(11 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Auckland, Taupo & Rotorua, Hawke's Bay, Christchurch & Arthur's Pass, Queenstown & Milford Sound
This private luxury tour of New Zealand is a perfect balance of the top destinations on the North and South islands. It includes the country's most incredible landscapes and scenic highlights, cultural and historical attractions, delicious food and wine, excursions such as a private helicopter flight to Milford Sound and a private cruise on Lake Taupo, and accommodation at the finest hotels and luxury lodges in New Zealand.
Begin on the North Island in Auckland, a cosmopolitan city built on volcanic hills overlooking scenic Waitemata Harbour. Stay at the city's best luxury hotel, which is on the waterfront and within walking distance of interesting neighborhoods and top restaurants. Also enjoy an excursion to beautiful Waiheke Island for an introduction to its relaxing lifestyle and unique blend of vineyards, villages and beaches.
Next, you will be transferred through the bucolic countryside to Rotorua. During touring in the area, experience highlights such as learning about Maori culture and the active geothermal landscape of the region at the Rotorua Museum, and seeing steam vents, colorful hot pools and mineral-encrusted terraces at the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.
Continue to Taupo and Huka Lodge, an acclaimed luxury lodge in a park-like setting along the Waikato River. During a private cruise on beautiful Lake Taupo, take in views of the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park and perhaps try fishing for the lake's abundant trout. Also enjoy time at leisure to relax at your lodge or walk along the river to Huka Falls. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange additional activities in the region, such as excursions to Hobbiton and other filming locations from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, visiting the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, a traditional Maori hangi lunch, kayaking or sailing on local lakes, fly fishing on local streams, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, hiking in Tongariro National Park and an exclusive helicopter excursion to White Island, an active marine volcano.
Continue to Hawke's Bay, a beautiful region of vineyards, orchards, rolling hills and golden beaches. Stay at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, an exclusive lodge on a vast ranch atop cliffs high above the sea. During private touring with your expert local guide, visit top local wineries and artisanal food shops, learn about Maori culture during a visit to a marae (Maori village), and tour Napier, a charming seaside town filled with Art Deco architecture. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange additional activities such as playing golf, biking through the vineyards, visiting a colony of gannet seabirds, a tour of the Cape Kidnappers sheep and cattle ranch, fly fishing on local streams and visiting a kiwi habitat in search of New Zealand's famous flightless birds.
Next, fly to Christchurch, the South Island's Garden City. Enjoy introductory touring in the city, and then transfer to Otahuna Lodge, a luxurious boutique hotel set in a historic mansion on expansive grounds. One day, enjoy a scenic ride aboard the renowned TranzAlpine train to Arthur's Pass National Park high in the Southern Alps.
Next, fly to Queenstown, a lakeside resort town that's the gateway to some of the most exciting and dramatic attractions in New Zealand. Enjoy private touring of the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, as well as the region's highly regarded wine country. Take in panoramas of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range en route to Blanket Bay, a legendary luxury lodge with outstanding views of the lake and the majestic Southern Alps. One day, take a spectacular private helicopter flight over the Alps to Milford Sound, one of New Zealand's most iconic sights, and land on a glacier high in the mountains. Another day, take a thrilling Dart River jet boat safari into the magnificent landscapes of Mount Aspiring National Park. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange additional activities in the region such as horseback riding, bungy (bungee) jumping, visiting filming locations used in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, hiking in the backcountry, visiting a sheep station and fly fishing on local streams.
This tour can easily be customized with additional days, activities or destinations.
Private arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night. Afternoon excursion to Waiheke Island
||Auckland – Rotorua – Taupo
Private tour of Rotorua and geothermal highlights en route to luxury lodge for 2 nights
Half-day private cruise on Lake Taupo with fishing
||Taupo – Hawke's Bay
Private transfer to luxury lodge for 2 nights with touring of Napier en route
Full-day private food, wine and culture tour of region
||Hawke's Bay – Christchurch
Private transfer to airport. Flight to Christchurch. Private city tour on arrival, then transfer to country lodge or city hotel for 2 nights
||Christchurch & Arthur's Pass or Akaroa
Full-day excursion on TranzAlpine train to Arthur's Pass or to Banks Peninsula and Akaroa
||Christchurch – Queenstown
Private transfer to airport. Flight to Queenstown. Private transfer to luxury lodge for 3 nights with touring of Queenstown and Arrowtown en route
||Queenstown & Milford Sound
Private helicopter excursion to Milford Sound including glacier landing
Morning jet boat safari on the Dart River
Private transfer to airport
||The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
||Per person (double occupancy)