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New Zealand Destination Guide

Exclusively Elegant Travel Since 1988

For more information, please call our Travel Consultants on:01244 897 551

Your guide from the Luxury Travel Experts

Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for New Zealand , created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Travel Consultants.


Capital Wellington
Language English
Time Difference 12 hours
Currency New Zealand Dollar
Voltage 230v

North Island
North Island is the more populated of the two islands and many visitors will enter via either Wellington or Auckland – ‘the city of sails’, which although isn’t New Zealand’s capital, it certainly feels like it. North Island also has its pick of the long and sandy beaches, as well as a strong Maori culture (moreso than the South Island) and we recommend that visitors should take time to delve into what lies behind this unique race. If you get the chance, do try a hangi, the traditional Maori meal cooked in an earth oven. Discover striking and unique natural scenery at attractions including the geothermal area of Rotorua and the lunar-like landscapes of Tongario National Park. South Island also offers opportunities to visit historic towns, the wineries of the Hawke’s Bay region and a plethora of relatively sedate outdoor pursuits including mountain-biking, fishing, kayaking and boat trips.

South Island
South Island has a more rural and remote feel and is famed for its natural beauty, which comprises sweeping mountain ranges, isolated farming communities, rugged coastline, wild rivers, lush forests and magical fiordland. It truly has some unspoilt, breathtaking terrain and various locations, including the imposing Mount Cook, which appeared in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films. The scenery makes an excellent backdrop for a host of exciting outdoor activities including hiking and mountain-biking, but if it’s more of an adrenaline-inducing thrill you’re looking for, the area around Queenstown is world-renowned as an adventure capital and offers everything from jet-boating to bungee-jumping. Amongst the landscapes is the beautiful wine region of Marlborough which has a wealth of vineyards and restaurants. Meanwhile, wildlife-lovers will be in their element, for on the South Island in particular, the ocean delivers an astonishing amount of life including penguins and whales.


North Island
City-lovers can enjoy the café culture of Wellington or the cosmopolitan vibe of Auckland – ‘the city of sails’.

Enjoy the marine life and beaches of the Bay Of Islands located off North Island or Maori culture and the geo-thermal activity around the town of Rotorua.

Take a hike through the lunar-like landscape of Tongario National Park.

Sample world-class wines in the Hawke's Bay region.

For our North Island destination guide, please click here.

South Island
Discover the South Island's more rural and remote feel, as well as its famed natural beauty.

Do some city sightseeing in Christchurch, known for its gracious parks and English character.

Go in search of wildlife in places including Kaikoura which is a great spot for whale-watching and Little Blue Penguins at Stewart Island.

Marvel at the mighty snowy peak of Mount Cook and the beauty of Glenorchy has the most extraordinary and beautiful alpine scenery.

Head to Queenstown for adventure activities including eco tours, boat trips, bungee jumping, jet-boating and more.

Enjoy wine-tasting in the Marlborough wine region which is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc.

A base in Nelson offers access into the stunning Abel Tasman which has some stunning beaches.

For our South Island destination guide, please click here.

Travel Gems+

Travel Planning
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.

Throughout the country you’ll find different culinary styles, exotic influences and vibrant flavours all made from fresh produce. As expected, the seafood is hard to beat – tender yellow-finned tuna, huge green-lipped mussels, scallops and oysters – but, non fish-lovers will not go hungry. Lamb and beef are accompanied by seasonal delights such as asparagus and kumara or olives and aubergine, and, of course award-winning wines.


The climate is the opposite of that in the Northern Hemisphere, making New Zealand’s warmer months from October to April and cooler months from May to September. Its climate is generally mild, benefitting from long hours of sunshine.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for New Zealand.

  Temp °C Rain mm

Getting There+

Flight Information
British Airways and Qantas from London Heathrow to Auckland and Christchurch (via Singapore or Dubai and Sydney or Melbourne); Singapore Airlines from London Heathrow and Manchester (via Singapore); Air New Zealand from London Heathrow (via Hong Kong or Los Angeles). Flights with Emirates (via Dubai) from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle

Flight Time
From London Heathrow to Christchurch: 25 hours, 40 minutes.

Travel Documentation+

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.

For up-to-date resort information, visit


Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling. Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Additional sources of information include:,,, and, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.

Talk to our Asia, Australasia and Africa Experts

Our dedicated Asia, Australasia and Africa Experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to New Zealand. Furthermore, we have 6 Travel Consultants who have personally visited New Zealand and can offer you their first-hand knowledge and experience.

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