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Ref: N101

Best of New Zealand Fly Drive Tour

Auckland * Bay of Islands * Waitomo * Rotorua * Napier * Wellington * Kaikoura - Whale Watching * Greymouth * Franz Josef Glacier * Queenstown * Te Anau * Milford Sound cruise * Invercargill * Dunedin * Mount Cook * Christchurch

The "classic" self-drive tour of New Zealand exploring the spectacular and diverse landscapes of both islands. Included are cruises around the Bay of Islands, the iconic Milford Sound, a whale-watch cruise at Kaikoura as well as the Cook Strait crossing. Admission to the attractions in the geothermal Rotorua area and the glow-worm caves at Waitomo are also included, and with time in the major centres in both North and South Islands this is a comprehensive tour of a beautiful land. 

25 days from £3,594 per person twin share + flights 


Day 1 - UK - Auckland

Your New Zealand holiday starts with a departure from the UK o­n a scheduled Air New Zealand flight to Auckland via Los Angeles or Hong Kong.

Day 2 - In flight

Day 3: Auckland

Auckland is the main Gateway City to New Zealand. Greater Auckland, with a population of over one million, is New Zealand’s largest urban area, and centre of commerce and industry, but within minutes of the city you can experience uncrowded beaches, rural countryside and forests. The dominating feature of the Auckland cityscape are the graceful lines of the Harbour bridge, the sparkling waters of the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf, and the brooding cone of Rangitoto Island – the last of the city’s 48 volcanoes to erupt – just over 600 years ago. Upon arrival, pick up your hire car at Auckland airport and make your way to your first hotel.

Overnight (1): Auckland 

Day 4: Auckland to Paihia (241km)

On State Highway 1, travel north from Auckland past Warkworth and Leigh, through Wellsford and on up to Whangarei. Along the way, there are many forests to explore. You could also take off to the east and visit some of the surf beaches along the coast, such as Langs Beach, near Waipu. Whangarei (population 44,000) is the commercial and cultural heart of Northland. The city is surrounded by forested hills and is situated a harbour which houses yachts from around New Zealand and the world. If you are interested in clocks, the Clapham Clock Museum is worth a visit, with nearly 1000 unusual timepieces from around the world. It is located in the Town Basin, 5 minutes from the town centre. Continue to Kawakawa, which boasts a railway line running down the main street, which was originally built for trains to haul coal to Opua. Here you turn right to Paihia, where you will be staying for the next three nights.

Overnights (3): Paihia.

Day 5: Paihia

On these days, you have time at leisure to explore the magnificent Bay of Islands. Perhaps take a cruise, see the dolphins, or visit the Treaty House at Waitangi. Here, in 1840 the British Government and Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi. Or take a ferry ride to Russell, the first capital of New Zealand, on the car ferry. We also suggest a boat cruise through the Bay of Islands, the Cape Brett cruise, where you can see the “Hole in the Rock”. Or perhaps go on a bush tour along the “90-mile beach” to Cape Reinga or visit historical Russell Village.

Day 06: Paihia Day at leisure.

Day 07: Paihia to Pauanui (Coromandel Peninsula) (370 km)

A choice of routes back south today - you can travel back down State Highway 1 straight into Auckland, or try a different route - over to the west coast through Opononi, along the beautiful coast. Further south on this route is the Waipoua Forest, which holds a reserve of 2639 hectares of kauri, the largest surviving stand of these magnificent trees, which once covered much of the northern half of the North Island. The largest tree in Waipoua is the Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest). It is 51 metres high, 14 metres around, with no branches for the first 12 metres. Carry on the main State Highway 1 through Auckland again and onto Highway 2 towards the Coromandel Peninsula. Along the coast of the Firth of Thames is the township of Thames, which provides a reminder of the gold rush which began in 1867. Around 1900, the town had about 19000 inhabitants. From Thames, it is a short trip over the beautiful Coromandel Ranges mountains to the upmarket beach township of Pauanui.

Overnights (2): Coromandel 

Day 08: Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula is a beautiful area, with cool forests, picturesque beaches, rugged coastlines and swimming holes. Take a bushwalk, a walk on the beach, dangle a line, or do nothing at all.

Day 09: Pauanui to Rotorua (218 km)

Travel South from Pauanui past many more beautiful beaches, and the township of Tauranga, one of the North Island’s largest ports. Your route takes you through the Kiwifruit Country around Te Puke and on to the heart of thermal activity and cultural centre of New Zealand, Rotorua. Rotorua is on the central North Island volcanic plateau, which causes the geysers, pools of boiling mud and water, steam vents and terraces of silica. The most well know thermal area is the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. |

Overnights (2): Rotorua

Day 10: Rotorua

Time today to visit some of the major tourist attractions in the Rotorua township and surrounds.

Day 11: Rotorua to Tongariro National Park (177 km)

Travel to the township of Taupo, right on the edge of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Taupo is a trout fisherman’s paradise. There are also all sorts of water-based activities available – para-sailing, sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, white-water rafting (on the Tongariro River) as well as horse-riding, sky-diving and bungy jumping. Just north of Taupo is Huka Falls, a very dramatic area. Drive along the east shore of Lake Taupo to Turangi, then onto State Highway 47 into Tongariro National Park

Overnights (!): Tongariro National Park.

Day 12: Tongariro National Park to Wellington (336 km)

Leaving Tongariro National Park journey down to Wanganui, on the South Taranaki Bight on the banks of the Wanganui River. Out of Wanganui, travel down the west coast to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand on the southwestern tip of the North Island. Wellington sits on a beautiful harbour, with Mount Victoria on the outskirts.

Overnights (1): Wellington

Day 13: Wellington to Nelson (By Ferry – 110km)

Catch the ferry from Wellington to Picton on the South Island at the Inter-Island terminal on Wellington’s waterfront. The car will need to be dropped off before catching the ferry and another vehicle picked up in Picton. The ferry cruises through the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound on its arrival into Picton, in the beautiful Marlborough Sound area. Drive around this area before travelling through Havelock to Nelson, a pretty city flanked by the sea, golden beaches and hills.

Overnights (2): Nelson 

Day 14: Nelson

A day at leisure to explore the Marlborough and Abel Tasman region around Nelson.

Day 15: Nelson to Greymouth (290 km)

From Nelson, you will head out past the Abel Tasman National Park region to the “wild west coast” of the South Island, through the small towns of Westport and Greymouth.

Overnights (1): Greymouth

Day 16: Greymouth to Glacier Region (179 km)

From Greymouth continue south 40 km to Hokitika. Hokitika was the centre of the richest gold-producing area in New Zealand in the 1960s. Visit the West Coast Historical Museum in town for an insight into the history of the area. Just a short drive further will bring you down into the famous Westland National Park, home to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. You will have time today to experience a walk up to the Glacier face or even out onto the ice itself.

Overnights (1): Glacier Region

Day 17: Glacier Region to Queenstown (404 km)

The famous Fox Glacier is a 14 km long tongue of ice which descends to 250 metres above sea level. It is the most accessible glacier in New Zealand. Leave the Glaciers today, continuing south-west on State Highway 6. At Haast the road turns inland along the Haast River, in the region of Central Otago, past Lake Wanaka to the town of Wanaka. From Wanaka either follow the main highway further inland through Luggate, Lowburn, Cromwell and back west to Queenstown, or take the Crown Range road via Cardrona. The Cardrona Valley is an old gold-mining route. Mt Cardrona is a haven for skiers of all standards. Heli-skiing in the Harris Mountains is very popular for dedicated skiers. If you’re feeling adventurous in Queenstown, a ride with Heli-Jet on the Kawarau River, Shotover Jet on the Shotover River, try white-water rafting, take a helicopter ride, go bungy jumping or bush walking. Or, for a more relaxing day, take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu on TSS Earnslaw or just have a picnic lunch and take in the beautiful surroundings.

Overnights (2): Queenstown

Day 18: Queenstown

Today is at leisure for you to explore the many activities and scenic wonders of the township Queenstown and the surrounding areas.

Day 19: Queenstown to Te Anau (170 km)

From Queenstown, travel south along Lake Wakatipu the west to Te Anau on the outskirts of the Fiordland National Park. Fiordland National Park is listed as a World Heritage Park. At 1.52 million hectares, it is the largest national park in New Zealand and one of the largest in the world. Milford Sound is the best known, most easily accessible and one of the grandest of the fiords along this coastline. It runs past of New Zealand’s most famous landmarks, Mitre Peak, which rises 1692 metres almost straight up from the water.

Overnights (1): Te Anau

Day 20: Te Anau to Dunedin (292 km)

Travel east on via Lumsden and Gore, renowned for its brown trout fishing. Dunedin, founded by Scottish migrants in 1848, has the distinctive character of a university city as many citizens are students. Dunedin is situated on the Otago Peninsula, which is indented with bays, providing many picnic and swimming sites. The hills above are criss-crossed with old stone walls.

Overnights (2): Dunedin

Day 21: Dunedin

Today we suggest a drive out along the Otago Peninsula for a sample of the unique South Island wildlife found in abundance on this scenic peninsula. At the tip of the peninsula is Taiaroa Head, a special reserve that includes the only mainland nesting site of the magnificent Royal Albatross. The rare Yellow-eyed penguins can also be seen at the Yellow-Eyed Penguin Reserve, halfway along the peninsula.

Day 22: Dunedin to Twizel (330 km)

Pass through Palmerston and Oamaru in the region of North Otago. Travel inland via Omarama, Twizel and Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, a spectacular turquoise-coloured glacial lake. Stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo for one of New Zealand’s most picturesque picnic spots.

Overnight (1): Mt Cook Region

Day 23: Twizel to Christchurch (330km)

Travel past Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki and enter the Canterbury Plains, the widest area of flat land in New Zealand and into Christchurch. Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s historic cities with a distinctly “English” feel to it. The city is currently reinventing itself after itself after the various earthquakes which destroyed much of the city. Among the city’s popular sights are RE:Start, an outdoor retail and café precinct built in fashionably presented shipping containers, the Transitional Cardboard Cathedral, a fascinating architectural structure made out of cardboard.

Overnight (1): Christchurch 

Day 24: Christchurch 

With most flights departing in the evening enjoy Christchurch for some last-minute shopping or sightseeing before returning your hire car to the airport to check in for your flight to Auckland, where you will connect with an Air New Zealand flight via Los Angeles back to the UK.

Day 25 - Arrive UK

Why not extend your holiday with a stopover in Los Angeles? This can be included as part of your outward or return journey (or both) and for many the journey thus becomes part of the holiday. Please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss accommodation options, as well as transfers and sightseeing possibilities - we are very happy to tailor make your holiday to your own requirements.

Air New Zealand Upgrades -  EconomySkycouch™, Premium Economy & BusinessPremier™

Click here to view your seat information and the choice of upgrades perfect for families, couples or anyone who wants the ultimate upgrade experience.

*Available daily to New Zealand via Los Angeles

British Airways Economy Class Domestic Add-on's

Available in conjunction with your TransAtlantic and TransPacific Flights with Air New Zealand between London and to/from Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle. Details on request.


Departing Between

2017 - 2018

Twin Share
Standard Hotels
Twin Share
Superior Hotels 
August to March £POA £POA
Free Quote
Call us for Free on 0800 988 4611

Standard HotelsSuperior Hotels
AucklandMercure Auckland Rydges Auckland
Bay of IslandsKingsgate AutolodgeCopthorne Hotel Bay of Islands
CoromandelPauanui Pines Motor LodgeGrand Mercure Puka Park
RotoruaSudima Hotel Lake Rotorua Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
Tongariro National ParkSkotel - Tongariro Chateau Tongariro
WellingtonTravelodge Wellington Hotel Grand Chancellor James Cook
NelsonBella Vista Nelson Grand Mercure Monaco Resort
GreymouthBella Vista Greymouth Kingsgate Hotel Greymouth
Glacier Region58 on Cron - Glacier Region Franz Alpine Retreat
QueenstownCopthorne Lakefront Hotel & ResortMillenium Queenstown
Te AnauDistinction Luxmore HotelDistinction Te Anau Hotel
DunedinMercure Dunedin Leisure LodgeScenic Hotel Dunedin
Mt Cook RegionMackenzie Country Inn Hermitage Mt Cook Region
ChristchurchChateau on the Park ChristchurchNovotel Christchurch Cathedral Square


  • Scheduled Air New Zealand flights in Economy Class from London Heathrow to Auckland with return from Christchurch
  • All pre-payable airport taxes, security charges and the UK Air Passenger Duty
  • 21 nights’ accommodation (room only)
  • 21 days fully inclusive rental of a full-size Holden Commodore or similar automatic car with unlimited kms and additional driver(s)
  • Interislander ferry between Wellington and Picton
  • All taxes
  • Includes a Handy Atlas, New Zealand Exploring guide, regional brochures of areas visited, accommodation location maps, and itinerary with door-to-door directions and other information.
  • 24-hour customer service support in New Zealand

Not Included

  • Fuel for hire car
  • Sightseeing and Attraction entrance costs 
  • Meals (unless indicated)
  • Airport drop charge of NZ$ 45.00 plus tax payable locally

Our Price Guarantee

All offers are subject to availability. Once a booking is confirmed your holiday price is 100% GUARANTEED against any increase in price such as currency exchange fluctuations or fuel surcharges. Other companies may surcharge you by up to 10% more!

New Zealand Holiday by Province

Auckland and Whangarei

Canterbury and Christchurch



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Marlborough and Nelson


Rotorua and Lake Taupo

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Holiday Information


Mercure Auckland


Rydges Auckland



Kingsgate Autolodge


Copthorne Hotel Bay of Islands



Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge


Grand Mercure Puka Park



Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua


Novotel Rotorua Lakeside



Skotel - Tongariro


Chateau Tongariro



Travelodge Wellington


Hotel Grand Chancellor James Cook



Bella Vista Nelson


Grand Mercure Monaco Resort



Bella Vista Greymouth


Kingsgate Hotel Greymouth



58 on Cron - Glacier Region


Franz Alpine Retreat



Copthorne Lakefront Hotel & Resort


Millenium Queenstown



Distinction Luxmore Hotel

This property is located in the attractive town of Te Anau, 171 kilometres from Queenstown (approximately 2 hours 15 minutes). The serene deep waters of adjacent Lake Te Anau make up the largest lake in the South Island with a spectacular backdrop of Mt Luxmore and the Murchison Mountains. The hotel can be found rightin the heart of town and a short stroll from the lake, making it a popular choice with both visitors and locals alike.
The hotel offers an extensive range of convenient facilities, all recently upgraded. With two superb dining venues, a brand new foyer and reception area, a sparkling new guest laundry and lifts on every floor, the hotel delivers all of the top-notch amenities the discerning traveller expects. Guest facilities include an inviting, spacious lounge and waiting area featuring black leather lounge suites, landscaped grounds with lovely native planting, gym facilities, room service and a porter service.

Number of Rooms: 180

180 newly refurbished rooms that have been tastefully designed and re-decorated. The Superior Rooms are comfortable, studio rooms that feature an ensuite bathroom with shower over the bath. The Deluxe Rooms are well appointed, modern rooms and are the pride of the hotel. Each is tastefully designed and decorated with plain, deep cream walls, complemented by luxurious gold bedspreads. Their interior design features a Fiordland theme, with carpets in deep blue hues, and silk-like drapes in a muted watermark design incorporating the grey/blue green colours of the unique flightless native bird the Takahe. The pale golds and beiges of tussock grass runs through the whole theme. The Deluxe Rooms offer a modern bathroom in bold black and white, including a shower over the bath and also feature convenient amenities such as a fridge, coffee and tea making facilities, hairdryer and iron.

Distinction Te Anau Hotel



Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge


Scenic Hotel Dunedin



Mackenzie Country Inn


Hermitage Mt Cook Region



Chateau on the Park Christchurch


Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square