Journey New Zealand in Style
An epic adventure, this 23-night trip sees you exploring the best of New Zealand from the top of North Island all the way down to Queenstown in South Island.
- Explore the whole of New Zealand from top to bottom on this immersive trip for 23 nights where every detail is taken care of
- Stay in top accommodation from remote lodges, luxe hotels, treehouses and coastal retreats
- See a huge range of sights including natural wonders of the Bay of Islands, plentiful marine life, snow-draped peaks and picturesque fjords
- Experience an exclusive side to New Zealand with helicopter flights, exclusive vineyard tours, private guiding and remote luxury
New Zealand is vast. Not only that, but it also has a comparatively small population, and in between, geological wonders dot the landscapes from volcanoes, forests, oceans, beaches and fjords which become a magnificent playground for adventure including skiing, surfing, sailing, hiking and wine-tasting. It’s towns and cities are pockets of culture with a burgeoning foodie scene that takes advantage of the bountiful produce from the land and sea. This trip takes a sweeping overview of some of countries loveliest spots, staying in stylish hotels and rustic-luxe lodges along the way.
This trip would make an unforgettable honeymoon or sabbatical – spending over three weeks in New Zealand is the ultimate in luxury
When to go
New Zealand’s subtropical north is warm year-round. Elsewhere, the best time to visit is summer (November to March) although prepare for wetter weather the further south you go.
We’ve planned this trip to work well for over three weeks, but if you have more or less time then let us know, and we can tailor to your wishes - the opportunities for experiences in New Zealand are endless.
Helena Bay & Bay of Islands
After spending your first two days of the trip airborne with a short stopover in Dubai you will land at Auckland airport in North Island, where you’ll be whisked away by private helicopter for the short scenic flight to Helena Bay, an area of warm weather, beautiful sandy beaches, ideal water for sailing and swimming and the perfect start to your intrepid trip in New Zealand. After a night’s rest, jump straight into adventure with a six-hour private sailing excursion on a catamaran, breezily exploring the beautiful inlets of the Bay of Islands and the resident wildlife. You’ll also have the chance to explore its gorgeous bays by private car and driver allowing you to see all the sides of this remote and beautiful part of North Island.
STAY: HELENA BAY LODGE
In the northeast corner of New Zealand’s North Island lies Helena Bay Lodge. The property features three kilometres of pristine coastline, four private beaches and plenty of hidden coves. The lodge’s villa suites have extensive balconies with views overlooking Helena Bay beach and beyond to the South Pacific Ocean where you can view birdlife plus visit whales and dolphins.
Next on the itinerary is the art deco town of Napier in Hawke’s Bay, south of Auckland which you’ll access by a scheduled flight. A region famed for its wine country, rugged landscapes, unique flora and fauna and rolling farmland, Hawke’s Bay is an awe-inspiring destination. With a private tour of Napier and its surrounds, you can get a feel for this coastal region including nature haven Waitangi Regional Park and the picturesque Tuki Tuki River Valley, plus drop in on wineries for tastings and tours. There are hiking trails aplenty from your hotel, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, although we recommend an ATV tour of the surroundings to get your bearings including views towards Ocean Beach and Bare Island.
STAY: THE FARM AT CAPE KIDNAPPERS
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers sits atop undulating landscapes and rugged cliffs that give way to epic sea views. Home to not only a lodge and spa, this unique property also boasts the awarded-winning Tom Doak-design golf course, a sanctuary for some of New Zealand’s most precious flora and fauna, and a working sheep and cattle station. Warm and enveloping, Cape Kidnappers’ suites deliver first class attention to detail, comfort and awe-inspiring views.
Driving south from Cape Kidnappers, you will be transferred from Hawke’s Bay to Ocean Beach and the surrounds of Wairarapa, around an hour north of Wellington in the North Island. The Wairarapa Valley is known for its coastal landscapes which can be discovered on e-bikes or by ATV where you might head to Cape Palliser to see the resident seal colony. You can also have the chance to explore the wine region of Martinborough on the South Island via scenic helicopter tour, dropping down for a chef-prepared lunch in the vineyards before viewing exclusive cellars.
STAY: WHAREKAUHAU COUNTRY ESTATE
Located on the clifftops overlooking Palliser Bay, Wharekauhau Country Estate is a 3,200 acre working sheep station with a Relais & Chateaux lodge at its heart. The lodge itself is built along the lines of an elegant Edwardian Country house with Cottage Suites dotted around the grounds. Allowing you to experience a working farm, Wharekauhau Country Estate also offers a high level of luxurious comfort alongside experiences in the dramatic scenery.
By private light aircraft, you will now fly to Kaikoura, a coastal town in the north of the South Island, which is a world-famous spot for watching whales, dolphins and occasionally sperm, humpback and orca whales. You can see these mammals at sea on a boat trip or we may be able to organise swimming with dolphins for up close interaction with these gentle creatures. You might like to take advantage of other marine pleasures such as surfing, fishing or kayaking and on land you can explore trails that run through the forest, bush and mountains.
STAY: HAPUKU LODGE AND TREEHOUSES
Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses, located 12 kilometres from the eco-marine paradise of Kaikoura was designed to be a contemporary country hotel with the majority of the furniture handcrafted by local woodworkers. With a focus on the surrounding nature, you can choose to stay in a treehouse, suite or house, which all overlook the olive orchard and Hapuku Beach. The lodge also has a lap pool and sauna.
Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city. Known as the ‘Garden City’, you might find a resemblance to the UK with tranquil riverside scenes, Gothic architecture and a greenery-filled botanical garden. You will also enjoy an Akaroa Nature Cruise which will include driving to Port Hills and Banks Peninsula extinct volcano, with views out over Akaroa Harbour before a two-hour harbour cruise spotting hector dolphin, New Zealand fur seals and little blue penguins. Soak up culture at Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Settlers Museum to get a feel of Akaroa’s unique history.
STAY: OTAHUNA LODGE
This imposing Victorian mansion is a historic property that trades on its heritage features against a backdrop of sumptuous comfort. Bedrooms are large suites made up of a series of rooms which include bathrooms tubs in front of fireplaces, airy verandas, elegant sitting rooms and character features such as inglenook seating, stained glass windows and carved woodwork. The glorious garden is a lovely place to sit and listen to birdsong or wander the manicured lawn and lake or cool off by the pool.
The next part of your trip sees you independently travelling by road in a premium rental along the awe-spiring and incredibly scenic Great Alpine Highway, flanked by the snow-draped peaks of Arthur’s Pass National Park. Your destination is the remote hotel The Lindis and it’s from here that you’ll explore the surrounding landscapes by helicopter on a wilderness discovery tour. Fly between the highest and most spectacular mountain ranges of Mount Cook and Westland National Parks and picking an activity such as hiking the spectacular ride tops and rainforests or exploring the glaciers by hiking or descending into crevasses or ice caves.
STAY: THE LINDIS
Set in the Ahuriri Valley in the middle of the South Island, this sleek retreat is a true get-away-from-it-all experience. Sleep in a Lindis Pod – these wonders of minimalism, made from steel, glass and timber offer secluded isolation to fully immerse yourself in the starkly beautiful landscape. With mirrored exteriors that reflect the scenery, the standalone pods offer epic views onto the weather systems that roll into the valley. Watch the sunrise pierce snow-swirled pinnacles or enjoy unrivalled stargazing (the Lindis is in a dark sky conservation area). By day, canter across the valley on horseback or fly-fish for rainbow trout just metres from your room.
From the remote Ahuriri Valley you will head to your final stop – Queenstown and a chance to enjoy the cultural and natural pleasures the town and its surrounds can offer. Your journey there includes travelling past more of New Zealand’s impressive mountain ranges – jaw-dropping scenery that includes glinting lakes and soaring peaks. Set beside Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is known for its adventure sports, but you will enjoy a Wine and Art Tour – tasting the famous pinot noirs of the region and meeting well-known landscape painter Tim Wilson. Top up your adrenaline with a trip on the Dart River by jet boat, into the heart of Mount Aspiring National Park – mesmerising Lord of the Rings territory and the backdrop for Māori legends. A fitting finish to your tour of New Zealand.
STAY: MATAKAURI LODGE
Just a few minutes from bustle of Queenstown, you can utterly relax here at this lakeside retreat, surrounded by breath-taking scenery. From Matakauri Lodge, you can strike out on day trips to Doubtful or Milford Sound or ascend in a helicopter to get a unique panorama of this astonishing part of the world.
This 23-day day itinerary might look like it covers everything you’d want to see in New Zealand but the incredible thing about this fascinating country is there are so many different ways to experience it, and this is just one of them. We’d love to talk to you about how you want to experience New Zealand – maybe you’d like to delve deeper into Māori culture, seek out elusive wildlife, fish its productive rivers or perhaps get total off the beaten track in abundant wilderness. There’s all this and more in New Zealand.
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