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Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

New Zealand tours

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.

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Audley Travel Specialist Mary

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Our recommended tours in 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.

  • New Zealand's North Island self-drive

    New Zealand
    • 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.

    16 days from $4,165pp

  • New Zealand Family Explorer

    New Zealand
    • 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.

    15 days from $5,680pp

  • New Zealand's Wildlife self-drive

    New Zealand
    • 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.

    22 days from $8,505pp

  • South Island Exploration the Eco Friendly Way

    New Zealand
    • 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.

    18 days from $8,605pp

  • New Zealand & Australia cruise with Azamara Club Cruises

    New Zealand and Australia
    • 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.

    21 days from $9,995pp

  • New Zealand's South Island self-drive

    New Zealand
    • 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.

    18 days from $10,115pp

  • Australia & New Zealand Uncovered

    Australia and New Zealand
    • 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.

    20 days from $10,435pp

  • New Zealand's Food & Wine Trail self-drive

    New Zealand
    • 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.

    18 days from $10,535pp

  • Golfing through New Zealand

    New Zealand
    • 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.

    17 days from $11,115pp

  • Sydney to Auckland Voyage with Silversea Cruises

    Australia and New Zealand
    • 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.

    21 days from $14,395pp

  • Luxury New Zealand self-drive

    New Zealand
    • 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.

    14 days from $17,420pp

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Some of our favorite travel guides

Dolphin pod, Kaikoura

Observing New Zealand’s wildlife by land, sea and starlight

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
River near Milford Sound, Fiordland

Southern Lakes

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
Queenstown, Queenstown

Driving vacations in New Zealand: 3 great routes

Audley country specialist John explains why, for him, self-drive is the best way to explore New Zealand. He recommends three very different routes, from mountain passes in the South Island to forest roads in the North Island.

View this travel guide
Dolphins in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Cruising in New Zealand

There’s a lot to love about day cruises in New Zealand, says specialist Ophelia. She shares her pick of the best from across the North and South Islands. Expect dolpins, hot springs, Maori rock art and a weka (or three).

View this travel guide
The Lindis, Ahuriri Valley

Luxury stays in New Zealand: four of the best luxury wilderness lodges

Paul from our New Zealand team picks his preferred luxury wilderness lodges across both North and South Islands. How can they enhance your trip? For him, it’s about their remote locations and the experiences you can tap into.

View this travel guide
Bridge to Nowhere, Whanganui National Park

Western North Island

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
Rotorua, Rotorua

The Thermal Plateau

Covering Rotorua, Taupo and Tongariro National Park, the Thermal Plateau is both geologically fascinating and culturally exciting.

View this travel guide
Wellington tram

Wellington & Wairarapa

Home to New Zealand’s capital city and the rolling vineyards of the Wairarapa, the region of Wellington and Wairarapa is a delight.

View this travel guide
Jet boat on the Dart River

What to do in New Zealand: our highlights guide

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
Travelling by campervan, New Zealand

Exploring New Zealand by campervan: an all-you-need-to-know guide

If you have ever fancied roaming New Zealand by campervan, read on. Audley specialist James shares his do’s and don’ts for campervan vacations in this most outdoorsy of countries, including the most scenic (and often little-known) pitches and campsites.

View this travel guide