4×4 Hike and Drive

from £2980
excluding flights *
24 nights Year round


This imaginative itinerary offers the very best of New Zealand, incorporating well-known sights, national parks and renowned hiking trails. With your own 4x4 vehicle you’ll discover New Zealand’s exciting back country and at the end of each day return to comfortable accommodation.


  • Coastal walkway and beaches of the Coromandel 
  • Volcanic landscapes of Tongariro National Park   
  • Walk Abel Tasman's lush coastal forest and turquoise sea    
  • Rugged West Coast with rare birds and diverse flora
  • Spectacular Fiordland and Milford Sound   
  • Southern Alps beautiful alpine scenery

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Car rental throughout
  • Interislander ferry crossing
  • Optional guided sunrise walk on Mt Ruapehu
  • Milford Coach, Cruise and Walk Day Tour ex Te Anau
  • Road and boat transfers
  • Meet and greet on arrival
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

Full description

The 25-day itinerary has been specially designed to include hikes in selected national parks and we even arrange transportation for you to and from the start and end of the walks so you don’t have to backtrack. To enjoy all the walks fully, you should be fit and ideally have previous mountain walking experience. However, the shorter walks can be enjoyed by most hikers.

Even though some of the walking may be rough underfoot, at the end of each day you’ll return to a comfortable bed for the night, staying in a mix of hotels, motels, lodges, guesthouses and homestay.

Exclusive to Discover the World clients

Book this 4x4 self-drive holiday and receive a free pre-programmed GPS unit and personalised holiday itinerary. Available on arrival this will be included as part of a comprehensive tour documentation pack which includes maps, off-road driving routes and descriptions and regional maps. This offer applies to this tour as well as our 22-day Real New Zealand and any tailor made 4x4 itineraries.

Contact our New Zealand specialists now
nordic team doug kington bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers
“The weather can turn in the blink of an eye, but from glorious sunshine through to thick swirling cloud, our hike over the renowned Tongariro Crossing was nothing short of spectacular. Be prepared and embrace the challenge - it’s well worth it!”
, Tailor Made

Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom, including car hire. Prices for other combinations of passengers and rooms available on request. Other vehicle types also available.

Departure Duration Accomodation Car Category Twin Price (pp)
01 Apr - 15 Sep 2020 24 nights Simple Intermediate SUV £2,980
01 Apr - 15 Sep 2020 24 nights Standard Intermediate SUV £3,236
16 Sep 2020 - 31 Mar 2021 24 nights Simple Intermediate SUV £3,390
16 Sep 2020 - 31 Mar 2021 24 nights Standard Intermediate SUV £3,809

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom (mix of hotels, B&Bs and homestays)
  • Car rental throughout (subject to insurance excess)
  • Interislander ferry crossing
  • Transfer to/from Coromandel Coastal Walkway
  • Transfer to/from Tongariro Alpine Crossing or Guided 2 hour Sunset Walk
  • Boat transfer to the Queen Charlotte Track
  • Boat transfer to the Abel Tasman National Park
  • Milford Track Day Cruise & Walk from Te Anau
  • Meet and greet on arrival
  • Comprehensive travel documentation
  • Eco pack (on arrival in New Zealand) containing a reusable aluminium drink bottle and coffee cup, a reusable shopping bag and a contribution to a carbon neutral tree planting programme
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection »

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

The itinerary shown is an example of this self-drive holiday. We have many other hotels and route recommendations which can be tailored to your requirements. Please discuss with our Travel Specialists who can put together a bespoke itinerary for you.

Day 1 arrive Auckland

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your accommodation.

Days 2-3 Auckland - West Coast - Coromandel

(Average driving time: 3 hours I Coromandel Coastal Walkway, grade 2, 3-4 hours)
Collect your 4x4 vehicle from the city depot. Explore Auckland’s fascinating west coast scenery. Highlights include Piha and the Muriwai Gannet Colony, as well as a choice of local vineyards. Head southeast and drive along the coast to charming Coromandel Town.

On day 3 you will be collected from your accommodation and taken to the starting point of the Coromandel Coastal Walkway. From Fletcher Bay begin your comfortable 3-4 hour self-guided trek. Afterwards enjoy a well-deserved swim in the ocean or bathe in a crystal clear creek.

Day 4 Coromandel - Whangamata

(Average driving time: 2 hours | Wentworth Falls Track, grade 2, 2.5 hours)
At Hot Water Beach you can dig your own thermal pool at low tide or take the short walk from Hahei Beach to the amazing Cathedral Cove. Hike the Wentworth Valley to the waterfalls, and beyond if you are feeling energetic. Tonight you stay in a lovely B&B near Whangamata.

Day 5 Whangamata - Rotorua

(Average driving time: 3.5 hours)
Travel along the east coast to Rotorua. Pass through the Kiwi growing area of Te Puke. You may like to make a stop at the visitor centre and learn all about the national fruit of New Zealand. In Rotorua discover sparkling lakes, native and exotic forests, geysers, boiling mud pools, hot springs and the very best of New Zealand's Maori culture. You may wish to attend a 'hangi', and Maori cultural show this evening (optional).

Day 6 Te Urewera National Park

(Whirinaki Waterfall Track grade 2, 3-4 hours, pre-booked walk)
Today's walk takes you through the Whirinaki Forest, an area of 60,000 hectares and one of the best preserved rainforests on the North Island. Rare birds like the kaka (parrot) and karearea (falcon) may be seen during today’s hike. After your walk you may like to relax in the thermal waters of the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua.

Days 7-8 Rotorua - Taupo - Tongariro

(Average driving time: 4 hours I Tongariro Alpine Crossing, grade 4, 7-9 hours, pre-booked walk)
Drive through the heart of the North Island and stop en route at Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland or Waimangu Volcanic Valley before arriving in Tongariro National Park, renowned for its dramatic volcanic landscapes.

Today's walk on the Tongariro Crossing is acknowledged as one of the best day hikes in the world, providing the opportunity to view colourful craters, lakes and bubbling hot pools. The track takes you through various vegetation zones, from alpine bush to Tussock grass, on to barren highlands and down again to lush Podocarp forest. You will be picked up at the end of your walk. Alternatively, for an easier walking option, you can choose to take part in a guided sunrise walk on Mt Ruapehu.

Day 9 Tongariro - Wanganui - Wellington

(Average driving time: 5.5 hours)
Via Raetihi your journey continues to Pipiriki and along the Whanganui River, the most beautiful river on the North Island. Follow the course of the river along the Old Whanganui River Road to Wanganui and on to Wellington, where a visit to the National Museum, Te Papa, is highly recommended.

Day 10 Wellington - Marlborough Sounds - Queen Charlotte Sound

Drop off your vehicle and board the ferry to Picton. On arrival you will be transferred by water taxi to your accommodation in Queen Charlotte Sound. You may like to do an afternoon walk in this stunning part of the South Island.

Day 11 Queen Charlotte Sound

(Queen Charlotte Walk, grade 2, 2-3 hours, pre-booked walk)
Explore the Marlborough Sounds by boat and on foot. Your excursion includes water taxi transfers as well as a self-guided hike on the famous Queen Charlotte Track. Enjoy the breathtaking Marlborough Sounds' coast - a magical place for exploring.

Days 12-13 Queen Charlotte Sound - Abel Tasman

(Average driving time: 3 hours I Abel Tasman Coast Track, grade 1-3, 4 hours, pre-booked walk)
Transfer back to Picton by boat and then pick up your rental car before driving the scenic route along Queen Charlotte Drive and the bays and beaches of the Marlborough Sound. Arrive in Abel Tasman National Park where you have a 2-night stay.

The following day a boat takes you along the coast to Abel Tasman National Park to a bay for the start of your walk. Here you can walk through lush coastal rainforest, native bush and on golden sandy beaches. After your walk the boat will pick you up from another bay.

Day 14 Abel Tasman - Paparoa National Park/Punakaiki

(Average driving time is 6 hours)
The drive along the winding Buller Gorge takes you to the wild West Coast. A side trip to Westport and Cape Foulwind's seal colony is worthwhile and the curious blowholes and pancake rocks of Punakaiki are fascinating.

Day 15 Punakaiki

(Pororari River Track, grade 2, 3 hours)
Enjoy a wonderful walk today through a river valley and gorge with dramatic cliffs and dense subtropical forest with rare birds. There is a good picnic area and swimming spot along the way. Bizarre rock formations at the coast and the subtropical climate with plenty of sun and rain are responsible for the diverse flora. Insiders consider Paparoa to be the best National Park in New Zealand.

Day 16 Punakaiki - Westland National Park/Franz Josef

(Average driving time: 4 hours)
Continue south to Franz Josef, where you stay overnight. Glaciers, rainforest and coast are close together in Westland National Park. The many different shades of green of the dense rainforest will amaze you. There is a lot to see and do in this region. Perhaps take a jet boat tour in Whataroa to the White Heron Colony or visit Okarito on the coast and enjoy a kayaking trip through this quiet lagoon. Helicopter flights with glacier landings are possible from Fox or Franz Josef Glacier.

Day 17 Westland National Park - Haast Pass - Lake Wanaka

(Average driving time: 4.5 hours) | Mount Iron, Wanaka, grade 1, 1.5 hours)
We recommend a stop at Ship Creek Walk and a side trip from here to Munro Beach. During the months of October to December you may be lucky enough to see penguins and hector's dolphins playing in the sea. Drive over the Haast Pass, a scenic drive with many opportunities to stop and explore, and onto Lake Wanaka. After the long drive the easy walk to the top of Mount Iron will reward you with a 360 degree view to the Southern Alps.

Day 18 Lake Wanaka - Mt Aspiring National Park

(Rob Roy Glacier Track, grade 2-3, 4-5 hours)
This great track starts in beautiful Matukituki Valley at a swing bridge. The walk enables easy access to a spectacular alpine region with snowfields, glaciers, steep cliffs and waterfalls.

Day 19 Wanaka - Fiordland National Park/Te Anau

(Average driving time: 3.5 hours)
Travel across the Crown Range to Lake Wakatipu and then through rural countryside onto Te Anau. This little town is known as the "walking capital of the world" and its glowworm caves are another local attraction.

Day 20 Te Anau-Milford Track

(Milford Coach, Cruise and Walk Day Tour, grade 2-3, 5-6 hours, pre-booked walk, operates Nov-Mar)
Enjoy a leisurely, small group day trip to Milford Sound, including a boat cruise along the full length of the fiord to the Tasman Sea. Choose from either a series of short walks and exploration with a friendly, local nature guide or 2.5 hours hiking (unguided) on the renowned Routeburn Great Walk to Key Summit.
Overnight in Te Anau

Days 21-22 Te Anau - Queenstown

(Average driving time: 2.5 hours)
The relatively short drive back to Queenstown gives plenty of time to further explore Fiordland National Park, then drive along Lake Wakitipu to Queenstown where you will stay for the next two nights.
With time at leisure, enjoy a range of adrenalin-focused activities or, alternatively, relax with a walk in the Remarkables mountains, play golf or visit the gold-mining town of Arrowtown.

Day 23 Queenstown - Mount Cook

(Average driving time: 4 hours | Hooker Valley Track, grade 2-3, 2-4 hours)
Via the wilderness of Central Otago and across the Lindis Pass you reach the foot of Aoraki, Mt Cook. Your walk here starts in Mount Cook Village and takes you over two swing bridges to a viewing point with amazing views to Mount Cook and the glaciers. No less interesting is the side trip from Omarama to the Clay Cliffs. The bizarre rock formations change colour depending on the time of day. Overnight is spent in Mount Cook Village.

Days 24-25 Mount Cook National Park - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

(Average driving time: 5.5 hours)
At the end of your holiday you might like to enjoy a scenic flight over lakes and alps or drive to the top of Mount John near Lake Tekapo and enjoy the amazing views. Your drive takes you along the foothills and over the endless wide Canterbury Plains to the city of Christchurch. Take a walk through Hagley Park and along the Avon River. Enjoy the many cafes and restaurants and take advantage of a last opportunity to purchase some souvenirs.
The following day, return your rental vehicle to the airport and depart.

Heritage Auckland

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

This historic building has been transformed into a luxury 467-suite hotel with views over the city to the sparkling harbour beyond.

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124 on Brunswick, Rotorua

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Guesthouse B&B

This traditional Kiwi Homestead is located in rural Brunswick Park just a short drive from the centre of Rotorua.

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Distinction Wellington Century City Hotel

New Zealand

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

Located in the cultural centre of New Zealand’s vibrant capital city, Distinction Wellington offers 89 comfortable apartments from studio rooms to two bedroom apartments, each boasting stylish, modern design and superior amenities.

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Abel Tasman Ocean View Chalets

New Zealand

Grade: Standard

Type: Unique And Boutique

Located in Marahau at the southern entrance of Abel Tasman National Park, Abel Tasman Ocean View Chalets offer beautiful natural timber chalets in an elevated position with views over Abel Tasman National Park and the ocean.

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Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

West Coast

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

A stunning eco-tourism hotel with spectacular views of wild West Coast beaches, the Punakaiki Resort offers 26 hotel rooms alongside 37 self-contained suites.

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The Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook

New Zealand

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

Superbly situated in Mt Cook National Park, the Hermitage offers 164 guestrooms with fabulous mountain views from the impressive foyer and lounge.

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Hotel Ibis, Rotorua

New Zealand

Grade: Simple

Type: Hotel

The Hotel Ibis is found on the picturesque shores of Lake Rotorua, providing 145 guestrooms within a 5-minute walk of the town centre.

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Other Information

Exploring New Zealand’s walking and hiking trails is one of the most rewarding ways of seeing the country’s outstanding natural beauty. Please refer to the list below regarding the walking ability needed for the hikes included throughout this itinerary.

Walking grades:

1 Easy walks, no special condition required.
2 Low requirement on condition, light sloppy terrain.
3 Advanced – Good physical condition.
4 Experienced hiker with good physical fitness and endurance, challenging terrain.
5 Skilled expert, excellent fitness.

How to Book
Call us on 01737 214 250 to discuss your plans or
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