Nz waiheke island drone water 2 joshua mccormack friends header
Nz central otago wine grapes maja petric unsplash
NZ Franz Josef Glacier inside
Places - Melbourne
Nz waiheke island drone water 2 joshua mccormack friends header
Nz central otago wine grapes maja petric unsplash
NZ Franz Josef Glacier inside
Places - Melbourne

5 Weeks in New Zealand and Australia

Discover the natural beauty, hidden gems and local lifestyle.

Over five weeks, you will go on a journey and marvel at a collection of local gems found in Australia and New Zealand. Both countries offer astounding nature, charming towns and friendly laid-back locals. Your journey starts on the North Island of New Zealand. The first destination is Auckland. From here, you will make your way down the country to the capital of New Zealand, Wellington.

Uncover the beauty of New Zealand
The inside of restaurant that looks like a museum
Experience the best of Wellington
© TravelEssence

You will cross over to the South Island and visit places such as Wanaka, Kaikoura, Fiordland National Park and finally Queenstown. After that, you will fly to Melbourne, Australia. You will have the opportunity to discover one of the most spectacularly scenic roads in the world, The Great Ocean Road. You will also visit the city of Adelaide, your final destination. Along the way, you will see a large variety of landscapes and scenery.

A trip that will become an adventure of a lifetime

During this journey, you will see vibrant and buzzing cities, wineries, alluring nature, golden beaches and an array of unique nature. Taste the food, soak up the culture, meet the locals and discover the hidden gems.

Be enchanted by Kaikoura
© Andrew Morten
The Twelve Apostle Rocks on the Great Ocean Road
Conquer the Great Ocean Road
© TravelEssence

Bespoke travel, customised to create your dream itinerary

The following five-week journey is an example of an itinerary which can be customised to suit your individual wishes. Based on your preferences and our expertise, together we will create your dream itinerary. You can choose different locations, other types of accommodations and activities, or travel during a different period. Our itineraries also cater for solo travellers, travelling together as a couple, with friends or as a family.

Welcome to New Zealand


Auckland is a vibrant city with an exhilarating mix of sights and sounds. Meet the locals and soak up the New Zealand lifestyle. Aucklanders love food, wine and adventure. Spend your day shopping, tasting the local coffee culture, dining, taking walks around the city or visiting nearby places. Learn about the local Maori culture, visit museums or admire art at the Auckland Art Gallery.

Where will you stay?

A quirky and colourful art hotel brimming with charisma. Your hosts have a strong background working in hospitality. They look forward to extending a warm and friendly welcome to you.

Aerial view of a city surrounded by a harbour
Absorb views of Auckland from the air
Relax in the outdoor deck area with a pool
Experience exclusive accommodation in Auckland

A taste of Taupo


In the middle of the North Island, around Lake Taupo, is an area formed by volcanoes. Geologists call the area the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Lake Taupo is a crater that originated during the largest volcano eruption in the world. The lake is surrounded by the amazing volcanoes Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.

Where will you stay?

The town of Taupo is famous for being home to one of the most exclusive lodges in the world. The lodge owes its name to the nearby, spectacular waterfall 'Huka Falls'. The lodge is a residence for Royal guests and world stars, but also for some of our clients. During your visit, experience a culinary dinner with quality wines, enjoy the luxurious atmosphere, the elegant guest houses and the unprecedented service.

NZ luxury stays: High-end boutique accommodation in Taupo
Enjoy first-class hospitality at one of New Zealand's premier lodges
Visit Blue Lakes at Tongariro National Park
© Destination Lake Taupo

Admire Taupo from a floatplane

There is no better way to see the incredible beauty of Lake Taupo than from the air. You will take a 30-minute scenic flight over the picturesque scenery of Taupo. Discover the crystal water, staggering volcanic cliffs and secluded bays.

Enjoy the views over Taupo!
A white seaplane on a white sand beach and turquoise waters with mountain behind it
Soak up the beauty of Lake Taupo

You have reached Taranaki


Taranaki is an adventure hub, bubbling with outdoor activities. Venture into Egmont National Park to discover walking tracks with lush rainforest, waterfalls and soaring views of Mount Taranaki. For experienced hiking enthusiasts, take the plunge and climb to the summit - a tough but rewarding journey. Mount Taranaki is the most distinctive and iconic volcano in New Zealand and makes for a striking backdrop.

According to Maori legend, Mount Taranaki stood towering in central North Island with Mount Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu before falling in love with Mount Pihanga. After a failed battle with Mount Tongariro, Mount Taranaki left angry and jealous towards the coastline, where he stands today. The rugged coastline produces some of New Zealand’s best surf. Suit up in your wetsuit and enjoy the surf breaks or simply stroll along the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway and enjoy the views.

Where will you stay?

Set on farmland within a dynamic, natural environment where the Taranaki Mountain Range meets the Tasman Sea. Your hosts, David and Nuala are excited to share their playground with you. Living here for over 30 years, they have an abundance of local knowledge to share. They have a huge passion for the outdoors and growing whole foods.

Enjoy the tranquillity at your accommodation in Taranaki
Feel at home in Taranaki

Take a tour of Taranaki

Discover the beauty of Taranaki, a personalised day tour designed with a focus on the diverse landscape and Maori culture. Journey into the Egmont National Park and around Taranaki’s volcanoes. Your experienced and knowledgeable Maori guide will take you along secret paths and share stories, myths and legends linked to the local Maori and the historic region.

Spot a variety of native birds in the Egmont National Park rainforest and on the shores of Lake Mangamahoe. Soak up the sweeping views from 900 metres above sea level. Visit the country towns of Inglewood and Stratford and the coastal villages of Okato and Oakura.

Enjoy spectacular views of the striking Mount Taranaki
Enjoy spectacular views of the striking Mount Taranaki
© TravelEssence
Your guide Tom looks forward to showing you around
© TravelEssence

Welcome to New Zealand’s capital city


Wellington is the capital of New Zealand, located on the southern tip of the North Island. A vibrant and compact city, packed with plenty of culture and nature. There is a relaxed atmosphere in the city and the locals are friendly and welcoming. The city is quite modern with a few older neighbourhoods. In the city centre, all sights are within walking distance of each other and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to savour.

Where will you stay?

You will spend two nights in a relaxed New Zealand atmosphere, a bed & breakfast with a story to tell. A two-storey Victorian building, located in an inner-city suburb of Wellington.

Two men hanging out of a cafe window
Taste the coffee culture in Wellington
Cable car Wellington | New Zealand holiday
A ride on the Wellington Cable Car is a must-do!

It is time to cross over to the other side

DAY 10

Travel on a ferry across the waters over to the South Island, renowned for being one of the best ferry rides in the world. A journey surrounded by spectacular scenery, truly one of New Zealand’s most iconic experiences.

A woman on a boat sailing over blue water
Enjoy the view!

Kaikoura, a water wonderland

DAY 11

Kaikoura is a picturesque coastal town, located on the east coast of the South Island, New Zealand. A place boasting natural wonder, eco-friendly activities and delectable seafood. Home to a variety of wildlife including Sperm whales, dolphins, albatross and New Zealand fur seals. Soak up the small-town vibes, where the mountains meet the ocean.

Where will you stay?

You will spend two nights in the heart of Kaikoura, a tranquil bed and breakfast with mountain and sea views. Soak under a canopy of stars in the garden hot tub or relax on the veranda with a glass of local wine.

Have an albatross encounter in Kaikoura
Two people sitting on a bench near a food truck with a view of the ocean
A visit to Nin Bins food truck is a must-do!

Have a close encounter with dolphins

Discover a marine playground for dolphins in the waters of Kaikoura. Here, you can have an experience of a lifetime - a close encounter with resident wild dusky dolphins. Get better acquainted with these cheeky marine mammals by swimming with them in their natural environment.

Unique encounter with dolphins | New Zealand wildlife
Admire cheeky dolphins in Kaikoura
Witness a spectacle of nature
Aus Waterlilies in Kakadu Darwin NT

Would you like to learn more about Australia and New Zealand?

Join one of our live and informative presentations, hosted by one of our travel specialists. And find out how to travel to Australia and New Zealand in a uniquely local way. There are also plenty of opportunities to ask questions!

Take advantage of our local knowledge

You have reached Christchurch

DAY 13

The main city in Canterbury is Christchurch, the third-largest city in New Zealand. British influences can be seen throughout, especially in Victorian buildings. The city was founded by English settlers in 1848 on the River Avon. The intention was that the city would become very strict and religious. This can be clearly seen in many buildings and well-kept parks. The city is gradually modernising and there are numerous attractions and sights.

Christchurch is easy to explore on foot or by bike. You can also use the yellow buses that take you to all the sights for free. After a day of exploring the city, visit the restaurants around Oxford Terrace. You can find trendy bars and cafés on Cashel Street and High Street.

Where will you stay?

Stay at a Victorian home built in 1890, a well-appointed boutique bed and breakfast, located in central Christchurch. Be mesmerised by colourful gardens, charming decor and delicious breakfast.

Explore the city of Christchurch | New Zealand holiday
Discover the youngest city in the world
Friendly Kiwi hospitality at our accommodations | New Zealand holiday
Be welcomed by local New Zealand hosts

Hop aboard the Kiwi Rail

DAY 14

Experience one of the world’s most incredible scenic railway rides. A passenger train that runs between Christchurch and Greymouth. Along the way, be entranced by the diverse landscapes and surroundings. From vast plains and rugged mountains to lush native rainforests. A train ride filled with postcard-perfect scenery.

View of green hills and white snow capped mountain peaks
Enjoy the views of green hills and white snow capped mountain peaks
View of a lake and mountains
Take one of the best train journeys in the world

Discover Punakaiki & Hokitika

DAY 15

Punakaiki is located on the West Coast of the South Island. A tiny village which is renowned for the Punakaiki pancake rocks and its blowholes. Marvel at nature’s artwork which has been created over 30 million years ago. Explore the untamed wilderness in Hokitika, a tiny chilled-out town with friendly locals.

Where will you stay?

Nestled in the rainforest, overlooking the Tasman Sea and the Southern Alps is a bed and breakfast. Your hosts warmly welcome you to their slice of paradise and look forward to providing you with authentic Kiwi hospitality.

Visit the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
Be enchanted by Hokitika Gorge

Franz Josef & Fox

DAY 16

On the rugged west coast of the South Island are the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Originating from the Southern Alps and descending to sea level, both glaciers flow around ten times faster than most valley glaciers. Fox Glacier is fed by four alpine glaciers that receive around 30 metres of snowfall each year.

Get a birds-eye view on a scenic helicopter flight, before being dropped on the glacier to explore this fascinating natural beauty. Nearby, Okarito Lagoon is the largest unmodified wetland in New Zealand, with more than 76 species of birds in the waterways. Spot the Rowi kiwi, the rarest species of kiwi in New Zealand, in the forest. For thrill-seekers, get your heart racing during a quad bike tour through rainforest, riverbeds and mud. Watch a golden New Zealand sunset at Gillespie Beach.

Where will you stay?

A secluded retreat on the wild west coast of the South Island. Surrounded by an adventurer’s playground that is ready to be discovered in the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. Explore the spectacular Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, lakes, rivers, hiking and cycling trails, rainforest and remote beaches. Indulge in fresh food and local wine at the on-site Monsoon Restaurant & Bar. Start your night off with a drink on the deck or cosy up next to the fire.

Conquer the Fox Glacier Heli-hike | New Zealand active holiday
Conquer the Fox Glacier heli-hike
Discover Franz Josef from above!

Welcome to Wanaka

DAY 18

Wanaka is a vibrant alpine town, set around Lake Wanaka and the ultimate outdoor base to explore the Southern Alps and Mount Aspiring National Park. Hiking enthusiasts have many tracks to choose from including hiking to the summit of the Rocky Mountain Track for stunning 360-degree views.

The crystal clear waters of Lake Wanaka are ideal for fly fishing, boat cruises, jet boating, kayaking and swimming. In fact, most activities revolve around the picturesque lake with bike tours, vineyards and scenic flights on offer. The town centre is buzzing with lakeside restaurants, cafes and boutique shops with local products. In winter months, the fresh powder can be enjoyed at Treble Cone and Cardrona Ski Resorts.

Where will you stay?

A contemporary European-styled lodge in the heart of Wanaka village. Relax in the garden with a glass of local award-winning wine. Soak in the cedar garden hot tub or read a book by the fireplace.

A sitting room with a fireplace and amazing view
Enjoy the warm hospitality in Wanaka
Amazing mountain view Queenstown region | New Zealand nature
Discover the natural beauty of Wanaka

Go on a 4WD adventure

Explore the remote roads of a New Zealand high-country farm on a 4WD adventure. The local guides are passionate about Wanaka’s environment and have a wealth of knowledge to share. Your adventure starts with a 4WD journey along roads seldom travelled.

Enjoy the unspoilt views of Lake Wanaka, surrounded by glaciers, river valleys and snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps. Visit historical sites and experience what life was like for Wanaka’s first farmers. You will have the chance to see red deer, cattle and sheep in their natural environment. Along the way, stopping at different panoramic viewpoints.

Benefit from fewer crowds in autumn
Enjoy the unforgettable views of Wanaka

Meet friendly locals in Manapouri & Te Anau

DAY 21

Situated on the edge of Fiordland National Park are the small towns of Te Anau and Manapouri. A place that is renowned for friendly laid-back locals, endless nature and plenty of water activities. A perfect base to explore the mystical Milford Sound Road, Doubtful Sound, glow worm caves or the bird sanctuary. Go fishing, sailing or kayaking on Lake Te Anau. Taste the region’s finest produce at the local restaurants, and try deer, lobster or freshly caught seafood. The famous Kepler, Routeburn and Milford Track are nearby too.

Where will you stay?

Cherish views over open-grassy plains dotted with sheep, Lake Te Anau and Fiordland Mountains. Soak up the small-town friendliness near the heart of the charming Te Anau. A bed and breakfast located in a peaceful rural location with hosts offering genuine southern Kiwi hospitality.

Soak up the beautiful view from your bed & breakfast
Birdlife in Fiordland National Park | New Zealand wildlife
Be astounded by the incredible nature
© Barton Matthews

Unlock the treasures in Fiordland National Park

DAY 24

Escape to a mystical place where you can truly capture the essence of nature. When you enter the Fiordland National Park, you will be taken to one of nature’s open-air galleries. The national park covers an area of 12,607 square kilometres and is found on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Tranquillity, towering trees, crystal clear water, native wildlife, mirror lakes and pure fresh air. Home to the cheeky Alpine parrot, the Kea! Go hiking, fishing, admire waterfalls, kayak over the fjord or take a short scenic walk.

Where will you stay?

Deep into the depths of nature, you will find an incredible 40-kilometre-long fjord known as Doubtful Sound. A world away, you will spend two days discovering this fascinating part of the country. Departing from Manapouri over Lake Manapouri to West Arm. From here, a bus will take you over the Wilmot Pass to your destination, the Deep Cove in Doubtful Sound where your boat will be waiting for you.

On board, your journey begins through the wonder of nature. Spot Bottlenose dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins as you cruise through this spectacle of nature. You will spend the night in a private master suite, the most spacious cabin on board. The suite has a double bed and a private bathroom.

Meet the kea!
TravelEssence specialist Kieran visiting Doubtful Sound New Zealand
Ask travel specialist, Kieran more about Doubtful Sound
© TravelEssence

Queenstown, an adventure playground

DAY 26

Queenstown is a colourful and picturesque town, situated by Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the Southern Alps. A place that is action-packed with awe-inspiring natural beauty. Take a scenic drive to Glenorchy, it takes approximately 45 minutes and offers spectacular scenery.

Where will you stay?

A Tuscan-styled boutique hotel centrally located in a quiet part of Queenstown. Soak up the alpine backdrop on your outdoor patio. Your hosts can’t wait to offer you true southern Kiwi hospitality.

Relax and rejuvenate in Queenstown
Adventure jet boating in Queenstown region | New Zealand holiday
Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand

Today, you will fly to Melbourne, Australia

DAY 28

Chic, stylish and a melting pot of multiculturalism, Melbourne. Renowned for being one of the world’s most livable cities. The capital of Victoria and Australia’s second-largest city. This down-to-earth city is oozing with funky hidden bars, and cool cafes and boasts a galore of shopping. Taste the coffee culture, try an Aussie-styled brunch or tickle your senses at the endless restaurants on offer.

Visit art galleries, or go to the famous Queen Victoria Market to savour local produce. Go neighbourhood hopping - stop by the hip seaside suburb of St Kilda. Stroll along the jetty and try to spot Fairy penguins. Wander down Chapel Street or feel fancy in South Yarra. Admire vintage stores on Brunswick Street or view street art on Flinders Lane. Soak up the bright lights in Chinatown or slow down at Brighton Beach. This colourful place has an abundance of parks and nearby nature to explore too!

Where will you stay?

Spend a night in style, at a sassy boutique hotel offering elegant rooms in Melbourne. The building has great significance and historical value dating back to 1920.

St Kilda Beach, Victoria
Discover Melbourne together with a local guide
Go neighbourhood hopping in Melbourne
© Tourism Australia

One of the best scenic roads in the world

DAY 31

Be intrigued by one of the world’s most renowned coastal scenic drives, The Great Ocean Road. A 240-kilometre stretch of road that takes you along the coast of the Indian Ocean, Victoria. Starting from the colourful surf town, Torquay, this road will lead you through ancient forests with the largest collection of eucalyptus trees in all of Australia.

Along the way, you will find Apollo Bay. A seafood village, rich with creative artists, sandy beaches and rolling green hills. Otway National Park is found on the east side of The Great Ocean Road. A bush walker’s dream with a dozen trails to choose from and many koalas to be spotted. Go fishing or surfing in the historic town of Johanna. Or stop by the picturesque Wattle Hill, a quaint seaside town near the iconic Twelve Apostles.

Where will you stay?

Opposite the southern ocean is self-contained accommodation. Cherish the natural dunes, reefs and beaches on your doorstep. Go snorkelling, swimming, diving, surfing or take a wander along the shore.

Conquer one of the most beautiful scenic roads in the world
Meet the locals along the way!
© David clode

Spend a night by the ocean

Day 33

Uncover the history of a charming fishing village, Port Fairy. This coastal gem is located at the end of the famous Great Ocean Road, 290 kilometres west of Melbourne. Historically, the coastline was used by whalers and seal hunters and was named after the crew of the whaler ship, The Fairy in 1828. Check out one of the busiest fishing ports in Victoria and watch as the fishermen unload their fresh catch of the day.

This colourful seaside town is arty too! Be sure to visit the large assortment of art, craft, antique and boutique stores scattered all around. Admire wide streets lined with picturesque 19th-century cottages, Norfolk pines and old-fashioned stone churches. Taste the region’s finest produce at the renowned Merrijig Kitchen Inn or nearby Basalt Vineyard cellar door.

Where will you stay?

Enjoy a panoramic view of the sea and the rolling natural dunes from your cosy cottage. If you’re lucky, you may spot some local wildlife such as seals and kangaroos.

Port Fairy | Australia holiday
Be welcomed with open arms in Port Fairy
Enjoy small-scale accommodations with local hosts

It’s time to explore The Grampians

DAY 34

Discover a natural wonderland - The Grampians. This pure gem is located 260 kilometres southwest of Melbourne, Victoria. An enticing mix of ancient culture, mountain forests with Eucalyptus trees and more than two hundred species of birds. A national park bursting with a soothing ambience, ideal for exploring either by cycling or hiking.

The iconic Pinnacle Walk is worth a look, you will be rewarded with spectacular scenery. Visit an array of waterfalls too. MacKenzie Falls is an impressive 25 metres high and 25 metres wide. Say G’day to local kangaroos grazing in the late afternoon.

Admire Indigenous rock paintings or visit The Brambuk Cultural Centre and learn more about the Aboriginal traditional way of life. Stop by quirky country towns, Halls Gap for a delicious cup of coffee or The Old Bakery in Dunkeld for a freshly baked chocolate croissant.

Where will you stay?

Set in a bushland environment is a nature retreat cabin. The perfect base to explore this alluring part of the world.

Explore the local gems of the Grampians
© TravelEssence
Have close encounters with kangaroos

Get acquainted with Adelaide and its surroundings

DAY 36

Uncover the secrets of Adelaide, a hip and colourful city oozing with laid-back vibes. The city has streets lined with restaurants and cafes, showcasing the region’s finest produce. Go on a culinary journey, and taste locally produced wine and modern Australian cuisine.

Visit Central Markets for a foodie adventure or head over to Peel and Leigh Street for a little bar hopping. Stay in the heart of the centre or relax by the beach in Glenelg. Adelaide Hills is a stunning area to visit with rolling vineyards, native bushland and curvy mountain drives.

There are lots of quirky villages to explore and it is a perfect place to spot koalas. The charming town of Hahndorf has a tale to tell, founded by German immigrants back in 1839. Today, it is a picturesque place, lovely for tourists to visit.

Where will you stay?

Situated between Stringybark eucalyptus in Adelaide Hills is a sleek and stylish, self-contained pavilion.

Enjoy the beach vibes in Adelaide
© Jayden Threadgold
Visit award-winning wineries
© South Australian Tourism Commission

Catch a ferry to Kangaroo Island

DAY 38

Immerse yourself in a natural wonderland - Kangaroo Island. Located southwest of Adelaide, off the mainland of South Australia. An island with 509 kilometres of coastline, rich with protected nature reserves and home to an abundance of native wildlife.

Say G’day to sea lions sunbathing on the beach, koalas dozing in eucalyptus trees or pelicans soaring over glistening lagoons. There is also a diverse range of bird species found here too. In the western part of the island, you will find Flinders Chase National Park, which is renowned for its astonishing penguin colonies.

Kangaroo Island has a range of activities to keep you satisfied. Go swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat, explore the island in a 4WD with a local guide or watch the sunset.

Where will you stay?

Set amongst the Australian bushland on a cliff edge, overlooking the ocean is a beach retreat. Watch the waves roll in from your balcony and soak up the tranquillity.

The beach as your backyard
Snorkeling around Kangaroo Island | Australia active holiday
Swim in a marine wonderland

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