23 days North & South Island Tour

Auckland > Bay of Islands > Auckland > Coromandel Peninsula > Rotorua > Napier > Wellington > Nelson > Punakaiki > Fox Glacier > Wanaka > Te Anau > Queenstown > Twizel > Christchurch

Join us for an adventure like no other – a three-week Small Group Journey. Experience the breath-taking scenery of snow-capped Alps, wander through tropical rainforests and relax on wide, sandy beaches. Learn how this beautiful land has been shaped by ancient volcanoes and southern seas, by Maori warriors and colonial settlers. Friendly local guides share their cultural, historical and ecological expertise as you travel with us throughout Aotearoa – ‘the land of the long white cloud’.

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Day 1 Auckland

Haere mai – welcome! Arrive in Auckland and take some time to orientate yourself in this vibrant city before the tour starts.

M Social, Auckland

Day 2 Auckland to Bay of Islands

Heading north, we pause to marvel at a remnant of ancient Kauri forest from an elevated walkway. At Paihia we enjoy a guided visit to the birthplace of the nation, the fascinating Waitangi Treaty Grounds. We arrive in Russell, the first capital city of New Zealand, by ferry.

Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell

Your choice Day 3 Bay of Islands

Today, the choice is yours. Either travel by special coach along amazing 90 Mile Beach to sacred Cape Reinga (also includes lunch) OR enjoy a cruise towards Cape Brett Lighthouse and the Hole in the Rock, with the chance of dolphin-spotting, before a guided tour of historic Russell.

Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Russell

Day 4 Bay of Islands to Auckland

We return to Auckland to discover its vibrant harbourside, charming village neighbourhoods and panoramic views, before a guided tour of the excellent Auckland Museum to learn more about Pacific culture.

M Social, Auckland

Day 5 Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula

Wave goodbye to the City of Sails as we travel to the Coromandel Peninsula and a scenic drive to Whitianga in Mercury Bay.

Oceans Resort, Whitianga

Day 6 Explore the Coromandel

If the tide is right, scoop your own ‘spa’ pool out of the sand at Hot Water Beach, before walking to beautiful Cathedral Cove. A water taxi takes us to Hahei, then we travel to Cooks Beach, where the ‘Endeavour’ dropped anchor in 1769. Now you can choose to take a ferry ride to Whitianga and walk to the hotel, or travel back with our driver.

Oceans Resort, Whitianga

Day 7 Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua

We turn inland and stretch our legs on an easy bush walk before arriving at the geothermal centre of North Island, which is also the heart of Maori culture. Our private tour of Te Puia includes bubbling mud, indigenous art and kiwi conservation.

Regal Palms Resort, Rotorua or Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Your choice Day 8 Rotorua

Either explore Waimangu Volcanic Valley on foot and by boat to experience this ever-changing landscape close-up, OR Tolkien fans may take a trip to the Hobbiton™ Film Set. This evening, we all experience an amazing Maori welcome and Hangi (feast).

Regal Palms Resort, Rotorua or Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 9 Rotorua to Napier

Pausing at mighty Lake Taupo, we head to Hawke’s Bay on the east coast for a walking tour of Art Deco Napier. This evening, we enjoy the best of New Zealand cuisine (with a glass of wine) at the Mission Estate Winery.

Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier

Day 10 Napier to Wellington

Driving through the Wairarapa ranges we arrive in the breezy capital city, known for its creative industries and great coffee! We take the cable car from Kelburn before visiting Te Papa, one of the world’s top museums.

Wellington Double Tree by Hilton

Day 11 Wellington to Nelson

All aboard the Interisland ferry to navigate the Cook Strait to South Island! Back on our coach, we pause for a wine tasting in Marlborough before arriving in Nelson, known for its arts and crafts and artisan food culture.

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

Your choice Day 12 Abel Tasman National Park

The idyllic Abel Tasman National Park is best explored by boat and on foot. Sailing from Kaiteriteri, today offers a choice:

Scenic Cruise: 3-4 hours (no walking) – A morning cruise reveals golden sands and turquoise waters, returning to Nelson for a free afternoon.

Astrolabe Beaches & Bays (plus 2.5 hour walk) – After the Scenic Cruise, disembark at Apple Tree Bay for a self-guided walk (7 kms) to Anchorage Beach. Later transfer to Nelson.

Forest & Swing-Bridge (plus 4 hour walk) – After the Scenic Cruise, disembark at Medlands Beach for a self-guided hike (10.5 kms) that includes South Head lookout and Cleopatra’s Pool. Late transfer to Nelson.

Heritage Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

Day 13 Nelson to Punakaiki

We travel through enchanting Nelson Lakes National Park on the Buller Gorge road, carved through virgin forest by 19th century miners, to arrive at Punakaiki to see its extraordinary rock formations.

Punakaiki Resort

Day 14 Punakaiki to Fox Glacier

Pause in the gold rush town of Hokitika, before heading to glacier country. The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers flow almost to sea level, making them unusually accessible. Viewing options include helicopter flights (at own cost).

Te Weheka

Day 15 Fox Glacier to Wanaka

After a photo-opportunity at mirror-like Lake Matheson, we take the Haast Pass river road deep into the Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring National Park to the lakeside resort of Wanaka.

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Your choice Day 16 Wanaka

Nature lovers may take a lake cruise to a conservation island with an eco-guide to discover native birds like the flightless Buff Weka or you can choose to enjoy a scenic 4WD adventure to a high country farm above the lake.

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Day 17 Wanaka to Te Anau

Travelling via historic Arrowtown, beneath the Remarkables range of mountains and along the shore of Lake Wakatipu, we arrive at the gateway to Fiordland National Park: Te Anau.

Distinction Hotel Luxmore, Te Anau

Day 18 Te Anau to Milford Sound to Queenstown

The journey there, through rainforest, is as spectacular as the destination: Milford Sound! Top this with a memorable cruise past Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea (picnic lunch on board) before ending the day in Queenstown.

Scenic Suites Queenstown

Day 19 Queenstown

This sophisticated resort offers something for everyone. The day is free for you to be a thrill-seeker or a wine-taster, to ride a gondola or cruise on a vintage steam ship: the options (at own cost) are endless!

Scenic Suites Queenstown

Day 20 Queenstown to Mt Cook to Twizel

With the Southern Alps on our left, we cross Otago and travel beside lovely Lake Pukaki before driving up to Mt Cook Village, where Sir Edmund Hillary climbed his country’s highest peak before going on to conquer Everest. Overnight at Twizel.

Mackenzie Country Hotel, Twizel

Day 21 Twizel to Lake Tekapo across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch

Head down the Tasman Valley from Mount Cook and on to Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd, where the window behind the altar frames an astonishing view of the lake.
Then across the high country’s tussock plains, through Fairlie and Geraldine to the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch

Day 22 Christchurch

Post-earthquake Christchurch mixes colonial charm with cutting-edge architecture, re-inventing itself in typical Kiwi style. ‘Edwardian’ boatmen take us for a punt on the River Avon before we hop on a tram. Our farewell dinner features the best of local cuisine.

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch

Day 23 Depart Christchurch

Sadly, our trip ends after breakfast. We transfer you to the airport for your flight, or ask us to extend your stay with tailor-made arrangements by car or TranzAlpine rail.

Tour date Price (£) Single supplement (£) Availability  
24 January - 15 February 2024 7,299 2,294 FULL
07February - 29 February 2024 7,299 2,294 FULL
21 February - 14 March 2024 7,299 2,294 FULL
23 October - 14 November 2024 6,875 2,225 LAST 2 PLACES Enquire now
20 November - 12 December 2024 7,375 2,360 FULL
22 January - 13 February 2025 7,375 2,360 PLACES Enquire now
12 February - 06 March 2025 7,375 2,360 PLACES Enquire now
19 February - 13 March 2025 7,375 2,360 PLACES Enquire now
05 March - 27 March 2025 7,375 2,360 PLACES Enquire now

Day 1

M Social, Auckland

Day 2 & 3

Duke of Marlborough Hotel

Day 4

M Social, Auckland

Day 5 & 6

Oceans Resort

Day 9

Scenic Hotel Te Pania

Day 10

Wellington Double Tree by Hilton

Day 11 & 12

Heritage Rutherford Hotel

Day 13

The Ocean View Retreat

Day 14

Te Weheka

Day 15 & 16

Edgewater Resort

Day 17

Distinction Te Anau

Day 18 & 19

Scenic Suites Queenstown

Day 20

MacKenzie Country Inn

Day 21 & 22

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch

What’s included?

  • Comfortable touring in 16-seater vehicle
  • Services of our Driver-Guide and, where applicable, Local Experts
  • 22 nights’ accommodation in quality Hotels
  • 22 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 4 evening meals
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees listed opposite under Experiences Included

Experiences included

  • Entry to Waitangi Treaty Grounds
  • Journey along 90-mile Beach – OR – take a dolphin and Hole in the Rock cruise
  • A private guide around a geothermal valley with geysers, mud pools and hot springs
  • Visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley – OR – experience Hobbiton™ Movie Set
  • Delve into Maori life and enjoy a powerful cultural performance and feast
  • Enjoy a wine tasting and evening meal at Mission Estate in Napier
  • Travel on Wellington’s famous Cable Car and visit Te Papa museum
  • Scenic Interislander Ferry journey across the Cook Strait
  • Wine tasting at one of Marlborough’s premier wineries
  • Cruise the turquoise waters of Abel Tasman National Park
  • Visit world-famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki
  • See native birds on a conservation island – OR – take a scenic 4WD adventure in Wanaka
  • Explore the historic gold rush village of Arrowtown
  • Cruise, with a picnic lunch, on the breath-taking Milford Sound
  • Enjoy true Kiwi hospitality with morning tea at a local home on the shores of Lake Tekapo
  • Relax as you’re guided along Christchurch’s Avon River on an authentic Edwardian punt

Useful info to know before you go!


Ready to plan the trip of a lifetime?

Prices & Availability

Tour date Price (£) Single supplement (£) Availability  
24 January - 15 February 2024 7,299 2,294 FULL
07February - 29 February 2024 7,299 2,294 FULL
21 February - 14 March 2024 7,299 2,294 FULL
23 October - 14 November 2024 6,875 2,225 LAST 2 PLACES Enquire now
20 November - 12 December 2024 7,375 2,360 FULL
22 January - 13 February 2025 7,375 2,360 PLACES Enquire now
12 February - 06 March 2025 7,375 2,360 PLACES Enquire now
19 February - 13 March 2025 7,375 2,360 PLACES Enquire now
05 March - 27 March 2025 7,375 2,360 PLACES Enquire now

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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