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Our Classic New Zealand holiday is the perfect way to experience the highlights of this spectacular country. This self-drive itinerary includes a number of fantastic tours to help uncover the best of each destination, from cultural experiences in Rotorua to wine tasting in Napier and a cruise on the magical Milford Sound. With carefully selected hotels to help you make the most of your time in each location and a route that reveals the outstanding variety of picturesque landscapes of the north and south islands.


Day 1 & 2: Auckland

Arrive in Auckland, known as the ‘City of Sails’, this cosmopolitan city with a subtropical climate, multicultural population and lively arts, food and craft scenes ensure there is plenty to keep you busy. Explore the dozens of islands of the Hauraki Gulf, a magnet for boat-lovers, fishing enthusiasts and hikers alike, or spend your time wondering the leafy streets, bustling harbours and heritage buildings in the easily walkable downtown area.

Day 3: Auckland to Rotorua

Collect your hire car in Auckland and head out of the city over the Bombay Hills, into the Waikato Region and across the Hauraki Plains. Pass through Matamata, the location for the ‘Shire’ in the Lord of the Rings films, commonly known as ‘Hobbiton’. As you continue along the Thermal Explorer Highway the smell of sulphur intensifies and areas of bubbling mud, spouting geysers and geothermal pools mark your arrival into the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua.

Day 4: Rotorua

Explore Rotorua at your leisure, this adventure playground offers a wealth of activities including rafting, canopy walks, zip-lining, mountain biking and more. Slow the pace with a relaxing gondola ride, a stroll along the lakeshore and government gardens. Rotorua is also a hot spot for experiencing traditional Maori culture. In the evening, enjoy the Te Po Indigenous Experience, where the famous haka is performed, cultural storytelling and various customs reveal a glimpse of this fascinating culture.

Day 5: Rotorua to Napier

Departing Rotorua, the road to Taupo is alive with geothermal activity and a slight de-tour to Wai-o-Tapu uncovers geysers, silica terraces and craters of boiling mud. Other points of interest along the route include the Wairakei Geothermal power Station and Huka Falls – a phenomenon of natural hydro power. Enjoy the spectacular scenery between the Great Lake Taupo and Napier, where rugged hills and beautiful valleys provide a picturesque backdrop. 

Day 6: Napier & Hawkes Bay

One of the world’s most complete collections of Art Deco-styled buildings have made Napier an iconic visitor destination and a pleasure to explore on foot. The National Aquarium of New Zealand can be found along the Marine Parade or perhaps the hip suburb of Ahuriri, with its cafes, galleries and boutiques will be your morning activity. Then, a half day shared tour of the countryside and wineries of Hawke’s Bay is sure to be a memorable afternoon.

Day 7: Napier to Christchurch

Drop of the rental car at Napier airport and board your domestic flight to Christchurch in the South Island. Collect your new rental car and head into the ‘Garden City’ to spend the rest of the day exploring its many parks and gardens. New Zealand’s first city is adorned with gothic revival buildings, modern architecture and immense street art.

Day 8: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

Heading out of Christchurch, over New Zealand’s longest bridge to cross the Rakaia River and travel through the flat lands of this sheep farming region. Stop off in Geraldine, before heading into the central Mackenzie Basin. Visit the Church of Good Shepherd, perched majestically on the edge of Lake Tekapo, before checking onto your accommodation for the night.

Day 9: Lake Tekapo to Clyde

Travel south through Simons Pass and along the southern shores of Lake Pukaki, passing through the small towns of Twizel and Omarama and continue over the Lindis Pass. You’ll notice the scenery change dramatically as you descend into the Upper Clutha Valley and onwards to the Cromwell Gorge, following the Clutha River to the historic town of Clyde.

Day 10: Clyde & Central Otago

Spend the day exploring the gold mining town of Clyde, where historic buildings, boutique shops and charming cafes and restaurants can all be easily discovered on foot. We highly recommend hiring bikes to cycle a section of the Central Otago Rail Trail.

Day 11: Clyde to Queenstown

On the way out of Clyde, you may wish to stop at Cromwell’s old town, located on the shores of Lake Dunstan. Continue through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and Gibbston Valley, a famous Pinot Noir wine growing region and home to the world’s first commercial bungy jump, where you can watch from the observation deck or take a jump yourself. Continue into the popular resort town of Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Day 12: Milford Sound Day Trip

From your Queenstown base, take a full day trip to Milford Sound, a spectacularly beautiful area known for wildlife and panoramic views. Travel by coach through the rugged valleys and native rainforest surrounded by waterfalls and glacial lakes, then board a small catamaran for a leisurely cruise of the fjord and excellent views of the scenery and wildlife.

Day 13: Queenstown

Today is free to explore the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown is packed with thrilling adventure opportunities from jet boating, bungy jumping or zip-lining. Maybe you'll take to the skies with a helicopter flight or perhaps even a sky-dive. There are also plenty of hiking and cycling trails, heritage cruises and wine tours for those seeking a more relaxing end to this New Zealand adventure.

Day 14: Departure

Drop off the car at Queenstown airport and catch your return flight back to the UK.

Enquire about our Classic New Zealand Holiday

Simply complete our enquiry form to get in touch, or call our Travel Specialists on 0203 924 8888


From £3,699 per person

Truly Individual Holiday Includes:

  • International flights from the UK in Economy
  • Domestic flight
  • 13 nights accommodation 
  • Rental Car with unlimited mileage, additional driver, zero excess
  • 3 sightseeing tours (Rotorua, Napier, Milford Sound)
  • Private airport transfer in Auckland
  • Documents, vouchers and information pack

Price based on two people sharing accommodation. Any element of this holiday can be tailor-made to suit you. Simply enquire below!

Send An Enquiry
Enquire About This Holiday

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