Essential New Zealand

Whakarewarewa pohutu geyser, Rotorua
from £1135 13 nights | Year round Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Year round


This self drive 14 day itinerary is especially designed for the budget-conscious traveller wanting to experience the very best of New Zealand at an affordable cost. Savour the spectacular scenery and highlights of this amazing country as you start your journey in Auckland, the City of Sails, and travel far south to the magnificent alpine resort town of Queenstown.


  • The superb beaches and lush forest of the Coromandel Peninsula
  • Rotorua 's geo-thermal wonderland and Maori culture
  • The picturesque wine regions of Napier and Nelson
  • explore Abel Tasman National Park on foot or by kayak
  • enjoy a scenic helicopter landing on Franz Josef Glacier (optional, extra cost)
  • Queenstown 's wealth of optional activities

Starting in Auckland, drive to the lush and tranquil Coromandel, travel south via Napier, New Zealand's famous art deco city, before heading to the capital city of Wellington.

Journey across the Marlborough Sounds to the South Island where you can enjoy the arts and crafts of charming Nelson, the dramatic west coast and its superb glaciers, before travelling south to the Southern Lakes region, blessed with an abundance of stunning scenery. Spend time here and enjoy the exceptional wealth of adventurous or relaxing activities on offer.

Call our New Zealand experts now

We have travelled quite extensively and I can honestly say, this holiday was the best we have ever experienced.

Pauline & Ray Wallace, Tailor made

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1 arrive Auckland
On arrival at Auckland airport please make your way to the Super Shuttle transfer where you will pick up the transfer to your city hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. It is well worth getting out on the water to be part of the maritime feel. You may like to take a wildlife harbour cruise and enjoy the informative commentary on the sights of Auckland. The Auckland War Memorial Museum is also well worth a visit. It tells the story of New Zealand, from its unique flora and fauna and its history at war, to its priceless collection of Maori and Pacific treasures.
Overnight: Copthorne Hotel, Auckland City
Day 2 Auckland - Whangamata
Collect your Go Rentals vehicle this morning and journey south to Whangamata on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel Forest Park and Tairua Forest bordering the town provide many outdoor experiences including short walks, bike trails and historic gold mining sites. Short walking trails lead to picture-perfect isolated beaches away from civilisation. You may like to take a guided walking tour with local experts, Kiwi Dundee Adventures, to properly discover this enchanting region.
Overnight: Breakers Motel (2 nights)
Day 3 Whangamata
Spend a full day at leisure on the Coromandel Peninsula. The choice of activities here is endless!
Day 4 Whangamata - Rotorua
Today make your way to Rotorua in the central North Island. Rotorua is the spiritual home to the Maori tribe of Te Arawa and is set amongst a myriad of crystal clear crater lakes. Here you will experience nature's awesome earth forces - bubbling mud pools, spouting geysers and hot water beaches. Relax in pools of natural mineral water, wrap yourself in healing mud or treat yourself to a massage under warm thermal waters. Rotorua provides many opportunities to come face to face with the spirit of Maori culture. Experience the living Maori village of Whakarewarewa, visit the New Zealand Maori Arts and Craft Institute where you will see traditional carving techniques in action or take an extraordinary journey through Maori culture and mythology with The Realm of Tane.
Overnight: Ibis Rotorua (2 nights)
Day 5 Rotorua
Enjoy a full day of leisure today in Rotorua and explore this fascinating region.
Day 6 Rotorua - Napier
Head further south today to Lake Taupo and then on to Napier, an art-deco inspired town set in the heart of Hawke's Bay Wine Country. Supported by a Mediterranean climate and over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year this popular year-round destination boasts a vibrant cafe culture amongst the splendour of the Art Deco buildings. After a long day taking in the sights, revitalize yourself by sampling some of Hawke's Bay's award winning wines and fresh Bay produce from one of the many restaurant, café and winery menus.
Overnight: Fountain Court Motor Inn
Day 7 Napier - Wellington
Head to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. Wellington, offers an unforgettable urban experience in a stunning natural setting. Set between a sparkling harbour and rolling green hills, this compact city has great shopping, professional theatre, memorable arts, culture and heritage and great cafes and restaurants all close to untouched nature spots. Central Wellington itself is only 2 kilometres in diameter and you can walk from one side to the other in under 20 minutes.
Overnight: Distinction Wellington Century City Hotel
Day 8 Wellington - Picton - Nelson
Please make your way to the Wellington Ferry Terminal this morning for your scenic journey on the Interislander across Cook Strait. Your Go Rentals vehicle will travel with you on the Ferry. On arrival journey to picturesque Nelson. The Nelson region is known for its year-round sunshine, golden beaches, national parks, boutique wineries, micro breweries and a large creative community of working artists. Situated in the north-west corner of the South Island, the Nelson region is surrounded by sheltering mountain ranges, giving it a Mediterranean-type climate.
Overnight: Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco (2 nights)
Day 9 Nelson
Enjoy a full day at leisure today in Nelson and, time permitting, explore further afield into one of New Zealand's superb National Parks in Abel Tasman.
Day 10 Nelson - Hokitika
From Nelson drive across country to the dramatic West Coast. The Great Coast Road stretching from Westport to Greymouth was recently voted one of the top 10 coastal drives in the world by Lonely Planet. Historic Hokitika is a place to appreciate the fascinating history of the west coast. Here you can visit galleries specialising in pounamu jewellery and art works. The Arahura River, which enters the sea just north of Hokitika, is a traditional source of pounamu (greenstone). Gold jewellers, wood turners and potters provide other souvenir opportunities.
Overnight: Beachfront Hotel
Day 11 Hokitika - Franz Josef Glacier
The hospitable town of Franz Josef serves the glacier of the same name. Stay here while you explore this spectacular World Heritage Area. Franz Josef Glacier is five kilometres from the town and a 20 minute walk will take you to its terminal face. From the glacier car park, you can hike to a choice of lookout points for a bigger view of this awesome river of ice. If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike. Aerial sightseeing is another option.
You may also like to spend an afternoon relaxing in The Glacier Hot Pools, which is the perfect relaxing activity after exploring the glacier.
Overnight: Glacier View Motel
Day 12 Franz Josef Glacier - Queenstown
Today is a long travel day along one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline on the West Coast. Head south via Haast Pass towards the alpine town of Queenstown.
Queenstown sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges. With a smorgasbord of outdoor activities, Queenstown is renowned as the adventure capital of the world. You can choose to be adventurous and enjoy activities such as sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting or simply relax with a gentle lakeside walk or a vineyard wine tasting.
Overnight: Blue Peaks Lodge (2 nights)
Day 13 Queenstown
.Enjoy a full day at leisure today in this wonderful alpine town.
Day 14 Queenstown - depart
Today make your way to Queenstown airport and drop off your rental vehicle before your departure.

Accommodation Options

Copthorne Hotel Auckland City

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

Found in central Auckland, this modern hotel has 110 rec…

Hotel Ibis, Rotorua

  • Grade: Simple
  • Type: Hotel

The Hotel Ibis is found on the picturesque shores of Lak…

Breakers Motel, Whangamata

  • Grade: Simple
  • Type: Motel

Located in Whangamata on the Coromandel, this 21-room ho…


A variety of accommodation options are included in this holiday, some of which are listed above. For further details, please contact us.



A number of excursions are available to include throughout your itinerary. Your Travel Specialist will be able to advise on additional or upgraded excursion options to suit your interests.

Abel Tasman Cruise & Walk Open Day Pass, Abel Tasman

Explore Abel Tasman National Park at your own pace with thi…

Dart River Wilderness Safari, Queenstown

The Dart River is the perfect waterway to show off the thri…

Introducing Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

A tour of Wellington's cultural highlight at the Te Papa Mu…

Kiwi Dundee Nature & Coast Adventure, Coromandel

A personalised guided walk on the insurpassable Coromandel …

Milford Sound Nature Cruise, Milford

Travel by luxury coach on an unforgettable journey from Que…

Mitai Maori Hangi & Concert, Rotorua

An evening at Mitai will give you an authentic introduction…

Remarkables Discovery Flight, Queenstown

You will be introduced to the flight crew before boarding y…

Rotorua Diamond Sightseeing Pass

This is a special sightseeing pass which allows admission t…

Safari of The Scenes - Glenorchy, Queenstown

This tour is dedicated to re-visiting the captivating scene…

The Classic Art Deco Walking Tour, Napier

Levelled by an earthquake and the resulting fire in 1931, a…

Prices & Dates

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price.

When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport. We recommend booking early to secure the best airfares.

Price from £ per person

 Twin Share

Price Includes Shuttle transfer on arrival ● Accommodation as specified (subject to availability) on a room only basis, all with private facilities ● 13 days compact vehicle rental, based on a Toyota Corolla Hatch (or similar) Go Rentals, standard rate hire, including unlimited kilometres ● Basic vehicle insurance subject to an insurance excess ● Interislander ferry (Premium Plus cabin) ● New Zealand Handy Atlas

Price Excludes Flights and airport taxes (contact us for a quote) ● Tips and gratuities ● Personal expenses ● Travel insurance

Please note

  • This tour cannot be adapted - with the exception of additional pre or post tour accommodation
  • Accommodation is subject to availability at the time of booking. If necessary our ground agents reserve the right to book alternative accommodation
  • Vehicle insurance conditions are subject to change without prior notice
  • All insurance conditions are subject to the terms and conditions in your rental agreement.

Seasonal variation on itinerary. Due to sometimes difficult weather conditions if travelling in New Zealand's winter months, our ground agents reserve the right to amend the itinerary accordingly.

We pride ourselves on our ability to tailor make holidays for our clients. Please let us know if you have any specific requests.


FREE Singapore stopover with New Zealand holidays!

Book by 30 Jun 2018
Worth over £200 per person

How to book

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So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.

travel guaranteeWe will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.

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Speak to a specialist: 1-844-584-0668

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