Like many other countries, for two long years New Zealand, or Aotearoa in Maori, closed its borders to the world. Now that it’s opened up and we are able to take holidays to New Zealand again, if you’re anything like us you’ll be desperate to get out and explore to its magnificent landscapes! Thanks to the bunch of wonderful Kiwis on our team, we’ve been able to put together three magical New Zealand itineraries that include must sees and well-kept secrets, so we really can’t wait to help you experience this awe-inspiring destination.
So, without further ado, here are our top picks on New Zealand’s South Island, all included on our sensational Hidden Gold of the South Island tour:
Fiordland National Park
By far one of New Zealand’s most awe-inspiring spots, this World Heritage Site is a breathtaking wonderland of cascading waterfalls, forest cloaked mountains, soaring granite peaks and shimmering fiords. The best way to soak up the magnificence of the surroundings is with a gentle overnight cruise which you’ll enjoy on your Wendy Wu Tour.
Located in the spectacular Alps of the South Island, Lake Wanaka is a place of outstanding natural beauty. The lake itself is huge, covering 193 square kilometres, and home to five tiny islands. Pick of the bunch is Mou Waho – a small eco-sanctuary that hosts the rare flightless Buff Weka and Mountain Stone Weka and is the perfect place to capture incredible photographs of the serene, surrounding waters.
New Zealand’s tallest mountain, and where mountaineer Sir Edmund Hilary prepared for his assault of Everest, Aoraki/Mount Cook is a treasure trove of lofty peaks, glittering glaciers and vast snow fields. You don’t have to be a mountaineer to enjoy the best of Aoraki/Mount Cook with plenty of short and manageable alpine walks offering spectacular views in every direction.
New Zealand’s only castle was built in 1871 and wows visitors with its grand architecture, pristine Victorian-style gardens and sweeping views of the Otago Peninsula (also a fantastic wine region, just fyi!). You’ll tour the castle hearing tales of scandals and tragedies before enjoying lunch in the Ballroom.
The only French settlement in the country and full of charm, Akaroa is unlike anywhere else in New Zealand. Wander the lovely streets to admire the historic cottages and dip in and out of restaurants serving authentic French cuisine. We even include a cruise from the harbour in search of the world’s smallest and friendliest dolphins – Hector’s dolphins.