Map of Premium New Zealand Encompassed including New Zealand

Journey through New Zealand’s most awe-inspiring landscapes

Dramatic peaks, glittering glaciers and geothermal wonders await on a 17-day Premium adventure through New Zealand’s north and south islands. With a passionate local leader to guide the way, you’ll experience a landscape that has been shaped by the elements over thousands of years. Taste wine at picturesque cellar doors, set out in search of kiwis, explore the mythical world of Hobbiton and explore the volcanic landscapes of Tongariro. From the pure spectacle of Milford Sound to the simmering geysers of Rotorua, this adventure is sure to blow you away.

Flexi Pledge

Travel local with peace of mind - $99 deposits, the ability to change your dates or to cancel up until 24 hours before departure.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Auckland, New Zealand
Finish
Queenstown, New Zealand
Destination
New Zealand
Style
Premium
Code
PHPZC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 11

Why you'll love this trip

premium accommodation

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

premium experiences

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

premium knowledge

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

  • Uncover the geothermal wonders of Rotorua during a guided visit to Te Puia, home to hot springs, geysers, mud pools, a Maori art gallery and a kiwi conservation centre.

  • Sip your way around Waiheke Island off the shores of Auckland, visiting three unique wineries to learn about their production methods and sample their goods.

  • Be amazed by Tongariro National Park as you spend the day exploring its volcanic landscapes, then retire to your feature stay chateau, surrounded by the stunning peaks of the park.

  • Experience some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery with an overnight scenic boat cruise on Milford Sound.

  • Set off on a kiwi spotting adventure for your chance to see the rarest of the five species of kiwi, the Rowi, which lives in Ōkarito forest on the West Coast.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. Despite rigorous planning and research, new itineraries can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a welcome surprise, but every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that is what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • The diversity of the seasons here makes for incredible scenery, but the weather in this region can be unpredictable. It’s best to wear layers at all times of the year in case conditions change during the day. At night the temperature can really drop, so bring your warm clothes.

  • There are walking opportunities throughout this trip. We recommend you bring good quality walking shoes if you're keen to enjoy a hike - or two!

Itinerary

Welcome to the North Island! Your adventure begins in Auckland, New Zealand’s most populated city, fringed with beaches, harbours, volcanoes and farmland. You’ll be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. A welcome meeting will take place here at 6pm, where you’ll meet your local leader and the other travellers joining you on this adventure. If you arrive in Auckland with time to spare, you may like to uncover the story of New Zealand rugby during an interactive All Blacks experience where you’ll learn about the heritage of the sport and find out what it takes to wear the famous black jersey. After your meeting, get to know your group over dinner at an atmospheric local bistro in the heart of the city, championing New Zealand producers.
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Auckland - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Leave the bustle of the big city behind and head offshore to Waiheke Island, famed for its sandy beaches and glorious wine. Board a ferry from Auckland – if you’re really lucky you may even see dolphins or orcas along the way. The day will be spent sipping your way around the island, stopping off at three unique wineries to learn about their production methods, and of course tasting the goods yourself. You’ll also enjoy an included lunch on the island, not to mention a few scenic drives with plenty of opportunities for beautiful photos. Return to Auckland in the late afternoon with an evening free for your own discoveries of the city.
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Waiheke Island - Day Trip by Ferry
  • Waiheke Island - Winery Visits with Wine Tasting & Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast this morning, hit the road and drive to the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, an extensive underground network of tunnels and caverns decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and luminous glow worms. Join a local expert for an in-depth tour of the Ruakuri Cave, descending a spiral entrance to a magical world below. Discover fascinating limestone formations, hear the roar of subterranean waterfalls and learn about the glow worms that light up the caves. Continue to Hobbiton, where the epic Lord of the Rings movies were shot. Take a tour around the set with a local guide, hear stories about the production of these iconic films, explore Hobbit holes and enjoy a drink at the mythical Green Dragon Inn. Finally, travel to Rotorua, where you will spend the evening.
Accommodation
  • Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hobbiton - Visit to the Lord of the Rings Movie Set
  • Hobbiton - Drink at the Green Dragon
  • Waitomo - Ruakuri Glow Worm Cave Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 5 hours.
Wake up in Rotorua to the unmistakable scent of sulphur coming off the town’s many geothermal pools. After breakfast, pay a visit to Te Puia, over 70 hectares of land within the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, dotted with hot springs, mud pools and geysers. A local expert will take you on a walk to learn about these geothermal wonders, including Pohutu, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere. Next experience the Kiwi Conservation Centre where you’ll have the chance to observe the beloved nocturnal bird in a darkened enclosure and learn about the sanctuary’s efforts to protect them. Swing by the Ahua Gallery and watch culturally significant Maori carving and weaving demonstrations. Lunch is a treat today - a traditional hangi feast cooked beneath the earth in traditional style. In the evening, perhaps consider an optional tour of the geysers by night.
Accommodation
  • Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rotorua - Visit to Te Puia Geothermal Area with Local Guide & Hangi Lunch
  • Rotorua - Ahua Gallery & Kiwi Conservation Centre
Optional Activities
  • Rotorua - Polynesian Spa - from - NZD34
  • Rotorua - Redwoods Treetop Walkway - NZD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Say goodbye to Rotorua and drive on to Taupo, sitting on the shores of Lake Taupo – the largest lake in New Zealand. The rest of the day is yours to discover all that this picturesque part of the country has to offer. One of the best ways to enjoy the lake is to get on its waters – speak to your leader to find out about the sustainable sailing and cruising options available to you this afternoon. You may like to try your hand at fishing, or perhaps take a flight over the spectacular Tongariro National Park.
Accommodation
  • Millenium Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Taupo - Flight across Tongariro National Park - from - NZD425
  • Taupo - Lake Taupo Fly Fishing Experience - from - NZD200
  • Taupo - Lake Taupo Sailing Excursion - NZD59
  • Taupo - Lake Taupo Sunset Cruise - NZD69
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Today will be spent uncovering the natural wonders of Tongariro National Park, as spiritually significant as it is spectacular. Your leader will guide you on a scenic two-hour walk to the Taranaki Falls, an impressive 20-metre cascade tumbling over volcanic cliffs. Then it’s time for a ride with a view – take the Sky Waka gondola up the top of Mt Ruapehu and be treated to some truly unforgettable scenes on the way. Later in the day, head to your accommodation at the Powderhorn Chateau and settle in. The chateau provides a stunning base for the evening, surrounded by the soaring peaks of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro – the views are simply unbeatable.
Accommodation
  • Powderhorn Chateau or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tongariro National Park - Sky Waka Gondola Ride to Summit of Mt Ruapehu
  • Tongariro National Park - Taranaki Falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 2 hours. Please note the Sky Waka Gondola is closed for maintenance in October and November.
This morning, make tracks for Wellington, New Zealand’s trendy capital city. After settling in, hop aboard a wonderful catamaran and get to know the city on an evening cruise around Wellington Harbour. Return to land after an hour and join your group for dinner at a fantastic waterfront restaurant – the perfect chance to reminisce about your North Island adventure.
Accommodation
  • Comfortable hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wellington - Evening Cruise on Wellington Harbour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 5 hours.
This morning leave the North Island behind and board a flight from Wellington to Christchurch in the South Island. Characterised by snow capped peaks, giant glaciers and shimmering lakes, there’s no denying this is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. A meeting will take place in the afternoon at 5pm to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next leg of your adventure, followed by dinner at a local restaurant which encapsulates the culinary culture of the region. Learn about the ethos behind this unique dining spot and enjoy a delicious three course meal which celebrates local producers.
Accommodation
  • Christchurch City Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Christchurch - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s flight is approximately 1 hour and is unaccompanied by your leader. As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group will likely change today. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary. We suggest you attend, as this is also a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers. It’s important that you attend the welcome meeting as your new group leader will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Take a morning stroll with your leader around some of the landmarks of Christchurch. Next set off for Punakaiki, driving through Arthur’s Pass and Castle Hill – the spectacular mountain scenery may look familiar, as parts of The Chronicles of Narnia movie were filmed against this dramatic backdrop. After lunch in Moana, enjoy a short walk at Lake Brunner, the largest lake in the northwestern South Island of New Zealand. Spend the afternoon in Greymouth, stopping into a boutique studio to learn about the prized west coast jade known locally as Pounamu (Greenstone). Then continue to Monteith's Brewery, considered the original home of New Zealand craft brewing, for a tour and tasting. Arrive at Punakaiki Resort by late afternoon. Situated in Paparoa National Park, the resort is adjacent to the beautiful Punakaiki beach and the magnificent Pancake Rocks and Blowholes - the perfect spot to reflect and relax.
Accommodation
  • Punakaiki Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Greymouth - Monteith's Brewery Tour & Tasting
  • Greymouth - Pounamu (Greenstone) Studio Visit
  • Christchurch - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Lake Brunner - Nature Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 5 hours.
After breakfast, explore the Punakaiki Rocks and Blowhole before the drive to Franz Josef. Along the way, stretch your legs at the charming west coast town of Hokitika, and enjoy an exhilarating treetop adventure on a walk through the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. In the afternoon, take a private ranger-guided tour of the West Coast Wildlife Centre, home of the official breeding programme for the world's rarest kiwi, the Rowi. Also keep an eye out for tuatara, a reptile endemic to New Zealand. Arrive at your Franz Josef accommodation by evening.
Accommodation
  • Rainforest Retreat Deluxe Tree Hut or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hokitika - West Coast Treetops Walk
  • Franz Josef - West Coast Wildlife Centre Visit with Ranger
  • Punakaiki - Rocks & Blowhole Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 4 hours.
Join your leader for a guided walk to see the icy wonderland created by the Franz Josef Glacier, one of the steepest glaciers in New Zealand. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you may like to join an optional heli-hiking tour and get even closer to this incredible glacier. Other optional activities include kayaking, a scenic cruise on Lake Mapourika or a soak in the hot tubs at Franz Josef.
Accommodation
  • Rainforest Retreat Deluxe Tree Hut or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Franz Josef - Glacier View Walk
Optional Activities
  • Franz Josef - Lake Mapourika Scenic Cruise - NZD155
  • Franz Josef - Waiho Hot Tubs - from - NZD69
  • Franz Josef - Heli-Hiking Tour - from - NZD485
  • Franz Josef - Kayaking Excursion - from - NZD130
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Franz Josef for the picturesque resort town of Wanaka, the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, located in the Otago region. Stop along the way at Makorora and visit the Aspiring Biodiversity Trust, an organisation which strives to protect and restore indigenous biodiversity. After lunch, take a guided walk with a local ornithologist and ecologist to enjoy the vibrant hue of the aptly named Blue Pools that feed the Makarora River. Keep an eye out for endangered birds as you learn about how the Aspiring Biodiversity Trust is working to reduce predators and save some of New Zealand’s rarest species. Arrive in Wanaka by later afternoon, and settle in to your home for the next two nights - a homestead built on the site of a former sheep station. Located next to the resplendent Wanaka Station Park on the shores of Lake Wanaka, and a short stroll from Wanaka township, you'll be perfectly placed to enjoy all this charming town has to offer.
Accommodation
  • Wanaka Homestead (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Makaroa - Aspiring Biodiversity Trust Lunch
  • Makaroa - Guided Walk to the Blue Pools with Local Ornithologist
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 4.5 hours.
Enjoy a sleep in or perhaps start your day with a hike up Mt Iron for a view over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding peaks. Today's experience is one of the real highlight's of your trip. Central Otago is a region well known for food and wine, and today you will visit the spectacular Criffel Station for a chef-guided tasting and foraging tour, followed by a delicious lunch, washed down with some excellent Central Otago wines.
Accommodation
  • Wanaka Homestead (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wanaka - Criffel Station Foraging & Lunch Experience with Local Chef
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Depart Wanaka for the drive to Te Anau. Along the way, take in a spectacular scenic drive across the Crown Range and by the shores of Lake Wakatipu. After lunch, continue on to your embarkation point for an overnight cruise surrounded by the spectacular beauty of Milford Sound, also known by its Te Reo (Maori) name Piopiotahi. Aboard your purpose-built vessel, enjoy a full length journey of the fjord out to the Tasman Sea, with the possibility to see wildlife such as seals, penguins and dolphins. You will also have access to a specialist guide with information on the fjord's history and natural environment. For those who are keen, kayaking and/or small boat tours allow a truly immersive experience of this special place. Finish your day with a delicious three-course dinner before settling down in your cosy cabin.
Accommodation
  • Milford Sound Overnight Cruise (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Milford Sound - Overnight Boat Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 3 hours. If you have booked a single supplement please be advised that tonight's accommodation aboard the cruise ship is a single supplement exception and you will be accommodated in twin share cabins.
After a leisurely onboard breakfast surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery, you’ll disembark and travel to Queenstown with plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs along the way. After another stop in pretty Te Anau for lunch, you’ll arrive in plenty of time to check into your boutique hotel in Queenstown.
Accommodation
  • Kamana Lakehouse Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 3.5 hours.
Today is the grand finale of your trip. In the morning, take an exhilarating jetboat ride on the Kimi Akau (Shotover River), deep into the spectacular Shotover Canyons. Speeding over water as shallow as 10cm, this is an amazing white water experience, operated by the Ngai Tahu, Maori people who have a centuries-old connection with this land. Continue on for a leader-led walk through historical Arrowtown, then enjoy a wine and cheese pairing at Gibbston Valley. Toast the end of your journey with a New Zealand-inspired gin & tonic or glass of Otago wine at a bar & restaurant with arguably the most spectacular views in all of Queenstown.
Accommodation
  • Kamana Lakehouse Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Queenstown - Shotover River Jetboat Experience
  • Gibbston Valley - Cheese & Wine Pairing
  • Arrowtown - Leader-led walk
  • Queenstown - Farewell Aperitivo
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Total driving time is 1.5 hours.
Your New Zealand adventure ends this morning after breakfast. As this trip spends very little time in Queenstown, we recommend you spend an extra day or two here if you want to experience all the town has to offer. Your booking agent will be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

16 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Catamaran, Ferry, Jet Boat, Cruise boat, Plane

Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights), Resort (3 nights), Homestead (2 nights), Cruise boat (1 night)

Included activities

  • Auckland - Welcome Dinner
  • Waiheke Island - Day Trip by Ferry
  • Waiheke Island - Winery Visits with Wine Tasting & Lunch
  • Hobbiton - Visit to the Lord of the Rings Movie Set
  • Hobbiton - Drink at the Green Dragon
  • Waitomo - Ruakuri Glow Worm Cave Visit
  • Rotorua - Visit to Te Puia Geothermal Area with Local Guide & Hangi Lunch
  • Rotorua - Ahua Gallery & Kiwi Conservation Centre
  • Tongariro National Park - Sky Waka Gondola Ride to Summit of Mt Ruapehu
  • Tongariro National Park - Taranaki Falls
  • Wellington - Evening Cruise on Wellington Harbour
  • Christchurch - Welcome Dinner
  • Greymouth - Monteith's Brewery Tour & Tasting
  • Greymouth - Pounamu (Greenstone) Studio Visit
  • Christchurch - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Lake Brunner - Nature Walk
  • Hokitika - West Coast Treetops Walk
  • Franz Josef - West Coast Wildlife Centre Visit with Ranger
  • Punakaiki - Rocks & Blowhole Visit
  • Franz Josef - Glacier View Walk
  • Makaroa - Aspiring Biodiversity Trust Lunch
  • Makaroa - Guided Walk to the Blue Pools with Local Ornithologist
  • Wanaka - Criffel Station Foraging & Lunch Experience with Local Chef
  • Milford Sound - Overnight Boat Cruise
  • Queenstown - Shotover River Jetboat Experience
  • Gibbston Valley - Cheese & Wine Pairing
  • Arrowtown - Leader-led walk
  • Queenstown - Farewell Aperitivo

Premium Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Premium New Zealand Encompassed trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

From 01 September 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips will be required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Excludes Australia, New Zealand and Cook Islands tours. Read details here.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the single supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender:
- Day 14 - Milford Sound Cruise
Please also note that due to the small properties we use there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

Essential trip information

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