This tour of New Zealand starts in the North Island showcasing the scenic Bay of Islands, geothermal Rotorua and the World Heritage Tongariro National Park. Before crossing to the South Island dominated by the mighty Southern Alps and visiting stunning Queenstown, Milford Sound, Dunedin and a special Tranz Alpine Rail Journey. This tour really gives you the opportunity to explore and experience the breathtaking scenery that New Zealand is famous for.
The iconic Sky Tower has stood tall at 328 metres, owning Auckland’s skyline for over 20 years. It’s an exciting hub of adrenaline activities, sky-high events, superb dining and breath-taking views.
Three fabulous viewing platforms offer the opportunity to admire Auckland from atop the tower. And a fantastic selection of bars, award-winning restaurants and cafes, two first-class hotels and the world-class SkyCity Casino are also available to visitors.
A visit to the Sky Tower is a great way to see the layout of New Zealand’s largest city. See the central city from above and take in the beautiful views up to 80 kilometres in every direction. Spot the key landmarks a number of volcanoes & historical locations within the greater Auckland area.
The Kauri Museum is located midway between Auckland and the Bay of Islands in Matakohe. Discover the history and the legacy of New Zealand’s ancient kauri forest, and the associated industries.
In addition to preserving the past, the Museum plays a role in conserving the remaining trees. It works to save NZ’s forests by raising awareness of the spread of the Kauri Dieback disease, and promoting forest ecology.
This is far more than a museum of timber. The Museum has stories of the Māori of the north-eastern Kaipara and European pioneers. Learn about early foresters and sawmillers, gum diggers and farmers, and business people, fishers and the local families. All of whom have made this area their home.
Set off from Paihia in the Bay of Islands and travel through spectacular scenery as your driver shares fascinating stories about Northland’s history. This exhilarating tour will see you speeding down massive sand dunes, and driving along the iconic 90 Mile Beach.
According to Māori legend, the headland at Cape Reinga is where spirits leave New Zealand and return to the land of their ancestors, Hawaiki. Walk down to the iconic Cape Reinga lighthouse and see the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean crashing together below you. Soak up the amazing atmosphere and strikingly beautiful vistas, and don’t forget to snap a selfie with the famous signpost!
Board your cruise and take in the stunning views of the Bay of Islands. You’ll glide out through the islands and along the Rakaumangamanga Peninsula to Cape Brett. Here a historic lighthouse keeps watch over Piercy Island/Motukōkako or, as it is popularly known, the “Hole in the Rock”.
According to Māori legend, local warriors used to paddle through the hole in their waka (canoes) before departing for battle. Drops of water from the cave roof above were a good omen.
If conditions permit, your skipper will expertly guide the ship through the narrow space… And if you get dripped on, consider yourself lucky!
Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales and other marine life during your cruise, and have your camera ready as you get you up close to the action. The crew have years of experience locating dolphins in these waters!
Located an hour north of Auckland and just outside Matakana is Sculptureum. We recommend a viewing time of 1.5-2 hours. Begin your Sculptureum Experience in the Garden of Creative Diversity which has paths leading through the Classical and Reflective gardens. Then move into the galleries and wind your way through the first five art galleries, all of which follow a different theme. You’ll then discover the two rear gardens which will delight, with their interesting mix of sculpture, artwork, and stunning palm trees. Finish off with the sixth gallery which contains the stunning glass chandelier by American artist, Dale Chihuly. We recommend allowing 2 hours for your walk (total length 1.4km across accessible, flat pathways) and you’re welcome to stop for lunch (additional expense) at one of the dining options during your self-guided tour. The Galleries & Gardens are open from 10am-4pm (with last entry at 2.30pm), seven days a week, 364 days a year – it is closed December 25, and can be enjoyed in all weather – there are umbrellas available for your use throughout your walk.
Known as one of New Zealand’s best natural attractions, take a boat ride through the glowworm grotto, marvel at thousands of magical glowworms and become part of over 130 years of cultural and natural history.
Discover an ancient world 30 million years in the making and marvel at Mother Nature’s light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. Experience the serene ambience as you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights. The glowworm (Arachnocampa Luminosa) is unique to New Zealand, making the Waitomo Glowworm Caves an absolute must-do. See thousands of these tiny creatures as they radiate their unmistakable luminescent light in a subterranean world.
Many of the tour guides are direct descendants of the Maori chief who originally explored the cave, bringing the cave to life through story-telling and explaining the history, features and legends of the world-famous cave.
In traditional hāngī cooking, food such as fish and kumara (sweet potato), were cooked in a pit dug in the ground. Today, pork, lamb, potato, pumpkin and cabbage are also included. Hāngī was traditionally wrapped in flax leaves, but a modern Hāngī is more likely to use mutton cloth, aluminium foil and wire baskets. Traditionally the baskets were placed on hot stones at the bottom of a hole dug into the ground. The food is covered with a wet cloth and a mound of dirt that traps the heat from the stones. The Hāngī was left in the ground for about three to four hours, depending on the amount of food. The result of this process is tender meat and delicious vegetables, infused with smoky, earthy flavours. Today a process is used in above ground steaming facilities, giving a similar taste. Good food is central to the spirit of manaakitanga (hospitality). There are few experiences that rival sharing a feast cooked in a traditional Maori hāngī (earth oven), a centuries-old cooking method perfect for feeding a crowd and bringing a community together.
Conveniently located just minutes from Rotorua’s City centre, high on the side of Mount Ngongotaha, the Gondola will carry you to 487 metres above sea level to a stunning environment providing panoramic views of Rotorua City, Lake Rotorua and the surrounding area. There’s also Skyline Luge, which is a fun-filled adventure activity suitable for riders of all ages and experience levels. The tracks are all designed with twists, turns and tunnels to ride with your friends and family for a thrilling outdoor experience. Climb aboard your Luge cart and let gravity and your sense of adventure do the rest!
Discover one of New Zealand’s most magnificent geothermal wonderlands near Rotorua at Te Puia. See dramatic geysers, bubbling mud and beautiful native bush.
Enjoy the opportunity to come face to face with the biggest, active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere, Pōhutu Geyser. There are also jumping mud pools and live kiwi in the Kiwi Conservation Centre.
And watch master carvers and weavers at work at the NZ Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, and hear guides share stories passed down from their ancestors.
Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland is a spectacular showcase of New Zealand’s most colourful and unique geothermal elements sculpted by thousands of years of geothermal activity. Featuring some amazing colours and thermal wonders such as the Lady Knox Geyser which is presented daily at 10.15am. This unique geyser can reach up to heights of 10-20 metres. See and learn about the magnificent workings of the Lady Knox geyser from the wonderful team. There is also the geothermal park, sculptured out of volcanic activity and thousands of years in the making, Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland is considered to be New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. You are introduced to a uniquely different natural landscape – the key to what you see lies below the surface – one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand, extending over 18-sq. km. The Mud Pool is the largest mud pool in New Zealand, it was originally the site of a large mud volcano which was destroyed through erosion in the 1920’s.
The world-renowned Agrodome farm show is a must on any visit to Rotorua. It is set in 350-acres of lush farmland, only 10 minutes from Rotorua city centre. Be entertained by a cast of talented animals.
For over 40 years, visitors have come to the the famous Farm Show at the Agrodome. You can also visit the Farmyard Nursery. It is home to the cutest baby animals who are available for cuddles and photos all year round.
There is a guided farm tour of the 350-acre working farm. You’ll get to hand-feed loads of friendly animals and sample delicious kiwifruit juice and honey from the land. And there is also the Woollen Mill and Shearing Museum to visit. Here you’ll learn the remarkable story of, NZ shearing pioneers, the Bowen brothers and discover the full process of wool from the sheep’s back to yours.
The iconic Skyline Gondola gives you the opportunity to take in stunning views as you ride the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere. You’ll be carried 480 metres above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob’s Peak.
Enjoy a spectacular 220-degree panorama. There are breath-taking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Walter and Cecil Peaks and, of course, Queenstown.
The short ride on the gondola offers views of the beauty of the Wakatipu basin. When you get to the top there’s a lot to do. Have a drink from the bar and enjoy the view. Take a few rides on the thrilling Luge (once is never enough). Or refuel with a sumptuous buffet lunch or dinner at the restaurant.
The Dart River Safari jetboat experience is an exhilarating and spectacular journey through iconic landscapes. The landscapes in the Dart River Valley are nothing short of awe-inspiring. And you’ll learn about the area as you travel past snow-capped mountains, crystal clear waterways and lush ancient native beech forests.
The braided Dart River (or Te Awa Whakatipu) flows for 60km to the northern tip of Lake Whakatipu near Glenorchy. It’ll take you from the Southern Alps and the Dart Glacier in the heart of Mt Aspiring National Park to the lake. You’ll be towered over by mountain ranges on either side. And the Dart River Valley offers stunning panoramic views to enjoy at every turn.
Your passionate and knowledgeable driver will make help make your adventure unforgettable. Learn the culture and history of Te Wāhipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Area as you travel.
Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum was established in 1948 as a Centennial of Otago project. Appropriately set in the former gold mining town, the museum started life in the billiard rooms of the Ballarat Hotel. It then shifted to the current home, the former Bank of New Zealand building, in 1955.
Over the last 60 years, innovative direction has seen the museum recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading small museums. It has a strong hands-on focus. Working displays cover two floors and incorporate three historic buildings. They offer a window into the past — an authentic picture of early Maori life and the harsh lives of European settlers and goldminers.
A short distance from Queenstown, the museum also houses an art gallery, bookshop, archives and research facility and a busy education programme.
The TSS Earnslaw offers one of the best ways to see Queenstown’s surrounding landscape. Cruise across Lake Whakatipu aboard the iconic century-old coal-fired steamship taking in the views at a leisurely pace.
An iconic piece of Queenstown’s history, The Earsnlaw has been lovingly maintained since 1912. Take time to explore the vessel, view the engine room, and study the historic displays of the steamship’s former life.
Your trip will take you across the lake, past the Remarkables mountain range and Cecil Peak to Walter Peak for a high country farm experience. Then you’ll cruise back to Queenstown Bay with plenty of time to take in that world-famous alpine scenery.
A boutique winery tour is a wonderful way to explore the vineyards of Gibbston Valley, near Queenstown. Famous for their world-class pinot noir, the vineyards you will visit are set in the truly breathtaking scenery of an alpine valley.
Raising grapes this far south is hard work. But one sip of Gibbston Valley pinot noir tells you the effort is absolutely worthwhile. This area, outside Queenstown, is fondly known as the “Valley of the Vines”. And it is one of the most scenic wine growing areas in New Zealand. The vineyards are sandwiched between rugged mountains and the rocky Kawarau River gorge.
This high altitude area is subject to cold winters, hot dry summers and a huge night-to-day temperature range. But these challenging conditions have produced consistently superb wines. And worldwide recognition and an avalanche of international awards followed. More than 70% of the grapes grown here are pinot noir. Other varieties include chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling and sauvignon blanc.
The Queenstown region features prominently in the incredibly popular Lord of the Rings trilogy. And Nomad Safaris’ “The Safari of the Scenes Tour” combines a true 4WD adventure with film locations from the LOTR trilogy.
Your guides rediscover the magic of Tolkien’s Middle-earth and bring it to life with rare facts and thrilling tales. Discover the magical side of New Zealand. And find out why this magnificent country was chosen to portray Middle-earth.
This Queenstown adventure safari is packed with breath-taking Lord Of The Rings filming locations and thrilling 4WD action.
This thrilling jetboat ride takes you through the spectacular shotover canyons near Queenstown. See the canyons’ beauty and feel their power on the world’s most exciting jet boat ride. A unique combination of beauty and power, the Shotover Jet is an experience like no other.
This iconic Queenstown attraction is proudly owned by Ngāi Tahu, the Māori people of this land, and their connection to the Kimiākau (Shotover River) goes back centuries. As the home of their tīpuna (ancestors), this place is part of them.
Only Shotover Jet have access to the spectacular Shotover Canyons and no one knows this area like they do. The world-famous trip combines pristine natural landscape with wall to wall canyon action from start to finish!
Cruise Milford Sound, the most well-known and accessible of all the fiords in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage Area. Its 16 kilometre (14 nautical miles) length is lined by sheer rock faces that soar 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) or more from the water.
Milford Sound is in the heart of a rainforest (annual rainfall is 6,813mm or 268 inches). This creates walls of temporary waterfalls on a wet day. In drier conditions this recedes to just two permanent waterfalls (Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls). Glorious on a fine day, Milford Sound’s ethereal, moody beauty in the rain is equally spectacular.
On your leisurely and informative nature cruise, you’ll see towering cliffs and peaks. The spectacular 1692 metre Mitre Peak — NZ’s most photographed mountain — rises more than a kilometre straight out of the sea. Waterfalls cascade into the fiord. And luxuriant rain forest clings to sheer rock faces in this breath taking place.
Situated on the picturesque Otago Peninsula, a short distance from Dunedin, Larnach Castle is one of New Zealand’s premier visitor attractions. It took more than 200 workmen three years to build the Castle shell. Then master European craftsmen spent a further 12 years embellishing the interior.
William Larnach spared no expense on his dream home, which features the finest materials from around the world. Allowed to decay, it has been lovingly restored over decades by the Barker family who purchased it in 1967.
The family has restored the empty buildings from ruin and have assembled a large collection of original New Zealand period furniture and antiques. A living collection that showcases the craftsmanship and spirt of New Zealand.
Visit Larnach Castle to discover its rich history, dating back to 1871. Its interiors are a fascinating insight into Victorian decor. And you’ll enjoy exploring the exquisite gardens, which have attained a Garden of International Significance award from the New Zealand Gardens Trust.
We can customise any of our Self guided drive tours to your needs
Christchurch is an fascinating city to explore. It was once a historic garden city. Since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes it has turned into a fascinating city of regeneration and growth.
The central city is filled with cutting-edge architecture alongside some of the oldest buildings in New Zealand. But Christchurch is constantly evolving, always giving locals and visitors something new to explore. Expect street art and innovative projects, a bustling hospitality scene and established green spaces.
The Avon River runs through the city, bringing a natural landscape to the urban environment. Cruise along the picturesque river on a flat bottomed punt. Take a ride on a historic tram through the city. With wonderful parks and botanic gardens to explore Christchurch is a great place to visit.
Aoraki / Mount Cook, standing at 3,724 metres, is the highest mountain in New Zealand. It is located within Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.
The park is home of the highest mountains and the longest glaciers. It is alpine in the purest sense — with skyscraping peaks, glaciers and permanent snow fields, all set under a star-studded sky. It is part of the Southern Alps, the mountain range running the length of the South Island.
A popular tourist destination, Aoraki /Mount Cook is also a favourite challenge for mountain climbers. Mt Cook, helped Sir Edmund Hillary to develop his climbing skills in preparation for the conquest of becoming the first person to climb Mt Everest.
Although the National Park encompasses 23 peaks over 3000 metres high, it is very accessible. State Highway 80 leads to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village beside scenic Lake Pukaki, which provides a comfortable base for alpine activities.
Far from city lights, the stargazing here is magnificent. Indeed, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park forms the majority of New Zealand’s only International Dark Sky Reserve.
Queenstown is a stunning resort town, renowned for its beauty and wealth of adventure activities, it sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Southern Alps mountains, Queenstown is also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns.
Iconic adventure activities include bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers. And in winter, there’s skiing on the slopes of The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Cardrona ski resorts.
Queenstown is a hub of adventure, thrumming with adrenaline and an buzzing with a carefree sense of fun. But extreme activities aren’t the only options here. This world-famous resort town and its surrounding area boast many things to see, do, eat, drink and explore. Something for everyone at any time of year.
Famously described by Rudyard Kipling as the “eighth wonder of the world”, Milford Sound is a stunning fiord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island.
The “sound” was carved out by glaciers during the ice age like all modern fiords. But it’s majesty and the drama of its surrounding mountains is hard to match. It is known for the towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls, which plummet down its sheer sides.
When it rains in Milford Sound — and it often does — those waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect. Whatever the weather it really is a breath-taking sight.
Boat tours are a popular way to explore the inky waters of this pristine natural wonder. The fiord is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins. Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory offers views of rare black coral and other marine life.
A two hour drive from Queenstown, Te Anau is a Southland town. A pretty lakeside town, it’s known as a gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Te Anau offers great views of the lake and mountains beyond and a good range of cafes and restaurants. The awe-inspiring natural beauty of the park’s wilderness, including Milford and Doubtful Sounds is within easy reach.
The region is home to many of NZ’s Great Walks, endangered flightless takahē birds and abundant trout in Lake Te Anau. Te Anau Caves feature a limestone grotto of glowworms and an underground waterfall. To the southwest, the Kepler Track winds through beech forests, glacial valleys and mountains.
Known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin is a city that wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The small city boasts some eye-catching architecture and is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.
A gaelic language namesake of ‘Edinburgh’, Dunedin sits at the end of a long picturesque harbour surrounded by dramatic hills. There is so much to see and do here. Stroll through the city and its heritage buildings. Visit intriguing museums and historic homes like Olveston. Experience the rare wildlife found in the spectacular landscapes that surround the city.
The nearby Otago Peninsula offers endless views and beautifully rugged beaches. Nestled at the foot of Taiaroa Head is the Royal Albatross Centre — the only place in the world on the mainland where you can view Northern Royal Albatross in their natural habitat.
You will also find other wildlife including colonies of the world’s rarest penguin on the Peninsula. On the beaches, you will find fur seals and sea lions just lazing around and enjoying their natural habitat.
Dunedin’s heritage even extends to a real castle, high on the hills of the Otago Peninsula. Larnach Castle is New Zealand’s only castle and a much-loved piece of Dunedin history.
Blenheim sits in the heart of the wine-growing Marlborough region. It is known as one of the sunniest towns in New Zealand. Mountains frame the area and trap the summer heat (temperatures over 30°C are quite normal in February and March).
Rows of vines thrive in this environment and produce the majority of New Zealand’s famous Sauvignon Blanc.
In and around Blenheim you’ll find an array of cafes, restaurants, wineries, bars, shops, artisan food outlets and golf courses along with popular walkways along the Taylor River Reserve.
Aircraft enthusiast are in for a treat. A 10 minute drive from the railway station and you will be outside enormous airport hangers, about to enter a world of flight and excitement. Omaka Aviation Heritage is home to Peter Jackson’s personal collection of WW1 planes and memorabilia.
Nelson is the main centre of the Tasman region. This is an extraordinary, vibrant region where art and businesses thrive together among a stunning natural landscape.
It is renowned for its sunny climate, produce and stunning natural landscapes. Indeed, its diverse geography captures everything from long golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains.
Nelson Tasman has one of the largest concentrations of working artists and galleries in the country. You’ll find an array of traditional, contemporary and Māori, craftspeople living in the region.
And you’ll also find many ways to find something extraordinary to take home with you. Visit artist’s studios. Explore the weekend craft markets. Taste the delicious locally made artisan products.
Tucked into the forested foothills of the Southern Alps is the cosy township of Fox Glacier. Focused around a 13-kilometre-long temperate maritime glacier, ‘Fox’ is in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of Aoteaoroa’s South Island.
Fox Glacier describes both the glacier and the nearby village. The town offers glacier hikes, flights, scenic walks and glow worm caves just a short walk from the town centre. And there is a good choice of cafes and restaurants.
Like its twin, Franz Josef, the glacier descends from the Southern Alps down into temperate rainforest just 300 metres above sea level.
Close to Fox is beautiful Lake Matheson, one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand. On a clear day it reflects Mount Cook and features prominently in many New Zealand promotional images. The short walk that circles the lake is a local must-do, offering numerous photo ops.
The Bay of Islands is a subtropical micro-region in the north of the North Island. It is known for its beauty, stunning beaches, deep sea fishing & importance to New Zealand history. And it is paradise for those that love beaches and water activities with a little colonial history thrown in.
The Bay of Islands includes 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula. The boutique towns of Opua, Paihia, Russell, Kerikeri and Waitangi, which played a very special part in Aotearoa’s history, populate its coastline.
There are a number of excellent ways to experience the region. One of the most popular activities is a trip to Cape Brett and the ‘Hole in the Rock’ on Piercy Island. A passenger ferry service runs between Paihia and Russell. And a vehicle ferry provides a link between Opua and Russell.
On land, you’ll enjoy beautiful river and seaside walking tracks or encounter the mighty kauri tree in pristine subtropical rainforest. This is a very beautiful and popular part of the country and a favourite with visitors and Kiwis alike.
Auckland, or Tāmaki Makaurau in Maori, is New Zealand’s largest city. It is based around 2 large and picturesque harbours. ‘The City of Sails’ is known as such because of the many yachts often seen on those harbours.
Tāmaki Makaurau is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two major bodies of water. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitematā Harbour on the Pacific Ocean.
The Auckland landscape is also dotted with 53 volcanic centres that make up the Auckland Volcanic Field. And the many volcanic cones are a feature of the city.
In the centre of the city, the iconic Sky Tower dominates the skyline and has views across the city and harbours.
There is lots to see and do close to the CBD. Bustling precincts include Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Harbour, full of superyachts and lined with bars and cafes. Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, covers an extinct volcano and is home to the formal Wintergardens. A short harbour-side drive takes you to Mission Bay Beach, which offers a relaxed beachside vibe and a seaside promenade — a wonderful place for a stroll.
A slightly longer drive will take you to the Waitakere Ranges, which surrounding the city to the west, and pristine sub-tropical rainforest.
Rotorua is an inland city that is famous for its geothermal activity, Maori culture experiences, 18 lakes, and three major rivers in a beautiful natural environment.
Rotorua is a major destination for both domestic and international tourists. Its geothermal activity, featuring geysers and hot mud pools, are world renowned. This thermal activity is created by the Rotorua Caldera, over which the town is built.
In Te Puia’s Whakarewarewa Valley, there are bubbling mud pools and the 30m-tall Pohutu Geyser, which erupts many times daily. Its also home to a living Maori village and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, with traditional wood carving and weaving schools.
Rotorua was one of the first places in the country to host tourists who came to experience the healing properties of the geothermal waters.
Tongariro National Park is situated in the middle of the North Island, just south of Lake Taupō. This UNESCO World Heritage site covers almost 80,000 hectares of awe-inspiring landscapes.
The mountains of Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe dominate the area. Access its diverse terrain from a variety of neighbouring towns including Ohakune, Turangi or Taumarunui. Or base yourself, right in the heart of the National Park, at Whakapapa and National Park Villages.
The Tongariro National Park is most famous for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and the large ski fields of Whakapapa and Tūroa on Mount Ruapehu. But there is a huge variety of activities to enjoy in and around the park year round.
This stunning location offers you the opportunity to spend some time exploring the great outdoors. Walks, hikes and bike rides for every age and ability are easy to access. They’re perfect for day trips or multi-day adventures.
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and the location of our parliament. Located at the bottom of the North Island it sits on the Cook Strait, which divides the North and South Islands. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname “Windy Wellington”.
It is a vibrant and compact city, with a beautiful waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and some lovely turn of the century, timber houses on the steep hills it features. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens.
Wellington is home to New Zealand’s National Museum, Te Papa, and bespoke art and creative pursuits thrive in this city. Couple this with a strong café and restaurant culture and you have an interesting and unique little city to explore.
Gain an entertaining insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island.
During this 1 hour tour you will experience unspoiled, incredibly beautiful, and steeped in stories of Stewart Island (known as Rakiura – glowing skies – by Maori), any visit to Stewart Island is well worth this informative introduction. Local guides enjoy sharing their knowledge of the area on this mini-bus tour of the Island. You will have plenty of time to get off the bus for photo stops and short walks. Highlights include a visit to the gateway to Rakiura National Park at Lee Bay and Observation Rock with its stunning views of Paterson Inlet.
Discover Stewart Island from the water on a leisurely cruise of beautiful Paterson Inlet and a guided walk in Ulva Island Wildlife Sanctuary.
The cruise will showcase some of Paterson Inlet’s stunning scenery with its hidden coves and unspoilt beaches. You’ll hear fascinating stories of early Maori history and European settlement from your guide as we pass various landmarks. Your guide is passionate about this area, provides informative commentary and is more than happy to answer questions. While on board, keep a look out for fur seals and penguins – we see a lot of them around this area.
Paterson Inlet is home to renowned wildlife sanctuary Ulva Island and we’ll stop there for a 45 minute guided walk. The island is home to weka (native woodhen), bush robins, rare saddlebacks and yellowheads amongst other species. It is also a protected habitat for some of New Zealand’s rarest plant species. A regular highlight is to encounter an inquisitive weka on the beach. Duration 2 hours 15 minutes.
For the remainder of the cruise around Paterson Inlet, relax on board our modern catamaran and enjoy the coastal scenery before heading back to base.
At dusk depart from Stewart Island’s Halfmoon Bay in a catamaran for a cruise across Paterson Inlet to Little Glory Cove. During the cruise pass Ulva Island (a predator-free sanctuary) and learn about Stewart Island’s rich history. Once at Little Glory Cove, disembark onto a wharf at the southern part of the peninsula known as The Neck.
The walk, led by your nature guide, is on a well-formed track across the peninsula, through spectacular coastal forest to a secluded sandy beach. As dusk sets in and daylight diminishes, venture by torchlight through the native forest with the stars and forest night sounds around you. The walk will take about 45 minutes one-way and the track emerges on to Ocean Beach. This wide sandy beach is where kiwi are often found feeding among the grasses and seaweed.
Here in the darkness you may get the opportunity to see the Southern brown kiwi (Rakiura Tokoeka) – often searching for food. Afterwards retrace your steps through the forest to Little Glory Wharf for your catamaran ride back to Oban township on Stewart Island.
Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest national park. But it is one of the most easily accessible and beautiful coastal paradise settings. And you’ll see all the highlights along the coast on board this cruise.
See granite outcrops, golden sands and lush forest. Take in Split Apple Rock, Tonga Island Marine Reserve and Adele Island Wildlife Reserve. View sea birds and seals, with a chance to spot little blue penguins. Then relax with a comfortable Vista Cruise back to Kaiteriteri.
The Christchurch Tram is a unique experience combining history and sightseeing. The beautifully restored heritage trams are one of the city’s best loved attractions.
Hop-on hop-off tickets allow you to visit the central city sights at your leisure. And the friendly and knowledgeable drivers keep you updated about the latest city changes in informative live commentaries.
Explore the best of the central Christchurch from the 17 stops enroute. Hop off at The Canterbury Museum & Botanic Gardens. Visit Turanga and the Margaret Mahy Playground. Enjoy many retail stores, bars and eateries at The Terrace, Cashel Street & Riverside Market. And the Arts Centre and New Regent Street offer fantastic shopping and dining options for all.
Enjoy a very special view of the South Island’s striking natural landscape. Take the Tranz Alpine train between Christchurch and Greymouth. See epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps, and see miles of native beech forest.
You’ll cross the remarkabley flat Canterbury Plains overlooked by the majestic Southern Alps before eventually crossing the aqua-blue Waimakariri River. Tunnels, viaducts and feats of railway engineering take you across alpine passes where you’ll then travel through lush lake valleys towards the West Coast of the South Island. This iconic train trip is the journey of a lifetime.
The TranzAlpine is acknowledged as one of the world’s great train journeys. The 223 kilometre (139 mile) one-way trip takes just under 5 hours and connects Christchurch and Greymouth on the West Coast via Arthurs Pass through the Southern Alps.
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