We Love —
- Explore the diverse landscape of New Zealand’s North and the South islands on this unforgettable 14-night tour.
- Embrace unforgettable landscapes with this journey from Auckland to Christchurch.
- Drive past volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, and geysers, in your very own rental car and venture inside the astonishing ice caves at Fox Glacier.
Your Destination —
On this 14 night holiday, you will travel from Auckland to Christchurch to discover a variety of unique experiences. Observe rare penguin species, climb volcanoes, hike through charming fishing villages, and take on exhilarating sporting activities. And if that is not enough, you can also dine with the Maori people and learn about their traditions on an unforgettable excursion.
Our Offer —
14-night self-drive tour through New Zealand with car hire and breakfast
Your Itinerary In Brief —
Day 1: Auckland
Days 2 and 3: Rotorua
Day 4: Tongariro National Park
Day 5: Wellington
Days 6 and 7: Abel Tasman National Park
Day 8: Greymouth
Day 9: Fox Glacier
Days 10 and 11: Queenstown
Days 12 and 13: Dunedin
Day 14: Christchurch
Day 15: Return to the UK
Your Itinerary —
Your adventure will begin in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. Auckland is often referred to as " the city of sails" for the plethora of yachts and sailing boats that adorn its shores. With so many visitors and expats, Auckland boasts an international flair with a collision of Polynesian, Asian, and European culture.
Visitors to this city can expect mild temperatures, and plenty of beaches and mountain hikes. In fact, there are almost 102 deserted beaches located within one hour of the city centre. Auckland is also surrounded by 60 extinct volcanoes, some of which have been converted into a park. Mt Eden, with a summit of 196 metres, is the highest in the city and offers spectacular city views.
West of Auckland, the Waitakere Ranges are ideal for hiking or surfing alongside the black sandy beaches of Piha and Karekare.
Spend the night at the Auckland City Hotel or similar in a Double Room with breakfast.
Depart Auckland and travel to Rotorua (228km / 2h44).
Home to a large Maori population and a jaw-dropping geothermal backdrop, Rotorua is distinctly different from other cities in New Zealand. Situated directly on the Pacific Ring of Fire, sulfuric aromas and the eruption of geysers are just two notable features of Rotorua. This area is home to a range of exhilarating activities that include skydiving, tobogganing, zorbing, or, mountain biking. The surrounding lakes and rivers also make Rotorua a fantastic destination for trout fishing.
Spend two nights in Rotorua at the Holiday Inn hotel or similar in a Double Room with breakfast.
Depart Rotorua and head to Tongariro National Park (184km / 2h18).
Covering almost 80,000 hectares, Tongariro National Park was gifted to the nation by Maari chief Te HeuHeu Tukino IV in 1887. Over a hundred years later, the park was awarded dual World Heritage Site status. Explore this magical park, home to a multitude of wildlife, emerald lakes, alpine meadows and hot springs - all nestled around the largest volcanoes in the North Island.
Stay at the Chateau Tongariro or similar in a standard double room with breakfast.
Depart Tongariro National Park and arrive in Wellington (288km / 4h).
As the capital city of New Zealand, Wellington is a lively place to visit with trendy bars, restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife. It is packed with museums, art galleries, and a number of theatres. Wellington is a super friendly city with a passion for craft beer, skateboarding, and contemporary art. Top that off with gorgeous harbour views and you have one unique urban landscape.
Spend one night in Wellington at the Travelodge Hotel or similar in a Double Room with breakfast.
Take a ferry crossing in the morning from Wellington and arrive at Picton. The crossing of the Cook Strait takes around three hours (92km).
Upon arrival, you will then drive to Abel Tasman Park (266km /3h23). At the northern tip of the South Island is Abel Tasman National Park, the smallest national park in New Zealand. It spans across 225 km² of sandy beaches and turquoise waters that are home to an array of wildlife including sea lions.
Spend two nights in Abel Tasman at the Avalon Motor Motel or similar in a Double Room with breakfast.
After breakfast, you will depart Abel Tasman and arrive in Greymouth (287km/3h36).
Greymouth is a historic town located on the South Island and is ideal for those who wish to explore the nearby towns and villages along the south coast. Visitors can uncover the history of Greymouth at the Shantytown Heritage Park which has been recreated to resemble this former gold rush town.
The city of Hokitika is located just over 30 minutes from Greymouth and is certainly worth exploring if you have the time. Hokitika is the capital of nephrite jade, a sacred stone which can only be found on the South Island. It was formerly used to make tools or weapons and it now features in jewellery and decorative items.
Punakaiki is a calm village located between Westport and Greymouth. Visitors flock to Punakaiki to view the famous Pancake Rocks, an interesting formation of limestones which resemble pancakes.
Spend one night in Greymouth at the Oak Lodge B&B or similar in a Double Room with breakfast.
Your next destination will be Fox Glacier (240km / 3h11).
Amongst the largest glaciers in the Southern Alps is Fox Glacier (about 13 km long) and Franz Josef (about 11 km). They are the only glaciers in the world to offer a combination of ice landscapes, subtropical vegetation, and ocean temperate zones. The Fox Glacier rises down Mt. Tasman at about 2500m and ends at only 300m above sea level.
The best way to view the glacier is to join a walking tour, or, a helicopter ride over the top. These guided tours will take you as close as you can possibly get to Fox Glacier and you will also learn interesting facts along the way.
Spend one night at Fox Glacier in the Fox Glacier Lodge or similar in a Double Room with breakfast.
After departing Fox Glacier, you will drive to Queenstown (327km / 4h05).
With a huge backpacker scene and lots of thrilling activities, Queenstown is one of the liveliest cities in New Zealand. As the capital of the Southern Alps, it is a beautiful city located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by majestic mountains that are just waiting to be explored. With bungee jumping, zip lining, snowboarding, and heli-skiing, it is safe to say that Queenstown is New Zealand outdoor adventure playground.
Spend two nights in Queenstown at Blue Peaks Lodge or similar in a Double Room with breakfast.
Depart Queenstown and head towards Dunedin (282km / 3:28).
The Victorian buildings of Dunedin are among the best preserved in the southern hemisphere and provide this city with a unique historic charm. Venture a little further away from the city towards Oamaru, and you will be able to see the Little Blue Penguins (the smallest penguins in the world) who come out of the water every night. The Otago Peninsula is also home to the yellow-eyed penguins (one of the rarest penguins in the world). This peninsula is a great example of eco-tourism and remains very well preserved.
From Dunedin, you can also walk to Moeraki, a quaint fishing village which is home to the Moeraki boulders, an unusual natural phenomenon of enormous spherical rocks that are scattered across the beach of Koekohe and are steeped in Maori legend.
Spend two nights in Dunedin at the Dunedin Leisure Lodge or similar in a Double Room with breakfast.
Depart Dunedin and arrive in Christchurch (361km/4h30).
Before the devastating earthquakes of 2011, Christchurch was the second largest city in New Zealand. The city is currently still recovering having already rebuilt its centre with an additional number of street art installations. Christchurch is famed for its beautiful gardens, museums, and restaurants. It is also the starting point for many excursions to Antarctica.
Spend one night in Christchurch at the Quest Christchurch or similar in a Double Room with breakfast.
Day 15: Return to the UK
Today it is time to say goodbye to New Zealand and return home to the UK.
Your Hotels —
Our members will stay at the following accommodation (or similar) on a Bed and Breakfast basis.
Rotorua: Holiday Inn
Tongariro National Park: Chateau Tongariro
Wellington: Travelodge Hotel
Abel Tasman National Park: Avalon Motor Motel
Greymouth: Oak Lodge
Fox Glacier: Fox Glacier Lodge
Queenstown: Blue Peaks Lodge
Dunedin: Dunedin Leisure Lodge
Christchurch: Quest Christchurch
All rooms sleep up to
Please note: the bed for the 3rd/4th guest sharing is likely to be a sofa bed or camp style bed. If any of these hotels are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be found.
Your Excursions —
You may choose to add the following excursions at the next stage of the booking process.
Your evening begins with a quick look at where your meal is prepared, in the ground, to be stewed. The preparation of your traditional dinner (hangi) begins in the afternoon to ensure its best cooking. The baskets where the food is deposited are wrapped in manuka leaves to give them a unique smoky flavour, then they will be buried in the ground to be cooked for about 3 hours!
The evening will continue with a Powhiri, an authentic welcome ceremony. Powhiri is a Maori ritual when two groups meet for the first time. Gathered at the entrance of the Marae Rotowhio, you will be invited to this tradition which will begin with the sound of a pūtatara (conch). You will then be invited to enter the Tupuna Whare (ancestral meeting place).
You will be guided to the place where you will enjoy your meal (buffet, drink not included). Then at night, you will be driven for a few magical moments in the valley of Te Puia where you will end your journey in Maori land with tales of legends around Pohutu Geyser.
This Geothermal site has been carved by volcanic activity for thousands of years. Wai-o-Tapu is considered the most colourful and diverse geothermal site in the country. You can discover the diversity of the landscape on trails ranging from 30 to 75-minute walking distances.
Lady Knox Geyser
A guide to the Wai-o-Tapu site will explain the history and mechanics of the geyser with a small informal presentation in the natural amphitheatre near the geyser.
Enjoy an intimate cruise option to the famous Maori rock carvings. Guests can relax on beanbags and snuggle under blankets or give the crew a hand. Each trip includes a swimming stop in summer. Light refreshments can be purchased on board.
Begin your tour with some safety information from your guide. You will then set off for 2 hours of sea kayaking with an experienced guide. You can admire the little 'blue penguins' and various seabirds. You will then stop in a small cove with breathtaking views for lunch (lunch not included) - then you will exchange your kayak equipment for walking shoes.
At 1 pm, you will cruise through the crystal clear waters of the park to Torrent Bay and continue to the Tonga Island Marine Reserve. You will take a short break here to observe a colony of sea lions and then land on Tonga Quarry beach. Here you have the choice to relax or go for a walk without a guide.
Meet with your pilot at Fox Glacier Heli-base at 2 pm. Start your flight from the peaks of the lower glacier, where the ice is constantly moving. You will then fly over the upper ice section and Victoria Falls before landing. The landing place on Fox Glacier is exceptionally beautiful!
Your guide will then dress you with crampons, specially designed for these ice conditions and you will head through the glacier, where the incredible ice caves are visible.
Take an early morning bus from Queenstown (7.15 am) to Manapouri to cruise on Milford Sound and then return to Queenstown at the end of the day (8.00 pm).
During your cruise on the fjord, a guide with specialised knowledge about the history of the region, the fauna and flora will give you a detailed interpretation in English. You will discover the many waterfalls, observe dolphins, sea lions and even sometimes the rare penguins of Fiordland.
Enjoy this cruise on the Otago Peninsula to see region-specific wildlife - the region is known as the home of the royal albatross.
After the Otago Harbor exit, you will sail past Careys Bay's historic fishing village, gorgeous colourful bays, hills, farmland and forest far away. Your skipper will tell you Maori legends about the picturesque peninsula of Otago, the arrival of the first settlers and inform you about the volcanic geology of the region.
Then, a bus will take you to the private reserve of Penguin Place where you can discover and observe the fabulous yellow-eyed penguins that are only on the South East coast of New Zealand and are an endangered species. You will be able to play the animal photographer and observe the unique behaviour of penguins. On your return, your bus will travel along the Otago Peninsula to admire the beautiful landscape.
Your Journey —
Flights: You may choose from Economy, Premium or Business class flights on sectors that they operate, at the next stage of the booking process.
The flights included are with either a scheduled or no-frills airline and are subject to live availability and prices can change. You can choose your preferred departure times during the booking process. Please select your flight options carefully as departure and arrival airports may differ.
Car Hire: Car hire is included in this offer.