16 Day Discovery Trail

16 Day Discovery Trail

A complete New Zealand tour including 5 days in the North Island and 11 days in the South Island. Visit all the top tourist sites. Features almost a complete circuit of the Southern Alps.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $2487 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 16 Days
Tour Code: GNDT

Inclusions

15 nights self-catering and/or motel accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges
Te Po - Maori cultural experience with traditional hangi
Interislander Ferry
Milford Sound Nature Cruise
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Conditions

Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel May 2018 – March 2019. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.

Click here for our full terms and conditions.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland! After clearing customs and immigration you will be transferred from the Auckland Airport to your hotel in the central city. After checking in and getting yourself settled, turn your roving eye outside and enjoy a free afternoon in the City of Sails.

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, with plenty of sights, shopping and street appeal for even the pickiest of travellers.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Auckland - Rotorua

Travel south through lush Waikato farmland, perhaps via Waitomo Caves, on your way to Rotorua, a region steeped in Maori culture and history. This evening experience Te Po, Te Puia’s cultural experience. It is a feast of cultural storytelling, entertainment and Maori kai (indigenous food).

After a formal Maori welcome, relax and enjoy a performance including the beautiful songs, haka and poi dance. After dinner you will be transported by people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and hot chocolate. (2 nights) (D)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Rotorua

You have a day free to explore this exciting thermal region – there are many activities to enjoy. Perhaps visit the Agrodome to see a display featuring New Zealand’s various sheep breeds and sheep shearing.

Other options include the Buried Village, Polynesian Spa or the Skyline Gondola which offers superb views over city, lake and mountains and for a little excitement why not try a Luge ride while you are there?

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Rotorua - Napier

Drive south through to Hawke’s Bay which is one of New Zealand’s largest and longest established wine growing regions to Napier. In 1931 a devastating earthquake nearly levelled this city. It was rebuilt in the style of the times, and is now considered the Art Deco Capital of the world.

It is also a region where local produce reigns supreme, from its award-winning wines to the freshest range of quality primary produce you will find anywhere. Overnight in Napier.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Napier - Wellington

Pass the many vineyards and orchards of the Hawkes Bay, as you make your way south to our capital city, sprawled over the hills surrounding Wellington Harbour. Overnight in Wellington.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Wellington - Picton - Nelson

Cross the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand on the Interislander Ferry, to the Marlborough Sounds and Picton. The 92 km journey takes 3 hours & is one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist experiences.

Once on terra firma, continue past vineyards built on rich alluvial plains, which produce world class wines, to Nelson. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Nelson

A full day to explore the Nelson area. The nearby Abel Tasman National Park offers opportunities to walk or cruise its beautiful coastline. Water taxi companies can provide a personalised mix of sightseeing by boat and track walking. A number of kayaking companies run guided tours from Marahau and Kaiteriteri.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Nelson - Greymouth - Glaciers

Travel through the Buller Gorge to Westport, and down the coast to the famous Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Continue past Greymouth to the glaciers. We recommend a guided walk to the terminal face of a glacier. Overnight at either Fox Glacier or Franz Joesf township. You may wish to add an extra day here if you wish to hike on the glacier.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Glaciers - Queenstown

Continue south into dense rain forest broken by rugged coastal vistas. Reach Lake Wanaka in the early afternoon. Pass through the rugged Kawerau Gorge to Queenstown. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Queenstown

A day free for you to enjoy this fabulous Alpine resort. There are dozens of optional activities as well, from thrilling jet boat rides to leisurely lake cruises, 4WD safaris, bungy jumping. We recommend the world famous Shotover Jet boat ride, take a Gondola to the Skyline high above, a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon or for the adventurous – white water rafting. Alternatively browse in the many shops and galleries.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau

Drive south following the dramatic southern shores of Lake Wakatipu to reach Te Anau, then travel through pristine beech forests and the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. We have included a cruise to enable you to appreciate the majesty of Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Return to Te Anau.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 12
Te Anau - Dunedin

Drive across the Waimea plains towards the farming community of Gore, then travel through the rolling hill country of South Otago to Dunedin. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 13
Dunedin

Known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, take time to enjoy the rich historical architecture and abundance of wildlife to be found in this fascinating area. Perhaps you’d like to join a cruise of the beautiful Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head, along with a scenic bus tour of the Otago Peninsula with Monarch Harbour Cruises.

You can also include a guided tour of the award-winning Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve or Royal Albatross Centre. Enjoy the historic and scenic Taieri Gorge Train excursion or explore the city only a few minutes walk away.

Let us know if you’d like any of these activities included in your quote.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 14
Dunedin - Twizel

Drive north to historic Oamaru and turn inland. Cross the barren MacKenzie Country to reach the glacial lakes at the foot of the Southern Alps. Visit Mt Cook National Park, with time to enjoy the scenic majesty of New Zealand’s highest snow capped peaks before travelling around Lake Pukaki to Twizel.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 15
Twizel - Christchurch

Travel north across through Fairlie and Geraldine, and on to view the Church of the Good Shepherd dedicated to the early pioneers of the region. Then across the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch. Overnight in Christchurch.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 16
Depart Christchurch

Sadly your holiday comes to an end today. Return your car at the airport in time to catch your onward flight.

Your choice of accommodation

4.7/5.0

There are 29 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

5
03/03/2018
We had a great time. Such a beautiful country with so much to see and do. Having a night in Auckland, then a short drive to Rotorua with two nights was a nice way to ease into the trip, with longer drives later on. The voucher system worked flawlessly. You might want to add a sentence on the itinerary about the pancake rocks and blow holes in Punakaiki. Well worth a stop along the way.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
4
26/02/2018
Tour overall was very good and covered everything which we wanted/expected to see. With regards to the accommodation, overall this was also good, however the Kings Gate Motel in Nelson was not as well appointed as most of the other accommodation (although the owners were very friendly and made us most welcome). Also the Mt Cook Lodge and Motels at Mt Cook did not provide 2 bedrooms in the "2 bedroom apartment" instead having only 1 bedroom, with the 2nd bed being part of the living area. With only one bathroom, it was necessary to actually go past the bed in the living area to gain access to the bathroom. We would suggest that the accommodation options in both Nelson and Mt Cook be revisited for future tours.
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5
05/02/2018
This self drive trip and all the places my 83 year old mom visited in New Zealand exceeded our expectations. With a very late request from me for this trip, Mani helped us organize our 16 + day driving tour of the North and South Islands in early January. Not all the original places on this tour were available but we were very happy with the alternates. Each motel or hotel was different but all were spacious and included kitchen facilities. We added some optional tours during the trip and Mani helped us with that. He and another Relaxing Tours representative also helped us with up to date travel info when the road washed out just south of Franz Josef Glacier. The Kruz GPS worked well and helped keep the trip interesting with history, cultural, and other info. I look forward to a return visit with my husband.
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4
09/01/2018
Had and excellent tour of NZ. The country is a definite must do on one's bucket list! We thoroughly enjoyed it. For us one night in Rotorua would have been good swapped with 2 nights in Wellington. The only other change we would make is the hotel in Christchurch is really really difficult to get to because of the construction there. Maybe a hotel in a little different area would be better until the roads/ buildings are repaired. But we had a fantastic time! We will recommend you to all our friends!
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5
25/02/2017
Amazing!!! Tour was spectacular. Everything went well and above expectations, from itinerary to car rentals, to lodging, it all was great. Accommodations were great and excellent locations. We packed a lot of activities in 2 weeks and it all went very smooth and without hassles at all. Cannot say enough words to express our gratitude to the staff in Relaxing Journeys. Special thanks to Christine and Toni. Amazing service!
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
26/01/2017
We had a fabulous holiday due to the thorough planning and organisation of our 16 night tour of New Zealand. Relaxing Journeys had fine tuned the trip to our brief and this resulted in a stress free holiday. Both the accommodation and hire cars were of a high standard and the voucher system ensured swift booking-in processes at every motel. The only problem we encountered was the address given for Dunedin. It stated Cumberland Street Dunedin when in fact it should have read Cumberland Street North, North Dunedin. This resulted in a wrong location given by satnav and unnecessary time/fuel spent driving around the city. Apart from this minor issue we would have no hesitation recommending your company to family and friends for the holiday of a lifetime. Many thanks.
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4
03/01/2017
The Kruse commentary system did not work on the South Island, only the GPS for navigation. We followed all the instructions on the system but still no commentary. It was a disappointment as the Kruse commentary was very informative and enjoyable on the North Island and we were hoping for the same experience on the South Island. Fortunately the GPS still worked so we were able to navigate without issues. The South Island was experiencing some bad weather during our visit but we were still able to see many things and enjoy our time there.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
22/12/2016
Everything went very smoothly with very good service, nice accommodation everywhere; one location (Franz Josef) had not got the 'breakfast included' message, but no big deal - it was a do-it-yourself pack, not worth having. Pace of the tour of South Island was a bit too much for us with back-to-back >5 hr drives on mountain roads and other long drives, over 2600 km in all (even though we knew ahead of time what it was). The supplied big book of maps was appreciated. We would recommend your service - I put only 'pretty good' for value for money because we have nothing to compare it with.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
07/12/2016
We did a self-drive tour of both the North and South Islands this past December. It was fantastic! Mani arranged everything for us and it was perfect. The car rental went smoothly and we chose the economy lodging and all our accommodations were extremely nice. It was a pleasant surprise to have kitchens in each place and most had a laundry we could use which was most helpful. The itinerary and directions were easy to follow and the pace was good. Some days were longer drives but the scenery was so beautiful that it wasn't a concern. We still made unplanned but exciting stops. The Kruse GPS was very useful and educational. So glad we included that in our tour. The 3 highlights of our trip were caving Waitomo Caves, the heli-hike on Fox Glacier, and the jet boat ride on the Shotover River in Queenstown. I really can't omit all the other excursions we took because they were exciting too - Te Puia cultural experience, Walter Peak Farm, Skipper's Canyon, Buller Gorge, Albatross Centre, Milford Sound Cruise, Abel Tasman National Park, all the hikes to waterfalls and rapids. The only negative would be the 17 hour flight to get to New Zealand from the States but I would do it again. It's worth it!
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4
27/11/2016
We decided to book with very short notice. Toni quickly answered us and get everything sorted. Having a car and accommodation organised made the experience smoother. The customized itinerary was pretty good and logical. Suggestions provided were a good guideline. We enjoyed the freedom and the experience on the road. The beautiful weather helped too. We have been happy with accommodation, maybe a better one could be found in Rotorua, the included event there was very planned. The cruise in Milford Sound was a highlight. We probably should have researched more the destinations, distances between cities and possibly consider some extra activities too but we just didn't have enough time as it was a very last minute booking. Overall a beautiful experience.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

Optionals

New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).

Enquire about our 16 Day Discovery Trail

16 Day Discovery Trail
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNDT
From (NZD) $2487 per person
Save (NZD) $249 per person
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Terms and conditions apply. Please see tour overview for more information.

Rating:
29 reviews (4.7/5)

A complete New Zealand tour including 5 days in the North Island and 11 days in the South Island. Visit all the top tourist sites. Features almost a c... Read More

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16 Day Discovery Trail
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