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Ref: N12

The Gardens of New Zealand Fly Drive

Auckland * Matamata * Cambridge * New Plymouth * Wellington * Interislander Ferry * Nelson * Fox Glacier * Queenstown * Dunedin * Christchurch 

This 21-day twin-island fly-drive holiday will show you the best of New Zealand, with beautiful gardens, scenic landscapes and breath-taking views.

22 days from £4,699 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.

Day 2 - In flight

Day 3 - Auckland

You will be met upon arrival at Auckland Airport and transferred to your hotel. Within walking distance is Albert Park, home to several spectacular trees. A little further out is the city’s oldest and most popular park, Auckland Domain, developed around the cone of an extinct volcano. The Domain features formal gardens as well as native forest walking tracks, The Wintergarden’s glasshouses contain temperate and tropical plants as well as an extensive native fernery, and Auckland Museum.

Overnights (2): Hotel DeBrett – Auckland

Day 4 -  Auckland

Today you will be taken on a full day guided tour to Auckland’s wild black sand beaches and lush rainforest Spend the day walking and relaxing in the real New Zealand while hearing the stories of the region. You first visit the Arataki Visitor Centre - gateway to Auckland’s coastal rainforest. The breath-taking panoramic views from the sweeping decks extend from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Continue further west to the wild and rugged west coast. Walk through lush rainforest with giant tree ferns growing alongside picturesque streams in regenerating rainforest. Then stroll on an awe-inspiring beach and experience the uniqueness of the soft, black sand and the clear ocean breeze. Your journey then takes you to an area of untouched original rainforest with mature 1,000-year-old kauri trees. New Zealand has existed for millions of years separate from the rest of the world so has evolved in isolation to produce its own unique flora and fauna. Continental Breakfast included.

Day 5 Auckland –Matamata - Cambridge (196 km)

Collect your rental car from the city depot for your journey south. You may like to stop and visit the Hamilton Gardens which feature a traditional Maori Garden as well as themed gardens from all over the world. Travel via Matamata for an afternoon tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set. Your guided tour takes you through a picturesque sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Learn how the hobbit holes were created and how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-earth complete with hobbit holes and hobbit gardens and orchards. Continental Breakfast Included.

Overnight (1): Sarnia Park Boutique Lodge – Cambridge

Day 6 - Cambridge - New Plymouth (228 km)

Travel today to the Taranaki region where the volcanic soil and rainforest climate provide ideal growing conditions for native rainforests and many exotic species that have found a new home on the plains and rolling hills dominated by Mt Taranaki.

Overnight (1): Nice Hotel - New Plymouth

Day 7 - New Plymouth

Recommended gardens to visit today are Te kainga Marire – an amazing intimate native garden; world reknowned Pukeiti, a 360-hectare rainforest on the slopes of Mount Taranaki that features over 500 rhododendron varieties; Pukekura Park with a huge variety of plant collections amidst a diverse range of landscapes; Hollard Gardens and Tupare originally private gardens that have grown into spectacular displays of native and exotic specimens. Breakfast Included.

Day 8 - New Plymouth -Wellington (355 km)

Enjoy the transformation of scenery through Otaki Gorge as you travel via the Kapiti Coast to Wellington. Breakfast Included

Overnights (2): Booklovers B&B - Wellington

Day 9 - Wellington

A ten-minute drive will take you to Zealandia, an urban sanctuary dedicated to telling New Zealand’s unique conservation story. With over 225 hectares of regenerating native forest and 40 species of birds, it is a unique, world-first eco-attraction. Discover the story of New Zealand's natural history and conservation movement with a world-class interactive exhibition. Breakfast Included.

Day 10 - Wellington – Picton - Nelson (130 km)

Return your car and board the Interislander Ferry for your cruise across Cook Strait. On arrival in Picton, pick up your car and take a leisurely drive to Nelson. Breakfast Included.

Overnights (2): Kershaw House - Nelson

Day 11 - Nelson

Free time. Recommended visit - Abel Tasman National Park.

Day 12 - Nelson - Fox Glacier (482 km)

Travel today down the West Coast. This remote area has a ruggedly beautiful landscape of vast rainforests, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped mountains. A recommended stop is at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes where the surging sea has sculptured amazing shapes out of the rocks. Also of note enroute, just 15 minutes south of Hokitika is the West Coast Treetop Walk – an exhilarating scenic walk adventure among the ancient tree canopy of temperate rainforest giants. Breakfast Included

Overnight (1): Misty Peaks - Fox Glacier

Day 13 Fox Glacier - Queenstown (327 km)

A memorable trip through some of the most magnificent scenery in New Zealand to the alpine resort town of Queenstown; exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. Breakfast Included

Overnights (3): Queenstown Country Lodge – Queenstown

Day 14 – Queenstown

Day at leisure for you to enjoy many of the sights and activities on offer. A recommended excursion is a 20-minute drive to Arrowtown – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. Breakfast Included.

Day 15 - Queenstown

Day at leisure.

Day 16 - Queenstown - Dunedin (286 km)

Today, travel via river plains and tussock country through Coastal Otago to Dunedin. This is a region of natural beauty overlaid with a fascinating cultural history and often referred to as the eco-capital of New Zealand. Nearby is the beautiful Otago Peninsula home to New Zealand Fur Seals, rare Hooker’s Sea Lions, Yellow-Eyed Penguins, and the only mainland Royal Albatross colony. Breakfast Included

Overnights (2): Camp Estate – Dunedin

Day 17 - Dunedin

Included with your accommodation is a visit to Larnach Castle and the beautiful Gardens. Over a century old this large garden surrounding historic Larnach Castle on the Otago Peninsula is at an altitude of 300 metres. The scenery is spectacular and though the garden is subjected to wind and low rainfall it contains a unique collection of plants seldom seen elsewhere. Breakfast Included.

Day 18 - Dunedin - Christchurch (363 km)

Today, depart Dunedin and travel north crossing the Canterbury Plains and travelling to Christchurch known as ‘the Garden City’ of New Zealand. In a loop of the Avon River, bordered on three sides by the green expanse of Hagley Park are the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Some of the largest, tallest and oldest trees in New Zealand can be found here. The gardens host spectacular colour and form, intriguing artworks and some of the largest, tallest and oldest trees in New Zealand. A loop of the gently-flowing Avon River, criss-crossed by bridges, encloses a large part of the gardens which include horticultural displays, conservatories, memorials, garden art and walking tracks. Breakfast Included.

Overnight (1): The Classic Villa - Christchurch

Day 21 - Depart Christchurch - UK

Tour concludes with the return of your rental car to Christchurch Airport depot. Check in for your flight to the UK via Auckland and Los Angeles.

Day 22 - 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 Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific 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
August to March  £POA
Free Quote
Call us for Free on 0800 988 4611 


  • Scheduled Air New Zealand flights in Economy Class from London Heathrow to Auckland with return from Christchurch
  • All pre-paid airport taxes, security charges and the UK Air Passenger Duty
  • 16 nights’ unique boutique accommodation
  • Hire of a full-size rental car - Holden Commodore or similar inclusive of Accident Excess Reduction, Unlimited kms and Airport / Ferry Collection Fees
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
  • Entrance to Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Interisland Ferry Crossing
  • Larnach Castle & Gardens
  • Includes a Handy Atlas, New Zealand Exploring guide, regional brochures of areas visited, accommodation location maps, and itinerary
  • 24-hour customer service support in New Zealand

Not Included

  • Fuel for hire car
  • Meals (unless indicated)
  • New Zealand airport tax, payable locally - currently NZ$25

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!

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