Cultural New Zealand self-drive

Audley Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.9 . Excellent
98%
Travel Style: Array Full on
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. 2- Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
23 days
From: $ 7,055 $ 307 / day
Checking price

Overview

Short Description

New Zealand has the kind of scenery that demands a standing ovation — and it’s all in such close proximity. Our specialists are passionate about helping you get out to explore it all. There are Milford Sound’s arrow-headed peaks, and stretches of sand so vast they earn outlandish names (‘Ninety Mile Beach’). Caves spangle with glow-worms like a million fairy lights. Stratovolcanoes rise above grassy plains. Ice fields career down almost to the edge of the Tasman Sea. And that’s just for starters.

Whether you’re keen to explore on foot or by car, bicycle or even helicopter (or a combination of them all), our specialists can help. They’ll devise a New Zealand holiday that allows you to take in the major destinations, as well as more out-of-the-way spots or lesser-known activities. They can recommend everything from the best Maori guides to the best places for viewing New Zealand’s unique panoply of birdlife.

Style Private guided tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal transport included (including local flights)
Start City Auckland
End City Auckland

Itinerary

Day 1 : International outbound flight

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Auckland.

Day 2 : International outbound flight

On-board your international outbound flight to Auckland.

Day 3 : Paihia & The Bay of Islands

Upon arrival in Auckland you will be welcomed by one of our representatives and transferred by private vehicle to the domestic terminal. Here you will fly to Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands. Collect your hire car from the airport and make your way to the coastal town of Paihia.

Day 4 : Paihia & The Bay of Islands

Spend the day at leisure exploring the Bay of Islands. Pay a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the historic location of the treaty signed between the Maori chiefs and the British Crown or take a boat trip through the 'Hole in the Rock'.

Day 5 : Auckland

Today you will drive down to Auckland, the 'City of Sails'. You might like to stop in the delightful town of Matakana en route; with a number of boutique shops and cafes this is a great place to have lunch with the locals.

Day 6 : Auckland

Today you will be collected from your hotel by a guide from Time Unlimited for a morning City Highlights tour. Your guide will cater the trip to your interests, all the while telling you of Auckland's natural and social history. This is a great opportunity to get a great seafood meal in, so make sure to mention it to your guide and you won't be disappointed!

Day 7 : Waiheke Island

This morning you take the ferry over to Waiheke Island, just a short journey away from Auckland downtown. From the boat enjoy scenic views of the harbour.

Day 8 : Waiheke Island

Enjoy a day at leisure on Waiheke, explore some of the beautiful beaches or visit one of the award-winning wineries.

Day 9 : Taupo

Take the ferry back to Auckland today, rejoin your vehicle and make your way south to Lake Taupo. Stop off in Rotorua to see some of the geothermal activity on the way.

Day 10 : Taupo

Join a cruise on Lake Taupo to see the famous Maori rock carvings then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Perhaps visit Huka Falls or the interesting Wairakei Terraces thermal area.

Day 11 : Wellington

Today you make your way down to Wellington through some lovely little country towns and return your hire car on arrival.

Day 12 : Wellington

Enjoy a day at leisure in Wellington, the country's capital. Be sure to spend some time in Te Papa - a combination of museum, art gallery and cultural centre all under one roof.

Day 13 : Picton & The Marlborough Sounds

Make your way to the ferry terminal this morning and take the Interislander to the South Island. You will stay in the waterfront town of Picton for a couple of nights. This is a great place to enjoy the famous New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels.

Day 14 : Picton & The Marlborough Sounds

Today you will enjoy a Maori Cultural tour of the Picton area; a fascinating insight into the historic and cultural significance of the area.

Day 15 : Hanmer Springs

You collect your car this morning and make your way south and inland to Hanmer Springs via the Lewis Pass. On arrival head to the hot springs and relax in the naturally geothermal heated pools.

Day 16 : Hanmer Springs

Today is at leisure in Hanmer Springs, enjoy a lovely walk through the Alpine village or perhaps drive round to Kaikoura and spend the day exploring there.

Day 17 : Lake Tekapo

Today you make your way to Lake Tekapo, skirting around Christchurch then heading inland across the Canterbury Plains.

Day 18 : Lake Tekapo

You have the day to explore Tekapo. One of the most famous viewpoints in New Zealand - from the Church of the Good Shepherd - is found here and there are some fantastic walks along the lakeside. This evening journey up to Mt John Observatory and observe a myriad stars in the night sky. As a UNESCO designated Dark Sky Area this is one of the best places in the world to go stargazing.

Day 19 : Queenstown

Continue your journey today through the spectacular Lindis Pass to the Southern Lakes Region. Make your way to Arrowtown, an old gold mining settlement and now a quaint little town with many cafes and art galleries to enjoy.

Day 20 : Queenstown

This evening I have included a trip on the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steam ship that cruises on Lake Wakatipu. You will cross the lake to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you will enjoy a gourmet BBQ dinner and embark on a farm tour where you will get an insight into New Zealand's farming culture.

Day 21 : Queenstown

Enjoy a final day exploring this area. You might like to visit Lake Wanaka and soak up the cafe culture there. If you didn't visit Arrowtown on your way from Lake Tekapo, we suggest you do so today on your way to Lake Wanaka.Alternatively you might like to drive along Lake Wakatipu to the quaint old village of Glenorchy, they have a lovely village shop & cafe and some of the most magical scenery in New Zealand to explore on foot.Alternatively you might like to drive along Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy, a tiny old village with a lovely shop & cafe and some of the most magical scenery in New Zealand to walk through.

Day 22 : International return flight

Take an internal flight from Queenstown to Auckland where you catch your onward flight.

Day 23 : International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 7,055
Price Per Day: $ 307 per day

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3,322 Audley Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

98%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,122
Great 102
Average 24
Disappointing 24
Terrible 50
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

Cultural New Zealand self-drive

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Company Reviews

I’ll use Audley for all my travel moving forward

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Ewan was fantastic in helping me arrange a US trip for me and my Fiancée. Gave me all the top spots and recommendations on what to do, when all I really had to start with was a broad idea of where I wanted to go.
The locations were perfect and the activities made the experience extra special.
I would definitely recommend Audley and especially Ewan to anyone looking for a more bespoke experience.
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Unresponsive

1.0
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Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Unfortunately, I can't review our TRAVEL experience with Audley Travel, but can comment on their non-responsiveness.

I contacted Audley as they came recommended by Wilderness Travel, the company we traveled with previously.

I left multiple messages for their regional specialist Adam -- voice messages through his co-workers (Alec and Jacky), email, website inquiry -- he didn't reply. I finally spoke to another specialist at the office (Lydia) and pressed her to not take yet another message for Adam, but tell me honestly if they are interested in working on our itinerary or we should move on. She then told me that they are busy. Well, wish they had some integrity to tell me on the first call, so I didn't have to loose time on trying to contact their "specialist".

p.s. They sent their automated marketing message with ALL their trips listed in response to my website inquiry. In this message they included: "When you are ready...". I replied that, indeed, we are ready, as I explained in my inquiry -- ready, know where and when we want to travel and are inquiring if you are interested in creating a private journey for us. No reply! Instead, they sent another marketing message the next day (and after Lydia already told us that they are very busy and won't be able to make reservations.) The second marketing message had no option to "unsubscribe". Again, I replied to that message and asked them to stop spamming me with marketing materials.

UPDATE: Audley's Client Experience Executive reached out to me in response to this review. She apologized profusely and wanted me to know that my "feedback is being heard". She said that she spoke with the employees' manager to "ensure mistakes like this don’t happen again and provide additional training to support their growth." She also promised to ask the marketing to delete my name from their marketing list. I took her at her word.

I don't know if this interaction with the client experience executive convinced me to seek Audley's services in the future, but I promised her to include in my review this "status update".
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There are much better travel companies than Audley

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Unfortunately Audley Travel are so arrogant they don’t believe anyone else can provide a better holiday at lower cost

I’m booking for South Africa and they simply can’t accept that another company can provide a better itinerary at a lower price - even to the point of asking for the other quote and saying this is usual practice in the industry!! ( rubbish) . Totally unprofessional behaviour. Furthermore , sending me emails knocking my choice of hotel and safari park while at the same time promoting hotels that clearly have issues as evidenced by poor ratings on the major sites

I use another well known travel provider that actually provide high quality at a decent price

Audley are simply interested in selling the highest price hotels etc that give them the maximum profit rather than what is right for you

They love themselves and keep on saying nonsense such as “ I’m really pleased with what I’ve come up with and hope you are too “

They need to get real

I won’t reveal the name of the agent dealing with me as that’s probably unfair
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Amazing Trip of a life time

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Where do I start, a trip of a life time, with experiences and memories for all my family. Every detail of our amazing journey in Cambodia & Vietnam was exceptional. The key was the guides provided, local, knowledgable and flexible, they all became friends over our stay. Engaging in the culture, experiencing life from food to travel, to luxury and amazing people. I would like to thank Mark Hotham for creating such special trip with many memories, to all the guides, Sophea, Tien & Tan and the drivers. Will I be booking another trip with Audley - yes, my only problem is what location
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Christmas in Thailand

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We were planning a special family holiday in Thailand to celebrate our Golden Wedding anniversary. We were a party of 11, coming from the UK and Australia at slightly different times.
Mark Hotham at Audley Travel helped us to put together the holiday of a lifetime. He helped us through the complexity of different start dates, advised on a suitable hotel and arranged a terrific trip to the Elephant Hills camp in the jungle.
The arrangements worked splendidly, the hotel in Khao Lak was first class and the Elephant Hills trip was magical.
Nothing was ever too much trouble for Mark and every effort was made to deliver the holiday we were looking for.
We have already recommended Audley travel to our friends and they will be our first choice of travel agency from now on.
Read more

Our California Trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our first time using Audley to organise a holiday for us and Ewan did a simply fantastic job. From the very first contact call, where we explained what we hoped to see and do, to wishing us 'Bon voyage' as we stepped on to the plane, Ewan was always there, helping and guiding. He selected exactly the sort of hotels and experiences we were looking for as well as the flights and car hire in one seamless operation. We will definitely be using Audley again !
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal transport included (including local flights)

Group Size

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

audley-travel-39924

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