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New Zealand Self Drive Holidays

“Select from 90 Relaxing Journeys self drive tours of New Zealand. Each self drive itinerary designed to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible. Our self drive tours cater for all budgets and incorporate unique inclusions, local experiences and can be customised to suit your requirements.”
New Zealand Self Drives
New Zealand Self Drive Tours
Self Drives Touring Both Islands (22)
Our unique inclusive packages include your choice of vehicle and touring itineraries unmatched anywhere else. Each self drive itinerary has been individually created by our local travel specialists and include unique travel experiences while remaining flexible enough to allow you to discover both islands at a relaxed pace.
North Island Self Drive Tours
North Island Self Drive Tours (19)
From rolling farmland to the deserted beaches and ancient temperate forests discover the soul of New Zealand on one of our North Island self drive tours. A completely different experience from the South Island, read through our itineraries, each of them unique and full of surprises.
South Island Self Drive Tours
South Island Self Drive Tours (28)
Discover the majesty of New Zealand's South Island on one of our self drive holidays. This is 'Lord of the Rings' country, awe inspiring landscapes, glaciers, rivers and fiords that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
Special Interest Self Drive Tours
NZ Motorhomes & Campervans
Every journey is unique, every journey designed just for you - the freedom of travelling by motorhome & campervan around New Zealand will lead to an unforgettable, unique experience. Our country is made for driving holidays!

 

New Zealand Speciality Self Drives (More Coming Soon)
New Zealand Boutique Eco Self Drives
Boutique Eco
Self Drive Tours (21)
We've selected luxury eco lodges, small boutique hotels, romantic cottages, urban retreats and charming bed and breakfasts matched with the best guided activities and experiences along New Zealand's iconic touring routes.
Middle Earth Inspired Self Drive Tours
Middle Earth Inspired
Self Drive Tours (4)
You don't have to be a die hard fan of LOTR or The Hobbit series of films to appreciate the majesty and awe inspiring scenery of New Zealand's Middle Earth.
Food & Wine Themed Self Drives
Food & Wine Themed
Self Drives (7)
Indulging in local food and wine is a must-do for many vistors to New Zealand, and on a Relaxing Journeys self drive journey if gastronomy and the odd tipple are high on your agenda, New Zealand won't disappoint!
Walking & Hiking Self Drives
Walking & Hiking Self Drives (3)
Exploring New Zealand’s walking and hiking trails is one of the most rewarding ways of seeing the country’s outstanding natural beauty. We have a fantastic new range of itineraries being released next season.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Relaxing Journeys self drives tours work?
The Relaxing Journeys team (based in Auckland) will organise your entire self drive holiday. We book your rental vehicle for the duration of your stay, we prebook and secure all your accommodation and your ferry crossing if necessary, as well as all the sightseeing activities included in your itinerary. We provide you with a full detailed itinerary and arrival instructions by email, and then on arrival in New Zealand you'll receive a comprehensive copy of your itinerary, map book and documentation pack. Our team is also on call, so if you run into trouble while travelling around our country - we are only a local call away!

Why should we book our self drive tour to New Zealand with Relaxing Journeys?
If you are looking to discover New Zealand independently, then our self drive touring holidays are for you. Our inclusive packages include your choice of vehicle and unique touring itineraries unmatched anywhere else. Our New Zealand based travel team have meticulously planned each itinerary and activity inclusion to produce balanced itineraries with manageable driving times, accommodation the best in its class and touring routes chosen for their scenic beauty. To find out what our previous clients think, read their testimonials here.

What accommodation do you use?
Our premium self drive tours include the option of top class boutique accommodation, international standard B&B's & 4+ star hotels. Our mid range self drive tours incorporate 3+ star hotels and our budget self drive tours incorporate self catering motel accommodation. You choose the type of accommodation that suits you! The properties featured on all our self drive touring holidays have been carefully chosen for their superior level of comfort, exceptional amenities, friendly staff & service and their convenient location.

What about our rental car? What can we expect?
Relaxing Journeys only use rental vehicles from the 'top tier' rental companies (Thrifty, Europcar, Budget, Avis, Hertz), even on our budget self drive tours. Unlike most self drive specialists we have no hidden fees. We arrange the rental vehicle hire on your behalf and the cost of this hire includes unlimited kilometres, standard daily vehicle insurance (subject to an excess), airport and ferry pick up fees, additional driver fees, age surcharge and GST (Government Goods & Services Tax). All of our premium self drives have a Kruse Travel Guide & GPS included in the price, and it's an optional extra on all our mid-range and budget self drive itineraries.

Can we amend an exisiting itinerary to suit us?
All of of our New Zealand self drive tours are flexible. We can add or remove days to the itinerary, we can can add pre or post accommodation if required and remove or incorporate addtional daily activities. We'll amend our itineraries to suit your travel plans, and provide you with 'local knowledge' to ensure your driving holiday is a relaxing one.

I'm not sure a self drive holiday is the best idea, I'm not confident about driving on the 'wrong' side of the road!
Self drive holidays are one if the most relaxing ways of enjoying New Zealand's landscape. Many of our roads are scenic and traffic is low when compared to international standards. Based on feedback from our past clients we can reassure you that if you are a confident driver in your home country, then your self drive holiday should be stress-free. Have a read of our New Zealand driving guide to make yourself familiar with our road rules. You might also like to consider our independent coach tours if you'd prefer not to drive but you'd still like some independence.

What is the difference between a budget, mid range and premium self drive tour?
The main difference between each category is the accommodation. Accommodation also makes up the greatest proportion of the total cost of your tour. All categories use the same rental vehicles. Our premium self drives include GPS as standard and the itineraries are generally more varied & inclusive. Budget and mid range self drives tend to have fewer inclusions, but that doesn't mean you can't book them as you go around or prebook them yourself.

Are there any other costs I need to budget for on my self drive tour?
Our self drive tours include all government taxes, accommodation, car rental and sightseeing activities that are clearly identified in your itinerary. Items that are not included in the price include, fuel, parking & meals (except those specified in your itinerary).

How do we pay for our self drive tour?
We welcome bookings from all over the world. Your tour deposit is always paid by credit card and the balance is then paid 45 days out from the start of the tour either by credit card or bank transfer. To read more regarding how you book your self drive holiday click here.

Do we get any more information than that provided on your website?
Yes. After we receive your final balance you'll receive your full itinerary detailing tour times, pick up and arrival information etc. We will send this to you by email around 35-40 days out from your tour, then on your arrival in New Zealand you'll receive another copy of your itinerary along with your travel vouchers & travel pack.

When is the best time to travel to New Zealand?
We have a comprehensive weather section that explains the best times to visit New Zealand.

What sort of driving licence do I need to drive in New Zealand?
You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have either a current driver's licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). Recent law changes mean all drivers, including visitors from other countries, must carry their licence or permit at all times when driving. You will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country. The common legal age to rent a car in New Zealand is 21 years. Make sure your driver's licence is current. If your licence is not in English, you should bring an English translation with you, or obtain an IDP.

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country. Currently travellers from more than 50 countries do not require a Visitor's Visa for stays less than three months. Read more here.

Do you handle travel insurance?
We do not sell travel insurance, however we do have information on a few select providers if you are looking for a recommendation. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time you book your flight. This will make dealing with your claim, should this be necessary that much easier when you return home.

 

Over 500 Relaxing Journeys Self Drive Tour Reviews
Planning a self drive holiday to New Zealand can be daunting, but we have doing this for a long time and our experience and dedicated support ensures you're in safe hands. Read the feedback from some of our past self drive clients - their comments and insights can help you decide on the self drive tour itinerary best suited to you. We've listed the most recent reviews below. Click to view all our self drive reviews.

5 Day Rotorua & Waitomo Explorer (Mid Range Self Drive)

Excellent and easy to follow details for the trip. Felt like we were really on vacation because we just had to do what the instructions told us to do. No issues at any of the stops with any of the reservations or vouchers etc. Vehicle worked out well. Had to remind Thrifty about the picking up the package. LOVED the Kruse GPS. (Sending them a separate email) There was one issue with the address for Hobbiton and the GPS. The address doesn't actually come up in Matamata; I think it is Hineura. Had to get instructions from the iSite in Matamata. Not a big issue! I would (and did already!) highly recommend your services. Thank you and special thanks to Marie for her help.

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(30/12/2016)

16 Day Visions of New Zealand (Mid Range Self Drive)

Our trip was thoughtfully organized allowing us an extra day stop exactly when we needed it. We saw & experienced a wonderful cross section of New Zealand, we want to come back. Internet connection on South Island was restrictive & limited. It would have been great if a deal could be made with hotels as part of travel package. Hotels @ Wellington (Ibis) & Masterton (Copthorne) were not to the standard of the rest. The commentary along the way via the navigation system was excellent & so very appreciated, it enhanced our experience without a doubt. The navigation system appeared to be set (we were unable to change settings) on 'quickest' route & it took us a little while to realize it because we missed some suggested sights on the North Island. You thought of everything & we really appreciated it once we were there. Thank you

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(28/12/2016)

13 Day Brief Encounter (Budget Self Drive)

It's been 3 weeks since my family came back from our trip to New Zealand from 22 Dec'15 to 7 Jan'16. Thank you for your excellent travel arrangementS, everything went on smoothly on the trip and we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday in your beautiful country. Everything from the collection of the car to the checking in at the various accommodations and the pre-booked activities were hassle-free. The choice of accommodations was very good. The detailed itinerary prepared for us was also very helpful. Thanks Mani and Relaxing Journeys for the reliable and excellent service.

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(23/12/2016)

25 Day Grand Explorer (Premium Self Drive)

The itinerary we worked out with Toni, including routing, accommodations and all activities, was excellent. Cliff Edge by the Sea, including a three course dinner by Peter Meier, was the best B&B we have ever stayed, in many years of travel. Other highlights of the trip included the Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook with Christmas dinner in the Panorama restaurant, the Doubtful Sound and Milford Mariner Overnight Cruises, Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike, and Wilson's Swing Bridge Bush & Beach in Abel Tasman. I rated service down a bit because the GPS system in the Kruse Commentary system provided in the rental cars was technically out-dated, information not current and was very difficult to use, often providing directions on back roads (perhaps the shortest way, but not the easiest, quickest or best way).

Also, some hotels and B&B's were not in the GPS system locator. I suggest that directions to hotels and B&B's be provided by Relaxing Journeys in the itinerary, not just the name and address of the accommodations. For example, the Heritage Hotel Christchurch was very difficult to find due to construction and one-way streets, and the signage on the hotel was impossible to see from the street level while driving a car. Including a small local area map and a small picture of the hotels and B&B's with the name of the accommodation in the itinerary would be helpful. Overall, a terrific trip, and I would certainly recommend Relaxing Journeys, and Toni, to others planning a visit to New Zealand. A wonderful, beautiful and friendly country.


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(17/12/2016)

14 Day New Zealand Drive & Fly (Mid Range Self Drive)

We highly recommend Relaxing Journeys. The trip was very well organized. All of the logistics were perfect, including hotel bookings, rental car, tours and flights. We didn't have a single issue which is remarkable considering all of the logistics involved. Our Tour Consultant Marie was very professional and provided all the information we needed in a timely manner. While we were in Auckland, they emailed us to let us know there was a parade that might obstruct traffic. As soon as we returned home, Marie checked in with us to see how the trip went. She quickly and proactively processed a refund for a scenic flight we weren't able to take due to weather. When we arrived at the airport in NZ to pick up our rental car, we got a GPS, road atlas and travel brochures for each city on the trip. We ended up using our phone GPS because it was easier to use for navigation (we paid for international data). But the GPS was awesome because every 15-30 minutes it would tell us about the area we were driving through. It included a lot of information on the history and geography of NZ as well as Maori stories and legends which were fun to listen to.

The tour companies that Relaxing Journeys contracts with for day trips were all very professional. All the hotel accommodations were clean, comfortable and well appointed. I wouldn't describe them as either luxury or budget. The itinerary was a lot of fun, a good sampling of many highlights of New Zealand. There's no way to see all of NZ in only two weeks, but this itinerary gave us good variety and the pace was very good. Our trip was in November, which is Spring time in NZ. Our weather was less than ideal (grey and rainy). Our gortex came in handy! If we go back, we'll go mid-summer. And we'd definitely use Relaxing Journeys again.


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(17/11/2016)

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