We Love —
- Explore the diverse landscape of New Zealand’s North and the South islands on this unforgettable 16-day, 15-night tour.
- Embrace unforgettable landscapes with this journey from Queenstown to Auckland.
- Drive past volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, and geysers, in your very own rental car and take part in astonishing optional excursions along the way!
- Indulge in an extra luxurious journey and fly Business Class with Qatar Airways as part of this incredible offer!
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 —
16-day, 15-night self-drive tour through New Zealand with car hire and breakfast
Your Itinerary In Brief —
Day 1: Auckland
Day 2 & 3: Queenstown
Days 4: Te Anau
Day 5: Mount Cook
Day 6: Christchurch
Day 7: Kaikoura
Day 8 & 9: Abel Tasman
Day 10: Wellington
Day 11: Tongariro
Day 12 & 13: Taupo / Roturua
Day 14: Hobbiton Matamata / Coromandel
Day 15: Auckland
Day 16: Departure from New Zealand
Your Itinerary —
Take a private transfer by car from Auckland airport to your hotel in the city. Accommodation for 1 night in Auckland at the Sky City Auckland (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
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 center 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!
To do in Auckland:
- 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 2 & 3: Queenstown
The Central Otago region offers ever-changing landscapes creating sumptuous shades of colour. Queenstown has become one of the great tourist centres of the country with its many outdoor activities and atmosphere breathing adventure! 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.
To do in Queenstown:
- 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.
Drive in the morning towards Te Anau (approx. 170km). Accommodation for 1 night in Te Anau at Distinction Hotel Te Anau (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
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.
To do in Te Anau:
- A cruise to admire Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound.
Day 5: Mount Cook
Drive in the morning towards Aoraki Mount Cook (approx. 420km / 6hrs). Accommodation for 1 night in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park at The Hermitage Hotel (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
These absolutely beautiful landscapes will transport you to another world.Mt Cook is New Zealand's highest peak, 3,754m, and is surrounded by 19 more peaks of more than 3,000m and the National Park of the same name has 5 of the largest glaciers including the Tasman Glacier which is the most long and more than 200 m deep.The Maori named Mt Cook Aorangi, the "cloud borer", because of the mantle that covers it frequently.
Nearby you will find the small town of Twizel and the fabulous Pukaki Lake. The intensity of the landscape and colors will make you turn your head.
To do in Mount Cook:
- Helicopter flight landing on its Glacier
- Walks or hikes on Mt Cook
- A stop at Lake Pukaki to admire nature in the wild
Drive in the afternoon towards Christchurch (approx. 330km). Accommodation for 1 night in Christchurch at the Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
Christchurch was the second largest city in New Zealand before the devastating earthquake of February and June 2011 devastated the city. The city is recovering from this tragic accident and has rebuilt its centre with many "street arts", 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.
To do in Christchurch:
- 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, you can also observe "blue penguins".
Day 7: Kaikoura
After visiting Christchurch, afternoon drive along the East Coast towards Kaikoura (approx. 180km). Accommodation for 1 night in Kaikoura at The White Morph (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
The coastal city of Kaikoura is overlooked by a magnificent mountain panorama. The marine fauna is very important and you can see whales, killer whales, dolphins and other mammals. The Kaikoura Canyon 2km deep, is a true underwater wonder! 2 strong currents converge in this huge gap and bring back a vast amount of animals and plants which attract Sperm whales and other marine species.
To do in Kaikoura:
- Take a cruise to see whales and why not orcas & dolphins
- See the seal colony near the beach
- Enjoy seafood and try the local wine
Afternoon drive towards the Abel Tasman National Park (approx. 320km). Accommodation for 2 nights in Kaiteriteri at the Kimi Ora Resort (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
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.
To do in Abel Tasmin:
- 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 10: Wellington
Morning drive through Nelson towards Picton. Ferry crossing 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. Accommodation for 1 night in Wellington at the QT Hotel Wellington (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
The city of Wellington is located in the centre 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.
To do in Wellington:
- 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. 340km). Accommodation for 1 night in Whakapapa at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
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.
To do in Tongariro:
- Hiking Tongariro Crossing and its emerald lakes.
- Walk along Whakapapanui Gorge to Taranaki Falls.
Days 12 & 13: Rotorua
Drive along Lake Taupo towards Rotorua (approx. 180km). Accommodation for 2 nights in Rotorua at the Regent of Rotorua (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
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.
To do in Rotorua:
- 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 the Coromandel, consider visiting the Hobbit Village of The Lord of the Rings movies (located at Matamata on the way to Hahei). Arrival into the Coromandel (approx. 220 km). Accommodation for 1 night in Hahei at the Hahei Bed & Breakfast (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included
On the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula you will find the white-sand beach of Cathedral Cove, a magical place with vibrant colors and accessible only by boat, sea kayaking or on foot (walking from Hahei). Here you will find the iconic rock of Coromandel, a natural arch-shaped rock.
With 400 kms of coastline, Coromandel is the ideal place for a relaxing holiday on the beach. This preserved place will allow you to disorient you and to relax completely.
Hot water beach will help you too. Indeed, hot springs well below Hot Water Beach (south of Whitianga), and when the tide goes out, you can dig your own spa in the sand.
To do in Coromandel:
- Kayaking at Cathedral Cove
- A stroll to admire the Pinnacles and the rainforest
Days 15: Auckland
Afternoon drive back to Auckland (approx. 170 km). Accommodation for 1 night in Auckland at the Sky City Auckland (or similar) in standard double room with breakfast included.
Afternoon drive back to Auckland (approx. 220km).
Day 16: Depart from Auckland
Drive to Auckland International Airport to drop off your vehicle making sure to check-in 2.5 to 3 hrs prior departure for all international flights.
Your Hotels —
Our members will stay at the following accommodation (or similar) on a Bed and Breakfast basis.
Queenstown: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)
Te Anau: Distinction Hotel Te Anau (or similar)
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park: The Hermitage Hotel (or similar)
Christchurch: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square (or similar)
Kaikoura: The White Morph (or similar)
Kaiteriteri: Kimi Ora Resort (or similar)
Wellington: QT Hotel Wellington (or similar)
Whakapapa: Chateau Tongariro Hotel (or similar)
Rotorua: Regent of Rotorua (or similar)
Hahei: Hahei Bed & Breakfast (or similar)
Auckland: Sky City Auckland (or similar)
All rooms sleep up to
Please note: If any of these hotels are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be found.
You may choose to add the following excursions at the next stage of the booking process.
Te Anau – Day 4: Milford Sound Nature Cruise (1h40 minute cruise from Milford Sound)
Nature Cruises have a relaxed and flexible itinerary designed for the free and independent traveller to allow guests to see and experience what makes Milford Sound world renowned. Spend over two hours on our smaller boats nudging into waterfalls, spotting wildlife and listening to the informative commentary from our specialist Nature Guide who mingles with guests. Keep a look out for wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins. Lunch options (lunch not included) and complimentary tea and coffee are available.
Te Anau – Day 4: Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise (full day tour)
From Manapouri, cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri to West Arm before boarding a coach and crossing the alpine route of the Wilmot Pass through some of Fiordland’s most dense rainforest. On reaching Deep Cove, board a modern catamaran vessel, the Patea Explorer, for a three hour cruise exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord.
There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and mountains all the way out to the Tasman Sea. The area is home to Bottlenose dolphins and fur seals and when in season, the rare Fiordland Crested penguin.
A Nature Guide with specialist knowledge of the region’s history, flora and fauna provides detailed commentary in English. On the return cruise, the vessel’s engines are turned off and passengers are treated to the ‘sound of silence’ where guests experience floating in silence on the fiord, only the rush of waterfalls and birdsong breaks the silence. Lunch not included. Complimentary tea and coffee are available.
Departure at 09:30.
Return to Te Anau at 18:30.
Mount Cook – Day 7: Mount Cook Helicopter Alpine Explorer (am departure)
Aoraki/Mount Cook was named the cloud piercer by Máori. You’ll see for yourself on this flight over the Ben Ohau Mountain Range and peaks of the Southern Alps that surround this storied mountain. Your helicopter will manoeuvre you to an alpine vantage point where it’s safe for a snow landing and time to take it all in.
Tour depart Mount Cook every 30 minutes from 9.00 am (drive to Christchurch after flight).
Duration of the total excursion: 35 minutes (including snow landing).
What you need to bring: Warm clothing, sturdy covered shoes, sunglasses and sunscreen, your phone/camera, and a sense of adventure!
Kaikoura – Day 8: Whale Watch Cruise (Morning 2 hours cruise from Kaikoura)
Departures Kaikoura daily: at 10:00 or 10:30 (duration 2 hrs / drive to Abel Tasman after cruise).
Abel Tasman – Day 9: Beaches, Bays & Seals (full day tour)
At 9.00 am, meet your Guide at Kaiteriteri then at 9.20 am your Vista Cruise departs Kaiteriteri for a scenic cruise past the islands and golden coves of the Astrolabe Roadstead to Anchorage Beach.
At10.05 am, on the golden beach sands in front of our Torrent Bay Lodge, your friendly, expert Guide settles you into a stable double kayak with full instructions and safety brief. Then it's on to the water to paddle amongst the wondrous headlands, coves and islands of the granite coast.
Your guide will ensure you make the most of the day depending on the tides, weather conditions, and your interests and abilities. Watch out for resident Blue Penguins and other sea birds along the coast. Enjoy watching the antics at the seal colony on Pinnacle Island (weather permitting). Stop at a sheltered golden cove for a lunch break. On your return journey, in favourable winds, your Guide will hoist a sail to ride the breeze.
Rejoin the Vista Cruise at about 3.30 pm then return to Kaiteriteri (or there is also a pick up at 5.15 pm, to return to Kaiteriteri at 6.00 pm).
Departure daily at 09:00 from Kaiteriteri. The return to Kaiteriteri will be around 16h15.
What you need to bring: Swimsuit & beach towel, sun glasses & sunscreen, small backpack with water and a snack, camera (a protective bag will be provided to protect your belongings), spare clothes (warm sweater), soft shoes and walking shoes (no flip-flops), your picnic lunch.
Rotorua – Day 12 or Day 13: Dinner and traditional Maori show
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.
Rotorua – Day 13: Visit the Geothermal site of Wai-o-Tapu
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. The geyser is located on another island, about 3 minutes drive from the Wai-o-Tapu information centre, directions to get there will be given at the entrance.
The Mud Pool - The mud pool erupting is an atypical and unavoidable point of the site. This is the site of a former large mud volcano eroded by erosion in the 1920s.
Useful information :
- Please note that the Lady Knox Geyser erupts daily at 10:15 am
- A document will be given in your language with your ticket of entry (map to locate you and information on the various characteristics of the park.
- It is recommended to wear shoes suitable for walking on volcanic ground (sneakers, flat shoes, sandals and flip flops are not suitable).
Opening time: Every day from 08h30 to 17h00 (last admission at 15h45)
Matamata – Day 14: Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tour
During the visit, you will see the Hobbits House, The Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and other infrastructure and gardens built entirely for the movies.
Departure every day.
Opening hours: From 08:00.
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.
Enjoy Sky-High Luxury with Qatar Airways —
Note: For operational reasons, the company may need to change the seat type at the last minute. In this case, your flight will be with another aircraft from the company, and the Qsuite may not be available. You will therefore benefit from a Business Class seat.