Meet the People - Experience New Zealand

Meet the People - Experience New Zealand

Ask returned visitors to name their favorite place in New Zealand and you’ll receive 10 different answers: ask what made their trip wonderful and you’ll get one answer: the people. This vacation showcases not just the stunning scenery of New Zealand, but also provides the opportunity to meet the locals on tours and experience local culture.

Meet the People - Experience New Zealand

New Zealand > North Island > Auckland > The Coromandel > Hamilton & Waikato > Rotorua > Hawke's Bay > Wellington & Martinborough > South Island > Christchurch & Canterbury > Nelson & Marlborough > Glaciers & West Coast > Kaikoura > Queenstown & Wanaka 

23 Days, 20 Nights

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the North Island from Auckland to Wellington and then through the South Island to Queenstown. Enjoy the scenic landscapes, meet the locals and immerse yourself in everything from wine to Hobbits, history and nature.

Your journey begins in Auckland with a two-night stay in the modern Britomart district, central to the city, and surrounded with designer boutiques, award-winning eateries and bars set within some of Auckland’s oldest buildings.

Kick-start your stay with a private Hello Auckland Tour and discover the city’s top sights from downtown to uptown by foot and bus, the way real Aucklanders do it every day.  Explore the bustling waterfront, stylish Britomart, hidden lanes, heritage arcades, the arts precinct, serene parks, quirky K’Road and the Auckland Townhall, all at a leisurely space.

After the walk, make your way to the All Blacks Experience and join a 1-hour tour through the fully-guided, state-of-the-art, interactive showcase of the All Blacks. From kick off to the final whistle, you will be entertained, enthralled, and educated with the story of New Zealand’s deep passion for our national sport.

After a night’s rest, experience a warm welcome and see the very best sights of Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) and New Zealand’s Maori culture on a small group tour. Explore important historic sites and learn more about the fascinating Maori culture and history along the way.

Collect your rental vehicle and head out of the city to the stunning Coromandel Peninsula. The drive down will take around 2.5 hours if you head straight there but there are a few pit-stops on the way to break up the journey.

Sample of the Coromandel Peninsula’s natural heritage and scenic beauty. Experience an easy walk-through nature on the forgotten paths of an old town to visit an old historic gold cave, now home to sparkling glowworms. Visit stunning coastal scenery with white sand beaches, huge beach caves, magnificent cliffs, old Maori Pa (village) sites and offshore islands, including a visit to famous Hot Water beach.

Your self-drive vacation continues to the Waikato region for hosted night’s accommodation, including a 3- course New Zealand style home cooked meal and breakfast, on a rural property before making your way to Hobbiton to walk in the footsteps of Hobbits.

Continue to Rotorua, the geothermal capital of the North Island. Your stay includes an authentic introduction to Maori culture with an evening of entertainment and traditional hangi dinner. Explore Hells Gate and take part in the guided or self-guided interactive geothermal walk before indulging in our geothermal mud and sulphur waters, experiencing the healing properties local Māori have been using for centuries.

Journey across to the east coast to the historic town of Napier, where you will find street after street of stunning and beautifully restored Art Deco buildings in the world. Learn more about the city and its Art Deco history on a guided walk. There is ample time to visit one of the many cellar doors that offer visitors a chance to taste locally produced wines, often accompanied by locally produce served in their on-site restaurants.

Travel through the Martinborough wine region before arriving in Wellington. Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington, New Zealand, was recently named “the coolest little capital in the world” by Lonely Planet. Enjoy a guided tour of Te Papa Museum and then head to Weta Workshop where you can learn about the props, costumes, creatures, and miniature effects created for your favorite films and TV shows.
Drop off your rental vehicle and board the Interislander for you transfer across Marlborough Sounds to the South Island. On arrival in Picton, collect another rental car and make your way to Blenheim, located in the heart of the Marlborough wine region.  Spend a day on a guided tour taking in the scenery and tasting some of the region’s best wine offerings. Visit 6 wineries and enjoy a cellar door lunch (not included), learning about wine production along the way.

Head south to Kaikoura, a picturesque coastal town, and the perfect place for marine life encounters. Kaikōura’s environment is truly spectacular – the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikōura Range and the Pacific Ocean. Join a whale watching cruise and see the local seal colony that resides near the township.

Continue south via the hot pools of Hanmer Springs to Christchurch for an overnight stay before returning your rental vehicle and boarding the Tranzalpine train, one of the world’s great train journeys. Along this journey you’ll see epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps, and see miles of native beech forest before arriving in Greymouth.

Collect your rental car and head south down the West Coast to the Franz Josef, the perfect location to explore Franz Josef Glacier.  Take an optional heli-hike or a guided ice walk before continuing to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the South Island.

Enjoy a guided tour of Milford Sound, taking in the spectacular landscapes on a nature cruise on one day and then travel by coach from Queenstown to Glenorchy, and enjoy a thrilling jet boat before climbing aboard an easy-to-handle funyak.

Your New Zealand vacation concludes when you return to the US. Want a customized itinerary? Ask our team of Destination Specialists to assist in planning your dream New Zealand vacation.


  • Auckland
  • Coromandel Peninsula
  • Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Rotorua 
  • Napier
  • Wellington
  • Blenheim
  • Kaikoura
  • Christchurch
  • Fox Glacier
  • Queenstown


  • Round-trip airfare on Air New Zealand from Los Angeles to Auckland, returning from Queenstown
  • Private Arrival Transfer Auckland Airport to Hotel
  • Two nights Auckland, Adina Hotel Britomart,  Premier Studio
    • Auckland Private Walking Tour
    • Auckland Maori Luxury Tour
    • All Blacks Experience
  • 17-days Group D Car Hire (Intermediate Sedan) with unlimited mileage and GPS
  • Two-nights Coromandel, Grand Mercure Puka Park including breakfast
    • Nature and Coast guided tour
  • One-night Matamata Lodge including Continental Breakfast
    • Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
  • Two-nights Rotorua, Regent of Rotorua
    • Mitai Maori Cultural Experience
    • Hells Gate Experience
  • Two-nights Napier, Porters Boutique Hotel
    • Art Deco Guided Walk
  • Two-nights Wellington, Travelodge Hotel Wellington
    • Introducing TePapa experience
    • Weta Workshop Experience
  • Interislander Ferry from Wellington to Picton
  • Two-nights Blenheim, Scenic Hotel Marlborough
    • Full-day Marlborough Wine Tour
  • One-night Kaikoura, Sudima Kaikoura
    • Whale Watching cruise
  • One-night Christchurch, Sudima Christchurch City 
  • TranzAlpine Rail from Christchurch to Greymouth
  • Two-nights Franz Josef, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef
  • Three-nights Queenstown, Sudima Queenstown
    • Milford Sound, Coach and Cruise experience
    • Funyak Safari
  • US/foreign taxes & fees including September 11 Security Fee


Based on departures Price per person from* 
Based on Double Occupancy
April 1 - April 30, 2023 7879
May 1 - June 28, 2023 7499
June 29 - July 23, 2023 7999
July 24 - September 17, 2023 7599
September 18 - October 15, 2023 8599
October 16 - December 5, 2023 7999


For airline baggage and optional fees, please click here.

Group Size

Independent Vacation


May 1, 2023 - June 28, 2023


From $7499 per person based on double occupancy*

Trip Terms

*Prices are quoted in USD and are ‘from’, per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplements apply.  Black-out dates apply. Pricing is subject to availability and all prices, itineraries and routings are subject to change without notice. Prices are current at the time of posting (2/21/2023) and may differ when you book your travel. Please call for our current pricing and itinerary details. Must be booked by March 31, 2023. NZETA Visa is required to travel to New Zealand. CA CST: 2076233-40 | WA ID: 601 684 531 | PC-1282498.

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