Day 1: Welcome to Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’. Upon arrival at Auckland airport, pick up your mid-size car rental for the next 11 days. Your travel arrangements include open unreserved accommodation vouchers - 5 nights Go Kiwi (silver) hotel accommodation and 5 nights B&B/farm stay accommodation. Auckland’s harbors frame an environment that’s alive with cultural excitement, urban fun and marine challenges. During your time in Auckland enjoy an afternoon coffee cruise on the harbor.
Days 2-3: Make your way to Rotorua. With its unique volcanic landscape, living Maori culture, natural hot springs and plenty of options for adventure, Rotorua is one of New Zealand's most famous destinations. During your time in Rotorua you have a Rotorua Diamond Pass to use. This “drive yourself” 5 Star Attraction package is the perfect way to explore Rotorua. The pass includes entry into Te Puia, home of the world famous Pohutu Geyser; Skyline Skyrides, a 900 meter gondola ride with unsurpassed views of Lake Rotorua; the Agrodome show and farm tour, Polynesian Spa, a thermal bathing and beauty therapy complex, and Paradise Valley Springs, a superb nature park set amongst 50 acres of native bush with the Ngongotaha stream meandering throughout.
Days 4-5: The inland route from Rotorua to Wellington will take you through National Park where the terrain becomes more volcanic in appearance. The village is well positioned for those who want to explore the Tongariro National Park. All three volcanic peaks can be seen from here. As you continue to Wellington you can browse the antique shops of Bulls, or spy on wading birds in the estuary near Foxton. Further south is Levin, which has a thriving clothing industry and many factory shops. Upon arrival in Wellington you’ll notice it is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbor and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. During your stay in Wellington join a guided introductory tour of Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum, offering visitors a unique and authentic experience of this country's treasures and stories.
Days 6-7: Today you will drop your car off at the Interislander ferry terminal before crossing Cook Strait. Interislander - linking New Zealand's North and South Islands – is a 57 mile journey between Wellington and Picton, taking only 3 hours and has been described as "one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world". Upon arrival on the South Island, you will pick up another car to continue your self-drive vacation.
Drive along the rugged east coast, past the seaside settlement of Kaikoura and into Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city. Christchurch is an entertaining mixture of refined lifestyle and cultural excitement. The tranquil Avon River meanders through the city, historic buildings house a lively arts community and restored trams make it easy for visitors to get around. During your time in Christchurch, admission to Antarctic Center is included in your package. Very few people have the opportunity to experience the awesome and magical beauty of Antarctica first-hand. At The Antarctic Attraction the aim is to recreate the atmosphere and environment of Antarctica and provide an interactive, fun and exciting experience of the "Great White South".
Days 8-11: The South Island has some of the best alpine scenery in the world. Departing from Christchurch, travel through the rich pastoral farmland of the Canterbury Plains and past the ever-changing spectacular scenery of the foothills of the Southern Alps. Continue up the western side of Lake Pukaki to arrive at Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Stop for lunch amidst the alpine scenery. After lunch, leave the MacKenzie Country and travels along the Kawerau Gorge to arrive in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.
While Queenstown is renowned for adventure, such as bungee jumping, jet boat rides and heliskiing, just to name a few, you’ll also find mellow, relaxing attractions. Included in your package is a gondola ride with Skyline and two luge rides. Perched atop Bob's Peak high above Queenstown, spectacular views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains are spread before you. Once you reach the top, the Skyline Luge is a fun filled ride for all ages. Choose from two tracks, one scenic and gentle, the other advanced and adventurous.
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Australia and Oceania New Zealand Local Culture Self Drive Ecotourism