kayaking excursion to watch these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
Immerse yourself in Maori culture with an evening of storytelling, food and entertainment, as well as a chance to visit some of Rotorua’s stunning natural sights.
Enjoy a scenic train journey from Christchurch to visit Arthur's Pass. Crossing the Canterbury Plains, you will visit this beautiful National Park, which sits 740m above sea level.
Take to the seas off the coast of Kaikoura to search for New Zealand's marine giants. Sperm Whales, Orca and migrating Humpbacks all frequent the inky depths hunting for squid in the Hikurangi Trench.
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Auckland, New Zealand
Rotorua, Central North Island, New Zealand
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Abel Tasman, New Zealand
Kaikoura, Canterbury and the West Coast, New Zealand
Christchurch, Canterbury and the West Coast, New Zealand
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