8 Day New Zealand Express

8 Day New Zealand Express

See highlights of both the North and South Islands in a short time with this self-drive itinerary. Visit the Te Puia geothermal region, Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Milford Sound plus enjoy a 3 night stopover in beautiful Queenstown.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departures: Jan 2020 - March 2021
Price: From (NZD) $2758 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 8 Days
Tour Code: GNNZE


7 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice including airport collection charges
Guided tour of Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Maori Mitai Cultural Evening with traditional feast
Admission to the Te Puia geothermal valley
Admission to Skyline Skyrides
Relax at the Polynesian Spa
Domestic flight Rotorua to Queenstown
Milford Sound Day Tour Coach & 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 2020 – March 2021. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $250 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.

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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 - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

Continue south through Auckland and Hamilton today toward Rotorua. On the way stop off at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. For over 100 years Waitomo Glowworm Caves have attracted millions of people from all over the world.

This evening you will be picked up 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 where you can 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 New Zealand’s past, carvings and ta moko (tattoo art). (2 nights) (d)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3

Rotorua has been known for its geothermal activity for over 150 years 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 4
Rotorua - Queenstown

Today return your rental car to the depot at Rotorua airport prior to your flight to Queenstown. On arrival in Queenstown collect your new rental car and make your way to your accommodation.

Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown boasts adventure and leisure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration. (3 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
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. (L)

Your choice of accommodation

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

Upgrade your itinerary to return to Queenstown via 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 6
Queenstown at Leisure

There is a huge number of activities to choose from here in Queenstown – for the adventurous there is bungy jumping, jet boating, 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 7
Queenstown - Mt Cook - Christchurch

Today journey through the centre of the South Island through the vast rolling landscapes of Mackenzie Country and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, arriving late afternoon.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Depart Christchurch

At leisure today until you return your rental car to the airport in time to connect with your onward flight. We bid you a fond farewell and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Your choice of accommodation


There are 2 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.5 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

We had a great time. The accommodation selected was very good. Traveling times for some were a bit long and taxing for the little ones but I suppose no choice but gave a us opportunity to make stops along the way to experience the views. Beautiful country and the whether was kind to us.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
Very disappointed that we missed the glow-worm caves tour (a feature that we particularly wanted to see). Please advise future clients that it is essential to book in advance as it is very, very busy!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience


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 8 Day New Zealand Express

8 Day New Zealand Express
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNNZE
From (NZD) $2758 per person
Save (NZD) $275 per person
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Terms and conditions apply. Please see tour overview for more information.

2 reviews (4.5/5)

See highlights of both the North and South Islands in a short time with this self-drive itinerary. Visit the Te Puia geothermal region, Waitomo Glowwo... Read More

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8 Day New Zealand Express
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