Itinerary Highlights

  • Discover the diversity of New Zealand's North Island, from the rolling farmlands and beautiful waters of the Bay of Islands to the volcanic landscapes of Rotorua and winelands of Hawkes Bay
  • Join a guided walk through the Franz Josef valley right up to the glacier terminus
  • Take an exhilarating jet boat ride along the spectacular Dart River in Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Discover the outstanding natural beauty of Milford Sound on a nature cruise around this pristine fjord
  • Best time to travel NOV - APR

What's Included

  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Car Hire
  • GPS Device
  • International Flights

Our action-packed 21-night Great New Zealand Touring Route fly-drive holiday takes you on a journey around both North and South Island's of New Zealand. Start in the cosmopolitan harbour city of Auckland, renowned as the sailing capital of the world. Drive through the rolling farmlands of the Bay of Islands where the Waitangi Treaty was first signed, and up to Cape Reinga, the most northwesterly point of New Zealand.

Explore the outstanding natural beauty of Coromandel Peninsula with its secluded bays, hot water beach and abundance of bird life. Rotorua is one of New Zealand's most active geothermal areas and offers several cultural experiences from Maori exhibits and shows to sheep shearing displays at Agrodome, and plenty of geothermal pools, geysers and volcanic landscapes to discover. 

Take a hike to Franz Josef Valley where you can take an optional helicopter flight for a snow landing high above the glacier. Drive along the dramatic Haast Highway down to Lake Wanaka, and adventurer's playground where you can hike, mountain-bike, kayak, sky-dive or just relax lake-side, taking in the stunning views that surround you.

Queenstown is renowned as the adventure capital of New Zealand, it is not only breathtakingly beautiful but it also offers some incredible adventures such as jet-boating, bungee jumping, white-water-rafting and during winter ski-ing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. Continue to Fiordland where you will cruise on Milford Sound, past towering waterfalls and Mitre-Peak. Your final destination is Dunedin, known for it's Scottish and Maori heritage, visit the historic railway station, Lanarch Castle and Otago Peninsula where you can view both marine and bird life including rare yellow-eyed penguins. 

This fly-drive takes you to several must-see destinations as well as including a whole host of bucket-list activities including the Bay Islands Hole in the Rock Cruise, visits Rotorua's Te Puia geothermal area, the Marlborough Sounds ferry crossing, Dart River Jet Boating adventure and a Milford Sound Nature Cruise.

Itinerary

Arrive Auckland and transfer to your downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore this waterfront city and harbour.
Bay of Islands
Collect your rental car and travel north from Auckland to the beautiful Bay of Islands. 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. Hotel – The Sanctuary Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands
Enjoy a full day at leisure in this beautiful part of the world. We suggest packing a picnic and taking the road further north, discovering quaint towns like Kerikeri and exploring the outstandingly beautiful coastline. Visit beautiful bays - such as Matauri Bay, Whangaroa and Doubtless Bay – before continuing to the north-western tip of the Aupouri Peninsula at Cape Reinga. Hotel – The Sanctuary Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands
Board the Dolphin Seeker vessel at Paihia for a morning catamaran cruise past Cape Brett Lighthouse, on your way to the majestic ‘Hole in the Rock’ formation. If conditions permit, your skipper will navigate right through the narrow archway in this towering rock. Make sure to always keep a look out for dolphins and other marine life while sailing through the Bay of Islands! Hotel – The Sanctuary Bay of Islands
Coromandel Peninsula
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 and 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. Pass Auckland and continue 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. Hotel - Bushland Park Lodge & Retreat
Coromandel Peninsula
Take a bushwalk, a walk on the beach, dangle a fishing line, or do nothing at all. Enjoy Coromandel’s stunning scenery and pristine golden beaches, or visit Hot Water Beach, where an underground river of hot water flows from the earth’s interior to the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Depending on the tide, you can paddle your feet in the natural hot water pools dug into the sand. Hotel - Bushland Park Lodge & Retreat
Today you continue your road-trip south via Tauranga and through rolling farmland and scenic forests to the geothermal area of Rotorua. Enjoy free time exploring the town or visit the Polynesian Hot Springs for a soak.
Today you will experience Maori culture and the natural geothermal wonders at Te Puia; here you will find bubbling lakes and erupting geysers, Maori architecture and art, and cultural displays and performances. Gain an insight of the importance of sheep farming in New Zealand at the Agrodome, including a sheep shearing display, and get up and close to native flora and fauna at Rainbow Springs.
Tongariro
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. Hotel - Chateau Tongariro Hotel
Leaving Tongariro National Park journey south via Palmerston North and Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Wellington sits on a beautiful harbour, with Mount Victoria overlooking the city and surrounds.
Nelson
This morning, return your rental vehicle at the ferry terminal depot and board the Interislander ferry across the Cook Strait and through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds to Picton. Here, collect another rental vehicle to continue the Great New Zealand Touring Route on New Zealand’s South Island. Drive through Havelock to Nelson, a pretty city flanked by the sea, golden beaches and hills. Hotel - Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco
Nelson
A day at leisure to explore the Nelson and Abel Tasman regions. Hotel - Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco
Greymouth
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 town of Westport and on to Greymouth. Hotel - Breakers Boutique Accommodation
Fox Glacier
From Greymouth continue south to Hokitika. Hokitika is the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast and it is possible to watch pounamu carvers and gold craftsmen at work. Glass blowing and glass lace creation can be seen in the town’s glass blowing studio. Ruby rock is New Zealand’s very own gemstone and found only in Hokitika. Just a short drive further south 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. Hotel - Distinction Te Weheka
Wake early and visit Lake Matheson where you can enjoy mirror-like reflections of the glacier in the lake. Drive over the stunning Haast Pass, an area of outstanding natural beauty, or see even more on a Haast River Safari. Then, continue through Wanaka and the Mount Aspiring National Park to Queenstown.
Today’s adventure starts with a scenic drive along the edge of Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy, where you will board a Dart River jet boat for an exhilarating journey deep into the wilderness of Mount Aspiring National Park. Speed along the braided, glacier-fed rivers by jet boat, surrounded by stunning scenery - you may recognise the landscape from scenes in Lord of the Rings!
Te Anau
We recommend an early departure from Queenstown to ensure you are ahead of the tour groups making their way to Milford Sound. Board your vessel for a 90-minute cruise of the mesmerising Milford Sound fiord, passing towering waterfalls and the majestic Mitre Peak. Afterwards, take the opportunity to stop along the scenic drive back to Te Anau. Hotel - Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Dunedin
Take a leisurely drive east from Te Anau towards Dunedin, past deep rivers and through lush farmland; stop at the beautiful rural town of Lumsden and the Hokonui Moonshine Museum in Gore. Dunedin was first settled by the Scottish and is often referred to as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. Hotel - Brothers Boutique Hotel
Dunedin
Spend a full day in and around Dunedin. Drive out to Otago Peninsula, home to an abundance of marine and birdlife - such as the royal albatross and the endangered yellow eyed penguin. Combine this with a visit to the only castle in Australasia, the beautiful Lanarch Castle, where you can take a guided tour through the property and spend time in the award-winning gardens. Hotel - Brothers Boutique Hotel
Mount Cook
Drive up the coast on State Highway 1 through Palmerston to Moeraki, where you can see the intriguing boulders on the beach at low tide. Just past Oamaru, the main town of the Wataki area, at Pukeuri turn left onto State Highway 83. This route will take you through Kurow, Otematata and onto Omarama. Omarama is the centre for trout fishing on the Ahuriri River and bush walking in the Ohau State Forest. It is also a very popular spot for gliding. Travel on to Twizel. Hotel - Matuka Lodge
Head north and travel via Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, a spectacular turquoise coloured glacial lake. Stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Tekapo for one of New Zealand’s most picturesque picnic spots. Enter the Canterbury Plains, the widest area of flat land in New Zealand and onto Christchurch. Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s historic cities with a distinctly “English” feel to it.
Staying at  The George
Return your rental vehicle to the airport depot in time for your flight back to the UK.
Tom

Tom

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