Classic 14 Day Highlights of New Zealand Itinerary

Classic 14 Day Highlights of New Zealand Itinerar

Welcome to New Zealand!

Haere Mai Welcome to the 'City of Sails' Auckland

Relax, you are officially on holiday! We have arranged for you to be met and transferred to your accommodation. The remainder of the day is yours to do as you please and to let the family get over the time difference as tomorrow is the start of your New Zealand Adventure. Take a stroll around our beautiful city, explore the highly acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant Quarter or choose one of the many activities available to give a more in-depth understanding of Auckland and the surrounding area.

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

Explore Waiheke Island    Island Kayaking Adventure    America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky TowerRelax on the BeachRangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine TourWhale and Dolphin SafariMuriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation: Auckland - 2 nights

The skyline of Auckland by night.

Within a stones throw of the Britomart & Harbour side entertainment and dining precinct - your stay in Auckland will be a memorable one. Fully equipped modern serviced one, two and three bedroom apartments are perfect for short or long term stays within Auckland City. Full kitchen and laundry facilities allow you the freedom to stay as if you had never left home. Newly refurbished hotel rooms are perfect for shorter stays.

Nesuto Stadium Apartments, Located in Auckland Central Business District.


Essence of Waiheke Island

Just 35 minutes by ferry from Auckland, across the beautiful Hauraki Gulf is a tranquil little paradise. Since the late 1970's Waiheke Island's benign climate has seen the growth of a flourishing wine industry. A "small is beautiful" philosophy yields low quantities of extremely high quality fruit, which is made into international award-winning wines. 

Take an in-depth tour of the wine-growing region on Waiheke Island with a guide on this full-day excursion. You'll learn about what makes the vineyards so successful and the characteristics of the local wine through guided commentary and visits to three top vineyards. Finish with a delicious lunch and glass of wine at an award-winning beachside restaurant. With round-trip transportation provided, you can take full advantage of the tastings without worrying about who will drive.

Waiheke Island


Hahei, Coromandel Peninsula - Lifes a Beach!

Its time to collect your rental car and head to nature's playground - the beaches of  Coromandel Peninsula. An impressive, heavily forested mountain range runs right up the middle of this peninsula - it’s bordered on each side by kilometres of spectacular coastline.

The idyllic seaside village of Hahei, (HA-hey) is a small settlement situated on the eastern side of the Peninsula.  Yes there are a couple of restaurants, cafes and fish and chippy but essentially this is a secret hideaway where Kiwi's take their holidays – it's all about the beach, where the waves are generally safe and the wide beach is ideal for a game of volleyball or to throw a Frisbee. 

We recommend you take the scenic boat trip to the spectacular Cathedral Cove and sit on one of the world’s best beaches for the afternoon - only 10 minutes away by boat or an hour's walk.  Alternatively, you can arrange to snorkel the fantastic Hahei Marine Reserve or explore the stunning coastline by kayak.

Approximate Distance: 170 km | 105 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 15 mins

​Accommodation: Coromandel - 2 nights

Coromandel New Zealand
11 Cosy wooden cottages with leadlight windows and French doors opening onto sunny verandas and beautiful gardens, scattered throughout 1.5 acres of native bush and gardens with all cottages landscaped for their individual peace and privacy with a range of unique self-catering accommodation options. Onsite a reconstructed 1916 Methodist Church is an independently run restaurant offering our guests to Hahei an unique and tasty dining experience, just a stroll from your cottage.
The Church


Free Day - Try Hot Water Beach

We are going to continue the same theme today - Relax!

Head to the beautiful Hot Water Beach, you will find hot water bubbling through the golden sand. People can be seen digging their own spa pool in the sand and relaxing in the natural hot springs - this is one experience that should be on your New Zealand bucket list and a truly unique Kiwi experience, perfect for a New Zealand Adventure Holiday.

Recommended excursions in and around the Coromandel:

Dive the Aldermans   Soak in the Lost Springs  Visit Cathedral Cove
Soak in Hot Water Beach  Rainforest Rail JourneyExplorer Cruise
Water Works ParkGuided Sea Kayaking Kauri Forest Guided Hike
hot water beach


Rotorua: Thermal Wonderland & Natural Hot Pools

Rotorua is the Geothermal and Maori cultural center of New Zealand, Rotorua offers some really unique experiences. When you think about it, its obvious why early Maori settlers were attracted here, imagine living in a world without power and stumbling across an endless supply of boiling water making the usually laborious tasks of cooking, bathing and heating very easy - no effort required. The area quickly became a significant Maori stronghold and remains so today.

Approximate Distance: 217kms | 135 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 55 mins

​Accommodation: Rotorua - 3 nights

Geothermal Rotorua

Situated in the heart of Rotorua is the 5 Star Regal Palms, their modern and contemporary apartments are suitable for couples and families offering a great range of features, including a spa pool. Relax in the Guest Lounge or get active on the Tennis Court, book a complimentary bicycle to explore the city or take a swim in the heated pool onsite.

Regal Palms Rotorua


Rotorua: Climbing Trees and Wildlife

Today the kids will be in their element as tree climbers and nature lovers. 

Treewalk amongst the Redwoods is a one of a kind eco-tourism walk that provides a unique experience for visitors to Rotorua. It offers an accessible, low-level adrenaline experience for all ages that captures the beauty and spirit of this famous forest.

Following these lofty heights set off to Rainbow Springs, offering a fun filled day out for the whole family, set amongst the native trees and beautiful forests of Rotorua. You'll learn all about New Zealand’s fascinating natural history and meet the interesting creatures who call this great land of ours home.

Each day our wildlife team run lots of animal encounters which allow you to get closer than ever to some of our favourite park residents including trout, reptiles and native birds, including our National Emblem the flightless Kiwi.

Rotorua Tree Walk


Wai-O-tapu Thermal Wonderland

Just south of Rotorua lies Wai-O-tapu, a wonderland of stunning geothermal activity and a really exciting place for both kids and adults to visit. Wai-O-Tapu means 'Sacred Water' and it is easy to see why as the hot pools range in colour from turquoise blue, rich green and gold to an almost olive/yellow, make the water at Waiotapu a dazzling kaleidoscope of natural colour caused by the many mineral salts in the water including arsenic, gold, and silver. This is the home to the world-famous Champagne Pool, seen by many as the most beautiful example of geothermal activity around. The steaming vents with New Zealand’s largest bubbling mud pool while being surrounded by huge volcanic craters make the experience very otherworldly - but wait, there is more... the Highlight is the Lady Knox Geyser that spectacularly erupts daily at around 10.15 am (ish) - The kids will love that.

Shhh here’s a little Secret: Go for a soak in a free natural hot pool. Just past the 1st entrance of 'Waiotapu Thermal Park' is another about 500 meters (1640 ft) further down the road, take this second entrance, and drive another 500 metres (1640 ft) down this tiny winding road and you'll come across a small bridge. Make your way down the bank into the steamy stream.

Wai-o-tapu geothermal park


Fly to Christchurch & Board a Tram

*Fly south to  Christchurch

Hop on board one of Christchurch’s heritage trams to explore the city from a unique vantage point. The Christchurch tramway weaves through the city, down streets closed to other vehicles, and past some of the city’s key attractions such as the iconic Re:START Mall, Cathedral Junction, the Avon River, Gothic-style Arts Centre, and New Zealand’s most beautiful street – New Regent Street.

*flight not included in costing

Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 night

Travel by tram in Christchurch
The Quest Christchurch is located just off Cathedral Square in the heart of the commercial, arts and tourist precinct. This purpose built property is on Christchurch's famous inner city Tram Loop and features a mix of new and heritage architecture. Incorporated in the complex are a variety of retail shops, cafes and restaurants. All the serviced Apartments have free Wi-Fi & fully equipped kitchens.
Quest Christchurch


Visit Quirky Lyttelton

A short 15-minute drive from Christchurch city will see you in the quirky portside town of Lyttelton. The town itself is well worth a stroll, as it’s brimming with boutiques selling locally made art and delicacies. Ferries depart Lyttelton mid-morning and return mid-afternoon, leaving you just the right amount of time to walk, explore and enjoy a picnic lunch on the island. Quail Island is uninhabited and it’s a great place to discover at your own pace. Pass the island’s shipwrecks, former leper colony, and early European quarantine station. Stop to swim and build sandcastles on the island’s beaches and keep an eye out for NZ’s native birds who call the island home – including the white flippered penquins.

Approximate Distance:  12 km | Total Driving Time: 20 mins

Quail Island half day trip


Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook

On the way to Mt Cook, a picnic at Lake Tekapo is recommended. This superb high country location offers some stunning photo opportunities and is a great place to let the kids go for a swim. Golden tussock grass carpets the surrounding hillside and roll away into the distance where the Southern Alps frame the horizon. The charming 'Church of the Good Shepherd' sits alone on its shores and the views to our highest mountain, Mt Cook, are remarkable.

Approximate Distance: 333 km | 206 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 45 mins

​Accommodation: Mt. Cook - 1 night

Mt Cook
Situated in the iconic Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, Mt Cook Lodge & Motels offers a selection of accommodation types from backpacker styled dorms, cosy chalets to newly refurbished and contemporary self-contained motel units. All rooms include ensuite bathrooms, quality linen, fridge and a patio or balcony so you can soak up the stunning mountain views. Chill out in the Chamois Bar & Grill, a favourite of travellers and locals alike.
Mt Cook Lodge & Motels


On to Queenstown

Travel via the Lindis Pass and Gibbston Valley to Queenstown. We've all heard the endless hype about it being the adventure capital of the world, and there are certainly enough crazy activities here to challenge the strongest, but Queenstown offers much more besides. On arrival into Queenstown return your rental car and enjoy the close proximity of your accommodation to the township. 

Approximate Distance: 274 km | 128 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 15 mins

​Accommodation: Queenstown - 3 night

Lake Wanaka

Just 8 minutes walk into the heart of Queenstown you will find the Alexis Motel and Apartments, surrounded by majestic alpine scenery and spectacular views across Lake Wakatipu. Choose from a variety of self contained one bedroom apartments, two bedroom apartments and studio suites

Alexis Motel and Apartments


TSS Earnslaw Cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm

Full Steam Ahead

All aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw this old coal-fired beauty has been ferrying passengers around the lake for over a 100 years. Kids find the experience fascinating and love watching the stokers at work in the engine room and seeing the glowing fireboxes.

On arrival at Walter Peak High Country Farm on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu, you will get a real taste for rural New Zealand. Kids can pet and feed the lambs (during Spring - Oct to December) and other farmyard animals, watch the sheepdog's round-up a flock of sheep and see a shearing demonstration. The high country air works up a healthy appetite, so the trip includes morning or afternoon tea with fresh scones with jam. 

Approximate Distance: 71 km | 44 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 10 mins



Gondola & Luge

Gondola & Luge

The gondola whisks you smoothly up 450 meters (1,746 ft) as Queenstown drops away below. Breathtaking views from the top extend almost 360 degrees; from Coronet Peak around to the Remarkables, with Cecil and Walter Peaks on the other side of beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Treat your family to a Gondola Ride and Luge for some fast paced family fun! You have the choice of two 800 meters (2,624 ft) tracks winding down through trees; choose either the scenic track if you want a leisurely trip or take the advanced track if you want to be more adventurous and enjoy the challenge of banked corners, a tunnel, bends and dips. - Mum and Dad, the Luge (or fancy Go-cart) has been designed so you can take charge and control speed and direction while the young ones sit in front - loads of fun!



Homeward Bound

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

Sadly, Your New Zealand Holiday is at an end, drop your vehicle at Queenstown airport and catch your onward flight. Have a good homeward journey, farewell, and we hope you leave with many happy memories from your New Zealand self-drive adventure.



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