Driving NZ

Menu

Itinerary

North Island / South Island: 18 days / 17 nights - Auckland to Christchurch

Day 1: Arrive Auckland

Arrive in Auckland and uplift rental car from Airport before driving into the city to stay one night. In the afternoon you could explore the sights of Auckland including spectacular views from Mt Eden, One Tree Hill or Mt Victoria in Devonport. Alternatively visit the wild west coast beaches of Murawai or Piha located just 45min from the city centre.

Day 2: Auckland - Omapere/Opononi

Today you will drive north then head out up the west coast through Dargaville and into the Waipoua Forest where you will stop to view New Zealand’s largest tree, the magnificent Kauri Tree “Tane Mahuta”. On arrival you may want to take the short boat trip over to the Giant Sand Dunes on the Hokianga Harbour for some sand boarding.

Day 3: Omapere/Opononi - Paihia

Travel across to the east coast today and through to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Explore the Waitiangi Treaty Grounds, or travel on the ferry over to the very quant Russell for dinner and drinks.

Day 4: Paihia

Today is free to explore this whether if be a cruise to the Hole in the Rock, Dolphin watching, visiting Haruru Falls or the historical grounds of Waitangi just to name a few. In the summer months there is also the option of taking the overnight boat in the Bay of Islands aboard the Ipipiri Cruise.

Day 5: Pahia - Auckland - Rotorua

Head back down to Auckland and through to Rotorua. You may want to take the coastal route down past beaches like Mangawhai, or try some snorkelling at the marine reserve at Goat Island. If you go via Matamata to Rotoura you could also take in a tour of Hobbiton.

Day 6: Rotorua

This geothermal playground has so much to offer. You will be spoilt for choice, but your day will start with a visit to Te Puia to view aspects of Maori culture and view boiling mudpools and geysers. After that you could visit Rainbow Springs, try the Luge at Skyline Gondola or drive out to the buried village at Lake Tarawera. Why not try a traditional hangi meal in the evening.

Day 7: Rotorua - Nelson

Drop you rental car off at Rotorua airport for your flight through to Nelson. Arrive in Nelson domestic airport where you will uplift you rental car and travel into your central city hotel which his in the heart of Nelson. Discover Nelson and the surrounding area, including the WOW Museum, Abel Tasman National Park, or some of the great shops and cafe’s scattered through the city.

Day 8: Nelson

Drive up to Kaiteriteri today your gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Take a guided walk, cruise or kayaking for the move adventurous.

Day 9: Nelson - Punakaiki

In the morning you will head down the centre of the South Island and out to the west coast to the famous pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki. Tonight you will be staying at the Punakaiki Resort, and would recommend dining at their award winning restaurant, Waterline.

Day 10: Punakaiki – Hokitika

Continue down through Hokitika on the rugged West Coast. Continue down SH6 into the glacier region to stay in Franz Josef for the night. You may want to relax in the Glacier Hot Pools in the evening, nestled amongst the rain forest.

Day 11: Franz Josef - Wanaka - Queenstown

Head down through Haast Pass through Wanaka and into the Cardrona Valley, where you have to stop for lunch at the iconic Cardrona Pub. Continue onto Queenstown, New Zealand’s alpine resort. Your hotel Nugget Point is located above the Shotover River looking towards the Remarkable. In the evening you may want to travel to the top of Bob’s Peak on the gondola for dinner and stunning views out over Lake Wakitipu.

Day 12: Queenstown

Today you could take part in one of the many adventurous activities Queenstown is renowned for including bungy jumping, jet boating, mountain biking and white water rafting to name a few.. Alternatively take in a wine tour at Gibston Valley, or take a cruise over to Walter Peak for a barbeque lunch on the edge of the lake.

Day 13: Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau

An early morning start as you had around the back of Lake Wakitipu and through to Te Anau. From there you will take th spectacular road through Fiordland and into Milford Sound for your 2 hour Nature Cruise. Return to Te Anau in the evening where if you have the energy, you may want to take a tour of the local glow worm caves.

Day 14: Te Anau - Dunedin

In the morning take a leisurely drive back through Southland and Otago and into New Zealand's most Scottish town, Dunedin.

Day 15: Dunedin

Today could drive out onto the Otago Pennisula to visit to wonderful natural wildlife attractions. Otago Pennisula is home to the only mainland Royal Albatross Colony in the world. You will also visit Natures Wonders to view and the world's rarest penguin - the Yellow-Eyed Penguin, and you will also see New Zealand Fur Seals in their natural habitat.

Day 16: Dunedin - Oamaru - Christchurch

Your journey take you north today up past the Moeraki Boulders, through the historic town of Oamaru then up into the city of Christchurch.

Day 17: Christchurch

Explore Christchurch and the surrounding area today. This garden city, includes attractions such as Punting on the Avon, The International Antarctic Centre, Botanic Gardens and the Christchurch Art Gallery. Make sure you take in the view of the city from the Cashmere Hills.

Day 18: Christchurch

After checking out from the hotel, your tour arrangements conclude with the return of your rental car to the airport or depot.
Route map

Inclusions

  • 17 nights quality accommodation
  • Transport by self drive rental car including unlimited kms
  • Standard motor vehicle insurance and applicable pick up fees
  • Accommodation at specified class, subject to availability at time of reservation
  • 15% Goods and Services Tax

Exclusions

Drive Rating: Moderate Total Km: 2700 Estimated driving time: 40 hrs

This mileage/time is based on city to city as set out in the itinerary and does not include other excursions or general mileage.

Booking info

Superior - From: NZ $2,340.00 Per Person
AccommodationCityNightsCheck-in
Rydges AucklandAuckland1Day 1
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Hokianga - Omapere1Day 2
Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands - Paihia2Day 3
Holiday Inn RotoruaRotorua2Day 5
Monaco Hotel and ResortNelson2Day 7
Punakaiki ResortPunakaiki1Day 9
Westwood LodgeFranz Josef1Day 10
The ReesQueenstown2Day 11
Distinction Luxmore HotelTe Anau1Day 13
Scenic Hotel Dunedin CityDunedin2Day 14
Peppers Clearwater ResortChristchurch2Day 16

Book Now Enquiry Rental Car Category:

Intermediate Car with GPS - 18 days            

Inclusions

Double Island Discovery
  • 17 nights quality accommodation
  • Transport by self drive rental car including unlimited kms
  • Standard motor vehicle insurance and applicable pick up fees
  • Accommodation at specified class, subject to availability at time of reservation
  • 15% Goods and Services Tax

Exclusions

Drive Rating: Moderate Total Km: 2700 Estimated driving time: 40 hrs

This mileage/time is based on city to city as set out in the itinerary and does not include other excursions or general mileage.