New Zealand attracts a wide variety of holiday makers. Many people enjoy the opportunity to view awesome scenery and landscapes such as Franz Josef Glacier and Punakaiki that look as though no one has ever visited before. Others enjoy the chance to experience adventures such as bungy jumping, jet boating through Shotover Canyon or walking the Routeburn Track. People come to New Zealand for other reasons too – getting up close and personal with a kiwi at the Otorohanga Kiwi House or being mesmerised by geysers and bubbling mud pools at Rotorua.
It’s not usually a matter of what to do in New Zealand, but how to do it. Many people choose the option of travelling independently – using a rental car, camper van or even bussing or cycling through the country. Others believe a New Zealand escorted tour makes better sense because you’ve always got an expert on hand and all the hard work and planning has been done for you. Both have their pros and cons, but it’s a good idea to think about your decision beforehand to make sure you choose the right holiday for your stay in New Zealand.
Travelling independently doesn’t necessarily mean travelling alone. You may be with one or more people, travelling as the whim takes you, staying a while when it suits and moving on when you’ve had enough. Independent travellers may also have fairly set timetables. Some travellers do plenty of research and prepare a route – from somewhere like Auckland in the North Island to Christchurch in the South Island – using ideas from travel brochures, the internet and advice from friends who’ve travelled to New Zealand before them. There’s a satisfaction in planning your very own holiday and making it just right for you. You can spend as long as you like tasting wine in Marlborough and spend a few extra days in Wellington to visit Te Papa and travel on the cable car up to the Botanical Gardens. If things go smoothly, you’ll be happy. However, that may not happen. Travelling times can be deceiving, your information could be wrong and any number of things can occur to upset your carefully planned timetable.
A New Zealand escorted tour has its pros and cons too. On the positive side, someone else with a wealth of experience and local knowledge will have planned the trip and included exactly the right mix of fun, adventure and rest. You’ll be able to travel with a group of fun loving holidaymakers and meet new people who love visiting new places as much as you do. Most importantly, you’ll be able to truly relax and enjoy your well deserved holiday time because all the hassle will be taken out of the holiday. And if you’re on a tight schedule, you’ll be able to fit the best New Zealand has to offer into the slice of time you have available – from seeing kiwis, whales and tuataras to going kayaking, hiking, and jet boating. Of course, with an escorted tour you won’t be able to have the opportunity to be spontaneous and stay longer at a place that really takes your fancy. But then again, you can always come back!