New Zealand Highlights Self-drive

from £2042
excluding flights *
14 nights Year round


Ideal for those with limited time, this concise two-week itinerary features well-known scenic and cultural highlights visiting Rotorua, Wellington, Kaikoura, the West Coast and Queenstown. With some of New Zealand's foremost attractions included in the price, such as iconic Rotorua, Milford Sound and a wild west coast guided tour on the South Island, this holiday is also great value for money.


  • Waimangu Valley self guided walk and boat cruise in Rotorua
  • Orakei Korako geo-thermal valley admission
  • Witness fascinating rock formations and blow holes at Punakaiki
  • Experience magnificent rainforest and unique glaciers at Franz Josef
  • Cruise the majestic Milford Sound
  • Tour the yellow-eyed penguin colony on the Otago Peninsula

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Breakfasts as per itinerary
  • Car rental throughout including GPS
  • Interislander ferry crossing
  • Private airport transfer on arrival
  • Waimangu Valley self guided walk and boat cruise
  • Orakei Korako admission in Rotorua
  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise
  • Yellow-eyed penguin tour in Dunedin
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

Full description

Visit the geothermal and volcanic centre of North Island as well as the dramatic and magnificent scenery of the far south with its glaciers, mountains and fjords.

You'll also have time in the cities of Auckland and Wellington each with individual appeal, as well as exploring Queenstown, the 'adventure capital of NZ'.

Contact our New Zealand specialists now
nordic team doug kington bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

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 Car Category Twin Price (pp)
01 May - 30 Sep 2020 14 nights Toyota Corolla Hatch (or similar) £2,042
01 Oct 2020 - 31 Mar 2021 14 nights Toyota Corolla Hatch (or similar) £2,259

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom (mix of hotels, motels and B&B's)
  • 5 breakfasts
  • Car rental throughout (Toyota Corolla Hatch or similar) including GPS
  • Interislander ferry crossing (premium plus cabin)
  • Private airport transfer on arrival
  • Waimangu Valley self guided walk & boat cruise
  • Orakei Korako admission
  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise
  • Yellow-eyed penguin tour in Dunedin
  • 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 hotel in the city centre for an overnight stay.
Overnight: Hotel De Brett. Breakfast included.

Day 2: Auckland - Rotorua (230 km)

Collect your rental car and travel south to the geo-thermal heartland of Rotorua. Spend this afternoon at leisure to explore and relax.
Overnight: Robertson House (2 nights). Breakfast included.

Day 3: Rotorua

Today discover the Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Lake Rotomahana on a self guided walk and boat cruise. You can explore the world's youngest geothermal valley at your own pace along the beautiful walking trails, woven through a natural geothermal ecosystem. Walks vary in length from 1.5kms - 4.5kms, covering a range of geothermal activity, hot springs, volcanic craters, nature and wildlife. The trail leads you down to the lake, where you can complete the experience with a relaxing 45 minute boat cruise around Lake Rotomahana, the final resting place of the Pink & White Terraces.

Day 4: Rotorua - Wellington (451 km)

Travel south via Lake Taupo and through Tongariro National Park where the three volcanic mountains of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro dominate the landscape. En route enjoy a visit to Orakei Korako geothermal area today (also known as "The Hidden Valley"), situated on the Waikato River at Lake Ohakuri. Even with two thirds of the original geothermal area covered by an artificial lake, Orakei Korako is still New Zealand's largest geyser field and one of the country's must-see natural attractions.
Overnight: QT Museum Hotel.

Day 5: Wellington - Picton - Kaikoura (249 km)

Return your rental vehicle today and travel in the Premium Plus cabin on the Interislander ferry across the magnificent Cook Strait to Picton. On arrival in Picton collect your South Island rental car and drive to Kaikoura.
Overnight: White Morph Motor Inn

Day 6: Kaikoura - Punakaiki (369 km)

Depart Kaikoura and make your way to Punakaiki, famous for its incredible coastal formations and the blowholes which put on a stunning show in rough surf.
Overnight: Punakaiki Resort - Eco Suite

Day 7: Punakaiki - Franz Josef (217 km)

Today the stunning Glacier region beckons. Fox and Franz Josef Glacier are the world's most accessible temperate-zone glaciers. You may like to enjoy a guided Glacier Valley walk or heli-hike during your stay (optional, at extra cost).
Overnight: 58 on Cron Motel.

Day 8: Franz Josef - Queenstown (404 km)

Today make your way to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. This vibrant alpine lakeside town set is nestled beneath the superb Remarkables mountain range.
Overnight: Scenic Suites Queenstown (2 nights).

Day 9: Queenstown

Today is a full day at your leisure. You may like to take a jet-boating adventure, enjoy a guided walk or a winery visit or just simply relax and admire the view!

Day 10: Queenstown - Te Anau (170 km)

Enjoy this morning at leisure in Queenstown before driving to Te Anau.
Overnight: Dunluce B&B (2 nights). Breakfast included.

Day 11: Te Anau - Milford Sound - Te Anau (242 km)

Today travel by coach from Te Anau to Milford Sound along the spectacular Milford Road. On reaching Milford Sound, enjoy a leisurely Nature cruise the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea. A nature guide will also provide fascinating interpretation throughout the cruise. After the cruise, reboard your coach and return to Te Anau.

Day 12: Te Anau - Dunedin (291 km)

Depart Te Anau today and head to the southern city of Dunedin. The city's elegant and historic architecture is a delight as is the fascinating wildlife on the Otago Peninsula, within easy reach of the city.
Overnight: Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge (2 nights).

Day 13: Dunedin

Today enjoy a guided tour through the Yellow-eyed penguin colony for some close-up viewing of these fascinating birds. Covered trenches and observation huts will hide you so the penguins will not be frightened and you can observe them going about their daily business.

Day 14: Dunedin - Christchurch (361 km)

Today please make your way north either via Oamaru and the stunning inland route or via the coastal route towards the city of Christchurch. Your accommodation is a little way out of the city in a delightful area of Canterbury at Clearwater.
Overnight: Peppers Clearwater Resort.

Day 15: depart Christchurch

Drive to the airport today and drop off your rental vehicle.

Dunluce B&B, Te Anau

New Zealand

Grade: Standard

Type: Guesthouse B&B

A contemporary home in 1.5 acres of landscaped gardens of New Zealand's remarkable local flora, the 4 rooms of Dunluce B&B are imbued with a comfort and warmth only found in the countryside.

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Hotel De Brett, Auckland

New Zealand

Grade: Deluxe

Type: Unique And Boutique

This iconic building in Auckland's central fashion precinct has been stylishly reinterpreted into a 25-room boutique hotel.

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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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QT Wellington

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

The quirky QT Wellington offers a uniquely creative approach to hotel design, with modern art, sophisticated technology and a personalised friendly service.

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The White Morph, Kaikoura

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

A 22-room waterfront hotel on Kaikoura’s esplanade, The White Morph enjoys commanding views of the ocean and mountains.

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