Recommended tour operator: Cox & Kings
Cox & Kings says
New Zealand boasts one of the world’s most pristine environments, only settled about 1,000 years ago. In total, one third of the country is protected as a park or reserve, preserving the diverse landscape that ranges from snow-topped volcanoes to mangrove-fringed inlets.
The northern part of North Island, near the Bay of Islands, is a great place to immerse yourself in Maori culture. Highlights include a visit to the birthplace of modern New Zealand at Waitanga Treaty House, a visit to Cape Reinga’s lighthouse on the most northerly tip and a guided walk in the kauri rainforest in search of the elusive kiwi.
North Island is also home to glorious beaches, bubbling mud pools and steaming geysers around Rotorua; add to that the rolling vineyards, olive groves and the cosmopolitan cities of Auckland and Wellington.
Visitors to South Island should make time to discover its incredible marine and birdlife; whale watching in Kaikoura is one of the highlights of any trip to New Zealand.
Another way to get to grips with the local flora and fauna is to take a nature cruise in Milford Sound or a trip to Otago Peninsula to spot yellow-eyed penguin, royal albatross and fur seal.
Elsewhere in South Island you can explore the mountains and glaciers of the rugged west coast, taste the finest wines in the Marlborough region and relax on the stunning beaches in Abel Tasman National Park.
Cox & Kings offers a range of private and escorted group tours to both the North and South Islands including a range of self-drive holidays, such as the 15-night self-drive Wine Trail and a 22-night motorhome tour.
Our tailormade holidays to New Zealand and multi-centre trips offer you Cox & Kings’ specialist in-depth knowledge to help you put together a unique itinerary to take in as much or as little of New Zealand as you wish.