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.
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New Zealand & the South Pacific
We can arrange a wide range of activities during your trip. Here is just a small selection of what's on offer.
The Otago Peninsula is home to some of New Zealand's rarest animals, but it is also the most accessible wildlife area on the South Island. A cruise on the peninsula allows you to view this amazing array of ocean birds and marine mammals in their natural environment.
The Oceanic Discoverer is a state-of-the-art 1,800 tonne luxury small ship specially designed to cruise the narrow channels and shallow waters of the remoter parts of Australasia. It is run by Coral Princess Cruises who also run cruises in Australia.
Board the Dart River jet-boat on a white-knuckle ride for an hour and a half up the narrow, meandering waterway, into real wilderness country.
This four hour trip departs from Paihia and Russell in the morning or afternoon on a jet-powered catamaran from which you will meet one of nature's most charming creatures in the warm waters of the Bay of Islands.
Perhaps one of the finest options in Fiordland, the overnight Fiordland Navigator cruise on Doubtful Sound takes you to some of the national park’s most untouched and inspiring scenery.
Te Anau & Manapouri
Once in Milford you will board the Milford Mariner for a nature cruise of two and a half hours which leads you the full length of the sound and into the Tasman Sea.
The Great Sights Overnight Bay of Islands Cruise departs from the small port town of Opua and each cruise takes you to some of the Bay of Islands' most spectacular landmarks.
Akaroa & Banks Peninsula
This harbour cruise is one of the most picturesque in New Zealand and gives you the chance to experience the Banks Peninsulas most majestic scenery.
The cruise takes in the...
Be whisked away by the high speed luxury catamaran for a comfortable journey out through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse before reaching Motukokako Island and the famous 'Hole in the Rock'. The excitement grows as you make passage through the Hole and on to the majestic Grand Cathedral Cave.
This full day excursion provides a sample of many of the highlights of this stunning peninsula. The guides at Kiwi Dundee will introduce you to areas of scenic beauty and historic significance, and will endeavour to tailor the day to the preferences of the group.
Spending a night on board the Milford Mariner is by far the best way to experience the splendour of the majestic Fiordland scenery.
Over the course of the trip you will learn about Maori culture and history, and enjoy the amazing bio-diversity of the Sounds whilst slowly sailing round the sheltered inland waterways.
Once on board the Fiordland Navigator you will cruise through hidden waterways where bottlenose dolphins are frequently seen playing and riding the waves under the bows, fur seals bask on outcrops around the fiord, and at times the rarest penguins in the world can be observed.
Board the motor launch that will take you to famous Ship Cove where Captain Cook visited five times to reprovision his ship. From Ship Cove the track climbs, giving you unsurpassed views to the North Island.
Abel Tasman National Park
The first part of the excursion starts with a cruise up the coastline, passing golden beaches and secluded bays, to Onetahuti (Tonga Bay), where you visit Tonga Island, which is home to the largest seal colony in the park and has many species of sea bird and sometimes Penguins.
The Siberia Experience offers you a selection of New Zealand's best adventurous activities all in one day.
The local company we use who operate these boats which head out to see the whales as they come up for air, has been running trips for over 20 years and has won many awards in that time. The whole experience is not just exhilarating, but also highly educational and focused on the preservation of the marine environment.
This full day walk into one of New Zealand's most remarkable native forests takes you to the heart of the Urewera Ranges in the company of the Tuhoe Maori for whom this has been home for many centuries.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to New Zealand by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in New ZealandRegions of New ZealandWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoAccommodationAbout New ZealandCountry Guides
Other countries in Australasia:AustraliaFrench PolynesiaSamoaThe Cook IslandsFiji
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