New Zealand

Lauded as ‘the adventure capital of the world’, New Zealand is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination. In the winter months, snowcapped mountains soar skywards, a playground for skiers and snowboarders. By summer, coastal trails and national parks unfurl in undulating emerald waves, providing stunning vistas to explore.

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activities & experiences in New Zealand

Though ‘the Land of the Long White Cloud’ is known for adrenalin-fuelled exploits, New Zealand has a wealth of attractions for every kind of visitor. From the spectacular Bay of Islands in the north to the mountains of Queenstown and waterways of Fiordland National Park in the south, the country is teeming with opportunity.

There are many easy to experience the diverse and dramatic landscapes of New Zealand, from helicopter to yacht, alpine rail trails to self-drive adventures, but few can resist stepping out on foot into the wilderness.
Strolls and hikes large and small are found throughout the country, and whether trekking up Mount Taranki or, for Tolkien and Lord of the Rings fans, ambling through the fictional village of Hobbiton, walking provides a more immersive perspective of New Zealand’s fascinating terrains.

  • Hike one of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’
  • Heli-cruise the superb Milford and Doubtful Sounds
  • Explore one of the many world-class wineries across the country
  • Take a private yacht charter around the Bay of Islands
  • Experience a working sheep station in the highlands
  • Get swept away by the stunning night skies over Mackenzie Valley
  • Venture into the mountains the easy way on an alpine rail trail
  • Heli-hike the remarkable Franz Josef glacier
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Bay of Islands, New Zealand

destinations in New Zealand

Comprising two main islands, imaginatively named the north and south islands, there are a further 600 atolls and islets to explore and observe. The north island tends towards warmer climates and a more sub-tropical environment, with more towns and cities to explore. The south island is cooler, but more naturally abundant, lending itself to more hiking and adventuring.

Little more than half the size of California, the beauty of this diversity is that it is all readily accessible within a comparatively short distance and timeframe. From the south’s rugged and dramatic scenery to the deserted coves and beaches of the north, one can enjoy vastly different locations all within a single vacation.

Bay of Islands

Comprising over 140 islands, the aptly-named Bay of Islands is a wonderfully-tranquil region particularly suited to ocean lovers. Sailing, dolphin watching and beach excursions are all part of daily life in the Bay of Islands, located in the far north of Aotearoa (the indigenous name for the New Zealand, pronounced ow-tear-roh-ah). Walking tracks take in the breathtaking coastline, while boats offer visits to several of the small atolls offshore. The Bay of Islands is also home to numerous artisanal towns, filled with boutique cafés, crafts and plenty of seafood and local produce.

The Coromandel Peninsula

To the southeast of the Bay of Islands, the Coromandel peninsula juts northwards. Misty forest park covers much of its interior, a haven for numerous endemic bird species, including the takahē – a large, flightless waterbird. Life along the coast is wonderfully varied, from penguins to orcas and dolphins. The limestone coastline and pristine waters are worth exploring by kayak, with caves and rock formations perforating the cliffs. New Zealand is actively volcanic, and this is evident in the Coromandel, with several hot springs present. Hot Water Beach is even more extraordinary, and it is possible to dig a hole in the beach and bask in thermal waters as you overlook the Pacific Ocean.

Hawke’s Bay

 The Hawke’s Bay region is renowned for its vineyards, producing award-winning cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and chardonnay wines. Cycling trails and walking tracks weave through the majestic mountainscapes and small towns and winery cellar doors huddle in their shadow. Complementing the fine wines, Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s most renowned culinary centers, and local fare can be sampled at boutique shops, cafés and restaurants.

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland is one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand. Located on the southwestern shores of the south island, it is best encapsulated from a helicopter or light aircraft before losing yourself in its network of walking trails. Within the national park lie Milford and Doubtful Sounds, home to bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and the endemic Fiordland crested penguin. Nautical explorations are breathtaking, and taking a private yacht charter along the rugged coast is an unmissable experience. The contrasting inland landscape comprises towering mountains swathed in rainforest, immense waterfalls cascading into the innumerable fiords for which the park is named.


If New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world. Queenstown is its fiercely-beating heart. The winter months see an influx of snow sports enthusiasts, and the region is celebrated for its exceptional pistes and snowfields. The unofficial birthplace of bungee jumping, it is also where the first commercial jump site was established. Skydiving, jetboating and mountain biking have a thriving presence in Queenstown, but there is plenty of appeal for the less adrenalin-inclined. Golfing, hot springs and sedate coastal cruises allow one to enjoy the region at a more leisurely pace.

New Zealand Coast
New Zealand Waterfall, Fiordland

accommodations in new Zealand

As with so much in New Zealand, accommodation is both dramatically spectacular and distinctly unique. From classically-styled homesteads to contemporary villas that blur the border between luxury residence and surrounding wilderness, New Zealand’s properties are as breathtaking as the landscapes in which they reside.

Though New Zealand’s cities and major towns host many of the leading names in luxury hotels, once you depart the urban metropolis you will find private residences to be the more frequent accommodations. Whether solo, travelling as a couple or bringing the extended family, there is plenty of choice to be found. With such an abundance of unspoiled nature, these properties have found themselves their own corners of untouched wilderness.

Nature is omnipresent, and expansive windows, sweeping verandas and lush, rolling lawns embrace the scenery. Venues combine exceptional luxury with expansive scenery and local appeal, some bordering tumbling rivers, others sharing hillsides with winelands or stunning golf courses.

Cozy, opulent and indulgent, rather than cocooning guests from the outside world, they provide a warm and sumptuous haven from which to enjoy it.

New Zealand 32
The Lindis 2


001 Calendar 01

BEST TIME: Summer – Dec-Mar / winter – Jun-Sep

003 Thermometer 01

LOW: 53-61ºF (12-16ºC) / HIGH: 68-77ºF (20-25ºC)

002 Blood 01

SEASONS: Dec – Feb / WINTER: Jun – Aug

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BEST FOR: Outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, wilderness romance & adventure pursuits

New Zealand is a country to be enjoyed from numerous perspectives. Thrilling adventure, wonderful snowfields, artisan towns, sub-tropical forests and coastlines – its appeal is multi-faceted. Alongside this, the rich Māori culture is pervasive, as is the nation’s renown for good wine, fresh seafood and creative cuisine. Kiwis (the colloquial term for New Zealanders) are genial and welcoming, more than happy to offer advice on your next adventure or directions to local secrets.

When you visit New Zealand is dependent upon which chapter of its story you wish to immerse yourself in, so it is worth considering the direction you wish your vacation to take before settling on travel dates.


After two days in New Zealand, you may very well wish to stay, such is the allure of its unspoiled landscapes and appealing lifestyle. About twice the size of New York state, it is easily navigable and two weeks will allow you to encompass many of the most desirable locations.


This question can only be answered by you. If you are searching for warmer days, coastal sojourns, sailing and wineland strolls, the summer months of December to February are better suited. If you prefer laying the clothing for some snow time or rugged hikes, winter (June to August) may be more suitable. The south island can be divided into these two halves of the year; sun or snow. But the north island can become quite wet through the winter months, and while the mountains may be snowcapped, the lowlands can be rainy and drab.


Contemporary inventiveness meets classic colonial in New Zealand. Some properties hark back to the homesteads of the sheep-farming early settlers, while chic, modern lodges are sensitively designed to melt into the surrounding landscapes. Each in its own way, these contrasting styles exude luxury and comfort, and New Zealand has no shortage of accommodations absolutely oozing with the ‘wow’ factor.


An NZeTA visa is required for entry into New Zealand and an additional International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) may also be required for international visitors.

Major airlines fly direct from the US to New Zealand’s Aukland International airport, with several other airports servicing flights across the country, and to Australia and Asia. Transportation across New Zealand is of an excellent standard, though more remote destinations may require a little more planning.

Though English is the national language, you will notice Māori place names and words used frequently. Locals are more than happy to help you with pronunciations, though this won’t impose any significant language barrier. New Zealand is a culinary paradise, and the nation is rapidly becoming revered and a global foodie hotspot, particularly for its fresh seafood and innovative flair. Often creatively modern, New Zealanders of all heritage are proud of the country’s Māori culture, and this influence is creeping its way into kitchens at every level, from small-town café to fine-dining restaurant.

Every dietary requirement can be easily catered to, and it is well worth searching out the more traditional foods, particularly the hāngī – usually lamb or fish with vegetables that is wrapped and slow-cooked in an underground hot-stone oven.


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We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

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Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

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It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

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My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

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Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

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On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

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Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

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Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

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It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.

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