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.
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 Auckland - Auckland - Rotorua - Rotorua - Rotorua - Wellington - Wellington - Picton - Christchurch - Christchurch - Dunedin - Dunedin - Te-Anau - Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown - Queenstown - Queenstown - Queenstown - Depart from Queenstown
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 Rotorua
Driving distance: 235 km / 146 miles
Driving: Approx 3h21m
Travelling south on SH1, the buzz of the city gives way to the more bucolic sights and sounds of the country – farms, market gardens and rivers. There are many interests en route, both urban and rural, vineyards at Te Kauwhata, the historic battle site at Rangiriri, the coal-mining town (and museum) at Huntly and the thermal springs at Waingaro.
If time is plentiful and you’re looking for a diversion, there’s the beach at Raglan, known for its perfect surfing conditions, Maungatautari Ecological Island is 15kms from pretty Cambridge, the Mormon temple at Temple View is open to visitors.
Taking SH5 at Tirau – known for its fascinating animal-shaped corrugated iron buildings and antique shops – the route travels through the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park, over interesting volcanic terrain and leads 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 Wellington
Driving distance: 451 km / 280 miles
Driving: Approx 6h30m
Whichever way you look, Wellington is sure to please. Vibrant and dynamic yet steeped in history, Wellington offers its visitors many diverse opportunities to explore the city’s political, cultural and creative heritage. Large enough to be the Capital City, small enough to be captivating, Wellington truly lives up to its slogan: “Absolutely Positively Wellington”.
Seat of the New Zealand Government, take a free guided tour around the halls of power (Parliament Buildings and the Beehive, named for its shape); or perhaps clarify your political thoughts over a drink at the Backbencher bar!
Occupying a stunning waterfront location is the National Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, where state-of-the-art presentations and exhibits chronicle New Zealand’s art, history and Maori culture. For a different focus, there’s the Museum of Wellington City and Sea, Zealandia (Wildlife Centre) and even the Cricket Museum.
Despite being nick-named ‘windy Wellington’ due to its proximity to the Cook Strait, Wellington is a beautiful and compact city well worth walking around. Beach (Kapiti Coast), bush and mountain views (Kaikoura Ranges due south, Rimutaka Ranges due east), all compete with the glistening seafront and busy harbour for the visitors attention; whilst historic buildings (Old St Paul’s, Saint Mary of the Angels, Colonial Cottage, 1858, author Katherine Mansfield’s home), gardens (the Botanical Gardens, Otari Wilton’s bush) and further explorations await (Cable car, two Observatories).
Blending old-world charm of a European city with contemporary cosmopolitan ideas, Wellington offers Lambton Quay for quality shopping (showcasing some of New Zealand’s top designers), the Cuba Quarter for a taste of bohemia and Courtenay Place for the buzz of inner city entertainment, world-class performances, superlative dining, night-clubs, theatre, cinema and opera. Home to numerous national and international festivals, Wellington always has something for everyone. Absolutely Positive!
Wellington to Christchurch
Driving distance: 414 km / 257 miles
Driving: Approx 5h1m Sailing: Approx 3h20m
When travelling between islands a ferry journey is required
Cross Cook Strait by ferry, to the Marlborough Sounds and Picton. The road south hugs the coastline between the Kaikoura Ranges and the Pacific. After Kaikoura the road heads inland to the sheep country of North Canterbury. Overnight in Christchurch
Cheviot to Dunedin
Driving distance: 467 km / 290 miles
Driving: Approx 6h45m
SH 1 from Christchurch to Dunedin reveals a great many gems for the traveller from urban interests to natural wonders, from farmlands and mighty rivers to seaside towns and historic Oamaru. On the ‘not to be missed’ list are the enormous boulders at Moreaki and the cliff edge Māori pā at Karitane; whilst the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin, lies just ahead.
Dunedin to Te Anau
Driving distance: 298 km / 185 miles
Driving: Approx 4h19m
Leaving Dunedin City behind , the Southern Motorway speeds you out of Dunedin, passing Lake Waihola and the townships of Milton and Balclutha. There you turn inland and drive through the lush grazing paddocks of Southland beside the trout rich Mataura River, to reach the junction town of Lumsden.
Continue westward following the Oreti river between the foothills of the Takitumu range, which Maori legend describes as the hull of one of the seven great canoes that brought their people from Hawaiki.
The road then joins the Mararoa River, cruising through tussock and grazing land to reach Flaxy Creek Junction, and soon after Te Anau, the South Island’s largest lake, flanked by the brooding Murchison ranges.
Drive through the rolling hill country of South Otago and Southland. After the farming community of Gore, cross the Waimea plains towards Fiordland. Overnight in Te Anau.
Te Anau to Milford Sound
Driving distance: 116 km / 72 miles
Driving: Approx 1h41m
Milford Sound to Queenstown
Driving distance: 290 km / 180 miles
Driving: Approx 4h13m
Drive through pristine beech forests and the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. We have included a cruise to enable you to appreciate the majesty of Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Return to Te Anau, then turn north, following the dramatic southern shores of Lake Wakatipu to reach Queenstown. Stay 4 nights in Queenstown.
For and additional charge you may choose to swap one night in Queenstown and your Milford afternoon Cruise for a night aboard the Milford Mariner at Milford Sound.
An adventure playground extraordinaire, Queenstown is both beautiful and bountiful: even the mountain range framing the town is called “The Remarkables”. Add to this Lake Wakatipu and lush forestation, its no wonder Hollywood film-makers frequently visit.
Home to the first commercial bungy jumping enterprise, Queenstown is known for its many adrenaline-filled activities. Nearby Skipper’s Canyon and Arthur’s point commemorate the discovery of gold in the area.
A stunningly beautiful and compact town, walking around Queenstown from eatery to entertainment, from parties to performances is all too easy – and being the unofficial adrenaline capital of New Zealand, you might want to pace out your days! Mountain skiing is immensely popular at Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone; with cross country skiing at the Waiorau Snow Farm (near Cardrona). Other adventure possibilities include jet boating, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, skateboarding, tramping, paragliding, canyon-swinging, sky diving, river surfing and fly fishing!
If a calmer pace suits you, Queenstown has a great shopping and commercial scene and there is an equally vibrant night-life. Take in Queenstown’s incredible scenery over a leisurely lunch and a locally produced Pinot noir from, apparently, the world’s southernmost wine region! Bars are a-plenty, whilst there is a constant buzz of street (and indoor) entertainment and live music. Queenstown is home to the coal fired steamship, the TSS Earnslaw; hosts an annual International Jazz Festival and a Winter Festival and also makes a great base for exploring the inland lakes (Lake Hawea, Lake Wakatipu, and Lake Wanaka).
Today you might like to take a leisurely ride on the Skyline Gondola up to Bob’s Peak. From the top you can take in the views of Queenstown while lunching at the restuarant or if you are feeling adventurous ride the Luge run, guaranteed to remind you what its like to take life by the horns and ride it!
You could also take a day trip out on the lake or go for a walk on some of the many tracks nearby. If you’re the adventuruous type you are spolit for choice of all the activities on offer. Grab a brochure and make your picks according to how game you are.
There’s so much to do and see we advise you get your camera out, and snap away to your hearts content some of the gorgeous scenery, people and happenings, Then you can keep the memories of your trip to Queenstown alive forever.
Phew! Could be the big sleep in today if you’ve taken advantage of the many attractions of Queenstown over the past two days.
If you are the sort to have taken a more measured approach, and you still have lots of energy, well then there’s plenty more in store should you feel inclined.
Have you dangled from the bungy yet? Felt the chill of the clear lake waters from the Earnslaw, skied your heart out, raced up the Shotover for a thrilling ride in the jet boat, or shopped to your hearts content? No?
Dont wait around then -get in to it Then tomorrow when you depart you can truely call yourself an accredited Queenstown adenalin junkie!
Return your car at the airport in time to catch your onward flight.
|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)
11 nights accommodation; 12 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), Interislander Ferry, Te Puia Daytime Experience, Milford Sound Cruise
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)
All prices are based on travel between October 1st through to March 31st. For prices outside these dates, please contact us directly