If you have a penchant for the finer things, then this epic journey across the length of New Zealand is for you. Five-star luxury and wondrously unique stays complement your adventure from city to mountain and beyond...

Auckland

New Zealand's sprawling super-city, Auckland is a true melting pot of cultures. A large Polynesian and Asian population sets the tone for one fantastic dining scene, with delicious fusion restaurants to discover and buzzing foodie markets to explore. The harbourside offers sunset cocktails after boutique shopping in Britomart, with more designer stores in Ponsonby and Parnell ready to empty your coffers. Don’t miss the opportunity to escape the city by ferry, destination Waiheke Island. The journey is short but the experience a total contrast. Beautiful beaches mark an island filled with vineyards and restaurants, making for an unmissable day trip.

Stay

1-night stay at Hilton Hotel Auckland

We recommend

Wine tasting on Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island

Bay of Islands

140 subtropical islands await. This is one of New Zealand’s favourite summer destinations, with a vast array of beaches to sink into and pretty coastal towns to explore. Diving and snorkelling, magnificent forest and coastal trails, and important Maori heritage converge in the bay to craft an unmissable getaway in the northern tip of the country.

Stay

2-nights stay at The Sanctuary

We recommend

Sunset sail around the 144 islets

Bay of Islands

Auckland

Stay

1-night stay at Hilton Hotel Auckland

We recommend

Walk around New Zealand's tallest building

Sky Tower, Auckland

Rotorua

This charming town is a perfect base for unique cultural encounters and peculiar outdoor experiences. Head for Mitai Maori Village to glimpse war canoes gliding down rivers and bite into traditionally-prepared hangi. Further Maori experiences can be had Te Puia, where geysers rumble and myths and legends abound. Thermal pools and waterfalls, hot springs and technicolour sulphur lakes make for beguiling scenes and unique spa opportunities, for a truly relaxing escape.

Stay

2-nights stay at Peppers on the Point

We recommend

Half-day scenic heli to White Island

Lake Taupo

New Zealand’s largest lake, sitting in the caldera of an ancient – and rather violent – volcano, is an unequalled beauty spot, with a vast range of activities and spectacles to indulge in. Thermal waters cascade over terraces at Wairakei, forming thermal pools to sink into. The Huka Falls make a dramatic display, forcing the river through a narrow chasm that falls ferociously at its end. Take a kayak to the lake for a truly serene adventure and head for the gargantuan Maori rock carvings that tower above the water line.

Stay

2-nights stay at Hilton Hotel Lake Taupo

We recommend

Sail to the Maori Rock Carvings

Lake Taupo

Wellington

A big city with a small footprint, Wellington packs a punch in its diverse offerings and vibrant atmosphere. Slung along a pretty crescent bay, this university city mixes a youthful, creative spirit with esteemed museums and galleries, fine-dining scene and harbourside charms. Independent roasteries and microbreweries attract loyal devotees, but to live like a real local, don’t miss the chance to explore Miramar and Lyall Bay. Just outside of the city centre, these areas offer famed local eateries, gorgeous beaches and one tempting laid-back lifestyle.

Stay

1-night stay at QT Wellington

We recommend

Te Papa Museum of New Zealand

Wellington Waterfront

Marlborough Sounds

A vast collection of hidden coves and island chains await discovery in Marlborough Sounds. The area is an ancient waterlogged valley, a delight for long hikes that afford wildlife encounters and glorious views across the jutting peaks and silky waters. Jump on a water taxi to best explore the network of coves and islands.

Stay

1-night stay at Bay of Many Coves Retreat

We recommend

Cloudy Bay wine tasting

Kaikoura

This pretty peninsula faces out to sea, backdropped by a vast chain of snow-capped mountains. Marine life is easily spottable, from seals to whales, as you follow trails along the beautiful coastline. This area is the definition of remote, for a truly back-to-nature experience.

Stay

1-night stay at Hapuku Lodge

We recommend

Go whale-watching

Kaikoura Coast

Christchurch

Following a devastating earthquake in 2011, Christchurch has proven itself a city of boundless energy and remarkable renewal. There’s a palpable grassroots, community-focussed atmosphere, where the gaps left by fallen buildings are filled with green spaces, pop-up events and art installations. This unique landscape, still imbued with European heritage and plenty of green walkways, is thriving; shops, cafes, bars and restaurants are brimming with locals and visitors alike, with one of the most welcoming atmospheres you can find.

Stay

1-night stay at The George Hotel

We recommend

Go punting on the Avon River

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Lake Wanaka

As postcard-perfect a setting as you could wish for, Wanaka is a ridiculously charming town, sandwiched between piercing mountains and the long expanse of its eponymous lake. It’s quickly become a serious contender to Queenstown, a lesser-known and therefore more peaceful getaway on the beguiling shores of the lake.

Stay

1-night stay at Edgewater Hotel

We recommend

Kayaking or paddling

Lake Wanaka

Queenstown

New Zealand’s premiere adventure destination is a playground of thrills. Known as the home of bungee jumping, there’s plenty of adrenaline-junkie activities to throw yourself into; skydiving, canyon swinging, river rafting and skiing to name just a few. But if near-death experiences aren’t your thing, fear not. Day trips to the breathtaking landscapes of Fiordland and Milford Sound offer more relaxed excursions with vineyards to visit en route. Back on the shores of pretty Lake Wanaka, the town is buzzing with friendly locals and a diverse host of bars and restaurants.

Stay

2-nights stay at Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel

We recommend

Fiordland scenic heli-trip

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Best of New Zealand

Auckland to Christchurch

Experience urban Kiwi life in Auckland, witness the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, visit Queenstown – New Zealand’s adventure capital – and much more.
From £3549
Per person for 15 days