12 Day Classic Best of Both Itinerary


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When you touch down in New Zealand your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by one of our trusted representatives. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.

24 Hour Assistance: We’re just a free phone call away if you encounter any issues while you're on the road - at any time of day or night. Don’t waste your precious vacation time stressing - First Light Travel are here to help you quickly when every second counts.

What's also included?

Dedicated Travel Consultant                  Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers        

144 Page A4 NZ Touring Atlas  

Full 24 Hour Support 50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide  


Welcome to Auckland

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand

Relax you are now officially on holiday and everything has been taken care of! We will meet you at the airport and drive you directly to your hotel to freshen up and unwind. Make the most of some free leisure time in the 'City of Sails' - simply relax or take this opportunity to explore the many sights of Auckland

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

Explore Waiheke Island     Island Kayaking Adventure     America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation: Auckland - 1 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 Facilities - Oven & stovetop, microwave, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, cuttlery and cooking utensils and Internal 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.


Waitomo Glowworm Caves - Rotorua

It’s hard to believe when you drive through the idyllic peaceful countryside of the Waikato, that hidden beneath its surface lies a labyrinth of Glowworm Cave networks that house formations and creatures that are simply out of this world. 

If you are interested in seeing galaxies of beautiful glowworms, then this small group personalized Spellbound Tour allows you to spend 40 minutes under glowworms. This tour is one of the most unhurried glow worm tours in New Zealand, with plenty of time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness - intensifying the effect of thousands of softly shining glow worms.

Sir David Attenborough on the BBC series 'Life in the Undergrowth' described the spellbound Cave as an “Astonishing Cave” And “one of natures most Magical Illuminations!” - This is an easy adventure everyone will enjoy.

A Gross Fact... about the New Zealand Glowworms

Approximate Distance: 372 km | 232 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours

Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 Nights

Bella Vista Motel Rotorua offers motel-style accommodation right next to Kuirau Thermal Park. All rooms have en suite bathrooms, some with spa baths. Unlimited free WiFi is included for all rooms. The motel has a private lawn area with outdoor furniture and barbecue facilities. Laundry facilities are available for guests to use. TheBella Vista Motel Rotorua is within walking distance from Rotorua Aquatic Centre and Rotorua Hospital.
Bella Vista Rotorua


Hobbiton & Maori Cultural Evening

Setting off from Rotorua, travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. You will journey to the emerald pastures and rolling hills of The Shire, where Hobbiton was brought to life on a private farm in Matamata. This idyllic village blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Set to the scale of a 3ft Hobbit you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a magical world of smoking chimneys. 

This Evening Enjoy: Te Po Evening Maori Concert & Hangi Dinner

Approximate Distance: 136 km | 82 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 40 min (return trip)


Fly to Christchurch

After checking in, why not step back to Edwardian times with a relaxing Private Punting Trip down the Avon River? It's a wonderful introduction to the "Garden City". Gliding gently along the river in a flat-bottomed boat, you will take in Christchurch's 'must-see' historic buildings and Botanic Gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.

Some other Activities Options for Christchurch

Easygoing Cycling Tour   Punting the Avon River   Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural Evening French Akaroa Tour Southern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch Gondola Clearwater Golf Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

Quiet and comfortable accommodation close to the centre of Christchurch. City Central Motel and Apartments offers 26 well appointed, spacious rooms with free off street parking and ensuite rooms. Each unit provides a kitchenette and individual balcony.

City Central Motel and Apartments - Christchurch


Tranzalpine Rail Journey - Franz Josef Glacier

Travelling via Arthur's Pass to Greymouth on the West Coast. Climb aboard the TranzAlpine. This rail journey is truly something special. Enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River and traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiseled alpine landscape will take your breath away at every turn. Ranked among the world’s top 6 train journeys, these tracks flow through some of New Zealand's most splendid countryside from the Southern Alps to Greymouth. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see natural grandeur on such a scale. 

On to west coast glacial village of Franz Josef where you can relax and soak in the thermal pools after an invigorating day.

Accommodation: Franz Josef - 2 nights

The Terrace offers 4-star accommodation with an on-site restaurant. Located in the centre of Franz Josef, on a quiet street, The Terrace offers free unlimited WiFi and free onsite parking. Guests can enjoy views of snow-capped mountains and the Croz Glacier from the Terrace grounds, and from some rooms.
The Terrace Franz Josef


Kayaking Okarito Lagoon Nature Reserve

The expansive shallow waters of Okarito Lagoon form New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland. Surrounded by Kahikatea and Rimu rainforests, this special place provides an isolated, unspoiled habitat for a host of unique and rare birdlife.

Here, shallow waters extend into rainforest river deltas, making kayaking the best way to explore this natural wonderland. As you paddle, look out for the White Heron (Kotuku) as well as Shags and Royal Spoon Bills.

The rarest of New Zealand’s five kiwi species, the Okarito Kiwi, also lives in the area. More than 70 other bird species have been recorded here – the lagoon is a birdwatcher’s paradise. On a clear day, you’ll also be able to enjoy stunning views of Mount Cook, Mount Tasman and the Southern Alps standing sentinel in the distance.


Queenstown & Kiwi Birdlife Park

Take your time heading south today: you won't want to miss the spectacular scenery as it transforms from rugged coastal mountain 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 afternoon visit: The Kiwi Birdlife Park Wildlife Sanctuary

Approximate Distance: 350 km | 218 miles  Total Driving Time: 5 hours 

Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 Nights

Just 5 minutes’ walk from Lake Wakatipu, Autoline Queenstown Motel offers self-contained accommodation with a spa bath or a private balcony with mountain views. Guests enjoy free WiFi. The air-conditioned apartments have under-floor heating and a well-equipped kitchenette with a stove, a microwave and a refrigerator. Each apartment has a 42-inch flat-screen TV and satellite channels.
Autoline Queenstown


Funyak & Jetboat into Mount Aspiring National Park

This unmissable experience combines the exhilaration of a wilderness jet boat ride with a leisurely downstream float on our easy to use Funyaks. With a sumptuous lunch included, this trip is ideal for the whole family. If you only do one tour in Queenstown, this is it! The diversity and value of what's on offer in this full day of adventure is second to none.

You’ll experience a unique combination of breath-taking scenery and an exhilarating ride as we follow the braided, glacier-fed rivers by jet boat with exciting 360 degree spins along the way. Your guides give you their authentic touch, talking about the area’s rich history, the Greenstone trail, and countless Maori legends. We’ll also take the chance to tie up the boat and let you walk amongst the ancient beech tree forests – an atmosphere you may recognize from The Lord of the Rings films. It’s a complete Queenstown to Glenorchy experience in an untouched natural wonderland.



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.

Approximate Distance: 263 km | 164 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 30 mins

Accommodation: Mount Cook - 2 Nights

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, refridgerator and a patio or balcony so you can soak up the stunning mountain views. Chill out in the Chamois Bar & Grill, a favourite of travelers and locals alike.
Mt Cook Lodge & Motels


Tasman Glacier Heli Hike

Hike and explore the 'white ice' of New Zealand's longest glacier at Aoraki Mount Cook. Heli-hiking on the Tasman Glacier offers easy access to the realm of the mountaineer.

With your professional glacier guide, you will fly high onto the “white ice” of New Zealand's longest and largest glacier – the mighty Tasman (Huapapa).

Equipped with glacier boots and crampons and spend the next 2 hours in another world in the mountains. On the return flight home, you’ll fly close by the massive 1,000 metre high (3,200 feet) Hochstetter Icefall on the eastern face of Aoraki/Mt Cook.


Mt Cook to Christchurch

To make the most of your time in the mountains, why not embark on one of New Zealand's finest short walks before you depart for Christchurch?

The Hooker Valley Track is a stunning 11 km (6.8 miles) trek leading to the terminal lake of the Hooker Glacier. The trail winds through the Hooker Valley in the shadow of Aoraki /Mount Cook, crossing the mighty Hooker River on old-fashioned swing bridges. Reaching the lake, you are rewarded by unsurpassed vistas of Aoraki / Mount Cook's south face and the surrounding glaciers.

This afternoon head via beautiful Lake Tekapo, across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch

Approximate Distance: 332 km | 206 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 30 mins

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

Quiet and comfortable accommodation close to the centre of Christchurch. City Central Motel and Apartments offers 26 well appointed, spacious rooms with free off street parking and ensuite rooms. Each unit provides a kitchenette and individual balcony.

City Central Motel and Apartments - Christchurch


Bon Voyage!

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage! Today we say farewell. Return your rental vehicle at Christchurch Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.

Profile picture for user Daniel
What Daniel says about this tour: This is the perfect trip if you are a little short on time this is a door-to-door trip of two weeks. You'll be suprised by just how much you can see and do on this 12 day scenic highlights self drive of both the North and South Islands.
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