You are here
Complete New Zealand
Why Not Tailor-Make it Easy
- We'll adapt this itinerary to suit you
- Add local experiences
- Choose accommodation
- Designed to your budget
- Flexible payments
Here’s What Your Amazing Holiday Could Look Like...
We’ll Help you Find your Way
Planning your holiday
Hi I'm Chloe and as a Travel Consultant I'm here to make sure you find the exact holiday you want. This Journey itinerary is just one example for what's possible when you travel with us. Get in touch ...
Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Christchurch.
Ease yourself into New Zealand life in pretty Christchurch, where a vast network of pathways criss-crossing the city make it a great place to explore by bike. Better yet, take a punting trip past the trees and parks on the tranquil Avon River, named after its counterpart in Scotland, not Shakespeare’s Avon as is widely thought. Christchurch’s unusual Cardboard Cathedral, a temporary replacement for the one destroyed by the 2011 earthquake, is also worth a look.
Get your camera ready for the striking landscape of Lake Tekapo, a glittering blue expanse fringed by snow-capped peaks. The lakeshore is home to the world-famous Church of the Good Shepherd, whose quaint, crumbling walls create a perfectly framed postcard shot of the lake. If you’re feeling energetic, grab your walking boots and hike up Mount John, a three-hour return hike from town. At the top you’ll find an excellent little café and a great stargazing spot.
Hike, cycle or even fly over the jagged rocky landscapes of Mount Cook, 3,734 metres above sea level and New Zealand’s highest peak. For a different way to appreciate the scenery, perhaps take a boat or a kayak out on Tasman Glacier terminal lake, where icebergs of various shapes and sizes bob up and down on the surface. Mount Cook is another excellent place to star gaze, so get yourself down to the International Dark-Sky Reserve and look up into the night.
The pretty highland town of Wanaka is worth a visit for its outdoor adventure sports, which include skiing in winter and hiking in summer. In town, take in a movie at the quirky old-fashioned cinema where punters sit on sofas or in a car, or take a look around the mystifying Puzzling World, a museum of optical illusions with a perplexing maze. But if you’d prefer, there’s nothing wrong with simply grabbing a warming glass of local pinot and soaking up the mountain views.
The adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is where you’ll get your adrenaline fix. At the foot of the Remarkables, there’s everything here from bungee jumping and jet boating to skiing and river rafting. Included in your Journey is a ride on the thrilling Shotover Jet, so hold on tight as you reach speeds of up to 85kph and turn full 360° circles in the steep-sided Shotover River. When you’re done, perhaps slow the pace a little with a cup of steaming hot chocolate overlooking the lake.
Stay in Te Anau, home to the Te-Anau Glowworm Caves and a great base for discovering the region. Head out to sea and see if you can spot seals and penguins on a wildlife cruise or try the limestone caves, where you’ll take a boat into the darkness to see the sparkling glow worms. While you’re here, sail the still waters of Milford Sound, marvelling at the surrounding cliffs, waterfalls and forests and looking out for dolphins.
Return to Queenstown and if you haven’t already, scare yourself silly with the white knuckle adrenaline activities on offer. Perhaps try skydiving, hiking or if you’re here in winter, skiing. For something almost as daunting, head to Fergburger, a popular burger joint and something of a Queenstown institution, where giant gourmet burgers are served up in dozens of flavours including the truly epic ‘Big Al’.
Get up close to the icy terminal face of the Franz Josef Glacier as it slowly creeps through the valley along the Waiho River bed. At 7.5 miles long, and its surface covered in cracks and divots, it’s an incredible sight. On your Glacier Valley walk you’ll discover the Maori legends surrounding the glacier’s formation and learn all about its history. Away from the ice, perhaps take a look in Franz Josef’s West Coast Wildlife Centre, which is home to the endangered rowi, the world’s rarest kiwi.
Return to Christchurch for the night and take the opportunity to try one of the city’s eclectic restaurants and bars, or just chill out with a coffee and cake in a cosy café. One of Christchurch’s more unusual attractions, the International Antarctic Centre, right next door to the airport, is also worth a detour. This interactive exhibit allows visitors a taste of the sub-zero conditions of the South Pole, teaches about Antarctic exploration and allows close encounters with penguins.
Kaikoura is a wildlife lover’s dream, and great for those who want to get closer to the town’s famous marine mammals. Take your pick: swim with dolphins, spot fur seals and penguins and look form sperm whales on a whale-watching cruise. You’ll never forget the first time you see their enormous tail flukes flick out of the ocean before they dive back into the darkness. If you’re here in April, perhaps take a walk down to Ohau waterfall, where cute baby seals frolic in the water. They seals are very curious, so keep your distance.
Sip on Sauvignon and Pinot Noir on a half day tour of the sunny vineyards and wineries of Blenheim, one of New Zealand’s most famous wine-producing regions. Over 90% of the country’s Sauvignon Blanc is produced here at a series of vineyards linked by the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, which can be explored by foot, bike or car. And don’t forget the deliciously fresh gourmet and artisan food, perfectly matched to your glass of wine.
Take the ferry across to Wellington, where you’ll tour the Weta Cave Workshop and learn all about the New Zealand film industry, visiting some famous filming locations and going behind the scenes. A must for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fans too, this tour will show you how various special effects in these famous films were created. Wellington is also home to New Zealand’s national museum, the excellent Te Papa, where you can learn all about the country’s history and Maori culture.
Make sure you’re hungry for your stay in Martinborough – there are heaps of artisan food, gourmet restaurants and of course premium wines to try in this quaint little town.
Check out the architecture in Napier, home to the most complete collection of inner-city art deco structures in the world. Most of the buildings date from 1931, when much of the city was rebuilt following an earthquake. You can take a relaxing wander down the streets, or better yet, tour them in a chauffeur driven vintage car. If you’re still thirsty, there’s more wine to try in Hawke’s Bay, a warm and dry area that produces some of the country’s finest wines.
Picturesquely perched on the edge of the lake that shares its name, Taupo is a friendly little place home to various geological features including steaming vents and boiling mud pools. Sail a boat or paddle a kayak out into Lake Taupo and visit the Mine Bay Maori rock carvings, which are only accessible by water, and perhaps have a go at fly-fishing for trout while you’re there. Taupo offers plenty of adrenaline adventures, with skydiving over the lake one of the most popular.
Welcome to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, where bubbling mud pools, steaming natural pools and spurting geysers dot the landscape. You might need to hold your nose while you’re here, as the smell of sulphur is never too far away. Once you’ve taken in the geology, set off to the magical Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where you can look up into the darkness and spot the green glow of a thousand glow worms.
New Zealand’s largest city is blessed with a lively social and cultural scene. It’s filled with fantastic restaurants, lively bars, chilled cafes and designer shops, and there are plenty of museums too. Take a look around the Auckland Art Gallery or the War Memorial Museum or stroll around the heritage houses of Parnell, the city’s oldest suburb. If you’d prefer to relax, perhaps just grab a picnic and head to leafy Cornwall Park, right in the heart of the city.
Gateway to the beautiful bay of Islands, Paihia is a lovely, peaceful place. Here you’ll find the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, location for the signing of the agreement between Maori Chiefs and British settlers, where there’s now a museum. While you’re here, drive along 90-mile beach and experience the serene beauty of Cape Reinga, the point where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. A pretty lighthouse marks the spot.
Finish your trip back in Auckland, where you’ll set sail across the Hauraki Gulf to the peaceful forests and sandy beaches of Waiheke Island, home to various artists, wine growers and millionaires. Just 35 miles from the city, you’ll find calm, swimmable coves, forest zip-lines, various art galleries and a smattering of vineyards to explore. Finish your trip on a high with your final night back in Auckland – perhaps splash out on a swanky restaurant dinner or toast your adventures with a glass of chilled bubbly.
Depart Auckland and return to the UK.
Chat to Us About Tailor-Making Your Trip!
Flight Centre’s Travel Consultants really know their stuff when it comes to creating bespoke itineraries. Get in touch below, and let us tailor-make it easy
We know our stuff when it comes to holidays all around the world and – most importantly – with a little bit of information, our Travel Experts can tailor make a trip to suit you. So what are you waiting for?