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Milford Sound, New Zealand

New Zealand

Holidays 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. Take in the country's myriad highlights on a self-drive holiday or independent tour – our team of specialists know the country inside out and are on hand to help plan your perfect New Zealand holiday.

A spectacular natural world

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.


New Zealand's Southern Alps

Luxury lodges & hotels

New Zealand’s best accommodation is often found in the homespun charm of its luxury lodges, winning out over chain hotels. These often enjoy privileged locations on mountainsides, by lakes or looking out across the sea from secluded beaches and bays. And, alongside exceptional levels of service, guests at these lodges can also expect the best in gourmet food and fine New Zealand wines to match those spectacular views. But, that's not to say that the New Zealand's city hotels aren't of a superb standard, too. In Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown, there's a wonderful mix of boutique boltholes and larger chain properties to suit a wide range of tastes and budgets. Tap into our specialists' expert knowledge to find the best options for you.


Hapuku Lodge, Kaikoura

World-class food & wine

New Zealand's gourmet delights are rich and varied. There’s 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. And, 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. 


Waiheke Island vineyards

 

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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

Queenstown, New Zealand

Highlights of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,970 pp incl. flights

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.

Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound

Best of New Zealand's South Island

13-day tailor-made self-drive & rail journey from £3,130 pp incl. flights

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.

Rotorua, New Zealand

Cultural Highlights of New Zealand

19-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,365 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.

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel, New Zealand.

Best of New Zealand's North Island

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,895 pp incl. flights

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

See all itinerary ideas

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

Main Lodge, Matakauri Lodge

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.

Thermal bathing near Solitaire Lodge, Rotorua

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.

Waterfall in the forest near Treetops Lodge & Estate, Rotorua

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.

Jacuzzi at Delamore Lodge, Waiheke Island

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

Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand

New Zealand's South Island

The clean, green and serene South Island is an ideal destination for independent travel, with spectacular drives and access to dramatic wilderness areas containing giant glaciers, lakes, rivers, rugged peaks and  a stunning coastline.

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula

New Zealand's North Island

With the modern cities of Auckland and Wellington, and scenery that ranges from rugged coastlines and ancient kauri forests to spurting geysers and bubbling hot springs, the North Island is as exciting as it is varied.

Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Rotorua, Taupo & Coromandel

The North Island’s central region is shaped by millennia of volcanic activity. Summit volcanic peaks and dive down into tranquil troughs and sandy beaches as you take in a world of geothermal delights, from hot-spring beaches to hikes among still-smoking calderas.

Lake Wanaka, Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown & Wanaka

Spectacular Queenstown bustles year-round with thrill-seekers looking for that ultimate adrenaline rush. Meanwhile, nearby Wanaka offers all the same beauty, but with more of a laid-back vibe.

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What to do in New Zealand

Route to Mt. Cook

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.

Marlborough Sounds Gourmet Seafood Cruise

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.

Maori Carving

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.

Mt. Cook Grand Circle and Landing

Adventure holidays

The South Island of New Zealand was made for natural world adventure. From bungee jumping to jet boating, the ‘land of the long white cloud’ (Arotaroa, its Maori name) has long been at the forefront of alternative adrenalin sports, made safe and fun for holidaymakers with a taste for adventure.

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When to go to New Zealand

New Zealand's South Island
Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 80
  • 60
  • 40
  • 20
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

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

New Zealand articles

  • Motorhome driving around Lake Pukaki in New Zealand

    How to make the most of New Zealand by motorhome

    Travelling by motorhome – or campervan – means taking your accommodation with you and exploring at your own pace. There's nowhere better for a self-drive than New Zealand, so here's what to consider when planning a motorhome holiday in one of the world's most scenic countries.

  • View of the road in the Southern Alps, New Zealand

    New Zealand: North vs South

    They’re so close they’re almost touching, but New Zealand’s North and South islands can feel worlds apart. From golden beaches to colossal glaciers, Wexas specialist Gary Stevens takes a look at their varying appeals.

  • Wanaka, New Zealand

    Best books to read on your New Zealand holiday

    Check out our round-up of the best books on New Zealand to read before you go, and while you're there. From guide books to photography and history, they're the ideal introduction to the country's landscapes, culture and history.

  • Raffles Hotel, Singapore

    Spotlight On: Raffles Reopening

    To celebrate the reopening of the city's hotel icon – Raffles, we delved into its historic heritage and spectacular refurbishment.

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 50 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