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New Zealand

New Zealand tailor-made holidays

Introduction

When Peter Jackson was searching for the perfect setting to realise J.R.R Tolkien's fantasy adventures for the big screen, New Zealand was the obvious choice.

Endless scenes of snow-capped mountains and ice-age glaciers, craggy coastlines and footprint-free beaches, mirror-still lakes in duck-egg blue and emerald green, steaming volcanoes, bubbling hot springs, virgin forests and plunging fjords; if nature had a design studio, full of her most stupendous ideas, it would be New Zealand.

The country certainly provides a canvas for adrenaline-charged pursuits like jet boating and bungee jumping, but you needn't view New Zealand as some kind of assault course.

Wine lovers will be enthralled by the vineyards of Hawke's Bay and Marlborough; foodies will whoop as they tuck into fist-sized oysters, green-lipped mussels and melt-in-the-mouth lamb; cultural connoisseurs can revel in a rich Maori heritage; and creatures of comfort will find luxury lodges and geothermal spas.

And with 30% of the country set aside as national parks, reserves and special heritage sites, it's no surprise that such awesome scenery is also home to a bedazzling array of wildlife.

Offshore you'll find seals and breaching sperm whales; you can swim with dolphins at Kaikoura and Paihia, or spot penguins and albatross on the Otago Peninsula. Most endearing of all is the flightless kiwi, still spotted in the wild in large numbers on spectacular Stewart Island.

It's possible to see most of the main sights in just a couple of weeks, but for a really good look without racing through your tick-list, we recommend anywhere between three and eight weeks ... short of actually emigrating that is.

At a glance

Flying time from UK
23½ hours

Time Zone
GMT +12 (+11 in summer)

Currency
New Zealand dollar (NZ$)

Language
English

Visa
None

Where to go in New Zealand

Wellington

New Zealand's capital Wellington is a quarter of the size of Auckland, yet has gained a reputation for being one of the country's most sparkling cities, despite its small-town feel.

Dunedin & Otago

The south-eastern corner of the South Island is perhaps the least explored part of the country. Its largest settlement is Dunedin, an attractive and welcoming place with strong Scottish roots.

Auckland

You're never far from the water in Auckland, a city that has more recreational boats per capita than any other city in the world, earning it the name the ‘City of Sails'.

Rotorua, Taupo & Coromandel

Dramatic volcanic landscapes and Maori culture are the key reasons to visit the North Island's central thermal region. Rotorua offers geysers and hot springs, while sacred Mount Ruapehu, trout-filled Lake Taupo and the surging Huka Falls nearby provide more essential New Zealand experiences.

When to go

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New Zealand experiences a moderate, maritime climate, though there are some differences in temperature and rainfall between north and south, east and west. The South Island experiences a more temperate climate than the North and is generally cooler - summer highs (December to February) reach the low 20s, whilst during the winter months (June to August) temperatures can drop to freezing or below. Snow is as likely to fall in lower regions as it is in the UK - once or twice a year - but the Southern Alps receive a good layer of snow throughout the winter, perfect for winter sports. They also act as a rain barrier to the eastern side of the …

Top itineraries in New Zealand

A Taste of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,165 pp incl. flights

Only New Zealand crams so much scenery into so little space, and this tailor-made self-drive takes in the best of it. Discover Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Cook Strait, Abel Tasman and more as you navigate through this beautiful country.

New Zealand – A Culinary Journey

25-day tailor-made self-drive from £5,875 pp incl. flights

Covering many of New Zealand's highlights, this 25-day self-drive starts in Auckland in the North Island, New Zealand's City of Sails and ends in the South Island at the picturesque lakeside town of Queenstown in the heart of the Southern Alps.

New Zealand – An Explorer’s Journey

18-day itinerary from £3,095 pp incl. flights

From the subtropical beaches of the Bay of Islands, the geothermal pools of Rotorua and wine lands of Hawke's Bay to the majestic glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef and the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, New Zealand is home to some of the world's most spectacular driving routes.

New Zealand – A Wilderness Journey

23-day tailor-made self-drive from £5,335 pp incl. flights

New Zealand's landscapes are truly spectacular. Verdant subtropical forests, miles of unspoilt coastline, shimmering turquoise lakes, plunging fjords, towering glaciers and soaring mountain peaks characterise the beauty of Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Top places to stay in New Zealand

Treetops Lodge and Estate, Rotorua, New Zealand

Small & intimate lodge

Set amidst a beautiful forest just outside the town of Rotorua, just two hours drive from Auckland on New Zealand's picturesque North Island, Treetops Lodge and Estate is a haven of peace and tranquility, surrounded by sparkling streams and 800 year old trees.

Solitaire Lodge, Rotorua, New Zealand

Small & intimate lodge

Originally built in 1980 as a luxury fishing lodge, Solitaire Lodge enjoys commanding views over beautiful Lake Tarawera and offers guests a stylish and relaxing base from which to explore.

Delamore Lodge, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Small & intimate lodge

Just 35 minutes from Auckland in New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf, Delamore Lodge on beautiful Waiheke Island offers an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in one of the North Island's most picturesque locations.

Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch, New Zealand

Small & intimate lodge

Built in 1895 for Sir Heaton Rhodes, Otahuna Lodge is a stylish and elegant Victorian mansion set with beautiful manicured gardens on the outskirts of Christchurch on New Zealand's stunning South Island.

New Zealand articles

What our clients say about our New Zealand holidays

  • Everything that Andy Austen suggested was excellent and all his bookings of flights and accommodation worked very well in practice which enabled my wife and me to have a very enjoyable 5 weeks away on our round the world trip to visit our family in both San Francisco and New Zealand. We both loved Shanghai which we visited on the way back to London.

    Nigel N

  • We were really impressed by the itinerary put together by Andy, we had a superb trip, the likes of which we are sure that we could not have put together ourselves without the detailed local knowledge that Wexas has provided. Thank you so much.

    John J

  • All of the arrangements made by Adam work faultlessly and we had a fantastic time in NZ. When we have decided where we're going next we will definitely use Wexas again

    Stephen S

  • Wexas put together a complex flight schedule for our recent round-the-world trip which worked extremely well.

    Christopher C

  • Absolutely delighted. A trip of a lifetime, expertly arranged by Wexas. Well done!

    David D

  • Simply stunning!! You don't know how spot on you were with everything.

    Michael M

  • I appreciated the care and patience shown by Andy Austen very much.

    David D

  • How can one comment upon perfection?

    Michel M

Meet our experts

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0614 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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Every step of the way

Every step of the way

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