16 day self drive holiday New Zealand North and South Islands
Day 1 - Arrive Auckland and stay overnight
Day 2 - Auckland to Rotorua
Day 3 - Rotorua
Day 4 - Rotorua to Napier/Hawkes Bay
Day 5 - Napier/Hawkes Bay
Day 6 - Napier to Wellington
Day 7 - Wellington to Nelson incl Interislander cruise
Day 8 - Nelson
Day 9 - Nelson to Punakaiki
Day 10 - Punakaiki to Fox Glacier
Day 11 - Fox Glacier to Queenstown
Day 12 - Queenstown day trip to Milford Sound
Day 13 - Queenstown
Day 14 - Queenstown to Mount Cook/Lake Tekapo
Day 15 - Lake Tekapo to Christchurch
Day 16 - Christchurch and end trip
|Day 1 - Arrive Auckland and stay overnight|
Located on the waterfront Auckland city
enjoys wonderful views across the harbour to the popular
seaside village of Devonport. Auckland is a cosmopolitan
city that benefits from its mix of Pacific and European
cultures, take time to enjoy these influences and the resulting
art and cuisine.
|Day 2 - Auckland to Rotorua|
From Auckland city make your way towards
Hamilton alongside the Waikato River. Cambridge and Tirau
provide excellent opportunities for a 'refreshment'
stop as you near your destination, the lakeside city of
Rotorua. Here you will find a fantastic diversity of scenery
and activities to suit all interests.
|Day 3 - Rotorua|
Full day in Rotorua to enjoy the many
thermal and cultural sights, Rotorua also has excellent
fishing, an interesting golf course with mud pools and Geysers,
mountain bike tracks and forest trails. Scenic drives to
stunning lakeside picnic spots and summer swims. Opportunities
to head out over the volcanoes by helicopter including White
Island, and to visit the cathedral like Whirinaki Forest
a remnant of giant podocarp forests
|Day 4 - Rotorua via Lake Taupo to Napier/Hawkes
Travelling via Lake Taupo, our largest
lake, you may be rewarded with views across to the volcanoes
of the Tongariro National Park. Then head south east to
Hawkes Bay, famous for the Art Deco architecture of Napier
and Hastings and the production of premium wines.
|Day 5 - Napier/Hawkes Bay|
Wine and food, art, nature, cultural and
architectural tours are a great way to get the most from
your stay in Hawkes Bay. At nearby Cape Kidnappers take
a tour to the world's largest, most accessible Gannet
nesting place or play golf at the spectacular golf course.
|Day 6 - Napier/Hawkes Bay to Wellington|
A highlight of today's journey is
a stop at the Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre with its
breeding program for the conservation of some of our most
endangered wildlife, predominantly birds. Later in the day
pass through the historic villages of the Wairarapa Region
and perhaps visit the Martinborough Wine Centre that showcases
this regions excellent wines. Finish the day in the harbourside
city of Wellington.
|Day 7 - Wellington to Nelson incl Interislander
More than just a ferry crossing, the trip
from Wellington to Picton is an experience in itself. A
leisurely cruise out of Wellington Harbour offers wonderful
city and coastal views, before crossing the straight and
entering Queen Charlotte Sound. Cruising through the sheltered
waters you will be treated to fantastic Marlborough Sounds
scenery and perhaps a dolphin escort. The drive from Picton
offers more photo opportunities as you head for Nelson.
|Day 8 - Nelson|
Nelson is renowned for its artisans and
galleries including the highly regarded Hoglund Art Glass
studio. Local produce including wines are also a feature
of the region. Nelson is a popular base from which to venture
into the Abel Tasman National Park just over an hour from
the city, where you can spend a day on the walking track
also sail, cruise or kayak the sheltered waters. Day kayaking
trips are suitable for novice or experiences paddlers.
|Day 9 - Nelson to Punakaiki|
From the sheltered haven of Tasman Bay
travel south through the inland Nelson Lakes region before
heading west to the dramatic and rugged scenery of the 'coast
road'. Winding its way between the bush clad slopes,
studded with Nikau Palms and the surf of the Tasman Sea
this has to be one of New Zealand's most beautiful drives.
Your overnight stop is Punakaiki where you will find the
intriguing Pancake Rocks and blowholes.
|Day 10 - Punakaiki to Fox Glacier or Lake
A day packed with features today as you
travel south through historic 'gold rush' towns
and settlements, past bush clad lakes, wild beaches and
onwards to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.
Or continue through to Lake Moeraki for an eco-lodge experience
at the Moeraki Wilderness Lodge.
|Day 11 - Fox Glacier to Queenstown|
Leaving behind the lush vegetation of
South Westland you will travel the hills and valleys of
the Haast Pass where roadside walkways provide easy access
to a number of waterfalls and mountain pools. Emerge into
the tussock country of the Southern Lakes district as you
pass lakes Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan. The fruit and wine
growing region around Cromwell leads you to the craggy confines
of the Kawarau Gorge famous for its historic bridge and
some spectacularly located vineyards. Finish this full day
of sightseeing in beautiful Queenstown.
|Day 12 - Queenstown day trip to Milford
Travel by luxury coach from Queenstown
taking in views of Lake Wakatipu, the lakeside town of Te
Anau and the sights of the Milford Road, stop for short
walks, before cruising the wonderful Milford Sound with
its soaring peaks and cascading waterfalls. Watch for seals,
dolphins and penguins as you make your way to where the
fiord meets the sea and back. Scenic flight options to Milford
Sound or both ways are also available.
|Day 13 - Queenstown|
Journey up the Dart River into the stunning
scenery of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Then free time
to enjoy some of the many other Queenstown activities. Ride
the Gondola for spectacular views over the town and across
the lake to the mountains, Bungy jump, take one of the many
hikes including the famous Routeburn Track for a day. Catch
a fish, white water rafting, horse treks, winery visits,
the possibilities are endless!
|Day 14 - Queenstown to Mount Cook/Lake
From Queenstown travel north to through
the Lindis Pass into the McKenzie Country with its stunning
vistas of the eastern flanks of the Southern Alps,
then a dramatic drive along the shores of Lake Pukaki to
the Mount Cook National Park. Enjoy the return trip beside
Lake Pukaki then on to iconic Lake Tekapo, the glacial lakes
in this region are often a stunning azure blue, setting
off the snow capped peaks beyond.
|Day 15 - Lake Tekapo to Christchurch|
Take the 'Inland Scenic Route'
is a peaceful alternative to the main highway and includes
the dramatic Rakaia Gorge, great mountain and rural vistas
are enjoyed most of the way. Christchurch is an eclectic
mix of colonial heritage and new world modernism. The Avon
River, with its cascading willows, cuts through the city
and provides the setting for numerous parks and gardens.
|Day 16 - Christchurch and end trip|
Consider an early morning balloon flight
the ideal way to experience stunning views across the plains
to the Southern Alps and Pegasus Bay. Spend the day visiting
galleries and gardens or take a nature cruise on nearby
Lyttelton Harbour. Beyond the harbour you will find the
intriguing volcanic land form of Banks Peninsula with its
many sheltered bays and settlements including picturesque
Akaroa where you can enjoy lunch in the village and swim
with dolphins in the sheltered waters.
This holiday can be customised to suit your interests,
golf, wine, hiking, art, culture... just let us know. You can also have all
or part of this holiday combined with a holiday in Australia. Price will be
determined by accommodation choices, activities to include and flight costs.
Contact us for more information, we are here to help you get the very best from