Overview

Those who are short on time, this 11 day City Explorer self-drive tour features New Zealand’s highlights from Auckland to Queenstown. Start your holiday in the vibrant multicultural city of Auckland. Cruise the harbour, get a bird’s eye view of the city from the Sky Tower, or go on a culinary adventure along Viaduct Harbour. Your next destination is the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua where you will also enjoy a traditional Maori hangi (feast).

Take a domestic flight* to Christchurch, the gateway to South Island. Spend a couple of nights in the garden city of Christchurch before you drive to New Zealand’s highest peak, Mt. Cook. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre upon arrival. From the snow-capped peaks, you will drive further south to Queenstown where you will spend a few days. Enjoy an assortment of adventure activities, take a day cruise to Milford or Doubtful Sound, or simply enjoy the beautiful landscape of this picture perfect resort town.

*Domestic flight not included in the cost.

Auckland - Rotorua - Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown

Map of 11 Day City Explorer Self Drive Tour
View itinerary for day 1
View itinerary for day 2
View itinerary for day 3
View itinerary for day 4
View itinerary for day 5
View itinerary for day 6
View itinerary for day 7
View itinerary for day 8
View itinerary for day 9
View itinerary for day 10
View itinerary for day 11
Arrive Auckland
Explore Auckland
Auckland to Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Fly from Rotorua to Christchurch
Explore Christchurch
Christchurch to Mt Cook
Mt Cook to Queenstown
Exlore Queenstown and Surrounds
Explore Queenstown and Surrounds
Depart Queenstown

Day 1

Arrive Auckland

Day 2

Explore Auckland

Day 3

Auckland to Rotorua

Travel Time: 2 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 228 kms

Day 4

Explore Rotorua

Day 5

Fly from Rotorua to Christchurch

Day 6

Explore Christchurch

Day 7

Christchurch to Mt Cook

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 333 kms

Day 8

Mt Cook to Queenstown

Travel Time: 3 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 264 kms

Day 9

Exlore Queenstown and Surrounds

Day 10

Explore Queenstown and Surrounds

Day 11

Depart Queenstown

Arrive in the City of Sails, where your hire car will be ready and awaiting collection. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring this vibrant multicultural metropolis at your leisure.

Stay 2 nights Auckland

Enjoy a day exploring this vibrant multicultural city at your leisure. We recommend you take an afternoon harbour cruise or head up the Sky Tower for a bird’s eye view of the city, a particularly beautiful sight in the evening. Treat yourself to dinner at the Orbit Revolving Restaurant at the top of the Sky Tower or dine at one of the many eateries along Viaduct Harbour.

Depart Auckland and head south to the renowned geothermal area of Rotorua. This afternoon, get up close and personal with a kiwi at Rainbow Springs, throw yourself into some adventure activities at Agroventures or experience the natural wonderland of bubbling mud and boiling waters at Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi (feast) and Cultural Evening at Te Puia Thermal Reserve.

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Spend today at leisure exploring what Rotorua has on offer. You may wish to retreat to the Polynesian Spa or Wai Ora Spa for some relaxation, visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley or simply wander around the town.

Today, return your vehicle to the Rotorua Airport and catch a flight to Christchurch, the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island and Canterbury region. On arrival into Christchurch, collect your new rental car from the airport and head into the city.

Please note internal flight from Rotorua to Christchurch is not included in the package.

Today, explore Christchurch known as the ‘Garden City’ for it’s beautiful Hagley Park with the Avon River meandering through it. Watch punters on the Avon, tour the Botanical Gardens or board the tramway for a short sightseeing tour of the city, hopping on and off as you please at locations that catch your eye. Tonight, dine at one of the new cafes or restaurants, or even board the unique tramcar Restaurant and enjoy dinner whilst seeing Christchurch come alive at night.

Cross the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps to the west. View the Church of the Good Shepherd. Enjoy the scenic majesty of New Zealand’s highest snow-capped peaks on your drive into Mount Cook and on arrival visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.

Stay 1 night Mt Cook

Travel through the Mackenzie Country before beginning the ascent over the Lindis Pass and emerging into the lush green farmland that surrounds the spectacular alpine village of Queenstown, regards as New Zealand’s premier holiday destination.

Stay 3 nights Queenstown

Enjoy two free days to experience this magnificent resort town. Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown boasts an incredible array of adventure and leisure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration.

Enjoy your second free day to experience Queenstown. Ask one of our consultants if you want to book one of the many activities in this amazing resort town.

Today you bid farewell to Queenstown and return your rental vehicle to the airport before boarding your onwards flight or return flight home.

Day 1, Arrive Auckland

Arrive Auckland

Arrive in the City of Sails, where your hire car will be ready and awaiting collection. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring this vibrant multicultural metropolis at your leisure.

Stay 2 nights Auckland

Day 2, Explore Auckland

Explore Auckland

Enjoy a day exploring this vibrant multicultural city at your leisure. We recommend you take an afternoon harbour cruise or head up the Sky Tower for a bird’s eye view of the city, a particularly beautiful sight in the evening. Treat yourself to dinner at the Orbit Revolving Restaurant at the top of the Sky Tower or dine at one of the many eateries along Viaduct Harbour.

Day 3, Auckland to Rotorua

Auckland to Rotorua

Travel Time: 2 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 228 kms

Depart Auckland and head south to the renowned geothermal area of Rotorua. This afternoon, get up close and personal with a kiwi at Rainbow Springs, throw yourself into some adventure activities at Agroventures or experience the natural wonderland of bubbling mud and boiling waters at Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve. Tonight, enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi (feast) and Cultural Evening at Te Puia Thermal Reserve.

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 4, Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua

Spend today at leisure exploring what Rotorua has on offer. You may wish to retreat to the Polynesian Spa or Wai Ora Spa for some relaxation, visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley or simply wander around the town.

Day 5, Fly from Rotorua to Christchurch

Fly from Rotorua to Christchurch

Today, return your vehicle to the Rotorua Airport and catch a flight to Christchurch, the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island and Canterbury region. On arrival into Christchurch, collect your new rental car from the airport and head into the city.

Please note internal flight from Rotorua to Christchurch is not included in the package.

Day 6, Explore Christchurch

Explore Christchurch

Today, explore Christchurch known as the ‘Garden City’ for it’s beautiful Hagley Park with the Avon River meandering through it. Watch punters on the Avon, tour the Botanical Gardens or board the tramway for a short sightseeing tour of the city, hopping on and off as you please at locations that catch your eye. Tonight, dine at one of the new cafes or restaurants, or even board the unique tramcar Restaurant and enjoy dinner whilst seeing Christchurch come alive at night.

Day 7, Christchurch to Mt Cook

Christchurch to Mt Cook

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 333 kms

Cross the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps to the west. View the Church of the Good Shepherd. Enjoy the scenic majesty of New Zealand’s highest snow-capped peaks on your drive into Mount Cook and on arrival visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.

Stay 1 night Mt Cook

Day 8, Mt Cook to Queenstown

Mt Cook to Queenstown

Travel Time: 3 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 264 kms

Travel through the Mackenzie Country before beginning the ascent over the Lindis Pass and emerging into the lush green farmland that surrounds the spectacular alpine village of Queenstown, regards as New Zealand’s premier holiday destination.

Stay 3 nights Queenstown

Day 9, Exlore Queenstown and Surrounds

Exlore Queenstown and Surrounds

Enjoy two free days to experience this magnificent resort town. Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown boasts an incredible array of adventure and leisure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration.

Day 10, Explore Queenstown and Surrounds

Explore Queenstown and Surrounds

Enjoy your second free day to experience Queenstown. Ask one of our consultants if you want to book one of the many activities in this amazing resort town.

Day 11, Depart Queenstown

Depart Queenstown

Today you bid farewell to Queenstown and return your rental vehicle to the airport before boarding your onwards flight or return flight home.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

May to September 2019

 Twin/Double
Standard 3-3.5 Star Accommodation from AU$3,230* per person

 * PLEASE NOTE

Price excludes domestic flight.

Prices are estimates only, and are subject to availability and exchange rates when booking, seasonal or holiday price surcharges (such as Christmas/New Year and Easter); as well as special events that may be on. Please forward a request and we will be happy to forward a quote.

Car Rental

  • Car hire excess fees of up to NZ$3500 + GST applies. This will be imprinted on a credit card upon collecting the vehicle. Excess reduction options are available at an additional cost per day. 
  • Airport/Ferry pick up fee applies in some locations. This must be paid direct in New Zealand. 
  • Car parking fees may apply in some locations.

Payment

  • Deposit: $200 per person within 7 days of booking
  • Full Payment: 60 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full no more than 6 days after booking

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellation Fees up to 100% can apply after booking. Extra deposits or full payment may be requested to cover these charges prior to booking.
Currency Converter

Includes

Includes:

10 nights accommodation

  • 2 nights Auckland
  • 2 nights Rotorua
  • 2 nights Christchurch
  • 1 night Mt Cook
  • 3 nights Queenstown

11 days car rental (excess applies)

Private airport transfers

Auckland Sky Tower

Traditional Maori Hangi and Cultural Experience

Sir Edmund Hillary Centre

Shotover Jetboat Ride

Skyline Gondola & Dinner, Queenstown

*Domestic flight not included in the cost.

Options

Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas, then travel insurance is a necessity. Compare rates and polices online and get a free travel insurance quote.

Accommodation

There is a choice of accommodation available on all packages, which depending on locations, includes motels, 3 star hotels, 4 star hotels, boutique lodges & hotels and luxury lodges and hotels. We are happy to quote on alternate accommodation requests.

Airfares

International flights can be included from Australia for all Australian residents.

Optional Extras

Explore Queenstown

Milford Sound Coach and Nature Cruise ex Queenstown

From Queenstown around the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Kingston, cross fertile farmlands to Fiordland with an interesting commentary on the many highlights. A break in Te Anau, through the Eglinton Valley, mountains tower above with dense beech forest in the valley, cross The Divide to the spectacular Hollyford Valley, through the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. Enjoy Milford Sound on this extended 2.5 hour nature cruise along the full length of the fiord on board either the Milford Mariner or Milford Wanderer. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and the wildlife. A nature guide provides fascinating interpretation throughout the cruise. Later return to Queenstown.

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak Station including Farm Tour

Take a TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm - join a fascinating farm tour and enjoy a delicious morning or afternoon tea.

Skippers Canyon 4WD Tour

This half day heritage tour follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. Travel the road that was hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley, making this an exciting adventure the whole family will enjoy.

As your guide navigates this awe-inspiring canyon you will visit many historic sites such as the Skippers Suspension Bridge and the township of Skippers. Visit the restored school house where you will gain a real insight into the local heritage through photos and histories of life in this tough environment. British Automobile Association voted Skippers Canyon Road as one of the 25 most scenic roads in the world.

On the return journey, the tour will stop at Deep Creek. Immerse yourself in the heritage of the local area by turning your hand to a spot of gold panning. Trained guides will teach you techniques to successfully pan for gold on one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world.

Explore Rotorua

Polynesian Spa

New Zealand’s leading international acclaimed spa, providing a unique thermal spa experience on the shore of Lake Rotorua; with the option of the Lake Spa, where you enjoy lake views and tranquil bathing amongst native flora, in the four hot mineral pools of the deluxe Lake Spa.

Waimangu Volcanic Valley Walk and Boat Cruise
You can see astonishing geothermal activity in the world’s most recent Geothermal Area. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is a globally significant geothermal region and encompasses stunning Lake Rotomahana. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is set in pristine New Zealand bush and includes magnificent geothermal features such as steaming volcanic crater lakes, rare and remarkable plants. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is also a wildlife sanctuary for birds, and a protected scenic reserve. This is nature sightseeing that everybody can get pleasure from. Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Rotomahana. One of New Zealand’s most beautiful, un-spoilt, natural wilderness regions, Lake Rotomahana and adjoining land are protected from development. This stunning lake has its own separate geothermal system, with the astonishing geothermal activity that can only be seen from our boat throughout your cruise.

Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tour

The Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tour is a real must-do for every The Lord of the Rings fan travelling through New Zealand, but it really is an interesting and entertaining experience for all. Your tour starts from The Shires Rest Cafe with a scenic drive through a picturesque 1,250 acre working sheep farm. There are 13,000 sheep and 300 beef cattle on the Alexander family farm. You’ll enjoy the stunning views across to the beautiful Kaimai Ranges. Your experienced and knowledgeable tour guide will escort you through the ten-acre site of where the LOTR movie set used to be. Your guide will explain all about what was needed to create the Hobbiton set and tell stories about what went on during filming. He or she will also happily answer any questions you might have. The Hobbiton movie set has been returned to its natural state after filming was completed. However, hobbit holes and some structures from the film set are still in place.

Explore Christchurch

Grand Tour

On this tour you will experience all the very best that Christchurch has to offer from the comfort and convenience of our luxury coach. If you are strapped for time, you can get a well-rounded experience with this one-day tour.

Christchurch Tram

These beautifully restored trams follow a 2.5 kilometre loop around central Christchurch taking in some of the most interesting sites including Cathedral Square, Aquarium of Discovery, The Arts Centre, Botanic Gardens, Canterbury Museum, Punting on the Avon, Victoria Square, and New Regent Street to name just a few. Using the All Day pass you can hop on and off at any of the nine stops around the inner city tram loop and experience the inner city sights and attractions at your leisure.

Punting on the Avon

Experience life the way it should be - relaxed, tranquil and thoroughly enjoyable! Sink back into the velvet cushions of your boat as the Edwardian punter gently glides you down the Avon River, through the beautiful historic inner city of Christchurch.

Highlights

Auckland - Rotorua - Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown

From Auckland

Auckland Sky Tower
The tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere at 328 metres affords superb views of Auckland City, its two harbours and the volcanic cone of Rangitoto Island. Enjoy a high altitude lunch or snack or if its adventure you're after try a Sky Jump or Sky Walk around New Zealand's Iconic Tower.

From Rotorua

Traditional Maori Hangi and Cultural Experience
New Zealand's Maori Arts and Crafts Institute Te Puia is located in the beautiful Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. See silica terraces and bubbling mud pools, view the world famous Pohutu Geyser erupting from the ground up to 30 metres high, and view exhibitions, demonstrations by qualified artists in their respective fields of weaving and carving. Spend your time at Te Puia with a guided tour and complete your experience with a Maori Cultural performance.

The legacy, the pride and the value of the Maori culture can be experienced in this midday cultural performance including Ceremonial Welcome (Powhiri), Ceremonial Greeting (Hongi), Cultural Performance (Kapa Haka), Stick game (Titi Torea), Posture Dance (Haka) and Action Song (Waiata-a-ringa).

From Mt Cook

Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre

A tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary, humanitarian, ambassador & one of the world's greatest explorers, the centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region, its people & its place in the universe. The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre's 126-seat custom-designed theatre is the world's only theatre with 2D, 3D & a Digital Dome Planetarium contained within the same space. Cutting edge technology allows the 2D screen to raise up for storage while the 3D screen is in use and the Digital Dome Planetarium to lower into place when required.

In the foyer of the theatre, you'll find the museum showcasing the history of the Mount Cook region through transport, climbing, the Hermitage Hotel & pioneer extraordinaire, Sir Edmund Hillary himself.

From Queenstown

Shotover Jetboat Ride

Shotover Jet is New Zealand’s most popular and instantly identified visitor activity. Nothing you have experienced will have you prepared for the excitement of a Shotover Jet ride. From the moment the accelerator hits the floor your adrenaline hits the roof as you speed through the towering, rocky canyons of the famous Shotover River. Your driver skillfully whips the boat past rocky outcrops, and skims around crags and boulders, rock faces blur in your peripheral vision, white crystals of water spray with every turn, you grip the safety rail for reassurance and let out a whoop of excitement as the driver spins the boat around in its own length and you experience the 'trademark' Shotover Jet 360° spin.

Skyline Gondola & Dinner, Queenstown

Travel by gondola to Bob’s Peak high above the township and lake where the unsurpassed views are matched only by a range of activity options that may require a day rather than an hour or two. The views stretch from Coronet Peak to the left, over the town and Remarkable Mountains, along Lake Wakatipu’s southern arm toward Kingston and to your right, across the lake, Cecil and Walter Peaks and the Earnslaw plying its waters as well. Taste of “New Zealand Buffet Dinner”. This is a legendary meal which includes soup selections, a range of hot entrees; from the carvery, four roasts with complementary sauces; a selection of mouth-watering seafood’s, a salad bar and to follow, tempting desserts, New Zealand cheeseboard and tea/coffee.

Book now, pay later No credit card required

11 Day City Explorer Self Drive Tour

Fields marked with * are required

If you see this field, please leave it blank and invest in CSS support.

Your Details

(e.g +44 208 123456)

Additional Extras

Accommodation & Transport

Flights

Other Passengers

Please list the full name(s) of each passenger travelling with you.

General Information

Please specify if you wish to include any tour options or extra days & if you have any special requirements. e.g dietary, physical, medical; and (if available) advise arrival and departure flight details in New Zealand.