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Discover a stunning natural playground as you journey from North to South Island on this New Zealand road trip. In North Island, explore verdant valleys, hot springs, lakes, caves, and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ setting of Hobbiton. You can trek past volcanoes, and witness authentic Maori art and culture as well. In South Island, seek out adventure and excitement amid breathtaking glaciers, the Southern Alps and the Fiordland.

Would you like to explore each awe-inspiring natural wonder in-depth with exclusive private tours, helicopter hikes, and more? Our destination experts will be happy to recommend more activities and excursions and customize this itinerary to suit your preferences. Get in touch!

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Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 3AucklandVolcanic Peaks & Black Sand Beaches, Maori Culture, Food & WineAuckland City Hotel, Stamford Plaza
3 - 5RotoruaWellness & Relaxation, Adventure Sports, Te Wairoa VillageRobertson House (B & B), The Regent of Rotorua
5 - 7NapierArt Deco Buildings, Wine & Food, National AquariumCobden Garden Homestay, Scenic Hotel Te Pania
7 - 9WellingtonArt & Culture, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, Mount VictoriaTravelodge Wellington, Distinction WLG
9 - 10BlenheimMarlborough Wine Region, Artisanal Produce, Omaka Aviation Heritage CenterHotel d’Urville, Marlborough Vintners Hotel
10 - 12Abel Tasman National ParkMarine Life, Beaches & Water Sports, Abel Tasman Coast TrackAwaroa Lodge, Stonefly Lodge
12 - 13KaikouraMarine Life & Birds, Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway, Crayfish & SeafoodLobster Inn Motor Lodge, White Morph Inn
13 - 14ChristchurchEnglish Heritage, Maori Art & Culture, Southern AlpsThe Quality Hotel Elms, Pavilions Hotel
14 - 16Mount CookSouthern Alps, Aoraki/Mount Cook Mountain, Hiking and MountaineeringMt Cook Lodge and Motels, The Hermitage Hotel
16 - 17WanakaLake Wanaka, Roys Peak, Puzzling WorldTe Wanaka Lodge, Edgewater Hotel
17 - 19Te AnauLake Te Ana, Gateway to Fiordland National Park, Adventure & OutdoorsDistinction Hotel and Villas Lake Te Anau, Dunluce Bed & Breakfast
19 - 21QueenstownDramatic Landscapes, Adventure Sports, Milford Sound FjordKinross Cottages, Rydges Lakeland Resort

Ideal For

  • Landscape
  • Wildlife
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Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 3

International Arrival

You will be transferred from Auckland Airport to your Hotel

Auckland

2 Nights

From volcanic peaks, lush native canopies and black sand beaches, to hip entertainment districts, contemporary art scenes and gourmet experiences, there’s something for everyone in this populous waterfront city, the largest in New Zealand!

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHeritage
Stamford Plaza – Opt 2
RoomExecutive Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Day 3 - 5

Pick up your rental car in Auckland

Drive yourself from Auckland to Rotorua in your rental car (Duration: 3 hrs)

Rotorua

2 Nights

From geothermal wonders at Kuirau Park located within the city center, to fumaroles, bubbling mud pools, and the pastel silica terraces of the Wai o Tapu valley, Rotorua is a haven for wellness enthusiasts.

Hotel Options
RoomBlue Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHomestay
RoomCutie Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
Day 5 - 7

Drive yourself from Rotorua to Napier in your rental car (Duration: 3 hrs)

Napier

2 Nights

A peaceful seaside town, Napier stands on Hawke’s Bay by the coast of New Zealand’s North Island. This seaport is best known for its resilient comeback following a devastating earthquake in the 1930s.

Hotel Options
RoomGarden Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHomestay
RoomSuperior Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Day 7 - 9

Drive yourself from Napier to Wellington in your rental car (Duration: 4-5 hrs)

Wellington

2 Nights

Discover Wellington, a cosmopolitan harbor city brimming with art, culture, entertainment, and natural wonders. Wellington is also home to the protected Matiu/Somes Island reserve, and the Zealandia Ecosanctuary that conserves rare native flora and fauna.

Hotel Options
RoomGuest Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Distinction WLG – Opt 2
RoomStudio Suite
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Day 9 - 10

Drive yourself to the Wellington dock in your rental car

Board the Interislander Ferry from Wellington to Picton

Drive yourself from Picton to Blenheim in your rental car (Duration: 30 mins)

Blenheim

1 Night

Enjoy the quaint agricultural town of Blenheim, the gateway to the boutique wineries of the world-famous, wine-growing Marlborough region.

Hotel Options
RoomGuest Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHeritage
RoomGarden View Suite
MealsBreakfast
StyleLodge
Day 10 - 12

Drive yourself from Blenheim to Abel Tasman National Park in your rental car (Duration: 3 hrs)

Abel Tasman National Park

2 Nights

Home to seal colonies, dolphins, little blue penguins and other marine life, the Abel Tasman National Park is a beautiful nature reserve on New Zealand’s South Island.

Hotel Options
Awaroa Lodge – Opt 1
RoomStandard Plus Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleLodge
Stonefly Lodge – Opt 2
RoomLodge Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleLodge
Day 12 - 13

Drive yourself from Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura in your rental car (Duration: 5 hrs)

Kaikoura

1 Night

Sitting on a dramatic peninsula, Kaikōura boasts a superb location between the snow capped Kaikōura mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Get up close to whales, fur seals, and dolphins in the coastal waters, or enjoy birdwatching tours and sheep shearing shows.

Hotel Options
RoomDeluxe Studio
MealsBreakfast
StyleGuest house
White Morph Inn – Opt 2
RoomDeluxe Studio
MealsBreakfast
StyleGuest house
Day 13 - 14

Drive yourself from Kaikoura to Christchurch in your rental car (Duration: 3 hrs)

Christchurch

1 Night

Christchurch is a vibrant city with a rich English heritage nestled on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, bordered by the Waimakariri River and the Pegasus Bay.

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Pavilions Hotel – Opt 2
RoomStudio Unit
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Day 14 - 16

Drive yourself from Christchurch to Mt Cook in your rental car (Duration: 4-5 hrs)

Mount Cook

2 Nights

Explore Mount Cook, a dramatic alpine landscape bestowed with spectacular glacier lakes, rivers, meadows, and valleys that entertain horse treks, dinghy cruises, fishing trips, 4×4 drives, and scenic flights with glacier landings.

Hotel Options
RoomMotel Studio
MealsBreakfast
StyleLodge
RoomStandard Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Day 16 - 17

Drive yourself from Mt Cook to Wanaka in your rental car (Duration: 3 hrs)

Wanaka

1 Night

Wanaka is a spectacular highland lake town in South Island filled with exhilarating possibilities for adventure lovers as well as endless panoramic vistas for leisure travelers.

Hotel Options
Te Wanaka Lodge – Opt 1
RoomGarden Cottage
MealsBreakfast
StyleLodge
Edgewater Hotel – Opt 2
RoomStudio Hotel Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleInternational
Day 17 - 19

Drive yourself from Wanaka to Te Anau in your rental car (Duration: 3 hrs)

Te Anau

2 Nights

Known as the gateway to Fiordland National Park, the picture perfect town of Te Anau is located amid spectacular glaciers, endangered birdlife, limestone cave, beech forests, and majestic mountains all within easy reach.

Hotel Options
RoomLake View Hotel Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort
RoomDeluxe Kepler Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHomestay
Day 19 - 21

Drive yourself from Te Anau to Queenstown in your rental car (Duration: 3 hrs)

Queenstown

2 Nights

Queenstown is where adventure seekers head out to for a shot of adrenalin! The region’s dramatic landscape is wrapped around the scenic lakes, velvety mountains and valleys of the Southern Alps.

Hotel Options
Kinross Cottages – Opt 1
RoomStudio Cottage
MealsBreakfast
StyleBoutique
RoomLake View King Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleResort

Make your own way to the Queenstown airport and drop off your rental car

International Departure

 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 From $ 4,090 /person
  • Option 2 From $ 5,490 /person

Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in one double room for 21 days / 20 nights.
  • Meals as indicated
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
  • On request: A printed set of your travel documents by post
  • Fees and taxes
  • Self-driven car during your journey as follows:
    • Vehicle Type: Compact Car for max. 4 guests: Toyota Corolla Hatch or similar (Automatic)
    • Unlimited kilometers
    • 17 days
    • Pick-up: Auckland City
    • Drop-off: Christchurch Airport
    • GPS navigation system (GPS units on continuous/ multi-island hire must be kept until the final return of the car)
    • One additional driver, if spouse/partner
    • Towing charges in the event of mechanical failure
  • For your rental car we book the best cover possible with the following services:
    • Standard Motor Vehicle Damage Waiver
  • Additionally, our preferred partner offers the following:
    • one way hire, in case car is hired for a minimum of 7 days
  • The general business terms apply
  • All airport and hotel transfers as indicated above
  • All transfers as indicated above
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip

Not Included

  • Among other expenses, the following additional costs are not included for rental cars (to be made directly at the car rental shop with a credit card from a recognisable bank institution):
    • One-way fee of 57.50 NZD for hires less than 7 days
    • Minimum 100 NZD pre-authorization
    • Late ferry fee of 57.50 NZD for vehicle collection at ferry locations after 18:30 hrs
    • Smoke free policy: based on Avis 100% smoke-free policy a cleaning fee of 287.50 NZD applies, if the vehicle is returned and it smells of smoke.
    • Road user charges
    • Charges for late return of the vehicle
    • Charges for damage to or repair of the vehicle
    • Traffic and/or parking offence infringement fees
    • Special request delivery fees
    • Additional driver (included, if additional driver is spouse/partner)
    • 14.95 NZD per baby seat per day or 74.75 NZD per month (baby seat to be provided at the time of booking)
    • 14.38 NZD per ski/snowboard rack per day or 184 NZD per month
    • 14.38 NZD per bike rack per day or 138 NZD per month
    • Optional: 6,90 NZD for roadside assistance per day (up to 10 NZD fuel delivery, key replacement in case of loss, flat tyre assistance, tyre replacement, flat battery assistance)
    • Optional: 11.50 NZD for roadside assistance PLUS per day (up to 10 NZD fuel delivery, key replacement in case of loss, flat tyre assistance, tyre replacement, flat battery, windscreen replacement free of charge)
    • Towing in case of an accident
    • Windscreen cover
    • Damage excess reduction
    • Restrictions to South and North Island roads apply. Rental cars are not permitted to drive on dangerous roads, e.g. Skippers Rd./ Ninety Mile Beach/ general unformed roads.
    • Rental cars cannot be taken from one island across to the other on Cook Strait Ferry Services. Failure to comply will result in a relocation fee of minimum 747.50 NZD.
    • Parking fees
    • Fuel (Please drop off the car with full tank. In case fuel needs to be added, the car rental company will charge you the amount for it)
    • Rental car trips do not include any entry fees or expenses for national parks or game reserves.
  • Tips, additional meals and personal expenses
  • Entrance fees, unless otherwise stated in the activity descriptions
  • Visa fees
  • Travel, health and cancellation insurance
  • International airfare (from your home country to your destination and return), unless specified under the trip inclusions above
Inquire Now
Road Trip: Natural Wonders of New Zealand

21 days $ 4,090 / person

Contact Us

Our team of experts can help answer any questions you might have. Please fill out the form below and a consultant will respond shortly.

Give us a call:

US & Canada: +1 888 263 2574
UK: +0 800 098 8486
AUS: +1 800 044 986

Send an email:

contact@enchantingtravels.com