The perfect pair

While weddings are great, this is the fun part. Imagine, just the two of you, intrepid explorers, out to conquer New Zealand one island at a time. Have a romantic soak in thermal pools, paddle along golden sand beaches, heli-hike on a glacier, toast your new life in an award-winning vineyard, and take the plunge (again) in Queenstown. The list of things to see and do is longer than your gift registry (wait, is it too late to include this trip?!). The adventure capital of the world is surely the best place to kick off the biggest adventure of them all.


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All payment is in NZD. Pricing in other currencies is indicative based on the current exchange rate. Final payment amount is determined by your bank based on the latest conversion.

Based on 2 ppl, double occupancy. Prices vary depending on season. Request Your Date for exact pricing and a range of activity add-ons.

Length14 days | 13 nights
DestinationAuckland to Queenstown

Classic Stays
Modern, well-appointed properties that provide a comfortable, convenient base from which to explore. Perfect for the region, they’re typically within easy access to cafes and other amenities.

Premier Stays
Quality lodgings in superb settings, from stylish lakeside lodges to restful alpine retreats. Note that in a few cases, Classic Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Premier to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Premier Stays are not available.

Luxe Stays
Exclusive, indulgent hideaways with exceptional facilities and service. The best in New Zealand (and perhaps the world). Note that in a few cases, Premier Stays are used on a trip classified overall as Luxe to allow access to stunning, remote locations where Luxe Stays are not available.

Special Stays
Some tours feature overnight cruises and multiple-day hikes, with stays in private lodges or Department of Conservation huts, for special wilderness experiences.


You’re comfortable on tracks with gently undulating terrain and can move comfortably and freely. Suitable for families with young children. Note, activity add-ons may change rating.

You enjoy walking/light hiking, can handle a hill or two, and appreciate life-affirming soft adventures that dip a toe outside your comfort zone.

You’ve got a bit of Kiwi in you and are ready to hit the hills and push yourself a little. Some of these trips include multi-day hikes that get you further into the wild. It’s not all Bear Grylls, though. You’re happy to enjoy a rewarding glass of pinot at day’s end.

This is an overall guide. Our trips include a range of activities across the spectrum. Request a Detailed Itinerary for more details on fitness levels needed for individual activities.

StyleSelf Drive

Small Group
Scheduled, guided adventures with just the right number of like-minded travellers to share in the laughs and make new friends.

Guided, professionally crafted trips with your own group and your choice of travel dates.

Self Drive
Self-guided, stress-free road trips with all the elements sorted for you. Our professionally crafted itineraries and booking team, your dates and travel companions.

Guided or self-guided, this is your personal New Zealand dream made manifest. A fully customized experience based on your passions, finessed with our professional planning.

Soft Adventure,

Daily Brief

Click on the orange icons to read about lodging along the way (not available on mobile). C=Classic, P=Premier, L=Luxe, S=Special Stays. Note accommodation may vary based on departure date. For hotel links and more information, Request a Detailed Itinerary above.

Welcome to New Zealand! You will be transferred to your central city accommodation, where a Black Sheep team member will meet you to discuss your trip and driving in New Zealand. The remainder of the day is free to recover from your journey and to explore this vibrant waterfront city.


Head south to Rotorua, a centre for Maori culture, geothermal activity and outdoor adventure. Included today is a hilarious ZORB ride. Slip, slide and laugh your way down hill tracks inside a giant inflatable ball. Additional, optional activities include a visit to Hobbiton, mountain biking on some of the country’s best tracks, and more.


Today you have an included visit to Rotorua’s lakefront spa. Soak in thermal pools overlooking the lake before a signature mud wrap treatment packed full of minerals sourced from this volcanic region. Optional activities can be arranged around your spa visit. Request a detailed itinerary for suggestions.


Depart Rotorua and journey south to Wellington. Pause at spectacular Huka Falls and travel the Desert Road, with amazing views of Tongariro National Park’s volcanoes, before reaching New Zealand’s picturesque capital city. Enjoy an afternoon and evening in what the Lonely Planet described as “the coolest little capital in the world.”


Ferry across the Cook Strait and into the Marlborough Sounds, gateway to the South Island. From Picton, travel to the Marlborough wine region, renowned for its Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays. Consider stopping for tastings and a winery lunch amongst the vines before carrying on to sunny Nelson, stopping for a river walk or swim along the way.


Travel by car then by water taxi to a remote lodge in the heart of the Abel Tasman National Park. The lodge’s stunning, environmentally sensitive architecture is a blend of modern and rustic. Nestled amongst native bush and framed by forested mountains and golden beaches, this glorious setting is your base for the next two nights.


The Abel Tasman, with its temperate forest, aquamarine water, and golden sand beaches, is one of the country’s most beautiful parks. You have the full day to enjoy the lodge’s setting and activities, including sea kayaking, swimming, and walks along the Abel Tasman track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.


Your water taxi delivers you back to base to collect your car and resume your journey to the West Coast via the Nelson Lakes region. You’ll have to discipline yourself to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel as you wind through the beautiful Buller Gorge and along dramatic coastline to the Pancake Rocks for your two-night stay.


Today, you’re off on a memorable cave rafting adventure. Armed with wetsuit and hardhat, explore a natural cave system on your way to an underground river. Board an inner tube and drift beneath an amazing constellation of glowworms. Exit the cave and ride over gentle rapids back to the start. Plenty of laughs are had on this unique adventure.


Dense rainforest lines the way as you drive south to New Zealand’s Glacier Country. Arrive in the alpine village of Franz Josef and board a helicopter for a flight over Franz Josef’s blue-ice crevasses, landing on its neve for spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and the valley below.


Wake up early to catch the reflections of Lake Matheson at their best before heading to Queenstown via the stunning Mt Aspiring National Park. Your trip notes suggest beach, forest, river, and waterfall walks on route, capturing some of the region’s most photographic views. Pause in lakeside Wanaka before heading over the Crown Range to Queenstown.


Today you have the opportunity to experience some of the best activities Queenstown has to offer. Choose from a combination of a Shotover Jet jetboat ride and a lovers’ leap off the world-famous Kawarau bungy bridge, or alternatively, travel to Glenorchy for a very special jetboat and canoe safari deep in the heart of the Mt Aspiring National Park.


There are so many things to do in this adrenalin capital that we’ve left today free to pick and choose how you wish to spend it. Optional activities include the all-out variety, like whitewater rafting, skydiving, and canyon swinging; or more benign pursuits like cycling, wine trails, or an excursion to spectacular Milford Sound. Your Travel Shepherd can help with the dizzying array of options.


Depending on your departure flight, have a leisurely lakeside breakfast or squeeze in one last adventure before you drop your rental car off at Queenstown Airport and await your flight home, ready to embark on your greatest adventure of all—your new life together. Bungy jumping has nothing on that one.

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If you already have a dream in mind, our Travel Shepherds await the challenge of bringing it to fruition. Request a Custom Quote based on your interests.

Trip Inclusions

Of course, a successful road trip is more than just your hands on the wheel and the wind in your hair. See below for the inclusions in your Self Drive journey—inclusions that take the stress out of your trip, so all you have to do is worry about that hairdo.


All accommodation during your tour

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ZORB Rotorua straight and sidewinder track ride
Lakefront spa visit including thermal pools and mud wrap treatment
Abel Tasman sea kayak and hike
Cave rafting
Scenic glacier heli flight and snow landing
Choice of Kawarau tandem bungy and Shotover Jet or Dart River Funyak Safari

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Included meals as outlined in your itinerary. Meal inclusions may change based on hotel availability.

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Compact automatic rental car (Toyota Corolla or similar) with no-excess insurance and unlimited kilometres
Arrival transfer in Auckland
Ferry and water taxi trips as detailed

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Professional office staff to help plan every aspect of your trip
Detailed pre-trip information
Meet and greet by a Black Sheep team member upon arrival (Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown only)
Detailed Self Drive touring pack delivered on arrival
Background support from Black Sheep HQ
Flight assistance available

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Gear & Amenities

Stainless steel water bottle
NZ road atlas
Trip notes with detailed itinerary, directions, insider tips, dining and activity recommendations, and more

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Love New Zealand
Self Guided
Self Drive