New Zealand Self Drive Tour Reviews


To make your New Zealand travel dreams come true you need the right team in your corner.

That’s where we come in! We’ve been helping travellers enjoy the very best of New Zealand since 2001 and have learned plenty of tricks which will help you have a hassle-free and super fun NZ self drive holiday. Here’s what our guests have to say about First Light Travel.

We have over 900 five star online reviews - We are the highest rated New Zealand based travel agent.


Scott Kalish & John Budin


Perfect itinerary. Easy to work with our agent. Very accommodating. Very fair pricing.

Scott Kalish & John Budin, USA

Jack Phillips & Karen De Bord


As for First Light Travel’s performance – absolutely top notch! I give you six out of five stars! The accommodations you chose were excellent, and the tours you arranged were wonderful. Everything worked perfectly. I would have to say that our favorite lodging for the entire trip was Kamahi Cottage Farmstay, in Otorohanga. The Lodge at Lake Tekapo was also incredible (what a view!).

Many people have asked me what my favorite part of the trip was, and I cannot answer. There were many highlights, but they are all so different that I can’t choose just one experience and say “this was the best”. Certainly the Evening Banquet at Hobbiton was one of the top, as was the fly fishing from Queenstown. The Glow Worm caves were amazing, and apparently the tour you chose for us was much better than most of the tours. We heard people saying that the tour they took didn’t allow photography, so the tour company could sell you photographs. Our tour with Spellbound was very personal, friendly, informative and fascinating. The tour of the volcanic valley at Rotorua was interesting. The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre was a bit different than I had expected, but was interesting nonetheless.

In short, you did an AMAZING JOB! Thank you so much for putting together the Trip of a Lifetime.

Jack & Karen, USA

Kim Gaumer


The primary reasons we used First Light Travel were our consultant and the ease of planning/booking. We all totally loved this trip and memories will remain a long long time! We enjoyed all the South Island adventures plus Rotorua fun..we got a tip to drive to and hike Mt. Manganui / bay of plenty on our drive from Rotorua to Auck - the amazingly beautiful big white sand beach and views from the top of the mtn (hike not for the unfit!) we’re truly amazing- .lavender and animal farm in Wanaka was a gem as were the pancake rocks. Nice hike along river in Paparoa park until we saw a 5 foot long black eel! travel distances are quite long driving so be prepared food and gas wise- very few services on south island..

Kim Gaumer - USA

Barbara & Tim O'Rourke


We booked a two week trip using First Light Travel with Michelle as our travel specialist. The experience exceeded our expectations.
The hotels and activities she booked for us were just perfect. We did a self drive from Queenstown to Marahau with a weekend on Waiheke Island. The sites were breathtaking and the excursions Michelle planned were just what we were looking for.

Michelle listened to what we wanted and planned an itinerary to a T. This was the second time we had First Light plan out travel and we will definitely have them book all our trips to New Zealand. Thanks so much Michelle for being so responsive to our questions and to your great suggestions.

Barbara & Tim O'Rourke, USA

Susan & Arthur Krohn


Our experience with First Light Travel, especially Kasey, was great. We had a wish list and a three week time frame and she provided us with most of what ewe asked for. The hotels we all lovely. The transportation, for the most part was safe, convenient and enjoyable.
New Zealand is full of beautiful places and lovely people. We were greeted with warm welcomes and sincere pleasure that we had come to visit. There were so many more places that we would love to visit and we will recommend First Light to all who are interested.

Susan & Arthur Krohn, USA

Tom & Jane Cross


We started working with First Light Travel back in spring of 2020. Due to the pandemic we were finally able to take our trip in 2023. The agents there always kept in touch and were very helpful, even when I kept adding items to the itinerary and adding more days. Once we arrived they were able to help with the minor snags that seem to come up in any travel and always went above and beyond! If we ever get the chance to go back, they will be my first phone call!

Tom & Jane Cross, USA

Lin Lee & Weng Fat


We had a relaxing, enjoyable and beautiful trip to NZ in Dec2022, thanks to First Light Travel. We were meeting some of our other family members from Sydney in NZ, hence we wanted a flexible trip and First light did an excellent job by optimizing our time table .This was our first self drive trip and we were worried if we could manage but Danielle put our mind at ease with her patience and valuable suggestions/ advice . Thank you for a memorable holiday!!

Lin Lee & Weng Fat, Malaysia

John, Cindy & Sean Corrigan


Our trip was outstanding. All the hotels accommodations were great for the 3 of us and their locations were close to everything so we could walk and not have to use our car. Thanks again for helping rebook us on the earlier ferry crossing, it actually worked out good because it gave us time to explore Picton and get a short hike done before boarding the train. You & your team put together a wonderful package for us and the support was outstanding.

We will have good memories of our trip together. Love New Zealand.

John, Cindy & Sean Corrigan, USA

Linda & Sonny Santiago


My husband and I had a truly memorable vacation. We don't travel much and had no idea what to expect. Natalie made sure our bookings were all set and she had our itinerary planned out beatifully. We did a self drive tour of Aotearoa and managed to travel through North and South Islands. There was a moment we needed to reach out to her and she immediately available to help us out!

If I booked this myself I wouldn't know one accommodation to another. The places we stayed were comfortable and met our budget. We even had a few places that exceeded our expectatons. Thank you!

Linda & Sonny Santiago, USA

Diane Thein & Jay Wnuk


Hello Natalie and everyone else who helped put together our trip over the last 3 years. 

Despite having 3 activities canceled our trip was wonderful! The lodgings were in great locations and very nice. We ended up having perfect weather the entire trip. Car rental went smoothly and it wasn't too hard driving on the left.  Loved the windy roads. The entire country was beautiful.  The north island reminded us of home with the green and the cows.  We come from a dairy state.  The south island reminded us of our west but with less towns and people.  

Thank you again for all your help making our bucket list trip a success.  Also both of our races went well.  Jay finished in just over 15 hrs. I tell everyone to use First Light Travel!

Diane and Jay, USA

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