Plan the Adventure of a Lifetime…

Our Small Group Journeys are unique to Silver Fern Holidays. They combine must-see sights with off-the-beaten-track experiences and friendly places to stay.

Each of our Pure Discoveries tour itineraries includes amazing sights that you’ll remember forever, balanced with opportunities to enjoy New Zealand in your own way. So whether you want to take lakeside walks or taste a new pinot noir, Silver Fern Holidays helps you get the most out of each day.

And our experienced driver-guides want to share their New Zealand with you: their favourite beach, the best view, their local café… maybe even introduce you to their mates! This means no two escorted tours with Silver Fern Holidays are the same.

Director, John Lightwood introduces Our Pure Discoveries Small Group Tours


Auckland > Christchurch

23 Day North & South Island Tour

Our ultimate 23-day tour from the Bay of Islands to the Southern Alps in a comfortable vehicle driven by a superb guide.

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Auckland > Christchurch

20 Day North & South Island Tour

This Small Group Journey takes you through some of our favourite places and spaces in the North and South Islands, discovering fantastic coastlines and immersing you in Maori Culture and history.

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Auckland > Queenstown

19 Day North & South Island Tour

Explore the wide sandy beaches of the Coromandel coastline; dip your toes in the azure blue waters of Abel Tasman National Park after a guided hike through the sub-tropical bush and journey deep into Fiordland National park on the Milford Mariner Nature Cruise – one of our all-time ‘must do’ experiences on a trip to the South Island.

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Auckland > Queenstown

16 Day North & South Island Tour

Join us for this Small Group Journey to explore the highlights of the North and South Islands. Unleash your adventurous spirit in the adrenaline capital of Queenstown, and make the most of the abundance of walking opportunities the country has to offer as you travel through New Zealand’s fabulous landscapes.

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Mount Cook Lily

Wellington > Queenstown

14 Day South Island Tour

This tour squeezes more jaw-dropping scenery into 14 days than any other! If you’re the thrill seeking type, South Island has an unparalleled variety of landscapes – from the majestic Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, to the stunning views over Dunedin harbour and beyond from the Otago Peninsula.

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Auckland > Wellington

11 Day North Island Tour

This tour takes in the stunning sights of North Island on a journey past ancient Kauri Trees to the sparkling pacific waters of the Bay of Islands. Further south you’ll visit the Art Deco town of Napier and enjoy the wonderful wines of the Hawkes Bay region before arriving in Wellington, ‘The coolest little capital in the world’.

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Why book with Silver Fern Holidays?

  • Flights co-ordinated with your Tour Dates
  • New Zealand small group tours devised by us, just for you
  • No more than 16 like-minded people per group
  • See, touch, taste the real New Zealand
  • Must-see & off-the-beaten-track sights in one trip
  • Great value with choice of included experiences
  • Special places to stay from B&Bs to city hotels
  • Great driver-guides & local experts
  • Every departure date guaranteed to run

Call us on +44 (0) 1636 813 544

Flights Included as Part of Your Small Group Tour

As an ATOL bonded tour operator, we can book flights on your behalf with any of the major airlines flying out of the UK… something many New Zealand tour operators don’t offer.

If you would like to book your flights through us, just let us know which route you would like to fly and in which class – Business, Premium Economy or Economy – and we’ll provide you with a quote as part of your small group holiday.

In most cases, you will not have to pay for your flights until your balance is due.

Stopovers in the Best Locations

Jetlag can definitely dampen the enjoyment of the first few days of your holiday, so we recommend adding a stopover on the way to New Zealand, even if you decided to fly straight home at the end of your trip.

The most popular destinations are the key hubs of Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

We can book excellent hotels in these locations and recommend tried and tested sightseeing activities, too.

Pre-Tour and Post Tour Arrangements

If you’d like to spend some time in New Zealand before your tour starts, we are able to arrange accommodation in your tour hotel to save you changing rooms. We can also organise your transfer from the airport.

Similarly, at the end of your holiday, extra nights can be added to your tour itinerary. More extensive arrangements are also possible, just get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Got a few questions about your planned trip?

The Buck Stops With Us!

All our small group trips are operated by us through our Hamilton Office under our brand, Pure Discoveries.

No third parties are involved which means if you have a problem, an issue to sort out or a question, we’re always on hand to provide the answer.

Small Group Means Small Group

The maximum number of travellers we take on a small group tour is sixteen, but in practice the average Pure Discoveries group size is eight to ten participants.

Comfortable Travel Close Up

Our coaches are very comfortable and well maintained with great legroom, headroom and panoramic windows so you can really take in the beauty of New Zealand.

On a small group tour, you’ll experience a wonderful mix of incredible scenery including golden sandy beaches, sparkling clear rivers and lakes, ice age glaciers, thermal hot springs, majestic fiords and ancient forests.

We think New Zealand should be experienced up close, so we always encourage you to get out of your seat and into the landscape to explore at every opportunity – with a local guide on hand to tell you all about it, too!

Good Company

In a small group, it’s easy to find common ground with fellow travellers and enjoy a variety of dinner table conversations.

We dispense with “coach tour” admin, like asking you to wear a name badge, we think good manners and good humour are more important than strict timekeeping.

Discovering New Zealand in this way offers potential for serendipitous surprises and a lot of fun.

Great Leaders, Expert Guides

New Zealanders are rightly proud of their country and aware that visitors have travelled a long way.

Kiwi’s are passionate about showing visitors the best of New Zealand. So not only are our hand-picked tour leaders safe drivers in all conditions, but they are also happy personalities, full of knowledge and enthusiasm, insights and practical advice.

At certain points on the tour, we meet up with a local guide to add his or her expertise to enhance your experience. These include Kiwis who are wildlife, eco, geothermal or Maori specialists with whom you can engage on a personal level and really engage with what New Zealand has to offer.

Flexible Schedules

With a small group, we can be more flexible with each day’s timetable, creating opportunities for surprise encounters and time for stops en route.

So, if someone spots a Takahe, we can stop for a photo and if it’s 90 degrees in the shade we can cool down at the beach before we hit the road again. It’s all about that New Zealand life, in every way!

Ready to plan the trip of a lifetime?

Combine Independent Travel with a Small Group Tour

Since we operate both independent tailored holidays and escorted group holidays, you can combine these to create your own unique tour of New Zealand and experience the best of both worlds.

Begin on North Island by joining our Koromiko Tour and arrive in Wellington to commence your own trip, or vice versa. Travel independently through North Island and then join our Mount Cook Lily tour of the South Island. Whatever works best for you.

Your Choice

Our tours include a choice of experiences in four key locations: the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Abel Tasman National Park and Wanaka.

For example, if you are a Lord of the Rings fan and want to experience all things Middle Earth, you can visit Hobbiton from Rotorua while your partner marvels at the geothermal sights of Waimangu Thermal Valley – all these are included in the tour price.

In other locations, you’ll also have free time to enjoy optional experiences at your own cost, or just take the time to chill out and relax.

The choice is always yours.

You’re Sure of a Warm Welcome

Our smaller groups means we are not confined to staying at large mass-market hotels and we’re able to include a wonderful mix of accommodation.

Sometimes we choose a large city hotel because of its central location, but wherever possible, we opt for tried and tested smaller family-run properties with their own character so that you can enjoy some real Kiwi hospitality.

Guaranteed Departures

All our small group tour dates are guaranteed departures. So, whether we have half a dozen travellers or a full complement of passengers, you can rest assured you can make your international travel plans accordingly, without concerns as to whether your holiday will go ahead or not.

Ready to explore New Zealand?

Call us on +44 (0) 1636 813 544

View all small group toursHow to book

Frequently Asked Questions

It does vary. We like to get you out of the coach as much as possible – so even on the longer drives there will be frequent stops. An average daily drive would be 4 hours. There are longer drives, closer to five hours from Napier to Wellington, from Fox Glacier to Wanaka and from Mount Cook to Christchurch.

There are laundrettes in nearly all the accommodations where you’ll stay. All you need is plenty of 20c coins!

One of the major benefits of having a tour guide when travelling around New Zealand is the insider knowledge they’re able to share with you. At Silver Fern Holidays, we work closely with hand-picked tour guides to ensure you’re going to be travelling with passionate Kiwi’s who are excited to share their beautiful country with you.

Because we travel in small groups, we’re able to offer more flexibility than larger tour groups. This means none of our tours are ever exactly the same, something our travellers absolutely love. Every experience will be completely unique to you and your group. If you’ve reached a destination a little early, your driver guide might show you their favourite local coffee shop, or one of New Zealand’s many hidden gems that the internet just won’t share with you.

A major stress when organising self-guided tours is needing to deal with admin like renting cars or buying train and bus tickets. You don’t need to worry about any of this when joining our small group tour. Our tour guides are also experienced drivers, so you can just sit back, relax and soak up the scenery while they take you where you need to go.

What we have found during our years organising tours and tailor-made holidays in New Zealand, is that there’s no ‘better’ way to travel. It will just come down to how you enjoy travelling.

There are however a number of advantages to travelling in a group. Travelling in a group allows you to experience New Zealand with other like-minded travellers. You can also enjoy the experience of one of our travel guides and see New Zealand through a local’s eyes. We also purposefully keep our groups small so you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and have time on your own to enjoy the sights.

On the other hand, travelling alone can give you more freedom to curate your own holiday schedule. This means if you plan to visit somewhere like Hawkes Bay and decide you need longer to see it all, you can! If you feel that you’d prefer to travel alone, we can help you build your perfect itinerary filled with unforgettable New Zealand experiences.

A tour guide’s main job is to ensure that you have an incredible time exploring New Zealand. Of course, it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make this happen!

Our driver guides will transport you in one of our 16-seater Pure Discoveries vehicles. Where possible, we take the roads less-travelled so you can enjoy the beautiful natural scenery.

Our guides will ensure you keep to your itinerary so you’re able to see everything you’re meant to, and maybe even some hidden gems along the way!

Your driver won’t just take you from A to B, that’s not the Silver Fern way! All of our drivers are hand-picked by us and love sharing their beautiful islands with travellers. As you travel, our drivers will be able to tell you local stories, show you their favourite places, and importantly, give you a true taste of Kiwi humour.

Yes! If you’re looking to make friends with other passionate travellers, tour groups are a great way to meet and explore with like-minded people.

That’s not to say you need to be a social butterfly to enjoy a group journey as all of our small group tours have a maximum of 16 travellers per group. This means you can still have an intimate travel experience with time to explore the sights by yourself.

A tour group ensures you have an itinerary that has been planned by expert travel guides to get the most out of your time in New Zealand. All of our drivers have experience sharing their beautiful islands with travellers and can offer a unique, local perspective you can’t utilise when travelling solo.

To fully explore both islands, we would recommend longer than 14 days. New Zealand is filled with beautiful sights and rich culture. The North Island is home to the country’s vibrant capital Wellington and the beautiful port city of Auckland. The South Island is a popular destination for thrill seekers with the adventure capital Queenstown, but there’s also Dunedin with its unforgettable nature and wildlife.

This means there is a lot to see, especially for such a small country! Our 23 day Kauri small group tour is perfect for taking you through the snow-capped alps, tropical rainforests and everything in between. This is a wonderful tour to learn about the history of New Zealand, which the Maori call Aotearoa.

We appreciate that time and budgets can be limited though. This is why our passionate team have created shorter tours that still allow you to see New Zealand’s plentiful sights on a tighter schedule. Our shorter small group tours focus on either the North or South Island so that you don’t have to rush and can fully enjoy each place you visit.

The Koromiko 11 day tour is our shortest, focusing on the stunning sights of the North Island from the Bay of Islands down to Wellington. Our 14 day Mount Cook Lily tour shows you some of New Zealand’s most awe inspiring sights such as the Fiordland, the majestic Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and, of course, the incredible Mount Cook.

If you’re struggling to decide which island to visit, get in touch with a member of our team and we’ll be happy to talk through your travel needs. Whichever group journey you choose, we’re sure you’ll fall in love.

Small Group Tours by New Zealand Experts

Choosing a small group tour means you don’t have to worry about organising travel at all. With every one of our small group tours, we’ll arrange all of your transportation. We can even organise your initial flights to New Zealand! If you’d like to find out more about any of our tour packages, please do get in touch.

Call us on +44 (0) 1636 813 544

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