New Zealand Explorer

8 days from $1,912 per person*
  • Feast on a Maori banquet as you listen to stories of the past in Te Puia.
  • Led by expert guide, explore the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.
  • Cruise through the rugged coastline of Milford Sound on a boat.
  • Private transfers throughout.
  • Featuring expertly selected hotels.
Request a Quote

This is a great introduction to the highlights of the North and South Island, designed for people who must be conservative with their time and money. Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. Travel overland from Auckland to Rotorua by coach, stopping along the way to visit Waitomo. Take a guided tour through the galleries and lofty chambers of the caves, and a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto. Once in Rotorua, spend a leisurely spa day at the Hells Gate Geothermal reserve, where you will experience the unique mud and water baths that this region is famous for. Attend a Maori Hangi and concert, where you learn about traditional Maori customs and beliefs and finish it all off with an authentic hangi dinner! Fly to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Embark on a day trip to Milford Sound, where you will take a cruise through this important New Zealand landmark. The scenery will take your breath away. *** Due to fluctuating costs, the flights are not included in this itinerary. Air New Zealand offers great rates for this routing. You may also wish to speak with your travel agent about including domestic air with your international *** ... 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 - Private - 1/2 Day City Sights (4hrs) - Vehicle/Driver-Guide(5)
  • Day 3 Auckland to Rotorua
    Auckland to Rotorua
    • Auckland - Rotorua [Waitomo and Hobbiton] - Coach
  • Day 4 Rotorua
    Rotorua
    • Tour - Shared - Geothermal Wonderland (4.5hrs) - Mini Coach
    • Tour - Shared - Te Puia – Te Po & Hangi Concert (3hrs) - Shuttle/Dinner/Concert
  • Day 5 Rotorua to Queenstown
    Rotorua to Queenstown
    • Transfer - Private - Airport - Vehicle/Driver(2)
    • Flight (Not Included)
    • Transfer - Private - Domestic Airport - Vehicle/Driver(2)
  • Day 6 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • Tour - Shared - Milford Sound and Cruise with Picnic Lunch (13hrs) - Coach/Cruise
  • Day 7 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • At Leisure
  • Day 8 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • Transfer - Private - International Airport - Vehicle/Driver(6)
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.
Kensington Advantage
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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: Scenic Hotel Auckland (3*)

Conveniently located in the heart of Auckland’s vibrant cultural, shopping and business district, the Scenic Auckland Hotel (3*) is a refurbished landmark site, formerly known as the MLC building. The hotel has a total of 97 apartment-style rooms and suites, many of them having great city views, and some with a beautiful glimpse of the harbor. Visit the MLC Café & Bar for the best and freshest of New Zealand produce, meat and seafood. Pair your meals with delicious and refreshing local fine wines. For guests wishing to stay fit during their stay, there is a fitness center with a variety of equipment.

Auckland Coastal Piha Beach
Auckland Coastal Piha Beach
Scenic Auckland Hotel
Scenic Auckland Hotel

Day 2: Auckland

See first hand why Auckland is known as the City of Sails as you enjoy a trip over the Harbour Bridge. Visit the Famous Auckland landmark of Mount Eden, a dormant volcano whose summit offers excellent panoramic views of the city and harbours. From the fantastic vantage point you will see evidence of Auckland's volcanic history, the most significant being the youngest volcano of Rangitoto Island at the entrance to the Waitemata harbour. This tour also takes in the Auckland Domain, the city's oldest park which is situated on a 62,000 year old volcano. In addition to these natural features you will be taken to the trendy shopping are of Parnell Village with its historical buildings that have been transformed into boutiques, antique and craft specialty shops. Your tour will then take you along the scenic waterfront route of Tamaki Dr. before returning to Downtown. This private tour takes approximately 4 hours.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Auckland (3*)
Auckland Domain
Auckland Domain

Day 3: Auckland - Rotorua

Enjoy this sightseeing, shared coach-transfer from Auckland to Rotorua.  Your first stop along the way will be in Waitomo, where you will enjoy a guided tour through the famed Waitomo Glowworm Caves.  Next you will continue to the Agrodome on the outskirts of Rotorua where you will be transferred onto the Hobbiton, for an exclusive "Lord of the Ring Movie Set" coach tour.  Upon completion of this adventure you will be transferred to Rotorua.

Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua Hotel (3*)

Sudima Lake Rotorua (3*) is the largest hotel in Rotorua, and is set right on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua. The hotel offers 250 guest rooms in a range of accommodation options, many with superb views across the lake. Visit the Lakes Restaurant & Mallards Bar for first-class service and top-quality dining. Enjoy a swim in the heated swimming pool, relax in one of the three private spa pools, or book time with the on-site massage therapist for a soothing massage therapy.

Rotorua
Rotorua
Sudima Lake Rotorua Hotel
Sudima Lake Rotorua Hotel

Day 4: Rotorua

During this 4 hour tour, experience the amazing geothermal activity, gushing geysers, boiling mud pools and the many colours displayed amongst the pools, lakes, craters, steaming vents and mineral terraces within the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Enjoy a Waimangu Volcanic Valley nature walk amidst a stunning volcanic landscape providing spectacular views of hot crater lakes, steaming cliffs, hissing fumeroles, colourful silica terraces, rare thermally adapted plants and the opportunity to see some of New Zealand's native birdlife. The passenger guide ratio is 1:10. The tour departs at 8.00 a.m.

A representative of Te Puia will pick you up from your hotel at around 5.30 p.m. this evening for a Maori Hangi dinner and Cultural Concert.  Te Po is an intimate time for sharing knowledge and also the time for enjoying food, culture and friendship. This experience begins every night at Te-Heketanga-a-Rangi (The Heavenly Origins), which is an area comprising of twelve monumental carvings reaching skywards, each one representing a Maori deity. Hear the stories of the past and see how these traditions live on today. Feeding guests is regarded by Maori as an honor and a sign of a tribe’s Mana (standing), so a sumptuous banquet is provided during the evening. This banquet combines contemporary cooking techniques with traditional Hangi (earth-cooked oven meal), where Kai (food) is steam-cooked by hot rocks in the earth, giving it a delicious smoky flavor. After the meal you will be returned to your hotel.

Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua Hotel (3*)
Welcome Ceremony 'Powhiri'
Welcome Ceremony 'Powhiri'
Geothermal Activity
Geothermal Activity

Day 5: Rotorua - Queenstown

A privately driven vehicle will provide a transfer between the airport and hotel today.

Flight is required, currently not included in the quote.

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

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront (4*)

This family-friendly Queenstown property is situated close to Queenstown Gardens and Queenstown Harbour. Another nearby point of interest is TSS Earnslaw Steamship. In addition to minibars and complimentary weekday newspapers, guestrooms feature working desks along with refrigerators, coffee/tea makers, and shower/tub combinations. In addition to a restaurant and spa services, Copthorne Resort Lakefront features a bar/lounge, a concierge desk, and a coffee shop/café.

Queenstown
Queenstown
Copthorne Hotel & Resort
Copthorne Hotel & Resort

Day 6: Queenstown

Travel by luxury coach on an unforgettable journey from Queenstown into Milford Sound.  Travel from Queenstown along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and through rolling countryside to Te Anau.  After a short break at Te Anau, continue via the spectacular Milford Road, to Milford Sound.  Board the Milford Mariner for a relaxing cruise of Milford Sound.  The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife.  An on board nature guide provides interpretation in English only.   Experience stunning surroundings at the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. In Maori legend, the fiords were created not by rivers of ice, but by Tu Te Raki Whanoa, a godly figure who came wielding a magical adze uttering incantations. Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) is without doubt his finest sculpture. Luxuriant rainforest clings to sheer rock walls washed with waterfalls. In the foreground stands Mitre Peak, dominating the skyline. Whatever the fiord’s mood, teeming with rain or with sun glistening on deep water, it will inspire you.   A return transfer by luxury coach to Queenstown is provided. The tour departs at 7 a.m., takes approximately 13 hours and can accommodate up to 120 guests.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront (4*)
Milford Sound Cruising
Milford Sound Cruising

Day 7: Queenstown

Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront (4*)

Day 8: Queenstown

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

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.

Scenic Hotel Auckland (3*): Auckland

Conveniently located in the heart of Auckland’s vibrant cultural, shopping and business district, the Scenic Auckland Hotel (3*) is a refurbished landmark site, formerly known as the MLC building. The hotel has a total of 97 apartment-style rooms and suites, many of them having great city views, and some with a beautiful glimpse of the harbor. Visit the MLC Café & Bar for the best and freshest of New Zealand produce, meat and seafood. Pair your meals with delicious and refreshing local fine wines. For guests wishing to stay fit during their stay, there is a fitness center with a variety of equipment.

Scenic Auckland Hotel
Scenic Auckland Hotel

Sudima Lake Rotorua Hotel (3*): Rotorua

Sudima Lake Rotorua (3*) is the largest hotel in Rotorua, and is set right on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua. The hotel offers 250 guest rooms in a range of accommodation options, many with superb views across the lake. Visit the Lakes Restaurant & Mallards Bar for first-class service and top-quality dining. Enjoy a swim in the heated swimming pool, relax in one of the three private spa pools, or book time with the on-site massage therapist for a soothing massage therapy.

Sudima Lake Rotorua Hotel
Sudima Lake Rotorua Hotel

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront (4*): Queenstown

This family-friendly Queenstown property is situated close to Queenstown Gardens and Queenstown Harbour. Another nearby point of interest is TSS Earnslaw Steamship. In addition to minibars and complimentary weekday newspapers, guestrooms feature working desks along with refrigerators, coffee/tea makers, and shower/tub combinations. In addition to a restaurant and spa services, Copthorne Resort Lakefront features a bar/lounge, a concierge desk, and a coffee shop/café.

Copthorne Hotel & Resort
Copthorne Hotel & Resort
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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