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New Zealand's Wildlife self-drive
22 days from $8,505pp
Swim with the playful dolphins in the warm waters of the Bay of Islands.
Hear the call of the birds on Tiritiri Matangi.
Spot rare kiwi at Zealandia.
Encounter huge sperm whales at Kaikoura.
Watch the cheeky penguins on the Otago Peninsula.
- Coromandel Peninsula
- Stewart & Ulva Islands
- Te Anau & Manapouri
- Te Anau & Manapouri
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Day 1 Russell
On arrival in Auckland you will be met by our representatives and have a private transfer to the domestic terminal for your flight to the Bay of Islands. Once in Kerikeri you pick up a hire car and make your way to your accommodation.
Day 2 Russell
Day 3 Auckland
Make your way south from the Bay of Islands to the international city of Auckland where you will stay for two nights. This afternoon is at leisure to explore the city. I recommend making a stop at the Viaduct Harbour region to have a nice meal or stop my the Auckland War Memorial Museum to learn about the New Zealand war history.
Day 4 Auckland
Today you'll be collected from your hotel in the morning and enjoy a full day tour of the Tiritiri Matangi Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary. This is an excellent chance to learn of the history and evolution of New Zealand's birds and animals. Along with time to independently explore, the day includes a guided walk through the native bush.
Day 5 Coromandel Peninsula
Make your way southeast to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula today. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the Coromandel Peninsula. I recommend going to Hot Water Beach to make your own hot water hole or head to the mining region of the peninsula.
Day 6 Coromandel Peninsula
You will be collect from your accommodation for a full day tour of the Coromandel. You will tour around the entire peninsula, visiting beautiful coastline and seemingly endless mountains. Your guide will ensure you learn of the Coromandel's significant Maori cultural history. In terms of industrial history, you will visit old gold mining site from the area's mining hay day. Your guide will also highlight the native Kauri trees (New Zealand Redwoods), and the impressive Hot Water Beach, where you can have a hot spring experience like none other on Earth!
Day 7 Rotorua
Make your way south to Rotorua, the thermal centre of New Zealand. Here you can see bubbling mud-pools, steaming lakes and impressive geysers. In the evening you will be collected from your accommodation and head to a local Maori cultural center. Enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi meal and cultural experience at the Mitai Maori Village. You will learn of New Zealand's indigenous culture, be treated to a Haka performance, and walk through the sacred Fairy Springs, which is a renowned spot for glow worms. Finish the night by taking a trip into Rainbow Springs where you have the chance to see kiwi.
Day 8 Rotorua
Day 9 Wellington
Head out early today and make your way south to the capital city of Wellington. The remainder of the day is at leisure in Wellington. We recommend stopping at the famous Te Papa Museum, to learn all about the country's Natural, Maori, and European history.
Day 10 Wellington
Spend the day at leisure exploring the capital city before taking a trip out to Zealandia tonight for a night tour - the reserve is home to plenty of native species which had originally been wiped out from the mainland. There is a great chance to see Tuatara and Kiwi birds here.
Day 11 Kaikoura
Journey across the Cook Strait and through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds today, looking out for dolphins and seals as you cruise through the tranquil waters. Drive south to Kaikoura.
Day 12 Kaikoura
You will hopefully encounter the majestic sperm whales, as well as dolphins, albatross and seals, all of which make these waters their home. The afternoon is open to explore the mountain trails near Kaikoura.
Day 13 Christchurch
Day 14 Christchurch
Spend today at your leisure. Although Christchurch is still undergoing reconstruction from an earthquake in 2011, there is still loads to see and do. Enjoy a walk through Hagley Park on your way to the Central Business District, where you'll find an abundance of shops and restaurants.
Day 15 Dunedin
Day 16 Dunedin
You join a wildlife cruise today that will allow you to see the fantastic wildlife of this area in its natural environment. The trip includes a visit to the yellow-eyed penguin colony, an extremely rare species, where you can get very close to the penguins via some specially designed underground walkways.
Day 17 Stewart & Ulva Islands
Day 18 Stewart & Ulva Islands
Day 19 Te Anau & Manapouri
You return to Invercargill by light aircraft today and continue onto Te Anau where you will stay for one night. In the evening make your way down to the Real Journeys Visitor Centre for an evening excursion to the renowned Te Anau Glow Worm Caves, one of the few places on earth to see these bioluminescent creatures!
Day 20 Manapouri
Te Anau & Manapouri , Manapouri
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Manapouri, where you'll get a ferry across to the Manapouri Power Station and then board another coach, bringing you to the Doubtful Head via Wilmot Pass, allowing you to see the Sound from far above. You'll board the Fjordland Navigator for your overnight scenic cruise. There are a number of ways to experience the Sound, with its dominating peaks and cascading waterfalls, enjoy this magical place as you wish!
Day 21 Queenstown
You will return from the cruise late this morning to collect your car and make your way to Queenstown for your last night stay.
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When to go
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