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!

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: Christchurch to Auckland
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $2190 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 14 Days
Tour Code: GNDF

Inclusions

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
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 Christchurch

“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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Christchurch - Mt Cook

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Mt Cook

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Mt Cook - Queenstown

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Queenstown

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Queenstown - Milford Sound Cruise - Queenstown

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
Milford Sound Return Flight Upgrade Package (NZ $395pp)

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Queenstown - Franz Josef Glacier

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Franz Josef Glacier

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Franz Josef Glacier - Punakaiki

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Punakaiki - Greymouth - Christchurch

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
TranzAlpine Train Upgrade Package

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Fly Christchurch - Rotorua

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 12
Rotorua

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 13
Rotorua - Waitomo - Auckland

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 14
Depart Auckland

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.

Your choice of accommodation

4.8/5.0

There are 29 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
05/02/2018
We had a wonderful trip. Everything well organized thank you so much. Beautiful scenery. We were not too sure about getting up before 5 am in Queenstown to get to the lunchtime cruise on Milford Sound, but it was well worth it!!! Fortunate our dates were between two cyclones...so only minor holdups on west coast roads. How did you manage that?!!!! Magic trip. thank you for your help in making it so perfect.
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5
04/02/2018
The Custom New Zealand Drive & Fly was fantastic for myself and my wife - everything went like clockwork. The itinerary was great and exceeded all our expectations (we did the reverse option - North Island first, then the South). Toni provided an exceptional service - great with suggestions and timely feedbacks which certainly took a lot of the guess work away. Overall, a very nice and stress free holiday - just what we wanted. Thanks Toni!!
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5
04/02/2018
Words are insufficient to describe how beautiful and exciting a country New Zealand is, as we concluded after our first trip there with Relaxing Journeys. The organisation from Toni and colleagues was second to none, everything ran very smoothly, which was so important after arriving bleary eyed from a 30+ hour journey from UK. The itinerary was busy but the amount we managed to cram in was amazing. The highlight has to be the flight back from Milford Sound to Queenstown, our Christmas present to each other, with Tommo the pilot pointing out all the sights. Other highlights were the Hooker Valley trail at Mount Cook, the climb up Ben Lomond at Queenstown, the constant changing views, the glow-worms, oh, and the views (did I mention the views?). Accommodation was generally of an excellent standard. The Hermitage at Mt Cook in particular, where I think we had the best views in the house, and the Princes Gate Hotel in Rotorua, splendid fading Colonial glory, with the best waitress ever. High Peaks in Fox Glacier was more basic, but to be fair, I don't think there's a lot of choice round there, and its very handy for the Lake Matheson walk (with THAT view of Mount Cook!), and the Lake Matheson cafe, not to be missed for the best dinner you'll probably have in the trip. The only downside about the holiday was having to come home ... there was a tearful moment when we tore the last voucher out of the book in Auckland ... hopefully we'll be back and hopefully with Relaxing Journeys sorting it out for us.
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5
30/11/2017
We really enjoyed our trip to NZ. The folks at Relaxing Journeys were very helpful and their logistics worked out perfectly. I highly recommend.
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5
15/09/2017
Relaxing Journeys took a list of what we wanted to see and put together an itinerary for us that worked great. We drove thru the North Island and flew to the South Island and back. Relaxing Journeys arranged the rental cars with GPS and flights between the islands. The travel went smoothly. Our vacation was the last 2 weeks of September and there were no crowds except on the ski slopes. The weather was pleasant requiring light jackets and, only when we were on the ski slopes, were we chilly. We experienced multiple short intervals of rain on both the north and south islands, but our waterproof jackets allowed us to carry on.
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4
15/05/2017
Toni was extremely helpful in adjusting our itinerary. Would definitely recommend this tour. The only suggestion I would have is that if given the choice we would have upgraded our accommodations in Queenstown.
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5
05/01/2017
We're very pleased we chose to work with Relaxing Journeys to plan our honeymoon. It relieved so much stress and we were able to enjoy the trip worry free. The hotels picked had great service and amazing views! I was very impressed by the hotel choices. A minor hiccup in the schedule due to sickness and also an event that was cancelled by weather were swiftly taken care of by our coordinator, and all refunds processed. We enjoyed our self driving tour and all events planned very much and will definitely plan our next trip to NZ with Relaxing Journeys again!
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5
19/12/2016
We were travelling along with our 2 kids (10 & 12+) and wanted to experience the North and South Islands at a pace that would not be too taxing, yet give us a good feel for the both the North & South during the 14 day trip. Mani from Relaxing Journeys was our tour consultant and did a fantastic job of tailoring the package to our needs. The hotels felt like they were hand-picked to give us the best experience and value for money and the touring spots/attractions gave us an amazing perspective of the beautiful country. Finally, real customer service is needed in times of crises - and we had an unexpected visa issue at the last moment. Mani didn't miss a beat and made sure we were able to proceed with the vacation with no disruption. Overall, a fantastic vacation. Highly recommended.
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5
17/11/2016
We highly recommend Relaxing Journeys. The trip was very well organized. All of the logistics were perfect, including hotel bookings, rental car, tours and flights. We didn't have a single issue which is remarkable considering all of the logistics involved. Our Tour Consultant Marie was very professional and provided all the information we needed in a timely manner. While we were in Auckland, they emailed us to let us know there was a parade that might obstruct traffic. As soon as we returned home, Marie checked in with us to see how the trip went. She quickly and proactively processed a refund for a scenic flight we weren't able to take due to weather. When we arrived at the airport in NZ to pick up our rental car, we got a GPS, road atlas and travel brochures for each city on the trip. We ended up using our phone GPS because it was easier to use for navigation (we paid for international data). But the GPS was awesome because every 15-30 minutes it would tell us about the area we were driving through. It included a lot of information on the history and geography of NZ as well as Maori stories and legends which were fun to listen to. The tour companies that Relaxing Journeys contracts with for day trips were all very professional. All the hotel accommodations were clean, comfortable and well appointed. I wouldn't describe them as either luxury or budget. The itinerary was a lot of fun, a good sampling of many highlights of New Zealand. There's no way to see all of NZ in only two weeks, but this itinerary gave us good variety and the pace was very good. Our trip was in November, which is Spring time in NZ. Our weather was less than ideal (grey and rainy). Our gortex came in handy! If we go back, we'll go mid-summer. And we'd definitely use Relaxing Journeys again.
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5
18/03/2016
We had the most amazing trip to New Zealand! Toni at Relaxing Journeys created an itinerary which was just the right balance between adventure and relaxation. The hotel accommodations were very nice and conveniently located, the Toyota Highlander rental car, drive times, directions, and noted side attractions were wonderful and the excursions were flawless! We especially loved the heli glacier hike on Franz Josef and the water rafting trip on the Kaituna River. Each accommodation, excursion, flight check-in and rental car pick up was ready upon arrival. Our only surprise was that there was no AC at some of the hotels but the provided fans kept us cool. Additionally, our Milford Sound bus and river trip was more commercial and lengthy then we had hoped. Overall, Toni organised a trip of a lifetime for our family of two adults and two teenagers. We would highly recommend using Relaxing Journeys for another trip.
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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 14 Day New Zealand Drive & Fly

14 Day New Zealand Drive & Fly
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNDF
From (NZD) $2190 per person
Save (NZD) $177 per person
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Rating:
29 reviews (4.8/5)

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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14 Day New Zealand Drive & Fly
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