Island hopping

The New Zealand Discovery self-drive trip is a wonderful two-week blend of some of the best scenic and cultural features of New Zealand’s North and South Islands. From the volcanic landscape of the north to the glacially carved topography of the south, you’ll love taking routes less travelled and discovering the incredible diversity of the two islands as you’re welcomed with true Kiwi hospitality.

Premier Stays
Price per person from
4830
  • NZD
  • USD
  • CAD
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  • SGD
  • EUR
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.
Classic Stays
Price per person from
3970
  • NZD
  • USD
  • CAD
  • GBP
  • AUD
  • SGD
  • EUR
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.

Summary
Length14 days | 13 nights
DestinationAuckland to Queenstown
Lodging

Premier Stays

Classic Stays

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.

FitnessEasygoing

Easygoing
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.

Moderate
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.

Active
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.

Private
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.

Bespoke
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.

Interests
Soft Adventure,
GO BESPOKE

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.

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.
1
P

Welcome to New Zealand! You will be transferred to your central city accommodation, where a Black Sheep team member will meet you for an orientation about your upcoming tour and about driving in New Zealand. The remainder of the day is free to recover from your journey and to explore the city.

2
P
C

Head south through rich farmland to Rotorua, with an optional stop at Hobbiton on route. Rotorua is a cultural centre for Maoridom and an active volcanic region. An introduction to Maori culture, geothermal spas and adventure activities, including some of the country’s best mountain bike trails, are on offer here.

3

Explore some of the region’s most extraordinary geothermal features with a variety of optional add-ons: visit the active White Island volcano, take a float-plane over the impressive Mt Tarawera crater rift, or visit a colourful and diverse thermal reserve featuring boiling mud pools and geysers.

4
P
C

Depart Rotorua and travel south via the spectacular Huka Falls and New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo. Your route takes you on the Desert Road, past the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park, to Wellington, New Zealand's picturesque capital city. Spend the evening enjoying the cultural features of this dynamic city.

5
P

Board your ferry and cross to the South Island, gliding past the spectacular coastline of the Marlborough Sounds. Collect your rental car in Picton and travel to the renowned Marlborough wine region. After tastings and perhaps a winery lunch (don't forget to choose your designated driver!), continue to sun-drenched Nelson.

6

The Abel Tasman National Park is arguably one of the most beautiful parks in the country. We recommend you take a hike and sea kayaking trip along the coast, ducking in and out of secluded bays and strolling along its beaches. Your Black Sheep Travel Shepherd can provide details and pre-book for you (recommended).

7
P
C

Head for the wild and woolly West Coast, making beautiful scenic detours along the way. It's eyes on the road and hands on the wheel as the route to Punakaiki hugs the coast, providing spectacular viewpoints of the Tasman Sea and lush, fern-clad coastline. After settling into your accommodation, explore the area's features, including the intriguing Pancake Rocks.

8

Beneath this part of the South Island is a labyrinth of intricate cave systems which can be explored in a choice of ways, from scenic caving to adventure caving to New Zealand's renowned and unforgettable cave rafting. Above-ground alternatives are also available, including walking, paddling and horse trekking on the beach.

9
P
C

This morning is a spectacular drive to New Zealand's glacier region where you'll be based for the next two nights. Enjoy comfortable accommodation in a quaint alpine village with mountain views and rainforest paths.

10

Your trip notes recommend the best ways to make the most of this spectacular region. Walk along the glacial riverbed to view the impressive terminal face of Fox Glacier and explore additional trails through ancient rainforest. Optional activities allow you access to the glacier, including glacier hikes and a helicopter flight that lands you on the neve.

11
P
C

Take a lakeside walk before your drive to Queenstown. Your trip notes identify hidden walks and scenic stops within the Mt Aspiring National Park as you head to the Otago region, New Zealand's Outback. Queenstown, resting on beautiful Lake Wakatipu and flanked by the aptly named The Remarkables range is a stunning setting for your remaining three nights.

12

Queenstown is New Zealand's adrenalin center. There is a wide range of optional activities available, including jetboating, horse trekking, whitewater rafting, sky diving, four-wheel-drive adventures, and bungy jumping, or more leisurely pursuits such as walking, fishing and wine trails. Talk to our Travel Shepherds about your Queenstown dreams.

13

Today, we have included a coach trip and nature cruise on Milford Sound. As your coach carries you through the Fiordland National Park, you’ll be thankful someone else is doing the driving so you can fully take in the spectacular views. In Milford Sound, board your vessel and cruise between the towering walls of the fiord to the Tasman Sea, past thundering waterfalls and fur seals lounging on the rocks. Your return coach arrives in Queenstown this evening.

14

Depending on your flight schedule, you'll have time to relax and make final purchases before dropping your rental car at Queenstown Airport and travelling home or to your next destination. We're confident you'll leave New Zealand with an experience that you’ll reflect on for years to come.

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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.

Accomodation

All accommodation during your tour

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Activities

Milford Sound Nature Cruise including coach tour from Queenstown

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Meals

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

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Transport

Compact automatic rental car (Toyota Corolla or similar) with no-excess insurance and unlimited kilometres
Arrival transfer in Auckland
Ferry ride to South Island

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Support

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 & holder
NZ road atlas
Trip notes with detailed itinerary, directions, insider tips, dining and activity recommendations, and more

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New Zealand Discovery
Self Guided
Self Drive

WOW, WHAT AN AMAZING TRIP! KNOW YOU HAVE TWO BLACK SHEEP TOURING CO RAVING FANS IN OMAHA!

AMY BROWN, OMAHA, NE, USA