Overview

Discover the little known gems and explore the iconic attractions of North and South Island in great detail in this 30-day tour. Get up close to the West Coast glaciers, admire the pristine beauty of Milford Sound, and learn about the Scottish roots of Dunedin. Grab a chance to view the wildlife of Kaikoura, and be amazed by the thermal wonders of Rotorua. The natural beauty of the Bay of Islands is an experience all its own.

Take a tour of the major visitor cities, and get adventurous as you explore other off-the-beaten path destinations like the Abel Tasman National Park, the Wairarapa, Hawke’s Bay and the Coromandel Peninsula. Appreciate the range of geography of North and South Islands, enjoy the diversity of landscapes, and discover the teeming wildlife making home in our land and seas. If you are looking for a great range of sights and experience to satisfy everyone, this tour takes you there.

Itineraries

All itineraries can be amended or combined with other itineraries. Please advise amendments when requesting a quote.

Christchurch - Mt. Cook - Dunedin - Te Anau - Queenstown - Franz Josef - Christchurch - Akaroa - Abel Tasman National Park - Wellington - Martinborough - Napier - Rotorua - Coromandel Peninsula  - Auckland North Coast - Bay of Islands - Auckland

Map of 30 Day Length and Breadth Self Drive
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Arrive Christchurch
Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park
Mt. Cook to Dunedin
Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula
Dunedin to Te Anau
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau
Te Anau to Queenstown
Explore Queenstown and surrounds
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier
Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Tranz Alpine Scenic train
Explore Christchurch City
Christchurch to Kaikoura
Kaikoura
Kaikoura - Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Interislander ferry Wellington
Wellington to Martinborough
Martinborough to Napier
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Napier to Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Tairua to Coromandel Township
Coromandel to Auckland North Coast
Auckland North Coast to Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands to Auckland
Explore Auckland City
Depart Auckland

Day 1

Arrive Christchurch

Day 2

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 350 kms

Day 3

Mt. Cook to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 318 kms

Day 4

Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

Day 5

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 4hrs 45min

Distance: 387 kms

Day 6

Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau

Travel Time: 3 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 233 kms

Day 7

Te Anau to Queenstown

Travel Time: 1 hr 55 mins

Distance: 164 kms

Day 8

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Day 9

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 4 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 344 kms

Day 10

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Day 11

Tranz Alpine Scenic train

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Day 12

Explore Christchurch City

Day 13

Christchurch to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 179 kms

Day 14

Kaikoura

Day 15

Kaikoura - Abel Tasman National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 303 kms

Day 16

Abel Tasman National Park

Day 17

Interislander ferry Wellington

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 162 kms

Day 18

Wellington to Martinborough

Travel Time: 1 hr 10 mins

Distance: 75 kms

Day 19

Martinborough to Napier

Travel Time: 3 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 273 kms

Day 20

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Day 21

Napier to Rotorua

Travel Time: 2 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 211 kms

Day 22

Explore Rotorua

Day 23

Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

Travel Time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 192 kms

Day 24

Tairua to Coromandel Township

Travel Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Distance: 58 kms

Day 25

Coromandel to Auckland North Coast

Travel Time: 3 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 232 kms

Day 26

Auckland North Coast to Bay of Islands

Travel Time: 2 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 175 kms

Day 27

Explore the Bay of Islands

Day 28

Bay of Islands to Auckland

Travel Time: 4 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 343 kms

Day 29

Explore Auckland City

Day 30

Depart Auckland

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Christchurch accommodation.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

Collect your rental car

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park
Today you’ll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.

Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue color. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Stay 1 night Mt. Cook

Today you'll leave Mt Cook National Park and travel past Twizel, Omarama, and Waitaki Valley. Stretch your legs in Oamaru.

Continue south down the coast to Moeraki, and take a detour towards the beach to see the Moeraki Boulders, a unique geological feature well worth a look. As you arrive in Dunedin, take in the city’s Edwardian and Scottish heritage reflected in the buildings around the city centre - The Octagon.

Stay 2 nights Dunedin

Known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin City has a heavy scottish influence. Surrounded by rugged coastal plains and windswept beaches it’s home to an eclectic mix of historical and modern architecture as well as industrial technology. Renowned for its Flemish Baroque-inspired ‘gingerbread house’ Railway Station, this university town is bustling with life.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Monarch Wildlife Cruises Half day tour and Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve

The drive to Te-Anau takes you through classic Southland farming scenery. Head off-the-beaten-track today and follow the coastline instead of the inland route. Go through The Catlins area and be sure to take a detour to Kaka Point to view its majestic cliffs and pounding surf.  

Continue through Invercargill to Riverton and Colac Bay, and then head north to Manapouri. Just a short way further will bring you to your lakeside destination of Te Anau.

Stay 2 nights Te Anau

The road to Milford Sound offers some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery in the country.

Milford Sound Nature Cruise
A two and a half hour nature cruise of spectacular Milford Sound. On board one of three purpose built vessels you'll experience tumbling waterfalls, towering peaks, lush rainforest and native wildlife. Learn about the region, its history and natural surroundings while enjoying a delicious picnic lunch. As you cruise, keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins - frequent visitors to the fiord.

Today you’ll cross vast tussocklands on your way to Queenstown. Pass through Mossburn, the deer capital of the nation. Continue on through the Southland countryside where the road begins to hug the lake edge and the Remarkables mountain range towers over your approach into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Skyline Gondola and Luge

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

From Queenstown you'll cross the Crown Range to arrive in the Alpine town of Wanaka.

Continue on through the remote seaside settlement of Haast before heading up the wild West Coast - a 600 km stretch of bush and native rainforest. Fox Glacier welcomes you first, then comes your destination for the night - Franz Josef township.

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef

Franz Josef is small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. 

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

On arrival into the Christchurch train station you will be met by a private transfer driver and taken to your accommodation.

Stay 2 nights Christchurch

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the pacific ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Christchurch Grand Tour

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Full day tour to Akaroa including a Harbour Nature cruise

Christchurch to Kaikoura 

The drive north from Christchurch to Kaikoura takes you through the rolling hills of North Canterbury's major wine region, the Waipara Valley. Allow time for a detour and visit Hanmer Springs for a dip in the mineral hot pools. Continue on and cross the Hawkswood Range before descending to the spectacular Kaikoura coastline - where the road hugs the ocean for the last leg of the drive.

Stay 2 nights Kaikoura

The Kaikoura Coast is renowned for its abundant marine life, and this is huge visitor drawcard. Due to the teeming food supply in its icy seas, whales, seals and dolphins are frequently spotted year round in the area. Observe the fur seal colony basking in the sun at the tip of the peninsula and be sure to take a trip by boat to view the whales.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Whale Watch Kaikoura

Heading north from Kaikoura, the road hugs the shore for approximately 50 kilometres and offers many opportunities to view the native wildlife.

As you drive you will have turquoise waters of the South Pacific Ocean to your east and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Crossing the ‘dry hills’ of the Marlborough ranges you head towards New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. 

A short drive from Blenheim will take you to Nelson. Motueka is a further 45 minutes along the bay and from there it’s just a short drive to Kaiteriteri and Marahau, all ideal spots from which to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

Stay 2 nights around Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park, known for its coastal hiking track has an abundance of golden beaches, inlets and private lagoons. The park has a mild climate and is a special place to visit at any time of the year. Enjoy a scenic cruise through the sounds or take a kayaking tour around it’s many sheltered bays. Enjoy the melodious birdsong and get up close to some of the park’s many animal residents, including native bats, geckos, birds and marine mammals - fur seals and dolphins.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Split Apple, Seals and Walk day trip including picnic lunch

Abel Tasman National Park to Picton

The drive takes you back through the city of Nelson. The highway between Nelson and Picton also crosses the Pelorus River and just at this junction is the famous and historic Pelorus Bridge. 

Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington
The 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. 

Stay 1 night Wellington

Crossing the Rimutaka Ranges from the capital city delivers you to the agricultural region of the Wairarapa. This fertile and productive region produces many crops and in more recent times the Martinborough region had developed into a boutique wine growing region.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Martinborough Half Day Wine Tour

Stay 1 night Martinborough

Leaving the Wairarapa you pass through the Manawatu Gorge and into the countryside of the Hawkes Bay and towards the city of Napier.

Napier, the city by the sea, is renowned for its 1930s Art Deco architecture, events such as the Art Deco Weekend in February, stately Norfolk pines, surrounding wineries and local fresh produce. Supported by a Mediterranean climate and over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year this popular year-round destination boasts a vibrant cafe culture amongst the splendour of the Art Deco buildings.

Stay 2 nights Napier

With is mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must.

Those into architecture can hop aboard a 1930’s car and take in the city’s prominent Art Deco landmarks. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Gannet Safaris

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Half day Hawke's Bay Wine tour

Cross the Ahiminawa Ranges to arrive into the town of Taupo, sitting on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo - a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the worlds largest eruptions. Just north of Taupo are the Huka Falls, an impressive body of water draining from the Waikato river. 

Continue on through the Waimungu Valley before arriving into geothermal Rotorua, the heart of New Zealands Maori culture.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Huka Jet boat ride

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Rainbow Springs and Behind the Scenes Kiwi Encounter 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Mitai Maori Village

Today take Pyes Pa Road - the scenic route towards the Bay of Plenty and the town of Tauranga - before heading north along the coast towards the first of the Coromandel towns, Waihi.

For rail enthusiasts, the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. Continue on through the popular holiday destination of Whangamata to arrive into Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula.

Stay 1 night Tairua

The Coromandel Peninsular region extends from Waihi in the south to Port Jackson in the north. 

Heading north the east coast you pass through the town of Whitianga and from here you can take the small foot ferry over to Cooks Beach and Flaxmill Bay. 

Remote towns, isolated bays and a rich history of pioneers and fortune hunters make Coromandel one of the more diverse regions to explore.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Driving Creek Railway & Potteries

Stay 1 night Coromandel Township

Today you will drive through to Thames, amd Miranda. Continuing along State Highway 1 you pass through the city of Auckland and soon find yourself in the north shore suburbs. 

Stay 1 night Auckland North Coast

Continue north through Whangarei making time for a detour to the basin and harbourside region. The township of Kawakawa is also worth a short detour to see the public toilets designed by the famous Austrian Artist Hundertwasser. Also for train buffs a ride on Gabriel, a restored steam locomotive, might be a possibility.

Arriving into the sub tropical Bay of Islands you are greeted with bush clad hillsides dropping to golden sand beaches. Paihia is the main tourist centre in the bay and has a great beach side atmosphere.

Stay 2 nights Paihia

Commonly known as the ‘winterless north’ New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is made up of over 140 subtropical atolls. Renowned for its untouched beaches, abundant marine life and idyllic climate, this tropical paradise ticks all the boxes. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Discover the Bay Hole in the Rock Cruise

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Sail the R Tucker Thompson tall ship 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

Today you will leave the Bay of Islands for a scenic return trip to Auckland. Head west, leaving the Pacific Ocean for the wilder seas of the Tasman and Hokianga. Go through the small townships of Omapere and Opononi, each with a great seaside feel.

Your route now goes south through Waipoua Forest, home to the largest and oldest Kauri trees in the country. 

As you make your way back down the country you’ll pass the Matakohe Kauri Museum. Continuing on, go through Warkworth and the bohemian settlement of Puhoi before crossing the harbour bridge to arrive in Auckland city.

Stay 2 nights Auckland

Perched on the edge of a large natural harbour, New Zealand's ‘City of Sails’ offers the best of both worlds. Sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests give way to a vibrant urban culture, humming with life. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Taste of Waiheke Vineyard Tour

Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Day 1, Arrive Christchurch

Arrive Christchurch

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Christchurch accommodation.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

Day 2, Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 350 kms

Collect your rental car

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park
Today you’ll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.

Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue color. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Stay 1 night Mt. Cook

Day 3, Mt. Cook to Dunedin

Mt. Cook to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 318 kms

Today you'll leave Mt Cook National Park and travel past Twizel, Omarama, and Waitaki Valley. Stretch your legs in Oamaru.

Continue south down the coast to Moeraki, and take a detour towards the beach to see the Moeraki Boulders, a unique geological feature well worth a look. As you arrive in Dunedin, take in the city’s Edwardian and Scottish heritage reflected in the buildings around the city centre - The Octagon.

Stay 2 nights Dunedin

Day 4, Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

Known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin City has a heavy scottish influence. Surrounded by rugged coastal plains and windswept beaches it’s home to an eclectic mix of historical and modern architecture as well as industrial technology. Renowned for its Flemish Baroque-inspired ‘gingerbread house’ Railway Station, this university town is bustling with life.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Monarch Wildlife Cruises Half day tour and Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve

Day 5, Dunedin to Te Anau

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 4hrs 45min

Distance: 387 kms

The drive to Te-Anau takes you through classic Southland farming scenery. Head off-the-beaten-track today and follow the coastline instead of the inland route. Go through The Catlins area and be sure to take a detour to Kaka Point to view its majestic cliffs and pounding surf.  

Continue through Invercargill to Riverton and Colac Bay, and then head north to Manapouri. Just a short way further will bring you to your lakeside destination of Te Anau.

Stay 2 nights Te Anau

Day 6, Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau

Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau

Travel Time: 3 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 233 kms

The road to Milford Sound offers some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery in the country.

Milford Sound Nature Cruise
A two and a half hour nature cruise of spectacular Milford Sound. On board one of three purpose built vessels you'll experience tumbling waterfalls, towering peaks, lush rainforest and native wildlife. Learn about the region, its history and natural surroundings while enjoying a delicious picnic lunch. As you cruise, keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins - frequent visitors to the fiord.

Day 7, Te Anau to Queenstown

Te Anau to Queenstown

Travel Time: 1 hr 55 mins

Distance: 164 kms

Today you’ll cross vast tussocklands on your way to Queenstown. Pass through Mossburn, the deer capital of the nation. Continue on through the Southland countryside where the road begins to hug the lake edge and the Remarkables mountain range towers over your approach into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Day 8, Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Skyline Gondola and Luge

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Day 9, Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 4 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 344 kms

From Queenstown you'll cross the Crown Range to arrive in the Alpine town of Wanaka.

Continue on through the remote seaside settlement of Haast before heading up the wild West Coast - a 600 km stretch of bush and native rainforest. Fox Glacier welcomes you first, then comes your destination for the night - Franz Josef township.

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef

Day 10, Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef is small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Day 11, Tranz Alpine Scenic train

Tranz Alpine Scenic train

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. 

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

On arrival into the Christchurch train station you will be met by a private transfer driver and taken to your accommodation.

Stay 2 nights Christchurch

Day 12, Explore Christchurch City

Explore Christchurch City

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the pacific ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Christchurch Grand Tour

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Full day tour to Akaroa including a Harbour Nature cruise

Day 13, Christchurch to Kaikoura

Christchurch to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 179 kms

Christchurch to Kaikoura 

The drive north from Christchurch to Kaikoura takes you through the rolling hills of North Canterbury's major wine region, the Waipara Valley. Allow time for a detour and visit Hanmer Springs for a dip in the mineral hot pools. Continue on and cross the Hawkswood Range before descending to the spectacular Kaikoura coastline - where the road hugs the ocean for the last leg of the drive.

Stay 2 nights Kaikoura

Day 14, Kaikoura

Kaikoura

The Kaikoura Coast is renowned for its abundant marine life, and this is huge visitor drawcard. Due to the teeming food supply in its icy seas, whales, seals and dolphins are frequently spotted year round in the area. Observe the fur seal colony basking in the sun at the tip of the peninsula and be sure to take a trip by boat to view the whales.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Whale Watch Kaikoura

Day 15, Kaikoura - Abel Tasman National Park

Kaikoura - Abel Tasman National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 303 kms

Heading north from Kaikoura, the road hugs the shore for approximately 50 kilometres and offers many opportunities to view the native wildlife.

As you drive you will have turquoise waters of the South Pacific Ocean to your east and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Crossing the ‘dry hills’ of the Marlborough ranges you head towards New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. 

A short drive from Blenheim will take you to Nelson. Motueka is a further 45 minutes along the bay and from there it’s just a short drive to Kaiteriteri and Marahau, all ideal spots from which to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

Stay 2 nights around Abel Tasman National Park

Day 16, Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park, known for its coastal hiking track has an abundance of golden beaches, inlets and private lagoons. The park has a mild climate and is a special place to visit at any time of the year. Enjoy a scenic cruise through the sounds or take a kayaking tour around it’s many sheltered bays. Enjoy the melodious birdsong and get up close to some of the park’s many animal residents, including native bats, geckos, birds and marine mammals - fur seals and dolphins.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Split Apple, Seals and Walk day trip including picnic lunch

Day 17, Interislander ferry Wellington

Interislander ferry Wellington

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 162 kms

Abel Tasman National Park to Picton

The drive takes you back through the city of Nelson. The highway between Nelson and Picton also crosses the Pelorus River and just at this junction is the famous and historic Pelorus Bridge. 

Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington
The 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. 

Stay 1 night Wellington

Day 18, Wellington to Martinborough

Wellington to Martinborough

Travel Time: 1 hr 10 mins

Distance: 75 kms

Crossing the Rimutaka Ranges from the capital city delivers you to the agricultural region of the Wairarapa. This fertile and productive region produces many crops and in more recent times the Martinborough region had developed into a boutique wine growing region.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Martinborough Half Day Wine Tour

Stay 1 night Martinborough

Day 19, Martinborough to Napier

Martinborough to Napier

Travel Time: 3 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 273 kms

Leaving the Wairarapa you pass through the Manawatu Gorge and into the countryside of the Hawkes Bay and towards the city of Napier.

Napier, the city by the sea, is renowned for its 1930s Art Deco architecture, events such as the Art Deco Weekend in February, stately Norfolk pines, surrounding wineries and local fresh produce. Supported by a Mediterranean climate and over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year this popular year-round destination boasts a vibrant cafe culture amongst the splendour of the Art Deco buildings.

Stay 2 nights Napier

Day 20, Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

With is mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must.

Those into architecture can hop aboard a 1930’s car and take in the city’s prominent Art Deco landmarks. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Gannet Safaris

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Half day Hawke's Bay Wine tour

Day 21, Napier to Rotorua

Napier to Rotorua

Travel Time: 2 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 211 kms

Cross the Ahiminawa Ranges to arrive into the town of Taupo, sitting on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo - a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the worlds largest eruptions. Just north of Taupo are the Huka Falls, an impressive body of water draining from the Waikato river. 

Continue on through the Waimungu Valley before arriving into geothermal Rotorua, the heart of New Zealands Maori culture.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Huka Jet boat ride

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 22, Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Rainbow Springs and Behind the Scenes Kiwi Encounter 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Mitai Maori Village

Day 23, Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

Rotorua to Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

Travel Time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 192 kms

Today take Pyes Pa Road - the scenic route towards the Bay of Plenty and the town of Tauranga - before heading north along the coast towards the first of the Coromandel towns, Waihi.

For rail enthusiasts, the Goldfields Railway operates passenger trains along a scenic and historic section of track towards Waikino. Continue on through the popular holiday destination of Whangamata to arrive into Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula.

Stay 1 night Tairua

Day 24, Tairua to Coromandel Township

Tairua to Coromandel Township

Travel Time: 1 hr 15 mins

Distance: 58 kms

The Coromandel Peninsular region extends from Waihi in the south to Port Jackson in the north. 

Heading north the east coast you pass through the town of Whitianga and from here you can take the small foot ferry over to Cooks Beach and Flaxmill Bay. 

Remote towns, isolated bays and a rich history of pioneers and fortune hunters make Coromandel one of the more diverse regions to explore.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Driving Creek Railway & Potteries

Stay 1 night Coromandel Township

Day 25, Coromandel to Auckland North Coast

Coromandel to Auckland North Coast

Travel Time: 3 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 232 kms

Today you will drive through to Thames, amd Miranda. Continuing along State Highway 1 you pass through the city of Auckland and soon find yourself in the north shore suburbs. 

Stay 1 night Auckland North Coast

Day 26, Auckland North Coast to Bay of Islands

Auckland North Coast to Bay of Islands

Travel Time: 2 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 175 kms

Continue north through Whangarei making time for a detour to the basin and harbourside region. The township of Kawakawa is also worth a short detour to see the public toilets designed by the famous Austrian Artist Hundertwasser. Also for train buffs a ride on Gabriel, a restored steam locomotive, might be a possibility.

Arriving into the sub tropical Bay of Islands you are greeted with bush clad hillsides dropping to golden sand beaches. Paihia is the main tourist centre in the bay and has a great beach side atmosphere.

Stay 2 nights Paihia

Day 27, Explore the Bay of Islands

Explore the Bay of Islands

Commonly known as the ‘winterless north’ New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is made up of over 140 subtropical atolls. Renowned for its untouched beaches, abundant marine life and idyllic climate, this tropical paradise ticks all the boxes. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Discover the Bay Hole in the Rock Cruise

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Sail the R Tucker Thompson tall ship 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

Day 28, Bay of Islands to Auckland

Bay of Islands to Auckland

Travel Time: 4 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 343 kms

Today you will leave the Bay of Islands for a scenic return trip to Auckland. Head west, leaving the Pacific Ocean for the wilder seas of the Tasman and Hokianga. Go through the small townships of Omapere and Opononi, each with a great seaside feel.

Your route now goes south through Waipoua Forest, home to the largest and oldest Kauri trees in the country. 

As you make your way back down the country you’ll pass the Matakohe Kauri Museum. Continuing on, go through Warkworth and the bohemian settlement of Puhoi before crossing the harbour bridge to arrive in Auckland city.

Stay 2 nights Auckland

Day 29, Explore Auckland City

Explore Auckland City

Perched on the edge of a large natural harbour, New Zealand's ‘City of Sails’ offers the best of both worlds. Sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests give way to a vibrant urban culture, humming with life. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Taste of Waiheke Vineyard Tour

Day 30, Depart Auckland

Depart Auckland

Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

 Twin/Double
Motel Accommodation from NZ$5,798* per person

 * PLEASE NOTE

Price is based on two adults sharing a rental car and accommodation (twin/double-share).

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.

Payment

  • Deposit: 20% of the package cost or NZ$250 per person (whichever is the greater) at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 45 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full at the time of 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
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Includes

Includes:

29 nights accommodation

  • 1 night Christchurch
  • 1 night Mt Cook
  • 2 nights Dunedin
  • 2 nights Te Anau
  • 2 nights Queenstown
  • 2 nights Franz Josef/Fox Glacier
  • 2 nights Christchurch
  • 2 nights Kaikoura
  • 2 nights Abel Tasman National Park
  • 1 night Wellington
  • 1 night Martinborough
  • 2 nights Napier
  • 2 nights Rotorua
  • 1 night Tairua
  • 1 night Coromandel
  • 1 night North Auckland
  • 2 nights Paihia
  • 2 nights Auckland

Rental Car Hire

  • Rental car insurance: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible.
  • Rental car: GPS navigation unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers

Private airport and train station transfers

Interislander ferry crossing

Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Options

Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas, then travel insurance is a necssity. 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.

Highlights

Interislander ferry crossing

The 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington or vice versa takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds. This region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays is a true photographic opportunity. From the Cook Strait spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen. Wellington Harbour sees you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the countries highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph).

Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train trip operates between Christchurch and Greymouth and vice versa. Crossing from the Tasman Sea through to Arthur's Pass National Park. From your carriage enjoy views of the lush rain forest of the West Coast to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. Travel through gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River.

Milford Sound nature cruise

An extended and leisurely 2.5 hour cruise of Milford Sound on board the Milford Mariner, MV Sinbad or Milford Wanderer. These modern vessels, purpose built for operating in a fiord environment, have been designed along the lines of a traditional trading scow, and have real character. These relaxing cruises have special appeal for the independent traveller and an on board nature guide provides detailed interpretation and commentary. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and to view the stunning scenery, including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks. Keep a lookout for dolphins, seals and penguins.

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30 Day Length and Breadth Self Drive

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