New Zealand Journey

  • Trip Type: Journeys
  • 11 Days | Auckland to Queenstown
  • Group Size: Max 16

Trip Details


Spend 11 days exploring the North and South Islands of this small country packed with wonders. Traveling by train, gondola, boat, and plane, connect with locals in artsy beach towns, walk through an ancient rain forest, and learn about local legends and cuisine from the Maori. Take a deep breath to fill your lungs with the impossibly clean air here—and fill your soul with the legendary Kiwi spirit.

Trip Highlights

    • Meet a Maori elder before enjoying a traditional performance and feast.
    • Explore the glacial area of Franz Josef.
    • Cruise through Fiordland National Park (seasonal) with naturalist guides, spotting dolphins, seals, and penguins.

Itinerary - 11 Days

Day 1 — Auckland

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 — Auckland

Catch a ferry to Waiheke Island. Visit two local wineries to learn more about New Zealand's burgeoning wine industry and the history of wine production in the country, and sample some of the local blends. Later, enjoy a short orientation walk and time at leisure to explore the city. (1B)

Day 3 — Raglan

Drive a scenic route, visiting an eel farm which focuses on developing sustainable aquaculture. Enjoy lunch, featuring food which has been sustainably produced on the farm. Continue to the artsy town of Raglan, stopping at Bridal Veil Falls en route, and enjoy a cruise on the stunning harbor. (1B, 1L)

Day 4 — Rotorua

Drive to Rotorua, stopping for an excursion at Waitomo Caves where you'll take a boat ride through the cave and see thousands of flickering glowworms lighting up the walls. This evening visit Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy a private welcome and talk from a “Kaumātua” (an elder in Māori society). After, enjoy an extravagant performance about local myths, and legends while dining on traditional Hangi cuisine. (1B, 1D)

Day 5 — Christchurch

Enjoy free time this morning in Rotorua before catching a flight to Christchurch. Take an orientation walk with the CEO to get a feel for the city. (1B)

Days 6 & 7 — Franz Josef

Embark on one of the world’s great scenic rail rides on the TranzAlpine to New Zealand’s glacier region. Transfer to a beautiful rain forest lodge, our home for the next two nights. Opt to take a helicopter ride and hike, walk over the glacier, or relax in the hot pools. (2B)

Day 8 — Queenstown

Travel southward along the coast, through the rugged rain forest to Queenstown. Enjoy an evening gondola ride with spectacular views and the option to eat dinner at a skyline restaurant. (1B)

Day 9 — Fiordland National Park

Embark on an amazing wilderness cruise (seasonal) through the spectacular Fiordland National Park. Led by onboard naturalist guides, we’ll have the opportunity to see dolphins, seals, and penguins, as well as the option to kayak. Spend the night on board in your comfortable cabin, with time to relax on deck, stargazing and enjoying New Zealand wine. (1B, 1D)

Day 10 — Queenstown

Enjoy morning wildlife viewing as we cruise back to port, then return to Queenstown for our final night. (1B)

Day 11 — Queenstown

Depart at any time. (1B)

Related Trips

Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.


  • Jul 22 - Aug 01, 2018
  • Aug 12 - 22, 2018
  • Aug 26 - Sep 05, 2018
  • Sep 16 - 26, 2018
  • Oct 07 - 17, 2018
  • Oct 14 - 24, 2018
  • Oct 21 - 31, 2018
  • Oct 28 - Nov 07, 2018
  • Nov 04 - 14, 2018 (sold out)
  • Nov 18 - 28, 2018
  • Nov 25 - Dec 05, 2018
  • Dec 02 - 12, 2018
  • Dec 23, 2018 - Jan 02, 2019
  • Jan 13 - 23, 2019
  • Jan 20 - 30, 2019 (sold out)
  • Jan 27 - Feb 06, 2019
  • Feb 03 - 13, 2019
  • Feb 10 - 20, 2019
  • Feb 17 - 27, 2019
  • Feb 24 - Mar 06, 2019
  • Mar 03 - 13, 2019
  • Mar 10 - 20, 2019
  • Mar 17 - 27, 2019
  • Mar 24 - Apr 03, 2019

Trip Cost

Price From


Activity Level


Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

Contact Us: 1-800-281-2354

Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.

Cost Details

All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.

My Own Room

During your trip, sometimes it's just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That's why we offer the "My Own Room" option - a single room all to yourself.

My Own Room Option: From $1,989

What's Included

Internal flights, transport between destinations and to/from included activities, and activities as listed in the itinerary. The optional Franz Josef helicopter ride and glacier walk and optional dinner in Queenstown are at an additional cost.

Comfortable, mid-range hotels (9 nights), Fiordland National Park cruise boat (seasonal) (1 night)

Meals Included
10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners. Allow an additional $325–425 for meals not included.

Mini bus, plane, train, boat

Optional Experience

You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.