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!


Anne and Elliott Fabrizio

Fun waitomo

Shelley was fantastic and accommodated all our requests quickly and easily. Our vacation was smooth and had everything we wanted!

Anne and Elliott Fabrizio – USA

Derek Blades


First Light Travel made everything easy. Toni the agent that worked with me was prompt and provided accurate information. My whole vacation went smoothly and was everything I was hoping it would be and more! I can't thank them enough for how well it all went and how amazing it was, this truly was a trip of a lifetime!

Derek Blades - USA

Melissa Wilson and Paige Larson

The Girls
South Island


Hi Shelley,

We are finally getting back in the groove after a mind-blowing trip of a lifetime. You were instrumental in making this trip run absolutely seamlessly!

We will highly recommend you and First Light Travel to everyone considering a trip to New Zealand.

Thanks so much!

Melissa Wilson and Paige Larson USA


Andrew and Brittany Bean

West Coast
United States of America

Our consultant Shelley was fabulous throughout and made an itinerary that met everything we wanted to do in two weeks. We had a jam packed itinerary, full of adrenaline activities and she did a fantastic job fitting everything in and coordinating enough time for us in between to get to everything. The accomadations were spot on and enjoyable and the whole trip was planned within our given budget. The company presented us a great package with vouchers that made the whole trip flawless. Even when there was a hiccup due to a road closure, Shelley was on top of it and notified us three days in advance. We also had a change to one of our activities which we were notified of and booked into something similar in no time. Over all I would highly recommend this company for a self drive tour of New Zealand. No hassle and minimum planning on your part so one can just enjoy the experience.

Andrew and Brittany Bean - United States of America

Andrew & Bonnie Harpel

Mt Cook
Hooker Valley
Mt Doom
United States of America

We did some shopping around with different travel companies when we first started planning our trip to New Zealand, and First Light Travel was the most responsive and helpful. They helped us put together a trip full of exactly the activities we wanted to do. The result was the most amazing vacation we had ever been on. Future vacations are going to have a hard time living up to this one. Having all of our bookings and travel details taken care of made everything super convenient and easy. Thank you so much for helping us take our dream vacation!

Andrew & Bonnie Harpel – United States of America

Marian & Robert Klein

Hiking in New Zealand

First Light Travel and Deb Evans planned a perfect three week trip for my husband and me. She totally understood both our activity preferences and our level for hotels. We are hikers and it was a complex itinerary,we covered lots of area and activities. Her suggestions were awesome. It was one of the best trips we've taken. I feel we got great value for the cost. (picture is summit McKinnon Pass)

Marian & Robert Klein - USA

Caroline and John Davison

NZ Holiday
United States of America

Thank you, Michelle for your help in planning a bucket list trip we never thought we would take! You helped us plan a pace that was just right for our time on the South Island. We are excited to come back to the North Island this year.

Caroline and John Davison - United States of America

Thomas and Sinden Schoedel

Milford Track

Hi Shelley,

Well, Sinden and I just got back from our long anticipated trip to your neck of the woods and I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know everything went without a hitch.  All of the transfers were flawless, and we had no delays or issues of any kind.  So kudos to you for setting everything up for us and it working so well!  We never could have done it ourselves.  Here’s a little feedback from our trip:

The Milford Track exceeded our highest expectations!  What an incredible experience, and we had great weather the whole time, including a downpour on the third day of the hike which gave us the grandest waterfalls all around!  I will definitely do it again, perhaps in three years as I’d like to bring my son when he graduates from college.  Only this time I would like to spend more time in NZ, perhaps touring some coastal towns and more of the north island.  But plenty of time to think about it.  The last day in Queenstown we did an unguided bike tour of the Gibbston Valley wineries just outside of Queenstown which was the perfect way for us to spend the day.  We started in the small town of Arrowtown, did some gift shopping, and then biked about 5 miles or so to the Valley, crossing the original bungee jumping bridge in the process.  It was a great day sampling some wonderful wines in a beautiful setting!

The night we spent in Auckland awaiting our flight to Tahiti, we went to the city center for dinner and stumbled across the Grill.  While we didn’t have reservations, they accommodated us after a 20 minute wait, which we spent getting a cocktail at their bar.  Hands down the best steak my wife or I have ever had.  If we ever are in Auckland again, we will definitely return there!  Highly recommended.  Pricey, but worth it in our opinions.

Bottom line – we will definitely be back to NZ!  Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Thanks again for everything!!


Thomas and Sinden Schoedel - USA

Michael and Susanne Gruber


Thanks to First Light and especially to Amelia - who guided us in advance and along the journey. It has been the best weeks of the last 20 years. We will come back to NZ and again with First Light as soon as possible!

Michael and Susanne Gruber - Germany

Maureen Hutson and John Chase

NZ Waterfalls
Hiking NZ
Pelorus River
Routeburn Flats

We put this trip together very quickly only two months before, thanks to Rhodri’s itinerary suggestions and the arrangements he was able to make for us.  We felt very lucky about this as we were aware we had left it very late.  Rhodri found us good flight connections and great accommodations throughout New Zealand that were beautiful and yet connected to the local people and the surrounding environs.  My husband and I had requested an active trip and Rhodri delivered a variety of experiences for us so that we had a fabulous time.  We travelled for 16 days and did and saw a lot, giving us a very good appreciation for all that New Zealand has to offer.  Highlights include the Glow Worms Cave in Waitomo, hiking the Tongariro Crossing on a perfect sunny day, hiking along the Queen Charlotte Track after a water taxi ride on the Marlborough Sound out to the trail, kayaking both on a river in Havelock as well as on the ocean in Kaikoura, and the days we spent based in Queenstown.  From that beautiful city we did an excellent day trip out to Milford Sound and a day hike on the Routeburn Track, and very much enjoyed a “down day” where we cruised on a beautiful lake to Mt. Nicholas Farm where we learned about sheep farming followed by a 14 km cycle to Walter Peak sheep station where we partook of an incredible barbecue lunch.  All of our day trips were well-arranged for us and we just showed up and enjoyed the activity.  Many activities were guided, but we did a few on our own as well.  We added in a trip to the Redwoods in Rotorua, a stop at Waiotapu for the geothermal area and did some impromptu hikes in other areas including beautiful Akaroa.  Also a stop at a winery for lunch outside of Blenheim.  First Light Travel and Rhodri were so very easy to deal with and created a wonderful memorable trip for us.  When we needed to change the itinerary  to allow one more day, Rhodri was able to quickly do so.  He was very responsive to my emails.  Our flight arrangements were smooth, the accommodations were nicely appointed and well located, and the car rental went well.  It seems that everywhere we showed up, whether for a rental car, activity tour, ferry ride or the bed and breakfasts and small hotels, people were expecting us and made us feel welcome. 

We costed out the trip at the end and our calculations showed that we actually saved a few hundred dollars by booking with First Light Travel, rather than booking things separately ourselves.  My husband and I highly recommend First Light for anyone considering a New Zealand trip.

Maureen Hutson and John Chase - Canada

Pricing terms

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