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New Zealand tours and companies for your big Kiwi adventure 2021

Explore the Land of the Long White Cloud led by the best guides in the country.

Adventurous activities such as bungee jumping and canyoning blend with a landscape of mountains, volcanoes, rivers and glaciers in the captivating country that is New Zealand.

Ideal for relaxation, road trips and adrenaline fixes, whatever your flavour, New Zealand has something for everyone.

Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up the top tour companies and tours that can help you savour the experience.

Our top 3 sites to book New Zealand tours

Friends ride mountain bikes through the Mount Cook National Park.

1. Contiki

Explore the nation from top to bottom with an array of in-depth tours each armed with free time add-ons such as canyon swinging and ice climbing so you leave with no regrets.

  • Best for: Youths aged 18–35 years old
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: The 'Sweet As' South tour is a traveller’s favourite that focuses on the South Island and its iconic sites, such as Milford Sound and optional adrenaline-pumping activities, such as the canyon swing in Queenstown.

See Contiki's New Zealand tours

Champagne Pool, Wai-O-Tapu, Rotorua, New Zealand

2. Haka Tours

With New Zealand tour names such as “Adrenalin Junkie Tour” and “Dirt Seeker MTB Tour”, these experiences are for those seeking all the best thrills and spills.

  • Best for: Adventure and thrill seekers aged 18+
  • Cost: Budget to mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: The Legendary NZ Tour is a crowd pleaser that blitzes across the North and South Islands over 21 days. Sandy beaches, calm lakes and Lord of the Rings movie set backdrops pepper the itinerary, which isn’t without it’s heart-pumping activities including the chance to abseil, jump off the highest commercial waterfall drop in the world and hike mountains for views over the Southern Alps.

Boat on a lake in New Zealand with mountains in the background

3. Scenic

All-inclusive luxury comes standard with your Scenic tour. That’s stylish accommodation, a wide range of dining options and exclusive activities such as America’s Cup Sailing experiences. Tours of New Zealand feature a combination of land, boat and air transportation to whisk you away in the most memorable way.

  • Best for: Luxury tourists and families
  • Cost: High-end
  • Our favourite itinerary: Scenic Splendour carries you across the landscape with little physical activity, making it ideal for all ages. In it, you’ll dine on an authentic hangi dinner, stay overnight in award-winning wineries, marvel over Franz Josef Glacier and be enchanted by glow worms. Optional extras are available for more exceptional experiences such as flying over volcanoes and glaciers.

Other companies that offer tours of New Zealand

  • Stray Travel
  • Wild Kiwi
  • Adventure Junkies
  • Adventure South

New Zealand is broken up into two islands, the North Island and the South Island. In the North you’ll find Auckland, WETA Studios/Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wellington. In the South is Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Lake Tekapo and Milford Sound.

Most people choose to focus their holiday on one or the other, although it’s possible to see and do it all with enough time as the islands are connected by ferry.

North Island

New Zealand’s North Island is the choice for Lord of the Rings fanatics, volcanic encounters such as mud pools and crater hikes and uniquely Kiwi sports like Zorbing which can only be done in the North.

Although glow worms can be seen in the South Island, they’re more famous in the North in Waitomo due to its extensive cave network.

South Island

When people say New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world, they’re really talking about the South Island. It’s where Queenstown and its bevy of activities like canyon swinging, white water rafting, skiing and glacier hiking are.

North to South (or vice versa)

Is FOMO getting the better of you? An all-encompassing North and South Island tour lets you see and do it all (or at least the important highlights) so you can leave feeling confident you can tick New Zealand off your bucket list. That, or use it as a taster for a more in-depth trip next time round!

How long do I need in New Zealand?

This depends on how much you want to see. Remember that although New Zealand is a relatively small country, driving times between destinations can take a while as much of the country is mountainous and roads are windy.

  • 3-5 days: Stick to just one city or small region. For example, Auckland or the Coromandel Peninsula. You’ll be tight on time if you want to see the best of both.
  • 5-7 days: See a small region, such as the northern end of the north island or the central region of the South Island. For example, you’ll have time go to Queenstown, Wanaka and a side trip to Milford Sound.
  • 10-14 days: Explore either the north or South Island. While you won’t be able to see everything, you’ll have enough time to get a good taste of what each island has to offer.
  • 14+ days: With two weeks, you’ll be able to split your time half-and-half between the islands, but you won’t be able to see everything they have to offer. This will give you enough time to tick off must-see things like Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Milford Sound and the glaciers.

Latest deals for New Zealand tours, flights and more


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Feature image: Contiki

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