Spend 12 days exploring the North and South Islands of this small country packed with wonders. Travelling by train, gondola, boat, and plane, sample local wine, walk through an ancient rainforest, and learn about local legends and cuisine from the Maori. Take a deep breath to fill your lungs with the impossibly clean air here — and fill your soul with the legendary Kiwi spirit.

Trip highlights

Fiordland National Park Overnight Wilderness Cruise, Spend an afternoon cruising dreamy Fiordland National Park, one of the most stunning and pure places on the planet. Steep cliffs and inspiring waterfalls serve as the ideal backdrop for the dolphins, penguins, seals, and thousands of birds that compete for centre stage – all on a nature-viewing eco-expedition you'll remember forever.

Meet a Maori Elder, Enjoy a private welcome in Tamaki Village from a Maori elder. Learn about the community’s traditions and myths, as well about the history of the Maori people and their connection to the Rotorua landscape.

Itinerary - 12 Days

Day 1 Auckland

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Auckland (1B)

Enjoy a morning orientation walk before catching a ferry to Waiheke Island. Visit two local wineries to learn more about New Zealand's burgeoning wine industry and the history of wine production in the country while sampling some of the local blends, of course.

Day 3 Auckland/Rotorua (1B)

Drive to Rotorua, stopping for an excursion at Waitomo Caves where you'll take a boat ride through the cave and see thousands of flickering glowworms lighting up the walls.

Day 4 Rotorua (1B, 1D)

Enjoy a free day in Rotorua which sits over an active geothermal zone with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools. Opt to visit one of the geothermal sites, or go whitewater rafting. This evening visit Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy a private welcome and talk from a “Kaumātua” (an elder in Māori society). After, watch an extravagant performance about local myths and legends while dining on traditional Hangi cuisine.

Day 5 Rotorua/Christchurch (1B)

Enjoy free time this morning in Rotorua before catching a flight to Christchurch. This afternoon, meet with a local guide and take a unique walking tour of the city.

Day 6 Christchurch/Franz Josef (1B)

Enjoy one of the world’s great scenic train trips on the TranzAlpine train, crossing the scenic Southern Alps to New Zealand's glacier region. Disembark and finish the journey over the highest pass in the Southern Alps in a private vehicle before transferring to a beautiful rainforest lodge, our home for two nights.

Day 7 Franz Josef (1B)

Enjoy free time to explore the area. Opt for a helicopter hike, ice walking on the glacier, or soaking in hot pools among stunning scenery.

Day 8 Franz Josef/Queenstown (1B)

Take a stunning scenic drive through the rugged rainforest along the west coast to Queenstown.

Day 9 Queenstown/Fiordland National Park (1B, 1D)

Embark on an amazing wilderness cruise through Fiordland National Park. Led by onboard naturalist guides, we have the chance to see dolphins, fur seals, birds, and penguins, with the option to kayak. Spend the night onboard in comfortable cabins (seasonal) with time to relax on deck and stargaze.

Day 10 Fiordland National Park/Queenstown (1B)

Enjoy early morning wildlife viewing along the fiord as we cruise back to port, then return to Queenstown.

Day 11 Queenstown (1B)

Enjoy a free day to explore on your own, visit a winery, or cruise on a historic steamship. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Opt to go bungee jumping, jet boating, skydiving, paragliding, or mountain biking. This evening enjoy a gondola ride with spectacular views of the city and surrounding landscape.

Day 12 Queenstown (1B)

Depart at any time.

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