Itinerary Highlights
  • Combine a discovery of the highlights of New Zealand's North and South Islands and a Robinson Crusoe-style stopover on the shores of Australia.
  • Cross the New Zealand Alps on the legendary TranzAlpine Train and enjoy New Zealand hospitality in a B&B
  • Discover the well-kept secret of Lord Howe Island, an exclusive haven off the coast of Sydney
  • You'll have access to our additional services, including our local Concierge

Contact one of our New Zealand specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120

YOUR JOURNEY TO THE ANTIPODES

First off is two parts of New Zealand: North Island and South Island. Your trip is flexible and gives you the chance to travel in complete freedom, with time to rest, explore, lose yourself, find yourself, and above all cross the most beautiful New Zealand landscapes: lakes, glaciers, fjords, volcanoes, beaches and mountains. From Auckland to Queenstown, via Coromandel Forest Park, the majestic Lake Taupo, the Tongariro Volcanoes, Wellington, Abel Tasman National Park, the untouched west coast, Christchurch and the Southern Alps, this well-thought out itinerary (which you can adapt as you wish, of course) gives you a glimpse of New Zealand's major sites.
And as you're heading to the edge of Oceania, you might as well hit two birds with one stone and visit Australia. You'll spend two days in Sydney to make the most of the city's good vibes, and three more on a tiny island for a select few explorers (only 400 visitors can visit at a time), a well-kept secret 373 miles from the coast of New South Wales: Lord Howe Island.

THE DETAILS

Several highlights are already in your itinerary, which can of course be adjusted as desired. You'll start off with access to the Orakei Korako Thermak Park and Abel Tasman National Park, which you are free to explore at your own pace. An unforgettable journey on South Island: cross the island on board the famous TranzAlpine Train through the New Zealand Alps, which is a journey in itself. When you reach Queenstown, you'll enjoy access to Onsen Hot Pools, a relaxing prelude to your Australian adventure. Throughout the journey, we have hand-picked lovely hotels that are as close as you can possibly get to natural and urban sites. It's up to you how you spend your time. Not to mention the support of our exceptional local Concierge, who you can contact at any time during your trip.

LORD HOWE ISLAND

As if Australia's 22,370 miles of coastline wasn't enough, it also has 8,000 satellite islands. One of them, lost in the middle of the Tasman Sea, 373 miles north-east of Sydney, is complete paradise. Lord Howe Island, a fertile volcanic crescent seven miles long and two miles wide, is perfect for Robinson Crusoe-style adventurers. Its diverse nature and abundant lagoon, held on to the English sailors who first anchored there in 1788. Today, the island has a single one-street village, 11 beaches, nearly 50 diving sites, fewer than 300 inhabitants and practically no cars, and it welcomes no more than 400 visitors at a time. Those lucky chosen fee can enjoy the abundant lagoon which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the twin peaks of Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower, where you can wander around surrounded by endemic plants. As you sit on Transit Hill, you can soak up this kingdom of emerald and aquamarine.

Route

Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAYS 1 & 2

Flight to Auckland (North Island)

International flight via Hong Kong. Arrival two days later.

DAYS 3 & 4

Auckland

Welcome upon landing and assistance with customs, baggage and security procedures. Private transfer to the heart of the business district and two-night stay in a comfortable, modern suite, just a few steps from the waterfront.
Things to see and do - Stroll along the waterfront and sit on the terrace of a café to soak up the atmosphere of the country's largest city - visit the Auckland Museum, which devotes much of its space to Maori culture as well as artefacts from all over Oceania - a beachside tour - the famous Sky Tower, the largest tower in the southern hemisphere - the colonial village of Parnell - the trendy district of Ponsonby - Mount Eden, an extinct volcano with beautiful views of the city.

DAYS 5 & 6

Auckland - Whitianga (Coromandel)

Pick up the hire car and drive to Coromandel National Park, where you'll be staying for two nights in Whitianga, on the shores of Mercury Bay, in our first B&B. It's a small, two-bedroom property perched on a hill overlooking the sea, whose owners are the epitome of New Zealand's wonderful hospitality.
Home to Mercury Bay, Whitianga perfectly replicates the typical New Zealand blend of relaxation, hospitality, playfulness and unspoilt nature. It also offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as a bay cruise, mountain biking, trekking, canyoning, rafting, diving and fishing.
Option - A kayaking trip to the Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve.

DAY 7

Whitianga Taupo

Drive south towards Taupo. After more than three hours on the road, the majestic Lake Taupo embodies all the uniqueness and beauty of the country. Born from the explosion of a supervolcano, it is New Zealand's largest lake, especially renowned for trout fishing, with the volcano peaks of Tongariro National Park in the background.
Included in the itinerary - Entry tickets for Orakei Korako Thermal Park, accessible via short boat crossing. Also known as the Hidden Valley, this exceptional site has a beautiful palette of colours and a very active and varied geothermal system. There are gushing geysers, hot springs, mud baths and some of the world's largest and most beautiful silica terraces.
Spend the night in a B&B in a quiet area of Taupo. Enjoy the wood fire in the lounge, and the piano available on the terrace that opens onto the private vineyard and valley.

DAY 8

Taupo - Whakapapa (Tongariro)

Leave the shores of Lake Taupo and head to the magnificent Tongariro National Park, with its three dormant volcanoes: Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. The National Park is protected two-fold; both by its UNESCO World Heritage Site listing and its sanctity in the eyes of the Maori people. Tongariro offers landscapes with remarkable colours that range between the rocky grey mountains and the surreal turquoise crater lakes. Needless to say, hikes are a real hit here.
Spend the night around Whakapapa village, in a neo-Georgian castle nestled in the heart of Tongariro National Park. It's an old-fashioned hotel set in a stunning natural environment.
Option - Flying over the three volcanoes in the National Park.

DAY 9

Whakapapa - Wellington

Drive to Wellington at the northern tip of North Island. The crescent-shaped capital of New Zealand faces the huge bay overlooking the Cook Strait and South Island. You'll spend the night at a lovely hotel on bustling Cuba Street. Worth particular mention is the small swimming pool, in which you can see the city as you swim underwater, and the many restaurants in the neighbourhood where you can sample the various cuisines of the world.
Things to see and do - Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum that covers Maori fauna, flora, geology and culture - the botanical garden and its beautiful rose garden - strolling the streets in search of old Victorian-style buildings - a pleasant stroll around Jervoy Quay - taking the cable car from Lambton Quay to enjoy a remarkable view of the bay.

DAY 10

Wellington - Kaiteri (South Island)

Ferry ride to South Island (with access to the Premium Lounge onboard). Three hours via the Cook Strait. Arrive at Picton via the beautiful Charlotte Sound, then drive to Kaiteri, the maritime gateway to Abel Tasman National Park. You'll spend two nights in a small hotel that is simple but very pleasant. The welcome is discreet and warm, and you'll have stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys. There's also a lovely terrace and a real respect for nature.

DAY 11

Abel Tasman National Park

New Zealand's smallest nature reserve is just as wonderful as its neighbours. Golden sandy beaches, beautiful and secret bays, pristine forests, and a rich and diverse wildlife: Abel Tasman Park is of picture rare beauty and diversity. As you explore by kayak or boat, you'll discover a small on-shore paradise.
Included in the itinerary - A free day to hike in the heart of the national park, with a boat ride to Totaranui and a stop-off at the famous Abel Tasman Coast Track with two options: a free hike between Onetahuti and Bark Bay (one hour 30 minutes) or between Bark Bay and Anchorage Bay (three hours 30 minutes).

DAY 12

Kaiteri - Greymouth

Take the beautiful scenic road along the untouched west coast to Greymouth, built on the site of an ancient Maori village at the mouth of the Grey River, at the foot of the Southern Alps.
Things to see on the way - The Buller Gorge swing bridge - Paparoa National Park - Punakaiki and the amazing Pancake Rocks, limestone formations evoking stacks of pancakes sprayed by the powerful jets created by the waves that rush into the rock cavities.
Spend the night in a charming, secluded guesthouse overlooking the Tasman Sea. You'll hopefully feel nice and relaxed, and love the little paths to the beach, the panoramic sunsets and the owner's warm welcome.

DAY 13

Greymouth - Christchurch on board the TranzAlpine

Included in the itinerary - Train journey between Greymouth and Christchurch. This journey from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean is legendary in New Zealand and is one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world. From Greymouth, you cross a beech forest before sinking into the Southern Alps and through Arthur's Pass National Park, then you cross the Waimakariri River valley, and finally the Canterbury plains and its farms. The TranzAlpine journey is very comfortable. Large windows allow you to watch the scenery, while at the rear of the train, an open car allows you to take the best pictures - the train changes speed depending on the scenery, so you can really enjoy the setting.
Upon arrival in Christchurch, transfer and overnight stay in a B&B, where you'll get a very warm welcome in a beautiful Victorian residence located in the heart of the city.

DAYS 14 & 15

Christchurch - Twizel (Mount Cook)

Pick up your second hire car and drive west to Twizel, in the heart of South Island. Beyond the agricultural fields of Canterbury and past Timaru, you'll approach the peaks of the Southern Alps until you enter the Mackenzie Basin, famous for its glacial lakes.
You'll receive a warm, New Zealand welcome in a small, cosy lodge where you'll stay for two nights. The decor consists of light tones and it offers breathtaking sunrise views from the main terrace. Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest peak overlooking Tasman Glacier, is an hour's drive away.
Option - A boat ride on the Tasman Glacier's terminal lake in the amongst the icebergs.

DAY 16

Twizel - Queenstown

Head south-west to Queenstown; drive for two hours on a pleasant, well-maintained road that winds through the foothills of the Southern Alps and offers stunning views of the peaks and valleys. Upon arrival, spend three nights in a friendly and warm B&B with a full view of the lake and mountains.

DAYS 17 & 18

Queenstown

Situated on the shore of the lake and surrounded by mountains, Queenstown is a lively little town that alternates between a winter sports resort and a summer resort.
Included in the itinerary - Tickets to the Onsen Hot Pools, which houses private and hidden pools nestled in wooden structures facing the Shotover mountain range and river.
Things to see and do - Treat yourself to a dose of adrenaline with bungee jumping or parachuting, rafting, quad biking, mountain biking - enjoy a peaceful walk along the shores of the lake to reminisce about your trip - hike to Coronet Peak, the oldest ski resort in the country - climb to the top of Bob's Peak by Gondola - for bird lovers, visit the Kiwi and Birdlife Park - enjoy an evening on the bustling streets of the city.
Option - A cruise through the impressive Milford Sound fjord with small plane transfers.

DAY 19

Queenstown - Sydney

International flight to Sydney. Upon arrival, private transfer to the heart of Paddington and overnight stay in a small, simple and unpretentious family-run hotel. Immerse yourself straight away in the neighbourhood's pleasant Boho village atmosphere, with its lovely Victorian homes, traditional market, trendy shops, colourful and popular cafes and restaurants, art galleries, bookshops and cinemas. Worth particular mention is the swimming pool located in the hotel's inner courtyard, which is rare for a small hotel of this type in the heart of the city.

DAY 20

Sydney - Lord Howe Island

Private transfer to the airport and flight to Lord Howe Island, two hours off-shore. Spend three nights on the north-east coast of the island, in a small, simple and cosy lodge. It's a hideaway with practical and comfortable rooms, which enjoys a privileged location between the countryside and beaches - Ned's Beach and Middle Beach are within easy reach and are renowned for the richness of their underwater life.

DAYS 21 & 22

Lord Howe Island

Classified as a World Heritage Site, this small island at the edge of the world is paradise. A glistening lagoon of bluefish, green turtles, pink abalone and catfish that come to the surface to eat right out of your hand. Welcoming only 400 visitors at one time, it's home to about 50 diving sites - including drop offs and shipwrecks - and 11 beaches. Soak up the easy-going lifestyle here with walks on the beach, in the forest or through the twin peaks, snorkelling trips, relaxing on the sand and even a round of golf.

DAY 23

Lord Howe Island - Sydney

Return flight to Sydney and private transfer to Paddington, where you'll spend the night in a small hotel.
Optional - An improvised stroll with one of our team on the ground, to experience Sydney like a local, in terms of both city and beach.

DAYS 24 & 25

Sydney - Return flight

Private transfer to the airport and catch your flight home. Overnight flight, arriving the next day.

A la carte

WITH A FEW EXTRA DAYS - HONG KONG

On either side of Victoria Harbour, the iconic buildings of Hong Kong Island tower above the people below as they go about their daily life. A tiny, supercharged world which is buzzing from day to night and which is setting future standards. Although there are many traditional, local diners, the city also has some of the most creative restaurants on the fusion scene. Shopping is boundless in a place where trade is the name of the game. The galleries exhibit the best of international sculptors. In the parks, however, you can enjoy surprising tranquillity.
Option

KAYAK IN THE CATHEDRAL COVE MARINE RESERVE

This is probably one of the most beautiful kayaking tours in the country, where you can explore the Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve - Te Whanganui-A-Hei or Big Bay of Hei in Maori - a small paradise of beaches, islets and rocks. The itinerary includes visiting the caves, observing marine wildlife, exploring Cathedral Cove and its famous stone arch.
Option

TONGARIRO FROM THE SKY

To fully appreciate the beauty of Tongariro National Park, we recommend that you take to the skies (30 minutes) in one of the most beautiful and spectacular fly-overs in the country, as it allows you to admire the volcanoes (Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro) and the famous lakes surrounding them.
Option

SAILING THE MILFORD SOUND

This fjord is nestled over nine miles inland and is surrounded by 3,937ft mountains, the highest point being The Elephant, which reaches 4977ft. To get there from Queenstown, you'll board a small plane, from where you'll have the chance to admire the beautiful scenery. When you board the boat, you'll sail the clear waters of the fjord that reflect the surrounding peaks, and get as close as possible to the falls; you may even be lucky enough to spot dolphins, seals or penguins.
Option - half day

SYDNEY WITH A LOCAL

Go on a walk with an expert guide to experience Sydney from a different perspective. Your guide knows the city inside and out, and can create a tailor-made itinerary that is adapted to your interests. It's a really informal and relaxing walk. Nothing is planned in advance, instead the route is tailored to your particular interests.
Option

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The estimated cost for this trip is £7,000 to £9,500 per person. and the final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost will vary according to several factors, including the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote. The average price for this trip is £8700 per person.
  • International flight to Auckland and return from Sydney, by scheduled airline
  • Queenstown/Sydney International and Domestic Flights to Lord Howe Island
  • Airline taxes and fuel surcharge
  • Private transfers to and from the airport and hotel as per the itinerary
  • Reception on arrival and assistance with formalities in Auckland
  • Nine-day and five-day car hire in New Zealand
  • You'll have access to our additional services, including our local Concierge
  • Ferry crossing between North Island and South Island in New Zealand, with access to the on-board lounge
  • Crossing the New Zealand Alps on the TranzAlpine
  • 16 nights in New Zealand in a double room and suite, with some accommodation also including hearty breakfasts
  • Five-night stay in Australia, including two nights in Sydney at the Arts Hotel in a double room, room only, and three nights on Lord Howe Island at the Beachcomber Lodge in a double studio, room only
  • Entry tickets to Orakei Korako Thermal Park
  • A day of free exploration around Abel Tasman National Park
  • Access to Queenstown's Onsen Hot Pools (one hour)
  • Our local Concierge
  • A few of the benefits of travelling with us
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    Our experts have the inside track on the destinations they sell and will tailor-make a holiday to your unique requirements.
    Contact one of our New Zealand specialists