Essential New Zealand: Self-Drive Holiday from North to South


Day 1-2.Auckland.The journey begins in Auckland, where you’ll have two days to venture into New Zealand’s largest city. Nicknamed ‘the city of sails’; Auckland is home to three sparkling harbours and some fantastic water sports opportunities. Dine in the bustling cafes and peruse the boutique shops downtown, or head to the city perimeters to explore prime rainforest and a host of volcanic cones. You’ll spend two nights at the Heritage Hotel, a grand retreat set inside a historic building which formerly housed the iconic Farmer’s department store.

Day3-4.Rotorua-On to Rotorua, the geothermal city with a landscape of bubbling mud pools and spouting geysers. Here, you’ll pick up your car ready to hit the road, and will spend two nights at the opulent Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel. Spend your days soaking in Rotorua’s hot mineral pools or go exploring the beautiful Blue and Green lakes surrounding the city. You’ll also get a chance to immerse yourself in the prominent Maori culture, with the option of visiting the traditional villages nestled in the outer forests.

Day 5.Napier.Next en route is Napier, nicknamed the ‘Art Deco capital of the South Pacific’. Following major destruction from an earthquake in 1931, much of the city had to be rebuilt, and this building work reflected the architectural styles of the time: Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco. You’ll spend a night at The County Hotel, a landmark building in the city that lived a former life as the council building, and is one of very few structures to survive the earthquake. After perusing the attractive streets, set out to visit the scenic Cape Kidnappers headland, and be sure to sample the delicious wines at the NZ Wine Centre.

Day 6.Wellington.Hit the road and depart for New Zealand’s capital, where you’ll stay at the über stylish Museum Art Hotel, with elegant sculptures and grand artworks decorating the interior. The city occupies a beautiful leafy hillside overlooking the harbour, making for some fantastic lookout spots. In downtown Wellington, take a gourmet food walking tour, explore Peter Jackson’s film studios, or browse the plentiful galleries, museums and theatres, or drive 10 minutes out of the city to explore an eco-sanctuary housing rare native wildlife.

Day 7-8.BLENHEIM.You’ll depart for a ferry ride to the South Island, where you’ll continue on to central wine country to the town of Blenheim: the perfect base for exploring the local food and wine culture. Soak up the old world charm of the area with two nights at Brookhurst hotel, which oozes cosy country living. The town of Blenheim is known for its year-round sun, warm summers and crisp winters, which make for prime grape growing conditions.  Some 20 wineries scatter the Marlborough region, which offer tasting sessions and cellar door sales. Closer to home, the town itself has a vibrant collection of bars and galleries as well as artisan food stalls.

Day 9-10.Kaikoura.Gracing the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Kaikoura is a haven for nature lovers. With a backdrop of rugged mountains and a view to sea, this picturesque spot is breathtaking. White Morph will be your home for two nights: a peaceful retreat that lines the seafront. The rich marine life along this coast make Kaikoura a fantastic whale watching destination, while it also provides delicious seafood for which the area has become known. Take a bush, mountain or coastal walk for some fantastic bird watching opportunities, go swimming with seals, or try catching your own dinner on a deep sea fishing trip.

Day 11.Christchurch.Swap country for city as you continue on to Christchurch: the ‘Garden City’ that is framed by hills and the Pacific Ocean. Staying at the Rydges Latimer, which overlooks leafy Latimer Square, you’ve got the day to explore. The city underwent a major makeover following destruction from a series of earthquakes, which has gives this quintessentially English destination a new creative flair. Wander the impressive Botanic Gardens, punt along the Avon River, or unearth the city’s burgeoning arts scene in the abandoned buildings.

Day 12-13.Franz Josef.You’ll drop off the car and catch the Tranz Alpine Express from Christchurch to delve back into the wilderness. This scenic trip ascends the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier, standing 300 metres above sea level and just one of three to be so close to the coast. How you choose to see this phenomenon is up to you; follow the walkway, do a heli-hike, or fly by light aircraft and expect to see towering peaks, thick, snowy slopes and icy blue mirror lakes. Your two nights here will be spent at Holly Homestead, a colonial B&B with marvellous views of the Southern Alps and the Glacier.

Day 14-16.Queenstown.Touching down in New Zealand’s adventure capital, you’re promised three days of action. The city is packed full of high-octane adventures, be it rafting, bungee jumping or skiing, and is brimming with superb scenery.  You’ll take in some of the finest sights staying at Hotel St Moritz, which settles on the banks of Lake Wakatipu and overlooks the snowy peaks of The Remarkables mountain range.  Explore the area with lakeside strolls, mountain excursions or helicopter tours, and sample some of the region’s famous Otago Pinot Noir as you go.

Day 17.Lake Tekapo.Saving the best for last, the icing on the cake of your New Zealand holiday is a stay at Lake Tekapo: a mass of shimmering turquoise water encased by the Southern Alps. Spending one night at Lake Tekapo Lodge, take a walk to the picturesque spot at the Church of the Good Shepherd, and stay up for phenomenal stargazing at the Mount John Observatory - named one of only four International Dark Sky Reserves in the world.

Day 18.This brings your trip to a close, and the following morning you’ll return to Christchurch to catch your return flight home.

VIP Experience

Heritage Hotel.

Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel

The County Hotel

 Museum Art Hotel

Brookhurst hotel

White Morph

Rydges Latimer

Holly Homestead

Hotel St Moritz

Lake Tekapo Lodge

Package Details

Hit the road in New Zealand on this self-drive holiday that takes in all the hot spots. From bubbling lava pools inRotorua to the icy heights of the Franz Josef Glacier; from humpback whale watching in Kaikoura to thrill rides inQueenstown, this trip offers you the best of New Zealand’s astounding scenery in one unforgettable road trip.

  • 2 Nights in Auckland
  • 2 Nights in Rotorua
  • 1 Night in Napier
  • 2 Nights in Blenheim
  • 2 Nights in Kaikoura
  • 1 Night in Christchurch
  • 2 Nights in Franz Joseph
  • 3 Nights in Queenstown
  • 1 Nights in Lake Tekapo
  • Airport&Internal Transfers included.
  • Daily Breakfast -.Jain/Vegetarian Options Available
Best Time to Visit:
New Zealand is fantastic year round; winter brings prime skiing conditions, summer is perfect for beaches, while spring and autumn are quieter and less crowded.

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