Lake view seen on South Island New Zealand private tour


Private Guided New Zealand tours with an experienced local tour guide


New Zealand visitors who are interested in a privately-guided South Island tour for your group, please visit the South Island private tours page.



I am Terry Thomsen, and I am your private tour guide in New Zealand.  

  • I drive/guide private tours for small groups, from one to 11 passengers.

  • Deeply knowledgeable about the North Island and South Island of New Zealand, I listen to what you want and design a tour itinerary carefully tailored to your time and interests.  You can visit New Zealand's top destinations, as well as charming and beautiful places off the beaten track.

  • The tours are suited to you if you wish to see the best sights, walk in beautiful places, stay in the best accommodation for your budget, eat well, and gain a wealth of insights into New Zealand's nature, history and people.

Read more about me here:  Your Private Local Tour Guide in New Zealand.      



Private guided tours of the South Island, New Zealand

As I am currently based in the South Island, I have many proven South Island tour itineraries, mostly starting and finishing in Christchurch.Hiking at Mt Cook during private New Zealand tour

New Zealand's South Island is a feast of mountain scenery, lakes, rivers, glaciers, forests and fiords.  With charming towns and farmland thrown in. 
Almost all itineraries include these major scenic destinations:

  • Lake Tekapo and Aoraki/Mt Cook
  • Queenstown
  • Wanaka
  • Milford Sound
  • Franz Josef and/or Fox Glacier

Longer itineraries include destinations such as Dunedin, Oamaru, Punakaiki, Abel Tasman National Park and Kaikoura. 

Read about Private Guided South Island tours here 





Touring in the North Island, New Zealand

The North Island has diverse attractions.Geyser near Rotorua seen on New Zealand private tour

It has beautiful coastlines, lush forests, thermal areas and volcanoes, a rich Maori culture, and the diverse city attractions of Auckland and Wellington. 

Even a short visit to the North Island can include

  • Auckland
  • Bay of Islands
  • Rotorua
  • Waitomo Caves

Longer itineraries include destinations such as Taupo, Tongariro National Park, Napier, Taranaki and Wellington. 

Read about North Island New Zealand destinations here




Private guided day tours from Christchurch or Akaroa

When not guiding tours around New Zealand, I am available to drive/guide private guided day tours to the popular destinations in the Christchurch area.
The most popular private day tour destinations are

  • Akaroa
  • Arthur's Pass
  • Kaikoura
  • Mt Cook
  • Hanmer Springs 




Why tour with The Inside Story?

I work with you to design a tour itinerary tailored to your interests.Sheep being herded along the road during New Zealand private tour

Whether you like to take short hikes, learn about New Zealand nature, participate in adventure activities, or just want to see the best sights, I plan the right tour for you. 

You may choose to stay in hotels, motels, apartments, B&Bs or luxury lodges.  Most destinations have a mix of these. 

The touring style is relaxed but always professional.  I know the best stops along the road, and we make whichever stops you like. 

As we go, I provide insights and stories about the wild New Zealand landscape, its unique plants and animals, the Polynesian Maori people, the pioneering European settlers, and contemporary events and culture.




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