11 Day Great New Zealand Touring Route

11 Day Great New Zealand Touring Route

The Great New Zealand Touring Route provides you with the opportunity to experience everything from sandy beaches to snow capped mountains, geothermal areas, spectacular rain forests, fascinating Maori culture, adventure activities, kiwi fruit orchards and award winning vineyards along the way.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Auckland
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $1715 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 11 Days
Tour Code: GNZTR

Inclusions

10 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges
The Driving Creek Railway
Guided Art Deco Walk in Napier
Admission to the Wai-O-Tapu geothermal region
Te Po - Maori cultural experience with traditional hangi
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Book your self drive tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

Click on the prices below to enquire.

* Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling).
* 2 Bedroom Motel pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please request a quote for prices.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Welcome to Auckland! Once you’ve moved through customs and collected your baggage, it’s time to sign for your rental car and check-in at your accommodation. You’ve landed on the doorstep of New Zealand’s largest city, an idyllic setting overlooking the forested Waitakere Ranges, the sheltered Manukau Harbour and the island-studded Hauraki Gulf to the north.

No wonder over a million people choose to live here! Beautiful beaches and dreamy offshore islands are just half an hour from the city. In fact, the sea is so much a part of the place that an unusually high number of people own their own boats, giving the city its moniker of the ‘City of Sails’.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Auckland - Coromandel Peninsula

Today, travel south to the Coromandel Peninsula, a beautiful rugged area fringed with dozens of excellent beaches that separate the Pacific Ocean from the Hauraki Gulf. Many Kiwis choose the Coromandel to escape the hustle and hype of city life, providing a home haven for many artists who seek a slow-paced lifestyle.

A visit to the quaint town is highly recommended as passes to ride the Driving Creek Railway is included. The railway is a 1 hour return journey travelling through regenerating and replanted native Kauri forest. Unique pottery sculptures and tile murals line the track with spectacular views over the Hauraki Gulf from the ‘Eyefull Tower’.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Coromandel Peninsula - Tauranga

Today heading south along the coast to Tauranga takes you through the southern regions of the Coromandel into the Bay of Plenty. Tauranga is the largest city in the Bay of Plenty and one of the fastest growing population centres in the country. Downtown Tauranga has several historically significant areas to view during a scenic walk around the area.

The Strand waterfront area has undergone a major redevelopment in the past few years, and is home to a number of cafés, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs. Tauranga’s harbour is in evidence almost everywhere you go, providing the urban area with an attractive waterfront setting. Fishing, sailing, diving and dolphin tours are easy to arrange, or check out one of the local beauty spots – McLaren Falls or the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Tauranga - Whakatane

Further along the coast lies Whakatane, one of the sunniest towns in New Zealand and the main centre for the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Just off shore is White Island, a spectacular active volcano that can be visited by launch or helicopter. Guided tours of the island necessitate a gas mask and hard hat.

Whakatane is also known for its fishing – more yellow fin tuna are caught here than anywhere else in the country. Other Whakatane attractions include the museum, an observatory and Maori historical sites. The Nga Tapuwae o Toi walkway leads to pa sites, native forest and seabird colonies. Dolphin tours, which can include swimming encounters, run all year.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Whakatane - Gisborne

The drive today to Gisborne if you choose to take the most direct route along State Highway 2 is approximately 3 hours.

If however, you are feeling more adventurous you can also take State Highway 35 and drive around the East Cape which has some very stunning scenery and isn’t visited by many tourists. The drive this way will take you approximately 5 hours.

Gisborne is the first city in the world to greet the sun each morning, and it has a reputation for great food, wine and surf beaches. As the unofficial ‘Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand’, Gisborne has a comprehensive wine trail leading to boutique wineries. Several operators offer custom tours tailored for individuals or groups, to spare you the problem of driving.

Kaiti Beach is the site of Captain Cook’s first landing in New Zealand (9 October 1769); nearby is the picturesque Te Poho O Rawiri Marae. If you’re interested in Maori culture, Gisborne is an essential port of call on your itinerary – old traditions are still evident in many parts of the city.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Gisborne - Napier

Further along the coast lies Napier which was rebuilt after being almost levelled in 1931 by an earthquake and this has led to the city’s world famous point of difference. Today Napier has one of the most outstanding collections of 1930s architecture in the world.

Walking around the city, you’ll see wonderful examples of Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical design. Napier’s other special attractions include the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers and the many vineyards that make good use of the region’s alluvial soils.

On Saturday mornings, the Napier farmers’ market is a chance to shop for artisan foods and fresh produce. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Napier

This morning enjoy a guided walk where your guide will bring Napier’s fascinating architecture to life for you as you take an easy stroll through the compact Art Deco Quarter in the vibrant city centre.

The afternoon is at your leisure to explore the Hawkes Bay area. Hawke’s Bay is home to New Zealand’s oldest operating winery. You can tour the region on your own, guided by the Hawke’s Bay food and wine trail maps and discover over 30 wineries open for wine tasting. Many also offer alfresco and restaurant dining for a bite to eat.

If you prefer not to drive, cycle from one winery to the next along one of the three Hawke’s Bay Trails on a hired mountain bike.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Napier - Taupo

Heading north again until you reach the lakeside town of Taupo, the beautiful Lake is actually a huge volcano with a fiery history. Its most recent eruption, in 181 AD, was large enough to change the sky as far away as Europe and China.

According to Maori legend, the lake is the pulsating heart of Maui’s fish (New Zealand’s North Island). The lakeside town of Taupo provides a base for visitors who love to fish for trout, ski Mount Ruapehu and explore the local geothermal phenomena.

Popular Taupo experiences include Huka Falls, geothermal walks, a prawn farm, lake cruises and guided kayak expeditions to see the rock carvings at Mine Bay. Most Taupo accommodation comes complete with a naturally heated spa pool.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Taupo - Rotorua

Entrance to Wai-O-Tapu is included today. Visitors can walk at their own pace and absorb the unique features including the world famous champagne pool, geysers, bubbling mud, steaming ground, expansive vistas, huge volcanic craters and terrace formations.

The natural bush setting adds another dimension to the experience as does the guaranteed daily eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser at 10.15am. 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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Rotorua - Auckland

On the final leg of your holiday you’ll head north through lush Waikato farmland, perhaps via Waitomo Caves to the Glowworm Caves, on your way to Auckland. Waitomo’s most compelling subterranean delights. In any one sightseeing tour, your guide will bring you up close to shimmering glow-worms, elaborate cave formations, underground rivers, myths, legends and sacred Maori sites.

Continue through Hamilton and onwards to the market garden area of Pukekohe before arriving at Auckland.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Depart Auckland

Sadly your holiday ends today. Return your rental car to the depot at Auckland Airport prior to your departure flight.

Your choice of accommodation

4.5/5.0

There are 6 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.5 out of 5.

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

Tour Reviews

4
01/01/2018
Relaxing Journeys gave us an itinerary with plenty of variation. We ventured up to the Cape as far North as you could go. The weather was not very kind to us that day though. We made our way down the east coast stopping at major towns and seeing all there was on offer there. There was some spectacular scenery along the coast and also inland. Tripping back up through the centre the areas of Taupo and Rotorua were amazing with the thermal activity. The added excursions were also a bonus. Relaxing journeys certainly delivered on their promise of a wonderful NZ getaway. Thank you Mani we have some great memories to treasure.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
28/06/2015
We enjoyed the pace of the tour especially the fact that the driving for each day was not arduous. Everything went smoothly from the time we arrived in Auckland to the time the tour finished. There we no hiccups at all. The itinerary was well planned and easy to follow. This also allowed us enough time to book some tours of our own before we arrived at our destination for that night. Highlights were really all of the activities that were booked for us. We wouldn't hesitate to do the tour again and have recommended it to our friends and family. We look forward to doing another tour in the future.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
01/02/2015
I really enjoyed my holiday in New Zealand. It is a very beautiful country and offers so many activities for tourist. The people of New Zealand are so very friendly. I loved it when people addressed me as 'Dear'. I never experience that in Australia. We were very happy with the accommodations chosen for us. They were located in either beautiful surroundings (Holiday Park in Waihi Beach) or close to the facilities where we could do some shopping. Thanks. I hope to come back to NZ again.
Overall Tour Rating

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Accommodation

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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
03/01/2010
Hi. Just a few comments on the service that we received from you. Plus points - Jarrod was very quick to sort out any concerns and problems that we had and we found him to be professional and polite over the e-mail. We were impressed that changes to our itinerary and payments could all be made online or via e-mail, which were both convenient and efficient. You customer service has been consistently high, which made things easy and stress free. The hire car that we had was excellent. The information pack and CD that you provided was very useful. The Marine Apartments in Wittianga (sorry not sure of spelling!) were high quality and exceeded our expectations, as they upgraded us upon our arrival. I found you to be a very friendly company to deal with. Minus points - our brief was to have accomodation that was modern and clean. Unfortunately, two of our apartments did not meet that standard. The Oak Tree Hotel in Auckland had such a smelly shower that it was unusable. Luckily we were able to use my mother's bathroom. The location was not great either and I got bitten by insects! Secondly the Bali Hai in the Bay of Island was cleanish, but certainly not modern. Our heart's sank a bit after our long drive to get there to find that our accomodation was so basic. Finallu we had to be pushy with Jarrod in trying to get us a 4x4 vehicle, (which was essential to the four of us plus baby buggy) when he initially said that he could not guarantee us one. Overall rating is 7 out of 10 in terms of accomodation. 9 out of 10 in terms of the service that we received from you. We had such a great time however, that the small things did not spoil the enjoyment of our wonderful holiday. Hope you don't mind the honest feedback given however. Can't wait to visit the South Island hopefully next year and we would certainly consider using your company again and recommending you to our friends. Thank-you.
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4
28/12/2009
Thank you so much Relaxing Journeys for a wonderfully planned trip to the North Island of New Zealand. When we initially booked our trip in the middle of last year, we did not have any knowledge of your company except via the internet. So it was with much trepidation that we paid our money upfront and flew to Auckland on 27 December 2009. We were so very pleasantly surprised. From the time we picked up our vouchers and vehicle at the airport, till we arrived back in Auckland 2 weeks later, our adventure was wonderful. Craig from your office did a wonderful job in accommodating all our needs. The motels on the whole were of a very good standard and how good was it to pull up and just hand over a pre-paid voucher to cover this! Craig was also very patient and helpful in planning our itinerary (which we changed a few times in the initial booking!) All the tours you booked for us were great value. A couple of things we found on our own were excellent and you may consider including them in your suggestions (the Gondola and Luge at Rotorua, the Beach Gannet Tractor ride at Kidnappers Cove near Napier and a newly-offered guided tour at the Maori Village in Rotorua). Thank you once again - we have been recommending your service to all and sundry! Kia ora.
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4
26/01/2009
As well as our honeymoon, this was the most amazing experience of our lives. To say you have toured the North Island of New Zealand at 25 years old is not common. The service supplied by Craig and the team at Relaxing Journeys was second to none. All the hotels were of good quality with smiling faces ready to greet us. We saw so much in such a small space of time we are eager to return. In fact, we intend to emigrate to New Zealand in 2012! Thank you Craig and the team for making this such a memorable 3 weeks!
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Enquire about our 11 Day Great New Zealand Touring Route

11 Day Great New Zealand Touring Route
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNZTR
From (NZD) $1715 per person
Save (NZD) $171 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
6 reviews (4.5/5)

The Great New Zealand Touring Route provides you with the opportunity to experience everything from sandy beaches to snow capped mountains, geothermal... Read More

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11 Day Great New Zealand Touring Route
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