Active New Zealand: Auckland, Lake Taupo & Fjordland

10 days from $4500 *
  • Step into scenes of the Lord of the Rings as you hike Tongariro Crossing.
  • Relax your mind and body in the Onsen Hot Pools.
  • Bike, hike or fish your way through Taupo with expert guide.
  • Search for fur seals in Hollyford.
  • Featuring luxurious lodges.
Request a Quote

Prepare to experience some of New Zealand's most divine scenery and best kept secrets, including beautiful lakes and glacial valleys dwarfed by majestic mountains. Start your tour in the North of New Zealand in Taupo; surrounded by lakes and lush greens, with back drops of mountains and volcanoes. Enjoy the one day Tongariro hike. Choose to extend your time in the area with some Fly Fishing, or just end your day resting with a glass of wine and a lake view. Head South to Queenstown, and prepare to experience some of New Zealand's most divine scenery as you hike through the Hollyford Wilderness. Located in the spectacular Fiordland National Park, the dramatic Hollyford Track guided wilderness experience is one of New Zealand’s greatest walks. Explore undisturbed and inspiring scenery that has remained largely untouched for thousands of years. Your expert guide will bring to life the diversity of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife within this beautiful valley, as well as the captivating stories of the original Maori and early pioneers. Finish your experience with a dip in the natural hot baths of Queenstown, and return home refreshed and rejuvenated. ... Show More »

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Auckland
    Auckland
    • Transfer - Private - International Airport - Vehicle/Driver(2)
    • Welcome to New Zealand - Welcome Package
  • Day 2 Auckland
    Auckland
    • Tour - Shared - 1/2 Day Bush and Beach Wilderness Experience (5hrs) - Mini Coach
  • Day 3 Auckland to Taupo
    Auckland to Taupo
    • Transfer - Private - International Airport - Vehicle/Driver(2)
    • Flight (Not Included)
    • Transfer - Transport- Airport - Per Vehicle(4)
    • Self-Guided - Optional Activities - Optional
  • Day 4 Taupo
    Taupo
    • Shared - Tongariro Alpine Crossing Hike (8hrs) - Guide
  • Day 5 Taupo to Queenstown
    Taupo to Queenstown
    • Transfer - Transport- Airport - Per Vehicle(4)
    • Flight (Not Included)
    • Transfer - Private - Domestic Airport - Vehicle/Driver(2)
    Breakfast
  • Day 6 Queenstown to Hollyford
    Queenstown to Hollyford
    • Transfer - 2 hours
    • Hollyford Explorer
    • Logde Hospitality
  • Day 7 Hollyford
    Hollyford
    • Fiordland & More
    • Jet Boat
    • Hollyford Valley
    • Lodge Hospitality
  • Day 8 Hollyford to Queenstown
    Hollyford to Queenstown
    • Tasman Sea
    • Plants and Wildlife
    • Transfer - Milford Sound Return
    Breakfast
  • Day 9 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • Onsen Hot Pools (1hr) - Pax 1
    Breakfast
  • Day 10 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • Transfer - Private - Domestic Airport - Vehicle/Driver(2)
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Auckland

A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the Auckland airport and your hotel.

You will receive a welcome package on arrival which will include a welcome letter, detailed itinerary, vouchers for each service, supplier contact list as well as various brochures of the destinations you will be visiting. This will be available at your first service. 

Accommodation: Hotel De Brett (5*)

Settled in Auckland CBD, the Hotel De Brett links two unique precincts - High Street's hip fashion and Shortland Street's tailored commerce. Hotel's iconic building has been stylishly reinterpreted into a 25-room luxury boutique hotel. Every room is individually designed and complimented with eclectic furniture, New Zealand art and photography. Experience contemporary New Zealand cuisine featuring the best local produce prepared and cooked with care in the Kitchen. The hotel provides a gym and DVD and book library and bars.

Auckland Coastal Piha Beach
Auckland Coastal Piha Beach
Hotel DeBrett
Hotel DeBrett

Day 2: Auckland

Only 30 kilometers from downtown Auckland is the city’s largest regional park, the Waitakere Ranges. No other city in New Zealand has such a wonderful asset so close to it. In just 30 minutes you leave behind the bustle of the city and step into the tranquility of the rainforest. Travel to the Arataki Centre perched high on the ridge of the Waitakere Ranges and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Learn about and admire the magnificent traditional Maori carvings. Continue on to the lush rainforest where you can walk the easy bush tracks amongst giant tree ferns and view New Zealand’s famous kauri trees. Unwind by a spectacular cascading waterfall or swim beneath it. Move on to experience the power of the wild and rugged west coast. Feel the black sand beneath your feet as you stroll along some of the most awe-inspiring beaches the world has to offer. This tour departs at 12.30 pm, takes approximately 5 hours and has a maximum group size of 18 guests.

Accommodation: Hotel De Brett (5*)
Waitakere Ranges
Waitakere Ranges

Day 3: Auckland - Taupo

A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the Auckland airport and your hotel.

Flight is required, currently not included in the quote.

A private transfer between Taupo airport and your accommodation is provided.

Enjoy some free time in Taupo, where your options for activities are endless. The Great Lakes region is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, and spa lovers alike. From trout fishing to golfing, thermal parks to lake cruising, you can choose an adventurous activity, or just enjoy a relaxing night out on the town. Participate in a bike tour, enjoy some hiking, or for the ultimate thrill, try your hand at sky diving, all available in Taupo.

Accommodation: Acacia Cliffs Lodge (5*)

Acacia Cliffs Lodge is a unique boutique lodge offering luxury accommodation in stunning Lake Taupo. This luxury lodge accommodates up to eight guests in four boutique accommodations and is architecturally designed to maximize the spectacular lake and mountain views. There is a wonderful sense of seclusion and privacy at Acacia Cliffs Lodge complemented by its breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Taupo, Mount Tauhara and the Kaimanawa Ranges which are absolutely superb. Relax in luxury; and eat superb cuisine and drink fine wine in genuine New Zealand hospitality served by your hosts at the Lodge.

Taupo
Taupo
Acacia Cliffs Lodge
Acacia Cliffs Lodge

Day 4: Taupo

Today you will be collected at your hotel for your Tongariro Crossing Hike. Said to be the greatest 1-day hike in the world, the Tongariro Crossing is known for its unique, extraordinary landscapes, its showcasing in Lord of the Rings movie sets and fascinating cultural significance. This 19 kilometer trail offers unrivalled adventure while accompanying guides provide interesting commentary regarding sacred areas along the way. Although this hike is very popular and a must do for the intrepid traveller, it is important to understand this experience is best suited for those with a level of fitness capable of completing the 8 hour trek over hilly and arduous sections containing uneven ground. Appropriate footwear and clothing necessary for safe tramping is a must. The trek departs at 8 a.m.

Accommodation: Acacia Cliffs Lodge (5*)
Tongariro Crossing
Tongariro Crossing

Day 5: Taupo - Queenstown

A private transfer between Taupo airport and your accommodation is provided.

Flight is required, currently not included in the quote.

Meet your diver for a private transfer between Queenstown and the Domestic Airport.

Accommodation: St Moritz (4.5*)

Superbly positioned in a spectacular mountain lake setting within walking distance of Queenstown attractions, Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown - member of the MGallery collection is a unique place of majestic beauty and legendary experiences. Close to the airport, this property is also near Steamer Wharf and TSS Earnslaw Steamship. Another nearby point of interest is Queenstown Harbour. Refurbished with chic design, the hotel embodies the spirit of its alpine surroundings. Boasting floor to ceiling windows and panoramic views, Hotel St Moritz features a dining room, a bar, a library, a fitness center and a hot tub garden. The property also provides a restaurant, a children's club, and a concierge desk. Guestrooms have premium bedding, minibars, and high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge). Rooms also include refrigerators, bathrobes and hair dryers.

Queenstown
Queenstown
St Moritz Queenstown
St Moritz Queenstown

Day 6: Queenstown - Hollyford

Depart from Queenstown in the direction of Te Anau through some of New Zealand's most divine scenery of beautiful lakes and glacial valleys dwarfed by majestic mountains to the start of the track in the Hollyford Valley.

Shadowing the swift clear waters of the Hollyford River and beneath the gaze of the mighty Southern Alps, including Fiordland National Parks two highest peaks of Mt Tutoko (2746m) and Mt Madeline (2537m), you will re-trace the footsteps of original Maori and early pioneer explorers, as the track undulates gently through native beech forest and beside impressive tumbling waterfalls.

At the end of your first day’s adventure you’ll be welcomed at Pyke Lodge by your friendly lodge hosts. Here you’ll enjoy hot showers, impressive 3 course cuisine and the opportunity to relax with a post dinner drink and savour the majesty of Mount Madeline while reflecting on a great first day on your guided nature walk experience.

Accommodation: Pyke Lodge

Hollyford River
Hollyford River

Day 7: Hollyford

As the morning light drapes the background mountains, a tasty cooked or continental breakfast puts everyone on track before being rewarded with a mystical forest, reflections like a mirror on Lake Alabaster and the satisfaction of an optional crossing of Fiordland’s longest swing bridge.

After a short walk you'll board a jet boat for the next portion of this adventure. Jet boats were invented in New Zealand for the shallow rivers of the South Island. These powerful and safe boats provide a captivating scenic ride along the Hollyford River and down Lake McKerrow, skimming along the glassy water whisking past and mountains which rise dramatically above. You may even encounter a family of Bottlenose Dolphins who are regular visitors to the lower river and lake.

Human history in the Hollyford Valley is as incredible as the scenery.  Today you'll stop to discover the tragedies and triumphs of the ill-fated Jamestown.  Prepare for an outstanding walk through the ancient forest giants including the native Rimu, Totara and Kahikatea, some believed to here for some 1000 years. Soon the towering lowland podocarp forest transforms into a tenacious coastal garden. Thunderous surf on the rugged West Coast is a prelude to a bay of boulders where the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin is a seasonal visitor. A little farther on, Long Reef plays host to a colony of native New Zealand Fur Seals where you’ll marvel at their nimble skills in the crashing surf and relax as they laze on the rocks.

Martin’s Bay Lodge completes a special second day and glasses are raised to the traditional ‘Hollyford Toast’ as a memorable way to finish your day.

Accommodation: Martin's Bay Lodge

Patriotic NZ Boat Ride
Patriotic NZ Boat Ride
New Zealand Fur Seal
New Zealand Fur Seal

Day 8: Hollyford - Queenstown

After another hearty breakfast you’ll explore Martin’s Bay Spit, a famous landmark separating the powerful Tasman Sea from the Hollyford Valley, and a coastal landscape that is a world away from the previous days.

Enjoy visiting the historical sites of the Maori people which occupated the area. It was here where chief Tutoko and his people guarded entry into the Hollyford Valley, controlling access into and out of highly valued pounamu (greenstone / jade) gathering areas. Your guide will also highlight the plant and wildlife of this unique environment helping you to discover the diversity of this truly remote area. You will also have the opportunity to explore on your own time the isolated beach and sand dunes or to just wander at your own pace along the coast of the Tasman Sea as you and your companions and reflect upon this intrepid journey.

Returning to Martins Bay Lodge for lunch, your lodge hosts bid you farewell as you board your aircraft for a scenic flight along the rugged coast and into the truly spectacular and dramatic Milford Sound where you'll marvel at the grandeur of vertical granite walls rising from the sea.  Once in Milford you’ll be met by your return shuttle host and travel the impressive Milford Road up through the famous Homer Tunnel cutting through a divide of sheer granite rock, and stopping at the source of the Hollyford Valley and River before embarking on your journey back to Te Anau and Queenstown.

Accommodation: St Moritz (4.5*)
Albatrosses on the Sea Rocks
Albatrosses on the Sea Rocks
Indigenous New Zealand Bush
Indigenous New Zealand Bush

Day 9: Queenstown

The Onsen Hot Pools experience is all about unwinding and soaking-up Queenstown's spectacular scenery. Immerse yourself in the views, the pure waters, and the fresh mountain air, as your mind and body surrenders to the deep penetrating warmth and gentle massage of the private pools. You will enjoy complete privacy, total cleanliness, spectacular scenery, beautiful surroundings for one hour in one of the Onsen Hot Pools. Check-in is 15 minutes prior to your Hot Pool booking time.

Accommodation: St Moritz (4.5*)
Onsen Hot Pool
Onsen Hot Pool

Day 10: Queenstown

Meet your diver for a private transfer between Queenstown and the Domestic Airport.

Accommodation:
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Hotel De Brett (5*): Auckland

Settled in Auckland CBD, the Hotel De Brett links two unique precincts - High Street's hip fashion and Shortland Street's tailored commerce. Hotel's iconic building has been stylishly reinterpreted into a 25-room luxury boutique hotel. Every room is individually designed and complimented with eclectic furniture, New Zealand art and photography. Experience contemporary New Zealand cuisine featuring the best local produce prepared and cooked with care in the Kitchen. The hotel provides a gym and DVD and book library and bars.

Hotel DeBrett
Hotel DeBrett

Acacia Cliffs Lodge (5*): Taupo

Acacia Cliffs Lodge is a unique boutique lodge offering luxury accommodation in stunning Lake Taupo. This luxury lodge accommodates up to eight guests in four boutique accommodations and is architecturally designed to maximize the spectacular lake and mountain views. There is a wonderful sense of seclusion and privacy at Acacia Cliffs Lodge complemented by its breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Taupo, Mount Tauhara and the Kaimanawa Ranges which are absolutely superb. Relax in luxury; and eat superb cuisine and drink fine wine in genuine New Zealand hospitality served by your hosts at the Lodge.

Acacia Cliffs Lodge
Acacia Cliffs Lodge

St Moritz (4.5*): Queenstown

Superbly positioned in a spectacular mountain lake setting within walking distance of Queenstown attractions, Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown - member of the MGallery collection is a unique place of majestic beauty and legendary experiences. Close to the airport, this property is also near Steamer Wharf and TSS Earnslaw Steamship. Another nearby point of interest is Queenstown Harbour. Refurbished with chic design, the hotel embodies the spirit of its alpine surroundings. Boasting floor to ceiling windows and panoramic views, Hotel St Moritz features a dining room, a bar, a library, a fitness center and a hot tub garden. The property also provides a restaurant, a children's club, and a concierge desk. Guestrooms have premium bedding, minibars, and high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge). Rooms also include refrigerators, bathrobes and hair dryers.

St Moritz Queenstown
St Moritz Queenstown
Approach to Hotel St Moritz
Approach to Hotel St Moritz

Pyke Lodge: Hollyford

Martin's Bay Lodge: Hollyford

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • JohnDanielson — December 12, 2014 — Australia & Pacific

    We have used a number of small group travel companies and Kensington is the one we would recommend. All details of the trip to New Zealand went as planned. It was the trip of a lifetime. Our travel consultant Daniel did a great job, both pre-trip and post-trip. We will certainly use them again.

  • Susan Pope — April 21, 2014 — Australia & Pacific

    The arrangements all worked out very well, especially the drivers picking us up from airports and hotels. The hotels, although all in different categories, were mostly excellent. We were happy to see so many different areas of New Zealand and experience everything from glow worm caves to fjords to a Maori hangi and geothermals.

  • Sharon Weckenbrock — May 15, 2013 — Australia & Pacific

    We are safely back home but still on Cloud 9 from the fabulous trip that you helped to put together for us! Everything worked just as I had hoped it would and in many cases, exceeded all expectations.

    We have definitely been recommending you and your company to anyone asking our advice and again, we can't thank you enough for a trip of a lifetime!

  • Donna Brennan — April 18, 2013 — Australia & Pacific

    The trip was great we all loved the Saint Regis Hotel. It was incredible! Thank you for helping me plan the trip the group was very impressed.

    Thank you again,

    Donna

  • Paula McNally — April 24, 2013 — Australia & Pacific

    The trip was wonderful!! . That resort is absolutely beautiful. We had good weather -- hot and humid. The people were very nice everywhere we went.

  • Marcia Nunn — April 01, 2013 — Australia & Pacific

    Candace and I are back in Michigan today after a wonderful trip to New Zealand. You and she did a great job in organizing this trip. Couldn't have been better. In particular, the Wilderness Lodge is a very special place.

  • Cindy Burns — April 04, 2013 — Australia & Pacific

    Miranda is the best, I would recommend her and we plan on contacting her in the future. The hotels were all excellent and the guides knowledge & Service were excellent

  • Sheila Black — April 08, 2013 — Australia & Pacific

    We had the best time you could imagine and it was all based on your planning-thank-you so so much!!

    Every hotel was located just where we would have wanted-all so lovely and we loved the buffet breakfasts!! The Grace is a beautiful hotel and everyone was very helpful-we could walk to the main areas and Darling Harbor and we just loved being in Sydney-Norm even got in a game of golf!! Every tour was wonderful. We are so glad you switched us from the large bus Blue Mountain tour to the boutique tour-we heard others talk of the Blue Mountain tour in that it was a long drive, crowded and they did not seem to have a great day. We LOVED our boutique tour-we had a super driver (Cliff)who really really tried to find every animal in the wild he could-we saw kangaroos, emu, wombats and even a koala-it was a wonderful day-we got back about 11;30 pm and because of that we saw so many of the nocturnal animals-he was so accommodating-just a great day!!

    The Pullman in Cairns was just gorgeous-and we could walk to the water-we had a perfect(calm!!) day on the reef and we loved the trip to the rainforest-all in all a wonderful few days there. Our weather for the whole trip was also perfect!!! How did you do that!!??!!

    We thank-you so much, Louise, for helping us-you take full credit for this holiday and we so often spoke of you there “thanks to Louise for another great day” we would say!! Every tour worked out perfectly-the flights were just great and the timing super-and we really felt you listened to what we ‘thought ‘ we wanted to do and you just seemed to know what would be right for us. We packed some Canada pins and tee shirts and gave them to our tour drivers and they seemed to love that!!

    We came home happy and relaxed and so thankful-I will send you a few pictures for certain.

  • Josie Rodriguez — March 19, 2013 — Australia & Pacific

    Thank you for all your help arranging a wonderful Australian tour for us. There was a lot of anxiety/reservation arranging a tour on line, not meeting the other person on the other line but it all ended well and we had a fantastic experience. Please thank also Ruby for us for arranging our domestic flights. The two of you did a very good job in coordinating/planning everything.

    For sure I will use you again in our next trip which will be in September. We would like to go to St. Petersburg, Malta and Sicily.

    Again, thank you!

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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