14 Day New Zealand Drive & Fly
14 Day New Zealand Drive & Fly
When time is at a premium and you want to see both islands this itinerary is for you! See the best that New Zealand has to offer including Mt Cook, Queenstown, Milford Sound, the Glaciers and Rotorua!
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Christchurch to Auckland|
|Departures:||Jan 2019 - March 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $2490 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|13 nights accommodation|
|Rental vehicle of your choice including airport collection charges|
|Milford Sound Day Tour - Coach & Nature Cruise|
|Maori Mitai Cultural Evening with traditional Feast|
|Admission to Te Puia's Geothermal Valley|
|Admission to Skyline Skyrides|
|Relax at the Polynesian Spa|
|Waitomo Glowworm Caves|
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.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
“Haere Mai” Welcome to Christchurch – the Garden City! Disembark, pass through customs and collect your luggage – it’s time to start your holiday. Your rental car is ready to whisk you away to your centrally located accommodation.
What should you do with the rest of the day? Following the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city. Take it slow, sit back and relax, we suggest punting down the River Avon through the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
Head south today across the Canterbury Plains, through the picturesque town of Geraldine. Be sure you make a photo stop at Lake Tekapo, a beautiful turquoise coloured lake. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of the lake. This is one of the most photographed churches in the world made of stone and sand from around the lake.
You are now in Mackenzie Country and the scenery is fantastic as you drive to Lake Pukaki and turn towards the Southern Alps and Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Follow this glacier-fed lake and the Tasman River all the way up to the alpine village of Aoraki-Mt Cook. (2 nights)
There are many tracks for walking and tramping in this area – you can find the most suitable for you by going to the Visitor Centre. There are scenic flights available by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft, and if you wish to have a glacial adventure there is the Glacier Explorers excursion on Lake Tasman at the base of the Tasman Glacier.
Leave New Zealand’s highest mountain behind today as you drive through Twizel and Omarama before heading up over the Lindis Pass – this is the area where gold was first discovered in the Central Otago region in 1861. Central Otago has a harsh but beautiful landscape due to its summer heat and winter cold. A lot of gold was discovered in the area in the late 1800’s.
More recently in the late 1900’s it’s been discovered as a great place for growing grapes so there are some good reasons for exploring this area. Continue on through the Kawarau gorge to get to the alpine town of Queenstown where you are staying for three nights. (3 nights)
There are a huge number of activities to choose from here in Queenstown – for the adventurous there is bungy jumping, jet boating, skiing, 4WD Safaris snow boarding, rafting and skydiving to name a few.
There are also some less adrenaline producing activities such as a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, a ride up the Skyline Gondola, or even a great day out on the Dart River Wilderness Safari.
Today we’ve included the Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Travel by luxury coach on an unforgettable journey from Queenstown into Milford Sound. Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board our vessels, the Milford Mariner or Milford Wanderer which are designed along the lines of traditional trading scows; purpose built to operate in the fiords and offering a laid back, extended, 2.5 hour cruise.
Explore dramatic, moody Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most famous waterway. Throughout your cruise, our nature guide provides an engaging commentary about the magnificent scenery and wildlife (English only). Keep a look out for dolphins, seals and penguins.
Return by coach to Queenstown or weather permitting, you can upgrade your itinerary so that you fly back to Queenstown. Please ask your consultant about this option. (L)
Return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35mins)
The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.
This morning, journey up the West Coast of the South Island to Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Drive to Cromwell, Wanaka and on through the Southern Lakes district to the Haast Pass then north, through dense rain forest broken by rugged coastal vistas, towards the glaciers. (2 nights)
There’s lots to explore in this area – you can take your own time walking up to the glacier, going to the Okarito Lagoon or join a guided walk on the glacier, take a heli-hike adventure, maybe even a scenic flight over both glaciers.
There are some fantastic old towns to visit on the way north today as well as some great places to photograph the scenery and take a look at the dramatic coastline. Drive north of Greymouth to stay the night at Punakaiki.
The town has many colourful local crafts people – jewellers, carvers, painters and potters although, it is best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – both of which are spectacular and a must-see when visiting the West Coast.
Other activities include canoe adventures, horse trekking, caving and guided tours to name just a few.
Once you’ve finished your morning exploration of this area make your way back to Greymouth then turn inland to travel over the beautiful Arthur’s Pass. Along the way you’ll see the awesome engineering feats of the Otira Viaduct and Tunnel.
You’ll have time to stop and look around before descending through some fantastic alpine scenery down to the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch.
You can upgrade your itinerary so that you drop your rental vehicle off in Greymouth and then join the TranzAlpine Train for your journey across the Alps.
On arrival in Greymouth, return your rental car to the Greymouth depot before checking in for your train journey to Christchurch. The TranzAlpine is described as “The Great New Zealand Rail Adventure” and is rated as one of the top six scenic train journeys in the world – with accolades like those, you know it will be good.
Ascend through lush beech forests past the beautiful Lake Brunner via the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass situated 737 metres above sea level, before crossing the spectacular Southern Alps. The TranzAlpine then winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular river gorges and the stunning Waimakariri River valley before arriving in Christchurch.
On arrival in Christchurch we’ll arrange transfers to your accommodation and transfers the next day to the airport for your onward flight.
Drop your car at the airport today for your flight north to the geothermal city of Rotorua. Pick your new rental car up at the Rotorua airport. This evening you will be picked up from your accommodation and taken to the Mitai Village for a unique and unforgettable cultural experience.
Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream and see glow worms in their natural habitat. See your traditionally cooked hangi meal being lifted from the ground.
During the cultural performance, you’ll learn about our past, carvings and ta moko (tattoo art). (2 nights)
Rotorua has been known for its geothermal activity for over 150 years now and today you are able to see, feel, smell and hear some of this wonder of nature. At Te Puia, experience the raw power of Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley with bubbling mud pools, steaming vents and the world famous Pohutu Geyser.
Take a journey into the heart of Maori culture, arts and crafts. Then take a ride on the 8 seater gondola which climbs up the side of Mt Ngongotaha and experience Rotorua’s most spectacular views with Skyline Skyrides. This is a fun, all age, all weather attraction with views of the City and Lake Rotorua.
You can have lunch here at the café or restaurant, and enjoy the fresh air a little more if you decide to ride a cart down the Luge. At the end of the day you can relax at the Polynesian Spa where you have the choice of 7 hot mineral spring pools – or upgrade to some wonderful treatments from the Spa such as the Aix Massage.
Head north-west to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves this morning (included in the tour price). For over 100 years Waitomo Glowworm Caves have attracted millions of people from all over the world.
The moment you enter this subterranean wonderland you’ll discover an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos. You’ll experience a boat trip like no other, journeying through the starry expanse of the Glowworm Grotto, while your way is lit by a multitude of tiny glowworm lights.
This afternoon you’ll drive north through Hamilton and on to New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland – the City Of Sails.
Sadly your holiday comes to an end today. After breakfast this morning, please make your way to the airport where you will return your car in time for your onward flight.
There are 32 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.
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).
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When time is at a premium and you want to see both islands this itinerary is for you! See the best that New Zealand has to offer including Mt Cook, Qu... Read More
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