Where to from here? Everywhere!

Taking in the diverse beauty of both the North and South islands, this trip showcases the best of New Zealand. Sail on emerald waters to secluded island bays, walk beneath giant tree ferns, peer into the belly of a volcano, soak up city culture, sip wine amongst the vines, sea kayak along stunning coastline, explore cave constellations, soar over glaciers and cruise beneath towering fiords. You’ll have to draw up a whole new bucket list when you get home.


7 February 2021

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All payment is in NZD. Pricing in other currencies is indicative based on the current exchange rate. Final payment amount is determined by your bank based on the latest conversion.

Single supplement from: NZ$5,480
Price based on double occupancy. Single supplement is a surcharge for single occupancy.

Length22 days | 21 nights
DestinationAuckland to Queenstown

Classic Stays
Modern, well-appointed properties that provide a comfortable, convenient base from which to explore. Perfect for the region, they’re typically within easy access to cafes and other amenities.

Premier Stays
Quality lodgings in superb settings, from stylish lakeside lodges to restful alpine retreats. Note that in a few cases, Classic Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Premier to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Premier Stays are not available.

Luxe Stays
Exclusive, indulgent hideaways with exceptional facilities and service. The best in New Zealand (and perhaps the world). Note that in a few cases, Premier Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Luxe to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Luxe Stays are not available.

Special Stays
Some tours feature overnight cruises and multiple-day hikes, with stays in private lodges or Department of Conservation huts, for special wilderness experiences.


You’re comfortable on tracks with gently undulating terrain and can move comfortably and freely. Suitable for families with young children. Note, activity add-ons may change rating.

You enjoy walking/light hiking, can handle a hill or two, and appreciate life-affirming soft adventures that dip a toe outside your comfort zone.

You’ve got a bit of Kiwi in you and are ready to hit the hills and push yourself a little. Some of these trips include multi-day hikes that get you further into the wild. It’s not all Bear Grylls, though. You’re happy to enjoy a rewarding glass of pinot at day’s end.

This is an overall guide. Our trips include a range of activities across the spectrum. Request a Detailed Itinerary for more details on fitness levels needed for individual activities.

StyleSmall Group

Small Group
Scheduled, guided adventures with just the right number of like-minded travellers to share in the laughs and make new friends.

Guided, professionally crafted trips with your own group and your choice of travel dates.

Self Drive
Self-guided, stress-free road trips with all the elements sorted for you. Our professionally crafted itineraries and booking team, your dates and travel companions.

Guided or self-guided, this is your personal New Zealand dream made manifest. A fully customized experience based on your passions, finessed with our professional planning.

Soft Adventure,

Daily Brief

Click on the orange icons to read about lodging along the way (not available on mobile). C=Classic, P=Premier, L=Luxe, S=Special Stays. Note accommodation may vary based on departure date. For hotel links and more information, Request a Detailed Itinerary above.

In Auckland, you’re greeted by your Black Sheep guide and whisked off to the stunning Bay of Islands. Rest up from your journey before your welcome dinner and a toast to the start of your New Zealand adventure.


Sail amongst the picturesque islands of the bay. Take the helm, climb the rigging, or just sit back and enjoy the sea breeze and a bit of penguin-spotting. Wash away the last remains of jetlag in the emerald waters of a secluded island bay.


Spend the morning walking amongst giant, ancient kauri trees in a peaceful forest reserve. This afternoon, visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds for a guided tour and cultural performance that immerses you in traditional and contemporary Maori culture.


Return to Auckland, taking a detour to New Zealand’s largest gannet colony, perched above black volcanic sands. Study these birds in their natural habitat before settling into your own nest in the heart of Auckland’s vibrant waterfront district.


Walk with an award-winning naturalist through the lush, subtropical rainforest of the Coromandel Peninsula before settling into your seaside accommodation. At dinner, wonder how your guide knew that it was your birthday and that your favourite flavour is chocolate.


Kick off the day with a nature cruise of the region's stunning coastline and pristine marine reserve. This afternoon, consider a self-guided hike to a remote cove guarded by towering sandstone formations or follow a snorkel trail that reveals the marine reserve’s underwater treasures.


Travel to Rotorua, a cultural centre for Maoridom and an active volcanic region. This afternoon, test the healing theories of the water at a modern spa facility. Relaxed and rejuvenated, explore the city’s diverse dining district.


Take a scenic flight to gain a unique perspective of the region’s volcanic landscape. View steaming lakes, hot rivers and the awesome crater rift of Mt Tarawera volcano as you learn about the history of this dynamic land. This afternoon, visit the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute to watch students refine their craft.


Fly to New Zealand's picturesque capital city, Wellington, and enjoy a day exploring on your own. Visit Te Papa, the country's national museum; tour government buildings; ride the historic cable car to the botanical gardens; or stroll through galleries and along the busy waterfront, all within an easy walk of your hotel.


Ferry across the Cook Strait and along the spectacular coastline of the Marlborough Sounds to the South Island. On land, visit the world-renowned Marlborough wine region, stopping for lunch amongst the vines. Drink in the South Island's relaxed atmosphere (both figuratively and literally) then head to sun-drenched Nelson for your two-night stay in this arts and outdoors capital.


Hike and sea kayak, hike only, or cruise along the stunning shoreline of arguably one of the most beautiful parks in the country. Aquamarine waters, temperate forest, golden sand beaches--no arguments here. Note that this may very well be where the colloquialism 'G'day' came from.


Travel to the tiny, seaside town of Kaikoura, New Zealand's marine-life centre, located between the dramatic Kaikoura Ranges and the Pacific Ocean. Kaikoura means "to eat crayfish (lobster)" in Maori, and tonight is a chance to sample the local specialty.


Behold some of Kaikoura's wildlife in their natural habitat in a choice of ways, be it swimming with dolphins or seals, whale watching by sea or air, or more. A self-guided hike on Kaikoura’s geologically intriguing peninsula, amongst nesting seabirds and snoozing fur seals, is a great way to round out your day of marine adventure.


Journey to Christchurch, described as the most English of New Zealand's cities. Stroll through the Botanical Gardens, visit the galleries and museums, or hire a punt or kayak for a glide down the Avon River. The repair work around the city is a fascinating exhibition of hope and ingenuity as the city rebuilds from the earthquake that altered it in 2011. After an afternoon of exploring, settle in to your boutique hotel in the central city.


Board the renowned TranzAlpine train for a trip over the glorious Southern Alps to the wild and woolly West Coast. Rejoin your guide for a drive along dramatic coastline to your lodging at the base of Paparoa National Park. On route, thank yourself for choosing a guided trip, because you can’t take your eyes off the scenery—a serious no-no on these roads


Today, head to the middle of Middle-earth on a Scenic Caving trip to explore one of the limestone cave systems that honeycomb this region. View delicate, unspoiled formations and glow-worm constellations before returning for a relaxed afternoon. For those wanting something truly wild and wet, a cave rafting alternative is available. If you prefer to remain above ground, enjoy river- and seaside walks from your resort.


Head south to New Zealand's spectacular glacier region. In the village of Franz Josef, take a scenic helicopter flight over the glacier’s blue-ice crevasses and land on its neve. This afternoon, explore the region on foot with a self-guided hike to the glacier face and a walk beneath a canopy of old-growth rainforest. Marvel at how ferns and ice can be within cooee of each other (that's ‘really close' in Kiwi).


Hike around the peaceful, reflective water of a glacial kettle lake this morning, then head south to the Central Otago region. On the way, explore hidden trails and waterfalls before descending into Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital. Resting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and flanked by The Remarkables, this is a stunning setting in which to base ourselves for the next few days.


Queenstown is New Zealand’s adrenalin center. Because there are so many things to do here to cater to your diverse interests, we have left the day free for you to pick and choose whatever optional activities you desire, be they jet boating or bungy jumping, or more leisurely pursuits such as walking and wine trails. Lunch and dinner are on your own this day to give you full freedom to set your own schedule and enjoy both physical and culinary adventures.


Embark on a unique overnight stay in Milford Sound. On the drive through the Fiordland National Park, ask yourself how things could get any more beautiful, then find the answer around each new corner. Board your vessel and cruise the fiord, wildlife-spotting along the way, before anchoring in a sheltered cove for the night. Explore the shoreline via tender or kayak in the settling dusk.


Cruise back to shore as a rare witness to a Fiordland dawn. On the way back to Queenstown, stop to explore the native flora and fauna. Note the caffeine-like effect of New Zealand air. Back in Queenstown, enjoy a leisurely afternoon before gathering for a farewell dinner to celebrate the friendships you've made and the memories shared. While making a speech, accidentally call your guide 'Mom'.


Depending on your flight schedule, take time to relax, make final purchases, or reconsider that bungy jump before travelling home or to your next destination. Arrive home and book your next Black Sheep adventure.

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Want to make this itinerary exclusive to your own group? Request As a Private Trip and we can advise pricing based on your dates and the number of travellers in your group.

Trip Inclusions

While Black Sheep prides itself on the intangibles that make our Small Group trips special, our packages are known for being stuffed with features. Check out what’s included in your Black Sheep adventure below.


All accommodation during your tour

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Full-day sailing cruise
Maori cultural experience
Guided rainforest hike
Coromandel nature cruise
Geothermal scenic flight
Marlborough wine tasting
Abel Tasman kayak, cruise, or guided hike
Choice of Kaikoura marine activity
TranzAlpine train ride
Glow-worm cave expedition
Scenic glacier heli-flight
Milford Sound overnight cruise
Additional guided tours, museum and spa entries, and more

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All breakfasts
12 lunches
11 dinners with NZ wine sampling
Onboard snacks & beverages

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Tour vehicle with professional driver/guide
Rotorua to Wellington flight
Ferry ride to South Island
TranzAlpine train ride
Airport transfers within tour dates
All baggage transport within tour

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Services of a doting Black Sheep guide
Background support from Black Sheep HQ
Flight assistance available

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Gear & Amenities

Stainless steel water bottle & holder
NZ map & travel journal
Use of walking sticks, neck pillows, onboard library, and more
A few surprises

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New Zealand Experience
Small Group