Ultimate New Zealand

22 day Self Drive - from £1895

A superb 22 day journey of discovery around the North and South Islands with time to stop and explore the beautiful cities and natural wonders.


  • Thermal pools at Rotorua
  • New Zealand’s capital Wellington
  • Marlborough wine region
  • Mountainous lakes of Te Anau
  • The cities of Auckland and Christchurch
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Auckland

On arrival at Auckland Airport, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. In the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki Makau Rau, the city of 100 lovers. It earned this name because it was a place desired by all and conquered by many. The Auckland region boasts three harbours, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands. Auckland’s population is approximately 1.3 million, making it by far the largest city in New Zealand, with one third of the country’s entire population.

Hotel: Skycity Hotel (Standard) or Eden Park (Deluxe)

Day 2 - Auckland

Spend the day at leisure in Auckland. You may like to visit the Auckland Domain and Gardens – home of the War Memorial Museum, historic Parnell Village, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World or the Sky Tower (the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest tower) for magnificent 360 degree views of Auckland City.

Hotel: Skycity Hotel (Standard) or Eden Park (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 3 - Coromandel Peninsula (160 kms)

This morning collect your Hertz rental car in Auckland and make your way to Pauanui or Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

This area, about 1.5 hours drive from Auckland is renowned for its native pohutukawa trees on its West Coast and the beautiful white sandy beaches on the East Coast. The historical past of this region is evident in the mining relics, logging dams and Maori Pa sites that dot the landscape. The central ranges of native rainforest are also popular with hikers & trampers. Many activities are possible in this area, mainly of a walking or water related nature.

Hotel: Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge, Pauanui (Standard), Brenton Lodge (Deluxe) or Grand Mercure Puka Park (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 4 - Rotorua (160 kms)

Today make your way to Rotorua. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Rotorua is the centre of the intense thermal activity in New Zealand. The city itself is situated on the shores of Lake Rotorua and excellent stream and lake fishing is abundant. Geysers, pools of boiling mud, crystal springs and hot mineral water and richly coloured craters make Rotorua one of the world’s great tourist attractions.

Hotel: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (Standard) or Black Swan Boutique (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 5 - Rotorua

Spend the day at leisure in Rotorua. You may wish to visit to Te Puia (optional own cost) – one of Rotorua’s famous thermal areas, with the country’s largest geyser, Pohutu (playing to about 31m), the Prince of Wales’ Feathers geyser, boiling mud pools and silica terraces.

Hotel: Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua (Standard) or Black Swan Boutique (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 6 - Napier (225 kms)

Make your way to Napier – the art deco capital of New Zealand. The centre of the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand, Napier is renowned for both its Art Deco architecture and also for its wine industry. Said to be one of the warmest regions in the country with warm summers and mild winters. There are many activities from adventure seeking, wine tasting to just browsing around the local art deco shopping areas.

Hotel: The Nautilus, Napier (Superior) or The Crown Napier (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Delxue)

Day 7 - Wellington (330 kms)

Make your way to and spend the remainder of the day in Wellington. Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand lies at the southern end of the North Island. On the shores of a magnificent harbour and surrounded by the rugged beauty of green hills, it is one of the most scenic cities. Some of the best views are obtained from the hilltops especially from the Mt Victoria lookout.

Public buildings of interest are the Dominion Museum and National Art Gallery, parliament buildings and the Alexander Turnbull library. A must see attraction in the “capital” is New Zealand’s National Museum. Named “Te Papa” (our place) it contains a wealth of information on New Zealand’s past, present and future, many interactive exhibits, multi-media database and fascinating collections.

Hotel: Ibis Wellington (Standard) or QT Museum Wellington (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 8 - Wellington

Spend the day at leisure in Wellington. Wellington is proud of its reputation as the Arts and Cultural Capital of New Zealand. The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and the National Opera all call Wellington home. The City Gallery in Civic Square shows national and international contemporary art exhibitions of outstanding quality. Civic Square is home to the Visitor Information Centre and connects the city to the waterfront by the impressive City to Sea Bridge.

There are many art galleries around the city as well as fascinating museums including the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Art at Queens Wharf.

Hotel: Ibis Wellington (Standard) or QT Museum Wellington (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 9 - Blenheim (140 kms)

This morning return your rental car to the Ferry Terminal Depot. Board the InterIslander Ferry for your journey across Cook Strait to Picton. On arrival in Picton collect your rental car and make your way to Blenheim.

Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Blenheim regularly tops the sunshine stakes and has consequently earned the title of the Sunniest Town in New Zealand. Orchards, vineyards and horticultural products benefit from the sunny climate of the Marlborough region. The country’s most extensive area of grapes is planted in the Wairau Valley and has earned international acclaim. The wine trail is now established linking the various wineries and is a popular attraction.

Blenheim is also well known for crafts and the art and craft trail includes more than 30 Marlborough craftspeople open to visitors, including weavers, artists, silk painters, bone carvers, dried flower arrangers, potters and wood sculptors.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Marlborough (Standard) or The Peppertree (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 10 - Nelson (116 kms)

Make your way to Nelson. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Located at the top end of the south island, this area has the reputation for having the most sunshine hours in New Zealand. It also has one of the most scenic National Parks in the country (Abel Tasman National Park) therefore activities such as tramping, swimming, sailing or just relaxing are popular in the region. A number of Award winning wineries and gourmet food industries are found in this area. From the idyllic coves and sounds to the lush private gardens – this region has it all.

Hotel: Rutherford Hotel (Standard) or Cambria House (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 11 - Greymouth or Hokitika (290 or 330 kms)

Make your way to Greymouth or Hokitika. En route you may like to stop at Punakaiki and visit the famous “Pancake Rocks”.

Hotel: The Ashley Hotel Greymouth (Standard) or Breakers Boutique (Delxue)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 12 - Franz Josef (180 or 160 kms)

Make your way down the West Coast to Franz Josef. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Nowhere in the world’s temperate zones are glaciers as accessible as South Westland’s most famous pair, Franz Josef and Fox. Both descend to levels of about 1000 feet (300 metres) above sea level. Franz Josef Glacier is a remnant of a much older, larger glacier which flowed from the alpine snowfields right to the sea.

The glacier is over 12 kilometres long extending into the rainforest just 5 kilometres from the Franz Josef township, making it easy to visit. Walk to viewpoints or for a close-up view of the spectacular ice formations, take a guided glacier walk, heli-hike excursion or scenic flight.

Hotel: Bella Vista Franz Josef (Standard) or Holly Homestead (Delxue)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 13 - Wanaka (280 kms)

Make your way to Wanaka. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Any time of year is a great time to visit Wanaka – summer or winter. This area, situated between Mt Cook and Queenstown offers many diverse activities from passive recreation to action packed. The summer is hot and dry, while winter is cold and clear. Abseiling, boating, golfing, gliding, mountaineering, paragliding, Nordic skiing, snowboarding and wine tasting are only some of the activities available in the region.

Hotel: Oakridge Resort, Wanaka (Standard) or Wanaka Springs Lodge (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 14 - Queenstown (117 kms)

Depart Wanaka and make your way to Queenstown. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Queenstown nestles in Queenstown Bay, about midway along the eastern shores of the azure blue waters of Lake Wakatipu. An unusual feature of the lake is the regular “breathing”, a 3-inch rise and fall every 15 minutes.

Striking mountain peaks surround Queenstown, and although still rural in character, the town has developed into a tourist resort for all seasons. Situated more than 300 metres above sea level, it is sufficiently inland to provide a sharp contrast between the hot summer and bracing winter.

The autumn colours and the Lake District are justly famous and a delight to photographers and painters. Winter brings spectacular snow scenery, ice-skating, skiing, heli-skiing and snowboarding. Year round adventure activities include world famous bungee jumping, white water rafting, parapenting and much more.

Hotel: Copthorne Resort, Queenstown (Superior) or Browns Boutique Hotel (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 15 - Queenstown

Full day at your leisure.

Optional sightseeing: thrilling jet boat rides, vintage steamer lake cruises, visit to high country sheep stations, mountain gondola rides
The list is endless and you also have time to relax and simply marvel at the beautiful scenery.

Hotel: Copthorne Resort, Queenstown (Superior) or Browns Boutique Hotel (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 16 - Te Anau (170 kms)

Make your way to Te Anau. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Te Anau with its setting of mountain lakes, forest and fiords, unspoiled, rugged and beautiful is the natural gateway to Fiordland National Park and for trips to Lake Manapouri, the Eglinton Valley and Milford Sound.

Hotel: Kingsgate Te Anau (Standard) or Fiordland Lodge (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner (Deluxe)

Day 17 - Te Anau

Spend a full day at leisure in Te Anau. We suggest you travel to Milford Sound (approximately 250 kms round trip) to enjoy a cruise on the scenic sound (at your own expense).

Hotel: Kingsgate Te Anau (Standard) or Fiordland Lodge (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner (Deluxe)

Day 18 - Dunedin (290 kms)

Make your way to Dunedin – the “Edinburgh of the South”. This afternoon in Dunedin time is available to explore — you may like to visit the Otago Peninsula – home of the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow Penguins or historic Larnach Castle (at your own expense).

Hotel: Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin (Standard) or  Larnach Lodge at Larnach Castle (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 19 - Oamaru (115 kms)

Make your way to Oamaru today. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Hotel: Bella Vista Motel Oamaru (Standard) or Pen-y-Bryn Lodge (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner (Deluxe)

Day 20 - Christchurch (247 kms)

Make your way to Christchurch and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Christchurch is known as the “most English City outside England” or the “garden city”. Enjoy its Botanical Gardens and the chance to punt on the River Avon.

Hotel: Chateau on the Park (Standard) or The Classic Villa (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 21 - Christchurch

Spend a full day at leisure in Christchurch.

Hotel: Chateau on the Park (Standard) or The Classic Villa (Deluxe)
Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

Day 22 - Farewell from Christchurch

Take a final look at Christchurch before returning your car to the airport and catching your onward flight.

Meals: Breakfast (Deluxe)

22 day Self Drive - from £1895

With flights from £2789

Optional Upgrade

Our Deluxe Ultimate New Zealand Self Drive includes all the benefits of our standard option and offers superior hotel accommodation.

Upgrade to our 22 day Ultimate New Zealand Self Drive Deluxe – from £1469

Include this Self drive in a New Zealand holiday
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All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room, and include pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited kilometres. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard. Seasonal supplements may apply.

Ultimate New Zealand Map

Self Drive Touring

Relaxed and enjoyable self drive tour. Book them as they are or ask your consultant to add extra days in the places you choose.

Your self drive includes:

  • 21 nights accommodation
  • Standard or Deluxe hotels
  • Air conditioned car
  • Inclusive vehicle insurance
  • Maps and driving information
  • Flexible itineraries


Your self drive includes comfortable touring hotels as standard.


Upgrade your self drive from Standard to Deluxe. Deluxe hotels include breakfast and offer more intimate accommodation from lodges to country houses and small hotels. Enjoy a warm welcome and personal service.

See more New Zealand Self Drives…

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to a New Zealand Expert on 0333 234 3209

Coronavirus – Notice for Customers

We are currently contacting all customers whose holiday may be affected by the current travel restrictions in place due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

For the latest Government advice regarding travel to any particular country please visit the Gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Great Prices for 2020 & 2021

Whether you’re looking to get away this year or next, hotels are now offering some great prices and airlines incredible deals for both 2020 and 2021.

Cancellation Guarantee

So you can enjoy these low rates without risk, we have introduced a Price & Cancellation Guarantee. On all new bookings from 14th March 2020 we are offering:

Full Refund or Free Re-Booking - if you have to cancel your holiday or part of it due to UK government recommendation not to travel.

Free Change of Date or Destination - if foreign government action prevents access to their country or region.*

Freedom Expertise

At Freedom Destinations you have expert help at the end of the phone, so you can book with confidence knowing you have great support and full financial protection whatever happens.

Call us today on 0333 003 8043 or enquire online.

* Changes must be booked with same airline if flights have been paid. All changes subject to availability and seasonal surcharges and standard terms and conditions apply.