12 Days New Zealand Geysers to Fiords
12 days | All of New Zealand
The tranquil Southern Coromandel beaches and Rotorua's dramatic geysers contrast with the majesty of the southern alps, alpine lakes and fiords.
(01 Oct 2017 - 30 Apr 2018)
NZ$1540 per person
(01 May - 30 Sep 2017)
NZ$1345 per person
- 9 nights gold motel & 2 nights gold plus hotel accommodation
- 11 days small rental car hire
- welcome voucher wallet & driving maps
- expert itinerary planning & booking service
- 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Prices are per person, share twin/double room and in NZ$
When time is precious, but you still want to see the most popular New Zealand scenic highlights, this 12 day self drive itinerary showcases the best of the best. A domestic flight Rotorua to Christchurch (not included in price) helps to maximise your time on the ground.
Day 1 - Arrive Auckland, pick up rental car on arrival. Kia ora, welcome to Auckland, the "City of Sails', New Zealand's largest and very multi-cultural city. Stroll the waterfront at Viaduct Harbour, famous for America's Cup sailing, savour the dining scene at adjacent Wynyard Quarter, enjoy beautiful beaches as well as boutique shopping at the Britomart, High Street and along Queen Street. The iconic SkyTower offers splendid views of the Harbour Bridge.
Day 2 Drive Auckland - Whangamata (approx 2 hours 15 mins) Take a leisurely drive south through Pukekohe before setting your compass east to the Lower Coromandel region and the idyllic seaside resort of Whangamata. The combination of the Coromandel Forest Park rainforest and the spectacular beach make this one of New Zealand's most popular holiday destinations. Safe swimming and some of the best surf breaks truly earn the town's reputation as the place for sun, sand and surf.
Day 3 Drive Whangamata - Rotorua (approx 2 hours 25 mins) Travel south through lush Coromandel Forest Park. A pause to experience Waihi's rich gold mining heritage or a stroll along beautiful Waihi Beach. Enjoy the fresh green scenery of the Athenree Gorge before you come across the town of Katikati, known for its murals. Roadside stalls are an opportunity to buy seasonal fruit, such as oranges, kiwifruit and avocados. The prosperous city of Tauranga sprawls along the edge of an attractive harbour. There’s a well developed café culture and boat charters are available to take you big game fishing, snorkelling or dolphin watching. Nearby Mt Maunganui is a destination for surfing and beach walking.Continue to the geothermal mecca of Rotorua, famous for its natural hot springs and Maori culture. Adventure, nature and relaxation all comfortably combine to make this a superb holiday destination.
Day 4 Drive 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 5 Fly Rotorua - Christchurch (approx 1 hours 15 mins) Leave Rotorua airport and enjoy a short flight over the North Island and into the mountainous ranges of the South Island. Upon your arrival into the "Garden City" of Christchurch, make your way to your accommodation.
Day 6 Drive Christchurch - Franz Josef (approx 5 hours 30 mins) Traverse the South Island today as you travel from Canterbury's grassy plains to the mystical West Coast. The scenery changes constantly as you drive around a hill, over a mountain pass, across a river, past lakes, ski fields and unique geological features. Don’t miss the ancient monolithic limestone rock formations at Castle Hill. Arthur's Pass, climbing to more than 900 metres through Arthur's Pass National Park, is the highest and most spectacular pass across the Southern Alps. Take time to admire the engineering feat of the Otira Viaduct before descending into the lush coastal rainforest of the South Island's West Coast. Travel through the heritage town of Hokitika renowned for its magnificent greenstone and multitude of shops, galleries and cafes right on the beach. Nearby the Hokitika Walkway offers extraordinary mountain and ocean views. From Hokitika, the native bush-lined road takes you south to the glacier region. Picturesque lakes Ianthe and Wahapo make very scenic picnic lunch spots! The small township of Franz Josef is home to the Franz Josef Glacier - a huge river of ice that has squeezed down the valleys to just 250m above sea level. Enjoy a scenic flight, glacier walk, one of the many short walks around the village or relax in the hot pools complex set within the rainforest.
Day 7 Drive Franz Josef - Wanaka (approx 4 hours 50 mins) Pass through the alpine village of Fox Glacier, perhaps take to visit the glacier or nearby Lake Mathieson, famous for reflecting a near-perfect image of Aoraki Mount Cook. Continue your drive south past Lake Paringa and Lake Moeraki to the rugged Tasman Sea coastline. A stop at Knights Point offers dramatic views. Through the Gates of Haast, follow the Haast River into the extraordinary, remote beauty of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Skirt the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea to the resort town of Wanaka with its mirror lake shores and rugged mountainous backdrop. The perfect destination for outdoor adventure - from jet boating up the Matukituki River, outback 4WD safaris, mountain biking and tandem paragliding for those who want a bit of adventure, to more leisurely attractions such as Puzzling World, a round of golf with stunning lake views, a scenic lake cruise or a guided tour of local vineyards. A lakeside stroll offers impressive views up the lake towards the remote Mt Aspiring National Park.
Day 8 Drive Wanaka - Queenstown (approx 1 hour) Meander through the fruit growing district surrounding Cromwell, perhaps call into historic Old Cromwell Town for a browse of local art galleries and cafes. The dramatic Kawarau Gorge opens to the wide Gibbston Valley with its hillsides of ruler straight grape vines. Arrive in the resort town of Queenstown, hugging the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by spectacular mountain peaks.
Day 9 Drive Queenstown - Te Anau (approx 2 hours 25 mins) Leave Queenstown and follow the road to Te Anau as it winds round the gentle curves of Lake Wakatipu. The scenery here is stunning - lakeside vistas are framed by the rugged face of the magnificent Remarkables mountain range. Easy rolling countryside soon leads you to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the biggest of the South Island’s many lakes. Nestled on the shores of the lake is the township of Te Anau which offers a picturesque landscape with its blue lakes, spectacular mountains and lush forests as well as being the gateway Milford's spectacular walking tracks and famous fiords.
Day 10 In Te Anau at leisure As gateway to the Fiordland National Park, Te Anau's proximity to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound make it a very popular destination. Take a guided hike on to the Milford Track, a day excursion to Doubtful Sound from nearby graceful Lake Manapouri, visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves, thrilling river and lake jetboating, trout fishing and star gazing. There are choices galore!
Day 11 Drive Te Anau - Queenstown (approx 2 hours 30 mins) Rolling farmland interspersed with native and exotic forest en route to the small settlement of Kingston at the southern tip of Lake Wakatipu. Skirt the lake shore with the imposing backdrop of the majestic Remarkables mountains to reach Queenstown, famous for its outstanding adventure activities, superb wineries and restaurants and sparkling nightlife. Whether it's family fun, romantic honeymoon days or adrenaline rush you are looking for, you'll find it in Queenstown.
Day 11 Depart Queenstown You have the day at leisure until you make your way to Queenstown 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!