Personalized trips to New Zealand
for independent travelers

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Travelers love kimkim

"Kimkim is the perfect solution for independent travelers who are too busy to plan it all themselves" - Gayle R., traveled with kimkim in October 2019

Introducing New Zealand

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 immerse yourself in Māori culture in Rotorua, taste wine in the vineyards of Martinborough, and take a whale-watching tour off the coast of Christchurch. 

Where should I go in New Zealand?
New Zealand is split between the North Island and the South Island, each offering something different. While the North Island is more densely populated and famed for authentic immersion into Māori culture near Rotorua, it is also known for the bustling city of Auckland, stunning beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula, and famous landmarks from the Lord of the Rings movies such as Hobbiton. In contrast, the South Island is better known for the “adventure capital of the world,” Queenstown, and the surrounding natural beauty found among must-visit sites such as Mount Cook, the Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, and the fjords of Milford Sound.

When is the best time to visit? 
New Zealand’s rugged landscapes, natural beauty, and adventure-filled activities make it a spectacular destination to visit year-round. Between the months of December and March, you can expect bright and sunny days with temperatures ranging between 60°F and 75°F—the perfect weather to enjoy beaches, hiking, and other outdoor activities. New Zealand also makes for an exciting getaway between June and September, when snow arrives to beckon skiers and other winter adventurers to the South Island and the mountains of the North Island. Learn more

Things to do in New Zealand
Travelers are spoiled for choice when it comes to adventure in New Zealand. Cruise the iconic fjords of Milford Sound, Bungy jump off a bridge in Queenstown, immerse yourself in local Māori culture, or hike the skyscraping peaks of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Take a guided tour of the Franz Josef glacier, catch a glimpse of seal pups playing in the waters of Abel Tasman National Park, whale-watch in Kaikōura, or see the stars like never before at the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve—the largest gold-standard Dark Sky Reserve in the world. 

How many days do I need in New Zealand?
Whether your travels take you to New Zealand for one week, two weeks, a month, or more (and 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 car-friendly ferry between Wellington and Picton. Learn more

Ready to start planning your trip to New Zealand? 
Get started by telling us a bit about your ideal trip, and we will connect you to a local specialist to work out all the details.

Explore trips by duration: 5 days · 6 days · 7 days · 8 days · 9 days · 10 days · 12 days · 14 days · 15 days

New Zealand Tours & Itineraries

Get inspired by trips other travelers have loved
Fiordland National Park
Map of Highlights of New Zealand - 10 Days
Highlights of New Zealand - 10 Days

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.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Map of Best of New Zealand’s South Island - 10 Days
Best of New Zealand’s South Island - 10 Days

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.

Stunning view of Lake Tekapo on New Zealand's South Island
Map of Highlights of New Zealand: From North to South - 15 Days
Highlights of New Zealand: From North to South - 15 Days

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.

Finish the trip in Queenstown for a slew of activities
Map of New Zealand's Ultimate Tour - 13 Days
New Zealand's Ultimate Tour - 13 Days

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.

A beautiful view over a New Zealand Lake
Map of South Island Highlights & New Zealand Wines - 12 Days
South Island Highlights & New Zealand Wines - 12 Days

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.

Check out the thermal lakes in Rotorua
Map of New Zealand's North Island Adventure - 7 Days
New Zealand's North Island Adventure - 7 Days

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.

Make the Most of Your Time in New Zealand

Have a fixed number of days? Maximize the things to see and do during your visit
Aoraki/Mount Cook
How Many Days to Spend in New Zealand

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...

New Zealand Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip

Our Latest New Zealand Content

A winding road in the Marlborough Sounds
Map of New Zealand Ultimate North to South Island Road Trip - 9 Days
New Zealand Ultimate North to South Island Road Trip - 9 Days

Brimming with adventure, spectacular nature, and lively cities, this nine-day road trip dives into the best of New Zealand's North and South Islands. Visit cosmopolitan Auckland and sample Waiheke Island's best beaches and wineries, then head to Rotorua for thrill-seeking activities, Maori villages, and natural hot springs. After a breathtaking ferry ride across Marlborough Sounds, your trip ends with whale watching and a scenic drive along the Kaikoura Coast to Christchurch.

Cape Reinga in New Zealand's Bay of Islands
Map of Unwind in New Zealand's Winterless North - 9 Days
Unwind in New Zealand's Winterless North - 9 Days

Experience the best of New Zealand's North Island, known for its rich Maori culture, subtropical beaches, and buzzing city life. Launch your nine-day tour in Auckland, with a bungee jump off the Sky Tower and a dinner cruise around its twinkling harbor. Then road trip your way north to the tropical paradise of the Bay of Islands to discover pristine beaches, charming coastal towns, and the magical Waipoua Forest.

Views across New Zealand's Bay of Islands
Map of New Zealand North Island Explorer - 9 Days
New Zealand North Island Explorer - 9 Days

Ideal for adventure lovers and active families, this nine-day, self-drive itinerary features the best of New Zealand's North Island. Board an ocean safari for dolphin watching in the Bay of Islands, explore New Zealand's rich Maori history, and experience the mighty power of the Pacific Ocean at Cape Reinga. After beachcombing and snorkeling time at Snells Beach, head inland to Rotorua for rejuvenating geothermal pools, a Maori cultural dinner, and sparkling glowworm caves.

New Zealand Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
New Zealand map: 10 Days in New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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New Zealand map: 5 Days in New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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New Zealand map: 14 Days in New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
14 Days in New Zealand - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for New Zealand
Travel specialist Liz Neal
active 17 hours ago

Liz Neal

I have been involved in the travel industry since my first job out of college, working for hotels, travel companies and for the last 4 years in Springboard Vacations. I approach my customer's...

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Travel specialist Eloise Le Bout

Eloise Le Bout

I have been living in Auckland, New Zealand for more than three years. What made me fall in love right from day one was not only the beautiful wildlife and breathtaking scenery, but also the...

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Travel specialist Ruth Grau
active 1 day ago

Ruth Grau

I grew up in small outback towns in South Australia before starting in the travel industry in Adelaide. After working many years in Sales & Marketing with tour companies, wholesalers and airlines,...

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Travel specialist Nichole White
active 3 days ago

Nichole White

Senior Sales Consultant specializing in custom made itineraries to cater towards all clients. I believe in providing the best possible customer service combined with an in-depth understanding of...

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Why travelers love kimkim

Custom trips for independent travelers who are too busy to plan

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Trip Reviews for New Zealand

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

Nichole was incredibly informative, gracious,...
New Zealand | Jul 10 - Jul 13, 2022

K
Kate B.
Longmont, CO | Reviewed on Aug 18, 2022

Nichole was incredibly informative, gracious, and flexible. We had some last minute challenges during our visit (unrelated to the planning) and Nichole had to do some super quick adjustments and really took care of us. We are very appreciative of her and would highly recommend!

Local specialist: Nichole White

Wonderful cycling (South Island of New Zealand)
New Zealand | Mar 1 - Mar 15, 2020

P
Penelope C.
Canada | Reviewed on Mar 31, 2020

I wrote to Kim Kim re cycling in NZ having some ideas of what we wanted (and what we did not want). Valentin responded immediately and through some correspondence we planned 2 weeks cycling in Sth Island of New Zealand. He understood our needs and catered to our preferences. The choice of trails, accommodation and attention to detail was fantastic (the trip itself was amazing, so varied in scenery and types of trails. We loved the small towns, the unique accommodations and people, having our... read more

I wrote to Kim Kim re cycling in NZ having some ideas of what we wanted (and what we did not want). Valentin responded immediately and through some correspondence we planned 2 weeks cycling in Sth Island of New Zealand. He understood our needs and catered to our preferences. The choice of trails, accommodation and attention to detail was fantastic (the trip itself was amazing, so varied in scenery and types of trails. We loved the small towns, the unique accommodations and people, having our luggage transported and the organizations of shuttles to and from airport, train and buses and the bicycle company to provide bicycles, support and guidance for the cycling and even suggestions for hikes to do at Mt Cook. Certainly a most memorable experience and a patch of blue while the storm clouds of Covid-19 gathered. We finished the trip on a real high with many lovely memories to carry us through our isolation/quarantine on returning home.

Local specialist: Valentin Puech
Valentin
Valentin Puech
Local specialist in Auckland, New Zealand | Reviewed on Mar 31, 2020

Thank you so much Penny, it was a pleasure helping you organising your trip! All the best. Valentin

Magical New Zealand
New Zealand | Mar 3 - Mar 16, 2020

B
Blaine M.
Houston, TX | Reviewed on Apr 07, 2020

Thanks to Eloise for planning our wonderful trip thru New Zealand. The highlight of our trip was staying at the Matuka Lodge in Twizel(Mount Cook). The flight over the glaciers were beyond memorable. The whole itinerary was very well planned and everything went smoothly. Thanks for all the recommendations. Till the next time.

Local specialist: Eloise Le Bout
Eloise
Eloise Le Bout
Local specialist in Auckland | Reviewed on Apr 07, 2020

Thank you Blaine, I am glad to read you enjoyed your trip in our beautiful country! I wish you some fantastic trips to come and will be happy to have you back in New Zealand if you wish to come back!
Kind regards
Eloise