30 Day New Zealand Trilogy Private Guided Tour Package
Explore New Zealand with a private guided tour 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 private guided tour packages are flexible and are booked to suit your group’s travel dates and interests.
Private Guided Tour Package Includes:
- Private tour guide / driver
- Private vehicle (0 – 18 months old) including fuel and airport transfers
- 30 Nights in 4 Star Accommodation
- Bay of Islands Hole in the Rock Cruise
- Hahei Explorer Boat Tour to Cathedral Cove
- Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
- Entry to Rotorua’s Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve
- Te Puia Te Po Maori Evening Experience including Hangi Dinner
- Overland Safari to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony
- Interislander Cook Strait Wellington to Picton Ferry
- Abel Tasman Boat Cruise
- The Safaris of the Scenes – Glenorchy
- TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruise & Walter Peak High Country Farm Evening Dining
- Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour
- Milford Sound Nature Cruise
- Taieri Gorge Railway Adventure
- Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorers Pass Mount Cook
- Pohatu Penguins 4WD Adventure
- Christchurch Gondola, Tramway, Punting and Botanical Garden Tour
Day 1 Arrive Auckland
Arrive in Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city and is bordered by two stunning harbours. Your tour guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your Auckland City accommodation.
In the afternoon explore Auckland City with your tour guide.
Stay 1 night in Auckland City.
Day 2 Bay of Islands + Hole in the Rock Cruise
Travel time Auckland to Bay of Islands 219 km / 136 miles, 4 hours
Travel to the Bay of Islands, renowned for its 144 Islands and surreal maritime park where an abundance of marine life includes whales, penguins and dolphins.
In the afternoon enjoy the must do Hole in the Rock Cruise. Discover the world famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ on the biggest vessel in the bay and look out for dolphins, whales, birds and other wildlife (lifetime mammal viewing guarantee). Cruise among the 144 islands the Bay of Islands is famous for and enjoy the stunning scenery and informative commentary about marine mammals, geography and history.
Stay 2 nights in Paihia, Bay of Islands.
Day 3 Bay of Islands
You choose what you would like to do today.
Activity Option: Our top pick is to venture off-road to Cape Reinga via 90 Mile Beach! This full day tour takes you to one of the most northern points of New Zealand where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide. You also get to visit Gumdiggers park where ancient Kauri forest was buried thousands of years ago; experience a 4WD drive tour along 90 Mile Beach, the chance to climb the giant sand dunes and toboggan back down and to finish your day visit the world famous Mangonui Fish shop and grab the freshest fish and chips as the sea washes gently beneath your feet. For other options please ask.
Day 4 Coromandel Peninsula
Travel time Bay of Islands to Coromandel Peninsula 406 km / 252 miles, 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!
Stay 2 nights in Whitianga, Coromandel.
Day 5 Cathedral Cove Boat Tour
Today discover the excitement and adventure of the Hahei Explorer boat tour to Cathedral Cove – the most photographed beach in New Zealand. Penguins, seals and dolphins are a big favourite when they take time out of their schedule to visit the boat. Visit 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 visit attractions, such as Hot Water Beach with your tour guide.
Day 6 Hobbiton > Rotorua
Travel time Coromandel Peninsula to Matamata 151 km / 93 miles, 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 Cafe.
Travel time Matamata to Rotorua 68 km / 42 miles, 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 2 nights in Rotorua.
Day 7 Hells Gate + Maori Cultural Experience
Stroll through Hells Gate in this morning, to view a steaming thermal reserve, with mud pools, craters and activites including the chance to try Maori weaving and wood carving.
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.
Day 8 Taupo
Travel time Rotorua to Taupo 76 km / 47 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy a short drive south to Taupo, rich in natural beauty with attractions such as the Huka Falls, relaxing boat cruises, and bungy jumping.
Activity Option: add on a Peek at the Lake Scenic Floatplane Flight as you 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, followed by a circuit of the Huka Falls, over Taupo to land on the lakefront (20 minutes approx).
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Day 9 Napier
Travel time Taupo to Napier 140 km / 86 miles, 2 hours
Head to the East Coast and discover Napier, the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand, which is also within the country’s oldest and second largest wine growing region, the Hawkes Bay.
Option: 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.
Day 10 Cape Kidnappers Gannet Safari
Enjoy the drive along the scenic coast from Napier to Te Awanga and then visit the worlds 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 – traversing riverbeds, broad rolling pastures, through 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 gannets you can stretch your legs and take in the mouthwatering 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.
Day 11 Wellington
Travel time Napier to Wellington 369 km / 229 miles, 5 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.
Stay 2 nights in Wellington.
Day 12 Wellington
Explore Wellington with your Tour Guide visiting top Wellington attractions such as Te Papa, Wellington Cable Car, Mt Victoria Lookout and Wellington Zoo.
Option to add-on a Lord of the Rings Tour.
Day 13 Interislander Ferry + Nelson
Sailing time Wellington to Picton 70 km / 43 miles, 3.5 hours
Travel time Picton to Nelson 156 km / 97 miles, 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 galleries, boutique shopping, local markets and gourmet cafes, you will soon love the Nelson way of life.
Stay 1 night in Nelson.
Day 14 Abel Tasman
Travel time Nelson to Abel Tasman 47 km / 29 miles, 1.5 hours
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.
Stay 2 nights in Abel Tasman.
Day 15 Abel Tasman Boat Cruise
Today enjoy a boat cruise into the 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.
Day 16 Hokitika
Travel time Abel Tasman to Hokitika 377 km / 243 miles, 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.
Stay 1 night in Hokitika.
Day 17 Franz Josef
Travel time Hokitika to Franz Josef 136 km / 85 miles, 2.5 hours
Continue south through dense rain forest towards New Zealand’s glaciers. Stay in Franz Josef Glacier township.
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.
Day 18 Wanaka
Travel time Franz Josef to Wanaka 284 km / 176 miles, 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.
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Day 19 Wanaka
Relax in Wanaka, exploring attractions with your guide such as Puzzling World, the National Toy and Transport Museum, the Warbirds and Wheels Museum, Have a Shot, Rippon Vineyard and Tasting Room and Paradiso Cinema.
Day 20 Queenstown
Travel time Wanaka to Queenstown 68 km / 42 miles, 1 hour
Travel over the beautiful Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest State Highway 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.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Day 21 Queenstown 4WD Safari + Lake Cruise with High Country Farm Dinner
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.
Day 22 Queenstown
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 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.
Day 23 Te Anau + Glowworm Caves
Travel time Queenstown to Te Anau 171 km / 106 miles, 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.
Day 24 Te Anau > Milford Sound
Travel time Te Anau to Milford Sound 116 km / 72 miles, 2.5 hours
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, 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.
Day 25 Dunedin
Travel time Te Anau to Dunedin 287 km / 178 miles, 4 hours
Enjoy vistas of rolling farmland, whilst traveling to Dunedin, one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the southern hemisphere. Dunedin offers a diverse range of experiences including the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, the Speight’s Brewery, Larnach Castle and of course the stunning Otago Peninsula.
Stay 2 nights in Dunedin.
Day 26 Dunedin + Taieri Gorge Railway
Today board the Taieri Gorge Railway – one of the world’s great train trips. Departing from Dunedin’s beautiful railway station the Taieri Gorge Railway begins its scenic journey into some of New Zealand’s most ever-changing, spectacular and iconic scenery. The train travels through the Southern parts of Dunedin city, across the Taieri Plains and then climbs into the Taieri Gorge, a narrow and deep gorge 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. The train will stop or slow down at various scenic points along the way for photos where you can disembark and stretch your legs and enjoy the best of beauty, peace and quiet that nature has to offer. Stand on the open air platforms while the train moves or enjoy a quiet drink and food from the on board cafe while our train manager tells the story of the nature and history of the area in an entertaining and informative live commentary.
Day 27 Mount Cook + Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Travel time Dunedin to Mount Cook Village 309 km / 192 miles, 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 deﬁniti® 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.
Day 28 Akaroa
Travel time Mount Cook Village to Akaroa 378 km / 234 miles, 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.
Stay 2 nights in Akaroa.
Day 29 Akaroa + Penguin Nature Safari
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.
Day 30 Christchurch Day Out
Travel time Akaroa to Christchurch 81 km / 50 miles, 1.5 hours
Travel to Christchurch today and experience all four Christchurch must do activities! Christchurch Gondola, Tramway, Punting on the Avon River and Botanical Gardens Tour.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Day 31 Depart Christchurch
Depart Christchurch. Your guide will personally deliver you to the airport ready for your departing flight.