About New Zealand and its regions

New Zealand is located in the South Pacific Ocean, between latitude 34’S and 47’S. The country runs roughly north south with mountain ranges down much of its length. New Zealand’s two main islands (North and South) cover 266,200 sq km (103,735 sq miles). Many regions are what we call ‘Visiting Places New Zealand’.

About 100 million years ago, New Zealand separated from other land masses – many ancient plants and animals were able to survive and evolve in isolation. Complementing our unique flora and fauna is a landscape that contains an huge variety of land forms. In just a couple of days drive, it is possible to see the full range – an ever changing landscape of mountain ranges, beaches, lush rainforests, glaciers, fiords and volcanos. For any additional questions please phone or email us and we’ll reply quickly.

 

View Sample Itineraries

 

Visiting Places New Zealand - North Island

Northland

The extensive and pristine coastland of Northland and the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, offers an aquatic playground for adventure and escapist relaxation. Whangarei and Opua are havens for international and local yachts. Tutukaka and Russell are game fishing hot spots. The beaches of Doubtless Bay are endlessly beautiful. And New Zealand’s rich colonial history is visible everywhere. Fine wine, gourmet food, world class golf, sumptuous spas and luxury lodges - these are passions that Northland understands. For travellers intent on packing more pleasure into their holiday plan, the sky's the limit.

Auckland

Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping and you have a vibrant and sophisticated city. Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and has the main international airport in New Zealand. Two domestic terminals allow frequent and accessible flights throughout the country.

Waikato

The Waikato region has two spectacular landscapes - one above ground, the other below. In both cases, nature reigns supreme. On the lush surface, the scenery is lush and green, the result of fertile soils, reliable rainfall and kind weather. Below the surface, vast cave systems, huge sink holes and underground streams provide plenty of options for adventure. Include in your travel plans a visit to the monuments and museums and discover the fierce history of the region.

Coromandels

Rustic, relaxed and unspoiled, the Coromandel is one of New Zealand's best-loved vacation destinations. The rugged volcanic hills are cloaked in native rainforest, and with more than 400 kilometres of spectacular coastline, travellers can be assured of finding the beach of their dreams.

Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty is a place of beautiful harbours, long white surf beaches and a sunny, easy going lifestyle. Everything you need for a great family holiday.

Eastland

Eastland is the place where the first Polynesian migration canoes landed and where Captain Cook made his first landfall. Maori culture is evident in every settlement you see. There are carved meeting houses, beautifully painted Maori churches, children riding horses bareback on the beach and conversations in Te Reo.

Hawkes Bay

Cape Kidnappers is at the southern end of Hawke Bay, on the east coast of the North Island. The name Kidnappers refers to an incident during Cook's first voyage when an attempt was made to trade with the occupants of an armed canoe. The warm and dry Mediterranean-style climate of Hawkes Bay produces the stunning red wine, for which the area is famous for. Hawkes Bay is also known to travellers as the Art Deco capital of the world.

Central Plateau

The 800 square kilometre Tongariro National Park (a World Heritage Area) is the centre of attraction for this region. It was gifted to the country by the local Ngati Tuwharetoa people, who recognised that such a precious treasure belonged to all New Zealanders. The park protects three of New Zealand's most dramatic natural assets - the active andesitic volcanoes Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. On a clear day at any time of the year, the mountains are awesome. Their cones and surrounding lava fields provide amazing opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Lake Taupo

The Lake Taupo region in New Zealand's volcanic heartland is rich in Maori tradition. It also has some of the country's finest untouched, uncrowded and unique landscapes. The lake formed, following the most violent volcanic eruption the world has seen in the past 5000 years - the ash affected the sunsets as far away as Europe and China.

Wairarapa

Essentially rural with off-the beaten-track charm, Wairarapa promises a diverse experience for travellers who appreciate great wine, gourmet food, wildlife and natural beauty. Rolling vineyards, acres of apple orchards, fields of lavender, olive groves, heritage museums and quaint historic towns combine to make Wairarapa an appealing destination.

Wanganui

The Wanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu, Horowhenua and Tararua districts are bound together by magnificent rivers, forested ranges, deep gorges and long stretches of wild surf beach. There is a strong emphasis on rural lifestyle in this region, as well as an exciting choice of outdoor adventures.

Taranaki

The dramatic, snow-topped volcanic cone of Mount Taranaki provides a spiritual compass for the people of this region. The mountain is the source of over 50 rivers and streams, the home of many botanically unique plants, and the subject of many stories and legends. On sighting the mountain in 1642, explorer Abel Tasman said it was "the noblest hill I've ever seen". The mountain and the Tasman Sea, provide a natural playground for travellers who enjoy outdoor adventures. The region is also known for its creativity and ingenuity - characteristics that materialise as beautiful gardens, fascinating museums and highly acclaimed art collections.

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand's capital city and is perfectly located between a picturesque harbour and forested green hills. The city is home to memorable arts, cultural and heritage attractions including the national museum, Te Papa. Natural attractions, such as the wild south coast, are within easy reach of the city centre. Wellington also has a sophisticated cafe scene and a vibrant nightlight.
Visiting Places New Zealand - South Island

Marlborough

Marlborough basks in year-round sunshine, providing perfect conditions for walking, mountain biking, sea kayaking and vineyard explorations. It's a region where you can pick a theme and follow it through. Focus your itinerary on outdoor adventures, vineyards and wineries, arts and crafts, history and gardens or marine pursuits. Better still, mix them up and experience a little of everything this beautiful region has to offer.

Nelson-Tasman

A pocket of paradise in the top northwest corner of the South Island, Nelson has a positive, creative attitude to life. This region is the sunniest in New Zealand and has attracted more than 350 working artists and craftspeople. Their work is often inspired by the region's exceptionally beautiful geography - coastal, forest and valley landscapes provide places to wander and dream. The weather is perfect for outdoor pursuits and lovers of boutique wine.

Christchurch

Although the central business district of Christchurch is undergoing exciting renovations, the city still lives up to it's name as a 'Garden City'. Travellers will be surprised and delighted with innovative eating options both in central Christchurch and on the outskirts, The Tannery being a sophisticated example. Outdoor markets with fresh local produce still abound and Christchurch's best shopping boutiques continue to thrive. Christchurch has bountiful backyard of magnificent alpine heights, broad expansive plains, fresh snow-fed rivers, volcanic peninsulas and luxury pockets of wineries, hot pools and a breathtaking coastline.

Canterbury

Travellers should expect massive scenery when visiting the Canterbury Region. From huge panoramas of ocean and mountains, to great sweeps of pastureland and massive skies. The highest point of the region is actually the highest point of New Zealand. The spectacular Aoraki Mount Cook stands at 3754 metres (Aoraki is Maori for Cloud Piercer). At the other end of the scale, the submarine trenches off the coast of Kaikoura are thousands of metres deep, providing an ideal environment for the whales, dolphins and seals that live there permanently.

Westcoast

With a population of only 31,000 people, the West Coast retains the feeling of a pioneer frontier. The region has a rugged and wild beauty, known for it's rivers, rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures. The locals are known as 'coasters', a term synonymous with friendliness and hospitality. Separated from the rest of New Zealand by the Southern Alps, coasters have developed their own distinctive culture. Their pioneering values of self-reliance and loyalty are as strong today as they were 100 years ago.

Coastal Otago

The Coastal Otago Peninsula is home to rare and unusual coastal wildlife. Travellers are fascinated by the hoiho (yellow-eyed penguins), little blue penguins and the world's only mainland albatross colony. Sea lions and fur seals also live here. Visitors can join tours to experience some of the most spectacular wildlife spots in the area including a restricted wildlife conservation sanctuary, where excellent close-up viewing of some of the World's rarest wildlife is available.

Cental Otago

Wanaka is located in the Central Otago region, which is breathtakingly different with vast undulating landscapes, rugged snow-capped mountains, clear blue rivers, deep gorges and tussock-clad hills. More recently, in the 1860s, Central Otago was the scene of a gold rush. Trails used by miners can still be seen winding over the hills. Stone cottages, a haunted hotel, cleverly engineered water channels, mines and machinery are other relics to discover. Nowadays, Central Otago is the scene of a ‘wine rush'. Pinot Noir has become one of the region's newest treasures, and many of the wineries welcome visitors for tours and tastings.

Queenstown

Queenstown New Zealand's rare beauty was first discovered by Maori pounamu (jade) hunters and later, gold-miners. Today, Queenstown is treasured for its magnificent and dramatic scenery, adventure opportunities and luxury lifestyle. Queenstown offers a vibrant atmosphere and a fun-packed nightlife - it richly deserves is global reputation as an "Adventure Capital".

Southland

Southland's tranquil waterways attract fly fishing enthusiasts in search of brown trout. The pristine southern rainforest provides the perfect location for day walks and longer overnight hiking. From Bluff, visitors can catch a ferry to Stewart Island which is a haven for native bird life and the only place in New Zealand where you may observe a kiwi in their natural habitat.

Fiordland

The power of Fiordlands scenery is a magnet to travellers. Waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into massive fiords; ancient rainforest cling to the mountains; shimmering lakes and granite peaks remain unchanged from a thousand years ago. Magnificent Milford Sound Described by Rudyard Kipling as the Eighth Wonder of the World; Milford Sound is forever spectacular. Feel the mist of the waterfalls, look for seals on the rocks and marvel at the steep sides of the fiord.

Stewart Island

Stewart Island lies at the southern-most island of New Zealand and may look like a tiny dot on the map, but it is actually 64 km long, and 40 km across (at its widest point). It has a 700 km of pristine and rugged coastline, but there are only 20 km of roads! Even ten days tramping only covers the northern third of the Island. There is much to see on this beautiful paradise rich in native wildlife with walks, boating, fishing, diving, kayaking, hunting on offer. Stewart Island is definitely the perfect choice for nature lovers.
We spent 30 days on the South Island. Michael organized a diverse trip consisting of hiking, wineries, sheep ranches and the most gorgeous places to stay. Michael’s service level was over the top! We were in constant touch with him especially toward the end when we needed his guidance regarding leaving due to the Corina virus. If you plan to go to New Zealand I highly recommend Michael. He will guide you to the most beautiful places and you will stay in small intimate and very special boutique inns with the most personable and knowledgeable hosts. Michael knows all the special nooks and crannies of New Zealand. Our trip was beyond fabulous!
Annemarie Gilly
Annemarie Gilly
13:12 16 Apr 20
Michael planned an amazing 11 day trip for me and my family in Australia and New Zealand. We absolutely loved all of the excursions he set up. He was incredibly helpful in assisting us in planning the trip and also with a few changes that happened during the trip (my husband got sick and wasn't able to make the trip and Michael was able to cancel plane flights, excursions, etc. for him). I would highly recommend him for anyone planning a trip to Australia or New Zealand. We hope to go back and we will definitely call Michael first.
Amy Lettes
Amy Lettes
15:41 27 Mar 20
I don't believe we could have had a better experience in New Zealand! Every detail of our trip was perfectly planned and each experience Guest New Zealand recommended for us was informative and extraordinary. The ease of having every detail arranged in advance -including the inter-island flights, the car rental, and all accommodations provided an easy stressless vacation. Michael Nees was so accommodating..from the very beginning planning stage to the end, he was available and willing to answer questions, arrange different plans, and advise us of any issues we might encounter. It was like having a personal travel companion who knew all the best places to go. We could not recommend Guest New Zealand more highly.
patti gramse
patti gramse
03:01 05 Feb 20
Michael did a great job constructing a memorable family holiday within our budget. Great balance of one of a kind experiences and leisure time to do as we pleased. Highly recommended their service.
Julie Milanese
Julie Milanese
07:56 26 Jan 20
I went to New Zealand with my husband and mother-in-law for 15 days over the Christmas and New Years holiday. It was the trip of a lifetime thanks to the Michael Ness. Michael was constantly available to us before our trip to answer all the questions we had. We worked with him to list a few things we wanted to do/were interested in, and he seamlessly created a 15 day trip throughout the 2 islands with airfare/transportation and accommodations included. We were able to see and do everything we had told him, and all the tours he recommended made our trip spectacular. The hotels we stayed at were ones he recommended and I can't image a better experience.I think what we were all most impressed by was how detail oriented Michael was. Every time we picked up our rental car, or checked in to a hotel or dinner reservation, everything was ready for us. He created a detailed itinerary and included all travel info/dates/confirmations we would need to reference. Michael's work allowed us to enjoy our vacation. We did not have to worry about looking up connecting flights or checking out which tour was rated the best - he took care of everything. If you are looking for an excellent trip to NZ - go to Michael!
Shyia Alam
Shyia Alam
01:00 09 Jan 20
Our third trip to NZ. Michael did a great job with our itinerary and the bed and breakfast were very good. The Night Sky Cottage was our hi light. Also had a great time watching the gannet at Kidnapper's cape. Michael was contactable and prompt with all our queries and helped us changed the gannet tour provider at the last minute when the first one was not available. Highly recommended!
Jit Biaw Lim
Jit Biaw Lim
08:56 29 Dec 19
Thanks to Michael we had the most amazing, smooth and well organized honeymoon we could think of in New Zealand! Michael was amazing, efficient and quick throughout the whole process and always reachable when we had questions! Could we have organized it ourselves? Probably yes, but it would have been stressful and time consuming which is what you don‘t want on your honeymoon :)! Michael advised us exactly what itinerary made sense for the time we had which was very important! The accomodations were all lovely and well suited for to budget and taste! We really loved the tours, all were in small groups with great friendly guides! We will never forget seeing yellow-eyed penguins and sealions at the beach so closely! Thank you!!!
Rita Steinhardt-Kager
Rita Steinhardt-Kager
02:27 09 Dec 19
Michael planned a 3 week trip around Australia for us. I found Michael on the internet, so I was a little skeptical at first, but all the positive reviews were right! We spoke a few times on Skype and sent a few emails back and forth, but overall It was a very simple process. It was clear Michael knew Australia very well and was able to point us in the right direction. We had 6 different stops along the way and 6 different inter island flights, so the itinerary was very complex. Everything went perfectly. All the transfers/cars were waiting for us at every stop. All the prearranged tours were on time to pick us up from our hotels. The companies he chose for our transfers and tours were top notch professionals. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael to any of my friends that are thinking of travelling to Australia or New Zealand!
Dave Yarnold
Dave Yarnold
03:33 30 Oct 19
Had a phenomenal trip in Australia curated by Micheal at Guest travel. He figured us out and planned a seamless trip that fit our needs and timelines. Our time at Kangaroo Island was amazing. Overall our trip was smooth and thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you Michael!
It was our first visit to New Zealand, and didn't have a clue about where to start developing an itinerary. Michael developed a plan which ensured we got to see some amazing places, stayed in some wonderfully different accommodation, and experienced some fantastic kiwi hospitality. I can whole heartedly recommend Guest New Zealand, and will certainly be using his services again.
Christine Fleming
Christine Fleming
21:40 25 Aug 19
This is our second trip with Guest New Zealand and they are great to work with both before and even during the trip. Michael was always there when we needed a recommendation or a work-around mid trip. Highly recommended if you're looking for an easier way to plan your trip.
Todd Rubano
Todd Rubano
14:57 02 May 19
Michael planned our 10 week tour of the South Island and it was a lot of fun. He was really attentive prior to the trip to make the itinerary custom made to our taste and even made us a self drive itinerary with all of the details in the routes.During the trip he was always available for last minute changes and arrangements. A real NZ expert.
Our good friends went to New Zealand last year and had a wonderful experience working with Michael and Guest New Zealand. So, we also requested Michael's help in planning our recent family trip to NZ. The itinerary he came up with was amazing! We were able to see many stunning sights and have incredible adventures on both the North and South Islands during the kids' spring break that we won't ever forget! It would have been so difficult and time consuming doing all of the planning on our own, and there is no way that we could have done it as well as a local. Save yourself the hassle and use Guest New Zealand!:)
Michelle Meyer
Michelle Meyer
01:32 15 Apr 19