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


Paula & David Lowe

NZ Holiday
NZ winter Holiday

Daniel planned a fabulous itinerary for our NZ adventure. He selected great highlights for us such as the Milford Sound Cruise, The Alpine train ride and the Mitai Maori Experience. The accommodations at each stop were superb and centrally located. A shout out to Emma as well, helping out when we decided to make a last minute change of plans. It was so reassuring to know you and the First Light team were always reachable before and during our trip.

I am already telling my friends they need to go to NZ and that First Light is the best.

Paula & David Lowe - USA

Martha Ee Jee Ng & Paul Ka

New Zealand

Hi Daniel,

I wanted to give you a good review on your service. You have been most helpful, right from the beginning when we requested you to help us plan our itinerary to the time we land in NZ and up till the end of our trip. We are most impressed by your promptness in responding to me when I call on you to help, when we were stranded in the middle of our journey to Franz Josef. That was a most unforgettable experience!

Thank you so very much for all your assistance, we are most grateful.

Martha Ee Jee Ng & Paul Ka - Singapore

Hollyford Track a wonderful Fiordland experience

Hollyford 1
Hollyford 2
Hollyford 3
Hollyford 4
Hollyford 5
Orewa Auckland

Hi Natalie, Happy Easter!

Hollyford a wonderful Fiordland experience. Thank you for your part in getting us 5 to the Hollyford Track. Both guides Robin & Kyle where excellent! Blessed with excellent weather & fresh swim on the last day a bonus.

Kind regards

Gail Mingins: Orewa Auckland

Kishor Vithlani

Shotover Jet
Northland New Zealand

Emma our tour consultant was excellent. She planned our trip to suit our needs, communicated promptly. Because some roads on west coast were washed away, our itinerary had to be changed, Emma was very good at suggesting alternatives. She also managed to change our accommodation in Invercargill as the hotel we were going to stay had a 6-hour power cut.

We were very lucky to see Kiwi both during the day and at night! - the highlight of our trip. I would have liked to share a video clip , the system does not allow me to do so.

Kishor Vithlani - Northland

Anne and Robert Williams

bird watching

We've always liked to develop our own itineraries when travelling - but often start our research with what's on offer... We were attracted to the bird watching and wildlife self-drive itinerary but wanted it longer and to take in the whole of the East Cape of the North Island.

Amelia Riwai was fantastic: she drafted some suggestions, found appropriate accommodation and activities and tweaked as we made suggestions. We ended up with a two-week trip from Auckland to Wellington with time to revisit places and explore others from our whistlestop tour many years ago. The trip was terrific. We were met at the airport - and given that it was late at night and Auckland waterfront was being renovated, the ease of being taken straight from baggage claim to reception was excellent.

We thoroughly enjoyed Hauraki Gulf and the day trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island - excellent. Our hybrid car was ready and waiting, easy to drive and very economical on fuel - plus free hotel parking in Wellington because of its energy status. All accommodation was as expected - we had opted for a combination of 3 and 4 star - but we probably could have made use of an Esky (or Chilly Bin) for transporting odd bits of fruit, orange juice etc. as we moved between rooms that allowed for some self-catering.

Every tour went ahead as planned and we enjoyed the variety.  We will definitely use First Light Travel when we do a long stint in the South Island 

Thank you, Amelia and staff.

Anne and Robert Williams - Australia


Williamson Family

family holiday
New Zealand

Our travel agent Emma was great and our itinerary was tailored perfectly for our family interests and fitness. The holiday was well organised and easy to use. We had no problems with transportation ( car, train and flights), the accommodation was great and all trip vouchers were well-received ( didn't need to worry about bringing cash). Overall experience was great, the family loved every minute of it.

We would definitely use First First Light Travel again. 

Williamson Family 

Marty and Mark Dennet


Joanne Royce & Richard Zahorchak

nz holiday

Hi Therese.

Not sure if it’s too late for a testimonial on FB but here is ours. If you would like me to change any of the pictures in the collage or want me to change anything in our testimonial let me know.  I hope everyone there is well. Our trip holds a special place in our hearts!

We really don’t know where to start. We travelled to New Zealand earlier this year (before the pandemic) and First Light Travel did an awesome job with our 20 day self-drive itinerary. The accommodations, car, and activities booked for us were spot on. From Hobbiton, to glow worm caves, to hiking (tramping) a mountain, to bubbling mud pools and waterfalls, to wine tours, to cultural shows, to an alpine crossing by train, to cruising intimate fiords, to amazing views on the road, to our final bungy jump. We did so much and experienced things we never imagined, especially at our age. The quality of our tour guides were outstanding. And we loved our rental cars (same make and model) waiting for us throughout, which made us feel safe while driving on the “other side” of the winding roads. Everything was fantastic. We wished we booked a longer stay. When Mother Nature sent us curveballs First Light was there to help. We were booked to cruise Milford Sound but it was flooded so they rearranged and sent us to Doubtful Sound. It was so achingly beautiful with clouds hanging off the lush green fiord hills and the sun and blue sky peeking through, we almost started weeping during the moment of silence.  On our anniversary we were booked to have a heli-ride to Franz Joseph Glazier but the mountain was socked in. No matter, we did local hikes and found Lake Matheson with its majestic peaks reflected in its still waters. And tramping that mountain, all I can say is that was the most physically challenging thing I have ever done in my life. If I wasn’t for our guide (and my husband) I would not have made it through. Finishing that hike was another emotional moment especially with 70 kilometres an hour winds at the summit and being terrified of heights. That made me so brave that we added the bungy jump on our second last day of our trip!

We are definitely planning on returning to tour more of beautiful New Zealand and look forward to working with First Light again.

Joanne Royce & Richard Zahorchak - Canada

Rick and Eileen Bentley


First Light Travel made all the arrangements for our trip of a life time. The 26 day self drive itinerary was custom made to suit our interests and budget. Planning started several months ahead of our journey, communicating with Narissa to prepare a fulfilling itinerary. We started in Christchurch, working our way through the spectacular coast, mountains and lakes of the South Island. We took the ferry to Wellington and completed our North Island journey in Auckland as summer waned into autumn. The trip offered such variety in activities and excursions, the only thing we suggest is adding a few more days, as there is so much to see and do.

Rick and Eileen Bentley - Canada

Bob and Sue Schuette

Independent Coach Tour
United States of America

Salli really listened to what we were interested in seeing and doing. She was very helpful in suggesting activities we probably would not have found on our own. And she did this all in a very short time frame.

We loved Franz Josef glacier was definitely worth seeing. Walking through a rain forest to go see a glacier is absolutely phenomenal. The TranzAlpine Train was awesome! Coastal Pacific train. All the trains and the buses were a very enjoyable way to see the beautiful countryside. Corporate Cabs for private transfers made us feel like royalty.

Salli talked to us about our preferences and gave us an awesome trip!


Bob and Sue Schuette - United States of America

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