|North & South Island Self-Drive
18-Day Best of New Zealand Self-Drive
An 18-Day self drive that offers you the very best that New Zealand has to offer. Take in the highlights of the North and South Islands and choose the type of accommodation that suits you best.
• 17 nights hotel accommodation
•Avis car hire group B for 18 days
•Ferry Wellington to Picton
Day 1: Auckland to Whitianga 120 miles 3 hours.
Drive via the beautiful Clevedon Valley region of Auckland and the Pacific Coast Highway before arriving in Thames, gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel’s dramatic and unspoiled coast offers beautiful white sandy beaches and many activities. Stay 2 nights. Standard: Beachside Resort, Whitianga; Superior: Beachside Resort, Whitianga 1-Bedroom apartment
Day 2: Coromandel - day at leisure
Full day to enjoy this area.
Day 3: Whitianga to Rotorua 145miles 3½ hours.
Head for Tauranga along the Pacific Coast Highway. Arrive in the Bay of Plenty region in the early afternoon, in time for a swim or lunch in one of the many restaurants. Continue to Rotorua. Stay 2 nights. Standard: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua; Superior: Millennium Rotorua, Superior room.
Day 4: Rotorua - day at leisure
Full day at leisure in Rotorua.
Day 5: Rotorua to Lake Taupo 50 miles 1½ hours.
Depart Rotorua for the short journey through the Lake Taupo region. Taupo is a perfect base to explore some stunning New Zealand scenery. Standard: Lakeland Resort; Superior: Hilton Lake Taupo.
Day 6: Lake Taupo to Napier 89 miles 2½ hours.
Depart Taupo on the Thermal Explorer Highway for the Hawke’s Bay Region, famous for its wine, food and fabulous scenery. Napier and Hastings offer a high concentration of Art Deco architecture. Standard: Scenic Hotel Te Pania; Superior: The County Hotel, Luxury Room.
Day 7: Napier to Martinborough 156 miles 3½ hours.
Today drive to Martinborough, well known for the range of vineyards in the area. Spend the afternoon out and about on the wine trail. Standard: The Claremont, Martinborough; Superior: Aylstone Boutique Retreat.
Day 8: Martinborough to Wellington 52 miles 1½ hours.
Drive over the beautiful Rimutaka Hills to Wellington, the nation’s capital. The downtown area is ideal for walking around, with lots if shops and cafes. Don’t miss a visit to Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand). Standard: Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay; Superior: Museum Art Hotel.
Day 9: Wellington to Blenheim
3 hour ferry then 30 minute drive. Drop your Avis car off at the Wellington Ferry office. Take the three hour Interislander ferry to Picton on the South Island to collect a similar model vehicle from Avis. Drive the short distance to the wine growing town of Blenheim. Standard: Scenic Hotel Marlborough; Superior: Chateau Marlborough.
Day 10: Blenheim to Nelson 86 miles 3 hours.
Depart Blenheim and head north via the Marlborough Sounds region. Spend the afternoon discovering the many wineries. Alternatively there are many walks and boating activities. 2 night stay. Standard: Trailways Hotel; Superior: Shelbourne Villa
Day 11: Nelson - day at leisure
Full day at leisure. We highly recommend a visit to the Abel Tasman National Park.
Day 12: Nelson to Punakaiki 172 miles 5 hours.
From Nelson, journey through scenic reserves and the earthquake-riven landscapes of the Buller Gorge to the historic coal-mining settlement of Wesport. Visit the
seal colony. Standard: Punakaiki Resort; Superior: Punakaiki Resort Eco Suite
Day 13: Punakaiki to Franz Josef / Fox Glacier 142 miles 3½ hours.
Explore the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Travel on to Greymouth, the largest township on the west coast, and Hokitika before arriving in Franz Josef, an area of mountain peaks and impressive glaciers. Here you can take guided glacier walks or scenic flights. Standard: Punga Grove Franz Josef; Superior: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Day 14: Franz Josef / Fox Glacier to Queenstown 251 miles 6 hours.
Leave the west coast and travel through the scenic wilderness of Haast Pass. Continue to beautiful Wanaka before arriving into Queenstown for 2 nights. Standard: Rydges
Lakeside Resort; Millennium Queenstown
Day 15: Queenstown at leisure
Full day and so much to do. White water rafting, jet boating, or relax aboard the TSS Earnslaw as it cruises across the lake.
Day 16: Queenstown to Te Anau 106 miles 3 hours.
Journey through mountains and alongside lakes before arriving in Te Anau. We suggest a trip to Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound, both accessible from Te Anau. Standard: Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau; Superior: Distinction Te Anau, Lakeview room
Day 17: Te Anau to Dunedin 180 miles 4hours.
Drive north from Te Anau to Gore and on to historic Dunedin. If time permits book a
ride on the Tairei Gorge Railway. Standard: Mercure Dunedin Leisure Lodge; Superior:
Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
Day 18: Dunedin to Christchurch 225 miles 5 hours.
Travel via Timaru, known for its extensive Edwardian and Victorian architecture. Continue on to Christchurch to complete your itinerary.
Prices per person from Standard £1299; Superior £1679.
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