New Zealand has 4 million people and over 40 million sheep (give or take a few...), all spread out over two main islands. We worked hard at finding great names for these two islands that would convey our feelings towards the most amazing landscape in the world and called them... the North Island and...the South Island.
A small country, New Zealand is proud to be nuclear free,, many of our birds are flightless and our national colour is black. We invented the barbed wire, the gumboot, our religion is rugby and we like to welcome people by performing a chant that scares the living daylight of most visitors. We are located so far away on earth that many think we live on the edge of the world. We like to push people off bridges while they are attached to a bungee cord and we don't like to brag. We have an amazing country because the scenery changes every hour! We have beaches, snow capped mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, fiords, deserts and rain forests. We have great fishing, gorgeous walks, really good wines, fantastic golfing and horse back riding, superb seafood and amazing wildlife. But to us, the most incredible richness of New Zealand is it's people. Warm hearted, understated, the salt of the earth, with a twist of dry humour and a love for the outdoors.
Si Fang is based in New Zealand and this is our backyard. The company was established several years ago and for us who travel across Asia and the Pacific, this is home. And we have had the chance to meet some amazing New Zealanders over the years of guiding private trips. From glacier and fishing guides, golf pros, equestrian champions, artists, wine makers, farmers, marine biologists, opera singers, chefs and award winning photographers to name a few, you'll meet them all on your trip if you give us the time!
Our hospitality is incredible, our wines and food the purest you can hope for and our accommodation level will knock your socks off. Come and experience New Zealand with Si Fang....We will push you over the edge and you won't regret it.
All depends on the selection of hotel or boutique lodges and if you will select a self-driven itinerary or with a local guide, considering the accommodation costs of some of the luxury lodges along our route. We offer special events involving chartered helicopters. Please keep in mind that most meals are included when staying at luxury lodges. Car rentals and domestic flights can be booked directly from our office.
Commercial flights from Europe and the USA usually land very early in the morning at Auckland International Airport. Compared to other itineraries and tour companies, we are not huge fans of the biggest city in the country. Auckland has beautiful areas to explore but they are very spread out and traffic is a big issue. We therefore suggest spending only your first night in Auckland to help deal with the very long flight. We offer a choice of very good waterfront hotels or boutique lodges in the city that will help make the transition to New Zealand time. We will also suggest some options in the afternoon of your arrival, with your local guide and chauffeur, such as a great sightseeing drive to a west coast beach to look at surfers, stopping to a vineyard along the way. For water fanatics, we work with a company that offers a "hands on" sailing experience in Auckland harbour aboard an America's Cup training boat. And if you still have energy, we will suggest dinner in Auckland's best seafood restaurant.
This morning we leave Auckland for the Maori centre of Rotorua. Our flight from Auckland is only 50 minutes and by the time we land, you will definitely feel a kiwi difference, from the landscape to the people. Rotorua is a fisherman's paradise with dozens of lakes and streams, hiking trails and native bush all set in a rural landscape. Our two days stop in this geo-thermal area will allow you to meet Maori locals who will explain what their culture and history. Rotorua is also a very active geological area and we will take you to view some amazing mud pools, steaming geysers and sulphuric lakes. Your choice of accommodation range from good quality hotels and boutique B&Bs to a stunning wilderness lodge located in the middle of thousands of acres of native forest. We have arranged for an exclusive private Maori ceremonial greeting and the whole area is ideal for families where the children can experience mountain biking, a close encounter with kiwi birds, tandem parachuting and even running downhill inside a giant plastic ball (we call it "zorbing").
From Rotorua, the morning flight takes you via Wellington to the South Island's main centre, Christchurch. The airport is located on the outskirts of the city and we transfer directly to the foothills of the Southern Alps. To Si Fang the beauty of New Zealand is best showcased on the South Island where the landscape changes dramatically every hour or so. From the native bush forest of Rotorua you are now surrounded by snow capped peaks and a stark landscape that inspired many movie directors to film in this area. Along the way we stop for lunch in a local farm with the owners and you can learn about the farming challenges in this country. Our destination for the next two nights is a comfortable lodge located near the boundary of Arthur's Pass National Park. This is a paradise for walkers and gentle (or more demanding) hikes are available with nature guides who will explain to you the subtleties of New Zealand's environment. This will be also an ideal location for learning about the sheep industry complete with a great sheep dog demonstration. Breakfasts and dinners are provided at the lodge with a dining room facing the Alps and if weather allows you may even have the chance to experience incredible star gazing!
We transfer from Arthur’s Pass to the McKenzie country and the stunning Mt Cook UNESCO World Heritage Park. The drive is once again stunning through farmland and slowly leads us to the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo village. This is the heartland of New Zealand and adds a very unique touch to this itinerary. Star gazing, icebergs, snow cap mountains, walks along the lakes and meeting kiwi personalities adds to this intimate look at the less touristy New Zealand.
We venture even further south to an amazing city called Dunedin. Developed by Scottish settlers in the mid 19th century, Dunedin is a fantastic combination of wild beaches where penguins and albatrosses live, a superb harbour and a gorgeous University backdrop that even Scottish TV and film crews fly all the way from Europe to re-create the Old Scotland feel. We recommend a superb lodge in town and there are several B&Bs in colonial homes available. Dunedin is where you can venture with a picnic to a beach and watch seals play in the surf or drive along the "High Road" of the Otago Peninsula and think you have been transported to the Irish wild coast. Simply stunning scenery and our wilderness guides will make sure you can see yellow -eyed penguins (world's rarest) come out of the surf at sunset and watch out for you so you don't step over NZ sea lions (also the world's rarest) on the same beach...
No visit to New Zealand would be complete without a stop in the country's adventure capital, Queenstown. Instead of flying, we suggest to drive from Dunedin to Queenstown, a 3.5 hour drive that will show you an incredible range of different landscapes, from coastal to very dry, through gorges, emerald green lakes and vineyards. We will give you some great options for lunch spots along the way and this will be a great way for you to experience the rural part of New Zealand. There is no doubt that Queenstown is a touristy town with so many adventure sports and activities to try out such as the popular rafting, jet boating, bungee jumping and parapenting high adrenaline adventure sports. Queenstown is also the launching pad for sightseeing excursions to spectaculor Milford and Doubtful Sounds. The resort has superb restaurants, several golf courses and two ski resorts. We suggest some of the most incredible luxury boutique lodges in New Zealand, offering spectacular views over the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. This is by far the best way to finisnh a unique holiday which explains why we suggest a three night stay here.
On your final day, we will organise for car transfer back to the airport and flight back to Auckland in time to make your international connection, many flights back to North America, Europe and Asia leave late in the afternoon and early evening.
One of our regular clients is a keen photographer and arranged with Si Fang to travel across New Zealand with a local professional photographer to capture the country's unique wildlife and local people. This was followed by a 4 day trek on one of our famous Walking Tracks, the Keppler finishing with a 3 day diving trip in the fiords of the South Island's west coast.
We have a group of 6 golfers from Beijing coming to New Zealand to experience the country's top golf courses, a 12 day itinerary spread over 4 golf courses, two on the North Island and two on the South Island. Si Fang is looking after all their logistical requirements and bookings and designed a program of activities for their non-golfing partners.