Wild and rugged, at once inspiring spontaneous hikes and displaying a spirit of pulse-slowing tranquility, New Zealand’s natural beauty is as sumptuous as its oak-aged wines and as varied as its stylish, cosmopolitan cities.

From grand glaciers to explosive volcanos, there’s a sense of the not-yet-finished to New Zealand’s enchanting lands. A brooding, primeval energy bubbles from geothermal pools, burns in smouldering craters, belches in towering geysers, and permeates the mists of ancient Kauri forests, lending credibility to fantastical Maori legends narrated in wooden marae halls. Across the north and south islands, treasured national parks and reserves hold nature’s finest ecosystems for your discovery. Explore on marauding trans-alpine trains, on thrilling jet-boat safaris or on self-drive adventures along scenic coastal roads, and find gaping fjords, empty palm-fringed beaches and the extensive wine-lands of Marlborough, where the world’s finest sauvignon blanc acquires its unique aromas. Auckland’s sophisticated waterfront creaks and tinkles with swaying yachts, the powerful surf crashing on dramatic black-sand beaches along the coast, while bohemian Wellington has preserved charming Art Deco architecture since Captain Cook first surveyed New Zealand from his eponymous mount.

On the south island, picturesque Queenstown enjoys sweeping views over placid Lake Wakatipu, and old-style Christchurch trams shunt between botanical gardens, street art projects and decidedly European buildings. The vast majority of New Zealand, though, is completely pristine - only luxury lodges and their steaming hillside jacuzzis stand out against awe-inspiring natural vistas. Trek the Tongariro Track over active volcanos and past turquoise lakes; cleanse in the mud spa at Rotorua’s thermal park; land on spectacular Franz Josef glacier with a camera in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other; or hit New Zealand’s waters to spot dusky dolphins, penguins, whales and seals. And a holiday here would be incomplete without joining the indigenous Maori for a delicious hangi feast, complete with jubilant song and powerful dance. From easy-going cities to fierce and barren wilderness, New Zealand truly is a destination for everyone.

 


Special experiences

Spend your days in pursuit of adventure. From the adrenaline capital of Queenstown quad-bike, mountain bike, paraglide, skydive or bungee jump your way through the countryside before jumping on to a jet boat for a river journey. Take a nail-biting white-water rafting adventure or, on rather calmer waters, practice your fly-fishing on some of the best trout rivers in the world. Helicopter to, then climb on the Franz Josef Glacier and surrounding glaciated mountains. Hit the roads for a remote self-drive journey through the central highlands, staying at sheep stations and enjoying local hospitality. Take in breathtaking views of the mighty Huka Falls by helicopter, before hiking to a sumptuous lunch. Rejuvenate in Taupo, the epicentre of volcanic geothermal activity and hot springs and marvel at the mud pools and geysers around Rotorua that hint at the country’s volcanic past. Discover the Lord of the Rings’ film sets in the company of a fan. Immerse yourself in the empty sounds of the southern fjords far away from the madding crowds on a private yacht or explore Lake Tarawera on a cruise just for you. While sailing among the subtropical paradise Bay of Islands drop anchor alongside a private beach and watch your private chef prepare a mouthwatering feast. Sample a sublime Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc in the Hawke’s Bay or Marlborough region as you make the most of insider access to boutique wine estates where the owners will lead private tasting sessions. Spend time with the Maori and let an elder tell stories while a traditional hangi feast is prepared on your behalf

Hiking the trails of New Zealand's alpine South Island

Hiking the trails of New Zealand's alpine South Island

Taste some of the New World's best wines

Taste some of the New World's best wines

 Light aircraft over New Zealand's Southern Alps

See stunning landscapes from scenic flights and helicopter rides


Where to stay in New Zealand

Spoil yourself with some of the world’s finest lodge accommodation, making the most of properties like Huka Lodge in incredible locations, avant-garde English manors like Black Swan Lakeside Boutique or lake and mountainside retreats with tin tubs for al fresco bathing. Really push the boat out with a break at Minaret Station in one of their amazingly isolated cabins accessible only be helicopter, whose luxury confounds their wild location. Otherwise, in Auckland seek out hip city hideaways such as Hotel DeBrett and in Auckland indulge yourself with a night in a restored nineteenth century villa to offset the nights you’ll spend in an upscale lodge below a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, rustic sheep stations, grown-up treehouses, private island retreats and camps in the Southern wilderness. You might even ask us about how to stay in Bilbo Baggins' hobbit home.


When to go to New Zealand

New Zealand is at its very best in the summer from December to February, but there are also exceptional adventures to be had during winter when the alps are covered in snow and you can experience the wilderness in a different way before heading to the beach retreats of the South Pacific. And, for those that choose the months in between, there's still some superb weather to enjoy coupled with fewer crowds. If you do choose to travel in the peak months, especially over Christmas and New Year, it's important to book early with luxury lodges in particular filling up several months in advance.


Suggested itineraries

Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand

Highlights of the South Island

13 days from £3,980 pp incl. flights

The beauty of New Zealand's South Island is in its natural landscapes and outdoor activities – discover them all with a range of curated excursions, from whale-watching tours and overnight fjord cruises to glacial heli-hikes and mountain rail journeys.

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsulaula

Highlights of the North Island

15 days from £4,375 pp incl. flights

Experience the best of the North Island, searching for kiwis in kauri forests, swimming with dolphins in the Bay of Islands and enjoying Maori feasts amidst Rotorua’s geothermal beauty. Known for a volcanic landscape and glittering cities, the North Island makes for a classic New Zealand adventure.

Pool view from Marino Ridge, Waiheke Island

Luxury Lodges of New Zealand

21 days from £8,380 pp incl. flights

Stay in some of New Zealand’s finest accommodation as spectacular drives link together the highlights of both its North and South island.

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