- Try your hand at sailing a sleek America’s Cup Yacht through Waitemata Harbour.
- Be a star of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings with a visit to the Hobbiton movie set.
- Immerse yourself in Maori culture in the thermal village of Rotorua.
- Be one of few to see a kiwi hatchery, where this endangered bird species is bred.
- Stay in Queenstown’s best hotel, with breath-taking views over Lake Wakatipu.
- Set out for three days of pampered hiking along the Hollyford Track, through mountains, rainforest, and beyond.
- Finish the hike with a scenic flight ove Milford Sound.
- Toast to a great trip on a wine cave tour, tastings and lunch in Gibbston Valley.
Day 1: Auckland International Airport to City Hotel
Welcome to New Zealand! On arrival, meet your guide and transfer by private vehicle to the hotel.
Recover from your long journey at Skycity Hotel, located in the centre of Auckland. Here, genuine Kiwi hospitality meets modern, spacious accommodation. If you’re up to it this evening, take a first look around Auckland, including the iconic Sky Tower. Choose from over 20 restaurants, cafes and bars close by.
Day 2: Auckland City Sights
Your private guide and driver for the day will meet you at the hotel and you’ll set out to see the best of Auckland. Tailored to your own whims, the day can include a taste of aboriginal Maori culture and history, the numerous gardens in Auckland, and a walk along the vibrant Viaduct Harbour where restaurants and bars line the waterfront and chic super-yachts bob on the water.
You can even try your hand at sailing an authentic America’s Cup Yacht. No experience necessary to take the helm, exert energy on the grinders or sit back and enjoy the action and scenery as we sail the beautiful Waitemata Harbour. Feel the thrill of the wind in your face as you tack and jibe. These powerful and highly engineered race vessels are usually the domain of billionaires and elite professional yachties but our unique two hour sailing experience offers everyone the opportunity to sail these grand prix racing machines.
After lunch at a local restaurant, wander into Auckland Museum, regarded as one of the finest museums in the southern hemisphere. It’s best known for its unique collection of Maori and Pacific Island treasures. Housed in one of the nation’s finest heritage buildings, the museum’s three floors tell the story of New Zealand, from the great Polynesian voyages which first brought people to Aotearoa, to the diverse cultures and communities that make up Auckland today.
Day 3: Auckland to Rotorua via Hobbiton
A day of film fantasy awaits! Meet your driver/guide in the hotel lobby and depart on your private transfer to Rotorua via Hobbiton.
Reaching picturesque private farmland, you’ll be granted a private tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. The set has been completely rebuilt for The Hobbit and will remain as it was seen in these films and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Peer into Hobbit Holes, and pass by The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, the double arched bridge and other structures and gardens built for the films. The day in Hobbiton includes a picnic lunch.
Finish the day with check-in at the jaw-dropping Solitaire Lodge Rotorua, one of the first New Zealand luxury lodges. This secluded luxury accommodation sits on a spectacular lakeside location. You’ll stay in one of only 10 luxurious suites featuring panoramic views of the glassy lake and magnificent volcano. The subtle design brings the outdoors in – a perfect way to unwind. Minutes from your doorstep you will discover secluded private bays, hot water beaches and natural thermal hot springs beckoning you to soak in.
Your stay includes complimentary mini bar (alcoholic & non alcoholic beverages & snacks), pre dinner drinks & canapés, a five course dinner, and a full country breakfast. You’ll also have use of lodge dinghies and kayaks.
Day 4: Full Day Rotorua
Today is designed for immersion in Rotorua. This town is set on its namesake lake on New Zealand’s North Island, renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. Your day includes a visit to Te Puia, home to New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Insitute, and the world famous Pohutu Geyser, or Whakarewarewa The Living Thermal Village, which blends geothermal activity and Maori culture.
You’ll be treated to a special Insider Access tour, which is all about becoming better acquainted with New Zealand’s elusive kiwi. Begin with a brief introduction at the incubation room and hatchery. You will then continue to the Kitchen where the artificial diet for the young kiwi is prepared, such as treats of worms and insects! Visit the nursery room filled with “brooders” – breeding units where the kiwi chicks stay in the nursery until they are big enough to move outdoors. From here you will enter the indoor nocturnal area where kiwi enclosures are completely open with no partitions between the kiwi and you!
Day 5: Rotorua-Queenstown
Meet your chauffeur in the Lodge lobby and transfer by private vehicle to Rotorua for your flight to Queenstown.
On arrival in Queenstown, meet your driver at the baggage carousel and transfer by private vehicle to Eichardt’s Private Hotel. More like an opulent home than a hotel, you’ll stay in one of five luxurious suites or four Lakefront Apartment suites. The two properties are located in central Queenstown with breath-taking views over Lake Wakatipu, making it easy to explore this amazing locale. Eichardt’s Residence is a fully self-contained villa, just a five-minute stroll from the main hotel building.
Eichardt’s delivers on details like fresh flowers, nuts and homemade biscuits on arrival, an evening drink per person, full breakfast in Eichardt’s Bar or in The Parlour, signature nightly turndown, and complimentary wireless broadband.
Day 6: Hollyford Track Day 1
Private Hiking Lodge
Hollyford Track is an ideal way to experience the very essence of New Zealand’s wilderness as well as the country’s rich history and heritage.
The Hollyford Track 3-day guided walk has opened the area to people who otherwise may not have been able to access and experience this spectacular part of New Zealand. Being guided on your multi-day adventure you will experience and learn a great deal more than you would if walking independently.
On this hiking adventure you will be transported from the mountains to the sea, transecting the Hollyford Valley by foot, jet boat and finally helicopter into Milford Sound. A maximum number of 16 people in your group delivers a more personal experience. Along the way your expert and passionate guide will bring to life the diversity of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife, as well as the captivating stories of the original Maori and early pioneering families. You’ll enjoy first rate cuisine prepared and served by our friendly lodge hosts, while relaxing in our well-appointed and comfortable private lodges.
Depart (approx.): Queenstown 6.30am
Walking Distance: Approx. 19.5km (12mi)
Highlights include: native rain forest, alpine views, crystal rivers, and waterfalls
Day 7: Hollyford Track
Private Hiking Lodge
Today is day two of three on the Hollyford Track. Accompanied by your guide and catered with fantastic meals, set out for a full day of union with nature.
Walking Distance: Approx. 15km (9mi)
Highlights include: pristine lakes, a wilderness jet boat, historic pioneer sites, 1000 year old native forest, and a New Zealand fur seal colony
Day 8: Hollyford Track-Queenstown
To conclude the Hollyford Track, you’ll have a morning of hiking. The grand finale of the hike is a scenic flight to Milford Sound. Transfer to Queenstown, where you’ll and and check in to Matakauri Lodge.
Walking Distance: Approx. 8.5km (5mi)
Highlights include: isolated sand pit, Maori historic sites, rugged coastline.
Nestled among bush on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, just a ten-minute drive from Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge is set against stunning views of the remarkable Cecil and Walter Peak mountain ranges. The nine acre property is fully landscaped with rolling lawns, a meandering stream, native New Zealand plants and surrounding pine forest. A luxury spa facility, infinity swimming pool and sauna with a modern fitness center are also on-site for you to recover from three days of hiking.
Your stay includes pre-dinner drinks with canapés, a scrumptious gourmet dinner, full breakfast, complimentary mini bar including domestic beers.
Day 9: Lake Wakatipu
Today is yours, at leisure to relax after an adventurous three days on the Hollyford Track. Enjoy Matakauri’s fantastic scenery and amenities, and perhaps a spa treatment!
Day 10: Queenstown Full and Gibbston Valley
Meet your driver/guide in the hotel lobby and depart on your full day private sightseeing tour of Queenstown. Your day may include a visit to bungy jump site AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge, historic Arrowtown and a stop at beautiful Lake Hayes.
Take a scenic Gondola ride for quick and easy access to Queenstown’s most spectacular views! The gondola rises 450 vertical metres above Queenstown on an average incline of 37.10 to the Skyline complex on Bob’s Peak.
Embark on a tour of Gibbston Valley, one of the pioneers of the Central Otago wine industry. Enjoy a wine cave tour, tastings and lunch. This region is also one of the most southernmost wine growing regions of the world.
Day 11: Matakauri Lodge to Queenstown International Airport
Meet your chauffeur in the Lodge lobby and transfer by private vehicle to Queenstown International Airport to connect with your international departure. This drive is approx 25 minutes.
Interested in booking this itinerary or customizing a trip to New Zealand? Get in touch with a private travel designer!