Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. Collect your rental car from the airport and make your way to your accommodation.
Relax and explore Queenstown, with the option to visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park, the Underwater Observatory, or the Ivan Clarke Gallery; ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic views over the Wakatipu Basin, or simply enjoy a lakefront stroll or a bit of boutique shopping.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
You also have the option to make a trip to Arrowtown. You’ll be enchanted by historic Arrowtown, a New Zealand treasure located 20 minutes from Queenstown. Arrowtown is charming and quirky – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. The heart of its history is Buckingham Street, a procession of heritage buildings that stretches into a tree-lined avenue of tiny miner’s cottages. The buildings in this lovely precinct house shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants – many classy, most individual, and not one from an international chain.
Enjoy a scenic coach journey through heartland New Zealand to reach Milford Sound, where you will enjoy a 2.5 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Milford Sound is sure to impress! Sheer cliffs, towering snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, hanging valleys, sub-tropical rainforest, marine life… words just don’t do it justice, you have to see it for yourself! After your cruise, relax while your coach travels through stunning scenery before delivering you back to your Queenstown accommodation.
Driving time Queenstown to Wanaka 70 km / 43 miles, 1 hour
Drive over the beautiful Crown Range, one of New Zealand’s highest alpine roads, and admire the fantastic views along the way. Be sure to stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel for a refreshment before your arrival into Wanaka, an alpine town boasting panoramic views, a relaxing atmosphere and myriad walking tracks.
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Relax in Wanaka, exploring attractions such as Puzzling World, the National Toy and Transport Museum, the Warbirds and Wheels Museum, Crossfire, Rippon Vineyard and Tasting Room, and Cinema Paradiso.
Relax and explore Wanaka – you may want to visit Puzzling World, Wanaka’s illusional attraction, or the National Toy and Transport Museum. Other options include strolling along one of Wanaka’s stunning walking tracks, relaxing on the lake’s edge or browsing through Wanaka’s boutique shops.
You could also visit Rippon Vineyard and Tasting Room to sample local wines, or catch a film at Cinema Paradiso, Wanaka’s quirky local theatre.
Driving time Wanaka to Franz Josef 285 km / 177 miles, 4 hours
Discover the Haast Pass Highway, where there are many short walks and natural attractions to view along the way. Continue north, through dense rainforest broken by rugged coastal vistas, towards New Zealand’s most famous glaciers.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Driving time Franz Josef to Hokitika 136 km / 85 miles, 2.5 hours
Enjoy your journey north along the West Coast to Hokitika, famous for its arts and crafts. Watch a masterpiece being crafted from gold, silver, molten glass, bone, silk or greywacke or carve your own creation from wood or jade (pounamu). Take in Hokitika’s natural beauty, enjoy its expansive beach, or venture down one of the many walking and mountain biking tracks.
Stay 1 night in Hokitika.
Driving time Hokitika to Nelson 325 km / 201 miles, 4.5 hours
Travel to Nelson, a seaside town which enjoys New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours. Nelson is a creative paradise, with artists, galleries, local markets and gourmet cafés.
Explore Nelson this afternoon. You can walk the sun-drenched sands or take a sea kayaking tour around the coast and see a seal colony and little blue penguins bobbing in the water. Taste your way around the region by bicycle on Tasman’s Great Taste Trail or get your daily dose of adrenaline with a visit to one of the region’s world-class mountain bike parks.
Stay 2 nights in Nelson.
Driving time Nelson to Kaiteriteri 60 km / 37 miles, 1 hour (each way)
Today, enjoy a boat cruise into Abel Tasman National Park, where you can relax
Relax in style with the best view of the Abel Tasman National Park from comfortable seats around tables on upper and lower decks with an Abel Tasman cruise. Featuring a café and bar on board. Let the friendly hosts introduce you to the stories of the landscape.
Driving time Nelson to Picton 134 km / 83 miles, 2 hours
Sailing time Picton to Wellington 70 km / 43 miles, 3 hours
Make your way to Picton to board the Interislander Ferry for a scenic cruise to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Set on the edge of a stunning harbour, surrounded by rolling hills, it’s a city rich in culture waiting to be explored. From shopping and picturesque walks to exhibitions, festivals, Te Papa Tongarewa: the Museum of New Zealand, and more – Wellington has something for everyone.
Stay 1 night in Wellington.
Driving time Wellington to Napier 319 km / 198 miles, 4 hours
Head to the East Coast and discover Napier, the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand, which is also set within the country’s oldest and second
Explore Napier this afternoon, with the option to visit the National Aquarium of New Zealand, home to the country’s most diverse range of sea life. You might also like to visit Otatara Pa (Maori Fortified Village) which was the largest Pa in the Hawkes Bay region, now a historical reserve showcasing many of the foundations of terraced dwelling sites and food pits.
Stay 2 nights in Napier.
Today, enjoy a Napier Wine Experience Tour, visiting four world class local wineries for wine tastings and a winery tour with a difference! Includes wine tastings at New Zealand’s oldest winery and New Zealand’s only winery museum.
The Hawke’s Bay region is known as the ‘Gourmet Food and Wine Region of New Zealand.’ This area is the largest red
Driving time Napier to Rotorua 218 km / 135 miles, 3 hours
Enjoy the scenic journey to Rotorua, distinguished by Maori culture and geothermal activity. This diverse city will put on a display as you encounter geysers, mud pools, steaming craters and 16 beautiful lakes.
In the evening, enjoy a Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi Dinner. Hear stories and learn how Maori traditions live on today. Experience an authentic Maori welcome. Watch a challenge by the Maori warriors, a karanga (call) from the Maori women welcoming you onto the marae, and a whaikorero (welcome speech). Relax and enjoy the beautiful waiata (songs), the world renowned haka (challenge), and the elegant poi dance. Learn Maori customs including Maori musical instruments, haka and poi. The dining experience is a culinary opportunity like no other. Following dessert, you will be transported down into the valley to conclude your evening beside the awe-inspiring Pohutu geyser.
Stay 1 night in Rotorua.
Driving time Rotorua to Auckland 181 km / 112 miles, 2.5 hours
At your leisure, make your way to Auckland. Relax in Auckland for the afternoon or join the crew and enjoy an America’s Cup sailing trip, a must-do experience where you get a chance to spend 2 hours out on the harbour on an actual America’s Cup yacht!
Stay 1 night in Auckland City.
Drop your rental car off at Auckland Airport and depart Auckland.
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