New Zealand Explorer

8 days from $2,472 per person*
  • Find the perfect balance between city and wilderness in Auckland and the nearby Waitakere Ranges.
  • Explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and the Tolkien-inspired Hobbiton film set.
  • Learn about Māori culture at a hāngi dinner and cultural performance.
  • Cruise the stunning fjordlands of Milford Sound.
  • Stay at a handpicked selection of quality accommodations.
Request a Quote

A land of sprawling fjords, jagged peaks, and dramatic landscapes everywhere you look, New Zealand is tailor-made for travelers who dream big. This trip across both islands of the Kiwi kingdom delivers all of the quintessential big-ticket experiences at a price that’s anything but big.

We kick things off on the North Island in Auckland, where you’ll have the chance to explore its famous harbor and waterfront before heading out into the nearby Waitakere Ranges Regional Park to stroll rainforests and pristine beaches. Later on the road to the geothermal hotspot of Rotorua, go deep underground to explore the fascinating Waitomo Glowworm Caves by boat, then swing by the Shire at Hobbiton, the set from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. In Rotorua itself, you’ll receive a warm Maori welcome and sit down to a delicious earth-cooked hangi dinner and learn more about New Zealand’s indigenous culture through a cultural performance. Down on the South Island, experience the mist-shrouded fjords of Milford Sound in comfort on an awe-inspiring cruise and learn about how this magical land came to be according to Maori legend at Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. Finally, enjoy a little rural Kiwi hospitality at the Mount Nicholas High Country Farm, a working sheep farm with some of the most incredible views you’ll find in this already picturesque country. ... Show More »

Kensington Tours creates private trips from the world’s finest ingredients. Tailor-made with care by your personal Destination Expert, your personalized trip is always a one-of-a-kind experience made just for you. Expert local guidance and 24/7 service come standard. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Auckland
    Auckland
    • New Zealand - Welcome Package
    • Private Transfer - International Airport - Vehicle/Driver
  • Day 2 Auckland
    Auckland
    • Shared Tour - Best of Both Worlds (8 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 3 Auckland to Rotorua
    Auckland to Rotorua
    • Shared Transfer - Auckland - Rotorua [Waitomo and Hobbiton] - Coach/Guide
  • Day 4 Rotorua
    Rotorua
    • Shared Tour - Geothermal Wonderland (4.5 hrs) - Coach/Guide
    • Shared Tour - Te Puia – Te Po & Hangi Concert (3 hrs) - Shuttle/Dinner/Concert
  • Day 5 Rotorua to Queenstown
    Rotorua to Queenstown
    • Private Transfer - Airport - Vehicle/Driver
    • Air - Rotorua - Queenstown [3 hrs] - Separate Purchase
    • Private Transfer - Domestic Airport - Vehicle/Driver
    • Optional Dining - Botswana Butchery
  • Day 6 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • Shared Tour - Milford Sound Cruise (with Picnic Lunch, 13 hrs) - Coach/Cruise
  • Day 7 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • Shared Tour - 1/2 Day Mount Nicholas Farm Experience (with Light Lunch, 3-4 hrs) - Guide/Cruise
    • Afternoon at Leisure
  • Day 8 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • Private Transfer - International Airport - Vehicle/Driver
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
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
  • Multi-award winning
  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

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Day 1: Auckland

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. 

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

Accommodation: Stamford Plaza (4*)

Centrally located in Auckland, this property is near Queen Street Shopping District, Sky Tower, and Auckland City Hall. Additional nearby points of interest include Auckland War Memorial Museum. Guestrooms have premium bedding, air conditioning, and slippers; rooms also include refrigerators, separate bathtubs and showers, and bathrobes. At Stamford Plaza Auckland recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a sauna. The property also provides a business center, a concierge desk, and a porter/bellhop.

New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Auckland Coastal Piha Beach
Auckland Coastal Piha Beach
New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Stamford Plaza Auckland
Stamford Plaza Auckland

Day 2: Auckland

Following a hotel pick up, board a shared coach and tour Auckland while taking in incredible views of the harbor and yacht marina from Harbour Bridge, visiting Auckland Domain, Parnell village, Paratai Drive - with the most exclusive homes in Auckland - the waterfront and Queen Street. Continue on into the wilderness in the afternoon as you head roughly 20 miles (30 kilometers) from downtown Auckland into the city's largest Regional Park - the Waitakere Ranges. Here you’ll visit the Arataki Centre, lush rainforests, and stroll along one of the West Coast’s unspoiled beaches before being returned to your hotel in Auckland.

Accommodation: Stamford Plaza (4*)
New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Auckland
Auckland

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: Novotel Lakeside (4*)

Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua, the Novotel Rotorua Lakeside offers tranquil surroundings with sensational views. The central location makes the property easily accessible to Rotorua's cafés, restaurants and many popular local attractions.

New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Hobbiton
Hobbiton
New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Rotorua
Rotorua

Day 4: Rotorua

During this four and a half hour tour, experience the amazing geothermal activity, gushing geysers, boiling mud pools and vivid colors within the pools, lakes, craters, steaming vents and mineral terraces of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Enjoy a Waimangu Volcanic Valley nature walk amid the striking volcanic landscape which provide spectacular views of hot crater lakes, steaming cliffs, hissing fumeroles, colorful silica terraces, rare thermally-adapted plants, as well as the opportunity to see some of New Zealand's native birdlife. This shared tour departs at 8:00 am and operates with a ratio of ten guests per guide.

A representative of Te Puia will pick you up from your hotel this evening for a Maori Hangi dinner and cultural concert. Begin the experience with Te Po; an intimate time for sharing knowledge while enjoying food, culture and friendship. Taking place 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 – you’ll 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), and as a result, you can expect a lavish banquet meal during the evening. This meal 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. Following dinner, you will be returned to your hotel.

Accommodation: Novotel Lakeside (4*)
New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Geysers in Rotomahana Lake
Geysers in Rotomahana Lake
New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Welcome Ceremony 'Powhiri'
Welcome Ceremony 'Powhiri'

Day 5: Rotorua - Queenstown

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

Board a flight in Rotorua with service to Queenstown, connecting via Auckland. Approximate flight duration is three hours and 10 minutes. Please note, this flight is not included and must be purchased separately.

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

The ambience of the Botswana Butchery is warm and welcoming all year-round, with its roaring log fires, luxurious dining environment and private dining suites to accommodate from two to 30 people.  As well as the main restaurant and al fresco dining options, the restaurant has a number of individual private dining rooms on the first floor plus a bar and entertainment area including a plush private lounge for up to 25 patrons. 

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.

New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Botswana Butchery
Botswana Butchery
New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Queenstown
Queenstown

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*)
New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Milford Sound Cruising
Milford Sound Cruising

Day 7: Queenstown

Spirit of Queenstown offers the longest premium cruising experience on Lake Wakatipu. Board the vessel and enjoy a return cruise to Mount Nicholas High Country Farm on the western shores of the lake on a modern, spacious, purpose-built catamaran. Cruise through Bob's Cove and view flora and fauna up close, all while taking in spectacular views towards Glenorchy, Mount Earnslaw, the Southern Alps and Remarkables mountain range. Disembark the vessel and join the farm guide on a short tour of this truly authentic, working high country merino sheep farm. Watch the farm guide round up sheep, meet working farm animals used on the farm, and get up close to merino sheep whose wool is provided directly to Icebreaker clothing company. Then sit back and watch the landscape unfold as you get off the beaten track to spectacular vantage points by 4WD vehicle. Enjoy a light Farmers Platter lunch or afternoon tea at the woolshed before boarding the vessel for the return cruise to Queenstown. Complimentary tea and coffee is provided on the cruise and at Mount Nicholas High Country Farm.

This afternoon, enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront (4*)
New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Sheep at Mount Nicholas Farm
Sheep at Mount Nicholas Farm

Day 8: Queenstown

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

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

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.

Stamford Plaza (4*): Auckland

Centrally located in Auckland, this property is near Queen Street Shopping District, Sky Tower, and Auckland City Hall. Additional nearby points of interest include Auckland War Memorial Museum. Guestrooms have premium bedding, air conditioning, and slippers; rooms also include refrigerators, separate bathtubs and showers, and bathrobes. At Stamford Plaza Auckland recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a sauna. The property also provides a business center, a concierge desk, and a porter/bellhop.

New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Stamford Plaza Auckland
Stamford Plaza Auckland

Novotel Lakeside (4*): Rotorua

Situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua, the Novotel Rotorua Lakeside offers tranquil surroundings with sensational views. The central location makes the property easily accessible to Rotorua's cafés, restaurants and many popular local attractions.

New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

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.

New Zealand Explorer Tours 2019 - 2020 -  Copthorne Hotel & Resort
Copthorne Hotel & Resort

Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard): Global Location

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

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.
  • Ronald J. — August 13, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    Ashwarya, my Destination Expert, was on top of everything and answered all my questions.

  • Joshua J. — July 24, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    I am always thrilled with Kensington and their experts.

  • Emily D. — June 22, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    Renee, our Destination Expert, put together a great trip for our family. She listened to what our priorities were and designed a trip within our budget.

  • William H. — September 10, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    Samantha created a great tour itinerary for us. It included all of the sights and activities that we truly wanted to see and do. We were impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of Samantha, our travel consultant. This was a trip of a lifetime and we want to thank Kensington Tours for making it happen!

  • Linda R. — January 06, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    This was a great way to travel, not having to worry about how to get from place to place and decide from day to day on sites to see.

  • Frances Y. — January 12, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    Every detail of our trip was meticulously planned out to include the sights we wanted to see, and the additional excursions added to our itinerary made the entire two weeks a vacation we will never forget. From our arrival in Sydney where we met by the wonderful Lyn Redfern at the airport, all of our accommodation and travel arrangements exceeded our expectations. We were impressed by the professional and friendly individuals we met at every turn, including the drivers, hotel staffs and tour guides. They all contributed to the remarkable time we experienced in both countries.

  • James R. — November 29, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    This was our first tour with Kensington and by all counts it was excellent! Everything was very well planned and organized. Accommodations were world class and the tour operators, drivers, etc. were top shelf and very experienced.

  • Dan D. — September 26, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    Everything went as planned. The accommodations were great, the tours were better than expected, and the transfers were excellent.

  • Bruce L. — January 05, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    Everything was absolutely perfect. Planning and trip ideas beforehand we're awesome. Every hotel, every tour, every tour guide could not have been better. Absolutely the trip of a lifetime and I saw penguins in Akaroa Harbor. New Zealand and it's people are wonderful!

  • Karen W. — January 04, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    Our trip of a lifetime was everything we wanted! Kensington Tours got to know us and crafted a trip around our interests. They worked within our budget, and the people they work with in country were prompt, knowledgeable, and professional. 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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