New Zealand Highlights Self Drive 2020Reference WW63858
Explore New Zealand with a relaxed pace that allows plenty of time to explore the diverse New Zealand landscapes and scenery. From the North Island’s rich Maori culture and modern cosmopolitan cities you’ll venture south crossing the Cook Strait to the picturesque Marlborough Sounds, wildlife mecca of Kaikoura and alpine village of Hanmer Springs.
Why You'll Love This
Depart the UK for your overnight flight to Auckland (Due to time difference, some flights may arrive 2 days later).
On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation. Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. Overnight in Auckland.
Today, pick up your car and explore Auckland and the surrounding area. 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. Overnight in Auckland.
Today pick up your car and drive south through the rich fertile farmland of the Waikato and maybe stop at Hobbiton Village on your way to Rotorua. Overnight in Rotorua. (220kms/3hrs)
Your day in Rotorua could be spent discovering Maori culture or thrilling adventure rides. Overnight in Rotorua.
The drive from Rotorua to Wellington takes you via the township of Taupo home to New Zealand’s largest lake. Following the lakeshore South you’ll pass Turani and then ascend the central plateau onto the high country Rangipo Desert. Skirting the edge of Tongariro National Park, you’ll reach the military town of Waiouru before descending through rich farmland and the rural towns of Taihape And Mangaweka. Follow the coast through Paraparaumu, Paekakariki and Plimmerton to arrive at your destination, Wellington. Overnight in Wellington. (452kms/5.5hrs)
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. Overnight in Wellington.
Today you'll cross the Cook Strait on the Interislander Ferry. Approaching Picton you'll cruise through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds. (Car drop off at Wellington/new car pickup at Picton, on arrival). Overnight in Blenheim. (30kms/0.5hrs)
Cross the 'dry hills' of Marlborough and head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view native wildlife. To the east is the South Pacific Ocean and to the west the towering Kaikoura Ranges. Kaikoura Township is a bustling little place with many cafes, restaurants and shops - but the main reason for visiting here is the wildlife - and it’s one of the only places in New Zealand you can see whales year round. Overnight in Kaikoura. (110kms/1.5hrs)
Cross the Canterbury countryside to the alpine village of Hanmer Springs. The drive from Kaikoura follows the spectacular coast before heading inland through North Canterbury’s major wine region, The Waipara Valley. You’ll see many sheep as you wind your way through the vineyards and small towns of Rotherham and Waiau before arriving into the alpine village of Hanmer Springs, your destination for the night. Overnight in Hanmer Springs. (130kms/2.5hrs)
Today you’ll travel through the Waipara Valley, the fastest wine growing region in New Zealand and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. You’ll pass vast grassy plains and parched farming landscapes as you make your way over the Weka Pass and past small towns such as Amberley and Leithfield before arriving into the largest Port in the South Island, Christchurch. Overnight in Christchurch. (135kms/2hrs)
Depending on when your flight departs you might have time for one last Christchurch adventure before dropping your car off at the airport and catching your flight.
Arrive back into the UK.