New Zealand trip ideas
New Zealand's diverse landscapes and Maori culture offer a wealth of experiences, from scenic walks along magnificent fjords to canoeing around national parks and wine tasting in the vineyards. The islands’ manageable size allows visitors to cover a diverse range of attractions in one trip and our itinerary ideas include novel ways to explore popular destinations as well as hidden spots well off the beaten track.
Based on routes they’ve loved, these travel suggestions rely on our specialists' expert knowledge of New Zealand gained through frequent visits to the country. This has allowed them to hand-pick the best range of hotels, tours and transport for your tailor-made vacation.
Ideas for your trip to New Zealand
These itineraries are designed to give you some suggestions for what is possible when you travel in New Zealand, and they showcase some of the routes that we’ve found work particularly well. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely for you by one of our specialists based on your particular tastes and interests.
Explore the thermal wonderland of Rotorua.
Journey through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds.
Enjoy a memorable journey on board the TranzAlpine train.
Take a thrilling jet boat ride on the Dart River.
Explore Rotorua's geothermal delights.
Experience the famous Blenheim winelands.
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of New Zealand's South Island.
Take an overnight cruise around the spectacular Doubtful Sound.
Visit the Waitangi Treaty Ground in the Bay of Islands, a symbolic place where Maori and European culture have historically entwined.
Visit some of the vineyards around Warkworth which have helped put New Zealand wines on the map.
Visit Te Papa Museum in Wellington, where you can learn all about New Zealand's Maori Culture amongst other fascinating exhibits.
Visit Kapiti Island, an island off the coast that is home to native bird species and Maori culture.
Explore the beaches, caves and Maori sites of the Coromandel Peninsula.
Kayak on the beautiful and quite Mueller Glacier Lake.
Hike around the mountain town of Wanaka.
Enjoy a scenic nature cruise on Doubtful Sound.
Experience rainforest and black sand beaches, just outside of Auckland.
Take in the sweeping coastlines of the Bay of Plenty and around Gisborne, and try your hand at surfing here.
Walk on a volcano and enjoy the views in Tongariro and Egmont National Parks.
Visit the famous glow-worm caves at Waitomo.
Hike the Pouakai Crossing.
Go fly fishing for trout around Taupo.
Jet boat and kayak down the Dart River.
Play a round of golf at Jack's Point.
Stay in some lovely two bedroom apartments suitable for the family.
Visit the scenic Abel Tasman National Park and keep your eyes peeled for seals.
Behind the scenes tour of Rainbow Springs to see a kiwi up-close and personal.
Learn about The Lord of the Rings and its filming regions.
Sail to hidden bays in the Abel Tasman National Park.
Watch native sperm whales breach in Kaikoura.
Sleep under the stars in a Dark Sky Reserve.
E-bike around the Clutha River and stunning Lake Wanaka.
Stay aboard an overnight cruise to explore the Doubtful Sound.
Swim with the playful dolphins in the warm waters of the Bay of Islands.
Hear the call of the birds on Tiritiri Matangi.
Spot rare kiwi at Zealandia.
Encounter huge sperm whales at Kaikoura.
Watch the cheeky penguins on the Otago Peninsula.
Enjoy fantastic service and a luxurious Club Balcony Stateroom cabin on Azamara Club Cruises.
Visit many of New Zealand's key highlights, and a few key destinations in Australia, during your 15-night cruise.
Explore the highlights of Auckland and wine tasting at nearby Waiheke Island prior to your cruise departure.
Finish your Australasia tour, with visits to the Blue Mountains and a scenic seaplane flight and luncheon experience.
Explore Sydney's iconic highlights.
Watch the sunset over the magnificent Uluru/Ayers Rock.
Snorkel the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
Explore New Zealand's rugged and mountainous landscape.
Visit world famous wineries in the Blenheim winelands.
Cruise the beautiful Doubtful Sound.
Stroll along surf beaches around Christchurch - New Brighton and Sumner - then enjoy the view from a nearby coffee shop.
Experience the golden sands and turquoise waters of the Abel Tasman National Park.
Enjoy the scenic drive all the way down the west coast - from Westport to Haast, where the forest meets the ocean - this rugged coastline is atmospheric and beautiful.
Explore the less famous wineries of the Central Otago region.
Visit Hawke's Bay, where you are sure to find an excellent Merlot, Cabernet or Syrah.
Spend time in Martinborough meeting some of the local producers.
Take a bike ride through the vines of Blenheim.
Relax on Waiheke Island, surrounded by beautiful beaches and simply excellent food and wine.
Play a round of golf at Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers.
Spend the day exploring the wine on Waiheke Island.
Taste the local produce and cheeses of the wine country of Napier.
Helicopter to Milford Sound to take in Fiordland National Park.
Enjoy fantastic service and full board in a luxurious Club Veranda Suite on Silversea Cruises.
Visit many of New Zealand's key highlights, and a few key destinations in Australia, during your 14-day cruise.
Get to know Sydney through the eyes of a local as well as tours of its main icons: Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Take in a Maori performance and shared full day tour from Auckland.
Stay in some of the most luxurious accommodation in New Zealand.
Enjoy a gourmet wine tour in the Marlborough region.
Experience a stunning helicopter trip over Fiordland National Park and the Southern Lakes region, including a snow landing on the return journey.
Fishing in the top rivers in New Zealand.
Kayaking in a glacial lake.
Cruise on the Milford Sound.
Explore a high country farm.
Experience the vibrant Maori culture on the Kauri Coast.
Cook with a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef.
Cruise on Lake Rotoiti on a private catamaran.
Explore the Fiordland National Park by helicopter.
Some of our favorite travel guides
Enjoy New Zealand’s north and south islands with this travel guide that looks at cruising the Bay of Islands and Doubtful Sound, Rotarua’s thermal springs, the Coromandel Peninsula, whale spotting in Kaikoura, and Mount Cook and Abel Tasman national parks.View this travel guide
The Marlborough region, sitting at the topmost point of the South Island, is the home to fine wines, quality hikes, and a network of navigable waterways.View this travel guide
Known for its black sand, wide beaches and annual festivals, the most defining feature of the Western North Island is Mount Taranaki.View this travel guide
New Zealand specialist James gives his tried-and-tested advice on what makes a family trip to New Zealand fulfilling. He shares his ground rules for travel as a family in this country, and offers suggestions on child-friendly activities across both islands.View this travel guide
Yes, you can increase your chances of seeing a wild kiwi, and no, you don’t necessarily need to get on a boat to go whale-watching. Specialists Holly and Lucy share the how, why, what and where of New Zealand’s wildlife highlights.View this travel guide
Clear air, crystal waters, imposing peaks and ancient forests: these are the elements that make up the majority of the scenery in the Southern Lakes.View this travel guide
Maori culture is multi-layered and an indelible part of New Zealand’s fabric. Here, Audley’s country specialists share their recommendations for the best Maori experiences to include in your New Zealand tour, ranging from intimate family dinners to guided forest walks.View this travel guide
Known as the ‘winter-less north’, Northland has a lot to offer, including the historical Bay of Islands and the cosmopolitan city of Auckland.View this travel guide
With surreal rock formations at Punakaiki, creeping glaciers at Fox and Franz Josef and the immaculate reflection of Mount Cook on the crystal waters of Lake Matheson, the West Coast leaves a firm imprint on any traveler’s mind.View this travel guide
Audley specialists Holly, James and Lindsay recommend things to do in New Zealand that won’t be on most visitors’ radars. They include kiwi-spotting on Stewart Island, going behind the scenes at the nation’s most prestigious museum, and lesser-known winery stays.View this travel guide
- What to do in New Zealand: our highlights guide
- Nelson & Marlborough
- Western North Island
- Family vacations in New Zealand
- Observing New Zealand’s wildlife by land, sea and starlight
- Southern Lakes
- Experiencing New Zealand through Maori eyes
- Auckland & Northland
- New Zealand's West Coast
- Hidden New Zealand