It's our backyard.  We know it like the back of our hand.  Surely with Google Maps, a sense of humour and an open mind, planning a New Zealand holiday is easy?

But what if you're looking for more?  Experiences and access that you can't get by just showing up on the day. What if your days are already booked solid so that planning an itinerary, reading reviews, checking availability, cross checking prices and paying multiple suppliers falls into the too hard basket. What if you prefer to have someone arrange a holiday for you so you can just turn up and enjoy it.

Everyone plans their holidays differently and travels differently.  In this guide we set out the ways you can experience New Zealand and find the style of travel that works best for you.


What's your travel style?


Personalised Self Drive Itineraries

Personalised Self Drive Itineraries are well planned holidays that still allow you freedom and flexibility.  Getting up when you're ready, driving at your pace, stopping on a whim for morning tea, spotting the vineyard a colleague recommended, a quick nine holes at a sleepy golf course, or staying with an old friend.  A personalised itinerary allows you to focus on your interests - not what a tour company thinks will interest you.

With a destination that we are all so familiar with, what are the benefits of a planned itinerary?  Work from a template so you don't reinvent the wheel.  Allow enough travel time and avoid missing out on "must see" experiences that your research didn't uncover or that needed to be pre-booked. Avoid disappointment when out of date website pictures flatter the accommodation you've booked online.

Read on below about How to Plan Your Personalised Self Drive Itinerary.

Premium Escorted Group Tours

Escorted group tours are a popular way to experience a new destination, especially for those who prefer not to drive. But for New Zealanders travelling through New Zealand, what advantages does this style of travel offer?

For many, the appeal is the value (and memories) a quality tour leader adds to a well structured itinerary. New Zealanders who have travelled overseas with trusted partners such as APT Touring, Trafalgar and Globus will find it an easy transition to their New Zealand itineraries.

Premium coaches designed with large viewing windows, comfortable seats and with personal space in mind allow you to focus on the scenery rather than the roads. Whether you can't drive, or prefer not to, this form of transport can open up an itinerary of New Zealand that you may not have thought possible.

Read on about How to Choose Your Escorted Group Tour


Do It Yourself Itineraries

A Do It Yourself Itinerary is how many New Zealanders see the world, and how many of us will explore New Zealand. Whether it's renting a house through Airbnb and heading out on day trips, or renting a car and booking accommodation on Expedia as you go, this style of travel offers the greatest freedom and flexibility.

Doing It Yourself often appeals to the more "easy going" traveller who is often not pressed for time. Happy to compromise or settle for the occasional "that's ok, we'll do that another time" the Do It Yourself approach allows for exploration, tempered with the occasional disappointment of missing out on something that needed to be planned ahead.

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Luxury Lodges and Premium Property Holidays

New Zealand offers some of the world's most highly regarded luxury properties.  Whether you're planning a special occasion, a weekend away or a comprehensive self-drive tour, New Zealand's luxury lodges and premium properties will be a highlight.

Holiday packages can be tailored to your needs.  Whether you need a vehicle, want to include activities such as wine tours and scenic helicopter flights, these can be accommodated.

View Luxury Lodges & Retreats
Ski Holiday Packages

Ski Holiday Packages

With limited international travel options while our borders remain closed, a ski holiday is one option to embrace the New Zealand winter - rather than escape it.

Holiday itineraries to our ski fields can be conveniently packaged to include as much or as little as you need.  From accommodation, rental car and flights through to lessons, ski passes and gear hire.

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Planning for your Travel Style

Once you've found your preferred travel style for your holiday around New Zealand you've taken an important step in simplifying the planning process.

If you're looking for a personalised self drive itinerary, the next step is to think about what is important to you, and we provide more guidance on that below.  Is an Escorted Group Tour more appropriate for you?  Fixed departures, set itineraries and tour lengths are all important considerations that we discuss further below.  Want to Do It Yourself?  Be sure to avoid the common mistakes and feel free to let us know if we can help.

How to Plan Your Personalised Self Drive Tour of New Zealand

Once you've decided that a Self Drive Itinerary is the right style of travel for you, the next step is to narrow down the possibilities.

Where to Go – Our Templates

Deciding where to go (and where not to) can be the most time consuming part of planning an itinerary.  Allowing enough time in each town or city and allowing enough driving time are important considerations.

A handy shortcut in planning your itinerary is to start with one of our flexible templates.  With options to start and finish in different cities and itineraries of different lengths, these templates will get the ball rolling.

Our specialist wholesale partners are still updating prices and itineraries so please treat all pricing and inclusions as indicative.

Explore Template Itineraries
Explore Template Itineraries

Indulge Your Passions

New Zealand itineraries can be about more than just ticking towns and tourist sites off a list.  A properly planned itinerary is an opportunity to incorporate your hobbies or passions.

When exploring our template itineraries, select an "Interest" from the search tool to narrow down the results.  Options include:

  • Ski holidays
  • Golf tours
  • Food and wine
  • National parks
  • Walking and hiking
  • Wildlife and nature

Our specialist wholesale partners are still updating prices and itineraries so please treat all pricing and inclusions as indicative.

Explore Template Itineraries

Embrace Flexibility

One of the concerns that our clients often have when working together on an itinerary is that they'll be forced into a structured product that doesn't meet their needs.

With Personalised Self Drive Itineraries, the most important aspect is that it is personalised - embrace flexibility.

Include spare time to explore and catch up with friends (and allow for a sleep in the next morning).  Mix up the accommodation options - an itinerary doesn't need to be all 3, 4 or 5 star.  Keep things simple but mark a special occasion at one of New Zealand's luxury lodges.

Our specialist wholesale partners are still updating prices and itineraries so please treat all pricing and inclusions as indicative.

Explore Template Itineraries
Where to start

Where to start your tour

Part of the planning process will involve deciding where to start your tour of New Zealand .  This will be determined by factors such as what you are planning to see (North Island, South Island or both Islands) and how long you are planning to be away for.  Click on the cities below to review template tours starting from:

Queenstown - South Island

Queenstown - Nationwide

Auckland - North Island

Auckland - Nationwide

Wellington - Nationwide

Christchurch - South Island

Christchurch - Nationwide

Our specialist wholesale partners are still updating prices and itineraries so please treat all pricing and inclusions as indicative.

Explore Template Itineraries

Professional and Personalised Travel Documents

A key advantages of a planned itinerary is that we provide well organised documentation. The frustration of hunting through emails, trying to remember the name of a hotel you're sure you've booked and endless spreadsheets just melts away.

Once your itinerary is finalised you will receive from us:

  • A detailed day by day itinerary
  • Vouchers and contact details for accommodation and pre-booked attractions.
  • Helpful tips and recommendations

We also keep an eye on your itinerary before you leave so if there are any changes required we will contact you.

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Professional and Personalised Travel Documents

How to Choose Your Escorted Group Tour

Unlike personalised self drive tours, there are fewer moving parts when it comes to choosing your Escorted Group Tour.  With set departure dates, destinations and tour lengths making a decision is primarily about finding the right combination with the right tour company at a price that meets your budget.


Working with Travel Brands We Trust

Although we often see tour coaches travelling through New Zealand, we're more likely to join one in the UK & Europe or North America. With New Zealand's Border Restrictions in place, the travel brands we work with on international itineraries are turning their focus to New Zealand itineraries for New Zealanders.

If you're familiar with the style of a tour company, whether that be APT Touring, Globus, Trafalgar, Grand Pacific or AAT Kings a good starting point will be using a company you are familiar with for your New Zealand itinerary.

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Authentic Experiences

For our clients joining overseas Escorted Group Tours, one of the focuses we have seen from the travel brands is authentic experiences.  In Europe, this might mean stopping in a village and spending time with a local family to get a true sense of what life is like.

What does an authentic New Zealand experience look like for New Zealanders? In the South Island, examples include an afternoon with Angie and Stan Taylor at their farm, Morelea in Fairlie. In the North, lunch with Lance and Bridgette O'Sullivan on the dairy farm to talk horse racing and farming.

With a greater focus on New Zealand travel for New Zealanders we look forward to seeing even more interesting itineraries evolve.

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Authentic Experiences