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New Zealand Travel Guide, Tours & Things to Do

Planning a holiday in fabulous New Zealand? Get inspired on the Top Oz Tours and Travel Ideas website. We go way beyond Oz! Our New Zealand travel guide is packed with tips for getting the most from your trip.

New Zealand travel guide
New Zealand travel guide: Go punting in Christchurch.

New Zealand is world-renowned for its natural beauty — a captivating mix of dramatic coastline, glacial mountains, alpine lakes, pristine forests, geothermal springs, and unique wildlife.

Combine the stunning setting with an array of cultural experiences — including one thousand years of Māori history to explore — and you have all the makings of an amazing holiday!

Deciding how to spend your time in New Zealand is no easy task; the choices are almost endless. Begin by getting to know some of the country’s major cities — including captivating capital WellingtonAuckland, Queenstown, Rotorua, Dunedin, and Christchurch — where world-class galleries and museums, and shopping and dining options abound. Each of these urban centres offers something special, and you’ll need at least three or four days in any of them to cover all the must-sees and dos.


New Zealand tours

New Zealand Tours, Activities & Attractions


If you love the great outdoors, you’ll adore the South Island. It’s home to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery — including the Southern Alps and shimmering waters of Milford Sound. Marvel at the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, and take in the epic vistas of Mount Cook.

Notch it up a gear by doing an adrenaline-fuelled adventure activity in Queenstown (canyon swinging and jet boating on the Shotover River are just two of the many options on offer). Located on the shoreline of gorgeous Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown also has a superb food and wine scene.

New Zealand travel guide
New Zealand travel guide: Enjoy a thermal soak in Rotorua.

There’s no shortage of natural wonders to admire on the North Island either. Chill out in the sublime Bay of Islands, or enjoy a soak in one of Rotorua’s famous thermal springs. Rotorua is also an important centre for Māori culture; be sure to experience a traditional hāngī feast while you’re there!

Top ten things to do in New Zealand

Road tripping is the ideal way to explore both the North and South Islands, but you’ll need to book your vehicle well in advance for peak periods. Enterprise Rent A Car is part of one of the largest vehicle hire networks in the world, and has branches in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, and Wellington.

Use this New Zealand travel guide to access destination information, and find tours and guided experiences. Enjoy your holiday!


New Zealand multi-day tours and trips

Save $100pp on New Zealand Multi-Day Tours


New Zealand travel tips

1. Only got a limited amount of time to get to know a new city? Our Big Five City Guides can help. We break each destination down into culture, history, dining, shopping and relaxation must-sees and dos. Access our city guides here.

2. Check the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website for travel advisories about your chosen destination.

3. If you plan to park your vehicle at the airport during your holiday, check out Flyparks. You can find excellent deals on Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, and even Sydney airport parking. Flyparks also operates at major airports in New Zealand.

New Zealand travel guide
New Zealand travel guide

4. New Zealand is a year-round travel destination that offers easy access to a range of quality urban experiences and spectacular natural beauty. It’s not hard to see why New Zealand is the most popular overseas travel and touring destination for Australians. The North Island is home to three-quarters of the population and the centre of Māori culture, while the South Island offers stunning natural landscapes and an amazing range of adventure activities. Across both islands the food and wine offering is superb.

5. Motorhome holidays have long been a popular way to explore New Zealand. In theory you can pull up for the night in a motorhome as a ‘freedom camper’ anywhere in New Zealand, unless otherwise signed or you are blocking access to someone’s property. However, the use of designated campsites is recommended to minimise impact on the environment.

6. New Zealand has weather patterns that are similar to Australia’s southern regions. However, the further south you travel the more unpredictable the weather can get. Wellington for example is renowned for the icy winds that come in off the Cook Strait, while the west coast of the South Island can be very unsettled. Check the average temperature carefully for your travel dates and pack accordingly.

New Zealand travel guide
New Zealand travel guide: Nugget Point

7. New Zealand offers a staggering array of accommodation options and the standard is generally excellent. From high-end luxury lodges, to wellness and eco retreats, to golfing resorts, hotels and guesthouses, there are options to suit every budget. Shop around for the best deals and book well in advance for peak seasons, which correspond with those in Australia. Airfares are generally cheapest flying into Auckland, where you can connect with domestic flights to regional centres.

8. Always be respectful of Māori culture and cultural sites. Generally when you visit a marae (traditional meeting-house) you must be invited to enter. As always, ask permission before you photograph anyone.

New Zealand travel guide
New Zealand travel guide: Learn about Māori culture and heritage.

9. New Zealand is one of the world’s safest travel destinations, with a low crime rate and amazing hospitality. As always though, be open to experiences but be aware of your surroundings and personal safety. If something feels wrong, it probably is. Trust your intuition!

New Zealand travel essentials

You can book many aspects of your holiday on the Top Oz Tours & Travel Ideas website, including flights, hotels, car hire, travel insurance, and more. When you purchase a product or service using the following links from our partners, we receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay, and it enables us to continue to provide readers with amazing travel inspiration.

Flights

Compare airlines, flights, and fares in one place with Booking.com. They don’t charge any credit card fees and you can always see exactly what you’re paying for in the price breakdown. You can book one-way, round-trip, and multi-city flights, and change your travel dates with ease when you opt for a flexible ticket option (an additional cost applies). It all adds up to a great flight! Search for flights with Booking.com

Hotels

If you’re looking for a great deal on your next hotel or homestay, look no further than Booking.com. Their mission is to make travel affordable and accessible to more people, and to deliver seamless accommodation experiences that complement your holiday. Search for hotels and homestays with Booking.com

Car hire

Discover Cars is an award-winning (World Travel Awards) car rental comparison website, which helps customers find, compare, and hire cars at the most competitive prices globally. You’ll get access to meticulously maintained cars, 4WDs, and minibuses from the world’s leading brands, and at the best possible price. Search for hire cars with Discover Cars

Campervans & motorhomes

Make Jucy your first choice for campervan and motorhome hire. Since 2001, this progressive company has had a vision to be world-famous for enabling experience seekers to discover happiness on the road. The Jucy crew live and breathe their core values of passion, pride, family, and fun, and these values influence every one of their interactions with customers. They’re ready to help you find ‘your happy’! Search for campervans and motorhomes with Jucy

Day tours & experiences

Search and book day tours, guided experiences, and attraction tickets and passes worldwide with Top Oz Tours and Viator. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book through us, and you’ll have access to the widest choice of activities and most competitive prices. Browse day tours and experiences

Multi-day tours & trips

Travelling on an extended tour with a local guide is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the destination of your choice. Top Oz Tours has joined forced with Tour Radar to bring you a fabulous range of multi-day tours and trips from the world’s leading operators. Travel with like minded people and get the best possible price on the holiday of your dreams. Browse multi-day tours and trips

Travel insurance

World Nomads aims to be a part of every traveller’s journey by providing a reassuring range of travel insurance services. Travellers can buy insurance, extend their policy, and claim online, 24/7, on the road or from home. Travel insurance benefits include coverage for emergency medical and evacuation or repatriation, lost baggage, trip cancellation, and more than 150 adventure activities. Get an insurance costing from World Nomads

This guide was published thanks to Enterprise Rent A Car and Flyparks.

Do you have any tips to add to our New Zealand travel guide? We would love to hear from you. Please send us a message.

The information contained in this guide is general in nature and does not constitute professional advice in any way. We make every effort to ensure this content is accurate, but we do not guarantee it. You should do your own research and seek the advice of professionals before acting or relying on any of the information provided in this guide.

Additional images: Bigstock

 

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