Best of NZ Self Drive

Milford sound, New Zealan

Scenic Bay of Islands, Paihia, New Zealand

Milford sound, New Zealan
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Sheep, New Zealand

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Emerald lakes on Tongariro Crossing track, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

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Milford Sound, New Zealand

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Mirror Lakes along the way to Milford Sound

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 Queenstown from the Skyline Luge at sunrise

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Coromandel, New Zealand

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Falls River, Abel Tasman National Park

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Wanaka Tree at sunrise, Wanaka

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Milford sound, New Zealan

Cathedral Cove marine reserve on the Coromandel Peninsula

Milford sound, New Zealan
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Hobbiton Movie Set, New Zealand

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New Zealand

------------------- Self-Drive -------------------

22 Day Adventure

Your Trip includes

Accommodations

Customizable Vacation

Flights/Airfare

Itinerary

Rental Car

Self-Drive

Auckland to Christchruch

Best of NZ Self Drive

22 Day Self-Drive - Auckland to Christchruch

This is an incredible New Zealand self-drive tour that offers you the best of both islands in an impeccably-timed itinerary!  This is perfect for travellers seeking authentic cultural experiences, while enjoying the independence that comes with driving to each region.  This self-drive tour in New Zealand includes nearly everything you need: accommodations, car rental, transfers and some of the best tours and activities that’ll leave a lasting impression.

Standard
$6,716CAD
per person, based on double occupancy, departing Vancouver
  • March 2020 Departures:
  • Departing Vancouver: $6,716 per person
  • Departing Edmonton/Calgary: $6,716 per person
  • Departing Toronto/Ottawa: $6,980 per person
  • February 2020 Departures:
  • Departing Vancouver: $7,187 per person
  • Departing Edmonton/Calgary: $7,187 per person
  • Departing Toronto/Ottawa: $7,479 per person
  • Package inclusions:
  • Return airfare with Air Canada, car rental for 22 days, 21 nights accommodation, various sights and activities, and all taxes, fees & fuel surcharges.
  • "Standard" accommodations have a 3-3.5-star rating
Superior
$7,850CAD
per person, based on double occupancy, departing Vancouver
  • March 2020 Departures:
  • Departing Vancouver: $7,850 per person
  • Departing Edmonton/Calgary: $7,850 per person
  • Departing Toronto/Ottawa: $8,115 per person
  • February 2020 Departures:
  • Departing Vancouver: $8,321 per person
  • Departing Edmonton/Calgary: $8,321 per person
  • Departing Toronto/Ottawa: $8,619 per person
  • Package inclusions:
  • Return airfare with Air Canada, car rental for 22 days, 21 nights accommodation, various sights and activities, and all taxes, fees & fuel surcharges.
  • "Superior" accommodations have a 4-star rating
Boutique
$9,344CAD
per person, based on double occupancy, departing Vancouver
  • March 2020 Departures:
  • Departing Vancouver: $9,344 per person
  • Departing Edmonton/Calgary: $9,344 per person
  • Departing Toronto/Ottawa: $9,610 per person
  • February 2020 Departures:
  • Departing Vancouver: $9,815 per person
  • Departing Edmonton/Calgary: $9,815 per person
  • Departing Toronto/Ottawa: $10,109 per person
  • Package inclusions:
  • Return airfare with Air Canada, car rental for 22 days, 21 nights accommodation, various sights and activities, and all taxes, fees & fuel surcharges.
  • "Boutique" accommodations have a 4.5-5-star rating

Trip details

Included in your trip

Car Rental

Flights/Airfare

Hotel Accommodations

Itinerary

Taxes & Fees

Customizable

Excluded in your trip

Excursions

Meals

Motor Sports

Guide

Travel Visa

Where will you visit?

Auckland
Paihia
Pauanui
Coromandel Peninsula
Rotorua
Tongariro National Park
Wellington
Nelson
Greymouth
Glacier Region
Queenstown
Te Anau
Dunedin
Twizel
Christchurch

TRIP ITINERARY

Arrive in Auckland - Depart at Christchurch

22 Day Adventure

DAY 01 - Auckland

Auckland is the main gateway city to New Zealand. Greater Auckland, with a population of over one million, is New Zealand’s largest urban area and centre of commerce and industry, but within minutes of the city you can experience uncrowded beaches, rural countryside and forests. The dominating feature of the Auckland cityscape are the graceful lines of the Harbour Bridge, the
sparkling waters of the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf. Upon arrival collect your rental car and make your way to your accommodation.

DAY 02 - Auckland to Paihia

On State Highway 1, travel north from Auckland past Warkworth and Leigh, through Wellsford and on up to Whangarei. Along the way, there are many forests to explore. You could also take off to the east and visit some of the surf beaches along the coast, such as Langs Beach, near Waipu. Whangarei (population 44,000) is the commercial and cultural heart of Northland. The city is surrounded
by forested hills and is situated on a harbour which houses yachts from around New Zealand and the world. If you are interested in clocks, the Clapham Clock Museum is worth a visit, with nearly 1000 unusual timepieces from around the world. It is located in the Town Basin, 5 minutes from the town centre. Continue on to Kawakawa, which has a railway line running down the main street, originally
built for trains to haul coal to Opua. Here you turn right to Paihia, where you will be staying for the next three nights.

DAY 03 - Paihia

On these days you have time at leisure to explore the magnificent Bay of Islands. The area provides a maritime park of over 144 islands and bays with miles of white sandy beaches to explore. Perhaps take a cruise, see the dolphins, or visit the Treaty House at Waitangi. Here, in 1840 the British Government and Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi. You may like to take a ferry ride to Russell, the first capital of New Zealand.

DAY 04 - Paihia

Day at leisure.

DAY 05 - Paihia to Coromandel Peninsula

A choice of routes back south today - you can travel back down State Highway 1 straight into Auckland, or try a different route - over to the west coast through Opononi and along the beautiful coast. Further south on this route is the Waipoua Forest, which holds a reserve of 2639 hectares of Kauri, the largest surviving stand of these magnificent trees, which once covered much of the northern half of the North Island. The largest tree in Waipoua is the Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest). It is 51 metres high, 14 metres around, with no branches for the first 12 metres. Carry on the main State Highway 1 through Auckland again and onto State Highway 2 towards the Coromandel Peninsula. Along the coast of the Firth of Thames is the township of Thames which provides a
reminder of the gold rush which began in 1867. Around 1900, the town had about 19,000 inhabitants. Travel over the beautiful Coromandel Ranges to either the upmarket beach township of Pauanui or nearby Whangamata.

DAY 06 - Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula is a beautiful area, with cool forests, picturesque beaches, rugged coastlines and swimming holes. Take a bushwalk, a walk on the beach, dangle a fishing line, or do nothing at all.

DAY 07 - Coromandel Peninsulai to Rotorua

Travel south past many more beautiful beaches, and the township of Tauranga, one of the North Island’s largest ports. Your route takes you through Kiwifruit country around Te Puke and on to the heart of thermal activity and the cultural centre of New Zealand, Rotorua.
Rotorua is on the central North Island volcanic plateau, which causes the geysers, pools of boiling mud and water, steam vents and terraces of silica. The most well known thermal area is the  Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve.

DAY 08 - Rotorua

Time today to visit some of the major tourist attractions in the Rotorua township and surrounds.

DAY 09 - Rotorua to Tongariro National Park

Travel to the township of Taupo, right on the edge of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Taupo is a trout fisherman’s paradise. There are also all sorts of water-based activities available – para-sailing, sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, white-water rafting (on the Tongariro River) as well as horse-riding, sky-diving and bungy jumping. Just north of Taupo is Huka Falls, a very dramatic area. Drive along the east shore of Lake Taupo to Turangi, then onto State Highway 47 into Tongariro National Park.

DAY 10 - Tongariro National Park to Wellington

Leaving Tongariro National Park journey south via Palmerston North and Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Wellington sits on a beautiful harbour, with Mount Victoria overlooking the city and surrounds.

DAY 11 - Wellington to Nelson

Catch the ferry from Wellington to Picton at the Inter-Islander terminal on Wellington’s waterfront. The car will need to be dropped off before catching the ferry and another vehicle picked up in Picton. Cruise through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Drive around Picton before travelling through Havelock to Nelson, a pretty city flanked by the sea, golden beaches and hills.

DAY 12 - Nelson

A day at leisure to explore the Abel Tasman region around Nelson.

DAY 13 - Nelson to Greymouth

From Nelson you will head out past the Abel Tasman National Park region to the “wild west coast” of the South Island, through the small town of Westport and on to Greymouth.

DAY 14 - Greymouth to Glacier Region

From Greymouth continue south to Hokitika. Hokitika is the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast and it is possible to watch pounamu carvers and gold craftsmen at work. Glass blowing and glass lace creation can be seen in the town’s glass blowing studio. Ruby rock is New Zealands very own gemstone and found only in Hokitika.
Just a short drive further south will bring you down into the famous Westland National Park, home to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. You will have time today to experience a walk up to the Glacier face or even out onto the ice itself.

DAY 15 - Glacier Region to Queenstown

Leave the Glaciers today continuing south west on State Highway 6. At Haast the road turns inland along the Haast River. Continue past Lake Wanaka and on to the town of Wanaka. From Wanaka either follow the main highway further inland through Luggate, Lowburn, Cromwell and back west to Queenstown, or take the Crown Range road via Cardrona (not recommended during Winter, approx. 68 km to Queenstown). The Cardrona Valley is an old gold-mining route. Mt Cardrona is a haven for skiers of all standards.
The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore the many activities and scenic wonders of Queenstown. If you’re feeling adventurous enjoy a ride with Heli-Jet on the Kawarau River, Shotover Jet on the Shotover River, try white-water rafting, take a helicopter ride, go bungy jumping or bush walking. Or, for a more relaxing time, take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu on TSS Earnslaw or just have a picnic and take in the beautiful surroundings.

DAY 16 - Queenstown

Today is at leisure for you to explore the many activities and scenic wonders of the township Queenstown and the surrounding areas.

DAY 17 - Queenstown to Te Anau

From Queenstown travel south along Lake Wakatipu then west to Te Anau on the outskirts of the Fiordland National Park. Fiordland National Park is listed as a World Heritage Park. At 1.52 million hectares, it is the largest national park in New Zealand and one of the largest in the world. Milford Sound is the best known, most easily accessible and one of the grandest of the fiords along this coastline. It runs past one of New Zealand’s most famous landmarks, Mitre Peak, which rises 1692
metres almost straight up from the water.

DAY 18 - Te Anau to Dunedin

Travel east via Lumsden and Gore, renowned for its brown trout fishing. Dunedin, founded by Scottish migrants in 1848, has the distinctive character of a university city as many citizens are students. Dunedin is situated on the Otago Peninsula, which is indented with bays, providing many picnic and swimming sites. The hills above are criss-crossed with old stone walls.

DAY 19 - Dunedin

Today we suggest a drive out along the Otago Peninsula for a sample of the unique South Island wildlife found in abundance on this scenic peninsula. At the tip of the peninsula is Taiaroa Head, a special reserve that includes the only mainland nesting site of the magnificent Royal Albatross. The rare Yellow-eyed penguins can also be seen at the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Reserve, halfway along the
peninsula.

DAY 20 - Dunedin to Mt Cook Region

Drive up the coast on State Highway 1 through Palmerston to Moeraki, where you can see the intriguing boulders on the beach at low tide. Just past Oamaru, the main town of the Wataki area, at Pukeuri turn left onto State Highway 83. This route will take you through Kurow, Otematata and onto Omarama. Omarama is the centre for trout fishing on the Ahuriri River and bush walking in the Ohau State Forest. It is also a very popular spot for gliding.
From Omarama turn right to head north on State Highway 8. Travel on to Twizel. Twizel was built in 1968 as the base town for the huge power developments on the Upper Waitaki River Power Development Scheme. The town was supposed to have been bulldozed flat when the scheme finished in 1986 but today Twizel thrives as the nearest town to Mt Cook and as a service town for the Mackenzie Region.

DAY 21 - Mt Cook Region to Christchurch

Head north and travel via Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, a spectacular turquoise coloured glacial lake. Stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Tekapo for one of New Zealand’s most picturesque picnic spots. Enter the Canterbury Plains, the widest area of flat land in New Zealand and onto Christchurch. Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s historic cities with a distinctly “English” feel to it. The city is currently reinventing itself after the 2010/11 earthquakes which
destroyed much of the city. Among the city’s popular sights are RE:Start, an outdoor retail and café precinct built in fashionably presented shipping containers, the Transitional Cardboard Cathedral, a fascinating architectural structure made out of cardboard.

DAY 22 - Christchurch

Drop off your car rental and depart for home.

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