Ultimate New Zealand Trip Notes

Trip Overview


Ultimate New Zealand tour offers you the characterful essence of New Zealand with a unique itinerary.

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime as we invite you to embark on our 16-day tour of the breathtakingly beautiful New Zealand! From the pristine landscapes of the North Island to the rugged wonders of the South Island, the geothermal wonders of Rotorua to the vibrant cityscape of Auckland, and from the dramatic fjords of Milford Sound to the pristine beaches of Abel Tasman National Park, this tour is a kaleidoscope of natural wonders. Join us as we explore lush rainforests, pristine lakes, towering mountains, and charming towns, all while immersing ourselves in the unique culture and warm hospitality of New Zealand. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the Land of the Long White Cloud on this remarkable 16-day trip to New Zealand!

Duration : 16 Days

Destination : New Zealand

Start/Ends in : Auckland / Christchurch

Group Size : 13-35 People

Age Req. : 18+

Trip Theme : Classic, Overland

Hotels : 4 and 3 star hotels & Local Lodges

Departs : All Year Round

Why you will love this tour

  • * This New Zealand tour offers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the diverse and stunning landscapes of New Zealand. From the geothermal wonders of Rotorua to the majestic fjords of Milford Sound, every day promises a new and breathtaking natural spectacle.
  • * Stay in hand-picked, centrally located and authentic 4-3 Star hotels & Local Lodges and ride in private modern coaches.
  • * You’ll have the chance to explore both the North and South Islands of New Zealand, each offering its own unique charm. Discover the cultural richness of cities like Auckland and Wellington and then escape to the tranquility of remote coastal towns and pristine national parks.
  • * Adventure seekers will be thrilled by the variety of outdoor activities available, including hiking through lush rainforests, cruising on pristine lakes, and even the option to visit adrenaline-pumping attractions in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.

  • * Immerse yourself in Maori culture as you visit living Maori villages, witness traditional performances, and learn about the rich history and traditions of New Zealand’s indigenous people.

  • * Food and wine enthusiasts will also find plenty to love on this tour. Savor delicious New Zealand cuisine, including fresh seafood, and explore the country’s renowned wine regions.
  • * Throughout the journey, our expert guides will provide you with valuable insights, ensuring you get the most out of every destination. With comfortable accommodations and seamless logistics, you can relax and fully enjoy the wonders of New Zealand.

Arrival Details

The group welcome meeting with your guide and other travelers is held around 18:30 at the hotel lobby on Day 1 of your tour unless otherwise notified.

Meeting Point:

The meeting point for the tour is :

Sudima Auckland City  – Auckland

Address : 10th Floor/63-67 Nelson Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Phone : +64 800 783 462

Emergency Number: +44 203 14 99 200

Finishing Point:

Distinction Hotel Christchurch – Christchurch

Address :  14 Cathedral Square, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Phone : +64 3 377 7000

Emergency Number: +44 203 14 99 200


Auckland: Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, known for its stunning harbor, iconic Sky Tower, and vibrant mix of cultures.

Hot Water Beach: On the Coromandel Peninsula, Hot Water Beach allows visitors to dig their own natural hot spring spa in the sand by the Pacific Ocean.

Rotorua: Rotorua is famous for its geothermal wonders, including bubbling mud pools and geysers, offering a unique and mesmerizing experience.

Lake Taupo: The largest lake in New Zealand, the lake is a breathtaking freshwater gem nestled in the heart of the North Island.

Tongariro National Park: Tongariro National Park boasts the striking landscapes of three active volcanoes and the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike.

Wellington: Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, offers a vibrant arts scene, a picturesque harbor, and a quirky charm all its own.

Christchurch: Often called the “Garden City,” Christchurch is known for its beautiful parks, post-earthquake rebuilding, and English heritage.

Greymouth: Greymouth is a West Coast town known for its rugged beauty, mining history, and as a gateway to the stunning Southern Alps.

Franz Joseph: Franz Josef is a glacier village on the West Coast, offering thrilling glacier hikes and helicopter tours amid stunning alpine scenery.

Queenstown: Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world, where visitors can bungee jump, ski, or simply enjoy the stunning Lake Wakatipu.

Twizel: Twizel is a charming town near Lake Pukaki, popular for its access to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and stargazing opportunities.

Mt Cook: Mount Cook, or Aoraki, is New Zealand’s highest peak and a haven for hikers, climbers, and nature enthusiasts seeking alpine beauty.


Please note that the itinerary may be subject to small changes depending on the conditions during the tour. Alternative accommodation of similar standards may be used depending on the group size and hotel availability.

Upon your arrival in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest metropolis, make your own way to your hotel for the evening. Auckland, often hailed as the “City of Sails,” boasts a striking location nestled between two expansive harbors. The cityscape is prominently graced by the renowned Sky Tower, providing breathtaking panoramic vistas of Auckland, extending to the enchanting Viaduct Harbour teeming with opulent superyachts and a vibrant assortment of bars and cafes. Beyond lies the expansive Hauraki Gulf. The remainder of the day is yours to savor the charm of this splendid urban oasis.

  • Accommodation
    Sudima Auckland City – 4 Star

Embark on your journey from Auckland City as you head south, traversing the scenic Bombay Hills and crossing through the expansive Hauraki Plains en route to the majestic Coromandel Ranges. Traverse this awe-inspiring mountain range and follow the picturesque East Coast of Coromandel, heading northward towards the captivating Hot Water Beach. If your arrival aligns with high tide, within a two-hour window, you’ll have the chance to unearth your very own natural hot pool just meters away from the Pacific Ocean.

Continue your adventure by heading south along the coastline, bidding farewell to Coromandel, and passing through the renowned Bay of Plenty kiwifruit cultivation region, before reaching the enchanting city of Rotorua. Nestled inland by the serene Lake Rotorua, this city is renowned for its bubbling mud pools, erupting geysers, rejuvenating natural hot springs, and serves as a cultural hub, offering an immersive experience into New Zealand’s captivating Māori heritage.

  • Accommodation
    Distinction Rotorua – 4 Star
  • Meals Included

Enjoy a day of leisure in Rotorua, a city celebrated for its geothermal wonders and rich Maori heritage. Explore the Te Puia’s Whakarewarewa Valley, where you’ll encounter mesmerizing bubbling mud pools and the impressive 30-meter-tall Pohutu Geyser, known for its frequent eruptions throughout the day. Immerse yourself in Maori culture within a living Maori village, and consider opting for a visit to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, where you can engage in traditional wood carving and weaving workshops.

Optionally, join our Te Puia exploration tour. For generations, Te Puia has warmly welcomed visitors from around the globe to discover the enchantment concealed within the Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. Here, you can witness the grandeur of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest active geyser, Pōhutu Geyser, marvel at bubbling mud pools scattered throughout the valley, and admire exquisite Māori-crafted art and sculptures showcased throughout Te Puia. Experience the artistry of carvers and weavers as they showcase their talents at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, all while our knowledgeable guides share ancestral stories.

  • Accommodation
    Distinction Rotorua – 4 Star
  • Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Optional Activities
    Te Puia Exploration – 90 USD

In the morning, leave Rotorua for Taupo, with the option to visit Orakei Korako along the way. Orakei Korako, tucked away in the Taupo Volcanic Zone between Rotorua and Taupo, offers a unique volcanic experience. With 23 active geysers and ever-changing landscapes, it’s a mesmerizing natural wonder. Stroll through the Hidden Valley, explore the thermal Ruatapu Cave, which plunges more than 36 meters into volcanic tuff to the ‘Waiwhakaata’ or ‘Pool of Mirrors’ hot pool below.

Upon reaching Taupo, you’ll be greeted by the expansive Lake Taupō, a volcanic caldera where its waters flow into the striking Huka Falls. These captivating, crystal-blue cascades are well worth a stop on your way into Taupō.

Leaving Taupo, embark on a scenic drive around the southern shore of the lake, passing through Turangi and entering the Tongariro National Park. This park, centered around three volcanoes – Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and Ruapehu – showcases some of New Zealand’s most awe-inspiring landscapes.

  • Accommodation
    The Park Ruapehu – Lodge
  • Meals Included
  • Included Activities
    Visit to Lake Taupō
    Visit to Tongariro National Park
  • Optional Activities
    Visit to Orakei Korako – NZD 47

Today, you have the opportunity to venture into the heart of Tongariro National Park, a sanctuary housing three active volcanic peaks and boasting iconic and breathtaking scenery. This revered park has drawn explorers of all generations since its inception in 1887. Offering vast expanses of untouched wilderness, world-renowned hiking trails, and awe-inspiring natural marvels, Tongariro National Park stands as the ultimate destination for an immersive nature getaway.

  • Accommodation
    The Park Ruapehu – Lodge
  • Meals Included

As you leave Tongariro National Park behind, carry on your southern journey through the Manawatu region. Brimming with rustic allure, this area offers an excellent opportunity to soak up the essence of rural New Zealand culture. Traverse the town of Bulls, known for its playful bull-themed signs (keep an eye out for ‘Relieve-a-bull’ if nature calls)! Your route will lead you along the North Island’s West Coast, passing through Paraparaumu, and ultimately bringing you to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city and the center of its parliamentary affairs.

  • Accommodation
    West Plaza Hotel – 4 Star
  • Meals Included

Following a brief morning sightseeing tour, the remainder of the day is yours to explore Wellington at your leisure. Consider embarking on an unforgettable journey aboard the iconic Wellington Cable Car, which offers stunning panoramic vistas of the city. In this vibrant metropolis, you can meander through concealed alleyways adorned with captivating street art and embark on scenic sculpture walks along the city’s waterfront.

Delve into the rich narratives of Aotearoa New Zealand through world-class museums and galleries, with the interactive and immersive Te Papa, the national museum, being a highly recommended choice. Wellington’s well-earned reputation as New Zealand’s culinary hub shines brightly, boasting a higher concentration of eateries and bars per capita than even New York City. Explore the city’s renowned hidden bars, embrace the café culture, savor award-winning dining establishments, and revel in excellent coffee.

  • Accommodation
    West Plaza Hotel – 4 Star
  • Meals Included
  • Included Activities
    Sightseeing of Wellington

This morning, make your way to Wellington Airport for your flight to Christchurch, where you’ll be greeted by a coach for your journey northward. You’ll pass through the Waipara wine-growing region, traverse the charming town of Cheviot, cross the Hundalee Hills, and witness the breathtaking East Coast of the South Island unfold before your eyes. The vistas along this route as you approach Kaikoura are truly remarkable, featuring stunning and rugged coastlines with endless sea views stretching to the horizon.

Nestled amidst this picturesque coastal scenery is the town of Kaikoura, celebrated for its abundant marine life, picturesque coastal trails, and, of course, its delectable seafood, including crayfish/lobster. Kaikoura stands as an iconic New Zealand coastal town that embodies the untouched natural beauty of New Zealand’s coastline.

  • Accommodation
    Sudima Kaikoura – 4 Star
  • Meals Included
  • Included Activities
    Scenic Drive to Kaikoura

Starting your journey from Kaikoura, travel through the quaint town of Waiau, and then venture across the alpine Lewis Pass toward the West Coast of the South Island. Proceed further inland to Reefton, a town whose name harkens back to the late 1860s when extensive gold-bearing quartz reefs were discovered. Reefton still exudes a charming historic character and earned the moniker ‘the town of light’ for pioneering electric street lighting in the southern hemisphere as early as 1888. Additionally, it’s famous for its exceptional freshwater fishing, with 12 different river systems accessible within a 40-minute drive from the town center, earning it a worldwide reputation.

Continuing your route, you’ll pass through the cozy village of Charleston before reaching Punakaiki. Prepare to be amazed by the Punakaiki pancake rocks and blowholes, where water columns erupt dramatically from formations that resemble enormous stacks of pancakes. From here, proceed with your journey to Greymouth.

  • Accommodation
    The Ashley Hotel Greymouth – 3 Star
  • Meals Included
  • Included Activities
    Visit to Reefton
  • Visit to Punakaiki

This morning, you find yourself in Greymouth, a town steeped in the legacy of gold mining and once the location of the Maori pa known as Mawhera, named for its strategic river mouth location. Greymouth holds the distinction of being the central hub of the West Coast and is also the largest town on the South Island’s west coast. Departing from Greymouth, your journey southward takes you along the picturesque and untamed coastline, winding through luxuriant native rainforests, and passing by numerous stunning lakes en route to Franz Josef.

  • Accommodation
    Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier – 4 Star
  • Meals Included

This morning, you’ll awaken in the welcoming town of Franz Josef, which serves as the gateway for exploring the glacier bearing the same name. This glacier descends from the Southern Alps and extends into the temperate rainforest, reaching just 300 meters above sea level.

Your journey today takes you south along the West Coast to Haast. From there, you’ll venture inland through Haast Pass, eventually arriving at the charming town of Wanaka. Continuing on your route, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Arrowtown, a picturesque and historically significant village, before reaching Queenstown.

Queenstown is a stunning alpine town nestled along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges. It’s a popular destination year-round, known for its distinct four seasons. Winter offers clear, blue-sky days, spring retains a touch of snow while transitioning into longer, warmer days, summer brings sunshine and extended twilight hours, and autumn paints the landscape with vibrant hues of red and gold.

  • Accommodation
    Copthorne Hotel Queenstown Lakefront – 4 Star
  • Meals Included
  • Included Activities
    Visit to Arrowtown

Today, you have the option to enjoy a free day in Queenstown or opt for an excursion to Milford Sound. If you choose the latter, your day begins with a departure from Queenstown, embarking on a delightful journey to Milford Sound. Along the way, you’ll travel alongside Lake Wakatipu, passing through the charming towns of Kingston, Mossburn, and Te Anau. This leg of your adventure treats you to a mesmerizing array of landscapes, ranging from verdant beech forests and expansive valleys to mirror-like lakes, towering peaks, and impressive feats of road engineering.

While the ultimate reward lies in the breathtaking beauty of Milford Sound, the journey along the Milford Road is an awe-inspiring experience in itself. Upon reaching Milford Sound, you’ll embark on a cruise that allows you to intimately connect with the astounding natural wonders of this region. From thundering waterfalls to towering mountains and lush rainforests, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of New Zealand. Afterward, you’ll return to Queenstown, bringing an unforgettable day to a close.

  • Accommodation
    Copthorne Hotel Queenstown Lakefront- 4 Star
  • Meals Included
  • Optional Activities
    Milford Sound Visit – 145 USD

Today, you have the freedom to discover the charm of this picturesque lakeside town. With its soaring mountains and the awe-inspiring natural splendor of the surrounding ranges and rivers, Queenstown offers something to delight every visitor.

  • Accommodation
    Copthorne Hotel Queenstown Lakefront- 4 Star
  • Meals Included

This morning, begin your journey from Queenstown, passing through the town of Cromwell, which was once a hub for gold mining and has now become known for its cultivation of stone fruits. Nestled along the shores of Lake Dunstan, Cromwell offers a scenic stop on your route. Continuing your expedition, you’ll traverse the dramatic Lindis Pass, a mountainous terrain that connects the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. For a good portion of the year, this region is often blanketed in snow, adding to its rugged charm. Here, snow tussock grassland prevails, creating a picturesque rolling landscape before you reach the Mackenzie region and the town of Twizel.

This area boasts some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking scenery, from stunning turquoise lakes to towering mountains. It’s also home to the Mt Cook National Park, which includes New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki Mt Cook, and its longest glacier, the Tasman Glacier.

  • Accommodation
    Distinction Mackenzie – Country Hotel
  • Meals Included

Leaving Twizel behind, your journey takes you to Tekapo, where you’ll be greeted by the mesmerizing turquoise-blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Here, against the backdrop of the Southern Alps, stands the picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd. Your route then proceeds through the towns of Burkes Pass, Fairle, and Geraldine before crossing the Rakaia River. The Rakaia Bridge is a remarkable feat, as it stretches 1.8 kilometers, making it New Zealand’s longest road bridge. It spans the Rakaia River, one of Canterbury’s sizable braided rivers.

Continuing onward, you’ll cross the Canterbury Plains, passing through the outlying towns of Dunsandel and Rolleston, before ultimately reaching Christchurch, often referred to as ‘The Garden City.’ Christchurch is celebrated for its abundance of parks, gardens, and English heritage, with the tranquil Avon River meandering through the city center. Along the riverbanks, you’ll find cycling paths, and Hagley Park and Christchurch Botanic Gardens provide expansive green spaces. Many visitors choose to explore the city by hopping on one of the trams, while others opt for a boat ride along the Avon. Alternatively, you can simply relax at one of the numerous cafes and restaurants along Oxford Terrace, savoring the charm of this inviting city.

  • Accommodation
    Distinction Hotel Christchurch- 4 Star
  • Meals Included
  • Included Activities
    Christchurch Visit

Embark on the final leg of your extraordinary journey as you bid farewell to Christchurch today, setting your sights on new adventures and exciting horizons.  Farewell, New Zealand!

  • Meals Included

Inclusions & Exclusions

The tour price covers the following services:

Accomodation : 4 and 3 star hotels & Local Lodges

Airport Transfer : Airport transfers for the included domestic flights on the tour

Flights : Flight from Wellington to Christchurch.

Meals : 15

Transportation : A/C Vehicles

Guide : Services of experienced Travel Talk local guides licenced by the Ministry of Tourism

Sightseeing :

Auckland, Hot Water Beach, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park, Wellington, Kaikoura, Reefton, Punakaiki, Greymouth, Tauranga Bay, Charlston, Punakaiki, Franz Josef, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Twizel, Mt Cook, Christchurch

What is NOT included in the tour price?

  • Any flights not mentioned above
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not stated above
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips & gestures
  • Entrance fees to the sights and museums
  • Optional activities
  • Other services not stated in the itinerary

Hotels & Accommodation

Solo travelers will be roomed with another solo traveler of the same gender in a twin or triple room or can upgrade to a solo room by paying the single supplement. You may choose the solo room option when booking online or contact us to arrange a private room. Your tour leader will allocate rooms upon arrival at the starting hotel in accordance with the rooming lists, last minute changes may not be guaranteed.

Sudima Auckland City – AUCKLAND 4 Star

Boasting a prime location, modern amenities, and a commitment to sustainability, Sudima Auckland City offers travelers a comfortable and eco-conscious stay in this vibrant urban destination.

Distinction Rotorua – ROTORUA 4 Star

Distinction Rotorua Hotel offers guests a comfortable and convenient stay in the heart of Rotorua, with easy access to the city’s renowned geothermal attractions and cultural experiences.

The Park Ruapehu – TONGARIRO Lodge

The Park Hotel Ruapehu is a charming accommodation nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of Tongariro National Park, providing a perfect base for exploring the stunning natural wonders of New Zealand’s North Island.

West Plaza Hotel – WELLINGTON 4 Star

The West Plaza Hotel is a stylish and centrally located establishment in the heart of Wellington, offering both leisure and business travelers a comfortable stay with easy access to the city’s attractions and amenities.

Sudima Kaikoura – KAIKOURA 4 Star

Sudima Kaikoura Hotel offers guests a picturesque coastal retreat in Kaikoura, New Zealand, where they can enjoy stunning ocean views and easy access to the region’s renowned marine wildlife and natural beauty.

The Ashley Hotel Greymouth – GREYMOUTH 3 Star

The Ashley Hotel Greymouth provides a welcoming and convenient stay on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island, making it an ideal choice for travelers exploring the region’s rugged landscapes and historic attractions.

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier – FRANZ JOSEF 4 Star

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier offers guests a comfortable and scenic base for exploring the awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier and the surrounding Westland Tai Poutini National Park on New Zealand’s South Island.

Copthorne Hotel Queenstown Lakefront – QUEENSTOWN 4 Star

Copthorne Hotel Queenstown Lakefront offers travelers a picturesque lakeside retreat in the heart of Queenstown, New Zealand, with stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and easy access to the town’s vibrant dining, shopping, and outdoor adventure options.

Distinction Mackenzie – Country Hotel

Distinction Mackenzie Country Hotel provides a tranquil and scenic escape in New Zealand’s Mackenzie Basin, offering guests a serene atmosphere amid stunning mountain landscapes and proximity to iconic attractions like Lake Tekapo and Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park.

Distinction Hotel Christchurch – CHRISTCHURCH – 4 Star

Distinction Hotel Christchurch offers travelers a modern and comfortable stay in the heart of Christchurch, New Zealand, with convenient access to the city’s attractions, including the vibrant cultural and dining scene.


Please note that entrance fees to sights and optional activities are not included in the tour price.

Optional Activities

Te Puia Exploration – USD 90

Visit to Orakei Korako – NZD 47

Milford Sound Visit – USD 45

Essential Information: New Zealand

Passport & Visas

If you are not from a visa-exempt country or if you plan to stay in New Zealand for a longer duration, you will typically need to apply for a visitor visa. This visa is suitable for tourists, family visits, and business trips. Some travelers may be exempt from obtaining a visa to enter New Zealand. These exemptions usually apply to citizens of visa waiver countries who intend to stay for a short period as tourists. Citizens of Australia do not require a visa to enter New Zealand.

Keep in mind that visa requirements can change, and the specific visa you need may depend on your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and other factors. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult the New Zealand Immigration website or contact the nearest New Zealand embassy or consulate to get the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding visa and passport requirements before planning your trip.

Passport validity entry requirements: Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure from New Zealand.

Travel Advice

We are closely monitoring the latest travel updates to New Zealand and following the advice of the UK Foreign Office (FCDO). For the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/new-zealand.

We recommend all travellers to check their Government National Travel Advisory prior to their departure:

Australia – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

Canada – https://travel.gc.ca/

New Zealand – https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

USA – https://travel.state.gov/

Travel Insurance

All passengers travelling with Travel Talk are required to have personal travel insurance before participating in any of our tours. Your guide will collect your travel insurance details on the first day of your trip. It is your responsibility to make sure you have an adequate and suitable travel insurance for you in place, you may read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/travel-insurance

Health & Safety

The health and safety of our passengers, staff and communities visited is of utmost priority. As we monitor and comply with the official advice from the UK Foreign Office, as well as World Health Organization and government authorities regularly, we have implemented several policies and precautions on our tours for your wellbeing. You may find our Safe Travels Protocols at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels

Travel Talk Adventures has received the Safe Travels stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which allows travellers to recognise companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers canexperience ‘Safe Travels’.

Please make sure to regularly check your Government’s travel advice before travelling and be well-informed of any requirements. Your tour guide will also notify you of the regulations and protocols to follow throughout your trip with us.

Please note that if any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary or possess a potential risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to remove them from all or part of a trip.

Please consult with your doctor for the latest medical travel information and any vaccinations you may need. We recommend that you bring any personal medical requirements and medications with you as these may be difficult to obtain while on tour.


New Zealand’s weather varies across its North and South Islands, but the best time to visit depends on your interests. The North Island enjoys warm summers (December to February), perfect for beach outings and city exploration, while mild autumns (March to May) and springs (September to November) offer fewer crowds and excellent conditions for outdoor activities. Winters (June to August) are mild in the North Island. In contrast, the South Island experiences picturesque autumns with colorful foliage, and its winters are ideal for skiing in the Southern Alps regions. Spring and autumn are often considered the best overall times to visit due to pleasant weather and fewer tourists, offering a balanced experience across both islands. Always be prepared for sudden weather changes in this diverse and stunning country.

Money Matters

Travelers to New Zealand will find a straightforward and well-equipped system for managing money matters. The official currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD), which is readily available in coins and banknotes. ATMs are widespread and accept major international debit and credit cards, making it convenient to withdraw local currency. Credit cards like Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted for various transactions, but carrying some cash is advisable, especially in smaller towns or remote areas. Currency exchange services are available at airports, banks, and exchange offices. Tipping is not common, but it’s appreciated for exceptional service. Overall, New Zealand offers a traveler-friendly environment for managing finances.

Eating & Drinking

New Zealand cuisine is a fusion of influences from Māori traditions, British heritage, and Pacific flavors. Seafood, including green-lipped mussels, crayfish, and various fish, is abundant due to the country’s extensive coastline. Lamb and venison are prominent meats, known for their quality. Māori dishes like hangi and indigenous ingredients like kumara offer a taste of the country’s heritage. Savory pies are a popular on-the-go snack, and New Zealand’s dairy products, including cheese and butter, are renowned. The country’s wine regions produce world-class Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, while the cafe culture and coffee culture are thriving in urban areas. Overall, New Zealand’s cuisine celebrates fresh, locally sourced ingredients and offers a diverse culinary experience.

Hangi: A traditional Māori method of cooking where food, such as meat, root vegetables, and sometimes seafood, is slow-cooked in an earth oven. The result is tender and flavorful.

Pavlova: A popular dessert made from a meringue base topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, typically strawberries, kiwifruit, and passionfruit. There’s often a friendly debate with Australia over who invented it.

Whitebait Fritters: Whitebait, tiny translucent fish, are mixed with egg and lightly pan-fried to create a delicate and delicious fritter.

Kumara: These sweet potatoes are often roasted, mashed, or made into fries, and they are a staple in New Zealand cuisine.

Manuka Honey: While not a traditional drink, Manuka honey is a unique New Zealand product known for its medicinal properties. It’s often used in hot drinks like tea to soothe sore throats.

Essentials to Bring & Internet

-Face mask/cover and hand sanitiser enough for your personal use throughout the trip – See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/

-Travel Documents: Passport, Visa (if required), flight or transport ticket (and photocopies)

-Travel Talk Tour Voucher (printed or digital)Travel Insurance Policy (and photocopy)

-Personal medical kit and medicine

-Money (cash, credit card, travellers’ cheques)

-Power Adapter

-Reusable water bottle

-Ear plugs and eye mask

-Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen

-Comfortable, closed walking shoes

-Wind/water proof jacket

-Warm clothes, hat, and gloves for cold weather

-Sandals, swimwear, shorts for warm weather

Internet Access

Internet access in New Zealand is widespread and generally reliable, particularly in urban areas where high-speed broadband connections are common. Wireless and mobile internet services are well-developed, with 4G and 5G networks providing coverage across much of the country. Public Wi-Fi is readily available in cafes, restaurants, and public spaces in major cities. While satellite internet serves remote and rural areas, it may offer slower speeds. Data caps on some plans should be considered, and costs vary based on location and connection type. Overall, New Zealand provides adequate internet access for most travelers and residents, with the quality and speed varying depending on location and provider.

Culture, Religion, and Traditions

New Zealand’s culture is a rich tapestry woven from the threads of its diverse population and a deep connection to its stunning natural landscapes. The country’s indigenous culture is embodied by the Māori people, who arrived in New Zealand over a thousand years ago. Māori culture is celebrated through art, music, dance (such as the haka), and traditional ceremonies like the powhiri (welcome) and hangi (earth oven cooking). New Zealand is also a multicultural society, with people from various ethnic backgrounds contributing to its cultural mosaic. Religion in New Zealand is diverse, with Christianity being the predominant faith, but there is also a growing number of people who identify as non-religious or practice other faiths, including Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. Kiwis, as New Zealanders are known, take pride in their outdoor lifestyle, and many traditions revolve around nature, such as hiking (known as tramping), barbecues (known as “kiwi barbies”), and celebrating Waitangi Day, which marks the signing of New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi. Overall, New Zealand’s culture is a blend of indigenous heritage, multicultural influences, and a deep respect for the environment.

Etiquette and How to Dress

New Zealanders are known for their friendly and relaxed demeanor, and etiquette in the country reflects this laid-back attitude. Politeness and respect are highly valued, so saying “please” and “thank you” is customary. When meeting someone for the first time, a firm handshake is a typical greeting. New Zealanders generally maintain a casual and informal style, so you’ll find that dressing comfortably is more important than formal attire. In urban areas, such as Auckland and Wellington, business-casual attire is common for work settings, but a more casual dress code is the norm in most other situations. However, when visiting Māori marae (meeting grounds) or attending formal events, it’s advisable to dress more conservatively. As New Zealand experiences diverse weather, it’s also practical to dress in layers, as temperatures can change quickly, especially in the South Island’s mountainous regions. Overall, blending comfort with respect for the occasion is the key to dressing appropriately in New Zealand.

Solo Travellers

We have many solo travellers joining our tours. Solo travellers will be roomed with another traveller of the same gender. If you would like a private solo room, please contact us. You may see out solo travels page for more details.

Rules to Follow

We are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. We do not tolerate any form of violence (physical or verbal), bullying or harassment involving customers, partners, Travel Talk staff or locals. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a passenger are forbidden.

We will not tolerate any illegal activity, including but not limited to: use and possession of illegal drugs, trespassing, and disrupting public order. If you consume alcohol, please ensure that you drink responsibly and follow the local laws and regulations.

You must follow the advice of your tour leader and local officials regarding health and safety measures. We operate all tours under Safe Travels protocols for the wellbeing of our passengers, staff and communities visited. Please ensure that you have read the https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/ and are fully prepared for your trip.

If someone is acting inappropriately regarding these matters, please notify your tour leader immediately or contact us on the emergency contact number provided below.

Your tour leader has the right to remove from the group anyone not abiding by these rules, with no right of compensation or refund. See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/booking-terms/

Please remember that our travellers come from different parts of the world and will have various needs and preferences. Be understanding and patient with your fellow travellers, and always strive to be on time.

Responsible Travel

We believe that travel is a force for good and show our support through various initiatives and charity organizations, as well as keeping the principals of responsible and sustainable travel at the core of our ethos. These values are engrained in our business culture and the design of our trips just the same. Together with you, we strive to make a positive impact on local people and economies, respecting the local culture, environment, social fabric and customs; encouraging respectful and meaningful cross-cultural exchange. Read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/responsible-travel/

Open until midnight

+44 20 809 995 96
[email protected]

Monday - Friday: 09:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed
W. Europe