24 Day New Zealand End to End
24 Day New Zealand End to End
This itinerary is an ideal holiday for those making their first trip to New Zealand. You will see many of the iconic attractions along with options to get off the beaten track and explore New Zealand's wilder side.
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Auckland to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2019 - March 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $11888 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|23 nights accommodation|
|Rental vehicle of your choice|
|3 night stays in Kerikeri, Rotorua & Queenstown|
|2 night stays in Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula, Gisborne, Dunedin, Lake Moeraki, Arthurs Pass & Christchurch|
|Sailing and Dolphin adventure|
|Kauri Museum Admission|
|Kayaking on the Coromandel Peninsula|
|Admission to Te Puia|
|Half Day Charter Cruise on Lake Tarawera|
|Taieri Gorge Scenic Railway Excursion|
|Dart River Wilderness Safari|
|Milford Sound cruise including return flights from Queenstown|
|Small group Akaroa day tour including nature cruise|
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 January 2019 – March 2020. 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.
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.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Welcome to New Zealand! Collect your rental car on arrival at either Auckland or Kerikeri airport and make your way to your accommodation in Kerikeri, close to the beautiful Bay of Islands.
Kerikeri is ideally placed to explore the Bay of Islands and the far north’s attractions, yet well away from the hustle and bustle of tourist towns. (3 nights)
Explore the beautiful Bay of Islands on a 50ft spacious sailing catamaran for a relaxing day of sailing. Help the crew set and trim the sails or relax while you enjoy the view from the spacious decks.
This is a beautiful, stress free day on the water watching for petrels and penguins, with a chance of swimming with wild dolphins depending on the season and the weather. Your skipper will find a calm island cove where you can snorkel, walk or relax on the beach in the sun.
A kiwi style barbecue lunch on board the yacht is also included. At the end of the day you have an opportunity to explore historic Russell, home of New Zealand’s founding treaty, the Treaty of Waitangi. (L)
Take a day to unwind and explore. Visit Waitangi and discover New Zealand’s Maori history or borrow a kayak and paddle to the deserted beach at Takou Bay where you can surf, swim or simply wander along to the secluded bays.
If you are a history buff, take the opportunity to visit the Kerikeri Mission Station, also known as Kemp House, is New Zealand’s oldest standing European building. Or take a trip to see the oldest stone building in New Zealand, the Stone Store, which dates back to 1832.
For those more adventurous, take a short drive or an hour’s walk from the Kerikeri Basin car park, to the 27 metre Rainbow Falls. Exploring further afield you should not miss a visit to the Puketi Forest, an ideal place to tramp and view kauri trees from a boardwalk which also has wheelchair access.
Head south from Paihia, where you could opt in to cruising to the ‘hole in the rock’ at the tip of Cape Brett before heading to Whangarei, before making your way to Matakohe, home to the Kauri Museum.
This amazing museum tells the fascinating story of the pioneering days through the use of kauri timber and kauri gum. Explore the many exceptional displays and galleries inside the museum from the magnificent collection of antique kauri furniture and the largest collection of kauri gum in the world to restored machinery including New Zealand’s earliest tractor, a 1929 Cat 60, and a turning steam sawmill.
Leaving Matakohe, rejoin the main highway to the two hour drive back to Auckland. (2 nights)
Rise and shine. Turn your roving eye outside and enjoy a free day 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.
Perhaps visit Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter, take a cruise on Auckland Harbour or make your way to the top of the Sky Tower for spectacular views of Auckland city.
This morning you continue your journey to the Coromandel along the Pacific Coast Highway, traversing the spectacular east coast of the North Island, this is one of the great touring routes in the world.
The Pacific Coast Highway is well signposted along the entire route, giving a safe and easy way to navigate through some of the most spectacular coastal scenery New Zealand has to offer. (2 nights)
The Te Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve opens up a sea kayaking paradise full of beaches, islands and rock gardens that are just waiting to be explored on your kayak tour around Cathedral Cove.
Paddle through sea caves, interact with the local marine life and discover the thrill of kayak sailing with the wind on your back. To top it off, you will land at Cathedral Cove where you will be treated to cappuccinos and hot chocolates on the beach!
Then, if the tides are right, visit Hot Water Beach to dig your own hot pool in the sand.
Head south along the East Coast of the North Island. Potential stops include the isolated Whiritoa beach and the mining town of Waihi. Stretch your legs at Mt Mauganui, walking around the base of the mountain, before getting back in the car and passing some spectacular gorges on the way to the thermal capital of New Zealand, the much beloved Rotorua. (3 nights)
Today, you’ll discover just how volatile this region used to be, when Rotorua fell victim to an expected pyroclastic event. On June 10th, 1886, Mt Tarawera erupted, putting the world’s youngest geothermal valley of Waimangu on the global radar, destroying the legendary Pink and White Terraces in a devastating surge of lava.
You’ll be guided through this historic entry moment by moment, as Rotorua’s landscape comes to life through stories and commentary. With unmatched scenic vistas and 360 panoramic views this experience is ideal for all ages and includes an optional run into the heart of the volcanic crater.
As the evening settles in and the stars brighten the sky, you’ll be treated to a Maori feast, as Te Po’s cultural experience promises hours of fun, thought and Maori kai (indigenous food).
After a formal Maori welcome, relax and enjoy a captivating performance by the local people, including traditional songs and the renowned haka. Following a truly delectable dinner, you will be transported by people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. (D)
Rotorua is full of natural wonders and scenic highlights, with a half day scenic cruise on Lake Tarawera today. You will hear the stories of the devastation of that fateful day of the eruption in 1886.
After cruising amongst the local ducks and swans you can disembark for your opportunity to capture the perfect picture and stretch your legs. Your return trip brings into view Te Wairoa (The Buried Village) before the homeward leg that takes you past Rotorua’s burgeoning Te Whakarewarewa Forest back to the sulphurous aroma of Rotorua.
Drive past Ohope Beach to Opotiki before heading inland and across to Gisborne. The scenery here is nothing short of spectacular and there is a longer, alternative route around the East Cape if you are not in a hurry.
A string of remote rural communities dot the unspoilt Eastland coastline and pounded by the wild surf of the Pacific Ocean. This region embraces one of New Zealand’s most beautiful and historic areas. Maori culture is strong in this part of the country, so be on the lookout for carved gateways and meeting houses (Maraes). (2 nights)
Knapdale Eco Lodge is on a large farmed property where you can take a leisurely stroll around the lake through the well tracked forest, feed the animals or pick oranges for your breakfast juice.
It’s also the perfect base to explore the Gisborne and East Coast regions. A must for wine and food lovers, the region also has many forests, lakes and rivers, with excellent surf at the breath-taking beaches.
Continue your journey to Napier and stop for lunch in this Art Deco, seaside town. Beautifully preserved 1930s architecture is Napier’s special point of difference. A walk through the city centre is a must as it has the feeling of a time capsule – the seamless line of 1930s architecture is quite extraordinary.
After lunch, you will be boarding a plane to Dunedin in the South Island. (The flight is included in your tour cost.) Dunedin is a Scottish influenced city renowned for its natural history and Otago University. Collect your rental car from Dunedin airport and make your way to your accommodation. (2 nights)
Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. Teeming with scenic walks and easy trails, as short tracks criss-cross the Otago Peninsula and the town Belt… and let’s not forget Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest street. Don’t cheat yourself out of curious paths and sights that don’t make it into many guide books – ask a local for the inside story.
We highly recommend that you take the historic train ride into the Taieri Gorge and enjoy a day without driving. Departing daily from downtown Dunedin, this rail journey travels through some of New Zealand’s most beautiful and ever changing scenery which cannot be seen from the road.
Continue your onward journey today as you head through the historic goldfields of Central Otago to Queenstown, a beautiful alpine resort town and regarded as one of New Zealand’s premier holiday destinations.
Also known as the capital of adrenaline, beauty and local foodie culture you can pick and choose from a long list of adventures – from thrilling funyak tours along the Dart River and horse-riding in Glenorchy, to panning for gold in Arrowtown or taking a tour of Lake Wakatipu via the TSS Earnslaw, there is certainly something for every speed. (3 nights)
Today join your Dart River Wilderness Safari, a diverse adventure exploring spectacular ‘World Heritage’ wilderness within Mt Aspiring National Park through a combination of exhilarating wilderness jet boating, informative guided ancient forest walk and back-country 4WD safari vehicle.
Surrounded by awe-inspiring peaks and mysterious hidden valleys shrouded in native Beech forest, your specialist guides will bring to life the variety of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife within this unique area, as well the captivating stories of the original Maori and early pioneers.
Today you will have a window seat with unimpaired views as you fly to Milford Sound through a landscape of unbelievable grandeur and beauty. Once in Milford Sound, your pilot will accompany you from the airport to the boat terminal.
Travel the length of the Fiord and out to the Tasman Sea on a modern catamaran with large viewing decks. Milford Sound is nothing short of heart-stopping, inducing subconscious smiles in the hard to please and easily bored almost instantly; it’s simply magnificent. Keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins!
After your cruise, your pilot will be waiting for you at the boat terminal to accompany you back to the airport for your return scenic flight to Queenstown.
Heading north, passing through Wanaka and over the Haast Pass to the verdant West Coast. The winding route from Wanaka to Haast, traversing the towering Southern Alps mirrored in aquamarine glacial lakes to the wild shoreline carved by the Tasman Sea, can turn even the most technologically-challenged into professional photographers. (2 nights)
Everywhere you look, Westland rainforest tumbles across the landscape. From Haast to Jackson Bay there are spectacular beaches, dunes, lakes and wetlands. This region is perfect for hunting and tramping as well as exploring the many walks in the area.
Haast activities include river safaris, visits to fur seal and penguin colonies, sea fishing, trout fishing, hunting and the drive to Jackson Bay, one of the most remote villages in New Zealand.
Today you will travel further North with the option of stopping at some of the old towns on the way.Make sure that you take advantage of the great places to photograph the scenery and take a look at the dramatic coastline as you continue north to Franz Josef and onto Arthur’s Pass.
The Wilderness Lodge here is a 4,000 acre Merino sheep farm surrounded by the mountains of Arthur’s Pass National Park. This evening you can take the farm dogs for a walk to stretch your legs. (2 nights)
Discover wild nature in the New Zealand mountains. Walk from your room into a natural paradise of beech forest, tussock clearings, moss-lined streams and lakes on a network of nature walks. The highlight of the lodge is a daily programme of nature discovery activities and the lodge’s naturalist guides will help you explore nature and learn about high country life.
Arthur’s Pass village is one of the highest settlements in the country. Here you can gaze into the historic Otira rail tunnel – an epic engineering feat through 8.5 kilometres of rock. Or if you need to stretch your legs, walk the one hour return journey to the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls.
It is only 2 hours’ drive from Arthur’s Pass Village to Christchurch – the Garden City. Following the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city.
What should you do with the rest of the day? Take it slow, sit back and relax, punting down the River Avon through the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens. (2 nights)
Today you will make your way to Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula. The road gives glorious views of farmlands, Akaroa Harbour, the Canterbury Plains and the distant Southern Alps as well as remote bays indenting the coastline.
You have an opportunity to wander around the charming 150 year old French harbour side village of Akaroa with its museum of settlers’ history, art and craft shops as well as studios before enjoying lunch at an award winning cafe.
After lunch join an eco harbour cruise before heading back to Christchurch via Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory.
Sadly, your holiday is at an end and you will return your rental car to the airport in time to connect with your onward flight.
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This itinerary is an ideal holiday for those making their first trip to New Zealand. You will see many of the iconic attractions along with options to... Read More
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