15 Day Aotearoa at Leisure Self Drive TourThere is nothing more enjoyable than a relaxing 15 day tour through our beautiful country. Enjoy days at leisure where you can include additional sightseeing activities or simply sit back and relax, take in the amazing scenery and re-charge the camera.
15 Day Aotearoa at Leisure Self Drive Tour
Come and travel with us on this fantastic 15 day tour of Aotearoa (New Zealand). This tour is planned at a leisurely pace for you to really soak up the gorgeous scenery. We have included a number of leisure days for your own exploration and activities. Bring on the good times....
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Auckland to Christchurch|
Click on the region name to view more information about the region
- 15 day car hire
- 14 nights accommodation
- Superior & Premium accommodation includes breakfast
- Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
- Rotorua sightseeing tour
- Visit Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
- Milford Sound Cruise & picnic lunch
Day By Day Itinerary
DAY 1: AUCKLAND / BAY OF ISLANDS
After collecting your rental car, begin your journey north out of Auckland city crossing the grand harbour bridge.
Its beaches galore as you travel north to Paihia, the main township in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Paihia offers superb sweeping beaches and a wide range of recreational activities. Your choice to relax on one of the golden sand beaches or take a dolphin watch nature cruise, a scenic boat trip to Cape Brett and the ‘Hole in the Rock’ or short ferry to historic Russell.
DAY 2: PAIHIA AT LEISURE
Today you have a day at leisure in the beautiful Bay of Islands. You may wish to explore the far north on to Cape Reinga to see where the Pacific Ocean collides with the Tasman Sea and travel along Ninety Mile Beach or a short ferry ride to historic township of Russell. Or, simply relax and take in the scenery around Paihia. We can include optional activities, just ask us.
DAY 3: PAIHIA / AUCKLAND
Today depart Paihia and travel back to Auckland. Perhaps take a side trip to the Tutukaka coast where the road winds through native bush, pass white sandy beaches, harbours and estuaries. Enjoy the beachside towns of Waiwera and Orewa on the Hibiscus Coast before reaching Auckland.
DAY 4: AUCKLAND / WAITOMO / ROTORUA
Travel south from Auckland through the rich farmland of the Waikato to the region of Waitomo. Enjoy a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the world famous Glow Worm Caves.
Your tour continues with a boat ride through the Glow Worm Grotto, illuminated by thousands of tiny lights from the glow worms suspended from the cave ceiling. Continue east to Rotorua, a thermal wonderland of roaring geysers and boiling mud pools. On arrival into Rotorua visit the Agrodome for a farm tour followed by Te Puia Thermal Reserve for a tour & Maori Cultural performance.
DAY 5: ROTORUA AT LEISURE
Entertaining in any weather, and at any time of the year, Rotorua promises to keep you captivated with geothermal phenomena and special cultural experiences. Geysers, boiling mud pools, Marae stays, Hangi feasts, an authentic pre-european maori village and indulgent spa therapies. Please ask at time of booking if you would like us to book additional activities for you.
DAY 6: ROTORUA / WELLINGTON
Leaving Rotorua, head south through vast pine forests before skirting the edges of Lake Taupo.
The resort town of Taupo sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake. Travel past Lake Taupo and on through the Desert Road where on a clear day you get wonderful views of the towering peaks of Mt Ngaruahoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu before arriving into our capital city of Wellington.
Wellington’s superb restaurants and cafes offer elegant fine dining and popular cuisines from around the world.
DAY 7: WELLINGTON / PICTON / NELSON
Today includes a very scenic ferry cruise across Cook Strait, there’s extraordinary scenery all the way before you reach the picturesque seaside town of Picton.
Continue your journey through the Marlborough vineyards into the dense pine tree lined valley to the vibrant beachside city of Nelson. Relaxation and rejuvenation are priorities here. As well as high sunshine hours, the white curve of Tahunanui Beach and street side cafes.
DAY 8: NELSON AT LEISURE
You have a full day to look around ‘sunny Nelson’ as it’s known to the locals. Vibrant bustling cafes, charming boutiques and funky art galleries waiting to be leisurely explored. If you are interested in going further afield and taking a day trip to the Abel Tasman area, please ask at time of booking for more details.
DAY 9: NELSON / FRANZ JOSEF
Travelling south the Kahurangi National Park is gracing the route for much of the way. The West Coast of the Southern Alps is a truly unique destination. Enjoy lush rainforest, spectacular coastal views and the reflections on bush-fringed Lake Ianthe and Lake Mapourika before reaching Franz Josef. The Franz Josef Glacier, in the Westland National Park, is one of the most accessible glaciers anywhere in the world. Bush walks, spectacular scenic flights, glacier hikes and hot pools feature in this outdoor mecca.
Stay: Franz Josef
DAY 10: FRANZ JOSEF AT LEISURE
Today you have a full day to spend exploring the Franz Josef area. If you are interested in including a Glacier Walk or Heli-Hike option, please ask at time of booking. Alternatively, there are many short native walks in the area or enjoy the beautiful hot pools for a relaxing soak.
Stay: Franz Josef
DAY 11: FRANZ JOSEF / QUEENSTOWN
Departing Franz Josef. Pass through the alpine village of Fox Glacier journey through dense forest, stunning coastal views, rivers and waterfalls. Skirt the beautiful lakes of Wanaka and Hawea, there is something impressive to look at around every corner. On to the vibrant alpine resort town of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu with its backdrop of The Remarkables Mountains.
DAY 12: MILFORD SOUND DAY EXCURSION
A full day tour to the World Heritage listed, Fiordland National Park. Travel by coach with interesting commentary during the journey. Enjoy cruising Milford Sound and viewing the spectacular waterfalls and towering Mitre Peak before returning to Queenstown in the evening.
DAY 13: QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE
A free day for you to enjoy this fabulous resort town. There are dozens of activities available from jet boating, rafting, bungy jumping to a gentler ride up the gondola or a trip across Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw – something for everyone. We are happy to include additional activities into your tour.
DAY 14: QUEENSTOWN / MT COOK / CHRISTCHURCH
Travel through the rugged Kawarau Gorge to Cromwell and then over the Lindis Pass to the vast plain of the Mackenzie Country. Skirt the shores of turquoise blue Lake Pukaki, stop here for outstanding photo opportunities of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, dominated by New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook. Leaving the rolling countryside behind, traverse the green farmland of the Canterbury Plains arriving in Christchurch. Ride the historic tramway, and enjoy vibrant restaurants and cafes.
DAY 15: FAREWELL FROM CHRISTCHURCH
If time permits, you may like to punt on the River Avon or stroll the Botanic Gardens before returning your car and checking in for your onward flight, travel back home with wonderful photos and memories.
Prices valid from 1st October 2020
|Standard||$2,448 NZD||$4,427 NZD||$2,130 NZD||Enquire / Book|
|Superior||$4,286 NZD||$6,728 NZD||$3,369 NZD||Enquire / Book|
|Premium||$5,364 NZD||$9,150 NZD||$3,852 NZD||Enquire / Book|
Tour Type: Self Drive TourA Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.
Frequently Asked Questions – Self Drive Tours
What is a Self Drive tour?
A Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.
What is required to hire a vehicle within New Zealand?
A valid driver’s licence in English is required to hire a rental vehicle within New Zealand. Please note drivers must be over 21 years to hire a vehicle, between 21 – 25 years a young driver surcharge is applicable. We recommend all clients have a credit card for car rental, the card number is then held for a bond. All vehicles are automatic transmission, we do not offer manual transmissions.
What is driving in New Zealand like?
We drive on the right in New Zealand, all rental vehicles are set up for right hand drive. Within the cities, roads are busy, there are motorways and highways. Once out of town most of our roads two lanes, there are some divided carriage ways, however most driving will be on 2 lane paved/sealed roads. It will take you a lot longer than you think looking at the map to get from point A to point B.
What dates do your tours depart?
Our self drive tours depart daily, driving times do vary each day so please consider this when booking departure flights.
What is included in the tour cost?
All tours include accommodation and rental car. Some tours include activities listed in the itineraries. Car hire is quoted including basic insurance, with the option to upgrade to fully comprehensive insurance. A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers will be sent to your arrival accommodation, a comprehensive itinerary will be sent to you prior to your departure. Your personal travel consultant will contact you on arrival, allowing ease of communication whilst you are traveling.
What is not included in the tour cost?
Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, fuel, laundry and optional sightseeing (except where stated in the itinerary) are not included in the tour cost.
How many people can I include in a self-drive tour?
Our largest hire vehicle is 9 passengers and a driver. You can travel in a group, with a number of vehicles but each vehicle must have a licenced driver.
I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.
Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Superior and Premium tour rates include breakfast. There are exceptions where some activities will include lunch or dinner. We are more than happy to make recommendations, please advise if there are any dietary requirements so we can recommend accordingly. .
Is Halal and other speciality food available in New Zealand?
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country, let us now if you require this and we will compile a list for you. We can also offer advice in regards to Vegan and other special requirements.
How will I navigate my way around New Zealand?
You will be supplied with a map in your travel wallet. If you require a GPS, this can be arranged with your car hire, if you are wishing to use your own navigational device, SIM cards can be purchased at the airport. Our comprehensive itinerary will guide you, especially with our personal touches just for you. We are only a phone call away. Most pre booked optional activities will have an informative guide giving you an insight into the activity you have chosen.
Can I add in additional days to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible – we will gladly work with you to make our tours suit your requirements. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra day rates.
What is the difference between the three tour types Quality, Superior and Premium Tours?
Standard: Motor Lodge, apartment style accommodation, self-contained accommodation, ensuite bathrooms. Your rental car is a small compact car.
Superior: 4 star hotel accommodation, includes breakfast. Your rental car is a mid-size car.
Premium: 5 star hotel accommodation, including breakfast. Your rental car is an SUV.
Note all accommodation is reviewed regularly by staff, we have high standards and good relationships with all our providers.
What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we will be delighted to plan a customised tour to suit your requirements, using our 30 years of experience. Our local knowledge will come up with many pleasant surprises for you.
How much luggage can I take on my tour?
You can bring as much luggage as you require, we recommend 1 piece of luggage (max 25kg each), for ease of travel. We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.
How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 45 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a deposit of NZ$50 per person. This deposit is non-refundable. Balance of payment is due 45 days prior to travel. For bookings made 45 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. A 2.5% Credit Card Fee applies to all payments by credit card. You may pay via direct bank transfer to avoid the credit card fee. Bank details will be on your booking advice. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.
What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 31 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit plus a further 10% of the total package price.
Cancellations 15 – 30 days prior to travel: Deposit + a further 20% of the total package price.
Cancellations 0-14 days prior to travel: 100% of total fare (no refund).
Booking amendments made by you: an amendment fee of 10% of total package price will be charged to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.
Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.
Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday. It is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights.
Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated, but not a requirement. It is certainly not expected, nobody will be offended should you wish to.
Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia.
What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase. The above currency conversion page is to be used as a guide only.