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Archive for Exclusive holidays in New Zealand

October 17, 2018

New Zealand in Harry & Meghan’s footsteps

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are spending just four days in New Zealand at the end of their Invictus Games and Pacific Ocean trip – but will pack in Wellington, Auckland and Rotorua all on North Island, with a day trip to the Abel Tasman National Park in the ‘top of the South’ during that time (28 to 31 October inclusive).

Their itinerary includes a Maori welcome in Wellington (with the traditional ‘powhiri’ greeting, and a ‘haka’ challenge); sightseeing in Auckland, including Viaduct Harbour and a visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum; the geothermal wonders of Rotorua plus a tree-top walk in its redwood forest.

These destinations – and more – are all included in Silver Fern Holidays’ 10-day ‘Koromiko’ small group escorted tour of North Island, which costs from £3594 per person (twin share, including international flights from London).

The trip – for not more than 16 people – includes B&B accommodation in character hotels and lodges, the support of a knowledgeable driver-guide and entrance fees to places of interest included in the itinerary, which also visits the Bay of Islands, the Coromandel peninsula and Napier.

Silver Fern Holidays 01636 813 544,


Release issued by Jane Williams at Beacon PR 01572 748 800

About Silver Fern Holidays

  • 100% New Zealand specialists (with worldwide stopovers and tour extensions in Australia and the Pacific)
  • Tailor-made itineraries (for couples, friends, families)
  • Unique escorted small group tours (max 16 per departure, packed with great experiences)
  • Smaller, friendly places to stay (from boutique B&Bs to homestays)
  • Tour by car, rail, coach and boat (mix and match travel options)
  • Authentic, local experiences (personal recommendations, responsible travel focus)
  • 24-support in New Zealand (through its own office in Hamilton)
  • ABTA and ATOL bonded
  • Members of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)
March 20, 2017

New Zealand Specialist is newest AITO Member

Silver Fern Holidays is now a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The New Zealand specialist is based in Southwell, Nottinghamshire and has an office in Hamilton on North Island.

“We are delighted to join such a respected organisation,” says founder and managing director John Lightwood. “AITO members share a passion for authenticity, and we are always looking to develop more rewarding New Zealand travel experiences for our clients.”

New for 2017/18 is a focus on Wanaka as an alternative to Queenstown.  Set within Mount Aspiring National Park, the jaw-dropping scenery offers glaciers, river valleys and mountain peaks. The pristine wilderness is also home to 45 native bird species and 400+ species of butterflies and moths.

“Queenstown holds the crown for high-adrenalin activities, but it can get both busy and expensive. Wanaka is where New Zealanders themselves holiday, which says a lot! Set on an equally beautiful lake, this is a fantastic alternative if you are looking for authentic, and less frenetic experiences,” says John

Walking is a personal passion for John Lightwood, who recommends Wanaka for independent and guided hiking. Options range from easy day walks through the Matukituki Valley to challenges like the  Rob Roy Glacier Track walk easy to arrange from Wanaka.

Helicopter access to the mountains, including landings on snow, and challenges on the Rob Roy Glacier are also possible, as is jet-boating on the Matukituki River.  Eco-encounters with local guides are recommended, including a boat trip to Mou Waho island on Lake Wanaka to see native birds.

Wanaka accommodation featured by Silver Fern Holidays includes Criffel Peak B&B where blueberry pancakes are a breakfast speciality, and the luxurious Maple Lodge which has seven boutique bedrooms and a guest spa.

Sample package: A 14-day independent tour of South Island, with two nights in in Wanaka, costs from £3199 per person. Includes car hire, twin-share accommodation and breakfast each day, as well as maps and tour-planning. Excludes international flights.

Optional activities that can be pre-booked as part of the trip include a day’s guided walking along the Bridle Track through beech forest along the Makarora River to the Haast Pass, returning via the Blue Pools (from £150 per person). An amazing day starting with jet-boating on the Matukituki River, followed by a helicopter flight into the mountains to land at snow level and ending with a 4WD safari, starts at £470 per person.

Silver Fern Holidays 01636 813 544,

March 21, 2016

New Zealand boom puts pressure on Hotels: Book Early says Silver Fern Holidays

New Zealand’s 2015-16 summer season has broken all tourism records. International visitor numbers are up by more than 10% and, says leading New Zealand specialist Silver Fern Holidays, UK travellers thinking of going this winter (for a New Zealand summer) need to book sooner rather than later.

“We’re just back from ITB in Berlin, the world’s largest tourism fair,” says managing director John Lightwood, “and it’s clear that all markets to New Zealand are up, especially China, and Korea.

“The country’s wide open spaces have plenty of room for visitors, but there is a shortage of hotels and I expect there to be a lot of pressure on peak season rooms.”

“Most tour groups opt for large hotels, while we recommend boutique hotels and lodges, but these will also come under pressure, so if you’re planning that ‘trip of a lifetime’ you need to book early to avoid disappointment.”

Emirates’ new non-stop Dubai-Auckland service (from 1 March 2016) adds additional flight capacity that is easily-tapped into by UK travellers.  January 2017 flights to New Zealand are already open for booking, and February and March 2017 dates will open shortly.

Silver Fern Holidays specialises in tailor-made trips for independent travellers, and also offers a programme of small group tours which are unique to the company.

A 27-day Complete New Zealand independent touring holiday in January 2017, which can be tailored to suit individual interests, costs from £3495 per person based on two people travelling together, including car hire, inter-island ferry travel and scenic rail journeys around New Zealand, with accommodation at boutique hotels and B&Bs.  Flights not included: all routes and stopovers can be arranged.

01636 813 544,

February 17, 2016

New Zealand may have a new Flag next month

The referendum in which New Zealanders will be asked whether they want to keep the existing, or change to a new Silver Fern emblem, will be held between 3 and 24 March.

“Most people in the UK think New Zealand’s national symbol is already the Silver Fern,” says John Lightwood, managing director of Silver Fern Holidays, the Nottinghamshire-based tour operator that specialises in holidays to New Zealand.

“But though it features on the All Blacks’ rugby shirts, the Black Caps of the cricket team and the tail-fins of Air New Zealand’s planes, the official flag since 1902 has been a Union Jack and the stars of the Southern Cross against a blue background,” explains Lightwood.

UK travellers to New Zealand can already see the alternative flag flying alongside the official one at over 250 government sites. Designed by Kyle Lockwood, it features a silver fern against a black and blue background alongside the stars of the Southern Cross. See the official website here:

“I’m not eligible to vote, but colleagues in our Hamilton office on North Island are certainly hoping for a ‘yes’ vote for the Silver Fern!” says Lightwood.

Silver Fern Holidays specialises in tailor-made trips for independent travellers, and small group escorted tours.

A 27-day Complete New Zealand itinerary, which can be tailored to suit individual interests, costs from £4995 per person, based on two people travelling and sharing accommodation, including flights from the UK, car hire, inter-island ferry travel, scenic rail journeys and a mix of boutique hotels and B&Bs.

01636 813 544,

Release issued by Jane Williams at Beacon PR 01572 748 800

October 2, 2015

Silver Fern Holidays is Hoping for a NEW New Zealand Flag!

Travel company Silver Fern Holidays is rooting for a change to the New Zealand flag, as the country debates between designs that may lead to the existing ‘colonial’ flag being lowered for good.

“Three of the new designs that the people of New Zealand are being asked to consider feature the iconic silver fern, which we chose both as our name and as our emblem,” says managing director John Lightwood at the company’s office in Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

“Obviously we really hope a silver fern design is chosen; an image that is recognisable the world over, especially through the sporting triumphs of the All Blacks,” he adds.


Silver Fern Holidays’ emblem depicts a silver fern with a Maori ‘koru’ design which itself is based on an unfurling frond. A Koru features in the fourth flag design under consideration. A fifth flag, a controversial ‘red peak’ design, has last week been added to the shortlist after pressure from the New Zealand public.

About Silver Fern Holidays

  • 100% Pure New Zealand Specialist, ATOL & ABTA bonded
  • Tailor-made holidays for Independent travellers and unique escorted Small Group Journeys
  • Offices in UK and New Zealand
  • Close-up Experiences: unique insights and personal recommendations
  • Flexible Travel: mix and match all means of transport
  • Special Interests and Activities: Walking, Cycling and more
  • Hand-picked Accommodation: from bach to boutique luxury

01636 813 544,

 Flag designs can be seen here: and here





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