New Zealand & Australia Self Drive Tour Itinerary

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Arrive in Christchurch: Welcome to New Zealand!

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city and the South Island's capital.

A transfer has been arranged from the airport to your hotel.

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Christchurch is our "Garden City", blessed with beautiful parks and gardens right in the heart of town. English heritage buildings sit side by side with innovative post-earthquake regeneration in this vibrant place.

Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 Nights

The George, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park and river Avon and just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. The George will offer you a supreme comfort, with personalised stay and attentive staff.
The George - Christchurch


Free Day in Christchurch!

Today you are free to discover the many attractions of Christchurch at your own pace. Check out the sights on a punt ride down the River Avon, hop on a historic tram, or explore on foot and enjoy the brightly coloured street art this town is famous for.

A few years ago Christchurch survived two major earthquakes. You can visit Quake City to learn how the proud local people are rebuilding the town. Visit the damaged Christchurch Cathedral, and the amazing temporary cathedral built from cardboard.

The International Antarctic Centre is a cool place (literally) to spend the afternoon - you can hang out with Little Blue Penguins and even hug some huskies!

Some other Activities Options for Christchurch:

Easygoing Cycling Tour  Punting the Avon River  Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural EveningFrench Akaroa TourSouthern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch GondolaClearwater GolfArthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike
Christchurch Avon River


MOUNT COOK National Park

Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is part of UNESCO's Te Wāhipounamu (The Place of Greenstone) World Heritage region. Here in Mackenzie Country, you'll find Australasia's highest mountain - Aoraki / Mount Cook (3,724m) - nestled in the splendid Southern Alps.

Known to Māori as Aoraki or Cloud Piercer, this magnificent mountain is surrounded by over 150 peaks along with countless glaciers, ice and snow fields, mountain lakes and ranges.

Today we recommend a Mount Cook Helicopter Flight, affording you a spectacular bird's eye view of these natural wonders, with a landing on the Tasman Glacier to make you feel like you're on top of the world.

Approximate Distance: 311 km | 193 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 

Accommodation: Mount Cook - 1 Night

Mount Cook

A stunning destination surrounded by the silent splendor of the Southern Alps and with spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding National Park World Heritage area. There is a selection of properties within the Terrace Road campus from Hotel to Chalet and Mountainview Motels - all budgets and standards can be catered for.

Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook


Queenstown & Steamer to High Country Farm

Make the most of this morning to enjoy the beauty of Mount Cook National Park at your leisure. Take your time heading south this afternoon: you won't want to miss the spectacular scenery as it transforms from rugged ranges and mirror lakes to the winding Kawarau River Gorge. You will finally emerge into the lush green farmland surrounding Queenstown, your destination for tonight.

This Evening: Cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. Sit back, relax and enjoy a gourmet barbecue dinner prepared in front of you at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour before reboarding the Earnslaw for a sing-along by the piano as you sail back to Queenstown.

Approximate Distance: 241 kms | 150 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 

Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 Nights

Experience the sophistication of Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, a haven of stylish, 5 star accommodation for all seasons. A boutique hotel with a modern romantic style and exclusive service awaits you in the heart of New Zealand’s adventure capital. Set in peaceful parkland, and savour views of Queenstown’s majestic mountains. Enjoy easy access to the vibrant town centre where shopping, cafes and nightlife are nestled on the shores of spectacular Lake Wakatipu.
Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel


Central Otago Wine Tour

It's time to get to know the world-class wines of the Central Otago region on a scenic Boutique Wine Tour. You will become acquainted with three of the region's finest wineries, and explore New Zealand's largest wine cave. With a knowledgeable guide and fascinating commentary, it's the perfect opportunity to start your wine cellar.

The tour will take you on a stunning drive through the rugged Kawarau Gorge: the historic suspension bridge here is home to the world's original commercial bungy jump site, and you may recognise the magnificent Kawarau River below as the River Anduin in the Lord of the Rings.

Wine tour New Zealand


Spectacular Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

Enjoy astonishing views today as you travel along the winding Milford Road into the heart of Fiordland National Park. A location as beautiful as Milford Sound should never be rushed, so on arrival you will board the purpose-built Milford Mariner for an unforgettable overnight cruise.

Milford Sound is nicknamed the ‘eighth natural wonder of the world’ and you’ll soon see why: when you are dwarfed by towering, rainforested cliffs, spectacular waterfalls and soaring mountain peaks, it's like walking through a world created for giants.

Look out for unique wildlife - you’re bound to spot seals and possibly dolphins or penguins while you swim, kayak or simply relax on deck. As evening falls enjoy a delicious buffet dinner before retiring to your private cabin and letting the world fall away.

Approximate Distance: 288 kms | 179 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 48 mins

Accommodation: Milord Sound - 1 Night

Milford Nature Cruise
For the ultimate Milford Sound experience, spend the night aboard the Mariner and wake up to the dawn of a new day in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Milford Mariner then anchors in a sheltered cove, where you can join the nature guide and explore in the vessel’s tender craft (small boat) and kayaks. Or, if you prefer, you can simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place or go for a swim (if you’re brave enough). As evening falls, enjoy a delicious carvery buffet in the dining saloon, prepared freshly by our onboard chef. Then relax in the company of fellow travellers or indulge in some star-gazing before retiring to your private cabin 
Milford Sound Overnight Cruise


Milford Sound - Beautiful Lake Wanaka

Is there a more perfect way to start the day than watching the sun rise over Milford Sound? After a delicious onboard breakfast, soak up more stunning scenery as you sail out to the Tasman Sea.

After returning to the wharf this afternoon you will journey to the peaceful lakeside township of Wanaka. It's another area of outstanding natural beauty, and several key Lord of The Rings movie scenes were filmed amid the unspoilt forests and lakes of this region. Even the short drive here is stunning, leading you over the rugged Crown Range on the highest main road in the country. Take your time and enjoy the scenic lookouts en route - your camera will get a workout.

Immerse yourselves in the gorgeous surroundings: try flightseeing, fly fishing, kayaking, sailing or horse riding. 

Approximate Distance: 343 km | 213 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 40 mins

Accommodation: Lake Wanaka - 2 Nights

Tin Tub Luxury Lodge is situated on a stunning lake hosting mountain views in a simply spectacular Lake Wanaka location. The lodge gracefully sits in a garden setting on the hills overlooking the lake and mountains yet only a few minutes from Wanaka Township. Perfect for all seasons with its solar heated swimming pool, sauna, hot tubs (in the Lodge rooms), a gym and a drying room for the avid skier.
Tin Tub Luxury Lodge Lake Wanaka.


Relax on Lake Wanaka

On the shores of New Zealand's second largest lake, the town of Wanaka is often described as Queenstown's quieter little sister: the lake and mountain views are equally incredible, and many visitors count it as a favourite location on their New Zealand tour. 

This charming little township is easily explored on foot, and a stroll or bike ride around the picturesque shores of Lake Wanaka is a must. The mountain backdrop is perfect for a skydive or even a romantic flight in a vintage Tiger Moth plane.

Laka Wanaka


Wanaka to Franz Josef

The drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef is one of the most scenic in New Zealand. Mountain passes give way to ancient rainforest and the windswept West Coast. There's beauty around every bend, with woodland walks and dramatic waterfalls along the way - perfect for picnic stops. Nestled in a rainforest clearing, Franz Josef Glacier Village lies at the heart of the Westland National Park. Welcome to one of the most diverse and beautiful areas of New Zealand.

Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:

Kayak Okarito Lagoon 

    Glacier Scenic Flight

Horseback Riding  

   Walk to Glacier Face

   Glacier Heli-hike


Approximate Distance: 285 kms | 177 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 36 mins

Accommodation: Franz Josef - 2 Nights

Lake Matheson

Te Waonui is the only luxury property of its kind in the area. The retreat is nestled in the lush bush with views of the natural environment at almost every turn. Located in Franz Josef, the retreat offers easy access to the many natural wonders of the South West World Heritage Area. Mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes, coastline, and native flora and fauna all lie in wait at the doorstep for visitors to admire and explore.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat - Franz Josef


Franz Josef Glacier Flight and Walk

This is a fantastic introduction to an enthralling world of ice. The Franz Josef Heli Hike starts with a thrilling flight, high above the rugged terrain, you will land on the glacier, ready to undertake a three hour guided glacier hike.

Your friendly guide will lead you through some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery in the world. Your guide will choose your route carefully as you go and, with an eye for the most spectacular ice formations, you'll soon be making your way through an extraordinary land of towering peaks and glistening blue ice explaining the dramatic environmental changes over the last few years.

Time Walk: 3 Hours

Fitness Required: If you are moderately fit, you will enjoy this excursion. 

Equipment Supplied: We supply ankle supporting hiking boots with crampons. If it's looking like rain we provide the best in rain protection including Goretex Rain Jackets and waterproof over trousers.

Franz Josef Glacier


TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Begin your morning with a breathtaking coastal drive to Greymouth. You might like to pause in Hokitika for a spot of shopping - this town is home to many artisan carvers of the local pounamu (greenstone), which is sacred to Maori. A unique, locally carved greenstone pendant would be a special way to remember your trip.

Arriving in the town of Greymouth it's time to drop off your car and head to the station to begin the TranzAlpine Scenic Rail Journey.

Renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world, you will descend through spectacular gorges, river valleys and over massive viaducts before completing your journey at Christchurch.

Approximate Distance: 173 km | 107 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 18 mins

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

Tranz Alpine Train
The George, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park and river Avon and just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. The George will offer you a supreme comfort, with personalised stay and attentive staff.
The George - Christchurch


Christchurch to Sydney: Welcome to Australia!

Welcome to Sydney, the oldest and grandest of Australia's big cities. Blessed with a glorious natural harbour, golden beaches and a blissful climate, this incredible metropolis offers a stunning introduction to Australia.

Sydney Harbour Dining Cruise

Take a Sunset Dinner Cruise on the Harbour tonight and discover Sydney in style. Sparkling wine in hand, enjoy spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge as you dine.

Accommodation: Sydney - 1 Night


Featuring a swimming pool, fitness centre and a sauna and overlooking beautiful Cockle Bay, Adina Apartment Hotel Sydney, Darling Harbour is located in Sydney CBD (Central Business District), and offers self-contained accommodation with flat-screen satellite TV. Most rooms offer a private balcony. Located in Sydney’s entertainment hub of King Street Wharf, Adina Apartment Hotel is less than 3 minutes’ walk from Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife World. Chinatown is a 5-minute walk away and Sydney’s city centre is just 10 minutes' walk away.



Sydney to Jervis Bay: Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Climb the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge this morning, then journey down the coast to the white sand beaches of Jervis Bay.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

Experience a fantastic 360 degree panorama of Sydney when you ascend to the bridge's summit. Your knowledgeable guide will entertain you with tales of the bridge's amazing history and construction as you tick a true Sydney must-do off your bucket list.

Drive to Jervis Bay

Hit the road to the bustling coastal city of Wollongong and continue on to beautiful Kiama where the famous Blowhole awaits. Follow the coastline to Gerringong and Gerroa, perched on cliffs high above the ocean, and stop in at Coolangatta Estate to pick up some award-winning wines. Arrive at Jervis Bay and treat yourself to a refreshing swim or surf.

Jervis Bay: The World's Whitest Beaches

Jervis Bay is one of only 6 Marine Parks in New South Wales and an area of unique, natural beauty. Only 2.5 hours south of Sydney, it spans over 100kms of coastline and adjacent ocean.

Jervis Bay is also famous for its white sandy beaches, crowned the ‘whitest in the world’ by the Guinness Book of Records!

Approximate Distance: 198 km | 123 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours 51 mins

Accommodation: Jervis Bay - 2 Nights

Jervis Bay

Nestled in a peaceful bush setting on the banks of a tranquil waterway, the camp is just five minutes' drive from the natural wonders of Jervis Bay and is the perfect base from which to explore its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and unspoilt national parks.

Paperbark Camp


Jervis Bay: Whales and Dolphins in the Wild

Today, experience some of the best dolphin and whale watching in New South Wales (May-Nov).

This marine wonderland is home to a unique mix of tropical and temperate species including the Weedy Sea-Dragon, Eastern Blue Devil Fish, Bottlenose Dolphin, Little Penguin, Fur Seal and the endangered Grey Nurse Shark.

Jervis Bay Whale Watching (May-Nov) or Dolphin Watching (Year Round)

With its spectacular backdrop, Jervis Bay is considered to be the premier whale watching destination in NSW.

The sheltered waters here offer a welcome rest for the whale calves on their long journey home, so this is a great place to see them in their natural habitat. Visit in the summer season and you will also meet Jervis Bay's pod of resident dolphins.

The Spirit of Jervis Bay has 5 viewing platforms with 80% of the viewing area under cover. It is the biggest and most stable dolphin watching vessel on Jervis Bay so you know you will be safe, protected and comfortable in all conditions.

Jervis Bay Whales Watching


Mallacoota via the Sapphire Coast

Drive along the Sapphire Coast to beautiful Mallacoota. Break your journey for lunch at Ulladulla Harbour where you can enjoy take away fish and chips, sitting on the dock of the bay.

The Sapphire Coast

The Sapphire Coast is halfway between Melbourne and Sydney, on the far south coast of New South Wales. Stop in at Eden to visit the excellent Killer Whale Museum or swim in the warm turquoise waters. Then continue on across the State Border into Victoria, to Mallacoota and Gipsy Point.


Mallacoota, surrounded by the vast wilderness of the Croajingolong National Park, is a remote fishing village by the Mallacoota Inlet. This peaceful haven is known for its forests, secluded beaches and pristine waterways. With beautiful sunsets and spectacular coastal views, it's the perfect place to unwind.

Approximate Distance: 421 km | 262 miles   Total Driving Time: 5 hours 23 mins

Accommodation: Mallacoota - 1 Night

Sapphire Coast

Nestled on the banks of the Mallacoota Inlet, Gipsy Point Lakeside boasts a heated outdoor pool and free kayak hire. All rooms feature lake views, outdoor dining and a kitchen. Gipsy Point Lakeside Accommodation is a 10-minute drive from Genoa Falls and a 20-minute drive from Mallacoota. All air-conditioned rooms feature a kitchen including a stovetop and a dishwasher. They offer a lounge and dining area with a flat-screen TV, a DVD player and an iPod docking station.

Gipsy Point Lakeside Malcoota


Mallacoota to Lakes Entrance

Enjoy the drive from Mallacoota down to Lakes Entrance, home to one of the longest uninterrupted beaches in the world (Ninety Mile Beach).

Lakes Entrance

This popular holiday spot in the Gippsland region of Victoria boasts Australia's largest inland network of waterways. A paradise for seafood lovers, you can catch your own fish or sample the day's catch from one of the many seafood stores in town.

At Ninety Mile Beach, the Gippsland Lakes meets the Southern Ocean. A 90-mile stretch of golden sand separates the Gippsland Lakes from the Bass Strait. Here you will find a diverse population of sea creatures: over 850 species have been found within one ten-mile stretch! It's perfect for beach fishing, swimming, walking, dolphin-spotting or just lazing in the sun.

Approximate Distance: 202 km | 125 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours 27 mins

Accommodation: Lakes Entrance - 1 Night

Lakes Entrance

Set on a narrow strip of land between 2 stretches of water at the entrance to the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, this relaxed resort is a 9-minute walk from the Griffiths Sea Shell Museum & Marine Display. The modern rooms to 3-bedroom apartments offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and DVD players, plus tea and coffeemaking equipment; rooms add minifridges. Apartments feature full kitchens, washer/dryers, dining tables and balconies. Some units come with additional TVs and bathrooms.

Esplanade Resort Lakes Entrance


Lakes Entrance to Wilsons Promontory

Make your way south to Victoria's best-loved National Park: Wilsons Promontory, the southernmost point of mainland Australia.

Wilsons Promontory

Known as "The Prom" to the locals, Wilsons Promontory is home to great scenery and abundant wildlife. With over 80km of walking tracks, expansive stretches of beach, hidden bays and secluded coves, leave civilisation behind and embrace the wilderness for the next two nights.

Approximate Distance: 278 km | 173 miles   Total Driving Time: 3 hours 38 mins

Accommodation: Wilsons Promontory - 2 Nights

wilsons Promontory

Peaceful and quiet Coastal View Cabins offers outstanding accommodation with direct views to Wilsons Promontory. The cabins are set on 10 acres, which include 3 acres of old, growth forest offering sanctuary to a wide array of native flora and fauna. They are certified members of Land Care and Land for Wildlife and are officially accredited as 4 Star accommodation.

Wilsons Promontory Coastal View Cabine


Explore Wilsons Promontory At Your Leisure

How you enjoy Wilsons Prom today is entirely up to you, so plan your day to be as active or lazy as you would like! With 195 square miles of National Park and everything from lush rainforests to giant sand dunes, there's plenty to see and do. Try these suggestions to get you started:

  • Walk or drive to charmingly-named Squeaky Beach or Whisky Bay.
  • Take a sunrise hike to the summit of Mount Oberon for 360-degree views of the Park.
  • Follow the many walking tracks through eucalypt forests to secluded coves, sandy beaches and granite mountains.
  • Watch for resident kangaroos, lizards, wombats, echidnas, and even emus on the open plains.
  • Tackle the 19km hike to historic Sealers Cove and be rewarded with one of the Prom's most beautiful hidden beaches.
  • Take a wildlife cruise to Refuge Cove to spot dolphins, whales, albatross and sea-eagles.

Of course, you can simply find a secluded beach and snooze the day away, surrounded by some of Australia's most gorgeous coastline.



Wilsons Promontory to Phillip Island

Leaving the Prom behind, take the time to explore the beautiful coastal hamlets along southern Gippsland's coastline before crossing the bridge onto Phillip Island, a popular family holiday destination.

Phillip Island

Around 24 kilometres long and 9 kilometres wide, visitors flock to this small island for its swimming and surf beaches, unique wildlife and the famous penguins waddling along the beach every evening. The island also hosts major racing events including the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and Superbike World Championship.

You will experience the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island.

Each night at sunset, the world’s smallest penguins emerge from the sea and waddle ashore to their sand dune burrows. This is a truly memorable natural wildlife experience.

Approximate Distance: 138 km | 86 miles   Total Driving Time: 2 hours

Accommodation: Phillip Island - 1 Night 

Phillip Island Penguins

Comfort Resort Kaloha Phillip Island is a tropical, beachfront park, just 5 minutes' walk to the town centre. It offers a large hot tub, salt water solar heated swimming pool, children's playground, and BBQ facilities. All rooms and apartments feature reverse cycle air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV, refrigerator, ironing facilities and tea/coffee making supplies. Each includes a private bathroom with a shower, hairdryer, and free toiletries. Some accommodation offers a spa bath, kitchenettes and all motel rooms include free WiFi.

Comfort Resort Kaloha


Phillip Island to Melbourne: Guided Lanes & Arcades Tour

Crowned "The World's Most Liveable City" for seven years in a row, friendly Melbourne is the final stop on your Australian Road Trip. Explore the hidden secrets of Melbourne's laneways of Melbourne on a guided City Tour.

Melbourne's Hidden Secrets: Guided Lanes & Arcades tour

Melbourne’s arcades and laneways hide many treasures. Today's Hidden Secrets Lanes and Arcades walking tour is the ideal way to discover the inner heart of Melbourne.

Wandering through Melbourne’s signature lanes and arcades with your guide, you'll visit the quirkiest cafes, independent designers, street art, architecture, with historical tales of Melbourne along the way.

Approximate Distance: 142 km | 88 miles   Total Driving Time: 1 hour 50 mins

Accommodation: Melbourne - 1 Night

Melbourne Town

Located in Melbourne CBD, this award-winning, eco-friendly boutique hotel features free Wi-Fi and relaxing massage chairs in the cosy lounge. It offers air-conditioned accommodation with an LED flat-screen TV, over 100 cable channels and an iPod dock. Guests enjoy free access to a fitness centre just 3 minutes' walk away.

Alto Hotel Melbourne


Bon Voyage

Goodbye! and Bon Voyage! Today we say farewell. We take care of your transfer to Melbourne Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday / Australia.

Bon Voyage

What Kasey says about this tour: "The perfect blend of beauty, adventure, and relaxation! Get your adrenalin going in Sydney with a Harbour Bridge climb, then unwind with a leisurely road trip to Melbourne along the gorgeous NSW and Victorian coastline. Then it's time to mix things up: we've lined up some incredible mountain landscapes in New Zealand's South Island with jaw-dropping views you'll never forget. Sleep on a boat among Milford Sound's fiords, cruise Lake Wakatipu on a vintage steamship and relax on
board one of the world's greatest train journeys: the magnificent TranzAlpine Scenic Railway."
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Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price