Explore NZ!

Exploring New Zealand - 14 nights Self Drive Adventure

Day 1: Arrive Auckland Kia Ora and welcome to New Zealand

On arrival to Auckland collect your Budget rental car before traveling to Auckland City. Dependant on your flight arrival time you may wish to explore the multi cultural city of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest populated city. Included within your documentation you will have a voucher for return ferry transfers to Devonport. Exchange this for Fullers tickets at the Auckland Ferry terminal located on Quay Street. Devonport, a charming historic seaside village, on the northern shores of Auckland City, is only 10 minutes by ferry to Auckland City centre. Departures: Regular daily departures every 15-30 minutes. Suggested optional activity, not included in costing: Explore Group - Pride of Auckland - Dinner Cruise (Daily all year around at 6pm) - 2.5hrs Enjoy your meal as you sail around the beautiful Auckland Harbour taking in the view as the city lights up. You'll be treated to canapés and a drink as you set off towards Westhaven Marina. Choose between a formal dinner in the downstairs cabin or take in the iconic sights of the Auckland Harbour while you eat on deck. A decadent dessert will then be yours to savor as you set sail. Includes: 2.5 hours sailing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour, Enjoy a 3 course meal served up by our friendly crew, Dine on deck while soaking in the view or below deck in a more classic setting and relax with a complimentary drink on arrival* Need to know: Includes a 3 course set menu, chosen at time of booking, a complimentary drink on arrival, fully licensed bar is available on board for additional drinks*, wear a light jacket and flat soled shoes, bring your camera, check in for your trip 15 minutes prior to departure. This trip is suitable for children. Lifejackets will be supplied in the event of an emergency. We operate a wide range of vessels in our fleet across New Zealand... Operates daily all year around at 6pm AUCKLAND - an exciting, sporting and cultural city, sprawled on a narrow isthmus, between two harbours. The Waitemata and Manukau Harbours, are a main feature of the city, along with numerous volcanic cones such as Mount Eden and Rangitoto Island. The city's many beaches, marinas and parks, make it ideal for outdoor pursuits such as yachting, rugby, cricket or a day at the beach. The Auckland metropolitan area is New Zealand's biggest city, and the population mix of European, Maori, and Pacific Islander, make Auckland the largest Polynesian city in the World. Tourist Accommodation: Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland Britomart, Guest Studio Apartment, 1nt Deluxe Accommodation: The Heritage Auckland, Superior Room –Hotel Wing, 1 night

Day 2: Auckland / Pauanui (approx 180kms)

Depart Auckland and travel along the Pacific Coast Highway to the Coromandel region. The Coromandel Peninsula is one of New Zealand’s favourite summertime spots with endless beaches, coves and bush walkways. COROMANDEL PENINSULA - the Peninsula juts out from the South Auckland coastline to separate the Hauraki Gulf from the Bay of Plenty. Deep in the bush lie abandoned mining machinery, old kauri water dams, and timber milling equipment. The Peninsula is full of contrasts - the sea lapping on quiet golden beaches, or crashing onto jagged rocks at the bottom of a steep cliff. Farmland is fertile in some places, and in other areas has reverted to manuka and gorse. Tourist Accommodation: Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge, One bedroom unit, 1 night Deluxe Accommodation: Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort, Kauri Chalet incl Bed and Full Breakfast,1 night

Day 3: Pauanui / Rotorua (approx 250kms)

Before departing this morning you may wish to enjoy a refreshing dip in the surf or visit one of the many picturesque spots the Coromandel has to offer. Today travel to the Thermal city of Rotorua. ROTORUA - located on a volcanic plateau, and formerly a spa town, Rotorua is most famous for its geothermal activity. Rotorua is the main place in New Zealand where aspects of Maori traditions can be seen, from wood carvings, and meeting houses, to a Hangi Dinner and Maori dances. Native and introduced tree species abound locally and combined with several picturesque lakes, Rotorua is a fascinating mix of culture and nature. Tourist Accommodation: Ibis Rotorua Rotorua, Standard Room, 2 nights Deluxe Accommodation: Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel, Superior Room, 2 nights
Day 4: Rotorua

Today is at your leisure in Rotorua. Included within your documentation you will have a voucher for admission to Rainbow Springs. Exchange this at the ticket office on arrival at the Nature Park. Breathe deeply, and take in the native bush, ferns, trees and plants that grow and flower all around you. Enjoy the tranquillity of the crystal clear cold water that flows tirelessly from the subterranean springs. Marvel at the silent grace of the magnificent specimens of Rainbow, Brown and Tiger trout, cruising the fernfringed pools. Opening Hours: 8.00 am - 5 pm daily Tourist Accommodation: Ibis Rotorua, Standard Room Deluxe Accommodation: Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel, Superior Room

Day 5: Rotorua / Napier (approx 230kms)

Depart Rotorua and travel South to Napier located in the Hawke’s Bay. En route stretch your legs at the lakeside township of Taupo before continuing to Napier. Napier is the Art-Deco capital of New Zealand. Suggested optional activity, not included in costing: Art Deco Trust Art Deco Afternoon Walk (2pm-4pm) Report to the Art Deco Centre, 7 Tennyson Street, Napier for your 2 hour tour of the Art Deco features. Napier was a city destroyed by the earthquake and fire of 1931, and was rebuilt in the styles of the times - Spanish Mission, Stripped Classical and above all, Art Deco, the style that expressed the confidence, optimism and vigour of the early 20th century. Tourist Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Te Pania, Superior room, 1 night Deluxe Accommodation: Masonic Art Hotel, Art Deco Studio, 1 night

Day 6: Napier to Wellington (approx 325kms)

Depart Napier and travel to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city located on the Southern tip of the North Island. Wellington is also New Zealand’s capital city for arts and culture. Wellington is an urban paradise surrounded by a glistening harbour on one side and rolling green hills on the other. Tourist Accommodation: Ibis Wellington, Standard Room, 1 night Deluxe Accommodation: QT Wellington, Executive King Studio-E1B, 1 Night

Day 7: Wellington / Picton / Nelson (3hr ferry + approx 110kms)

This morning return your rental vehicle to the Budget representative located at the Interislander ferry terminal. Today board the Interislander ferry and watch the city sky line of Wellington disappear into the distance as you enter the Marlborough sounds to Picton. On arrival to Picton collect your new vehicle and travel to Nelson. NELSON - with its gardens and gorgeous sunsets, looks across Tasman Bay. Streets and parks are named after Admiral Nelson and his exploits, as well as the names of the ships that brought the first pioneers over from England. Forestry, fruit and fishing are the main focus of Nelson's port, while to the west, apple orchards, tobacco and hop plantations occupy the land. Tourist Accommodation: Grand Mercure Monaco, Laneway Suite, 2 nights Deluxe Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson, Premium Room, 2 nights

Day 8: Nelson
Today is at your leisure in Nelson. A perfect opportunity to visit the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park with its beautiful beaches and scenery. The region also offers many harbour cruises, walks and adventure activities. Suggested optional activity, not included in costing: Wilson’s Abel Tasman Open Day Pass This flexible day pass allows you to choose any Cruise, Cruise & Walk or Double Beach Stop day trip. Wilson's will book a full cruise with beachstops to hold space for you and you need to reconfirm with Wilson's 24 hours before travel to book their preferred trip. Please reconfirm the day before travel by phoning 0800 ABEL TASMAN (223 582). Wilson's Abel Tasman discusses the best option for you and arranges your day trip. Prebooked Tour: PCM: SD07 Please report to the Wilson's Office in Kaiteriteri for your excursion in the Abel Tasman National Park. Accommodation: Grand Mercure Monaco, Laneway Suite Deluxe Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel Nelson, Premium Room

Day 9: Nelson to Punakaiki (approx 297kms)

Depart Nelson and travel south along the South Islands rugged West coastline. Experience the historic coal-mining settlement of Westport before arriving in Punakaiki, which is also located on the coast, home to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. PUNAKAIKI - is the gateway to the dramatic limestone country of the Paparoa National Park. It lies halfway between Greymouth and Westport on one of the most spectacular coastal highways. The Pancake Rocks that Punakaiki is famous for are limestone formations that began forming 30 million years ago. The seabed was raised above sea level by earthquakes to form the coastal cliffs and coastline. The sea, wind and rain have since etched out the soft layers to form the unusual rock formations we see today. When conditions are right, large ocean swells thunder into the caverns beneath the rocks and huge water spouts blast skywards through the blowholes creating a spectacular sight. Tourism activities in the area include canoe adventures, horse trekking, caving and guided walks to name just a few. Tourist Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Standard Hotel Room, 1 night Deluxe Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Eco Suite, 1 night

Day 10: Punakaiki to Franz Josef (approx 185kms)

Depart the Westland region and continue along the coastline to Franz Josef Glacier. On arrival you may wish to take a scenic flight over the spectacular Glacier. FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER - originally named Victoria, after Queen Victoria of England, geologist Julius Von Haast, renamed it, Franz Josef, after the current Emperor of his homeland, Austria. The Glacier is pale blue/green ice that has retreated and advanced many times over the years. A walk from the carpark to the Glacier terminal will give you some impressive views and an idea of the immense size of the Glacier itself. The township of Franz Josef is a small town based around the tourist and supply trade. Tourist Accommodation: Punga Grove, One bedroom Unit, 1 night Deluxe Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier, Douglas Wing Room (incl breakfast), 1 night
Day 11: Franz Josef to Queenstown (approx 407kms)

Depart Franz Josef Glacier and travel to New Zealand’s adventure capital Queenstown. Travel through the Haast pass, the lowest pass over the main divide and look out for the cheeky Kea’s, a native New Zealand mountain parrot. There are many spots you can stop along the way for those fantastic postcard shots. As you approach Queenstown you will travel through the Gibbston Valley, famous for its many wineries. QUEENSTOWN - is the South Island's most popular resort, set alongside the shores of Lake Wakatipu, under the gaze of the Remarkables Ranges. See the contrast of smooth glacier rounded hills, and jagged mountain summits that reach high above the ancient ice floor. The town is renowned for its jet boating, bungy-jumping, skiing and awe-inspiring scenery. Local story has it, that the gold prospectors of the 19th century pronounced the town as "fit for any Queen", and so she was called Queenstown. Tourist Accommodation: Copthorne Lakefront Queenstown, Superior room, 2 nights Deluxe Accommodation: Hotel St Moritz , Lakeview Guest Room, 2 nights

Day 12: Queenstown

Today is at your leisure in Queenstown. A chance to experience some of the many activities available on your doorstep. Suggested optional activity, not included in costing: Appellation Central Wine Tours Boutique Wine Tour (12pm-5pm) (from 11am 27 Dec 15 - 29 Feb 16 & 24 Dec 16 - 28 Feb 17) Today you will be collected from by a representative from Appellation Wine Tours and spend an afternoon among the boutique vineyards and spectacular scenery of Central Otago, a perfect introduction to the region. Included in today's tour is Tasting at 4 wineries in the Gibbston, Cromwell and Bannockburn regions, a delightful platter style lunch at Carrick Winery restaurant. A visit to historic Old Cromwell Town (time and weather permitting) and stunning drive through the Kawarau Gorge whilst learning about the early pioneering history of this rugged region. Before completing you tour and returning to Queenstown, view the historic Kawarau Bridge and the original AJ Hackett Bungy jump. Minimum of 2 pax required for tours to operate. Tourist Accommodation: Copthorne Lakefront Queenstown, Superior room Deluxe Accommodation: Hotel St Moritz , Lakeview Guest Room

Day 13: Queenstown / Te Anau (approx 183kms direct or 425kms via Milford Sound)

Depart Queenstown and travel to the shores of Lake Te Anau. We suggest today taking a trip to Milford Sound. While visiting Milford Sound take the opportunity to cruise the sound and experience the spectacular Mitre Peak up close (not included in quotation). Suggested optional activity, not included in costing: Real Journeys Milford Sound Nature Cruise ex Milford A nature cruise of Milford Sound on board the Milford Mariner or Milford Wanderer. These modern vessels, purpose built for operating in a fiord environment, have been designed along the lines of a traditional trading scow, and have real character. These relaxing cruises have special appeal for the independent traveller. An on board nature guide provides detailed interpretation in English only. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and to view the stunning scenery, including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks. Keep a lookout for wildlife. Ata Whenua – Shadowland brings you the Fiordland World Heritage Status Wilderness you would otherwise never see. Mysterious, evocative, exhilarating and utterly spectacular, filmed across extemes of season, climate and terrain, it will take you on an unforgettable journey through one of the most awe inspiring landscapes on earth (32 mins). Screenings Daily. Tourist Accommodation: Kingsgate Hotel Te Anau, Standard room, 1 night Deluxe Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas, Lakeview Room, 1 night

Day 14: Te Anau / Dunedin (approx 292kms)
Depart Te Anau and enjoy the scenic drive to Dunedin. Being the Scottish capital of New Zealand and the home of Otago University, Dunedin is a city rich with culture and heritage. On arrival you may wish to visit the local Penguin & Albatross colonies. DUNEDIN - often called the "Edinburgh of the South", Dunedin was settled by the Scottish settlers that came to New Zealand. It is a city of spires, of towers, gables and roofs with turrets, and gracious, generally stone, buildings. Dunedin is also home to the Albatross and Penguin colonies, plus many species of New Zealand wildlife. Tourist Accommodation: Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge, Standard Room, 1 night Deluxe Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, Superior Room, 1 night

Day 15: Dunedin / Christchurch (approx 374kms)

Depart Dunedin and travel north to Christchurch, CHRISTCHURCH - the Garden City, lies on the level plains that initially attracted the closely knit Church of England settlers that settled the area. The largest of the South Island cities, Christchurch retains something of the English nature of its origins - the willow and oak-lined River Avon and clustered mediaeval stone buildings. Tourist Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Superior Room, 1 night Deluxe Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch, Superior Room, 1 night Day 16: Depart Christchurch Across from Christchurch Airport is the Antarctic Attraction Centre. Within your documents voucher for admission is included. Very few people have the opportunity to experience the awesome and challenging Antarctic environment. At the Visitor Centre, International Antarctic Centre, our aim is to recreate the atmosphere of Antarctica and provide visitors with an interactive, fun and exciting experience of the ‘Great White South’ Return your rental car to Christchurch Airport before checking in for your departure flight.


* Contact us for availability and pricing. PD SD07