New Zealand’s laid-back ambiance and slow pace of life are ideal for senior travelers in addition to the ease and accessibility of the country’s wilderness areas. On this two-week tour, you will fly over Fjordland, cruise with whales, discover the famous Sounds, and explore vineyards and islands. Handcrafted to include a rich variety of destinations and experiences, this relaxed and private tour can run at your pace with each day being tailored to your mood and energy levels.
Waiheke Island – Slow Down to the New Zealand Pace
With many vacations, it is easy to be carried away with all of the things to do and places to see. Often, you are forced to land in large cities and to be greeted by bustle and noise. New Zealand is nothing of the sort. Although it takes a long flight to get here, and there can be no denying the jet lag, the country makes it easy to slow down and settle into a vacation-like pace. After being greeted at the airport, you will be transferred to Auckland Harbour for a 45-minute ferry journey to tropical Waiheke island. Here, you will stay at a small wooden lodge that will be perched on the sand and enveloped by the sort of serenity that you might imagine exists elsewhere in the Pacific like Hawaii.
Waiheke Island – Beaches and Vineyards
Rotorua – A Serene Cruise on Lake Rotoiti
Rotorua – Kiwi Birds and Maori Culture
Tongariro National Park – Accessible Mountain Adventure
Wellington – Relaxing in the World’s Coolest Capital
Wellington – The New Zealand Museum and Cafe Culture
Marlborough – Cruising Queen Charlotte Sound to Wine Country
Marlborough – A Tranquil Day in the Winelands
Kaikoura – Whale Watching Cruise
Queenstown – The Innovative City of Christchurch and Onwards to Queenstown
Queenstown – Customize Day on Lake Wakatipu
Queenstown – Scenic Flight Over Fjordland National Park
Queenstown – Departure
- Escape to a tropical island and spend your first vacation days on Waiheke
- Immerse yourself in a Maori community and be welcomed and discover the reverence that is bestowed upon elders
- Cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound and natural hot pools on Lake Rotoiti
- Experience the tranquility of Marlborough and spend two nights at one of the region’s vineyard retreats
- Bask in the beauty of Queenstown and enjoy plenty of downtime around Lake Wakatipu
- Indulge in a whale watching cruise at one of the world’s whale watching capitals of Kaikoura
- Sweep over Fjordland National Park in a helicopter and take a cruise on Milford Sound
- Discover Wellington, New Zealand’s charming and small capital city
- Search for kiwi birds in Rotorua and enjoy a majestic glimpse of the mountains in Tongariro
New Zealand has two great highlights for senior visitors. Firstly, this country makes adventure easy and accessible. Here, you can explore landscapes that would be difficult to visit elsewhere such as the alpine wilderness and very isolated fjords. You do not need to walk for miles or have a good level of fitness because New Zealand has found a way to show its remote beauty to all. Secondly, this is a wonderfully relaxed and laid-back country. There is no rush, no bustle, and no feeling that you should move any faster than you desire. Taking things slowly also makes for wonderful experiences. The locals are keen to chat, and you can spend many hours in cafes and national parks, connecting with the people.
On this private tour, you will explore the country’s diverse highlights from tropical Waiheke Island to the Marlborough vineyards and remote Fjordland. The route has been handcrafted to minimize long journeys while still incorporating a wide range of experiences. Every day is privately guided. Other than certain helicopter and cruise departures, there can be flexibility over the daily timings. Based on how you are feeling and how much you like each destination, you can choose precisely when to leave. During each journey, there is freedom to stop wherever you like, either at a viewpoint, a village, a cafe, or just to stretch your legs. In addition, your hotels have been handpicked with location as a premium factor to reduce your walking distance at your destinations.
You will start your vacation with two days on Waiheke, which is a tropical Pacific island that is only 45 minutes to the North of Auckland. Flying to New Zealand is tiring, and Waiheke is a great place to refresh and recover before exploring elsewhere. You will have a lodge on the beach, and there will be a blissful atmosphere all around. Nights three and four will be spent in Rotorua, where the Maori people will welcome you into their homes, and you will search for the iconic kiwi bird. Day five will take you to Lake Taupo and then Tongariro National Park, which is where you will experience majestic alpine landscapes without needing to walk very far.
You will complete your North Island trip with two days in Wellington, which is a compact and charming capital city. The museums are excellent here, and there will be some lovely neighborhoods that you can check out with your guide. Marlborough follows on days eight and nine and is accessed via a beautiful cruise across the Cook Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. Here, you will stay on a vineyard and find the New Zealand ambiance to be as laid-back as ever. Kaikoura is one of the world’s ultimate whale watching destinations, and cruises provide encounters year-round. You will spend day ten here as part of your journey along the coast to Christchurch.
Like Wellington, Christchurch is a great little destination for senior travelers. You can get around the key highlights without having to walk too much, plus there is not the bustle or noise that can be found in North American cities. After a direct, domestic flight, your vacation will culminate in Queenstown, where the landscape will be such a contrast to where you started on Waiheke. Mountains fringe a peaceful lake and fjords await to the west. There will be a day to do nothing in addition to an adventurous day trip to Milford Sound, which includes a helicopter ride over Fjordland National Park. You do not need to backtrack and can depart directly from Queenstown at the end of these marvelous two weeks.
Consider learning more about our travelers’ best New Zealand travel experiences by reading their New Zealand travel reviews.
$4,545 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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