Take the fjordlands of Norway, the grasslands of Mongolia, the geology of Iceland, the highlands of Scotland, the mountains of the Alps and the cuisine of the most creative chefs in the world blessed with extraordinary seasonal ingredients. Put all these things in a blender, add warmth and hospitality, exquisite lodges and genuine experiences and you have New Zealand.
Unashamedly outdoors, here you can ski, hike, fish, bike, buggy, ride, bungy and glide and all in the most breathtaking settings. We’ve travelled extensively throughout the country and we’ve cherry picked the best places to stay, interesting and insightful guides and rewarding experiences to make the most of your precious time.
Need to Know
– There are no direct flights from the UK but plenty of excellent airlines offer good flight connections either travelling eastwards or westwards via Los Angeles.
– Dwarfed by neighbouring Australia on any map, New Zealand is larger than you think. However, an excellent network of domestic airports complimented by more helicopters per head than any other country and good roads with plenty of excellent coffee shops to break up each journey, travel between places is very much part of your holiday.
– With the exact opposite seasons to Europe but with climate change whisking things up a little, it’s best to approach any visit to New Zealand with a sense of adventure. In February it should be blue skies, it may also rain. In winter you may need sun block. In spring and autumn you will find stunning flora and glorious fields of moss and lichen but you might need an umbrella. Bear in mind that travelling outside what is technically high season (mid-December-early March) will mean you can take advantage of much more modest rates.
Visa/ entry requirements
– Most nationalities (including UK and US citizens) must get a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before travel. It’s a straightforward, online application.
Events (festivals, wildlife migrations)
– From yacht races to surfing competitions, food and wine extravaganzas to musical celebrations, horse racing to car rallies, Australia’s events are big, bold and hugely enjoyable and upbeat affairs. They are a great opportunity not only to give your trip a focus but also to meet some of the enthusiasts involved. If you have a specific interest, let us know.
When to go:
Summer months are from December-March however as we say (see ‘Weather’), we consider New Zealand to be a year-round destination.
From £3,000 per person for two weeks in low season and upwards of £7,000-£10,000 per person for more luxurious trips.
Deborah Challinor, Isle of Tears – a fictional romance which gives a feel for the early interaction between Maori and European, from a female perspective – it provides some understanding of the late 19th Century, the Maori wars and life in a Maori community.
Clothes for all climates – it’s often four seasons in one day.
Did you know?
There are more vending machines in Japan than there are people in New Zealand.