Reasons to Visit
This small nation has established a name for fabulous wineries, many internationally acclaimed. Whilst most will point connoisseurs to the Marlborough region for the finest vintages, Hawkes Bay and Martinborough should not be ignored. A trip here would not be complete without trying the local 'fush 'n' chups' or traditional Maori fare either.
For a small country, New Zealand incorporates landscapes as diverse as they come. Mountains, volcanoes, beaches, lakes, fiords, valleys and caves - to the everyday traveller these remarkable sights are other-worldly. Both the North and South islands share many common features, but are also wonderfully contrasting.
It's not necessary to throw yourself off a suspended platform in order to fully experience New Zealand. Alternative options include air safaris over White Island, heli-hiking the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers and wilderness cruises in Milford and Doubful Sounds.
New Zealanders are proud of their Maori roots. Maori song, dance and mythology are prevalent, towns are adorned with carvings and rooms are dressed in flax weavings. Most physical locations also have Maori names with literal translations such as Waimakariri River (Cold water river).
The 'outdoors' perception of New Zealanders is not something consciously cultivated; with such a plentitude of mountains, beaches, fiords lakes and forests on their doorstep it is simply a way of life.
New Zealand has wonderful roads - scenic, safe and, especially on the South Island, largely empty. They even drive on the left and some of the most scenic routes are waymarked. There are car hire stations at all of New Zealand's airports.
There are so many excellent hikes - or 'tramps' as the locals call them - in New Zealand that it is sometimes difficult to know which one to select. We feature several of the country's 'great walks' which can easily be incorportated into any itinerary.
Often Paired With:
Request a Brochure
New Zealand & the South Pacific
Our country specialists have travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand - here are a few of their favourite things to do
New Zealand continues to remain one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. Those prepared to travel half way around the world are rewarded with the most sumptuous platter travel can offer.
Here you will find excellent hotels of character, some on the doorstep of the ocean; you can sample internationally acclaimed wines and indulge in the freshest of sea food.
With vibrant cities and the sincere and generous Kiwi hospitality, you are sure to have an experience with a sweet and lasting taste.
Yet all of this aside, what New Zealand is most famous for is its sublime landscapes. This is ‘God’s Own’ as the locals know it. With the most dramatic and awe-inspiring vistas at every turn, even the finest photographers struggle to capture such significant beauty; seeing it with your own eyes is the only option.
So diverse is the landscape that you can expect to start a day dwarfed by rumbling volcanic peaks, journey through dense ancient forests, traverse rich fertile plains and skirt shimmering lakes, before ending it on a long stretch of empty golden sand.
With Polynesian culture and Maori heritage weaving through the land, you can expect an holistic travel experience: innovation, scenery, culture, food and people, New Zealand has it all.
Auckland & Northland
Auckland is likely to be your gateway to New Zealand, and is certainly worth a couple of days to experience the cosmopolitan mix of the Polynesian world’s largest city. Known as the ‘City of Sails’, there are plenty of reasons to take to the water here.
The small townships of the Bay of Islands are steeped in colonial history, and set against a patchwork of gently rolling farmland and ancient forests of venerable kauri trees. The 144 islands are scattered in the clear Pacific waters, which are abundant with marine wildlife.
Christchurch & Canterbury
The most English of New Zealand’s cities, Christchurch is the provincial capital and also serves as the international gateway to the many scenic wonders of South Island.
In the heartland of the West Coast, the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers pour down from the mountains to the pounding surf of the Tasman Coast - nowhere else in the world, at this latitude, have glaciers advanced so close to the sea.
Kaikoura is an idyllic small seaside township on a rocky peninsula, with a superb beach and also a walkway encased with pairs of whale ribs, known as the ‘Garden of Memories’.
Milford Sound is without doubt one of the most beautiful sights in New Zealand. Here, the power of nature stuns.
Known in Maori as ‘Aoraki’, Mount Cook is the highest mountain in the continent of Australasia. The National Park which surrounds the peak is certainly one of New Zealand’s most spectacular, with more than one third covered in permanent snow and glacial ice.
Few towns in the world - if any - have so dramatic a setting as Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and backed by the constantly dramatic ‘Remarkables’ Mountains.
The Thermal Plateau
At the heart of New Zealand’s geothermal activity and a major focus for Maori culture, Rotorua is situated on the southern shore of Lake Rotorua.
Wellington & Wairarapa
The nation’s capital and the home of New Zealand’s parliament, Wellington is gloriously set beside its magnificent harbour with some stunning modern buildings surrounded by quaint wooden Victorian houses, often beautifully painted in primary colours, dotting its steep, hilly suburbs.
26 hours via LA or 25 hours via Hong Kong
Air New Zealand, Emirates & Singapore Airlines
Read first-hand tips and advice from our travel specialists.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to New Zealand by contacting one of our specialists...
Our offices are open during the following hours:
Further reading:Tours in New ZealandRegions of New ZealandWhen to GoItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout New ZealandCountry Guides
Other countries in Australasia:AustraliaFrench PolynesiaSamoaThe Cook IslandsFiji
Condé Nast Favourite Specialist Tour Operator 2010
Wanderlust Travel Awards Tour Operator 2013
Which? Recommended Holiday Company 2012
Sunday Times Value For Money Awards 2011
American Travel Trade Association
Receive news and offers from Audley
Registering email address...
Interested in a career in travel with Audley? For information on positions and how to apply, click here to visit our careers website.