Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine. The suffering of the people and the totally unwarranted destruction of life and property is utterly reprehensible. Putin has brought the name of Russia into disrepute around the world.  I visited Kiev first in 1966 and have been back a few times since, and escorted 14 groups from Beijing to Moscow and St Petersburg between 1979 and 2016. I was hoping to do another tour in 2023 however will not visit Russia again until the last Russian military person has left Ukraine. May the suffering cease soon.



I was born with nomadic genes! 

I was born in Wellington, New Zealand. My first taste of another country and culture was when my parents moved to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands for 3 fabulous years of schooling and enjoying the beauty of the islands, friendliness of the people, highly relaxed lifestyle, and enjoying a lot of time in the lagoon! After returning to Christchurch to complete my schooling I started work for the Union Steamship Company, then a major New Zealand Company with 3 years in their offices and 6 wonderful years at sea as a Purser. During my vacations I travelled including Asia, my first trip on the Trans Siberian train from Nakhodka to Moscow, the Middle East, and North America. 

Coming ashore I joined Air New Zealand administration while obtaining a private pilot licence. However  I wanted to see more of the world and introduce other people to it in a way I could not do as a commercial,pilot so established my own tour company in 1970 to take small groups around New Zealand in summer and opening up the wonders of the wider world in our winter. Ninety countries and around 2 million accident free kilometres driving tours in New Zealand, and organising and escorting  many dozens of small groups to many parts of the world I still enjoy being with people and opening my country, and the world to them. 

Discover New Zealand 

I enjoy being on the road  with small groups of people opening up the culture, history, and beauty of New Zealand and have escorted small group tours from Cape Reinga in the far north to Stewart Island in the far south. Our main itineraries are on this web site. All tours are guaranteed to operate for a minimum of 2 however in some cases on the longer tours when less than 6 are on any tour travel may be by a combination of our Auckland or Christchurch based driver/guides plus some travel with other operators and local guides in each area. We never cancel a tour through lack of numbers provided we have a minimum of 2.  Most itineraries are flexible and we are happy to tailor make special itineraries for you. Get 6-10 people together and the costs are the same or cheaper than most 'big bus' tours and the flexibility, informality, and service much greater. Maybe I will be your driver/guide, or one of my 'mature' friends who have the same passion for people and places that I do.

In 1988 I leased a first class rail carriage from New Zealand Railways and massively upgraded it to offer a de luxe rail service on the Tranz Alpine, Coastal Pacific, and Southerner (no longer operating) trains continuing my love of rail travel developed on the Trans Siberian. Unfortunately politics interfered and I had to hand it back to New Zealand railways in 1990. However rail travel is still a very comfortable way to travel and my programme of rail tours includes all main line services in New Zealand, as well as Rocky Mountaineer, Beijing - Moscow, and Central Asia. Some fantastic rail and sail packages are available cruising from Auckland to Sydney and our rail tour in Australia.                 

My favourite places in New Zealand - the history and beauty of Northland where most of our early interaction between Maori and British took place, the magic of the Waitomo Glowworm Cave and the fantasy world of Hobbiton, the thermal wonders and Maori culture centred in Rotorua, and the magnificent natural beauty of Mt Cook, Queenstown, and Milford Sound. The North and South Islands are very different and both worth a visit. We encourage people to get 'off the beaten track' to Coromandel and East Cape, Taranaki, Dunedin and the deep south. Tell us what you want to see, how much time you have, and the standard of accommodation you want and we will figure out how to put it all together.   

Discover your world 

I have always been fascinated by history, politics, and religion and the way societies rise and fall. In 1975 I became one of the first tour operators in the world to commence tours to China at a time when Chairman Mao was still alive, and the cultural revolution was winding down. 46 visits later I still get huge pleasure out of experiencing the massive changes that have taken place in China - mostly for the better. In 1979 I was able to escort my first group from Hong Kong to London through China, Mongolia, the Soviet Union, and Europe  by train. I have done this journey 15 times since, the last time aboard the Tsars Gold private train featured in this web site. In 1982 I escorted my first group across Tibet to Kathmandu in Nepal, and in 1984 following the Silk Road to the far west of China to Xinjiang and on to Pakistan or Kazakhstan. I invite you to join me for a tour of China including a  4 night Yangtse cruise and the option of continuing to Moscow on Tsars Gold in 2020.

My favourite all time tour to escort has been to fly to Beirut for 4 days in Lebanon, 6 days in Syria, 4 days in Jordan, 8 days in Israel then drive through the Sinai desert to Cairo and take the train to Aswan for Abu Simbel and a Nile cruise. What has happened in Syria is tragic but I am hopeful peace will come and we will be able visit again soon. I invite you to join me to visit Israel for 8 days in April 2020 including Easter in Jerusalem, with the option of continuing on to Jordan, Cairo, Greek Island cruise, and 6 days touring Greece. Israel is one of the most historic and controversial countries in the world and this will be my 17th visit. For a very comfortable and great value way of experiencing the Mediterranean join me in October,2019 for 3 days in Rome and a 14 night Holland America cruise to Greece, Cyprus, Israel (3 days), Crete, Rhodes, Sicily, and Naples aboard my Ancient Civilisations tour.  

Following my experience of 6 years at sea as a purser I am a great fan of cruising as an extremely comfortable and great value way of exploring your world. But choose your ship and itinerary carefully to match your needs and expectations. Join me to the mediterranean in October 2019, cruise from Auckland to Sydney around the coast and Fjiords of New Zealand in March, 2020, or French Polynesia in July 2020 There are some fantastic deals available cruising including discovering New Zealand on a cruise between Auckland and Sydney.  Check out the fabulous Cruise Superdeals in the Come cruising category on this web site. Luxury cruising with Holland America from around NZ$90 per day including all accommodation, meals (9 restaurant to choose from), entertainment, and a variety of fascinating ports to explore.

Please contact me with any questions. I hope to have the privilege of welcoming you aboard one of my tours soon. 

Passengers from countries other than New Zealand wanting to join one of my International tours are welcome to make your own air arrangements to and from the tour and I will give you a land content cost. 

Welcome aboard 

Stephen Greenfield

Connoisseur Holidays - New Zealand Tours

Auckland, New Zealand

Email: steve@newzealandtours.co.nz 


Unsolicited comments from some of my past passengers: 

Hobbiton by Helicopter: The trip was awesome, especially the helicopter flight there and back. The pilot had a great sense of humour. (USA)

Hobbiton Evening Feast: My son and I wanted to thank you for helping us have a special Hobbiton experience last wednesday when you took us down for the evening tour. I have already been recommending your company to several friends and colleagues. Again we appreciate how professional your organisation! (C.F. USA) 

Waitomo - Hobbiton - Rotorua. 1 day: Hi Steve, just wanted to say thanks so much for making our trip yesterday so special. We really enjoyed it, not just for the sites but for your captivating background on what we were seeing. You made a 13 hour day go by so smoothly and quickly it didn't feel like that long a journey. At every step of the way you had some fascinating insight that helped us feel more informed and engaged in what we experienced - we could never have had such a full experience on our own. (A and J. USA).    

Waitomo - Hobbiton - Rotorua, 2 days: We had a very interesting and enjoyable two days with Kerry to round off a wonderful tour. It all went to plan and exceded in many aspects our wildest expectations. Thanks again. (T.W. USA).                      

Waitomo - Hobbiton - Rotorua 2: I did all of the pictures last weekend. We had a lot and many good ones. Just made me want to pack and go back, so much more to see and do. Still we did a lot, you really put a good package together for us and we are ever so grateful. having you as a guide made the trip perfect, you have endless knowledge for not only your country but important issues for everybody's well being. We both enjoyed your company a lot. (R. and T. Norway). 

Best of New Zealand: Hi Steve - just wanted you to know how much we enjoyed our BEST OF NEW ZEALAND tour. All of the drivers were excellent as were the accommodations. You certainly out together a great package, and I enjoyed meeting you the first morning in Auckland. I'll be sure to pass along my completely positive comments to anyone who may be wanting to travel in that wonderful area of the world. (C.S. USA)  

Best of New Zealand 2: We consider ourselves very lucky to join your tour package. We had a wonderful time in your beautiful country. Every day there is new scenery and excitement to enjoy. the drivers are courteous, resourceful, and always ready to satisfy customers special needs. This is our first time to join a customised and small scale group. We find it much more enjoyable than huge coaches. (D.C. Toronto, Canada).  

Best of New Zealand 3: Our trip was terrific and beyond all expectations. You and Des were great tour guides and you surely provided us with wide coverage of New Zealand. Everything went like clockwork. (J and A D. CA USA)                  

Best of New Zealand 4: Hello Steve, we want to thank you for a fantastic journey through New Zealand. This is an experience to remember for a lifetime. I would like your business cards to pass out to my friends. (M.S. USA).                     

Magnificent New Zealand: I am pleased to report that all the arrangements you made were very satisfactory. Your system worked perfectly and we were met and transported at each place as stated in the itinerary. This was my third visit to New Zealand. I was on a 'big bus' conducted tour 3 years ago but paid nearly twice as much. Your tour was a far more pleasant experience.   (S.K. Scotland) 

Magnificent New Zealand 2. Just to let you know how much we enjoyed our holiday and considered it great value for money. We've travelled a lot over the past 20 years and going mostly in mini coaches was unique and suited us fine. We couldn't praise the drivers enough for their courtesy and overall driving skills. A great bunch of fellows.  (B. and M. W. New Zealand)

Magnificent New Zealand  3. Our New Zealand tour was spectacular  and exceeded our expectations in all aspects. The drivers were very courteous and friendly and we developed real friendships with all of them. Our hotel accommodations were very nice and some were outstanding. In all regards it was a great success and our best ever vacation. (C.M. USA)

Top of the South Island: The Top of the South Island tour was superb. I found it really well organised and of a very good standard. Your front line people were most congenial. (E.S. New Zealand). 

Beautiful New Zealand: Sorry we missed meeting you! We had a wonderful trip, thanks to your terrific planning. Please feel free to give us as references for Americans who may want to call us. (C and A Carron. Virginia. USA).

Beautiful New Zealand 2: I'm a Japanese working holiday maker. I enjoyed myself on your tour. Your service is very good, especially the quality of drivers is excellent. They tried to make our tour enjoyable all the time. I'd like to join your tour again. (Y.Y Japan). 

Beautiful New Zealand 3: My family and I are still talking about the great trip in New Zealand. It is an occasion that will be long remembered. (T.S. Indonesia). 

Beautiful New Zealand 4: Thanks very much for making our trip to New Zealand a pleasant one and enjoyable. We'll recommend you to our friends back in Israel. (L and J. Israel).

Beautiful New Zealand 5: When we first entered the Tourist Information Bureau in Auckland to arrange a trip through New Zealand we had only a very vague idea of what we were after. We did not want to be part of a large group shepherded here and there but at the same time we did not want to travel independently. They recommended your tour. We have just completed a 10 day 2 island tour and felt that you should know how much we enjoyed it - it suited our requirements very well. We considered ourselves very fortunate in our driver/guide who looked after us very well and whose knowledge of all facts connected with your country was very impressive. (M.B. Scotland). 

Beautiful New Zealand 6: Our sincere thanks for all the pleasant arrangements in transport, lodging, and sightseeing. We are very grateful for the comfortable lodging. Not only were we able to have such wonderful experience in travelling in small group but also to feel at peace of the safety and guidance of our driver. (J.H and M.L. Singapore). 

Beautiful New Zealand 7: Thank you for arranging the tour for us. It made our trip more fun. NZ is such a great place. I love everything. (Kimi and Mikio. Japan)

Private extended family tour: On behalf of our family group I would like to thank you for the unforgettable trip you organised for us. We highly appreciate your considerations with our need to be together as a family group, and for the excellent organisation during the whole trip. (E.R. Israel) 

South Island Grand Discovery Tour: We are back down to earth after a wonderful tour. For me it was certainly a GRAND DISCOVERING OF THE SOUTH AND STEWART ISLANDS. My husband had been to most places and we had done a fairly thorough research job but this knowledge had not taken any of the surprise or anticipation away. The content of the trip was exceptional for apart from the many places listed there were yet more surprises. We hope that many more tourists, both New Zealanders and overseas, will take the opportunity to see what we did.   (A. P. New Zealand)

Magnificent South Island: I speak for J and myself in praising Roy, our driver. He was an exceptional courier with his vast knowledge of the South Island. His expertise helps makes dreams come true. My son and myself are starting to save for a further trip to New Zealand. (J.D. England).

Magnificent South Island 2: Just a note to say a big THANK YOU for a superb tour in the South Island, all the better for having Roy in command. (R.W. England)  

Magnificent South Island 3. We have just returned to England after a memorable and very enjoyable six weeks holiday in New Zealand. we booked a tour for 11 days to visit the South Island with your company and both P and I want to thank very much for making it such a wonderful unforgettable experience. All your drivers were very professional and knowledgeable and with a friendliness rarely encountered in other parts of the world. I would certainly have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending you and your company to any of my friends wanting to visit New Zealand. (B.D. and P.M. England).                                          

Best of the North Island: I am writing to thank you for organising our very interesting and enjoyable tour of New Zealand. R and I agree that it was very well put together. I am experiencing the aftermath with my thoughts still in your very beautiful and stimulating New Zealand. I find myself playing the haunting Maori songs. (J.B. Australia) 

Best of the North Island 2. Just a note to tell you that we really enjoyed our North Island tour and felt that we had good value for money. (M and B. F New Zealand).

Best of the South Island: Just a quick email to say thank you for a very enjoyable trip around the South Island. Everything worked out very well. We enjoyed Des company very much. He had a lot of extremely interesting local knowledge. The trip was especially good because it was so personal. It will be extremely difficult to travel with a larger group in the future.  (M.F. Ireland).

Best of the South Island 2: Mr J and Mrs S called into our office earlier this week and could not speak highly enough of your travel arrangements, content of trip, and particularly the courteousness and help given by the driver. I have used your company before and have only ever had good reports of your tours and have no hesitation in recommending your service. (Travel Agent. New Zealand). 

New Zealand Highlights: Just a quick word of thanks for the quality tour that you offered M and C at such short notice. They were enthralled with what they did and saw in New Zealand. I will recommend you to others. (Travel Agent. California USA)

Northland Grand Heritage Tour - Coromandel and East Cape: Hi Steve - have just returned to Southland. I just wish to say a very big THANK YOU for organising an amazing trip and also to James for being a really great driver and getting us to all,points on time - well done team. Please can you pass on my appreciation and thanks to David my guide/driver from Bush and Beach (Auckland City and Wilderness  Best of Both Worlds tour - tour 109, really enjoyed my day out walking in the Waitakere Ranges). 



Special group: Just a short note to confirm that all the Australian members of the Reunion Tour have departed our shores well satisfied, much more knowledgeable of New Zealand, and in high spirits. I would personally like to thank you for laying on such an enjoyable, comprehensive, interesting, and full on tour.   (New Zealand organiser)

The organisation was fantastic and couldn't be faulted. The drivers were superb and we are now sold on small group tours. (T. and P. England)

Steve, this is to thank you for making the visit a very enjoyable and memorable experience. the arrangements and accommodations were excellent. (H.H. USA).

We just wanted to tell you what an absolutely wonderful time we had in New Zealand, everything was organised so well - the hotels were all very comfortable and friendly helpful staff and our drivers at every stage were very knowledgeable and informative as well as helpful and friendly. We will certainly have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending your company and when we return (and we most defintely will) will use your services again.  (P.H. and P.S. England). 

Thank you for the fantastic trip you planned out for us. Both Paddy and I enjoyed every minute of the trip. We had a memorable trip to New Zealand. You took good care of us like family members. Please feel free to use our reference if anyone seeks it. We will recommend you highly to all our friends and family who might visit New Zealand in the future. 










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