You are here: Home » New Zealand Holidays & Vacation Services » Self Drive from Auckland

Downunder Delights – 15 Days / 14 Nights

A 15 day self drive itinerary covering the following places of interest in New Zealand including Auckland, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua, Wellington, Picton, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Mt Cook, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, Greymouth,and Christchurch. Daily departures with a choice of 5 vehicle types and a choice of 3, 4, 5 star hotel accommodation.

Includes a self drive rental car with pick up on arrival at Auckland International Airport and for all touring and sightseeing with a choice of five vehicle types, a choice of three standards of hotel accommodation, sightseeing & entrance fees as specified, and daily buffet breakfast at the hotel. Daily departures year round.



Downunder Delights – 15 Days / 14 Nights Itinerary

DAY 01: ARRIVE AUCKLAND: view detail >
DAY 02: AUCKLAND: view detail >
DAY 03: AUCKLAND / WAITOMO / ROTORUA: view detail >
DAY 04: ROTORUA: view detail >
DAY 05: ROTORUA / TAUPO / WELLINGTON: view detail >
DAY 06: WELLINGTON: view detail >
DAY 07: WELLINGTON / PICTON / KAIKOURA: view detail >
DAY 08: KAIKOURA / CHRISTCHURCH: view detail >
DAY 09: CHRISTCHURCH / MOUNT COOK / QUEENSTOWN: view detail >
DAY 10: QUEENSTOWN / MILFORD SOUND / QUEENSTOWN: view detail >
DAY 11: QUEENSTOWN: view detail >
DAY 12: QUEENSTOWN / FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER: view detail >
DAY 13: FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER: view detail >
DAY 14: FRANZ JOSEF / GREYMOUTH / CHRISTCHURCH: view detail >
DAY 15: DEPART CHRISTCHURCH: view detail >

Downunder Delights – 15 Days / 14 Nights Itinerary Detail

DAY 01: ARRIVE AUCKLAND:

Pick up your self drive rental car on arrival at Auckland International Airport. Transfer by self drive rental vehicle to your hotel in the “City of Sails”. The rest of the day is at leisure.


DAY 02: AUCKLAND:

Enjoy a self drive morning sightseeing tour of the "City of Sails" including a drive across the Auckland Harbour Bridge and view the Westhaven Yacht Marina and city centre as you return. Travel along Tamaki Drive with stunning views of the Waitemata Harbour and Rangitoto Island, an extinct volcano which dominates the Hauraki Gulf. Visit the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial in recognition of a former Prime Minister, and enjoy the vista looking back towards the city and across the harbour. Drive through Parnell Village with its restored Victorian era villas which have been transformed into upmarket boutiques and cafes. Continue on to the Auckland Domain, a large inner city park, the major feature of which is the Auckland Museum built in the 1930's with large Corinthian columns at the entrance, and one of the best views in Auckland. Continue on to the extinct volcanic crater of Mt Eden from the top of which you will get panoramic views across the sprawling city in all directions. Optional sightseeing which may be of interest to you today would be a visit to the Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World & Antarctic Encounter, or to go up the Sky Tower for a panoramic view. Return to the hotel. This afternoon is at leisure for Optional activities such as a harbour cruise on the Waitemata Harbour or visit a nearby island in the beautiful Hauraki Gulf or take the ferry to Devonport, or perhaps to explore some of the many beautiful regional parks and beaches around the Auckland region. (Please note that Optional activities mentioned above are not included in the tour costs.)


DAY 03: AUCKLAND / WAITOMO / ROTORUA:

Check out of your hotel and depart Auckland this morning and travel South along the motorway to the Bombay Hills and descend into the lush, green dairy farming region of the Waikato Province, following the Waikato River for part of the way and on to the world famous Waitomo Caves. Take a guided tour through the Waitomo Glow worm caves and view staligtites and staligmites and thousands of tiny glow worms. Continue on to Rotorua via the prosperous town of Cambridge, well known for the many thoroughbred horse studs in the area which have produced some of the top racehorses. Climb over the bushclad Mamaku Ranges and arrive at the “Thermal Spa City” of Rotorua in the afternoon. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax or to go for an Optional soak in the thermal pools of the Polynesian Spa. (Please note that Optional activities mentioned above are not included in the tour costs.) Enjoy a traditional Maori Hangi & Concert this evening.


DAY 04: ROTORUA:

Enjoy a self drive morning sightseeing tour of some of the highlights of Rotorua including a visit to Te Puia Thermal Reserve to see boiling mudpools and geysers and learn about Maori Culture. Also visit the Paradise Valley Springs to see New Zealand trout, birds and wildlife before continuing on to the Agrodome where you will watch a New Zealand Farm show featuring sheep dog demonstrations, cow milking and learn about the New Zealand sheep farming industry and the different breeds of sheep. Return to your hotel afterwards. This afternoon is at leisure for Optional activities such as a soak in a hot pool, a 4WD safari to Mt Tarawera, a scenic flight, a visit to the Museum, or perhaps wander around the city centre and do some shopping, or perhaps explore the surrounding area and perhaps drive to Te Puke or Whakatane on the East Coast. (Please note that Optional activities mentioned above are not included in the tour cost.) 


DAY 05: ROTORUA / TAUPO / WELLINGTON:

Check out of the hotel and drive from Rotorua to Wellington via Lake Taupo, travelling through the large exotic pinus radiata forest of the Kaiangaroa and past the Wairakei Geothermal Valley. Arrive at Taupo township at the northern end of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand and the same size as the island of the Republic of Singapore. Follow the eastern shoreline of the lake to Turangi and climb up and over the Central Volcanic Plateau adjacent to the Tongariro National Park, home to the two active volcanoes of Mount Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe. Continue on south through Waiouru, Taihape and Bulls and follow the West Coast of the North Island to the “Capital City” of Wellington, arriving in the late afternoon. Check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or explore this lively city on your own. The main restaurant and entertainment area is very centrally located in Courtenay Place and close by to the Waterfront as well. There are many bars, cafes & restaurants.

DAY 06: WELLINGTON:

Enjoy a self drive morning sightseeing tour of the Capital City including Parliament Buildings, Wellington Cathedral, Botanical Gardens, Oriental Bay and a panoramic view from the top of Mount Victoria over the city and harbour to the Hutt Valley in the distance below the hills to the north, and south over Wellington Airport and across Cook Strait to the Marlborough Sounds and the South Island. Return to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own or perhaps an Optional visit to Te Papa – The Museum of New Zealand, or a ride on the Kelburn Cable Car. (Please note that Optional activities mentioned above are not included in tour costs.)


DAY 07: WELLINGTON / PICTON / KAIKOURA:

Check out of your hotel this morning and drive from the hotel to the Wellington Ferry Terminal and drop off your rental car prior to boarding the Inter Islander Ferry to Picton. Depart Wellington and sail out of the harbour and into Cook Strait and across to the Marlborough Sounds and the South Island. Cruise up the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton. On arrival at Picton pick up your rental car and drive to Kaikoura travelling via the wine growing region of Marlborough, famous for Savignon Blanc and Chardonnay wines, and drive along the scenic Kaikoura Coast. Check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or to walk around this quaint fishing village and former whaling station. Kaikoura is well known for the many very good seafood restaurants and for the fresh crayfish that abound here.


DAY 08: KAIKOURA / CHRISTCHURCH:


Check out of the hotel this morning and drive to the Kaikoura "Whaleway" Station where you will be taken to the launch for a Whalewatch cruise to observe these giant mammals at close quarters. Afterwards, transfer to the Kaikoura Whaleway Station and pick up your car and continue south for the rest of the journey to Christchurch, travelling along the scenic Kaikoura Coast and through the sheep farming areas of North Canterbury, to arrive at Christchurch in the early evening. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax or explore the “Garden City” this evening. There are many bars, cafes & restaurants.

DAY 09: CHRISTCHURCH / MOUNT COOK / QUEENSTOWN:

Check out of your hotel and depart Christchurch this morning and drive south to Queenstown via Mount Cook. Travel across the long, straight, flat roads of the Canterbury Plains to the farming servicing centre of Geraldine and through rolling hill country to Fairlie, before climbing up the Burkes Pass and into the MacKenzie High Country. Stop at the “Church of the Good Shepherd” on the shores of Lake Tekapo before following the shores of Lake Pukaki to the highest mountain in New Zealand – Mount Cook. There will be time here for an Optional scenic flight over the Southern Alps with a snow landing on the Tasman Glacier subject to the weather conditions on the day. (Please note that the Optional scenic flight is not included in the tour costs.) Depart Mt Cook and continue south via Twizel and Omarama and over the Lindis Pass to the dry and barren Central Otago region and across Lake Dunstan to the fruit growing area around Cromwell. Drive through the scenic Kawarau Gorge and arrive at picturesque Queenstown nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the late afternoon. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax or explore on your own. There are many bars, cafes and restaurants here that are all situated in the same area and very easy to walk around. 


DAY 10: QUEENSTOWN / MILFORD SOUND / QUEENSTOWN:

Full day excursion to Milford Sound. Drive alongside the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath the towering Remarkables mountain range and across the flat Southland Plains to Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park, now proclaimed a World Heritage Park. Pass through Beech forests, glaciated valleys, the Homer Tunnel with its 1:10 gradient, and stunning scenery to reach the majestic Milford Sound. Enjoy a cruise on this world famous fiord which is dominated by Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls. View waterfalls and dolphins, seals, and maybe a few penguins as well as the spectacular scenery. Return to Queenstown in the early evening and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax or experience the nightlife here.


DAY 11: QUEENSTOWN:

Today is a free day at leisure with an opportunity to explore on your own or to experience some of the many Optional activities available here such as Jetboating, bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, gondola ride up Bob's Peak, luge, TSS Earnslaw Cruise across Lake Wakatipu to the Walter Peak Sheep Station, 4WD safaris, a wine tour, a round of golf, a walk and many more options. (Optional activities mentioned above are not included in the tour costs.) Enjoy your time in beautiful Queenstown - the Adventure Capital of New Zealand.


DAY 12: QUEENSTOWN / FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER:

Check out of your hotel and drive to Franz Josef Glacier this morning, travelling through the Kawarau Gorge once more and the fruit-growing area around Cromwell and along the shores of Lakes Hawea and Wanaka to Makarora, following the boundary of the Mount Aspiring National Park, before climbing up and over the bush clad Haast Pass, the southern most route across the 'Great Divide' of the Southern Alps, to the West Coast and the Tasman Sea beyond. Pass through the small settlements of Haast at the mouth of the Haast River and several beautiful lakes surrounded by native bush. Stop at Knights Point to view the seal colony on the beach below and continue on to Fox Glacier further north before arriving at Franz Josef Glacier. Check in to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure to relax or perhaps to take a walk to the Westland Visitors Centre and learn more about the glaciers that dominate this region, or perhaps take a short drive to the terminal face of the glacier.


DAY 13: FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER:

This morning you will be taken on a ½ day guided glacier walk onto the actual frozen ice flow of the Franz Josef Glacier accompanied by experienced Alpine Guides who will explain the local flora and fauna as well as the geology of the glacier. Allow 4.5 hours for this guided walk. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own or perhaps take an Optional scenic helicopter flight over the glacier or walk down to the Westland National Park Visitor Centre and learn more about the glaciers which dominate this part of the West Coast. (Please note that Optional activities mentioned above are not included in the tour cost.)


DAY 14: FRANZ JOSEF / GREYMOUTH / CHRISTCHURCH:

Check out of your hotel and depart Franz Josef Glacier this morning and head north to Greymouth, passing through the small settlements of Harihari, Ross, and Hokitika as well as several beautiful lakes on the way. Travel on to Christchurch via the scenic Arthur’s Pass route across the Southern Alps mountain range to the “Garden City” of Christchurch arriving in Christchurch in the late afternoon. Check in to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax at your hotel or perhaps take a walk around the central city and do some last minute shopping for souvenirs of your New Zealand holiday, or take in the local nightlife at the many bars, cafes and restaurants.


DAY 15: DEPART CHRISTCHURCH:

Your arrangements conclude today with the drop off of your rental car at Christchurch International Airport prior to boarding your departure flight. Bon Voyage! We trust that you have enjoyed your New Zealand holiday with Adventure Pacific.


Downunder Delights – 15 Days / 14 Nights Pricing

No pricing available at this time.