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Self Drive: 17 nights Auckland to Christchurch

New Zealand Discovery.

Price from £2283 per person

This self-drive tour of New Zealand’s North and South Islands includes 18 days’ Toyota Corolla (CDMR) car rental with Budget, 17 nights’ Superior Hotel accommodation, meals as indicated, daily driving notes and route map.

We have used a combination of accommodation styles however, the length of stay and accommodation used can be tailored to suit the time you have available and your budget. Our staff will be happy to advise and give you a personal quotation for the arrangements that suit you.

Auckland / Rotorua / Wellington / Nelson / Punakaiki / Fox Glacier / Queenstown / Lake Tekapo / Christchurch

Prices depend on seasonality:  from £2283 per person to £2645 per person

Mid Category Accommodation
Prices depend on seasonality:  from £1476 per person to £1717 per person

Budget Category Accommodation
Prices depend on seasonality:  from £1128 per person to £1336 per person

Day 1: Arrive Auckland (NM)
Met on arrival at Auckland Airport collect your car from Budget and drive to the Langham Hotel. Remainder of day free to explore Auckland, the City of Sails.
2 nights:
 Langham Hotel, Auckland

Day 2: Auckland (NM)
At leisure in Auckland. You may like to take an America's Cup Sailing Experience on Waitemata Harbour or Wilderness Tour to the black sand beaches on the West Coast.

Day 3: Auckland - Rotorua (235kms/146 miles - 3 hours) (NM)
The hotel is conveniently located near the motorway. Travel south through Hamilton and Cambridge to Rotorua, an area renowned for its Maori culture, hot springs, geysers and boiling mud.
2 nights:
 The Springs, Rotorua

Day 4: Rotorua (D)
Free to explore Rotorua's attractions which include the arts and craft institute at Te Puia and Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, the Agrodome with its amazing display of trained sheep, working sheep dogs and pastoral exhibits, and Rainbow Springs. Tonight enjoy the Maori Cultural Performance and Hangi.

Day 5: Rotorua - Wellington (451 kms/280 miles - 6 hours) (NM)
Travel through to Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake passing the Wairakei geothermal project and Huka Falls. Continue south through the Tongariro National Park to New Zealand's Capital, Wellington.
2 nights:
InterContinental Hotel, Wellington

Day 6: Wellington (NM)
A free day to visit Te Papa, the museum of New Zealand, view the Parliament Buildings or take the Kelburn Cable Car up to the Botanical Gardens and enjoy the lovely panoramic views of the city and harbour.

Day 7: Wellington - Picton - Nelson (Picton-Nelson 141 kms/88 miles - 2 hours) (NM)
Enjoy the scenic 3 hour cruise on the Interislander between the North and South Islands. Arrive in Picton and marvel at the coastal scenery and forest clad ranges as you drive through to Nelson, an area known for its orchards, hop fields, potters, painters, weavers and wine makers.
2 nights:
Bronte County Estate, Nelson

Day 8: Nelson (B)
A free day to explore Nelson or take a day tour into the Abel Tasman National Park.

Day 9: Nelson - Punakaiki (274 kms/170 miles - 4 hours) (B)
Travel through the scenic Buller Gorge to the West Coast. Follow the magnificent coastline to the unusual limestone rock formations and blowholes at Punakaiki.
Punakaiki Resort

Day 10: Punakaiki - Franz Josef Glacier (247 kms/153 miles - 3½ hours) (NM)
Pass through Greymouth and Hokitika before reaching Franz Josef Glacier. Allow enough time to walk to the base of the glacier, join a guided glacier walk or take a scenic flight over this spectacular alpine region.
 Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier - Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11: Franz Josef Glacier - Queenstown (332 kms/206 miles - 5 hours) (B)
Continue on this spectacular journey through Fox Glacier and the Haast Pass, travel along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea and cross the Crown Range before arriving in Queenstown, New Zealand's premier holiday destination.
3 nights: Evergreen Lodge, Queenstown

Days 12 & 13: Queenstown (B)
Two free days to enjoy the many activities offered in and around Queenstown. We recommend that you include a day trip to Milford Sound.

Day 14: Queenstown - Mt Cook (254 kms/158 miles - 4 hours) (B)
Travel past the orchards of Cromwell and on to Twizel. Before arriving at Lake Tekapo you may like to take the 50 minute Grand Traverse scenic flight which takes you around Mt Cook (Aoraki), New Zealand's highest mountain.
Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook

Day 15: Mt Cook - Christchurch (230 kms/143 miles - 3 hours) (NM)
Before departing Lake Tekapo, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1935 as a memorial to the pioneers of the Mackenzie Country. Continue through the richest agricultural and pastoral regions of the Canterbury Plains to reach Christchurch.
3 nights:
 The George Hotel, Christchurch

Day 16 & 17: Christchurch (NM)
Two free days when you might like to visit Kaikoura and take a Whale Watching tour, drive across to the French settlement of Akaroa or just enjoy the attractions in Christchurch.

Day 18: Depart Christchurch (NM)
Return your car to the airport and depart Christchurch for your onward flight.