24 days from $13,008 per person*
  • Immerse yourself in New Zealand's beauty with an epic self-drive journey.
  • Hike the Tongariro Crossing amid scenery showcased in "The Lord of The Rings."
  • Learn about Māori culture first-hand in the traditional village of Te Puia in the Whakarewarewa Valley.
  • Visit the Tasman Glacier, soar the skies of Mount Cook, and cruise the fiordland of Milford Sound.
  • Stay at a handpicked selection of premium accommodations.
Request a Quote

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. ... Show More »

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. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Auckland
    Auckland
    • Private Transfer - International Airport - Vehicle/Driver
    • New Zealand - Welcome Package
  • Day 2 Auckland
    Auckland
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Auckland City Revealed (3-4 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 3 Auckland to Waiheke Island
    Auckland to Waiheke Island
    • Ferry - Auckland - Waiheke Island [40 mins] - Fullers Ferry
    • Private Tour - Waiheke Island Wine Tour (7 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
    • Ferry - Waiheke Island - Auckland [40 mins] - Fullers Ferry
  • Day 4 New Zealand Car Rental to Auckland to Matamata (Hobbiton) to Rotorua
    New Zealand Car Rental to Auckland to Matamata (Hobbiton) to Rotorua
    • Self-Drive - Intermediate SUV - 9 Day
    • Self-Drive - Auckland - Matamata (Hobbiton) [2 hrs] -
    • Shared Tour - Hobbiton Movie Set Tour (2.5 hrs) - Guide
    • Self-Drive - Matamata (Hobbiton) - Rotorua [1.5 hrs] -
  • Day 5 Rotorua
    Rotorua
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Eco-Thermal Park Tour (4.5 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver-Guide(Rotorua City)
    • Shared Tour - Te Puia Guided Tour and Te Po Hangi & Concert - Shuttle/Guide/Dinner/Concert
  • Day 6 Rotorua to Taupo
    Rotorua to Taupo
    • Self-Drive - Rotorua - Taupo [1 hr] -
    • Self-Guided - Optional Activities - Optional
  • Day 7 Taupo
    Taupo
    • Shared Tour - Tongariro Alpine Crossing Hike (with Lunch, 8 hrs) - Guide/Transfer
  • Day 8 Taupo to Napier
    Taupo to Napier
    • Self-Drive - Taupo - Napier [2 hrs] -
    • Private Tour - The Art Deco Quarter Walking Tour (1.5 hrs) - Guide
  • Day 9 Napier
    Napier
    • Private Tour - 1/2 Day Best of Bay - Food, Wine & Maori Culture with Light Snack - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 10 Napier to Wellington
    Napier to Wellington
    • Self-Drive - Napier - Wellington [4 hrs] -
    • Self-Guided - Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
  • Day 11 Wellington
    Wellington
    • Private Tour - Creative Capital Walking Tour (3 hrs) - Guide
  • Day 12 New Zealand Car Rental to Wellington to Picton to Abel Tasman National Park
    New Zealand Car Rental to Wellington to Picton to Abel Tasman National Park
    • Note: Crossing from the North to South Island
    • Ferry - Wellington - Picton [Premium Plus - 3hrs ] - Ferry Ticket
    • Self-Drive - Intermediate SUV - 13 Day
    • Self-Drive - Picton - Abel Tasman National Park [3 hrs] -
  • Day 13 Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park
    Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park
    • Shared Tour - Beaches, Bays & Seals Kayaking Adventure (with Lunch, 10 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide/Boat
  • Day 14 Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park
    Nelson to Abel Tasman National Park
    • Self-Guided - Optional Activities - Self-guided
  • Day 15 Nelson to Blenheim
    Nelson to Blenheim
    • Self-Drive - Nelson - Blenheim [1.5 hrs] -
  • Day 16 Blenheim
    Blenheim
    • Private Tour - Wilderness, Water & Wine Tour (with Lunch, 8 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 17 Blenheim to Christchurch
    Blenheim to Christchurch
    • Self-Drive - Blenheim - Christchurch [via Kaikoura, 4.5 hrs] -
    Breakfast
  • Day 18 Christchurch
    Christchurch
    • Private Tour - Exploring Arthur’s Pass (with TranzAlpine Train & Lunch, 10 hrs) - Train/Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 19 Christchurch to Mount Cook
    Christchurch to Mount Cook
    • Self-Drive - Christchurch - Mount Cook [4 hrs] -
    • Shared Tour - Big Sky Stargazing - Vehicle/Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 20 Mount Cook
    Mount Cook
    • Shared Tour - 1/2 Day Tasman Glacier Exploration (3 hrs) - Boat/Guide
    • Shared Tour - Grand Traverse of Mount Cook and Glaciers (50 mins) - Flight/Guide
    Breakfast
  • Day 21 Mount Cook to Queenstown
    Mount Cook to Queenstown
    • Self-Drive - Mount Cook - Queenstown [3 hrs] -
  • Day 22 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • Private Tour - Exploring Milford Sound (with Shared Cruise & Lunch) - Vehicle/Driver/Shared Cruise
  • Day 23 Queenstown
    Queenstown
    • Shared Tour - Dart River Wilderness Safari (6 hrs) - Coach/Jet Boat
  • Day 24 New Zealand Car Rental
    New Zealand Car Rental
    • Note: Rental Car Drop-off
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
Kensington Advantage
Personalized itinerary with private guide & driver. Award winning value.
  • Personalized itinerary that fits like a glove
  • Full attention of your own private guide & driver
  • In-country offices for 24/7 peace of mind
  • Multi-award winning
  • 30,000 delighted clients

With the inside track on the new, the old, the off-the-beaten track and the out-of-this-world, you won't find a more knowledgeable team of destination specialists.

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Day 1: Auckland

A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the Auckland airport and your hotel.

You will receive a welcome package on arrival, which will include a welcome letter, detailed itinerary, vouchers for each service, supplier contact list as well as various brochures of the destinations you will be visiting. This will be available at your first service. 

Accommodation: The Heritage Auckland

Overlooking Waitemata Harbour, this landmark building is adjacent to Saint Patrick’s Square and three blocks from Queen Street shopping district and Sky Tower, in the heart of downtown Auckland. Guestrooms, which have kitchenettes, are located either in the original hotel wing, where they have wood floors and original Art Deco elements, or the contemporary tower wing, where balconies have city views. A historic building and former department store, Heritage Auckland has a comprehensive conference center, two business centers, and complimentary wireless in the lobby area for the first 30 minutes.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Heritage Auckland  Restraurant
Heritage Auckland Restraurant

Day 2: Auckland

Today you will be collected from your accommodation by your private guide to embark on an Auckland city tour. Auckland is set on 48 dormant volcanic cones, is known as the City of Sails, and it is New Zealand's largest and busiest city. Your morning tour is a journey of discovery, designed to not only show you the history, sights and sounds but you also to give you a glimpse of how Aucklanders live and play. The tour includes visits to Auckland University, Domain and Harbour Bridge, Queen Street and is complemented with stunning views across the Hauraki Gulf and back to the city from Mount Victoria on the North Shore. You’ll also visit Auckland’s Westhaven Marina, an excellent example of the city’s passion for sailing. After this privately guided experience, you will be transferred back to your accommodation.

Accommodation: The Heritage Auckland
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Westhaven Marina
Westhaven Marina
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  The Heritage Auckland
The Heritage Auckland

Day 3: Auckland - Waiheke Island

Travel with Fullers Ferry to Waiheke Island. It's 92 square kilometers of sandy beaches, vineyards, native bush settings pristine coastline, olive groves and laid back seaside villages' only 40 minutes cruise from downtown Auckland. There is so much to see, do and explore, try sea kayaking, mountain biking or take a scenic coastal walk.

Take the ferry to Waiheke Island (own expense) to explore the island’s wineries. On this tour you visit up to four vineyards. If you wish, one vineyard may be replaced with an olive oil tasting and/or an artist studio. Your local, wine experienced guide has an extensive knowledge of the island and its surroundings, making your day informative and entertaining. On Waiheke Island, which also known as New Zealand’s Island of Wine, is an abundance of vineyards. Wineries on your tour may for example include Obsidian, which is a boutique winery, established in 1993, with the single objective of producing a great Bordeaux-style red. They now make ten varietal wines, including several award winners. Their flagship wine is a classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Kennedy Point vineyard produces Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay and Rosé wines. You may also want to taste manuka and pohutukawa honey, estate–grown olive oil, and New Zealand avocado oil. The winery’s Syrah recently won the International Syrah Trophy, the New Zealand Syrah Trophy, the New Zealand Red Wine Trophy and the Auckland Syrah Trophy at the International Wine Challenge. The tour starts at 10.00 a.m. and finishes as approximately 5 p.m. Lunch and the ferry from Auckland to Waiheke are not included.

Take the ferry to travel from Waiheke Island to Auckland Downtown.

Accommodation: The Heritage Auckland
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Waiheke Island Vineyard
Waiheke Island Vineyard
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Auckland Coastal Piha Beach
Auckland Coastal Piha Beach

Day 4: New Zealand Car Rental - Auckland - Matamata (Hobbiton) - Rotorua

Pick-up your rental car to explore the beautiful expanse of New Zealand. An intermediate SUV (or similar) has been reserved in your name. For upgrade options, please speak to your Destination Expert. 

Leave the city via the southern motorway and after crossing the Bombay Hills, descend to the Hauraki Plains - once the bed of the Waikato River. The river eventually drained away here, forming the fertile alluvial soil which has made this area one of the most productive farming areas in New Zealand. Travel through this rich dairying country to the town of Matamata which provides most of the essential services for the area. Matamata is also well known for its famous thoroughbred horse studs and is the home of ‘Hobbiton’ from the Lord of the Rings movies. Approximate non-stop drive time is 2 hours, covering 100 miles. 

Experience the real Middle-earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, the bucolic setting for The Shire that featured in the Peter Jackson directed films ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Your tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will escort you through the ten acre site recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton set was created. The Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill and other structures created for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ films can be viewed and you will see how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-earth. Upon completion of your tour of the set you will return to The Shires Rest. This shared Hobbiton tour takes approximately 2.5 hours and has a maximum group number of 40 participants. Please report to the Shire’s Rest, 501 Buckland Road.

On your way to Rotorua you’ll come across the town of Tirau, known for its antique shops and animal-shaped corrugated iron buildings. Enjoy plantation pine forest and a refreshing patch of native bush, Fitzgerald Glade, before you encounter the unusual terrain of the Mamaku district. Mini volcanic cones dot the landscape, some showing their solidified lava core. The last part of your journey takes you past the gondola and luge rides of Mt Ngongataha. You’ll know you’ve arrived in the city of Rotorua when you see (and smell!) the geothermal steam plumes of Whakarewarewa. Approximate drive time is 1.5 hrs, covering 54 miles.

Accommodation: Regent of Rotorua

The Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel & Spa redefines modern hospitality with a visionary blend of modern design, luxurious facilities and bespoke service to inspire imaginative travelers. Located in the heart of Rotorua, within close walking distance of the lakefront and convention centers and adjacent to the eating precinct, the Regent of Rotorua is the perfect hotel for business or pleasure. The 30 rooms and suites at the Regent of Rotorua are a haven of calm, blending stylish contemporary décor and hints of glamour, whilst still providing all the modern conveniences you would expect from a world class property.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Hobbiton
Hobbiton
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Regent of Rotorua
Regent of Rotorua

Day 5: Rotorua

Discover Rotorua’s most popular geothermal parks on this half day private tour, accompanied by a local naturalist guide. Begin with a scenic drive through volcanic landscapes dotted with farmlands as well as native and exotic forests where you’ll discover an area rich in geothermal activity, featuring not just volcanoes, but also geysers, New Zealand's largest boiling mud pool, and hot springs. On this adventure, you’ll visit two heritage parks which showcase a variety of geothermal activity; at Wai-o-Tapu, set your sights on amazingly colorful hot springs and a moon-like landscape, as well as the world-famous Lady Knox geyser. At Waimangu Volcanic Valley, follow your guide as the history of the Mount Tarawera is detailed – focusing on the enormous 1886 eruption which formed or significantly altered several nearby lakes – while also learning about the regions native flora and fauna. After spending the morning exploring these striking parks, you’ll be returned to your hotel in the early afternoon.

Enjoy a guided tour of the valley with one of Te Puia's world renowned guides. As part of the tour you will visit New Zealand's national carving and weaving schools and witness these disciplines in practice under the guidance of full-time master carvers and weavers. You will visit award-winning interactive galleries, see a kiwi bird up close, and most importantly, hear stories told by descendants of the valley. To conclude the first half of the tour you will visit the geyser and mud pools and then be invited to have a short rest prior to the beginning of the evening experience. Traditionally, Te Po is an intimate time for sharing knowledge while enjoying food, culture and friendship. Taking place at Te-Heketanga-a-Rangi (The Heavenly Origins), which is an area comprising of twelve monumental carvings reaching skywards – each one representing a Maori deity – you’ll hear the stories of the past and see how these traditions live on today. Feeding guests is regarded by Maori as an honor and a sign of a tribe’s Mana (standing), and as a result, you can expect a lavish banquet meal during the evening. This meal combines contemporary cooking techniques with traditional Hangi (earth-cooked oven meal), where Kai (food) is steam-cooked by hot rocks in the earth, giving it a delicious smoky flavor. Following dessert, you will be transferred to the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley to take in the spectacular lighting. Here, you can wander around the illuminated natural attractions, including Pohutu geyser. A shared outing, this tour can accommodate up to 160 guests.

Accommodation: Regent of Rotorua
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Wai-O-Tapu
Wai-O-Tapu
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Pohutu Geyser
Pohutu Geyser

Day 6: Rotorua - Taupo

Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so volcanic activity is part of the city’s past and present. Explore the geothermal areas and discover the unique culture of New Zealand’s Maori people. Rotorua is entertaining in any weather, at any time of the year. The road to Taupo will keep you entertained with its unusual, volcanic geography. You’ll also drive through large tracts of plantation pine forest. Take a side road to a geothermal park, where you’ll discover geysers, silica terraces and craters of boiling mud. Towards the end of your journey you’ll encounter the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station. Other diversions include Huka Falls and a world-acclaimed golf course. The resort town of Taupo sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake, which is well stocked with sizable trout. You’ll find everything a traveler could wish for, including an excellent choice of restaurants. Most accommodation establishments make good use of the underground thermal activity to provide hot spas for relaxation. Approximate drive time is 1 hour, covering 51 miles.

Enjoy some free time in Taupo, where your options for activities are endless. From trout fishing to golfing, thermal parks to lake cruising, you can choose an adventurous activity, or just enjoy a relaxing night out on the town. Participate in a bike tour, enjoy some hiking at Tongariro National Park, or enjoy a jet boat ride on the Huka Falls.

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels

Set on the shores of the country’s largest lake, this is one of Taupo luxury hotels with uninterrupted views of the magnificent lake and mountains. Many of Taupo’s famous attractions are just minutes away, including Huka Falls, water and snow skiing, hot mineral pools, golf courses, and lake cruises. The charming Edgewater Restaurant is a superb choice for savouring award-winning cuisine as swans gracefully swim by. The resort has also been artfully decorated to create an air of glamorous elegance, and its heated swimming pool, private grotto plunge pool, sauna, and gym provide guests with leisure options right at their doorstep. With 3 stylishly appointed event venues, 12 luxurious suites, and 39 boutique guest rooms, Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels Taupo is undoubtedly the town’s most desirable location for events and vacations.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Taupo
Taupo

Day 7: Taupo

Today you will be collected at your hotel at 8:00 am to begin the Tongariro Crossing Hike. Said to be the greatest one day hike in the world, the Tongariro Crossing is known for its unique, extraordinary landscapes – which were showcased in Lord of the Rings films – and its fascinating cultural significance. This 12 mile trail offers unrivaled adventure, while your accompanying guides provide interesting commentary regarding sacred areas along the way. Although this hike is very popular and a must-do for the intrepid traveler, it is important to understand this experience is best suited for those with a level of fitness capable of completing the eight hour trek over hilly and arduous sections containing uneven ground. Appropriate footwear and clothing necessary for safe tramping is a must.

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Tongariro Crossing
Tongariro Crossing
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels
Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels

Day 8: Taupo - Napier

The resort town of Taupo sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake, which is well stocked with sizable trout. You’ll find everything a traveler could wish for, including an excellent choice of restaurants. Most accommodation establishments make good use of the underground thermal activity to provide hot spas for relaxation. 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. The town of Eskdale heralds your arrival in Napier. In 1931 a devastating earthquake nearly leveled this city. 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. Approximate drive time is 2 hours, covering 87 miles.

Enjoy a private guided walking tour of Napier's Art Deco Quarter, experiencing a new perspective of the city's fascinating architectural history. Your personal guide will tailor the walking tour to your pace and your particular interests, making this a unique and highly personalized experience. Learn how Napier was once devastated by natural disasters and then rebuilt in the styles of the times, combining Mission Revival architecture, 20th-century Stripped Classicism, and, of course, Art Deco. Guides are available to lead private walks any day of the week at a time that best suits you and your itinerary. 

Accommodation: Hawkes Bay - Breckenridge Lodge

Breckenridge Lodge provides luxurious accommodation and fine dining in Hawke’s Bay. Nestled in the picturesque valley of Omarunui, and commanding views over the vineyard directly below, the Lodge is conveniently situated only minutes’ drive from Napier, Hastings, and the Napier Airport. Imagine the ambience of Tuscany in amongst the fresh green hills of New Zealand countryside. Each of the private rooms has spectacular views, air conditioning and ensuite bathroom. The private guest lounge is a place you can relax, with the French doors leading you out to the patio, should you wish to get a closer look at the surroundings. However, if you choose to spend time inside, there are plenty of good books to read, music to listen to and other guests to socialise with. The guest dining room is a focal point of the house, with the wine cellar well stocked with local New Zealand wines as well as an exciting range from abroad.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Art Deco Architecture in Napier
Art Deco Architecture in Napier
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Breckenridge Lodge
Breckenridge Lodge

Day 9: Napier

Delicious foods, fruit and wine, Maori elders and artists are all to be found in beautiful Hawke’s Bay. Meet wonderful characters, hear their stories and – above all – have fun. Walk among a collection of unique art deco buildings in Napier, visit creative food producers on their land where you can taste, touch and smell the wide range of tantalizing products. Visit a rural coastal settlement and talk with an elder who can provide spiritual insights into Maori culture. Taste beautifully crafted local wines at prestigious wineries and speak with some of the personalities involved in making the wines. Meet fascinating artists in their studios and view their paintings, sculptures or pottery. Explore the Hawke’s Bay countryside and discover a stunning historic country garden, a remote coastal beach, or native bushland; the choice is yours on this privately guided excursion. Whatever you decide, you are sure to experience the essence of this beautiful country on this tour that features the best of the bay.

Accommodation: Hawkes Bay - Breckenridge Lodge
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Vineyard near Napier
Vineyard near Napier
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Napier
Napier

Day 10: Napier - Wellington

Napier to Hastings - Fabulous parks and delicious ice cream are two reasons to visit Hastings. In the apple and pear season, there’s no better place to be – Hastings is New Zealand’s leading pip-fruit region. Enjoy clean, green scenery as you drive south through a procession of friendly townships. Waipukurau and Waipawa both have historic, Dannevirke locally made knitwear and Woodville with antique shops. Carterton is a good place to shop for paua shell souvenirs, while Greytown has beautiful Victorian architecture and a quaint museum. In recent years, Martinborough has become the gourmet capital of the lower North Island. It is home to over 25 boutique vineyards and several fabulous restaurants. From the charming town square, you can walk to most of the local attractions. After the town of Featherston, you’ll climb up and over the Rimutaka Range - great views in every direction. Once the mountains are behind you, it’s easy driving for the rest of your journey. You’ll wind through the picturesque Hutt Valley then a fast moving motorway will whisk you into the city. Approximate drive time is 4 hours 12 minutes, covering 200 miles.

During your afternoon at leisure in Wellington, consider visiting the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Here you can learn about the art, culture and natural history of the region with a particular focus on Maori and Pacific cultures. A massive museum, the various collections include roughly 70,000 bird specimens, the largest example of the colossal squid, and approximately 13,000 items from historic and contemporary cultures throughout the Pacific Islands.

Accommodation: CityLife Wellington

Wellington prides itself on being not only the country’s capital, but also its cultural capital – and there’s no better place to soak up the atmosphere than CityLife Wellington, with hotel accommodation located right in the heart of the city. Situated on Lambton Quay, you’ll find the best shopping, tourist attractions and cultural landmarks all within easy walking distance. When you want a breather, the hotel offers plenty of ways to make the most of your downtime. Offering a range of one and two bedroom serviced apartments, Wellington and its key attractions are right at your doorstep. From romantic getaways to indulgent shopping weekends, family holidays to business meetings, CityLife Wellington has the ideal suite to meet your needs. After an exciting day of sightseeing or business, you can now enjoy an even better night's sleep with extra comfy beds in all rooms. Kick back in the modern lounge-style Living Room, where you can enjoy a continental breakfast in the morning or a relaxing drink at the end of the day. For guests who wish to stay fit during their stay, a fully-equipped gymnasium is available.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Maori Carving
Maori Carving
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Fur Seal sitting on the Wellington Coast
Fur Seal sitting on the Wellington Coast

Day 11: Wellington

Meet your private local guide at the Bolton Hotel to set off on a walking tour of compact Wellington, New Zealand's capital and hub of artistry. Whether its through a rich art history, cutting edge innovation, or contemporary architecture, Wellington is a cosmopolitan gem where creativity takes center stage. Before beginning your walking tour, your private guide will introduce you to the artworks found at the Bolton Hotel, many of which were created by pioneering painter Rita Angus. You'll next view the 19th-century built Rita Angus cottage, the studio now devoted to housing emerging artists through a residency program. Explore Wellington's Parliament Grounds, comprised of four buildings that serve as the country's core of democracy. Among these buildings is the Executive Wing, also known as the Beehive, so nicknamed for its shape reminiscent of a beehive variety known as a skep. View the Waka Landing Point, Old Government House, and Wellington Railway Station among sites of interest on your journey. Your Wellington walk also includes a visit to the NZ Portrait Gallery, showcasing the stories of New Zealanders through dynamic and ever-changing exhibitions. Wander by the city's waterfront, a beautiful sprawl of summertime markets and eateries amid a backdrop of picturesque harbor views.

Accommodation: CityLife Wellington
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Wellington Beehive
Wellington Beehive
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Reception Desk
Reception Desk

Day 12: New Zealand Car Rental - Wellington - Picton - Abel Tasman National Park

Please note that as New Zealand car rental companies require their vehicles to be picked up and dropped off on the same island, today you will need to drop-off your car before boarding the ferry in Wellington. Upon disembarkation of the ferry, you will then pick up your next vehicle in Picton for the onward journey.

The Premium Lounge on board the Kaitaki or Aratere offers the most comfortable and luxurious way to cross the Cook Strait. A Kaitaki Plus ticket will allow access to an exclusive, premium, onboard lounge boasting comfortable lounge style seating, free WIFI internet access, the latest magazines and newspapers, light snacks, local and imported wines and beers, coffee, tea, juices and soft drinks.

Pick-up your rental car to explore the beautiful expanse of New Zealand. An intermediate SUV (or similar) has been reserved in your name. For upgrade options, please speak to your Destination Expert. 

Journey from Picton to Kaiteriteri, just outside of Abel Tasman National Park. Spent a bit of time on the beach in Kaiteriteri, explored the area. A trip to New Zealand’s South Island, wouldn’t be complete without staying in Picton to explore the majestic Marlborough Sounds and Marlborough’s diverse landscape. A truly special experience for all visitors to New Zealand. The spectacular Abel Tasman National Park is a mere 15 minutes north from Kaiteriteri. Approximate drive time is 3 hours, covering 104 miles.

Accommodation: Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte

Halfway between Nelson city and the Abel Tasman National Park, Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte is centrally located between the beautiful ocean and mountains. The five gorgeous suites and villas are luxurious, comfortable and provide total seclusion. Gentle pathways lead you through mature gardens to the shoreline, where your suite awaits you; filled with local artworks, top quality linen, fresh flowers, home baking, complimentary drinks and hand-made chocolates. A complimentary breakfast is provided each morning for guests’ convenience. Transfers to and from local cafes are provided during the evening hours. Exciting facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, full size tennis court and pétanque (a game which involves tossing metal balls). Canoes and mountain bikes are also available for guests wishing to enjoy the outdoors.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  200
200

Day 13: Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park

Meet your group guide in the morning, then set out to join a cruise with service to the magnificent coastline of Torrent Bay. After arriving at Torrent Bay Lodge, participate in a full training session and safety briefing before heading back onto the water – now by kayak - to discover the beautiful beaches, tidal estuaries and rivers of the most scenic kayaking area of the park. Pause at a sheltered cove for lunch and enjoy some time to relax, explore, swim or sunbathe on the golden sands. On your return journey, if the winds are favorable, kayak sails are hoisted and you sail back to Torrent Bay at leisure, stopping at Pinnacle Island to view the seal colony there. Sea birds working the shoals of fish or resting on the rocky outcrops add to the experience. With luck, you may even spot some of the blue penguins that live here. Back at Torrent Bay Lodge, freshen up with a hot shower and rejoin the boat to cruise back to Kaiteriteri, where a motor coach will be waiting to return you to Nelson. Please be sure to bring a dry bag for your clothing, towel, hat, sunscreen, wind jacket, swimsuit, a change of clothes and walking shoes.

Accommodation: Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park
Kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte
Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte

Day 14: Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park

The Nelson region offers enormous diversity both in the landscape and various activities; from snow-capped mountains to rolling vineyards to golden beaches and outdoor adventure to learning Maori weaving whilst visiting local markets. Enjoy the day shopping for locally made clothing and handicrafts, visit the weekend farmers market, leisurely stroll the coast line or dine at any of Nelson's many fine restaurants. Spend the day exploring the Abel Tasman National Park.

Accommodation: Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Nelson
Nelson
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte
Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte

Day 15: Nelson - Blenheim

Depart Nelson and follow the coast past the boulder bank the port’s natural breakwater, which may be seen at a distance offshore. Continue, passing over the Whangamoa Hill and the Rai Saddle before running down to Pelorus Bridge in its beautiful bush setting, to Havelock. From here the road leads southward through low hills before crossing the Wairau River and turning east to Blenheim, chief town and center of the Marlborough wine region. Approximate drive time is 1.5 hours, covering 71 miles. 

Accommodation: Marlborough Vintners Hotel

Surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Sauvignon Blanc country, Marlborough Vintners Hotel on Rapaura Road, Blenheim, New Zealand, is your cuisine and wine destination when travelling to Marlborough. This boutique vineyard accommodation and restaurant is set in 6 acres of grounds showcasing the tranquility of the vines. MVH offers luxury accommodation and Marlborough activities for your next holiday, wine experience, weekend escape, boutique vineyard wedding or executive retreat. This stunning property is also located in an area where cruising the Marlborough Sounds, biking, hiking, walking and fishing are fabulous alternative activities. MVH is located only 5 minutes from Blenheim airport and 1.5 hours from Nelson.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Marlborough Vintners Hotel
Marlborough Vintners Hotel

Day 16: Blenheim

Discover the very best of Marlborough aboard a luxury vehicle with driver, accompanied by an experienced local tour guide. Enjoy a fabulous mix of natural scenery around Marlborough with a two hour walk within a native forest on the famed Queen Charlotte Track, an incredibly picturesque region north of Blenheim. You’ll also enjoy a picnic morning tea while taking in excellent views over the Marlborough Sounds, then visit a nearby vineyard to dine on a platter lunch paired with wine samples in the famous Marlborough wine region. Although select wine samples are included, beverages are excluded. 

Accommodation: Marlborough Vintners Hotel
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Marlborough Sounds
Marlborough Sounds
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Blenheim
Blenheim

Day 17: Blenheim - Christchurch

Blenheim is the heart of wine-growing Marlborough. You’ll find a pleasing selection of cafes, restaurants, pubs, shops and golf courses. Character accommodation is another Blenheim delight—everything from homestays to boutique hotels. State Highway 1 takes you through the coastal foothills, and then out into the picturesque Awatere Valley. In the township of Seddon you’ll find authentic New Zealand crafts. The Lake Grassmere saltworks is an interesting stop—the ponds turn coral pink in late summer. After the small town of Ward, the road turns toward the awesome beauty of the Pacific Coast. Just north of the Ure River is a road that leads to the walking trails of the Sawcut Gorge. Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds—it’s also a great place to eat crayfish. A whale watch tour can take you to see Minke, Humpback and Southern Right whales mixing it with dolphins and orcas. Continue south,  along the edge of the rugged coastal ranges. From Cheviot you can detour to Gore Bay to see the fascinating cliff formations. The landscape becomes gentler as you approach Waipara – a region known for its vineyards and olive groves. The last leg of your journey takes you past the surf beaches of Amberley, Leithfield, Waikuku and Woodend. The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch is an entertaining mixture of refined lifestyle and cultural excitement. The tranquil Avon River meanders through the city, historic buildings house a lively arts community and restored trams make it easy to get around. Visit heritage sites, museums and art galleries, and enjoy the highly developed restaurant scene. Combined drive time is 4.5 hours, covering 196 miles.

Accommodation: The George

Located in the heart of picturesque Christchurch and overlooking its very own “Central Park”, this highly individualized boutique hotel is just steps away from all the city’s key attractions including the tram, arts market, upmarket restaurants, theatres and gardens. Boasting world-class restaurants that rate amongst the best in New Zealand, visitors come from far and wide to savor the delicious cuisine. Regularly ranked as one of the top hotels in the city, guests are sure to enjoy the upscale amenities and service offered a The George.

Day 18: Christchurch

Journey across the rich agricultural belt of the Canterbury Plains to Springfield to take photos of the mountains rising above you while aboard the famed TranzAlpine train. The voyage through the gorge is spectacular and leads to the massifs of the Southern Alps and Arthur’s Pass. Having arrived at Arthur’s Pass village, join your guide on an adventure that best suits your interests. The first option is the set off to view the Waimakariri River and its unique braided river system. To do so, you’ll follow the old stage coach route, viewing the spectacular Otira Gorge – testament to the road builders of the 1860’s and the route taken by the Maori in their quest for greenstone – along the way before arriving at the Cave Stream where a thread of water has carved a circular tunnel through an area of limestone cliffs, gorges and craggy outcrops. The area was featured in the film adaptation of CS Lewis’s The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, making it a site of particular interest for nature enthusiasts who also enjoy a good movie. Alternatively, set off with your guide to visit the incredible Castle Hill rocks, unique weather-worn rain outcrops of limestone widely regarded as sacred by the Maori. These incredible formations are simply mesmerizing, made all the more impressive by the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Following your privately guided adventure in Arthur’s Pass, you’ll return to Christchurch via Porter’s Pass and the Canterbury Plains. Please note: The weather is extreme and unpredictable. In order to ensure an enjoyable experience, please wear a wind- and water-proof jacket, sweater, breathable hiking gear, comfortable hiking shoes, and hat, as well as day pack with room for water, snacks, camera, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip balm.

Accommodation: The George
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Train
Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Train
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Christchurch
Christchurch

Day 19: Christchurch - Mount Cook

Depart Christchurch and travel southwards across the Canterbury Plains. The longest bridge in New Zealand takes you across the Rakaia River, a typical New Zealand ‘braided river’ where numerous channels of water flow across a wide gravel bed. The river originates in the Southern Alps which can be seen to the west as you continue over the flat land through Ashburton, center of this large sheep and wheat farming area. Shortly after crossing the Rangitata River, turn inland to Geraldine. From here, enter the Mackenzie District and travel onward over undulating sheep country to Fairlie. Take State Highway 8 from Fairlie through Burkes Pass to Lake Tekapo, where the picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd perches on the lakeside. Continue through a landscape of scrub and tussock to Lake Pukaki and drive up the western shore, following the Tasman River to Mt Cook village. Approximate non-stop drive time is 4 hours, covering 205 miles.

Mount Cook is far from the city lights and therefore has some of the darkest skies in New Zealand - perfect for viewing the night sky! Begin with an introduction and orientation in the Theatre Planetarium using a special live Digital Sky presentation highlighting unique features in the southern sky. The informative astronomy guides then take you on a short drive (transport provided) to an outdoor stargazing site for spectacular views of that southern sky. Using the naked eye, high powered binoculars and state-of-the-art telescopes, you will tour the Milky Way and beyond. Unleash your imagination as you explore our neighbourhood in the universe including the Southern Cross, star clusters, planets, moons and distant galaxies.

Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel

From an intrepid journey through glacial valleys to a mouth-watering culinary dining adventure, The Hermitage Hotel is the perfect place to base your adventure and discover why this region has endeared itself to Kiwi adventure seekers for so long. Choose from premium hotel rooms, motel units or cozy chalets. . The property offers some of the finest dining options in New Zealand. Guests can choose a la Carte, buffet style or informal café fare. They are the freshest and finest in New Zealand produce. Culinary experts bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from all over the world to produce menus rich in Kiwi fare and infused with international flavors.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Big Sky Stargazing
Big Sky Stargazing
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Mount Cook
Mount Cook

Day 20: Mount Cook

Enjoy a memorable and amazing up-close encounter with the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand's largest glacier. Explore, learn and discover the ever-changing glacial landscape as you journey across the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake in a custom-built MAC Boat alongside an experienced guide. With the effects of global warming and other climatic processes taking their toll on New Zealand glaciers, it is obvious that their retreat is imminent. Now approximately 17 miles (27 kilometers) long and 1965 feet (600 meters) deep, the Tasman Glacier is melting and calving at an increasing rate. In recent years the Tasman Glacier has changed from a 'melting' to a 'calving and melting' terminus, resulting in a terminal lake that is rapidly increasing in size. This results in icebergs of every shape and size imaginable periodically tearing away from the terminal face of the glacier into the rapidly growing lake below. On either side of the Terminal Lake, lateral moraines rear up almost 665 feet (200 meters) to remind us of the scale and grandeur that the glacier has reached in previous times - the last ice age finishing in just 1890.

Experience the flight of a lifetime, the "Grand Traverse" is a spectacular scenic flight that explores the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks. The Grand Traverse is recognized as the premier Aoraki Mount Cook flight-seeing experience; this magnificent flight encompasses two World Heritage National Parks and 160 miles (200 km) of New Zealand’s most memorable and breathtaking scenery. The highlights of the Grand Traverse include beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, golden tussock lands, the braided river systems of the Mackenzie basin, remote high country sheep stations, glacial valleys, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park – a magical world of permanent ice and snow, New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers – including Aoraki Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier, The Westland Tai Poutini National Park encompassing the magnificent Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers spilling down to the rainforests of the west coast. The aircraft operated by Air Safaris are ideal for New Zealand’s conditions, offering a window seat for every passenger and have wings-above to ensure unobstructed viewing below. Your friendly pilot will provide an informative and enjoyable commentary in addition to all passengers receiving the Air Safaris multi-language flight-guide. The Grand Traverse is approximately 50 minutes flight time.

Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Tasman Glacier
Tasman Glacier
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Mount Cook
Mount Cook

Day 21: Mount Cook - Queenstown

Mt Cook Village to Twizel: The road to Twizel hugs the edge of Lake Pukaki. The exquisite opaque turquoise color of this lake and others in the area is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles held in suspension. The landscape is a mixture of high country tussock, farmland and snow-capped mountains. Twizel is a well-placed base for mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horse trekking and hiking. It’s also a place to spy on the rarest wading bird in the world—the Black Stilt. If you don’t have the time to catch your own salmon, the local salmon farm sells it— fresh or smoked.

Twizel to Omarama: Twizel is a well-placed base for mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horse trekking and hiking. It’s also a place to spy on the rarest wading bird in the world— the Black Stilt. If you don’t have the time to catch your own salmon, the local salmon farm sells it—fresh or smoked. The easy drive to Omarama takes you through picturesque sheep farming country fringed with mountain ranges. You’ll have the chance to detour to the fascinating Paritea cliffs, which are constantly being exposed by the active Osler fault line. You could also pause to cast a line into the Ahuriri River—famous for sizable rainbow and brown trout.

Omarama to Queenstown: You’ll know you’re in Omarama when you see the giant merino sheep statue. This area’s unique geography has made it a magnet for gliding enthusiasts. Your trip to Queenstown begins with the beautiful Lindis Pass—just magic when there’s snow around. The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. It’s the place to source almost any kind of adventure, including bungee, jet boating, horse trekking, rafting and river surfing

Approximate drive time is 3 hrs, covering 149 miles.

Accommodation: Novotel Lakeside

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is the most centrally located 4-star hotel on Queenstown's lakefront. Step outside your door and into the heart of Queenstown with easy access to all that this premier Four Season lake and alpine resort has to offer. The hotel has delicious New Zealand influenced dining options, WIFI access and complimentary Apple Mac stations, a spa pool as well as professional and friendly staff that make Novotel Queenstown Lakeside the perfect hotel for your Queenstown visit.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Queenstown
Queenstown
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Day 22: Queenstown

You will be picked up from your accommodation in Queenstown to begin the lakeside drive which breaks from city into the lush green of Southland’s alpine farming country before heading for the unforgettable scenery of the Fiordland’s. After passing along the shores of New Zealand’s second largest lake, Te Anau, continue to Milford Sound, enjoying the scenery en route which reveals extraordinary beauty at every bend. Your experienced driver-guide knows all the best photography stops; in some cases short walks uncover otherwise hidden waterfalls, small placid lakes and snow-capped peaks clad in thick native bush. Awaiting at the harbor in the fiord is a cruise vessel which you’ll board to begin a relaxing 90 minute journey of discovery in scenery unchanged since Captain Cook’s arrival. It’s a place of towering mountains, rainforests, wildlife and glorious peace and calm, all of which you’ll discover in intimate detail before being returned to your hotel.

Accommodation: Novotel Lakeside
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Milford Sound
Milford Sound
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Lake View
Lake View

Day 23: Queenstown

Take part in the world famous Dart River Wilderness Safari. The tour includes a jetboat ride, a short guided bush walk and a backroad adventure in a 4-wheel drive coach. Always dress warmly, wear comfortable walking shoes/boots and bring eyewear (sunglasses or prescription glasses). Bring a sunhat and sunscreen in summer and a warm hat and gloves in winter. Approximately 45 minutes are allowed for refreshments prior to the coach departing Glenorchy for Queenstown. The trip starts at 7.40 a.m. (weather permitting) and takes 6 hours. Upon completion of your tour you will be returned to Queenstown.

Accommodation: Novotel Lakeside
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Jet Boating
Jet Boating

Day 24: New Zealand Car Rental

After packing up, make your way to the rental car drop off centre and return your vehicle.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) ( )

Depart from the International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

The Heritage Auckland : Auckland

Overlooking Waitemata Harbour, this landmark building is adjacent to Saint Patrick’s Square and three blocks from Queen Street shopping district and Sky Tower, in the heart of downtown Auckland. Guestrooms, which have kitchenettes, are located either in the original hotel wing, where they have wood floors and original Art Deco elements, or the contemporary tower wing, where balconies have city views. A historic building and former department store, Heritage Auckland has a comprehensive conference center, two business centers, and complimentary wireless in the lobby area for the first 30 minutes.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  The Heritage Auckland
The Heritage Auckland

Regent of Rotorua : Rotorua

The Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel & Spa redefines modern hospitality with a visionary blend of modern design, luxurious facilities and bespoke service to inspire imaginative travelers. Located in the heart of Rotorua, within close walking distance of the lakefront and convention centers and adjacent to the eating precinct, the Regent of Rotorua is the perfect hotel for business or pleasure. The 30 rooms and suites at the Regent of Rotorua are a haven of calm, blending stylish contemporary décor and hints of glamour, whilst still providing all the modern conveniences you would expect from a world class property.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Regent of Rotorua
Regent of Rotorua

Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels : Taupo

Set on the shores of the country’s largest lake, this is one of Taupo luxury hotels with uninterrupted views of the magnificent lake and mountains. Many of Taupo’s famous attractions are just minutes away, including Huka Falls, water and snow skiing, hot mineral pools, golf courses, and lake cruises. The charming Edgewater Restaurant is a superb choice for savouring award-winning cuisine as swans gracefully swim by. The resort has also been artfully decorated to create an air of glamorous elegance, and its heated swimming pool, private grotto plunge pool, sauna, and gym provide guests with leisure options right at their doorstep. With 3 stylishly appointed event venues, 12 luxurious suites, and 39 boutique guest rooms, Millennium Hotel and Resort Manuels Taupo is undoubtedly the town’s most desirable location for events and vacations.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels
Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels
Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels

Hawkes Bay - Breckenridge Lodge : Napier

Breckenridge Lodge provides luxurious accommodation and fine dining in Hawke’s Bay. Nestled in the picturesque valley of Omarunui, and commanding views over the vineyard directly below, the Lodge is conveniently situated only minutes’ drive from Napier, Hastings, and the Napier Airport. Imagine the ambience of Tuscany in amongst the fresh green hills of New Zealand countryside. Each of the private rooms has spectacular views, air conditioning and ensuite bathroom. The private guest lounge is a place you can relax, with the French doors leading you out to the patio, should you wish to get a closer look at the surroundings. However, if you choose to spend time inside, there are plenty of good books to read, music to listen to and other guests to socialise with. The guest dining room is a focal point of the house, with the wine cellar well stocked with local New Zealand wines as well as an exciting range from abroad.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Breckenridge Lodge
Breckenridge Lodge
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Guest Room
Guest Room

CityLife Wellington: Wellington

Wellington prides itself on being not only the country’s capital, but also its cultural capital – and there’s no better place to soak up the atmosphere than CityLife Wellington, with hotel accommodation located right in the heart of the city. Situated on Lambton Quay, you’ll find the best shopping, tourist attractions and cultural landmarks all within easy walking distance. When you want a breather, the hotel offers plenty of ways to make the most of your downtime. Offering a range of one and two bedroom serviced apartments, Wellington and its key attractions are right at your doorstep. From romantic getaways to indulgent shopping weekends, family holidays to business meetings, CityLife Wellington has the ideal suite to meet your needs. After an exciting day of sightseeing or business, you can now enjoy an even better night's sleep with extra comfy beds in all rooms. Kick back in the modern lounge-style Living Room, where you can enjoy a continental breakfast in the morning or a relaxing drink at the end of the day. For guests who wish to stay fit during their stay, a fully-equipped gymnasium is available.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  CityLife Wellington Hotel
CityLife Wellington Hotel
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Reception Desk
Reception Desk

Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte : Abel Tasman National Park

Halfway between Nelson city and the Abel Tasman National Park, Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte is centrally located between the beautiful ocean and mountains. The five gorgeous suites and villas are luxurious, comfortable and provide total seclusion. Gentle pathways lead you through mature gardens to the shoreline, where your suite awaits you; filled with local artworks, top quality linen, fresh flowers, home baking, complimentary drinks and hand-made chocolates. A complimentary breakfast is provided each morning for guests’ convenience. Transfers to and from local cafes are provided during the evening hours. Exciting facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, full size tennis court and pétanque (a game which involves tossing metal balls). Canoes and mountain bikes are also available for guests wishing to enjoy the outdoors.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte
Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte
New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte
Te Koi – The Lodge at Bronte

Marlborough Vintners Hotel : Blenheim

Surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Sauvignon Blanc country, Marlborough Vintners Hotel on Rapaura Road, Blenheim, New Zealand, is your cuisine and wine destination when travelling to Marlborough. This boutique vineyard accommodation and restaurant is set in 6 acres of grounds showcasing the tranquility of the vines. MVH offers luxury accommodation and Marlborough activities for your next holiday, wine experience, weekend escape, boutique vineyard wedding or executive retreat. This stunning property is also located in an area where cruising the Marlborough Sounds, biking, hiking, walking and fishing are fabulous alternative activities. MVH is located only 5 minutes from Blenheim airport and 1.5 hours from Nelson.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Marlborough Vintners Hotel
Marlborough Vintners Hotel

The George : Christchurch

Located in the heart of picturesque Christchurch and overlooking its very own “Central Park”, this highly individualized boutique hotel is just steps away from all the city’s key attractions including the tram, arts market, upmarket restaurants, theatres and gardens. Boasting world-class restaurants that rate amongst the best in New Zealand, visitors come from far and wide to savor the delicious cuisine. Regularly ranked as one of the top hotels in the city, guests are sure to enjoy the upscale amenities and service offered a The George.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  The George
The George

Hermitage Hotel : Mount Cook

From an intrepid journey through glacial valleys to a mouth-watering culinary dining adventure, The Hermitage Hotel is the perfect place to base your adventure and discover why this region has endeared itself to Kiwi adventure seekers for so long. Choose from premium hotel rooms, motel units or cozy chalets. . The property offers some of the finest dining options in New Zealand. Guests can choose a la Carte, buffet style or informal café fare. They are the freshest and finest in New Zealand produce. Culinary experts bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from all over the world to produce menus rich in Kiwi fare and infused with international flavors.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Hermitage Hotel
Hermitage Hotel

Novotel Lakeside : Queenstown

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is the most centrally located 4-star hotel on Queenstown's lakefront. Step outside your door and into the heart of Queenstown with easy access to all that this premier Four Season lake and alpine resort has to offer. The hotel has delicious New Zealand influenced dining options, WIFI access and complimentary Apple Mac stations, a spa pool as well as professional and friendly staff that make Novotel Queenstown Lakeside the perfect hotel for your Queenstown visit.

New Zealand: Ultimate Self-Drive Journey Tours 2020 - 2021 -  Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

Depart (Int`l Airport) ( ): Global Location

Depart from the International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Mona Y — June 14, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    Rehana was wonderful. Her recommendations were all top notch and made me realize how well she knew Australia. Everything ran like clockwork and that allowed us to make the most of what was actually a short time in Australia. She was also very patient with my many questions and gave me alternatives when I asked. It is the third time that we've used Kensington Tours and I can't imagine using anyone else. We've never been disappointed.

  • Curtis L — March 21, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    Kerry Brown was an exceptional travel consultant throughout the entire planning phase as well as a responsive resource as we encountered a few challenges while travelling. Her personal interest in our comfort, convenience, and pleasure made our trip an unforgettable experience. We will definitely consider using Kensington for international travel.

  • Ellen M — February 12, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    Wonderful trip, tailored to our exact needs and wishes, quality hotels, tours, experiences. Very satisfied, the best part of our trip was through Kensington.

  • Holly T — April 17, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    Samantha was amazing and the trip was wonderful and enchanting! Guides were amazing and super knowledgeable. Special shout out to Kenn Holmes (Brisbane) who not only provided an amazing tour of the Australian Zoo but went above and beyond to look for medical care for me for an ear infection during our day together. He was amazing!

  • Susan S — June 05, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    Our trip to New Zealand was a special occasion in that I was celebrating my 70th birthday. Our itinerary was jam-packed as we were visiting both the North and South Islands, that included 6 cities and 4 national parks. Kensington Tours truly did an outstanding job arranging for our transportation, hotels and tour guides. They far exceeded my expectations.

  • Jennifer B — February 19, 2019 — Australia & Pacific

    We felt like rock stars on this trip! Everything was so well arranged and of high quality. The guides were all excellent and even the drivers to and from the airports provided a mini-tour during the transport. Many thanks for Jennifer May for accommodating our preferences of activities and hotels and making this all possible.

  • Jennifer U. — September 30, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    We had run into a snag on our trip. When we could not resolve this on our own we reached out to the after-hours contact at Kensington and between her and our original trip organizer, the issue was resolved for us promptly. It let us enjoy the rest of our trip without the stress of having to deal with the issue on our own. Peace of mind is priceless.

  • Ronald J. — August 13, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    Ashwarya, my Destination Expert, was on top of everything and answered all my questions.

  • Joshua J. — July 24, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    I am always thrilled with Kensington and their experts.

  • Emily D. — June 22, 2018 — Australia & Pacific

    Renee, our Destination Expert, put together a great trip for our family. She listened to what our priorities were and designed a trip within our budget.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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