24 Day New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey

12/06/2020 through 12/05/2021
10/04/2019 through 12/31/2021
Kensington Tours

24 Day New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey
The epic expanse of New Zealand awaits you in a self-driving discovery, introducing you to the country’s best treasures during an unforgettable road trip. Cruise the fjords of Milford Sound, learn about Maori culture face-to-face, visit the legendary Hobbiton, sip wine in the Marlborough region, and experience so much more at your own pace.

Begin in Auckland, set on 48 dormant volcanic cones and known as the City of Sails, where you’ll enjoy a morning tour of how Aucklanders live and play. Explore the vineyards of beautiful Waiheke Island in a private guided wine tour, sampling delicious vintages. Hit the road to Matamata, also known as Hobbiton, where you can walk in the footsteps of the Fellowship from “The Lord of The Rings”, viewing The Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill and other structures transformed from Waikato farmland into The Shire. A short drive to Rotorua awaits before you discover colorful hot springs and a moon-like landscape in Wai-o-Tapu, home of the world-famous Lady Knox geyser. Visit the traditional Maori village of Te Puia to experience award-winning interactive galleries, see a kiwi bird up-close, and hear stories told by descendants of the valley. Expect a lavish banquet meal during the evening, where you’ll indulge in a steam-cooked Hangi meal. As you depart Rotorua, the road to Taupo will keep you entertained with its unusual, volcanic geography. Rise to the challenge of a 12 mile hike along the Tongariro Crossing, famous for its unique, extraordinary landscapes and its fascinating cultural significance. Continue your journey to Napier, known as the Art Deco capital of the world, before exploring Hawke’s Bay in an unforgettable and privately guided discovery of its beauty and gourmet epicurean offerings. After savoring wines at an award-winning vineyard, you’ll take a private safari across the stunning Cape Kidnappers peninsula to visit the world’s largest mainland gannet colony.

Enjoy clean, green scenery as you drive south through a procession of friendly townships, finally reaching the cosmopolitan city of Wellington. Consider visiting the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa where you can learn about the art, culture and natural history of the region with a particular focus on Maori and Pacific cultures. Cross the Cook Strait to Picton before returning to the road and journeying to the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park, a true seaside paradise. Cruise the coastline of Torrent Bay and kayak along beautiful beaches, tidal estuaries, and rivers of the most scenic area of the park.

From here, the road leads southward through low hills before crossing the Wairau River and turning east to Blenheim, nestled in the beautiful Marlborough wine region. Enjoy a fabulous mix of natural scenery around Marlborough on the famed Queen Charlotte Track, followed by a wine sampling produced from the iconic vineyards. The South Island’s largest city of Christchurch offers an entertaining mixture of refined lifestyle and cultural excitement for you to discover. Board the iconic TranzAlpine train to voyage through a spectacular gorge, leading to the Southern Alps and Arthur’s Pass, offering plenty of photo opportunities along the way. Travel southwards across the Canterbury Plains to your destination of Mount Cook National Park, home to glistening glacial lakes and high mountain peaks. Visit the area’s Dark Sky Reserve for a memorable stargazing experience, enjoying unique views of planets, moons, and distant galaxies after night falls. During the day, you’ll soar the skies in a scenic flight over the parkland, observing golden tussock lands, the braided river systems of the Mackenzie basin, and more natural wonders. Your final destination is Queenstown, where you’ll board a cruise to enjoy the unforgettable scenery of the Fiordland and unique views of mist-shrouded Milford Sound. Journey along Dart River is a high-speed jet boat ride for one last adventure, the perfect end to a journey curated for those who yearn for extraordinary experiences.

Kensington Tours creates private trips from the world’s finest ingredients. Tailor-made with care by your personal Destination Expert, your personalized trip is always a one-of-a-kind experience made just for you. Expert local guidance and 24/7 service come standard.

Itinerary

Day 1 Welcome To Auckland
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Day 2 Auckland
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Day 3 Auckland To Waiheke Island
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Day 4 New Zealand Car Rental To Matamata (Hobbiton) To Auckland To Rotorua
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Day 5 Rotorua
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Day 6 Rotorua To Taupo
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Day 7 Taupo
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Day 8 Taupo To Napier
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Day 9 Napier
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Day 10 Napier To Wellington
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Day 11 Wellington
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Day 12 Wellington To New Zealand Car Rental To Picton To Abel Tasman National Park
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Day 13 Nelson To Abel Tasman National Park
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Day 14 Nelson To Abel Tasman National Park
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Day 15 Nelson To Blenheim
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Day 16 Blenheim
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Day 17 Blenheim To Christchurch
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Day 18 Christchurch
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Day 19 Christchurch To Mount Cook
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Day 20 Mount Cook
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Day 21 Mount Cook To Queenstown
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Day 22 Queenstown
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Day 23 Queenstown
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Day 24 New Zealand Car Rental
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