This luxury tour is a delight for the most discerning travellers. We have picked the most beautiful locations this country has to offer and included some great lightt adventure for any fitness level.
You will stay in luxury boutique hotels, exclusive B&Bs and private lodges and find that each enjoys a certain style and charm, great for relaxing. Travel times are kept as short as possible.Plan Your Tour
Private guided tour itinerary - 13 nights
Day 1: Auckland arrival - domestic flight to Bay of Islands (Day for relaxing)
Day 2: Bay of Islands (Fly/drive tour to Cape Reinga, afternoon for relaxing)
Day 3: Bay of Islands - Auckland (Explore the city of Sails)
Day 4: Auckland – Rotorua –Taupo (Maori cultural village, geothermal areas, Huka Falls)
Day 5: Taupo (Day Trip to Volcanic National Park, dinner/cruise/fishing on a private yacht)
Day 6: Taupo – then Domestic flight to Nelson/South Island - Golden Bay
Day 7: Golden Bay – Remote Lodge/ Sheep farm station (Day for your own leisure)
Day 8: Nelson – Punakaiki/West Coast (Buller Pass, Pancake Rocks)
Day 9: Punakaiki - Franz Josef Glacier (Glaciers, Helicopter flight and landing on glacier ice)
Day 10: Franz Josef Glacier - Haast - Mt Aspiring National Park - Wanaka (Rainforest walks, wetlands, and remote water-falls)
Day 11: Wanaka - Queenstown (Central Otago Wineries, Kawarau Gorge, Arrowtown)
Day 12: Queenstown – Day trip to Fiordland National Park (Scenic flight and cruise at Milford Sound, Glenorchy)
Day 13: Queenstown (day for your own leisure)
Prices: We recommend the following guidelines for customized tour packages, excluding international flights:
4* (3* internationally) to 5*: From around NZ$ $400 - $1150+ per person per day. The customized package will include accommodation, airport transfers and other transportation within New Zealand, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip. Please enquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.
After landing take a short domestic flight to the Bay of Islands. Here a taxi will await you to take you to your first nights stay in Russel. Dotted with 144 islands and a myriad of secluded beaches, the entire region offers a fantastic opportunity to fish in waters that are rich with an abundance of sea-life! We arrive in Paihia, the centre of the beautiful Bay of Islands, and the first European settlement in New Zealand. In Opua, you board the car ferry to Russell, where you will experience New Zealand’s volatile colonial history. Take time out to have lunch in one of the historic buildings, enjoying glorious views out over the idyllic wharf and then settle into your accommodation for the evening, and enjoy a leisurely dinner in the Russell township.
Take a fly/drive tour to Cape Reinga. The initial stage of the tour consists of a flight up to Cape Reinga via Northlands spectacular harbours, such as the Whangaroa Harbour and the Rangaunu Harbour. We also pass across some beautiful beaches such as Coopers Beach, Doubtless Bay and of course the famous Ninety Mile Beach. From Ninety Mile Beach you then fly inland where you land at an airfield, which is only 20km from the Cape Reinga lighthouse. Once on the ground, a comfortable air-conditioned mini-bus will meet the aircraft. It will take you on a 2½ hour tour around the top of New Zealand. After a 20 minute drive, you reach the Cape Reinga Lighthouse where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. A local guide will accompany you on your walk to the lighthouse, sharing the myths and legends of this very spiritual area. The return flight to the Bay of Islands includes some of the most spectacular coastal scenery Northland has to offer. In the afternoon, we can organise a fast boat cruise around the many islands that make up the Bay of Islands, passing through the famous “Hole in the Rock” at Cape Brett, a fascinating natural geological attraction. If you would just prefer to relax you can spend the afternoon strolling the beach, and the shops for local arts and crafts, enjoy a game of golf or take lunch at one of the areas wonderful vineyards... there are many excursions available.
Driving distance 3h
Start off your private guided tour! In the morning we take you back to Auckland. Here you can spend the day in the Inner City and near the America’s Cup Village and visit the nearby Viaduct Basin and its many lively bars and restaurants. Walk onto Queen Street and explore the new Britomart. Britomart is a vibrant shopping, entertainment and business precinct in the heart of downtown Auckland. Surrounded by beautiful heritage buildings, it’s a neighbourhood of buzzing restaurants and bars, world-class fashion boutiques and interesting art spaces. Worth a visit is also the new Auckland Art Gallery with a collection numbering 15000 works. The Gallery's collection includes major holdings of New Zealand historic, modern and contemporary art, and outstanding works by Maori and Pacific Island artists, as well as international painting, sculpture and print collections ranging in date from 1376 to today. Visit the nearby unique harbour and the Auckland Fish Market, an easily accessible and captivating destination for locals and tourists alike. The Fish Market building hosts a variety of fresh seafood retailers, a boutique food market, restaurants, licensed cafes, an extraordinary wine encounter and the ever popular Auckland Seafood School. At lunchtime, the open-air courtyard and cafes bustle with a steady stream of diners. By night it's the aromas of Asia that permeate the air as the standalone Hong Kong style and Korean eateries, come into their own. Or simply take a ferry to Waiheke Island, renowned for its beautiful landscapes, excellent vineyards and fine restaurants.
Accommodation: City Centre Auckland
Driving distance 3h
In the morning we leave Auckland and your tour arrives in the geothermal capital of Rotorua around midday. Set amidst a landscape of erupting geothermal activity, hot thermal springs and hot bubbling mud pools is the Living Maori village of Whakarewarewa. Discover the unique lifestyle and traditions. Join a guided tour and see the wonders of Mother Nature and learn how Maori have come to live in harmony with this unique environment. From here you will also see the world-famous Pohutu Geyser, the largest geyser in the Southern hemisphere. Following on from this you take another journey through a world of unique thermal formations at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. View the fascinating 'Champagne Pool” and experience the panorama of vividly colourful hot and cold pools, steaming fumaroles and hot boiling mud pools. Your tour then continues through the Waikato region, one of New Zealand’s greenest places, and richest agricultural regions. You will pass land with lush grass for raising cattle, thoroughbred horses and vast stands of exotic timber. En route to Lake Taupo you will stop at the Huka falls, these spectacular falls roar through a 15-m wide chasm before plunging a further 11-m. Your final destination for the day is Lake Taupo, the largest Lake in the country.
Accommodation: Lake Taupo
Driving distance 2h return
As well as being the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo is also the world’s largest volcanic crater, created in one giant explosion. The ash cloud floated all over the world - ice samples from as far apart as Antarctica and Alaska have determined the explosion to have occurred in 186 AD. The effects of the ash were even recorded in China and Rome. You can gather your own free volcanic souvenir from the shoreline in the form of very light pumice stones (great for cleaning off rough skin) which were spewed out in that eruption. Just about everywhere you look in the Lake Taupo region, you'll see a volcano. Passing the lake shore we reach the park ranges, which include wildly differing landscape and scenery: from deserts to vast areas of tussock land, mountain beech forests and wetlands, all with a mix of native flora and fauna. You will see active volcanic craters, natural springs, and valleys filled with jagged lava flows. Driving through the National Park area, which is a World Heritage Site, you will get superb views of the volcanic peaks of Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. These are the highest and largest active volcanoes in New Zealand. For dinner, we have organised a boat cruise on Lake Taupo, where you can just relax and reflect on the day’s adventure or catch one of the many rainbow trout for your evening meal. The vessel is 60 foot long and the fish will be caught by down-riggers.
Accommodation: Lake Taupo
Driving distance 3h
Your guide will await you at the airport in Nelson to start your journey through the South Island. The Nelson district is known for its irresistible blend of lifestyle and stunning landscape at the top northwest corner of the South Island. Apples, cherries and classic wine varietal grapes are well suited to the mild climate around the Nelson areas. From there we take you over Takaka Hill and drive to “Golden Bay” New Zealand's best-kept secret because there is only one road in. On the drive over the Hill, you catch your first sight of Golden Bay and it takes your breath away. The idyllic charm and lifestyle of the Bay attract an interesting variety of artists and crafts-folk. In this hidden corner of New Zealand are the world-class Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks and the famous Farewell Spit and Waikoropupu (Pupu) springs. The "Pupu" springs, as they are affectionately known to the locals are home to the clearest spring water in the world (the only place with clearer water is the salt water Weddell Sea in Antarctica). Underwater clarity tests have shown the water from the springs to have underwater visibility of 63 metres! After your small walk, we take you on an unpaved road to the beautiful rugged coastal wilderness of New Zealand's West Coast and to your accommodation. This unique Lodge is nestled on a large private peninsula at the top of the South Island, located directly at the mouth of Whanganui Inlet, near the Golden Bay.
Accommodation: Golden Bay
Day free for the guide! Westhaven Farm is also a working farm with 800 Perendale sheep and 70 llamas. Guests are always welcome to come along as the owners go about the farm chores, which can include moving stock around the farm, or shearing sheep in the wool-shed. The quickest shearing time per sheep is around one minute – impressive! You can fully explore the stunning 350 ha peninsula via six very different walking tracks which allow easy access to all the most special places and many different beaches. Go alone for solitude and discover the natural wonders. In the morning walk the stunning Nikau track. The Nikau forest track takes you through the 2nd largest Nikau forest in New Zealand and underneath a towering Camel Rock before arriving at a delightful hard sandy beach which faces out onto the Tasman Sea, called Turtle Bay. If you are lucky you may see a wild pig, which is a common occurrence by guests. This place received its name from a huge leatherback turtle that got washed up here a long time ago. You'll find fascinating rock pools and even Paua at low tide amongst the rocks which are easy to scramble over. In the afternoon take a walk up to the Hill Top Walk. It is an easy 15-minute stroll from the turn off along the Westhaven main farm access track and gets you right up into the craggy battlements of one of the highest limestone ridges on the property. The magnificent 360 degrees views of the surrounding ocean, inlet and mountains make this one lookout not to miss! Allow two hours return if walking to and from the lodge.
Accommodation: Golden Bay
Driving distance 4h
Depart Golden Bay for the start of your 'Wilderness Tour'. Your tour takes you deep into the heartland of the south. Your first encounter will be through the Buller Gorge. The West Coast – New Zealand’s longest region – is a narrow 600km stretch of wild coastline, mountain peaks, glaciers, clear lakes and sparsely populated towns. This immense untamed natural environment is New Zealand’s most protected region. Your day has an interesting flavour of mountains, and native flora and fauna, as you travel through the rugged terrain that divides the east from the west. From Westport, your journey winds its way through the western slopes of the West Coast which displays a series of magnificent mountain ranges, and native New Zealand vegetation. Nearing the coast it passes through typical West Coast coastal flax flats before emerging onto a coastal headland with stunning views up and down the local coastline. In the afternoon walk the Truman track. The track begins in the beautiful sub-tropical rainforest of ferns, Nikau palms, rimu etc. We follow the windy road along one of the most stunning coastlines in the country. We stop and stay at Punakaiki the jewel of the West Coast, and is world-renowned for its pancake rock formation and blowholes. Walk along some of the stunning and remote beach treks, through a dense rainforest with Nikau Palms and large ferns.
Accommodation: West Coast
Driving distance 3h
The West Coast is an immense untamed natural environment and is New Zealand’s most protected region. From Greymouth, your journey winds its way through the western slopes of the West Coast which displays a series of magnificent mountain ranges, and native flora. Hokitika; known both for gold and coal mining in New Zealand. We take a leisurely and scenic drive to the famous glacier region and your day’s itinerary will end in the tiny settlement of Franz Josef. In the afternoon experience awe-inspiring views of Mt Cook and Tasman and breath-taking views of the glaciers and neves. Two glaciers are located only 25 km from each other and are unique in the world as they seem to nearly reach the ocean. Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier snowfields with a landing at high altitude. Step out of your helicopter and experience how it feels to stand in snow. The flight includes fantastic views of the Tasman Glacier and Mount Cook.
Accommodation: Glacier area
Driving distance 4h
Your journey today takes you on a spectacular and scenic road that links Haast and Wanaka. It goes through golden tussock-covered hills, to wind among steep mountains cloaked in lush rainforest and across tumbling rivers. En route just 20 minutes from Haast take a 20-minute walk to the Roaring Billy Waterfall, an easy fern line walk will take you to the shores of the Haast River. Later on, your guide will make a short stop at the 28 metre drop Thunder Creek falls and will then take you on to the Blue Pools where you take a 30 minute return walk. It features a carefully maintained gravel path and board-walks that wind through a native silver beech forest and lead to a swing bridge strung high above the Makarora River. The views back to the mountains of the Main Divide are absolutely breath-taking. The glacier-fed water in these deep pools is the colour of deep azure blue, and so clear that you can see right to the bottom, making the resident brown trout look like they are suspended in the air. As you exit Mt Aspiring National Park you will travel through what is known as “The Neck” a formation of land that separates two of our great South Island lakes Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. Wanaka is a new and modern Alpine resort and mostly visited by us New Zealanders. A year-round destination set against the pristine alpine backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park, you can still discover that totally relaxed Kiwi way of life at Lake Wanaka.
Driving distance 1h 30 minutes
Central Otago is New Zealand’s fastest growing wine region and also it’s most scenic. Take the time to explore these incredible vineyards set in small micro-climates in a landscape dominated by high snow-capped mountains, and tussock clad slopes. Travel to Cromwell and Bannockburn, the heart of Pinot Noir country, and depending on your personal tastes, we will guide you to a selection of boutique wineries. At some stage of the wine tour, we suggest a stop for a relaxing lunch at one of the wineries. Your drive takes you through the famous Kawarau valley and gorge. Stop at, what is widely regarded as a safe spectator attraction, the famous Kawarau Gorge Bungy Jumping exhibition (this is free for spectators, however, if you desire to make a jump the charge is additional to your tour package). Your guide takes you on to Arrowtown, a historic colonial village that takes you back into the Gold Mining days of the Otago region. From there the journey takes you past the Eastern shores of Lake Wakatipu and to Queenstown. Queenstown is the top adventure and activity centre in New Zealand. Most of the cast of the Lord of the Rings were based here and major parts of the movie where filmed in this region. End of private guided tour. Highly recommended: Jet boating, helicopters and four-wheel driving are synonymous with the adventurous spirit of New Zealanders. Wanaka River Journeys, Aspiring Helicopters and Ridgeline Adventures have combined to bring you an amazing day of breath-taking, once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Experience the rugged beauty and solitude of the spectacular high country, with this exclusive 4WD journey exploring a historic New Zealand sheep, cattle and deer farm, Maori and European historic sites, pure mountain air and breath-taking scenery. This journey offers a unique insight into Wanaka’s rich history, heritage and modern-day farming life. In the afternoon we have organised an exhilarating jet boat adventure on the Matukituki River. Join us on this truly unique, full-day adventure set in one of the most spectacular glacier formed landscapes in the Queenstown/Wanaka region: The Matukituki Valley. This is pure wilderness, history and discovery at New Zealand’s natural best.
Driving distance 1h
In the morning you are taking a flight/cruise excursion into the Milford Sound. It was described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world” which was carved out during successive ice ages and, at its deepest point off Mitre Peak, plunges to a depth of 265 meters. The awesome splendour of this region is unsurpassed anywhere else in the World, a daring claim in a country which offers extraordinary beauty around every corner. At Milford Sound, your launch cruise travels the full length of Milford Sound. Return to Queenstown via the famous Sutherland Falls and glaciers of the Fiordland National Park. Upon returning to Queenstown you guide takes you 45 minutes west where you find a little paradise at the tiny settlement of Glenorchy. This is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand and a favourite location in several Hollywood film productions and commercials around the world. Glenorchy is one of the gateways to Mt Aspiring National Park covering a large World Heritage area. Travel further into the Park along a most picturesque river and multiple river arms to a forest glade. The high peak of Mt Earnslaw and its Glacier is powering over this area. Surrounded by awe-inspiring peaks and mysterious hidden valleys shrouded in native Beech forest, your specialist guides will bring to life the variety of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife within this unique area, as well the captivating stories of the original Maori and early pioneers. In Glenorchy take a short walk through the flatlands to the lagoon. Or Recommended - Helicopter flight to Doubtful Sound: The helicopter will collect you from the landing post near the lodge property. After leaving picturesque Queenstown, you fly over vast NZ high country, large-scale sheep and beef farms, secluded alpine lakes, extensive NZ native forests with towering mountains as far as the eye can see. Doubtful Sound is a massive wilderness area of rugged peaks, rainforest and twisting, hidden inlets - all deep in the heart of Fiordland National Park. Known for its pristine beauty and wildlife, Doubtful Sound is the second largest of the 14 fiords in Fiordland National Park and is three times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound. It is home to bottlenose dolphins and fur seals. Last day with private driver-guide!
Queenstown is the Southern Hemisphere’s premier four season lake and alpine resort. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown’s stunning scenery is inspiring and revitalising. The region is renowned for incredible adventure activities and spectacular outdoor terrain. You could try skiing, snowboarding, bungy jumping, paragliding, jet boating, skydiving and more! Or, if you want something a little more relaxed, you can choose from numerous family activities, nature experiences, tours and beauty spas. Please talk with us. Our team of experts is very happy to assist you with any further enquiries. Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath majestic mountains. There’s a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you’ll find a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping.
A taxi will take you back to your departing flight from Queenstown airport.