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Planning your tour of New Zealand can be exciting however also very confusing. With limited time and so much time it is difficult to know where to start. Here at Scotties Rental Cars we want to help and have listed a few itinerary options below that you can use for your Kiwi adventure.
The 2 week classic (this is a minimum time period and can be easily extended to take in more)
This is an old favorite and very simple. Either start in Auckland and drop off in Christchurch or it can be done in reverse. Pick up your rental car in Christchurch and drop 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. As most people tend to drive Auckland to Christchurch we recommend starting in Christchurch to Auckland to save on the Ferry crossing.
Day 1: Arrive at Christchurch. Pick up your 0800 Rental car or campervan from Christchurch airport. Conveniently located next to the terminal. Give us a call when you land toll free on 0800 Rental (0800 736825) for 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 having the oldest university in New Zealand.
Day 3: Explore Dunedin, suggestions include: First Church, the Octagon, Dunedin Cathedral, Botanical Gardens, Town Belt, and the University of Otago. A scenic drive along the Otago Peninsula to the Albatross colony. Larnach Castle is worth a visit. Then in the evening do some exploring of explore this lively student city.
Day 4: Drive your rental car 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 taking in all the sights.
Day 6: Explore Queenstown. Queenstown is a world renowned adventure capital which has many activities such as bungy jumping, rafting, jet boat rides 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. Feel free to pop into the 0800 Rental Cars Queenstown location for further advice.
Day 7: Drive your rental car back to Christchurch via Kawarau George. This is a fantastic world renowned 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 and whale watching. Try a New Zealand crayfish (lobster) from one of the many great restaurants.
Day 9: Take ferry to Wellington. 0800 Rental Cars recommends taking your rental car abroad the ferry. Click here for more information (goes to the ferry page). 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 a top 10 walk of 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 but some options include a visit to see mudpools and geysers, learn about the Maori Culture, trout fishing, New Zealand farm shows. There are also a lot of adventure tourism options such as jet boating, bungy jumping, sky diving, 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 is a nice option.
Day 13 Explore Auckland. Drive your rental car up Mt Eden for a fantastic view of Auckland. The famous black sand surf beach of Piha is a nice 45 minute 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 0800 Rental Cars 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 the 0800 Rental Cars Auckland City depot.
Scotties offers a 10% discount on the Bluebridge Ferry
The Cook Strait ferry crossing is not to be underestimated! A very beautiful trip that can be a highlight of any New Zealand tour. Whales and dolphins are often seen along the way. It is therefore worth the extra to secure a day time sailing.
From a convenience point, Scotties recommends customers take their rental car across the Cook Strait rather than dropping your rental car off on one side and picking up another rental car on the other side. The time wasted picking up and dropping off far outweighs the extra cost of taking the rental car aboard. Also carrying all your luggage and having to watch it aboard can take the shine off this magical experience.
By the time one way fees and shorter hire periods are factored in often you are saving money by taking the rental vehicle with you.
The 2 ferry crossing companies are: