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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



222 Reviews

  • Excellent 172
  • Great 53
  • Average 1
  • Disappointing 0
  • Terrible 0

Rating Details

  • Value
  • Guide
  • Activities
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Meals

Tour Reviews

The most incredible experience

New Zealand Encompassed

January 2017
G Adventures
Recommend: Yes
G Adventures took me all around New Zealand over the course of a month, and it was the best decision I ever made. To read more, visit the blog I wrote whilst out there at

Fabulous trip

Trails of New Zealand

January 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A tour of both North and South Islands with numerous short walks included which aren't listed on the trip notes. The scenery is just breathtaking (sometimes literally with some of the hills we walked up....) and just needs to be seen.
Seeing into the Red Crater at the top of the Tongarairo Crossing. The photographs just do not do it justice at all. Plus, you then get to run down the scree which is a lot of fun....

Excellent knowledge of the flora and fauna, I know more about NZ wildlife that that in the UK.... He also took us on numerous little walks to break up the long coach trips, many weren't listed on the trip notes but he knew them any way.

Even in summer, weather is variable. Actually, you are guaranteed rain in Westland... I used my light down jacket more than I thought.
You need DEET On the south island, sandflies are evil

Go on this trip.
Consider doing your own add on to go to the Bay of Islands or the Coromandel Peninsula while you are there.

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Our smiling Kiwi guide, Rossco, took care of everything for us and then some!

New Zealand Family Private

January 2017
Butterfield & Robinson
Recommend: Yes
We just returned from a fantastic New Zealand Family Biking trip! The South Island of New Zealand is spectacularly beautiful and what better way to see it than by bicycle (and foot, boat, plane, heli). Our smiling Kiwi guide, Rossco, took care of everything for us and then some!

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

Best of New Zealand

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

August 2016
Exodus Travels
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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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


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 

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