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.


This was always going to be the holiday of a lifetime....

Seals Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Kayaking at Okarito Lagoon
Reflections in Fiordland
TSS Earnslaw departing Steamer Wharf
View from the Hermitage Hotel at Mount Cook National Park.

This was always going to be the holiday of a lifetime and so we wanted it to be perfect. We asked Gina O'Neill to create a 16 day tour of New Zealand's South Island for us. We were happy to drive but wanted to be sure we didn't miss any of the main attractions and wanted a little bit of luxury along the way.
Gina did a fantastic job. Our holiday was perfect and the memories will be with us forever. Everything went smoothly from picking up the car, booking into the hotels and arriving for the excursions. It was totally seamless.
The highlight was our 2 nights in Mount Cook. The hotel was fabulous and the view from our hotel room was picture perfect. We can't thank Gina and First Light Travel enough and would definitely recommend the company to anyone considering a similar tour.

Would recommend them to anyone!

Lake Pukaki near Mount Cook
Te Pa Tu Maori Culture experience
Milford Sound Cruise
Punting on the Avon River in Christchurch

Nicole at First Light Travel was very helpful. She arranged our two weeks vacation in New Zealand and my sister and I had a wonderful time on our adventure. Everything went very smoothly on all of our stops and the accommodation was top notch. Exactly what we had expected. The scenic drives were beautiful and we had a very enjoyable trip. Would recommend them to anyone.

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

Heather and Brian Harley


Hi Narissa

Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that returned home to Australia on the 13th March safe and sound after our most enjoyable holiday in New Zealand.

We were so happy with all of the arrangements you made for us and were extremely pleased with all of the accommodation you put in place. All of the accommodation was clean and comfortable and we were able to cook quite a lot of our meals as most had cooking facilities. All of our tours you booked for us went very smooth and we were grateful that you booked us on the Doubtful Sound tour after Milford Sound was closed for people like us travelling independently.

We had such a wonderful trip and no doubt the highlight for us was being able to land on Fras Jozef Glacier. It was cancelled twice due to the low cloud but we were fortunate that we had the time to wait and were successful on the 1pm trip.

We had no hiccups anywhere with tours, accommodation and vehicles.

Thank you once again for all your help in ensuring we had a memorable trip. New Zealand is such a beautiful place and hopefully we will return one day.

We will have no hesitation in recommending you and First Light Travel to our friends.


Heather and Brian Harley - Australia

Kiranmayee Potluri and Setu Pendurthi


Let me start with the planning. Narissa, she was the best! She heard all our suggestions and requirements and made a perfect itinerary. From the minute we landed in NZ we were very comfortable with transport or accommodation. Did I mention we were traveling with a 1 year old , Narissa kept that in mind while planning everything. 

We did not plan any adventurous activities but wanted a nice scenic getaway and that was what we got. On the whole we didnot regret planning our travel with First Light even for a single day from our 9 day trip. I would recommend First Light Travel and Narissa to all my friends

Kiranmayee Potluri and Setu Pendurthi  - USA

Mel and Sue Thompson

Mel Thompson

Found First Light Travel on the internet and gave them a call. I talked to Narissa Phillips who helped us plan and execute a really fun tour. Everything went according to plan. One hotel room was a disappointment but they got us a refund for the inconvenience. They did place us for three nights at the River Resort which was fantastic! We were concerned about driving on the left, but the roads are well marked and safe to drive. First Light Travel included a wonderful comprehensive map guide of New Zealand. This plus the GPS made driving a snap.

Narissa was terrific and thorough, and her charming accent just added to the positive experience with First Light Travel.

Mel and Sue Thompson -  USA

Linda and Bruce Shore

tasman glacier

Michelle was fabulous! She was prompt, attentive, clearly communicated, and when our Heli Hike at Franz Josef Glacier was cancelled due to bad weather, she made sure we received our refund, and she gave us timely updates regarding road closures due to construction and bad weather. And when I left my ipad at the hotel in Mount Cooke, Michelle gave me valuable information about a bus route that would leave Mount Cook in time to get to our next hotel in Christchurch. Because of this, the bus driver arrived later that same day in our new city with my iPad! Michelle is a gem, make sure you don’t lose her!!!!

Linda and Bruce Shore - Canada

Gary & Nancy Houghton


First Light Travel did an amazing job! They took the time to understand our wants, needs and abilities as well as our budget. They planned out our whole itinerary. Hotels, transfers, excursions and car rentals (31 vouchers in all). We were expected and welcomed in every one. Thank you to Jo and Suzie for making our New Zealand experience everything we hoped it would be.

Gary & Nancy Houghton – Canada

Joan and Dave Kaderavek

12 Apostles

My husband and I are experienced travelers and I typically do all the travel planning and booking for our international trips. We are comfortable with public transportation and negotiating our way around new cities. However, anything that I could have planned would not be in any way equivalent to the experience we enjoyed in our 3 1/2 week tour of Australia planned by FIRST LIGHT TRAVEL. Not only did they help us select tours and accommodations that we wouldn't have known about, but they were there when there was an unexpected change in itinerary or when we had any questions or concerns. I would recommend them to anyone who is traveling to Australia or New Zealand.

Joan and Dave Kaderavek - USA

Martin & Helen Clarke

New Zealand Holiday

We totally enjoyed our wonderful adventure in New Zealand. Everything went to clockwork and we were very impressed with the cars, itinerary, and accommodation. The prescribed activities were particularly good and the details/travel times given on our itinerary were very accurate.

Martin & Helen Clarke - England

Pricing terms

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