Explore the thermal wonderland of Rotorua.
Visit the excellent Te Papa Museum in Wellington.
Journey through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds.
Enjoy a memorable journey on board the TranzAlpine train.
Take a thrilling jet boat ride on the Dart River.
- Tongariro National Park
- Picton & The Marlborough Sounds
- Hanmer Springs
- Franz Josef Glacier
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Day 1 Auckland
Upon arrival in Auckland you will be welcomed by one of our representatives and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation. We will also have arranged for a set of documents to await you, which will include a detailed driving atlas and local information guides. After you have settled into your hotel room, venture out into Auckland to begin exploring New Zealand's largest city under your own steam. Take a boat ride around the harbour, or visit the city's many shops and museums. This evening, we recommend making your way to the harbour area which has an abundance of bars and restaurants.
Day 2 Rotorua
This morning enjoy a half day small group Auckland highlights tour, which is a fantastic introduction to both the city and New Zealand. You then collect your car and make the three hour drive south to Rotorua. We'll have organised your car to be ready at your closest depot at a convenient time for you. All insurances are included in your car hire package and a sat-nav is also available on request. The drive to Rotorua takes around four hours and it's a straightforward, scenic drive. Following the motorway south out of the city, you'll drive through flat pasture lands, then a forested plateau before arriving at Lake Rotorua.
Day 3 Rotorua
You have the whole day at leisure to explore the thermal plateau region. Take a drive to Lake Taupo and en route, stop at Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Reserve to see Lady Knox Geyser and the bubbling mud basins known as the Devil's Ink Pots. This evening, you have tickets to a Maori cultural evening, where you'll experience traditional performances and a delicious 'Hangi' feast.
Day 4 Tongariro National Park
Depart for Tongariro National Park where you will spend tonight. You may wish to try one of the many shorter walks available within the park and will notice how dramatically different the scenery here is compared to Rotorua.
Day 5 Wellington
Depart today for Wellington. Stop en route for coffee and lunch at one of the small rural service towns you will pass through. Once in Wellington, you will have time at leisure to explore the capital city. An excellent recommendation is the national museum, Te Papa, where you will have the opportunity to learn a little more about New Zealand's history and Maori culture. You may also like to take a trip up to Zealandia, a fabulous native bird sanctuary on the hills above Wellington.
Day 6 Blenheim
Make your own way to the ferry terminal this morning and board the InterIslander ferry across the Cook Strait to the South Island. The crossing takes around three hours. Upon arrival in Picton you collect your hire car from the ferry terminal and make the short 30 minute drive into the Blenheim and Marlborough winelands. Spend the afternoon exploring the Blenheim winelands. If you'd like to explore at leisure we recommend hiring a push bike and visiting the well-known Blenheim and Marlborough vineyards such as Cloudy Bay or Oyster Bay. Alternatively, we can arrange guided tours of the region and its vineyards.
Day 7 Hanmer Springs
This morning take the beautiful inland drive to Hanmer Springs, this is a very scenic drive and there are plenty of photo opportunities along the way. Spend the rest of today at leisure in Hanmer Springs, you might like to take a relaxing dip in the natural hot pools and then go for a walk to take in the beautiful alpine scenery.
Day 8 Christchurch
Today, drive to Christchurch where you will have time to explore the city this afternoon, check out the Re-Start container mall and perhaps visit the Antarctic centre. Try out one of the fabulous restaurants in the city tonight, the Tram restaurant is a great way to see the city whilst dining.
Day 9 Franz Josef Glacier
Drop your car at the airport and take a taxi to the train station this morning where you board the TranzAlpine train. This three hour scenic journey takes you across the Southern Alps through Arthur's Pass National Park to South Island's west coast. Upon arrival in Greymouth you collect your hire car from the train station and take a leisurely drive down to the Glaciers. We can highly recommend stopping en route at the small town of Hokitika for lunch. The drive to Franz Josef takes around three hours.
Day 10 Franz Josef Glacier
Today you will enjoy a fabulous heli hike on the Franz Josef glacier. You will be flown up over the glacier before landing where you will put on your crampons and your guide will pick out a path with his pick axe, enabling him to show you the best ice formations on the glacier that day. Your helicopter will collect you and fly you back down to the township where you have access to the relaxing hot pools for the afternoon.
Day 11 Queenstown
This morning, you will drive south to Queenstown. On the way, there are plenty of short walks to take in the Haast Pass and scenic spots to enjoy. Stop off for the afternoon in Wanaka, a beautiful lakeside town surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Then take the road over the Cardrona range to Queenstown which offers you spectacular views of the Queenstown area.
Day 12 Queenstown
You will join the Dart River Wilderness Safari today - a great half day excursion including an exhilarating jet boat ride followed by a short guided walk and scenic 4WD trip through the forest where you will learn about the local flora and fauna as well as local Maori and colonial history. The trip will take you to Glenorchy and you will have the opportunity to view some of the filming locations of Lord of The Rings during the tour!
Day 13 Return home
Contact a specialist
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When to go
Drag the slider to see monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary
|Place||Daily Max Temperature||Monthly Rainfall|
|Tongariro National Park||
|Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers||