The Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand
The Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand

The 10 Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand šŸ§­ [2023]

© Wild Kiwi

How to Tour New Zealand in 7 Days

If a week is all you have in New Zealand, then you are in for a treat on one of the islands! Although you won’t have time to explore both the North Island and the South Island, you will have time to enjoy one of them with the New Zealand tour companies. Whether you would prefer to see geothermal landscapes or glacier-carved fiords, would prefer to travel with travellers your own age or stay in more luxurious accommodation, there’s a New Zealand tour to suit. We’ll go through some of our favourites in this guide to the best 7-day tours of New Zealand!

While you’re here, you might want to check out some extra New Zealand tour companies in The Best 7-Day Tours of the North Island and The Best 7-Day Tours of the South Island. Plus, don’t forget to bookmark Travel by Bus in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide for even more tips.

7 Tips for Planning a 7-Day Trip to New Zealand

  1. Choose an island! There’s no way you can enjoy seeing both the North Island and South Island in seven days. Check out our island comparison in Should You Travel the North Island or South Island?
  2. Allow an extra day or two to include your travel time to and from your tour’s starting point, as well as time to get over the jet lag in your arrival town/city
  3. Compare tour companies on websites like TourRadar to ensure you find the right fit for you. Another advantage to these websites is that they have standard cancellation policies
  4. Pack light: don’t be that guy that everyone has to make room for! See our New Zealand Packing List for more tips.
  5. Research and plan on the optional activities you will want to do prior to arriving in New Zealand so you are able to budget for your tour correctly
  6. On a similar note, allow room in your budget for food if your tour does not include every meal – see How Much Does a Trip to New Zealand Cost? for typical food and meal prices in New Zealand
  7. Check if your chosen tour company has a Facebook Group, so you are able to connect with other travellers who will be on your tour before you go.

For more tour advice, check out the 15 Tips to Make the Most of Your Bus Trip.

Wild Kiwi© Wild Kiwi

Wild Kiwi – Northern Voyager

Get the convenience of starting and ending your tour in Auckland, while still seeing the main highlights of the country with Wild Kiwi. Their Northern Voyager tour takes young travellers in luxury Mercedes vehicles, stopping off at the cool surf town of Raglan, the Waitomo Caves, the adventure capital of the North Island Taupo, geothermal Rotorua, the beach-lined Coromandel and back to Auckland. You’ll be staying in shared rooms in hostels and lodges and all breakfasts are included.

See more small-group adventures like this in The Best Small-Group Tours in New Zealand.

About Wild Kiwi’s Tours

Age Range: 18-35-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 18
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts and one dinner

Destinations on the 7-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour by comparing Wild Kiwi on Tourradar.

Haka Tours© Haka Tours

Haka Tours – Southern Lick

Enjoy a week exploring the South Island with Haka Tours! Their Southern Lick tour takes young adventurers through breathtaking landscapes on the way down to Queenstown. In Queenstown, you have a huge choice of adrenaline activities. You’ll also get to stay in the picturesque town of Wanaka before departing to the glacier country of Franz Josef. Heli-hike, carve your own greenstone pendant or visit the West Coast Wildlife Centre before heading back to Christchurch on a scenic train journey on the TranzAlpine train.

See how Haka Tour compares to other small-group adventures in The Best Small-Group Tours in New Zealand.

About Haka Tours’ Tours

Age Range: 18-39-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 16
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts

Destinations on the 7-Day Tour

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

© Trafalgar

Trafalgar – Iconic North

A tour for all ages, Trafalgar‘s Iconic North tour takes passengers to the North Island’s hubs of Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua and Wellington. This tour is slower-paced compared to others featured on this list, allowing you more time to explore each destination at leisure and join your tour guide for city sightseeing tours. Accommodation is included, featuring upmarket hotels, while all breakfasts and a few other meals are also part of the tour.

This tour also appeals to an older crowd, so take a look at The Best New Zealand Tours for Seniors to see how it compares.

About Trafalgar’s Tours

Age Range: 5-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 48
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: All breakfasts, one lunch and three dinners

Destinations on the 7-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour by comparing Trafalgar on Tourradar.

The Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand© Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel – Queenstown Southern Loop

Explore the southern end of the South Island on this off-the-beaten-track adventure with Intrepid Travel. Their Queenstown Southern Loop begins and ends in Queenstown, taking you to the must-see Milford Sound, as well as to the less-visited destinations of The Catlins and Stewart Island. There are a few physical activities involved but the tour is open to most age groups, whether you’re a young solo traveller, a couple in their 30s/40s or retired.

For alternative tours from Queenstown, check out The Best New Zealand Tours Starting in Queenstown.

About Intrepid Travel’s Tours

Age Range: 15-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 12
Accommodation: Hotels and cabins
Meals: Five breakfasts

Destinations on the 6-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour by comparing Intrepid Travel on Tourradar.

The 10 Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand šŸ§­ [2023]© G Adventures

G Adventures – Best of the North Island

Experience the North Island through active adventures and cultural experiences with G Adventures. Their Best of the North Island tour starts in Auckland and ends in Wellington, taking young travellers to kayak in the Auckland Harbour, surf in Raglan, experience the Maori culture in Rotorua, see the glowworms in Waitomo and much more. Tours include shared rooms in hostels and lodges, as well as all breakfasts and some other meals.

About G Adventures’ Tours

Age Range: 18-39-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 20
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner

Destinations on the 7-Day Tour

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

The 10 Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand šŸ§­ [2023]© AAT Kings

AAT Kings – Iconic North

Experience New Zealand’s cosmopolitan side with a 7-day tour of New Zealand’s North Island with AAT Kings. The bus tour company for all ages (but particularly good for older travellers) takes you to the buzzing cities of Wellington and Auckland and hits the kiwifruit farming and dairy industry hub of Tauranga. You also get two full days in Rotorua, so this tour certainly doesn’t feel too rushed.

About AAT Kings’ Tours

Age Range: 5-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 58
Accommodation: 4-star and 5-star hotels
Meals: All Breakfasts, one lunch and three dinners

Destinations on the 7-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour by comparing AAT Kings on Tourradar.

The 10 Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand šŸ§­ [2023]© Kiwi Experience

Kiwi Experience – 7 Day South Island Tour

Despite being a 7-day South Island tour, this small-group guided bus tour with Kiwi Experience actually begins in the capital, Wellington, on the North Island. After you’ve got your North Island fix, you’ll meet your tour guide and fellow passengers to take the Cook Strait ferry to the South Island. From there, enjoy the wildlife mecca of Kaikoura, the South Island’s largest city Christchurch, the gorgeous Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook and then onto Queenstown where you’ll enjoy some free time, as well as an awesome day trip to Glenorchy.

For more tours from Wellington, check out The Best New Zealand Tours Starting in Wellington.

About Kiwi Experience’s Tours

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

Destinations on the 7-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour by comparing Kiwi Experience on Tourradar.

Thrifty Tours© Thrifty Tours

Thrifty Tours – Glacierland

For an alternative loop of the South Island that consists of prearranged InterCity coach buses, accommodation and airport transfer rather than a fully escorted tour, check out Thrifty Tours. They offer a 7-day tour called the “Glacierland” tour taking you to see the South Island’s glaciers, the glacier-carved Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park. The tour for all ages also features a side trip to the city of Dunedin, famous for its gothic architecture and wildlife on the Otago Peninsula. Accommodation is included in the tour in twin-share rooms in motels.

About Thrifty Tours’ Tours

Age Range: 1-1000-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 50
Accommodation: Motels
Meals: One lunch

Destinations on the 7-Day Tour

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

Contiki© Contiki

Contiki – Sun & Steam

Hit the roads of the North Island with other young travellers on the Sun & Steam tour with Contiki! Contiki offers an alternative itinerary of the North Island, getting you to explore the ancient kauri forest and beautiful beaches of Northland and the Bay of Islands, before making your way to the geothermal hotspot of Rotorua. You’ll be staying in shared rooms in hostels with your tour mates, as well as enjoy breakfast included each morning and a couple of dinners. What’s more, this tour actually lasts six days, so you’ll have time to relax at either the beginning or end of your tour.

About Contiki’s Tours

Age Range: 18-35-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 52
Accommodation: Hostels
Meals: All breakfasts and two dinners

Destinations on the 6-Day Tour

Find out more about this tour by comparing Contiki on Tourradar.

The 10 Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand šŸ§­ [2023]© Topdeck

Topdeck – Delve Deep: New Zealand South Island

Journey from Christchurch to New Zealand’s lesser-known glacier, the Fox Glacier, with Topdeck on the Southern Explorer tour. After seeing the reflective Lake Matheson and the Fox Glacier, you and your new travel mates will head to the adventure capital, Queenstown! One day is dedicated to a trip to the breathtaking Milford Sound, then you’ll travel back toward Christchurch via Lake Ohau and stop by a real working farm. Tours with Topdeck include accommodation in motels, lodges and hostels, as well as breakfast and a few other meals.

Check out more tours for 18 to 30-somethings in The Best Backpacker Bus Tours in New Zealand.

About Topdeck’s Tours

Age Range: 18-39-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 36
Accommodation: Hotels and lodges
Meals: Seven breakfasts, one lunch and three dinners

Destinations on the 7-Day Tour

Compare more of Topdeck’s tours over on Tourradar.

More About 7-Day New Zealand Bus Tours

That’s it for our list of the best 7-day tours of New Zealand! For alternative tours, just check out the following guides:

Finally, compare all of your bus travel options in our complete guide, How to Travel by Bus in New Zealand.

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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