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
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.
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.
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
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.
Hobbiton Tours: For the full movie set experience, you can't go past Hobbiton tours. Its located in Hobbiton on the North Island and includes the iconic "Movie Set" tour. Stick around for an Evening Banquet tour or make yours a special one with a private tour.
Discover New Zealand: For a more in-depth lay of the land, Discover New Zealand offers tours across the country and highlights the landscape locations from the films.
Viator: For tours as short at 70 minutes to as long as 2 days, Viator houses a range of tours throughout the country so you can pick and choose your favourites while exploring the nation your own way.
Best for glacier tours:
Stray Tours: Hit up Stray Tours' winter expeditions for gnarly treks on New Zealand's most famous glaciers.
G Adventures: Adventure is G Adventures' last name… literally! Hone in on its active offerings for thrills like hiking, biking, horseback riding and glacier trekking all in one tour package.
Viator: For day trips up to specific glaciers, Viator collects the best and lets you book up-to-the-wire. Tours include helicopter rides, heli hikes and kayak adventures near the glaciers.
Best for singles:
Contiki: Travel with like-minded souls aged 18 to 35 years old on adventure-filled itineraries.
G Adventures: With tour groups no larger than 16 people, expect tight friendships to be made on G Adventures tours.
Intrepid: People of all ages book Intrepid for its welcome atmosphere and adventurous mentality. Solo travellers are offered single supplements for a fee.
Best for winter and snow trips:
Haka Tours: Spend seven days on a snow safari, hopping between resorts. There's even a heli tour for those keen to explore backcountry.
Contiki: Plant yourself in Queenstown for a week to hone your skills on New Zealand's most renowned slopes.
Flying Kiwi: With a snow tour that's been top rated by National Geographic, expect unique accommodation, most meals and board and the chance to push the powder of four ski fields.
Popular New Zealand tour routes
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.
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.
Northern Choice: Wellington to Auckland from Contiki
Spend 10 days as a culture vulture, indulging in traditional dance and meals, biking picturesque tracks, climbing volcanic peaks and gazing upon imposing Kauri trees which stand 50 metres tall.
Tour company: Contiki
Best for: Youths, first-timers, those who love the great outdoors
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.
South Island Lick Tour from TourRadar
Lick the tip of the South Island's iceberg which hits Christchurch, MacKenzie Country, Queenstown, Wanaka and Franz Josef armed with a knowledgeable guide and enjoyable activities.
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!
Ultimate Explorer from Auckland from TourRadar
Highly rated by National Geographic, the Ultimate Explorer doesn't miss a beat capturing the landscape in all its glory from Fox Glacier and Abel Tasman National Park to Rotorua and Mount Cook.
Depending on your agenda, you could spend 3 to 7 days exploring a section of New Zealand, 10 days dedicated to one island or 14+ days taking in all the country has to offer.
Our pick: Best 5 day tour:
Queenstown Otago Rail Trail from TourRadar
When in Queenstown, the thing to do is be active and this 5-day cycling tour does just that, letting you explore the lay of the land on two wheels. It travels from Queenstown to Christchurch via Dunedin.
Tired of the Aussie ski fields? Searching for a fresh run? New Zealand is home to some of the Southern Hemisphere's best ski resorts and with Contiki you can hit the slopes with like-minded travellers, accommodation and meals all in tow.
Blaze across the country, starting in Auckland and ending in Christchurch, ticking off all the bucket-list items from the geysers and mud pools in Rotorua and the Church of the Good Shepherd to the waterfalls of Milford Sound and the glaciers of Franz Josef.
50% off deposit + Up to $500 OBC with Holland America cruises
Valid for travel on select dates in 2020-2021. Includes $25 beverage card for kids, complimentary pinnacle grill dinner and more. Destinations include Auckland, Sydney, Christchurch, Tasmania and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to $1,200 air credit + up to $500 OBC with Seabourn cruises
Valid for travel on select 2019 and 2020 voyages booked by 20 November 2019. Includes extra $1,000 shipboard credit for suite or penthouse bookings. Destinations include Auckland, London, Bali and more. T&Cs apply.
Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for Travel Weekly, Escape, Thomas Cook Magazine, Showpo, The Nibbler and Hostelworld. She was also the editor of kids magazine DMAG. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney and has visited over 50 countries (and counting). She has a passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge of travel and helping readers stretch their dollars while on holiday.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of major banks, insurers and product issuers.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product. You should consider whether the products featured on our site are appropriate for your needs and seek independent advice if you have any questions.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or "Advertisement" are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options and find the best option for you.
The identification of a group of products, as 'Top' or 'Best' is a reflection of user preferences based on current website data. On a regular basis, analytics drive the creation of a list of popular products. Where these products are grouped, they appear in no particular order.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.