A 14 day self drive “Quick Kiwi” tour that takes you from the North Island to the South Island, allowing you to experience the urban, the cultural, the remote and everything in between in only two weeks.
Price from €4,200 per person*
Day 1 – Arrive Auckland
Kia Ora and welcome to New Zealand. If you are not too tired, we recommend a leisurely walk along the Auckland waterfront.
Day 2 – Auckland – Waitomo – Rotorua
Driving time approximately 4 hours (367 kms)
Before departing Auckland, we recommend a visit to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and if possible, seeing the Maori Cultural Performance while at the Museum.
Once you leave Auckland city, you will begin your journey through the rural townships of the Waikato to Waitomo, where you can visit the Waitomo Glow worm caves. You can join a guided tour through this world-famous cave formation, climaxed by drifting silently in a boat through a glow worm cavern lit up with thousands of tiny glow worm lights.
After leaving Waitomo, you can continue on to Rotorua, known as ‘Sulphur City’, a beautiful centre of Thermal activity and Maori culture. We recommend a Maori cultural show with a traditional Hangi for the evening.
Day 3 – Rotorua – Tongariro
Driving time approximately 2 hours (177kms)
Before you depart Rotorua, you may like to visit Te Puia and the Waimangu Thermal valley.
At Te Puia, you can take a guided tour through the thermal valley, including visits to the Kiwi House and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. In the Waimangu thermal valley, one of the most important thermal valleys in the area, you can clearly see the effects of the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera, which changed the landscape of the entire region.
Once you depart Rotorua, you will travel south to the Tongariro National Park. On the way enjoy a morning tea or lunch stop at the lakeside town of Taupo. Take some bread along to feed the ducks. Once you have arrived at Tongariro, you may wish to take a short walk on one of the tracks within the National Park.
Day 4 – Tongariro – Wellington
Driving time approximately 4 hours (336 kms)
Today travel south to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. The city is situated around Wellington harbour, where its houses cling precipitously to the steep hillsides. A clever blend of buildings, both old and new, as well as beautiful vistas of the city and harbour, and a cosmopolitan mix of culture and arts give Wellington its heart, and vibrant atmosphere.
Day 5 – Wellington
Today explore Wellington at your leisure. We highly recommend visiting Te Papa Museum, New Zealand’s National Museum. It offers visitors a unique and authentic look into New Zealand’s history and treasures. Over five floors, you can explore the nation’s nature, art, history, and heritage – from the shaping of its land to the spirit of its diverse peoples, from its unique wildlife to its distinctive art and visual culture.
Enjoy the rest of the day walking along Oriental Parade, travelling to the summit of Mt Victoria or relaxing with a coffee at one of the harbourside cafés.
Day 6 – Wellington – Picton – Kaikoura
Three hour ferry ride and approximately 2 hours driving time (157kms)
This morning return your rental vehicle at the Interislander ferry terminal. Board the Interislander ferry and watch the city sky line of Wellington disappear into the distance as you enter the Marlborough sounds to Picton. On arrival at Picton collect your new vehicle and travel to Kaikoura.
Day 7 – Kaikoura – Punakaiki
Driving time approximately 4.5 hours (370kms)
Start the day with an early morning cruise with Whale Watch Kaikoura. Every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience and the sightings vary. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year-round residents. A typical Whalewatch tour may encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross.
Following your cruise depart Kaikoura and travel West to Punakaiki.
Punakaiki is the gateway to the dramatic limestone country of the Paparoa National Park. It lies halfway between Greymouth and Westport on one of the most spectacular coastal highways in New Zealand. Punakaiki is famous for spectacular rock formations known by the locals as “Pancake Rocks”. They are limestone formations that began forming 30 million years ago. The seabed was raised above sea level by earthquakes to form the coastal cliffs and coastline. The sea, wind and rain have since etched out the soft layers to form the unusual rock formations we see today. When conditions are right, large ocean swells thunder into the caverns beneath the rocks and huge water spouts blast skywards through the blowholes creating a spectacular sight. Tourism activities in the area include canoe adventures, horse trekking, caving and guided walks to name just a few.
Day 8 – Punakaiki – Franz Josef Glacier
Driving time approximately 2.5 hours (220kms)
Depart Punakaiki and begin your journey south along the rugged West Coast to Franz Josef Glacier. Here, we recommend taking an Ice Explorer Tour with the Franz Josef Guides. A short Heli hop from the township of Franz Josef takes you into the remarkable Pinnacles area of the glacier. Here a guide will navigate you through a maze of ice and explain the dramatic environmental changes over the last few years. The Ice Explorer tour includes entry into the Glacier Hot Pools afterwards, which is a great way to relax and wind down after your tour!
Day 9 – Franz Josef Glacier – Wanaka
Driving time approximately 3 hours (269kms)
Depart Franz Josef and enjoy the journey South to the lakeside township of Wanaka. Wanaka faces north across Lake Wanaka, to views of the surrounding mountains, which are often reflected on the lake’s surface on calm days. Poplars and willows grow around the lake’s edge, affording a colourful show during Autumn. Wanaka is best known for boating, fishing, and hiking, and in winter there is fabulous skiing at the Cardrona and Treble Cone ski-fields.
Day 10 – Wanaka – Queenstown
Driving time approximately 1 hour (70kms)
This morning you may wish to take a stroll along the shores of Lake Wanaka, before heading to Queenstown. As you approach Queenstown you will travel through the Gibbston Valley, famous for its many wineries. You may wish to stop at one of the vineyards to sample some of their award winning wines. When you get to Queenstown, we can also recommend taking the Skyline Gondola to the summit of Bob’s Peak, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.
Day 11 – Milford Sound Excursion
Today you will enjoy a full day tour to Milford Sound, in the Fiordland National Park. On arrival at Milford, a cruise on the fiord will take you to the Tasman Sea, allowing you to marvel at the size of this fiord, Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls. A picnic lunch is included on board. In the afternoon, you can return to Queenstown by coach, or you may prefer an optional scenic flight which will take you high over the mountains, glacial valleys, waterfalls, rainforest, coastline, rivers and lakes, before arriving back in Queenstown.
Day 12 – Queenstown – Dunedin
Driving time approximately 3.5 hours (286kms)
Today depart Queenstown and travel along State Highways 8 and 1 via Alexandra and Milton to Dunedin. We recommend a stop at one of the fruit stalls on the side of the road in Cromwell for some tasty treats to enjoy along the way.
Day 13 – Dunedin
Free day in Dunedin.
Natures Wonders will show you the wild side of the spectacular Otago Peninsula with a thrilling cross-country adventure in the ultimate all terrain vehicle, an 8 wheel drive ARGO. You’ll see stunning coastal scenery and an extraordinary range of wildlife, including the rare Yellow-Eyed penguin, in its natural habitat. Get close to breeding colonies of New Zealand Fur Seals and Cormorants, and see Oyster Catchers, Gulls, Paradise Ducks, Hawks and Swallows. One tour covers the Maritime and Military History of Fort Taiaroa, with visits to the wreck of the Tyrone, the largest steamship to founder in New Zealand. A soft adventure experience combined with wildlife and stunning scenery makes it a fun family experience. At the end of the adventure you can relax in the large restaurant area and take in the stunning panoramic coastal view while enjoying some light refreshment.
Penguin Place Conservation Tour - Today’s tour of Penguin Place is an experience made possible by the conservation work done to ensure the future of the Yellow-eyed Penguin (one of the rarest and most endangered penguins in the world). Covered trenches and observation huts will keep you hidden so the penguins will not be frightened and you can observe them going about their daily business in their natural habitat unperturbed by our presence.
Day 14 – Depart Dunedin
Today return your rental vehicle at Dunedin Airport before your departure flight.
Price from €4,200 per person
Package includes 13 nights deluxe accommodation, rental car, admission to Sky Tower, Auckland Museum, Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, Te Puia, Skyline Gondola, Hangi & Concert, Whalewatch Cruise, Franz Josef Half Ice Explorer, Milford Sound Cruise and picnic lunch (including coach transport), and the Interislander ferry. Also included is a personalised Tour Manual with detailed day-to-day driving instructions and recommended activities, New Zealand road atlas and map as well as regional brochures.
*Flights to New Zealand are not included in the above package price. Flights from Germany to New Zealand cost from €1500 and above, depending upon how far in advance you book, the season of travel, the airline, and the route. Please let us know if you would like us to assist you with booking flights to New Zealand.