New Zealand offers a wide range of diverse activities and attractions to suit individual tastes. Family attractions, outdoor adventures, hiking, fishing, golf, wine tours and Lord of the Rings movie locations, there is something here for everyone. Popular eco tourism activities include whale watching, swimming with dolphins, bird watching and wildlife cruises.Our custom itineraries provide you with the flexibility to book as much or as little as you want, while giving you the freedom to choose your own hotels and excursions to match your unique interests, preferences and budget.
Welcome to New Zealand! You will be picked up at the airport by a representative in Auckland and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure to enjoy the wonderful Auckland or relax. (This service is on a private basis.)
Auckland, also known as the city of sails, is situated between two enormous harbors and dotted with 48 extinct volcanic cones. New Zealand’s largest city with a population of over 1.3 million people – is home to one third of New Zealanders. The city’s mix of urban sophistication and coastal setting has inspired a lifestyle that regularly ranks in the world’s top 10. Asian communities meld here with a distinctly different Polynesian heritage, and the result is a culture unavailable anywhere else in the world.
Auckland is home to the Sky Tower which at 328m is the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. The Sky Tower's three observation levels offer 360-degree views of Auckland. The iconic harbor bridge, opened in 1959, provides other adventures. Visitors can climb over, under and jump from the spectacular bridge that dominates Auckland’s inner harbor.
After breakfast, your guide will take you on a fun exploration of Auckland: volcanic cones with stunning views, historic buildings, waterfront drive, and a charming beach. You’ll get opportunities for photos and looking around. Stop by Mt. Eden Volcano, Auckland’s highest volcano with outstanding 360-degree views of Auckland and its harbors. Visit Parnell, Historic houses and buildings of Auckland’s first suburb, established in 1841. As well as Devonport, Heritage buildings, stunning scenery and a collection of excellent cafes, art galleries, and boutiques. At the top of nearby Mount Victoria, a volcanic cone, are stunning views across the harbor to the city center.
Enjoy lunch at the famous Stonyridge Vineyard by the ferry terminal. From here you will set sail on a ferry for 50 min to reach Waiheke Island. Waiheke is a picturesque blend of vineyards and olive groves, beaches, farmland, and forest. You will be welcomed by your private driver-guide and be taken on a half-day Island tour. Experience a combination of the best food and wine this charming island has to
offer. You stop at 3 award-winning vineyards and an olive grove plus have a chance to indulge in locally produced foods such as mouth-watering preserves and world-class olive oils. (This service is on a private basis.)
After leaving the motorway south of Auckland, enjoy the green rolling hills of The Waikato, a region rich in farming and agriculture where you arrive after in the afternoon in Rotorua, the cultural heart of the North Island. Our next destination is Rotorua, which sits directly on the Pacific Ring of Fire volcanic activity, and this is a part of the city both in the past and the present. Explore the geothermal areas and discover the unique culture of the Maoris, the indigenous people of New Zealand. Rotorua is always worth a trip in any weather. Check into your hotel and get ready for a day of adventure! (250km - approx. 3.5 hrs) (This service is on a private basis.)
Take a leisurely uphill Gondola ride on Mt. Ngongotaha for a panoramic view over Rotorua, the surrounding lakes, and geothermal areas. Discover the unique ‘Volcanic Hills’ Winery, founded in 2009 by local wine enthusiasts. The owners have also set up a spectacular tasting room where you can taste all 5 of their wines, among them their superb Sauvignon-Blanc, recently the winner of the ‘Pure Gold Medal’ at Air New Zealand’s Wine Awards. Included is a tour of the winery by one of the owners.
This evening, experience a traditional Maori experience at Mitai Village for an authentic introduction to Maori culture. Mitai Maori Village is nestled in a natural bush setting just outside of Rotorua. Witness the arrival of a ‘waka’, the ancient warrior canoe on the Wai-o-whiro stream. Your Maori guide will explain to you all the secrets to cook a traditional ‘Hangi’ and the traditions of ‘ta moko’, Maori tattoo art. A cultural performance displaying weaponry and combat, coupled with the beauty of the poi dance, and the spine-tingling Haka. A traditional Hangi dinner rounds off an unforgettable evening with the Mitai family. Meet exclusively face to face with the village chief during the evening.
New Zealand is one of the world's best reminders, alongside perhaps Iceland, of the scope of our planet's mighty power. And Rotorua's sulphur-laced air, exploding vents of mud and steam, and natural hot springs are the embodiment of that power. Its towering geysers make Rotorua one of New Zealand's most visited locales. The local Maori have held Rotorua in reverence for hundreds of years, and still make their culture known here today. Native cultural performances are as big a reason to travel here as the churning landscape.
Leave Rotorua on one of New Zealand's top 10 scenic highways, the ‘Thermal Explorer’ towards Taupo. Stop at one of the many geothermal attractions along the way. After an hour, you reach Taupo which sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake. Lake Taupo was formed after a giant explosion (believed in 186AD). The lake is nowadays the world’s largest volcanic crater. Taupo township has become a major holiday destination for locals and foreign tourists alike. The mighty Waikato River, New Zealand’s longest river, enters a shallow ravine of hard volcanic rock just before Huka Falls. The effect is nature’s large-scale equivalent of a fire hose feeding into a very fine nozzle.
We recommend lunch in many of Taupo’s charming restaurants or a picnic by the shore of Lake Taupo. (230km,approx 3hrs)
Continue your journey on the ‘Thermal Explorer’ Highway towards Napier. The major entertainment on the road from Taupo to Napier is the fantastic scenery. There’s a bit of everything – rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains, and huge vistas.
After a massive earthquake in 1931, Napier was rebuilt, in the then predominant Art Deco Style, in less than 2 years. Today Napier is worldwide one of the most beautiful and best-preserved Art Deco cities in the world. Continue on a short 20min drive to Hastings, right in the center of Hawkes Bay’s wine-producing region.
Enjoy some much-deserved gourmet dinner at your accommodations!
What better way than discovering Hawkes Bay and its wonderful wineries than by a private tour of the North Island! Visit some local vineyards and take in the breathtaking scenery from Te Mata Peak, where you have a bird’s eye view of the entire region, from the plains to the Pacific Ocean. You are able to choose from a number of excellent wineries to visit, our local expert is very well connected among the winemakers in the region. Lunch at one of the wineries outstanding gourmet restaurants (at your own cost). (This service is on a private basis.)
In the late afternoon, after all that food and wine, you will meet an expert guide from Napier’s Art Deco Trust! They will do a guided walking tour where you can learn all about the devastating earthquake, the rebuild efforts and the now protected Art Deco Buildings including the stories behind some of the landmark sites. (This service is on a group basis.)
Hawkes Bay is not only ‘food & wine’ but also home to the largest mainland gannet colony in the world. Even for those not much into ‘bird watching’ – seeing these massive birds with over 2-meter wingspan soaring above the ruggedly beautiful coastline is truly impressive. The tour is conducted as a ‘Safari’ in a 4x4 vehicle and expertly guided by an experienced local. Visit a 5000 acres’ farm on Cape Kidnapper, a production forest, learn about the local Maori legend and discover the largest mainland gannet colony in the world from a position at the brink of the cliff's edge, 100 meters above the ocean. (This service is on a group basis.)
In the afternoon, continue South on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail towards Martinborough in the Wairarapa Region. The Wairarapa is a delightful mix of wineries, antiques, food, and historic charm. The main town of Martinborough has become the gourmet capital of the lower North Island and is home to 25 boutique vineyards and several fabulous restaurants. Martinborough’s wineries are mostly family owned and home to some of the best Pinot Noir’s in New Zealand. Many of these wineries have open cellar doors and there is no need for appointments, just pop-in and taste some of their amazing wines!
Driving time: 3.5 hours (This service is on a private basis.)
It's time for another awesome 6-hour private wine tour! Today you will tour with a local wine expert. Experience the Southern hemisphere’s only true wine village, famous for outstanding Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. This is a unique and exclusive wine tour that takes you behind the scenes, often where the general public can’t access. You can taste regional cuisine and sample wines! Meet local winemakers and growers, experience the culture and ‘spirit’ of Martinborough including a visit to an olive oil producer. You will also join a vineyard tour through the vines, see the wine-making process and finish in the barrel rooms at an award-winning vineyard. Enjoy a delicious 2-course lunch in an acclaimed vineyard restaurant! (This service is on a group basis.)
A scenic 1.5hrs drive south brings you towards the South Coast of the North Island. The road to Cape Palliser is dramatically scenic. This area of New Zealand has a rich Maori history of early Maori occupation and heritage sites are part of the fascinating landscape. For the final part of the journey, the road clings to the edge of the coast, providing unstoppable views of Palliser Bay. Climb the 250 steps up to Cape Palliser lighthouse, built in 1897 and take in the views from the North Island’s southernmost point. On the drive back along the coast, spot the fur seals, the North Island’s largest colony. Drive back via Lake Wairarapa towards Wellington. After the town of Featherston, you climb up and over the Rimutaka Range with great views in every direction. After the mountains, descend through the picturesque Hutt Valley and then on a fastmoving motorway right to New Zealand’s Capital city.
Nestled between a sparkling harbor and rolling green hills, Wellington is renowned for its arts, heritage, culture and native beauty. Over the last couple of years, Wellington has also made itself a name for outstanding gastronomy – including trendy coffee shops, creative restaurants, and a vibrant bar scene. Evening at your own leisure. (200km, approx 3hrs).
New Zealand's charming city by the sea, Wellington is often looked to as the country's cultural epicenter. It is also where New Zealand's government calls home, making this cool little capital a place many Kiwis think about often, even if they don't live here. Many of them do, however, and this city with a small town-feel actually is the second most populous in the country behind Auckland. The city is beautiful; it wraps itself carefully around a curved shore, and up onto rolling hills. Those spending a night or two here will find a culture revolving around good food, beer, music and great times.
Given Wellington’s increasing popularity as a ‘foodie destination,’ you will be taking a ‘Walking Gourmet Tour’, expertly guided by a renowned food and gastro expert. You discover unique tastes in New Zealand’s coffee capital and get an introduction to the city, architecture, and history, all while sampling local, artisan flavors. Stroll behind the scenes at some of the most favorite Wellington food places and taste hidden culinary treasures. You will also get to meet some of the makers behind some of the city’s best food. The tour concludes with a delicious, light two-course tasting lunch with matched New Zealand wines at a top Wellington restaurant. (This service is on a private basis.)
In the afternoon, visit New Zealand’s National Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa. This is much more than ‘just’ a museum but an innovative and interactive destination within Wellington. It showcases New Zealand’s great treasures and stories, its unique natural environment, Maori culture, art heritage, and fascinating history.
You take an in-depth, expertly guided tour to discover all about Maori culture. From historic, artistic and contemporary perspectives, this tour will enrich your understanding of what makes New Zealand’s Maori culture unique. (This service is on a group basis.)
After a hearty breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel in Wellington and transferred to the airport. You will then take a connecting flight to Blenheim. Upon arrival, you will transfer over to your accommodations for the night. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
Blenheim is located in the very heart of wine-growing Marlborough. In and around Blenheim you find a nice selection of cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and artisan food outlets. There are more than 30 wineries within driving distance of the town most of them with an ‘open door policy’ and welcoming visitors for sampling sessions and cellar door sales. Marlborough is the world’s Sauvignon Blanc capital, and nowadays responsible for more than 90% of New Zealand’s production. However, the region’s long-ripening season and stunning climate also provide the perfect environment for superb Pinot Noir’s and Pinot Gris’.
Today you get to enjoy the most delicious and relaxing wine tour! On this privately guided tour, you will visit between 4 and 6 wineries while taking in the panoramic scenery. You have the opportunity to input your choice of wineries to visit! Stop for a scenic lunch at one of Marlborough’s award-winning winery restaurants (platter lunch included). You will also be shown through the vine library and vineyard where you learn about the beginning of the growth of the grapes to harvest and their winemaking procedure. You will be lead through into the barrel hall to taste the wine straight from the barrel before its bottled! Enjoy evening free at your own leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)
After a great time visiting the vineyards, today you are headed South. You will travel on the only recently reopened State Highway 1 that has been severely damaged in the November 2016 earthquakes. This scenic 2-hour drive brings you the small town of Kaikoura, world-famous for its resident giant sperm whales.
After lunch, board a catamaran for a whale watch cruise (approx 2 hours) for an up-close encounter with these giant sperm whales. Continue in the afternoon to Christchurch over the Canterbury Plains. Take the evening to relax and enjoy Christchurch at your own leisure. (310km, approx. 5hrs)
While most of New Zealand is characterized by Asian, Polynesian, Maori or other blends of culture, Christchurch remains distinctly English in attitude. Quaintness defines its gardens, parks and streets. Christchurch is also a city in recovery. Since the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, new business and development has slowly been coming back to town. For the outside observer, it's interesting to see some 21st century ideas for artful development rise alongside established 20th century buildings.
Another delicious adventure awaits! Today you visit the Waipara Valley, just an hour drive North from Christchurch. Your private driver-guide will pick you up in the late morning for a scenic drive to Waipara. Waipara is New Zealand’s fastest growing wine region and home to ‘Cool Climate’ winemaking and best known for exquisitely spicy and rich Pinot Noirs and Rieslings. The whole region has a great reputation for other aromatic varieties such as Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer as well its own distinctive take on Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. You will get the chance of 4-5 wine tastings at some of the best wineries including a delicious platter lunch. (This service is on a private basis.)
After breakfast, you will leave for the most scenic day of driving. Travel through the rich pastures of the crop, dairy and sheep farming land – the patchwork quilt of the Canterbury Plains. After passing the township of Fairlie, the landscape changes as you climb up towards Mackenzie County, home to some of the most evocative hill county in New Zealand.
Stop at picturesque Lake Tekapo and its famous ‘Church of the Good Sheperd’. Weather permitting, enjoy an al-fresco lunch (not included) by the shores of Lake Tekapo with magnificent views towards Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3’724 meters. Continue past Lake Pukaki with its distinctive turquoise waters. Sir Peter Jackson chose this part of the Southern Alps as the setting for ‘Lake Town’ in ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ as well as backdrop major location scenes in all Lord of the Rings- and Hobbit movies.
Continue over Lindis Pass-through Lindis Valley where you arrive in Cromwell – the heart of Central Otago and its famous winemaking region. Travel through the impressive Kawarau Gorge, home to world famous ‘Wild Earth’ and ‘Peregrine’ wineries before you reach Queenstown in the early evening. The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. Queenstown sits on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu (one of the clearest, and coldest, lakes in the world!), captivated by the majestic beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers. It is rumored that gold prospectors gave this now cosmopolitan town its name. (500km,approx. 6hrs)
Evening at your own leisure in Queenstown.
You've heard about all the adventure opportunities in New Zealand from your friends (the crazy ones at least) and you'd like to catch the adrenaline wave yourself. You want to go to Queenstown. Apart from the bungee jumping, paragliding, biking, rafting and all the other things you never thought you'd do, Queenstown is also where the adrenaline industry lives. It doesn't take long after learning this to realize that Queenstown is also a party town. Whether you're adventuring in the day, or burning the midnight oil, you will never be bored in Queenstown, and this small city between lake shores and mountain peaks will likely be the highlight of your time in New Zealand.
Discover the wines and beauty of Central Otago. Today you will travel with your private wine expert guide deep into the heart of Central Otago – home to some of the world’s best Pinot Noirs! Thanks to its extreme climate with hot/dry summers and crisp snowy winters, this region produces very rich, structured and complex Pinot Noir’s. Leading British wine writer Jancis Robinson MW named Central Otago in Decanter wine magazine, alongside Napa Valley, Margaret River, Stellenbosch and Willamette, as one of the top five New World wine producing regions.
The tour includes wine tastings at 2-4 wineries chosen on the day (or in advance by you), an a-la-carte lunch with wine at Mt Difficulty Wines in Bannockburn or Wild Earth Wines in Kawarau Gorge.
You will also get to enjoy a delicious Food & Wine Pairing. In this bespoke Food & Wine Pairing experience, presented in an atmospheric barrel hall at Chard Farm Winery, discuss how to pair wine and food successfully to create gastronomic symphonies. Using five bite-sized examples that have been exclusively designed in conjunction with the acclaimed Chef Brendan. This is a gourmand’s delight. (This service is on a private basis.)
This morning spend the morning at your own leisure in Queenstown, take in the majestic sights of Queenstown with views of Lake Wakatipu and Mountain Range, stroll along the lakefront or stop in trendy boutiques.
Early this afternoon a new adventure awaits! Board the iconic TSS Earnslaw, a 104- year old Steam Ship and institution on Lake Wakatipu. On-board enjoy the spectacular alpine scenery while exploring this piece of Queenstown's living history. You can visit the engine room and see its giant steam engines at work! As well as view the collection of historical photos in the mini-museum. Check out the bridge or even join a sing-along with the pianist. (The cruise duration is approx 1.45hrs.)
When the tour is done, return to Queenstown with the TSS Earnslaw in the late afternoon. (This service is on a group basis.)
Although your adventure must come to an end today, you will be leaving with new friends, amazing experiences and memories to cherish for the rest of your life. Once you have checked out of your hotel in Queenstown, you will be met by your driver and transferred to the airport in good time to board your international departure flight.
We wish you safe and happy travels home! (This service is on a private basis.)
Unwind at Hilton Auckland hotel and admire stunning ocean views 300 meters out to sea. Positioned within Auckland’s city center, the Hilton Auckland hotel is just a five minute walk from Auckland’s central business district, as well as many impressive local attractions. Dine with breathtaking views at Auckland restaurant, FISH, celebrating New Zealand’s finest seafood in a menu designed by New Zealand master chef Simon Gault. Savor this Auckland hotel’s variety of cocktails at the Bellini Bar, including its signature cocktail with peach and prosecco. Keep fit in the hotel’s fully equipped fitness center with the latest, modern cardiovascular equipment and weights and take in stunning city views from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Recuperate in the outdoor heated lap pool and marvel at spectacular sights from Auckland’s only underwater viewing window. From Hilton Guest Rooms to Suites, all the contemporary rooms at the Hilton Auckland hotel have decks or balconies.
Surrounded by the sparkling waters of Lake Rotorua, Peppers on the Point is an intimate luxury retreat featuring spectacular views to the historic Mokoia Island. This historic property was a family home until 2004 and now is perfect for a serene and tranquil escape. This stunning retreat offers the perfect base for experiencing New Zealand’s rich culture. Or you can simply relax and enjoy the tranquility of this stunning location from the comfort of our inviting entertainment rooms with open fireplaces. Without leaving the property, you can indulge in a heavenly massage at our onsite spa, try fly fishing from our private beach, enjoy water sports and tennis or even spend your day boating. Peppers on the Point’s dining room is also renowned for serving fabulous New Zealand cuisine accompanied by the finest local and international wines. It is an experience not to be missed. The staff of Peppers on the Point – Lake Rotorua takes great pride in their hospitality, who strive to make their guests stay one to remember for many years to come. Staff are also very knowledgeable of this region of New Zealand, helping you with sightseeing options in the area, or telling of the history of the property or just conversing about the simple things in life.
In addition to its intimate setting where your privacy is assured, generous views and facilities that will allow you the room and freedom to unwind, take in the local attractions or just disappear for a few days by the pool. The Manse is one of the original Hawke’s Bay homes built on a hill for the local vicar in 1910 and subsequently moved to its present site which enjoys dramatic views across the Heretaunga Plains. More recently, the home’s facilities have been fully modernized to allow guests to do as little or much as they wish. The Manse is an exclusive country retreat where each guests experience will be fully tailored to their specific requirements, only catering up to 4 adult guests to ensure that we provide you with the perfect stay at our boutique lodge.
Experience the rolling green hills of world-famous Martinborough from the comforts of your Martinborough accommodation at Peppers Parehua country estate. Set amongst the vineyards, with sweeping gardens and panoramic views, your accommodation in Martinborough is charming. This is a place that truly romances the soul. Explore the vineyards with a picnic in hand. Walk the coastal track and tour some great wineries on horseback or bicycle. Enjoy the services of a fine Martinborough hotel on an elegant estate at the edge of a historic wine village in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand’s North Island, one hour’s drive from the capital city of Wellington. A complete destination in its own right, Peppers Parehua takes you on a journey where the region's best food and wine take center stage in The Pavilion restaurant, and your Martinborough accommodation is individually styled and delightfully detailed.
Bolton Hotel is Wellington's finest independent hotel, with an excellent central location for work or leisure in New Zealand’s capital city. Just steps from the Parliament buildings and central business district, Bolton Hotel is conveniently close to the best of the city's shops, cafes and restaurants and within walking distance of Wellington's vibrant waterfront. Conveniently located in the heart of Wellington’s shopping precinct, with popular attractions nearby and just 5 minutes walk to the railway station.
Heritage Boutique Marlborough Vintners Hotel Blenheim offers guests luxury accommodation, conference facilities and an exquisite wedding venue set amongst the tranquil vineyards of Marlborough. Heritage Boutique Marlborough Vintners Hotel is the ideal place for a getaway if you’re longing for that quality time with your family or significant other. Marlborough Vintners Hotel offers relaxation and serenity while sipping on local-grown, world class Marlborough wine. Located in the heart of the Marlborough wine region, Marlborough Vintners Hotel offers breathtaking views over the vineyards and gardens from the comfort of your spacious suite. Self-contained suites are complete with kitchenettes, spacious lounges, air-conditioning for those sunny days and under-floor heating in the bathrooms for those refreshing winter mornings. At the end of the day when the sun goes down, you can retreat to the comfort of your suite but still be entertained with a TV and DVD library right at your finger tips and FREE unlimited high speed WiFi broadband access.
This iconic hotel has won the World Luxury Hotel 2016 & 2017 awards in the Historical Hotel category for the Australasia and Oceania region. A night’s stay in this opulent Italian High Renaissance Palazzo style building and you will understand why. Designed by Joseph Clark Maddison and opened in 1913, the hotel is listed as a category one building on the Historic Places Trust Register, reflecting its status as a building of national significance. This suite-only accommodation has one, two and three bedroom suites which are fully self-contained apartments. There is an extensive health club, heated indoor lap pool, spa pool and sauna to make your stay more enjoyable.
Experience the sophistication of Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, a haven of stylish 5-star accommodation for all seasons. A boutique hotel with a modern romantic style and exclusive service awaits you in the heart of New Zealand’s adventure capital. Stay in designer luxury Queenstown accommodation, set in peaceful parkland, and savor views of Queenstown’s majestic mountains. Enjoy easy access to the vibrant town center where shopping, cafes, and nightlife are nestled on the shores of spectacular Lake Wakatipu. Delight in your Queenstown vacation, romantic escape or executive retreat at our exclusive architect designed hotel. At Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel your comfort and pleasure is our highest priority.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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