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New Zealand for solo travellers

21days from
£7,499*per person


21 Days - Tours for Solo Travellers

New Zealand is one of those holiday destinations of a lifetime. Explore the very best parts of this beautiful country, discovering the breath-taking mountains, National Parks, rivers, and all the must-see attractions.  We stay in Auckland before travelling to the sub-tropical Bay of Islands– a wonderful region of historic towns and a deeply indented coastline filled with golden coves. Heading south from Auckland to Hamilton, marvel at the world-famous Hamilton Gardens, before exploring Rotorua, one of the North Island’s greatest areas of geothermal activity with its spectacular geysers. We continue to the renowned wine-producing region of Hawke’s Bay, facing the Pacific Ocean. Here we stay in charming Napier, famous for its unique architecture. From Mt Victoria, there are outstanding views of the capital city’s harbour. New Zealand has gained a reputation as an outstanding wine-growing nation, and Marlborough on the north-eastern corner of South Island is certainly one of the key regions for producing premium quality wines. Our tour covers the highlights of this remarkable country, such as our trips on the TranzAlpine train and the helicopter flight over the beautiful Franz Josef glacier.


  • Travel to the airport for your overnight flight to Auckland. 
  • Today we continue our journey to New Zealand. 
  • Welcome to New Zealand! You’ll arrive in Auckland and transfer to the four-star Grand Millennium for one night with breakfast, well-located for all the city’s attractions.  The rest of your day is at your leisure. 
  • Departing Auckland we’ll head north over the Auckland Harbour Bridge along the Hibiscus Coast to view giant Kauri trees at the Parry Kauri Park.  Continuing our journey over the gentle green landscape of North Island we’ll reach Paihia in the beautiful Bay of Islands in the afternoon. Here you’ll take a guided tour of the Waitangi Treaty House, where in 1840, Maori chiefs and the original European settlers signed the Treaty of Waitangi, the basis of the future governance of New Zealand.  Our hotel for the next two nights is the four-star Scenic Hotel, with breakfast. 
  • This morning we’ll see the Bay of Islands in the best way possible via a boat cruise meandering around the idyllic beaches that make this area so popular. If you’re lucky, there’s a chance you may see wild dolphins which are common in the Bay of Islands.  We’ll continue on to Cape Brett and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’, through which the boat will sail slowly, conditions permitting, before we’ll disembark at the historic small town of Russell. The first European settlement in New Zealand and just a 10-minute ferry trip from Paihia (ticket included), Russell is an ideal place for a spot of lunch or a relaxing walk along the waterfront.  The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy many of the activities the Bay of Islands has to offer. 
  • This morning we leave the Bay of Islands, travelling south on the Twin Coast Discovery Highway through Whangarei and across Harbour Bridge arriving in Auckland for a sightseeing tour of the ‘City of Sails’. See this panoramic city and harbour views from Bastion Point, the trendy Parnell Village, the bays of the waterfront drive and the vibrant Viaduct Harbour area.  We’ll also visit the Auckland Museum which gives an introduction to the legacy and cultures of the peoples of the Pacific including the monumental carvings, buildings, canoes and taonga (treasures) of the Maori, as well as the diversity of cultures which now combine to form the rich tapestry of race, nationality and creed which is modern New Zealand.
  • Leaving Auckland, we'll head south through some of New Zealand’s lush farmlands within the Waikato Valley and journey along the east bank of the country’s largest river – the Waikato – arriving in the rural area of Waitomo. Here, we’ll go underground to explore the famous Waitomo Caves – an ancient labyrinth of caves and grottos famous for their fascinating limestone stalagmites and stalactites formed over thousands of years. You can also enjoy a silent boat ride within the underground waters to the starry wonderland of the magnificent glowworm grotto.  Back up above ground, the journey will continue across the bush-clad Mamaku Ranges to Rotorua.   Rotorua has the most energetic thermal activity in the country with mud pools, geysers, hot springs and terrace formations created by the hot, mineral-rich waters. Rotorua is also renowned for its Maori cultural activities.  We’ll visit Te Puia – where our local Maori guide will explain traditional Maori arts and crafts - and we’ll view the famous Pohutu Geyser in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley.  This evening, you’ll enjoy a visit to a recreation of a typical Maori forest community village, where we’ll be treated to an evening of ceremonial rituals, storytelling, and intriguing insights into Maori life. It ends with a powerful cultural performance in a fully wooden carved Te Aronui-a-Rua meeting house before a traditional Hangi buffet dinner (Maori feast) cooked the traditional Maori way in an earth oven. 
  • Set in the heart of the Mighty Waikato region, we'll journey through the picturesque Kaimai Ranges with spectacular views on our way to Middle Earth - or as close as we can get - to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set for a guided tour. Plucked from the pages of JRR Tolkein’s famous novels - The Hobbit and the Lord of The Rings trilogy - and transformed for the big screen by Peter Jackson, we'll follow our guide around the ten-acre site as they recite fascinating details of how the Shire was created. We’ll see structures made for both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films including the Old Mill, the Green Dragon Inn and, of course, we won’t leave without seeing the hobbit holes.   After exploring, we’ll enjoy a complimentary drink in the Green Dragon Inn and return to the Shires Rest before departing to Rotorua for an afternoon at leisure. You can choose not to visit Hobbiton today and spend a full day exploring Rotorua and taking advantage of the hotel facilities, including a spa.
  • Departing Rotorua we’ll travel to the charming lakeside town of Taupo, stopping en-route at Huka Falls to marvel as the mighty Waikato River thunders through its narrow canyon.  Then it’s on to Napier, known as the Art Deco capital of the world. After an earthquake in 1931, the centre of the town was rebuilt in the Art Deco style which was in fashion at the time. On arrival we’ll meet our local guide and take a fascinating walking tour of these beautiful Art Deco buildings.  Our hotel is the excellent four-star superior Scenic Hotel Te Pania, with breakfast, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 
  • You’ll continue south to Wellington where we’ll enjoy a night in New Zealand’s capital city, staying at the four-star James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, with breakfast.  You’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour of Wellington with free time to explore the vibrant waterfront and beautiful gardens.  We’ll also visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s outstanding National Museum (self-guided), to learn about the shaping of its land, the spirit of its diverse peoples, its unique wildlife, landscapes and its popular culture. 
  • Today we’ll cruise to South Island, across the Cook Strait by Interislander ferry, through the Marlborough Sounds, including the picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound and into Picton.  We’ll continue to Blenheim and the famous wine-producing region of Marlborough where we’ll stop for some wine tasting.  Our final destination today is Nelson, New Zealand’s sunshine town, known for its many art and craft galleries, and relaxed atmosphere.  Our hotel for the next two nights is the excellent four-star Trailways or Rutherford Hotel Nelson, with breakfast. 
  • This morning we’ll join a catamaran cruise along the stunning shoreline of Abel Tasman National Park.  En route you’ll learn about the history of the park and view the famous Split Apple Rock, a fur seal colony and the park’s golden beaches and clear waters. For the more adventurous, there is the option of landing ashore at Anchorage and take the Pit Head Loop walk (approx 2hrs).  Our boat will collect the walkers at Anchorage on its return down the coast.  A packed lunch is included today. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure in Nelson.
  • Travelling south through the Maruia Forest and over the Lewis Pass we’ll arrive at the alpine village of Hanmer Springs for a lunch stop (not included) before joining the upper reaches of the Canterbury Plains to the ‘garden city’ of Christchurch.  Since the earthquake of 2011, the city’s rebuilding programme is in full swing and there will be an opportunity to visit to the Re-Start Mall, the controversial ‘Cardboard Cathedral’ and the Botanic Gardens.  Our hotel is the three-star superior Distinction Hotel or Quality Hotel Elms, with breakfast. 
  • Today we’ll traverse the Southern Alps aboard the world-famous TranzAlpine train to Arthurs Pass. From your modern panoramic carriage, you’ll see the farmland of the Canterbury Plains give way to the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, crossing bridges and viaducts en route.  At Arthurs Pass, we’ll be met by our coach for the journey to the West Coast, stopping in Hokitika to visit a Greenstone workshop where the local jade-like stone, highly prized by pre-European Maori, is crafted into exquisite jewellery.  We’ll continue south through forests and farmland, with views of the Alps to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west, to the village of Franz Josef.  This afternoon prepare yourself for what will be one of your trip’s highlights!  On arrival you will experience this magnificent glacial alpine environment with a 20-minute scenic helicopter flight. View the incredible phenomenon of the glacier as it winds slowly down the ice-carved valleys from its origin in the mountains high above you. This exhilarating experience finishes with an alpine landing (subject to poor weather conditions. Alternative flights are in Queenstown or Mount Cook). Our hotel tonight is the four-star Scenic, with breakfast. 
  • Continuing south, we’ll travel past deserted beaches, through vibrant rainforests and settlements.  This wilderness forms part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, so designated because South Westland and Fiordland have some of the most dramatic forest, mountain scenery and natural resources in the world.  We’ll travel over the scenic Haast Pass to the popular Lake Wanaka, and then on to the beautiful year-round resort of Queenstown where our hotel for the next two nights is the four-star Copthorne Lakefront Resort, with breakfast.  The centre of bustling Queenstown is just a short walk away. 
  • Nestled below the rugged Remarkable Mountains, Queenstown enjoys an exceptionally scenic setting and is known as the ‘adventure capital of the world.  Today is at leisure to enjoy all that this resort town has to offer.  Experience the thrill of a jet-boat ride along the Shotover River, a 4x4 drive exploring more film locations, scenic helicopter trips, flights, guided walks, a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the 100-yearold vintage steamboat TSS Earnslaw, or ride the Skyline Gondola high above Queenstown for superb views of the area. 
  • Leaving Queenstown we’ll skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and travel via Te Anau through the Homer Tunnel into the spectacular Cleddau valley and famous Milford Sound, arguably the most spectacular fjord in the country within the Fiordland National Park part of the UNESCO South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.  A boat trip on the deep fjord Thermal pool in Waiotapu, Rotorua waters between sheer granite cliffs rising thousands of feet, affords wonderful views of mile-high Mitre Peak and the 500-foot Stirling Falls.  There is a good chance of seeing dolphins, fur seals or penguins during our trip before we’ll return to the charming small lakeside resort of Te Anau. A packed lunch is included today.  Our hotel in Te Anau is the four-star Distinction Luxmore, with breakfast.  Late in the afternoon there will be time for an optional visit to the nearby Glow worm caves, unique to New Zealand. 
  • Today we’ll travel back north and visit Arrowtown, a township with a colourful history - in its heyday this was a rough and ready frontier gold-mining boomtown.  Nowadays, its popular main street is lined with some excellent art galleries, cafés and boutiques.  We’ll continue through the rugged Kawarau Gorge, pass pretty Lake Dunstan, cross the distinctive Central Otago countryside (where many scenes from the Lord of the Rings were filmed) and over the dramatic Lindis Pass to the vast Mackenzie Basin.  Your overnight accommodation is the three-star Heritage Gateway Hotel, with breakfast, in the small rural community of Omarama.
  • A day with some more spectacular sights.  We’ll head north alongside the azure glacier-fed Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook, at 12,316ft New Zealand’s highest mountain and surrounded by jagged snow-covered peaks.  We’ll continue towards the magnificent blue waters of Lake Tekapo and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, before crossing Burkes Pass and the Canterbury Plains back into Christchurch and the Quality Hotel Elms for our last night in the country. 
  • A fond farewell to New Zealand. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
  • Arrive back in the UK after an incredible once-in-a-lifetime tour. 

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Experience the warm sub-tropical climate in the stunning Bay of Islands including a dolphin-watching cruise
  • Spend time exploring the famous cities of Christchurch, Auckland and Queenstown
  • Cross the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train, one of the world’s great train journeys
  • Enjoy an included helicopter flight around the iconic Franz Josef glacier, with an amazing alpine landing
  • Get close-up views of snow-capped Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak

Our Price Includes

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on one person in a double/twin room for sole occupancy. The price include 17 nights’ accommodation, scheduled flights to Auckland, returning from Christchurch, all touring and transfers as mentioned, all local accommodation and airport/flight taxes, the services of a Riviera Travel Tour Manager, hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person, daily breakfast in three-and-four-star-star hotels in New Zealand, 2 evening meals, and 2 packed lunches.
  • Your included excursions are sightseeing tours in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch; a Bay of Islands cruise, Milford Sound cruise, Abel Tasman coastal cruise and Interislander ferry. There’s also visits to Tamaki Maori village, Arrowtown and Mount Coot, and Marlborough vineyard with wine tasting. There’s guided visits to Waitangi Treaty grounds, the Te Puia geothermal area and Napier, as well as a TranzAlpine train journey, with a 20-minute scenic helicopter flight with alpine landing.
  • Please note that some activities such as boat cruises are weather-dependent, and whilst there will be three opportunities to take the glacier helicopter flight during the tour, should weather conditions make flying unsafe and the sterling equivalent of the fare will be refunded on your return to the UK. 
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Dates and Prices

October 2024
  • Available
  • Limited Availability
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Departure Airport:
London Heathrow (LHR)

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Price from:£7,499
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4* Grand Millenium Hotel - Auckland -


The four-star Grand Millenium Hotel is located right in the centre of the city, within easy walking distance of the Sky Tower and Queen Street. The hotel’s facilities include a large indoor pool and fitness centre, a popular bar, the Straits café for casual dining with either a la carte of buffet service, or try some sushi and teppanyaki in the Japanese restaurant. The rooms are some of the most spacious in the city and all have a bath with separate shower, hairdryer, minibar, safe, iron/board, TV, air-conditioning, tea/coffee-maker and complimentary Wi-Fi.

4* Scenic Hotel Bay of Island - Paihia -


The four-star Scenic Paihia Hotel is located in a quiet location just a 10 minute easy stroll into the small centre of Paihia. The hotel is set out between a number of small low-rise buildings and offers a pool, restaurant and bar. The 114 recently-refurbished rooms all have shower, hairdryer, iron/board, minibar, TV, tea/coffee-maker and free wifi.

4* Distinction Rotorua - Rotorua -


The four-star Distinction Hotel, Rotorua, has a bar, three dining outlets as well as an outdoor pool (heated). The modern style rooms feature a bath or shower, hairdryer, iron/board, TV, mini fridge, tea/coffee-making facilities, safe, complimentary wifi.

4* Scenic Hotel Te Pania - Napier -


The four-star superior Scenic Hotel Te Pania is in a prime position right on Marine Parade overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with the centre of town just a few steps away. Facilities include a bar and main restaurant. The 109 spacious modern rooms all have bath/shower, hairdryer, iron/board, minibar, flat-screen TV, tea/coffee-maker and free wifi.

4* James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor - Wellington -


The four-star James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel is right in the centre of Wellington, close to the waterfront, with several restaurants nearby. The hotel has a café for light meals on the ground floor and a restaurant on the 17th floor where both buffet and a la carte options are available. The 268 rooms all have bath/shower, hairdryer, iron/board, minibar, TV, tea/coffee-maker and free wifi.

4* Rutherford Hotel - Nelson -


The four-star Rutherford has a central location in Nelson, within easy walking distance to city’s restaurants and shops. The hotel has a restaurant, bar (open in evening) and the Atom Café serving tasty tea and cake. There is a gym, sauna and outdoor pool (unheated October to March). The 113 comfortable rooms feature a bath or shower, TV, mini fridge, tea/coffee-making facilities, complimentary wi-fi. Safety deposit box at reception.

4* Scenic Hotel - Franz Josef Glacier -


The four-star Scenic is located just a few steps from the small centre of Franz Josef. The hotel offers two restaurants, (one a la carte) and a cozy bar with a fireplace. The 177 comfortable rooms have a shower, hairdryer, fridge, TV, tea/coffee-maker and free wifi.

4* Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront - Queenstown -


The four-star Copthorne Hotel and Resort Lakefront is located a short downhill walk into the lively centre of Queenstown. The large lobby area includes a popular bar and there’s a restaurant with wonderful mountain and lake views on the 6th floor. The 240 rooms have bath/shower, hairdryer, minibar, iron/board, TV, tea/coffee-maker and town, garden or partial lake views. Wifi is free in the lobby but charged extra in rooms.

4* Distinction Christchurch Hotel - Christchurch -


Christchurch: Located conveniently in the heart of the city in Cathedral Square, the four-star Distinction Christchurch Hotel is within walking distance of the Botanical Gardens, the Avon River and Cashell Mall as well as restaurants and shops. With an on-site restaurant and bar, the 179 rooms have bath or shower, hairdryer, fridge, mini bar (extra charge), iron/board, TV, tea/coffee-maker, safe and complimentary wi-fi.

4* Distinction Luxmore Hotel - Te Anau -


The four-star Distinction Luxmore is located in the centre of the small town of Te Anau, just a few steps away from Lake Te Anau, the largest in South Island and famed for its spectacular sunsets. The hotel has a popular bar, two restaurants and a fitness room. The 180 rooms have a bath/shower, hairdryer, fridge, iron/board, TV and tea/coffee-maker.

3* Heritage Gateway Hotel - Omarama -


The three-star Gateway Hotel is located close to the centre of the small community of Omarama. This simple motel-style property has a bar and restaurant with outside seating available in good weather. The 98 rooms are arranged in several low rise buildings and include a bath/shower, hairdryer, fridge, iron/board, TV, tea/coffee-maker and free wifi.

4* Novotel Hamilton Tainui - Hamilton -


Located on the banks of the Waikato river, this modern hotel is a short walk to nearby attractions, restaurants and shops. The hotel has a bar and restaurant, offering a contemporary fusion of European and Pacific Rim cuisine. The 177 comfortable and rooms have a bath with shower, hairdryer, minibar, safe, flat-screen TV, tea/coffee-maker and free Wi-Fi.

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Holiday provided by Riviera Travel

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: change your booking for free, Covid-19 cancellation protection included as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Riviera Travel (ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430). These ABTA and ATOL bonds mean that, when you book a Riviera Travel holiday, you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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