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Explore New Zealand with one of our escorted New Zealand holidays. Private guided trips to New Zealand are an ideal way to explore New Zealand and are personalised to suit your group. Our private guided trips to New Zealand are hosted by one of New Zealand’s leading tour guides. Your guide will meet your group at the airport and chauffeur your group to explore the destinations and activities included in your personalised tour package. They will tend to your needs and share valuable local knowledge with your group to enhance your holiday experience. We can cater for groups between 1-40 people.
Our private guided tour packages are flexible and are booked to suit your group’s travel dates and interests.
Read on for more information on the 30 Day New Zealand 100% Pure Private Guided Tour.
Arrive in Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city and is bordered by two stunning harbours. Our guided trips to New Zealand begin when your tour guide meets you at the airport. First, your guide will take you to your Auckland City accommodation. In the afternoon explore Auckland City with your tour guide.
In the evening enjoy a unique dining experience on Auckland’s magnificent Waitemata Harbour. An on water dining experience is not to be missed in any harbour city, especially in Auckland. Enjoy great sailing and as the sun sets watch the night lights of this photogenic city come alive. Your experienced crew talk about Auckland’s unique features and there is plenty of opportunity to participate in the sailing or sit back and enjoy the sights. Choose from a set menu served by the crew during the dinner stop at a sheltered mooring.
Stay 1 night in Auckland City.
Travel time Auckland to Bay of Islands – 3 hours
Travel to the Bay of Islands, renowned for its 144 islands and surreal maritime park. Here, an abundance of marine life includes whales, penguins and dolphins.
Today, board the Discover the Bay Cruise and see 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 and relax.
Stay 2 nights in Paihia, Bay of Islands.
You choose what you would like to do today.
Relax and enjoy your day in the Bay of Islands. For a great day trip, hop on the ferries from Paihia (passenger ferry) or Opua (vehicle ferry) to Russell. Russell is a significant place in New Zealand’s history, being New Zealand’s first European settlement and sea port, while Okiato, near Russell was New Zealand’s first capital. Russell is also home to the Duke of Marlborough, New Zealand’s first licensed hotel and pub, which has been refreshing rascals and reprobates since 1827! The pub is located on the waterfront in Russell – why not sit back and relax on the verandah overlooking the bay.
Visit the top of Aotearoa (New Zealand) and venture to Cape Reinga via 90 Mile Beach. This full day trip takes you to one of the most northern points of New Zealand where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide.
On the way to Cape Reinga you could visit Gumdiggers park where ancient Kauri forest was buried thousands of years ago. A giant 100,000 year old Kauri tree has been exposed for viewing and is part of a vast forest buried beneath Gumdiggers Park.
To finish your day, you could visit the world famous Mangonui Fish Shop and grab the freshest fish and chips as the sea washes gently beneath your feet.
Travel time Bay of Islands to Coromandel Peninsula – 6 hours
Renowned worldwide as a spectacular holiday destination, with warm white sandy beaches, misty rainforests and wilderness a-plenty, the Coromandel is the ideal place to relax and unwind. Relax on the coastline, exploring beaches, volcanic reefs and the world-famous Cathedral Cove!
In the afternoon, your guide can show you some of the best hidden secrets of the Coromandel. These include lush forest walks and secluded golden-sand beaches.
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. All equipment supplied and no experience necessary. Blue penguins are a common sight year-round.
In the afternoon, visit Hot Water Beach and dig your own hot pool. You also have the option to go for a picturesque walk along this stretch of coastline – the scenery is stunning.
Travel time Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua – 3 hours
Rotorua is distinguished by Maori culture and geothermal activity!
The Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park is Rotorua’s most active geothermal area featuring a walkway lined with unique geothermal wonders and interactive opportunities. Experience the geothermal features with a self-guided map to show you around or join a guided tour of the reserve to learn more about the history, features and uniqueness of the geothermal area.
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 this, the geothermal waters of the Hell’s Gate Sulphur Spa will rejuvenate and refresh you. Relax and take in the surreal surroundings of the wondrous geothermal landscape.
In the evening enjoy a traditional Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi Dinner. Hear stories and learn how Maori traditions live on today. Experience an authentic Maori welcome. Watch a challenge by the Maori warriors, a karanga (call) from the Maori women welcoming you onto the marae, and a whaikorero (welcome speech). Relax and enjoy the beautiful waiata (songs), the world renowned haka (challenge), and the elegant poi dance. Learn Maori customs including Maori musical instruments, haka and poi. The dining experience is a culinary opportunity like no other. Following dessert, you will be transported down into the valley to conclude your evening beside the awe inspiring Pohutu geyser.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
Join the New Zealand Riverjet Thermal Safari, which offers entry into Orakei Korako Geothermal Wonderland and a thrilling jet boating experience. Jet Boat down the Waikato River through the spectacular Tutukau Gorge. See abundant bird life, pine forests, steaming volcanic river banks and trout feeding areas on your way down to Orakei Korako. Walk around this magnificent thermal reserve and see boiling mud, geysers and silica terraces.
The stunning scenery of the mighty Waikato River makes you feel like time stood still as you gently cruise through the spectacular Tutukau Gorge, where canyon walls rise dramatically up to 50 metres above the water. During several stops along the way your driver explains about the rich history of the area and its unique wildlife. Riverjet also likes to offer you a bit of excitement. The jet boat takes you close to obstacles in the water and river banks, and of course you’ll experience the legendary spins.
In the evening, enjoy dinner at Rotorua’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 fresh soups and salads and seafood specialties such as mussels, queen scallops, sushi and sashimi. Enjoy carvery roasts of beef, lamb or pork with specialty sauces to match, with live cooking from your friendly chefs. Add to that a range of sumptuous desserts, and you’ve got yourself a unique dining experience not to be missed. Tiered seating guarantees stunning views from every table!
Travel time Rotorua to Napier – 3 hours
Travel to the East Coast and discover Napier, the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand. Napier is also set within the country’s oldest and second largest wine growing region, Hawkes Bay.
You have the option to visit the National Aquarium of New Zealand, home to the country’s most diverse range of sea life. You might also like to visit Otatara Pa (Maori Fortified Village) which was the largest Pa in the Hawkes Bay region, now a historical reserve showcasing many of the foundations of terraced dwelling sites and food pits. Alternatively, you can explore the Napier and Hasting wine region in the afternoon with your guide and visit vineyards and cellar doors at your leisure.
Stay 2 nights in Napier.
Today enjoy a Safari Overland to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony – the world’s largest, most accessible Gannet nesting place. It’s the only way of being taken right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds and there is no walking required! See over 20,000 gannets, with their distinctive black eye markings and a pale gold crown. In the air above your heads these amazing birds with their six foot wing span swoop and dive as they bring back fish. On the ground, the pairs preen and perform the dance of the gannets’ recognition ritual. The 36km, three hour trip includes a commentary by your tour guide on the farming operation on Cape Kidnappers Station and an introduction to the gannets.
Travel time Napier to Wellington – 4 hours
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, has so much to offer. Set on the edge of a stunning harbour, surrounded by rolling hills, it’s a city rich in culture waiting to be explored. From shopping and picturesque walks, to live theatre, exhibitions, Te Papa Tongarewa the Museum of New Zealand and more – Wellington has something for everyone. Relax and explore Wellington City with your tour guide.
Stay 2 nights in Wellington.
Your guide will help you become acquainted with this charming city today – you can visit top Wellington attractions such as Te Papa, Weta Workshop, Wellington Cable Car, Mt Victoria Lookout and Wellington Zoo. You may also like to visit Zealandia, located a 10-minute drive from downtown Wellington. Hidden in a suburban valley, this project aims to return a 225 hectare section of bush to its pre-human state. Take a walk and hear the songs of the flourishing native bird population.
This afternoon you may like to try the visually stunning Makara Peak track, as well as the City to Sea walk where you can experience the best of Wellington’s waterfront. Ride the cable car up the hill to Kelburn for amazing views over the city and enjoy an ice cream at the top.
You have the option to add-on a Lord of the Rings Tour.
Sailing time Wellington to Picton – 3 hours
Travel time Picton to Nelson – 2 hours
It’s all about the journey today as you board the Interislander Cook Strait Ferry, which will transport you on a scenic cruise to Picton. Back on dry land drive through Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine region, to reach your destination, Nelson. Enjoying New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours, discover the creative paradise that is Nelson, with artists, galleries, boutique shopping, local markets and gourmet cafés, you will soon love the Nelson way of life.
You also have the opportunity to try out one of the adventure activities in the area, including quad bike adventures, horse treks, and the world’s longest flying fox adventure; or pay a visit the Nelson Provincial Museum, New Zealand’s oldest museum. Learn about the region, its people, history, and environments; it includes a temporary gallery which features changing exhibitions. At the end of your visit browse the gift shop for a curated collection of Kiwi-made products, arty objects, exhibition inspired merchandise, books, and stationery.
Stay 2 nights in Nelson.
Today you might like to take a stroll around Queen’s Gardens and enjoy the park’s sculptures, which include The Cupid Fountain, the Water Wheel and the Boer War memorial. You can feed the ducks and stop off for a bite to eat in the café.
You also have the opportunity to visit the Nelson Provincial Museum, New Zealand’s oldest museum. Learn about the region, its people, history and environments; it includes a temporary gallery which features changing exhibitions. At the end of your visit browse the gift shop for a curated collection of Kiwi-made products, arty objects, exhibition inspired merchandise, books and stationery.
Travel time Nelson to Abel Tasman – 1 hour
Today, make your way to Abel Tasman, where inviting sandy beaches fill the spaces between trees and tide line, crystal clear streams tumble down mossy valleys to join the ocean and granite and marble formations fringe the headlands cloaked in regenerating native forest.
You can visit Te Puketea Bay, a perfect crescent of golden sand with a walking track that leads up Pitt Head to an ancient Maori pa (fort) site. Terracing and food pits are still visible, and it’s easy to see why the location was chosen as a defensive site – the views are huge.
Native wildlife is an essential part of the scenery. Tui and bellbird song fills the forest; shags (cormorants), gannets and little blue penguins dive for their dinner; fur seals lounge on the rocks around the edge of Tonga Island.
Stay 2 nights in Abel Tasman
Today, take a boat cruise into Abel Tasman National Park today, where you can relax on the hot golden sand, enjoy a day walk, or simply remain aboard for the return cruise. Soak in the natural beauty and enjoy! This trip allows you to explore sections of the Abel Tasman Coast Track; the boat will stop at scenic points along the way where you can get off and walk a section of the track. The boat will then collect you later in the day. You could also just pack a picnic lunch and beach towels and laze on the beach for the day.
Enjoy a relaxing evening in the Abel Tasman.
Travel time Abel Tasman to Hokitika – 5 hours
Discover the rugged West Coast as you travel to Hokitika, famous for its arts and crafts. Watch a masterpiece being crafted from gold, silver, molten glass, bone, silk or greywacke or carve your own creation from wood or jade “pounamu.” Take in Hokitika’s natural beauty, enjoy its expansive beach or one of the many walking and mountain bike tracks.
While in Hokitika, you may wish to make the scenic drive to Hokitika Gorge, where an impressive turquoise river flows through a narrow canyon, or Lake Kaniere, a beautiful lake nestled beneath the mountains.
You could also visit the National Kiwi Centre, where you will be able to see a rare kiwi; view New Zealand’s living dinosaur, the Tuatara; and participate in feeding the giant eels. Or make a drive north to Shantytown, where you can explore the heritage village, ride the steam train, try your hand at panning for gold, and take old-time styled photos.
Stay 1 night in Hokitika.
Travel time Hokitika to Franz Josef – 2 hours
Continue south, through dense rain forest towards New Zealand’s glaciers.
While in Franz Josef you may wish to soak in the Glacier Hot Pools, nestled in lush rainforest in a haven of natural tranquility. You can walk to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier to take a look at the ice, or enjoy one of the local walks. In Franz Josef township you have the chance to see New Zealand’s rarest kiwi at the West Coast Wildlife Centre, a unique and interactive experience that brings together nature, conservation, and wildlife all under one roof.
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.
Stay 2 nights in Franz Josef.
Enjoy your day in Franz Josef with your guide.
Activity Option: add-on a Franz Josef Terminal Face Walk. This is an informative and leisurely trip to the dynamic face of the glacier. If you want to see blue ice take a famous Franz Josef Heli Hike.
In the evening you have the option to visit the Glacier Hot Pools, this is the perfect way to unwind and experience a blissful state of pure relaxation after travelling along the coast.
Travel time Franz Josef to Wanaka – 4 hours
The change in landscape will amaze you as you travel down the West Coast with peeks of the Tasman Sea. Take the Haast Pass Highway and admire waterfalls and many viewing points and short walks along the way before reaching Wanaka, an alpine paradise with views so good it’s hard to put down your camera.
Wanaka has the buzz of a genuine alpine town and is the ultimate hub for outdoor adventures, and with Mount Aspiring National Park located close by it’s the perfect destination for exploring the Southern Alps.
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Enjoy Wanaka with your tour guide today. You may like to visit the National Toy and Transport Museum, the Warbirds and Wheels Museum or wander through 10 acres of beautiful lavender fields at the Lavender Farm.
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, take a scenic flight. It is not just the outdoor enthusiasts who have plenty to do—stroll the streets and be inspired by galleries and stylish shops, or indulge in a delicious meal from the excellent selection of cafés and restaurants.
Travel Time Wanaka to Milford Sound – 5 hours
Upon reaching Milford Sound you will begin your overnight experience with a
As you explore the fiord, keep a lookout for wildlife, especially fur seals basking on the rocks. In the late afternoon, the Milford Navigator will moor in a sheltered cove, allowing you to go exploring with a nature guide in the kayaks and tender craft (small boat). If you’re feeling brave, you can even go swimming in the fiord’s pure – but cold – waters. As the shadows deepen, the Milford Mariner will return under sail (weather permitting) to Harrison Cove for the night. Enjoy a three-course meal in the cosy saloon and relax in the company of like-minded travellers.
Stay 1 night aboard the Milford Navigator.
Travel time Milford Sound to Te Anau – 1.5 hours
Upon returning to Milford Sound travel to Te Anau.
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. Your Te Anau Glowworm Cave adventure begins with a cruise across beautiful Lake Te Anau on board the catamaran Luminosa to the western side of the lake.
On arrival there is time to view the interesting displays at Cavern House before your friendly guides accompany you underground in small groups. As you explore by path and small boat, your senses will be overwhelmed. 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 1 night in Te Anau.
Travel time Te Anau to Invercargill – 2.5 hours
Flight time Invercargill to Stewart Island – 20 minutes
Travel to Invercargill, where you will enjoy a scenic flight to Stewart Island, New Zealand’s ultimate eco-tourism destination. Its densely forested hills, and untouched coastline of rocky outcrops and creamy golden sand beaches make Stewart Island a haven for native marine and bird life.
Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island, situated 30 kilometres south of the South Island, across the Foveaux Strait. In the Māori language, it’s known as Rakiura which means ‘the land of glowing skies’. You’ll get an inkling why when you see the Aurora Australis which often appears in these southern skies. The 400 or so Stewart Islanders are a proud and independent bunch; but they’re friendly too, you may meet some locals at the local watering hole.
Stay 2 nights on Stewart Island.
Today enjoy the Paterson Inlet Cruise including a visit to Ulva Island. Discover Stewart Island from the water. Enjoy a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet viewing hidden coves and unspoilt beaches.
Along the way learn about the early Maori history and European settlement including whaling. Your skipper and nature guide provide detailed commentary throughout the cruise and are happy to answer any questions. While on board, keep a lookout for fur seals, penguins and other wildlife, as sightings are common. Disembark at Ulva Island, a renowned wildlife sanctuary for a 45-minute guided walk with a specialist nature guide. View rare plants and rich birdlife, including the inquisitive weka, which are often seen on the beach. For the remainder of the cruise around Paterson Inlet, relax on board the modern catamaran and enjoy the coastal scenery before heading back to base.
Flight time Stewart Island to Invercargill – 20 minutes
Take in the stunning vistas on your way to Invercargill, well known for its southern hospitality. Visit art galleries, museums or get close to nature and walk the paths and tracks through Queens Park.
In Invercargill, the Southland Museum and Art Gallery has natural history collections and live tuatara reptiles. Queens Park features, lovely walking tracks, flower displays and sports facilities. To the southeast, Waituna Lagoon is home to abundant birdlife and trout populations.
Relax and explore Invercargill with your tour guide.
Stay 1 night in Invercargill.
Travel time Invercargill to Dunedin – 3 hours
Discover the Catlins Coast, an attraction in itself, whilst travelling to Dunedin, one of the
Stay 2 nights in Dunedin.
Today, venture to Larnach Castle which is situated on the spectacular Otago Peninsula. This castle was built by William Larnach in 1871 offering scandalous and tragic stories, incredible tower views and a exquisite Victorian interiors complete this magical castle.
The gardens at Larnach Castle have been rated by the New Zealand Gardens Trust as a Garden of International Significance. This garden makes up 7 acres of the grounds and with that in mind is well worth exploring! Enjoy the sheer beauty that has been put into this magical venue!
Travel time Dunedin to Queenstown – 3.5 hours
Drive through historic Central Otago, farm land, orchards and vineyards to reach Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital of the world.
Explore Queenstown in the afternoon with your guide. You have the option to visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park, the Underwater Observatory, or ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic views over the Wakatipu Basin.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Today join Nomad Safaris for their Nomad Safaris Skippers Canyon adventure – a half-day 4WD heritage tour that follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. The Skippers Canyon 4WD tour departs from Queenstown heading out towards Coronet Peak. As you head up the mountainside towards the entrance to this spectacular canyon you will stop at The Plane Table, which gives a stunning panoramic view of the Wakatipu Basin.
Follow in the footsteps of many adventurers and discoverers as this winding road brings you to the historic Skippers Bridge, which provides a stunning photo opportunity. After carefully negotiating the bridge, the road continues into the historical township of Skippers. Indulge in morning tea at the Skippers Schoolhouse. On the return journey you will stop at Deep Creek. Here you can immerse yourself in the heritage of the local area by turning your hand to gold panning. Your trained guides will teach you techniques to successfully pan for gold on one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world. Some may also recognise spots along the Skippers Road as being featured in The Lord of The Rings. British Automobile Association voted Skippers Canyon Road as one of the 25 most scenic roads in the world.
Today relax and explore Queenstown and its surrounding towns. Take the picturesque 30 min drive to historic Arrowtown, and enjoy a short walk around the Chinese miners village or along the historic cobble stone streets lined with tiny miner’s cottages. Or add on one of the must do activities in Queenstown.
In the evening relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, the only coal fired passenger carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere. Step aboard – watch the stokers fuelling the fireboxes and hear the hiss of the steam engines working as the TSS Earnslaw takes you on a nostalgic cruise over beautiful Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you will enjoy a stunning gourmet BBQ dinner. An entertaining after dinner farm show provides a glimpse into high country farming life. Then on your return cruise to Queenstown, relax with a drink from the bar or join a fun sing-along with the ship’s pianist and make a toast to a fantastic holiday!
Your Guide will deliver you to Queenstown Airport today for your departing flight.
Because each traveller is different, each of the guided trips to New Zealand we book are different. Your experienced travel consultant will work with you to tailor this itinerary to match your interests and preferences.
In addition, our guided trips to New Zealand are open-dated, which means you can choose your travel dates based on your own schedule.
From couples and families through to larger groups, our guided trips to New Zealand suit all travellers. The per-person price decreases with more travellers, so you have the option to gather a group of friends or extended family for a more affordable tour.
We also offer a range of additional guided trips to New Zealand through our New Zealand Guided Tours brand. Tour in comfort with a luxury vehicle or bus, and enjoy the commentary and local insights of your private guide.
Contact New Zealand Travel Organiser today to begin planning your all-inclusive privately escorted tour.
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