The Best Tour Companies in New Zealand
The Best Tour Companies in New Zealand

The 10 Best Tour Companies in New Zealand 🏅 [2022]

© Haka Tours

The Top New Zealand Tours!

Touring New Zealand is easy. No matter who you are, what you are into or where you want to go in New Zealand; there’s a tour company in New Zealand ready to show you the way. From companies that specialise in small-group tours for the young backpacker to luxury tours for the mature traveller, you have plenty of New Zealand tour companies to choose from. We go through some of our top picks in this guide to the best tour companies in New Zealand!

While you’re here, you might be interested in browsing some specific tours in The Best 7-Day Tours of New Zealand, The Best 10-12-Day Tours of New Zealand and The Best 20+ Days Tours of New Zealand. Plus, don’t forget to bookmark Travel by Bus in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide for even more tips.

6 Tips for Planning a Tour of New Zealand

  1. Allow a day or two on either end of your tour for your travel time to New Zealand, as well as time to get over the jet lag and explore your arrival city
  2. Pack light: many of the tours are in twin or multi-share rooms where you will not only want to take up a lot of room but be able to keep a track of all your luggage! See our New Zealand Packing List for more packing advice.
  3. Use websites like Tourradar to easily compare tour companies. Another advantage of using these websites is that they have standard cancellation policies should your travel plans change
  4. There will always be optional activities to take part in at an extra cost. Decide on a few of these before your trip departs so you are able to budget correctly
  5. On a similar note, allow room in your budget for meals, as most New Zealand tours don’t have all meals included – see How Much Does a Trip to New Zealand Cost? for typical food prices in New Zealand
  6. Virtually meet your fellow tour-goers before your trip by joining your tour company’s Facebook Group (if they have one).

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

G Adventures© G Adventures

G Adventures

The international tour company offers a huge range of tour options in New Zealand. From a seven-day excursion in the North Island to 20+ days exploring the whole of New Zealand, there’s something to suit most travel times. G Adventures specialises in small group tours, where accommodation in budget-style accommodation is included in the tour rate, as well as most breakfasts and a few other meals along the way. Some usually paid activities are often also included in their tours, such as guided walks, surf lessons, conservation farm visits, a Maori cultural experience and much more.

More About G Adventures

Age Range of Passengers: 18-39-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 20
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: Most breakfasts, limited lunches and some dinners

See G Adventures’ full range of New Zealand tours on Tourradar.

Haka Tours© Haka Tours

Haka Tours

Tour New Zealand with the locally-owned Haka Tours. From adventure tours for young travellers on a budget to premium tours for older travellers and even snowsports tours, Haka Tours just about does it all. While some tours offer more budget options, like staying in hostels and lodges, others are especially for over 30s staying un upmarket accommodation. Either way, passengers get to enjoy breakfasts each morning and the odd dinner. A small number of paid activities are included in the tour rates, from traditional Maori canoe paddling in Abel Tasman to the scenic ferry cruise between the North and South Islands.

More About Haka Tours

Age Range of Passengers: 18-50-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 20
Accommodation: Hostels, lodges and hotels
Meals: Most breakfasts and limited dinners

Find out more about Haka Tours’ complete offering on Tourradar.

Luxury Gold© Luxury Gold

Luxury Gold

Catering to a range of discerning travellers but mostly mature travellers, Luxury Gold offers a way to travel New Zealand in style. There are plenty of activities included in the experience, such as jet boat tours, the TranzAlpine train, kayaking in Milford Sound, a cultural performance in Rotorua, city sightseeing tours and much more. In between the excitement, enjoy stays in luxurious hotel accommodation with many including dinners with wine and a full buffet breakfast.

More About Luxury Gold

Age Range of Passengers: 5-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 40
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: Most breakfasts, limited lunches and some dinners with wine.

Compare Luxury Gold‘s tours on Tourradar.

The 10 Best Tour Companies in New Zealand 🏅 [2022]© Flying Kiwi

Flying Kiwi

Note that tours with Flying Kiwi resume in 2023. 

Offering the ultimate outdoor adventure tours, Flying Kiwi easily earns a spot on this list of the best tour companies in New Zealand. They are the only tour company taking you to New Zealand’s scenic campsites (with tents included) while giving you the option to hire mountain bikes to make use of the array of free bike trails across the country. If you’re not into mountain biking, no worries, they hit the New Zealand hotspots too for the must-do activities, as well as take you on free guided walks. Many meals are also included in the tour which you’ll enjoy as a group.

Learn more about what it’s like to travel with Flying Kiwi in The Perfect New Zealand Bus Tour for Active Travellers.

More About Flying Kiwi

Age Range of Passengers: 18-65-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 26
Accommodation: Hostels, camping and cabins
Meals: Most breakfasts, some lunches and most dinners.

Compare Flying Kiwi‘s tours on Tourradar.

The 10 Best Tour Companies in New Zealand 🏅 [2022]© Wild Kiwi

Wild Kiwi

Best described as a “flashpacker” tour, Wild Kiwi takes travellers aged 18 to 35 on an awesome adventure around the North Island, South Island (or both) in a luxury Mercedes vehicle with plush leather seats, USB ports, WiFi and more. They pride themselves on small group sizes, so you tend to really feel like a family by the end of your New Zealand tour. While their North Island tours are decent, their South Island tours hit the most destinations.

Learn more about touring with Wild Kiwi in What is it Really Like to Travel With Wild Kiwi?

More About Wild Kiwi

Age Range of Passengers: 18-35-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 18
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts and some dinners.

Compare Wild Kiwi‘s tours on Tourradar.

The 10 Best Tour Companies in New Zealand 🏅 [2022]© AAT Kings

AAT Kings

“Kings” of the New Zealand touring scene, AAT Kings is a well-established tour company in New Zealand offering tours for a wide age group, from families to seniors to everyone in between. Their tours of the North Island and South Island, as well as national tours, pack in plenty between a significant amount of included meals and included activities that you’d usually have to pay for. While their tours go to some major hotspots and interesting excursions, they never feel “too rushed”.

AAT Kings is also one of the New Zealand tour companies we list in The 5 Best New Zealand Tours for Seniors (Over 40s, 50s & 60s).

More About AAT Kings

Age Range of Passengers: 5-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 58
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: All breakfasts and some lunches and dinners.

Compare AAT Kings‘ tours on Tourradar.

The 10 Best Tour Companies in New Zealand 🏅 [2022]© Backyard Roadies

Backyard Roadies

You can’t get more local than Backyard Roadies who formed out of the recent pandemic showing locals their awesome New Zealand “backyard”. Well, it’s time to show international travellers the highlights too on their variety of New Zealand tours ranging from four to a whopping 28 days! This New Zealand tour company is exclusively for 18 to 35-year-olds meaning you’ll be travelling with like-minded people. What’s more, their guided tours are some of the most affordable all-inclusive options.

More About Backyard Roadies

Age Range of Passengers: 18-35-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 12
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: Most breakfasts and some lunches and dinners.

Find out more about Backyard Roadies on Viator and Tripadvisor.

The 10 Best Tour Companies in New Zealand 🏅 [2022]© Active Adventures

Active Adventures

For more time in the great outdoors of New Zealand, choose Active Adventures. The New Zealand tour company offers various adventure tours with options catering to hikers, mountain bikers, families or travellers who want to try a bit of everything. Their tours tend to stick to just one of the main islands but ensure that you make the most of your chosen island. What’s more, everything is covered from all meals (except on a “free day”) to accommodation!

For more active tours, check out the 5 Best Hiking Tours of New Zealand: Guided Tours Around NZ!

More About Active Adventures

Age Range of Passengers: 16+-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 14
Accommodation: Hotels, lodges, inns and backcountry huts
Meals: All breakfasts, lunches and dinners (except for on the “free day” in the itinerary)

Find out more about Active Adventures on Tourradar.

The Best Tour Companies in New Zealand© Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel (Premium)

Update: Intrepid Travel’s standard tours are now operated by Haka Tours (see above). This listing refers to Intrepid Travel’s premium offering known as Intrepid Premium. 

Popular for their intimate tours for discerning travellers, Intrepid Premium is well worth considering at your New Zealand tour company. The international tour company offers small-group tours hitting most of the top destinations across New Zealand. Swap busy dorm rooms for twin-share rooms in hotels, motels and lodges. A substantial number of meals are usually included in their tours, as well as a wealth of activities like a Milford Sound cruise, entry to a kiwi house and more. Their premium tours truly are the most inclusive New Zealand tours.

More About Intrepid Travel

Age Range of Passengers: 15-99-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 15
Accommodation: Hotels, motels and lodges
Meals: Most breakfasts and some lunches and dinners

Compare Intrepid Premium‘s tours on Tourradar.

The 10 Best Tour Companies in New Zealand 🏅 [2022]© Kiwi Experience

Kiwi Experience

Choose from two types of tours with Kiwi Experience: flexible hop-on hop-off tours or all-inclusive small-group tours. Either way, one of New Zealand’s longest-running tour companies shows young travellers and backpackers an amazing time around New Zealand. If you’re looking for the “party bus” vibe, their hop-on hop-off tours are famous for it (depending on the crowd, of course), while the small-group tours keep things more intimate with a group of like-minded travellers.

Learn more about Kiwi Experience’s all-inclusive tours in The 10 Best Backpacker Bus Tours in New Zealand or their hop-on hop-off buses in What is it Really Like to Travel with Kiwi Experience?

More About Kiwi Experience

Age Range of Passengers: 18-49-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 16 or 30+
Accommodation: Hostels and lodges
Meals: None on hop-on hop-off; most breakfasts and some dinners on small-group tours.

Compare Kiwi Experiences‘ tours on Tourradar.

Kiwi Vibes© Kiwi Vibes

[SUSPENDED] Kiwi Vibes

Note that Kiwi Vibes has suspended tours due to the COVID pandemic. We will update this page if and when they reopen their tours. 

Hit the road with other young adventurers and party people on the Kiwi Vibes tours! The tour with local Kiwi guides takes you to most of the destinations on the bucket list, as well as some destinations that other tour companies fail to venture. Tours are on coach buses and are exclusively for 18-30-year-olds. While Kiwi Vibes offers trips across both islands, some tours only operate in certain seasons. For a budget tour, inclusions are generous with most meals sorted and a few drinks included here and there. Accommodation is in hostel dorms.

More About Kiwi Vibes

Age Range of Passengers: 18-30-year-olds
Maximum Group Size: 30
Accommodation: Hostels
Meals: Most breakfasts, some lunches and most dinners

More About the Best New Zealand Tour Companies

That’s it for our list of the best tour companies in New Zealand. For more New Zealand tour companies to compare, check out these alternative listings:

Finally, don’t miss a thing about planning the perfect New Zealand bus trip by checking out our Travel by Bus in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide.

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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