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Wonders of New Zealand

Experience for yourself the many wonders that make New Zealand such an astonishing destination. Discover the breath taking scenery: the volcanoes and stunning beaches of the North Island and the snow capped mountains and rugged glaciers of the South Island.

Learn about Maori traditions, fascinating wildlife, wine making and geothermal wonders.

At a glance

  • 22 day independent motorhome tour
  • Prices start from £4,999pp
  • Departures all year round
  • Return international flights included
  • Motorhome hire and accommodation included
  • 2 nights in a 4-star Auckland hotel on arrival
  • 1 night in a 4-star Christchurch hotel at the end

Call our friendly, knowledgeable team for more information 01580 214089.

What to expect

This is a relaxed, easy going 22 day itinerary, designed to showcase some of the greatest wonders of New Zealand. Travel at your own pace, independently and with full support should you need it. Everything is taken care of in advance by us: flights, campsites, vehicle, hotels. Just relax and go with the flow as you immerse yourself in this amazing country.

Your holiday price includes the following:

  • Return international flights from the UK
  • 2 nights in a 4-star hotel in Auckland on arrival
  • 1 night in a 4-star hotel in Christchurch at the end
  • Motorhome hire
  • Campsite reservations for each night
  • Inter Islander ferry through the Cook Straits
  • Full tank of fuel (no need to return it full)

Your motorhome

You’ll have full use of your 2-berth motorhome for 17 days (upgrade to a larger vehicle is possible), with sat nav, on board wifi, unlimited mileage and motorhome insurance. Nights will be pre-booked for you at selected campsites.

You will be provided with all bedding, linen, towels, sleeping bags, as well as crockery, utensils and cutlery.

You will receive a personalised handbook before departure, with tips, itinerary and instructions. All you need do is relax and enjoy this trip of a lifetime.

Auckland to Taupo

Highlights

  • Discover cosmopolitan Auckland – the City of Sails
  • Drive south through the lush Waikato
  • Take a cable car to the summit of Mount Ngongotaha
  • Explore Lake Taupo and the mighty Huka Falls

Days 1-4: UK to Auckland

You’ll be arriving in Auckland on Day 3, due to international time zones. Relax and stroll around the waterfront, maybe head to the top of Sky Tower for amazing wraparound views.

Alternatively take a ferry over to quaint Devonport, or cruise over to Waiheke Island for lunch at Mudbrick Vineyard – where great food comes with great views.

Days 5-6: Rotorua

You’ll be collecting your motorhome today so after a familiarisation session you’re on your way. Head through the tranquil Waikato region, maybe stopping at the ever-popular Waitomo Glow Worm Caves.

Before long you reach the geothermal region of Rotorua. A highlight is the Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Reserve, featuring all things boiling and sulphurous: bubbling mud pools, colourful mineral pools, the 62 metre deep Champagne Pool, and the famous Lady Knox geyser.

Take the cable car ‘gondola’ up Mount Ngongotaha and in return you’ll get amazing views.

Rotorua is a key part of the Maori heartland so there’s always the chance to learn about Maori culture and traditions. Go along to an evening feast or hangi for a traditional banquet with dancing and Maori culture. You may even find yourself performing the haka!

Day 7: Taupo

Head south to Taupo, stopping at the surging Huka Falls. Marvel at the incredible forces of nature that channel the vast waters of the Waikato river through a gorge only 15 metres across.

Nearby is the Craters of the Moon where a meandering trail leads you through a slightly surreal and steaming heathland of bubbling pools and crevices. Further on lies the volcanic Tongariro National Park and the unmistakable sight of its three active volcanic mountains.

Wellington to the Franz Josef Glaciers

Highlights

  • Get to know Wellington, New Zealand’s capital
  • Take the Inter Islander ferry across the Cook Straits
  • On the west coast marvel at Punakaiki’s ‘Pancake Rocks’
  • Enjoy the drama of the brooding glaciers at Fox and Franz Josef
  • Take time to see the Southern Alps reflected in the ‘mirror lake’ at Lake Matheson

Days 8-9: Wellington

At the southernmost tip of North Island, spend time in Wellington. It’s a bright and breezy city with a vibrant waterfront and superb Te Papa museum – the national museum which brings to life so much of what you’ll see in the country. Do take the bright red cable car up from Lambton Quay for magnificent views.

Days 10-11: Inter Islander Ferry & Nelson

Take the three hour crossing to Picton in the South Island. Look out for the wonderful scenery of the Queen Charlotte Sound as you approach, as well as dolphins who can often be seen frolicking.

From Picton take the peaceful road around the north coast to Nelson. The region enjoys New Zealand’s highest sunshine levels, and the beaches on the Abel Tasman National Park can have a distinctly Mediterranean feel about them.

Head to Kaiteriteri beach and take a guided kayak excursion round to the amazing Split Apple Rock (a mere 120 million years old).

Day 12: West Coast

You’ll now start dropping down the rugged west coast, bordered by the pounding surf of the Tasman Sea. At Punakaiki the ‘Pancake Rocks’ have been a spectacle for 30 million years.

Enjoy the wonderful seascapes as you approach your stop over in Greymouth.

Days 13-14: Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers

The snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps begin to rise on your left before you reach glacier country. Follow the trail up to the glaciers as far as possible (it will vary day to day) to appreciate their immense scale.

Find time to visit Lake Matheson (just 5 km from Fox) surrounded by temperate rain forest and on whose mirror-like surface you can see a wonderful reflection of the Southern Alps. This is known locally as the Reflection of Reflections.

A relaxing soak at the Glacier Hot Pools, set among lush rain forest in the centre of town, is popular after a day’s hiking.

Wanaka to Christchurch

Highlights

  • Take the dramatic route through the rugged Haast Pass
  • Stop at Lake Dunstan and the Kawarua Gorge en route to Queenstown
  • Or take the high road over the Crown Range
  • Explore Dunedin and the magnificent Otago peninsula
  • Witness the other-worldly Moeraki Boulders

Day 15: Wanaka

Cross the Southern Alps at Haast Pass (the mighty Gates of Haast gorge is dramatic), a fifty mile stretch of road running through Mount Aspiring National Park. It’s wild but beautiful terrain.

Lake Wanaka is a gentle spot, a shimmering lake encircled by mountains. Stroll along the beach, maybe take a dip and look for the famous ‘Wanaka tree’ protruding from the water.

Days 16-17: Queenstown

Heading south you’ll reach Queenstown via Lake Dunstan and Kawarua Gorge, scene of the Otago Gold Rush of the 1860s. Alternatively take the longer and popular route over the Crown Range. This is steep and very twisting but offers extraordinary views – not surprising as it is the highest public road in New Zealand. Be sure to stop for a coffee, and photo opportunity, at the Cardrona Hotel mid-way.

Queenstown is billed as the Adventure Capital of the World, with all manner of bungee jumps, zip wires and jet boats on offer. The Shotover jet boat rides are fantastic.

Whilst in Queenstown a day trip to Milford Sound is always possible (ask us to arrange this). Set in Fjordland National Park, Milford Sound offers some of New Zealand’s most breath taking scenery, and a chance to see the dolphins, penguins and seals.

Days 18-19: Dunedin & the Otago peninsula

Head east today and you’ll arrive in Dunedin, sometimes known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. With a distinctly Scottish heritage, this is one of the best preserved Victorian cities in the southern hemisphere.

Explore the town’s heritage or take an excursion on the Taieri Gorge Railway from Dunedin’s famous ‘gingerbread’ station. It’s one of the world’s great railway trips.

The Otago peninsula offers a wealth of stunning views, lush, green landscape and wildlife havens. At the tip is the only mainland nesting spot of the Royal Albatross and the visitor centre is a popular visit.

Day 20: Christchurch

Head north towards the Moeraki Boulders, making sure to time your visit with low tide. Vast spheres of rock set on the sandy beach, and emerging with every low tide, they have been here 56 million years.

Cruise across the Canterbury Plains towards the Garden City of Christchurch where you will say goodbye to your motorhome. Enjoy a night in a hotel and a chance to explore this pleasant city. Perhaps a tram ride, or a stroll in the Botanic Gardens? Maybe a leisurely punt on the River Avon?

Days 21-22: Christchurch to the UK

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, taking a mountain of memories - and no doubt a lot of photos - with you.