We Love —
- Explore the diverse and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of New Zealand on this unforgettable 18-night Fly Drive Tour from Christchurch to Auckland.
- Encounter beaches, geothermal sites, iconic filming locations and bustling cities in your very own rental car and take part in astonishing optional excursions along the way!
- Stay in a variety of charming hotels and enjoy a delicious complimentary breakfast each morning, ensuring a comfortable break!
Your Destination —
On this 18-night self-drive holiday, you will travel from Christchurch to Auckland, discovering a variety of unique experiences and magnificent sights. Explore bustling cities, observe geothermal springs, soak up the sun on blissful beaches, and enjoy a ferry surrounded by stunning scenery. And, if that is not enough, you can also opt to add a variety of outstanding excursions, allowing you to cater every aspect of this trip to your needs and desires.
Our Offer —
18-Night / 19-Day New Zealand Fly Drive
Your Itinerary In Brief —
Day 1: Arrival in Christchurch
Day 2: Dunedin
Day 3: Dunedin
Day 4: Te Anau
Day 5: Te Anau
Day 6: Queenstown
Day 7: Fox Glacier
Day 8: Greymouth
Day 9: Abel Tasman
Day 10: Abel Tasman
Day 11: Wellington
Day 12: Tongariro
Day 13: Taupo / Rotorua
Day 14: Taupo / Rotorua
Day 15: Hobbiton Matamata / Coromandel
Day 16: Paihia
Day 17: Paihia
Day 18: Auckland
Day 19: Departure from Auckland
Your Itinerary —
During their fly drive, our members will follow the itinerary as detailed below.
Collect your vehicle at the at 'Go Rental' counter at the airport.
Christchurch was the second largest city in New Zealand before the earthquakes of February and June 2011 devastated the city. The city is recovering from this tragic accident and has rebuilt its centre with "street art" - it still remains in reconstruction. The city is known for its beautiful gardens, museums and restaurants. It is also the starting point for many excursions in Antarctica.
- Visit the city and its gardens and the arts centre
- Stroll to the Akaroa peninsula to admire the wild fauna and flora
- Take a tour of the Antarctic Centre with information on Antarctica and many activities such as the simulation of a storm in Antarctica
- Observe "blue penguins"
Day 2 & 3: Dunedin
Leave Christchurch in the morning to drive towards the South East Coast, arriving into Dunedin (approx. 360 km).
The Otago region offers a great diversity of landscapes combining the beautiful historic architecture of the cities, a strong natural heritage of remarkable beauty and a rich fauna with endemic species. The historic Victorian buildings of Dunedin are among the best preserved in the southern hemisphere and give a certain charm to the city. A little further away from the city and towards Oamaru, you will be able to see the Little Blue Penguins (the smallest penguins in the world) coming out of the water every night to climb the land. The Otago peninsula is also home to 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. You can also walk to Moeraki, a small fishing village to observe the Moeraki boulders, a strange natural phenomenon. They are huge spherical rocks up to 1m wide scattered on the beach of Koekohe.
- Walk around Portobello, a charming little village on the Otago Peninsula
- Take the historic train over the Taeiri Gorge with viaducts and tunnels dating back to 1879
- Get closer to unique southern ocean animals and penguins & furseals of the Otago Peninsula
Drive in the morning towards the West Coast along the ‘Catlins Forests’ arriving into Te Anau (approx. 300 km).
Fiordland Park is one of the most spectacular and largest in New Zealand. This classified site spreads its magnificent beech forests, its torrents and waterfalls thanks to its important precipitations all the year.Te Anau is the largest town near the Fiords near the largest lake on the South Island, Lake Te Anau. To reach Manapouri, starting point for fjord cruises, you will have to take a road that goes down into the mountain through lush forests, plains and beautiful lakes. Milford Sound is an unforgettable site whose highest point is Miter Peak (1,692 m). Doubtful sound, even wilder and more remote is less touristy.
- A cruise to admire Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound
- A small plane flight over Doubtful Sound
- Take a steam train ride in the Kingston Flyer
Day 6: Queenstown
Drive in the morning towards Queenstown (approx. 170 km).
The Central Otago region offers ever-changing landscapes creating sumptuous shades of color. Queenstown has become one of the great tourist centres of the country with its many outdoor activities and adventures! The capital of the Southern Alps is a beautiful city surrounded by majestic mountains and located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu just as grandiose.
- A jet boat ride on the Shotover River
- Make the highest New Zealand elastic jump
- Take a hike to Glenorchy and admire some of the landscapes of The Lord of the Rings
- The road between Queenstown and Arrowtown (50 km) bypassing Coronet Peak and back along Lake Hayes
- Visit Arrowtown about 20 km from Queenstown, a quaint little town in the Gold Rush
- The Central Otago region offers ever-changing landscapes creating sumptuous shades of colour
Drive to the Glacier region crossing Cardrona & Wanaka before arriving into Fox Glacier (approx. 330 km).
A glacier forms when there is more snow falling than melting. There are many glaciers in the Southern Alps and among the largest are Fox (about 13 km long) and Franz Josef (about 11 km). These are the only glaciers in the world that can offer ice landscapes, subtropical vegetation and ocean temperate zones. The Fox Glacier rises down Mt. Tasman at about 2,500 m and ends at only 300 m above sea level. Although it has declined for many years, it now advances to the valley of a few centimetres or even meters per day.
- Helicopter overflight with landing on glaciers
- Walk to Lake Matheson where you can admire the reflection of Mt Cook, Mt Tasman and La Pérouse peaks.
Day 8: Greymouth
Leave the Glacier behind you and drive towards the coast to arrive into Greymouth (approx. 200 km).
This region is the wettest in New Zealand, giving the wild landscapes a special glow. In the past, the West Coast was very troubled by the discovery of gold deposits and is now much quieter. The city of Hokitika is the capital of Nephrite jade or greenstone or Punamu in Maori, a stone found only in the South Island. It was formerly used to make tools or weapons and is now used for jewelry and decorative items. According to the Maori, the stone holds a certain power and is sacred. In Punakaiki you will find the Pancake Rocks, rocks with the appearance of stack of pancakes. These are limestone formations eroded by wind and water, the sight of the sea rushing is all the more beautiful at high tide.
- Visit a jade tailor shop
- Take a walk to Pancake Rocks in Punakaki
- Visit an old gold mine
Morning drive towards the Abel Tasman National Park (approx. 300 km).
At the northern tip of the South Island, you will find the smallest national park in New Zealand, Abel Tasman. Its area is 225 km² and many areas are accessible only by the sea. The beauty of the beaches and the turquoise waters are surprising.
- Watch out for resident Blue Penguins and other sea birds along the coast
- Explore the Abel Tasman National Park by kayak and enjoy watching the antics at the seal colony on Pinnacle
Day 11: Wellington
Morning drive through Nelson towards Picton. Take a Ferry crossing in the early afternoon from Picton to Wellington. The crossing of the Cook Strait takes about 3 hours (92km) is more than a means of transport between the 2 islands of New Zealand as the scenery is stunning.
The city of Wellington is located in the center of New Zealand, this strategic point allowed him to become the capital of the country in 1865 (after Auckland).New Zealand has expanded its cinematographic facilities in Wellington in recent years.
- Te Papa Museum, the largest in New Zealand
- The Zealandia Nature Reserve where you will find many endemic species
Drive towards the Tongariro National Park (approx. 340 km).
Located in the centre of the North Island, the oldest national park of the country is spread around the Tongariro volcano. The park is full of Maori cultural and sacred places and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. It covers 7,600 km² and includes the 3 active volcanoes of Tongariro (1,968m), Ngaurhuoe (2,290m) and Ruapehu (2,797m). The latter dominates the nature reserve and is the most active volcano in the park, it erupts every 50 years on average. Here, the landscapes are breathtaking and unfold in front of you with incredible beauty.
- Hiking Tongariro Crossing and its emerald lakes
- Walk along Whakapapanui Gorge to Taranaki Falls
Day 13 & 14: Taupo / Rotorua
Drive along Lake Taupo towards Rotorua (approx. 180 km).
In this region, volcanoes and geothermal springs are great landscape designers and a trip to New Zealand would not be complete without this step. The city is located on a 200 km volcanic fault from White Island to Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park and is built directly on the Pacific Ring of Fire. An unforgettable place where geothermal activity is omnipresent. The smell of sulfur and the eruption of geysers will make you feel that Rotorua is different from other places already visited. Rotorua is also the ancestral land of Te Arawa, a people who arrived more than 600 years ago, and whose presence offers many cultural experiences to visitors. It is also a great trout fishing area in the surrounding lakes and rivers.
- Experiment Maori culture with dances, songs and meals typical of Te Puia
- Visit the Maori Museum and the Bath House Art Gallery
- Visit the geothermal park of Wai-O-Tapu
On your way to Whitianga, consider visiting the Hobbit Village of The Lord of the Rings movies (located at Matamata on the way to Whitianga). Arrival into Whitianga (approx. 230 km).
Located only one and a half hours travel from Auckland Airport, the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Coromandel Peninsula has a rugged range of mountains covered in natural rainforest running down the length of the peninsula. The western side has a rugged coastline, with native Pohutakawa trees growing down to the shore line. On the eastern side, are a series of large bays, with beautiful, white sandy beaches. It is no wonder that the Coromandel Peninsula is a favourite holiday destination for Kiwis.
Day 16 & 17: Paihia
Take a morning drive to the Bay of Islands (approx. 230km).
Northland is the birthplace of New Zealand because it was here that the first Polynesian explorers followed by the British centuries later. The region therefore bears the double imprint of its two peoples. Northland's rugged peninsula stretches 450km between Auckland and Cape Reinga Point. Northland is famous for the variety of its brightly colored landscapes and wild coasts where silence is king. Northland includes Bay of Islands and Far Far North. The very rugged coast of Bay of Islands encompasses 150 islands including 8 main and many desert.
This region is also home to Waitangi Reserve, a landmark for New Zealanders. It was here that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on February 6, 1840 by Maori chiefs and representatives of the British crown to allow settlers access to certain lands and rights over the country. You will also be able to cross the Waipoua Forest Reserve where the oldest kauris of the country stand and see Tane Mahuta ("lord of the forest") 1500 years old, with a circumference of 13.77 m and 51.50 m high.
- Treaty of Waitangi museum
- Poor Knights islands for scuba diving
- Cruise to swim with dolphins at Bay of Islands
- A ride on Ninety Mile beach, Cape Reinga and its lighthouse
- Walks at Cable Bay and Spirits Bay
Morning or afternoon drive back to Auckland (approx. 220 km).
Auckland "Sailing City", cosmopolitan Auckland, relaxing Auckland, sparkling Auckland, so many names that carries the largest metropolis of the country. Many Polynesian, Asian and European cultures blend together to make the city attractive, diverse and full of life!With the mild climate, the omnipresence of the sea and its many beaches, the city constantly invites to enjoy the joys of the outdoors. There are about 102 almost deserted beaches within 1 hour of the centre and 1 in 4 people owns a boat.The city is also very volcanic and has 60 extinct volcanoes some of which have been converted into a park. Mt Eden, whose summit rises to 196m is the highest in the city and will offer you a spectacular panorama of the region.West of Auckland, crossing the Waitakere Ranges where you can enjoy the landscapes of huge kauris and ferns, you can relax or surf the black sand beaches such as Piha and Karekare. Take the time to enjoy the city and all its neighborhoods more attractive than each other. New Zealand's 'take it easy' way of life will not leave you indifferent!
- Take a walk on the volcanoes of Mt Eden or one Tree Hill
- Dinner in one of the many restaurants of Viaduct or Ponsonby
- Climb to the top of the Sky Tower and observe the city and its surroundings at 360°
- Victoria Market, the weekend to buy New Zealand crafts
Day 19: Departure from Auckland
Drive to Auckland international airport to drop off your vehicle. Check-in 2.5 to 3 hrs prior departure for all international flights.
Your Tour Hotels —
Our members will stay at the following hotels in Standard Rooms on a Bed and Breakfast Board Basis.
Dunedin: 2-night stay at The Brothers Boutique Hotel or similar
Te Anau: 2-night stay at the Te Anau Lodge Bed & Breakfast or similar
Queenstown: 1-night stay at the Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront Queenstown or similar
Fox Glacier: 1-night stay at the Fox Glacier Lodge Bed & Breakfast or similar
Greymouth: 1-night stay at the Oak Lodge Greymouth or similar
Abel Tasman: 2-night stay in Motueka at the Avalon Manor Motel or similar
Wellington: 1-night stay at the Travelodge Wellington or similar
Tongariro: 1-night stay in Whakapapa at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel or similar
Taupo/Rotorua: 2-night stay in Rotorua at the Copthorne Hotel Rotorua or similar
Whitianga: 1-night stay at the Parklands Palace or similar
Paihia: 2-night stay at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands or similar
Auckland: 1-night stay at the Auckland City Hotel Hobson or similar
All Hotels Sleep up to
Your Optional Excursions —
Our members can choose to add the following excursions at the next stage of the booking process for an additional fee - subject to availability.
Dunedin: Otago Peninsula Wildlife with Penguin Place Half Day Tour (Day 3)
Te Anau: Milford Sound Nature Cruise ( 1 hour 40 minute cruise from Milford Sound - Day 5)
On reaching Milford Sound join an extended and leisurely cruise of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea on the Milford Mariner or Milford Wanderer.
Te Anau: Doubtful Sound Wilderness Full Day Cruise (Day 5)
Fox Glacier: Flying Fox Helicopter Hike (am departure - Day 8)
Abel Tasman: Beaches, Bays and Seals (Full Day Tour - Day 10)
Rotorua: Dinner and Traditional Maori Show (Day 13 or 14)
Rotorua: Visit the Geothermal site of Wai-O-Tapu (Day 14)
Matamata: Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tour (Day 15)
Paihia: Carino Sailing Dolphin Cruise (full day tour - Day 17)
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 throughout this offer.
Collect your vehicle at the Go Rental counter at the airport. Your rental includes GO Standard
• GO Basic insurance cover (applicable bond/excess applies)
• Airport access fees
• Extra driver fees
• One-way fee
• Unlimited kilometres
• 24hr Automobile Association roadside assistance
• Maps and travel guides
• Airport transfers upon pick up and drop off
• Afterhours pick up or drop off fees
• Airport or city hotel transfers upon pick up
• 15% GST (goods and services tax)
• Road User Charges
• Credit card fees
• Demurrage costs
Your vehicle must be returned to the depot with full tank. It is forbidden to smoke inside the vehicle.An international driving license in English or approved translation (accompanied by your country driving license of more than one year of seniority) is compulsory and must be both presented at the counter. The minimum age required to drive a vehicle is 21 years old. The vehicle will cross by ferry the South Island to the North Island. (If no cars are available with Go Rentals we will change to another similar company with change of vehicle between both islands).
CONDITIONS OF RENTAL WITH GO RENTALS
All GO Standard rates include Basic insurance with an excess to apply. Excess, for people over 25 is NZ $ 2500 and NZ $ 3500 for people between 21 and 24 years old.To reduce excess to NZ $ 0, the cost of ‘Go Peace of Mind’ insurance is NZ $ 28 locally per rental day Franchises are not debited, the renter takes an imprint of your credit card in case an incident occurs on thevehicle. Go Rentals GPS rental: NZ $ 8 per day. Go Rentals Child/Booster seat is NZ $ 45 per child.