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New Zealand Self Drive Holidays

Select from 92 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.

Self Drives | Speciality Self Drives | FAQs | Reviews

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. 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!

  • 2. 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.

  • 3. 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 & luxury lodges. (In some of the more remote locations, luxury accommodation is hard to come by so we've used our boutique properties.) 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.

  • 4. 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 your choice of a Kruse Commentary System or GPS included in the price, and it's an optional extra on all our mid-range and budget self drive itineraries.

  • 5. 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.

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  • 6. 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.

  • 7. 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 have the choice of a Kruse Commentary System or GPS included in the package 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.

  • 8. 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).

  • 9. 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.

  • 10. 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.

  • 11. 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.

  • 12. 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.

  • 13. 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.

  • 14. 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 750 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.

  • ReviewBudget Self Drive 11 Day Southern Highlights 11 Day Southern Highlights

    I chose this trip because I wanted to take a pre-planned trip where I didn't have to do too much organisation. I enjoyed myself immensely, and while I might have liked to spend more time at some locations, I found the overall pacing of the trip just right.

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    - 26/04/2017
  • ReviewMid Range Self Drive 13 Day Southern Circle 13 Day Southern Circle

    Every path planned by Relaxing Journeys were just too fantastic. This tour provided me with the best scenery I could have in this Autumn season. Hassle free and thanks for the awesome planning!

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    - 20/04/2017
  • ReviewMid Range Self Drive 14 Day South Island Tourer 14 Day South Island Tourer

    Loved the freedom to stop where and when we wanted. Rooms were even better than expected. Double Spa Bath, awesome.

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    - 19/04/2017
  • ReviewPremium Self Drive 10 Day Pure South Island 10 Day Pure South Island

    Words can not express how fabulous our vacation was! Our tour consultant, Mani Fagundes, built a perfect tour for us. It was customized to include the famous Tongariro National Park Alpine Crossing hike and then followed the Pure South Island self-drive itinerary. Mani and Relaxing Journeys made this the easiest vacation ever. When we arrived at our rental car company, just as promised we received a complete package of information including our vouchers, detailed itinerary, helpful road map, and guidebooks for each major town that we visited. All we had to do was follow the itinerary, it was just that easy. Driving in New Zealand is very easy. The roads are wide, smooth, and well marked. There were arrows everywhere so remembering which side of the road to drive on was not a problem. Clearly New Zealand has made an investment in their road system to assist their many visitors and boost tourism. Using vouchers was incredibly easy. Car rentals, NZ domestic airfare e-tickets, hotel accommodations, excursions, taxi rides, and private car service were all reserved in advance for us, all we had to do was hand over the voucher. I wish all vacations were as simple as that! We knew in advance what all of our costs would be and did not have to keep handing over money every day. Mani booked our car through Thrifty and we had a beautiful Toyota Camry. It was clean, efficient, and the perfect size. The hotel accommodations were immaculate, their service was top-notch, and the locations were perfect so that we could walk to everything once we arrived at our hotels. They were interesting and beautiful. I also feel that we were given better rooms within the hotels, all our rooms had a view of whatever landmark was near (lake, rainforest, downtown, etc). I think it may have been better to book through a company than individually because it may give a better chance of getting better rooms. We enjoyed quite a few excursions and we loved every one. We did the heli-hike in Franz Josef Glacier - that is a MUST DO. We did the zip-line echo tour in Queenstown which was fun, they have the steepest zip line in the world. We did the Dart River jet boat and funyak (which are inflated kayaks) in Queenstown and that was fabulous. We saw miniature blue penguins in the Otago Peninsula by Dunedin - that may have been our favorite part of the trip, they were absolutely adorable. We saw glow worms in a cave in Te Anau which was great fun. And we did an excellent bus tour of Christchurch. Aside from the excursions, Mani gave a good description of sites to see during the long drives in between towns. We stopped at wineries, a gold mining town, jade (green stone) artisan shop, glass blowing studio, and too many short hikes / overlooks to count. Do not be intimidated by long drives between towns. The itinerary left us plenty of time to take it slow and enjoy the scenery, and driving there is so easy. Literally almost no stoplights (just round-abouts) and there is no stress in the driving. The self-drive itinerary was a great way to see the country. We did have a few questions during our trip, and each time I called Relaxing Journeys they quickly answered the phone and gave me an answer on the spot. They even called the Christchurch bus tour company when I couldn't find them to make sure I connected with them. Both Mani and Relaxing Journey provided excellent service. Mani took all of the guess work out of our trip - where to stay, where to go, and what to do - which meant that we could just go and enjoy ourselves. We had the vacation of a lifetime and I'd highly recommend using Relaxing Journeys when planning a vacation in New Zealand. I would use them again in a heartbeat.

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    - 16/04/2017
  • ReviewPremium Self Drive 10 Day Pure South Island 10 Day Pure South Island

    Right from the first exchange of mails everything was perfect. Ms.Toni first understood our requirements, devised an itinerary to our needs, provided useful suggestions regarding the various tour programs and most importantly executed it perfectly. So good was the execution that I didn't have the need to use my phone once tour commenced! Prompt reply to mails was another thing that impressed me...keeping in mind the time zone differences. I chose Relaxing Journeys after I couldn't reach an agreement with my first tour operator...and I don't regret it a bit now. Your rates were better than the rates available on internet. Coupled with it your local knowledge made it a terrific experience. NZ is an amazing country especially South Island...right out of books. So blown away we were with the beauty we stopped taking photos and decided to soak in every moment. All accommodations, tours, local guides...exceptional. This will rank as one of our best trips. Thanks everyone.

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    - 16/04/2017
All New Zealand Self Drive Tour Reviews