New Zealand Self Drive Holidays

“Select from 67 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!


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 accommodation 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 is an optional extra on all our mid-range and budget self drive itineraries.

I really like your self drive tours but I want to amend one to suit us, can we do this?
All of of our New Zealand self drive tours are flexible. We can add days to the itinerary, we can remove days and we can add pre or post accommodation if required. 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 400 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.

7 Day Crossing The Alps (Budget Self Drive)

Mani, our Tour Consultant was excellent. Very attentive and supportive of our needs. We upgraded to a better class of hotel and felt not in all cases was the extra money well spent. In Queenstown our hotel was quite old and not what we thought we had paid for. Certainly in all places the staff were excellent. Overall the tour itself was very good. The most spectacular country we have ever seen and will ever see in our lifetime I am guessing. Christchurch was a fantastic experience. This community is doing extra-ordinary things. Our time was very well spent in Christchurch for two days (start and end of the trip) to learn from these people who are rebuilding their community and to spend a dollar or two. A great experience. This was (for us) a lot of driving. More time at each destination would have been fantastic but a luxury we couldn't afford. If we had more time we would have stopped a lot more along the way to each destination. There is so much to see. The roads were excellent. If you get a chance to spend more time in Franz Josef do so. It is a place for down time, Punga Grove accommodation (ask for a rear cabin next to the rainforest) was excellent, Bernie the proprietor was so helpful and considerate, hot springs across the road, near by glaciers, so cool. We will definitely be going back to the South Island and we will use Relaxing Journeys to assist us and our travel needs.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience


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

Absolutely brilliant holiday. I would recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone. Toni was extremely helpful through every step along the way and no question was too small. You should add on Koura Lodge in Rotorua to your regular stay. That place is a vision with amazing staff.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience


10 Day Southern Sounds & Glaciers (Budget Self Drive)

We had a wonderful experience, the holiday was great. If I was to have a negative at all it was the accommodation in Christchurch. The accommodation itself was fine but the owner/manager was not friendly or helpful in the least. On our last day my son was not well and I tried to negotiate a 1 hour later checkout and he charged me $40 per room very disappointing. (Ed. Very. We will refund the $80 ourselves and have addressed the issue with the Sherborne Motor Lodge).

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience


16 Day Discovery Trail (Budget Self Drive)

Relaxing Journeys rock!! We had a great time and really amazed how beautiful New Zealand is, even in winter! Weather has been really good to us considering some parts of the country was either heavy snow fall (we have snow chains but never get the chance to use it! ;-) ) or raining!. Our travel plans (Thank you Mani!) was well organized and easy to follow. Over all, it was a great experience! New Zealand landscape and it's people are just beautiful!

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience


14 Day Geysers To Glaciers (Budget Self Drive)

Excellent taster tour of New Zealand, although alot of driving for the time I had, next time I would tailor the itinerary more towards places where I could do outdoor/action/adventure! That said I loved the country and will certainly be back. Thanks for all your help!

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

All New Zealand Self Drive Tour Reviews>