New Zealand might be a small country but it has developed a big name as a popular international tourist destination. With good driving roads, top tourist spots easily accessible and an ever-changing display of breath-taking scenery, it is easy to understand why visitors enjoy touring around this beautiful country.
Situated in the southwest of the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is a multi-cultural land boasting a diverse range of landscapes and climatic conditions extending throughout the North and South Islands, while Foveaux Strait separates Stewart Island from the bottom of the South Island.
Temperatures range from the warm sub-tropical areas of the ‘Far North’ to the cooler climates of the ‘Deep South’. With ski-ing in winter and water sports in summer, New Zealand really is an all-season holiday destination. From sparkling golden beaches, picturesque glaciers and tramper-friendly native rainforest, to world-class ski facilities, magical marine life, pristine hiking conditions, historical buildings, Maori culture and lush farmland, it is easy to see why New Zealand is renowned for our eco-tourism and pure, green outdoor image.
If you are considering a self-drive journey around this beautifully diverse country, New Zealand’s Information Network has compiled some awesome itineraries to assist you with your Kiwi travel plans. Our travelling writers have provided the low down on what you should see and do not only during your stay in each city or town, but also the shops to visit, the best places for dining, as well as things you should take the time to see or experience while you are travelling along the highways and back roads of this stunning country.
Our modern self-drive travel itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
Our North Island Itineraries showcase the regions top visitor attractions as well as the ‘not so well known’ activities plus some great ‘off the beaten track’ places to visit. Many of the North Island itineraries start in Auckland, and showcase some of the best North Island visual attractions and Maori culture, including visits to Rotorua, Taupo, Waitomo Caves, the beautiful Coromandel and coastal destinations such as Tauranga, Paihia and Whitiangia, as well as Whangarei, Napier, Dargaville, New Plymouth, Masterton, Gisborne and more. If you would like a sneak of the South Island then the 8-day North Island Itinerary is just for you! Starting in Wellington, enjoy time in the wine country of Masterton before heading across on the Ferry to Picton, Blenheim and Nelson in the upper South Island.
Not only is the South Island larger than the North Island, it is uniquely beautiful and is home to nearly one quarter of New Zealand’s population – so you can’t say you have been to New Zealand without enjoying at least one of our recommended South Island Itineraries. Many of the South Island itineraries start in Christchurch, which is the South Island’s largest city, and showcase some of the best ‘Mainland’ visual attractions and adventure tourism, including visits to the rugged and wild West Coast, Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and the adventure capital of the world… Queenstown! From well known attractions such as relaxing in the hot pools of Hanmer Springs to whale watching in Kaikoura, to quaint rural areas such as Omarama or the stunning beauty of Milford and Doubtful Sounds, Arrowtown, Wanaka and Te Anau. You can plan a trip to see it all! Of course, don’t forget Lake Tekapo, Nelson, St Arnaud, the vineyards of Marlborough, the English vibe of Dunedin and the wonderland that is Able Tasman National Park! Happy Kiwi travels!
IMPORTANT INFORMATION – We encourage safe driving skills, therefore we always recommend you alter any of your travel or itinerary plans to suit your driving experience, age and road or weather conditions. If you start to feel tired then pull over for a rest or even stay over-night at the nearest accommodation (or park up for the night in your motorhome).
New Zealand also has strict rules regarding drinking alcohol and driving, it’s simple really – DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! If you drink then drive you’re a bloody idiot! Always have a nominated sober driver, no matter what stage of your journey – morning, day or night. And if you have been drinking the night before, make sure you are sober and refreshed before you carry on with your driving journey the next day.