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Glacier landing near Milford Sound

Luxury New Zealand self-drive tour

14 days from CAD40,750pp

Glacier landing near Milford Sound
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Tour highlights

  • Experience some of the most secluded accommodation in New Zealand.

  • Visit the rainforests and black sand beaches west of Auckland.

  • Soar above hidden volcanic valleys before walking past gushing geysers and silica terraces.

  • Discover Hawke’s Bay’s finest food, wine, and monumental landscapes.

  • Explore the skies above the Southern Alps before soaking in a hot tub in the mountains.

Price includes:

  • Domestic flights in destination
  • Fully insured vehicle rental
  • All accommodations
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Ask us if you would also like us to arrange your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • Arriving in Auckland, known as ‘the City of Sails,’ with its twin harbours and rich maritime history, you’ll be met at the airport and driven to your accommodation in a private vehicle. You then have the day to settle in and explore the city. We suggest visiting the Sky Tower, strolling along Queen Street’s eateries and shops, or visiting the vibrant Viaduct Harbour.

  • Today you’ll be collected from your accommodation and begin a private tour of the city. Some attractions you’re likely to visit include historic mansions and One Tree Hill, before heading to the west coast to experience the temperate rainforest and black sand beaches. You’ll be dropped back to your accommodation late in the afternoon and have the evening in the city. We recommend visiting the night markets that have a selection of snacks and delicacies, or heading to the Sky Tower to appreciate 360-degree views of the city.

  • You can take a taxi or walk to collect your hire car this morning from the central depot and head south out of the busy city. You’ll drive toward the lush green fields of the Waikato region, where you’re likely to see more sheep than people, and on to the volcanic area of Rotorua. Your lodge is located within an expansive native forest where you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the tranquility of the area for the rest of the day or take advantage of one of the many activities on offer.

  • After breakfast, drive to the jetty in the heart of Rotorua where you’ll board a floatplane to fly over the Crater Lakes district and the volcanic rift of Mount Tarawera. View the Waimangu and Wai-O-Tapu thermal areas by air before landing at the hidden valley of Orakei Korako. Here you'll embark on a self-guided walk to explore the bubbling hot springs, gushing geysers and natural beauty of this hidden geothermal wonderland before flying back to Rotorua.

  • Leave Rotorua behind today as you drive south toward Hawke’s Bay, home to New Zealand’s second-largest wine region and sprawling acres of wine grapes and produce. Meet your group and journey to the largest and most accessible mainland gannet colony. You’ll view the birds nesting, preening, flying, and performing their well-known dance. From here, you’ll check in to your accommodation where you’ll be surrounded by rolling pastureland for the next three nights, and able to enjoy views out to the farmland or the Pacific Ocean.

  • Today you’ll have the chance to taste some of the region’s food and wine varietals as you visit some internationally known wineries with your passionate and knowledgeable guide. You’ll have the rest of the evening to appreciate the expansive landscape or make use of the accommodation’s facilities.

  • Spend today exploring the Hawke’s Bay area or relaxing in your accommodation. Travel around Napier and learn about the Art Deco history of the town, embark on one of the hikes in the area, or take advantage of the activities offered at your accommodation.

  • This morning you’ll check out from your accommodation and drive to the airport, drop your car off, and get ready for your domestic flight to the South Island. You’ll land in Christchurch and collect your next hire car, driving across the Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps as your backdrop to a small town near Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Rest in your villa this evening and, if the sky is clear, stargaze in this International Dark Sky Reserve.

  • Make your way to the helicopter base in Lake Tekapo where you’ll have a briefing before boarding the helicopter. You’ll explore the skies above the Southern Alps, scattered with views of long glaciers and tall peaks, landing in two areas, one of which includes a private hot tub among the mountains. You’ll be flown back to the helicopter base after this, and you’ll have the rest of the day to walk in the area, or visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, before returning to your villa.

  • You’ll leave Twizel behind today as you drive a short distance to the Ahuriri Valley, where you’ll find your accommodation hidden in the valley. You’ll spend the next two nights here, and we recommend exploring the Ahuriri Valley through the various activities on offer, or simply unwinding and switching off from the hustle and bustle of the world.

  • We suggest appreciating your accommodation today, fly-fishing the Ahuriri Valley, or hiking through the Clay Cliffs. Soak up the peacefulness, sounds of the cascading river, and rising mountain ranges in the area.

  • You’ll drive further south today toward Queenstown, the ‘adventure capital of the world’, and on to the small town of Glenorchy for the last part of your trip. Settle into your accommodation, explore the local area, and experience an à la carte dinner here this evening.

  • This morning you’ll experience a scenic flight over the Gibbston wine region before beginning a wine tour of the area. Explore the country’s largest underground wine cave and sample various wines — some well-known, and some more local wines. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy your accommodation or take a short walk.

  • Meet your guide and board the Dart River jet boat for a white-knuckle ride up the narrow, meandering waterway into real wilderness country. You’ll journey from the mighty Lake Wakatipu along the pristine Dart River and into Mount Aspiring National Park, enjoying both the excitement of the ride and the majesty of the surrounding scenery. Then, embark on a short walk on some picturesque forest tracks, where you’ll learn about Māori heritage, before returning to Glenorchy across remote farmland tracks.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodations, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

Audley specialist Haley
Contact a New Zealand specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to New Zealand will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

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Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)

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