Ultimate New Zealand Trip Notes
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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/
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.
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)
-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 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.
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.
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/