Top New Zealand Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews &...

New Zealand Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

153 New Zealand trips. Compare tour itineraries from 27 tour companies. 416 reviews. 4.6/5 avg rating.

Small Group New Zealand Tours

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Top New Zealand Attractions

Embark on a journey of discovery and adventure with diverse experiences on New Zealand tours. From exploring dramatic landscapes to immersing in Maori culture, each tour offers a unique opportunity to uncover the beauty and richness of Aotearoa, ensuring unforgettable memories that last a lifetime.
  • Exploring the quaint stores, coffee shops, and restaurants as well as an adventure activity or two in beautiful Queenstown
  • Walking through the Whirinaki rainforest on New Zealand's North Island in the company of a Maori guide while learning about the flora and fauna and tribal history
  • Bungee jumping off the iconic Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown
  • Hiking one or more of New Zealand's world-famous "tracks" -- Milford, Routeburn, or others -- to challenge yourself on mountain terrain while enjoying panoramic views
  • Swimming with dolphins in the pristine waters of the Bay of Islands
  • Sampling world-renowned wines on a scenic vineyard tour in Marlborough
  • Going on a thrilling white water rafting adventure tour down Buller Gorge
  • Skydiving over the stunning landscapes of Lake Taupo
  • Exploring the geothermal wonders of Rotorua, including bubbling mud pools and geysers
  • Making your way through a dark glowworm cave on New Zealand's South Island, with the worms glowing like stars on a cave-roof "sky"
  • Ziplining through the lush forests of Rotorua for an adrenaline rush
  • Cycling along the picturesque trails of the Hawke's Bay region, renowned for its wineries and coastal scenery
  • Discovering the magical Waitomo Caves and witnessing the enchanting glowworms
  • Sailing Milford Sound in New Zealand's southern Fjordland, one of the world's most spectacular boat trips
  • Helicopter tour over the majestic Franz Josef Glacier on the South Island's West Coast
  • Maori cultural experience, including a traditional hangi feast and witnessing the world-famous Haka

New Zealand Tours & Travel Guide

New Zealand Attractions & Landmarks Guide

New Zealand is much more than Australia's little brother — it's a star in its own right. The country is best known for its natural attractions, and the sheep famously outnumber the people (who are called Kiwis). 

Its major cities, Auckland and Wellington on the North Island, and Nelson, Queenstown, and Christchurch on the South Island, make excellent stops.

New Zealand's three islands are like three different worlds: the subtropical North Island, the generally much cooler South Island, and the even cooler Stewart Island to the far south, the smallest of the three.

Highlights of the New Zealand Tours
North of Auckland on the North Island is the Bay of Islands, a subtropical paradise of green islands, turquoise waters, marine and bird life (including whales and penguins), and water activities.

Top North Island Attractions
If you're visiting the North Island of New Zealand, remember to include these key spots in your itinerary.

  • Hobbiton: This permanent installation of the Hobbiton movie set is an ever-popular attraction on the North Island of New Zealand. While it is touristy, the delightful whimsy of seeing Hobbiton in real life is enough to thrill even the most fair-weather fan.
  • Rotorua: A popular destination for learning about the Maori language and culture, Rotorua is also known for its geothermal activity, similar to what you can encounter in Yellowstone National Park. Rotorua offers a unique outdoor experience with bubbling mud pools, steaming geysers, and natural hot springs. Visitors can also enjoy mountain biking, ziplining, and hiking in Redwood Forest. Be prepared through — the air is quite smelly!
  • Auckland: New Zealand's largest urban area, Auckland, is a great place for cultural events, art, theater, and food. Be sure to visit the top of the Sky Tower for a 360-degree view of the city. Thrill seekers… look for a popular bungee jumping spot at Auckland's Harbor Bridge.
  • Hawkes Bay: This region in the Northeast of the North Island is famous for wine tasting. Besides, much like the rest of New Zealand, this small region packs a lot of adventures together, including beautiful coastal hikes and botanical gardens.
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Be ready for an otherworldly experience. You can visit these glowworm caves via a thrilling rafting trip, but if you'd like to slow down and look up at the incredible light display, join walking tours or boat tours. Remember to go with a guide to learn about the science behind the glowworms and unique ways to maximize the fun.
  • Coromandel Peninsula: The rugged coastline of Coromandel Peninsula is dotted with secluded coves and golden sands, while inland, rolling hills carpeted in lush greenery offer endless opportunities for exploration. Visitors can embark on one-of-a-kind tours of New Zealand, immersing themselves in the region's rich Maori culture and history, indulging in outdoor adventures, marveling at Cathedral Cove's iconic arch, and soaking in natural hot springs at The Lost Spring.

Top Attractions on New Zealand's South Island
New Zealand's South Island is the larger of the two and home to some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see. Much of the South Island has been used in films like Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, and it's easy to appreciate its cinematic potential as you drive through.

Driving is a highly recommended mode of transport for the views, so expect long drives with many stretches of pure countryside with very few amenities like restaurants or hotels.

You will also want to pull over now and again for short walks or hikes to viewing areas. Trust us — even if it adds a half hour, the signs to scenic viewpoints or unique natural phenomena in New Zealand don't lie!

  • Queenstown: Undoubtedly, it's one of the major hubs for adventure in New Zealand. The culture is a little touristy, with seasonality affecting the tourist-to-local ratio fairly heavily. However, Kiwis are welcoming and friendly, so you'll still get a great vibe from funky cafes and restaurants as you explore. Queenstown is the perfect base for day trips and adventure activities, including jet boating, bungee jumping, and paragliding.
  • The Remarkables: Located near Queenstown, the mountain range offers spectacular alpine scenery and thrilling outdoor adventures. Visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and scenic drives with panoramic views.
  • Aoraki/Mount Cook: For an adventurous (but very manageable for kids and older travelers!) half-day, consider a spectacular hike through a rugged glacial landscape to the base of Mount Cook. New Zealand's highest peak, Mount Cook is also a popular destination for advanced climbers—it was here that Sir Edmund Hillary trained for Everest.
  • Fiordland National Park: Renowned for its breathtaking fjords, towering peaks, and cascading waterfalls, Fiordland National Park offers endless opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and wildlife spotting. Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound are iconic destinations within the park, providing unforgettable experiences amidst pristine natural beauty.
  • Milford Sound: Pictures or videos simply cannot do justice to the beauty of Milford Sound. Mountains seemingly burst through the water, with no banks, covered with lush foliage. Waterfalls show themselves as you snake through the sound in your ferry, hearing various oohs and ahhs from around the boat as a particular vantage point reveals a new waterfall or wildlife sighting.
  • Fox Glacier: If glacier walking is on your bucket list, look no further than Fox Glacier. Here, you can do everything from glacier walking to ice climbing while taking in unbelievable views and learning from guides about the glacier's natural history and movement.
  • Abel Tasman National Park: On the northern tip of the South Island, near the delightful town of Nelson, Abel Tasman Park is the perfect stop for all ages looking for an outdoorsy travel experience. It is renowned for its golden beaches, turquoise waters, and coastal hiking trails. You can hike the coastal track and through native forests, relax on secluded beaches, or kayak in calm and protected ocean waters—keep an eye out for dolphins!
  • Franz Josef Glacier: In Westland Tai Poutini National Park, Franz Josef Glacier is a magnificent natural wonder that offers thrilling outdoor adventures. Visitors can embark on guided glacier hikes, heli-hiking tours, and scenic helicopter flights to witness the glacier's icy blue crevasses and towering ice formations up close. 

The surrounding rainforest and rugged alpine landscapes provide additional opportunities for hiking, photography, and wildlife viewing, making Franz Josef Glacier a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts in New Zealand.

Diverse Cultures on New Zealand Tours
While many Kiwis are descended from Britons, a substantial indigenous population of Maoris is often easily recognizable by elaborate facial tattoos. Maori culture had suffered considerably until recent years, but its language and arts are now being revived. Some New Zealand tours prioritize exploring Maori life.

You may be surprised to encounter a number of Turkish, Vietnamese, and other ethnic restaurants in cities like Nelson and Wellington, but New Zealand has attracted many immigrants from around the world, adding to a growing cosmopolitan atmosphere. You'll still find plenty of lamb stew, fish and chips, and other British-style dishes.

Whether you'd like your New Zealand guided trip to be one of challenging mountainous tracks like Milford and Routeburn, or rappelling deep into remote caverns and scaling volcanoes, or a more leisurely tour that takes you walking through glow worm caves and on Milford Sound cruise boats, you can weigh all your best options for a Kiwi vacation on Travelstride.

Top Adventure Activities in New Zealand
New Zealand, with its bigger neighbor, Australia, is known as one of the best places on earth to get your adrenaline fix. From bungee jumping to zip lining and surfing, plenty of high-intensity activities on a New Zealand tour exist. 

Here are some of the best adrenaline-pumping activities you can experience on New Zealand excursions.

  • Whitewater Rafting: If you combine New Zealand's many mountains with a bit of rain, the result is some of the best white water you could hope for. You can raft in New Zealand year-round, so you can work rafting into any vacation you go on.
  • Jet Boating: Jet boating was invented by a farmer who wanted to travel as quickly as possible in a shallow body of water. The result is a jet engine strapped to a boat and the most thrilling river ride you will ever take.
  • Skydiving: New Zealand is the capital of skydiving, and you can do it all over. Although this may seem extremely dangerous, New Zealand has some of the most rigorous skydiving safety rules, so don't be afraid and take a (literal) leap of faith!
  • Ziplining: New Zealand has a wide variety of zipline courses, from those with ocean views to those high up in the mountains.
  • Spelunking: Believe it or not, caving in New Zealand can also be a verifiable adventure, whether you decide to raft on the "black rapids" of an underground river or walk over dark, gaping chasms.
  • Bungee Jumping: The world's first commercial bungy jump was built in New Zealand, so if you had to pick one adventure activity, this would be it.
  • Paragliding: Paragliding was also invented in New Zealand and is an excellent combination of a quick thrill — jumping off a cliff and getting caught in the wind is sure to get your heart racing, but you will soon be able to relax and enjoy the views while gently coasting in the sky.
  • Canyoning: Canyoning means more than just hiking up canyons. If your tour includes canyoning, expect to jump off cliffs into deepwater pools and rappel down waterfalls, among other things.

Stewart Island: Off the Beaten Path on New Zealand Tour
Away from the bustling crowds, the lesser-known Stewart Island offers unique experiences and authentic encounters with the local culture and natural wonders. Stewart Island is just 30 kilometers south of New Zealand. 

Often thought of as part of the South Island, Stewart Island is the third largest island of New Zealand. It's 85 percent national parkland, a center of outdoor activities, and a hidden gem — it offers a rare opportunity for travelers who truly want to get away from it all. 

There are 150 miles of hiking trails throughout the island, offering plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities. Travelers will likely be treated to a show in the sky at night as the spectacular Aurora Australis plays overhead. 

  • Bird Watching: Because Stewart Island is almost entirely a national park, the wildlife viewing opportunities are second to none. Birders will be astounded by the diversity of bird species—the most diverse in all of New Zealand. Visitors will see brown kiwis, little blue penguins, and yellow-eyed penguins living predator-free under the close watch of the small population of Stewart Islanders that also make their home on the island.
  • Hiking: Those looking to hike may do so in Rakiura National Park, known for its multi-day hiking trails spanning the entire island. The most famous of these trails are the Rakiura Track and New Zealand's Great Walks, which can be arranged with tour guides who understand park regulations and directions. 
  • Fishing: Stewart Island offers many unique opportunities for fishing. Private fishing outings are an option; just make sure to follow all rules and regulations carefully. Otherwise, hop aboard a commercial fishing boat and assist with bringing in the catch of the day. You won't need to contribute everything you catch, but you will learn the entire process from catching to cleaning. 
  • Sea Kayaking: See Stewart Island from the water as you take to the ocean in a sea kayak. These excursions are not for the faint of heart — requiring at least some upper body strength to navigate the waves. This is a great way to observe marine life and enjoy an invigorating, active day before a well-deserved beer and meal after you head back to shore.

Museums and Historic Sites in New Zealand
Explore the vibrant history and rich culture of New Zealand through its museums and historical sites. Dive into the stories and artifacts that have shaped this nation into the incredible country it is today.

At Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington, you'll journey through the country's diverse history and culture. Explore interactive exhibits filled with Maori artifacts, natural history wonders, and contemporary art, offering an immersive experience for visitors of all ages.

In the Bay of Islands, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds beckon you to explore the birthplace of modern New Zealand. Delve into the history of the Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840, which forged the relationship between the Maori and the British Crown. It's a must-visit spot to uncover the fascinating stories that have shaped New Zealand's identity.

Food in New Zealand
The rich cultural history of New Zealand has led to a wide variety of food that travelers can sample while visiting. 

Kiwis rely heavily on seafood and other proteins. Cooked in an underground oven so the meat and vegetables steam and cook, hāngi is a dish served on special occasions that may be arranged through tour guides. 

Travelers will also find soft-shelled tuatua (clams) and green-lipped mussels to eat, along with various forms of lamb and sausages. Mince pies are not uncommon (similar to Australia), but travelers can also eat steamed kumara potatoes that may be peeled and eaten on the go. 

For desserts, pavlova is an airy, fruit dessert that Australia also claims to be its own. No matter which country created it, it still tastes good!

Wildlife in New Zealand
Experience the incredible and unique wildlife as you explore this diverse landscape. Encounter the iconic kiwi bird, known for its remarkable longevity of up to 50 years. Protected mainly on the island, these elusive creatures offer a unique sighting opportunity for travelers.

In the woodlands, you will encounter unique creatures such as the kereru, tuatua, and Otago skink reptiles. As night falls, watch in awe as short-tailed bats emerge from their nests by the hundreds.

Discover majestic sea lions and rare penguin species along the coasts, like the yellow-eyed and little blue penguins. Offshore waters abound with marine life, including Maui dolphins, koura crayfish, and endangered weta. 

Wine Tours in New Zealand
New Zealand's renowned wine regions make for an enchanting tour as you indulge in the flavors of the land. 

In the Marlborough region of the South Island, famed for its exquisite Sauvignon Blanc, visit esteemed wineries like Cloudy Bay, Villa Maria, and Brancott Estate. Enjoy wine tastings amid vine-covered valleys and sparkling bays, immersing yourself in the region's rich viticultural heritage.

Whether you're a wine lover or simply seeking a delightful culinary experience, our New Zealand wine tours promise unforgettable moments filled with exceptional wines, gourmet delights, and stunning scenery. 

New Zealand Reviews & Ratings

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Mar 2024

Written on

Self-designed 21 day trip to NZ

Geoff helped my wife and I to put together an itinerary that customized to our particular interests and preferences. At the outset he asked us where we'd like to go ...



Apr 2018

Provided byExodus Travels


This trip is one of the best we have experienced with Exodus. The varied walking, landscape and experiences on the trip make it an amazing adventure. Beware though...



Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

The best of New Zealand

What an amazing trip! I cannot recommend it highly enough - it showcasts everything that New Zealand has to offer, and despite travelling for 3 weeks it is not eno...



Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Fabulous walking in New Zealand

A wonderful itinerary and excellent guides/leaders with infectious enthusiasm for this amazing country! The Tongariro Crossing and the visit to the Milford Sound, b...



Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

A wonderful trip.

This trip covers a lot of ground, with a packed itinerary and with plenty of walking in beautiful scenery. The weather was very kind to us - we even saw Milford So...

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