The Classic New Zealand itinerary - 2 weeks
Planning your tour of New Zealand can be exciting however also very confusing. With limited time and so much to discover it is difficult to know where to start. Here at Scotties Car Rentals we want to help and have listed a few itinerary options below that you can use for your Kiwi adventure.
Note, two weeks is a minimum time period and can be easily extended to take in more. This tour is an old favourite and very simple. Either start in Auckland and drop off in Christchurch or do it in reverse and pick up your rental car in Christchurch and drop it off in Auckland. As Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand, flights to and from Christchurch can be very cheap. However, booking in advance is recommended. Most people tend to drive from Auckland to Christchurch. But we recommend doing it in reverse starting in Christchurch to Auckland, as this way you might be able to save on the cost of the ferry crossing.
Day 1: Arrive at Christchurch. Pick up your Scotties car or campervan from our Christchurch Airport depot which is a short drive from the airport. Give us a call when you land toll free on 0800 736825 for our free pickup service. This is a relaxing day exploring the Christchurch area.
Day 2: Travel to Dunedin via Timaru, Ashburton Oamaru, Palmerston, Waikouiti and finally on to Dunedin. Dunedin is famous for its Scottish roots and has the oldest university in New Zealand.
Day 3: Explore Dunedin, our suggestions include:
• First Church
• The Octagon
• Dunedin Cathedral
• Botanical Gardens
• Town Belt
• University of Otago
• A scenic drive along the Otago Peninsula to the Albatross colony
• Larnach Castle is worth a visit
Then in the evening explore this lively student city.
Day 4: Drive to Te Anau via Milton, Balclutha, Gore and Lumsden. Te Anau is on the shores of Lake Te Anau and is the perfect location for exploring the Fiordland National Park.
Day 5: Drive your rental car to the beautiful Milford Sound. A cruise is recommended here to fully appreciate this magical place. Drive back to Queenstown once you have taken in all the sights.
Day 6: Explore Queenstown. Queenstown is a world renowned adventure capital, which has many activities such as bungy
jumping, mountain biking, rafting, jet boat rides, the luge and some of the best nightlife in New Zealand. Or for a slower pace the surrounding hills, lakes and rivers make for some excellent sightseeing and walks. In winter it offers plenty of opportunity for skiing in its surrounding mountains. Feel free to pop into the Scotties Car Rental Queenstown location for more local travel advice.
Day 7: Drive your rental car back to Christchurch via Kawarau George. This is a fantastic world renowned scenic drive and gives you the opportunity to explore the southern alps. Along the way you will see Mount Cook (NZs highest mountain) and the beautiful Lake Tekapo.
Day 8: Drive your rental car to Kaikoura. This is a beautiful drive along the eastern coast of the south island. Kaikoura is famous for seafood, whale watching and swimming with dolphins. Try a New Zealand crayfish (lobster) from one of the many great restaurants.
Day 9: Take the ferry to Wellington. Scotties recommends taking your rental car abroad the ferry. Click here for discounts and more information on the ferry crossing. Enjoy this scenic cruise which takes you through the Queen Charlotte Sound. Arrive in Wellington and explore.
Day 10: Drive your rental car north from Wellington, passing alongside the Tongariro National Park which contains 3 active volcanoes. The Tongariro crossing track is one of the top 10 walks in the world. Continue along the shores of Lake Taupo where you can see the Huka falls and Wairaki Geothermal valley on your way to Rotorua. Rotorua is famous for its geothermal spas and Maori culture. A nice soak in the hot pools may be the perfect solution for the long drive.
Day 11: Explore Rotorua. There is so much to do here! Some options include:
• A visit to the mud pools and geysers
• Learn about the Maori Culture in one of the Maori villages
• Trout fishing on lake Rotorua
• New Zealand farm shows
• Go up to the skyline and ride down the Luge
• There are also a lot of adventure tourism options such as jet boating, bungy jumping, sky diving, an exciting mountain biking track etc.
Day 12: Drive your rental car to Auckland via the Waitomo Caves. This is a great tour that is a highlight for many people. Enjoy Auckland in the evening down by the water front which features nice views and many high quality restaurants.
Day 13: Explore Auckland. Drive your rental car up Mt Eden for a fantastic view of Auckland. The famous black sand surf beaches of Piha or Karekare are just a short 45 minute drive from the CBD. Another option is to explore Auckland’s islands from the ferry terminal located at the bottom of Queens St.
Day 14: Drive your rental car to the Scotties’ Auckland Airport depot to drop your car off and take a free Airport transfer. We are only 1 minute from the terminal. Alternatively you can drop your vehicle at our Auckland City depot.
So now that your tour planning is sorted, you just need to get yourelf a car organised! We're happy to help you with that.