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Milford Sound, South Island

New Zealand

New Zealand tailor-made holidays

Introduction

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.

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 awe-inspiring scenery is also home to a wide 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 giving yourself a few weeks to truly soak it all in.

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

See New Zealand travel guide

Where to go in New Zealand

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'.

Queenstown & Wanaka

Queenstown is regarded as New Zealand's adventure capital. It is the home of the first commercial bungee jump at Kawarau Bridge and over the years has attracted millions of visitors looking for a quick scare on this and other adventurous activities.

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.

South Island

Classic New Zealand scenery is the main reason that travellers make for the clean, green and serene South Island. It's an ideal destination for independent travel, with spectacular drives and relatively easy access to a number of dramatic wilderness areas.

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What to do in New Zealand

Self-drives

There are few countries matching New Zealand’s beauty which can be explored by road in just a matter of weeks. It’s a small package with huge natural appeal and variation – from the cities and beaches of the North Island to the fjords and wilderness of the South.

Food & Wine Holidays

The rise of the New Zealand food scene recently means there are now numerous world-leading chefs and restaurants around the country to compliment the already world-class wines the country produces.

History and culture

Modern New Zealand has a reputation for good-humoured people and natural beauty, as well as Maori culture with its romantic storytelling, tribal symbolism and more. Explore all of New Zealand with a tailor-made cultural holiday.

Nature Holidays

New Zealand holidays are in the top ten of any nature lover's wish list, because of its rugged terrain, lush and seemingly prehistoric sub-tropical forests and the sights and sounds of birds and other animals that exist nowhere else in the world.

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When to go to New Zealand

Auckland
Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 160
  • 120
  • 80
  • 40
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

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Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

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 …

See regional weather

Top itineraries in New Zealand

A Taste of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,525 pp incl. flights

A tailor-made self-drive through much of the most spectacular scenery of the North and South Islands. Discover Auckland, Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Abel Tasman and the glaciers and mountains of Franz Josef and Queenstown as you journey through this stunning 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 luxury 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

Discover the Bay of Islands, Coromandel and Rotorua on the North Island and Kaikoura, Fox Glacier and Fiordland on the South Island at your own pace, with the chance to sample a full range of off-the-beaten track adventures and excursions.

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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

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

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.

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New Zealand articles

  • New Zealand's top 6 highlights

    New Zealand does natural landscapes on an epic scale, while bustling cities feel relaxed and friendly. Everything in New Zealand is done just a little bit differently, which is why we've put together this quick and handy guide to the best regions to visit on your holiday.

  • New Zealand South Island self-drive

    Full of safe, scenic, and often empty roads, the south island of New Zealand is easy to navigate on a self-drive holiday.

  • Discovering New World Wine on Holiday

    Wine is big business. We take a look at how the wines of Australia, Canada, Slovenia, New Zealand and more fare against Old World wine.

  • The world's best driving holidays

    There are a handful of destinations around the world that lend themselves perfectly to a driving holiday. We take a look at the world's best driving holidays.

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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 New Zealand experts

Speak to someone who's been there on 020 7590 0614

Meet the team

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?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 45 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation
  • In-depth Wexas travel guides

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Wexas Travel App
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected
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