The Best Small-Group Tours in New Zealand

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New Zealand Small-Group Tours

Don’t be just another number on a large coach tour. Enjoy a more intimate experience by taking a small-group tour in New Zealand! Small-group tours in New Zealand are usually for up to 20 people as a maximum on a minibus or custom vehicle, where social dynamics are made a little easier when you can talk to everyone in your group, as well as never feeling like things are too “crowded”. There is a range of New Zealand small-group tours to choose from, from adventure-based tours to more easy-going tours for the mature crowd. We’ll go through some of our favourites in this guide to the best small-group tours in New Zealand!

5 Tips for Taking Small-Group Tours in New Zealand

  • Allow a day or two before and after your tour for your travel time to/from New Zealand, as well as time to get over the jet lag and explore your arrival city
  • Pack light! Don’t be that guy that everyone has to make room for, especially when small-group tours use smaller vehicles – see 15 Essentials to Pack for New Zealand
  • Use websites like Tourradar to compare small-group tour companies and make use of the standard cancellation policy should your travel plans change
  • Be sure to budget for the meals that are not included in your tour – see How Expensive is New Zealand?
  • See if your chosen tour company has a Facebook group. That way, you can connect with fellow travellers before the tour begins!
Wild Kiwi© Wild Kiwi

Wild Kiwi – Northern Voyager

A small-group tour in luxury Mercedes vehicles, Wild Kiwi knows how to get travellers around in style. The custom vans fit up to 18 people for a more intimate experience. What’s more, the tours are especially for 18-35-year-olds so you know you’ll be with like-minded people. The Northern Voyager is an excellent way to explore the North Island in one week, looping back to Auckland via the geothermal hub of Rotorua, the volcanic Tongariro National Park and the bohemian surf town of Raglan. Accommodation in hostels and lodges is included, as well as all breakfasts.

Tour Highlights

Tour Length: 7 days
Age Range
: 18-35-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 18
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts and one dinner

Destinations
  • Auckland
  • Raglan
  • Taupo
  • Rotorua
  • Coromandel

Find out more about this tour by comparing Wild Kiwi on Tourradar. For more week-long tours on the North Island, see The Best 7-Day North Island Tours.

Haka Tours© Haka Tours

Haka Tours – Southern Lick

To explore the South Island, consider this small-group tour with Haka Tours. The Southern Lick tour starts and ends in Christchurch, taking young travellers via mini-coach to highlights like Queenstown, Wanaka and the Franz Josef Glacier. The tour also includes a scenic train journey through the Southern Alps, as well as all accommodation in hostels and lodges and daily breakfast.

Tour Highlights

Tour Length: 7 days
Age Range
: 18-39-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 16
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts

Destinations
  • Christchurch
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Queenstown
  • Wanaka
  • Franz Josef

Find out more by comparing Haka Tours on Tourradar. For more week-long tours on the South Island, see The Best 7-Day Tours of the South Island.

G Adventures© G Adventures

G Adventures – Highlights of New Zealand

Explore both islands in just over two weeks with G Adventures. The small-group tour specialists offer the Highlights of New Zealand tour for active travellers, including experiences like staying overnight in a Maori village, digging your own hot pool in the Coromandel, guided walks and more. A few meals are included in the tour, as well as accommodation in hotels, motels and a Maori village.

Tour Highlights

Tour Length: 15 days
Age Range
: 12-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 16
Accommodation: Hotels, motels and Maori village
Meals: Eight breakfasts, one lunch and two dinners

Destinations
  • Auckland
  • Coromandel
  • Rotorua
  • Wellington
  • Kaikoura
  • Hanmer Springs
  • Franz Josef
  • Queenstown
  • Twizel
  • Christchurch

Find out more about this tour and others by comparing G Adventures on Trouradar. For more national tours of New Zealand, see The Best 20+ Days Tours of New Zealand.

Inspiring Journeys© Inspiring Journeys

Inspiring Journeys

Combine sightseeing on the North Island with exploring the south of the South Island with Inspiring Journeys. The 10-day small-group tour, that appeals to the more active mature crowd, starts in Auckland. You’ll journey to geothermal and Maori hub of Rotorua then onto New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. Catch a flight to Queenstown (not included) where you’ll have the ease of an airport transfer and the opportunity to cruise Doubtful Sound and explore Queenstown your way. Tours also include luxurious hotel accommodation, most meals and more.

Tour Highlights

Tour Length: 10 days
Age Range
: 12-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 20
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: Nine breakfasts, three lunches and seven dinners

Destinations
  • Auckland
  • Rotorua
  • Wellington
  • Queenstown
  • Doubtful Sound

Find out more about this tour by comparing Inspiring Journeys on Tourradar. Plus, see more tours for seniors in The Best New Zealand Tours for Seniors.

Adventure Junkies© Adventure Junkies

Adventure Junkies – NZ Adventure

Experience the more adventurous side of New Zealand with Adventure Junkies! Their NZ Adventure tour is an ultra small-group tour taking up to 10 people to some of the highlights of the South Island. The tour starts in Christchurch and ends in Queenstown, taking adrenaline junkies to go white water rafting on a grade 5 river, stunning forests for hiking, kayaking in Milford Sound, and your choice of adventure in Queenstown. Other inclusions are accommodation, and both breakfast and lunch daily.

Tour Highlights

Tour Length: 10 days
Age Range
: 18-65-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 10
Accommodation: Apartments and motels
Meals: All breakfasts and all lunches

Destinations
  • Christchurch
  • Methven
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Wanaka
  • Queenstown
  • Te Anau
  • Milford Sound

Find out more about this tour by comparing Adventure Junkies on Tourradar.

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