14 Day Luxury New Zealand Self Drive Itinerary

 

Documents and 24/7 Support: We've Got You Covered!

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  

1

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 - 2 Nights

Accommodation:
QT is the newest boutique 5 Star Hotel opened in Auckland November 2020.Set in Auckland in the heart of the Viaduct Harbour, 5 Star QT Auckland offers accommodation with a restaurant, private parking, a fitness centre and a bar.
QT Auckland

2

Waiheke Island - The Hamptons of New Zealand

Waiheke Island is to Auckland as the Hamptons are to New York – the former being on a much smaller scale. Home to beautiful beaches and holiday homes, Waiheke Island produces some outstanding wines. Just 35 minutes by ferry from Auckland, across the beautiful Hauraki Gulf is this 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 internationally award-winning wines. 

Private Wine Connoisseur's Tour including lunch

Indulge your passion for fine wine in this exclusive tour to three of Waiheke's top wine producers. Taste a selection of premium wines and learn about them from the winemaker. Weather permitting, you may also tour the vineyard. You will be accompanied by experienced guides, who have completed a Bob Campbell Wine Diploma course, and are themselves a great wine enthusiasts.

Finish with a superb lunch at any one of the delightful vineyard restaurants. 


3

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

Accommodation:

Discover world-class luxury accommodation within your own piece of paradise. Rotorua’s Treetops Lodge is surrounded by New Zealand’s unique forest and thermal wonderland, tescape for a few days and enjoy the onsite experiences including horse riding, hunting, 4wd tour, mountain biking, guided trout fishing can also be arranged, onsite spa or cooking classes. Privacy and comfort are paramount with Lodge Rooms or exceptionally private Villas.

Tree Tops Lodge

4

Thermal Explorer By Helicopter - Dual Landing

Thermal Explorer By Helicopter - Dual Landing - Mt Tarawera & Orakei Korako

Combine the thrill of landing on Mount Tarawera with a flight that includes spectacular aerial views of our stunning crater lakes, the renowned Tarawera Falls and vibrant Waimangu and Wai-O-Tapu geothermal reserves. Leaving Wai-O-Tapu we descend to follow the Waikato River to the hidden Valley of Orakei Korako. Once landed, you will ferry across the river and begin your land-based tour.

Experience hot springs, gushing geysers and the natural beauty of this geothermal wonderland. Your return flight takes in views of farmland and the Paeroa mountain range before flying over Rotorua City and returning to our lakeside pier.


5

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

One of the most recent luxury boutique hotels in Christchurch, Hotel Montreal is situated overlooking Cramner Square, right on the doorstep of Hagley Park, Christchurch's largest park. Experience absolute comfort and luxury in their beautifully finished rooms, choose from their Deluxe Suite, Penthouse, Twin Bed Suite or Family Suite.

Hotel Montreal - Christchurch

6

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

Rainforest Retreat is centrally located in the heart of Franz Josef Village , Secluded yet handy to every local activity. Nestled in six acres of idyllic native bush at the foot of precipitous mountains the Rainforest Retreat is a inviting place to stay. Each unit was built exclusively to embrace its beautiful, secluded, natural environment providing guests with choices of either forest floor or mid canopy bush views.
Rainforest Retreat

7

Twin Glacier Helicopter Flight with Landing

From Franz Josef Village fly over both the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, soaring first over the townships and then following the ice flow high up into the upper reaches. This 30-minute helicopter flight with an expert alpine pilot takes you over the twin glaciers of Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, with a snow landing at the head of either one.

At the landing site above the icefalls, step out to marvel at the phenomenal glacial beauty of the crevasse-filled landscape below. Your helicopter tour soars above the magnificent carved valleys of the Southern Alps, and includes round-trip hotel transport to the tour base.


8

Queenstown

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.

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

Accommodation: Queenstown - 3 Nights

Accommodation:
Situated on Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge offers luxury suites and villas, each with a private terrace featuring unspoilt mountain and lake views. Accommodation includes pre-dinner drinks with hors d'oeuvres, gourmet dinner, full breakfast and complimentary in-room minibar including domestic beers
Matakauri Lodge

9

Milford Sound Scenic Flight & Cruise

The ideal way to get the full Milford Sound experience, this combination flight and boat cruise delivers the two best perspectives of this world-famous fiord. Flying over the spectacular alpine scenery of the Southern Alps, you'll land in Milford.

The Milford Sound, an amazing 22km-long fiord dominated by Mitre Peak. A cruise on Milford Sound will be an essential component of your time in Fiordland. Tall waterfalls, vertical rock faces, and seals are some of the things you’ll remember. An underwater observatory is an option with most cruises.

Upon return to Milford you'll board your helicopter again to be whisked away for a remote alpine or glacier landing with magnificent views and plenty of time for photographs before returning to Queenstown.

 


10

Picnic on a Peak - Helicopter to a Secluded Alpine Location

This is no ordinary picnic! We take you on a breathtaking helicopter flight and expose you to the dramatic views and stunning beauty of Lake Wakatipu, the Queenstown region.

The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Skippers Canyon, the Southern Alps and beyond Then we will fly you to a remote spot, drop you off for a quiet wilderness champagne lunch and you can call us up on the radio when you're ready to come home.


11

Head to Mackenzie Country

Twizel is situated in the heart of Mackenzie Country, in some of New Zealand's most spectacular high country. Twizel is the closest town to Mt Cook and the Tasman Glacier, Lake Ruataniwha, scene of the world rowing championships, Lake Pukaki, Lake Ohau, Lake Benmore, Lake Tekapo, Lake Aviemore and Lake Waitaki and Omarama the worlds gliding centre.

Twizel's fly fishing rivers and canals including the Ahuriri River and Tekapo River are brimming with world record rainbow trout, brown trout and salmon. The Mackenzie Basin is named after the legendary Scottish shepherd turned sheep rustler James Mackenzie.

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

Accommodation: Twizel - 2 Nights

Accommodation:
Perched on the slopes of the Ben Ohau Range, inside the Aoraki International Dark Skies Reserve, SkyScape boasts panoramic views of the Mackenzie Country and a unique experience of sleeping under the stars, in a bedroom built predominately of glass. Skyscape is located 10 km from Twizel, on Omahau Hill Station, a 6000 acre sheep and beef farm. Guests can hike, take a farm tour or simply enjoy the stunning scenery.
Skyscape

12

Explore 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 snowfields, mountain lakes, and ranges.

Approximate Distance: 65 km | 40 miles  Total Driving Time: 45 mins each way


13

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

Otahuna Lodge is New Zealand's premier historic estate offering modern luxury in the context of a restored Victorian mansion. Only 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre of Christchurch, making it the ideal base from which to explore Canterbury. Wineries, private gardens, championship golf, world-class fishing and even the world’s rarest dolphins are all just a short drive or helicopter ride from the front door.


14

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.


What Michelle says about this tour: Experience the North Island, highlights - the caves at Waitomo and Geothermal Wonderland, Rotorua, and Fall in love with the South Island's magnificent mountains, giant glaciers, untouched wilderness, and delectable cuisine. With some great hideaways, jaw-dropping views, and welcoming locals, this classic holiday destination is guaranteed to win your heart.
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