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12 Day Self Drive Tour: Majestic New Zealand New Zealand Tour Packages

Embark on an unforgettable 12-day journey through New Zealand’s North and South Islands, where you’ll have the opportunity to soak up the country’s incredible natural beauty. Get up close to geothermal hotspots and witness the power of Mother Nature at work. Marvel at the stunning ice-age glaciers and breath-taking vistas of New Zealand.

With this 12 Day Self Drive Tour “Majestic New Zealand”, you’ll have the chance to experience the very best of what this amazing country has to offer.

If you want to spend additional time exploring New Zealand, we highly recommend checking out our extensive selection of day tours or all of our New Zealand self drive tours.

  •    TOUR DURATION:
    12 days
  •    TOUR STARTS/ENDS:
    Auckland to Christchurch
  •    TOUR CATEGORY:
    Self Drive Tour
  •    TRANSPORTATION:
    Rental Car
  •    TOUR DEPARTURES:
    Daily
  •    AIRPORT TRANSFERS:
    N/A
  •    MEALS:
    1 x Milford Sound Cruise including Lunch Lunch 
  •    ACCOMMODATIONS:
    Standard Hotels
  •    PASSENGERS:
    no minimum number of passengers
  •    TOUR CODE:
    GTNZ012023
  •    PRE & POST ACCOMMODATION:
    “Available“
  •    CITIES/REGIONS VISITED:

    AUCKLAND – WAITOMO – HOBBITON – ROTORUA – CHRISTCHURCH – GLACIER REGION – MILFORD SOUND – QUEENSTOWN – MT COOK – TEKAPO – CHRISTCHURCH

ITINERARY

Depart from United States Of America, US

DAY 1 : Arrive Auckland

Upon arrival, collect your rental vehicle and self-drive to your accommodation.

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, set between two harbours with gentle sandy shores on the east and black sand, and wild surf beaches on the west. Home to sheltered, sparkling blue waters dotted with beautiful emerald islands, we recommend getting out on the water when you are here. Overnight: Auckland

DAY 2 : Auckland - Waitomo - Hobbiton - Rotorua

Journey through the rolling green hills of Waitomo and enjoy a tour through an underground wonderland of caves decorated with galaxies of glowworms. Continue to Matamata for a charming tour of unique, character Hobbit homes, gardens and the watering hole just as you see in the movies. Finishing off a visually fulfilling day, continue Rotorua, a bubbling and steaming destination like nowhere else.  Overnight: Rotorua

Auckland-Waitomo: 195km (approx 2hrs, 30mins), Waitomo-Matamata: 102km (approx 1hr, 20mins), Matamata-Rotorua: 67km (approx 55mins)

INCLUDED ACTIVITES

  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

DAY 3 : Rotorua

Rotorua is surrounded by a fascinating geothermal landscape with its unique steam vents, spouting geysers and bubbling mud pool set alongside freshwater lakes and majestic native forests. It is also a region immersed in fascinating Maori myths and legends. Today you’ll visit one of the local geothermal attractions before a sensory evening display in the forest. Overnight: Rotorua

INCLUDED ACTIVITES

  • Waimangu Geothermal Valley
  • Redwoods Nightlights

DAY 4 :

Rotorua – Christchurch (Flight Not Included)

Depart on your domestic flight to Christchurch. Flight Time Rotorua to Christchurch is approx. 2 hours (Airfare is NOT included).

Christchurch is set between the deep blue Pacific Ocean and the mighty snow-capped Southern Alps.  This is a vibrant, ever-changing city with inner city parks and gardens delightfully interwoven by the meandering Avon River. Overnight: Christchurch

OPTIONAL ACTIVITES

  • Antarctic Centre

DAY 5 : Christchurch - Glacier Region

Christchurch – Glacier Region

Depart across the Canterbury Plains, a fertile patchwork made with every shade of green, through the spectacular scenery of Arthurs Pass National Park and on to the West Coast.  New Zealand’s rugged West Coast is a wild and untamed place known for its rivers, rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures.  Here, mighty rivers of solid white ice, relics of the world’s last ice-age, tumble down the rocky valleys.  Overnight: Glacier Region

Christchurch – Glacier Region: 240-380km (approx. 3.5-5hrs)

DAY 6 : Glacier Region

A temperate climate at a low altitude make Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers among the most convenient to visit in the world.  Steep valleys bear scars from where glaciers have retreated and advanced over millennia and here, the ice age is still underway.

Today is a free day to add your preferred activity. Make a visit to Punakaki’s Pancake Rocks or, for an absolute bucket list experience, take to the air on a scenic flight with a glacier landing and a thrilling hike across the icy wonderland. Overnight: Glacier Region

DAY 7 : Glacier Region - Queenstown

Travel through wilderness towns, waterfalls and river scenery on today’s scenic journey to Queenstown.  We recommend stopping for a break, and to stretch the legs, at Makarora’s Blue Pools. Overnight: Queenstown

Glacier Region – Queenstown: 350km (approx 4hrs, 35mins)

DAY 8 : Queenstown

Magnificent vistas and majestic mountains dominate this compact alpine resort town and with such an expansive natural physical environment it is not surprising that Queenstown has been described as the Adventure Capital of the World. Today is a free day to add some of the endless optional activities on offer. Overnight: Queenstown

OPTIONAL ACTIVITES

  • Best of Queenstown Tour with Cruise

DAY 9 : Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Fiordland is one of the world’s last great wildernesses.  Today’s stunning journey takes you past mirror lakes, spectacular waterfalls and water-sculpted rocks. Venture into Milford Sound, a New Zealand treasure carved by ice age glaciers and famously described as the eighth wonder of the world. After a big day out, reflect on memories of a lifetime on your return to Queenstown. Overnight: Queenstown

Queenstown – Milford: 287km (approx 3hrs, 50mins) each way

INCLUDED ACTIVITES

  • Milford Sound Cruise

DAY 10 : Queenstown - Tekapo/Mt Cook

Today’s journey takes you to a scenic wonderland with golden tussocks, snow-capped mountains and turquoise lakes.  Hug the shores of beautiful Lake Pukaki to a rugged land of ice and rock, home to Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Overnight: Tekapo or Mt Cook

Queenstown – Tekapo/Mt Cook: 256-266km (approx 3hrs, 15mins)

DAY 11 : Tekapo/Mt Cook - Christchurch

Be sure to stop for a while at Lake Tekapo where the ‘Church of the Good Shepherd’ takes pride of place against the backdrop of a vivid blue glacier-fed lake.  Then continue north east where braided rivers and familiar plains will signal your arrival back into Christchurch.  Overnight: Christchurch

Tekapo/Mt Cook – Christchurch: 230-230km (approx 3-4hrs)

DAY 12 : Depart Christchurch

Arrangements conclude today the return of your rental car to Christchurch Airport.

Please Note 
(i) Rental Car “Days” are based on a 24 hour hire.
Early arrivals into and/or late departures out of New Zealand may necessitate a longer hire period.
(ii) Adding Optional Tours may necessitate an additional nights’ stay in that location.

Arrive to United States Of America, US

Inclusions & Highlights

Included in this 12 Day New Zealand Self Drive itinerary/tour:

* 11 Day Rental Car Hire (with zero or reduced excess liability)
– Intermediate SUV (IFAR)
– Full Size SUV (FFAR)
– Premium 8 Seater (PVAR)

* 11 Nights Accommodation
* Waitomo Glowworm Caves
* Hobbiton Movie Set
* Waimangu Volcanic Valley
* Redwoods Treewalk Nightlights
* Milford Sound Cruise including Lunch

Private Touring
can be arranged upon request

ACCOMMODATION

Your accommodation options for this itinerary/tour:
Standard Hotels, Superior Hotels, First Class Hotels, Boutique Stays, Motels and Apartments, Luxury Lodges