Overview

A great option for those who wish to immerse themselves in the local atmosphere, this exhaustive 31 Day Northbound Self Drive Adventure month-long tour lets you explore the major regions of North and South Islands of New Zealand at a relaxed pace.

There is a wide range of activities to choose from, such as wildlife tours to view albatross, seals, dolphins, penguins and bird life, as well as iconic destinations to experience, like Milford Sound. A Maori cultural evening and dinner, an afternoon wine tour in Marlborough and much more round out this comprehensive itinerary.

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 - Wanaka - Franz Josef Glacier - Christchurch - Kaikoura - Blenheim - Abel Tasman National Park - Wellington - Napier - Rotorua - Coromandel - Auckland - Bay of Islands - Auckland

Map of 31 Day Northbound Self Drive Adventure
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Welcome to Christchurch City
Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park
Mt. Cook to Dunedin
Explore Dunedin
Dunedin to Te Anau
Te Anau - Milford Sound Nature Cruise - Te Anau
Te Anau to Queenstown
Dart River Wilderness Safari
Explore Queenstown and surrounds
Queenstown to Wanaka
Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier
Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Christchurch to Kaikoura
Kaikoura to Blenheim
Blenheim - Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Interislander Ferry to Wellington
Wellington City
Wellington to Napier
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Napier to Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Rotorua to Coromandel Township
Coromandel Township to Auckland
Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands
Dune Rider Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach Day Tour
Bay of Islands to Auckland
Explore Auckland City
Depart Auckland

Day 1

Welcome to Christchurch City

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

Day 5

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 4 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 387 kms

Day 6

Te Anau - Milford Sound Nature Cruise - Te Anau

Travel Time: 3hrs 40min

Distance: 233 kms

Day 7

Te Anau to Queenstown

Travel Time: 2hrs 55min

Distance: 164 kms

Day 8

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Day 9

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Day 10

Queenstown to Wanaka

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 60 kms

Day 11

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 3hrs 25min

Distance: 282 kms

Day 12

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Day 13

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2hrs 10min

Distance: 170 kms

Day 14

Christchurch to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 2hrs

Distance: 166 kms

Day 15

Kaikoura to Blenheim

Travel Time: 1hr 25min

Distance: 116 kms

Day 16

Blenheim - Abel Tasman National Park

Travel Time: 2hrs 50min

Distance: 184 kms

Day 17

Abel Tasman National Park

Day 18

Interislander Ferry to Wellington

Travel Time: 2hrs 30min

Distance: 162 kms

Day 19

Wellington City

Day 20

Wellington to Napier

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 320 kms

Day 21

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Day 22

Napier to Rotorua

Travel Time: 2hrs 25min

Distance: 211kms

Day 23

Explore Rotorua

Day 24

Rotorua to Coromandel Township

Travel Time: 3hrs 30min

Distance: 242 kms

Day 25

Coromandel Township to Auckland

Travel Time: 2hrs 20min

Distance: 166 kms

Day 26

Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

Travel Time: 2hrs 55min

Distance: 226 kms

Day 27

Explore the Bay of Islands

Day 28

Dune Rider Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach Day Tour

Day 29

Bay of Islands to Auckland

Travel Time: 4hrs 25min

Distance: 343 kms

Day 30

Explore Auckland City

Day 31

Depart Auckland

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

Welcome to Christchurch City

Christchurch, New Zealand's garden city is steadily being transformed into a vibrant urban destination. Encompassing a large green belt, it is known for its wide tree lined avenues and lush gardens. Take the double decker hop on/hop off bus for an easy way to see the sights - or ride a historic tram across town to the renowned botanic gardens and the unique cardboard Transitional Cathedral.

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

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Tasman Valley 4WD & Argo Tours

Stay 1 night Mt. Cook

Today you'll leave Mt Cook National Park and travel past Twizel and Omarama.

Stretch your legs in Oamaru, known for its white stone buildings constructed with the local Oamaru Stone. If you were a little late off the mark this morning you may get the chance to see the blue penguins come ashore at dusk.

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

Enjoy a scenic Otago Peninsula tour by bus seeing various species of wading birds in their natural habitats. Experience a guided tour at the Royal Albatross This premier package includes the full Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head wildlife cruise, scenic Otago Peninsula bus tour, and guided tours of the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve and a visit to wading bird habitats. Also includes either a tour of Larnach Castle, one of Dunedin’s great landmarks or a visit to the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre with its absorbing display of local sealife.

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 3 nights Queenstown

Take a one and a half hour jet boat safari through the remote wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park. Home to towering mountains, alpine bush, glacial lakes and icy rivers, this spectacular trip is considered one of the most scenic in the world. Following your boat journey, take a 40 minute walk through ancient beech forests over 80 million years old. Learn about the area and its history before taking a  four wheel drive coach on a 50 minute journey to the isolated hamlet of Paradise - home to many Lord of the Rings filming locations.

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 - Skyline Gondola and Luge

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

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

Leaving Queenstown you'll drive over New Zealand's highest sealed road, the Crown Range before arriving into the resort town of Wanaka.

Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk
Lying close to the centre of Lake Wanaka is Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve. A unique glacial remnant of the last ice age, the island is also the historic site of early shipbuilding and used to be a stopping place for the steamers and log rafts that once plied the lake. Accessible from Wanaka by a 35 minute boat cruise, the landing is on the eastern side of the island where the remnants of early settlement remain; a stone wharf and a hut.

Stay 1 night Wanaka

The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the village of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The Blue Pools, just outside Makarora, are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest.

First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes.

Stay 2 nights Franz  Josef

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

On this relaxing walk you’ll wander through regenerating rainforest alongside the Waiho Riverbed, following the path of the glacier as it winds its way through the landscape. Learn about the glacier’s history and role in shaping this remarkable area. As you approach the terminal face you’ll have the chance to venture beyond the public barriers and see this magnificent river of ice up close. You’ll also have the chance to access exclusive trails and hear the maori legend of Ka Roimata O Hine Hukatere.

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

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 1 night Christchurch

 

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. 

Whale Watch Kaikoura

New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company, Whale Watch Kaikoura offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime up close encounter with the giant sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, is sometimes seen.

Stay 1 night Kaikoura

Heading north from Kaikoura, the road hugs the shore for approximately 50 kilometres and offers many opportunities to view the native wildlife such as seabirds and New Zealand fur seals.  

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 Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine producing region.   

Blenheim sits right at the heart of Marlborough and is ideally located to enjoy an afternoon sampling the local produce.

Stay 1 night Blenheim

Take a short drive to the small port of Picton where the interislander ferry connects with Wellington. You’ll travel along Queen Charlotte Drive, traversing the length of the Marlborough Sounds coastline.

Continue through the small port town of Havelock, home to a variety of cafes and restaurants. The highway between Nelson and Picton crosses the pelorus river, and at this junction you’ll find the famous pelorus bridge. Traverse Tasman Bay passing through Motueka to arrive on the outskirts of Abel Tasman National Park.

Stay 2 nights Abel Tasman National Park

Beaches, Bays and Seals Guided Sea Kayaking Trip including picnic lunch

Combining the best of the Abel Tasman, this trip showcases incredible beaches, coastal walks and native wildlife. First you’ll meet your guide and join the 9.30am Vista Cruise along the magnificent coastline to Torrent Bay. You’ll then arrive at Torrent Bay Lodge and complete a full training session and safety briefing before moving on to the water in kayaks to discover beautiful beaches, tidal estuaries and rivers.

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'. 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 offer remarkable photographic opportunities.

Stay 2 nights Wellington

Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this (self described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour 
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour 

Leaving Welllington today you will first pass the Wairarapa on the eastern side of the Rimutaka Ranges. A significant contrast to the hills of Wellington, it's rich pastures and boutique vineyards of Martinborough give way to grassy plains and rugged coastal shores.

Go through Greytown, home to the largest number of wooden buildings in the country then stop in Masterton, a small farming town known for its Golden Shears competition - where shearers compete for the title of fastest shearer. Continue on to Hawkes Bay and Havelock North before arriving in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Napier

Gannet Safaris

Drive along the scenic coast from Napier to Te Awanga and join Gannet Safaris Overland and the world’s largest, most accessible gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Gannet Safaris has been guiding visitors over Cape Kidnappers for over 35 years and their safaris are the only way to be driven right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds. You will travel in comfort in air conditioned 4 x 4 wheeled vehicles, through Cape Kidnappers Station - traversing riverbeds, broad rolling pastures, through stands of native bush, steep gullies and breath-taking inclines.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twilight Odyssey Progressive Wine and Dinner Tour

Cross the Ahiminawa Ranges to arrive into the town of Taupo, sitting on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo. Continue on through the Waimungu Valley before arriving into geothermal Rotorua, the heart of New Zealands Maori culture.

Mitai Maori Village
An evening at Mitai will give you an awe-inspiring introduction to the indigenous Maori culture. Marvel at the beautiful bush setting and paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream while trout and eels swim beneath the surface. See warriors in traditional dress and glowworms in their natural habitat. Enjoy a traditionally cooked hangi meal and round your evening off with a spectacular cultural performance.

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 - Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour

Driving Creek Railway & Potteries

Driving Creek Railway and Potteries has become a Coromandel icon. The dream of Barry Brickell was to establish a pottery workshop on his land. Using a railway he would have access to the clay on the land and the pine kiln fuel. Over the next 15 years the railway developed until in 1990 it was finally licensed to carry fare paying passengers and ever since thousands of visitors have made the trip to Coromandel to experience this unique attraction.

Stay 1 night Coromandel

The west coast of the peninsular drops to the Firth of Thames with steep pohutakawa clad cliffs while the east coast has an abundance of golden sand beaches and inlets.

On the other side of the Firth of Thames is Miranda and this out of the way spot is a haven for shorebirds.

 

 

The drive to Auckland now takes you through the Hauraki Plains, a very fertile dairy farming region and then State Highway 1 delivers you to Auckland City.

Stay 1 night Auckland

The trip from Auckland to the Bay Of Islands takes around 3.5 hours but give yourself some leeway for stops and sightseeing. As you go through Puhoi, take in the bohemian atmosphere of this historical township.

Stop for a breath of fresh salty air in Whangarei and take another break at Kawakawa - home to the world famous Hundertwasser toilets.

Enjoy the native bush surrounds and marvel at the endless golden beaches as you arrive into central Bay Of The Islands, Paihia.

Stay 3 nights Paihia

Discover the Bay Hole in the Rock Cruise

Take in the bay’s serenity as you cruise the 144 islands dotting the natural harbour. See the world renowned Piercy Island ‘Hole in the Rock’ and marvel at the abundant marine life through the underwater cameras - custom built for dolphin and whale watching. Have lunch in Otehi Bay on Urupukapuka Island - with the option to explore - before catching your ride back to the mainland.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

An off road adventure through one of the most isolated and dramatic regions in New Zealand. You’ll see 90 mile beach with its wild waves and steep dunes - where you’ll have the opportunity to sandboard - see Gumdiggers park and visit and ancient Kauri workshop, as well as visit the Cape Reinga lighthouse, the northernmost point of New Zealand. On the way home you’ll stop in at the famous Mangonui Fish Shop for a taste of New Zealand’s favourite dish.

Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland

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. 

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 with extensive displays on the region’s logging, farming and social history. 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. Spend time in the Viaduct Harbour - try your hand at sailing an America’s Cup yacht - or take the ferry to nearby Waiheke Island for a gourmet food and wine experience.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Great Tastes Half day Kumeu Wine Country Tour with Lunch

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

Day 1, Welcome to Christchurch City

Welcome to Christchurch City

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

Welcome to Christchurch City

Christchurch, New Zealand's garden city is steadily being transformed into a vibrant urban destination. Encompassing a large green belt, it is known for its wide tree lined avenues and lush gardens. Take the double decker hop on/hop off bus for an easy way to see the sights - or ride a historic tram across town to the renowned botanic gardens and the unique cardboard Transitional Cathedral.

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

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Tasman Valley 4WD & Argo Tours

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 and Omarama.

Stretch your legs in Oamaru, known for its white stone buildings constructed with the local Oamaru Stone. If you were a little late off the mark this morning you may get the chance to see the blue penguins come ashore at dusk.

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

Explore Dunedin

Enjoy a scenic Otago Peninsula tour by bus seeing various species of wading birds in their natural habitats. Experience a guided tour at the Royal Albatross This premier package includes the full Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head wildlife cruise, scenic Otago Peninsula bus tour, and guided tours of the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve and a visit to wading bird habitats. Also includes either a tour of Larnach Castle, one of Dunedin’s great landmarks or a visit to the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre with its absorbing display of local sealife.

Day 5, Dunedin to Te Anau

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 4 hrs 45 mins

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 Nature Cruise - Te Anau

Te Anau - Milford Sound Nature Cruise - Te Anau

Travel Time: 3hrs 40min

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: 2hrs 55min

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 3 nights Queenstown

Day 8, Dart River Wilderness Safari

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Take a one and a half hour jet boat safari through the remote wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park. Home to towering mountains, alpine bush, glacial lakes and icy rivers, this spectacular trip is considered one of the most scenic in the world. Following your boat journey, take a 40 minute walk through ancient beech forests over 80 million years old. Learn about the area and its history before taking a  four wheel drive coach on a 50 minute journey to the isolated hamlet of Paradise - home to many Lord of the Rings filming locations.

Day 9, 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 - Skyline Gondola and Luge

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

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

Day 10, Queenstown to Wanaka

Queenstown to Wanaka

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 60 kms

Leaving Queenstown you'll drive over New Zealand's highest sealed road, the Crown Range before arriving into the resort town of Wanaka.

Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk
Lying close to the centre of Lake Wanaka is Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve. A unique glacial remnant of the last ice age, the island is also the historic site of early shipbuilding and used to be a stopping place for the steamers and log rafts that once plied the lake. Accessible from Wanaka by a 35 minute boat cruise, the landing is on the eastern side of the island where the remnants of early settlement remain; a stone wharf and a hut.

Stay 1 night Wanaka

Day 11, Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 3hrs 25min

Distance: 282 kms

The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the village of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The Blue Pools, just outside Makarora, are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest.

First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes.

Stay 2 nights Franz  Josef

Day 12, Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

On this relaxing walk you’ll wander through regenerating rainforest alongside the Waiho Riverbed, following the path of the glacier as it winds its way through the landscape. Learn about the glacier’s history and role in shaping this remarkable area. As you approach the terminal face you’ll have the chance to venture beyond the public barriers and see this magnificent river of ice up close. You’ll also have the chance to access exclusive trails and hear the maori legend of Ka Roimata O Hine Hukatere.

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight 

Day 13, Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2hrs 10min

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 1 night Christchurch

Day 14, Christchurch to Kaikoura

Christchurch to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 2hrs

Distance: 166 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. 

Whale Watch Kaikoura

New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company, Whale Watch Kaikoura offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime up close encounter with the giant sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, is sometimes seen.

Stay 1 night Kaikoura

Day 15, Kaikoura to Blenheim

Kaikoura to Blenheim

Travel Time: 1hr 25min

Distance: 116 kms

Heading north from Kaikoura, the road hugs the shore for approximately 50 kilometres and offers many opportunities to view the native wildlife such as seabirds and New Zealand fur seals.  

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 Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine producing region.   

Blenheim sits right at the heart of Marlborough and is ideally located to enjoy an afternoon sampling the local produce.

Stay 1 night Blenheim

Day 16, Blenheim - Abel Tasman National Park

Blenheim - Abel Tasman National Park

Travel Time: 2hrs 50min

Distance: 184 kms

Take a short drive to the small port of Picton where the interislander ferry connects with Wellington. You’ll travel along Queen Charlotte Drive, traversing the length of the Marlborough Sounds coastline.

Continue through the small port town of Havelock, home to a variety of cafes and restaurants. The highway between Nelson and Picton crosses the pelorus river, and at this junction you’ll find the famous pelorus bridge. Traverse Tasman Bay passing through Motueka to arrive on the outskirts of Abel Tasman National Park.

Stay 2 nights Abel Tasman National Park

Day 17, Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park

Beaches, Bays and Seals Guided Sea Kayaking Trip including picnic lunch

Combining the best of the Abel Tasman, this trip showcases incredible beaches, coastal walks and native wildlife. First you’ll meet your guide and join the 9.30am Vista Cruise along the magnificent coastline to Torrent Bay. You’ll then arrive at Torrent Bay Lodge and complete a full training session and safety briefing before moving on to the water in kayaks to discover beautiful beaches, tidal estuaries and rivers.

Day 18, Interislander Ferry to Wellington

Interislander Ferry to Wellington

Travel Time: 2hrs 30min

Distance: 162 kms

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'. 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 offer remarkable photographic opportunities.

Stay 2 nights Wellington

Day 19, Wellington City

Wellington City

Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this (self described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour 
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour 

Day 20, Wellington to Napier

Wellington to Napier

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 320 kms

Leaving Welllington today you will first pass the Wairarapa on the eastern side of the Rimutaka Ranges. A significant contrast to the hills of Wellington, it's rich pastures and boutique vineyards of Martinborough give way to grassy plains and rugged coastal shores.

Go through Greytown, home to the largest number of wooden buildings in the country then stop in Masterton, a small farming town known for its Golden Shears competition - where shearers compete for the title of fastest shearer. Continue on to Hawkes Bay and Havelock North before arriving in Napier, the art deco capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Napier

Day 21, Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

Gannet Safaris

Drive along the scenic coast from Napier to Te Awanga and join Gannet Safaris Overland and the world’s largest, most accessible gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Gannet Safaris has been guiding visitors over Cape Kidnappers for over 35 years and their safaris are the only way to be driven right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds. You will travel in comfort in air conditioned 4 x 4 wheeled vehicles, through Cape Kidnappers Station - traversing riverbeds, broad rolling pastures, through stands of native bush, steep gullies and breath-taking inclines.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twilight Odyssey Progressive Wine and Dinner Tour

Day 22, Napier to Rotorua

Napier to Rotorua

Travel Time: 2hrs 25min

Distance: 211kms

Cross the Ahiminawa Ranges to arrive into the town of Taupo, sitting on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo. Continue on through the Waimungu Valley before arriving into geothermal Rotorua, the heart of New Zealands Maori culture.

Mitai Maori Village
An evening at Mitai will give you an awe-inspiring introduction to the indigenous Maori culture. Marvel at the beautiful bush setting and paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream while trout and eels swim beneath the surface. See warriors in traditional dress and glowworms in their natural habitat. Enjoy a traditionally cooked hangi meal and round your evening off with a spectacular cultural performance.

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 23, 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 - Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour

Day 24, Rotorua to Coromandel Township

Rotorua to Coromandel Township

Travel Time: 3hrs 30min

Distance: 242 kms

Driving Creek Railway & Potteries

Driving Creek Railway and Potteries has become a Coromandel icon. The dream of Barry Brickell was to establish a pottery workshop on his land. Using a railway he would have access to the clay on the land and the pine kiln fuel. Over the next 15 years the railway developed until in 1990 it was finally licensed to carry fare paying passengers and ever since thousands of visitors have made the trip to Coromandel to experience this unique attraction.

Stay 1 night Coromandel

Day 25, Coromandel Township to Auckland

Coromandel Township to Auckland

Travel Time: 2hrs 20min

Distance: 166 kms

The west coast of the peninsular drops to the Firth of Thames with steep pohutakawa clad cliffs while the east coast has an abundance of golden sand beaches and inlets.

On the other side of the Firth of Thames is Miranda and this out of the way spot is a haven for shorebirds.

 

 

The drive to Auckland now takes you through the Hauraki Plains, a very fertile dairy farming region and then State Highway 1 delivers you to Auckland City.

Stay 1 night Auckland

Day 26, Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

Travel Time: 2hrs 55min

Distance: 226 kms

The trip from Auckland to the Bay Of Islands takes around 3.5 hours but give yourself some leeway for stops and sightseeing. As you go through Puhoi, take in the bohemian atmosphere of this historical township.

Stop for a breath of fresh salty air in Whangarei and take another break at Kawakawa - home to the world famous Hundertwasser toilets.

Enjoy the native bush surrounds and marvel at the endless golden beaches as you arrive into central Bay Of The Islands, Paihia.

Stay 3 nights Paihia

Day 27, Explore the Bay of Islands

Explore the Bay of Islands

Discover the Bay Hole in the Rock Cruise

Take in the bay’s serenity as you cruise the 144 islands dotting the natural harbour. See the world renowned Piercy Island ‘Hole in the Rock’ and marvel at the abundant marine life through the underwater cameras - custom built for dolphin and whale watching. Have lunch in Otehi Bay on Urupukapuka Island - with the option to explore - before catching your ride back to the mainland.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

Day 28, Dune Rider Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach Day Tour

Dune Rider Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach Day Tour

An off road adventure through one of the most isolated and dramatic regions in New Zealand. You’ll see 90 mile beach with its wild waves and steep dunes - where you’ll have the opportunity to sandboard - see Gumdiggers park and visit and ancient Kauri workshop, as well as visit the Cape Reinga lighthouse, the northernmost point of New Zealand. On the way home you’ll stop in at the famous Mangonui Fish Shop for a taste of New Zealand’s favourite dish.

Day 29, Bay of Islands to Auckland

Bay of Islands to Auckland

Travel Time: 4hrs 25min

Distance: 343 kms

Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland

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. 

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 with extensive displays on the region’s logging, farming and social history. 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 30, 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. Spend time in the Viaduct Harbour - try your hand at sailing an America’s Cup yacht - or take the ferry to nearby Waiheke Island for a gourmet food and wine experience.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Great Tastes Half day Kumeu Wine Country Tour with Lunch

Day 31, 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$7,790* 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:

30 nights accommodation

  • 1 night Christchurch
  • 1 night Mt Cook
  • 2 nights Dunedin
  • 2 nights Te Anau
  • 3 nights Queenstown
  • 1 night Wanaka
  • 2 nights Franz Josef/Fox Glacier
  • 1 night Christchurch
  • 1 night Kaikoura
  • 1 night Blenheim
  • 2 nights Abel Tasman National Park
  • 2 nights Wellington
  • 2 nights Napier
  • 2 nights Rotorua
  • 1 night Coromandel
  • 1 night Auckland
  • 3 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

Discover the Bay Hole in the Rock cruise

Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach day tour

Mitai Maori Village Concert & Buffet Dinner

Driving Creek Train ride

Gannet Safari Tour

Abel Tasman National Park guided nature walk & kayak

Whale Watch Kaikoura tour

Otago Peninsula Wildlife Premier tour including Larnach Castle

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk

Milford Sound nature cruise

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

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.

Optional Extras

Explore Auckland

Great Tastes Half day Kumeu Wine Country Tour with Lunch

Today you'll be leaving the city and heading northwest to Kumeu Wine Country, Auckland's Heritage Wine Region. Enjoy lunch at a contemporary vineyard, sample world-renowned wines and marvel at the rugged surf-fringed coastline nearby. Your first stop is award-winning Soljans Estate Winery. Utilising both traditional and modern techniques, Soljans produce varied and richly flavoured wines. Built with sunshine in mind and a distinct Mediterranean-style, the onsite restaurant showcases fresh seasonal produce from around the region.

Auckland Harbour Bridge Climb

The only bridge climb in New Zealand, this spectacular AJ Hackett walking tour is the ultimate way to experience the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge. Custom engineered walkways provide a safe and enjoyable experience - meaning this activity is suitable for all ages. As you're guided along the curving archways you'll be greeted with a 360 degree, panoramic view of the sparkling Waitemata harbour. See the best of the city from above and learn all about the secrets of the bridge!

Explore Bay of Islands

Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

Waitangi is one of New Zealand's most historic sites where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the local Maori and the British Government. This two day pass allows you access to the Treaty of Waitangi Grounds and includes admission to the Museum of Waitangi, a guided tour and a Maori Cultural performance. During your guided tour, you'll learn about the history of the treaty and discover the stories and events that shaped New Zealand. The cultural performance inside the carved meeting house includes waiata (singing), poi, a display of Maori weaponry and the haka - a war dance New Zealand is known for.

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line's operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Explore Mt Cook

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat. These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

Tasman Valley 4WD & Argo Tours

A unique 4WD adventure with magnificent views of the Tasman Glacier and its gigantic moraine walls. Your friendly guide is a real Mount Cook character, learn about the area and be entertained by their wealth of knowledge and local stories. A short walk to a vantage point overlooking the Tasman Glacier and Terminal Lake provides one of the most spectacular photographic opportunities in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. As you travel up the Tasman Valley on a 4WD track you will be amazed at the awesome mountain scenery! During the Spring and Summer months you can see an abundance of Mount Cook Lilies, Celmesia Daisies, Golden Spaniard Spear Grass and many delicate mountain flowers. You may even catch a glimpse of the world's only 'mountain parrot' - New Zealand's cheeky Kea.

Explore Napier

Twilight Odyssey Progressive Wine and Dinner Tour

Take a scenic drive through the wine growing district, participate in an interactive wine tasting at Sileni Estate or Vidal Estate, indulge in gourmet platters with top local produce, champagne sunset on Te Mata Peak (sunset in summer and overlooking the glimmering lights of the twin cities in winter), main meal at Vidal Estate, Sileni Estate or Craggy Range wineries, visit New Zealand's oldest winery, the Mission Estate, for dessert and coffee, finish with being dropped off at a location of your choice - perhaps some of Napier's top waterfront nightspots. A night full of entertainment and fun.

Explore Queenstown

Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

Riding the iconic ‘Big Red’ Jet Boat through the narrow Shotover Canyon is an exhilarating experience not to be missed. Your skilled jet boat driver pushes the boat to 85 kph, skimming across shallow water and past towering canyon walls. This 25 minute white water ride includes 360 degree spins and maximum thrills.

Skyline Gondola and Luge

In the heart of Queenstown, located 450 metres above town in Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve is the Skyline Complex. Catch a gondola to the summit for awe-inspiring views and delicious local fare with view. Ride the 800 metre luge track, then for added thrill, choose to tandem paraglide back to base.

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

Go back in time on this return trip to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. You'll be greeted off the boat and guided through beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming homestead. Here you'll enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which your chef will prepare in front of you. The seasonal menu includes an expansive array of local produce, including succulent meats cooked on the outdoor rotisserie and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Finish your meal with an irresistible dessert, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea and coffee. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country. On your cruise home, enjoy the camaraderie of a singalong with the ship's pianist or breathe in the fresh night air as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer.

Explore Rotorua

Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour

Gain a fascinating insight into New Zealand's agriculture at Rotorua's renowned Agrodome sheep show. You'll see 19 different breeds of champion sheep as well as watching one of them being shorn by a real kiwi shearer. Marvel as the huntaway dogs work the animals then complete a sheepdog trial.

Rainbow Springs and Behind the Scenes Kiwi Encounter

At Rainbow Springs you'll have the chance to see some of New Zealand's native flora and fauna within the majestic forests of Rotorua. Wander the beautiful tree-lined park and take in the flourishing bush, ferns, flowers and plants. See the spring-fed pool with rainbow, brown and tiger trout, then visit the on-site aviaries - home to New Zealand species such kea, kaka, tui, kereru and kiwi. The tuatara, known as New Zealand's living dinosaur can also be seen here.

Rotorua Forest Canopy Tours

Embark on a three hour adventure through native New Zealand forest. Journey through the beautiful forest canopy via an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, Ziplines and swing bridges. See breathtaking views of the woodland valleys and hills as you fly through tight openings in the trees.

In between the thrill of the ziplines and suspended tree bridges, your guides will share their passion and knowledge for the forest and the conservation challenges to preserve it.

Explore Wellington

Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour

In a small group, you will head out to the Valley to explore the filming locations for Rivendell where Frodo recovered from his knife attack; the River Anduin where the Fellowship voyaged to Amon Hen; the Gardens of Isengard, where Gandalf rode to see Saruman and the site of the orcs felling the trees; see the quarry used for the filming of Helms Deep in Rohan and Minas Tirith in Gondor. Then back to the City to visit the Mount Victoria lookout and Buckland Forest where you can take a "shortcut to mushrooms", "get of the road" and hide where the Hobbits hid from the Black Riders before taking a run to the Buckleberry Ferry and discovering Dunharrow Rohirrim encampment along the way.

Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour

Taking a night tour of Zealandia wildlife eco-sanctuary is an unforgettable experience and one that comes highly recommended. A conservation success and safe haven for some of New Zealand's rarest native animals, Zealandia is home to many remarkable species of birds, reptiles and insects living wild within a beautiful 225 hectare (one square mile) valley - just 10 minutes from the central city.

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 2½ 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.

From the Bay of Islands

Discover the Bay Hole in the Rock cruise

Take in the bay's serenity as you cruise the 144 islands dotting the natural harbour. See the world renowned Piercy Island 'Hole in the Rock' and marvel at the abundant marine life through the underwater cameras - custom built for dolphin and whale watching. Have lunch in Otehi Bay on Urupukapuka Island - with the option to explore - before catching your ride back to the mainland.

Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach day tour

This full day tour in the unique Dune Rider vehicle is the best way to explore the Far North. Let the drivers immerse you in the culture and history of the area, while taking in the amazing scenery. The Dune Rider vehicle is purpose built to go off-road in comfort with air conditioning, reclining seats, plenty of leg room and sloping floors for great viewing. Your full day tour begins with an early morning pick up at your accommodation, and includes a freshly prepared buffet style lunch, a visit to Cape Reinga lighthouse to view the meeting of the two oceans, a beach stop on 90 Mile Beach, boogie boarding down huge sand dunes at Te Paki stream and time at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom. Finish the day with fabulously fresh fish and chips at the famous Mangonui Fish Shop, at your own expense.

Mitai Maori Village Concert & Buffet Dinner, Rotorua

An evening at Mitai will give you an awe-inspiring introduction to the indigenous Maori culture. Marvel at the beautiful bush setting and see warriors in traditional dress who paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream while trout and eels swim beneath the surface. Enjoy a traditionally cooked hangi meal and round your evening off with a spectacular cultural performance that tells the story of the Maori people, their past, carvings, and ta Moko -Tattoo art. Be captivated by the displays of weaponry and combat and be amazed by the spine tingling Haka finale. Truly an experience to remember.

Driving Creek Train ride, Coromandel

Driving Creek Railway and Potteries has become a Coromandel icon. The dream of Barry Brickell was to establish a pottery workshop on his land. Using a railway he would have access to the clay on the land and the pine kiln fuel. Over the next 15 years the railway developed until in 1990 it was finally licensed to carry fare paying passengers and ever since thousands of visitors have made the trip to Coromandel to experience this unique attraction. The 1 hour return train trip on the innovatively designed trains takes you through replanted native kauri forest and includes 2 spirals, 3 short tunnels, 5 reversing points and several large viaducts as it climbs up to the mountain-top terminus. The pottery is still producing and you can watch the artists at work as well as purchase items.

Gannet Safari Tour, Napier

Drive along the scenic coast from Napier to Te Awanga and join Gannet Safaris Overland and the world's largest, most accessible gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Gannet Safaris has been guiding visitors over Cape Kidnappers for over 35 years and their safaris are the only way to be driven right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds. You will travel in comfort in air conditioned 4 x 4 wheeled vehicles, through Cape Kidnappers Station - traversing riverbeds, broad rolling pastures, through stands of native bush, steep gullies and breath-taking inclines. There is a stop on the way at a spectacular cliff top with panoramic views of Hawke Bay right across to Mahia peninsular. The 36km, three hour trip includes a commentary by your tour guide / driver on the farming operation on Cape Kidnappers Station and an introduction to the gannets. On arrival at the gannets you can stretch your legs and take in the scenery from your position at the brink of the cliffs edge - 100 metres above the ocean. Here your driver / guide will serve you refreshments whilst you enjoy watching the gannets perform around you.

Abel Tasman National Park guided nature walk & kayak

Two Gods, two islands, sandy beaches and a fascinating stretch of coastline. The Two Gods tour highlights the best of the Abel Tasman in a day. You will explore the realm of Tangaroa the god of the sea and Tane Mahuta god of the forest and hear about the life that lives in each space. Both by land and sea, this is a trip you will remember, as you live and breath the soul of the Abel Tasman. Kayak the length of the Tonga Island Marine Reserve from Awaroa to Onehahuti, then spend the afternoon walking unguided from Onetahuti to Bark Bay. Includes lunch.

Whale Watch Kaikoura tour

New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company, Whale Watch Kaikoura offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime up close encounter with the giant sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, is sometimes seen.

Otago Peninsula Wildlife Premier tour including Larnach Castle, Dunedin

This premier package includes the full Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head wildlife cruise, scenic Otago Peninsula bus tour, and guided tours of the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve and a visit to wading bird habitats. Also includes a tour of Larnach Castle, one of Dunedin's great landmarks.

Dart River Wilderness Safari, Queenstown

Take a one and a half hour jet boat safari through the remote wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park. Home to towering mountains, alpine bush, glacial lakes and icy rivers, this spectacular trip is considered one of the most scenic in the world. Following your boat journey, take a 40 minute walk through ancient beech forests over 80 million years old. Learn about the area and its history before taking a four wheel drive coach on a 50 minute journey to the isolated hamlet of Paradise - home to many Lord of the Rings filming locations.

Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk

Lying close to the centre of Lake Wanaka is Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve. A unique glacial remnant of the last ice age, the island is also the historic site of early shipbuilding and used to be a stopping place for the steamers and log rafts that once plied the lake. Accessible from Wanaka by a 35 minute boat cruise, the landing is on the eastern side of the island where the remnants of early settlement remain; a stone wharf and a hut.

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

On this relaxing walk, you'll wander through regenerating rainforest alongside the Waiho Riverbed, following the path of the glacier as it winds its way through the landscape. Learn about the glacier's history and role in shaping this remarkable area. As you approach the terminal face, you'll have the chance to venture beyond the public barriers and see this magnificent river of ice up close. You'll also have the chance to access exclusive trails and hear the Maori legend of Ka Roimata O Hine Hukatere.

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31 Day Northbound Self Drive Adventure

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