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.


Bita Bardi

Bita Bardi enjoying the Southern Lakes

I want to thank First light Travel Team for our wonderful 3 week holiday in New Zealand, North & South Island. I dealt mainly with Makela & Suzie and they were both really caring, professional and gave fantastic suggestions.. Despite interruptions from the Cyclone , they worked together to accommodate plan changes. Though I didn’t see some of the original destinations I wanted to, we could not go wrong in NZ since it’s so beautiful and staying positive and flexible in these situations really helped us make the most of our experience and remain safe. Some of our favourite spots were Milford Sound , Queenstown and Rotorua Mauri Dinner & Show.

I wish this company nothing but the best as they stay committed and resilient in an unprecedented time, assisting clients during the cyclone. We are home with many beautiful memories to last us a lifetime. Thank you , First light team for your excellence.

Bita & Christian, Canada

Sheel & Anju Aditya

Franz Josef Helihike

Hi Ashlee,
Thanks for organizing our South Island tour in January this year.
It was a power packed itinerary and covered all the major highlights within 6 days!
Heli-hiking on Franz Joseph Glacier, Milford Sounds & the boat tour at Mt. Cook were truly incredible for us.
Self-driving across the island gave us a good opportunity to absorb the scenic beauty of New Zealand.
The entire tour was well designed and we had no glitches anywhere. Thank you very much.

Sheel & Anju Aditya, Singapore


Anne & Kim Golightly

Anne and Kim enjoying setting sail in the Bay of Islands

We had a wonderful trip to New Zealand and so appreciated the team at First Light Travel who worked with us on those details. Sixty days of a detailed itinerary, and we don't think anything was missed. We are so grateful to them for their help. The lodging and guides were beyond our expectations. Thanks, Jaimee, Emma and all!

Anne & Kim Golightly - USA

Rebecca Waller

Rebecca Waller on the New Zealand Uncovered Tour

I booked the "New Zealand Uncovered" tour through Gina at First Light Travel for 6 family members. We are US citizens, but when checking into this AAT Kings tour, found it was offered at a great price through First Light...half the world away! Gina was helpful from the very first inquiry call. She guided us through the details of payments, visa requirements, connections and travel details. We were happy to meet her when we arrived in Auckland. We would highly recommend working with Gina! And, the tour was fantastic, covering both the North and South Islands. Beautiful and full of adventures, history and culture.

Rebecca Waller, USA

Shanmugam Natarajan, Malaysia

Shanmugam Natarajan from Malaysia, enjoying scenic Rotorua

Awesome country. All terrains in one country. You name it and find it here. Sand dunes for sand surfing, Multihued mountains, colorful rivers, spectacular greeneries, unimaginable beaches, thermal geyser, volcanic soil and stones from clayey ashes to emerald, churning caves, deep down valleys, terrifying forests, lavish lawns, silvery glaciers, all season climate in a day, high scope for ventures, researchers, nature lovers, place for eternity, enduring culture, rich heritage in preserving nature as if born today....Hats off newzeas. Thanks to First light travels for the excellent itinerary and ultimate travel experience.

Shanmugam Natarajan, Malaysia

Weng Ho & Family

Weng Ho & Family enjoy a majestic Southern Alps hot air balloon adventure

After 3 years of 'pandemic hibernation,' my family of 5 urbanites wanted a self-drive holiday in NZ that must carry a few "not's" - not hectic, not too many places to 'tick,' not too long a drive in any one leg (as my energy levels are not that great these days), not too much of the commercial concrete jungle, ... We broadcast our needs to a few travel planners and they came back with proposals of a lower cost. BUT First Light also responded quickly and addressed our needs most desirably. We find that First Light profiled us most accurately and is worth a go.

Yes, First Light stood out amongst equals. Ms Hunapo Marcella was wonderful, empathetic, assuring and is very patient with us though we made multiple adjustments to the itinerary prior to the trip. Even during the trip, she remained responsive and addressed all our needs! The selection of activities she offered us fits our desires snugly - hot air balloon, Hobbiton, geyser, transalpine train ride, whale watching, 1.1km zipline, and a remarkable "retreat" to celebrate Christmas at Mt Cook! Indeed, First Light is a top grade travel planner and is well worth the money spent!!

Weng Ho & family, Singapore

Rik Patel

Rik and family enjoy a 30 Minute Twin Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight

I highly recommend First Light Travel, especially our travel designer, Michelle, who helped us plan an amazing and unforgettable trip for us! We were very satisfied with all the sights we saw and the choice of hotels and motels were on point. The itinerary was very well planned and there was not one part of the trip where we were exhausted, as we were provided enough time to rest. If you're planning to go to the beautiful country of New Zealand, book via First Light Travel and you are sure to get the best support and experience!

Gail and Jeff Summit

Day Hiking
Boston, MA, USA

Gail and I had a wonderful three weeks traveling on the South Island of New Zealand. First Light Travel did an amazing job. We worked with a number of their agents and they listened carefully about the kind of trip we wanted: opportunities to do a lot of hiking, seeing a lot of the South Island but not driving every day and basing ourselves in good areas for exploring. They put together a thoughtful schedule and we were booked into great, comfortable places and all arrangements were conveyed to us very clearly. When we had questions, the agents responded to us quickly and with helpful information. 

We recommend them highly and will use them again when we return to New Zealand. 

Jeff Summit, Boston, MA, USA


Vicki and Jim Ashton


Hi Michelle,

Thanks for organising our 10 day driving trip around The North Island searching for surf. We had a fun time and everything went as planned. The surf gods came out on our second last day

We definitely would recommend you and your travel agents to anyone wanting to visit New Zealand.

Thanks, Vicki and Jim Ashton - UK

Phil and Karen Simmons


We have just returned from a month touring New Zealand with the whole trip being planned by Natalie.  She done us proud and every excursion from bay of islands to scuba diving to the transalpine train ( to just name a few) and hotel was top class and the scenery stunning. The way everything was organised and arranged meant we could travel and enjoy our holiday with all the stress and worry about accommodation taken care of. All questions we had before our trip were answered so we knew what to expect.

If you want to visit New Zealand and want an enjoyable, stress free holiday please take my advice and contact first light travel as I'm sure they will do a custom trip designed just for you.

Thank you so much for all the hard work you done so we didn't have to do any work except enjoy ourselves.

Phil and Karen Simmons UK

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