With these tours we present some of our most popular and compelling self-drive itineraries. Experience the benefits of self driving but enjoy the convenience and security of us pre-booking your chosen type of accommodation and rental car. Just enjoy the travelling without having to worry about where you are going to stay.
Any of our itineraries can be modified as well as adding extra days in any of the locations. If you require something completely different, please advise and we will be happy to put something together.
During your trip you can call us anytime to make amendments to your tour, book extra activity or simply ask for some advice. We will be happy to help you anytime of the day or night.
Packages are priced per person based on double occupancy/twin share. Prices do not include international airfare
Plan and Book Ahead
Preplanning and pre-booking your New Zealand vacation before you depart is essential. Limited accommodation in certain areas during the high season could mean that a town’s accommodation can be booked out well in advance. Without pre-booking, you may find that the you pay a higher rate upon check-in or waste a lot of time travelling between accommodation providers trying to find a suitable option.
We know the best places and with our discounted rates you are guaranteed of receiving well chosen accommodation options at the best possible price. Pre-planning will ensure you make the most of your valuable holiday time. Acrossnz is well-versed with all areas of New Zealand and is totally experienced at arranging well planned self drive itineraries. Feel free to ask the advice of Acrossnz when planning your self drive adventure to make sure you maximize your holiday experience.
Book early: New Zealand has very limited availability in the summer months and often books out well in advance. It is recommended to book early to avoid disappointment.
Create Your Own Self Drive Holiday
Along with choosing one of our prearranged itineraries you can construct your own ‘a la carte’ holiday by booking the rental vehicle from this link and selecting your accommodation from our accommodation link. If you choose to book your accommodation through our link we will happily assist with knowledge on your accommodation choices or amendment your itinerary to ensure your holiday is just what you want.
Camper Vans & Motor Homes
Perhaps you prefer to follow one of the itineraries we have created in a Motor Home? Just book the Motor Home with us and we will be happy to provide you for the full itinerary as well as assisting you with camping ground bookings. Click here to choose some of the cheapest options in NZ.
Arrive in Auckland - Travel to Coromandel - Coromandel - Travel to Rotorua - Rotorua - Lake Taupo - Travel through to Napier - Napier - Travel to Tongariro National Park - Travel to Auckland via Waitomo Caves
Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest, busiest and most diverse city. Home to almost one third of the country’s population, and the business centre of the nation, it’s not surprising this vibrant metropolis is often mistaken for the country’s capital. Known as the ‘City of Sails’, Auckland is magnificently framed by the stunning waterways, the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Harbour. Easily highlights of the city, the harbour and marina are in walking distance of your accommodation. Distinct in its pace, opportunities and multi-cultural influences, Auckland offers many diverse events, attractions and experiences. Auckland is a popular arrival destination for starting your New Zealand holiday, a fantastic place for a city break or a perfect venue for an unforgettable surfing holiday.
Auckland, the “City of Sails”, lies on an extinct volcanic bed and is magnificently framed by geographic wonders – the stunning waterways of the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Harbour and by native forests. From boats and boutiques, to surfing and socialising, Auckland is a marvellous multi-cultural city that offers so very many diverse events, attractions and experiences and is thus a great place for a city break.
Auckland to Coromandel
Driving distance: 169 km / 105 miles
Driving: Approx 2h27m
Your drive to Coromandel begins on the southern motorway. Suburban scenery gradually gives way to the farmland of South Auckland. Just beyond the Bombay Hills you’ll take a left turn toward the Coromandel Peninsula. The hilly, pastoral scenery gradually flattens out to become the Hauraki Plains, a dairy farming district. Miranda’s hot springs and bird sanctuary make an excellent side tour.
After negotiating the one lane Kopu Bridge, which has a Historic Places Trust listing, you’ll encounter the gold rush township of Thames. The road to Coromandel clings to the edge of the coast. You’ll enjoy amazing views and a constant procession of beautiful beaches. Formerly a gold-mining and timber town, Coromandel is now a haven for artists, craftspeople and conservationists. It has many well-preserved Victorian buildings.
A steep and hilly promontory covered in subtropical rainforest, the Coromandel Peninsula is relatively untouched – native pohutukawa trees line one side and idyllic beaches line the other; both encouraging rest and reflection. Gold mining and kauri logging feature in the area’s history whilst contemporary arts and crafts are showcased in the peninsula’s few small towns.
A binocular’s view across the Gulf from Auckland, it is everything that a big city isn’t. Cloaked in native rainforest with dazzling white sand beaches, it is rustic, unspoiled and relaxed. Activities and attractions are plentiful. You might choose skydiving in Whitianga or a guided sea kayak tour around the coast. You could take a walk in the coolness of the pristine bush – the Coromandel is a walker’s paradise – or simply sit and relax in a warm bubbling pool at Hot Water Beach. And there are many more.
The Coromandel is the home of many artists and craftspeople. Pop into their studios – you’re welcome to visit – and pick up a unique piece of art or pottery to take home with you. It’s also the home of many events and concerts that draw locals and visitors alike to this remarkable place. Staying in the Coromandel is easy. Most of the accommodation providers have found themselves spectacular locations so whether your tastes are for the upmarket or the simple, you’ll find a room – or tent site – with an amazing view.
• Hot water beach – where you can dig your own spa in the sand.
• Railway Creek – one man’s railway venture creation. You will enjoy coffee and local crafts at the top of your ride.
• Sea kayaking and glowworms.
• Many nature walks.
Coromandel Town to Rotorua
Driving distance: 234 km / 145 miles
Driving: Approx 3h23m
Reputed to resemble paradise, the journey from the Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua is incredibly beautiful, diverse, peaceful and steeped in historical relevance. SH25, the Pacific Coast Highway, travels south imparting superb views from the verdant rainforests of the Coromandel Forest Park to the many idyllic white sand beaches sprinkled along the coast (Hahei, Hot Water Beach, Tairua, Pauanui, Whangamata).
Whether you choose to be restful or recreational; opportunities abound. The small towns along the peninsula have contrasting appeal from their kauri-logging and gold mining heritage; to a contemporary art, craft and café scene. Hereheretaura and Te Pare (at Hahei) are former Maori pa sites and now visitor reserves, Tairua has many walking tracks and there’s Martha’s Mine and the acclaimed beach at Waihi. Joining SH2, and just 2kms north of flourishing Tauranga, is the fanciful Te Puna Quarry Park – a delightful locally created park with attractions ranging from orderly botanicals to interactive sculptures and machinery; look out for the superlative views over the Bay of Plenty.
At vibrant Te Puke there’s the chance to learn about New Zealand’s iconic kiwifruit industry; then joining SH33 the last stretch of the route follows the Kaituna River, over the increasingly volcanic terrain to Rotorua.
Famed for its geothermal activity, Rotorua is utterly unique – peer into an active volcano and watch the belly of the earth bubble and roar as it leeches sulphurous steam trying to find its way out through thermal pools and geysers.
Steeped in Maori history and culture, and picturesque to boot, Rotorua offers a profusion of opportunities for the long or short-term visitor. The thermal activity in Rotorua is fascinating – as is the local constant companion, the smell of sulphur! There are many geysers to view although the Pohutu Geyser in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley at Te Puia is arguably Rotorua’s favourite geyser known for its 30 metre high steam spurts! Whakarewarewa Thermal Village is where the rich Maori history and culture of the region is detailed through song, dance and storytelling. However there is more to Rotorua than hiss and steam.
A visit wouldn’t be complete without seeing a few of the 16 magnificent lakes in this region – such as Lake Rotorua, Lake Tarawera or the beautiful Green (Rotokakahi) and Blue (Tikitapu) Lakes – perhaps even catch a trout for dinner? Popular water sports are kayaking, jet boating, water skiing, fishing (note that Green Lake is closed to public) and white water rafting (especially at the Kaituna River).
Nearby Mount Tarawera is known for its devastating volcanic eruption of 1886 which, in destroying three whole villages, also buried The Pink and White Terraces, a geological phenomenon considered to be the eighth wonder of the world.
Opportunities for families – attractions and actions – abound. For the adrenaline junkies why not try hurtling downhill in a plastic bubble, racing through space, body flying or bungy jumping 43 metres! But worry not, there’s always horse riding, orienteering and walks through the lovely Whakarewarewa (Redwood) Forest.
Rotorua to Taupo
Driving distance: 76 km / 47 miles
Driving: Approx 1h5m
Whether you drive on SH30, then SH1 or follow SH5 south towards Taupo, a riveting journey is guaranteed and our recommended route is via SH5 so can visit Waimangu Geotherrmal Valley and/or Wai O Tapu. Traversing this active geothermal area, the volcanic terrain is fascinating and has huge geological appeal. En route look out for the tremendous and unique thermal valleys. Wai-O-Tapu has been active for over 150,000 years and has some remarkable features such as the deep cauldron-like craters bubbling frantically with mud and the coloured pools. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the world’s newest geothermal system and features both a scenic reserve and a wildlife refuge – walks, cruises and bus trips are available. The more secluded Waikite Valley Thermal Pools are equally worth a diversion.
Other interesting places to visit include the hydro power station at Atiamuri and the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station further south. For a natural, perhaps ‘raw’, experience of the pure energy of water, make time to see the stunning Aratiatia rapids and the Huka Falls where water hurtles down at a rate of more than 220, 000 litres per second.
Finally, the glistening harbour announces your arrival at the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo.
Taupo to Napier
Driving distance: 142 km / 88 miles
Driving: Approx 2h3m
The major entertainment on the road from Taupo to Napier is the fantastic scenery. There’s a bit of everything – rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and huge vistas. At Tarawera you can walk to the hot springs, which are above the Waipunga River. You might also want to stop at the Waiarua Falls lookout, to view the twin waterfalls.
In 1931 a devastating earthquake nearly levelled the city of Napier. It was rebuilt in the style of the times, and is now considered the Art Deco Capital of the world. The vineyards of Hawke’s Bay are all within easy reach of Napier. Another attraction is the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.
Sun soaked Hawke’s Bay is a popular holiday destination and a leading food and wine region famed for its abundant produce – grape and fruit growing are particular to this area. From architecture to nature, from food to fun, Hawke’s Bay is brimming with tourist attractions and interests including a world record for having the longest place name: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaung
Towards the south of Hawke’s Bay is the ominously named Cape Kidnapper’s – a craggy peninsula home to the largest gannet colony in the world, all 15 000 of them! The rebuilding of nearby Napier in the 1930s after a devastating earthquake razed the town to rubble has been its making. Art Deco buildings feature throughout the town and a casual 1930s themed celebration is held annually. Beach, café, vino and art culture firmly establish Napier as a great holiday destination.
Hastings similarly offers many opportunities to sample the area’s food and wine, whilst other activities include trout fishing, jet boating, white water rafting and horse trekking. For the children there’s Splash Planet, a fantastic water theme park.
Havelock North makes a splendid job of showcasing the regions gourmet creations. From wine and cheese, to chocolate, honey and strawberries, you can sample, snack and savour these delicacies to your heart’s content. For stunning panoramic views – of Mahia beach and Mount Ruapehu in particular – drive the 399 metres up Te Mata Peak.
Napier to Tongariro National Park
Driving distance: 275 km / 171 miles
Driving: Approx 3h59m
Three active volcanoes define the Tongariro National Park and deservedly elicit gasps of awe at the incredible sight of these huge geological beasts expelling lava. The three volcanic peaks are Mount Ruapehu, Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe.
The National Park is so naturally spectacular and culturally significant that it has been awarded the rare accolade of dual World Heritage Site status. Covering almost 80 000 hectares, the national park’s scenery is sublime and varied – dry deserts and barren tussocks morph into mountain beech forest and wetlands, it is no wonder this became a favourite filming location for “The Lord of the Rings.”
Tracks and huts are available for fit trampers/walkers especially on the popular walks – the ‘Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk’, the ‘Round the Mountain (i.e. Mount Ruapehu) Track’ and the famous one day track – the ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track’.
Tongariro National Park to Auckland
Driving distance: 358 km / 222 miles
Driving: Approx 5h12m
From your base at Ohakune you will travel to Auckland. This is a lovely scenic route. If possible include a visit to the National Army Museum at Waiouru.
On the way you will visit the Waitomo Glowworm caves, a unique experience where the only light in the caves comes from the glowworms, creating a sky of living lights.
In Tirau you can stop for a few minutes to enjoy the quirky corrugated iron sculptures.
From here you can head to Hamilton for a comfort stop, and then from there to the highways of your destination, Auckland.
|Bed & Breakfast
|Permium Wagon AWD
|Full Size 4WD
|8 Seater People Mover
|12 Seater Van
Pricing is based on 2 people. Option of Double Room (1 bed) or Twin Room (2 beds) For single travellers or larger groups vacationing together please contact us for a customized quation to ensure you receive the best price. For different rooming configurations (eg triple share or special needs) please contact us.
Children under 5 travel for free (max 2 excluding certain activities) Children aged 5-14 at time of travel are an added extra (max 2)
9 nights accommodation; 10 days rental vehicle of choice; All Inclusive rate hire including unlimited kilometres, loss damage waiver (LDW, provides Accident Damages Cover which is subject to excesses that can be reduced); airport concession fee recovery; accident excess reduction insurance; local sales tax (GST); Rotorua Trilogy Experience admission; Waitomo Glow Worm Caves guided tour admission
Flights to New Zealand and airport taxes
Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include 15% GST (local sales tax) Click here for an online currency converter to convert prices to your own currency (approximate only)