It could be argued the most passionate advocates for visiting New Zealand are not actually Kiwis, Aussies are invariably the country’s loudest evangelists.
If you’ve been to the land of the long white cloud once, you’ve more than likely been back again and again and told plenty of people about how wonderful it is.
The thing that strikes you most about touring the North and South Islands is the diversity of experiences in such a compact space. Breathtaking alps and gorgeous wineries, mighty rivers and cosmopolitan cities, glaciers, lakes, geysers, incredible golf courses and ski fields – the land across the Tasman is a living highlight reel of attractions.
Its Maori culture is proudly celebrated and everywhere you go, you come into contact with that rich history.
Add the fact New Zealand is so close – if you live on the eastern seaboard you can literally have breakfast at home and lunch in Auckland – the people are warm and friendly and the lifestyle very familiar, and seriously, what’s not to love about the place?
If you have never been, a guided tour is the perfect way to make the most of your time and there’s no doubt, you will be stunned by what you see in such a short time. No endless stretches of road or airport-hopping to contend with, Aotearoa is laid out in front of you with endless accessible experiences.
Even just the names of iconic locations evoke a sense of awe – Milford Sound, the Bay of Islands, Fiordland, The Remarkables, Marlborough, Waiheke Island …
And here’s the thing – even if you have been to New Zealand before, there’s always more to discover, and a guided tour with Scenic will reveal hidden gems their local experts have uncovered for guests.
Exclusive Scenic Enrich and Scenic Freechoice activities directly connect you with this wonderland of nature and refined culture.
Enjoy exclusive treats like meeting the team from the Weta Workshop – the creative geniuses behind movies like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘King Kong’, explore the lighthouse at remote Cape Reinga, visit the picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo, enjoy a vintage car tour of Napier, feel the awe of the mighty Tane Mahuta kauri forests; there are so many rich experiences ahead of you on a tour of New Zealand.
There’s also delightful surprises like the French-influenced township of Akaroa – meaning ‘long harbour’ – that lies within an ancient volcano on the Banks Peninsula south-east of Christchurch.
Canterbury’s oldest town, this gorgeous place was settled by the French in 1840 and historians believe that this likely eventuality was what prompted the British to hasten the move toward securing the Treaty of Waitangi with Maori Chiefs. The French missed their chance to claim sovereignty by only a matter of months, arriving in Akaroa to see the Union Jack already flying.
Their long history in the region, however, remains deeply embedded today and there are even descendants of the first Europeans still living in the town. As you walk Akaroa’s streets lined with the delightful colonial architecture of the mid to late 1800s, keep an eye out for the Giant’s House high on the hill.
This local landmark could be the quirkiest building you’ll see anywhere. The work of local artist Josie Martin, this spectacular property of extravagant mosaics and beautiful terraced gardens will take your breath away.
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New Zealand is full of jaw-dropping surprises and here’s a sample of what to expect on your all-inclusive Scenic New Zealand tour.
Overnight cruise on Milford Sound
Delight in the majesty and serenity of Milford Sound after regular day visitors have departed and view the fiord and spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife, accompanied by a specialist nature guide.
Anchor overnight in a sheltered cove where you can explore in the vessels tender craft and kayaks. Or simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place.
As evening falls, enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared fresh by your onboard chef. Indulge in some star-gazing before retiring to your private cabin and awake in the morning to the spectacle of sunrise over magnificent Milford Sound.
Hobbiton Movie Set
Experience the real ‘Middle Earth’ during a visit to the Hobbiton movie set – the setting for The Shire – which featured in the Peter Jackson directed trilogies, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit with a behind-the-scenes exclusive look at how the magic happens.
The TranzAlpine is a unique coast-to-coast train journey that features GPS-triggered commentary at your seat via headphones, with informative displays and overhead HD video.
The train also features a cafe carriage offering a range of drinks, snacks and light meals and an open viewing carriage for views of the Southern Alps.
America’s Cup Sailing Experience
Sail on an authentic America’s Cup yacht and be part of the crew. Take the helm or simply sit back and enjoy the ride as you sail through Auckland’s beautiful harbour.
Traditional Māori Culture
While in Rotorua, learn of traditional Māori culture and participate in an authentic hāngi dinner – an experience not to be missed.
Discover the Bay Cruise
Discover the very best of the North Island’s ‘Bay of Islands’ on a premium cruise. With your expert Nature Guide on board, discover new facts and stories of the area as you interact with marine life and visit the iconic ‘Hole in the Rock’.
Akaroa Day Trip
Explore the historic French settlement set on a long harbour and surrounded by volcanic hills outside of Christchurch. Akaroa’s French influence is still evident today with descendants of the original settlers still living locally.
Tour of Larnach Castle and Garden
This superbly crafted building, built in 1871, showcases a unique collection of New Zealand antiques and history. Enjoy your guided tour of the castle and its beautiful surrounding gardens.
New Zealand destinations
From Cape Reinga to World Heritage-listed Fiordland National Park, the length and breadth of New Zealand is a wonder-in-waiting for you to discover.
New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland offers a myriad of opportunities, from sailing on an authentic America’s Cup yacht to exploring the wine and cuisine of Waiheke Island.
See it on Scenic’s 6-day ‘Bay of Islands’ tour.
Rotorua is best known for its steamy geothermal attractions, from its natural hot springs and spas to bubbling mud pools and mud baths, ideal for some much-needed relaxation and rejuvenation.
See it on Scenic’s 12-day ‘Northern Explorer’ from Auckland to Wellington.
Home to beautiful natural attractions with a strong link to heritage, why not go punting on the Avon River, take a tour of the Botanic Gardens or visit the International Antarctic Centre.
See it on Scenic’s 15-day ‘Royal New Zealand’ from Christchurch to Auckland
Head to Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine-growing region and enjoy a glass of its world-class and famed Sauvignon Blanc whilst you admire the views.
See it on Scenic’s 12-day ‘Southern Spectacular’ from Christchurch to Auckland.
Stand in wonder at Franz Josef Glacier, or experience the beauty of this natural alpine landscape from the air with a spectacular helicopter flight.
See it on Scenic’s 24-day ‘Ultimate New Zealand’ tour.
Find your sense of adventure in Queenstown, from enjoying a 4WD at Skippers Canyon, feeling exhilarated on the fast-paced Shotover Jet or ride the Skyline Gondola for incredible views.
See it on Scenic’s 9-day ‘Southern highlights’ tour.
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