New Zealand Family Experience
PLEASE NOTE: We can help you add, adjust and tailor the itinerary to suit your requirements. Each clients itinerary is different. We work to your budget and take advantage of current specials in the marketplace for your time of travel.
Destinations: Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Able Tasman National Park, Queenstown
Experiences: Culture, Scenery, Food and Wine, Wildlife, Adventure, Relaxation
No. of days: 14 Days
Designed with a family in mind this itinerary is a great mix of activities combined with beautiful scenery and fun for everyone. Upon arrival into Auckland spend your first day relaxing and enjoying the city on a private tour. No visit to Auckland is complete without a harbor cruise. Check out the Hobbiton Movie Set on route to Rotorua, here you will see the geothermal activity and more cultural experiences including a traditional hangi dinner. Explore Wellington city via a city tour, visit the WETA workshop made famous by the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Moving from the city to Able Tasman National Park in the South Island, the perfect place for relaxation and adventure. Spend your time kayaking, viewing wildlife and hiking. Finishing up in Queenstown go jet boating, gold panning, take a scenic safari and spend the day at Stunning Milford Sound.
DAY BY DAY:
Day 1: Today you arrive in Auckland. Upon arrival you’ll be met at the airport by your private tour operator. This tour is designed with your interests in mind and to showcase Auckland including selected historical and cultural sites of significance, cityscapes, harbor views and coastlines, views of ancient volcanic peaks and parks with unique flora and fauna in and surrounding New Zealand’s largest city. This is the perfect way to spend your first day in New Zealand, sit back, relax, enjoy the views and get a feel for Auckland. (2 nights Auckland)
Day 2: Enjoy a harbor cruise this morning on the sparkling waters of Auckland's beautiful Waitemata Harbour. View all the highlights of the harbor’s 70 square miles, including Rangitoto Island, Bean Rock Lighthouse, and Devonport's North Head volcanic cone. Cruise under the Auckland Harbour Bridge and finally past Viaduct Basin. After lunch you’re off on a food tour, the perfect way to take in sights, tastes and history of the city. The tour includes a visit to one of the city's finest purveyors of artisan products, locally made chocolates, visit to one of the cities favorite eateries and world class ice cream. Conclude the tour relaxing with a local wine or beer sampling.
Day 3: After leaving Auckland, you head to Rotorua on a fully guided private tour. On the way you will stop in Matamata, commonly known as Hobbiton to view the Hobbiton Movie Set. Not only movie fans will enjoy this unique experience with inside views of the Hobbit village, astonishing facts about the filmmaking and just spectacular landscape all around! Following your Hobbiton tour you will continue to Rotorua. (2 nights Rotorua)
Day 4: Rotorua is famous for geothermal activity. You’ll get to see this firsthand on a half day tour of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. You’ll see gushing geysers, boiling mud, lakes, craters, steaming vents and mineral terraces. Then enjoy the Waimangu Volcanic Valley nature walk amidst a stunning volcanic landscape. Keep an eye out for native birdlife as you walk. This evening you have an indigenous evening experience with a combination of cultural storytelling, entertainment and a traditional hangi dinner.
Day 5: A transfer will take you to the airport for your flight to Wellington. This afternoon you get to discover Wellington with a half day tour visiting the city's highlights. Travel around the earthquake-scarred South Coast to see the site of the Wahine ferry disaster and the distant ranges of the South Island, overlooked by coastal houses perched on the steep, rocky hills. Enjoy views from the top of Mount Victoria and ride the famous Wellington cable. Visit the magnificent Parliament buildings, the Beehive, and timber-built Old St Paul's Cathedral before visiting the national museum of Te Papa.
Day 6: Visit the production studios of WETA workshop made famous by the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The tour includes a behind the scenes film showcasing the company's history before a workshop technician takes you on a tour filled with real films props and working artists. See and learn about the creative process from start to finish and relive the magic of countless movies. Spend this afternoon at leisure.
Day 7: Leaving Wellington today you’ll be transferred to the Wellington ferry terminal for your ferry transfer to Picton. Collect your hire vehicle and drive to Abel Tasman National Park. (3 nights Abel Tasman National Park).
Day 8: You have a wonderful day exploring the Abel Tasman National Park today. Start with a scenic cruise from Kaiteriteri Beach past the islands and golden coves of the Astrolabe Roadstead to Torrent Bay where you will kayak towards Sandfly Bay. Lunch is on a secluded beach along the way. Paddle out to Pinnacle Island to view the seals, keep an eye out for Blue Penguins and other sea birds. In summer there is an optional 2 hour walk from Torrent Bay to Anchorage Bay where you are picked up and returned to Kaiteriteri Beach.
Day 9: You have the day at leisure today. Spend it walking on Abel Tasman’s spectacular walks or if you prefer head to Mapua and Ruby Coast and explore these popular holiday spots for locals. You’ll find restaurants, art galleries, wine bars and a craft brewery.
Day 10: Make your way to the airport for your flight to Queenstown. (4 nights Queenstown)
Day 11: You’ll be collected from your Queenstown accommodation today for your transfer to Milford Sound Flights. Today is a half day tour to Milford Sound starting with scenic flight where you can enjoy panoramic views of spectacular alpine scenery including glaciers, rivers, lakes and rainforest. In Milford Sound you join a nature cruise, the full length of the fiord to the Tasman Sea. View spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and towering peaks. Look for wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins. Afterwards be transferred back to Milford Airport for a scenic return flight to Queenstown.
Day 12: Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand and today you get to experience a combination of activities. The trip features the world-famous ultimate jet boat experience - Shotover Jet where you take a unique breathtaking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons. Next is an adventure tour in the New Zealand backcountry in specialized 4x4 vehicles. Explore the abandoned gold mining area of the Arrow River and film locations used in Lord of the Rings'. Enjoy a tea break and try your hand at gold panning.
Day 13: Today is at your leisure. We recommend boarding the TSS Earnslaw at Steamer Wharf for a cruise on Lake Wakatipo. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of Cecil and Walter Peaks and the western shores of the lake. Ride the Gondola for amazing views of Queenstown, ride the luges and go stargazing at Skyline Queenstown.
Day 14: Today you begin your journey home with a transfer from your accommodation to Queenstown Airport.
Family friendly accommodation including 2-bedroom self catering apartment accommodation, hotels and resorts.
2 nights Auckland
2 nights Rotorua
2 nights Wellington
3 nights Abel Tasman National Park
4 nights Queenstown
Private tour of Auckland city
Auckland Harbour cruise
Auckland city food tour
Hobbiton Movie Set tour
Maori cultural performance and hangi dinner
Wellington City tour
Weta Cave Workshop tour
Abel Tasman scenic cruise
Milford Sound scenic flight
Milford Sound nature cruise
All aspects of this itinerary can be changed to suit your requirements.
The itineraries provided are great introductions to your chosen destination. You can create a travel plan using the itinerary provided or make modifications to destinations, activities and accommodation and create the dream trip you want.
Not every traveler is the same, we get that and so that’s why we recommend making changes to suit your needs. In fact, we insist - we want you to have the best trip.
If you would like any recommendations for dinner or shopping areas please let us know we are happy to help and make bookings for you where necessary.
To travel to Australia you will need a US passport valid for at least 6 months and we can process an ETA Visa for free for US Citizens. We will need a copy of your Photo Page of your Passport. Nationalities of any other countries please enquire with your agent to see if you are eligible for a free ETA Visa or if you need to apply for a Visitor Visa.
To travel to New Zealand you will need a US passport valid for at least 6 months and an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. More information on the NZeTA application requirements and process can be found on our FAQ page here.
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment. We will provide a travel insurance quote at the time of booking, and you are free to use our recommended insurance with Travelguard, find your own, or book without insurance.
A product that we can offer is a Cancel For Any Reason policy that will provide you with 80% back in refunds. If the cancellation is for medical reasons there is a 100% refund..
Downunder Journeys services travel requests from the United States and Canada for travel to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands and Tahiti. All pricing on this website is in US Dollars.
All of the sample itineraries on this website do not include airfares as the airfare price changes daily and to ensure you get the best possible price we will work with the best airfares at the time. If you happen to buy your airfare first and then need a package to fit it, we can certainly help with that as well, just let us know.
As an idea for a 2-week vacation to Australia or New Zealand we recommend a budget of around $8,000-10,000 (including economy airfare), this would be for a 4 star and above itinerary, a little cheaper if we did more moderate accommodations.