North to South 18 day Explorer self drive tour

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Description

Explore the cities of Auckland, the tropical Bay of Islands, Rotorua and Wellington before embarking on a circuit of the South Island. The wine regions of Marlborough, the whales of Kaikoura, the garden city of Christchurch and the mighty Southern Alps. The Alpine adventure town of Queenstown awaits before heading to the West Coast Glaciers. Return to Christchurch on board the world famous Tranz Alpine Scenic train.

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland City

Accommodation: Waldorf Stadium Apartments

Day 2: Collect your rental car, then it’s over the harbour bridge and north to the tropical Bay of Islands

Accommodation: Sea Spray Suites
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 226 kms / 140 miles : 2.9 hours

Day 3: A full day to explore, you could take to the water or discover the history of Waitangi

Accommodation: Sea Spray Suites

Day 4: Cross Northland following the aqua blue waters of the Hokianga before travelling down the Kauri Coast

Accommodation: Waldorf Stadium Apartments
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 343 kms / 213 miles : 4.4 hours

Day 5: Drive south through the fertile farmland of the Waikato and maybe stop at Hobbiton Village on your way to Rotorua

Accommodation: Quest Rotorua Central
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 220 kms / 136 miles : 2.6 hours

Day 6: Your day in Rotorua could be spent discovering Maori culture or thrilling adventure rides

Accommodation: Quest Rotorua Central

Day 7: Today is filled with fantastic scenery including Lake Taupo, the Desert Road and the Kapiti Coastline as you approach Wellington

Accommodation: CityLife Wellington
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 452 kms / 280 miles : 5.6 hours

Day 8: Today you’ll cross the Cook Strait by Ferry. Approaching Picton you’ll cruise through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds

Accommodation: Lugano Motor Lodge
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.3 hours

Day 9: Drive to the seaside town of Kaikoura today

Accommodation: Anchor Inn Motel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 110 kms / 68 miles : 1.3 hours

Day 10: It’s just a short drive south to Christchurch, if time allows perhaps stop at the Waipara Valley wineries

Accommodation: Merivale Manor Motel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 178 kms / 111 miles : 2.5 hours

Day 11: Explore the ever changing city of Christchurch

Accommodation: Merivale Manor Motel

Day 12: Today you’ll enjoy a scenic drive through Canterbury and the MacKenzie Country

Accommodation: Mt Cook Lodge & Motels
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Day 13: Follow the dry lands to Lindis Pass which leads into Central Otago, then through the Kawerau Gorge to Queenstown

Accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 14: The day is yours to discover all the scenic spots and fun activities on offer in Queenstown

Accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments

Day 15: Take the Crown Range Road to Wanaka before travelling the spectacular Haast Pass to the West Coast

Accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & Suites
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.6 hours

Day 16: Explore Franz Josef and Westland National Park

Accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & Suites

Day 17: Drive north along the stunning West Coast Road and take the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch

Accommodation: Merivale Manor Motel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 170 kms / 106 miles : 2.1 hours

Day 18: Depart Christchurch today

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