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Top Trip Memories

  • Hiking one or more of New Zealand’s world-famous “tracks” -- Milford, Routeburn or others -- to challenge yourself on mountain terrain while enjoying panoramic views.
  • Making your way through a dark glow-worm cave on New Zealand’s South Island, with the worms glowing like stars on a cave-roof “sky.”
  • Sailing Milford Sound in New Zealand’s southern Fjordland, one of the world’s most spectacular boat trips.
  • Walking through the Whirinaki rainforest on New Zealand’s North Island in the company of a Maori guide while learning about the flora and fauna and tribal history.
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Tour Tips

  • Even though many tours combine visits to New Zealand with Australia, consider making two separate trips since each is so rich in activities by itself.
  • Similarly, if your tour covers “only” either the South or North Island of New Zealand, you’ll have more time to get to know those areas better.
  • With the great distances traveled just to arrive in New Zealand, allow at least 10 days to two weeks for a tour – which won’t seem nearly enough.
  • If you’re flying across the Pacific to New Zealand for your tour, check into stopovers in Hawaii, Fiji or Tahiti – it will break up the long flight, sometimes at no extra charge.
  • Remember that the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere, so if you’d like warm weather, head down in the North American winter.
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New Zealand Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.8 out of 5

100%

recommend

220 Reviews

  • Excellent 167
  • Great 52
  • Average 1
  • Disappointing 0
  • Terrible 0

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.7
  • Guide
    4.8
  • Activities
    4.8
  • Lodging
    4.8
  • Transportation
    4.7
  • Meals
    4.8

Tour Reviews

The tour was amazing and we had such an incredible Tour guide.

Best of New Zealand

5.0
December 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: No
This was the best time of my live. We had an awesome time and i'm looking forward to my next G-trip. Our Tour guide did everything to make our tour perfect. We had so much fun with him and not a single problem. With him we truly lived the dream!

Newzealand trekking ( TLZ)

Trekking in New Zealand

5.0
August 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
Excellent trip with varied iteniary with amazing landscapes
lots...trek in Tongariro national park, Milford Sounds, Mt Cook trek, Helicopter and jet boat rides , etc

Both island leaders were good. But Justine in south Island was exceptional . As an Ex Ranger who had also trekked extensively in his young age , he was full of knowledge as well as being very practical.

JUST DO IT as they say in the advert ! Dont take excess clothes as opportunity to dress smart for evenings is limited since itenary is packed so most of us just wore our clean trekking gear.
Also will need larger backpack for the couple of camping days because will need to carry spare clothes,sleeping bag and tent, and some food for cooking.

A long way away for us Brits but well worth it.

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trekking new zealand

Trekking in New Zealand

5.0
August 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
A very well put-together trip with a variety of really interesting experiences
Seeing "Mount Doom" appear out of its cloud cap on the Tongariro crossing - on cue, during a snack break - and disappearing again the moment my wife had got her camera ready!
Helicopter trip into Siberia valley....

Linda (north island) - lovely Lady - felt very safe in her capable hands
Justin (South island) - a tireless bundle of energy, very knowledgeable and a great organiser.

Expect to go up to waist deep on the river crossings after any rain!

Thoroughly recommend this holiday,but if we were to travel to NZ again, we would break the journey with an overnight stop (or two) en route -maybe in Dubai.

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TREKKING IN NEW ZEALAND

Trekking in New Zealand

5.0
August 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
A great way to see and do a LOT!
What to choose! Camping on the beach at Abel Tasman was beautiful, big sky, stunning sunset and dawn. The Red quarry on the Tongariro crossing was the most amazing sight, the colours in the rocks unlike anything I've ever seen, then there was Lake Crucible, the refelction of the glacier so clear and sharp. I guess if I had to choose one, the sky dive over Queenstown was the most spectacular experience, we were blessed with a clear, bright day, making the views quite magical.

Both guides were brilliant, Graham on North Island and Chris on South. They both delivered beyond the expectations and were extremely knowlegable and passionate about their country. Changing the itinerary at short notice due to adverse weather was much appreciated and made for a very enjoyable final day. Chris's Dad, supplier of delicious birthday cakes, much appreciated too.

This is a very full on trip, you need to be quite organised packing and unpacking every  night. It is absolutely worth the long flight and a fantasitc way to see a lot of New Zealand and I would do advise doing all the activities and options on offer, it's that kind of place!

Hiking New Zealand were fab hosts and could not have done more to ensure the best possible experience.

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TREKKING IN NEW ZEALAND

Trekking in New Zealand

5.0
August 2016
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
A well-organised, varied and very enjoyable trip with great leaders and nice group members which did what it said on the tin.  A good mix of travel and walking and other outdoor activities - a perfect first taste of NZ.
Difficult to say - the immediate immersion into the relaxed NZ vibe after the stresses of the UK pre-Christmas rush, the amazing volcanic landscapes round Rotorua, fabulous lake-side accommodation at Lake Taupo, the bizarre lunar landscape on the Tongariro crossing, the remote windswept beaches of the west coast of South Island, the lush greenery and deep inlets of Fjordland, the majesty of (unfortunately mist-shrouded) Mount Cook - the list goes on.   

Graham and Chris (respective group leaders for North and South Island parts of the trip) were both very capable and efficient as well as being friendly, impeturbable and very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna and history of NZ.  They worked really hard to ensure we had the best holiday possible and to facilitate group members contributing as well ot the experience. I really don't think they could have done any more than they did and indeed they exceeded our expectations e.g. Chris invited us to his house for a buffet lunch on Christmas Day.  

If you want to get a general overview of New Zealand in as short a time as realistically possible, with a bit of walking and other outdoor activities throughout, I can highly recommend this trip.

I understand that Exodus is thinking about changing the local agent, Trek New Zealand.  From my experience Trek New Zealand provide a really excellent service which leads to satisfied clients who will therefore be more inclined to go on other Exodus trips.  So changing the local agent could prove to be a false economy.      

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Classic Itineraries

New Zealand in 1 Week

New Zealand may be small but it packs an adventurous punch. In one week, you can see a lot, but be prepared for a little bit of driving. Another option is to stay in Queenstown or Christchurch and take day trips. 

Days 1-3, Queenstown: Take an all day Lord of the Rings tour, experience the thrill of Jet boating, Bungee Jumping, Skyline Luge, and Paragliding. Enjoy a demonstration of the native dance, the Haka, and learn about the native culture.

Day 4, Milford Sound: Take a half day cruise around beautiful Milford Sound, see waterfalls, hike, and catch a glimpse of a seal. Return to Queenstown for dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants along the lake.

Day 5, Mount Cook & Fox Glacier: Walk on a real glacier, hike the Mount Cook trail and enjoy a meal at the lodge before hitting the road.

Day 6-7, Nelson & Wellington: Visit and spend the night in the small seaside town of Nelson before making your way across the water to Wellington.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

New Zealand Walking Private with Butterfield & Robinson - 9 Days

'Sweet As' South with Contiki - 10 Days

Spotlight on New Zealand with Tauck - 10 Days

Or see All New Zealand in One Week Itineraries

New Zealand in 2 Weeks

North Island

Day 1, Wellington: Visit the Wellington Museum and Weta Workshop - where the famous prosthetics from Lord of the Rings were created.

South Island

Days 2, Nelson: Enjoy this seaside town on the south island, just across the water from the north. Take half a day to explore Kahurangi National Park.

Day 3, Marlborough: Wine tasting premier Sauvignon Blanc and other wines from this new yet growing wine region.

Day 4-6, Mt. Cook & Fox GlacierWalk on a real glacier, hike the Mount Cook trail and enjoy a meal at the lodge before hitting the road.

Day 7, Milford Sound: Spend a full day cruising around beautiful Milford Sound, see waterfalls, hike, and catch a glimpse of a seal. Head on to Queenstown for dinner at one of the many seafood restaurants along the lake.

Day 8-9, Queenstown: Take an all Lord of the Rings tour, experience the thrill of Jet boating, Bungee Jumping, Skyline Luge, and Paragliding. Enjoy a demonstration of the native dance, the Haka, and learn about the native culture.

Day 10, Fiordland National Park: Take a full day to explore this beautiful national park before heading to Christchurch.

Day 11-13, Coastal Drive: Enjoy a long coastal drive up the South Island’s east coast on your way to Christchurch.

Day 14, Christchurch: End your journey in bustling Christchurch, do some shopping and sightseeing around the city.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

Highlights of New Zealand with G Adventures - 15 Days

New Zealand Spendor with Trafalgar - 15 Days

New Zealand Adventure with Odysseys Unlimited - 16 Days

Or see All New Zealand in Two Weeks Itineraries

Active Adventure Tour in New Zealand

Day 1, Wellington: Take the ferry across to the South Island - the thrills start here as waters can be choppy!

Day 2-3, Nelson: Abel Tasman National Park, sea kayaking along the Abel Tasman coastline, Tonga Arches, go whitewater rafting on Buller River

Day 4, Paparoa National Park: Pancake Rocks, go rafting through a black-water cave lit by glow-worms

Day 5-6, Franz Joseph: View Franz Josef glacier from a thrilling helicopter ride and walk on Fox Glacier.

Day 7-8, Wanaka: Hike Wilkin River, go mountain biking, and enjoy leisure time by Lake Wanaka. Hike to Rob Roy Glacier.

Day 9-11, Queenstown: Visit the original bungee jumping site at AJ Hackett, go jetboating, take in the views as you soar down in the Skyline Luge or enjoy a tandem paraglide.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

New Zealand - Active South Island with G Adventures - 15 Days, basic trip

New Zealand Wild West Coast with Mountain Travel Sobek - 11 Days, premium trip

New Zealand Adventure with National Geographic Expeditions - 12 Days, luxury trip

Or see All New Zealand Adventure Trips

New Zealand Trips & Tour Advice

New Zealand is much more than Australia’s little brother -- it’s a star in its own right. The country is best known for its natural attractions, and the sheep famously outnumber the people (who are called Kiwis). But its major cities, Auckland and Wellington on the North Island, and Nelson, Queenstown and Christchurch on the South Island, make for nice stops.

New Zealand’s three islands are like three different worlds: the subtropical North Island, the generally much cooler South Island, and the even cooler Stewart Island to the far south, the smallest of the three.

Highlights of the Three Islands

North of Auckland on the North Island is the Bay of Islands, a subtropical paradise of green islands, turquoise waters, marine and bird life (including whales and penguins), and loads of water activities.

The South Island, which served as the backdrop for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, is just as breathtaking in person as on screen. Whether hiking the famous “tracks” – long hiking trails such as Milford, Routeburn or Abel Tasman – taking a boat ride on Fjordland’s Milford Sound, or exploring the Southern Alps mountain range (remindful of the mountains in northern Norway, Alaska and Patagonia), the South Island is an active traveler’s fantasy island.

New Zealand’s Stewart Island – its third largest island but tiny compared to the others  – is 85 percent national parkland and another center of outdoor activities, though comparatively rarely visited.

Diverse Cultures

While many Kiwis are descended from Britons, there is also a substantial indigenous population of Maoris, often easily recognizable by elaborate facial tattoos. Maori culture had suffered considerably until recent years, but its language and arts are now being revived. Some New Zealand tours place a priority on exploring Maori life.

You may be surprised to encounter a number of Turkish, Vietnamese and other ethnic restaurants in cities like Nelson and Wellington, but New Zealand has attracted a number of immigrants from around the world, adding to a growing cosmopolitan atmosphere. But you’ll still find plenty of lamb stew, fish and chips, and other British-style dishes.

Whether you’d like your New Zealand guided trip to be one of challenging mountainous tracks like Milford and Routeburn or rappelling deep into remote caverns and scaling volcanoes, or a more leisurely tour that takes you walking through glow worm caves and on Milford Sound cruise boats, you can weigh all your best options for a Kiwi vacation on Stride.

Related Guides

Continent:             

Australia & the Pacific

Local Attractions:  

Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, Bay of Islands, Kaikoura, Sky Tower, Abel Tasman National Park and Many More

Top Activities:      

Nature Sightseeing & Wilderness Walk 

Similar Destination:                    

Australia

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