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Cultural New Zealand self-drive

23 days from £6,120pp

Includes flights
What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

Itinerary highlights

  • Visit the Waitangi Treaty Ground in the Bay of Islands, a symbolic place where Maori and European culture have historically entwined.

  • Visit some of the vineyards on Waiheke Island which have helped put New Zealand wines on the map.

  • Visit Te Papa Museum in Wellington, where you can learn all about New Zealand's Maori Culture amongst other fascinating exhibits.

  • Visit the observatory at Lake Tekapo to view the sparkling night skies in this UNESCO dark sky reserve.

Price includes

Scheduled international and domestic flights
Fully insured vehicle hire
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  • Auckland
  • Kerikeri
  • Paihia
  • Auckland
  • Waiheke Island
  • Auckland
  • Lake Taupo
  • Wellington
  • Picton
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Kaikoura
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Queenstown
  • Auckland

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 International outbound flight

International outbound flight

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Auckland.

Day 2 International outbound flight

International outbound flight

On-board your international outbound flight to Auckland.

Day 3 Paihia

Auckland , Kerikeri , Paihia

Upon arrival in Auckland you will be welcomed by one of our representatives and transferred by private vehicle to the domestic terminal. Here you will fly to Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. Collect your hire car from the airport and make your way to the coastal town of Paihia.

Day 4 Paihia


Spend the day at leisure exploring the Bay of Islands. Pay a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the historic location of the treaty signed between the Maori chiefs and the British Crown or take a boat trip through the 'Hole in the Rock'.

Day 5 Auckland

Paihia , Auckland

Today you will drive down to Auckland, the 'City of Sails'. You might like to stop in the delightful town of Matakana en route; with a number of boutique shops and cafes this is a great place to have lunch with the locals.

Day 6 Auckland


Today you will be collected from your hotel by a guide from Time Unlimited for a morning City Highlights tour. Your guide will cater the trip to your interests, all the while telling you of Auckland's natural and social history. This is a great opportunity to get a great seafood meal in, so make sure to mention it to your guide and you won't be disappointed!

Day 7 Waiheke Island

Auckland , Waiheke Island

This morning you take the ferry over to Waiheke Island, just a short journey away from Auckland downtown. From the boat enjoy scenic views of the harbour.

Day 8 Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island

Enjoy a day at leisure on Waiheke, explore some of the beautiful beaches or visit one of the award-winning wineries.

Day 9 Lake Taupo

Waiheke Island , Auckland , Lake Taupo

Take the ferry back to Auckland today, rejoin your vehicle and make your way south to Lake Taupo. Stop off in Rotorua to see some of the geothermal activity on the way.

Day 10 Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

Join a cruise on Lake Taupo to see the famous Maori rock carvings then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Perhaps visit Huka Falls or the interesting Wairakei Terraces thermal area.

Day 11 Wellington

Lake Taupo , Wellington

Today you make your way down to Wellington through some lovely little country towns and return your hire car on arrival.

Day 12 Wellington


Enjoy a day at leisure in Wellington, the country's capital. Be sure to spend some time in Te Papa - a combination of museum, art gallery and cultural centre all under one roof.

Day 13 Picton

Wellington , Picton

Make your way to the ferry terminal this morning and take the Interislander to the South Island. You will stay in the waterfront town of Picton for a couple of nights. This is a great place to enjoy the famous New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels.

Day 14 Picton

Blenheim , Picton

Today you take a half day guided kayaking tour around the Marlborough Sounds. This is a great region to see wild dolphins and taking in the hilly island scenery.

Day 15 Kaikoura

Picton , Kaikoura

You collect your car this morning and make your way south along the coast to Kaikoura. On arrival head you have the afternoon to explore the mountainous and oceanside town.

Day 16 Kaikoura


This morning head out to sea to possible get a chance to swim with wild dolphins that frequent the area due to the deep ocean currents bringing through nutrients and fish. The afternoon is open to explore the mountain hiking trails that surround the town.

Day 17 Lake Tekapo

Kaikoura , Lake Tekapo

Today you make your way to Lake Tekapo, skirting around Christchurch then heading inland across the Canterbury Plains.

Day 18 Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

You have the day to explore Tekapo. One of the most famous viewpoints in New Zealand - from the Church of the Good Shepherd - is found here and there are some fantastic walks along the lakeside. This evening journey up to Mt John Observatory and observe a myriad stars in the night sky. As a UNESCO designated Dark Sky Area this is one of the best places in the world to go stargazing.

Day 19 Queenstown

Lake Tekapo , Queenstown

Continue your journey today through the spectacular Lindis Pass to the Southern Lakes Region. We recommend stopping in Arrowtown, an old gold mining settlement and now a quaint little town with many cafes and art galleries to enjoy before continuing onto Queenstown.

Day 20 Queenstown


This evening I have included a trip on the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steam ship that cruises on Lake Wakatipu. You will cross the lake to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you will enjoy a gourmet BBQ dinner and embark on a farm tour where you will get an insight into New Zealand's farming culture.

Day 21 Queenstown


Today is at leisure to explore the surrounding towns. We recommend taking a drive to Glenorchy, famous for its mountain and river views.

Day 22 International return flight

Auckland , International return flight

Take an internal flight from Queenstown to Auckland where you catch your onward flight.

Day 23 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist David
Chris, an Audley Travel specialist

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When to go

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Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily Max Temperature Monthly Rainfall
Waiheke Island
Lake Taupo
Lake Tekapo

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