New Zealand Self Drive Holidays

“Select from 88 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 (26)
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.

13 Day Brief Encounter (Budget Self Drive)

We had a wonderful holiday which exceeded our expectations. It did involve a lot of driving with some long days which we knew about when we booked, but was worth doing as we managed to see a lot of both islands in a limited time. New Zealand is a beautiful country with friendly people and really good food.. The motels were of a good standard and Thrifty cars were very good low mileage cars. We thank Toni for all her help in organising our holiday which went to plan (with only a minor hiccup in that our Kruse GPS was sent to Auckland airport instead of Thrifty car rental in Auckland - this just caused us a minor delay while Thrifty tracked it down and it was delivered to us) this did not spoil our holiday. Hopefully we will visit New Zealand again sometime and would use Relaxing Journeys to book it and I would recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone planning a trip to New Zealand.

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22 Day Absolute South (Budget Self Drive)

The holiday is over but certainly not a distant memory as yet. You did a top job in putting together an itinerary at short notice covering a very busy time of the year and I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to others. We appreciated the fact that at some places we were there for two nights which gave days without the need to travel to the next spot. The accommodation was generally good; in fact very good in places. Our preference was for those establishments where you could walk to the shops and eating establishments avoiding the need to drive. Thanks for your assistance and you are welcome to contact me should you require further information and feedback.

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10 Day Hobbiton, Mordor & Mt Doom (Mid Range Self Drive)

The tour, hotels and directions were all easy to locate and most enjoyable. Perhaps the motel accommodation in Rotorua, especially in contrast with some of the others, was not up to scratch, but the tours and sights in that region were well worth while. One of the scenic highlights was the Mangaweka Gorge, but there is no directional sign on the road to indicate the turn-off. Some more precise directions in your itinerary would assist future travellers. I would also like some more geological information about the volcanic activity - for example that the gorge is cut into volcanic ash, and that many of the hills have monitors to measure changes in elevation. I was fascinated by the electric rail running through the North Island. Train travel offers relaxing views of the 'real' countryside, with opportunities for stops in towns along the way. I wonder if Relaxing Journeys might investigate its potential in partnership with the railways. Thanks again Leanne for making our holiday so easy and relaxing.

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

This was one of our best holidays. Mani was helping us with the itinerary and it was excellent. Pace is very good. We saw a lot of beautiful things and scenery. We really enjoyed it. GPS with commentary was great, just like having a private tour guide. When we had a problem during our travels, it was sorted out nicely. Mani was so patient with us. Very well recommended travel consultant if anyone wants to go to NZ.

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9 Day Southern Journey (Premium Self Drive)

Kia Ora. Thanks Toni for such a wonderfully arranged tour. The planning was impeccable. We never had any issues with any reservations, hotels or activities, anywhere. Also, in all the hotels, we got such great views in our rooms. Everywhere, we either got lake view or mountain view. That really made our journey. Edgewater resort at Wanaka was the best of the lot. I must say it was commendable to get rooms with such great views in peak season. This really made my trip value for money. No doubt you guys customised your standard design tour in the best possible manner to suit my needs. Overall my tour pace was very comforting except one day. On the day of Miford Sound Cruise, I also had Glowworm Caves scheduled during the evening which was a bit tiring especially because I had to drive for around 400 kms that day. Still we managed to enjoy! I have a small suggestion: in the itinerary provided by you, you can probably include the map highlighting the way from source to destination with each destination. This would be very helpful. Our GPS was not of good quality, so it wasn't very useful. We used Google maps. We use to load the maps using wifi in the hotel before leaving, and then just GPS along the way guided us on the highlighted path in the map. Also, you should try to include more resorts in Premium tours. A suite is much more comforting that a hotel room. Last but not the least, New Zealand is like dreamland. It is very beautiful full of raw beauty. Ideal place for honeymoon. Driving here is amazing. I got to drive on such great terrains which was amazing. I managed to drive around 1,500 kms without a single ticket from the police I wouldn't have enjoyed my tour without the impeccable tour planning from Relaxing Journeys. Thank you guys!

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