Auckland (Point A on Map)
Collect your Campervan, Motorhome or Rental Car from one of the many providers at the International Airport and then head straight into the heart of this cosmopolitan city. Auckland is a hub of different cultures which meet together to create an engaging and exciting atmosphere. Outstanding dining and drinking establishments alongside a rich array of entertainment options, make Auckland city alive and buzzing. This culturally rich metropolis is set within a natural paradise. Immersed with beautiful beaches, tranquil holiday islands, a magnificent harbour and hiking trails that allow you to encounter some of New Zealand’s most idyllic forests and wildlife, Auckland is a holiday destination of choice.
Dargaville (Point B)
Established by Yugoslavian immigrants in the 1870s, the town of Dargaville is built along the edge of the impressive Wairoa River, making it a picturesque stop on your journey. The town’s streets are lined with historic buildings, art shops and many enticing restaurants and cafes. Dargaville is the gateway to the pristine and untouched Kauri Forest, which attracts many visitors each year, who explore this ancient green world. The impressive forest is home to New Zealand’s tallest Kauri tree – Tane Mahuta which is approximately 1200 years old and is indeed an impressive sight.
Kaitaia (Point C)
Known as the gateway to the far north, this peaceful township offers travellers an opportunity to immerse themselves in the Maori culture. The friendly locals welcome you to try your hand at flax weaving and carving at one of the cultural centres within the town. Sample wine and local produce at some of Kaitaia’s finest wineries, take in the local craft works at the interesting shops on the main street, before planning your journey northward.
Paihia (Point D)
Welcome to this northern paradise, were tranquil seas meet the golden sands of Paihia’s beaches. Set about your exploration of the Bay of Islands from this charming township, discover the outer bays and coves that hide amongst the rolling hills of this magnificent bay. Take a cruise on the calm waters to encounter dolphins and other native wildlife. Visit the historic Treaty House at Waitangi where this nation’s defining document was forged, and learn more about this country’s native people. Come back into the heart of the township to unwind or wind up as you discover the eateries and entertainment options that are offered in this lively town.
Whangarei (Point E)
Known as the City by the Sea, semitropical Whangarei is a peaceful and leisurely place where travellers can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life at the harbours edge. There is a cosmopolitan and sophisticated feel to thedining and entertainment district at the Town Basin. Enjoy a glass of the region’s wine and meet friendly locals and yachties from around the world. Whangarei also boosts an impressive natural environment; take a walk to visit the dramatic waterfalls and dense forest.
Hamilton (Point F)
Richly diverse and vibrant, Hamilton’s cosmopolitan flavour adds energy to this exciting city. More than 80 ethnic groups meet in this multicultural city, ensuring an inviting mix of restaurants, cafes and entertainment are ready to be explored. Set along the majestic Waikato River, Hamilton has many lush gardens and golf courses for the eager traveller to discover. Head out on a walk around the city to truly appreciate the beauty of its natural spaces. Just out of town the infamous Waitomo Caves and Raglan’s surf coast are awaiting discovery, these exciting tourist spots add to the splendour of this region.
Rotorua (Point G)
Rotorua is set amongst an exciting volcanic landscape, providing its unique geothermal wonderland. Sitting on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Rotorua displays many geothermal marvels which are easily accessible for travellers to explore. Boiling mud pools, explosive geysers, and rejuvenating hot pools to relax the spirit are all within easy reach. Rotorua is also the heartland of the Maori Culture. Maori villages welcome visitors to discover and learn about traditional cultural activities such as hangi feasts, singing, dancing, bone carving and weaving.
This geothermal play land also offers visitors a once in a life time opportunity to take part in a range of adventurous activities. Race through the gorge in a jet boat, roll down the hill in a zorb, or tumble through the air in an exhilarating sky dive.
Taupo (Point H)
See the clear blue waters on a summer’s day and Lake Taupo can appear the most beautiful and tranquil place in New Zealand. Appearances deceive. Taupo is more than a lake. It is a volcano with no top – a top that was blown off in one of the largest and most devastating eruptions ever seen on the planet. Visit the Craters of the Moon and you will see evidence of its fiery birth in the geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools.
Other scenichighlights include the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second and the Aratiatia Rapids. Take a trip to Tongaririo National Park World Heritage Area; a brilliant place for skiing in the winter and for hiking in the summer. Taupo is a great lake for adventure with water-skiing, parasailing, jet-skiing and kayaking but what it’s really well known for is fishing. The largest natural trout fishery in the world this is the place to cast a line and look for the big one. There’s a genuinely friendly local culture in Taupo and the surrounding towns and accommodation is plentiful. So why not stay awhile.
Day Nine, Ten and Eleven
Wellington and Surrounding area (Point I)
Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and one of the most picturesque. You get the most dramatic view of the city when you fly in to the airport from the north. Flying up the harbour you get a picture of a city of bush, and hills with houses perched – sometimes seemingly impossibly – on them.
Wellington is known as New Zealand’s arts and cultural capital. If you enjoy the arts this is the place to visit. Visit the galleries. Go and see the world-class New Zealand Symphony Orchestra or the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Keep and eye out for the public sculpture – there are many interesting and contemporary pieces around the city – or follow the Writers’ Walk along the waterfront.
And it’s on the waterfront that you’ll find Te Papa Tongarewa. Te Papa, as it’s colloquially known, means ‘our place’ and it presents New Zealand’s story through art and interactive display. Te Papa is a must visit.
Blenheim (Point J)
A journey to the magnificent city of Blenheim takes you north along the dramatic coastline of the South Island. As you enter the Marlborough region, you will notice the climate and environment change. The high sunshine hours and warm weather provides the perfect setting for the growing of wine and as a result Blenheim, and the wider Marlborough region is New Zealand’s largest wine growing area and is home to world renowned and highly sought after wines. Take advantage of this fruitful location by exploring the vineyards in a wine tour. You will marvel at the ingenuity of the people and the breath taking scenery in which the vines are grown.
Day Thirteen and fourteen
Nelson and Surrounding (Point K)
The divine city of Nelson, at the top of the South Island, is a tranquil retreat for travellers and locals alike. From the long golden swimming beaches to pristine forest and rugged mountain peaks, Nelson is a haven for relaxation. Dream away the hours while lying on the golden sands or tantalise your taste buds in one of Nelson’s many contemporary eateries. Nelson is also home to many local artists whose inspiring and imaginative works are on display throughout the township and in many local galleries. Artists can be seen working alongside the shoreline and local craftspeople welcome you into their workshops, to take a unique masterpiece home with you which will forever set Nelson as a place of fond memories in your heart.
Day Fifteen and Sixteen
Abel Tasman (Point L)
The Abel Tasman National Park is world famous for its perfect coastline. Crystal clear deeply turquoise water, soft golden sand, thriving forest, and an abundance of fascinating wildlife, make this area a coastal wonderland. You can explore this paradise by foot on one of the many hiking tracks, the length of which is purely up to you. These tracks will take you into the depths of lush native bush and allow you to explore this untouched world at your own pace. There are also a range of tourist operators which will allow you to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in a cruise boat or catamaran. For the more adventurous, sea kayaking offers an exciting and up close encounter experience with some of the inquisitive wildlife.
Hanmer Springs (Point M)
Heading inland from your Westland adventure will take you to the thermal wonderland which is Hanmer Springs. Nestled in dense native forest and framed by an impressive mountainous range, the sweet township has a hidden secret! Bubbling up from beneath the rocky core of the land below are a multitude of geothermal hot springs to explore. The award wining Hanmer Springs thermal pool complex offers fun for the whole family – unwind and relax in one of their specially designed rocky pools or splash your way through some serious waterslide fun. Along with the thermal paradise, Hanmer Springs offer visitors an opportunity to trek through the native bush, ski down one of the nearby slops, or bungy into the rocky gorge! It truly is a natural play land.
Kaikoura (Point N)
You arrive in the stunning garden city of Christchurch to collect your campervan, motorhome or rental car. Christchurch city offers much for the eager traveller to explore. Its tree lined streets and river banks provide tranquil relaxation, while the cosmopolitan shopping and dining districts are alive with energy. Spend time interacting with the friendly locals at the many markets and regular city events, before heading north along the rugged but beautiful coastline to your next destination.
The picturesque coastal town of Kaikoura is full of wildlife. If adventure and close encounters with sea creatures are your thing, Kaikoura offers an abundance of wildlife experiences which will leave you awe struck. Watch whales by sea or air or dive deep into the magnificent ocean to swim with dolphins or snorkel with seals. If you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground, don’t miss out on the opportunity to dive into a plate of succulent sea food at one of the many eateries in the township. Kaikoura is nestled in between dramatic snowy peaked mountains and the glorious Pacific Ocean, providing a feast for the eyes at every glance.
Christchurch (Point W)
Internationally famed as the ‘Garden City’, Christchurch’s well established parks and gardens provide much for the eager traveller to explore. Being the largest city in the South Island, Christchurch hosts many cosmopolitan shopping and dining districts alongside a rich history of early European settlement. It is easy to get lost following the main Avon river as it winds itself through the city’s parks, but take time to note the new buildings which will revolutionise this city after the earthquakes of the past.
Christchurch acts as the gateway for all Antarctic exploration, and as a result offers an exciting and invigorating icy experience for travellers at the local Antarctic Centre. The Christchurch Museum, which is framed by the stunning Botanical gardens is well worth a visit. Learn about this city’s unique past and promising future direction within the inviting exhibits. Christchurch hosts many popular cultural events throughout the year including; the International Buskers Festival, Ellerslie Flower Show and the Winter Carnival. These events capture the true imaginative essence of the locals and allow you to immerse yourself in the charm of this city.
Lake Tekapo (Point P)
A breathtaking drive through rugged inland Canterbury will deliver you to your next destination – Lake Tekapo. The quaint township sits nestled on the edge of this richly turquoise coloured lake, and faces the stunning mountainous allure of the Southern Alps. Take time to explore the beautiful scenery at the lakes edge, using one of the many walking tracks which guide you to experience the views of the Mackenzie basin.
The intensely stunning scenery of Lake Tekapo is equally matched by the interesting history of the area and its first inhabitants. Used primarily for sheep grazing, the mountainous landscape played an important role in the country’s agricultural history. Make sure you visit the infamous sheepdog monument which pays its respects to the hard working dogs who helped to pioneer this agriculture movement.
Day Twenty One:
Wanaka (Point Q)
Wanaka offers the eager traveller an opportunity to embrace the great outdoors or slip into a state of pure relaxation. The township of Wanaka lies on the shores of the dramatic lake which, surrounded by mountains and untouched forest, provides the perfect backdrop for an adventure into the wilderness to begin. Fishing and boating on this crystal lake is a favourite experience for both locals and tourist alike, while the more adventurous enjoy spectacular scenery from a free fall sky dive! Venture into the native bush on horse back, or try your hand at skiing on one of the two closely situated mountain slops.
Lake Wanaka also hosts many inviting local shops, cafes and restaurants. The fresh cuisine offered by the locals will tantalise and excite your taste buds. Plan your holiday around this township’s world renowned air show – War Birds Over Wanaka – which will take you back in time and provide you with new memories that will last a life time.
Day Twenty two and Twenty Three
Queenstown (Point R)
Welcome to one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations! Queenstown offers both breathtaking natural scenery and adrenaline pumping excitement for those thrill seekers among us! Situated on the shoreline of the idyllic Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is sheltered by the sheer rugged beauty of the Remarkable mountain range.
The lake and mountainous natural environment make this town a perfect match for all kinds of adventure. Jump head first into one of the area’s spectacular rivers in an exhilarating bungy jump, river raft through the rocky outcrops, swing from each side of the canyon, and finish with an incredible ski down the mountain’s edge. If hardcore adventure isn’t for you, Queenstown has plenty of more subdued options to explore. There are walking tracks, sightseeing tours, boat trips that take you lazily across the lake or spoil yourself with indulging in spa treatments and boutique shopping sprees.
Day Twenty Four
Te Anau (Point S)
The stunning glacial lake of Te Anau laps at the shore of this small township. The lake itself, is the largest of all southern lakes and is placed in between rolling hills and dramatic mountains. Te Anau offers the traveller an opportunity to explore this beautiful aquatic wonderland by canoe or boat. Te Anau is also your first taste of the rich Fiordland National Park, which hosts many endangered native bird species and truly magnificent flora and fauna. Take time out to delve into the cool caves set in the ancient rocky peaks and discover glow worms which will delight all members of the family. Te Anau is truly a place of pure relaxation amongst the most idyllic scenery.
Day Twenty Five and Twenty Six
Milford Sound (Point T)
Your journey to this enchanting town sets the scene for what is to come. The road winds itself through deep forest, dramatic mountain ranges, and passes crystal clear lakes ending in the approach to Homer Tunnel. Milford Sound awaits your arrival on the other side of this rugged mountain passageway. This tiny but beautiful township is known as the gateway to the Fiordland National Park, an area of untouched, pristine native forest. Explore this natural wonderland by boat in one of the many cruises which operate from the town jetty, or, opt for an aerial view in a flight seeing experience you will never forget. Whatever mode of transport you select, you can be assured that you will encounter natural delights, the likes of which you have never seen before. Powerful waterfalls, impressive mountainous peaks and sheer rock faces that drop into the deepest corners of the fiord all await you.
Milford Sound is also host to what has been described as the finest walk in the world. The Milford Track takes you into the depths of the forest and leads you to discover the most remarkable and untouched beauties of this National Park.
Day Twenty Seven
Queenstown (Point R)
Your return to the adrenaline capital of New Zealand provides you with an opportunity to explore some of the nearby townships which offer a rich range of experience to discover. If you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings don’t miss out on an opportunity to journey into the depths of Middle-earth. Take a guided tour and traverse some of the magnificent hills and rocky outcrops that were in the films.
Just twenty minutes from Queenstown, the tree lined township of Arrowtown allows you to be immersed in a rich gold mining history. Discover the deeply interesting past of this area at the museum or try your hand at gold panning!
The area surrounding the city of Queenstown also hosts many wineries which make for a delightful day out. Enjoy some of New Zealand’s best produce while taking in breath taking views from these hill top vineyards.
Day Twenty Eight
Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers (Point U)
Known as the most accessible glaciers in the world, Fox and Franz Joseph are awarded the additional honour of being a part of the Westland National Park. This area is rich in both rainforest and native bush, housing endangered birds, diverse plant life and of course the dramatic icy splendour which is these glacial wonders.
The longest of all West Coast glaciers, Fox and Franz Joseph’s mighty rivers move ice from the dramatic Southern Alps right to a keen travellers doorstep. Base yourself in either of these small, but delightful townships and set yourself ready for an encounter which you shall never forget. Explore the icy peaks and fiords through a guided walk, heli-hike or scenic flight experience.
Day Twenty Nine
Greymouth (Point V)
Situated on the rugged West Coast, the city of Greymouth holds a rich history. The largest of all West Coast townships, Greymouth was the base for many goldminers in the historical Gold Rush era. Visit the local museum or nearby Shantytown which takes visitors back in time and allows them to explore the gold mining techniques of yesteryear. Greymouth also has a tradition of brewing beer and the local brewery is legendary within New Zealand. Enjoy a tasting tour and sample some of the traditional ales.
Christchurch and Akaroa (Point W)
Head back though the Southern Alps to Christchurch to further immerse your self in this city’s charms. Take an early morning visit to the local farmers and produce markets which are held throughout the city, but namely in the port of Lyttelton. Sample New Zealand’s finest cheeses, wines and fruit while enjoying the company of the city’s locals.
A trip to the Christchurch region is not complete without a journey to the Peninsula. The stunning rocky hills hide secluded bays, areas of rich native bush, and walks which will take the visitor on a spectacular visual adventure. One of the bays of the Peninsula which is well worth a visit is Akaroa. Situated on the edge of a striking harbour, inside an extinct volcano, Akaora is the most French town in New Zealand. Settled by French settlers in 1840, the town is elegantly set amongst historic buildings and restaurants with a focus on French cuisine. Enjoy the harbour on board a boat cruise where you may spot dolphins, penguins and seals.