Complete New Zealand Self-Drive

23 Nights For Price Please Call

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Description

2nt Paihia (Bay of Islands )
1nt Kaitaia
2nt Auckland
1nt Waitomo Caves
2nt Rotorua
1nt Taupo
2nt Wellington
1nt Kaikoura
2nt Christchurch (via Hanmer Springs)
1nt Dunedin
1nt Stewart Island
(via Invercargill)
1nt Te Anau (Milford Sounds)
2nts Queenstown
1nt Wanaka
1nt Franz Josef
1nt Greymouth (via Hokitika)
1nt Christchurch

If you have got the time, then this is the trip for you! You can really get to know this spectacular country, explore its magical scenery and enjoy its great attractions. By driving yourself you can visit the small towns and get off the beaten track – and remember driving in New Zealand is far less busy than you will be used to at home!

Itinerary

UK - Paihia (2 Nights): First, you will fly from your chosen UK Airport to Auckland before making your way north to Paihia, an excellent base to explore the Bay of Islands. With its beaches and coves this is a tropical paradise where you can take a cruise to see the dolphins and the famous Hole in the Rock or have a go sailing or sea kayaking. There’s also the Waitangi Treaty Grounds to visit where in 1840 the country’s most significant document was signed between the British Crown and Maori Chiefs.

Paihia - Kaitaia (1 Nights): Spend a night in Kaitaia which is the last town before you reach the top of New Zealand. From here you can drive to Cape Reina via Ninety Mile Beach. It’s here at the rugged Cape, rich in Maori legend, that the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean in a swirl of currents. You can also sample wine at the country’s most northerly vineyard and visit the Maori cultural centre.

Kaitai - Auckland (2 Nights): Then head to the country’s largest city, Auckland, one of the only cities in the word to have two harbours – one on the Tasman Sea and one on the Pacific. With a diverse range of shops, restaurants, cafes and open air markets there is lots to enjoy in this relaxed coastal city – don’t miss the Sky Tower, the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest building for 360 degree views!

Auckland - Waitomo Caves (1 Night): Next up, drive to Waitomo to explore the labyrinth of ancient caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. Not only can you admire the amazing stalagmites and stalactites underground but you can also enjoy an unforgettable boat trip lit by thousands of magical glowworms!

Waitomo Caves - Rotorua (2 Nights):For more amazing natural wonders make your way to the geothermal city of Rotorua, home to bubbling hot pools, exploding geysers and bright green lakes. Visit the city’s Kuirau Park for colourful hot lakes and thermal foot pools, soak in the mud at Kerosene or see the vibrant green and orange lakes at Wai-O-Tapu. This is also the best place to visit a Maori village and attend a traditional hangi feast.

Rotorua - Taupo (1 Night): Then on to Taupo for a night on the shores of the country’s biggest lake. More like an inland sea, Lake Taupo is a great place for watersports and is also a convenient base for exploring the Tongariro National Park with its three active volcanic peaks. The beautiful backdrop of the mountains, lakes and forests make Taupo a popular destination for outdoor activities and extreme sports.

Taupo - Wellington (2 Nights): Then onto Wellington, the country’s capital, for 2 nights which offers a wonderful blend of heritage, culture, great food and vibrant arts and entertainment. Set on the southern tip of the North Island, the city is surrounded by rugged coastline and rolling hills which means that you can also get out easily to enjoy the coastal trails and vineyards.

Wellington - Kaikoura (1 Night): Wellington is also the gateway to the South Island via the regular 3-hour Interislander ferry. The easy journey across the Cook Strait also offers fantastic views of the Marlborough Sounds. Once you have made the crossing, make your way to the quaint coastal town of Kaikoura which is renowned for its incredible sea-life. Take a whale watching trip out to see the majestic Sperm Whales which permanently live in these waters as well as the penguins and seals. When you’re back on dry land, don’t miss out on the crayfish - a delicious local delicacy!

Kaikoura - Christchurch (2 Nights): Then head to Christchurch, stopping en route in Hanmer Springs to enjoy its stunning landscapes and hot springs. In Christchurch visit the award-winning Botanic Gardens and catch a ride on a vintage tram or on one of the Edwardian punts on the River Avon. This resilient city has been remarkable at bouncing back after recent earthquakes with innovative new attractions including pop-up restaurants and bars.

Christchurch - Dunedin (1 Night): Next on the itinerary is Dunedin, one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. Surrounded by hills, this very Scottish city is a perfect place to explore the scenic Otago Peninsula with its abundance of wildlife or stop at Koekohe Beach to see the perfectly spherical Moeraki Boulders.

Dunedin - Stewart Island (1 Night): Just a one-hour ferry crossing from the mainland lies the remote and unspoilt haven of Stewart Island. Being predominantly national park it is a haven for birdwatching and hiking with an abundance of wildlife on land and in sea. This is the perfect place to be at one with nature and admire the spectacular sunsets in the ‘land of the glowing skies’.

Stewart Island - Te Anau (1 Night): Make your way back to the South Island and head to Te Anau, passing through the country’s most southern city of Invercargill on the way. With its Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco buildings, Invercargill is also home to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

The picturesque town of Te Anau is ideal perfect base to explore the world-famous fiords and Milford Sounds. The road to the Fiordland National Park is one of the most scenic drives imaginable, and then a boat trip on the Milford Sound is breathtakingly beautiful.

Te Anau - Queenstown (2 Nights): When you can draw yourself away, head to the extreme sports capital of Queenstown. Sitting on the shore of Lake Wakatipu the dramatic alpine scenery is the city’s playground and host to all kinds of adventure activities from bungee jumping to jet boating, sky diving and river rafting.

Queenstown - Wanaka (1 Night): When you’ve had your fill of adrenaline-fuelled sports make your way to Lake Wanaka for some calm tranquillity. Nestled below towering mountains you can enjoy fishing and hiking or skiing in winter.

Wanaka - Franz Josef (1 Night): To make sure you’ve checked off most of the natural wonders this incredible country has to offer, head to the small town of Franz Josef to see the spectacular glacier. Being one of the world’s most easily accessible glaciers you can reach its face within an hour’s walk of the town. A guided walk will take you onto the surface, through narrow crevasses and into the blue caves. Heli-hiking is also available for the even more adventurous!

Franz Josef - Greymouth (1 Night): Continue along the west coast towards Greymouth for a night. En route stop at the historic town of Hokitika and learn about the ship wrecks, gold miners and jade hunters that make this town so fascinating.

Greymouth - Christchurch (1 Night): Only half an hour drive away is Greymouth where you can spend your penultimate night. Also a gold mining town, visit nearby Shantytown, a replica gold mine, to appreciate the area’s history. Then make your way back to Christchurch for your final day in the city before heading home from your epic adventure!

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