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Experience a stunning natural playground on your overland adventure in New Zealand! Starting from vibrant Christchurch, explore glaciers, fjords and towering mountains at scenic South Island. Drive on to the sunny North Island for wildlife adventures, Maori cultural excursions, relaxation and world class wines!

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Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 2ChristchurchEnglish Heritage, Maori Art & Culture, Southern AlpsThe Classic Villa, The George
2 - 3Franz Josef GlacierNatural Wonders, Outdoor Activities, Heli-hiking & Glacier FlightsRainforest Retreat Franz Josef, Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
3 - 6QueenstownDramatic Landscapes, Adventure Sports, Milford Sound FjordHeartland Hotel Queenstown, Hulbert House
6 - 7Mt CookSouthern Alps, Aoraki/Mount Cook Mountain, Hiking and MountaineeringMt Cook Lodge and Motels, The Hermitage Hotel
7 - 8ChristchurchEnglish Heritage, Maori Art & Culture, Southern AlpsThe Classic Villa, The George
8 - 9KaikouraMarine Life & Birds, Kaikōura Peninsula Walkway, Crayfish & SeafoodLemon Tree Lodge, Manakau Lodge
9 - 11WellingtonArt & Culture, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, Mount VictoriaPark Hotel, Sofitel Wellington
11 - 12NapierArt Deco Buildings, Wine & Food, National AquariumArt Deco Masonic Hotel, Breckenridge Lodge
12 - 13RotoruaWellness & Relaxation, Adventure Sports, Te Wairoa VillageRobertson House (B & B), Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel
13 - 15AucklandVolcanic Peaks & Black Sand Beaches, Maori Culture, Food & WineAuckland City Hotel, Heritage Auckland

Ideal For

  • Adventure
  • Landscape
Brenda O Connor Travel Consultant Enchanting Travels

Talk to us anytime1 888 263 2574

Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 2

International Arrival

Private transfer from Christchurch Airport to Hotel

Christchurch

1 Day

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
RoomDeluxe Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHeritage
The George – Opt 2
RoomExecutive Room
Meals
StyleBoutique
Day 2 - 3

Private transfer from Christchurch Hotel to Railway Station

Tranz Alpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth (5Hr)

Pick up your car in the city center

Franz Josef Glacier

1 Day

Surrounded by dense rainforests, secret waterfalls, suspension bridges, and tartare tunnels with glow worms, Franz Josef is a treasure trove of natural wonders, making it an ideal base to enjoy numerous outdoor activities.

Hotel Options
RoomTree Hut
Meals
StyleGuest house
RoomStandard Room -Graham Wing
Meals
StyleLodge
Day 3 - 6

Today you drive from Franz Josef to Queenstown (350 km, 5 hrs)

Queenstown

3 Days

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.

Included Activities

Explore Milford Sound by Coach and Boat
Soak in the natural beauty of the Milford Sound area with this coach tour and cruise. Set off from Queenstown in a comfortable glass-roofed coach, passing along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to move past the southern farmlands toward Lake Te Anau. Stretch your legs with a morning tea break before journeying on to Fiordland National Park. Make use of the opportunity to capture stunning photographs of the panoramic landscape along Milford Road. Enjoy splendid views as you go across the main divide of the Southern Alps through the Homer Tunnel, a passage carved into solid rock, which lets you pass under the mountains. Step aboard a cruise boat in Milford to savor superb views of the spectacular mountain range from the water. Cruise along passing by forested cliffs where majestic waterfalls gush down hundreds of meters into the fiord. Watch out for seals, penguins, and dolphins frolicking in the calm waters of the fiord. Relish a delicious boxed lunch as the boat sails past the magnificent scenery before disembarking to board the coach for your journey back to your hotel. (Full Day; Fixed Time: Yes; Time of Day: 0645; Duration: 12 hrs; Meal Included: Box Lunch; Shared Activity; Fitness Level: Easy.)

Hotel Options
RoomStandard Room with A/C
Meals
StyleInternational
Hulbert House – Opt 2
RoomGrand Suite
Meals
StyleBoutique
Day 6 - 7

Drive from Queenstown to Mount Cook (270 km, 4 hrs)

Mt Cook

1 Day

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 7 - 8

Drive from Mount Cook to Christchurch (330 km, 4 hrs)

Christchurch

1 Day

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
RoomDeluxe Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHeritage
The George – Opt 2
RoomExecutive Room
Meals
StyleBoutique
Day 8 - 9

Drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura (185 km, 3 hrs)

Kaikoura

1 Day

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.

Included Activities

Exciting Whale Watching Adventure in Kaikoura
Set off on a thrilling whale watching adventure tour off the coast of scenic Kaikoura. Step into a boat owned and operated by the indigenous Kati Kuri people through their award-winning nature tourism company Whale Watch. Feel the wind as you stand on deck to spot pods of dusky dolphins and giant sperm whales frolicking in the azure waters. Keep your camera ready to capture some award-winning photos. Look out for marine animals such as fur seals that can be found basking on rocky outcrops and the endangered wandering albatross as it skims the water. Watch out for seasonal inhabitants of the region such as pilot whales, humpback whales, and blue whales among others. (Half Day; Fixed Time: Yes (based on tide times, schedule issued on a weekly basis); Duration: 3.5 hrs; Fitness Level: Easy. In the unlikely event of not spotting a whale, eighty percent of the fare will be refunded.)

Hotel Options
Lemon Tree Lodge – Opt 1
Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHomestay
Manakau Lodge – Opt 2
Room
Meals
StyleLodge
Day 9 - 11

Drive from Kaikoura to Picton (160 km, 2 hrs)

Rental Car Drop Off at Interislander Ferry Terminal

Interislander Ferry from Picton to Wellington

Rental Car Pick Up at Interislander Ferry Terminal

Wellington

2 Days

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.

Included Activities

Traditions of the Maori at Te Papa
Explore the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa that overlooks the Wellington waterfront. Through this delightful experience, get an in-depth understanding of New Zealand, its history of human settlements, stunning geographical features, and fascinating native lifestyles. Begin with the interactive backlit floor map of New Zealand, where you can step on to view regional highlights of Māori landscape and see exhibits of the island’s extinct species. Learn about Māori culture from an indigenous perspective and their influence in modern society. Browse through Māori arts, crafts, ships, dresses, and treasures, while listening to traditional tribe stories and legends. Marvel at the intricate carvings on an old wharenui, of a Māori meeting hall called the marae, and admire a large pounamu greenstone immersed in a pond. End with a hongi greeting, before dispersing. (Half Day; Duration: 60 mins; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy)’* Personally guided. * Operates: daily on demand.’

Hotel Options
Park Hotel – Opt 1
RoomSuperior King Studio
Meals
StyleInternational
RoomClassic Room
Meals
StyleInternational
Day 11 - 12

Drive from Wellington to Napier (320 km, 2 hrs)

Napier

1 Day

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
Room
Meals
StyleHeritage
RoomGuest Suite
Meals
StyleLodge
Day 12 - 13

Drive from Napier to Rotorua (220 km, 3 hrs)

Rotorua

1 Day

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.

Included Activities

Maori Art and Culture Excursion
Witness indigenous art and craftwork up close on this evening tour in Rotorua. Start off from your hotel early in the evening with one of Te Puia’s best known local experts. Begin your tour at local weaving and carving schools where you can see pupils at work under the tutelage of master weavers and carvers. Afterwards you can visit some of regions award-winning galleries to see products on display and have each explained to you in as much detail as you wish. Also visit Kiwi House to view New Zealand’s famous flightless bird from up close! Next on your itinerary is a visit to unique natural wonders in the area, including geysers and mud pools. Relax for a while and then continue on to Te Keketanga-a-Rangi (Heavenly Origins), a beautiful space where twelve carved structures reach skyward. This is where you can truly experience Maori culture and traditions, listening to tales and legends of the past and then gathering at the gateway of the marae or sacred site. Be welcomed in traditional Maori style and witness typical ceremonies such as a warrior’s challenge and a ‘kapa haka’ artistic performance as well. (Evening Activity; Time of Day: 1600 hrs; Travel time to Activity: 30 mins; Duration: 5 hrs with 90 min guided tour in Te Puia)

Waitomo Caves and Glow Worm Grotto Excursion
Set out for the lush hills in the farming region of Waikato in the North Island, New Zealand. Guided by expert Māori guardians who have been exploring Waitomo for generations, descend into a labyrinthine network of caves, among the country’s famous attractions. Making your way through several passages and chambers, see the dramatic stalagmite and stalactite limestone formations under ambient lights. Amid faints sounds of dripping water, encounter unique features such as the Tomo that disappears into the darkness. Shortly after, hop onto a small boat and navigate the underground Waitomo river mostly in the dark. Listening to soothing Māori folk songs in the ‘Cathedral’ cave, learn about the history and legends surrounding these fascinating natural formations. Further ahead, as you glide slowly through a grotto in silence, marvel at thousands of unique glow worms that light up the subterranean landscape. Learn more about these suspended worms that use webs and bioluminescence to attract their food. Once your boat ride is done, hop into your car and return to your hotel. (Half Day; Fitness level: Moderate; Notes: Beware of slippery surfaces, and confined spaces inside the cave)

Private Tour – Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Hotel Options
RoomBlue Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHomestay
RoomPool View Room
Meals
StyleBoutique
Day 13 - 15

Drive from Rotorua to Auckland (230 km, 3 hrs)

Drop off the rental car in the city

Auckland

2 Days

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
RoomSuperior Room
MealsBreakfast
StyleHeritage

Private transfer from Hotel to Auckland Airport

International Departure

 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 From $ 4,590 /person
  • Option 2 From $ 6,590 /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 15 days / 14 nights.
  • Meals as indicated
  • The following train journeys in the highest class available :
    • Tranz Alpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth
  • All activities as listed :
    • Queenstown: Explore Milford Sound by Coach and Boat
    • Kaikoura: Exciting Whale Watching Adventure in Kaikoura
    • Wellington: Traditions of the Maori at Te Papa
    • Rotorua: Maori Art and Culture Excursion
    • Rotorua: Waitomo Caves and Glow Worm Grotto Excursion
    • Rotorua: Private Tour – Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
  • Self-driven car during your journey as follows:
    • Vehicle Type: Subcompact car for 1-3 guests: Toyota Yaris or similar (Automatic), Compact Car for max. 4 guests: Toyota Corolla Hatch or similar (Automatic), Intermediate Car for max. 5 guests: Toyota Corolla or similar (Automatic), Full Size Wagon for max. 5 guests: Toyota Highlander or similar (Automatic), Compact SUV for max. 4 guests: Holden Trax or similar (Automatic), Full Size Sport Sedan for max. 5 guests: Holden Commodore or similar (Automatic), Premium Minivan for max. 8 guests: Hyundai iMax or similar (Automatic)
    • Unlimited kilometres
    • X days
    • Pick-up: Date & Airport/City
    • Drop-off: Date & Airport/City
    • 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:
    • airport fee
    • ferry fee (except for the late ferry fee)
    • 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 activities specified in the itinerary, including entrance fees, accompanied by your tour guide
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
  • Welcome kit including all important documents and information regarding your itinerary
  • Fees and taxes

Not Included

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.
    • 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.
  • Camera fees
  • Tips, additional meals and personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Travel, health and cancellation insurance
  • International airfare (from your home country to your destination and return)
Inquire Now
New Zealand Overland: From South to North Island

15 days $ 4,590 / person

Contact Us

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

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contact@enchantingtravels.com