List Words : Emma Higgins | 16 April

Trips of a lifetime: New Zealand

Venture through New Zealand's mountains and fiords, connect with its people and cuisine, dive into its oceans, and even fly over its fairy tale landscape... These trips will make your NZ dream a reality

Best trip for... road trippers

From lush rainforest and rugged coastlines, to glaciers, lagoons, lakes, soaring mountains and dramatic fiords... New Zealand has it all, and this West Coast Road Trip independent self-drive trip from New Zealand in Depth will help you discover it. Covering 600 miles over two weeks, the whistle-stop tour of New Zealand is an ideal way to see some of the country's most beautiful scenery – travelling from the comfort of your own hired car. Stop-offs include treasures like Lake Wanaka, Fox Glacier, and the phenomenal Doubtful Sound.

Southern Alps, New Zealand (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... climbers

The Southern Alps is the perfect place for climbers of all levels to sharpen up their skills. This 18-day Mount Cook Aoraki Ascent from World Expeditions summits the highest mountain in New Zealand – great for experienced climbers who want to tick it off their list, and for the less-experienced due to its manageable altitude, unlike the dizzying heights of the Himalayas or South America. That's not to say it's an easy-peasy feat – climbers still need to be physically fit, but with the help of experienced guides and the Alpine Climbing Course that this tour is combined with, this ascent is a challenging but rewarding experience.

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... luxury

If you really want to splurge on your New Zealand trip, Abercrombie and Kent's 16-day Luxury New Zealand tour goes all out... and then some. Perfect if you've got a spare £23,785 to play with. Helicopter rides over both the North and South Islands, the finest hotels, exclusive access to a private wine estate for tastings, and champagne on top of a mountain are some of the perks of you can expect from this extravagant 16-day adventure.

A helicopter flies over Fiordland, southern New Zealand (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... foodies

Food probably isn't the first thing you think of when picturing New Zealand, but Wexas Travel are out to change that with their New Zealand – A Culinary Journey tour. Travelling from north to south, this 22-day self-drive adventure takes you to the country's best food and drinks hotspots: from outstanding restaurants, to farmers' markets and wineries. You'll also have plenty of time to enjoy New Zealand's natural beauty, and the opportunity to get active with hiking, biking, or rafting (which might help shed some excess calories from all that delicious food and drink...)

Dining in New Zealand (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... heritage

Experience New Zealand's fascinating indigenous culture on a Maori Heritage tour with Audley, which offers 14 days of adventure across the North Island. From wandering into the depths of ancient forests to discovering the historical side of Auckland and Wellington, this tour connects you with the heritage of New Zealand, through the people and places that keep it alive. You'll also have the opportunity to experience a hangi, a Maori feast where you will sample some of the tribe's traditional food and drink.

Maori man in Rotorua (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... divers

Discover crumbling wrecks, technicolour reefs and dramatic drop-offs on this Technical Diving Tour with Dive Worldwide. Explore the underwater world of Poor Knights Marine Reserve, home to more than 100 different species of pelagic and reef fish, dive on the area's most impressive shipwreck sites, and self-drive between dive spots to enjoy some of New Zealand's on-land beauty.

The itinerary includes dives in Tutukaka, Bay of Islands and Marlborough Sounds – and all equipment is provided. Travellers on this tour need to be certified technical divers, and all accompanying guides are fully trained for your safety and enjoyment.

Blue Maomao Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand (Shutterstock)

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Best trip for... hikers

New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world for outdoor adventure, so there's no shortage of hiking tours. A 20-day Walking in New Zealand tour from Explore takes you to both the North and South Islands, through national parks, over glaciers, around Lake Wanaka, and to the mighty Milford Sound – a fiord with views to die for. It's an action-packed itinerary, but the walking level is easy – so it's not back-breaking stuff. Time to lace up those hiking boots!

Hiking in New Zealand (Shutterstock)

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Main image: Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand (Shutterstock)