Luxury Guided Tour: New Zealand

Travel through iconic New Zealand scenery and catch all the highlights, as well as unique adventures off the beaten path, and enjoy the expert knowledge of your local guides.

This Luxury Guided Tour: New Zealand vacation package was planned for a large, extended family of 12. They wanted to enjoy a guided luxury tour of New Zealand, and this itinerary truly delivered the best each region has to offer: natural wonders, beautiful private gardens, and warm country hosts. The fun of this Luxury Guided Tour in New Zealand is the journey from one destination to the next.

With such a large group, they were able to have a luxury coach to themselves (the coach seats a maximum of 18 guests). Throughout the journey, their driver and guides gave them fresh and personal insights into the beautiful country and its wonderful culture. They started their Luxury Guided Tour in Auckland and then traveled to Rotorua, where they took a luxury catamaran to the famed hot pools. They also saw the extensive geothermal sites that make Rotorua famous.

Next, on their Luxury Guided Tour: New Zealand package, they traveled to Tongariro National Park and Napier, where they toured unique Art Deco architecture and tasted the city’s fabulous food and wine. Next, they drove through gorgeous mountain scenery to Wellington, New Zealand’s charming capital city. They took a scenic cruise to the renowned Marlborough wine region for some tastings.

Continuing their Luxury Guided Tour: New Zealand package, they traveled to sunny Nelson and explored the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. They continued their journey, driving the route between the Pacific Ocean and Kaikoura Ranges to a cozy hotel surrounded by mountains. Then, they traveled on to Queenstown. From there, they enjoyed a day cruise in Milford Sound, one of New Zealand’s most pristine areas, and took a scenic flight back to Queenstown.

They spent the final day of their Luxury Guided Tour: New Zealand vacation at leisure in Queenstown. The more adventurous members of the group decided to go bungee jumping here, while the rest spent the day on a wine-tasting tour in nearby Otago.

At last, their amazing New Zealand vacation ended, and they were transferred to the airport to begin their trip home.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to New Zealand! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your waterside hotel in central Auckland on arrival. The rest of the day is spent at leisure exploring the “City of Sails.” Winelovers can use this day to take the 40-minute ferry to Waiheke Island, an artisan island known for its beaches and boutique wineries.
The Sebel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

Day 2
Today, join your small-group tour on a comfortable, air-conditioned coach bus and drive south over Auckland’s Bombay Hills and across the Hauraki Plains. Stop in the beautiful Karangahake Gorge and the Bay of Plenty. Then, you’ll take to the water on board a luxury 53-ft catamaran to sail on Lake Rotoiti to the geothermal hot pools of Rotorua. A favorite with locals, these pools can only be reached by water. Soak in the pools, jump in the lake to cool off, and have a go on the helm of the boat on the way back.
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Day 3
The morning is free to relax or enjoy one of Rotorua’s many and varied attractions. Drive out to Te Wairoa for lunch at New Zealand’s buried village, frozen in time from the day of the famous Mt Tarawera eruption in 1886. Sit back and relax over a glass of wine with your local hosts. After a walk around the village, head back into town and the Rotorua Kiwi Encounter, where you’ll see this iconic bird up close.
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Day 4
Today, you’ll head to Wai-O-Tapu. At this geothermal landmark, you will wander by brightly colored silica terraces and plopping mud pools. Then, visit the dramatic, thundering Huka Falls and stop to look across the lake at three active volcanoes: Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and Ruapehu. This afternoon, there’s time to explore short trails in Tongariro National Park, or you can just sit back and take in the breathtaking views.
4-star hotel in Tongariro National Park

Day 5
Leaving behind the geothermal region of the North Island, your road winds over rugged ranges to Napier. Renowned for its Art Deco architecture, Napier was rebuilt in this style after an earthquake in 1931. It’s also an acclaimed wine region. On arrival, join a local guide for a walking tour of the inner city Art Deco buildings. The afternoon is yours to explore the town and beach at your leisure, as well as the fabulous restaurants that make Napier a food lover’s paradise.
4-star hotel in Napier

Day 6
Leaving Napier, you’ll drive south through the farmlands and the broad plains of the Wairarapa. In the afternoon, you’ll traverse the Rimutaka Ranges to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Tour Wellington’s waterfront and city sights and drive up Mt Victoria for the harbour views. Your hotel provides easy access to the city’s eclectic cafe scene.
Bolton Hotel

Day 7
This morning, catch the Interislander ferry for 3 hours across Cook Strait into Tory Channel and up beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton in the renowned Marlborough wine region. Enjoy a wine tasting before driving up to the mountains and St Arnaud, a tiny hamlet in the middle of the Nelson Lakes National Park, close to beautiful Lake Rotoiti. From here, it’s a downhill run to Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand.
5-star hotel in Nelson

Day 8
Today, you can choose a full scenic cruise or a cruise and walk along the beautiful Abel Tasman coastline. Near-shore islands, sheltered waters, estuaries, and golden sandy beaches characterize the coastline. After your cruise or walk, return to Nelson for the remainder of the day.
5-star hotel in Nelson

Day 9
Leaving Nelson, you’ll wind over the hills through Blenheim to reach the wild coastal road that hugs the cliffs between the Pacific Ocean and the Kaikoura Ranges. Your afternoon is free to explore Kaikoura’s wildlife, perhaps enjoying a close-up encounter with marine life. You can choose from many optional excursions, including the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, whale-watching cruises, and flights.
The White Morph

Day 10
First, continue down the coast. Then, your tour heads inland down the Canterbury Plains to Akaunui Farm homestead. At this century-old farmstead, enjoy a private lunch and an introduction to the delights of the mid-Canterbury region, with sweeping vistas of tussock lands and mountains ahead. Tonight, you’ll stay in a valley surrounded by mountains.
The Hermitage Hotel

Day 11
This morning, perhaps take an optional boat cruise to the terminal face of the Tasman Glacier or a scenic flight to take in the beautiful area around Mt Cook. Alternatively, an early morning walk through magnificent alpine scenery to Kea Point is unforgettable. Later, drive through the golden grasses of the Mackenzie Basin and the Lindis Pass. The rugged Kawarau Gorge road leads you to Queenstown. On arrival, you can ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for a scenic overview of this beautiful resort town.
4-star hotel in Queenstown

Day 12
Travel alongside Lake Wakatipu to Lake Te Anau and Milford Sound, deep in the heart of Fiordland National Park. Enjoy a panorama of high mountains and deep valleys studded with glaciers, waterfalls, and mirror lakes. Then, cruise down Milford Sound, a majestic fiord lined with waterfalls dominated by iconic Mitre Peak. See colonies of seals lounging on the rocks where the sound reaches the Tasman Sea. Return to Queenstown from Milford on an amazing scenic flight over the Southern Alps and across Lake Wakatipu.
4-star hotel in Queenstown

Day 13
Today is yours to spend your leisure time in Queenstown. We recommend an optional excursion such as a jet boat ride on the remote Dart River, white water rafting down the Shotover or Kawarau River, or a cruise on the lake on the vintage steamer TSS Earnslaw. Alternatively, you can take a wine tour to sample Central Otago’s renowned pinot noir.
4-star hotel in Queenstown

Day 14
Today, your New Zealand vacation comes to an end. After a leisurely breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel for your transfer to Queenstown Airport to catch your flight home.

About this vacation
Cost Per Person

Does not include the cost of airfare

Based on
14 day stay
12 travelers

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