Classic New Zealand Grand Tour

Explore New Zealand from top to bottom on this grand tour from Auckland down to Christchurch, with stops in Paihia for the Bay of Islands, the stunning nature of Fox Glacier, they geysers of Rotorua, Greymouth's Shantytown, Timaru's preserved Edwardian precinct, and much more.

In this trip

  • Night LifeNight Life
  • CultureCulture
  • Great FoodGreat Food
  • Historic PlacesHistoric Places
  • BeachesBeaches

Trip itinerary

  • 1

    Auckland, New Zealand

  • 2

    Paihia, New Zealand

  • 3

    Rotorua, New Zealand

  • 4

    Napier, New Zealand

  • 5

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • 6

    Greymouth, New Zealand

  • 7

    Fox Glacier Weheka, New Zealand

  • 8

    Queenstown, New Zealand

  • 9

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • 10

    Timaru, New Zealand

  • 11

    Christchurch, New Zealand

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Read about your trip

Things to do in and around Auckland

  • Auckland skyline
  • Auckland view
  • Sky Tower above the CBD
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • New Zealand 2011
  • Waiheke Island
  • Tiritiri Matangi Island off the Whangaparoa Peninsula
  • Auckland Art Gallery
  • Twin Oak Drive - Cornwall Park - Auckland - New Zealand
  • Rangitoto
  • Friday Ride
  • Waitakere Ranges
  • Bethells Beach
  • Ponsonby
  • Giraffes at Auckland Zoo
  • Bridge, Auckland Botanic Garden
  • Auckland, Queen Street P1210421
  • Layered Sunrise
  • Oneroa Bay
  • Modern life vs. 1850's - Howick Historical Village
  • Upminster Avon Road LT RLH 50 MXX250
  • 200510 underwater tunnel
  • pa241898
  • Wine at Matakana Farmers Market
  • Goat Island, NZ


New Zealand, Auckland region

CultureFoodNight lifeHistoric3 nights

Famed for its cultural diversity and vibrant energy, this metropolis boasts parks and museums, two harbors, and great restaurants.

Auckland in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country. Auckland has a population of 1,454,300 - 32 percent of New Zealand's population. It is part of the wider Auckland Region, which includes the rural areas and towns north and south of the urban area, plus the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,570,500 that is governed by the Auckland Council. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. In Maori, Auckland's name is Tamaki Makaurau and the adaptation of Auckland, to suit Maori phonetic rules, is Akarana.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Paihia

  • Paihia
  • Whangarei Falls
  • Rainbow Falls, Kerikeri
  • Sea Arch
  • Altaic Warrior
  • IMG_7732.jpg
  • Schooling Koheru, Poor Knights, NZ. I love scuba diving!


New Zealand, Bay of Islands region

BeachesActiveNature2 nights

The best town for exploring the Bay of Islands, this town is known for its stunning scenery and array of water sport opportunities.

Paihia is the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands in the far north of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located close to the historic towns of Russell and Kerikeri, 60 kilometres north of Whangarei. Missionary Henry Williams named the mission station Marsden's Vale and eventually the Paihia became the accepted name of the settlement. Nearby to the north is the historic settlement of Waitangi, and the residential and commercial area of Haruru Falls is to the west. The port and township of Opua, and the small settlement of Te Haumi, lie to the south. The population of Paihia was 1770 in the 2006 Census, a decrease of 69 from 2001.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Rotorua

  • Looking Down At Rotorua
  • Rotorua - Hells Gate
  • Maori Performers, Tamaki Maori Village, Rotorua
  • Geyser, Te Puia, Rotorua
  • Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, Rotorua
  • Huka Falls 7
  • Devil's Bath, Wai-o-Tapu, North Island, New Zealand.
  • Rotorua Government Gardens
  • Mountain Biking in Rotorua, New Zealand (c) TRAILSOURCE.COM
  • Kuirau Park, Rotorua
  • museum
  • DSC00022
  • img_0549
  • green & blue
  • Rotorua
  • Ohinemutu Maori meeting house
  • St. Faiths church, Rotorua
  • Lion cub at Paradise Valley Wildlif Park
  • Craters of the Moon Thermal Area, Wairakei, North Island, New Zealand


New Zealand, Bay of Plenty region

NatureActiveCulture2 nights

Famed for its geothermal activity, this city is favored by travelers and offers an array of geysers, hot springs, and mud pools.

Rotorua, ("The second great lake of Kahumatamomoe") is a city on the southern shores of the lake of the same name, in the Bay of Plenty Region of New Zealand's North Island. Rotorua is a major destination for both domestic and international tourists; the tourism industry is by far the largest industry in the district. It is known for its geothermal activity, and features geysers – notably the Pohutu Geyser at Whakarewarewa – and hot mud pools. This thermal activity is sourced to the Rotorua caldera, on which the town lies. Rotorua is home to the Waiariki Institute of Technology. The Lakes of Rotorua are a collection of many lakes surrounding Rotorua.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Napier

  • Napier Nov 2011
  • Mission Estate Winery, Napier.
  • Napier
  • Ahuriri beach near Perfume Point
  • Napier Botanic Gardens
  • Te Mata Peak
  • Huka Falls 7
  • Pania of the reef Napier New Zealand 3
  • bluff hill lookout
  • Under the New Zealand National Aquarium
  • Museum Theatre, Gallery, Hawke’s Bay, Napier
  • DSC00022
  • Cape Kidnappers


New Zealand, Hawke's Bay region

FoodCultureSmall townsHistoric1 night

Full of Art Deco architecture, this city offers an array of cultural attractions, from museums, to monuments, to verdant gardens.

Napier is a popular tourist city, with a unique concentration of 1930s Art Deco architecture, built after much of the city was razed in the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake. It also has one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the country, a statue on Marine Parade called Pania of the Reef. Thousands of people flock to Napier every February for the Tremains Art Deco Weekend event, a celebration of its Art Deco heritage and history. Other notable tourist events attracting many outsiders to the region annually include F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic events, and the Mission Estate Concert at Mission Estate and Winery in the suburb of Taradale.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Wellington

  • Monastery on the hill
  • Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand) in Wellington
  • 200510 museum of wellington
  • Antique shops and others shops in main street of the heritage town of Carcoar New South Wales.
  • Wellington Botanic Gardens in spring.
  • Approaching Matiu/Somes Island
  • Got any food? - EXPLORED
  • Cuba St Mall
  • P1010949
  • Gainfully “employed”: cycling to the beach counts, right?
  • Frame 15.jpg
  • Kaikoura Peninsula
  • Northern Walkway


New Zealand, Wellington region

CultureFoodBeachesNight life1 night

New Zealand's capital is a city with upbeat energies, boasting a thriving nightlife, rich museums, historic buildings, and more.

Wellington is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, and is the world's southernmost capital city of a sovereign state. Wellington is marketed as the 'coolest little capital in the world' and its popular tourist attractions include Museum of Wellington Museum, Wellington Zoo, Zealandia and Wellington Cable Car. Cruise tourism is experiencing a major boom in line with nationwide development. Cafe culture is prominent and restaurants offer cuisines including from Europe, Asia and Polynesia.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Greymouth

  • DSC_0973
  • Reefton's Main Street
  • Monteith's Brewing Company, Greymouth, New Zealand P1220708
  • Franz Joseph Glacier
  • Paparoa National Park
  • #TravelTuesday with My Public Lands
  • Lake Kaniere
  • Hokitika Gorge 2


New Zealand, West Coast region

NatureActive1 night

A small riverside town with deep mining roots, Greymouth offers its visitors an easy access to the nearby natural attractions.

Greymouth is the largest town in the West Coast region in the South Island of New Zealand, and the seat of the Grey District Council. The town is located at the mouth of the Grey River, on a narrow coastal plain close to the foot of the Southern Alps. In clear weather, Aoraki / Mount Cook can be clearly seen to the south from near the town. The mouth of the river divides the town into three areas: Blaketown, close to the river's mouth on the south bank; Karoro, to the southeast, separated from Blaketown by a series of small estuarine lakes; and Cobden, formerly a separate town, on the river's north bank.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Fox Glacier Weheka

  • Bike Tour Day 10-44
  • Franz Joseph Glacier
  • Fox Glacier 02 - Close-up
  • Tasman Glacier & Mount Cook
  • The Fox Glacier at sunset
  • Sunset in the mountains
  • Hokitika Gorge 2
  • Gates of Haast Waterfall
  • Rainforest
  • Lake Mahinapua Day 2 013.jpg

Fox Glacier Weheka

New Zealand, West Coast region

NatureActive3 nights

This tiny mountain village offers the best access to New Zealand's beautiful Fox Glacier, as well as several eateries.

Fox Glacier township/Weheka, 6 km away from the glacier, functions mainly as a service centre for tourists, though it also services the local farming community, which had been its main focus until the 1990s (though tourism started as early as the late 1920s). The approximate township site had been gazetted as early as 1866. Bruce Bay is 46 km to the south-west of the township, and Franz Josef is 23 km north-east. State Highway 6 runs through the town.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Queenstown

  • Queenstown
  • Queenstown 2013
  • Downtown Arrowtown
  • Queenstown_208_070111
  • The Queenstown Market
  • Milford Sound, toward Mitre Peak on a fine day
  • 0232 Glencoe
  • Pool Surface
  • Wanaka Lake
  • Devil's Staircase to Lake Wakitipu - Queenstown, New Zealand.jpg
  • Routeburn Track
  • Chard farm winery.
  • Routeburn Track
  • ben lomond 06-06-2007 040
  • View from Skippers Rd 2
  • Moke Lake Hike, Queenstown


New Zealand, Otago region

NatureActiveSmall townsCultureFood4 nights

A resort town offering a plethora of thrilling activities among gorgeous landscape, as well as a fine galleries, eateries, and more.

A resort town, Queenstown boasted 220 adventure tourism activities in 2012. Skiing and snowboarding, jet boating, whitewater rafting, bungy jumping, mountain biking, skateboarding, tramping, paragliding, sky diving and fly fishing are all popular. Queenstown is a major center for snow sports in New Zealand, with people from all over the country and many parts of the world travelling to ski at the four main mountain ski fields (Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone). Cross country skiing is also available at the Waiorau Snowfarm, near Cardrona village.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Dunedin

  • IMG_0138_HDR.jpg
  • Dunedin
  • Dunedin - Tunnel Beach trek 14
  • Speight's beers
  • P1080714
  • Otago Peninsula Weekend
  • Two yellow-eyed penguins at home
  • Dunedin Chinese Garden
  • Dunedin Public Art Gallery
  • CRW 3900
  • IMG_3337
  • Larnach Castle, Otago Peninsula
  • Aramoana
  • Vintage Model A and Model T Fords, Cadbury World, Dunedin
  • Olveston House, Dunedin
  • IMG_5010
  • Caladesi Beach
  • Autumn at Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens, Dunedin
  • Dunedin - Taiaroa Head 17
  • R0012176
  • First Church
  • Dunedin Railway Station (18)
  • Knox Church, Dunedin
  • Takahe, (Porphyrio hochstetteri)
  • Oamaru, New Zealand


New Zealand, Otago region

HistoricCultureBeachesNight lifeFood3 nights

With fascinating history, superb cultural venues, and a rich architectural legacy, this lively university city will charm you.

Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the Otago Region. While Tauranga, Napier-Hastings and Hamilton have eclipsed the city in size of population in recent years to make it only the seventh-largest urban area in New Zealand, Dunedin is still considered one of the four main cities of New Zealand for historic, cultural and geographic reasons. Dunedin is a regular venue for touring ballet and dance companies, and also has multiple dance studios. Dunedin lends its name to the Dunedin Sound, a form of indie rock music which was created in the city in the 1980s.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Timaru

  • Fishing off the pier at Timaru
  • The Hydro Grand
  • Caroline Bay
  • Ferguson Tractor model TE20
  • The Shortest Day
  • Oamaru, New Zealand
  • Tasman Glacier & Mount Cook
  • Sunset in the mountains
  • The Fox Glacier at sunset


New Zealand, Canterbury region

Small townsBeaches1 night

An important regional port city, Timaru boasts a small town feel, several museums, a nice beach, and many parks.

Timaru is a major port city in the southern Canterbury region of New Zealand. Caroline Bay beach is a popular recreational area located close to Timaru's city centre, just to the north of the substantial port facilities. Timaru has been built on rolling hills created from the lava flows of the extinct Mt Horrible volcano, which last erupted many thousands of years ago. The result is that most of the main streets are undulating, a clear contrast with the flat landscape of the Canterbury Plains to the north. Its primary attractions include museums, parklands, brewery, and more. Timaru has many nightclubs, bars and restaurants with many of them open every night.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Things to do in and around Christchurch

  • Christchurch
  • Coffee Time in New Regent St
  • Christchurch Botanic Gardens
  • Hagley Park
  • Willowbank Wildlife Reserve 10
  • Tiger
  • Kaikoura Peninsula
  • Canterbury Museum in Christchurch
  • 2276 Gondola
  • Christchurch Cathedral
  • 185 Empty Chairs - 2 year anniversary
  • Photo competition
  • DSC00980-ED北海道 富田農場薰衣草花田
  • DSCF3437
  • Christchurch Art Gallery
  • Christchurch Farmers' Market
  • Casino in Christchurch, New Zealand 2006
  • New Zealand - Hanmer Springs - Hill
  • Arthur's Pass National Park, New Zealand.
  • 200510 peacock fountain
  • International Antarctic Centre
  • Quake City exhibition
  • Bridge of Remembrance
  • Kaikoura


New Zealand, Canterbury region

BeachesCultureHistoricNight life3 nights

New Zealand's third-largest city boasts an array of architectural styles, landmarks of cultural significance, and many green areas.

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 381,800 residents, making it New Zealand's third most-populous urban area behind Auckland and Wellington. The river that flows through the center of the city (its banks now largely forming an urban park) was named Avon at the request of the pioneering Deans brothers after the Scottish River Avon, which rises in the Ayrshire hills near what was their grandfather's farm and flows into the Clyde.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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