Best of New Zealand

Starting From

AUD 3,993 Per Person

Duration

22 Days

Inclusions

sight Seeing

Meals

Hotel

Transfer

Exclusions

-Flights
-Visa charges
-Any service not specified in inclusions

Tour Overview

From Auckland to Christchurch, discover best of New Zealand at your own pace. 

Auckland > Paihia > Coromandel Peninsula > Rotorua > Tongariro National Park > Wellington > Nelson > Greymouth > Glacier Region > Queenstown > Te Anau > Dunedin > Mt Cook >Christchurch

Tour Info

  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Exclusions
  • Terms & Conditions

Auckland


Auckland is the main gateway city to New Zealand. Greater Auckland, with a population of over one million, is New Zealand’s largest urban area and centre of commerce and industry, but within minutes of the city you can experience uncrowded beaches, rural countryside and forests.

The dominating feature of the Auckland cityscape are the graceful lines of the Harbour Bridge, the sparkling waters of the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf. Upon arrival collect your rental car and make your way to your accommodation.


Hotel Selection-Auckland

Standard-Grand Mercure Auckland, Superior Queen City Side Room

Superior-Rydges Auckland, Deluxe City View Room

Auckland to Paihia (approx. 241 km)


On State Highway 1, travel north from Auckland past Warkworth and Leigh, through Wellsford and on up to Whangarei. Along the way, there are many forests to explore. You could also take off to the east and visit some of the surf beaches along the coast, such as Langs Beach, near Waipu. Whangarei (population 44,000) is the commercial and cultural heart of Northland. The city is surrounded by forested hills and is situated on a harbour which houses yachts from around New Zealand and the world.

If you are interested in clocks, the Clapham Clock Museum is worth a visit, with nearly 1000 unusual timepieces from around the world. It is located in the Town Basin, 5 minutes from the town centre. Continue on to Kawakawa, which has a railway line running down the main street, originally built for trains to haul coal to Opua. Here you turn right to Paihia, where you will be staying for the next three nights.


Hotel Selection-Paihia

Standard-Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia, Standard Room

Superior-Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Superior Seaview Room

Paihia


On these days you have time at leisure to explore the magnificent Bay of Islands.

The area provides a maritime park of over 144 islands and bays with miles of white sandy beaches to explore. Perhaps take a cruise, see the dolphins, or visit the Treaty House at Waitangi. Here, in 1840 the British Government and Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi.

You may like to take a ferry ride to Russell, the first capital of New Zealand.


Hotel Selection-Paihia

Standard-Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia, Standard Room

Superior-Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Superior Seaview Room

Paihia


Day at leisure.


Hotel Selection-Pahia

Standard-Kingsgate Hotel Autolodge Paihia, Standard Room

Superior-Copthorne Resort Bay of Islands, Superior Seaview Room

Paihia to Coromandel Peninsula (approx. 375 km to Pauanui and approx. 385 km to Whangamata)


A choice of routes back south today - you can travel back down State Highway 1 straight into Auckland or try a different route - over to the west coast through Opononi and along the beautiful coast. Further south on this route is the Waipoua Forest, which holds a reserve of 2639 hectares of Kauri, the largest surviving stand of these magnificent trees, which once covered much of the northern half of the North Island.

The largest tree in Waipoua is the Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest). It is 51 metres high, 14 metres around, with no branches for the first 12 metres. Carry on the main State Highway 1 through Auckland again and onto State Highway 2 towards the Coromandel Peninsula. Along the coast of the Firth of Thames is the township of Thames which provides a reminder of the gold rush which began in 1867. Around 1900, the town had about 19,000 inhabitants.

Travel over the beautiful Coromandel Ranges to either the upmarket beach township of Pauanui or nearby Whangamata.


Hotel Selection-Coromandle

Standard-Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge, 1 Bedroom Unit

Superior-Grand Mercure Puka Park, Tawa Treehut

Coromandel Peninsula


The Coromandel Peninsula is a beautiful area, with cool forests, picturesque beaches, rugged coastlines and swimming holes. Take a bushwalk, a walk on the beach, dangle a fishing line, or do nothing at all.


Hotel Selection-Coromandel

Standard-Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge, 1 Bedroom Unit

Superior-Grand Mercure Puka Park, Tawa Treehut

Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua (approx. 200 km from Pauanui and approx. 175km from Whangamata)


Travel south past many more beautiful beaches, and the township of Tauranga, one of the North Island’s largest ports. Your route takes you through Kiwifruit country around Te Puke and on to the heart of thermal activity and the cultural centre of New Zealand, Rotorua. Rotorua is on the central North Island volcanic plateau, which causes the geysers, pools of boiling mud and water, steam vents and terraces of silica.

The most well-known thermal area is the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve.


Hotel Selection-Rotorua

Standard-Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua, Superior Room    

Superior-Novotel Rotorua Lakeside, Superior Lake View

Rotorua


Time today to visit some of the major tourist attractions in the Rotorua township and surrounds.


Hotel Selection-Rotorua

Standard-Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua, Superior Room

Superior-Novotel Rotorua Lakeside, Superior Room Lakeview

Rotorua to Tongariro National Park (approx. 180 km)


Travel to the township of Taupo, right on the edge of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand.

Taupo is a trout fisherman’s paradise. There are also all sorts of water-based activities available – para-sailing, sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, white-water rafting (on the Tongariro River) as well as horse-riding, sky-diving and bungy jumping. Just north of Taupo is Huka Falls, a very dramatic area.

Drive along the east shore of Lake Taupo to Turangi, then onto State Highway 47 into Tongariro National Park.


Hotel Selection-Rotorua

Standard-Skotel Alpine Resort, Superior Room

Superior-Chateau Tongariro Hotel, Superior Room

Tongariro National Park to Wellington (approx. 330 km)


Leaving Tongariro National Park journey south via Palmerston North and Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Wellington sits on a beautiful harbour, with Mount Victoria overlooking the city and surrounds.


Hotel Selection-Wellington

Standard Hotel-Travelodge Hotel, Guest Room  

Superior Hotel-Hotel Grand Chancellor James Cook, Lambton Room

Wellington to Nelson (via Picton and Ferry) (approx. 110 km Picton to Nelson)


Catch the ferry from Wellington to Picton at the Inter-Islander terminal on Wellington’s waterfront. The car will need to be dropped off before catching the ferry and another vehicle picked up in Picton.

Cruise through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Drive around Picton before travelling through Havelock to Nelson, a pretty city flanked by the sea, golden beaches and hills.


Hotel Selection-Nelson

Standard Hotel-Bella Vista Nelson, Queen Studio  

Superior Hotel-Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Resort, Studio Apartment

Nelson


A day at leisure to explore the Nelson and Abel Tasman regions.


Hotel Selection-Nelson

Standard Hotel-Bella Vista Nelson, Queen Studio  

Superior Hotel-Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco Resort, Studio Apartment  

Nelson to Greymouth (approx. 290 km)


From Nelson you will head out past the Abel Tasman National Park region to the “wild west coast” of the South Island, through the small town of Westport and on to Greymouth.


Hotel Selection-Greymouth

Standard Hotel-Bella Vista Greymouth, Queen Standard Studio  

Superior Hotel-The Ashley Hotel, Superior Room

Greymouth to Glacier Region (approx. 179 km to Franz Josef and approx. 196 km to Fox Glacier)


From Greymouth continue south to Hokitika.

Hokitika is the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast and it is possible to watch pounamu carvers and gold craftsmen at work. Glass blowing and glass lace creation can be seen in the town’s glass blowing studio. Ruby rock is New Zealands very own gemstone and found only in Hokitika.

Just a short drive further south will bring you down into the famous Westland National Park, home to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. You will have time today to experience a walk up to the Glacier face or even out onto the ice itself.


Hotel Selection-Glacier Region

Standard Hotel-58 on Cron Motel, Studio Unit  

Superior Hotel-Franz Alpine Retreat, 1 Bedroom Chalet

Glacier Region to Queenstown (approx. 350 km from Franz Josef and approx. 327 km from Fox Glacier)


Leave the Glaciers today continuing south west on State Highway 6.

At Haast the road turns inland along the Haast River. Continue past Lake Wanaka and on to the town of Wanaka. From Wanaka either follow the main highway further inland through Luggate, Lowburn, Cromwell and back west to Queenstown, or take the Crown Range road via Cardrona (not recommended during Winter, approx. 68 km to Queenstown).

The Cardrona Valley is an old gold-mining route. Mt Cardrona is a haven for skiers of all standards. The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore the many activities and scenic wonders of Queenstown. If you’re feeling adventurous enjoy a ride with Heli-Jet on the Kawarau River, Shotover Jet on the Shotover River, try white-water rafting, take a helicopter ride, go bungy jumping or bush walking. Or, for a more relaxing time, take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu on TSS Earnslaw or just have a picnic and take in the beautiful surroundings.


Hotel Selection-Queenstown

Standard Hotel-Copthorne Resort Lakefront, Superior Room 

Superior Hotel-Millennium Queenstown, Superior Room

Queenstown


Day at leisure.


Hotel Selection-Queenstown

Standard Hotel-Copthorne Resort Lakefront, Superior Room 

Superior Hotel-Millennium Queenstown, Superior Room 

Queenstown to Te Anau (approx. 173 km)


From Queenstown travel south along Lake Wakatipu then west to Te Anau on the outskirts of the Fiordland National Park. Fiordland National Park is listed as a World Heritage Park.

At 1.52 million hectares, it is the largest national park in New Zealand and one of the largest in the world. Milford Sound is the best known, most easily accessible and one of the grandest of the fiords along this coastline. It runs past one of New Zealand’s most famous landmarks, Mitre Peak, which rises 1692 metres almost straight up from the water.


Hotel Selection-Te Anau

Standard Hotel-Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Superior Room

Superior Hotel Selection-Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas, Run of House

Te Anau to Dunedin (approx. 290 km)


Travel east via Lumsden and Gore, renowned for its brown trout fishing. Dunedin, founded by Scottish migrants in 1848, has the distinctive character of a university city as many citizens are students.

Dunedin is situated on the Otago Peninsula, which is indented with bays, providing many picnic and swimming sites. The hills above are criss-crossed with old stone walls.


Hotel Selection-Dunedin

Standard Hotel-Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge, Standard Room

Superior Hotel-Scenic Hotel Dunedin City, Superior Room


Dunedin


Today we suggest a drive out along the Otago Peninsula for a sample of the unique South Island wildlife found in abundance on this scenic peninsula.

At the tip of the peninsula is Taiaroa Head, a special reserve that includes the only mainland nesting site of the magnificent Royal Albatross. The rare Yellow-eyed penguins can also be seen at the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Reserve, halfway along the peninsula.


Hotel Selection-Dunedin

Standard Hotel-Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge, Standard Room 

Superior Hotel-Scenic Hotel Dunedin City, Superior Room 

Dunedin to Mt Cook Region (approx. 255 km to Twizel and approx. 320 km to Mount Cook)


Drive up the coast on State Highway 1 through Palmerston to Moeraki, where you can see the intriguing boulders on the beach at low tide. Just past Oamaru, the main town of the Wataki area, at Pukeuri turn left onto State Highway 83.

This route will take you through Kurow, Otematata and onto Omarama. Omarama is the centre for trout fishing on the Ahuriri River and bush walking in the Ohau State Forest. It is also a very popular spot for gliding. From Omarama turn right to head north on State Highway 8. Travel on to Twizel. Twizel was built in 1968 as the base town for the huge power developments on the Upper Waitaki River Power Development Scheme.

The town was supposed to have been bulldozed flat when the scheme finished in 1986 but today Twizel thrives as the nearest town to Mt Cook and as a service town for the Mackenzie Region.


Hotel Selection-Mt Cook Region

Standard Hotel-Mackenzie Country Inn, Deluxe Room 

Superior Hotel-Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook, Superior Room

Mt Cook Region to Christchurch (approx. 285km from Twizel and approx. 330 km from Mount Cook)


Head north and travel via Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, a spectacular turquoise coloured glacial lake. Stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Tekapo for one of New Zealand’s most picturesque picnic spots.

Enter the Canterbury Plains, the widest area of flat land in New Zealand and onto Christchurch. Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s historic cities with a distinctly “English” feel to it. The city is currently reinventing itself after the 2010/11 earthquakes which destroyed much of the city.

Among the city’s popular sights are RE:Start, an outdoor retail and café precinct built in fashionably presented shipping containers, the Transitional Cardboard Cathedral, a fascinating architectural structure made out of cardboard.


Hotel Selection-Christchurch

Standard Hotel-Chateau on the Park Christchurch, a Double Tree by Hilton, Guest Room 

Superior Hotel-Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square, Superior Room

Christchurch


Your program ends today with returning your rental car.

Inclusions

-Hotels
-Car Rental for 22 Days-AVIS. Airport Pick n Drop
-Car Rental Inclusions-Unlimited kms, Standard Motor Vehicle Insurance, Excess Reduction to a NIL Excess, Airport/Wharf Fees, GPS Unit, GST @ 15%
-Meals (as specified)

Exclusions

-Flights
-Visa charges
-Any service not specified in inclusions

Terms & Conditions

-All tours need to be booked at least 120 days prior to the travel date.
-Price displayed is for standard hotel and compact auto car.
-Prices given are subject to availability and may change at the time of booking.
-Prices quoted are per person.
-Full Payment is required to confirm the tour.
-Travel dates cannot he changed once the tour has been been confirmed.
-Child rates are available on request.

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