Overview

Visit all major regions on both the North and South Islands in this 30-day tour. Take advantage of the relaxed pace of the tour to immerse yourself into the local atmosphere, soak up magnificent views of must-see destinations like Milford Sound, and enjoy an exciting range of activities  involving wildlife tours to see albatross, seals, dolphins, penguins and bird life. Discover the Marlborough region on an afternoon wine tour, take part in a Maori cultural evening and dinner, and experience much more with this comprehensive, great value itinerary. 

Itineraries

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

Queenstown - Te Anau - Dunedin - Mt. Cook - Wanaka - Franz Josef - Christchurch - Kaikoura - Blenheim - Abel Tasman National Park - Wellington - Napier - Rotorua - Coromandel Peninsula - Auckland - Bay of Islands - Auckland

Map of 30 Day Northbound Self Drive Adventure
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Welcome to Queenstown
Dart River Wilderness Safari
Queenstown to Te Anau
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau
Te Anau to Dunedin
Otago Peninsula Wildlife full day tour including Larnach Castle
Dunedin to Mt. Cook National Park
Mt. Cook National Park to Wanaka
Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk
Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier
Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Christchurch to Kaikoura
Kaikoura to Blenheim
Blenheim to Abel Tasman National Park via Queen Charlotte Drive
Seals, beach cruise and walk including picnic lunch
Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington
Wellington City
Wellington to Napier
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay
Napier to Rotorua
Explore Rotorua
Rotorua to Whitianga
Whitianga to Auckland via Coromandel township
Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands
Explore the Bay of Islands
Dune Rider Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach Day Tour
Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland
Explore Auckland City
Depart Auckland

Day 1

Welcome to Queenstown

Day 2

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Day 3

Queenstown to Te Anau

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 164 kms

Day 4

Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau

Travel Time: 3 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 233 kms

Day 5

Te Anau to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 285 kms

Day 6

Otago Peninsula Wildlife full day tour including Larnach Castle

Day 7

Dunedin to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 3 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 317 kms

Day 8

Mt. Cook National Park to Wanaka

Travel Time: 2 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 204 kms

Day 9

Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk

Day 10

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 282 kms

Day 11

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Day 12

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Day 13

Christchurch to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 166 kms

Day 14

Kaikoura to Blenheim

Travel Time: 1 hr 25 mins

Distance: 116 kms

Day 15

Blenheim to Abel Tasman National Park via Queen Charlotte Drive

Travel Time: 2 hrs 50 mins

Distance: 184 kms

Day 16

Seals, beach cruise and walk including picnic lunch

Day 17

Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 162 kms

Day 18

Wellington City

Day 19

Wellington to Napier

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 320 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 Whitianga

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 221 kms

Day 24

Whitianga to Auckland via Coromandel township

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 208 kms

Day 25

Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 226 kms

Day 26

Explore the Bay of Islands

Day 27

Dune Rider Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach Day Tour

Day 28

Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland

Travel Time: 4 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 343 kms

Day 29

Explore Auckland City

Day 30

Depart Auckland

Welcome to Queenstown

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities 'Queenstown' is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

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

Stay 2 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.

Queenstown to Te Anau

Following the shores of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables mountain range towers over you as you approach township of Kingston. You'll venture into Southland before crossing the rolling tussock-lands of Mossburn (deer capital of New Zealand) and shortly arriving into Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Te Anau Glow Worm Caves

Stay 2 nights Te Anau

The road to Milford Sound offers some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery in the country. From crystal clear lakes and towering mountains to lush glacier formed meadows, this area is dramatic and unyielding. 

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.

The drive from Te Anau to Dunedin takes you through classic Southland farmland scenery but if you want to spend the whole day exploring a little off the beaten path than taking the Southern Scenic Route through The Catlins is highly recommended. Following the incredible Otago coastline to Invercargill the route passes through Manapouri and onto Tuatapere before Colac Bay and the fishing town of Riverton. From Invercargill the route hugs the coastline and there are many side-trips to secluded and deserted beaches and bays to explore before you arrive into the remarkable Edwardian City of Dunedin.

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.

Heading north from Dunedin you will make your way to the alpine village of 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.

Stay 1 night Mt. Cook

Twizel, just south of Mt. Cook was the location of many Lord of the Rings movie scenes and a little further on is Omarama. The Lindis Pass is one of New Zealand’s highest roads with the summit reaching 971 metres. The tussock covered hills offer an unusual contrast as you pass from the Mackenzie Basin and into Central Otago.

The first Central Otago settlement you reach is the quaint village of Tarras. Approaching Wanaka the wonderful alpine lake welcomes you to the town. 

Stay 2 nights Wanaka

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. 

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

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.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Hot Pools 

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station
Make your way to Greymouth 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.

From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

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.

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. 

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. Crossing the ‘dry hills’ of the Marlborough ranges you head towards Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. 

Half day wine tasting tour

Be immersed in Marlborough wine country. You’ll be collected from your accommodation and taken through four or five wineries (depending on availability) to taste the award winning produce this region is known for. You'll also hear about the history of winemaking in Marlborough as well as learning the unique processes each winery goes through.

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

Experience the best of Abel Tasman on this combined beach cruise and walk tour. You’ll first take a cruise into the Tonga Island Marine reserve, where you’ll pause to watch the antics of the Resident Fur Seal Colony. After landing at the historic Tonga Quarry Beach, take a two hour fifteen minute walk over forested land and around the spectacular Bark Bay Estuary - renowned for its cascading waterfalls. You’ll then region the cruise at the sheltered golden cove on Medlands Beach.

Abel Tasman National Park to Picton
The drive takes you through the city of Nelson and along the coast of Tasman Bay towards the Bryant Range. 

Starting in the town of Havelock the Queen Charlotte Drive travels the Marlborough Sounds coastline towards the port town of Picton. 

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 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 - Weta Cave and Windows into the Workshop 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. 

 

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. 

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

Mitai Maori Village and Rainbow Springs Beauty By Night combo
An evening at Mitai will give you an authentic introduction to Maori culture leaving you amazed and in awe. Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress, paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream, and don't miss your only opportunity in the Rotorua area to see glow worms in their natural habitat. 

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

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.

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 - Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour

Take Pyes Pa Road - the scenic route towards the Bay of Plenty and the town of Tauranga - before heading north along the coast. Pass through Wahi, an old mining town with an operating open cast gold mine. For train enthusiasts be sure to visit the Goldfields Railway for a scenic and historic experience. Next you’ll come to the locals holiday destination of Whangamata with its golden beaches and surf. Stop in Tairua and climb Paku Hill for spectacular views over it’s natural harbour and the Pacific Ocean. Continue on across the Coromandel countryside to arrive in the township of Whitianga.

Stay 1 night Coromandel

Today you will drive through to Thames, amd Miranda. Continuing along State Highway 1 you pass through the city of Auckland.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Driving Creek Railway & Potteries

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.

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 - 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.

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. 

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 - Americas Cup Yacht Sailing

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

Day 1, Welcome to Queenstown

Welcome to Queenstown

Welcome to Queenstown

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities 'Queenstown' is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure

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

Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Day 2, 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 3, Queenstown to Te Anau

Queenstown to Te Anau

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 164 kms

Queenstown to Te Anau

Following the shores of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables mountain range towers over you as you approach township of Kingston. You'll venture into Southland before crossing the rolling tussock-lands of Mossburn (deer capital of New Zealand) and shortly arriving into Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Te Anau Glow Worm Caves

Stay 2 nights Te Anau

Day 4, 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. From crystal clear lakes and towering mountains to lush glacier formed meadows, this area is dramatic and unyielding. 

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 5, Te Anau to Dunedin

Te Anau to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 285 kms

The drive from Te Anau to Dunedin takes you through classic Southland farmland scenery but if you want to spend the whole day exploring a little off the beaten path than taking the Southern Scenic Route through The Catlins is highly recommended. Following the incredible Otago coastline to Invercargill the route passes through Manapouri and onto Tuatapere before Colac Bay and the fishing town of Riverton. From Invercargill the route hugs the coastline and there are many side-trips to secluded and deserted beaches and bays to explore before you arrive into the remarkable Edwardian City of Dunedin.

Stay 2 nights Dunedin

Day 6, Otago Peninsula Wildlife full day tour including Larnach Castle

Otago Peninsula Wildlife full day tour including Larnach Castle

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 7, Dunedin to Mt. Cook National Park

Dunedin to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 3 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 317 kms

Heading north from Dunedin you will make your way to the alpine village of 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.

Stay 1 night Mt. Cook

Day 8, Mt. Cook National Park to Wanaka

Mt. Cook National Park to Wanaka

Travel Time: 2 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 204 kms

Twizel, just south of Mt. Cook was the location of many Lord of the Rings movie scenes and a little further on is Omarama. The Lindis Pass is one of New Zealand’s highest roads with the summit reaching 971 metres. The tussock covered hills offer an unusual contrast as you pass from the Mackenzie Basin and into Central Otago.

The first Central Otago settlement you reach is the quaint village of Tarras. Approaching Wanaka the wonderful alpine lake welcomes you to the town. 

Stay 2 nights Wanaka

Day 9, Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk

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. 

Day 10, Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

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 11, Explore Franz Josef Glacier

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.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Hot Pools 

Day 12, Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station
Make your way to Greymouth 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.

From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

Day 13, Christchurch to Kaikoura

Christchurch to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 166 kms

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.

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. 

Stay 1 night Kaikoura

Day 14, Kaikoura to Blenheim

Kaikoura to Blenheim

Travel Time: 1 hr 25 mins

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. Crossing the ‘dry hills’ of the Marlborough ranges you head towards Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine producing region. 

Half day wine tasting tour

Be immersed in Marlborough wine country. You’ll be collected from your accommodation and taken through four or five wineries (depending on availability) to taste the award winning produce this region is known for. You'll also hear about the history of winemaking in Marlborough as well as learning the unique processes each winery goes through.

Stay 1 night Blenheim

Day 15, Blenheim to Abel Tasman National Park via Queen Charlotte Drive

Blenheim to Abel Tasman National Park via Queen Charlotte Drive

Travel Time: 2 hrs 50 mins

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 16, Seals, beach cruise and walk including picnic lunch

Seals, beach cruise and walk including picnic lunch

Experience the best of Abel Tasman on this combined beach cruise and walk tour. You’ll first take a cruise into the Tonga Island Marine reserve, where you’ll pause to watch the antics of the Resident Fur Seal Colony. After landing at the historic Tonga Quarry Beach, take a two hour fifteen minute walk over forested land and around the spectacular Bark Bay Estuary - renowned for its cascading waterfalls. You’ll then region the cruise at the sheltered golden cove on Medlands Beach.

Day 17, Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington

Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 162 kms

Abel Tasman National Park to Picton
The drive takes you through the city of Nelson and along the coast of Tasman Bay towards the Bryant Range. 

Starting in the town of Havelock the Queen Charlotte Drive travels the Marlborough Sounds coastline towards the port town of Picton. 

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 2 nights Wellington

Day 18, 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 - Weta Cave and Windows into the Workshop Tour 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Night Tour

Day 19, 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 20, 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. 

 

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. 

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

Mitai Maori Village and Rainbow Springs Beauty By Night combo
An evening at Mitai will give you an authentic introduction to Maori culture leaving you amazed and in awe. Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress, paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream, and don't miss your only opportunity in the Rotorua area to see glow worms in their natural habitat. 

Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 22, Explore Rotorua

Explore Rotorua

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.

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 - Agrodome Sheep Show and Organic Farm Tour

Day 23, Rotorua to Whitianga

Rotorua to Whitianga

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 221 kms

Take Pyes Pa Road - the scenic route towards the Bay of Plenty and the town of Tauranga - before heading north along the coast. Pass through Wahi, an old mining town with an operating open cast gold mine. For train enthusiasts be sure to visit the Goldfields Railway for a scenic and historic experience. Next you’ll come to the locals holiday destination of Whangamata with its golden beaches and surf. Stop in Tairua and climb Paku Hill for spectacular views over it’s natural harbour and the Pacific Ocean. Continue on across the Coromandel countryside to arrive in the township of Whitianga.

Stay 1 night Coromandel

Day 24, Whitianga to Auckland via Coromandel township

Whitianga to Auckland via Coromandel township

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 208 kms

Today you will drive through to Thames, amd Miranda. Continuing along State Highway 1 you pass through the city of Auckland.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Driving Creek Railway & Potteries

Stay 1 night Auckland

Day 25, Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

Travel Time: 3 hrs

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 26, 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.

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 - Waitangi Treaty Grounds Guided Tour and Cultural Performance

Day 27, 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 28, Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest to Auckland

Bay of Islands via Waipoua Forest 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. 

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 - Americas Cup Yacht Sailing

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$8,735* 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

  • 2 nights Queenstown
  • 2 nights Te Anau
  • 2 nights Dunedin
  • 1 night Mt Cook
  • 2 nights Wanaka
  • 2 nights Franz Josef
  • 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 Bay of Islands
  • 2 nights Auckland

Rental Car Hire

  • Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible.
  • Rental car inclusions: 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 and Rainbow Springs Beauty by Night Combo

Gannet Safari Tour

Half day Marlborough wine tour

Abel Tasman Seals and Beach walk

Whale Watch Kaikoura tour

Glacier Explorers Tour, Mt Cook National Park

Otago Peninsula Wildlife Premier tour including Larnach Castle

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk

Milford Sound nature cruise

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mitai Maori Village and Rainbow Springs Beauty by Night Combo

An evening at Mitai will give you an authentic introduction to Maori culture leaving you amazed and in awe. Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress who paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream, and don't miss your only opportunity in the Rotorua area to see glow worms in their natural habitat. Marvel at the crystal clear water full of eels and trout, flowing directly from the earth at the sacred Fairy Spring. See your traditionally cooked hangi meal being lifted from the ground. During the cultural performance, you'll learn about maori history, carvings and ta moko (tattoo art). Be captivated by the displays of weaponry and combat, coupled with the grace and beauty of the poi dance. You'll be amazed by the spine tingling haka finale. The Mitai family is proud to have created a sacred and spiritual place that offers you an indigenous cultural experience like no other. You'll also enjoy a fully guided tour of Rainbow Springs under lights including a walk through the Kiwi enclosure and bird aviaries.

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.

You'll be taken out in modern catamarans specifically designed for whale watching - featuring large passenger cabins and outside viewing decks. Passenger numbers for each tour are kept below the vessel carrying capacity to ensure your tour experience remains a personal one.

Otago Peninsula Wildlife Premier tour including Larnach Castle

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.

Book now, pay later No credit card required

30 Day Northbound Self Drive Adventure

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