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Explore the country on New Zealand escorted tours personalised to suit your group. Our private guided tours 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 1-20 people.
Our New Zealand escorted tours are flexible and are booked to suit your group’s travel dates and interests.
Read on for the full details of our New Zealand escorted tours.
Arrive in Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city and is bordered by two stunning harbours. Your New Zealand escorted tours begin when your tour guide meets you at the airport and takes you to your Auckland City accommodation.
In the afternoon explore Auckland City with your tour guide. You may want to do a spot of shopping at the Britomart Shopping Precinct. Or, if dining with a view is what you’re after, you may like to visit the Sky Tower. Indulge in the delectable fare on offer at the Orbit 360 degree dining revolving restaurant.
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 you will find an abundance of marine life including whales, penguins and dolphins.
Relax in the Bay of Islands for the rest of the day.
Stay 2 nights in Paihia, Bay of Islands.
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.
Travel time Coromandel Peninsula to Matamata – 2.5 hours
Travel to Matamata to discover the real Middle-earth on the most picturesque private farmland near Matamata to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. 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 Café.
Travel time Matamata to Rotorua – 1 hour
Enjoy the scenic journey to Rotorua, distinguished by Maori culture and geothermal activity. This diverse city will put on a display as you encounter geysers, mud pools, steaming craters and 16 beautiful lakes.
Stay in a Hobbit Hole New Zealand. If staying in a Hobbit Hole, Hobbit Hole House or Hobbit Hotel is on your bucket list, we can arrange this for you. We often get asked whether you can rent a Hobbit Hole in New Zealand! There are two properties in New Zealand that offer this experience, Underhill offer hobbit-style accommodation hand crafted with rustic native timbers and ironwork and caters for couples. Huge timber doors open wide to overlook a picturesque pond and farmland beyond. Woodlyn Park offers a Hobbit Motel offering two motels beamed beneath a hill where sheep and donkey wander for grazing. From the exterior, these units look like a perfect Hobbit Hotel. In total, each motel can sleep up to 6 people making it ideal for families. Ask us to include your very own stay in a Hobbit Hole New Zealand!
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua or stay in a Hobbit Hole New Zealand.
The Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park is Rotorua’s most active geothermal area. Hell’s Gate features 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, and 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 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.
Travel time Rotorua to Taupo – 1 hour
Activity Option: add on a Peek at the Lake Scenic Floatplane Flight. Take off from Taupo Bay, past Acacia Bay to Rangatira Point, viewing the crystal clear waters of Whakaipo Bay. Climb up through Mapara Valley, view red scoria quarries, then discover the headwaters of the Waikato River. Fly over the Craters of the Moon and over the Borefields of the Wairakei Power Station. Finally, make a circuit of the Huka Falls and over Taupo to land on the lakefront (20 minutes approx).
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Travel time Taupo to Napier – 2 hours
Head to the East Coast and discover Napier, the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand. Napier is also within the country’s oldest and
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.
Enjoy the drive along the scenic coast from Napier to Te Awanga. Here, visit the world’s largest, most accessible gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand. Gannet Safaris has been guiding visitors over Cape Kidnappers for over 35 years. The safaris are the only way to be driven right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds. There is absolutely no walking required.
You will travel in comfort in the air conditioned 4 x 4 Mini Coach, through Cape Kidnappers Station. Traverse riverbeds, broad rolling pastures, stands of native bush, steep gullies and breathtaking inclines. There is a stop on the way at a spectacular cliff top with panoramic views of Hawkes Bay right across to the Mahia Peninsula. On arrival at the gannet colony, stretch your legs and take in the awe-inspiring scenery from your position at the brink of the cliffs edge – 100 metres above the ocean. Here your driver / guide will serve you light refreshments whilst you enjoy watching the gannets perform around you.
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 concerts, live theatre, exhibitions, festivals, Te Papa Tongarewa the Museum of New Zealand and more – Wellington has something for everyone.
This evening, enjoy a meal at one of the many excellent restaurants that Wellington has to offer.
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. In addition, the City to Sea walk offers the chance to 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
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, your New Zealand escorted tours continue through Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine region. After a scenic drive, arrive in Nelson. Enjoying New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours, Nelson is a creative paradise. With 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 1 night in Nelson.
Travel time Nelson to Abel Tasman – 1 hour
Drive through native bush to reach the Abel Tasman area, renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, rich unmodified estuaries, long sunshine hours and the world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track.
Today make the most of Golden Bay, boasting golden beaches, alpine valleys and tranquil fishing rivers that share a close proximity with the sea. Soak up the breathtaking scenery, arts and crafts, and walking tracks.
You might like to add a must-do kayaking adventure to your package or experiencing the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. This track is the perfect way to explore the beauty of Nelson’s Abel Tasman National Park.
Stay 2 nights in Abel Tasman.
Enjoy a boat cruise into Abel Tasman National Park, where you can relax on the hot golden sand or enjoy a day walk within the park.
You can enjoy a return boat cruise or disembark the boat at a location of your choice and catch another cruise back later in the day. The choice is yours.
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. Stay in Franz Josef Glacier township.
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.
Activity Option: 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 1 night in Franz Josef.
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. Eventually you will reach 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 Queenstown – 1 hour
Travel over the beautiful Crown Range, one of New Zealand’s highest alpine roads, and admire the vistas from fantastic viewing points. Be sure to stop at historic Cardrona Hotel for a refreshment before your arrival into Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital of the world.
Enjoy your time in Queenstown today. You can choose from a range of adventure activities in Queenstown including bungy jumping, skydiving, paragliding, quad biking, zip lining, heli flights or 4WD backcountry safaris.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
In the morning explore the Lord of the Rings film locations around Queenstown on a spectacular half day 4WD adventure! This scenic safari offers breathtaking mountain and forest views along the shore of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and the Paradise Valley. Beyond Glenorchy travel up the Dart Valley to the filming location for Isengard, set amongst snow-capped mountains beside the turquoise waters of the Dart River This setting offers views of Mt Earnslaw and it’s hanging glacier, used in the first instalment of The Hobbit trilogy. Explore the Paradise Forest, the location for the Forest of Lothlorien. Leaving Glenorchy and returning towards Queenstown we stop at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp.
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 fueling 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 four course meal. An entertaining after dinner farm show provides a glimpse into high country farming life. Then on your return cruise, relax with a drink from the bar or join a fun sing-along with the ship’s pianist.
Today relax and explore Queenstown and it’s surrounding towns. Take the picturesque 30 min drive to historic Arrowtown, and enjoy a short walk around the Chinese
Or add on one of the must do activities in Queenstown.
Travel time Queenstown to Te Anau – 2.5 hours
Journey alongside Queenstown’s stunning Lake Wakatipu and then through lush green farm land to reach Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
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 2 nights in Te Anau.
Travel time Te Anau to Milford Sound – 2.5 hours (each way)
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 2.5 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise. With specialist nature guides on board, RealNZ 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 Dunedin via the Catlins – 5 hours
Enjoy vistas of rolling farmland, whilst
In the afternoon, your guide will show you around Dunedin – you have the option to visit Larnach Castle, Speight’s Brewery, Olveston Historic Home, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, or the stunning Otago Peninsula.
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 Mt Cook Village – 4.5 hours
Cross the barren Mackenzie Country to reach the glacial lakes as you journey towards Mount Cook. In the afternoon visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre offering a 2D and 3D theatre and world-class definition Digital Dome Planetarium. You will also find a museum showcasing the history of the Mount Cook region through transport, climbing, and pioneer extraordinaire, Sir Edmund Hillary.
Stay 1 night in Mount Cook.
Travel time Mt Cook Village to Akaroa – 5 hours
Today journey to Akaroa, this historic French and British settlement is nestled in the heart of Banks Peninsula. Banks Peninsula is noted for its beauty and unique wildlife as craggy volcanic peaks give way to sandy beaches and two magnificent harbours.
Explore the village, with its colonial architecture, galleries, craft stores, restaurants, cafés, cheese factory, museum and a nationally significant mosaic sculpture garden.
Stay 2 nights in Akaroa.
Today join Pohatu Penguins Nature Tours – Pohatu is home to the largest Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Enjoy a scenic 4WD Nature Tour!
This is a scenic 4WD adventure over one of the highest passes on Banks Peninsula. It enables you to experience the spectacular and dramatic scenery from crater rim of ancient Akaroa Volcano to volcanic coastal cliffs and Akaroa Head Reserve & Lighthouse. Includes a scenic drive to Pohatu Marine Reserve with photo stops en route, penguin monitoring during penguin breeding season, a walk through the beautiful Tutakahikura Scenic Bush Reserve, opportunity to view the Banks Peninsula Tree Weta; great variety of native birds, photo stop at crater rim, visit a working sheep farm, scenic drive to Akaroa head reserve and lighthouse, plus enjoy tea, coffee and a muffin.
Travel time Akaroa to Christchurch – 1.5 hours
Travel to Christchurch today. Christchurch is a vibrant, energetic city where urban regeneration, creativity, and innovation thrive. Picture amazing street art, innovative projects, a booming hospitality scene and state-of-the-art architecture that is changing the way the city looks, feels and functions – all the while staying true to its heritage and traditional English feel.
You will experience some of Christchurch’s
As your New Zealand escorted tours come to an end, enjoy your last evening in Christchurch. Raise a glass to a fantastic New Zealand Guided Tour!
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Depart Christchurch. Your guide will personally deliver you to the airport ready for your departing flight.
Our New Zealand escorted tours are fully customisable and date-flexible. As you begin the planning process, your personal travel consultant will discuss your interests and preferences to ensure your tour matches exactly what you are looking for.
We specialise in providing New Zealand escorted tours for groups of all sizes, from couples through to groups of 40 travellers. Our tour vehicles are comfortable and convenient, from 4WD vehicles for couples to buses for large group New Zealand escorted tours.
From the moment you arrive in New Zealand to the moment you depart, our New Zealand escorted tours take care of every detail. Your guide will collect you from the airport and chauffeur you to each destination. Along the way, he or she will offer restaurant recommendations and take you to scenic viewpoints.
Contact New Zealand Travel Organiser today to begin planning New Zealand escorted tours.
We also offer a range of New Zealand escorted tours under our New Zealand Guided Tours brand.