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.
Welcome to Auckland, New Zealand - Travel through to Rotorua - Day in Rotorua - Fly to Wellington - Wellington - Picton - Christchurch - Christchurch - Mount Cook - Mount Cook - Dunedin - Dunedin - Te Anau - Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown - Day in Queenstown - Queenstown - Glaciers - Travel through to Punakaiki - Punakaiki - Christchurch - Depart New Zealand
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.
Explore further the geothermal activity of the city and the rich Maori culture. Start the day by visiting Te Puia National Maori centre on a guided tour through the living Maori village and thermal reserve; then travel to a volcanic valley – the youngest in the world, formed in 1886 as a result of the eruption of Mt Tarawera, and enjoy a magical hike through steaming landscape and fascinating geothermal features as you folow the crater walkway. Evening free to relax at the Polynesian hot pools.
To save a long day driving we have made it that you fly to Wellington as it is a short flight and it takes a lot of stress out of the day.
That leaves you free to tour wellington, where you can view the Parliament Buildings, Old Saint Pauls Cathedral, the Lady Norwood Rose Gardens, the National Art Gallery, the Museum or take a ride on the Cable Car.
From the summit of Mt Victoria you will have beautiful views of Wellington city, Oriental Bay and the many other scenic bays of Wellington Harbour, including the beautiful Marine Drive.
The afternoon is free, perhaps to visit Te Papa Museum or the Museum of City and Sea.
Overnight in Wellington.
Wellington to Picton
Driving distance: 70 km / 43 miles
Sailing: Approx 3h20m
When travelling between islands, a ferry journey is required. This is included in the price.
Cross Cook Strait by ferry, through the Marlborough Sounds and onto Picton.
You would have dropped your car off at Wellington ferry terminal and you’ll collect your next vehicle in Picton ferry terminal.
The road south to Christchurch hugs the coastline between the Kaikoura Ranges and the Pacific. You may enter Kaikoura for a break, or stop at ‘The Store’ Cafe just before Kaikoura.
On the coast line out of Kaikoura you will come across visiting seals on the shore. Continue south towards Christchurch
Christchurch to Mt Cook Village
Driving distance: 332 km / 206 miles
Driving: Approx 4h50m
Leaving behind the plains of Canterbury; scenic route 72 heads inland and shadows the foothills, crosses the magnificent Rakaia river and leads into the majestically scenic Mackenzie Country. Nearby Lake Tekapo makes a magical stopping place with its tiny stone Church of the Good Shepherd and distant snow capped mountains. Mount Cook is now within reach (50kms/1 hour). Overnight at Mt Cook
Mt Cook Village to Dunedin
Driving distance: 327 km / 203 miles
Driving: Approx 4h44m
Heading away from Mount Cook National Park, SH8 leads you through the beautiful, bare Mackenzie country past Twizel, a popular Lord of the Rings filming location, and onto Omarama – small yet world renowned for its perfect gliding conditions.
Taking SH83 towards Pukeuri Junction unveils some visual delights including the Benmore Dam and the Maori rock art at Duntroon. Southward bound on SH1 lies historic Oamaru, a beguiling small town famed for ‘Oamaru stone’ and home to the smallest penguin in the world.
Next stop has to be Moreaki and the enormous boulders on the beach; and Karitane, a pretty coastal village with its cliff edge Māori pā, whilst ‘Edinburgh of the South’, Dunedin, lies just ahead. From Dunedin visit Otago Peninsula – home to the Royal Albatross, the yellow eyed penguin, NZ fur seal, and sea lions.
We will make a wildlife reservation for you.
Dunedin to Te Anau
Driving distance: 298 km / 185 miles
Driving: Approx 4h19m
Heading south away from Dunedin on SH1 and joining the SH92 at Balclutha, this route, also known as the Southern Scenic route, simply sparkles! Known for its rugged and natural beauty, the Catlins Coast has a great many highlights from spotting penguins, seals, and dolphins frolicking in the sea; hearing the distinctive call of native birds; to historic lighthouses, superlative horizon views and the 180 million year old fossilized forest at Curio Bay.
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
This morning, travel to the Milford Sound today – one of New Zealand’s stunning scenic highways, the beauty of this route is utterly breath-taking and sure to wet your appetite for the unforgettable experience of visiting the Milford Sound. Departing Te Anau, the route takes you inland through beech forests and expansive flats before opening up to mountain vistas. The first part is relatively mild farmland, then you’ll ease into beech forest near the entrance to the Fiordland National Park. Look for the Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain and the Mirror Lakes. Mirror Lakes provide a great resting spot and at Knobs Flat there is a small shelter with an information board and toilet facilities. The route climbs steadily towards ‘The Divide’, travels through the Homer Tunnel and leads you into the Cleddau Canyon ripe and ready for the Milford Sound cruise experience – an amazing 22km-ling fiord dominated by Mitre Peak. Following the cruise, Travel your way back to Te Anau and further along the Queenstown, arriving early evening, staying here for 2 days.
A day to explore and enjoy this fabulous Alpine resort, from thrilling jet boat rides to leisurely lake cruises, 4WD safaris, bungy jumping, winery tour, and scenic drives.
You could if you like 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.
Queenstown to Franz Josef
Driving distance: 355 km / 221 miles
Driving: Approx 5h8m
Saying goodbye to Queenstown is never easy but rest assured, this route is well worth it! Heading towards the beautiful alpine town of Wanaka is the SH6 via Cromwell (30 minutes longer) for the cautious; or through the Crown Range for the adventurous. The highest sealed road in the country, crossing the Crown Range is an exhilarating experience with incredible scenery and requires careful driving.
Rejoining SH6, there’s Wanaka, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea – all great places to stop for refreshments and photographs. The allure of Mount Aspiring National Park beckons with all its dark intrigue – Mount Awful, Mount Dreadful and Mount Dispute to name a few!
An ancient greenstone/pounamu trail, the route through the Haast Pass reveals superb watery vistas – rivers and waterfalls – before the rugged and sparsely populated West Coast Road (SH6) leads to the stunning Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier. Stay 2 nights.
In the evening you may relax at the Franz Josef hot pools.
Franz Josef to Punakaiki
Driving distance: 224 km / 139 miles
Driving: Approx 3h14m
Following the coastline north towards Punakaiki, SH6 is not only breath-takingly beautiful and utterly unique, it is also dotted with glorious lakes, beaches, lagoons and small interesting towns. Try glass-blowing at Hokitika, knife-making at Barrytown and gold-panning at Shantytown, the restored town from the gold-rush era, before arriving at the blowholes of Punakaiki.
Punakaiki to Christchurch
Driving distance: 296 km / 184 miles
Driving: Approx 3h59m
Turn inland towards the mountains to travel through the Otira Tunnel, over Arthur’s Pass and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Overnight in Christchurch m The dramatic and formidable Arthur’s Pass links the notoriously wet West Coast with the dry plains of Canterbury.
This is a beautiful, satisfying yet long drive; this Pass effectively cuts through mountain ranges revealing incredible vistas of peaks, scree slopes and walls of sheer rock. The lime-stone area at Cave Stream is a favourite of cavers and rock climbers – look out for 500 year old Maori rock drawings. The last stretch of the route towards Christchurch is, by comparison, gentle!
Your last night – in Christchurch.
All good things (must) come to an end….
Drop your car off at Christchurch airport before your flight back home.
|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)
13 nights accommodation; 14 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; ferry terminal fee recovery; accident excess reduction insurance; local sales tax (GST), Te Puia National Maori Centre guided tour, Polynesian Spa Admission, Interislander Crossing, Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Elm Wildlife Tour
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