10 Days New Zealand Essential Sights
10 Days | All of New Zealand
A brilliant itinerary that focuses on the essential highlights of majestic fiords, the adventure resort of Queenstown, dramatic geothermal and Maori culture of Rotorua.
01 October 2019 -
30 September 2020
NZ$1,277 per person
- 9 nights accommodation
- 9 days small rental car hire
- welcome voucher wallet & driving maps
- expert itinerary planning & booking service
- 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Prices are per person, share twin/double room and in NZ$
A trip of impressive features including the cultural vibe of Dunedin city, tranquil Lake Te Anau, sparkling Queenstown resort on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu. A flight Queenstown to Rotorua (not included in price) whisks you to the North Island's geothermal highlights of Rotorua and the languid beaches near Tauranga.
Amazing Places, Amazing Spaces!
Day 1 - Arrive Christchurch, pick up rental car on arrival.
Kia ora, welcome to Christchurch, the largest city of the South Island. Christchurch offers pockets of perfect as the central city rebuilds after the 2011 earthquakes. Located on the vast Canterbury Plains, with the sweeping coastal curve of Pegasus Bay and the volcanic hills of Banks Peninsula, Christchurch offers surprisingly diverse landscapes. Stroll the graceful Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park, relax beside the gently flowing Avon River or take in the expansive city and mountain views from the Christchurch Gondola.
Day 2 - Drive Christchurch - Dunedin (approx 5 hours 5 mins)
Travel across the broad Canterbury Plains, with the spectacular Southern Alps as a backdrop to the rural township of Ashburton, a major service centre for the local farming district. Ashburton sits between the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers which are known for salmon and sea run trout. Follow the east coast through the small city of Timaru with the beachside attractions of Caroline Bay, botanic gardens, an aviary and wonderful walks. Next is the township of Oamaru it's white sandstone architecture and historic Victorian precinct make this town a worthwhile stop. Along the way perhaps visit the huge spherical Moeraki Boulders on Koekohe Beach, an amazing geological phenomenon, and quaint fishing village of Moeraki. Destination is Dunedin, the vibrant "Edinburgh of the South" with its Victorian and Edwardian architecture and close proximity to the wildlife habitats on Otago Peninsula which include the albatross and yellow eyed penguin colonies.
Day 3 - Drive Dunedin - Te Anau (approx 4 hours 10 mins)
Pass Lake Waihola and cross the Taieri Plains to the Clutha River at Balclutha before heading inland and on to the Southland Plains. Sheep farms dominate the velvet green landscape to the rural hub of Gore before reaching Te Anau, the gateway to the majestic Fiordland National Park. A short side trip to beautiful Lake Manapouri is worthwhile. Te Anau's strategic location to both Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves and its own magical surroundings make it a perfect destination.
Day 4 - Drive Te Anau - Milford Sound (approx 2 hours)
Follow Lake Te Anau's sweeping shores into the stunning Fiordland National Park. Suggested view points include the glassy Mirror Lakes and tranquil Lake Gunn before entering the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel for the descent into magnificent Milford Sound. Mitre Peak dominates the serenity of this dramatic fiord, fringed by lush rainforest and sheer rock walls with cascading waterfalls. You'll soon see why Milford Sound is regarded as the "eighth wonder of the world". After some time at leisure here before retracing the spectacular Milford Road to Te Anau, as you drive north to Queenstown (approx. 4 hours). Enjoy the extraordinary drive alongside Lake Wakatipu, with the majestic backdrop of the Remarkables Mountains, as the vibrant alpine resort comes in to view.
Day 5 - In Queenstown at leisure
With a vast array of outstanding activities includes thrilling river jet boating, out back 4WD trips, white water rafting, bungy jumping, tandem skydiving, hot air ballooning, mountain bike and hiking trails. For a more relaxing day perhaps choose a scenic lake cruise in the historic TSS Earnslaw, visit a high country farm, play a round of golf at one of the many world class courses, ride on the Skyline Gondola for breathtaking views, take a guided Lord of the Rings film site tour or a guided winery tour. Visit historic Arrowtown for insights into the early gold mining days. Queenstown's enticing cafes, restaurants and nightlife will complete the day.
Day 6 - Fly Queenstown - Rotorua (approx 3 hours 25 mins)
Leave your rental car at Queenstown airport and enjoy a short flight over mountain ranges and green plains of the South Island and into the North Island's thermal city of Rotorua, picking up your rental car at the airport on arrival. Domestic flight not included.
Day 7 - In Rotorua at leisure
Make the most of Rotorua's many activities and attractions. Adventurous mountain bike trails and cycle ways, thrilling river jet boating, 4WD outback trips, take to the forest canopy by zip line, scenic helicopter flights over Mt Tarawera and neighbouring lakes. The cultural side of Rotorua offers you traditional and modern Maori performances, hangi feasts and insights into genuine Maori maraes (meeting houses). Self guided and guided tours of geothermal reserves including Te Puia, Waiotapu and Waimangu Valley. The award winning Polynesian Spa is one of the many offerings of spa therapies, so make the most of Rotorua's geo thermal region.
Day 8 - Drive Rotorua - Tauranga (approx 55 mins)
A short drive today to the city of Tauranga, the prosperous harbourside city, which together with its sister resort of Mount Maunganui are two of New Zealand's best loved holiday destinations. With its relaxed beachy atmosphere, Tauranga's downtown heart is a lively waterfront area centred around "The Strand".
Day 9 - Drive Tauranga - Auckland (approx 3 hours 35 mins)
Follow the sparkling waters of Tauranga Harbour to Katikati with its main street alive with colour and artistic talent on display, then on to the small gold-mining village of Waihi featuring the Gold Discovery Centre and Martha gold mine. Perhaps take time to walk the 4km Pit Rim Walkway for amazing views over the town. Green fields, sheep and dairy farms follow you through to fertile Pukekohe, New Zealand's vegetable growing mecca. Auckland city's location, spanning the narrow isthmus between the Manukau and Waitemata harbours hails its well deserved title of City of Sails. The remainder of the day is free to explore the beautiful Auckland waterfront, Viaduct Harbour, Wynyard Quarter, take an optional ride to the top of the SkyTower or browse the fashions at the Britomart precinct.
Day 10 - Depart Auckland
You have the day at leisure until you make your way to Auckland International Airport for your departure flight.
This New Zealand KiwiCombo road trip itinerary can be travelled in reverse and can be modified to suit your individual requirements. Suggested activities are a guideline to some of the special and unique experiences offered in each region but are optional and not included in the KiwiCombo Pass. However we can make reservations for you, just ask!