This holiday offers a comprehensive exploration of New Zealand’s scenic highlights- its beautiful beaches, alpine lakes and mountains.

En-route, you’ll have time to visit the cosmopolitan cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, gain an understanding of the history and culture of the Maoris in Rotorua, cruise the beautiful coastline of Abel Tasman National park and enjoy the delights of Wanaka and Queenstown in the Lakes region of South Island.

Of course, no journey through New Zealand would be complete without a trip into the World Heritage park of Fiordland to cruise majestic Milford Sound and a walk into the Hooker valley for awe inspiring views to Mount Cook – and these magic days top off a memorable holiday.

What are you waiting for!

What’s included

  • Meet & greet at Auckland airport
  • Private transfer to your Auckland hotel
  • 25 nights’ accommodation in quality Hotels and B&Bs
  • Breakfast each day
  • Intermediate car hire with unlimited kilometres & daily insurance
  • Maori Hangi and traditional feast
  • Interislander ferry travel as foot-passengers
  • Coach travel Picton/Nelson & Nelson/Christchurch
  • TranzAlpine rail tickets
  • Milford Sound day excursion
  • Coach & boat trip Nelson/Abel Tasman National Park

Optional highlights

  • A panoramic view of Auckland from the top of the Sky Tower: the SkyWalk and SkyJump are optional!
  • Dig your own spa on Hot Water beach, the Coromandel
  • Visit the Maori Art and Crafts centre at Te Puia
  • Walk through the geothermal valley of Waimangu
  • Taste a selection of New Zealand’s best wines in Blenheim
  • Helicopter onto one of the West Coast glaciers or go on a glacier trek
  • 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
  • Treat yourselves to an evening meal in the Skyline restaurant atop Queenstown hill with sunset views to The Remarkable Mountains
  • See the Southern night skies through powerful telescopes at a Mount Cook Observatory
How To BookEnquire now

Day 1 Arrive Auckland

We meet you on landing at Auckland and take you straight to your hotel. Depending on your journey, relax or start exploring!

City Hotel

Day 2 Auckland

A great start to city sightseeing is to ascend the Sky Tower, a SkyWalk is optional! Nearby Queen Street is the main strip and you could end your day with a waterfront dinner in the new Wynyard Quarter.

City Hotel

Day 3 Auckland / Coromandel Peninsula

Leave Auckland and travel south over the Bombay Hills and east across the Hauraki Plains before skirting the Firth of Thames and across the Coromandel Ranges to the summer resort of Tairua on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 4 Coromandel

Dig your own spa pool at Hot Water Beach, or wander along the beach to Cathedral Cove to view the naturally formed archway on the beach, one of the most photographed sites in the country.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 5 Coromandel to Rotorua

On to the thermal wonderland of Rotorua. Visit Te Puia with its geothermal valley and Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.

Private Hotel

Day 6 Rotorua

A day to explore Rotorua. Sightseeing options include various attractions and excursions which focus upon the local Maori culture, the geothermal environment and walking excursions.
In the evening enjoy a cultural experience that culminates with a traditional Maori Hangi for your evening meal.

Private Hotel

Day 7 Rotorua to Napier

Travel south to Taupo, nestled on the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake, stopping at Huka Falls before continuing through to the township.

From here drive to Napier, a wonderful Art Deco town with a fascinating history and wonderful architecture. The town is also the gateway to the Hawkes Bay wine country.

Local Bed & Breakfast

people enjoying Napier Art Deco Weekender

Day 8 Hawkes Bay

We recommend leaving the car at home today, to make the most of the winery tours and tastings that are a must in the area.

Head out to Te Mata Peak to enjoy the beautiful panoramic views out across the mountain ranges.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 9 Hawkes Bay to Wellington

Drive through the Wairarapa and over the winding Rimutaka Hill to arrive into Wellington, the Capital City and ‘The Coolest Little Capital in the World’ according to The Lonely Planet Guides.

City Hotel

Day 10 Wellington to Picton to Nelson

Board the Interislander ferry to cruise to South Island, boarding a coach in Picton for the transfer to Nelson, the sunniest town in New Zealand.

Private Hotel

Day 11 Abel Tasman National Park

It is easy to gush about the beauty of Abel Tasman National Park! Golden beaches, turquoise water and pristine native bush combine to create a natural paradise you can explore by boat, kayak or on foot. We have plenty of tips for you.

Private Hotel

Day 12 Nelson to Blenheim to Christchurch

Depart Nelson by coach or car and travel via the Lewis Pass or Blenheim to the city of Christchurch. Alternatively take the Coastal Pacific train from Blenheim to Christchurch with outstanding views of the Kaikoura mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 13 Christchurch to Hokitika

Enjoy one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world: the Tranz Alpine over the Southern Alps winds up and over Arthur’s Pass then down to the west coast. Detraining at Greymouth, collect another vehicle to continue to the gold rush town of Hokitika.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 14 Hokitika to Fox Glacier

Hokitika, once a gold rush town, is now a haven for craftspeople and a good place to buy pounamu (greenstone) carvings. Arrive in Fox Glacier in time to see the glacier on a guided hike or helicopter trip: landing on the Tasman Glacier is an unforgettable experience!

Private Hotel

Day 15 Fox Glacier to Wanaka

Travel south through native rainforest, over mountain streams into the rugged beauty of the Haast Pass. Continue round the shores of glacial Hawea and Wanaka lakes to Wanaka township.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 16 Wanaka

One of our favourite destinations, the snow-capped peaks, long river valleys and lush native forest are centred around the beautiful lake. There are ‘tramping’ opportunities for every experience level.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 17 Wanaka

A jet boat trip or a waterfall climb are both guaranteed to set the pulses racing. In the evening, take a seat at Cinema Paradiso: they range from slouchy sofas to a modified Morris Minor!

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 18 Wanaka to Te Anau

Travel through Central Otago, around the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau, one of Fiordland’s most beautiful lakes. Round off the day with a lakeside stroll.

Country Hotel

Day 19 Te Anau to Milford Sound to Te Anau

An early start for one of the world’s most scenic coach trips! Travelling through the National Park is integral to the Milford Sound experience. On arrival, a cruise on the Sound reveals vertiginous cliffs, cascading waterfalls and awesome Mitre Peak.

Country Hotel

Day 20 Te Anau / Queenstown

Drive from Te Anau back to Queenstown. Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of the Queenstown region create the perfect backdrop for a holiday full of adventure, exploration or relaxation.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 21 Queenstown

So much to do, so little time! Stroll in well-kept gardens, cruise Lake Wakatipu or try an adrenalin activity like bungy jumping or an off-road 4X4 tour.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 22 Queenstown to Mount Cook

Drive alongside the shores of Lake Pukaki into Mount Cook National Park.
On a clear evening, explore the southern sky from the Hilary Deck with an expert astronomy guide and take a close look at distant galaxies.

Country Hotel

Day 23 Mount Cook

Sir Edmund Hillary climbed these peaks before his ascent of Everest. Visit the Alpine Centre that bears his name, before following the Hooker Valley Track for superb views of Mount Cook.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 24 Mount Cook to Christchurch

After enjoying the view from the Church of the Good Shepherd, step aside to see the statue which celebrates the working sheepdogs of the Mackenzie area, then cross the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 25 Christchurch

Following 2011’s earthquake, the ‘Garden City’ is rebuilding, blending old with new to reclaim its place as the premier city of South Island. A guided tour with a local is a must, then try a tram ride, or go punting!

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 26 Depart New Zealand

Return your rental vehicle to the Christchurch Airport depot. Check in for your onward flight.

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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, 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”