New Zealand tailor-made holidays
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 glanceSee New Zealand travel guide
Special offers in New Zealand
Exclusive Tailor-made fares
Book by: 31 March 2019
Start 2021 with a bang and prepare for the unforgettable as you set sail on a voyage that takes in 10 different species of penguin, six species of whale and countless seabirds.
Exclusive - Receive $500 Spa or shipboard credit per suite
Take advantage of special fares and on board credit for you to use in the spa, gift shop or that special vintage bottle of wine.
Crystal Endeavor Launch Fares
Book by: 31 January 2019
Voyage highlights: Scott and Shackleton’s historic huts, McMurdo (USA) and Scott’s Station (New Zealand) Visit Balleny Islands & Ross Sea Expedition cruising, glacier landings, Borschgrevink’s historic hut, Drygalski Ice Tongue, Dry Valleys and pack ice cruising.
Crystal Endeavor Launch Fares
Book by: 31 January 2019
Voyage highlights: New Year’s Eve in Sydney Harbour, Captain Cook Monument & Motuara Island, Golden Bay & Ulva Island, Twofold Bay, Freycinet National Park, Adventure Bay and Friar Rock.
Top itineraries in New Zealand
With boutique hotel stays and car hire included throughout, this curated road trip perfectly showcases the unique cultures and natural wonders of New Zealand's North and South islands.
Discover New Zealand's South Island, bringing all to life with an included glacier heli-hike, an overnight Doubtful Sound cruise and a journey on the iconic TranzAlpine train.
This tailor-made holiday combines the best that Australia and New Zealand have to offer. You'll explore New Zealand's world-famous glaciers and remote fjords with a self-drive before discovering Australia's sacred Ayers Rock, stunning beaches and delightful waterside cities.
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.
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.
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.
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
Wexas put together a complex flight schedule for our recent round-the-world trip which worked extremely well.
Absolutely delighted. A trip of a lifetime, expertly arranged by Wexas. Well done!
Simply stunning!! You don't know how spot on you were with everything.
I appreciated the care and patience shown by Andy Austen very much.
How can one comment upon perfection?
Top places to stay in New Zealand
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.
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.
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.
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Where to go in New Zealand
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.
With the modern cities of Auckland and Wellington, and scenery that ranges from rugged coastlines to ancient, immovable kauri forests, spurting geysers and bubbling hot springs, the North Island of New Zealand is an exciting and varied place, quite different from the South Island.
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.
What to do in New Zealand
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.
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.
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.
When to go to New Zealand
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 …
New Zealand articles
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.
From the subtropical Bay of Islands to the glaciers and mountains of the south, here we look at New Zealand's most spellbinding landscapes and how to explore them.
June sees the return of the ever-popular series Cruising with Jane McDonald on Channel 5, this time taking in Australia and New Zealand with HAL and South America with Silversea.
From New Zealand’s boutique lodges to wilderness getaways in Canada’s Rocky Mountains and Chile’s national-park wonders, these are the destinations you’ll need to book now for travel in early 2019.
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