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
  • 26 nights’ accommodation in quality Hotels and B&Bs
  • Breakfast each day
  • Intermediate car hire with unlimited kilometres & daily insurance
  • Traditional Maori Hangi
  • Interislander ferry travel as foot-passengers
  • TranzAlpine rail tickets
  • Milford Nature Cruise
  • 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 / Apartment

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 / Apartment

Day 5 Coromandel to Rotorua

Returning south, travel across the farmland of the Waikato to arrive at your accommodation in Rotorua.  En Route for Lord of the Rings fans, there is the option to visit Hobbiton. (This must be pre-booked.)

Private Hotel / Apartment


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 / Apartment

Day 7 Rotorua to Napier or Tongariro National Park

On the road south, make time to see the Lady Knox Geyser at Wai O Tapu Geothermal Park. Stop in Taupo for lunch before entering Tongariro National Park, a starkly beautiful volcanic landscape.

Alternatively head east to Napier. Discover how this seaside resort was reinvented as an Art Deco icon on a guided walking tour.

Local Bed & Breakfast / Private Hotel / Alpine Lodge

Day 8 Napier or Tongariro National Park

Napier: Join a wine tasting afternoon in the sun driving through stunning scenery. Meet like-minded people on this small group tour and share an appreciation of this regions fantastic wine. Or head out to see the gannet colony at Cape Kidknappers with a ride on a tractor across the sands.

Tongariro: Often described as the finest one day walk in New Zealand, the Tongariro Crossing is a full day traverse of the ‘saddle’ between Mts Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. Shorter walks are also possible. A round of golf on an all-weather course, or a soak in a natural hot pool are other options.

Local Bed & Breakfast / Private Hotel / Alpine Lodge

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

Drive to the Interislander Ferry for the cruise across the Cook Strait and through the scenic Queen Charlotte Sound to the South Island.

Arrive into Picton and drive across the top of the South Island to Nelson, your base for the next two nights.

Private Hotel / Apartment

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 / Apartment

Day 12 Nelson to Blenheim to Kaikoura

Depart Nelson and drive through farmlands, pine plantations then the Rai Valley to the vineyards surrounding Blenheim in the Marlborough Wine Country. From here travel south down the eastern coastline along the thin ledge of land pinned between the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and the rugged ranges to Kaikoura, where the mountains meet the sea.

Private Hotel

Day 13 Kaikoura to Christchurch

This morning there is the option to enjoy a Whale Watch experience by modern purpose-built catamaran for an exciting close-up encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment.

The road south follows the wild coastline affording constantly changing seascapes and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean before turning inland and climbing the Hundalee Ranges. Then descend into the rolling farmland of North Canterbury passing through small country towns before entering the city of Christchurch.

Private Hotel

Day 14 Christchurch

Day at leisure to enjoy the ‘Garden City’, which has also been described as “the most English city outside England”. Take a punt on the River Avon, stroll through the Botanic Gardens, and ride the city’s historic tram.

You may also wish to observe the re-building of the Cathedral, browse the shops and stalls of the Arts Centre or visit the Canterbury Museum and the Art Gallery.

Private Hotel

Day 15 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 16 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!

Country Hotel

Day 17 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 / Apartment

Day 18 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 / Apartment

Day 19 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 / Apartment

Day 20 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 21 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 22 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 / Apartment / Private Hotel

Day 23 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 / Apartment / Private Hotel

Day 24 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 / Apartment

Day 25 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.

Country Hotel / Apartment

Day 26 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 / City Hotel

Day 27 Christchurch

Time for some final sightseeing or shopping.

Return your rental vehicle to Christchurch International airport to board your homebound 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”