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Cultural New Zealand self-drive

20 days from $8,155pp

What is tailor made? 100% custom | Exceptional experiences | Hand-picked guides | Lodging with character | Designed to your schedule, budget & interests

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 around Warkworth 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 Kapiti Island, an island off the coast that is home to native bird species and Maori culture.

Price includes

Fully insured vehicle rental
/svg> All accommodations
  • Auckland
  • Kerikeri
  • Paihia
  • Warkworth
  • Lake Taupo
  • Wellington
  • Picton
  • Kaikoura
  • Waipara and Greta Valleys
  • Christchurch
  • Queenstown
  • Auckland

Itinerary idea in detail

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

Day 1 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 2 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 3 Warkworth

Paihia , Warkworth

Today you will drive down to Warkworth area, where you will stay three nights at a vineyard in the Northland. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore the region.

Day 4 Warkworth


Today is at leisure to explore the local sanctuary that helps to re-introduce native flora and fauna or spend the day wine tasting around the region.

Day 5 Warkworth


Head over to Kawau Island for a day of hiking and exploring. Here you can see some historical landmarks from the 1800s or hike around the coast line.

Day 6 Lake Taupo

Warkworth , Lake Taupo

Drive from Warkworth to Lake Taupo via Auckland. As you drive south, we recommend making a stop in Rotorua or the Waitomo Caves to explore the geology and geothermal activity.

Day 7 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 8 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 9 Wellington


Early this morning you will depart from Wellington for a day trip to Kapiti Island known for its birdlife and Maori culture. You will get to hike around the island taking in rare birds of the area and learning about the local Iwi.

Day 10 Wellington


Enjoy the morning with a tour behind the scenes of the Te Papa Museum, home to many Maori and New Zealand relics. After we recommend spending more time in the main part of the museum.

Day 11 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 12 Picton


Take a morning guided sea kayaking tour through the Marlborough Sounds to enjoy the surroundings and hopefully see different types of marine life like dolphins and seals.

Day 13 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 14 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 15 Waipara and Greta Valleys

Kaikoura , Waipara and Greta Valleys

Continue south about an hour to the Waipara and Greta Valley and hike into your Purepod accommodation. Stay two nights off the grid and exploring the region.


Day 16 Waipara and Greta Valleys

Waipara and Greta Valleys

Today is at leisure to relax at your Purepod or exploring the local wine region.


Day 17 Queenstown

Waipara and Greta Valleys , Christchurch , Queenstown

This morning head south to Christchurch and drop off your vehicle at the airport car depot in time for your onward flight to Queenstown. Upon arrival into Queenstown, you will be met by a private driver who will transport you to your accommodation where you will spend the next three nights.

Day 18 Queenstown


Enjoy a boat cruise along Lake Wakatipu to Mt Nicholas Station where you will hop on a bike and ride to Walter Peak. Take in the surrounding mountains and lake views before taking another cruise back to Queenstown. Spend the rest of the day at leisure around Queenstown.

Day 19 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 20 Return home


You will be collected from your city accommodation and will be transported to the Queenstown airport in time for your onward flight.

Audley Travel specialist Rebecca
Audley Travel specialist Olivia

Contact a 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. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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Lake Taupo

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