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