Best of New Zealand Self Drive [NZ16]



Auckland, New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand 12 Days / 10 Nights

Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown

Auckland's blend of landscape, Polynesian culture, glistening harbours and modern city environment creates an unbelievable lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world. Not only is Auckland close to the beaches but it is also close to over twelve different Islands. There are 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands in the Auckland region. It is the largest city in New Zealand claiming one third of the entire population of the country.

Rotorua an exciting city with a vast history, tradition and culture. It is surrounded by volcanoes, lakes, parks and is a great place to go hiking or to view native birds and animals. The surrounding areas are a geothermal wonderland, with geysers, boiling mud pools, and steaming craters .Rotorua is also a showcase of Maori cultural activities and a place of exceptional natural beauty.

Then to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city also known as the arts and culture capital. A special blend of heritage buildings, museums and galleries, fine food and live entertainment. The central city is nestled between a beautiful harbour and forested hills. Wildlife sanctuaries, islands, seaside villages, ocean beaches and regional parks provide huge scope for outdoor fun.

Christchurch is just like the rest of New Zealand a city of contrasts. It is a place where its residents continue to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment world-renowned for its beauty. A growing cosmopolitan ambience also adds a touch of excitement without overt flashiness. Everywhere there is an understated elegance that speaks of times gone by and promises a future where anything is possible.

Last stop is Queenstown Adventure Capital of the World. A reputation earned through the actions of a number of locally residing thrill seekers who have developed several unbelievable, adrenalin stirring, sanity-reducing adventures in a wildly exciting environment. Queenstown has, over the years, quietly expanded into all sorts of attractions, including new wineries, art galleries, arts trails and challenging golf courses.



Travel Package Features

[NZ16] Best of New Zealand Self Drive
  • Accommodation - Auckland (1 Night), Rotorua (2 Nights), Wellington (2 Nights), Christchurch (2 Nights), Queenstown (3 Nights)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Auckland, Auckland to Los Angeles
  • Day Tours - Auckland: Harbour Cruise; Wellington: Interislander Ship to Picton, Tranzcoastal Train to Christchurch; Christchurch: Alpine Safari; Queenstown: Gondola Ride, Doubtful Sound
  • Shuttle Transfers - Airport to Auckland Accommodation
  • New Zealand Domestic Flight - Queenstown to Auckland
  • Car Rental - Self Drive from Auckland to Wellington (via Rotorua) (Pick up in Auckland and Drop off in Wellington); Self Drive from Christchurch to Queenstown (Pick up in Christchurch and Drop off in Queenstown)
  • All Other Day Tours are Optional and not included
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.

Travel Package Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - International Flight - Los Angeles to Auckland
From USA to New Zealand Shortly after departing Los Angeles you will be served dinner and you will be given breakfast before landing in Auckland.

Relax, watch some movies, and try to get some sleep!

Please confirm with the airlines at Check-in that they have all your Frequent Flyer information on record.
Day 2 - Shuttle Transfer Airport to Auckland Accommodation
Auckland, New Zealand Travel by shuttle from the Airport to your vacation accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand.

Please note: For airport transfers - 2 suitcases per person, extra pieces may be charged at $5.00 per piece. Surfboards, Bicycles etc - $5.00 each.
Days 2 to 3 - 1 Night Accommodation in Auckland
Travel to your accommodation in Auckland, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Auckland is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, regularly voted one of the best lifestyle cities in the world– renowned as that 'City Of Sails.' Dramatic landscapes and seascapes provide a diverse playground in which a compelling range of attractions are available. Visitors come to enjoy an array of exciting entertainment, leisure, culture and dining possibilities in New Zealand's largest city.
Day 2 - Day Tour - Harbour Cruise
Visit a true thing of beauty and cruise the sparkling waters of Waitemata Harbour!

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Head out on this one and a half hour tour to see the Devonport Naval Base, travel past the township and North Head, then cruise towards the iconic Rangitoto Island as you pass the historic Bean Rock lighthouse. You'll pass under the Harbour Bridge twice and then off to Westhaven Marina to catch a glance at the viaduct harbour bustling with super yachts! This cruise also gives you a chance to "hop-on, hop-off" and discover nearby islands at your leisure.

Daily at 10.30am & 1.30pm. Tours do not operate on Christmas day.
Days 3 to 7 - Car Rental - Pick up in Auckland and Drop off in Wellington
Rental Car in New Zealand Discover New Zealand as you travel by rental car for five days.

Take the opportunity to explore parts of New Zealand in and around your vacation town. Please bring a valid American driver's license with you and be aware that in New Zealand people drive on the left hand side of the road.

*Upgrade available to include GPS navigation system.
Day 3 - Self Drive from Auckland to Rotorua
Lake Rotorua Today Self Drive from Auckland to Rotorua (4 hours).

North New Zealand Self Drive:
Auckland to Hamilton (2 Hours), Hamilton to Waitomo Caves (1 Hour), Waitomo Caves to Rotorua (3 Hours)

Today begin your self drive from Auckland to explore the Waitomo Caves and Rotorua. From Auckland travel to Hamilton via HWY 1 (78 miles) Hamilton city highlights include Hamilton Gardens with themed displays of trees, flowers and exotic plants, The Waikato Museum of Contemporary Art and History, as well as The Hamilton Zoo, which provides native birds with enormous freedom in a walk through free flight aviary. Continue on HWY 3 until you reach The Waitomo Caves District (48 Miles). Beneath the surface of this limestone region is a series of vast cave systems decorated with speleotherms (stalactites and stalagmites) and glow worms. Black water rafting is an intriguing way to appreciate the underground splendours of Waitomo, you'll be drifting along subterranean streams on your own personal raft. Next travel on to Rotorua (97 miles). Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so the volcanic activity is part of the city's past and present. Overnight in Rotorua.

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Days 3 to 5 - 2 Nights Accommodation in Rotoura
Rotorua, New Zealand Travel to your accommodation in Rotorua, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Located on the shores of Lake Rotorua your accommodation is only a short walk to the city centre, convention centre, cafes and restaurants. Here in the heartland of New Zealand's Maori culture you'll experience an enveloping warmth, proud spirit, deep sense of history and a quick humour. Picturesque cobbled and lantern lined streetways and striking Tudor architecture celebrates New Zealand's significant colonial history. Travel the region by mountain bike or participate in local bush walks.

Upgrade Available (extra cost):
Lake View Room
Day 5 - Self Drive from Rotorua to Wellington
Explore the North Island of New Zealand on your Self Drive from Rotorua to Wellington.

Rotorua to Wellington - 5 Hours 24 Minutes - 453km

Days 5 to 7 - 2 Nights Accommodation in Wellington
Travel to your accommodation in Wellington, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.


Your 4 Star vacation accommodation is located conveniently in the heart of Wellington, New Zealand. It is a short walk from Westpac Stadium, Te Papa Museum and the waterfront. Your vacation hotel has a direct elevator to Lambton Quay via a shopping arcade. Travel to New Zealand's top wine regions, Wairarapa and Marlborough, which are only a short drive away. Or participate in adventure activities such as mountain biking, sailing, bushwalking and much more.

Photo Credit: Tourism New Zealand
Day 7 - Travel by Ship from Wellington to Picton
The 92 km journey across Cook Strait between Wellington (North Island) and Picton (South Island) takes only 3 hours and has been described as "one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world".



The vessel offers a stunning view of the South Island's Kaikoura ranges and the opportunity to spot dolphins and sea birds.

In addition to the beautiful views the vessel offers Comfortable Passenger Lounges, Food Court, Bar, Coffee Counter, Children's Area, Nursery, Outdoor Observation Decks, Workstations, Movie Theatre and Souvenirs Shop.

Upgrade available to Premium Plus Lounge, with complimentary Wi-Fi, Food and Beverages, available.
Day 7 - Travel by Train from Picton to Christchurch
The Coastal Pacific train journey travels between the delightful port of Picton and Christchurch.

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This 5.5 hour scenic feast is one of the world's most scenic train journeys. The Coastal Pacific travels through 22 tunnels and crosses 175 bridges, one of them being New Zealand's only road-rail bridge.
This journey is a scenic feast of New Zealand, with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other. Travel through some of New Zealand's finest horticultural and farmland areas, and see amazing wildlife such as dolphins, seals and penguins from the comfort of your train carriage.

Photo Credit: KiwiRail Limited
Days 7 to 12 - Car Rental - Pick up in Christchurch and Drop off in Queenstown
Rental Car in New Zealand Discover New Zealand as you travel by rental car for six days.

Take the opportunity to explore parts of New Zealand at your own pace by car.. Please bring a valid American driver's license with you and be aware that in New Zealand people drive on the left hand side of the road.

*Upgrade available to include GPS navigation system.
Days 7 to 9 - 2 Nights Accommodation in Christchurch
Travel to your accommodation in Christchurch, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Your 4 Star vacation accommodation in Christchurch, located on New Zealand's South Island, offers a stylish boutique hotel, just metres from Cathedral Square, major business houses, convention facilities and prime attractions. The city, also known as the "Garden City" offers many opportunities to either rest from your travel or explore the city. Consider traveling to Arthur's Pass National Park, which has an incredible diversity of flora and landscape. Experience a breathtaking journey aboard the TranzAlpine Train winding its way through New Zealand's magnificent Waimakariri Gorge.
Day 8 - Day Tour - Alpine Safari
On your vacation travel by deluxe coach across the Canterbury Plains to the Waimakariri Gorge on New Zealand's South Island.

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Participate in a vacation adventure that won't be forgotten soon. Spray jackets, hats and lifejackets are issued to each passenger before boarding the jet-boat for a ride up one of New Zealand's major snow-fed rivers. Weave in and out of rock faces, white water rapids and high walled rock canyons. From the headwaters of the Waimakariri Gorge you will then travel by four wheel drive through a backcountry tour enroute to Te Kowhi Country Café (lunch). After lunch travel to Arthur's Pass. Your return journey is on the famous TranzAlpine train which is rated one of the top six train journeys in the world. Travel through numerous tunnels, viaducts, river canyons and the rainforest of the Arthur's Pass National Park.

**Does not operate in the winter months June, July and August**
Day 9 - Self Drive from Christchurch to Queenstown
Mount Cook National Park Today enjoy your self drive from Queenstown to Christchurch. ( 8 to 9 hours)

QUEENSTOWN - OMARAMA - Approximately 2 hours

Your trip to Queenstown begins with the beautiful Lindis Pass. Lake Dunstan is a fine place for a picnic before you explore the restored heart of Cromwell. The vineyards of the Gibbston area and bungy jumpers at the Kawarau River Bridge are other options.

OMARAMA - TWIZEL - Approximately .5 hour

You will know you are in Omarama when you see the giant merino sheep statue. This area's unique geography has made it a magnet for gliding enthusiasts. The northwesterly wind blows steadily to form the famous Northwest Arch, a thermal that can take the glider pilots to 10,000 metres.

TWIZEL - MT COOK VILLAGE - Approximately 0.75 hour

The road to Twizel hugs the edge of Lake Pukaki. The exquisite opaque turquoise colour of this lake and others in the area is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles held in suspension. The landscape is a mixture of high country tussock, farmland and snow-capped mountains. Twizel is a well-placed base for mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horse trekking and hiking. It is also a place to spy on the rarest wading bird in the world-the Black Stilt. If you do not have the time to catch your own salmon, the local salmon farm sells it-fresh or smoked.

MT COOK VILLAGE - LAKE TEKAPO - Approximately 1.25 hours

Fishing, kayaking, bike riding, horse trekking and skiing are some of the things you can do. The Church of the Good Shepherd and the sheepdog statue are great photo opportunities. The road to Mt Cook takes you through high country tussock to beautiful Lake Pukaki. You will hug the edge of the lake for most of the way up the Tasman Valley to Mount Cook Village.

The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park includes the highest peak in Australasia (Mt Cook - 3,755 metres). The region attracts mountain climbers, hikers and scenery fanatics. A variety of walking trails begins in or near Mount Cook Village-most take only a couple of hours.

LAKE TEKAPO - CHRISTCHURCH - Approximately 3 hours

The scenic route to Lake Tekapo begins at Rangiora, a rural centre north of Christchurch city. Small towns appear regularly as you travel across the Canterbury Plains through fields and farms.
Explore the old coal mining settlement of Glentunnel before the road climbs over the braided Rakaia River and up to Mount Hutt. There are historic lime kilns at Staveley and Mt Somers, and the pretty town of Geraldine has an interesting car museum.

After Fairlie you will ascend to the region known as the Mackenzie Country, named after the legendary Scottish sheep rustler who once roamed the area.

The settlement of Lake Tekapo is at the southern end of the lake. Fishing, kayaking, bike riding, horse trekking and skiing are some of the things you can do in the area. The Church of the Good Shepherd and the sheepdog statue are great photo opportunities.

Days 9 to 12 - 3 Nights Accommodation in Queenstown
Spend 3 nights in beautiful Queenstown surrounded by rugged mountains, majestic lakes, crystal clear air, and just so much to do.

From the sweeping entrance with its enormous stone fireplace, to the contemporary artworks on every floor, Your accommodation epitomises style and glamour in a wonderfully understated way. Nestled on a hillside overlooking Lake and Mountains, the alpine lodge-style design truly embraces its alpine setting and is superbly located in central Queenstown only minute's walk from the resort's renowned dining and shopping precinct.

Upgrade Available (extra cost):
Lake View Room
Day 9 - Day Tour - Gondola Ride
One of the first sights to captivate visitors to Queenstown is the distinctive outline of the Skyline complex high above town.


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Located an easy 5 minute walk from central Queenstown and exclusively accessed by scenic gondola, Skyline Gondola, Restaurant & Luge is a must-see attraction during your visit to Queenstown, New Zealand. The best views in the region are found here spread out in a spectacular 220 degree panorama, with breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkable mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. It's truly magnificent and awe-inspiring!

Of course there's more to do than just admire the view! For an additional cost you can:
<ul><li>Enjoy a dinner or relax in the bar in the Skyline Restaurant. Casual dining is also available during the day in the Cafe. </li>
<li>Thrill seekers can hurtle down the winding downhill Skyline Luge. Purpose built Luge carts put you in complete control as you take on a half-mile of banked corners, tunnels and dippers. Once you’ve conquered the course, hop on the chairlift and do it all again, and again, and again. Gentle and leisurely or steep and adventurous, you’ll be hooked.</li>
<li>Explore the southern night sky of Queenstown with a guided tour of the galaxy and learn about the stars, nebulae and planets that make up our solar system and beyond. </li></ul>

Ask your Destination Specialist about available combo packages to make your day at Skyline more enjoyable.

Various walking tracks can also be accessed from Skyline, from an easy 30 minute walk to a full day hike.
Day 10 - Day Tour - Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound, Queenstown, New Zealand When you discover Doubtful Sound you will be struck by its silence, a silence broken only by birdsong, or maybe the rushing of a distant waterfall.

Your Doubtful Sound adventure begins as you cruise the crystal clear waters of Lake Manapouri. Then its over Wilmot Pass, stopping along the way to experience some of Fiordland's densest rainforest and to view the colourful alpine moss gardens.

On reaching Deep Cove, you will board our spacious catamaran for a three hour cruise that takes in the most dramatic scenery of Doubtful Sound. Our skippers provide a detailed commentary and point out highlights. Keep a look out for wildlife as bottlenose dolphins frequently come alongside our vessel, fur seals bask on the rocks around the fiord and rare penguins can at times be observed. Full Day Tour.

*A picnic lunch can be pre-ordered before your tour for an additional cost. There is also a selection of cafe food aboard the vessel for purchase.
Optional Day Tour (not included) - Shotover Jet
Welcome to Shotover Jet Country, Queenstown New Zealand.

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Get ready for the World's most exciting Jet Boat ride! Acknowledged as the World's most famous Jet Boat operation, many imitate Shotover Jet but for sheer excitement, no one comes close.

It's a thrilling ride - skimming past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet 'Big Red', as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breath taking speeds. And a major highlight - hold tight for the world famous Shotover Jet full 360º spins!

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No visit to Queenstown is complete without "Catching the Canyons" with award winning Shotover Jet, "the World's most exciting Jet Boat ride" and the only company permitted to operate in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons.
Shotover Jet operates every day of the year (weather and river conditions permitting) except Christmas day.
Day 12 - New Zealand Domestic Flight - Queenstown to Auckland
Travel within New Zealand by domestic air from Queenstown to Auckland (North Island).

International flight from Auckland to Los Angeles Today depart Auckland and fly to the USA. Enjoy an in-flight dinner and movie with arrival in the USA. Note: you will be traveling back across the International Date Line. Gain that day back you lost on the way over, you actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Auckland.

Note: Flight may include a stop over in Australia.


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[NZ16] Best of New Zealand Self Drive

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Pricing Details

APPROXIMATE PRICING Twin Share Single Infant Child PERMITTED USA DEPARTURE DATES & FARE RULES
LAND CONTENT ONLY $2,361 $3,277 $1,470 $1,565 International return flights from the USA are not included. Please see detailed itinerary (above) for more information on inclusions. Itinerary can commence any day (subject to availability).
SPECIAL (ECONOMY CLASS) $3,126 $4,042 $2,199 $2,320 15- Feb-2019 - 10-Dec-2019
USA Departures: 15 FEB - 21 JUN, 24 JUL - 17 SEP & 01 NOV - 10 DEC. Expires 17 APR 2019
International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable, Non-Changeable. Other Dates may also apply. For details phone Toll-Free: (888)359 2877
BUSINESS CLASS $9,142 $10,059 $8,251 $8,346 Business Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.
FIRST CLASS $28,906 $29,822 $28,015 $28,110 First Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.

a) All prices are USD$/person (including all Taxes). Subject to availability. Other Conditions Apply (see Terms and Conditions).
b) Land Content Only represents the pricing for the full itinerary as detailed, except the International Flights from the USA (and return) are NOT included.
c) Rates & Seasonality for hotels & tours vary. Pricing (above) assumes Low season rates for all hotels and tours. Travel during High Season & Special Events will attract premiums.
d) Twinshare means Double Occupancy in hotels. Single means Single Occupancy in hotels.




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