Destination Overview

New Zealand

New Zealand, an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is split into two main islands, the North and the South Island. Sunny New Zealand has elegant restaurants and leading hotels. As a nation surrounded by the sea there is lots of seafood all year-round. The country is also well-known for world-class meat and dairy and offers a unique variety of flora and fauna like nowhere else in the world.

Capital

Wellington

Language

English

Time

GMT +12

Religion

Christianity

Currency

NZ Dollar

Population

5 Million

International Airports

Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

Weather

New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. New Zealand's climate is dominated by two main geographical features: the mountains and the sea. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, inland alpine areas of the South Island can be very cold in winter.

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Top Highlights

Outdoor Activities

New Zealand is a true adventure playground for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking to canoeing and mountain biking to jet boating, bungee jumping, skiing, parachuting, zorbing and canyon swings, there's everything here the outdoor and adventure heart desires. In any season, you will always find acitivties in New Zealand. No activity is too fancy to be ignored by the "Kiwis" and to have already been tried out.

Cultural Explorer

The culture of the indigenous people, the Maori, is a an integral part of New Zealand society. The centre of Maori culture is Rotorua, where you can gain insight into tradition and history, although there are also many other places in the country where Maori guided tours and excursions are offered.

Culinary Delights

New Zealand also has a lot to offer in terms of culinary experiences. Enjoy the high-quality cuisine derived from a mix of European, Asian and Pacific influences and try the exquisite wines from the Marlborough and Wairarapa regions.

New Zealand Journeys

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Top Places to Visit

Bay of Islands

Paihia is a great place to explore all of the Bay of Islands and one can swim with dolphins, walk or drive to the Haruru Falls, or learn about early New Zealand history where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed. From Paihia you can take the ferry to Russell, the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. The town is rich in history with a variety of shops and services that do not spoil the old charm. Cape Reinga is the northwestern most tip of the Aupouri Peninsula and generally considered the separation marker between the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. From the lighthouse it is possible to watch the tidal race, as the two seas clash to create unsettled waters just off the coast.

Marlborough Sounds

An extensive network of sea-drowned valleys created by a combination of land subsidence and rising sea levels at the north of the South Island of New Zealand. According to Māori mythology, the sounds are the prows of the sunken waka (canoe) of Aoraki. Covering some 4,000 km² of sounds, islands, and peninsulas, the Marlborough Sounds lie at the South Island’s north-easternmost point, between Tasman Bay in the west and Cloudy Bay in the south-east. The almost fractal coastline has 1/5 of the length of New Zealand’s coasts.

Fox & Franz Glaciers

The Franz Josef is a 12 km long glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Together with the Fox Glacier 20 km to the south, it is unique in descending from the Southern Alps to less than 300 meters above sea level, amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest. The area surrounding the two glaciers is part of Te Wahipounamu, a World Heritage Site park. The river emerging from the glacier terminal of Franz Josef is known as the Waiho River.

Dunedin

One of New Zealand’s oldest and most important settler cities with a strong Scottish heritage. It is the doorway to the Otago Peninsula and the Southern Scenic Route along the south eastern coast. Many Dunedin buildings date back to the gold rush. First Church, University of Otago’s clock tower, Larnach’s castle and Otago Boys High School were built in the late 1800s, and the Dunedin railway station was completed in 1906. Today the station remains, fully restored to its former glory.

Milford Sound & Doubtful Sound

The majestic Fiords are located only a handful of hours from Queenstown. Milford Sound is a world-renowned natural wonder. Nowhere else in Fiordland do the mountains stand so tall and straight out of the sea. Luxuriant rainforest clings to sheer rock walls and waterfalls tumble hundreds of meters to the sea below. Doubtful Sound is three times longer and a staggering ten times larger than Milford with equally spectacular scenery and an abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna.

Coromandel Peninsula

Renowned worldwide for its natural beauty – misty rainforests and pristine golden beaches, the Coromandel is blessed with hundreds of natural hideaways, making it an ideal place to slow down, relax and unwind. Dig your own hot spa pool in the sand at Hot Water Beach, explore the Coromandel Forest Park, or cruise the islands by boat.

Tongariro National Park

New Zealand’s first national park, Tongariro was gifted to the New Zealand people in 1887 by the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe and is now a World Heritage area. The Tongariro Crossing is regarded as one of the best one-day walks in the world. The 80,000ha Park is enjoyed and explored year-round by hikers, skiers, botanists, geologists and nature lovers alike.

Queenstown

The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting and fantastically attractive. It’s the place to source almost any kind of adventure, including bungee, jet boating, horse trekking, rafting and river surfing. It’s also a destination for luxury experiences – gourmet food and wine, spa treatments and leisurely games of golf.

Kaikoura

This place is located between breathtaking mountain scenery and the Pacific Ocean. There are a lot of alternatives to encounter the native fauna. A whale-watch tour can take you to see Minke, Humpback, Southern Right and Sperm whales mixing with dolphins and Orcas. You can also go for a walk to see fur seal colonies and watch big seabirds such as Mollyhawks, Albatross and Petrels.

Wellington

New Zealand’s capital is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Wellington is also a major travel crossroad between North and South Island. The main attractions are the Te Papa museum, the Mount Victoria Lookout and the Cable Car.

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