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59 Days / 58 Nights - North to South Island - True Essence of Aotearoa Tour for 2 Adults to Include GPS Navigations pre-loaded with your Itinerary
We can amend or add additional days, change accommodations to better suit your requirements or budget, this itinerary is a suggested itinerary for Self Drive Hire allowing you to experience the South Island followed by the North Island or can be done vice versa
Day 1 - Arrival Auckland International - Transfer to Domestic Flight North to Kerikeri - Bay of Islands.
Day 1 - Arrival Kerikeri - On arrival at Kerikeri Airport collect the rental car - Group C Toyota Corolla 5 Door Automatic and to collect your Welcome Pack and Pre Programmed GPS for short drive to Paihia
Day 1- Paihia - Oceanfront Accommodations - 1 Bedroom Apartment with King Bed / Living-Dining-Kitchen / Bathroom and Balcony with sea views for 3 Nights
Day 2 - Paihia - Full-Day Bay of Islands Tour to include Hole in the Rock and Island visit, on route back you can choose to disembark at Russell, this is New Zealand original Capital and well worth a visit, don't forget to visit Sally's on the Russell Wharf - A New Zealand amazing Pie will be your reward. After you will take the local ferry that runs every 30 Minutes (pay on board for this Ferry)
Day 3 - Paihia - Suggested drive to Cape Reinga at the most northern point of New Zealand following 90 Mile beach
Day 4 - Paihia - Drive to Opononi for 2 Nights
Day 4 - Opononi - Small Hotel with harbour views - Queen Double Room with En-suite to include Breakfast
Day 5 - Opononi - Is a twin settlement with Omapere and provides a slice of beachside living in the heart of the Hokianga Harbour. You can visit the Waipua Forest and see Tane Matua Ngahere - The Father of the Forest *NewA white sand beach stretches all the way to Opononi Wharf, where you can catch a water taxi to the giant sand dunes on the other side of the harbour. Dune surfing on boogie boards is a thrill that leaves you sandy but extremely satisfied. Fishing trips can also be arranged at the wharf.
Day 6 - Opononi - Drive to Matakana on the route we recommend a stop at the Kauri Museum.
Day 6 - Matakana - Self-contained Riverside cottage with King Bed / Living-Dining-Kitchen and Bathroom with Terrace overlooking the Rive
Day 7 - Matakana - Day to explore local Wineries, Art and Crafts and Warkworth Town
Day 8 - Matakana - Drive to Auckland our City of Sails
Day 8 - Auckland - Boutique Bed & Breakfast with King Double Room / En-suite with Guest Lounge to include Evening Drink and Breakfast for 3 Nights
Day 9 - Auckland - Day to Explore Auckland we suggest a morning visit to Eden Gardens a short walk from your accommodation, then to explore central Auckland and visit Auckland Domain Museum and Winter Garden where you can see New Zealand flowers and ferns as well as rare and endangered plants.
Day 10 - Auckland - We recommend today you drive to the West Coast via the Waitakere Rain Forest to Murawai Beach to see the Gannet Colonies as well as Piha Beach which was the film set for The Piano. On route back you can enjoy a stop at Western Springs Park,
Day 11 - Auckland - This morning after breakfast you will make your way to the Auckland Wynyard Ferry Port for check-in of you both along with your vehicle for the Ferry to Waiheke Island.
Day 11 - Waiheke Island - Self-contained Apartment with Oceanviews with King Bed - Living Dining-Kitchen and Bathroom for 3 Nights
Day 12 - Waiheke Island - Today you can visit the many Wineries of Waiheke to enjoy tastings and a leisure winery lunch overlooking the ocean (Recommend Mudbrick Winery)
Day 13 - Waiheke Island - Today you can choose to explore more of Waiheke Island there are many historic places and Gardens along with Art and crafts or you can choose to visit one of the beautiful beaches
Day 14 - Waiheke Island - This morning after you have had some breakfast you will make your way to the Ferry terminal on Waiheke for the short cruise to Half Moon Bay where you will drive via the Bird Coast and onto the Coromandel Peninsula up the West Coast where you can stop for lunch at the Old Gold Mining town of Coromandel. There is a funky Railway called the Driving Creek Railways it winds its way up through the forest for great views and is well worth the stop, there is also a Pottery at the Stations. After you continue onto Whitianga, located on Historic Mercury Bay
Day 14 - Whitianga - Boutique Bed & Breakfast with King Bed - En-suite - Sitting Area and full ocean views and a private deck with loungers to include Evening Drink and Breakfast for 3 Nights
Day 15 - Whitianga - Day Cruise Mercury Bay aboard a 1928 Sailing Schooner
Day 16 - Whitianga - Day to explore Native Bush / Giant Kauri Trees / Beaches and Bays / Coastal Walks / Cathedral Cove / Winery Lunch (not included) Hot Water Beach / Shakespeare Reserve
Day 17 - Whitianga - Drive to Tauranga via Hobbiton MovIe and Farm Tour to include Marquee Lunch - After a short drive onwards to Tauranga
Day 17 - Mt Maunganui - Bed & Breakfast with King Room and En-suite to include Breakfast for 2 Nights
Day 18 - Mt Maunganui - Day to explore the local area and visit Mt Maunganui
Day 19 - Mt Maunganui - Drive to Otorohanga (close to Waitomo) via the Blue Springs at Putaruru for a scenic walk alongside the most vibrant blue river, onwards you will stay in Otorohanga for 2 Nights
Day 19 - Otorohanga - Bed & Breakfast with King Room / En-suite to include Breakfast
Day 20 - Otorohanga - Today you will visit Waitomo for Black Water Rafting tour - you can choose to before or after your tour to view the Glow Worm and Caves tour also.
Day 21 - Otorohanga - Drive to Taumarunui in the heart of King Country
Day 21 - Taumarunui - Garden Cottage Accommodations with Queen Bed, Sitting Area and bathroom, surrounded by an award-winning Garden to include Evening Dinner and Breakfast for 2 Nights
Day 22 - Taumarunui - Today you will experience The Forgotten Highway this road is a great adventure seeing how rural communities once lived, steep in history there is much to see and enjoy on the road to Stratford. You can choose to look around have lunch and return via the same route, the views are very different from the way dow, or you can do the loop which takes you through New Plymouth and small villages back to Taumarunui.
Day 23 - Taumarunui - Drive to Rotorua taking you through the heart of New Zealand
Day 23 - Rotorua - Deluxe Motel with 1 Bedroom Executive with King Double Bed, Separate Lounge and to include Continental Breakfast
Day 24 - Rotorua - Full-Day Private Maori Guided Tour to include pick up from your Accommodation for the drive via the Blue and Green Lakes to Lake Tarawera here you will learn of the Maori and their village, take a cruise on this beautiful Lake followed by lunch at the Buried Village, a visit to the Giant Redwood Tree forest and the Maori Living Village where you will see how they live today with hot thermal water to heat their village, you will also see a Maori Cultural Show and visit the Marae.
Day 25 - Rotorua - You will have the morning to explore Rotorua, this afternoon you will visit Rainbow Springs to see our Kiwi Bird then take a tour to a deserted forest where you can enjoy flying canopy tour above the trees.
Day 26 - Rotorua - Drive to Lake Taupo, on the route you will visit Orakei Korako a thermal wonderland set in the Hidden Valley with the finest Silica Terraces in New Zealand, there is a cafe overlooking the lake and the perfect place for lunch. As you near Lake Taupo you can stop at Huka Falls.
Day 26 - Lake Taupo - Deluxe Motel with 1 Bedroom Upper Spa Studio and great views over Lake Taupo and Mt Ruapehu for 2 Nights
Day 27 - Lake Taupo - Day to explore Tongariro National Park, the drive will take you around 45 Minutes via the East Side of Lake Taupo, where you will see plenty of Black Swans. On arrival, there is a great information centre and at 1.00pm you will meet your Private Guide for a guided tour of the best parts of the National Park. You will need to bring a packed lunch and water with you.
Day 28 - Lake Taupo - Drive to Napier the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand
Day 28 - Napier - Art Deco Hotel - Studio Accommodation with sitting area and En-suite for 2 Nights
Day 29 - Napier - Morning at Leisure / Afternoon Art Deco Walking Tour at 2.00pm
Day 30 - Napier - Drive to Wellington the Coolest Little Capital on the route we suggest a stop at the P?kaha National Wildlife Centre where you can see New Zealand only Albino Kiwi Birds.
Day 30 - Wellington - Central Hotel with Premium Studio with King Bed, Living-Dining- Kitchen with Washing Machine/Dryer to include Breakfast for 2 Nights and Parking for bothe Nights (As you will be on the morning Ferry on Day 32 this includes Breakfast)
Day 31 - Wellington - Today you can explore Wellington, we highly recommend a visit to Te Papa Museum and the Victorian Cable car to the Botanical Gardens for stunning views of Wellington Harbour.
Day 33 - Wellington - Drop Rental Car at 08.00am Wellington Port and check-in for Ferry to Picton on our South Island - You will be in the Premium Lounge that gives you free WiFi and Breakfast and a no-kids zone.
Day 32 - Picton - Collect South Island Car Rental - Toyota Corolla 5 Door Auto and drive the short distance to Blenheim
Day 32 - Blenheim - Self-contained Cottage with Queen Double - Living-Dining-Kitchen and Bathroom for 2 Nights.
Day 33 - Blenheim - Half Day private Wine Tour to include a visit to boutique Wineries for Tastings and a Winery Lunch
Day 34 - Blenheim - Drive to Kaiteriteri via Nelson and worth stopping for lunch and to explore the Arts and Craft scene in Nelson and locally at Richmond.
Day 34 - Kaiteriteri - Deluxe Motel Park - Self Contained Unit with Queen Double, Living- Dining-Kitchen and Bathroom with Upper-level views of location for stunning ocean-views for 2 Nights.
Day 35 - Kaiteriteri - Drive the short distance to Kaiteriteri beach at 09.00am to check-in for your Open Day Pass and Ferry into the Abel National Park and to collect your Hamper Lunch so that you can fully enjoy the park and the perfect place with a view for your lunch.
Day 36 - Kaiteriteri - Drive to Punakaiki on the West Coast on route stop at Westport to see the Seal Colonies.
Day 36 - Punakaiki - A Self-contained cottage with Bedroom, Living-Dining-Kitchen and Bathroom with stunning Oceanviews for 1 Night
Day 37 - Punakaiki - Drive to Franz Josef Glacier staying down the scenic West Coast, we recommend a stop at Hokitika for a coffee and to explore some of the shops selling Greenstone, this is called Pounamo by the Maori people and makes a lovely gift.
Day 37 - Franz Josef Glacier - Deluxe Motel with Executive Suite with King Bed, Sitting Area, small kitchenette and bathroom with deck overlooking the Rain Forest for 2 Night to include Continental Breakfast / Suggested evening walk to see Glow Worms on the Terrace Walk
Day 38 - Franz Josef Glacier - Morning Heli flight and Ice Explorer tour onto the Glacier / Afternoon General Entry to Glacier Hot Pools
Day 39 - Franz Josef Glacier to Wanaka - Drive to Wanaka we suggest an early departure as there are many scenic vistas, short to medium walks, Lakes and Rivers to enjoy which we will share with you in your Itinerary.
Day 39 - Wanaka - On arrival, you will be staying at a Resort Hotel with a 1 Bedroom Apartment with King Bed, Living-Dining-Kitchen and Bathroom to include Breakfast for 1 Night (The resort has a great heated pool)
Day 40 - Wanaka - Morning Eco Cruise to Mou Waho Island with a guided walk to a scenic spot to meet the Weka Bird and learn about the efforts of this predator-free island. You will walk and plant a tree and be shown how the ice age carved what you are seeing today. On your return, you will depart for the 1 Hour 20 Minute journey to Queenstown, en-route you have the choice to travel the scenic Cardrona Road stopping at New Zealand's Oldest Pub the Cardona Hotel or via Cromwell as well as some Wineries of the Otago Peninsula and the perfect place for a relaxing Lunch.
Day 40 - Queenstown - Boutique Bed & Breakfast with Queen Double Room with En-suite and views over the Cardona Mountain with Guest Lounge to include an Evening Drink and Breakfast for 2 Nights
Day 41 - Queenstown - This morning you will make your way to Glenorchy, the second most scenic drive in New Zealand taking 1 Hour and at 08.30am you will Check-in for your Dart River Funyak Tour. You will start by getting dressed in protective gear then boarding your Jet Boat for an incredible journey up the Glenorchy River for 1 Hour 50 Minutes into the heart of the Aspiring National Park, that has not changed for millions of years. On arrival, you will have the opportunity to walk in a deserted forest before you climb aboard your Funyaks Canoes similar to the Canadian Canoes as you make your way down the Glenorchy to a lunch location by the river. After you will have the opportunity to canoe up a beautiful gorge that took over a million years to carve the canyon you can experience today, the water is crystal blue and clear to 30 feet beneath you, around the corner you are rewarded with a stunning waterfall. Your journey down the river will continue to where you end and put away your Canoe's and board the 4WD Coach returning you via Lord of the Rings film locations to Glenorchy. After you have refreshed you will return to Queenstown.
Day 42 - Queenstown - This morning you have time for a leisurely breakfast and to explore Queenstown, before Check-in at 11.40am for your Cruise aboard the legendary TS Earnslaw an 106 Year old Steamer on Lake Wakatipu that will take you to Walter Peak High Country Station, here you will enjoy dog herding a sheep shear, before enjoying a delighted BBQ Lunch which you enjoy on the banks of the Lake. On the return, you will depart for the 2 Hour Drive to Te Anau taking you along Lake Wakatipu into the Fiordland National Queenstown
Day 42 - Queenstown to Te Anua - This morning after Breakfast and at your leisure you will depart for Te Anau for 2 Nights in a Bed & Breakfast to include Breakfast
Day 43 - Te Anua to Milford Sound - This morning after breakfast you will drive New Zealand most scenic drive to Milford Sound, on route to Milford you will stop at the reflection pools bathed in the morning light. On arrival at Milford Sound you Check-in for your Cruise at 11.45am with departure at 12.15pm with a Discover Cruise to include Picnic Lunch followed by the Discovery Center.
Day 44 - Te Anua - Drive the short distance to Manapouri for your Check-in of your Overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise
Day 44 - Manapouri - Check-in at 12.10pm for your Overnight Cruise on Doubtful Sound to include Double Cabin with En-suite and shower to include Afternoon Tea / Dinner a small boat or Kayak Activity and Breakfast.
Day 45 - Manapouri - Return is at 11.30am where you will drive to Bluff for the Ferry to Stewart Island, the journey takes 2 Hours 15 Minutes and as the next ferry is 5.15pm you will have time to stop in Invercargill for lunch and to explore this lovely city, the journey from Invercargill is 23 Minutes and check-in will be 4.15pm
Day 45 - Bluff Ferry - On arrival, you will place your car in the paid car park and proceed to Check-in at 4.15pm for your Ferry departing at 5.15pm arriving 6.15pm into Stewart Island.
Day 45 - Stewart Island - Your Host will meet you off the Ferry and transfer you to your accommodation is Guest Cabin with King Bed, Sitting Area / Kitchenette and En-suite Shower room. With the Cabin is the use of a Rental Car to enable you to explore Stewart Island
Day 46 - Stewart Island - Day to explore the beauty of New Zealand most southern colony - (We can book a Kiwi Tour later afternoon - Let us know if you would like this)
Day 47 - Stewart Island - Morning Transfer by the host to Stewart Island Ferry for the 08.00am departure - On arrival at Bluff you will collect you're Rental and drive along the scenic Catlins Coast to Curio Bay. As there are no shops you will have to visit the main supermarket in Invercargill for supplies for your stay.
Day 47 - Curio Bay - Your Accommodation is an oceanfront cabin, basic in its design but clean and comfortable for 2 Nights. A stay here allows you to truly experience this remote location, this bay is frequented by Dolphins and well the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature
Day 48 - Curio Bay - Day to explore Curio Bay, but the perfect time to relax and enjoy the local beach and wildlife.
Day 49 - Curio Bay - Drive to Dunedin enjoying the remainder of your journey along the Catlins, we recommend a side trip to Kaka Lighthouse for great views
Day 49 - Dunedin - Deluxe Apartment Accommodation with Loft Apartment with Queen Double, Sitting area and kitchenette and Bathroom for 2 Nights
Day 50 - Dunedin - Morning to explore the Victorian City and its buildings, we suggest a good lunch as at 3.00pm.
Day 51- Dunedin - Drive to Lake Tekapo taking you via the Moeraki Boulders, Oamaru and inland via Lake Benmore
Day 51 - Lake Tekapo - Self Contained Accommodation with Double Bed with Living / Dining / Kitchen and Bathroom with Views of Lake Tekapo and Mountain Ranges - This region is the best place in New Zealand to see Stars
Day 52 - Lake Tekapo - Drive return today to Mt Cook, the journey is 1 Hour 15 Minutes + Stops - you will have the day to explore the many short to medium walks under the gaze of Aoraki Mt Cook. You will visit this afternoon and included is the Sir Edmund Hilary Centre and 3d Show.
Day 53 - Lake Tekapo - Drive to Akaroa passing through Canterbury towns of Fairlie and Geraldine then making your way via the scenic Banks Peninsula to Akaroa a French Town on a beautiful harbour.
Day 53 - Akaroa - Boutique Bed & Breakfast with Queen Double room and En-suite with Guest Lounge to include Evening Drink and Breakfast for 2 Nights
Day 54 - Akaroa - Morning Swim with the Hector Dolphins, on the return you have time to explore Akaroa and the Giant House is well worth a visit.
Day 55 - Akaroa - Drive the short drive to Christchurch
Day 55 - Christchurch - Bed & Breakfast with King Double Room, Ensuite with Sitting area and Bathroom for 2 Nights, there is a Guest Lounge to include Evening Drink and Breakfast.
Day 56 - Christchurch - Day to explore our Garden City of Christchurch, the Botanical Gardens are a delight as is the Quirky Shipping Container Center, the amazing transformation of Shipping Containers has been so successful it's now a permanent feature
Day 57 - Christchurch - Drive to Kaikoura, taking you via the Waipara Wine Region
Day 57 - Kaikoura - Accommodation is a self-contained full oceanview modern retreat with King Double Bed, Living-Dining-Kitchen and Bathroom for 2 Nights
Day 58 - Kaikoura - Morning Whale Watch Cruise 07.30am always the best and calmest time to cruise to see the Whales up close. On return, you have the remainder of the day to relax and explore Kaikoura's oceanfront town.
Day 59 - Kaikoura - Depending on your International Flight from Auckland you will travel north 2 Hours to Blenheim Airport for an internal flight to Auckland or should you have an International flight from Christchurch then you will return to Christchurch taking 2 Hours 26 Minutes (For those having early departures from Christchurch we can amend route to travel from Akaroa straight to Kaikoura for 2 Nights, then last 2 nights in Christchurch leaving you local to the Airport for those early check-in's)