When people are planning their travels to New Zealand, naturally they have a lot of questions.

The motivation to travel and what to expect in New Zealand might have been prompted by a friend who's travelled there, or what you've seen on TV. The finer details of travel planning needs to be sorted out.

At some point you will probably ask someone or yourself as you plan these basic questions (below) since they will have some bearing on the plans you might make in New Zealand.

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How long do I need to see NZ?

If you were to see both the North and South Islands you would need at least 3 weeks of travel time. That's the minimum amount of time required for a National Tour to see all the highlights.  

Of course, more time you have the better if you are doing a hop on hop off style pass and want to stay longer at destinations.

If you only intend on getting a taste of the North Island or South Island, then 9 or 10 days of travel time will be enough since there are tour options that will travel the respective islands in that time frame. You will need time to arrive before the tour and days after perhaps to see a little bit more at your gateway arrival or departure city. 

If that gateway city is Auckland check this info out- what can you do on a stopover in Auckland.

Where should I start? Auckland or Christchurch?

More tours start from Auckland because this is the major international gateway into NZ. There's no particular advantage starting from here or Christchurch, the other major departure point for tours in New Zealand.

Perhaps a better question to ask is, where do you wish to finish your tour?

It makes sense to fly into Auckland and out of Christchurch to avoid backtracking back to the North Island.

There are a lot of flights from Australia in to Christchurch. You could then travel from Christchurch up to Auckland to continue your international travels.

Alternatively there are some selected tours that start from Picton and Queenstown in the South Island.


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What's the best thing to see in New Zealand? Do you go there on the tour?

All the tours, go to some of the main highlights in New Zealand, depending on the amount of time your have to travel. They also go to places people don't necessarily know about before they arrive, like secret hot pools and wilderness overnight stops. This being so, if it's worth seeing your tour will probably go there.

The itineraries are designed to show off a diverse range of the natural and cultural attractions in New Zealand. There's not one thing that's the best, indeed, your experience will be the sum of the experiences you have.

If there's a specific destination you want to see, then it's a matter of looking through the itineraries or simply looking at the handy Destinations pages. You will be able to see all the tours that travel to a specific destination here.

Milford Sound is somewhere you want to go, but because of its location, not all tours will take you there.

Is hiring a car, or a camper van better than a tour in New Zealand?

They are certainly very different ways of travelling. It will depend on your personality type, what sort of trip you are planning and who you are travelling with as to what you choose. 

Hiring a car and camper van is a more independent way of travelling, but if you are travelling by yourself not particularly social or necessarily cheap. Of course, you can stop where ever you like (within reason) and take more time at destinations.

A tour is more social, you will be guided and the commentary and insights into NZ are presented to you. You don't need to organise nightly accommodation and meals are often included. Tours also allow you to easily budget for a set amount of time with only optional activities to be factored in.

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What's the weather going to be like on my New Zealand tour?

The weather in New Zealand is generally very variable. Lying as it does as islands in an expanse of ocean, it is subject to quick changes of weather.

Being so far south, the winter is cold, especially in the South Island with snowfalls. The North Island equally can experience rain at any time of the year. That said, most activities don't seem to get cancelled because of the weather, people just get on with things. You can't control it, so why bother worrying about it. But please buy a raincoat.

The summer months of December through to April are the busiest months with most people travelling to NZ during this time. You can very easily travel in the winter, it just means there will probably be less people on the bus with you.

Tours to get you there

Visit some stunning New Zealand beaches

The Maximus Pass

Jump on the bus and discover the real New Zealand, with (almost) everything you could wish for! From the Far North to the very Far South.

Guided jet boat ride along Shotover River

Shotover Jet

The World’s Most Exciting Jet Boat Ride and the only company permitted to operate in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons.