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Self Drive Tours
21 Day - New Zealand Explorer
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Brief Description
Price listed is per person on a 2 Adult basis. This tour covers many of the must see destinations in New Zealand and also more off the beaten track locations. Visit both North and South Islands with all accommodation, transport and activities arranged for your arrival. This itinerary delves into a vastness of landscapes, culture and adventures. New Zealand is full surprises and this tour takes you to many of them.

Please enquire about our single person, child and extra person discount rates.
Day to Day Locations


Day 1. Auckland
Day 2. Waitomo Caves - Rotorua
Day 3. Rotorua
Day 4. Rotorua
Day 5. Rotorua
Day 6. Taupo
Day 7. Taupo
Day 8. Wellington


Day 9. Kaikoura
Day 10. Kaikoura
Day 11. Christchurch
Day 12. Punakaiki
Day 13. Franz Josef
Day 14. Queenstown
Day 15. Queenstown
Day 16. Milford Sound
Day 17. Queenstown
Day 18. Queenstown
Day 19. Mt Cook
Day 20. Christchurch
Day 21. Christchurch

What is included
  • Sky Tower admission
  • 21 nights accommodation
  • Maori Cultural experiences (Hangi Dinner and Concert)
  • Ferry between North and South island
  • Your choice of Swimming with dolphins or Whale watching tour
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
  • World famous Tranz Alpine Train Journey
  • Milford Sound Overnight Cruise
  • Mt Cook (New Zealand highest Mountain)
  • Hot Air Ballooning above the Canturbury Plaines
  • 20 days car rental (Economy car)

  • Trip Itinerary

    Day 1: Auckland (drive time = 25 minutes, depending on traffic)

    Upon arrival, your rental car will be ready and waiting for you at Auckland Airport. Transfer to your accommodation in downtown Auckland situated right next door to the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, Auckland's Sky Tower. Your handy location gives you plenty of options for today and tonight. The remainder of the day is free to explore Auckland and unwind from your flight. Complementary Sky Tower admission included today.

    Accommodation: SKYCITY Hotel Auckland or Similar

    Day 2: Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua 5 hours

    Drive to Waitomo through some of New Zealand's most lush farming country. Waitomo is one of New Zealand's most popular adventure destinations and is known for its Caving and Black Water Rafting. A Waitomo Caving experience is a must do while in this area and there is caving adventure to suit everyone. After you have done your choice of activities in Waitomo, will head to Rotorua.

    Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua or Similar

    Day 3: Rotorua - 2 hours 20 minutes

    Today explore Rotorua, one of the World's most active volcanic zones. For over 150,000 years, powerful volcanic activity has formed this region in to the awe inspiring state that it is today. Rotorua is a feast of natures surprises and an adventure play ground for all ages. The remainder of the day is free for you to discover Rotorua. A great option for the evening is a trip to the Polynesian Spa or Hells Gate Thermal Spa resorts for a bit of self pampering.

    Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua or Similar

    Day 4: Rotorua

    There truly is an activity for everyone on offer today. Wet or dry, Scenic Splendor or Adrenaline filled adventures, you choose (please ask for advice). Some suggested activities include Whakarewarewa thermal village and wonderland, the Agrodome, Rainbow Springs, ride the luge at Skyline, thermal pools, take a trip to Lake Tarawera and the Buried Village, shop for cultural souvenirs, Walk the lake shore, Visit the museum.....the list goes on. Tonight Enjoy an evening of entertainment by local Maori with a famous Hangi (Dinner) and Concert.

    Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua or Similar

    Day 5: Rotorua

    Explore Rotorua at your own leisure. (please ask for advice).

    Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua or Similar

    Day 6: Rotorua - Taupo - 1 hour

    Travel along the Thermal Highway to Taupo. Taupo offers fantastic shopping, dining, activities and views to die for. If you have a taste for fish, there is great fishing to be had on New Zealandís largest lake. If you are a golfer, Taupo has Wairakei international Golf Course, rated by prestigious U.S golf digest magazine to be in the top 20 golf courses in the World. A must do for golfers. Taupo is also an extremely thermally active area with more opportunities to enjoy thermal hot pools to unwind your day.

    Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Taupo or Similar

    Day 7: Taupo

    Explore Taupo at your own leisure. (please ask for advice).

    Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Taupo or Similar

    Day 8: Taupo - Wellington - 4 hours 30 minutes

    Start your day with a drive around the Lake, across the desert and past majestic Mt Ruapehu. Small town New Zealand is dotted along the way to Wellington with such towns as Turangi, the trout fishing capital of New Zealand. The War Memorial Museum town of Waiouru, Taihape (the Gumboot throwing capital of the World), Antique Mecca towns of Bulls, Foxton Otaki and Levin. Kapiti famous for its gourmet cheeses and Car Museum and many more. Arrive in Wellington, New Zealandís Arts and Parliamentary Capital. A host of Cafe's, Clubs, Restaurants and Museums awaits you on Wellingtonís compact streets.

    Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel - Oriental Bay - Wellington or Similar

    Day 9: Wellington - Kaikoura 2 or 3 hour ferry and 2 hours Drive

    This morning travel by ferry from North to South Island, sailing through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Take a drive through Marlborough's famous Wine Country, with many wineries open for tours. Continue on to your accommodation in Kaikoura. Once you hit the Coast enjoy the smell of the ocean with a breath taking Southern Alps backdrop. Kaikoura is a great place to enjoy some of the local wine with a meal of Kai-moana (Food from the Sea).

    Accommodation: Awatea Country B&B or Similar

    Day 10: Kaikoura

    Kaikoura has been described as a place for life changing experiences. Today you have fantastic options to get in touch with nature with either a Swim with the local Dolphins or an encounter with the Whales. Kaikouraís unique coast line boasts some of the best Sea Mammal viewing in the World. After you day at sea enjoy the some time on the Coast taking in views from Mountains to Sea.

    Accommodation: Awatea Country B&B or Similar

    Day 11: Kaikoura - Christchurch - 3 hours

    Travel down the dramatic East coast hugging the beginning of the Southern alps while the surf breaks on your left. Arrive this afternoon in Christchurch (the Garden City), New Zealand's second largest city for an afternoon of leisure

    Accommodation: Le Petit Apartments

    Day 12: Christchurch - Greymouth then Greymouth to Punakaiki - 4 hours 30 minutes

    This morning drop off your rental car and travel by Train on an unforgettable journey. The World famous Tranz Alpine Train is rated as one of the world's top six train journeys. Travel across the fertile farmland of the Canterbury Plains, wind through the spectacular Waimakariri Gorge, cross over massive viaducts and through the lush forests of the Arthur's Pass National Park. Upon your arrival in Greymouth pick up your replacement Rental Car and continue up the coastal paradise of Punakaiki. Punakaiki is famous for its pancake rocks and blow holes and also its outstanding native bush beaches and nature trails.

    Accommodation: Havenz Punakaiki

    Day 13: Punakaiki to Franz Josef

    Spend the day driving to Franz Josef Glacier, a spectacular drive past Lakes, over Mountains, along coastline and past Glaciers. Few sights equal the grandeur of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers as they grind down through temperate rainforest to just 250 meters above sea level (this is the only place outside Argentina where this occurs).

    Accommodation: Franz Josef Glacier Country Retreat or Similar

    Day 14: Franz Josef - Queenstown - 5 hours

    This morning you have the option of a Scenic Spectacular Heli tour of Franz Josef Mt Cook and Fox Glaciers including a Snow landing. This is an additional $395 NZD per person and must be prebooked over the summer period. After a morning in Franz Josef continue on to Queenstown. Known as the adventure capital of the world Queenstown is the birth place of Bungy Jumping and home to many other adventure activities. There are many adventure options in Queenstown if you are interested. For the not so adventurous there is also an endless amount of things to do here. A trip up the Gondola is highly recommended and there are more site seeing options than you can poke a stick at. Queenstown offers fantastic shopping and dining with world class restaurants to indulge in. The local wineries are excellent and well worth a visit. A trip to nearby Arrowtown is a historical must see.

    Accommodation: Garden Court Apartments or Similar

    Day 15: Queenstown.

    Explore Queenstown at your own leisure. (please ask for advice).

    Accommodation: Garden Court Apartments or Similar

    Day 16: Queenstown - Milford Sound - Overnight cruise - 5 hours Drive (Guided Coach option available)

    Milford Sound is without a doubt one of the most Heavenly places on the face of the Earth and often referred to as the ninth wonder of the World. The drive to get to Milford Sound is simply stunning and well worth the distance. This is a return journey over what is said to be the most scenic drive in New Zealand to enjoy an overnight cruise. Upon your arrival step on board the "Milford Mariner" for your scenic cruise and overnight stay in the Fiord. Free kayaks are available for and afternoon paddle where you can often see dolphins, orca and many other sea animals. If you think you would prefer a guided coach option for this return journey to Milford from Queenstown a Coach option is available. Please enquire.

    Accommodation: Milford Mariner (Dinner and Breakfast included)

    Day 17:Milford Sound - Queenstown - 5 hours

    Return to Queenstown (Scenic flight return available with coach option - advanced booking required). The remainder of day is free to take in Queenstown at your own leisure.

    Accommodation: Garden Court Apartments or Similar

    Day 18: Queenstown.

    Explore Queenstown at your own leisure. (please ask for advice).

    Accommodation: Garden Court Apartments or Similar

    Day 19: Queenstown - Mt Cook 4 hrs

    This is one of the highlights of your travel time. The drive past Lake Pukaki and Twizel is a well recognized feature in Lord of the Rings. The scenery gets more and more superb while on this road. This afternoon you will arrive in Mt Cook (Known to the Maori as Aoraki), New Zealands Highest Mountain.

    Accommodation: Aoraki Alpine Lodge

    Day 20: Mt Cook - Christchurch 4 hours and 30 minutes

    Drive today past the surreal sight that is Lake Tekapo with views over the turquoise Lake and to Mt Cook, continue on through the mountains and across the Canterbury plains to Christchurch with the remainder of your day to be spent at your leisure.

    Accommodation: Le Petite Apartments

    Day 21: Christchurch

    Finish your trip off on a high! Christchurch is highly regarded as one of the best places in the World to Hot Air Balloon and this is an unforgettable way to end your trip. This experience offers spectacular views from Mountains to Sea. Your trip finishes by mid day and gives you the remainder of the day to spend at your own leisure. There is plenty of additional activities and shopping on offer in Christchurch. If you are after New Zealand souvenirs, you will have no problem in finding them within the city center. If you find that you have extra spending money in your pocket, you could always try your luck at the casino. Who knows you might be able to stay for another 21 days!

    Accommodation: Le Petite Apartments

    Please Note:

    All products listed in this itinerary are subject to availability and price changes. If products are not available similar options will be offered which may alter this package price. This itinerary may also be altered to suite your needs. Please enquire for further information on our services.
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