Spectacular North & South

Interislander ferry through the Marlborough Sounds
from £2858 27 nights | Year round Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Year round


This 28-day self-drive itinerary is especially designed for those who have a little longer to spend in the land of the long white cloud. Enjoy the pristine and glorious beaches, lush and fertile farmland, rugged volcanic and geo-thermal scenery of the North Island before heading to the truly spectacular South Island where you can explore majestic mountain ranges, glacial valleys, alpine lakes and encounter unique wildlife in an extraordinarily diverse landscape.


  • Enjoy the magnificent 144 islands that make up Northland’s Bay of Islands and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds(admission included)
  • Experience the lush and forest-fringed Coromandel Peninsula
  • Explore Rotorua's geo-thermal wonderland on a guided Maori cultural tour at Ohinemutu Village (included)
  • Spend time in relaxed and creative Nelson and enjoy a cruise and walk open day pass at Abel Tasman National Park (included)
  • View the fantastic blow holes and rock formations at Punakaiki on the wild West Coast
  • Spend a day at leisure enjoying Lake Wanaka’s many activities
  • Enjoy a nature cruise on Milford Sound (included)

Starting in Auckland, drive to the sub-tropical Bay of Islands, take in the beauty of the Coromandel, before travelling south via the dramatic scenery of Tongaririo National Park to Napier, New Zealand's famous art deco city, and on to the vibrant capital city of Wellington.

Relax on your Interislander Ferry journey across the majestic Marlborough Sounds to the South Island where the arts and crafts of charming Nelson beckon, before travelling to the rugged and dramatic west coast and its stunning glaciers. Head further south to the Southern Lakes region, blessed with an abundance of stunning scenery. Spend time here before exploring breathtaking Fiordland National Park, home to Milford and Doubtful Sounds. Your holiday ends with 2 nights in the garden city of Christchurch.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Arrive Auckland
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel in the city for an overnight stay.
Overnight: Heritage Auckland
Days 2-3: Auckland - Paihia, Bay of Islands
Collect your compact automatic rental car today and travel north. Stretching 350km north from Auckland, Northland is New Zealand's only sub-tropical region and with its above average sunshine record and glorious beaches, it is popular with locals as well as visitors. From our base in Paihia, visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds New Zealand's pre-eminent historic site, where on 6 February 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Maori and the British Crown. Explore the bay at leisure, perhaps taking a fast boat to Cape Brett, set sail on a tall ship or swim with the dolphins.
Overnight: Blue Pacific Apartments
Day 4: Paihia - Orewa
Leave Paihia at your leisure today and travel to Orewa, lying on the Hibiscus Coast, just north of the base of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and 40 kms north of central Auckland.
Overnight: Waves Motel
Days 5-6: Orewa - Pauanui, Coromandel
Travel to the verdant Coromandel Peninsula, separated from Auckland by the broad Firth of Thames and comprising a forested backbone of mountains separating the precipitous west coast from the coves and white sand beaches of the east. Explore at leisure to experience the very best this wonderful region has to offer. Renowned worldwide for its natural beauty and lush flora, the Coromandel is blessed with hundreds of natural hideaways, making it an ideal place to slow down, relax and unwind.
Overnight: Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge (2 nights)
Day 7: Pauanui - Rotorua
Drive south either following the coast road via Tauranga or inland via the interesting towns of Paeroa and Te Aroha, towards the active geo-thermal heartland of Rotorua. Enjoy a personal guided tour of Ohinemutu Village including the iconic St Faiths Church. Your guide will share the legends and history of the village which will give you an insight into Maori culture.
Overnight: The Springs
Day 8: Rotorua
Enjoy a visit to Orakei Korako geothermal area today (also known as "The Hidden Valley"), situated on the Waikato River at Lake Ohakuri. Even with two thirds of the original geothermal area covered by an artificial lake, Orakei Korako is still New Zealand's largest geyser field and one of the country's must-see natural attractions.
Overnight: The Springs
Days 9-10: Rotorua - Tongariro National Park
Witness the superb and dramatic scenery of North Island's heartland. Visit the Wairakei geothermal area and Lake Taupo en route to Ruapehu, a snow-capped volcano surrounded by desert like lava and ash. Perhaps hike the famous 1-day Tongariro Alpine Crossing, one of New Zealand's 9 Great Walks or alternatively spend time at leisure and explore the striking volcanic landscapes.
Overnight: Chateau Tongariro (2 nights)
Days 11-12: Tongariro National Park - Napier
Continue your journey down to Napier, New Zealand's Art Deco capital. Located in the heart of Hawke's Bay wine country, the city was rebuilt in the early 1930s following a massive earthquake and nowhere else can you see such a variety of buildings in the styles of the 1930s in such a concentrated area. On your day at leisure, perhaps take a guided walking tour, visit the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers on an overland safari or alternatively spend time exploring the wineries the region is renowned.
Overnight: The Crown Hotel (2 nights)
Days 13-14: Napier - Wellington
Depart Napier and make your way 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. Enjoy a 60-minute 'Introducing Te Papa' tour at the iconic Te Papa Museum. The name broadly translate to 'the place of treasures of this land', this tour includes notes and observations on many of the treasures housed here.
Overnight: Copthorne Hotel Oriental Bay (2 nights)
Day 15: Wellington - Picton - Nelson
Drop off your rental car and travel in the Premium Plus cabin on the InterIslander Ferry across the magnificent Cook Strait to Picton. Collect another vehicle and make your way to Nelson. 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: Rutherford Hotel
Day 16: Abel Tasman
Enjoy a day in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park with your Abel Tasman Cruise & Walk Open Day Pass.
Overnight: Rutherford Hotel
Day 17: Nelson - Punakaiki
Depart Nelson and make your way to Punakaiki. Punakaiki itself is best known for its dramatic pancake rocks and blowholes, but is also the gateway to Paparoa National Park.
Overnight: Havenz Punakaiki
Days 18-19: Punakaiki - Franz Josef
Make your way down the wild and very striking West Coast past the mining town of Hokitika to Franz Josef where optional activities include guided glacier walks and scenic flights. Enjoy an interpretive walk to the glacier. After a short walk through the regenerating rainforest, the trip continues along the glacier valley with your guide calling stops to explain unique features of the glacier and its surroundings.
Overnight: 58 On Cron Motel (2 nights)
Day 20: Franz Josef - Queenstown
Drive through World Heritage rainforests and cross the Haast Pass to reach the stunning alpine resort town of Queenstown, which lies at the heart of the spectacular Southern Lakes region. Spend the rest of the day at leisure or drive to neighbouring Arrowtown, a traditional gold panning town that in Autumn is awash with hues of red and gold - a photographers dream.
Overnight: Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown MGallery
Day 21: Queenstown - Te Anau
Enjoy mountain views and farm country on the drive to Te Anau. Situated beside a lake, this town is the gateway to Fiordland National Park, part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.
Overnight: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Day 22: Milford Sound
Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound along the Milford Road where you board your launch for a nature cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak. This afternoon return to Te Anau where some free time is available.
Overnight: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Day 23-24: Te Anau - Lake Wanaka
Make your way to Wanaka. With all the charm but less of the hype, Lake Wanaka rivals Queenstown for scenery and adventure. It is more laid-back and enjoys a certain tranquillity that is favoured by many visitors. Mirrored in the lake's placid waters is the incredibly scenic backdrop of Mt. Aspiring and the Southern Alps and within easy access to Mt Cook. Explore at leisure, perhaps join a half day Mou Waho Island Lake Cruise including a guided nature walk or enjoy the wilderness trails by bike, on foot or by horseback or alternatively take a scenic helicopter flight.
Overnight: Wanaka Springs Lodge (2 nights) including breakfast
Day 25: Lake Wanaka - Mount Cook
Head north through magnificent rural landscapes en route to Mount Cook National Park which lies at the heart of the Southern Alps. The scenery here is literally breath-taking as you take in mesmerising blue glacier lakes and tussock-clad hills as well as clear skies, perfect for stargazing, before arriving at Mount Cook.
Overnight: The Hermitage
Day 26 Mount Cook-Christchurch
Drive to Christchurch via Lake Tekapo and the town of Geraldine across the Canterbury Plains.
Overnight: Peppers Clearwater Resort
Days 27-28: Christchurch
Enjoy time at leisure exploring this compact, yet vibrant city centered around the River Avon. Punt down the river and enjoy the delightful botanical gardens or visit the numerous street performers, lively markets, bars and cafes that line the city streets. On your final day drop off your rental vehicle at the airport and depart.

Accommodation Options

Heritage Auckland

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Located a few minutes from the city centre this Green Gl…

Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge, Coromandel

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Motel

This 21-unit property is located at Pauanui Beach on the…

The Springs, Rotorua

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Built in 1998 and modelled in the style of a 1930's home…

Chateau Tongariro Hotel

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Set in the pristine world heritage park of Tongariro, th…

Copthorne Oriental Bay, Wellington

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Located just 2 minutes walk from Te Papa, the national m…

The Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Centrally located in Nelson, the Rutherford is part of t…

Wanaka Springs Lodge

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Luxury Lodge

A boutique lodge that offers generous New Zealand hospit…

The Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

Superbly situated in Mt Cook National Park, the Hermitag…

Blue Pacific Apartments

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Self-catering

Enjoy unparalleled views from one of the serviced luxury…

Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

A 180-room hotel offering an extensive range of amenitie…




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…

Introducing Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

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

Milford Sound Nature Cruise, Milford

Travel by luxury coach on an unforgettable journey from Que…

Mt John Night Tour Dark Sky Stargazing, Lake Tekapo

Dedicated to keeping the skies light-pollution free, the Ao…

Ohinemutu Maori village guided walk, Rotorua

Ohinemutu is a living Maori village set on the picturesque …

Orakei Hidden Valley Landing & Tour (Floatplane), Taupo

This tour flies out over the turquoise-coloured Crater Lake…

Waitangi Treaty Grounds, Waitangi

The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, overlooking the beautiful Bay …

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
Meet and greet and airport transfer on arrival ● Accommodation and meals as specified ● Interislander (Premium Plus cabin) ● Excursions: Waitangi Treaty Grounds admission, Ohinemutu Village Guided Tour, Orakei Korako geothermal valley (Rotorua);  Introducing Te Papa Tour (60 mins), Abel Tasman Cruise & Walk open day pass, Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk, Milford Sound Nature Cruise ● 27 day mid-range vehicle rental (including unlimited kilometres, & vehicle insurance subject to an insurance excess). For 1-2 persons a Budget CDAR (Ford Focus, 1.8-2.0 litre, 5 door automatic with air conditioning, or similar. Other car types are available – please contact us for further details.

Price Excludes
International and domestic flights and airport taxes ● Travel insurance ● Fuel and vehicle insurance excess waiver fee ● Personal expenses ● Tips and gratuities

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

How to book

Book this trip

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.

View booking conditions

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

Book this trip
iceland birdlife arctic tern rth

Tailor Made

If you can't find exactly what you are looking for, let us find it for you.

Our team of Travel Specialists have extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations and are passionate about travel.

Meet the team

Speak to a specialist:

Similar Holidays

4x4 Hike and Drive

from £3002
Exc. flights
24 nights | Year round
  • Fly-drive

New Zealand

Discover Aotearoa

from £3175
Exc. flights
20 nights | Year round
  • Fly-drive

New Zealand