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Milford Sound, New Zealand

New Zealand

Landscapes on a grand scale

New Zealand tailor-made holidays

Introduction

Names can be deceiving. Everything from the country’s ancient Maori culture to its explosive volcanoes and grand glaciers have shaped a nation that’s been thousands of years in the making – long before 17th century Dutch cartographers termed New Zealand new.

Indeed, New Zealand’s 268,000 square kilometres of towering mountains, flooded fjord troughs and even beach-fringed islands have presented a challenge for everyone from high-seas adventurers and Maori settlers to European whalers and eager gold rushers. Even Captain Cook himself famously turned around at the sight of Doubtful Sound – giving the fjord its name. And, with nearly a third of the country protected as national parks and reserves, you’ll want to explore it all on trans-alpine trains, sweeping coastal drives, scenic cruises and island walks. What’s more, there are just 4.6 million New Zealanders, meaning that it’s not difficult to find a wilderness of one’s own, populated by river dolphins, giant whales and the flightless kiwi.

In all, the country was the obvious choice when auditioning for the role of Middle Earth’s fantastical landscapes. But creatures of comfort will be well looked after too. New Zealand’s best accommodation is often found in the homespun charm of its luxury lodges, winning out over chain hotels. There’s also fine gastronomy to be had in fist-sized oysters, green-lipped mussels and melt-in-the-mouth lamb paired, of course, with a fine New Zealand vintage; no trip would be complete without a vineyard tour in one of the celebrated wine regions. You also shouldn’t miss out on a hangi feast – a point of contact with Maori culture, also found in enchanting traditional songs and dances. 

At a glance

Flying time from UK
23½ hours

Time zone
GMT +12 (+11 in summer)

Currency
New Zealand dollar (NZ$)

Language
English

Travel advice
Check the FCO for latest visa & travel advice

See New Zealand travel guide

Top itineraries in New Zealand

Highlights of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,975 pp incl. flights

Take in the city greats and spectacular natural world of New Zealand with this curated road trip, showcasing the best of the North and South islands.

Best of the South Island

13-day tailor-made self-drive & rail journey from £3,085 pp incl. flights

Discover New Zealand's South Island, with an included glacier heli-hike, an overnight Doubtful Sound cruise and a journey on the TranzAlpine train bringing it all to life.

Cultural Highlights of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,460 pp incl. flights

A tip-to-toe tour of New Zealand, taking in the best of its landscapes and culture, and calling into filming locations from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Best of the North Island

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £4,200 pp incl. flights

Bringing you between stunning volcanic landscapes, sub-tropical beaches and world-class wineries, this self-drive holiday showcases the best of New Zealand's North Island.

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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

  • Tim Tan has been excellent in every way to organize our travel to New Zealand and Japan. All arrangements regarding travel tickets on trains and buses were clear and easily followed. The guides that were arranged for us in various places in Japan were knowledgeable ,friendly and punctual.

    Peter P

  • 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

Top places to stay in New Zealand

Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown

Small & intimate lodge

Located just seven minutes from the lively centre of Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge sits on the shores of stunning Lake Wakatipu. With breathtaking views over the jagged peaks of the Remarkables mountain range, this lodge is a world away from the hustle and bustle of New Zealand's adventure capital.

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.

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.

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.

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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)
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  • 10
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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

New Zealand articles

  • The world's best driving holidays

    We take a look at the world's best driving holidays, with everything from Iceland's geological drama to America's greatest road trips. Each has been carefully selected by our destination experts, reporting back from the road.

  • 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.

See all articles

Meet our New Zealand experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist 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