Only New Zealand crams so much spectacular scenery into so little space. And, on this ultra-scenic road trip, you’ll be treated to everything from giant glaciers and snow-capped mountains to glittering lakes and Rotorua’s explosive geysers. Then, alongside Maori heritage, you’ll take in the city culture of maritime Auckland, hip Wellington and idyllic Christchurch. There’s also plenty of time to take things easy, too, with vineyard tastings and golden beaches showcased between stays in boutique properties.
Days 1-2: Depart UK
Begin your trip in style with VIP lounge access before your flight out to New Zealand.
Days 3-4: Arrive in Auckland
You’ll be met on arrival by a private driver, who’ll see you to your accommodation – both our options are 1920s Art Deco icons. They’re also both set right in the heart of the action, with all of the city’s delights on your doorstep. After strolling past the sails and trendy restaurants of its gorgeous harbour, perhaps take in the Maori treasures of its art galleries and museums or the citywide views from its needled Sky Tower – the country’s tallest building. However, this being New Zealand, Auckland is just as much about its natural world, with volcanic peaks, Maori-carved rainforests and vineyard-dotted islands all within easy reach.
Days 5-6: Coromandel Peninsula
Picking up your hire car from the city centre, you’ll set off through the lush New Zealand countryside, sweeping along the coast and over peninsular mountains to arrive at your sea-view accommodation. While both options enjoy direct access to the region’s iconic golden sands, our intimate Deluxe offering is particularly enticing, host to just four suites. But, aside from some seaside relaxation, scenic drives will bring you between cathedral rock formations, the ocean-thrashed west coast and a bush-clad interior – a hikers’ paradise. There are even naturally heated beaches where you can dig out your own private spa pool in the sand. For Superior option, breakfast included only on day six.
Day 7: Rotorua
Continuing south, you’ll arrive into Rotorua. It’s here that the North Island’s millennia of volcanic activity is best felt; geysers spurt, hot springs steam, mineral lakes glow bright orange and mud pools all but explode. It’s all steeped in tribal Maori mythology, evident everywhere from traditional villages to cultural performances and hangi feasts. You’ll take it in between a night spent in your boutique-chic accommodation, with our Superior option offering a private mineral pool and the Deluxe alternative – a 1930s mansion – featuring spectacular lake views best taken in on its secluded beach.
Stay: Regent of Rotorua (Superior) Peppers on the Point (Deluxe)
Day 8: Napier
You’ll be brought back to the coast today by gentle rolling countryside. While Napier is an architectural marvel, having been reimagined in fine Art-Deco style following a 1931 earthquake, you’ll want to sample the local produce – its viticulture. As the gateway to the world-class Hawke’s Bay wine region, you’ll be able to taste your way through some of New Zealand’s finest vineyards, each terraced over beautifully undulating vineyards. End the day in either an Art-Deco boutique or our Deluxe option – a historic Vicarage where you’ll be treated to pre-dinner drinks and canapés.
Stay: The County Hotel (Superior) The Manse (Deluxe)
Day 9: Wellington
Heading on to the southern tip of the North Island, you’ll arrive into Wellington. New Zealand’s pretty capital is a quarter the size of Auckland, retaining a certain small-town charm that’s wrapped in lush hills and a picturesque harbour. The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa, is a particular highlight for its Maori woodcarvings, as are the harbour views from the cable car. Then, after perhaps sampling its superb restaurant and microbrewery scene, retire to the cocktail bar of your chandeliered art hotel or the rooftop-pool views of our flawlessly contemporary Deluxe option.
Days 10-11: Nelson
After dropping off your hire car, you'll leave the North Island behind aboard the Interislander ferry, crossing the Cook Strait in included Premium Class. Expect pretty views of green-dappled bays as you enjoy complimentary snacks, beers and wines. Then, once arrived, you’ll pick up your new hire car for the vineyard-dotted countryside to Nelson. Positioned on the edge of Abel Tasman, you’ll have two days to explore the quiet coves, golden beaches and jungled interior of this national-park gem on everything from kayak trips to scenic hikes. There’s even one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. End each day in a charming colonial homestead or a luxury lodge with spectacular harbour views – our Deluxe option. For Superior option, breakfast included only on day 11.
Stay: Cambria House (Superior) Te Koi (Deluxe)
Day 12: Franz Josef
Saying goodbye to the sunny shores of Abel Tasman, you’ll journey down along the South Island’s spectacular west side, dipping through verdant coastal forests as you go. You’ll soon arrive into Westland National Park, where you’ll stay right next door to the colossal expanse of Franz Josef Glacier. Be sure to explore with optional hikes onto its endless white or even a helicopter flight, before warming back up with a hot-pool soak in its surrounding rainforest. Our Deluxe option even features a canopy-level restaurant with mountain views while the Superior alternative, a 1920s colonial homestead, looks out over Franz Josef itself.
Stay: Holly Homestead B&B (Superior) Te Waonui Forest Retreat (Deluxe)
Days 13-15: Queenstown
Your trip down to Queenstown will bring you alongside rushing rivers, past quaint lakeside towns and into the heights of the Southern Alps. Perched between the Remarkables mountain range and glittering Lake Wakatipu, there’s a full range of activities here, from skiing and skydi...
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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