Introducing New Zealand | Out Of Office | Tailor-made luxury holidays inclusive of all
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Gay New Zealand

Introducing New Zealand

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This whistlestop tour takes you to both New Zealand's north and south islands in seven days. You'll visit the main cities and have a chance to encounter some incredible experiences.  This self-drive and fly itinerary will allow you to explore the beautiful scenery on offer and if you'd like to make the trip extra special we'd certainly recommend spending a bit longer taking in each stop.

time difference


12 hours ahead of the UK

flight time


26 hours direct from UK

Day 1


On arrival into Auckland, pick up your rental vehicle and make your way to your accommodation in downtown Auckland.

Remainder of day at leisure.

Auckland is a colourful vibrant city, often called the ‘City of Sails’. Located on the spectacular sparkling Waitemata Harbour its major landmarks are the Harbour Bridge, the Sky Tower and Rangitoto Island, the region’s youngest volcano. Visitors can enjoy the magnificent harbour, the many and varied activities of the city or walk and hike in the nearby hills where native flora and fauna abound.

Optional Tour - Auckland Museum: The Auckland Museum is housed in one of New Zealand's most outstanding historical buildings boldly situated in the Domain - a central city pleasure garden. Here you will encounter exhibitions that will excite you with the artistic legacy and cultures of the peoples of the Pacific; the monumental carvings, buildings, canoes and taonga (treasures) of the Maori; and the diversity of cultures which now combine to form the rich tapestry of race, nationality and creed which is modern New Zealand.

Optional Tour - Sky Tower: A truly captivating experience awaits visitors to Auckland's Sky Tower. At 328 metres, it is the tallest man- made structure in New Zealand and offers breathtaking views for up to 80 kilometres in every direction. Travel up in the glass-fronted lifts to one of the three spectacular viewing platforms.

Optional Tour - Bay of Islands Excursion: Today your tour takes you across the Auckland Harbour Bridge, north via the Hibiscus Coast to the beautiful Bay of Islands - a haven for people who enjoy sea activities and the beauty of uncrowded sandy beaches and native forests. Arrive in Paihia and visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds, then join a cruise to Cape Brett and travel through the famous 'Hole in the Rock'.

Recommended Accommodation:
Hotel De Brett 5*
Gay friendly hotel AucklandGay friendly hotel AucklandGay friendly hotel AucklandGay friendly hotel Auckland
Day 2

Auckland - Rotorua

Today make your way to Rotorua, a journey of approximately three and a half hours (without stops). There are two ways to head to Rotorua, one will take your via Waitomo Caves and the other via Hobbiton. Upon arrival into Rotorua, the remainder of your day is at your leisure.

Waitomo Caves - Tour the Waitomo Glow-worm Caves, through limestone chambers and passages, viewing stunning features such as the Tomo (a deep shaft that falls away to the darkness below), and the famous ‘Cathedral’. The unique climax of this visit is experiencing a silent boat trip through the glow-worm grotto. Marvel at the amazing light display as you glide quietly beneath the lights of thousands of glow-worms suspended from the cave ceiling. Only the gentle sound of dripping water reminds you that you are deep underground and not beneath a star filled sky.

Hobbiton - At Hobbiton experience the real Middle-earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, the bucolic setting for The Shire that featured in the Peter Jackson directed films, The Lord of the Rings. Your tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will escort you through the ten acre site recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton set was created. The Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill and other structures created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can be viewed and you will see how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-earth.

Recommended Accommodation:
Regent of Rotorua 5*
Gay hotel Rotorua
Day 3


Day at leisure. Choose from some of these optional tours:

Optional Tour - Eco Thermal Half day: Your morning tour begins with a visit to a giant boiling mud field, walk through Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, see the Lady Knox Geyser perform, take a guided walk through Waimangu Volcanic craters, picnic lunch included plus a visit to the Buried Village, Lake Tarawera, the Blue and Green lakes and finally a stroll in the Redwood Forest.

Optional Tour - White Water Rafting: Experience the thrill of white water rafting on the Kaituna River. Join in an adrenalin rush that takes you down the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. Fast and furious, this exhilarating ride moves you through foamy water and over the awesome seven metre drop. Although this trip provides full on action the river is pool drop meaning that every rapid is followed by calm water making it very forgiving for a grade 5 river, adventurous beginners are welcome. 

Optional Tour - Discover Rotorua: This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour around three of Rotorua's iconic visitor attractions. Experience Te Puia, a place of Maori culture and a thermal wonderland of geysers and boiling mud pools. Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park, which showcases native flora and fauna as well as the New Zealand Kiwi and see the Agrodome Show - a hands on experience giving you an animated insight into New Zealand's farming history.

Optional Tour - Maori Hangi and Concert: This evening your tour to Tamaki Maori Village takes you on a cultural journey to the marae (Maori village), the life force of New Zealand's indigenous people. Imagination takes over as your guide instructs you on the protocol for visiting the marae. A chief is selected, a song is learnt and the eerie cry of the welcome is heard before you enter the world of the proud warriors of the ancient Maori. You will experience the Powhiri (Welcome Ceremony) before you enter the village (houses) and hear traditional Maori instruments and watch the daily activities of days gone by. In the wharenui (meeting house), a Rangiatea culture group offers a powerful display of haka song and dance. Then, as new friendships are forged, dine on a traditional hangi feast, where the food is cooked slowly beneath the ground in earth ovens.

Optional Tour - Volcanic Air Safari: Mt. Tarawera - Waimangu Volcanic Valley by Floatplane. View from above, this awesome dormant volcano and the 8km crater rift created by the massive 1886 eruption. From Lake Rotorua fly via the Crater Lakes District to the summit of Mt Tarawera to view the volcanic crater rift. Continue via the steaming cliffs of Lake Rotomahana, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the Blue and Green Lakes, Whakarewarewa mud pools, geysers and forestry area to the Rotorua City Lakefront. Flight time approx 30 minutes.

Recommended Accommodation:
Regent of Rotorua
Day 4

Rotorua - Christchurch

This morning please make your own way with your car to Rotorua Airport. Fly to Christchurch (flight not included).

Upon arrival in Christchurch, collect a new rental car and make your way to your accommodation.

Following the 2010-2011 earthquakes, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city. The centre of the city and Cathedral Square has been completely re-opened offering a sometimes sobering in sight into the destructive power of the quakes. The central city now boasts two new shopping areas - a new retail and cafe precinct called “Re- Start” featuring over 30 retail shops built in fashionably presented shipping containers has recently opened in the Cashel Mall area of Cashel Street and the charming New Regent street, first opened in the 1930s now with some wonderful boutique outlets.

Remainder of day at leisure.

Optional Tour - Swim with Dolphins: Today you will visit Akaora via the Sign of Takahe, Sign of Kiwi, Governers Bay, Gebbies Pass, Lake Forsyth and Little River. You will also visit a cheese factory where you will have the opportunity to sample some NZ's fine cheese. On arriving at Akaroa join the Canterbury Cat Too for a cruise on the Akaroa Harbour sighting dolphins, penguins and seals. Prior to your departure you will be equipped with wet suit, mask, snorkel and flippers. On locating a pod of Hectors Dolphins you will enter the water to swim with these rare and endangered mammals. Following your return to Akaroa village time will be available for lunch (at your expense) and to explore the many fine craft shops and old French colonial buildings. On your return to Christchurch you will make a stop at the Birdling Flat at Kaitorete Spit which is a stoney beach at the entrance to Lake Forsyth.

Optonal Tour - Kaikoura Whale Watching: Today you will spend your day getting close to nature. Travel by road  through the rolling hill country of North Canterbury, enjoying the beauty of its rural pastoral scenes, to Kaikoura where mountains meet sea. Kaikoura is world renowned for the variety of marine mammals which can be seen, not least of all the giant sperm whales and the acrobatic Dusky Dolphins. On your arrival in Kaikoura you will be transferred to a whale watch tour by boat. In the afternoon you will visit a seal colony where fur seals may be viewed at close quarters. On your return to Christchurch a stop will be made at a North Canterbury vineyard where a wine tasting has been arranged for your pleasure. Lunch included.

Optional Tour - Punting on the Avon: Punting is a unique Christchurch experience transporting you back to an elegant English era when the pace of life was more peaceful and dignified. It is the most relaxing way to absorb the sights and charms of Christchurch while drifting downstream in and out of the dappled shadows of the willow trees. 30 minute pint - Sit back into the velvet cushions of your boat as your Edwardian punter propels you past the trailing willows and leafy banks of the prettiest stretch of the Avon River. Each punt is equipped with blankets and large umbrellas.

Recommended Accommodation:
Hotel Montreal By The George
Gay friendly hotel Christchurch New Zealand
Day 5

Christchurch - Queenstown

Today make your way to Queenstown, a journey of approximately six and a half hours. This far-reaching road adventure takes you from sea level to the highest point of New Zealand. You’ll begin with the flat green tranquillity of the Canterbury Plains, but it won’t be long before you climb to the tussock wilds of the high country. Amazing smoky turquoise lakes announce your arrival in the Aoraki Mt Cook region, a place for outdoor pursuits. Continue to Queenstown through the beautiful Lindis Pass – just magic when there’s snow around. Lake Dunstan is a fine place for a picnic before you explore the restored heart of Cromwell. Take a detour to Bannockburn if you’re interested in old gold workings. The vineyards of the Gibbston area and bungy jumpers at the Kawarau River Bridge are other interesting distractions before arriving in Queenstown.

Recommended Accommodation:
Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel
Gay friendly hotel Queenstown
Day 6


Day at leisure.

Queenstown has captured hearts since the first Maori came in search of Pounamu (greenstone or jade) and to hunt the giant Moa Bird and the same magic remains today. Queenstown is now an established resort town for visitors from all parts of the world and all spectrums of life. This town deep in the heart of the South Island of New Zealand is pure escapism. This is the place where limits stop and people’s imaginations take over. This is your opportunity to discover the wonders.

Optional Tour - Scenic Cruise / Fly excursion: Today you will board an aircraft for the flight to Milford Sound. During the 35 minute flight, there are panoramic views of spectacular alpine scenery including glaciers, rivers, lakes and rainforest before landing at Milford Sound. On reaching Milford Sound, visitors board a luxury vessel for a cruise the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea. The vessel provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy the waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife.

Optional Tour - River Wilderness Safari: The Wilderness Safari takes you on a spectacular 1.5 hour Jet Boat journey through the Dart's ever-changing braided river system, where you'll be thrilled by our Jet Boat's capabilities including jet spins. Also includes an easy guided 30-40 minute walk through the 'Heritage Trail' at Paradise. You'll also journey by 4WD coach via a scenic back-road route and stopping to view scenery that has formed the epic backdrop for many international films, including The Lord of the Rings.

Optional Tour - Boutique wine tour: Enjoy an afternoon amongst the boutique vineyards and superb scenery of the Central Otago Wine region. Taste at least 4 of the regions vineyards - 2 in the Gibbston Valley and 2 in Bannockburn, enjoy a gourmet platter lunch with a complimentary glass of premium wine, bathe in the amazing scenery and learn about the gold history of this diverse region.

Optional Tour - Jetboat, helicopter and white water rafting: Combine jetboating with a helicopter flight into Skippers Canyon and white water rafting down the Shotover River. Enjoy the thrill and excitement of whipping through the narrow canyons of the Shotover River is what makes Shotover Jet so unique. With speeds of up to 85kph and its world famous 360 spins, these big red boats will get the adrenalin pumping. Your adventure doesn't stop there as you head next door to the rafting lodge. The rafting guides will kit you out with your wetsuits and equipment and transfer you to the heli-pad for your helicopter flight into Skippers Canyon. Experience the rugged beauty and unspoilt grandeur of the breath-taking scenery as you conquer the white-water rapids of wild and untamed Shotover River.

Optional Tour - Quad bike safari: Today you will enjoy a guided quad bike tour. You will be exploring the trails on Queenstown Hill. All the riding levels are catered for in a safe and fun exclusive terrain. You will have 360 degree panoramic views, great photo opportunities in comfort and safety as you ride your way around exclusive off-road terrain and take in some of the most awesome, panoramic views Queenstown has to offer.

Optional Tour - Bungee Jumping: Home to the original 43-metre Bungy Jump the world's first and most infamous of leaps is still going strong, with tens of thousands Bungying each year. Choose from a number of options; topple over backwards, forwards, with another person, spin or somersault and even choose to bob above the water, touch it, or be fully immersed.

Recommended Accommodation:
Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel
Day 7

Head to Queenstown airport for your onward journey.

Travel Info

It's important to be up-to-date with the latest travel advice to New Zealand and the laws in every destination.

LGBT RIGHTS IN New Zealand The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth office provides information to LGBT travellers through its 'Travel Aware' campaign.

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Out Of Office in partnership with Equaldex LGBT travel laws

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