This tour is ideal for a small family. Driving distances are kept short, but you will still see most of the highlights of our country. We have also included some great fun activities for the whole family.
Take some time to relax in beautiful locations or add additional excursions for the more adventurous.Plan Your Tour
Private guided tour itinerary - 9 nights
Day 1: Auckland arrival (airport transfer, day to your own leisure and to explore the city of sails)
Day 2: Auckland-Bay of Plenty/Rotorua (Rainbow Springs, Skyline gondola and Luge)
Day 3: Rotorua - Day trip to Taupo (Maori cultural performance, Pohuto Geyser, Geothermal areas, Jet boat to Huka Falls)
Day 4: Rotorua – Domestic flight to Christchurch/South Island - Arthur Pass - West Coast
Day 5: West Coast - Franz Josef Glacier (Hokitika Gorge, Treetops walk, Glaciers area)
Day 6: Franz Josef - Haast - Mt Aspiring National Park - Wanaka (Rainforest walks, wetlands, and remote water-falls)
Day 7: Wanaka - trip to Fiordland (Scenic flight/cruise at Milford Sounds, Puzzling world)
Day 8: Wanaka - Queenstown (Central Otago Wineries, Kawarau Gorge, Arrowtown)
Day 9: Queenstown (Day to your own leisure or more additional adventure)
Day 10: Queenstown departure
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.
You will be met on arrival at Auckland International Airport by your Aroha NZ Tours Representative, and transferred to your accommodation in our luxurious vehicle. 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. Visit the nearby 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. Optional - Whale and Dolphin Safari: Travel aboard the Dolphin Explorer into the expansive Hauraki Gulf Marine Park on Auckland's Whale and Dolphin Safari from Viaduct Harbour. You are guaranteed to see whales and dolphins year round.The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is a biologically and geographically diverse maritime national park. Over 25 of the 37 southern hemisphere marine mammals have been identified in this marine park, making up almost a third of the world’s population of species.
Driving distance 3h
Start off your private guided tour! By midday visit Rainbow Springs Park. The new Rainbow Springs will bring New Zealand nature stories to life. Not only are you able to see endangered native species like the Kiwi and Tuatara but now with the Big Splash water ride, that story comes to life. Whether you are walking through the many free flight aviaries, feeding the biggest wild trout you will ever see, watching the birds being fed or coming face to face with pre-history in the eyes of a Tuatara – the staff at Rainbow Springs are proud of the role they play in conserving many of the precious native species of New Zealand. The Kiwi Encounter offers unique behind-the-scenes tours of a working kiwi nursery and hatchery. Eggs are brought in from the wild and when they have hatched, and the kiwis are large enough to protect themselves from predators, they are released back into the wild. Take the Skyline gondola next door, and once you reach the Skyline Rotorua complex, select from one of the three exciting Luge trails. Take off downhill on your Luge cart through twists and turns to a backdrop of dramatic scenery and down through the Redwood forest. Once at the bottom, ride the Luge chairlift back to the top of the track and do it all over again! Invented in NZ, the Luge is a unique wheeled gravity ride on a purpose-built track - fun and adventure for the whole family. Highly recommended: (Optional) Canopy zip lining tour: This is the ONLY native forest zip line canopy tour in New Zealand and it is incredible - it’s high, it’s fun, it’s beautiful, it’s peaceful and you’ll remember it for the rest of your life!! And it’s suitable for almost everyone!! Embark on a magical journey through untouched native New Zealand forest from an unexplored perspective. High amongst ancient trees this 3-hour adventure combines fun and excitement with pristine natural beauty. OR Visit Hobbiton Movie Set: Discover the real Middle-earth on the most picturesque private farmland near Matamata in the North Island of New Zealand, where you can visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films, in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in films. 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. As the set is located on a real farm, the ½ hour Sheep Farm Experience is also included in the tour. Or: Hairy Feet Hobbit Film Location: Visit the stunning farm location at Mangaotaki Rocks, Piopio, near Waitomo. This is where the troll and campfire scenes in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" were filmed. Towering limestone cliffs, massive rock formations and a primaeval forest on the Denzie family farm became the location for Staddle Farm and Trollshaw and the home of 'Sting"!
Driving distance 2h return
Visit Te Puia the premier Māori cultural centre in New Zealand - a place of gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers. The Māori tradition lives on at Te Whakarewarewa, our Māori culture, and our National Carving and Weaving Schools of New Zealand. Here watch a 45min cultural show and display in an authentic meeting house. The environment alone is of enormous geological significance, with thermal activity ranging from boiling mud to the world famous 30-metre (100-foot) Pohutu geyser, erupting up to 20 times each day. 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. Afterwards, we drive to the township of Lake Taupo with the largest Lake in this country. 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 186AD. 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. In the afternoon stop at the Huka Falls - these spectacular falls roar through a 15-m wide chasm before plunging a further 11-m. Here experience a 30 min thrilling jet boat ride. Combine 360° spins and passing nature by incredibly close at disorientating speeds for an amazing must-do visitor experience, before even reaching the awe-inspiring majesty that is the Huka Falls. From the unique vantage point on the jet boat, you have the best water level view of Huka Falls – New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction. Optional - Jet boat ride and “The Squeeze at Hidden Valley: After midday, take a scenic jet boat ride through Tutukau Gorge. Just when you thought you had an easy day ahead, your driver asks you to disembark the boat in knee deep warm water. You head towards a narrow gap in the cliff face ahead of you and start the challenge of The Squeeze. After manoeuvring your way through narrow crevasses, climbing boulders, and wading through warm waist deep water you emerge in stunning native New Zealand bush. Immerse yourself in the environment and take the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere while relaxing in the thermal waters of a naturally heated bathing pool.
Driving distance 4h
Early morning take a flight from Rotorua to Christchurch. Described by the Lonely Planet as a "vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively,” Christchurch is showing off its vibrancy with new developments popping up all over the place. Whilst part of the central city of Christchurch is still cordoned off due to the impact of a series of earthquakes, there’s plenty to do in and around this rapidly changing city, like visiting the Re:Start shopping area and Pop Up City bars. Depart Christchurch through the scenic untouched areas and through the Arthurs Pass. From your car, you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Pass Lake Pearson and relax during your stay near the Arthur Pass Village. On arriving in Greymouth, your driver/guide will take you to the upper West Coast. 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. We take you to the Nile River Rainforest Train to travel through the primaeval rain forest close to the enormous Nile River Caves. You will explore an ancient wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites in the large dry upper levels and become entranced while under the galaxies of glowworms in the awe-inspiring Ananui entrance series. Discovered only recently, the Metro Cave is one of the few caves in the world you can walk through and see in its natural, unspoilt state, the way it was discovered. In the evening we stop at nearby Punakaiki, the Jewel of the West Coast. Punakaiki 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
In the morning enjoy an exhilarating treetop adventure on New Zealand’s first treetop walk among temperate rainforest giants as you experience life with the native birds, high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Thre is easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform 20 meters high and over 450 meters long. Before midday, we visit the historical gold mining town of Hokitika. Nearby take a walk over a swing bridge to the Hokitika Gorge, this is truly one of the beautiful places in New Zealand! The beautiful turquoise waters is quite breathtaking as is the gorge itself. 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. The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the Tasman Sea and the imposing Southern Alps, making for spectacular contrasts in the surrounding scenery. Two glaciers are located only 25 km from each other and are unique in the world as they seem to nearly reach the ocean. Optional - Helicopter flight and landing on glacier: 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. Or: Quad-biking adventure. After your scenic flight, depart our "quad base" and head across stony braided riverbeds, see glacial fed rivers and listen to our guides tell you about local history. Drive through dense rainforest and soak up the atmosphere as you pass by ferns, mosses and mature podocarp trees in this lush watery world.
Accommodation: Franz Josef Glacier
Driving distance 4h
In the morning visit nearby Lake Matheson. The forested path skirts the shores of the mist-shrouded lake and on a clear day, New Zealand’s highest peaks are spectacularly reflected in the mirror-like waters. A spectacular and scenic road links Haast and Wanaka. It reaches beyond wind-whipped Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, through golden tussock-covered hills, to wind among steep mountains cloaked in lush rainforest and across tumbling rivers. Just 20 min from Haast take a 20 min walk to the Roaring Billy Waterfall, an easy fern line walk take you to the shores of the Haast River. Shortly later make a short stop at the 28m drop Thunder Creek falls. By midday, take a 30 in return walk to the Blue Pools. It features a carefully maintained gravel path and boardwalks 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. 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.
In the morning take a scenic flight to the Fiordland World Heritage National Park, Mount Aspiring, glaciers galore and join others on a scenic boat cruise. View spectacular mountains and the dramatic landscape of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks, part of South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. This area is known to Maori as Te Wahipounamu, meaning ‘the place of greenstone’. The scenic flight includes two world heritage national parks the impressive Mount Aspiring, pristine glaciers, the Olivine Ice Plateau, rainforest, alpine lakes, rivers and cascading waterfalls. Fly the full length of Milford Sound before landing and boarding your cruise boat. Cruise the full length of Milford Sound on small and friendly cruise boats or ships. Seals, penguins and dolphins can often be spotted at play. On your return flight take in more scenic highlights including the Milford Track, Sutherland Falls (At 580 metres it’s New Zealand’s highest waterfall and the fifth highest in the world), the Dart River Valley, Glenorchy and Lord of the Rings Locations, before returning to Wanaka. In the afternoon have fun at Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World, which is a world unique attraction specialising in puzzling eccentricity. For 40 years this remarkable business has entertained and amazed visitors of all ages attracted to this beautiful part of the world. Puzzling World offers the world’s first "3-D" Great Maze, incredible Illusion Rooms. When you arrive at Puzzling World you will immediately notice the crazy architecture. One building has four eccentric Tumbling Towers. Another one is called the Leaning Tower of Wanaka. This tower has been pulled out of the ground and is balanced on one corner at an unbelievable 53 degrees! Walk through one of the world's modern-style mazes.
Driving distance 1h
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 microclimates 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. Drive through the famous Kawarau Valley and Gorge. Stop at, which 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). Visit the surrounding areas to Arthur's Point, stop in 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 Lord of the Rings was based here and major parts of the movie were filmed in this region. Optional -Shotover Jet boat experience: From the moment the accelerator hits the floor, your adrenaline hits the roof as you speed in mere centimetres of water along the famous Shotover River and deep into the spectacular Shotover River Canyons. It’s an amazing white water ride, as the Shotover Canyon walls tower over you, your expert driver puts your ‘Big Red’ Jet Boat through its paces and skillfully whips it past rocky outcrops, skims around crags and boulders, and speeds through the dramatic and narrow canyons. Rock faces blur in your peripheral vision and the water sprays into myriads of whitewater crystals with every turn. Last day with your guide!
Accommodation: City Centre Queenstown
Queenstown, New Zealand, 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, zip-lining, luging, mountain biking, 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. Optional - 4WD Safari, Lord of the Rings tour: In the morning explore the magical side of New Zealand and understand why this beautiful country was chosen to portray Middle-earth. The Queenstown area featured prominently in the filming of the incredibly popular Lord of the Rings trilogy. Nomad Safaris operate two different Lord of the Rings tours. The Safari of the Scenes - Wakatipu (Tour A) combines a true 4WD tour with film locations from the LOTR trilogy. The Safari of the Scenes - Glenorchy (Tour B) is the perfect sightseeing trip through the valleys beyond Glenorchy encompassing pivotal Lord of the Rings Scenes. Both Safaris of the Scenes can be done in one day for a truly exciting experience.
A taxi will take you to the airport.