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This winter, savour a Kiwi summer.

Fun stuff: we’ve added New Zealand to our ever-growing roster of far-flung gay holidays. Despite its small size, there’s much to explore on the Oceanic nation’s two major islands. That’s why we developed two different (but very complementary) itineraries. Enjoy our North Island Cultural Adventure and South Island Expedition on their own – or pair them back-to-back – to make the most of summer down under while it’s winter up north. And if you fancy an opportunity to show off your newest budgy smugglers, our Australia: Summer Down Under tour immediately follows the South Island Expedition.

5 Highlights of our North Island Cultural Adventure

If Birkenstocks crunching through the woods is music to your ears, come along!

5. The Glowworm Caves of Waitomo.

This is a magical town in and of itself. But while here we’ll explore one of the world’s most unusual creatures in its natural environment: the Glowworm.

A Mystical Waitomo Watermill. By Roberto Saltori ℅ Unsplash.

4. Auckland.

The country’s far-flung capital (and the first stop on our tour) offers robust dining options, a thriving arts scene, the iconic Sky Tower, and two harbours teeming with lavish yachts.

A fabulous view of the Auckland skyline. By Thant Zin Oo ℅ Unsplash.

3. The Accommodations.

From chic urban hotels to rustic cabins, we’ve tracked down some excellent places to rest your weary head on this trip. Check them out in our Stays That Slay: Northern New Zealand post.

Copthorn Paihia in Bay of Islands. One of the lavish hotels where we’ll stay.

2. The Lord of The Rings set.

If you geek out over Middle Earth, our visit to the filming location of the mythical Hobbiton will give you the ultimate nerdgasm.

The Hobbiton set from Lord of The Rings. By Andres Iga ℅ Unsplash.

1. Learn about the Māori people.

From watching master carvers and weavers at work, to visiting a tribal village, to admiring ancient art…you’ll love learning about the country’s indigenous people.

Māori art on the North Island. By Meg Jerrard ℅ Unsplash

5 Highlights of our South Island Expedition

It’s perfect for weekend warriors who relish their wardrobe of sweat-wicking fabrics.

5. Star Gaze in the World’s Largest Dark Sky Reserve.

Planets, galaxies, and the depths of the Milky Way await – with a professional astronomy guide – at this private observatory dome.

Mount Cook is home to the darkest skies in the world…check them out from this private observatory.

4. Kayak in the shadow of Mount Cook.

This will be the scenic finale of a day that features three swing bridges, picturesque icebergs, glaciers and majestic mountains. 

Kayaking along Lake Wanaka is one of the serene highlights of our South Island Adventure. By Andre Lergier ℅ Unsplash.

3. Explore Fiordland National Park.

After a scenic drive you can discover Te Anau Caves (featuring a limestone grotto of glow worms), visit the local bird sanctuary, or stretch your legs on a leisurely forest stroll.

Spectacular Fiordland National Park. By Mac Gaither ℅ Unsplash.

2. Explore Christchurch.

After a long flight, you’ll definitely want to get out and explore the largest city on the South Island. We’ve arranged a walking tour, but why stop there?

A Christchurch Tram. By Frontiersman ℅ Unsplash.

1. Take An overnight cruise.

The best way to immerse yourself in the spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife of Milford Sound is by boat. That’s why we’ve arranged a night on the Milford Mariner. Enjoy private rooms, dinner and breakfast prepared by an onboard chef. You may even spot wildlife like seals, penguins, and dolphins.

Enjoy a bonus cruise on your vacation. We’ll spend a night aboard the Milford Mariner.

Interested in either (or both) of these tours? Check out our North Island Cultural Adventure and our South Island Expedition.

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