New Zealand Self Drive Tour Reviews

First Light Travel 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 1000 five star online reviews - We are the highest rated New Zealand based travel agent and we have been around for nearly a quarter century!


Throughout the journey, Gina ensured our safety, comfort, and satisfaction were top priorities.

Matamanoa Fiji sunset
Matamanoa Fiji Honeymoon
Helihike honeymoon
Tasman Glacier scenic flight

My husband and I recently embarked on our dream honeymoon to New Zealand and Fiji, and we cannot express enough gratitude to Gina for curating an experience that surpassed all our expectations.

From the moment we began planning, Gina demonstrated an incredible understanding of our desires and crafted an itinerary that blended adventure, romance, and relaxation seamlessly. Our journey started in New Zealand, where we were treated to heart-pounding adventures like white water rafting, zip-lining, and even bungee jumping, balanced perfectly with moments of awe and wonder in a glow worm cave and an unforgettable helicopter glacier hike.

The attention to detail was evident in every choice of accommodation, each providing a unique and luxurious experience. The handpicked activities were not only thrilling but also allowed us to immerse ourselves in the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand.

Upon our arrival in Fiji, the pace shifted to relaxation, and we were enchanted by the pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. Snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs and kayaking through serene lagoons provided the perfect contrast to the adrenaline-filled adventures in New Zealand.

What truly sets First Light Travel apart is their commitment to personalization. Every recommendation for dining and local experiences felt tailor-made for us, enhancing the cultural richness of each destination.

Throughout the journey, Gina ensured our safety, comfort, and satisfaction were top priorities. The seamless coordination of transfers and activities allowed us to focus on creating memories and enjoying the once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Our honeymoon was a testament to First Light Travel's expertise, passion, and dedication to delivering exceptional travel experiences. We wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone seeking a bespoke and unforgettable adventure.

All and all I would strongly recommend First Light Travel and hopefully use them again!

Glenorchy shed
Biking the Wineries
Wanaka Tree

Gina was great to work with! She was very patient with all the changes I had putting the 4 1/2-week trip together. It was a fantastic trip, and we loved every minute of it! It was so nice to have everything taken care of in advance and not have to worry about reservations. Every hotel was booked, every flight was booked, every SUV reserved, and every excursion was booked, as requested. There were no hiccups at all, and everything was taken care of. For a trip that was 4 1/2 weeks long, it was hard to believe that there were snags! I really appreciate all her and her team's hard work...and being available to us when we had some last-minute changes along the way!

We were able to upgrade some hotel rooms (when available) for a better view, especially in Kaikoura where we upgraded to an end room on the top floor and a beautiful view of the sunrise!

We loved the TransAlpine train ride and, in hindsight, would love to have done the train on the east coast as well. All and all I would strongly recommend First Light Travel and hopefully use them again!

Anna was quick to respond and listened to what we were looking for.

Quadbike Central Otago
Wellington Harbour on a stunning day
Hobbit Holes galore

When we started to look for a company to plan our travel to NZ, we were concerned that we would inadvertently find a fly by night company and commit hard earned dollars that would disappear. First Light had great reviews but we also knew that you can pay for people to write false reviews online. It also seemed like all 5-star reviews were a bit suspect. We took a chance and reached out and talked with Anna.

Anna was quick to respond and listened to what we were looking for and sent us a few agendas for us to review. We worked together over time to make it just right. Once we got to town, we had a few self-created glitches and Anna was quick to reply and help out.

We had a great time and First Light Travel was completely legit. We would recommend highly.

The organisation and communication was swift and stress free

Enjoying the Tasman Terminal Lake

We highly recommend First Light Travel to anyone wanting to explore New Zealand. Michelle Srzich took the time to learn about us, and what we wanted to do and see in New Zealand, and the resulting holiday was perfect! Michelle suggested things that we had not heard of, such as the overnight cruise on Milford Sound - one of the highlights of our holiday!

The organisation and communication was swift and stress free. Our dietary needs were easily met wherever we stayed, and our rental car was a perfect size and age.

Thank you Michelle, and First Light Travel, and we can't wait to visit your beautiful country again.

Glorious 3 week South and North island NZ tour by car.

NZ sunset
Waimangu Reserve
Interisland ferry crossing NZ
Edwin Fox Picton

Glorious 3 week South and North island NZ tour by car.

We highly recommend First Light Travel to organise any NZ adventure. We are from the Uk, and visited Aus, NZ and Fiji over a 6 week period during October & November.
We organised our accommodation and activities in Aus and Fiji, but wanted expert local knowledge for our 3 week visit to NZ without paying double commission to UK and NZ agents!
Michelle Srzich was outstanding in listening to our wish list, and then providing suggested accommodation and activities for our trip! We had a couple of back and forths and ended up with a bespoke trip that we had compiled from stories we had from friends who had visited NZ.
A key requirement was to spend a minimum of 2 nights in each location, so that we had time to explore and experience the places we visited rather than just passing through! The trip worked out exactly as planned apart from our boat trip from Kaikoura to see whales. A helicopter is sent out each morning to see if the whales were playing ball! Unfortunately they were not on the day we had planned! We were offered the chance to rebook or receive a refund! We chose the latter, and FLT were able to refund this! The highlights of our trip were:
Queenstown, TSS Ernslaw boat trip across the lake
Mt Cook, glacier walk and visit to “The Old Mountaneers” restaurant in Mt Cook Village.
Return Train trip from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass
Kaikoura dolphin boat trip
Bleinham vineyard cycle tour
Edwin Fox historic boat museum visit in Picton
Ferry crossing from Picton to Wellington
Lake Taupo and Hukka falls visit
Rotorua - Waiotapu thermal Park

It ended up being a glorious trip

Lupins in New Zealand
Moeraki Boulders strike a pose
Takahe at Te Anau
Royal Albatross soars high

Excellent self-drive trip put together by Naeelah at First Light

My wife and I finally had time to put together a New Zealand trip, after a few aborted attempts. None of the guided tours had everything we wanted, so we put together a self-drive with the aid of Naeelah, our tour coordinator. Went back and forth quite a few times on the where's and when's, but it ended up being a glorious trip, if a bit exhausting. (We underestimated our driving endurance.) Would recommend First Light to other travelers; especially those younger than ourselves (68).

Wonderful trip to New Zealand

Scenic flight at Milford Sound
wine tasting central otago
Driving South Island
Milford Sound Cruise
Hot air ballooning

Wonderful trip to New Zealand

We’re just back (Dec 2023) from a trip that included a three week self-drive, mostly through New Zealand’s South Island, organized by First Light Travel. For many years, while travelling the world, we’ve wanted to explore New Zealand. And we couldn’t be more pleased with the results from First Light, especially Danielle, our travel advisor there. In fact, they exceeded our expectations! It was a perfect trip for we 70-year-olds to celebrate our 45th anniversary.

Danielle began our interaction by asking what we enjoy, activity-wise, and what type of accommodations we prefer. So, right out-of-the-gate, this was clearly going in the direction we wanted: a trip customized to our wishes, and not a cookie-cutter itinerary or a check-list of activities.

Danielle is a great listener, very patient, is easy to get ahold of, and a joy to work with. A draft plan was created from that first conference call (which was the response to our emailed contact point). We reviewed it, changed some of our wishes, partly from the great alternatives tabled for us to consider and the opportunity to do more specific research. We started our planning over a year in advance, so this allowed this itinerary to evolve over time and the subsequent calls we had.

The final itinerary was very detailed, including contact phone numbers and vouchers for each activity and hotel. Since many of the activities that we chose were weather-dependent, such as boat trips, a hot air balloon ride, and a helicopter trip, we needed to call and confirm beforehand. One of those numbers went to a recorded message indicating it was out of service. So I simply called First Light Travel’s emergency line and they took care of it for me in a matter of a few minutes.

We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our trip. The drive, the scenery and activities were wonderful. Yes, weather affected two of our excursions, but First Light tracked these and issued a refund for the missed ones within a week of the completion of our trip. And it was fun to run into another Canadian couple, at the Clay Cliffs, whose trip had also been arranged by Danielle.

Unique travel products & Quality of information

enjoying New Zealand's scenery

The holiday of a lifetime! Everything was fantastically well organised, the details on the itinerary were clear and helpful and the activities booked were all amazing! New Zealand must be one of the most beautiful places in the world, and its people were welcoming and gracious, we loved every single minute!

We are so happy we booked our honeymoon with First Light Travel.

Kate Bauer quadbiking

We are so happy we booked our honeymoon with First Light Travel. They took all of the stress and guessing out of planning a two-week trip on the other side of the world, providing excellent activity suggestions and a very thorough itinerary. For anybody travelling to New Zealand for the first time, you will be in very good hands. Thank you for the trip of a lifetime!

A super stress free holiday!

Hooker Valley walk

The trip was amazing and we still can't believe how much we managed to fit in a short space of time! I of course will recommend your services to anyone who I know is intending to travel as it created a super stress free holiday!

Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price