Our New Zealand adventure tour will take your breath away. If the snow-capped peaks don’t do it, then the sheer cultivated beauty of Waiheke Island will. You’re as likely to gasp at the thrill of sailing on an America’s Cup yacht as at the chill splendor of Tasman Glacier Lake where icebergs surround your boat. As we divide our time between New Zealand’s two main islands, Classic Journeys will introduce you to a land you would not find on your own. We’ll visit with a family on their vast sheep station. You’ll sip wine at a renowned vineyard in a setting you could easily mistake for the Napa Valley. Our local guide also arranges for naturalists, historians and expert specialists in glacier walking and jet boating. As you sample the green lip mussels…learn about Maori folklore and culture…and walk the swing bridge across the wild Hooker River, you’ll appreciate New Zealand as the most scenically diverse and unstoppably fun destination anywhere.
DAYS 1-2 — AUCKLAND / ROTORUA
Situated on New Zealand’s North Island, Auckland is truly spectacular. We begin with an easy, guided walk, and then board an America’s Cup yacht for an exhilarating ride. Pitch in with the crew or sit back and enjoy the views and the wind in your hair.
After, enjoy the leisurly scenic drive to Rotorua and Wai-0-Tapu. Sculptured out of volcanic activity and thousands of years in the making, Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland is considered to be New Zealand's most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. You are introduced to a uniquely different natural landscape – the key to what you see lies below the surface – one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand, extending over 18-sq. km.
DAYS 3-4 — MOUNT COOK
After a flight to the South Island, we’ll pause at Lake Tekapo one of the country’s most iconic and most photographed sites. Then we check into our luxury lodge at Aoraki Mount Hood National Park. After an easy alpine walk, we’ll go boating on a glacial lake weaving amid freshly calved icebergs. While in the park, we’ll also take a once-in-a-lifetime walk on the Hooker Valley Track surrounded by the soaring, snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps.
DAYS 5-8 — QUEENSTOWN
En route to Queenstown, we’ll visit Arrowtown, site of the 19th century gold rush where we can still pan for gold. In luxury 4×4's, we talk to the hills for a stream-splashing ride into terrain that served as settings for the “Lord of the Rings” movies.
Sitting on the shores of a gorgeous mountain lake, Queenstown is the perfect jumping off point for a number of activities. We’ll arrange a thrilling jet boat ride on the Dart River into the heart of Mt. Aspiring National Park, where we walk in beech forests and learn about Maori folklore.
On our final day, you can begin your journey home.
Starting Point:Auckland – 10:00 am – Lobby of Sofitel Auckland Hotel
Ending Point:Queenstown – 9:00 am – Lobby of St. Moritz Queenstown Hotel
Dates & Prices
The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won’t be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. Talk with one of our travel experts at 800-200-3887.Talk to an expert
Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.
$225: This tour includes airfare between the north and south islands for a supplemental cost. (subject to change)
Why Choose Classic Journeys
We believe in creating authentic connections by immersing you into the history and culture of a people and place. So we find the most well-connected local guides who share their relationships and knowledge with us. And with them, we handcraft walking tours in cinematic settings that allow you to see the world on foot and at eye level.
It’s why Travel + Leisure magazine has named Classic Journeys as the #1 World’s Best Tour Operator multiple times, and the editors of T+L say, "Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe." Here’s what that access means for you every time you travel with us.
- Experience the world on foot and at eye level. Each day, join your guide on the most cinematic footpaths in the region.
- Exceptional full-time local guides who become your well-connected friend. Our amazing guides are with you throughout each day of the tour, share their lifelong connections as well as engaging anecdotes about the history and culture of the region.
- Small groups that provide you unrivaled access. An average of fewer than 10 guests per departure means we can offer you special access to sites like Stonehenge so you experience the stone circle when it’s closed to the general public, a guided visit to Zion Narrows that other companies cannot arrange because of larger group sizes, and vineyard walks with a count and countess in Tuscany.
- Award-winning hotels are waiting for you at the end of every day. Luxuriate in the finest and most distinctive accommodations in the region you’re exploring, including rainforest lodges, 16th century villas, and award-winning properties that show up on World’s Best and Gold lists.
- Eat like (and with) the locals. Food is a foolproof way into the hearts, homes and history of the places you visit with us. From gourmet picnics to coveted local restaurants, our meals offer you opportunities to explore native food traditions and fine dining.
- Handcrafted itineraries with all activities included. With our long-term friendships, we know our walking tour regions more personally than anyone else. So you get thoughtfully curated itineraries that combine explorations of the villages, organic farms, archeological sites and the people who know them best.
- Sustainable travel that supports the places you’re visiting. We put our local currency into the pockets of the people who live where we travel. It’s your guarantee that you’ll have authentic, up-close experiences on your trip. Best of all, our person-to-person approach helps sustain their ways of life.
We spend years cultivating personal relationships with our hoteliers to provide you thoughtfully selected accommodations that reveal the true character of the region. Here is a sampling of our favorite hotels on this tour.
- Award-winning boutique hotels that provide you unlimited access to the people and places, culture and history you came to experience
- All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners
- Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip, handle behind-the-scenes logistics
- Admissions to sites and other scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary
- Gratuities for hotels, meals and baggage
- All land transportation during the trip
Above & Beyond Benefits
- When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.
Privileged Access Events
- One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.