Facebook Page view
Distant Journeys

0808 273 6872

Call free: 0808 273 6872

Monday - Friday 09:00 - 17:30
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00

Very Best of New Zealand Tour

Home Icon Very Best of New Zealand Tour

New Zealand is known for so much – its stunning and other-worldly landscapes, its Maori culture and laid-back lifestyle, its unique flora and fauna; the list is endless. For that reason, if you’re going to travel to the other side of the world, you need to allow plenty of time to appreciate everything that New Zealand has to offer.

Building on from our successful Magnificent New Zealand tour, Distant Journeys’ Very Best of New Zealand tour takes in all the sights that would top anyone’s wish list with the addition of some less well known gems that many itineraries just wouldn’t have time to visit. For instance, we discover the Art Deco city of Napier; arty, bohemian Nelson and Wellington, the nation’s capital.

The tour is leisurely paced with plenty of free time to explore as you wish to, and truly does provide you with the Very Best of New Zealand.

Special Offer – Save up to £592 per couple

Our amazing special offer gives you a chance to experience a new destination on your way home from New Zealand for only £49 per person (£98 for singles). The stopover choices are for tours departing after the 1st September 2019 and are dependent on your choice of airline. The choices are Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore or Dubai. To take advantage of this booking offer is simple; book by the 28th February 2019.  Alternatively, if you’d prefer to see something of the tropical island of Bali, we can offer a three night stopover for just £229 per person (£458 for singles), provided you book by 28th February 2019.

28-day Very Best of New Zealand, from only £4,995pp

Please note, the itinerary below refers to our 2019/2020 departures.

The itinerary for tours departing up to March 2019 is slightly different. Please click here for a pdf of the itinerary.

To find out more details about a destination or hotel, please click on any text coloured orange.

Day 1: Depart UK

Depart from the UK airport most convenient for you with Qantas/Emirates. Choose from London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle or Glasgow. Alternatively, fly direct to Singapore with Singapore Airlines from London Heathrow or Manchester. No matter which airline or airport you choose, there will be no additional cost.
In-flight meals and drinks included

Day 2: Singapore, 2 nights

Flights from London Heathrow may travel direct to Singapore. All UK regional flights will travel via Dubai. Arrive into the wonderful city of Singapore and transfer to the four star Copthorne Kings Hotel, situated in an enviable position close to the banks of the Singapore River.
In-flight meals and drinks included

Day 3: Singapore

Known as ‘the crossroads of Asia’, Singapore is a city where east meets west; a cosmopolitan melting pot with an inspirational identity. This morning, enjoy a tour of this wonderful city. Included is a stop at Merlion Park with impressive views of Marina Bay. See the historic Civic District, Thian Hock Keng Temple and the fabulous orchid gardens set within Singapore’s botanical gardens. Return to the hotel where the rest of our day is free to spend as we please.
Breakfast included

Day 4: Depart Singapore

A day at leisure in Singapore until it’s time to leave for our evening flight to Auckland. Perhaps explore the impressive Gardens by the Bay or enjoy high tea at Raffles.
Breakfast, in-flight meals and drinks included

Day 5: Auckland, 2 nights

We change aircraft in Australia (Singapore Airlines passengers will fly direct to Auckland). On arrival into Auckland we meet our local Coach Captain, who will be our driver and guide during our time in New Zealand. Transfer to the centrally located Grand Millennium Auckland or Adina Apartments, where we spend our first two nights in New Zealand.
In-flight meals and drinks included

Day 6: Auckland

This morning, we take an orientation tour of the city. Known as the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland is New Zealand’s most populous city, with a beautiful waterside setting and a landscape dotted with volcanic hills. We drive along the stunning coastline of the famous Waitemata Harbour. In the distance see Rangitoto Island, an extinct volcano, dominating the horizon. We continue to the stylish Viaduct Harbour, host to many America’s Cup celebrations. Your afternoon is free to enjoy as you please. Perhaps take a trip to the top of Sky Tower; the panoramic views from the tallest building in the southern hemisphere are truly breath-taking.
Breakfast included

Day 7: Bay of Islands, 3 nights

Our travels today commence with a drive over the impressive Waitemata Harbour Bridge. Journey past dairy farms and rolling hills as we make our way north. We continue to the Waipoua Kauri Forest Reserve, where we stop to view the gigantic Kauri tree Tane Mahuta, ‘Lord of the Forest.’ We then travel across country to the beautiful Bay of Islands and our home for the next three nights, the Scenic Hotel Bay of Islands, located in the picturesque seaside town of Paihia.
Breakfast included

Day 8: Bay of Islands

Visiting this stunning area wouldn’t be complete without a cruise around the Bay of Islands, no doubt one of your tour highlights. Cruise via Red Head Passage to Cape Brett and Piercy Island and on to the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’. In these world-famous deep-fishing grounds dolphins and schools of fish are frequently seen. Our return trip visits historic Russell, once known as the ‘Hell Hole of the Pacific’, but now a peaceful and picturesque township. Our free afternoon provides an excellent opportunity (at an additional cost) to visit the grounds of the Waitangi National Reserve where, in 1840, the British and Maori chiefs signed the Waitangi Treaty.
Breakfast included

Day 9: Bay of Islands Freedom Day

Although our day has been left at leisure, we have the opportunity to join a fantastic optional trip to Cape Reinga. This full day excursion visits the northern tip of New Zealand, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean. The area holds special spiritual significance in Maori tradition, as the place where Maori spirits return to their traditional homeland, Hawaiiki-A-Nui, via the roots of a lone (and still standing) 800 year old pohutukawa tree. Highlights of today’s tour include magnificent coastal landscapes, the Te Paki sand dunes and a drive along Ninety Mile Beach.
Breakfast included

Day 10: Rotorua, 2 nights

We travel south this morning via Auckland as we make our way to the world-famous thermal region of Rotorua. The next two nights are spent at the four star Millennium Rotorua, superbly situated close to the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua.
Breakfast included

Day 11: Rotorua

Sightseeing this morning takes us via Rotorua’s famous Bath House, a Tudor style building within the Government Gardens. We continue to Te Puia, home to the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, with its spurting geysers and boiling mud pools. Your afternoon is at leisure to relax. For those that so wish, optional activities include a float plane flight over Mount Tarawera, or perhaps an afternoon enjoying the healing properties of the thermal pools at the nearby Polynesian Spa may be more appealing? Rotorua is the heart of New Zealand’s rich Maori culture and this evening, at our hotel, we attend a concert featuring traditional song and dance, including the world famous war dance – The Haka. Also included is a Hangi buffet dinner, cooked using traditional Maori methods.
Breakfast and dinner included

Day 12: Napier, Overnight

This morning we make our way along the Thermal Explorer Highway to Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Visit the impressive Huka Falls where the Waikato River suddenly narrows to a chasm less than 15 metres across and heaves its vast bulk over an 11 metre ledge to boil furiously in a deep semi-circular basin below. Our destination today is the Art Deco city of Napier, located in an area dominated by orchards and vineyards. Take time this afternoon to explore the city. The seamless line of 1930s architecture is quite extraordinary and one of the best ways to experience the town is on a self-guided walk. We stay overnight at the delightful Scenic Hotel Te Pania, superbly situated on Napier’s sea front.
Breakfast included

Day 13: Wellington, 2 nights

This morning our journey continues south via Hastings and the Kapiti Coast as we make our way to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. Upon arrival we make our way to Wellington’s Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay, where our evening is at leisure.
Breakfast included

Day 14: Wellington

Wellington is compact, cultured and full of character. Its interesting and varied architecture provides the ideal starting point for our orientation tour this morning. We visit Wellington’s administrative area, taking in Parliament House, ‘the Beehive’ (you’ll understand the name when you see it) and the government buildings. We then continue to the top of Mount Victoria for the finest view of the city and its picturesque harbour. Your afternoon is at leisure – a visit to Te Papa museum is highly recommended, as it offers a fascinating insight into New Zealand’s rich history and cultural heritage. Alternatively, ride a cable car to Wellington’s beautiful botanical gardens.
Breakfast included

Day 15: Nelson, 2 nights

This morning we leave North Island in our wake as we board the ferry for our interisland cruise to New Zealand’s South Island. During the cruise, enjoy spectacular views as we approach Queen Charlotte Sound. With the possibility of birds and dolphins following, we make our way across the Cook Strait to Picton. Upon arrival we re-join our coach and make our way to Nelson where the remainder of our day is at leisure. Our next two nights are spent at the Rutherford Hotel Nelson.
Breakfast included

Day 16: Nelson Freedom Day

Nelson is a delight for explorers on foot. Scattered throughout the city are art galleries and workshops, historic buildings and street cafés. Today has been left as a Freedom Day so you can spend it any way you choose. Perhaps consider a trip to Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand’s smallest national park, blessed with golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, and its world famous coast track. A cruise along the coast will take you to the very best scenery this region has to offer. Alternatively, you may wish to take a tour to some of the region’s wonderful wineries.
Breakfast included

Day 17: Franz Josef, 2 nights

Journey south this morning along the Heritage Highway to the rugged west coast. Visit Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks), an incredible maze of limestone rocks with booming blow-holes stacked high above the sea. Our travels continue southbound taking us via Hokitika and Hari Hari travelling alongside striking wild scree-scarred terrain with forests of Crimson Rata and Kahikatea. Just a few miles further south we pass Lakes Ianthe and Mapourika before reaching Franz Josef and entering the Westland National Park. Our next two nights are at the Scenic Franz Josef Glacier Hotel.
Breakfast included

Day 18: Franz Josef Freedom Day

Today is left completely free to absorb the beauty of Franz Josef. For those that so wish, we shall drive to the Franz Josef Glacier terminal where we will have the opportunity to walk to view the glacier. Weather permitting we may also take an optional scenic flight (at an additional cost) over the glacier and the awe-inspiring Alpine region.
Breakfast included

Day 19: Queenstown, 2 nights

Incredible scenery today as we travel across the Haast River Bridge and via Clark Bluff along one of the most exciting scenic roads ever built. Travel along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea as we enter New Zealand’s Central Otago region. We continue via Lake Dunstan, created by the mighty Clyde hydro dam in 1994. Later in the afternoon we reach beautiful, cosmopolitan Queenstown, and our home for the next two nights, the four star Millennium Hotel, situated only a short walk from the centre of town.
Breakfast included

Day 20: Queenstown Freedom Day

Today has been left free to take advantage of the incredible variety of activities available in and around New Zealand’s most glamorous alpine resort. For a fabulous view across the lake to the Remarkables, why not take a gondola ride to the top of Bob’s Peak? There is also an opportunity to take an optional leisurely cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the vintage steamboat TSS Earnslaw. The cruise includes a visit to Walter Peak Homestead and a sheep shearing show, before returning to Queenstown aboard Earnslaw.
Breakfast included

Day 21: Te Anau, 2 nights

This morning we take a tour to visit the nearby historic mining town of Arrowtown. The heart of its history is Buckingham Street, a procession of small town heritage buildings that stretch into a tree-lined avenue of tiny miners’ cottages. Be sure to try a cream tea in one of the quaint tea rooms. Later on, we depart through high country landscapes and trout fishing rivers and travel onwards to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the biggest of South Island’s many lakes. We stay the next two nights at either the Distinction Luxmore Hotel or Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas.
Breakfast included

Day 22: Milford Sound Cruise

An early start this morning as we embark on a stunning scenic drive into the heart of Fiordland National Park to join our morning cruise on spectacular Milford Sound. By choosing to cruise early in the morning, we will experience a quieter environment in which to enjoy all the wonders this beautiful fiord has to offer. See towering cliffs and peaks, including the iconic and much photographed Mitre Peak, that rises more than a kilometre straight out of the sea. Waterfalls cascade into the fiord and luxuriant rain forest clings to sheer rock faces. Later we return to Te Anau where there is time to enjoy the delights of this quaint township.
Breakfast included

Day 23: Dunedin, 2 nights

This morning after a hearty breakfast we say goodbye to Fiordland. A morning drive takes us via Mossburn and Lumsden to Gore. Fresh, green farm scenery will accompany us to Balclutha, which has a distinctive arched concrete bridge. Milton is the last sizeable settlement before we reach Dunedin. Known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin is South Island’s second largest city and is considered New Zealand’s architectural heritage capital, with its lovingly restored Victorian and Edwardian buildings. Our next two nights are spent at the Distinction Hotel Dunedin.
Breakfast included

Day 24: Dunedin

Enjoy a city sightseeing tour this morning travelling past Otago University, New Zealand’s first. Our sightseeing also takes in the city’s neo-Gothic churches, town hall, opulent theatres, and other 19th century buildings. We have time to admire the beautifully landscaped trees and plants of Dunedin Botanical Gardens and the spectacular views of the Otago Peninsula and Harbour before we return to our hotel. Our afternoon is at leisure to spend as we please.
Breakfast included

Day 25: Christchurch, 2 nights

This morning, our travels take us north once more. We stop at Hampden Beach to witness the geological curiosities known as the Moeraki Boulders, huge spherical boulders which are scattered along the beach, whilst others can be seen emerging from the sandstone cliffs. Each boulder weighs several tonnes and is up to two metres in diameter. According to Maori legend, the boulders are gourds washed ashore from the great voyaging canoe Araiteuru when it was wrecked upon landfall in New Zealand hundreds of years ago. Scientists explain the boulders as calcite concretions formed about 65 million years ago. The soft mudstone containing the boulders was raised from the seabed around 15 million years ago and waves, wind and rain are excavating them one by one. Later in the day we arrive at the Distinction Hotel Christchurch for our final two nights in New Zealand.
Breakfast included

Day 26: Christchurch

Considered the most English of New Zealand’s cities, today in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch is in the midst of an epic rebuild that has completely reconstructed the city centre. This morning we take a tour to see what this exciting developing city has to offer. We start our day with a visit to the Sign of the Takahe, an historical building on the edge of the city before continuing to view the key landmarks of the city centre, including the transitional ‘Cardboard Cathedral’. From here we take a visit to the Botanic Gardens. Founded in 1863 with the planting of an English oak tree, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens contain an impressive array of flora and fauna. Our afternoon is at leisure to continue exploring this delightful city.
Breakfast included

Day 27: Depart Christchurch

All good things must come to an end, and this morning we transfer to Christchurch Airport. Our flights to our chosen UK airport operate via Australia and Dubai if travelling with Qantas/Emirates, or via Singapore if travelling with Singapore Airlines.
Breakfast and in-flight meals and drinks included


If you would like to stopover on your way home, we have an amazing offer on a selection of stopovers for you to choose from: Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok or Dubai.

The price is only £49 per person if sharing a twin or double and £98 for single occupancy.

Included are return airport transfers and two nights accommodation in a four or five star hotel with full daily breakfast. See the departure dates and prices for full details, but remember, to take advantage of this special offer, you must book by 28th February 2019. This offer is only available on tours departing after the 1st August 2019.

Should you prefer a relaxing stay on your way home, then as part of our special offer, you may choose Bali for a three night stay at the reduced price of £229 per person in a twin or double and £458 for single occupancy. Again this offer only applies for our Very Best of New Zealand tours departing after 1st August 2019.

Day 28: Arrive UK

Breakfast is served shortly before our arrival into London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle or Glasgow.
In-flight drinks and breakfast included


Why not combine with a tour of Australia?

If you wish to make the ultimate journey to Australasia, combining the Wonders of Australia or Very Best of Australia tours with The Very Best of New Zealand tour makes perfect sense. Have a look at our combined tours for more information.


Departure dates & prices

Our escorted holidays to New Zealand are designed to include so much in the price of your tour. And the even better news is that on the Very Best of New Zealand tour, a great deal of what you’ll do and see is already included in the price.  That’s all your scheduled international flights, overseas transfers, expertly chosen hotels, daily breakfast, experienced local coach captains, and many unforgettable excursions, including an overnight cruise on Milford Sound, already taken care of.

Plus, if you book by 28th February 2019 you can take advantage of our homebound stopover and save up to £592 per couple with a two night stopover in places like Hong Kong, Bangkok, Dubai or Singapore, from just £49 per person. Please see the Offers tab for more details.


The Very Best of New Zealand departures


Departure datePrice (pp)AvailabilityOffer
09 October *£5,195HALF FULL£49 stopover
31 October£5,395HALF FULL£49 stopover
10 December^£5,495HALF FULL£49 stopover
02 January £5,495NEW DATE£49 stopover
22 January* £5,495ONLY 5 ROOMS LEFT£49 stopover
13 February £5,495HALF FULL£49 stopover
04 March* £5,395NEW DATE£49 stopover
30 April£4,995NEW DATE£49 stopover


Tours departing up to March 2019 are slightly different to the itinerary featured. For full details of this itinerary, please click here.

^Christmas departure: The Christmas & New Year departure includes Christmas dinner in Nelson and a celebratory dinner on New Year’s Eve in the Bay of Islands.

*These departure dates operate in reverse, beginning in Christchurch and finishing in Auckland. All hotels and experiences are the same as featured in the itinerary.

For a detailed ‘reverse’ itinerary on tours departing up to March 2019, please click here.

Prices: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin or double room.

Single supplement for tours departing after 1st August 2019: £1,795 (£1,495 for 30th April 2020 departure).

Single supplement for tours up to 15th March 2019: £1,895

Deposit: £1,000 per person if travelling in economy class, £1,950 per person if travelling in premium economy, and £3,750 per person for business class.

Alternative hotels:  Please note, the 9th October 2018 and 20th February 2019 departures stay at the Copthorne Hotel in Queenstown. The 31st October 2018 and 25th January 2019 departures will stay at the Grand Millennium hotel in Auckland and the Copthorne Waitangi in the Bay of Islands.

Terms and conditions: Holiday prices are subject to the availability of flights in the lowest fare booking class and may change, however the correct price will always be confirmed before you book. For full terms and conditions see our terms and conditions page.

So much included

Flights with leading scheduled airlines

  • Return economy class flights
  • Fly with Qantas / Emirates from London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle or Glasgow
  • Alternatively fly with Singapore Airlines from London Heathrow or Manchester (on selected dates)
  • All airport charges, security charges and any applicable fuel surcharges
  • UK Air Passenger Duty


Choice of outbound stopover

  • Two-night outbound stopover; choose from Singapore, Bangkok or Dubai (dependent on choice of airline)


Carefully selected hotels

  • Superior hotels in great locations
  • All hotel porterage
  • Applicable hotel taxes


Many meals

  • Daily breakfast, worth £367 per person
  • Dinner in Rotorua


Unforgettable experiences

  • Sightseeing tours in Singapore (or Bangkok or Dubai), Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch
  • ‘Hole in the Rock’ cruise in the Bay of Islands
  • Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve
  • Maori concert
  • Morning cruise on Milford Sound


On the ground

  • Services of an experienced Coach Captain
  • All overseas transfers
  • Modern, air-conditioned coaches throughout


100% confidence

  • Your holiday is covered by our Price Promise*
  • Your holiday is fully ATOL protected

Hand-picked hotels

All the hotels on our escorted tours to New Zealand are carefully selected by our Directors to ensure they meet their high standards. Over the decades they’ve worked in the travel industry, they’ve come to understand exactly what elements of a hotel work best on a touring holiday, with location and quality being paramount. So throughout your touring holiday in New Zealand, rest assured that we’ve aimed to provide top accommodation, without it costing you the earth.

Adina Apartment Hotel, Auckland

Adina Apartment Hotel, Auckland Britomart

Everything you could wish to explore and visit in central Auckland is right on the doorstep of Adina Apartment Hotel. A stone’s throw away is the Britomart precinct, where you can find a variety of places to eat and drink… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Copthorne Wellington External

Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay, Wellington

Where better to stay during your time in Wellington than on the premier Oriental Parade? Not only does the Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay Welling hotel overlook the beautiful Wellington Harbour, but it’s also the ideal base to explore everything this… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4.5
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Distinction Christchurch Exterior

Distinction Hotel, Christchurch

The Distinction Hotel Christchurch is newly refurbished and located right in the heart of the famous Cathedral Square. Described as ‘an urban escape combining sophisticated smarts and familiar warmth’ the hotel was renovated following the rejuvenation of Cathedral Square. Its… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

DUN Distinction extrerior

Distinction Hotel, Dunedin

Dunedin is New Zealand’s oldest city and home to some of the Southern Hemisphere’s most spectacular heritage architecture. An interesting fact about this lovely hotel which you’ll stay in while you’re visiting Dunedin is that in the 1930s, it was… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4.5
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Distinction Luxmore

Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau

This hotel is right in the hustle and bustle of Te Anau Town, but only a short stroll from the serene Lake Te Anau and its picturesque surroundings. Te Anau is known by many as the walking capital of the… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 3.5
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 3.5
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Distinction Luxmore

Distnction Hotel & Villas, Te Anau

You’ll experience New Zealand’s natural beauty at its best, thanks to your stay at Te Anau Distinction Hotel & Villas, where your accommodation immerses you in some of the most picturesque surroundings imaginable. Not only is it located in one… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Milford Mariner Cruise

Wake up in one of the most beautiful places on earth after a night onboard the Milford Mariner. Enjoy a cruise of the magical Milford Sound, accompanied by a specialist nature guide, who will explain the history and geology of… Find out more >
  •   Official rating
  •   Distant Journeys rating

ZQN Millennium garden

Millennium Hotel, Queenstown

Timeless elegance meets luxury accommodation at the Millennium Hotel Queenstown. The hotel is the perfect place to relax and unwind after an exciting day sightseeing in New Zealand's adventure capital. Millennium Hotel Queenstown is only minutes from Queenstown's central shopping,… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4.5
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

ROT Millennium Hotel Lobby

Millennium Hotel, Rotorua

One of the wonderful things about the Millennium Hotel Rotorua is the fact that its eco-friendly design means it remains respectful to the stunning natural beauty that gives it its home. And its surroundings really are stunning, as the hotel… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4.5
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Rutherford, Nelson

Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

The Rutherford Hotel is in a central location, putting all of Nelson’s favourite attractions - its thriving artistic and café culture, and many galleries - right on your doorstep. Should you wish to visit the local shops, Morrison Square and… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4.5
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Scenic Te Pania Napier Exterior

Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Napier

You couldn’t want for a better location than that of Scenic Hotel Te Pania. Sat on the edge of the picturesque Hawke’s Bay, its surroundings and views are simply stunning and a true treat for anyone who stays here. Such… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating

BOI Drone view

Scenic Hotel, Bay of Islands

This resort-style hotel, complete with sub-tropical gardens, is the perfect base for exploring the beautiful Bay of Islands and only a stroll away from the main wharf. Situated at the entrance to the seaside town of Paihia, the Scenic Hotel… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 3.5
  •   Distant Journeys rating

FRJ Scenic Hotel Exterior

Scenic Hotel, Franz Josef Glacier

Situated on the edge of the Franz Josef Glacier, one of New Zealand's most spectacular natural attractions, the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier is an accommodation highlight. Staying in the Graham Wing in a light and airy room, you’ll enjoy the… Find out more >
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Official rating
  • Star Rating 3.5
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Very Best of New Zealand – Freedom Days

Discovering New Zealand with Distant Journeys gives you the perfect blend of an escorted tour experience, and the freedom to explore as you please. While we ensure you’ll see all the highlights of New Zealand, we also make sure you can personalise your touring experience to suit your interests. Maybe you’d like to sail an America’s Cup yacht in Auckland harbour or enjoy a winery tour in Central Otago? Well, during Freedom Days, you can choose from a range of activities to spend the days as you please.

And you don’t have to decide before you leave the UK – you can let your local Coach Captain know what you’d like to do up to the day before.

Simply click on the description of each excursion available in the various destinations to read more about it.


Price pp in New Zealand dollars (NZD)Approx. price pp in British Pounds (GBP)
Pride of Auckland – Harbour sailing dinner cruise$140£76
Americas Cup Sailing$180£97
Auckland Sky Tower$29£16
Wine on Waiheke$140£76
Bay of Islands
Cultural visit to Haruru waterfalls with waka-paddling, Marae visit$135£73
Cape Reinga day excursion$150£81
Cape Reinga by Air & 4WD$425£230
Mt Tarawera Volcano by Floatplane (30 min)$235£127
Mt Tarawera Volcano by Helicopter (50 min)$395£214
Crater Lakes by Floatplane (15 mins)$165£89
Crater Lakes by Helicopter (15 mins)$195£105
White Island Active Volcano by Floatplane (1hr)$595£322
White Island Active Volcano by Helicopter (3hr)$895£484
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour$114£62
Polynesian Spa$29£16
Franz Josef
Heliservices – 20 min, one glacier with snow landing$225£122
Heliservices – 30 min, twin glacier with snow landing$300£162
Heliservices – 40 min, glaciers, Mount Cook & snow landing$440£238
Helicopter Line -20 min, Neve Discoverer/snow landing$245£132
Helicopter Line – 30 min, Twin Glacier/snow landing$315£170
Helicopter Line – 40 min, Mt Scenic Spectacular/snow landing$460£249
Franz Josef Glacier Valley guided walk$79£43
TSS Earnslaw Cruise, farm visit & barbecue lunch$105£57
Jetboat Ride – Shotover Canyon$149£81
Kawarau Jetboat Ride (from main town pier)$129£70
Dart River Safari – Jet Boat, 30-40 min walk plus 4WD$259£140
Queenstown Wine Trail – wineries, cheese tasting & lunch$189£102
Skippers Canyon – scenic tour and jet boat ride$195£105
4WD Nomad Safari to Skippers Canyon$295£159
Queenstown Scenic Cruise & Mount Nicholas Farm Experience (4hrs in total)$78£42
Lake Tekapo
Grand Traverse, Scenic Flight (50 min)$370£200
Taieri Gorge Train Excursion$99£54
Otago Peninsula Wildlife Tour – Including visit to Penguin Palace$150£81


Optional excursions for stopover destinations

If you’ve taken advantage of one of our two night stopovers on your journey home from New Zealand you may want to make the most of your short stay in these exciting destinations by taking an optional excursion or two.

After all, who could visit Singapore without a trip to the world-famous and historic Raffles Hotel for afternoon tea or a Singapore Sling? Or if you’re in Bangkok, the Grand Palace with its beautiful Temple of the Emerald Buddha is a must-see.  Explore Hong Kong and learn about its fascinating history. And if Dubai is where you’ll spend the last two nights of your holiday, why not enjoy one of them feasting Bedouin-style on a Desert Safari?

Click on any of the descriptions below to find out more about any of the optional excursions in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.

Price pp in Thai Baht (THB)Approx. price pp in British Pounds (GBP)
Damnern Saduak Floating Market (Half day)$1,300£31
Grand Palace (Half day)$1,250£30
Temples & City tour (Half day)$1,150£28
Price pp in US Dollars (US)Approx. price pp in British Pounds (GBP)
Traditional Dubai City Tour$51£40
New Dubai City Tour*$101£80
Sundowner (Dune dinner safari)$108£85
An Evening of Elegance – dinner cruise$172£135
Helicopter tour of Dubai (12 minutes)$194£153
Price pp in Singapore Dollars (SGD)Approx. price pp in British Pounds (GBP)
Singapore Night Safari$96£56
Gardens by the Bay – Including 2 conservatories and OCBC Skyway$38£22
Gardens by the Bay – Including 2 conservatories$30£17
Afternoon Tea at Raffles *  Tour not operating from 1st July 2017 – early 2019$73£41
Footsteps of Raffles – including Afternoon Tea at Raffles Hotel * Tour not operating from 1st July 2017 – early 2019$98£57
Singapore by night – including Singapore Sling at Raffles (Tour not operating from 1st July 2017 – early 2019)$65£38
Price pp in Hong Kong Dollars (HKD)Approx. price pp in British Pounds (GBP)
Hong Kong
Hong Kong Island Tour *$400£41
Lantau Island tour with lunch *$850£87
Macau Tour with lunch *$995£102
Lamma Island Dinner & Symphony of Lights*$750£77
Price pp in US Dollars (US)Approx. price pp in British Pounds (GBP)
Kecak at Uluwatu & BBQ seafood dinner$67£53
Mengwi Temple, Monkey forest & Tanah Lot$58£46
Bali Hai dinner cruise$66£52
Jatiluwih & The Batukaru Mountains Nature Tour$48£38
Balinese Purifying$56£44

*due to the limited availability on these tours, we recommend booking at least 30 days before you leave the UK. Your Distant Journeys travel expert will be able to assist you.

Special offer – save up to £592 per couple

Enjoy a stopover on your way home from the Very Best of New Zealand from only £49 per person. This is in addition to your included stopover on the way out, and saves you up to £592 on the normal price.

Please be aware that this special offer only applies to bookings made by the 28th February 2019. The price is £49 per person if sharing a twin or double and £98 in a single room, and these prices are  subject flight and hotel availability at the time you book. To take advantage of this wonderful offer, you must travel on a departure date after 1st August 2019.

There are some fabulous destinations for the special offer stopover – Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok or Dubai. No matter which you choose, the stopover offer includes return airport to hotel transfers, accommodation in a four or five star hotel for two nights, and a full daily breakfast. Alternatively, you may choose a stopover in Bali for three nights at a reduced rate of £229 per person (£458 for single occupancy).

Please note that if you choose to travel with Singapore Airlines, your only stopover option will be Singapore.

Melia Hotel Bali

Bali Offer, Meliá Hotel

The name Bali conjures up thoughts of an exotic tropical paradise, and the reality is every bit as wonderful.  Swaying palm trees, white sand beaches and the warm hospitality of the Balinese people await you in this blissful beachfront sanctuary.…

Find out more >

  • Star Rating 4.5
  •   Official rating Stars
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating Stars

Amari Watergate Hotel Exterior

Bangkok Offer, Amari Watergate Hotel

Busy, lively, colourful and above all welcoming, Bangkok should be on your list of must-see places to visit. Here you can experience things you simply can’t do in most cities, like sailing on a longtail boat through floating markets. Make…

Find out more >

  • Star Rating 4
  •   Official rating Stars
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating Stars

Singapore Skyline

Copthorne Kings Hotel in Singapore - Stopover Offer

There’s just so much to do and see in Singapore, that no matter how many times you visit, you’ll always find yourself wanting to go back again. Maybe it’s the myriad of cultures coming together to create such a unique…

Find out more >

  • Star Rating 4
  •   Official rating Stars
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating Stars


Dubai Offer, Marriott al Jaddaf

Stay in style at the five star Marriott al Jaddaf when you visit the gateway to Arabia. The numerous malls and labyrinth-like souks are enchanting to explore. And you really can’t complain about the year round sunshine, which you can make…

Find out more >

  • Star Rating 5
  •   Official rating Stars
  • Star Rating 5
  •   Distant Journeys rating Stars

Hong Kong Temple

Hong Kong Offer, Regal Kowloon

Hong Kong oozes energy. Even if you’re feeling a little tired after your travels, it’s guaranteed to perk you up again. While its skyline of sky scrapers is impressive, you simply need to look across the harbour to see the…

Find out more >

  • Star Rating 4
  •   Official rating Stars
  • Star Rating 4
  •   Distant Journeys rating Stars

Customer reviews

The Very Best of New Zealand tour is a new itinerary with departures in late 2018 and early 2019. This page will be updated with reviews as soon as our customers are contacted by the independent reviews company Feefo. In the meantime, please feel free to look at the reviews for our other tours to New Zealand – we’re sure you will be impressed with the service our guests receive and the fantastic reviews they give us!

The Very Best of New Zealand tour map 2019_20


Three simple steps to requesting your brochure:

  1. Choose to download or receive your brochure by post
  2. Select your brochure
  3. Complete your details and click submit

Australia & New Zealand
2019 / 2020

Australia & New Zealand 2019 / 2020

2019 / 2020

India 2019 / 2020

South Africa
2019 / 2020

South Africa 2019 / 2020

2019 / 2020

China 2019 / 2020

Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & India 2018 / 2019

Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & India 2018 / 2019

  • Title



  • Address


    Email address

  • Where did you hear about Distant Journeys?

    Which destination are you interested in?

    When are you interested in travelling?

    Yes please! Send me occasional emails about touring holidays around the world including special offers and new tours.