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New Zealand - Best Tours & Trips 2019

351 trips to New Zealand tours from 96 tour companies. 685 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.
New Zealand is one of the world's great adventure destinations, though it is also known for its stunning fjords, glow-worm caves, and native Maori culture. Each of the major islands offer mountains and incredible vistas to enjoy; especially if you take one of the world-famous "tracks", or long distance hiking trails.
All New Zealand tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Itinerary Focus

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 76 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Stride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more

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Highlights of New Zealand

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 187 / day
$ 3,299
From : $ 3,779
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Check out hot water beach
  • Feast on a hangi in a maori village
  • Let loose in queenstown
  • Cruise around the fjords of doubtful sound
Visits:
Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wellington, Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound, Alps, Mount Cook, New Zealand
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New Zealand North Island Discovery

Intrepid Travel
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
8 days
$ 260 / day
$ 2,082
From : $ 2,561
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Get off the beaten track and explore the lesser visited East of the North Island
  • Experience immersive Maori culture by spending a night in a Marae - a traditional house with Hangi dinner
  • Feel like you are in another world by taking a journey on the 'Forgotten World' rail, a disused Heritage Railway line now travelled either in pedal power or electric custom built buggies.
  • Stay in 3.5 - 4* hotels and unique accommodation
  • See the light installation amongst the Redwoods
  • Visit the Waitomo caves and see the glow worms
Visits:
Auckland, Rotorua, New Zealand
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Exploring New Zealand featuring the North & S ...

Collette
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
22 days
$ 245 / day
$ 5,399
From : $ 6,641
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : N/A
Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
Highlights
  • Experience an authentic Hangi dinner and learn about Maori culture.
  • Sample local specialties of the South Island at a “Taste of Fiordland” dinner.
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner on the shores of stunning Lake Wakatipu.
  • Cruise through the Bay of Islands’ famous “Hole in the Rock.”
  • Overnight in the spectacular Mt. Cook region where permanent ice fields and glaciers blanket the ragged peaks.
  • Visit a working, family-owned farm and learn about daily life in New Zealand’s high country.
  • Explore Te Puia, a Maori cultural and geothermal experience.
  • Take in the well-preserved Art Deco architecture of Napier.
  • Relish a breathtaking cruise through Milford Sound fjord.
Visits:
Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Milford Sound, Mount Cook, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wellington, New Zealand
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Inspiring New Zealand (Pre-Registration)

10 days
$ 594 / day
$ 5,935
From : $ 8,012
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : N/A
Physical Level : N/A
  • N/A
  • Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Waiheke Island: Step aboard a ferry for a voyage to picture-perfect Waiheke Island where you’ll embark on a scenic drive to your first stop, Stonyridge Vineyard. Known for producing award-winning Cabernet blends, Stonyridge Vineyard lies in a lush valley and boasts a French-style café where you’ll taste delicious blends and enjoy a light seasonal lunch.
    • Rotorua: Gather round for a feast of succulent meats and vegetables, cooked in a Hangi and prepared using the traditional Maori method of cooking over geothermal steam coming from the earth.
    • Dining Summary: 9 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 2 Lunches (L), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW), 1 Dinner (D) and 5 Dinners with Wine (DW).
    • Tamaki Maori Village: See a privately-hosted Maori show and the heart-pounding Wero challenge at the Tamaki Maori Village and gain insight into local Maori traditions and history from your Local Expert.
    • Rotorua: Choose between a wellness experience in the mineral-rich baths of The Polynesian spa, a visit to the film set of Hobbiton or a treetop adventure through an ancient native forest.
    • Whakawerawera: Join a Maori Local Expert to see New Zealand’s biggest geyser, bubbling mud pools and thermal springs.
    • Wellington: Embark on a private walking tour alongside a Local Expert to foodie hotspots dotted around the city and taste home-brewed coffee, gourmet chocolate, gelato, cheeses and other local specialties, as you discover why Wellington is known as the culinary capital of the country.
    • Fiordland National Park: Embark on a cruise on Lake Manapouri and marvel at the plummeting waterfalls and ancient rainforests of the Fiordland National Park.
    • Queenstown: Choose between a boutique wine tour to four of the region’s best estates plus a visit to Old Cromwell Town; a guided walk along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through an ancient beech forest or a 4x4 tour through the backcountry of Skippers Canyon.
    • Lake Karapiro: Journey along the Waikato River, the longest river in the country, towards the home of retired champion horse jockey, Lance O’Sullivan and his wife, Bridgette. You’re invited for a private lunch at their Red Barn, which overlooks Lake Karapiro.
    • Wellington: Enjoy exclusive VIP entry into famous Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand, before it opens to the public. Embark on a guided walk through fascinating exhibitions, as you learn about the people, places and ideas that shaped New Zealand and the Pacific.
    Visits:
    Auckland, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wellington, New Zealand
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    Ross Sea Antarctic Cruising: In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton
    Small Group Tour
    Stride climate
    This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change

    Ross Sea Antarctic Cruising: In the Wake of Scott ...

    Exodus Travels
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    30 days
    $ 1,266 / day
    $ 37,979
    From : $ 51,272
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Explore historic huts and visit modern scientific bases
    • Visit large penguin rookeries
    • Enjoy dramatic landscapes and marvel at Mt Erebus and Mt Discovery
    • Visit little known islands including The Snares, Auckland, Macquarie and Campbell Island
    • Travel in a small expedition vessel
    • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff
    Visits:
    New Zealand
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    Southern Explorer

    Topdeck
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    7 days
    $ 133 / day
    $ 934
    From : $ 1,261
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Visit Lake Matheson
    • Stay in Fox Glacier region
    • Cruise Milford Sound
    • Mountain bike in Arrowtown
    • Visit Lake Matheson
    • Stay in Fox Glacier region
    • Cruise Milford Sound
    • Mountain bike in Arrowtown
    • Visit Lake Matheson
    • Stay in Fox Glacier region
    • Cruise Milford Sound
    • Mountain bike in Arrowtown
    • Arrow River bike trails
    • Visit Lake Matheson
    • Stay in Fox Glacier region
    • Visit Fiordland National Park
    • Milford Sound nature cruise
    • Arrow River bike trails
    • Milford Sound nature cruise
    • Visit Lake Matheson
    • Stay in Fox Glacier region
    • Visit Fiordland National Park
    Visits:
    Australia, New Zealand
    View Trip

    Best of New Zealand

    14 days
    $ 335 / day
    $ 4,689
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Auckland : Sightseeing
    • Bay of islands: Visit the Waitangi Treaty House; scenic cruise
    • Rotorua : Traditional Hangi dinner and Maori cultural performance; visit Rainbow Springs and Te Puia; dinner at a local family’s home
    • Marton : Visit a local farm and enjoy a barbecue lunch
    • Wellington : Sightseeing including cable car ride; visit the botanic gardens and Te Papa
    • Interislander ferry : Scenic cruising across Cook Strait
    • Christchurch : Orientation
    • Tranzalpine train: Scenic train journey
    • Franz josef : Glacier Valley walk
    • Queenstown : Winery visit and tasting; visit Fiordland National Park; cruise on Milford Sound; farewell dinner
    • Experience the best of New Zealand on this unforgettable vacation filled with dramatic scenery, cultural exchanges, and the country’s top attractions
    • Your tour starts in Auckland, ends in Queenstown, and overnights along the way in the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, and Franz Josef
    Visits:
    Auckland, Christchurch, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wellington, New Zealand
    View Trip
    16 Day STORY's Australia & New Zealand Tour
    Small Group Tour
    Popular
    Stride climate
    This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change

    16 Day STORY's Australia & New Zealand Tour

    STORY Land & Sea
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    16 days
    $ 461 / day
    $ 7,379
    From : $ 9,076
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
    Highlights
    • STORY Exclusive: Winery Visit in New Zealand
    • Sunset in Ayer's Rock - Sunrise at Ayer's Rock in the Outback
    • Full Day VIP Top Deck Cruise Experience on the Great Barrier Reef with VIP Lunch
    • World Heritage Rainforest with Skyrail
    • STORY departures feature exclusive charter flights in Australia and New Zealand
    • Australia's Natural Wonders: Koala, Kangaroo and Crocs, too!
    • STORY Exclusive Reception: Wine & Plates Cruise on Sydney Harbour
    • Cruise on the amazing Milford Sound, New Zealand
    • STORY Exclusive Reception: Farewell Reception in Queenstown
    • 25 Meals throughout your Journey
    Visits:
    Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Sydney, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia, New Zealand
    View Trip

    Highlights of Australia and New Zealand Summer 2020

    Trafalgar
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    22 days
    $ 445 / day
    $ 9,800
    From : $ 12,054
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : N/A
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
    Highlights
    • CITY TOUR in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland
    • VISIT Uluru (Ayers Rock), Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach and Franz Josef Glacier
    • VIEW Sydney Harbour Bridge on your city tour and the renowned Field of Light installation in Uluru
    • CRUISE on Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour and Milford Sound
    Visits:
    Alice Springs, Auckland, Cairns, Christchurch, Melbourne, Queenstown, Rotorua, Sydney, Australia, New Zealand
    View Trip

    Natural Wonders of New Zealand

    9 days
    $ 921 / day
    $ 8,290
    Travel Style : A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
    Highlights
    • Explore some of the top wineries of Waiheke Island and enjoy time at leisure to discover this magical place at your own speed
    • Soar over the volcanic landscapes and thermal fields of Rotorua by helicopter
    • Experience rural life on a sheep farm in Palliser Bay and try your hand at a number of outdoor activities
    • Discover New Zealand’s cosmopolitan city of Nelson – the cultural heartbeat of the country
    • Cruise the rugged coastline of majestic Abel Tasman National Park
    Visits:
    Abel Tasman National Park, Auckland, Nelson, Rotorua, New Zealand
    View Trip

    New Zealand Adventure

    16 days
    $ 417 / day
    $ 6,674
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
    Lodging Level : The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
    Highlights
    • New Zealand’s unspoiled natural scenery
    • Auckland sightseeing and harbour cruise
    • Geothermal Rotorua
    • Art Deco walking tour in Napier
    • Wellington’s Te Papa national museum
    • TranzAlpine train excursion
    • Two-night Franz Josef stay, with guided walk through the Glacial Valley
    • Kiwi birds at West Coast Wildlife Centre
    • Scenic Doubtful Sound excursion
    • Outdoor mecca of Queenstown
    Visits:
    Auckland, Christchurch, Fiordland National Park, Hawke’s Bay, Queenstown, Rotorua, Wellington, New Zealand
    View Trip

    New Zealand - Subantarctic Islands: Galapagos of ...

    13 days
    $ 577 / day
    $ 7,500
    Travel Style : N/A
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Auckland & Campbell Teal
    • King
    • Gentoo
    • Snares
    • Southern Rockhopper
    • Royal
    • Yellow-eyed & Little Penguin
    • Wilson’s
    • Grey-backed & Black-bellied Storm Petrel
    • Wandering
    • Antipodean
    • Southern Royal
    • Light-mantled
    • Black-browed
    • Campbell
    • Shy
    • Salvin’s
    • Grey-headed & Buller’s Albatross
    • Mottled
    • Cook’s & White-chinned Petrel
    • Sooty Shearwater
    • Campbell
    • Macquarie & Auckland Shag
    • South Island & Variable Oystercatcher
    • Subantarctic & Snares Snipe
    • White-fronted Tern
    • New Zealand Falcon
    • Red-crowned Parakeet
    • New Zealand Bellbird
    • Tomtit
    • New Zealand Fernbird
    • New Zealand Pipit.
    Visits:
    New Zealand
    View Trip

    Best of New Zealand

    G Adventures
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    21 days
    $ 108 / day
    $ 2,274
    From : $ 3,184
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
    Highlights
    • Learn about maori culture
    • Surf some waves
    • Get an adrenaline rush in rotorua and queenstown
    • Discover abel tasman national park by foot
    • Cycle a historic rail trail
    Visits:
    Abel Tasman National Park, Auckland, Christchurch, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Rotorua, Tasman National Park, Wellington, Alps, Fiordland National Park, Nelson, New Zealand
    View Trip

    Trekking in New Zealand

    Exodus Travels
    Preferred
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    23 days
    $ 346 / day
    $ 7,749
    From : $ 10,731
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
    Highlights
    • Raw, primeval landscape of Rotorua shaped by volcanic activity
    • Golden beaches of Abel Tasman
    • Fox Glacier and the deep fjord complexes around Milford
    • Optional activities in Queenstown
    • Heli-hike in Mt Aspiring NP
    • Trek surrounded by smoking volcanoes
    • Climb amongst the soaring peaks of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
    Visits:
    Fiordland National Park, Wellington, Alps, Auckland, New Zealand
    View Trip

    Jaffas n Jandals(Multi Share,Start Auckland, End ...

    Contiki
    Premier
    Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
    3 days
    $ 138 / day
    $ 415
    From : $ 581
    The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
    Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
    Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
    Lodging Level : You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
    Highlights
    • Check out Whangarei and Kawakawas famous Hundertwasser toilets
    • Get a dose of history with a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds Tour
    • Tuck into a true Kiwiana fish n chips dinner
    Visits:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    View Trip
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    Top New Zealand Experiences and Attractions

    Top New Zealand Experiences

    Exploring the quaint shores, coffee shops, and restaurants as well as an adventure activity or two in beautiful Queenstown.

    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.

    Going on a thrilling white water rafting adventure tour down Buller Gorge.

    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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    New Zealand Trip Reviews

    685 New Zealand Tour Reviews - Summary 96% Recommend

    4.7 out of 5
    Excellent 550
    Great 97
    Average 20
    Disappointing 13
    Terrible 5
    Value
    4.7
    Guide
    4.7
    Activities
    4.7
    Lodging
    4.7
    Transportation
    4.7
    Meals
    4.7

    Tour Reviews Write a Review

    Great expectations fulfilled and more!

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    This June, I led a group of 12 on a tour to Ireland. Maggie Lunde was my group specialist who did an excellent job helping me achieve the desired plans for our visit. She was thorough and very responsive to our needs. Our chauffeur for the tour was Martin McAviney, a delightful guide and great friend to us. From the start, he let me know that he was there to fulfill all our plans and wishes and to feel free to communicate them clearly to him. He not only delivered but once he had a sense of our group, he gave us excellent additions which fit perfectly for us. His warmth and great sense of humor added greatly to the enjoyment and success of tour. Members thanked me afterward for "making our dreams come true" and another described the tour as "life-changing" I whole-heartedly share these accolades with Martin and Maggie.

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    Operator Authentic Vacations

    Luggage Handling and follow up

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    First cruise, ever! We did a land & sea journey to Alaska through Holland America Line. This is not a review of the trip (which was great!) so much as how HAL handled our complaints of damaged luggage. My sister's luggage arrived at our Yukon hotel with the latch broken, her clothes spilling out. She filed a report. We discovered damage to a corner of my husband's luggage at the departing airport. Too late to do a report...but HAL's property claims were wonderful, in particular, Mr. Scott Gerstl, who even called me to clarify details. He was empathetic and kind. We were reimbursed for both pieces of luggage.

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    Operator Holland America Line

    Traveling with ACIS takes all the…

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    Traveling with ACIS takes all the anxiety and pressure off of me and I can concentrate on enjoying the trip with my students and embracing the new adventure.

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    Operator ACIS

    Very nice

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    Very nice equipment & was delivered in room & picked up as told when it was ordered.

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    Operator Special needs at Sea

    Wonderful Tour With Heart

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    This was my best trip to date. Jeremy Elsasser was the most Professional, patient, informative and kind Tour Guide that I have ever traveled with. I would gladly recommend Smartours because of the excellent guide and the wonderful tour. It was everything I had hoped for. Thanks to all.

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    Operator SmarTours

    Contrasts Of New Zealand

    5.0
    • Value 5.0
    • Guide 5.0
    • Activities 5.0
    • Lodging 5.0
    • Transportation 5.0
    • Meals 5.0

    Mark made sure that we had a great time and when we arrived without our luggage he did everything he could to locate it and have it delivered to us. Mark is a great guide and educator, he knew so much about each area we were at and made it very interesting.

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    Operator Trafalgar

    New Zealand Tours and Travel Guide

    New Zealand Attractions & Landmarks Guide

    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.

    Touring New Zealand’s North Island

    If you are visiting the North Island of New Zealand, there are a couple of key spots that are sure to be included on your itinerary.

    5 Top North Island Attractions

    1. Hobbiton - This permanent installation of the Hobbiton movie set is an ever popular attraction on the North Island of New Zealand. While it is touristy, the delightful whimsy of seeing Hobbiton in real life is enough to thrill even the most fair weather fan.

    2. Rotorua - A popular destination for learning about Maori culture, Rotorua is also known for its geothermal activity. Similar to what you can encounter in Yellowstone National Park. Be prepared - the air is quite smelly!

    3. Auckland - New Zealand’s largest urban area, Auckland is a great place for cultural events, art, theater, and great food. Be sure to visit the top of the Sky Tower for a 360 degree view of the city. And thrill seekers can find a popular bungy jumping spot at Auckland’s Harbor Bridge.

    4. Hawkes Bay - This region in the Northeast of New Zealand’s North Island is famous for wine tasting, and this is definitely a must do when you visit. But much like the rest of New Zealand this small region packs a lot of adventures together, including beautiful coastal hikes and botanical gardens.

    5. Waitomo Glowworm Caves - An otherworldly experience, these glowworm caves can be visited via a thrilling rafting trip (not advised if you want time to slow down and look up at the incredible light display!), walking tours, or boat tours. Be sure to go with a guide who can highlight the science behind the glowworms.

    Touring New Zealand’s South Island

    New Zealand’s South Island is the larger of the two, and home to some of the most beautiful landscapes you’ll ever see. Much of the South Island has been used in such films as Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, and it doesn’t take much to understand its cinematic potential as you drive through.

    Speaking of driving, this is a highly recommended mode of transport for the views, though expect some long drives on the South Island. There are many stretches of pure countryside with very few amenities in the way of restaurants or hotels.

    Plus you will want to pull over now and again for short walks or hikes to viewing areas. Trust us - even if it adds a half hour, in New Zealand the signs to scenic viewpoints or unique natural phenomena don’t lie!

    5 Top Attractions on New Zealand’s South Island

    1. Queenstown - Without a doubt, one of the major hubs for adventure in New Zealand is Queenstown. The culture in Queenstown is a little touristy, it’s true - with seasonality affecting the tourist : local ratio fairly heavily.

    However New Zealanders are welcoming and friendly so you’ll still get a great vibe from funky cafes and restaurants as you explore. Queenstown is the perfect base for day trips, as well as adventure activities including jet boating, bungy jumping, and paragliding.

    2. Aoraki / Mount Cook - For an adventurous (but very manageable for kids and older travelers!) half day, consider a spectacular hike that takes you through a rugged glacial landscape to the base of Mount Cook. New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook is also a popular destination for advanced climbers - it was here that Sir Edmund Hillary trained for Everest.

    3. Milford Sound - Pictures or videos simply cannot do the stunning experience of Milford Sound justice. Mountains seemingly burst through the water, with no banks, covered with lush foliage. Waterfalls show themselves as you snake through the sound in your ferry, hearing various oohs and ahhs from around the boat as a certain vantage point reveals a new waterfall or wildlife sighting.

    4. Fox Glacier - If glacier walking is on your bucket list, look no further than Fox Glacier. Here you can do everything from glacier walking to ice climbing, while taking in unbelievable views and learning from guides about the glacier’s natural history and movement.

    5. Abel Tasman National Park - In the northern region of the South Island, near the delightful town of Nelson, the Abel Tasman park is the perfect stop for all ages looking for an outdoorsy travel time. You can hike the coastal track or take the the calm and protected ocean waters for a kayaking trip - keep an eye out for dolphins!

    Touring New Zealand’s Stewart Island

    Often thought of as part of the South Island, Stewart Island is the third largest island of New Zealand. 85 percent national parkland and another center of outdoor activities, it is rarely visited, comparitively - a great destination for travelers who truly want to get away from it all.

    Top Activities on Stewart Island

    1. Bird Watching - Because Stewart Island is almost entirely national park, the wildlife viewing opportunities are second to none. Birders especially will be astounded by the diversity in bird species - the most diverse in all of New Zealand.

    From multiple penguin species to dozens of petrels, the bird life on Stewart Island is incredible. There are 150 miles of hiking trails throughout the island, offering plenty of viewing opportunities.

    2. Fishing - There are many unique opportunities for fishing on Stewart Island, namely hopping aboard a commercial fishing boat and assisting with bringing in the catch of the day. Don’t worry, you won’t have to contribute everything you catch - but you will learn the entire process from catch to cleaning. Private fishing outings are also an option, just make sure you follow all rules and regulations carefully.

    3. Sea Kayaking - See Stewart Island from the water as you take to the ocean in a sea kayak. These excursions are not for the faint of heart - requiring at least some upper body strength to navigate the waves. This is a great way to observe marine life and enjoy an invigorating active day before a well deserved beer and meal after you head back to shore.

    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.

    Top Adventure Activities in New Zealand

    New Zealand and Australia are both known as some of the best places on earth to get your adrenaline fix on a tourFrom bungy jumping, to zip lining, to surfing, there is a wide range of high intensity activities to get involved in. 

    If you love adventure, here are the 8 best and most thrilling excursions to take on while in New Zealand.

    1. Whitewater Rafting -- If you combine New Zealand’s many mountains with a bit of rain, the result is some of the best white water you could hope for. You can raft in New Zealand year round, so you can work rafting into any vacation you go on.

    2. Jet Boating -- Jet boating was invented by a farmer who was trying to find a way to travel as quickly as possible in a shallow body of water. The result is a jet engine strapped to a boat, and the most thrilling river ride you will ever take.

    3. Skydiving -- New Zealand is the capital of skydiving, and you can do it all over. Although this may seem extremely dangerous, New Zealand has some of the most rigorous skydiving safety rules, so don’t be afraid, and take a (literal) leap of faith!

    4. Ziplining -- There are a wide variety of zip line courses in New Zealand, from those with ocean views to those high up in the mountains.

    5. Spelunking -- Believe it or not, caving in New Zealand can also be a verifiable adventure. Whether you decide to raft on the “black rapids” of an underground river, or walk over dark, gaping chasms.

    6. Bungy Jumping -- The world’s first commercial bungy jump was built in New Zealand, so if you had to pick one adventure activity, this would be it.

    7. Paragliding -- Paragliding was also invented in New Zealand, and is a great combination of a quick thrill (jumping off a cliff and getting caught in the wind is sure to get your heart racing, but you will soon be able to relax and enjoy the views while gently coasting in the sky.

    8. Canyoning -- going canyoning doesn’t mean just hiking up canyons. If your tour includes canyoning, expect to be jumping off cliffs into deepwater pools and rappelling down waterfalls, amongst other things.

    Top New Zealand Travel Companies

    Things to Know Before You Go

    Lord of the Rings Tours in New Zealand

    New Zealand is famous for its beautiful scenery, and one well known fact is that it was the location for many of the scenes in the original Lord of the Rings films. Over 150 locations in New Zealand were used in the filming of Lord of the Rings, from the north to the south island.

    In a very unusual case, the set for Hobbiton, located in bucolic Waikato on the North Island was reinstalled as a permanent exhibit for fans to visit and enjoy. Normally sets like Hobbiton are unceremoniously torn down after filming ends, but fans kept visiting the area in droves and in an effort to protect the landscape, Hobbiton was reborn. This location is often featured on group tours of New Zealand. 

    On the South Island, several sites within a day trip from Queenstown were utilized for Lord of the Rings. Your tour may include some or all of these in various ways. For example taking a jet boat excursion might reveal the mountains of Mordor, and a visit to the famous AJ Hackett bungy bridge is not far from the Kawarau Gorge where the fellowship rows between two towering statues as their quest begins. 

    Hiking, Walking, and Relaxation Tours in New Zealand

    If you want to experience New Zealand at a slower pace, try going on a perhaps you would be interested in an extended hiking or walking tour. By being out in the wilderness for more than just a few hours on a day hike, you will gain appreciation for New Zealand’s world-renowned geography.

    You will also be able to experience a wider range of landscapes, depending on how long you plan to travel for and which National Parks you enter.

    There are 13 main National Parks in New Zealand, each with its own unique attributes. To see glaciers, try visiting Mount Cook National Park. To immerse yourself in a tropical rainforest, visit Westland Tai Poutini. If altitude is something you seek, you’re best off visiting Mount Aspiring, Kahurangi, or New Zealand’s oldest National Park, Tongariro.

    All New Zealand tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all New Zealand trips.

    351 trips from 96 tour companies with 685 reviews

    More New Zealand Guided Tours

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