A classic New Zealand holiday – Stylish hotels, rural retreats, mind-blowing experiences and food and drink to die for.

With our staff on hand in the UK to organise the details of your itinerary and in New Zealand to guide your day to day activities, you can be assured of an exhilarating and hassle free trip.

Combined with business class flights directly to and from New Zealand, this holiday can be encompassed within three weeks – should you wish to stay longer we offer other extension ideas and of course you may wish to consider stopovers in Asia, Australia or the Pacific Islands.

What’s included

  • Meet & greet at Auckland airport
  • Private transfer to your Auckland hotel
  • 14 nights’ accommodation in stylish hotels and lodges
  • Breakfast each day
  • Intermediate car hire with unlimited kilometres & daily insurance
  • Hobbiton
  • Maori Evening Haka, traditional meal and entertainment
  • Domestic Flight Rotorua to Queenstown
  • Milford Sound, coach, cruise and flight
  • Franz Josef Heli-hike
  • Tranz Alpine train journey

Optional highlights

  • A panoramic view of Auckland from the top of the Sky Tower: the SkyWalk and SkyJump are optional!
  • All the thrills and spills Queenstown has to offer
  • A thrilling jet boat ride up the Matukituki river with a Maori guide.
  • Head out to the conservation island of Mou Waho on Lake Wanaka to see the rare weka bird and help with conservation efforts to restore natural habitats
  • Enjoy the thrills of a jet boat ride up the Matukituki valley with a Maori guide
  • Travel high up into the mountains of Mount Aspiring National park with Ridgeline Adventures
  • A guided tour of Christchurch city highlights including survival stories from the 2011 earthquake
How To BookEnquire now

Day 1 Haere Mae: welcome!

We greet you at the airport, and whisk you to your stylish 5 star hotel conveniently located in the viaduct harbour on the Auckland waterfront, a short walk to the vibrant restaurant precinct. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

City Hotel

Day 2 Auckland

Exciting Auckland is a melting pot of cultures from Polynesian and European to Asian. It is surrounded by sea, extinct volcanoes, and bush-clad ranges. You’ve a choice of activities from sailing on the America’s Cup yacht to ferry crossings to Waiheke island for a classic winery tour or to the conservation island of Titiri Matangi to view New Zealands’ native bird life in an island setting . Or simply stroll to the harbourfront and for a short boat trip to Devonport for afternoon tea.

City Hotel

Day 3 Auckland to Matamata to Rotorua

Collect your hire car and head over the Bombay Hills through rolling farmland to Matamata. This rural community is now known by another name: Hobbiton. If you haven’t seen Peter Jackson’s films, drive on to Rotorua, but Lord of the Rings fans have a treat in store on a guided visit to the original film location, complete with Bag End and the Party Tree.

Your accommodation is a gracious home that has been transformed into a boutique hotel with stylish modern décor located on the shores of Lake Rotorua and a short drive from the city centre.

Boutique Hotel

Day 4 Rotorua

Rotorua forms part of the ‘Pacific Rim of Fire’ and thermal activity is everywhere! Easily accessible to the town are the bubbling mud pools and geyser at Te Puia; close by are other fascinating sites like the Buried Village, or the thermal spa at Hell’s Gate.

Rotorua is also home to Maori tribes and on a short trip like this, an evening of songs, legends and dance – including the famous haka – is a must. Enjoy a traditional hangi feast cooked in the earth by ‘free’ geothermal heat. A memorable evening!

Boutique Hotel

Day 5 Rotorua to Queenstown

Return your rental vehicle to Rotorua airport and fly to Queenstown. On arrival collect your new hire car and drive into Queenstown and your lodge which offers uninterrupted views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.

Private Lodge

Day 6 Queenstown

Today is free for you to pack in as many activities as you wish! Perhaps a white-knuckle jet-boat ride, parasailing, a bungy jump or white-water rafting? There are 4WD tours into the wild, guided bush walks, cycle trails, horse-riding and wine-tasting. Take a gondola to Bob’s Peak for panoramic views, or a trip on a vintage steamship. Whatever your interest, we can arrange most activities in advance.

Private Lodge

Day 7 Milford Sound

Travel by luxury coach by the shores of Lake Wakatipu and along the spectacular alpine Milford Road, with photography stops en route. On reaching Milford Sound, cruise the fiord, looking out for seals, dolphins and penguins. A picnic lunch is included, and an expert guide explains the Sound’s natural features. Conclude the day with an exhilarating flight over the Wakatipu area on your return to Queenstow.

Private Lodge

Day 8 Queenstown to Wanaka

Drive New Zealand’s highest road over the Crown Range to the township of Wanaka, the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park. Your accommodation is a secluded lodge is set in its own private grounds with views across the maple sugar trees to the Cardrona valley.

Private Lodge

Day 9 Wanaka

A free day and night to draw breath! Relax on a lakeside stroll, linger in a café, then catch a film at Cinema Paradiso where the quirky seats include sofas and an adapted Morris Minor. Alternatively, take an eco boat trip to Mou Waho island in search of the flightless Buff Weka, enjoy a thrilling jet boat ride or a self-guided walk in the Matukituki Valley.

Private Lodge

Day 10 Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Leave via Lake Hawea and take the Haast Pass through the Southern Alps to the Tasman Sea. Your West Coast journey reveals rainforest, bushfringed lakes and surf-pounded beaches. Arrive at your lodge located right in the forest with stunning views of the World Heritage Westland National Park, the Southern Alps and the Franz Josef Glacier.

Wilderness Lodge

Day 11 Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike

Simply the ultimate Glacier experience. Take in the Franz Josef Glacier by helicopter before descending on the ice itself. From the crevasses and ice caves to the splendour of the clean blue ice, immerse yourself in this new ice world as your guide takes you through spectacular ice formations. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Wilderness Lodge

Day 12 Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch

Complete your journey along the West Coast today with a drive through small towns telling of this areas goldmining past. Stop at Hokitika for lunch and perhaps pick up some final gifts from one of the several co-operative arts organisations in the town which produce greenstone ornaments, wood carvings and ceramic artefacts.

Drive to Greymouth and drop off your rental car prior to boarding the Tranzalpine train for a journey through the scenic splendour of the Southern Alps crossing viaducts and travelling through an eight kilometre tunnel which are counted as engineering feats of their day.

Private transfer from Christchurch station to your boutique hotel in the heart of the city.

City Boutique Hotel

Day 13 Christchurch

We recommend a guided walking tour of this beautiful and brave city, reclaiming its place as South Island’s premier destination. Take in the Botanic gardens, Hagley Park and the city sights.

City Boutique Hotel

Day 14 Depart Christchurch

Return your rental vehicle at the airport depot and depart New Zealand reflecting upon a truly memorable holiday

Day 1 & 2

City Hotel

Day 3 & 4

Private Hotel

Day 5 & 6

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Country Hotel

Day 8 & 9

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 12 & 13

Local Bed & Breakfast

Although New Zealand is one of the easiest countries to travel to, we realise that contemplating a long haul trip to the other side of the world can be daunting, so we’ve put together some essential information that you will need to know before you head off on your holiday.

We hope we’ve covered everything, but do give us a call if you have any other questions or queries or are unsure about any details.

The Geography

New Zealand is made up of two Islands, The North Island and The South Island. The majority of the population live on the North Island.

The country has an incredibly varied landscape. You’ll find wide, sweeping coastlines, spectacular mountain ranges, tropical rainforest, steaming volcanoes and stunning glacier regions. It truly has something for everyone, whether you’re seeking peace, quiet and relaxation, or the thrill and adrenaline rush of all the adventure it offers.

New Zealand also has 14 National Parks that showcase more than 30,000 square kilometres of wonderful nature and breathtaking scenery.

Time Difference

New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), making it one of the first countries in the world to welcome in each new day.

Like us here in the UK, New Zealand observes Daylight Saving, and so during their summer time (and our winter time) their clocks go forward one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday in September and ends on the first Sunday of the following April, when clocks are put back to GMT+12.

The Seasons

Being in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand's seasons are the opposite way around to ours, so December to February are their hottest months, and also the most expensive time to visit. June to September is the peak season for skiing in the ski resorts of Wanaka, Queenstown and Canterbury on the South Island, and the in between or ‘shoulder seasons’ often offer the best of both worlds, with better prices, more accommodation options and less tourists while still enjoying bright sunny days and warm weather.

Health and Insurance

We realise how difficult can be for our older travellers to find travel Insurance at a reasonable cost, and after a lot of research, are confident that our current partner Holiday Extras offer the best value for money insurance policies.

Buy Insurance

You don’t need any vaccinations to travel to New Zealand, and you will find doctors and health centres in every large town and city. Calling 111 will contact the emergency services from anywhere in the country.

It’s perfectly safe to drink the tap water in New Zealand, so there is no need to worry about needing to purchase bottled water when you are there.

Airport Hotels, Parking & Lounge Passes

Depending on the time of your flight you may wish to avoid an early morning start by checking into an Airport hotel. With our partner, Holiday Extras, we are able to offer a range of hotel options and parking arrangements. There are also a number of airport lounges you can book if there is considerable waiting time between your flights. These lounges offer a range of facilities from refreshments and drinks to showers and comfortable seating areas in a quiet environment.

Book your Hotel, Parking or Lounge Access

Car Insurance

Car hire companies often charge an excess for damage caused to the car whilst you're behind the wheel even if it's not your fault. This can be upwards of £1000 meaning if you're involved in an accident, you'll have to pay a contribution to cover the damage

To reduce this amount they offer what is called an Excess Insurance or Damage Waiver, typically around $25-$30.00 per day. If you’re following a two or three week itinerary, this can add up to around $600.00

However you can purchase an annual excess car hire insurance in the UK for a lot less.

Our suggestion is to contact an insurance company such as insurance4carhire.com, With them you're able to reclaim the excess you’d have to pay in the unfortunate event of an accident or your car being stolen. You may also get more cover compared with waiving the excess at the car hire desk.

Visa Requirements

From 1 October 2019 you will need a Visa to travel to New Zealand as a British citizen or British Passport Holder. We are still awaiting final details from the New Zealand Immigration Department regarding this requirement.

All Silver Fern travellers will be advised by our office as to the nature of this process, prior to their travel to New Zealand.

For Silver Fern travellers contemplating stopovers en route to New Zealand or integrating a New Zealand holiday with a longer worldwide tour, a visa may be required.

For example an Australian tourist visa is necessary for anyone entering the country other than those in transit. Similarly entrants to America should have arranged an ESTA. These can be applied for online or through the Travel Visa Company, one of our trade partners who charge for this service.

Visit Travel Visa Company website

Currency and Credit Cards

The currency in New Zealand is the NZ Dollar. The exchange rate varies but as a general guide, there is NZ$2 / NZ$2.20 to every GBP£1.

You can use all major credit cards in New Zealand, and ATM’s are found as easily as they are in the UK, on most high streets, in shopping malls and in banks. You can also exchange foreign currency at banks, some hotels and bureau de change kiosks.

Do let your bank know you’ll be travelling before you leave home though to ensure that you’re able to use your card overseas.

What to pack

Holiday packing is always a challenge, especially when you’re going away for longer than a week or two, so we wrote a blog post offering our advice on how to pack for your New Zealand holiday – you can read it here. Remember to pack a good pair of sturdy walking boots if you’re planning to get out and explore some of the country on foot, and we recommend lightweight layers that you can add/remove depending on the weather.

Electronics and mobile devices

You can buy a prepaid Vodafone sim card at the airport or many of the local shop to put in your phone but its always worth checking with your mobile phone provider to see if they offer an overseas package before you leave home.

New Zealand electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts, and they use the same plug as in Australia, with two or three pins. You’ll need to use an adapter for all appliances, which can easily be purchased either in the UK before you travel or once you’re in New Zealand.

Wi-fi is widely available in most hotels and B&B’s and also in many cafes and eateries.

As far as possible we have endeavoured to make this information as accurate as possible, but we always recommend that you do make sure to double check things like Visa’s / Insurance etc before travel as changes do occur.

The Brown’s

Fantastic experience all round. All the accommodations were superb. Many thanks for your help with the doctors and pharmacies!

Julie Rhoney

I had been to a presentation and met Laura. She came across as very knowledgable and confident and she inspired me to seriously consider booking a once in a lifetime holiday.

The attention to detail given by Laura Ling was second to none I would have no hesitation in booking another holiday through Laura.

I cannot wait until I am able to return to NZ. Well, that was indeed the holiday of a lifetime… but we want a re run! There is still so much we want to see and do.

Many thanks for all your efforts, it all went swimmingly.

Mr Richardson

As you know this was my first holiday since the death of my wife, and when she was alive we had talked about adding a trip to New Zealand onto one of our visits to see our son and his wife in Sydney.

I was not sure whether I was ready to do it on my own.

I decided that the first move was to talk to someone so I spoke to John on the phone and arranged to come and have a chat. We had a long meeting and it all sounded ideal. All I needed to do was convince myself.

Once I made the decision everything was so easy thanks to you. You kept in touch right up to me going and I always felt that I had a good contact if I had a problem.

Now onto the tour. Not much to say. It was even better than I had expected. The coach and driver were top class, the hotels and food were very good and the itinerary meant we visited everywhere we needed to see New Zealand.

However, as you know the highlight of my 6 weeks away was meeting my 5 month old grandson in Sydney.

That said, I am so pleased I made the trip and even more pleased that I arranged it through Silver Fern Holidays; everything was first class.

“exceeded expectations”
“exceptional driver – very experienced”
“the mix of people only added to the enjoyment”


Consider three additional days in the sub-tropical Bay of Islands with opportunities to visit the Far North of North Island, sail into the warm waters of the Pacific, and head to Waitangi to learn how New Zealand was ‘born’ out of a treaty signed here between Maori tribes and British settlers.

If its beaches you’re looking for you couldn’t do any better than those to be found on the West coast of the Coromandel. Allow two days.

Tongariro National Park with its three huge volcanoes offers walks or skiing possibilities for all abilities, whilst Napier and the Hawkes Bay area are favourites for wine buffs.

Wellington, the capital has the best museum in New Zealand situated on the waterfront, a scenic harbour scene best viewed from atop Kelburn hill which you ascend to by funicular.

And, of course, you could add any number of days to your time in the Lakes Region and the World Heritage Fiordland National Park, where you might wish to take an overnight cruise on the stunning Doubtful Sound or hike one of the famous guided track walks – the Milford, the Routeburn or the Hollyford.

If you’re unsure of all the choices, then please give us a call to help you make the right holiday plans.