Story Land & Sea®

Discover both islands on this Story adventure down under to New Zealand.

The Story of New Zealand

Your New Zealand Adventure Begins.

Land of the Kiwi. Land of Beauty.

From North to South

Story Land & Sea® extends a personal invitation for you to join us on The Story of New Zealand small group tour for your trip of a lifetime through "Middle Earth." From the time you arrive Auckland, a very modern metropolis that is welcoming and ready for exploration, to the rugged beauty of Middle Earth on the South Island, New Zealand will delight you with great cuisine and wine, majestic beauty of her amazing mountains packaged perfectly with tranquil scapes from ocean to meadow.

Your satisfaction and sense of real discovery is priority with your Story of New Zealand adventure.

  • Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Rotorua, New Zealand
  • New Zealand
  • Scenic New Zealand
  • Mt. Cook, New Zealand

The Story of New Zealand

The Adventure Begins.

Hotel availability may occasionally be an issue on our True Small-Group® Tours. This is due to popularity, high season, and/or if you are booking within 60 days of departure. A supplement (or reduction) may be applied if our normal set of hotels in each city are not available.

Depart USA 

Depart Your Home Airport on your Trans-Pacific flight to to Auckland (flight not included - inquire for pricing).

Story's Air Service can provide you with a competitive fare in economy, economy plus, business or first class. Inquire here.

Cross the International Dateline

This day will be "lost" as we cross the International Dateline. We will regain this day on our return.

New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand


Choose the optional arrival meet & greet with private transfer for $75.00 per person or make your way by taxi if you prefer.

Today is a day to explore central Auckland with your Story Tour Captain. Meet at the designated time and step out to discover the central city shopping district, the various small cafes or exquisite restaurants on the Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter, Princes Wharf and Britomart Precinct.

For spectacular views over Auckland we will head up to the Sky Tower, New Zealand's tallest man-made structure or look into our history at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Auckland is an energetic and colorful city surrounded by two harbors, plenty of beaches, and dotted with 48 volcanic cones. The inner city is easy to discover on foot.

food icon   Included Story Way® Dining tonight.
The Story Way® of Dining debuts as you join your Story Tour Captain for the Welcome Dinner. Experience what can only be described as a night of the best cuisine and drink from the islands of New Zealand.

About The Story® Way of Dining
Our approach to dining is truly unique: Our favorites dishes represent the region we're traveling through. We call this 'speaking the language of your food.' From our unique, off-the-beaten-path restaurants we visit for each included dinner to the variety of hand-crafted dishes, it's truly an immersion into authentic cuisine paired with wine. Your Story Tour Captain is there to make sure your dining experience goes smoothly and will help you interpret any menu item. For the 6 total included dinners, your Story TC will select a variety of appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your wine for the evening ~ and yes, ""the wine does flow."" It's an intentionally slow evening of delight so you can savor the experience in the local culture. Enjoy!

Story Accommodation: Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour or similar, 2 Nights


Auckland Countryside with Wine Tasting & Lunch

Enjoy succulent fresh oysters, award-winning olive oil and other locally-produced specialty foods, accompanied by wines from some of the Island's top boutique vineyards. Your guide will provide an entertaining and informative commentary along the way.

You will visit an award-winning olive oil mill, followed by two vineyards, each offering a range of gourmet tastes to accompany their wines. Treats may include oysters straight from Te Matuku Bay, wild honey, the famous local green herb spread and artisan cheeses. On Saturdays, your tour may also include a visit to the Waiheke Market.

Afterwards, enjoy a platter lunch at one of our top vineyard restaurants. After lunch you will return to Auckland by ferry. After your wonderful tour you will enjoy the balance of the day at leisure for shopping or simply relax.

food icon   Optional Dining tonight. This evening you can join your Tour Captain for an optional dinner or choose to explore on your own.


Glow Worm Caves & Rotorua with Hangi Dinner

Rotorua, New Zealand

On today's tour, you have the unique opportunity to experience one of the world-famous visitor attractions on a wonderful, personally guided one-day tour. On the way to Waitomo we pass through the beautiful countryside of the Waikato and King Country. Our experienced and knowledgeable local Host-Guides will tell you about New Zealand and its extraordinary places you'll see along the approximately 2.5 hour journey from Auckland to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

As we drive southwards, we show you the sacred Taupiri Mountain as well as Ngaruawahia, the site of the famous Turangawaewae Marae (Maori meeting place) and seat of New Zealand's Maori King. At Waitomo, you will experience the world-famous Glowworm Caves on a 45-minute tour, which includes a boat ride on an underground stream to view the magically dazzling Glowworms. Then continue on to Rotorua. (Includes Waitomo Caves Entry Fee).

Arriving into Rotorua, you will check in and enjoy a little downtime before tonights festivities.

food icon   Story Way® Dining tonight.
Hangi Dinner tonight with the Tour Captain. A traditional and authentic Maori concert entertains after dinner. The cultural evening starts with pre-dinner drinks at 6.30 pm and the lifting of Hangi followed by dinner at 7.00pm. The evening concludes with an hour cultural show from 8.00pm – 9.00pm.

Story Accommodation: Prince's Gate Hotel or similar, 2 Nights
The Princes Gate is a historical, boutique-style hotel in the center of Rotorua. This classical 4.5-star hotel is opposite the Polynesian Spa and the famous Government Gardens.



Rotorua, New Zealand


Experience all culture of Te Puia then venture into the skyline excitement of the gondolas and the luge and/or take a gentle stroll through the Government gardens and along the edge of the lake!

Visit the fully carved wharenui (meeting house) Te Aronui a Rua and the pre-European Pikirangi Village to get a feel for everyday Experience the thrill of Māori songs and dances and the warmth and manaakitanga (hospitality) of the performers who enthrall and entertain every day.

Experience stories of voyaging, arrival and adaptation in New Zealand in Te Puia's world class galleries, Ngā Waru Pū Manawa and Te Whare Tapere. Understand more about the concepts and customs of our world.

Returning to Rotorua you have the balance of the evening at leisure.

food icon   Optional Dining tonight. This evening you can join your Tour Captain for dinner or choose to explore on your own.


Wellington: To the Southern End of the North Island

We depart after a nice breakfast today with our first stop being Lake Taupo for a look at the Huka Falls. Beautiful Lake Taupo is actually a huge volcano with a fiery history. Its most recent eruption, in 181 AD, was large enough to change the sky as far away as Europe and China. According to Maori legend, the lake is the pulsating heart of Maui's fish (New Zealand's North Island).

Lake Taupo, New Zealand


Huka Falls, New Zealand


Continuing todays drive, we will have lunch in route and have views the snow capped peaks of Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro as we approach Wellington.

Huka Falls, New Zealand

Mount Ruapehu, NEW ZEALAND

Huka Falls, New Zealand


Wellington Arrival

Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington, New Zealand, was recently named "the coolest little capital in the world" by Lonely Planet. Arriving to your hotel you will check in and relax for a time before meeting your Tour Captain for an informative orientation walk.

Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington Bay and city skyline, NEW ZEALAND

Orientation Walk
After a little downtime, plan to meet your Tour Captain and step out for a delightful orientation walk of Wellington.

food icon   Included Story Way® Dining tonight. Story Way Dining continues at a fantastic local restaurant tonight.

Story Accommodation: Doubletree By Hilton Wellington or similar, 2 Nights


Wellington Experience

Wellington, New Zealand

Cable car ride to Mt. Victoria, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND

Travel by cable car to the summit of Mt Victoria and visit the national Te Papa museum. A highlight this morning will be time to explore Te Papa, New Zealand's National Museum with exhibits that embrace both Maori and European views.

Enjoy free time this afternoon and this evening is also free to choose your own dining arrangements.

food icon   Optional Dining tonight. This evening you can join your Tour Captain for dinner or choose to explore on your own.

Cook Strait, Marlborough Sounds & the South Island

Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Marlborough Sounds. Docks at Picton.

food icon   Unique Perspectives Experience: Zealand Winery

Ferry to South Island
This morning after breakfast we head to the South Island. We meet our transfer driver and head off. We'll head to the port where you will board the Inter-islander Ferry for your journey across Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds into Picton.

Picton is a seaside town on New Zealand's south island and sits at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound in the beautiful Marlborough Sound and is regarded as one of New Zealand's prettiest towns. The town is popular with visitors from across the world who go there to enjoy its wonderful coastline, it has around 20% of New Zealand's coastline at its door, and to enjoy the best climate in New Zealand. We will take time for a nice lunch here before setting off for tonights accommodations.

Hotel Arrival
Arriving into the heart of Marlborough we check in and relax from todays travels.

Wine Tasting and Dinner
The Marlborough region is about world-famous Sauvignon Blanc, delicious fresh seafood and diverse landscapes, from valleys of vines to sheltered waterways. We will head off to visit a couple of the area wineries and enjoy a wonderful included dinner.

Story Accommodation: Aldaha Luxury Accommodation or similar, 1 Night


Whale Watching & Christchurch

After breakfast we head further south along the coast to the village of Kaikoura.

Whale Watching Adventure
This morning we plan to enjoy an exciting close encounter with Giant Sperm Whales.

Christchurch Arrival
After our amazing time at sea we continue the journey to Christchurch.

This evening you can join your Tour Captain for optional dinner or choose to explore on your own.

Story Accommodation: The George or similar, 2 Nights
Centrally located in pretty Christchurch, overlooking Hagley Park and the River Avon, the George is a luxurious 5-star boutique hotel.


Christchurch Experience

Christchurch, New Zealand
Tramp Car in City of Christchurch, NZ

This morning we meet our Story Local Guide and head off for a delightful look at the Highlights of Christchurch. The Garden City. A city in rebuild! Features: The City, Cashmere Hills, Lyttelton and Seaside Suburbs.

After a pleasant morning you will have the balance of the day as you wish.

food icon Story Way® Special Dinner.
The only restaurant Tram in New Zealand offers a unique way to see the city while enjoying a delicious dinner. Sip a welcome drink and savor a 4-course meal while the air-conditioned Tram travels through the city.

Board the luxurious 36-seater Tram, complete with air-conditioning and colonial style, and enjoy the finest service, cuisine, and beverages New Zealand has to offer. Incorporate stylish dining with Christchurch's heritage—truly a mix of old and new. While you enjoy the meal, tea, and coffee, the Tram car completes 3 to 4 laps around the circuit.


Transalpine Train Journey & Fox Glacier

Christchurch to Greymouth
We are up early today to board one of New Zealand's scenic trains. Take in the South Island's stunning mountains and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the Transalpine. New Zealand's finest inland rail journey.

Greymouth Arrival
Arriving into the coastal town of Greymouth we are met by our Story driver and taken to Fox Glacier for the evening.

FOX GLACIER TO MOUNT COOK (Optional tour at $275.00 per person for 5:30 flight)

Imagine flying the entire length of the Fox Glacier, then soaring at eye level against the west face of Aoraki/Mount Cook. There's time for a glacier snow landing before descending the Glacier Valley, with the mountains behind - conquered!

Fox Glacier Helicopter Rides, New Zealand
Fox Glacier Landing
Mt Cook, New Zealand
Mt. Cook


This evening you can join your Tour Captain for optional dinner or choose to explore on your own.

Accommodation: Distinction Fox Glacier - Te Weheka Boutique Hotel or similar, 1 Night
Located within walking distance of the impressive Fox Glacier, Te Weheka Boutique Hotel offers modern, spacious rooms with satellite TV. Each room has a balcony, overlooking the lush countryside.


Arrowtown & Queenstown

This morning after breakfast we travel past snow capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south towards Queenstown.

Making our way around the majestic Lake Wanaka, we will make a stop in Albert Town for a nice lunch (on own) before continuing on to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village and visit the Lakes District Museum.

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand Lake Wanakas, New Zealand


Queenstown Arrival
Arriving to our Queenstown accommodations we check in and relax with views of the lake and mountains outside our window.

Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand


Orientation Walk
After checking in you can relax for a while before joining your Tour Captain for a wonderful orientation walk and a gondola ride above the town. Amazing view will be had along with a delightful reception before dinner.

food icon Story Way®Dinning: Story Way Dining continues at a fantastic local restaurant tonight.

Story Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown or similar (3 nights)
The Crowne Plaza Queenstown is centrally located, being only a short walk to Queenstown's main streets and a 4-minute walk to the beach. With views overlooking Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown's Remarkable mountain range, you can enjoy the Queenstown's beautiful scenery right from the doorstep of the hotel.


Milford Sound Fly/Cruise with Lunch

This morning you can sleep in and have a relaxing breakfast before we venture off for our amazing day to Milford Sound.

Queenstown, New Zealand
Milford Sound


Flight/Cruise Milford Sound with Lunch
Take a stunning Scenic Flight to Milford Sound from Queenstown, including a 1.5-hour Cruise.

Milford Sound is New Zealand's premier tourist destination, and the sheer scale and staggering beauty of the sound are experienced from all viewpoints.

We will fly you from Queenstown over the Southern Alps with breathtakingly spectacular and endless panoramic views of lakes, forested river valleys, waterfalls, jagged razor-backed ridge lines and snow covered peaks.

After landing at Milford we will choose whether to take the shuttle bus or, if time permits, take you on a short walk through the bush and foreshore to the cruise boat. Once on the boat, you will take a leisurely cruise along the whole length of the sound. The boat has a Pita Pit restaurant onboard, with freshly grilled wraps or pies, and complimentary tea and coffee. After the cruise, your pilot will escort you back to the aircraft for the return flight to Queenstown along a different flight path.

Return to Queenstown
Arriving back to Queenstown you are free to explore as you wish.

Guest Choice Dinner
This evening you can join your Tour Captain for optional dinner or choose to explore on your own.


Lord of the Rings Tour & Farewell Dinner

Glenorchy Lord of the Rings 4WD Tour
We tour the countryside in specially-fitted 4 wheel-drive vehicles while visiting the locations where the Fortress of Isengard, Forest of Lothlorien and other famous Peter Jackson scenes were filmed. Find out why New Zealand is the movie directors' choice for film locations. We return to our hotel around mid-day for the balance of your day at leisure.

Queenstown, New Zealand
Glenorchy Region NZ - Lord of the Rings Tour


Queenstown Leisure
This afternoon is the perfect time for your last minute shopping and exploration.

Story Way® Dining Farewell to New Zealand
We step aboard the TSS Earnslaw for a nostalgic cruising and dining experience. We enjoy a cruise of the lake on the way to the Colonel's Homestead at Walter Peak. Please NOTE: This is a seasonal experience. Alternate activity will be provided during off-season.

Enjoy high country hospitality and a carver style dinner featuring the best of New Zealand meats and seafood, along with fresh vegetables and garden salads.

An entertaining after dinner show provides a glimpse into farming life. We return to our hotel for the balance of day at leisure. Your Farewell to the South Pacific dinner is with the Tour Captain onboard.

It is a night of fun, great cuisine, wine, and memories! Our days have been filled with new sights, tastes, and discoveries - tonight enjoy reflecting on the incredible journey we've had together!


Homeward Bound

Choose the optional private departure transfer for $45.00 per person or make your way by taxi if you prefer.

To reach us by telephone, call toll free 1-877-865-6711


Heart of City Hotels.

Enjoy all the amenities of Story Deluxe hotels throughout your journey.

Auckland Hotels - 2 Nights

Rotorua Hotel - 2 Nights

Wellington Hotel - 2 Nights

Picton Hotel - 1 Night

Christchurch Hotel - 2 Nights

Fox Glacier Hotel - 1 Night

Queenstown Hotel - 3 Nights

Story of New Zealand Tour

What's Included

  • Accommodations in Deluxe based on double occupancy
  • Story Way® Dining per itinerary
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Sightseeing, visits and admission as noted in the itinerary
  • On-Tour transportation unless otherwise noted
  • Local guides in small group tour sightseeing averaging 20 guests


Services of a full-time, experienced guides and professional Tour Captain.

Comprehensive daily sightseeing per itinerary via private transportation with experienced, local driver. Admission & entrance fees to all sightseeing as detailed per itinerary.

Full, hot breakfast daily. Lunches and dinner included per itinerary. Coffee or tea included with breakfast only; all other beverages are extra. Select dinners are included at unique restaurants. 

Arrival and departure airport/hotel transfers are not included. On-Tour Air: Internal transfers and flights are not included.

Portage (one suitcase per person) and all tipping (driver, restaurant, hotel and guide staff) included. Extra bag portaged for $USD50 per bag. Story Land & Sea luggage tags upon arrival first hotel.

Single Supplement applies. See Dates & Rates Tab.

Travel documents are your responsibility including compliance with customs' regulations. Please make sure that you have completed your Australia entrance Visa. Information for this is:

Tour prices are per person, based on two persons sharing double or twin-bedded room with private bathroom with tub or shower. Single rooms subject to availability and at an additional cost (tour participants without a roommate will have to pay the single room surcharge). Hotels used are Budget, Superior First Class and Luxury Class categories - you choose based on your preferences.

SERVICE CHARGES AND TAXES: All departure taxes and tipping are included. 

Airfare is not included but it can be quoted here. Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of your small group Italy tour origination. If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk even if Story Land & Sea® made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your land tour vacation. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application should you have to cancel.

Travel Protection is not included. Story Land and Sea® recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. A Protection Plan can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on available plans or to enroll, go to or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9297 and reference location number 06-0051.

Pricing & Dates

2019 Guaranteed Departures.

Note: Travel documents are your responsibility including compliance with customs' regulations. Please make sure that you have completed your Australia entrance Visa. Information for this is:

Published prices are based on a guaranteed departure with at least six (6) Story guests — Inquire with reservations to find out your preferred departure's current tour size and pricing: 1 (877) 865-6711

Take over a departure for your own private group - inquire for details.

Prefer to travel with just the two of you? Inquire for our Private Journey option.


Land Price
Per Person

Mar 18
Apr 18
Special Departure: $8,648
May 20
June 30
Jul 8
Sep 12
Oct 5
Nov 6

Get Started: Ask a Question, Schedule a Call, Request a Trip Quote, or Have us Craft Your Trip




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