101 Holidays

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The Sunday Times Travel writers Mark Hodson and David Wickers.

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New Zealand

Mark and David's verdict:

The scenic wonders of New Zealand have stolen the show in many Hollywood movies. In real life, the landscapes of the newest country on earth are even more impressive than their on-screen portrayal, populated by a cast of friendly Kiwis, featuring a host of thrilling activities and served with some of the best food and wine on the planet.

Recommended tour operator: Trailfinders

Spectacular sceneryVineyardsUnspoiled beachesBay of Islands

Trailfinders says

New Zealand is one of the planet’s most beautiful countries, a world of voluptuous scenery, the cleanest air, amazing food and wine, memorable walks, adventurous activities and sumptuous places to stay.

  • Exciting activities
  • Explore by car or motorhome
  • Natural wonders

By far the most popular holiday option is a fly-drive itinerary, which our knowledgeable team can tailor-make to suit your available time, budget and interests. The pace is gentle, the roads uncrowded and the sense of freedom as you soak up the incredible views en route from place to place is hard to beat anywhere in the world.

Our 18-night Best of New Zealand itinerary combines the North and South Islands, travelling from Auckland to Christchurch visiting numerous natural wonders including the Rotorua geysers, Hawkes Bay and Marlborough wine regions and the Franz Josef Glacier.

If you would prefer to explore one of the two islands in more depth, we have a number of options. The two-week North Island Highlights is a popular fly-drive from Auckland to Wellington which takes in the Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park and the Martinborough wine region. You can also explore the North Island in a motorhome.

The South Island is dominated by the 550km-long chain of Alps whose saw-tooth and often snow-capped peaks and glaciers meet the ocean in Norwegian-like fjords. Natural highlights include Milford Sound, Stewart Island and the Abel Tasman National Park.

South Island Highlights is a fantastic 16-night fly-drive, the perfect way to experience all that the island has to offer. Alternatively, check out the Scenic Sounds and Mountains itinerary which is focused more on the Southern Alps. There’s a motorhome option on South Island too.

New Zealand is renowned for its unique boutique hotels, charming and highly individual places of character with the emphasis on luxury, gourmet cuisine and warm hospitality. We’ve hand-picked the very best for this special Unique New Zealand three-week fly-drive, a once in a lifetime holiday.

Our well-travelled team will be on hand throughout the planning stages to advise and make all your arrangements, including a number of special additional experiences, from whale-watching to adrenaline-pumping sports, which can be pre-booked.

Check out our full range of holidays in New Zealand. Also see the best time to visit New Zealand.

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