Imagine Yourself Here

Itinerary Outline

South Island

Marlborough/Nelson 3 Nights
Beach House, Kaikoura Coasten route to Christchurch 1 Night
Farm cottage, Southern Alps 2 Nights
Small lodge, south of Fox Glacier 1 Night
Luxury tented camp, Lake Wanaka 3 Nights
Lodge, Lake Wakitipu, near Queenstown 2 Nights

North Island

Small lodge, Lake Tarawera 2 Nights
Private historic home, Hawkes Bay 2 Nights
Beach house, Gisborne 2 Nights

Days One, Two and Three – South Island

Arrive Auckland, transfer to Nelson

Arrive Auckland, met and transfer direct to domestic flight to Nelson. On arrival, collect hire car and drive to accommodation situated on the doorstep of this beautiful northern South Island region, renowned for its wineries and the scenic coastal sounds.

Spend three days exploring the Marlborough/Nelson area.

Activities available include:

  • Charter a boat for the day in the Abel Tasman
  • Wine and art tours
  • Walking in the Abel Tasman National Park
  • 3 nights Nelson, staying in a small boutique hotel.

Day Four

Kaikoura Coast

Begin drive south toward Christchurch, via the Kaikoura Coast, stopping overnight in lovely, fully-serviced coastal bach (NZ terminology for a beach house) en route.

Activities available include:

  • Whale watching

Days Five and Six

Southern Alps

Drive further south, heading for one of the South Island’s most magnificent high country sheep stations where you will spend two nights in the beautiful farm cottage.

Activities available include:

  • Heli-ride over the magnificent surrounding terrain of the Southern Alps
  • Skiing (in winter)
  • Fishing the Rakaia River
  • Interacting with the owners and learning about high country sheep farming

Day Seven

Fox Glacier

Today you will drive across the Southern Alps, via the scenic Arthur’s Pass, onto the west coast, staying overnight at a small lodge south of Fox Glacier.

Activities available include:

  • ATVs (all terrain vehicles) and kayaking
  • Scenic flights into glacier country
  • Walking/hiking

Days Eight, Nine and Ten

Lake Wanaka/Milford Sound

Continue southwards again crossing the Southern Alps, via the Haast Pass and down one side of Lake Hawea to Wanaka, where you will leave your car for three days to be whisked away by helicopter into a remote valley at the head of Lake Wanaka.

Spend three nights in New Zealand’s only tented camp, a unique experience – not only because you’ll find it to be very unusual but thoroughly luxurious accommodation, but also the utter “wildness” that this incredible setting offers.

Activities available include:

  • Full Day’s Helicopter ride to Milford Sound and the fjords, stopping for a picnic lunch
  • Hiking
  • Fishing

Days Eleven and Twelve

Queenstown/Lake Wakitipu

Return to Wanaka, pick up hire car and drive to Queenstown.

These last two nights in the South Island are based at a lovely lodge on the edge of Lake Wakitipu.

Activities available include:

  • Jet boat or white water rafting
  • Wilderness cruise on Doubtful Sound
  • Central Otago wine route
  • Privately guided hiking, fishing and art tours
  • Scenic helicopter ride

Days One and Two – North Island

Lake Tarawera/Rotorua

On arrival at Rotorua airport, you will be met and transferred to Lake Tarawera, a short distance from the airport and Rotorua. Spend these two days based at a lovely property overlooking this beautiful volcanic lake steeped in Maori history.

Activities available include:

  • Explore this thermal wonderland with a private guide
  • Enjoy therapeutic natural hot pools and treatments
  • Walk through the native bush with a Maori guide learning the myths and legends, foods and traditions of New Zealand’s indigenous people
  • Explore some of the many lakes and surrounding native bush

Days Three and Four

Hawkes Bay

Pick up a hire car and drive from Rotorua through the middle of North Island to Hawkes Bay, the fruit bowl of New  Zealand and is also well known for great food, wine and art deco architecture.

Spend two nights in one of this area’s beautiful historic homesteads, hosted and guided by the owners.

Activities available include:

  • Fine food and wine
  • World renowned and incredibly scenic Cape Kidnappers Golf Course and the nearby Gannet Colony
  • The art deco city of Napier

Days Five and Six


Drive from Hawkes Bay north up the East Coast to Gisborne, Nicci Stevens’ birthplace, a beautiful off-the-beaten-track part of New Zealand where she was happily raised.


Spend two nights in a fully serviced beach house, guided each day by one of the East Coast’s finest guides (Nicci’s cousin!).

One full day is really not enough time…

Suggested activities include:

  • Maori culture
  • Coastal scenery
  • Farm life
  • Hiking (overnights possible)
  • Fishing

Day Seven


Fly Gisborne to Auckland and connect with international flight out of New Zealand

Please note: The above are suggestions only to give you an idea of what’s possible and to highlight the variety of accommodation and activity choices. 

Once we know… the length of time you have in New Zealand, what your level of activity is, whether you wish to be  privately guided throughout your stay or just for parts of it, whether you would like to charter between stops by small airplane or helicopter or would be happy to self-drive or be driven… then we can more precisely match our knowledge of this amazing country with your expectations and requirements.

We enjoy this planning and know you will too. We look forward to hearing from you.

Please contact or to discuss your exclusive New Zealand journey.