This action-packed itinerary dives into New Zealand's South and North Islands for a wide variety of landscapes and attractions. Kicking off in the adrenaline capital of the world, you'll kayak through the Milford Sound, explore the scenic capital (Wellington), take part in Rotorua's geothermal treatments, tour Hobbiton, and finish the adventure in the cosmopolitan city of Auckland.
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Few destinations ignite the imagination the way New Zealand does. The diminutive two-island nation is filled with scenery best described as epic (think craggy peaks, vast beaches, dense forest, and crystalline fjords). And with the diversity of landscape come plentiful ways to take advantage of the great outdoors—hiking and biking are just the tip of the iceberg here. In one trip, you can sea kayak in Tasman National Park, taste wine in the vineyards of Martinborough, and take a whale watching tour off the coast of Christchurch.
How long should you spend in New Zealand?
Whether your travels take you to New Zealand for one week, two weeks, a month, or more (and believe us, there's plenty to fill that time), you'll have lots of options for getting around. Tackle one of the country's famous "Great Walks," multi-day treks through dramatic landscapes immortalized by Lord of the Rings. Get up close with the Waimakariri River gorge and the snowy Southern Alps on a relaxing South Island train journey. Or rent some wheels and road trip from Auckland to Milford Sound, utilizing an inter-island ferry. The country may be small, but the possibilities are endless. Learn more
Getting Around New Zealand
Most international travelers arrive by flying into either Auckland or Christchurch. Domestic flights serve every large and medium-sized city in the country, while self-driving allows access to more remote areas such as national parks and mountainous regions. To travel between the North and South Islands, you'll need to fly or take the ferry between Wellington and Picton. Learn more
Traverse New Zealand on this two-week adventure-packed trip, covering the highlights of North and South Island. Discover diverse landscapes, from world-class surfing beaches, volcanic islands, and fern forests to geothermal waters, glacial fiords, and imposing mountains. Along the way, you'll visit historic mining towns, go wine tasting and hike, paddle, and fly your way across the country.
Perfect for first-timers, this 13-day itinerary covers an epic variety of landscapes and activities that only New Zealand could offer. Starting in Auckland, you'll head south passing through glowworm caves, natural mud baths, and famous film sets. Stay a few nights in Wellington before continuing to the South Island for the country's highest peaks, incredible natural wonders (like Milford Sound), and—if you so choose—a range of adrenaline sports to amp up this "Kiwi" adventure.
Travel through New Zealand's beautiful South Island, getting to know its cultural hotspots, famous landscapes and public gardens, and sprawling vineyards along the way. Over 12 days, you'll enjoy the cafes and fine art of Nelson, spend two days sipping wine in Marlborough, hike near beautiful Lake Wanaka and the famous Milford Sound, and more.
This self-drive itinerary hits the highlights of New Zealand's North Island with a wide array of activities and landscapes. Along the way, you'll explore Auckland's best neighborhoods, sip pours from local wineries, go swimming and kayaking, and take part in Rotorua's geothermal treatments and Maori culture—all within the span of a week.
This 10-day road trip in the South Island combines the best New Zealand has to offer. Discover jaw-dropping scenery here, including Lake Tekapo and its turquoise waters, Mt. Cook and the surrounding glaciers, the peaks of Mt. Aspiring National Park and the magnificent fjords. You will also enjoy more intimate and off-the-beaten-path experiences, including the exploration of the Banks Peninsula, with its active wildlife setting, as well as immersing yourself in the historical gold rush of the small town of Clyde.
Ten days is a great amount of time for a New Zealand trip: you'll easily be able to experience the top highlights of both islands—North and South—plus outdoor activities and...
In one week, you can discover just the North Island, just the South Island, or cross over into both. By landing and departing in major cities (like Christchurch, Auckland, and...
You can comfortably explore four to five different destinations with ten days in New Zealand. Spend up to two days in each city, including the "Big Little City" of Auckland,...
With two weeks, you can get to know both of New Zealand's islands or enjoy an in-depth exploration of either one. Take a North Island road trip from Auckland to Wellington, or...
April is the middle of autumn in New Zealand. In some parts of the country, that means the leaves on the trees turn orange and the air is crisp and cool. In others, especially...
May is the last month of autumn in New Zealand, and weather can range from pleasantly warm to quite wintry, depending on where you go. It's shoulder season, and some of the most...
February is mid-summer in New Zealand, and also peak tourism season. But, schools go back earlier in the month, so international visitors won't be competing with locals for...
December is the start of summer, and the peak season, in New Zealand. The weather can be great, or it can be cooler and wetter than later in the summer. New Zealand schools are...
Ten days is a great amount of time for a New Zealand trip: you'll easily be able to experience the top highlights of both islands—North and South—plus outdoor activities and themed adventures (Middle Earth, anyone?). With less time, stick to one island for a comfortably-paced, immersive tour; if you're dead-set on seeing both islands in less than a week, be prepared to move quickly. Travelers with two weeks can see it all, or combine the country's top sights with a week of fun in Australia.
New Zealand has a lot of climatic variety, from sub-tropical Northland to temperate Southland, and high mountains through the center of both main islands. Summer is generally hot in the North Island and warm in the South, while winters are mild and wet in the North Island and drier but often snowy in parts of the South Island. Whenever you plan to go, there will be parts of New Zealand that offer great conditions—find helpful information below on weather, crowds, costs, and more.
With two weeks, you can get to know both of New Zealand's islands or enjoy an in-depth exploration of either one. Take a North Island road trip from Auckland to Wellington, or stick to the South Island with stops in Queenstown, Te Anau, Wanaka, and Christchurch. Alternatively, opt for a multi-country trip that combines New Zealand's highlights with one full week in Australia.
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Where do I start but to say .... · New Zealand - Nov 18 - Dec 2, 2019
what was planned by Eloise our guide, was brilliantly put together. I had an idea of the places where to go and with a little tinkering between ourselves Eloise came up with, for us, a perfect tour. Everything was smooth from the moment we were picked up at the airport, to the moment we were dropped off for our return. Knowing that everything was booked and paid for when we arrived at each accommodation, and tour meant there was never a concern with any payments. The only thing we had to... read more
One of my favorite trips EVER · New Zealand - Nov 16 - Nov 26, 2019
Every guide we had, and every employee at all the bed and breakfasts/motels we stayed at, were so kind, helpful and thoughtful. Emiline created an amazing trip for us unlike anything we’ve experienced before. Makes me wanting to come back to New Zealand for more! The itinerary was very detailed and Emiline was always very immediate with her response and helpful all along the way, from the planning to while we were on the trip and had some weather mishaps. Thank you Kimkim for yet another unforgettable trip for us!
Lord of the Rings and Scenic Sights · New Zealand - Jun 29 - Jul 7, 2019
Thanks so much to Valentin for planning our amazing trip. Everything was so well organised and our trip flowed seamlessly. Our trip incorporated everything we wanted to see and more. The accommodation Valentin chose for us were all fantastic, the hosts made us feel right at home. Looking forward to booking our next trip with Kim Kim.