Holidays to New Zealand
From the bubbling mud pools and thermal springs of the North to the glaciers and plunging fjords of the South, New Zealand is a land of incredible contrast.
At FREEDOM, we’ve been designing holidays to this beautiful country for over 20 years and we would love to help you plan your adventure.
What are the top things to do in New Zealand?
With its dramatic and diverse landscapes, New Zealand is truly an explorers paradise. Five experiences worthy of any itinerary include:
- Visiting Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland in Rotorua, where you’ll find exploding geysers, steaming vents and technicolour sulphur pools
- Taking a boat ride through the spellbinding Waitomo Glowworm Caves
- Cruising through the serene waters of Milford Sound, past towering cliffs, rugged mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls
- Driving Highway 80, soaking in the views of Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki
- Taking a helicopter flight to the top of the Franz Josef Glacier and embarking on a guided mini-hike along the icy surface
What are the top things to do in the North Island?
As well as its geothermal wonders, New Zealand’s North Island is renowned for its beautiful beaches and iconic rolling green hills. Consider for your holiday:
- Taking a cruise through the Bay of Islands, looking out for dolphins, whales and penguins as you glide through the 144 beautiful islets
- Hiking the Tongariro Crossing, dubbed the “most beautiful day hike in the world”, past active volcanoes, sulphuric emerald lakes and untamed forest
- Following in the footsteps of Frodo and Sam on their way to Middle Earth at the impressive Hobbiton Movie Set experience
What are the top things to do in the South Island?
Home to iconic Queenstown, Milford Sound and Franz Josef, the South Island is brimming with spectacular scenery and exciting things to do. Some of our customers’ favourites include:
- Kayaking in Abel Tasman, crossing the sheltered waters of the Astrolabe Roadstead to visit the New Zealand fur seals on Adele Island
- Relaxing in a private hot pool high up in Queenstown’s cliffside, overlooking the beautiful Shotover River
- Indulging the senses on an unforgettable Marlborough food and wine tasting tour in the world-renowned Marlborough region
Can I see wildlife in New Zealand?
Yes! New Zealand is an avian lovers paradise and home to an impressive 200 species of native bird, many of which are not found anywhere else on Earth. A wide variety of marine life also inhabits its coastal waters.
On the Otago Peninsula you can spot albatrosses and yellow eyed penguins, and on Stewart Island the elusive kiwi. In the coastal town of Kaikoura you can join a cruise or take a scenic flight for the chance to see dolphins, sea lions and migrating humpback whales.
How long do I need in New Zealand?
Most people spend between two and five weeks in New Zealand, although some visit for just a week if combining with Australia, Fiji or another destination.
- 2 weeks in New Zealand – You can see the highlights of both islands in a fortnight if you fly between cities, or choose an island to explore in more depth
- 3 weeks in New Zealand – Gives you time to include a longer road trip, off the beaten track, to really experience New Zealand’s world-enviable tranquillity
- 4+ weeks in New Zealand – Allows time to mix adventure and relaxation, perhaps combining a self drive, rail journey and island retreat…
For a little inspiration, our team of Travel Experts have created a range of multi centre New Zealand holidays, which can be booked as they are or tailored to suit your plans. We can also design a holiday unique to you.
How long is the flight to New Zealand?
The flight from the UK to New Zealand takes around 23 hours and 30 minutes, touching down en route to refuel. Long haul aircraft seats are designed for comfort and offer more legroom than you would find on a typical short haul flight.
A number of airlines fly from the UK to New Zealand, with departures on a daily basis. Auckland and Christchurch are the main international hubs, from where you can catch an internal flight to Wellington or Queenstown.
Can I stopover on the way to New Zealand?
Flying to New Zealand offers an excellent opportunity to visit another country without the cost of another flight. Popular New Zealand stopover destinations include Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok and Los Angeles.
How do I get around New Zealand?
The most popular way to explore New Zealand is by hiring a car or motorhome and embarking on an unforgettable road trip. The country’s roads are well kept and New Zealanders drive on the left as we do in the UK.
At FREEDOM we offer a range of self drive packages, that include car hire, accommodation, maps and local information. A customer favourite is our 22 day Ultimate New Zealand route that starts in Auckland, then explores both islands visiting Rotorua, Milford Sound and Te Anau, to name but a few incredible places!
A campervan or motorhome lets you go where you want, when you want. There are well-equipped campsites throughout New Zealand as well as over 500 locations in which you can freedom camp. Our NZ Specialists have put together a number of campervan itineraries to help you plan your road trip.
If you’d prefer to let someone else do the driving, why not consider a small group or escorted tour? It’s a sociable way to travel, and led by an expert tour guide you’ll receive fascinating insight to all the places you visit.
How do I get between the North Island and South Island?
You can either fly or take the ferry between New Zealand’s North and South Islands. The flight from Auckland to Christchurch takes around 1 hour 20 minutes and the flight from Auckland to Wellington around 50 minutes.
The Interislander Ferry takes around 3 hours to sail between Wellington and Picton, across the Cook Strait. There are normally three departures a day in either direction and booking in advance is recommended. If travelling by rental car, you leave your vehicle at the ferry terminal and pick up a new one on the other side. If travelling by motorhome you keep your vehicle with you.
Plan Your New Zealand Holiday
At Freedom Destinations, we have been creating tailor made New Zealand holidays for over 20 years. Whether you are looking to travel in 2021 or 2022, we can help you put your plans in place.
All of our team are certified NZ Specialists with the New Zealand Tourism Board, and have either lived or travelled extensively in the country. They would be pleased to share their recommendations and travel advice and help plan an unforgettable holiday to New Zealand.
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