New Zealand In Depth

36 days

Indicative cost incl. flights:


A typical 4* holiday costs from

£8,690 per person


(Based on two people travelling. Low season can be a lot cheaper, and peak season or 5* hotels can be substantially more expensive.)


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Day 1
Depart the UK today to begin your New Zealand holiday.
Day 2
You will be in flight today, you may like to consider adding in a stopover en route to New Zealand to break up your journey.
Day 3
Arrive in Auckland. Enjoy the rest of the day orientating yourself in the city. There are many great cafes and restaurants to visit and watch the world go by. You might also like to take a trip up the Skytower for spectacular views of the city.
Day 4
Join a fantastic half day tour of the city of Auckland today where you will see the sites from a local’s perspective. A great tour to get under the skin of the city.
Day 5
Collect a hire car this morning and make your way north to the Bay of Islands. You might like to stop in Whanagrei for lunch by the marina before continuing up to Paihia. Take a short detour to Kawakawa just before Paihia to see their famous international work of art- The public toilets!
Day 6
Join a scenic cruise this morning which takes you around a selection of the islands and the famous 'hole in the rock' and if you are lucky you will also see pods of dolphins along the way. Afterwards enjoy a free afternoon in the Bay. You might like to take the foot passenger boat across to Russell to visit the oldest church in New Zealand!
Day 7
Make your way back through Auckland and on to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula today. Stop in Warkworth along the route for lunch to break up your journey.
Day 8
Today you have a day at leisure. Make sure you visit Cathedral Cove this morning then later on dig your own hot water spa pool at Hot Water Beach.
Day 9
Make your way to the geothermal centre of Rotorua today. You might like to stop in Matamata along route to visit the famous movie set of Hobbiton.
Day 10
Visit one or two geothermal attractions today then this evening enjoy a Maori Cultural experience which includes a traditional Hangi Dinner and a Maori show including in the infamous Haka.
Day 11
Continue your journey to Napier today, on the coastline of Hawkes Bay. On arrival you will have time to explore this beautiful coastal town.
Day 12
Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront this morning and explore the art deco architecture of the town before this afternoon joining a guided wine tour of the local Hawke's Bay wine region in the neighbouring are of Hastings.
Day 13
Make your way through the pretty Wairarapa region to Wellington today. You might like to stop in Martinborough for a look round the vineyards. On arrival in Wellington drop your hire car off and spend the afternoon at leisure.
Day 14
Enjoy a free day in Wellington today. Take the cable car up to the botanical gardens or spend time in the fantastic Te Papa Museum. If you are a Lord Of The Rings tour of Weta Workshop.
Day 15
Today you take the interislander ferry to the South Island, enjoying the scenery of the Marlborough Sounds as you approach Picton. Make sure you are on deck for arrival into Picton to enjoy the views. Collect a hire car on arrival and make your way to Nelson. You might like to stop in Havelock for lunch to enjoy the famous New Zealand green lipped mussels.
Day 16
Today you have a full day to explore the Abel Tasman National Park. Join a cruise along the coastline and stretch your legs on one of the walking trails.
Day 17
Make your way through Blenheim and the famous Marlborough wine region on your way down the east coast to Kaikoura. This is a beautiful coastal drive so take your time and allow time for photo stops.
Day 18
This morning you will join a whale watching excursion in search of sperm whales. This afternoon you will have time look around the lovely little shops and galleries of Kaikoura.
Day 19
Continue your journey down the coast to Christchurch. From here you head out on to Banks Peninsula and to the delightful waterfront town of Akaroa. Spend the afternoon relaxing in this quaint french inspired town.
Day 20
Today you will join a dolphin viewing excursion, with the option to swim with the rare Hector’s dolphin. This afternoon you can spend exploring Akaroa.
Day 21
Make your way back through Christchurch and continue over the famous Arthur’s Pass, the highest crossing of the Southern Alps. The views are incredible so take your time. Descend to the west coast and make your way to Punakaiki.
Day 22
You have a day around Paparoa National Park today. Start by viewing the famous Pancake Rocks then perhaps visit the seal colony just outside nearby Westport.
Day 23
Today you will continue your journey South and down the West coast to the Glaciers.
Day 24
Start today day with a fantastic scenic flight over the glaciers then relax for the rest of the day in this lovely west coast location. You might like to walk through the valley floor this afternoon.
Day 25
You have a beautiful drive today though the magnificent Haast pass to Queenstown in the Southern Lakes region. This drive is spectacular with lots of opportunities for photo stops!
Day 26
Full day at leisure in Queenstown today. Take a ride on the gondola up for superb views of Lake Wakatipu then enjoy some other activities in the afternoon – there’s plenty to choose from here that will suit everyone.
Day 27
Drive through the undulating Otago region to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park. Visit the Fiordland cinema this afternoon to see Ata Whenua a local film about the Fiordland national park.
Day 28
Today take a fantastic cruise on Doubtful Sound, sure to be one of the highlights of your holiday.
Day 29
Make your way along the pretty Southern Scenic Route to the delightful Catlins region today. The wild coast of this area makes for a great afternoon walk along the beach, whilst keeping your eyes peeled for dolphins and Little Blue penguins.
Day 30
Spend a day exploring the hidden gems of the Catlins – waterfalls, native forest and glorious rugged coastline make for a varied day in this area.
Day 31
You will continue down the Southern Scenic route to Dunedin today. This is one of the best drives in New Zealand and worthy of spending some time with photo stops along the way.
Day 32
Join a guided nature tour on the Otago Peninsula this morning which includes a cruise and the opportunity to view yellow-eyed penguins as well as a visit to the Albatross Centre. This afternoon you might like to visit one of only two castles in New Zealand, Larnach Castle. With it's grand structure and beautiful gardens it is worth an afternoon visit.
Day 33
Make your way north from Dunedin today, first stopping at the fascinating Moeraki Boulders, then head inland to Mount Cook Village.
Day 34
You have the day to enjoy the superb mountain scenery of this area – there are some fantastic walks from the village but also make time to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. You may want to consider a Glacier helicopter flight with snow landing and some star gazing this evening- some of the best star gazing in the world!
Day 35
The final leg of your journey is back to Christchurch today. You will have the evening at leisure. You might like to consider a meal on the Tramway restaurant this evening.
Day 36
Depending on your flight time you may have some time free in Christchurch so go an visit the botanic gardens before heading to the airport for your return flight and the end to your New Zealand adventure.

Everything we do is tailor-made; our itineraries are just suggestions to give you an idea of what is possible. Please contact us so we can tailor the perfect holiday exclusively for you.

Despite being a relatively small country there is so much to see and do in New Zealand. For those who have the luxury of extended holiday time you can pretty much see it all. This is a wonderfully comprehensive self-drive itinerary that includes all the highlights of the North and South Islands along with many interesting places in between. You will have time to have a good look around and really get under the skin of this magical place.

2 nights Auckland – 2 nights Bay of Islands – 1 night North Auckland – 2 nights Coromandel – 2 nights Rotorua – 2 nights Napier – 2 nights Wellington – 2 nights Nelson/Abel Tasman – 2 nights Kaikoura – 2 nights Akaroa – 2 nights Punakaiki – 2 nights Fox or Franz Josef Glacier – 2 nights Queenstown – 2 nights Te Anau – 2 nights Catlins – 2 nights Dunedin – 2 nights Mount Cook – 1 night Christchurch

Where you'll go

What you'll do

Where you'll stay

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