The Best 10-12-Day Tours of New Zealand


Tour New Zealand in 10 to 12 Days

If you’ve got a couple of weeks to spend in beautiful New Zealand, then make the most of it by jumping on a tour. Let someone else worry about the directions, the driving, the research… All you have to do it sit back and enjoy these breathtaking South Pacific islands with your loved ones or your new travel mates! While 10-12 days seems like a long time, it’s still not quite enough to explore both the North Island and the South Island, so we recommend picking just one island to enjoy. With that, we’ll give some of our favourite North Island and South Island tours in this guide to the best 10-12-day tours of New Zealand.

For more tours, check out The Best 10-12-Day Tours of the North Island and The Best 10-12-Day Tours of the South Island.

7 Tips for Planning a 10-Day or 12-Day Trip to New Zealand

  • Choose just one of the main islands to explore on a 10-12-day trip to New Zealand – compare your options using Should You Travel the North Island or South Island?
  • Give yourself 11 to 13 days for your trip to New Zealand, to allow for your travel time to and from your tour’s start/endpoints, as well as to get over the jet lag
  • Pack light: don’t be that guy that everyone has to make room for! See 15 Essentials to Pack for New Zealand for more packing tips.
  • Compare tour companies on websites like Tourradar to find the perfect fit for you. Another advantage to these websites is that they have standard cancellation policies – handy if your plans change
  • Know which optional activities you want to do before your trip departs so you are able to budget correctly
  • On a similar note, remember to budget for food for tours that do not include every meal – see How Expensive is New Zealand? for the typical meal prices in New Zealand
  • Ask if your chosen tour company has a Facebook group so that you can connect with other travellers who will be on the same tour.

For more New Zealand tour advice, see 15 Tips to Make the Most of Your Bus Trip.

G Adventures© G Adventures

G Adventures – North Island Encompassed

See the North Island from top to bottom on this discovery tour with G Adventures! Join your guide and other young travellers for the 10-day North Island Encompassed tour where you’ll experience a houseboat excursion in the Bay of Islands, a conservation farm visit in Raglan, a Maori cultural experience in Rotorua, and much more. Of course, there’s time for you to do your chosen activities along the way. The tour also includes accommodation in dorm-style rooms, as well as all breakfasts and a few other meals. This tour begins in Auckland and ends in Wellington.

About G Adventures

Age Range: 18-39-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 20
Accommodation: Hostels, a houseboat and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners

Destinations on the 10-Day Tour
  • Auckland
  • Bay of Islands
  • Auckland
  • Raglan
  • Rotorua
  • Taupo
  • Wellington

Find out more about this tour and others by comparing G Adventures on Tourradar.

Inspiring Journeys© Inspiring Journeys

Inspiring Journeys – Southern Drift

Convenient, easy-going and just plain fun, the Southern Drift tour with Inspiring Journeys is an excellent way to experience the South Island. The 12-day South Island tour starts and ends in Christchurch, taking passengers of (almost) all ages to the South Island’s top destinations. We’re talking: Franz Josef, Milford Sound and Queenstown, as well as a few surprises along the way. Upmarket hotel and lodge accommodation is included, and Inspiring Journeys is just about the only escorted tour actually staying in Milford Sound! Some activities are also included in the tour rate, as well as most meals.

About Inspiring Journeys

Age Range: 12-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 20
Accommodation: Hostels, lodges and resorts
Meals: 11 breakfasts, one lunch and 11 dinners

Destinations on the 12-Day Tour
  • Christchurch
  • Franz Josef
  • Queenstown
  • Milford Sound
  • Dunedin

Find out more about this tour and others by comparing Inspiring Journeys on Tourradar.

Kiwi Vibes© Kiwi Vibes

Kiwi Vibes – Vibe of the North

Discover some alternative destinations of the North Island with Kiwi Vibes. Their Vibe of the North tour is easy to arrange, conveniently beginning and ending in Auckland. Kiwi Vibes takes young travellers to the beach-lined Coromandel, the volcanic centre of the North Island, rugged west coast and mountain of Taranaki, the Waitomo Caves and a few surprises in between. Inclusions in the tour are dorm-share accommodation, all breakfasts and a few other Kiwi-style meals.

About Kiwi Vibes

Age Range: 18-35-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 30
Accommodation: Hostels
Meals: All breakfasts, four lunches and three dinners

Destinations on the 10-Day Tour
  • Auckland
  • Whitianga
  • Whangamata
  • Tauranga
  • Rotorua
  • Taupo
  • Wellington
  • New Plymouth
  • Waitomo
  • Raglan

Find out more about this tour and others by comparing Kiwi Vibes on Tourradar.

Haka Tours© Haka Tours

Haka Tours – South Island Adrenaline Junkie Tour

Offering an alternative itinerary and plenty of action, Haka Tours gives passengers a blast on the South Island! The South Island Adrenaline Junkie Tour begins in Christchurch, heading to Queenstown and Wanaka, before journeying back up the wild West Coast and the Franz Josef Glacier to Abel Tasman. You’ll have an array of adventure activities to choose from, from heli-hiking on a glacier to bungy jumping in Queenstown (note that these experiences are at extra cost). The tour ends in Wellington and includes the stunning ferry cruise between the North Island and South Island. You’ll also have the opportunity to carve your own greenstone necklace to take home!

About Haka Tours

Age Range: 18-49-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 16
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts

Destinations on the 11-Day Tour
  • Christchurch
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Queenstown
  • Wanaka
  • Franz Josef
  • Punakaiki
  • Abel Tasman
  • Wellington

Find out more about this tour and others on the Haka Tours website.

Scenic Tours© Scenic Tours

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours – Northern Explorer

Travel the North Island in style with Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours. On the Northern Explorer tour, stay in luxurious hotels in between travelling to Omapere in Northland, Paihia in the Bay of Islands, Auckland city, Rotorua, Hawke’s Bay and Wellington. The 12-day excursion has extra useful (and fun) inclusions to make your trip effortless, such as airport transfers, most meals, a selection of included paid tours, as well as some optional experiences. What’s more, the trip is slower-paced in comparison to others on this list, so you can make the most of each destination you visit.

About Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours

Age Range: 12-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 40
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: 11 breakfasts, two lunches and seven dinners

Destinations on the 12-Day Tour
  • Auckland
  • Omapere
  • Paihia
  • Rotorua
  • Napier
  • Wellington

Find out more about this tour and others by comparing Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours on Tourradar.

Thrifty Tours© Thrifty Tours

Thrifty Tours – Southern National Parks

Hit some of the most awe-inspiring national parks of New Zealand on the Southern National Parks tour with Thrifty Tours. This 10-day South Island tour is for the budget-conscious traveller minus the “backpacker party bus” vibe. The trip starts and end in Christchurch and includes staying in twin-share rooms in motel accommodation. The experience also includes one of the world’s most scenic train journeys, the TranzAlpine, as well as a cruise at Milford Sound and airport transfers. Thrifty Tours also gives you ample time in most destinations to relax and explore on your own.

About Thrifty Tours

Age Range: 1-100-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 50
Accommodation: Motels
Meals: One lunch

Destinations on the 10-Day Tour
  • Christchurch
  • Mt Cook
  • Queenstown
  • Milford Sound
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Greymouth

Find out more about this tour and more by comparing Thrifty Tours on Tourradar.

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