DESTINATION EXPERTS CREATING UNIQUE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES

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New Zealand - Unique Experiences & Wildlife

These lodges and adventures are in remote and stunning locations, enabling you to truly immerse yourself in the environment& scenery of New Zealand. Australia provides an array hiking options and cycle trails for you to explore. There are nine great walks in New Zealand including the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, Milford Track, Tongariro Crossing, and Routeburn track. These tracks give you access to New Zealands back country to explore, stay in huts, and get up close and personal with some of the flora, amazing greenery and fauna of the country. You can choose to stay in very unique lodges, or travel in unique ways such as by rail, private helicopter, overnight sailing boat on the soundsand/or plane charters. Our most searched and selected unique experience & wildlife options are listed below. You can also refine your search by using the sub region list for more detailed information on each of our preferred accommodations and/or travel options to give you this once in a lifetime experience.

Coastal Pacific

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The Coastal Pacific train travels between Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city, and the delightful port of Picton, gateway to the Marlborough Sounds and South Island port of the Interislander Ferry. This journey is a scenic feast with views of the picturesque Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of the train contrasting with the rugged scenery of the Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. The Coastal Pacific passes through the town of Kaikoura, where it is possible to break the journey to whale-watch or swim with dolphins. Travel through some of New Zealand’s finest farmland and see endearing wildlife such as dolphins, seals and penguins from the comfort of the train carriage.

The Coastal Pacific operates an extended summer season, with services running daily from October to April. The train also connects with the Interislander Ferry and Sounds Air scenic flights, making travel to and from the North Island a breeze.

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Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

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Indulge in an overnight cruise in the long southern twilight and savour dinner, bed and breakfast with a difference. From Manapouri, cruise across Lake Manapouri to West Arm before crossing the alpine route of Wilmot Pass through some of Fiordland’s most dense rainforest. The overnight vessel, Fiordland Navigator, is purpose-built for cruising Doubtful Sound and features private cabins with ensuite bathrooms. Cruise the fiord, weaving through hidden coves and mystical waterways. Knowledgeable nature guides will share their passion for the region. This fiord is home to Bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland Crested and Little Blue penguins. As evening draws near, you’ll drop anchor at a sheltered mooring. Take the opportunity to explore the shoreline by kayak or small boat. In the evening, relax in the saloon and enjoy a delicious meal prepared by the chef. Coach transport is available from Te Anau and Queenstown.

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Hollyford Track

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Kayak, Seals & Walk Day Trip

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Explore New Zealand’s finest coastal National Park, combining kayaking, cruising & walking with this all-in-one experience near Nelson. An easy two-hour guided kayak trip explores the calm, azure waters of the Kaiteriteri coast, including the famous “Split Apple Rock” granite formation. After lunch, farewell your guide and board the Vista Cruise to travel into the heart of Abel Tasman National Park. Pause to view the antics at Tonga Island Seal Colony, then disembark on the mainland at picturesque Tonga Quarry Beach. Enjoy a two-hour, 4.1 km unguided coastal bush walk over the forested Tonga Saddle, around the stunning Bark Bay waterfalls trail with its new swing bridge highlight, then on to the golden sands of Medlands Beach. Rejoin the Vista Cruise for your return. Tour operates daily October-April. Coach transfers available form Nelson.

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Paterson Inlet Cruise

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Stewart Island Ferry Service

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Stewart Island is a haven for nature-lovers, walkers and people wanting a peaceful retreat from the modern world. With a population of only 400 and only 23km of sealed road, most of the island is protected within Rakiura National Park, making it a sanctuary for native plants and birds. It is one of the best places to see a kiwi in the wild. Experience Foveaux Strait in comfort on the express catamarans. During the one-hour crossing between Bluff and Stewart Island, keep a look out for wildlife, especially sea birds.

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TranzAlpine

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Waitomo Caves

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More than 30 million years ago, the legend of Waitomo Caves began with the creation of limestone at the bottom of the ocean. Now these limestone formations stand as one of New Zealand’s most inspiring natural wonders and a must-see destination.

The Waitomo region is home to unforgettable sightseeing attractions. Discover magical glowworms by boat in the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves .

Combine your experience with Ruakuri Cave; see glowworms up close and descend a spectacular spiral entrance. In Aranui Cave be mesmerized by ornate cave decorations. For NZ rafting adventure, get your blood pumping with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company.

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Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest national park - but it's perfectly formed for relaxation and adventure. A coastal paradise that you can walk through or explore by cruise boat, sailing catamaran, water taxi or sea kayak, visitors love the way the Abel Tasman National Park mixes physical exertion with beach life. Bursts of hiking or paddling are punctuated by sun bathing, swimming and sedate snorkeling.

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Auckland

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and main transport hub. Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping.

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Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands is a subtropical micro-region known for its stunning beauty & history. For those that love beaches and water activities, it's paradise. A three hour drive or 35 minute flight north of Auckland, the Bay of Islands encompasses 144 islands between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula and includes the boutique towns of Opua, Paihia, Russell and Kerikeri.

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Christchurch & Canterbury

Christchurch, New Zealand is interwoven by two rivers linking parks, gardens and avenues. Bordered by the Port Hills and the Pacific Ocean, it is situated on the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps as a majestic backdrop. Funky Christchurch city and the vast Canterbury region have plenty to keep you busy, whether you're a shopaholic, wild adventurer or history buff.

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Coromandel

The Coromandel, with its pristine beaches, native forests and laid-back vibe, is one of New Zealand’s most popular and best-loved holiday destinations. A binocular’s view across the gulf from Auckland, the Coromandel is everything that a big city isn’t. Cloaked in native rainforest with dazzling white sand beaches, it is rustic, unspoiled and relaxed.

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Dunedin

Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin is the country's city of the south, wearing its Scottish heritage with pride. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. The accommodation is good and plentiful; the nightlife buzzes with funky bars and delicious restaurants and the natural attractions are unique and fascinating.

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Hawkes Bay

Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s warmest, driest regions and this has made it one of the country’s leading producers of wine; notably red wines – cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah – but also with some quite stunning whites. The region is the first stop on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, and it's a popular place for bicycle wine tours.

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Marlborough

Located at the top of the South Island, Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine growing region and the home of world-renowned sauvignon blanc. Marlborough enjoys high sunshine hours and a temperate climate so that visitors can experience all of Marlborough’s diversity through the season. No matter what time of year, there is always something going on in Marlborough, New Zealand.

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Nelson

Nelson is a lifestyle; that’s the best way to describe it. Situated at the top north-west of the South Island, it is the sunniest region in New Zealand. Perhaps it’s the sun, perhaps it’s the location, but Nelson, New Zealand, has long been a magnet for creative people. There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, traditional, contemporary and Maori. Visit their studios and find a unique piece to take home with you.

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Queenstown

Captivated by the majestic beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers, it’s rumored that gold prospectors gave this now cosmopolitan town its name. Queenstown sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges. World famous for its iconic scenery, friendly people, golf courses, wineries and smorgasbord of outdoor activities, you'll never be short of things to do in Queenstown.

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Rotorua

Sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire, Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland with bubbling mud pools, clouds of steam, and natural hot springs perfect for bathing and relaxing in. After marvelling at the distinctive landscapes and volcanic activity within a geothermal park, enjoy a simple soak in a natural hot stream or indulge in a wellness getaway at a luxurious spa.

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Stewart Island

Stewart Island is New Zealand's third largest island, situated 30 kilometers south of the South Island, across the Foveaux Straight. In the Māori language, it’s known as Rakiura which means ‘the land of glowing skies’. The Aurora Australis which often appears in these southern skies will show inkling why.

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Taupo

Taupo was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China. Visit the Craters of the Moon and you'll see evidence of the lake's fiery birth in the geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools. At some of Lake Taupo's beaches, swimmers and paddlers can enjoy warm, geothermal water currents.

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wellington

Nestled between a sparkling harbor and rolling green hills, New Zealand's capital city is renowned for its arts, heritage, culture and native beauty. Wellington buzzes with delicatessens, cafes and restaurants – it’s a city that enjoys gourmet food and fine wine. Known as the culinary capital of New Zealand, Wellington is famous for its tucked-away bars, quirky cafes, award-winning restaurants and great coffee.

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West Coast

The West Coast, or ‘the Coast’ as locals call it, is a wild place of rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures. Never more than 50 kilometres wide, the whole stretch down the West Coast of the South Island - of which Greymouth is the largest town - is home to only 31,000 people. It’s good if you’ve got your own transport because this is a long region and there’s a lot to see. In fact, the Great Coast Road stretching from Westport to Greymouth was recently voted one of the top 10 coastal drives in the world by Lonely Planet.

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