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SELF DRIVE TOURS - Ultimate Islands Tour

Select a start city to view interesting and valuable advice and information Self drive tours from Auckland - North Island of New Zealand Self drive tours from Christchurch - South Island of New Zealand




South Island Highlights Tour
9 days
Explore the highlights of the South Island in 9 days and some of the best driving in the region.

South Island Experience Tour
13 days
All of the South Island in 13 days spectacular days.


Twin Island Tour
14 days
Christchurch to Auckland via all the most spectacular scenery and driving roads of the South and North Islands in 14 days.

Ultimate Islands Tour
21 days
The best of the best. See all of the best of what New Zealand has to offer!


  • Great accommodation in nice 3.5 to 4 star B&Bs / motels / hotels

  • Google Maps links showing you the exact route to take for each day’s drive

  • Official hard copy road maps of the areas you’ll be passing through

  • A thorough and very detailed itinerary document incorporating:

  • Daily trip sections
    The background to each area
    Places of interest and where to visit

Please note: We don't include the car in the prices as there are so many choices. You can either book your own car or we'd be pleased to do it for you.

Tour area is the north and south islands both
Ultimate Islands Tour

The name says it all - simply the very finest New Zealand has to offer. Discover the best of both worlds...well, the best of both islands at least. Depart from Christchurch (or Auckland, if you prefer) for a round trip with unrivalled scenery and touring. This tour will leave you invigorated and hungry for more!

21 day tour

NZ$ 5,041 BOOK NOW

Includes: 20 nights accommodation plus:
Allows full days at Queenstown, Fox Glacier, Auckland and Kaikoura. Excursions there are optional. Return ferry crossings included

Terms & Conditions for this tour

Discover the best of the north and south islands on this stunning tour of New Zealand!

Combine the north island’s endless sandy beaches, green pastureland, flocks of sheep, fruit plantations, hot springs and snow-covered volcano peaks of Lord of the Rings fame with the incredible alpine and fjordland scenery of the south island and you have a tour to beat them all.

Crystal clear rivers (Photo by Andras Ikladi)

Christchurch - Designed to be a piece of ordered English class structure instead of just another shabby colonial outpost, Christchurch is the most 'English' of New Zealand's cities. Stroll through exquisite gardens, punt on the Avon River, ride a tram or people-watch in Cathedral Square.

Mt Cook - The first day's drive gets you in the mood for the brilliant roads to follow. It twists and turns over the mountain passes of the scenic Four Peaks Range and along turquoise lakes with snow-capped mountains in the background, offering countless photo opportunities. Mt Cook National Park is one of four parks on the South Island which has been incorporated into a World Heritage area. At 3,755m, the mighty Mt Cook is the highest peak in Australasia and a must-see.

Milford Sound (Photo by Andras Ikladi)Fjordland - More superb roads and scenery brings you to Fjordland National Park. This indescribably beautiful area is on every tourist's agenda and you'll quickly discover why. You'll have an extra day here to visit Milford Sound for a spectacular cruise and do some touring in the area. There is only one road in and out but you won't mind, it's as scenic as they come. No matter how you say “steep ravines, deep fjords, blue shimmering crevasses, snow-covered Alps, blue seas and thundering waterfalls” the words just cannot do this area justice. Take a look at the pictures and you'll see what we mean!

Queenstown - The 'adrenaline capital of the world' has plenty to keep you busy. Choose from bungy jumping, jet-boating, white-water rafting, river surfing, white-water sledging, paragliding, parachuting, canyoning, mountain biking and aerial sightseeing! Still not enough? Add fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing, yachting, horseback riding and rock climbing. You have an extra day here to make the most of the activities on offer. For the not-so-active it has some of the best restaurants on the South Island in one of the most scenic spots in the world on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Or you could simply collapse onto a sofa....

Westland National Park - If Queenstown didn't provide enough adrenaline, the shortcut via Cardrona to Wanaka will! Then travel over the Alps via the beautiful Haast Pass, the best driving road you can imagine. The road winds along steep slopes with huge views over the glacier lakes Hawea and Wanaka and down to the same named town. After a great drive you'll arrive at two of the most prolific glaciers in the world - Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier are tumbling rivers of ice streaking down the valleys towards the sea. There are plenty of great walks in the area but the best way to see the glaciers is via helicopter. Add an optional day if you'd like more time for sightseeing, it's worth it.

Heli ride to Fox Glacier (Photo by Andras Ikladi)

The West Coast - Incredibly rugged with wild rocky beaches and a backdrop of high mountain peaks, this area experienced its own gold rush in the late 19th century. Largely untamed, wildlife and birds are plentiful. The landscape is unique with the rough Tasman See on your left and the deep green bush and rainforest on your right hand side. You’ll be amazed at how thousands of years of rain, wind and saltwater have formed the Pancake Rocks and the gigantic Blowholes at Punakaiki.

Look out! (Photo by Andras Ikladi)Abel Tasman National Park - Once little know outside the immediate area, this park is dotted with caves, potholes and limestone hills. With golden beaches washed by crystal blue waters it's no wonder the park is now so popular. You'll overnight at one of the most beautiful beaches in the area.

Wellington - New Zealand's capital has a magnificent harbour, fine museums, beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings and so many restaurants, cafes and activities that you won't know where to start. It's a good thing you'll pass through here again on your way back! Take the cable car from Lambton Quay to Kelburn for a great view over the city.

Lake Taupo - The largest lake in New Zealand was created around 25,000 years ago by a massive volcanic eruption. Now the self-proclaimed trout fishing capital of the world, it also offers more adventurous activities such as white water rafting, jet boating, bungy jumping or skydiving. Get active or simply take in the scenery and magnificent Huka Falls.

Endless ocean views (Photo by Andras Ikladi)Coromandel Peninsula - You'll quickly see why New Zealanders flock here on holiday. The serenity attracts 'alternative lifestylers' away from Auckland but the rest come for the North Island's best beaches and coastal scenery. With a backdrop of rugged, green-forested mountains the views over the offshore islands are incredible. What better way to end the day than swim in crystal clear blue water, then dig a hole in the sand at Hot Water Beach and relax in your own sandy hot water spa!

Auckland - New Zealand's largest and most cosmopolitan city. Stroll through Queen Street, enjoy some of the best dining in New Zealand and cruise magnificent Waitemata Harbour, the 'heart' of the city. You don't have to be a yachtsman to appreciate the City of Sails - but it helps! You'll have a rest day here to explore and enjoy its many fine attractions.

Rotorua - One of NZ's best known tourist spots, the steaming crevices, mud pools and hot springs lead to healing thermal baths. It's an important cultural centre for the Maori and one of the most accessible to outsiders. The culture is alive in their arts and crafts, architecture and in traditional songs and dance.

Napier - It's famous as one of the best examples of an Art Deco city anywhere in the world but there's so much more! Friendly people, great restaurants, a beautiful marine parade and superb coastal setting is topped by a mild Mediterranean climate. Do you need another reason to visit? OK, how about the famous Hawke's Bay wineries, over 30 of which offer cellar tastings? Or the gourmet culinary delights prepared with the freshest ingredients and handmade with care?

Marlborough - Convoluted waterways, delightful bays and islands and a beautifully surfaced, twisty, scenic coastal road - what more could you ask for? Wine, that's what. Marlborough is New Zealand's largest wine producing area, known for its sauvignon blancs and chardonnays. Stay off the wine if you're driving though!

Kaikoura - The coastal highway brings you to Kaikoura, where snow-capped mountains spill towards the ocean. Eco-tourism abounds here. Whale-watching was once the only activity but these days you can also swim with wild dolphins and snorkel with seals. Get there early and get on a boat or spend an optional extra day to give yourself enough time to do it all!

Autumn colours (Photo by Andras Ikladi)

If you want to go home knowing that you’ve seen almost all that New Zealand has to offer then this is your tour! It’s an amazing journey through one of the most beautiful countries on earth.