Unique, Boutique & Luxury New Zealand
Staying in quirky boutique hotels in beautiful natural surroundings, explore the highlights of New Zealand in comfort and style with this relaxed Journey.
Breathe in the fresh air and get away from it all among the spectacular scenery of the country’s mountains and lakes, and head to the coast for awe-inspiring whale and dolphin encounters.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Spot dolphins as you cruise the beautiful waterways of the Bay of Islands
- Get back to nature on Kapiti Island and watch for birdlife
- Look out for the sperm whale’s enormous tail fluke in Kaikoura
- Take to the water and admire the tranquillity and beautiful scenery of Milford Sound
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- International flights
- 16 nights in 4-5* hotels
- 12 days' car hire
- Kapiti Island Day Tour
- Kaikoura whale watching tour
- Milford Sound day tour
- Wellington to Picton ferry
- Airport transfers
Need to know+
- Arrives: Auckland Airport (AKL)
- Time difference: GMT+13
- Visa requirements: British passport holders do not require a visa
- Language: English and Maori
- Currency: New Zealand dollar (NZD)
- Flying time from UK: around 27 hours
- Plug type: 3-prong flat blade plug
- Voltage: 240 volts/50 cycles
Fly from UK to Auckland
Take a walk along the harbour front in Auckland, a vibrant city flecked with volcanic cones. Browse the many museums and galleries, including the fascinating New Zealand National Maritime Museum and the Auckland War Memorial Museum, or perhaps take a boat trip out across the Hauraki Gulf to peaceful Waiheke Island, home to artists and the well-to-do. If that’s not enough, there are plenty of excellent restaurants and quirky cafés to try out too.
Bay of Islands
Head to Paihia, gateway to the beautiful Bay of Islands. Here, you can take to the seas and cruise among the 144 pretty islets, sailing through the iconic Hole in the Rock and keeping an eye out for dolphins as you go. Back on dry land, swot up on your Kiwi history with a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the location for the signing of the agreement between Maori Chiefs and British settlers that lead to the establishment of New Zealand.
Return to Auckland for another night. If you haven’t already, see the city from above at the 190 metre-tall Sky Tower, where you can dine with a view in the relaxed revolving restaurant. For a restful afternoon head down to the colourful Auckland Botanic Gardens and wander through 64 hectares of flowers and native forest. If you like greenery be sure to check out the Auckland Domain, the city’s oldest park, set inside the crater of the Pukekawa volcano.
Discover the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, home to bubbling geysers, steaming hot pools and thermal springs. You might need to hold your nose while in town, as there’s a distinct whiff of sulphur in the air. But don’t let that put you off, as the town’s lakes, hiking trails and bicycle paths make it a great place to get outside and enjoy the scenery. While you’re here, don’t miss a soak in one of the mud spas and baths.
Stay in the lap of luxury at the beautiful Greenmantle Estate, located along the endless beaches of the Kapiti Coast. From here you will sail across to Kapiti Island and discover verdant forests, sheer cliffs and a wide variety of bird species, including the rare red-fronted parakeet. For a bit of adventure try the hiking trails in Nikau forest or the many walking trails in Queen Elizabeth Park. Cycling, rafting, scenic helicopter flights and even land sailing are also possible.
Abel Tasman National Park
With sparkling turquoise seas, varied walking tracks following the rugged coastline and myriad birds and marine life, Abel Tasman is undoubtedly one of New Zealand’s most beautiful national parks. It’s filled with outdoor adventures – cruise the waterways by boat or kayak, explore the rainforests on foot, flop on the beaches and look out for seals in the bays. It’s great for swimming too, just be careful of the tides.
Soak up the rugged scenery of the Marlborough Sounds, a vast expanse of blue water poured into the valley s between forested hills, dotted with quaint villages and home to a number of marine mammals, including the rare Hector’s dolphin. Get out on the water in a kayak or walk the coastal tracks, treat yourself in the spa or simply sit overlooking the sounds with a crisp glass of wine and a beautiful sunset.
Look out for marine mammals in Kaikoura, where you’ll stay in the delightful Hapuku Lodge, with a relaxing backdrop of mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. Kairkoura is all about the wildlife, with whales, dolphins and seals all frequenting the waters here. You’ll have the chance to see them up close on your included whale watching tour, where you might be lucky enough to see the enormous tail flukes of the sperm whale, which reaches lengths of up to 12m.
Explore the picturesque city of Christchurch, one of the prettiest cities in New Zealand. Take in the gardens and parks with a relaxing punting trip on the Avon River, or perhaps hire a bike and cycle your way around the city. Head down to the Cardboard Cathedral, a temporary replacement for the brick version that was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake, or perhaps take a look around the International Antarctic Centre and learn more about life on the South Pole.
Finish your trip in fun-filled Queenstown, where you can scare yourself silly with the various adventure activities on offer. Choose from skydiving, bungee jumping, jet boating and skiing (in winter only). If you’d prefer something more sedate, stroll around the mountain-backed Lake Wakatipu and take a day trip Milford Sound, where you’ll gaze up at the spectacular scenery and admire the towering cliffs and peaks, cascading waterfalls and thick forests that line the coast.
Depart Queenstown and return to the UK
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