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 - Travel to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves - Full Day Rotorua - Travel to Napier - Full Day Napier - Travel to Martinborough - Travel To Wellington - Depart Wellington
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 such as the Waikato. Interests en route include 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, the Mormon temple at Temple View is open to visitors and Hamilton offers city delights: fine dining, great shopping, museums and impressive 50+ hectare gardens. SH3 leads towards Te Kuiti where the magnificent Tokanganui-a-noho Marae is worth a peek from the street.
However, easily the big attraction of this area is Waitomo and its series of spectacular limestone caves – let millions of luminescent dots light your way in the glow-worm caves, visit the Aranui caves for their huge multi-coloured stalactites or Ruakuri caves for the intriguing labyrinth of waterfalls and alcoves. Guided tours, cruises and black-water activities are available.
The fabulous Ruakuri walkway (next to Aranui cave) follows the Waitomo River for 30 minutes revealing wonderful limestone formations and lush bush life. Onto SH5, the route travels through the volcanic terrain of the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park 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 Napier
Driving distance: 218 km / 135 miles
Driving: Approx 3h8m
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.
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 ahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu!
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.
Travelling south from Napier on SH2, there are many distractions en route making this a leisurely, scenic journey. From abundant vineyards and the gannet colony at Cape Kidnapper’s to the many seaside resorts, picnic opportunities abound!
As with Napier, Hastings was re-built after an earthquake in 1931 in art deco and Spanish mission style – and is well worth a visit. Waipawa is home to a few historic buildings – however if time and interest allows, 18kms west is small Ongaonga where there are11 fascinating historic buildings, perhaps seek out the toilets in the old police cells!
Continuing south on SH2, there are museums at Norsewood and Dannevirke commemorating the arrival of Scandinavian pioneers; Woodville is popular for antiques; Mt Bruce wildlife sanctuary can be found in the green expanse of the Wairarapa; and in small Victorian Greytown you can browse haute couture made by New Zealand’s top fashion designer, Trelise Cooper. Diverting via SH53 to Martinborough where you check into your accommodation
Martinborough to Wellington
Driving distance: 82 km / 51 miles
Driving: Approx 1h12m
SH2 now leads through the Hutt Valley and into the country’s capital, Wellington.
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!
Drop off your rental car at Wellington airport and catch your connecting flight
|Vehicle||Quality Hotels||Bed & Breakfast||Superior Hotels||Exclusive|
||NZ $2,144.00||NZ $2,914.00||NZ $2,704.00||NZ $4,104.00|
||NZ $2,168.00||NZ $2,938.00||NZ $2,728.00||NZ $4,128.00|
||NZ $2,144.00||NZ $3,034.00||NZ $2,824.00||NZ $4,224.00|
||NZ $2,296.00||NZ $3,066.00||NZ $2,856.00||NZ $4,568.00|
|Permium Wagon AWD
||NZ $2,400.00||NZ $3,170.00||NZ $2,960.00||NZ $4,360.00|
||NZ $2,384.00||NZ $3,034.00||NZ $2,944.00||NZ $4,344.00|
|Full Size 4WD
||NZ $2,608.00||NZ $3,378.00||NZ $3,168.00||NZ $4,568.00|
|8 Seater People Mover
||NZ $2,528.00||NZ $3,298.00||NZ $3,088.00||NZ $4,488.00|
|12 Seater Van
||NZ $2,624.00||NZ $3,394.00||NZ $3,184.00||NZ $4,584.00|
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)
7 nights accommodation; 8 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); Waitomo Glow Worm Caves guided tour;
Hell's Gate Geothermal Reserve self guided tour; Zealandia - The Karori Sanctuary Experience all day 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)
All prices are based on travel between October 1st through to March 31st. For prices outside these dates, please contact us directly