LT43GD14 Auckland to Christchurch – Self Drive (14 days / 13 Nights) Itinerary Three


(per adult)

This fourteen day / thriteen night self drive touring option allows you to explore from Auckland south to Christchurch at your leisure. You will visit Waitomo, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Napier, Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Greymouth, Franz Josef and Queenstown. There are options available for Auckland Sightseeing, and a host of attractions in Rotorua , Lake Taupo, Franz Josef and Queenstown. All can be pre-booked through the booking menu. The Tour Cost includes the Inter-Islander Ferry Crossing and admission and tour at the Waitomo Caves and the Nature Cruise on Milford Sounds.

• Auckland
• Waitomo Caves
• Rotorua
• Rotorua Attractions
• Lake Taupo
• Napier
• Wellington
• Inter-Island Ferry & Picton
• Nelson
• West Coast South Island, including Franz Josef Glacier
• Queenstown
• Mount Cook & Lakes Pukakiki and Tekapo
• Christchurch
•13 Night Four Star Hotel Accommodation
•14 Day Car Hire SDAR Car – Toyota Corolla or similar
Day One Auckland
Arrive Auckland and collect your rental car at Auckland Airport, drive into Auckland City and check into your central city Auckland Hotel. Remainder of the day and evening at leisure. Should time permit join a half day ( 3 hour ) Auckland City Sightseeing tour, see optional extras opposite. Evening Accommodation Heritage Hotel Auckland or similar
Day Two Auckland – Waitomo Caves – Rotorua
Travelling by road from Auckland to Rotorua, travelling south from Auckland through the lush Waikato farmland to your first stop at Waitomo. A guided tour of the Waitomo Caves by boat into the famous Glowworm Grotto, is included in this tour package. Wander through subterranean caverns and see spectacular limestone rock formations. From Waitomo the road travels through the Mamaku Hills , the lush Waikato Plains and the Fitzgerald Glade to Rotorua arriving mid afternoon. On arrival check into your evenings accommodation.
Evening Accommodation Millennium Hotel Rotorua or similar
Day Three Rotorua
Today tour this geothermal wonderland, known as Rotorua. Today is one of leisure for you to explore this amazing geothermal world. Not only will you have time to explore the township, the lake and the beautiful Government Gardens but you will also have the opportunity to visit several of the attractions that are located in and around Rotorua, such as Te Puia, the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and Maori Arts and Craft Institute, the thermal valley with the famous Pohutu Geyser, and boiling mud pools. Rainbow Springs and the famous New Zealand kiwi bird. Agrodome, with a tour of a working farm. Watch a sheep being shorn, hand-feed the animals and a sheep dog trial. If you wish to visit Hobbiton it is only an hour’s drive from Rotorua and you can either self-drive and do the guided tour once you reach Hobbiton or upgrade and do the half day coach tour from Rotorua to Hobbiton which departs Rotorua daily at 1.20 pm. Please note Hobbiton is a very popular attraction and should be pre-booked to avoid disappointment. This evening there is the option of visiting Tamaki Maori Village for an evening of Maori Culture and a hangi dinner. The admission to any of these attractions can be purchased at the time of booking, see extras opposite
Evening Accommodation Millennium Hotel Rotorua or similar
Day Four Rotoura – Napier
Travel from Rotorua to Napier by road. At your leisure departure for the 1 hour journey to Lake Taupo, a huge volcanic crater lake, travelling through extensive exotic forests and geothermal areas. Don’t forget to stop at Huka Falls for some amazing photo opportunities or experience the Jet Boating on the Huka River, see options available in the booking menu opposite. From Lake Taupo travel the Taupo to Napier Road to Napier City, located centrally on the East Coast of the North Island in the heart of the Hawkes Bay and is famous for its Art Deco buildings in the downtown area of the city. If you have an interest in wine, the Hawkes Bay region is both the oldest and a famous wine growing regions in New Zealand and you can visit one or more of the many wineries that are in the area and taste some great wines.
Evening Accommodation Scenic Hotel Te Pania, or similar
Day Five Napier – Wellington
This morning is at leisure in Napier and the Hawkes Bay Region, you can explore the township and its art deco buildings or wander the seas shore. On departing Napier you will drive south on State Highway 2 to Woodville where the surrounding hills are covered with wind turbines and then onto Masterton. After passing through Masterton again if you are interested in wine you could consider a short detour to the township of Martinborough at the heart of the wine growing region on the Wairarapa. From Masterton you will continue south through the Rimutaka Hills and then through the Hutt Valley to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.
Evening Accommodation James Cook Hotel Wellington or similar
Day Six Wellington – Picton
This morning is at leisure, should time permit join a half day ( 3 hour ) Wellington City Sightseeing tour, see optional extras opposite. Or just explore Wellington City at your own pace. Mid-afternoon you will depart Wellington by Inter-Islander Ferry, a drive on and drive off ferry service (cost of which is included in the tour price), crossing Cooks Straight and through the scenically beautiful Marlborough Sounds to Picton, located in the heart of Queen Charlotte Sound. Weather permitting this 3 hour ferry journey will provide you with some wonderful photo opportunities. On arrival in Picton you will drive off the ferry into this quaint township, where everything will be in walking distance from your evenings accommodation.
Evening Accommodation Picton Beachcomber Inn or similar
Day Seven Picton – Nelson
Today you will depart Picton and drive south initially to Blenheim in the heart of the Marlborough Region, the most famous region in New Zealand for its wines, especially its Sauvignon Blancs you can visit one or more of the many wineries that are in the area and taste some great wines, or have lunch at one of the many winery restaurants that you can visit on route. From Blenheim you will proceed west to the township of Havelock located at the foot of the Pelorus Sound and then through the Rai Valley and the Whangamoa hills to the coast and the seaside city of Nelson in the heart of the Tasman Bay.
Evening Accommodation Rutherford Hotel Nelson or similar
Day Eight Picton – Greymouth
On departing Nelson today you will leave the coast and travel south through the central top of the South Island on State Highway 6 through to Murchison . From Murchison you will follow the Buller River and Buller Gorge through to Westport on the rugged West Coast of the South Island and then following the coastal road south initially to Punakaki and the site of the famous pancake rocks and then onto Greymouth for your evenings accommodation
Evening Accommodation The Ashley Hotel Greymouth or similar
Day Nine Greymouth – Franz Josef
Your journey today continues to follow the rugged West Coast of the South Island south to Franz Josef and the glacier which bears its name. Your journey will take you through Hokitika and then along a narrow stretch of flat land where the mountains of the Southern Alps roll down to meet the sea. The landscape has high mountains to your right and stony beaches running the length of the coast to your left and with a multitude of fast flowing rivers to cross, often on one-way bridges. On your arrival in the Franz Josef township and following the check in to your evenings accommodation take the short drive into the Franz Josef Glacier, from the Glacier car park there is a moderate walk to the face of the retreating glacier. Should you prefer you can take a helicopter ride from the township and land on the snow-covered glacier. See optional extras opposite.
Evening Accommodation Scenic Circle Hotel Franz Josef of similar
Day Ten Franz Josef – Queenstown
On departing Franz Josef you will drive 30 minutes south to the township of Fox and the Fox Glacier. Weather permitting take the short detour into Lake Matheson and experience some wonderful views across the lake with Mount Cook and the snow-capped Southern Alps reflecting in the lake and on a clear day presenting a wonderful mirror image. Continuing your journey south travelling through the sparsely populated rain forests of the World Heritage Westland National Park with the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps to your left and the rugged Westland Coastline to your right, and area where rivers, rainforest and mountain peaks dominate the landscape. The road then traverses the picturesque Haast Pass to Lakes Hawea, Wanaka and Dunstan prior to passing through Cromwell, the fruit going heart of Central Otago, and then finally travelling through the Kawerau Gorge, famous for its gold exploration of the mid 1800’s, onto Queenstown. On route stop at the historic Kawerau River Bridge and watch the bungy jumping or even have a go! See optional extras opposite. This beautiful township is nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by high mountain ranges which are snow-capped for much of the year. In addition to its natural beauty Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world.
Evening Accommodation Millennium Queenstown or similar
Day Eleven Queenstown
A day at leisure in Queenstown to either simply explore this most beautiful township nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounds by mountains which are snow-capped for much of the year or enjoy one of the many actives that are on offer. We would suggest visiting the Skyline Gondola for amazing views or travelling on the TSS Earnslaw across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station or for the more adventurous try jet boating on the Shotover river. See extras available on the booking menu. Don’t forget to visit the historic goldmining township of Arrowtown.
Evening Accommodation Millennium Queenstown or similar
Day Twelve Queenstown – Milford Sounds – Queenstown
Today enjoy a truly stunning scenic drive to Milford Sound, travelling initially from Queenstown to Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park then through the Homer Tunnel emerge into the Cleddau Valley. Join your Milford Sound Nature Cruise for an unforgettable experience, and explore the wonder of this majestic fiord before returning to Queenstown by road.  Nature Cruise is included in the tour cost. As an alternative to self-driving you can chose to travel to and from Queenstown by coach as a day tour option to Milford Sound, or treat yourself to a truly unique experience and join a Doubtful Sounds day tour from Queenstown; see extras available on the booking menu.
Evening Accommodation Millennium Queenstown or similar
Day Thirteen Queenstown – Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo
Today travel by road to Mt Cook, departing Queenstown and initially retracing your route through the Kawerau Gorge to the township of Cromwell, famous for its fruit growing and roadside orchards selling the produce they grow. Then continue south travelling along the shores of Lake Dunstan and through the Lindas Pass. After passing through Twizel you will reach Lake Pukakiki and the turn off to Mount Cook. The road into Mount Cook will, on a clear day provide you with some magnificent photo opportunities. On departing Mount Cook you will drive through to the township of the shores of lake Tekapo for your evenings accommodation. This evening you have the option to visit the Mount John Observatory for some amazing star gazing. See optional extras opposite.
Evening accommodation Pepper Hotel Lake Tekapo or similar

Day Fourteen Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
On this the final day of your tour you can depart Lake Tekapo at your leisure for your final drive to Christchurch, leaving the South Islands high country and travelling through the rolling foot hills of the Southern Alps to the Canterbury Plains and your final destination Christchurch. Time permitting have a look around this amazing city much of which was badly damaged and destroyed by a major earthquake in 2011 and the rebuild that is currently taking place. At your leisure return your rental car to either Christchurch Airport or a downtown location at which time your tour will conclude.
Please Note:
The tour pricing is on a twin share basis with up to two adults and two children travelling (children will be sharing the same hotel room as their parents). Should a single person be travelling, then the single person supplement will apply. See extras available on the booking menu
The tour price includes the one-way vehicle relocation between Auckland and Christchurch and the Inter-Islander ferry crossing between Wellington and Picton for the vehicle and to four passengers.
By adding optional extras at the time of booking you will receive a 10% discount on the extras as well as on the actual booking.
Important Information Regarding Your Vehicle Rental:
1. The vehicle included with this rental is a Standard Size SDAR car, Toyota Corolla or similar
2. There are options to upgrade the vehicle size at the time of booking, see extras available on the booking menu
3. The vehicle comes equipped with Satellite Navigation
4. The standard size vehicle can carry up to 5 people, and up to two large and two small suitcases
5. The vehicle rental has a NZ$575.00 insurance excess for any vehicle damage, regardless of fault. There is the option to purchase vehicle collision damage wavier, reducing the excess to $0, see extras available on the booking menu.



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Tour type: Daily Tour
Duration: 14 Days / 13 Nights
Maximum number of people: 4
Location: Self Drive – New Zealand, Self Drive – Both Islands