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  • Sea kayaking, Coromandel Peninsula
  • TranzAlpine scenic rail journey
  • Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo
    photo credit: Tourism NZ

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Self Drive Tours

south Island

Self Drive Tours

North Island

Self Drive Tours

Windows onto New Zealand - Christchurch to Auckland

Windows onto New Zealand - Christchurch to Auckland
Highlights:
• Start amidst mountains, fiords and glaciers in the South; journey to the golden beaches, volcanoes and glowworm caves of the North

• Experience the TranzAlpine rail journey through the heart of the Southern Alps

• Discover NZ arts & crafts in Nelson and savour world-class wines in Hawke's Bay
Itinerary
Map
Price

ITINERARY (21 days)
Day 1 - Arrive Christchurch

Welcome to the 'Garden City'.

You will be met by our representative on arrival and receive your travel documents before transferring to your accommodation.

The South Island's largest city, Christchurch is exceptionally beautiful with its stunning parks and gardens, the Avon River meandering through the city centre and its dramatic harbour within the flooded crater of an extinct volcano.

Take a punt ride, enjoy walks around the city, experience life on the southern continent at the International Antarctic Centre and be entertained at the Court Theatre, Museum or Art Gallery.

Accommodation:
Quality style: Mid-range Hotel
Superior style: Superior class Hotel
Day 2 - Christchurch - Greymouth - Hokitika (approx 5:00 hours train & driving time)

This morning following your transfer to the railway station, your adventure will commence on the TranzAlpine train journey.

Regarded as one of the top six rail journeys in the world, the TranzAlpine rises almost imperceptibly across the fertile Canterbury Plains before crossing impressive viaducts over river gorges and carving through canyons and tunnels high into New Zealand's southern alps.

There's a brief stop at the alpine village of Arthur's Pass before descending through the long Otira mountain tunnel, to emerge in the verdant West Coast rainforest.

On arrival in Greymouth pick up your rental vehicle for the short drive to Hokitika.

Formerly an 1860's gold rush settlement, Hokitika still has the feel of a frontier town, where you can find your own treasures of gold and jewellery in the cheerful shops.

Prior to travelling to Hokitika, you may wish to make a short detour north to explore the pancake rocks and blow holes at Punakaiki.

Accommodation:
Quality style: Quality Bed & Breakfast
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast
Day 3 - Hokitika - Glacier Country (approx 3:00 hours driving time)

The scenery is dramatic and ever changing as you travel through spectacular forests, across racing torrents and past serene, bush clad lakes.

Nestled between the sea and the high alps, the huge ice-age glaciers Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier descend right into the forests allowing you to take a guided walk or helicopter landing flight on the rivers of ice.

Nearby at Lake Matheson, you may experience the classical reflections of New Zealand's two highest peaks in the mirrored waters.

Accommodation:
Quality style: 4-5* self catering Motel
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast
Day 4 - Glacier Country - Wanaka (approx 4:00 hours driving time)

Your journey continues through the South Westland World Heritage Area, a place of incredible beauty and natural value, over Haast Pass to Wanaka, popular for fishing and boating and snow sports in winter.

Explore Mount Aspiring National Park, enjoy a lake cruise, visit the famous Wanaka Warbirds Museum or challenge yourself at Puzzling World. Wanaka offers an appealing mix of outdoor activities, family fun and fine living.

Accommodation:
Quality style: Quality Bed & Breakfast
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast
Day 5 - Wanaka

Accommodation:
Quality style: Quality Bed & Breakfast
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast
Day 6 - Wanaka - Te Anau (approx 4:00 hours driving time)

Take in the magnificent landscape enroute to the township of Te Anau, picturesquely sited on Lake Te Anau and within easy reach of the delights of the Fiordland National Park.

Accommodation:
Quality style: 4-5* self catering Motel
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast
Day 7 - Te Anau - Milford - Te Anau (approx 4:45 hours driving time)

Travel via the Eglinton Valley, the Homer Tunnel and down the Cleddau Canyon to Milford Sound deep in the Fiordland National Park, to board a cruise and view captivating wildlife surrounded by sheer mile-high mountain walls before returning to Te Anau.

Accommodation:
Quality style: 4-5* self catering Motel
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast
Day 8 - Te Anau - Queenstown (approx 2:45 hours driving time)

Follow the shores of Lake Wakatipu below the jagged Remarkable Mountains into Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.

This alpine town offers an amazing range of attractions including canyon jet boat rides, mountain biking, bungy jumping, helicopter flights, horse treks and 4WD expeditions.

There are also more passive pastimes - wilderness safaris, historic steamer lake cruises, gondola cableway, superb golf courses and gardens as well as uncovering gold-mining artifacts in the quaint town of Arrowtown.

Accommodation:
Quality style: Mid-range Hotel
Superior style: Superior class Hotel
Day 9 - Queenstown

Accommodation:
Quality style: Mid-range Hotel
Superior style: Superior class Hotel
Day 10 - Queenstown - Mt Cook Region (approx 3:45 hours driving time)

Driving through the centre of the South Island you follow the spectacular backbone of the Southern Alps. Huge glacial lakes have been connected by a series of man-made canals to produce hydro-electricity for the nation.

At Lake Pukaki, if the weather is kind, you will see the most stunning view of New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook. Lake Tekapo provides great photo opportunities with its Church of the Good Shepherd and sheepdog statue.

Accommodation:
Quality style: 4-5* self catering Motel
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast

Day 11 - Mt Cook Region - Hanmer Springs (approx 5:00 hours driving time)

The scenic route leads you through the dramatic MacKenzie Country, named after the legendary Scottish sheep rustler who once roamed the area, over Burkes Pass and through the pasture and grain lands of the Canterbury Plains.

At the small alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs, take a dip in the hot pools, enjoy a leisurely forest walk, or an exhilarating mountain bike ride.

Accommodation:
Quality style: Quality Bed & Breakfast
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast

Day 12 - Hanmer Springs - Nelson (approx 4:00 hours driving time)

There's a beautiful drive ahead through the forests of the Lewis Pass, towards the headlands of Nelson.

The Nelson region with its Mediterranean-type climate, lies between the northern fringe of the Southern Alps with its deep lakes and tumbling rivers and the great sweep of sun-drenched beaches.

Explore the Abel Tasman National Park, the boutique vineyards, orchards and market gardens which abound. The Saturday Market showcases many of the hundreds of artists and artisans of the area.

Accommodation:
Quality style: Quality Bed & Breakfast
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast
Day 13 - Nelson

Accommodation:
Quality style: Quality Bed & Breakfast
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast

Day 14 - Nelson - Picton - Wellington (approx 5:10 hours driving time & ferry)

Drive through the Nelson forests to Havelock at the head of the Pelorus Sound. Feast on local mussels for which the area is renowned and uncover treasures in the art, craft and collectables shops.

Follow the Queen Charlotte Drive around the beautiful coastline of one of Marlborough's legendary sounds to Picton.

This afternoon board your ferry cruise to the North Island for the start of a whole new adventure.

Wellington is New Zealand's capital city with its unique parliament building, known as The Beehive. Visit Te Papa Tongarewa the spectacular national museum for an insight into New Zealand culture and psyche. Take in the views of the magnificent harbour ringed by hills from the top of the Cable Car.

Accommodation:
Quality style: Mid-range Hotel
Superior style: Superior class Hotel
Day 15 - Wellington

Accommodation:
Quality style: Mid-range Hotel
Superior style: Superior class Hotel
Day 16 - Wellington - Napier (approx 5:00 hours driving time)

Enjoy the drive northwards and observe the changing vistas of some of New Zealand's most substantial agricultural areas, before reaching the heart of the Hawkes Bay wine growing district and the city of Napier with its classic and colourful art deco architecture. Follow the wine trails, sample award-winning vintages or visit Cape Kipnappers gannet colony.

Accommodation:
Quality style: 4-5* self catering Motel
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast

Day 17 - Napier

Accommodation:
Quality style: 4-5* self catering Motel
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast
Day 18 - Napier - Taupo - Rotorua (approx 4:00 hours driving time)

Today you pass through Taupo situated on sparkling Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake, where you can take in the scenic views of the smoking volcanoes in the Tongariro National Park, before the short journey to Rotorua.

Stop at Huka Falls and see the mighty Waikato River rage between narrow rock walls. Steam arises around you as you travel through the Wairakei geothermal area to Rotorua.

The Rotorua region is alive with bubbling mud pools, boiling lakes, shooting geysers and beautiful lakes. Visit a marae and learn about ancient Maori history and customs, participate in a traditional Maori concert, enjoy a lake cruise.

Accommodation:
Quality style: Quality Bed & Breakfast
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast

Day 19 - Rotorua

Activity: Evening Maori Cultural Experience including Hangi (Dinner)

Accommodation:
Quality style: Quality Bed & Breakfast
Superior style: Superior Bed & Breakfast



Day 20 - Rotorua - Waitomo - Auckland (approx 6:00 hours driving time)

Continue your journey to Auckland New Zealand's largest and most cosmopolitan city, via the Waitomo Caves where you can take a subterranean boat excursion to see the glowworms amongst the sculpted limestone caves.

'The City of Sails' is spread around 48 dormant volcanoes. With its scenic harbours and beaches, Auckland is host to a huge range of water sports especially around the islands of the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park.

Relax on a harbour cruise or ferry ride to delightful Devonport, visit eclectic Viaduct Basin site of the America's Cup village, enjoy the amazing views and Auckland skyline from atop the Sky Tower.

Accommodation:
Quality style: Mid-range Hotel
Superior style: Superior class Hotel

Day 21 - Auckland

Last minute shopping is definitely on the agenda. A visit to Parnell's boutiques will delight, before you return your rental vehicle and catch your departure flight.


Top
Map
Price
Map of Windows onto New Zealand - Christchurch to Auckland
Windows onto New Zealand - Christchurch to Auckland

Style
Quality
Superior
Share Twin NZ$
Share Twin NZ$
   CAR - Intermediate
$ 4938
$ 7193
   CAR - Full size
$ 5187
$ 7441
   4WD - Intermediate
$ 5306
$ 7561
Prices are per person and valid to 30 September 2018
What's Included

Meet & Greet and transfer to hotel on arrival

Transfer from hotel to railway station

TranzAlpine train journey

Automatic intermediate (medium) car, full size car or intermediate 4WD

Quality style - Quality Bed & Breakfasts, mid-range hotels, 4-5* self-catering motels

Superior style - Superior Bed & Breakfasts, superior class hotels

Cook Strait ferry crossing

Evening Maori cultural experience with hangi (dinner)

New Zealand touring information - distances, times, directions between destinations, map

Price Information

Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include 15% GST (Government Goods & Services Tax). Click Here for an online currency converter to convert prices to your own currency (approximate only).

Prices are per person and based on two persons sharing a Bed & Breakfast, hotel or motel room/unit.

Please enquire for prices for single travellers or up to four persons vacationing together.

Rental vehicle: Hire includes basic insurance.
A high season rental surcharge will apply during Christmas and New Year period and all of February.

1 October 2018 - 30 September 2019 prices provided on request.
Enquire
contact us
Tourism Industry Associaton New Zealand - Affiliate Member