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10-Day Best of the North and South Island New Zealand

10-Day Best of the North and South Island New Zealand

Have you never been to New Zealand? The first question will be, where do you spend most of your time in New Zealand? We understand that if you could come to New Zealand longer, you would. Our utmost priority is to ensure you have the best ten days possible—explicitly tailored to your preferences and interests. Whether you're a nature lover, adventure enthusiast, or cultural explorer, we will customize the itinerary to include activities and attractions that align with your travel style.

Embark on a journey to uncover some of New Zealand's most picturesque and awe-inspiring spots with this 10-day highlights itinerary. Prepare to be enchanted by the mystical glowworm-filled caves and the breathtaking geothermal wonders of Rotorua. Experience Middle-earth with a film tour for 'The Hobbit'—and don't miss the chance to board the TranzAlpine train, a world-renowned journey that traverses the majestic Southern Alps. Indulge your senses with a scenic flight from Franz Josef Glacier, offering a bird's eye view of the magnificent and dramatic landscapes of the West Coast Glaciers. Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of one of New Zealand's top travel destinations, Queenstown. 

Day 1: Auckland arrival
  • Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

  • Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is a multi-cultural urban oasis of food, music, arts, and culture. Its sparkling waters and lush landscapes meet city sophistication.

  • Enjoy a private customised walking city tour and Eat your way through Auckland on this moving feast of delicious food from four varied eateries. An Auckland food tour is the perfect recipe for fun with fellow foodies. With city sights and street art, the icing on the cake! 
Day 2: Auckland - Hobbiton - Waitomo
  • Just south of Auckland lies the Waikato region. Well-known for its underground wonders, black sand surf beaches and rolling green hills, the Waikato region offers many nature-based activities and attractions surrounding a vibrant city hub.

  • Experience Middle‑earth™ with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. Your guided tour starts with a drive through our picturesque 1,250-acre sheep farm, which offers spectacular views across the Kaimai Ranges.

  • Waitomo Caves - Under the green hills of Waitomo lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. The area's name comes from the Maori words wai (water) and tomo (hole). Explore a World of Glow Worms with our Private Cave Tours on our Family Farm! 
Day 3: Waitomo - Rotorua (2 Nights)
  • Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers, and natural hot springs, showcasing our fascinating Māori culture.

  • Join experiences and take an immersive journey where you'll learn about Kiwis, their native environment, and what makes them genuinely iconic worldwide. Delve into darkness and spot Kiwis in our purpose-built nocturnal house, and discover the secrets of the Kiwi in our interactive displays. 

  • Te Puia is New Zealand's geothermal wonderland, featuring dramatic geysers, bubbling mud pools, traditional Māori carvers and weavers at our national schools, Kiwi birds, and our world-famous restaurant, Pātaka Kai. Here, enjoy a conventional Dinner Show and Hangi meal.  
Day 4: Rotorua - Taupo
  • Explore places shaped and coloured by volcanic and geothermal forces for thousands of years. Wai-o-Tapu geothermal area features several exhilarating mud pools, geysers and sulphur pools. View the stunning Champagne Pool or marvel at the force of the Lady Knox Geyser.

  • Lake Taupo is on New Zealand's North Island and is in the caldera of Taupo Volcano. The beautiful Lake Taupō is about the size of Singapore—more of an inland sea. Just north of Taupō, New Zealand's most visited attraction is the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second.

  • The natural thermal springs at Wairakei Terraces in Taupō have provided sanctuary for Māori for hundreds of years. Today, Wairakei Terraces and their soothing hot pools still offer that same feeling of peace and serenity. 
Day 5: Rotorua - flight to Christchurch  
  • Christchurch promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. Lonely Planet describes it as a "vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively." Its energy is evident wherever you go. Contemporary art galleries, boutique shops, and open-air markets add to the city's creative vibe. 

  • For anyone who loves to cook (or eat), Riverside Market is a must-visit location. Comprising 40 carefully curated stalls, Riverside Market has the best of everything, including organic produce, meat, seafood, baked goods, coffee, cured meats, and chocolate.

  • Explore Christchurch's evolving city centre on board our beautifully restored heritage trams, one of the city's best-loved attractions.
Day 6: Christchurch -  Arthur Pass - Punakaiki
  • Explore the Southern Alps aboard the TranzAlpine train - one of the world's great train journeys, covering 223 kilometres (139 miles) one-way and taking just under 5 hours.

  • Discover Punakaiki, the Jewel of the West Coast, which is world-renowned for its pancake rock formations and blowholes. Then, walk along some stunning remote beach treks through a dense rainforest with Nikau Palms and giant ferns. 
Day 7: Punakaiki - Franz Josef
  • You will visit Hokitika's historic gold mining town, where you will walk over a swing bridge to the Hokitika Gorge. This is truly one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand! The stunning turquoise waters and gorge itself are breathtaking. 

  • The glacier of the same name serves the hospitable town of Franz Josef. Stay here while you explore this spectacular World Heritage Area.

  • If you want to make contact with the glacier, take a heli-hike or a guided ice walk to Fox Glacier. Aerial sightseeing is another option.

Day 8: Franz Josef - Queenstown (3 nights)
  • Take a short walk to Lake Matheson and capture the perfect photograph of snow-capped Mount Cook reflected in the dark waters.

  • Travel through Mt Aspiring National Park, named for Mt Aspiring, one of New Zealand's highest peaks. This park is a dreamland of mountains, glaciers, river valleys, and alpine lakes. A hiker's paradise, Mount Aspiring National Park offers many short walks, mainly concentrated at the end of the park's access roads.

  • Wander through beautiful native forests and over a swing bridge to experience the pristine waters of Makarora River's Blue Pools.

  • A popular holiday spot at any time of the year, Queenstown is renowned for its four distinctive seasons. Winter brings crisp, blue-sky days; spring retains the snow but blooms into longer, warmer days; summer offers sunshine and long twilights, and autumn a burst of brilliant red and gold. 

Day 9: Queenstown - Milford Sounds
  • Venture on a breathtaking, romantic scenic flight to Milford Sounds, part of Fiordland National Park, one of New Zealand's iconic sceneries, and internationally recognised as part of the wider World Heritage side.

  • Or take an exhilarating helicopter flight to Earnslaw Burn for that Ultimate Paradise Picnic, surrounded by

    a paradise of hanging glaciers and waterfalls.

  • Take a scenic ride in the iconic Skyline Gondola and enjoy the stunning views as you ride the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere.
Day 10: Queenstown - Arrowtown or Glenorchy
  • Lake Wakatipu is an inland lake near Queenstown. Cruising across Lake Wakatipu on a restored steamship is a blissful way to appreciate the magnificent alpine scenery.

  • Arrowtown is a living historic settlement with many stories to tell. Wander the tree-lined streets of restored cottages and explore gold mining sites. Or, just 45 minutes from Queenstown, Glenorchy is nestled on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu and is the gateway to hiking trails and Middle-earth magic. 

    OUR Selection of Luxury Stays
Plan Your Tour


The itinerary will be 100% tailored to your interest and budget.
A personal and experienced driver-guide will make your trip seamless.
Discover some of the most beautiful locations on earth.
Experience some of the best local activities in New Zealand.

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