Self-drive in New Zealand exploring the North and South Islands
Go on an adventure on the roads of New Zealand. This self-drive tour will allow you to discover the North and South Islands in complete freedom. The itinerary has been carefully planned so that you don’t miss any of the country’s highlights, while not having to worry about your accommodation being booked for you. For a planned but self-paced trip, this is the perfect combination!
15-night accommodation at 3* hotels in double occupancy
2 meals: 2 dinners
Car rental for a duration of 16 days with Budget Rent A Car – CCAR Compact, Toyota Corolla or similar
One way Interisland ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton for car and passengers
A Te Pō Hangi and concert in Te Puia
Cruise to Abel Tasman National Park
Admission to West Coast Wildlife Centre with Kiwi Backstage Pass
Skyline Queenstown, Gondola ride
TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Walter Peak Farm and gourmet BBQ dinner
Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Elm Wildlife Tours, Peninsula Encounters Wildlife Cruise
International and domestic flights – Electronic Travel Authority for New Zealand: An NZeTA request costs NZD $17 on our free mobile app, or NZD $23 if completed online https://nzeta.immigration.govt.nz/ – Optional excursions – Beverages – Items of a personal nature – Gratuities to hotel personnel, guides and drivers.
DAY 1 AUCKLAND
Accommodation : Auckland for 1 night
DAY 2 AUCKLAND – COROMANDEL (Approximately 180kms)
COROMANDEL PENINSULA - the Peninsula juts out from the South Auckland coastline to separate the Hauraki Gulf from the Bay of Plenty. Deep in the bush lie abandoned mining machinery, old kauri water dams, and timber milling equipment. The Peninsula is full of contrasts - the sea lapping on quiet golden beaches, or crashing onto jagged rocks at the bottom of a steep cliff. Farmland is fertile in some places, and in other areas has reverted to manuka and gorse.
Accommodation : Pauanui for 1 night
DAY 3 COROMANDEL – ROTORUA (Approximately 250kms)
ROTORUA - located on a volcanic plateau, and formerly a spa town, Rotorua is most famous for its geothermal activity. Rotorua is the main place in New Zealand where aspects of Maori traditions can be seen, from wood carvings, and meeting houses, to a Hangi dinner and Maori dances. Native introduced tree species abound locally and combined with several picturesque lakes, Rotorua is a fascinating mix of culture and nature.
Accommodation : Rotorua for 2 nights
DAY 4 ROTORUA
INCLUDED: Te Po Indigenous Evening Experience
The legacy of welcoming manuhiri/visitors began almost 200 years ago when the the people of Te Whakarewarewa were hosting the country’s first manuhiri to our geothermal wonderland. This legacy continues today as you are welcomed by the descendants of those original hosts. Te Puia’s world-famous hāngī buffet dinner is served in Pātaka Kai Restaurant, Bar and Cafe. The cultural performance will take place in our beautifully carved meeting house, Te Aronui a Rua. It will include a pōhiri (traditional welcome), waiata (song), mōteatea (traditional chant) poi and haka. The evening culminates with hot chocolate and steamed pudding surrounded by steam and the geyser terrace bathed in coloured light. Followed by your return to your hotel.
Meals : Dinner
DAY 5 ROTORUA – NAPIER (Approximately 230kms)
Accommodation : Napier for 1 night
DAY 6 NAPIER – WELLINGTON (Approximately 325kms)
Accommodation : Wellington for 1 night
DAY 7 WELLINGTON – NELSON (3 hours ferry)
NELSON - with its gardens and gorgeous sunsets, looks across Tasman Bay. Streets and parks are named after Admiral Nelson and his exploits, as well as the names of the ships that brought the first pioneers over from England. Forestry, fruit and fishing are the main focus of Nelson’s port, while to the west, apple orchards, tobacco and hop plantations occupy the land.
Accommodation : Nelson for 2 nights
DAY 8 NELSON – KAITERITERI – ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK – KAITERITERI – NELSON
Today, drive to picturesque Kaiteriteri Beach to bord a scenic cruise into the majestic Abel Tasman National Park as far north as Totaranui. View world-famous Split Apple Rock, fur seals and much more before you return to Kaiteriteri. A great cruise for all ages. Return to Kaiteriteri and drive back to your hotel.
DAY 9 NELSON – GREYMOUTH (Approximately 305kms)
Accommodation : Greymouth for 1 night
DAY 10 GREYMOUTH – FRANZ JOSEF (Approximately 175kms)
INCLUDED: Admission to West Coast Wildlife Centre with exclusive Kiwi Backstage Pass Tour
Make your own way to the West Coast Wildlife Centre, located at the corner of Cowan and Cron Streets, Franz Josef Village to commence a Combo Pass (including Kiwi Backstage Pass). The West Coast Wildlife Centre is one of the largest Kiwi Captive Rearing facilities in New Zealand and is helping to save the critically endangered Rowi and Haast Tokoeka Kiwi from extinction. A Kiwi Ranger will guide you through the incubation and rearing facility. Chicks will be available to view on the Backstage Pass from October to March (subject to change and breeding season). Outside of the natural kiwi breeding season, Backstage Pass tours will include guided live kiwi spotting in the Nocturnal House.
Accommodation : Franz Josef for 1 night
DAY 11 FRANZ JOSEF – QUEENSTOWN (Approximately 355kms)
INCLUDED: Skyline Queenstown, Gondola ride
Enjoy a return Skyline Gondola ride to the summit of Bob’s Peak where you can enjoy panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.
Accommodation : Queenstown for 2 nights
DAY 12 QUEENSTOWN
INCLUDED: TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Walter Peak Farm and gourmet BBQ dinner
Report to the Steamer Wharf 20 minutes prior to your departure.
For a dining experience like no other, cruise across Lake Whakatipu on the iconic TSS Earnslaw and discover Queenstown’s incomparable fine dining destination. Cruise aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw across to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Once at the lakeside Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant savour the delicious aromas as our chef has the best of local produce sizzling away on the grill. Overlooking Lake Whakatipu and Queenstown’s alpine scenery, the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak High Country Farm is the perfect place to spend a few hours. Its colonial architecture and sweeping grounds evoke the elegance of a bygone era. An entertaining farm demonstration is also included or you can explore the beautiful lakeside gardens. After dinner, cruise back to Queenstown.
Meals : Dinner
DAY 13 QUEENSTOWN – TE ANAU (Approximately 185kms)
INCLUDED: Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Cruise across beautiful Lake Te Anau, to the Cavern House. On arrival, learn about the caves and view fascinating displays. Your guides will then take you in small groups by path and small boats underground into the caves. Highlights include incredible limestone caverns, whirlpools, waterfalls and the magical glow-worm grotto. Return to Te Anau. There will be a guided walk (approx 30-40 minutes) in the forest area and lake surrounding the caves offered to guests as an option. The track will also be lit in the evenings.
Accommodation : Te Anau for 1 night
DAY 14 TE ANAU – DUNEDIN (Approximately 292kms)
INCLUDED: Elm Wildlife Tours, Peninsula Encounters Wildlife Cruise
Join a local guide for a journey across the Otago Peninsula. Travel over the high road with postcard views of the harbour and coast. You’ll travel past quaint communities and rural farms. Spot wading birds as your mini-bus explores around the inlets and the wetland eco-systems. Your tour will visit a remote Otago Peninsula beach. A short walk from the mini-bus will provide dramatic views of rugged coastal cliffs, offshore islands and perhaps some huge sea lions. The trip continues to Wellers Rock Wharf, for a Monarch Wildlife Cruise. You’ll travel out of the harbour, around Taiaroa Head, and out to sea. Watch royal albatross glide across the water and return to their breeding colony. Beneath a historic lighthouse is a colony of playful furseals. You’ll spot other rare seabirds and maybe blue penguins or other marine mammals. Guests are also welcome to bring a pre-packed meal on tour with them. Snacks and drinks can be purchased whilst aboard the MV Monarch. We recommend having a good sized lunch before the tour departs Dunedin. The final stop is at a Yellow-eyed Penguin conservation reserve. Visit the on-site rehab centre before a tour of the reserve. You’ll take trails through native bushland, walking through tunnels and trenches to different viewing hides scattered around the reserve. Watch as the world’s rarest penguin returns ashore and interacts around their nesting sites. The tour ends with a relaxed drive, following the harbour, back to Dunedin.
Accommodation : Dunedin for 1 night
DAY 15 DUNEDIN – CHRISTCHURCH (Approximately 365kms)
The Garden City, lies on the level plains that initially attracted the closely knit Church of England settlers that settled the area. The largest of the South Island cities, Christchurch retains something of the English nature of its origins - the willow and oak-lined River Avon and clustered mediaeval stone buildings.
Accommodation : Christchurch for 1 night
DAY 16 CHRISTCHURCH - VANCOUVER
HOTEL OPTIONS OR SIMILAR
Grand Chancellor 3*
Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge 3*
Rydges Rotorua 4*
Bella Vista Napier 3*
Bella Vista Motel Wellington 3*
Bella Vista Nelson 4*
Bella Vista Greymouth 3*
Ibis Christchurch 3*
Rates in CA$, per person, starting from, in double occupancy
|November 1 – December 22, 2023||3259|
|December 23, 2023 – March 31, 2024||3459|
**Prices in this document are for information only; they were issued at press time, for the current year. Please note that due to exchange rates and temporary promotions, they can increase or decrease at any time. Contact your travel agent for the price and promotion of the moment The prices indicated exclude the contribution to the Customer Compensation Fund of $3.50 per $1,000 of tourism product or service purchased from a travel agent in Quebec.