Phone us  01392 441245  |  E-news sign up
Honeymoons
& weddings
  
Honeymoons and weddings abroad are tailor-made by Expressions Holidays. Contact us for a range of honeymoon and wedding destinations around the world and an amazing choice of honeymoons from island-hopping to visiting cultural sites.
Authentic
Experiences
  

With Authentic Experiences from Expressions Holidays you enter a world of genuine holiday and travel experiences within the framework of one of our tailor-made holidays, be its significance culture, gastronomy, wine appreciation, wildlife, sports or special occasions.
Spa
holidays
  

Expressions Spas opens a world of tailor-made spa holidays that allows you to choose according to region, type of treatment desired, product type and recommends for your party type, whether it be for couples, singles or perhaps mothers and daughters travelling together.
Family
holidays
  

Expressions Families affords you an amazing choice of sophisticated resorts ideally suited to families in selected destinations worldwide. You can also choose according to required facilities in resort and we suggest holidays for families with grandparents and single parent families too.
Rail
holidays
  

Expressions Holidays offers you tailor-made rail holidays and journeys by train, including luxury trains, scenic journeys and classic rail tours.
Worldwide
journeys
  

Tailor-made journeys and tours for individuals and small groups to selected destinations around the world from Burma to Italy, from Vietnam to India.
  • New Zealand Explorer Touring Holiday

    Title 
    New Zealand Explorer Touring Holiday 
    Nights / Days 
    21 nights/ 22 days
    Auckland – Bay of Islands – Rotorua – Hawke’s Bay – Wairarapa – Nelson – Blenheim – Christchurch – Arthur’s Pass – Franz Josef – Queenstown 
    Highlights 
    This list includes optional activities possible in the featured locations of the tour, they will entail an additional cost on the base price of the itinerary. 
    Take in the panoramic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean from Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower 
    Visit the vineyards, beaches, and excellent walking on Waiheke Island 
    Road-trip up to the rugged and tropical Pacific Coastline of the Northland 
    Find paradise in the idyllic beaches and crystal-clear water of the Bay of Islands
    Venture into the volcanic heartland of New Zealand at Rotorua 
    Trek or cycle through ancient rainforest in Whirinaki 
    Experience the cultural centre of Maori heritage and learn about their traditions 
    Meander through the vineyards, orchards and rolling green hills of Hawke’s Bay 
    Wander through the art deco streets of charming Napier 
    Find classic rural New Zealand scenery in the green hills of Wairarapa 
    Sample the wines of Martinborough or visit the seal colonies of Cape Palliser 
    Retreat to nature in the secluded and lush Abel Tasman National Park 
    Find the artistic centre of New Zealand in Nelson 
    Drive into the heart of New Zealand’s wine and food expertise in Blenheim and Marlborough 
    Take a trip to find secluded waterways and excellent marine life in the idyllic Marlborough Sounds 
    Drive the eastern seaboard of the South Island to reach Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains 
    Venture into the heart of the Southern Alps as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass 
    Live like a local on a 4,000-acre sheep farm and nature reserve in the heart of Arthur’s Pass 
    Land on the pristine pale blue ice of the Franz Josef Glacier in a helicopter 
    Find ancient rainforest and indulgent glacial hot pools in this astonishing region 
    Explore the adventurous and iconic Queenstown with a full range of exciting activities on offer 
    Intro Paragraph 
    Starting in the trendy city of Auckland, this tour will take you to the tropical beaches of the Bay of Islands, and south into the volcanic plateau of Rotorua. Next, continue onto the vineyards, green pastures, orchards and coastline of Hawke’s Bay before voyaging south to Wairarapa for classic rural countryside, and more great wine in Martinborough. Next, cross the Cook Strait and head to Nelson for the artistic centre of New Zealand, and a real rural retreat in the lush wilderness of the Abel Tasman National Park. Following this, stop in Blenheim and Marlborough for New Zealand’s best food and wine before continuing down the eastern seaboard of the South Island to the fascinating city of Christchurch. From here, you will ascend into the heart of the Southern Alps to live like a local on a 4,000-acre sheep farm and nature reserve, before continuing your alpine experience with a drive to the pale blue ice of the Franz Josef Glacier. Finally, drive south to the adventurous and thrill-seeking city of Queenstown, packed with activities for all energy levels. 
    Our range of accommodation includes everything from luxury boutique hotels, to remote wilderness eco-lodges. Hand-crafted experiences make your bespoke holiday to New Zealand even more special, and a seemingly infinite number of possibilities are available upon request. Please do not hesitate to get in touch and let us know how we can further personalise your once-in-a-lifetime tour through New Zealand. 
    About this tour 
    The New Zealand Explorer Touring Holiday is perfect for a longer first-time trip to New Zealand. Over the course of 21-nights, we will introduce you to a comprehensive selection of classic highlights in this magical continent. You will see Auckland, the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Nelson, Blenheim and Marlborough, Christchurch, Arthur’s Pass, Franz Josef and Queenstown. 
    Prices 
    From £6,200 per person in ‘value hotels’.
    From £9,960 per person in ‘luxury hotels’. 
    Please see our hotel list for more information on what is included in these basic rates. 
    Dates 
    This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings may vary depending on the month and day of the week. 
    What’s Included 
    • Return scheduled flights with British Airways, Qantas, Air New Zealand or Emirates from London to Auckland, returning from Queenstown to London in economy class.
    • Car hire where specified in our itinerary. 
    • Accommodation sharing a double or twin room. Please see our suggested list of hotels for details of base accommodation type. 
    • The meals included with your tour will vary by chosen accommodation. Please see our hotel suggestions for included board basis. 
    What’s not included 
    • Meals and drinks, except as specified in our hotel suggestions. 
    • Optional tours and activities within each location, except where explicitly specified as included in our itinerary, or by hotels in our hotel lists. 
    • Personal expenses. 
    • Insurance.
    • Visa and Passport. 
    You will need a full British passport with at least six months validity. To do not need a Visa for travel to New Zealand as a British Passport will allow the holder a six month stay upon arrival. More details are available from https://www.newzealand.com/uk/visas-and-immigration/

    Day-By-Day Itinerary 
    Day One: Auckland  
    Arrive in Auckland and settle into the time-zone, and your luxury accommodation. Soak up the sights and sounds of the iconic city of Auckland. For the best of the views, visit the 328-meter Sky Tower, or otherwise hike up Mount Eden, a volcanic peak that casts views over the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, and the iconic Eden Park – home of the All Blacks. For a different sense of perspective, you could choose to sail in the gloriously protected water of the bay on a real America’s Cup Yacht. With the wind ruffling your hair, and the skyline of Auckland as a backdrop, this is a fantastic way to introduce yourself with what a holiday in New Zealand is all about. 
    Day Two: Auckland 
    Today could be spent living as a true New Zealander by journeying to one of the classic city escapes from Auckland. To the east lie the Hauraki Gulf Islands, and the largest, Waiheke Island, offers something for everyone, with both beautiful beaches, fashionable streets and some excellent vineyards. Take a stroll on one of island’s trails which take you from cliff top vistas into the cool and dense envelope of the native forest. To the west, volcanic beaches and great surfing await in Piha, a fantastic climax to an easy day’s road trip. 
    Day Three: Northland and the Bay of Islands 
    Picking up your 4x4 hire car, your first taste of rural New Zealand awaits. Today you drive north through the lush vegetation, spectacular coastline, orchards of citrus trees and roadside fruit stalls, bumpy volcanic peaks, and, of course, pastures of sheep. Arrive in the Bay of Islands to find your spectacular panoramic accommodation perfectly positioned to make the most of the evening sunshine. Spotting dolphins playing in the ocean below you whilst unwinding on your private deck or in a jacuzzi, sundowner in hand. 
    Day Four: Bay of Islands 
    A stay in the Bay of Islands really is about exploring the idyllic coastline that surrounds you. Lush fern filled valleys turn to cliffs, bays, inlets and beaches, and into the crystal-clear waters of the Southern Pacific. Choose from a range of activities including sea kayaking, swimming with the resident dolphins, or sailing. Land lovers may choose to admire the vistas on horseback, or by hiking. Otherwise, simply get onto the beaches and soak up the Southern Hemisphere sunshine. 
    Day Five: Rotorua 
    Driving to Kerikeri Airport in the Bay of Islands, you will drop your hire car and board your flight to Rotorua. This flight will take you deep into the volcanic heartland of the North Island, where geothermal wonders, bubbling hot pools, exploding geysers, and lush rainforest. Pick up your new hire car, and perhaps join an evening Maori cultural display in a local Maori village. Rotorua is often considered the heart of Maori culture in New Zealand, so there is no better place to learn of their historic traditions and watch fascinating song and dance before settling down to an authentic feast cooked beneath the ground on hot stones. 
    Day Six: Rotorua 
    Today would be best spent uncovering the geothermal wonders of the region. To do so, visit Te Puia – a 70-hectare park that contains the world famous Pohutu geyser, as well as mud pools, hot springs and silica formation. Indeed, here you will also find the Kiwi bird, and national schools of Maori wood carving, weaving, stone and bone carving. The highlight of the experience is undoubtedly Pohutu geyser, an ancient geothermal feature, and the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere. She erupts twice every hour and sometimes reaches heights of 30 metres. Next, travel to Whirinaki forest, where lush rainforest supports a great diversity of wildlife including many rare birds. A network of trails makes walking and mountain biking a joy amongst the awe-inspiring trees. 
    Day Seven: Hawke’s Bay 
    A full day’s drive will delight as you drive pass yet more steaming geothermal sites before skimming the eastern shores of the majestic Lake Taupo. Here, you could enjoy an afternoon sail to the ancient Maori rock carvings, or head out on a short hike in the Tongariro National Park. Next, meander through the forested hills of Kaimanawa and Kaweka before reaching the art deco treasures of Napier and the fertile and sunny plains of Hawke’s Bay. 
    Day Eight: Hawke’s Bay 
    Spend a relaxing today investigating the architectural treasures of Napier together with its Aquarium and dolphin displays and then explore some of the famous vineyards of the region, perhaps having lunch at Sileni or Black Barn. In the afternoon, you could potter in the pretty village of Havelock North and take a scenic drive along the Tukituki River. Hawke’s Bay really is all about appreciating the landscape, climate and culinary prowess of New Zealand. 
    Day Nine: Wairarapa 
    Depending on where you stay, take time today to explore a working sheep farm and then to visit Martinborough, famous for its pinot noir vineyards. If you stay in Martinborough make the most of the accessibility of the vineyards, many by foot from the town centre. The rolling rural pastures and the pleasant climate make Wairarapa an all-together perfect end to your time on the North Island. Tomorrow you will cross the Cook Strait, but today, raise a glass of pinot noir in toast to this peaceful place. 
    Day Ten: Nelson and Abel Tasman 
    Drive South to Wellington to board your ferry across the Cook Strait. This scenic cruise is one of the highlights to any holiday in New Zealand, as you enter the peaceful serenity of the Marlborough Sounds. Having perhaps spotted dolphins from your ferry, arrive into Picton and drive West towards Nelson to reach your accommodation in the afternoon. Nelson is a charming city well known for its art and craft prowess. Perhaps tour the galleries of the region before settling down to dinner.
    Day Eleven: Nelson and Abel Tasman 
    Today would be a great day to venture into the true wilderness of the Abel Tasman National Park. Preferably, you could join your own private charter so that you get to see the major sights along the coast and have time for a swim and sunbathe and a picnic lunch on a pretty-much deserted beach. Either way, the Abel Tasman National Park is a mecca for wildlife enthusiasts the world over. Here lush vegetation and hills of native bush cascade into sheltered inlets of turquoise water and idyllic beaches. The Park can only be reached by water or foot, and it is this isolation that makes the Abel Tasman such a special retreat into nature.  
    Day Twelve: Blenheim and Marlborough 
    Today’s drive is particularly pretty as you head along the coast passing Nelson and then through wooded hills skirting the edge of the Marlborough Sounds near Havelock. Stop here for a fantastic lunch of the local Greenlip mussels before reaching the more expansive, drier country of the Wairau valley around Blenheim. Vineyards here stretch for miles with easily recognisable names such as Montana, Cloudy Bay and Stoneleigh. Stop for wine-tasting in the late afternoon, as the sun cast golden hues over the pastoral landscape. 
    Day Thirteen: Blenheim and Marlborough 
    Another full day of exploring the world-famous vineyards of Marlborough could await guests. One of the most exciting ways to do this would be by riding The Golden Mile, a series of excellent vineyards connected by easy and scenic bike trails. Otherwise choose from a variety of activities to showcase the best of the region. For example, explore the local museums that tell the history of New Zealand, or hike and kayak around the Wairau Lagoon, where the site of New Zealand’s earliest human habitation, and over 90 species of bird are found. 
    Day Fourteen: Christchurch 
    Set out South East en route to Kaikoura. Spot striking beaches, and the friendly faces of sunbathing seals before arriving into Kaikoura for lunch. If you have some extra time at your disposal, join a whale watching expedition in the rich, biodiverse waters just off the coast. Made famous by David Attenborough amongst many other naturalists, Kaikoura is home to an astonishing wealth of cetacean life, including sperm whales, orcas and dolphins, as well as variety of other species including seals and albatross. Whale watching boats really do offer a great perspective of this ‘maritime Serengeti’, however snorkelling and scenic flights are also available upon request. Continue onto Christchurch in the evening, and perhaps explore this fascinating city as it rebuilds in creative ways from the devastation of the 2011 earthquake. 
    Day Fifteen: Arthur’s Pass 
    Today an easy drive will take you from the Canterbury Plains of Christchurch into the start of the Southern Alps. The scenery from the road is some of the best in New Zealand, and postcard images of the South Island will pass by in their dozens, from pastures of grazing sheep to craggy cliffs and distant snow-clad mountain peaks. The vistas reach their crescendo as you approach Arthur’s Pass. Here, settle into your friendly and cosy luxury hotel, and perhaps join one of the walking tours of this alpine environment before tucking into a well-earnt hearty meal. 
    Day Sixteen: Arthur’s Pass 
    Live like a true Kiwi local today by a tour of a real working sheep farm. With 3000 sheep and 120 Angus cattle, experienced guides will show you this typically New Zealand way of life, including traditional blade-shearing demonstrations, and handfeeding of tame shape. Alternatively, guests could hike or join an ecological guided tour of the area. The focus really is on the great outdoors, and the alpine scenery provides a magnificent playground in which to indulge oneself. In the evening, observe the stars of the southern sky in this second-to-none setting where clean air and zero light pollution reveal the entirety of the milky way. 
    Day Seventeen: Franz Josef Glacier 
    Continuing west across the Pass, today’s drive will eventually take you down to the coast. Here awaits a marvel of the latitude, with the pristine glaciers of Franz Josef and Fox advancing close to the sea. Settle into your luxury lodge, and take a trip into town to find a charming town alive with Kea – a cheeky and comical West Coast Parrot. For pure relaxation, why not indulge in the glacier hot pools that weave their way through the lush rainforest. 
    Day Eighteen: Franz Josef Glacier 
    Today can be adventurous in the most Kiwi of ways. One of the delights of the Franz Josef Glacier is the opportunity to take a thrilling helicopter ride onto the pale blue pristine ice formations, and hike along with the help of a qualified guide. This adventure is deceptively safe, and your well-trained guides will walk with you every step of the way. The views are exceptional, and the experience is unlike anything you will have tried before. It really is one of the highlights of a trip to New Zealand. 
    Day Nineteen: Queenstown 
    A scenic drive will take you along the west coast of New Zealand, past a number of achingly pretty stops. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Mount Cook National Park, Haast, Mount Aspiring National Park and Wanaka, before touching the wineries of Otago and passing into the famously adventurous Queenstown. Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and surrounded by snow-capped peaks, New Zealand has saved the best for last. Settle into your lake-side accommodation and revel in the alpine surrounds. 
    Day Twenty: Queenstown 
    The choice of activities on offer in Queenstown is truly staggering. In the winter, head to the aptly-named Remarkables to find some of the best skiing in the Southern Hemisphere. In the summer, choose from mountain biking, white-water rafting or horse-riding amongst other activities. Many of these opportunities operate year-round, allowing you to acquaint yourself with Fiordland in an adventurous way. Queenstown itself is a beautiful and exciting home from home amidst all the adrenaline. There is a youthful energy available, as well as a palpable air of sophistication for those seeking outstanding hospitality, food and wine. 
    Day Twenty-One: Queenstown 
    On your last full day in New Zealand, make the most of the adventurous capabilities of Queenstown in a way that suits you. Another option, is to join a day cruise of either Milford or Doubtful Sound to the South West of the city. These incredible fiords are home to an extraordinary mix of wildlife, from orcas to penguins, and feature some of the best scenery in New Zealand. In the evening, return to Queenstown and raise a glass to this incredible country. 
    Day Twenty-Two: Return Home 
    With memories to last a lifetime, drop your hire car at Queenstown Airport and catch your flight home.

    New Zealand Explorer Touring Holiday

    Value Hotels
    Auckland
     
    Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour 
    Perched on the waterfront at Waitemata Harbour, and positioned near to the attractions of the new Wynyard Quarter, the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour is an affordable and chic 5-star hotel. We include room only for two sharing 1 x Superior Room. 
    Bay of Islands
    The Sanctuary at Bay of Islands
     
    ‘The Sanctuary’ is an apt name to describe this luxury hidden gem, which casts wonderful views over the native bushland, and onto the South Pacific and the islands that dot the coastline. We include Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Sea and Bush View Suite. 
    Rotorua 
    Black Swan Lake Side Boutique Hotel 
    Set on one acre of grounds overlooking the magnificent Lake Rotorua, the elegant Black Swan boasts impressive facilities for just 9 rooms, with rose gardens, sweeping lawns, a swimming pool, sauna, secret grotto, sandy beach, and a private jetty. We include Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Lake View Room. 
    Hawke’s Bay
    Mangapapa
     
    With a refined and sophisticated ambience, Mangapapa Hotel is comprised of traditional Kiwi architecture set amongst beautiful orchards and gardens in the heart of the Hawke’s Bay wine region. We include Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Homestead Junior Suite. 
    Wairarapa
    Martinborough Hotel
     
    At the entrance of The Square in the wine region of Martinborough, this hotel has a heritage feel coupled with charming grounds and excellent culinary fare. We include room only for two sharing a Superior Garden Suite.
    Nelson
    Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco
     
    With a welcoming village feel, complete with a green, streams and cottages, this hotel provides a prime position for exploring the best of the Nelson and Abel Tasman region. We include room only for two sharing a 1 Bedroom Cottage with Spa. 
    Blenheim and Marlborough
    The Bell Tower on Dog Point
     
    Set spectacularly on the vineyards of Marlborough, this rustic Provencal style farmhouse casts spectacular views over the Richmond Range and Wairau Plains. We include room only for two when sharing 1 x French Barn. 
    Christchurch
    The George
     
    Just steps from the cultural precinct and attractions, The George is an award-winning boutique hotel offering impeccable service and a peaceful feel in the city of Christchurch. We include room only for two when sharing 1 x Executive Room. 
    Arthur’s Pass
    Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass
     
    Live like a local on a 4000-acre merino sheep farm and nature reserve in the heart of Southern Alps. Guided ecological walks, kayaking and much more will introduce you to the best of the region. We include Dinner and Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Alpine View Lodge.
    Franz Joseph Glacier
    Westwood Lodge
     
    Surrounded by a wonderful bush garden Westwood Lodge features the cosiness of a ski chalet and stunning views of the West Coast rainforest, the Southern Alps and the Franz Josef Glacier. We include Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Main House Suite. 
    Queenstown
    The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments
     
    There is no better way to enjoy the vistas of Lake Wakatipu and the proximity of Queenstown than from the comfort of your private luxury apartment. We include room only for two sharing a 1 Bedroom Apartment (Executive Lake View).
    Luxury Hotels
    Auckland
    Hilton Hotel Auckland
     
    With stunning views over Auckland, a true nautical ambience, and an inspiring setting 300 meters out to sea, the Hilton Hotel Auckland is the flagship of luxury in this iconic city. We include room only for two when sharing 1 x Deluxe Harbour View Room. 
    Bay of Islands
    Eagles Nest
     
    A stunning and romantic retreat for two, the First Light Temple at Eagles Nest is the utmost in luxury offerings in the Bay of Islands, casting incredible views over the coastline. We include Breakfast Provisions for two when sharing the First Light Temple. 
    Rotorua
    Solitaire Lodge
     
    With a premium waterfront location on Lake Tarawera, Solitaire Lodge offers unparalleled views of the water, and the natural bush and volcanic backdrop, in a truly luxury setting. We include Dinner and Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Executive Suite. 
    Hawke’s Bay
    The Farm at Cape Kidnappers
     
    Boasting stunning suites, a well-equipped spa, and one of the world’s best golf courses, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is a special place to stay in Hawke’s Bay. It was recently voted in the world’s top 20 hotels by Cande Nast Traveller. We include Dinner and Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Hilltop Suite.
    Wairarapa
    Martinborough Hotel
     
    At the entrance of The Square in the wine region of Martinborough, this hotel has a heritage feel coupled with charming grounds and excellent culinary fare. We include room only for two sharing a Superior Garden Suite.
    Nelson
    Te Koi the Lodge at Bronte
     
    Overlooking the tranquil waters of the Waimea Estuary, this recently refurbished luxury lodge offers an enchanting location from which to explore the magic of the Nelson and Abel Tasman region. We include Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Suite. 
    Blenheim and Marlborough
    Marlborough Lodge
     
    In the midst of the best vineyards of Marlborough, the Lodge is an elegant and sophisticated traditional Kiwi country estate surrounded by 16-acres of park-like grounds. We include Dinner and Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Lodge Room. 
    Christchurch
    Otahuna Lodge
     
    Offering pastoral surroundings, this historic residence was recently revitalised with luxury accommodation, glorious gardens and sophisticated cuisine. It now one of New Zealand’s most elegant hotels. We include Dinner and Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Suite. 
    Arthur’s Pass
    Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass
     
    Live like a local on a 4000-acre merino sheep farm and nature reserve in the heart of Southern Alps. Guided ecological walks, kayaking and much more will introduce you to the best of the region. We include Dinner and Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Alpine View Lodge. 
    Franz Josef Glacier
    Te Waonui Forest Retreat
     
    Surrounded by native bushland, the boutique styling of Te Waonui provides a warm, calming, almost chalet style home in which to recuperate from a day exploring the glaciers and waterways of Franz Josef. We include Dinner and Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Deluxe Room. 
    Queenstown
    Azur Lodge
     
    The aptly named Sunshine Bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is home to the once-in-a-lifetime Azur Lodge, a panoramic retreat set within 3.5-acres of private bushland near to the adventure of Queenstown. We include Breakfast for two when sharing 1 x Villa.

    An introduction to New Zealand
    All about New Zealand
     
    New Zealand is a country whose name immediately conjures halcyon images of exploration and adventure, of natural splendour and wholesomeness. Yet for many the magic of New Zealand is considered too far way, and it is all too frequently relegated as an impossible dream for the future. For this reason, any journey to this fabulous country must carefully balance a degree of efficiency in experiencing its astonishingly diverse landscapes, and enough time to really soak up the scenery and culture in each locality. That is to say, the best way to holiday in the mystical enigma of New Zealand is via a bespoke touring itinerary. The majesty of New Zealand’s landscapes overwhelms from the moment of arrival. They change dramatically from locality to locality, along with the climate, and result in a patchwork quilt of achingly pretty vistas, and individualised experiences. From skiing in the aptly named Remarkables in Fiordland, to snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters of the Bay of Islands. From boating into the rich and cetacean infested waters of Kaikoura to discovering the erupting geysers and serene hot pools of Rotorua. Of course, this is a nation that thrives on the outdoors, and a range of activities are possible in New Zealand to match all energy (and adrenaline) levels. Yet in contemporary New Zealand, the thriving cosmopolitan city centres are also important sites of interest in their own right. Here you will find distinct local cultures, and a chic and fashionable ambience that feels sophisticated and refreshingly laid-back simultaneously. Indeed, the incredible rise of New Zealand’s culinary and wine scene, from the vineyards of Marlborough in the South to Hawke’s Bay and Waiheke Island in the North, have only compounded the sense of cultural refinement in this magnificent country. 
    Based upon our experience of travelling around New Zealand, we have put together several suggested itineraries, aimed at doing as much justice to the variety and scale of New Zealand as is possible within a reasonable length of time. These are merely suggestions, and any itinerary created by Expressions Holidays is bespoke and completely tailored to the interests and needs of our clients.
    The price is upon request and will depend on the exact details of the touring itinerary, and the accommodation chosen at each locality. 
    New Zealand facts 
    Location: New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 2 main islands. It is situated approximately 1,500 km east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly 1,000 km south of the Pacific Islands of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. 
    Time difference: Wellington has a time zone of GMT + 12 hours. 
    Language: English
    Population: 4.88 million.
    Size: 268,021 km2, roughly 990 miles from north to south and 250 miles from east to west. 
    Currency: New Zealand Dollars (about 1.88 to the pound) 
    Capital: Wellington, located at the southern tip of the North Island.
    Geography and climate 
    New Zealand enjoys a maritime climate, which explains partly the lush vegetation and rich pastures, but it also makes the weather rather changeable. It is subject to prevailing winds from west to east, although most rain falls in the winter (July to August) and the summer months (December to March) are generally drier. Generally, the southern and western parts of the country are wetter than the northern and eastern parts. On top of this longitude and altitude plays a role, with the northern part of the North Island enjoying a subtropical ‘winter-free’ climate, whereas the South Island is home to sterling ski resorts in the winter months, and glaciers and snow-capped peaks are found year-round.
    Cities and Culture 
    New Zealand is well known as a land of stunning views, wilderness expanses, and pristine ecosystems. Yet it is important to note that modern New Zealand is home to a scintillating array of urban centres, which offer a different appeal to tourists. Here, clients will find a burgeoning food and wine scene, as well as great shopping, inspiring architecture, and refreshingly laid-back and welcoming Kiwi culture. Of interest might be Auckland in the North where a historic feel meets strikingly modern architecture such as the 328-meter Sky Tower. A café culture and a truly nautical feel conspire to create a relaxing base from which to start one’s tour in New Zealand. The capital city of Wellington at the bottom of the North Island has a different feel altogether, situated on a hook-shaped harbour ringed with ranges that wear a cloak of snow in winter. Discover the dramatic scenery, theatrical climate, Victorian architecture and the cosmopolitan centre, as well as wilderness surrounds with bushy hillsides that resonate with native bird song. Finally, famously adventurous Queenstown at the foot of the South Island enjoys a magnificent setting in the mountains of Fiordland, and a culture of outdoor pursuits. 
    Landscape and Coastline 
    Despite New Zealand’s modest size, the variety of landscapes on offer are truly staggering, and pay testament to its volcanic history. In the North Island, a beautiful coastline and lush vegetation in the Northland meet the rolling green pastures of sheep farms and wineries in Hawke’s Bay. Elsewhere in the Central North Island, tourists will find pristine rainforest in Whirinaki, an active volcanic plateau in Rotorua, and vast expanses of Lake and the mountains of the Tongariro Crossing in Taupo. On the South Island, the landscape varies even more dramatically, from the Canterbury Plains that encircle Christchurch to the idyllic waterways of the Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park, to the mountainous and glacial environment of the Central South Island and the iconic Fiordland. The coastline throughout New Zealand matches this diversity, and whilst tourist may find themselves snorkelling with tropical fish in the Bay of Islands, they will find cool glacial water in the world-famous Milford Sound, and superb surfing beaches on the Western Coastline of the North Island. 
    Wildlife and Ecology 
    New Zealand’s isolation as a remote island has resulted in a truly unique set of ecosystems. Many of the species found here are endemic, meaning exclusively found in New Zealand, and their often-inquisitive manner leads to truly once-in-a-lifetime encounters for many visitors. On the North Island, lush vegetation and pristine rainforest have provided a sanctuary for many tropical species, whereas the South Island is made famous primarily for its bird life. On Stewart Island for example, tourists will find an extraordinary abundance of native species including the bell bird, tui, kaka, tomtit, grey warbler, kakariki, and the New Zealand wood pigeon. Also found here is the iconic Stewart Island Brown Kiwi, as well as albatross, and several species of penguin including the Southern Blue Penguin, Yellow-eyed Penguin, Rockhopper Penguin, Fiordland Crested Penguin and Snares Crested Penguin. 
    In terms of the underwater world, New Zealand is perhaps even more special still. On the North Island, clear and warm waters are found, creating an ecosystem where many tropical species, often also found on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as temperate marine life can co-exist in harmony. Poor Knights Island, to the east of the Northland, is a fantastic example of this, and intrepid snorkelers or scuba divers will find soft corals, sponges, vibrant anemones, and kelp forests, as well as sting rays, manta rays, and a myriad of other lifeforms. Another fantastic place to search for incredible marine life is Kaikoura on the East Coast of the North Island. Brimming with dolphins, whales, orcas, seals, albatross and more, these rich waters are often featured in nature documentaries, and they have recently been championed by Sir David Attenborough. Tourists can swim, scuba dive, sail or kayak through the waters in search of a variety of once-in-a-lifetime encounters. 
    Government advice 
    The UK government has an excellent website www.fco.gov.uk which you must use to obtain up-to-date information about worldwide destinations. This site gives details about trouble spots but also general advice about most countries. We advise most strongly that you check notices about your intended destination before you book and travel. 
    Passport and Visas 
    A full British passport is required for travel to New Zealand. Please bear in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid and still has six months validity before you book your holiday and it can take some time to obtain a new one. Everyone needs his or her own passport so if you are thinking of taking an infant, allow plenty of time to get a passport. Visas are not generally required for travel to New Zealand, although full details should be obtained with the New Zealand authorities. More information is available from https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas 
    Health 
    There are no required vaccinations for travel to New Zealand but you should nevertheless always check with your doctor before travelling. A leaflet is available from the Department of Health called ‘Health Advice to Travellers’, by telephoning 0800-555777. If you are suffering from any disability or illness, this should be communicated to us at the time of booking. Please note that pregnant passengers are not accepted by airlines usually after about 28 weeks into the pregnancy. You should check this with us before you make a booking. 
    Insurance 
    It is your own responsibility to ensure that you are adequately insured for your holiday. Please refer to our statement on insurance in our booking conditions. Insurance for the activities you choose to undertake during your holiday is also your own responsibilities. Additional requirements are needed for scuba diving, such as a doctor’s certificate. 
    Security and personal safety 
    When travelling you should take sensible precautions wherever you are and take care of money and personal valuables when passing through crowded and public places and cities in particular. In New Zealand, you should advise your accommodation when you set out on a long walk, drive, or venture into the wilderness. It is sensible to top up with petrol whenever you are about to leave a town for a long rural drive. 
    Wildlife hazards 
    Mosquitoes are a fact of life in the tropics. In fact, it is advisable to take your own anti-mosquito creams and lotions with you. Other insects (large beetles, cockroaches, sand flies etc) and some rodents are also common in tropical places. We cannot prevent these creatures from entering your accommodation. If this is a worry, perhaps a holiday to the tropics is not right for you. Guide books available will give you more advice on wildlife hazards. 
    Getting around 
    Main roads in New Zealand are very good. Some roads are not surfaced, particularly side roads, rural roads and private roads. These often lead to lodge accommodation. 
    What to wear 
    Due to the incredible diversity in climate and landscape, a trip to New Zealand will require a range of clothing. We advise you to check local recommendations. 
    Tipping 
    Tipping is generally expected for many services throughout New Zealand. Around 10 per cent of the bill is sufficient. This does not apply to your hotel stay.

  • OUR HOLIDAYS

    • Rail holidays

      Rail holidays and train journeys, tailor-made.

    • Garden holidays

      Italian garden holidays and tours for individuals and small groups

    • Family holidays

      Visit our selection of tailor-made family holidays to selected hotels and resorts around the world.

    • Cookery holidays

      Tailor-made cookery holidays in Italy

    • Spa holidays

      Rejuvenating, relaxing, refreshing, good for the body and the soul; spa and well-being worldwide

    • Authentic experiences

      Our selection of authentic experience and special interest holidays.

    • Worldwide journeys

      Luxury tours for individuals around the world

LATEST NEWS

  • BA flights to the Seychelles

    Find out more Read more

  • BTA 2017 Silver Winner

    Silver winner at British Travel Awards 2017

    Find out more Read more

  • New wine tours in Italy

    New wine tours in Italy for 2018 - Tuscany and Sicily in addition to Piemonte

    Find out more Read more

  • 101 Things to do at Nisbet Plantation

    Enjoy adventurous exploration, indulgent relaxation, intriguing culture and history, authentic Creole food, and thrilling sports, all as part of a stay at Nisbet Plantation.

    Find out more Read more

  • Garden Tour Updates

    New gardens and villas added to our Italian Garden Tour Holidays.

    Find out more Read more

  • Verona Opera 2018 Programme

    The performance and dates for the 2018 Verona Opera Festival have been released, and we have begun taking bookings.

    Find out more Read more

  • Living Retreats at Blue Waters brand-new wellness programme

    In partnership with Living Retreats, Blue Waters in Antigua is launching a brand-new wellness programme that focuses on retreating, rebalancing, and recharging.

    Find out more Read more

  • New Swiss Rail Tours

    Exciting developments to our Swiss programme have lead to many more personalised rail holiday options.

    Find out more Read more