Seek out artistic inspiration and uncover the Maori heritage in a journey of cultural immersion

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Every trip helps support Conservation

Every detail taken care of

  • Personalised journeys from start to finish

  • Every trip helps support Conservation

  • Every detail taken care of

Itinerary highlights

  • Experience a fascinating Maori culture tour
  • Enjoy a tour of Hawke's Bay's finest wineries
  • Discover Napier, the Art Deco capital of the world
  • A guided tour of Te Papa, New Zealand's National Museum
  • Explore Queenstown on a wine and arts tour

What's included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Privately guided tours
  • Private transfers
  • Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
  • Our help with restaurant recommendations and reservations
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Take a plunge into New Zealand’s enthralling arts and culture scene by ticking off some of the country’s most magnificent regions, and their equally enticing sights.

Starting off with two nights in the vibrant metropolis of Auckland, this trip offers you a special opportunity to learn about the Maori people and discover the intricacies of their culture. During your stay, you can also discover the vast assortment of art galleries, housing traditional and modern works, sculpture parks, heritage attractions and the Sky Tower,  an ideal viewpoint for taking in the vista.

The next stop is the charming town of Rotorua, set on the southern shores of the beautiful Lake Rotorua. Enchantingly picturesque, this spot is known for its geothermal activity, and there are a collection of hot springs and mud pools that visitors can bathe in. A living Maori village is another highlight in the area, as is the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.

From here, you’ll head to Hawke’s Bay, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, with an array of idyllic beaches and world-class wineries. Napier, a coastal city, is an Art Deco dream, jampacked with incredible 1930s architecture, galleries and art studios. Sip on a perfected blend at the heavenly vineyard, Craggy Range, before driving to the summit of Te Mata Peak, overlooking the sea.

Wellington, the country’s condensed capital, is next on the list, hugged by hills and facing a working harbour. New Zealand’s National Museum, also referred to as Te Papa can be found in this city, and encompasses interactive displays and Maori exhibits, with artefacts from the indigenous Polynesian peoples’ past. Movie buffs will thoroughly enjoy the tour of Weta Workshop, which features props from famous films, such as Lord of the Rings and King Kong.

The wine-making region of Marlborough promises breathtaking scenery and the very best of Sauvignon Blanc varieties. A three-night stay in this natural haven of gaping valleys, mountain backdrops and expansive stretches of vineyards gives you ample time for exploration.

The final two nights of your trip are spent in Queenstown, perched on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, with the Southern Alps in the background. This location is favoured for its epic wilderness and excellent vineyards. You can dabble in the vast array of adventurous activities, as well as the local wines.

Example trip itinerary

Days 1-2


Flights & transfers


Private transfer to your hotel

Accommodation in Auckland

Auckland Maori culture tour Auckland Maori culture tour

Experience the Maori side of Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) on this enlightening private tour. Discover a landscape rich with Maori myths and legends, a place steeped in the history, both ancient and modern. Visit the region’s important Maori landmarks and monuments, practice some Maori kawa (protocols) and tikanga (culture), learn about some of the rangatira Maori (Maori leaders) who have shaped the nation’s history, as well as seeing some spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, black and golden sand beaches, subtropical rainforest and native Kauri trees.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to Rotorua

Days 2-5


Accommodation in Rotorua

Discover Maori culture Discover Maori culture

Mount Titiraupenga, long known by Maori to be the centre of the North Island, is home to a sacred area of mature native bush filled with 600-year-old Totara trees. You'll receive a traditional Maori welcome in this mystical and totally private setting and gain an insight into their culture, meeting weavers, warriors, and carvers. The main warrior is the master carver for the local Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe. In Maori tribes, the carver is second only to the chief as the carver is the guardian of the stories and traditions, which he keeps alive in his work.

Nature and Maori cultural experience Nature and Maori cultural experience

Enjoy a scenic drive from Rotorua to Whakatane situated on the east coast. On arrival at Whakatane you will board a boat to visit Moutohorā (Whale Island) situated 20 minutes off the coast. Moutohorā is a dormant volcano and a wildlife sanctuary, providing refuge for endangered birds, including the native kiwi, and several species of plants. Your guide will lead you on nature walk to various points of interest around the island, including a climb to the saddle to see the flourishing native bird life, many of which are endangered or seldom seen on the New Zealand mainland. Your time on the island will also encompass a visit to a geothermal area and there is the chance for a swim at Moutohorā’s very own hot water beach. After a picnic lunch you will visit a fur seal colony before heading back to Whakatane wharf.

You will also visit a beautifully carved Maori marae (meeting house) for a very special Maori cultural experience, which provides an opportunity for intimate engagement with the people of Ngati Awa. Listen to stories of their ancestors and be enthralled as the carvings and legends are brought to life.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to Hawke's Bay

Days 5-7

Hawke's Bay

Accommodation in Hawke's Bay

Art deco Napier and Hawkes Bay wineries tour Art deco Napier and Hawkes Bay wineries tour

Napier was levelled by an earthquake in 1931 and the town's centre was rebuilt in the glamorous Art Deco style, and today it appears as something of a microcosm of the time. Explore the township's wonderful 1930s architecture aboard a classic 1938 Packard automobile, as well as having the opportunity to meet one of these talented artists in their studio and visit the factory of world famous designer David Trubridge.

Next up is another excellent vineyard, Craggy Range, for wine tasting and lunch. The chief wine maker here was voted by the international Wine State magazine as one of the top 50 wine makers in the world. After a leisurely meal your guide will drive you up to the summit of Te Mata Peak for stunning vistas out to Hastings and the Heretaunga Plains, Napier, Cape Kidnappers and the sea beyond before continuing on via the quaint township of Havelock North and the city of Hastings.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to the airport


Flight to Wellington


Private transfer to your hotel

Days 7-10


Accommodation in Wellington

Te Papa guided tour Te Papa guided tour

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, also known simply as Te Papa, is New Zealand's innovative and interactive national museum. Spend some time on a tour with a host who will help you to experience New Zealand's unique history in the Maori exhibition spaces of the museum, learning about the nation's past by exploring the stories and objects of the Maori people. Behind the scenes you will be privileged to engage with Maori taonga (treasures) close up and you will be provided with the opportunity to interact with the expert collections staff

Weta Studios tour Weta Studios tour

A must for any film lover, this tour allows you to get up close to the props, weapons, armour and vehicles crafted for The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, District 9, King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia and more.

You'll also enjoy a three-course meal at CoCo at the Roxy and dine among incredible artworks, movie memorabilia and sculptures.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to the airport


Flight to Blenheim


Private transfer to your hotel

Days 10-13


Accommodation in Marlborough

Art, garden and scenery tour Art, garden and scenery tour

A memorable tour for soaking up the beauty and diversity of the Marlborough region, including everything from lovely views of the sounds and inviting local beaches, to the dramatic coastline and the region's wonderful food and wine. You'll start the tour with a visit to Rarangi Beach and the chance to walk to Monkey Bay for a breathtaking lookout over the coastline and into Cook Strait, before immersing yourself in the local creative community with visits to the likes of private galleries, including Joanna Scott's Riverlore Gallery.

Continuing with this theme of creativity, you will have the opportunity to visit a range of public or private gardens. Not many visitors know that Marlborough is a haven for lovers of gardens, with many rated by the New Zealand Garden Trust as 'gardens of regional or national significance'. You'll also experience the region's culinary scene on this tour, as you relax at a Marlborough winery for a nice winery lunch, trying some local cuisine and a range of delicious local wines.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to the airport


Flight to Queenstown


Private transfer to your hotel

Days 13-15


Accommodation in Queenstown

Queenstown wine and arts tour Queenstown wine and arts tour

After being collected from your accommodation, you will begin your wine and arts tour of Queenstown with a visit to historic Arrowtown, an atmospheric old town that was once the heart of the 1860s Otago gold rush. You'll then head over New Zealand's highest main road to the quirky Cardrona Hotel, established in 1863 and recognised as one of New Zealand's oldest hotels. Your next stop sees you head to Rippon where you'll experience some exclusive wine tasting. Along the way, you'll have numerous opportunities to stop and photograph your remarkable surroundings.

After a lunch stop at one of the fabulous local wineries, including a platter of local produce, you'll continue your journey through the Cromwell Basin, an area famed for its summer fruits, great wine, local art galleries and wonderful mountain views. While here, you'll be taken to three art galleries, all specially selected to match your tastes. As you begin to make your way back to your accommodation, you will pass through the striking Kawarau Gorge and the vineyards of Gibbston, bringing you into the Wakatipu Basin and back to Queenstown.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to the airport

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Art and Culture in New Zealand

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We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.

Every trip helps support Conservation.

From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.