Kayaking on the Falls River, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand
Credit: iStockphoto/Getty Images

Jim Augerinos is a member of Travel + Leisure’s A-List, a collection of the top travel advisors in the world, and can help plan your perfect getaway. Below is an example of the type of itineraries he creates. To work with Jim, you can contact him directly at

Day 1: Arrive in New Zealand

Upon arrival in Auckland, proceed through customs and immigration and catch your domestic flight to Queenstown, on the South Island. Transfer to your hotel by private car.

Stay: Hotel St. Moritz

Day 2: Milford Sound

No trip to New Zealand is complete without visiting Milford Sound, often described as the eighth wonder of the world. Board a luxury coach to take you along the scenic shores of Lake Wakatipu, before boarding a cruise to view the waterfalls, rainforest, mountains, and wildlife around the Sound.

Stay: Hotel St. Moritz

Day 3: Queenstown

In the morning, go skydiving to see Queensland and some of New Zealand's most dramatic scenery from 15,000 feet in the air. Post-jump, spend the rest of the day at leisure, with activities like jet boating on the famous Shotover River or visiting the nearby gold mining village of Arrowtown.

Stay: Hotel St. Moritz

Days 4-5: Franz Josef

Take a scenic drive to the small town of Franz Josef, or Waiau, passing the beautiful Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and driving through the thick rainforest of Haast Pass. Stop along the way for a short hike, like the amazing Thundercreek Falls route. Upon arrival, explore the glacier viewpoints and scenic walks around the hotel property. The next day, go heli-hiking into the heart of the Franz Josef Glacier, enjoying panoramic views and dramatic ice formations with your guide before an afternoon hot spring excursion.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Day 6: Punakaiki

Continue your drive up the west coast of the South Island — your destination is Punakaiki, on the edge of Paparoa National Park. Spend the afternoon exploring the famous Pancake Rocks and "blowholes" at Dolomite Point, amazing geological formations, before going kayaking on the Pororari River.

Stay: Punakaiki Resort

Days 7-8: Nelson

Head north to Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand. Its diverse geography captures everything from long, golden beaches to untouched forests and rugged mountains. It is also the undisputed creative arts center of NZ. After a night at Kimi Ora Eco Resort, explore nearby Abel Tasman National Park, with a coastal walk, beach picnic, and guided kayak back to Marahau.

Stay: Kimi Ora Eco Resort Hotel

Days 9-10: Blenheim

Drive over the Richmond Ranges to Blenheim, in Marlborough, the wine country at the top of the South Island. With over 70 wineries, a range of boutique breweries, and a world-class distillery, it really is a gourmand's paradise. The next day, take a small-group wine tour of Marlborough, talking with wine makers, touring the vines, and sampling some special vintages.

Stay: Malrborough Vintners Hotel

Days 11-12: Rotorua

Head to the airport for your flight to Rotorua, on the North Island, located in the heart of the central volcanic plateau atop an active geothermal field. With bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers, natural hot springs, and Maori culture, this is a fascinating region. The next morning, drive to nearby Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Reserve for a day of exploring — make sure to see the eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser.

Stay: Regent of Rotorua

Day 13: Matamata and Auckland

Drive north to Matamata, experiencing Middle Earth with a tour to the Hobbiton movie set and the real-life Shire. After a scenic drive to Auckland, be sure to check out the Sky Tower — the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere — where you can get an adrenaline rush with their wired base jumping experience. Plummet 630 feet down to earth, landing safely on a platform below.

Stay: M Social Auckland

Day 14: Fly to Fiji

Fly from Auckland, to Nadi, Fiji, where you will connect for a domestic flight to the island of Taveuni. Transfer via private boat to your resort.

Stay: Qamea

Days 15-18: Taveuni

Spend four days at your leisure, enjoying the activities on offer at the resort: scuba diving, fishing, spa treatments, paddle boarding, and more. Spend some time exploring the island and hiking to its secluded beaches and cascading jungle waterfalls.

Stay: Qamea

Day 19: Depart from Nadi

​​​​​​​Transfer back to Nadi for your onward flight home.