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New Zealand Tours

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New Zealand really is a country like no other, with incredible natural beauty, a fascinating culture and delightful towns and cities.

Our escorted tours of New Zealand aim to show you just how breathtaking, enchanting and unique this country is, taking in the very best of both North Island and South Island. On South Island, you’ll discover the historic city of Dunedin and the regenerating city of Christchurch, as well as some truly incredible natural scenery. The South Island leg of our New Zealand tours also take in the tranquil waters of Te Anau, a fjord cruise on Milford Sound, the incredible Franz Josef glacier, mesmerising mountains and rolling countryside.

Over on the North Island, among the amazing places you can visit on our New Zealand tours are the waterside city of Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, the spectacular Bay of Islands, where you’ll find several stunning yet untouched beaches, and the hot springs of Rotorua.

All of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences and more have been put together by our team of travel experts to create the ultimate New Zealand tour. Whether you choose the 24-day Magnificent New Zealand tour or the 29-day Very Best of New Zealand tour, you’ll enjoy nothing but the best of what New Zealand has to offer.

SPECIAL LAUNCH OFFER: To celebrate the launch of our new 2020/ 2021 season, any guests booking a tour of New Zealand (departing from September 2020) will be entitled to a two night homebound stopover for the incredible price of only £29pp (£58 for single occupancy). Please see the offers tab for more details.

 

Discovering New Zealand with Distant Journeys

Our escorted tours to New Zealand visit all the must see attractions during our comprehensive 24-day Magnificent New Zealand touring holiday or 29-day Very Best of New Zealand touring holiday.

To ensure you can really absorb the country’s stunning landscapes, vibrant cities and rich Maori culture, you’ll generally stay in each destination for two or three nights.

Travel with the Award Winners

In November 2016, Distant Journeys was named as the ‘Best Small Holiday Company to Australasia’ at the highly respected British Travel Awards, and again in 2017. In 2018 Distant Journeys won two further awards for our tours to Australia and New Zealand, and we are keeping our fingers crossed we will be successful again in 2019. The awards are in recognition of the quality of our tours to New Zealand and voted for by the public, so you can book your New Zealand tour with Distant Journeys safe in the knowledge that you’re travelling with an award-winning company.

Enjoy complete peace of mind

We take great pride in putting together the best guided New Zealand tours possible. We’re lucky to benefit from the unique knowledge and experience that our Directors gained between them over the 60 years they’ve been in the travel industry. Plus, you can rest assured that our holidays are fully bonded by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL no. 10913), so you can book knowing your money is 100% safe!

Why not add Australia to your itinerary?

To really make the most of their journey to the other side of the world, we find that many people who visit New Zealand want to visit Australia too. Our fabulous 30-day Highlights of Australia & New Zealand Tour provides the perfect holiday for you to compare and contrast these fascinating destinations. If this sounds like a fantastic idea, then combining one of our New Zealand tours with one of our tours of Australia may be the perfect holiday for you. See our Australia and New Zealand combination tours for more details.

New Zealand holiday highlights

Our tours to New Zealand have so many highlights. You can enjoy some of these and more…

  • Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains
  • The TranzAlpine rail journey across the Southern Alps
  • Queenstown on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Dunedin with its wonderful architecture
  • Franz Josef Glacier two nights spent in this beautiful region
  • Nelson home to beautiful wineries and Abel Tasman National Park
  • Wellington – New Zealand’s vibrant capital city
  • Napier – an Art Deco city swith wonderful Hawkes Bay near by
  • Rotorua including entry into Te Puia Thermal Reserve and a Maori concert
  • Bay of Islands cruise to Hole in the Rock from Paihia
  • Auckland – the City of Sails

All of our escorted holidays to New Zealand offer exceptional value, but this doesn’t mean we compromise on the quality of your experience. Instead, we only take bookings directly from our customers, avoiding expensive travel agency commissions and allowing us to pass those savings on to you.

Hand-picked hotels, perfectly placed

Our Directors know the hotels in New Zealand inside out and have personally chosen all the accommodation throughout your New Zealand tour to ensure they meet their high standards and are in great locations.

‘Once in a lifetime’ experiences like no other…

What makes our holidays to New Zealand different from the rest, is not only will you see all the spectacular sights you’d expect, but depending on your choice of tour, you’ll get to enjoy some truly amazing experiences you might not expect to find on such a reasonably priced holiday. For example, you would not expect to enjoy a leisurely cruise on Milford Mariner as you explore the beauty of Milford Sound – yet with us, it’s included!

It’s amazing what our New Zealand tours include

  • International scheduled flights
  • A choice of UK departure airports
  • A selection of two night outbound stopovers
  • Overseas airport transfers
  • Quality hotels in great locations
  • Daily breakfasts worth up to £367 per person
  • Experienced local Coach Captains
  • Amazing excursions
  • All pre-payable airport taxes
  • All hotel porterage
  • ATOL protection for your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Your holiday is covered by our Price Promise

Imagine enjoying all the benefits of travelling with a group of like-minded people; the laughs, the camaraderie, the security and peace of mind. And on top of this, also having an almost limitless number of ways in which you can tailor your New Zealand tour so that it’s perfect for you. It’s what a guided tour with Distant Journeys is all about.

Choose your airport

To make travelling as enjoyable and easy as possible, you can choose from a selection of UK airports for your scheduled international flights, at no extra cost.

On both our 24-day Magnificent New Zealand tour and 29-day Very Best of New Zealand tour, you may choose to travel with Singapore Airlines from London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle, Edinburgh or Glasgow at no extra cost. Alternatively, you may choose the Qantas and Emirates partnership from London Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle or Glasgow, at a supplement of £395pp.

Take a break in a city of your choice

And to make your travel more manageable, a two night stopover is included on all our New Zealand escorted tours. Your options, dependent on your choice of airline, include Singapore, Bangkok or Dubai.

Days to do as you please

We understand that not everyone will enjoy the same activities, which is why we’ve created Freedom Days – days which offer a range of experiences for you to choose from. Simply pick which one that suits you best.

From adventurous activities like sailing an America’s Cup yacht in Auckland, to sampling wines in New Zealand’s Central Otago region, what you do is down to you. And you don’t have to decide now – you can make your choices whilst travelling in New Zealand. That way you can go as the mood takes you.

Need more time?

If you’d like to stay a little longer, visit friends and family perhaps, we’ll be happy to arrange alternative flights for you. All you need to do is ask!

Book your place on one of our escorted tours of New Zealand by the 30th November 2019 and you can take advantage of one of two special launch offers.

Option 1

To help break up your journey (and give you an opportunity to experience a fantastic city), enjoy a two night stopover for the very special price of only £29 per person, based on two sharing. Stopover options depend on your choice of tour itinerary and include Singapore, Sentosa Island, Dubai, Hong Kong and Bangkok.  Your offer includes two nights bed and breakfast accommodation in a four star hotel, and return airport – hotel transfers.  Single travellers will pay £58 for this offer.

Option 2

If you prefer, you may wish to have a relaxing three night stay on the tropical island of Bali for the amazing price of only £199 per person. This second Special Launch Offer includes includes three nights bed and breakfast accommodation at the Melia Hotel, and return airport – hotel transfers.  Single travellers will pay £398 for this offer.

For specific details on the offers related to you preferred itinerary, please click on the appropriate links below:
24-day Magnificent New Zealand
29-day Very Best of New Zealand

Please note: These offers only apply to tours departing from September 2020. Homebound stopovers in Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Bali are based on flying with the Emirates / Qantas partnership, on which a £395pp supplement applies.

See what makes an escorted tour to New Zealand with Distant Journeys so unique.

Please note, since producing this video we now include a spectacular cruise on Milford Sound and no longer hold the meeting with a Maori tribal elder.

Award-Winning Holidays

Over 60 years in the industry

What is an escorted tour?

Escorted tours are becoming an increasingly popular way to travel, especially for those who are keen to visit a destination but don’t enjoy planning the logistics. But what exactly does an escorted tour involve? As escorted tour specialists, we’ll explain how this immersive way of travelling works, and also dispel some of the myths about escorted tours which simply aren’t true.

 

The main selling point of an escorted tour is that your entire trip is arranged for you, perfect for those who don’t want to spend hours booking flights, hotels and activities. From your departure from the UK to your return, every aspect of your holiday is taken care of, so all you need to do is pack your bags and show up at the airport.

Each escorted tour often covers an entire country, with the itinerary including time for travelling between various cities and destinations. Escorted tours are therefore perfect for large countries such as Australia, China, India and New Zealand, where the country’s highlights and top destinations can be spread out hundreds of miles apart. You may spend multiple days in the same destination, with some days planned out for you with activities included in the price, and other days (which we call ‘Freedom Days’) free to spend as you wish. Hotels, breakfasts and often evening meals are also planned out for you as part of the package.

Another plus of choosing an escorted tour is that all of the items in your holiday itinerary will have been tried, tested and approved by experts. Rather than spending hours finding the perfect hotel or excursion and trawling through TripAdvisor reviews, you can simply choose an escorted tour for the country or countries you’d like to visit, safe in the knowledge it’s been put together by someone who knows the entire experience inside out.

This reassurance also extends to the tour itself, as you’ll be accompanied by a tour manager throughout your trip. Tour managers have had years of training and experience of the country you’re in, and are there to ensure that every aspect of your holiday runs smoothly, as well as to share their wealth of knowledge on what to do and where to eat and drink in the local area.

The first reason why you may wish to take an escorted tour is one we’ve touched upon already: they minimise the hassle of travelling. With all of the best bits of a country picked out for you and compiled into one special itinerary, all you need to do is choose your tour, pack your bags and get to the airport! With a tour manager on hand, you can relax during your tour too, meaning you don’t need to get stressed about travelling between your various destinations.

Escorted tours also help to relieve any anxieties travellers may have about visiting foreign countries, especially those where they don’t speak the local language. It’s not just the language that can make things difficult – navigating the public transport systems in other countries can also be a worry. Fortunately on an escorted tour, a tour manager is always on hand to make sure you get where you need to be, and may also be able to help you overcome any language barriers.

For more intrepid travellers, escorted tours can also be a great way to experience the road less travelled. Many tour operators now offer escorted tours in lesser-visited countries and destinations – a great way to see somewhere totally different (and perhaps not safe to travel in alone/as a couple) while still remaining in safe hands.

Finally, escorted tours may be a great option for single travellers. They can not only travel more safely as part of a group, but also meet new friends to share their travels with. Some escorted tours accommodate for single travellers at no extra cost, while others may add a small extra charge.

Escorted tours are just one long coach trip – while some UK and Western Europe tours may be carried out by coach, escorted tours with longer distances between destinations often include quicker, and more scenic, methods of travel. Coaches may be used for places just a couple of hours apart, but domestic flights are also included to get you from place to place quicker. Scenic railways may also form part of your tour, such as the TranzAlpine in New Zealand, and for travelling from the south to the north of Australia, there’s no more spectacular way than on the incredible Ghan railway.

Escorted tours are expensive – because everything is included all in one package, people often dismiss escorted tours as incredibly expensive. However, part of the reason for this is that you are paying for the vast majority of your holiday upfront, whereas on a regular holiday you may not pay for eating out and activities until you arrive. As escorted tour operators often regularly arrange holidays for large groups, they are also often able to arrange hotels, transport and entry to attractions at a cheaper rate.

There isn’t enough time to explore – many escorted tours last two, three or even four weeks at a time purely because they like to give you plenty of time in each of the destinations you’ll be visiting, so you can really soak up everything about the country you’re visiting and explore at a leisurely pace. You’ll often spend two, three or four nights in each town or city, depending on how much there is to see and do in the local area.

Escorted tours have no flexibility – flexibility and the ability to customise your experience are both things that are becoming more and more common in escorted tours. This starts with getting to and from your destination; these days you often have a choice of UK airports you can fly from, rather just the one, and if you are flying long-haul, a choice of cities for a stopover. While the travelling between each destination and the time you spend there are normally fairly fixed, what you do while you’re there isn’t. Some experiences are included in the price of your tour, while others are completely optional, meaning if you don’t wish to do them you can spend the day how you please.

We hope you agree that an escorted tour sounds like a brilliant way to discover some of the world’s most fascinating countries! If you’re intrigued to find out more about where you can go on an escorted tour, take a look at our choice of escorted tours across Asia, Africa and Australasia – there is bound to be a perfect tour for you.


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