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Aotearoa: Land Of The Long White Cloud

Private Travel | Self-drive 20 Days & 19 Nights Lead-in price: £2545

This extensive itinerary is an ideal introduction to New Zealand for first time visitors looking to explore the country at their own pace. Travel the length of New Zealand to visit the main sights, with plenty of opportunities to explore each area further and excursions that can be tailored to your own preferences.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Overnight cruise through Milford Sound, allowing you to experience this spectacular fiord when all the crowds are gone
  • Travel through the breathtaking scenery of the Southern Alps on board the TranzAlpine train
  • Opportunities to get up close to the face of the Franz Josef glacier
  • Whale-watching cruise off the dramatic Kaikoura coastline
  • Stay in 4- & 5-star accommodation
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Superior Private Tour in brief

Days 1-2: Auckland

On arrival, transfer to the SKYCITY Hotel / M Social Auckland* for 2 nights. Following day at leisure or take an optional excursion. (N) (B)

Days 3-4: Bay of Islands

Collect your hire car and drive north to the Bay of Islands. On arrival, stay 2 nights at Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands near Paihia / Arcadia Lodge* in Russell. Suggested excursions include a cruise out on the Bay of Islands to spot dolphins or visits to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and the historic town of Russell. (B) (N)

Day 5: Rotorua

Drive south to the volcanic town of Rotorua and stay 2 nights at the Millennium Rotorua / Peppers on the Point* . This long journey can be broken up with a stop for lunch in the pleasant town of Cambridge, with tree-lined streets and many well-preserved heritage buildings, or Matamata, home of the Hobbiton film set. Alternatively, shorten your day’s drive by taking an overnight stay in Auckland, which is approximately the halfway point of this journey. (N)

Day 6: Rotorua

Day at leisure to explore the volcanic attractions of Rotorua. (N)

Days 7-8: Wellington

Drive south to Wellington and stay at the Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay / Bolton Hotel* for 2 nights. Following day at leisure to explore New Zealand’s capital city, with time to visit the National Museum Te Papa or join a guided walking tour. (N)

Day 9: Blenheim

Drop off your hire car and board the Interislander ferry for the journey to South Island. On arrival in Picton, collect a new car and drive south through the Marlborough wine-growing region to Blenheim. Stay overnight at the Scenic Hotel Marlborough / Chateau Marlborough* . (N)

Day 10: Kaikoura

Continue south this morning along the beautiful east coast to Kaikoura. Stay 1 night at The White Morph / Fyffe Country Lodge* . Afternoon whale-watching cruise off the Kaikoura coast. (N)

Days 11-12: Christchurch

Drive south to Christchurch and stay 2 nights at the Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square / The George* . The following day is at leisure to explore Christchurch. (N)

Day 13: Aoraki / Mount Cook

Drive to Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park and stay overnight at the Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook Hotel. Spend the afternoon walking in the park or visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. Option to extend your stay and explore further. (N)

Day 14: Te Anau

Drive to the lakeside town of Te Anau and stay overnight at Distinction Luxmore / Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas* (or similar). (N)

Day 15: Milford Sound

Drive to Milford Sound, where you will board the Milford Mariner† for an overnight cruise in this spectacular fiord. (D)

Days 16-17: Queenstown

Drive to Queenstown and stay at the Millennium Hotel / QT Queenstown* (or similar) for 2 nights. Following day is at leisure to enjoy one of the many outdoor activities available. (B, N)

Day 18: Franz Josef

Drive north through the Mount Aspiring National Park to the small town of Franz Josef. Stay 1 night at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef / Te Waonui Forest Retreat* . Optional guided walk to the face of the Franz Josef glacier, or take a scenic flight for an aerial view. (N)

Day 19: Christchurch

Drive north up the rugged west coast to Greymouth, drop off your hire car and board the TranzAlpine train for a journey through the Southern Alps to Christchurch. On arrival, you will be transferred to the Sudima Christchurch Airport hotel for 1 night. (B)

Day 20: Onward travel

Transfer to the airport to fly home or continue your holiday. (N)

Meal basis

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information Superior tour

This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.


International flights are not included with this itinerary.

The Milford Mariner:

This cruise does not operate between mid-May and midSeptember; however, we are able to tailor your itinerary should you wish to travel during this period

Tailor-made travel:

For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Superior private tour accommodation

  • The Hermitage Hotel
    The Hermitage Hotel

    Originally opened to adventurous travellers in 1884, the Hermitage Hotel has since been rebuilt, modernised and refurbished to offer a range of comfortable accommodation options in a world heritage wilderness playground. With the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park as its alpine backdrop, the onsite restaurant offers buffet meals, with each seat providing a view of New Zealand's tallest mountain.

  • Arcadia Lodge
    Arcadia Lodge

    The Arcadia Lodge is a large two-storey historic bed and breakfast situated close to the Matauwhi Bay and a 10-minute walk from Russell village centre. The lodge has a large decking area for relaxing with scenic views across the bay. The property's garden is abundant and provides fruit for the jam served at breakfast and the herbs used in the kitchen. Guestrooms are an eclectic mix of contemporary and antique furnishings with a mixture of western, Pasifika and Maori art on display. Please note that guests must be 15 years old or over. Features: 5 rooms, a common guest area, decking, library, car parking. Room amenities: Tea & coffee facilities, hairdryer, Wi-Fi.

Superior private tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Guideline Prices

Low season from £3695 per person

High season from £4345 per person


Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • • 4- & 5- star accommodation
    • Opportunity to upgrade to Superioraccommodation
    • Arrival & departure transfers in anair-conditioned vehicle
    • 17 days’ car hire in a Group C compact automatic car
    • Meals as specified

Destinations on this tour

  • Blenheim

    Blenheim Blenheim is situated in the heart of wine-growing Marlborough. It is one of...

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  • Kaikoura

    Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds. It is also a great...

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  • Christchurch

    The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch is an entertaining mixture of refined lifestyle and cultural excitement. The tranquil...

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  • Milford Sound

    Milford Sound The Milford Sound settlement exists solely to look after...

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  • Mount Cook Village

    Mount Cook Village Located at the base of Aoraki Mount Cook in Aoraki /...

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  • Christchurch

    The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch is an entertaining mixture of refined lifestyle and cultural excitement. The tranquil...

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  • Auckland

    Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, is poised between two large harbours...

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  • Rotorua

    Rotorua Located on North Island's volcanic plateau, the town of Rotorua is the...

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  • Wellington

    Wellington New Zealand's capital city, Wellington is set on a magnificent harbour...

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  • Queenstown

    The resort town of Queenstown is sophisticated and fantastically scenic. Its lake and mountain landscape is suited...

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  • Franz Josef

    The village is the gateway to the Franz Josef Glacier. This glacier was first documented by Abel Tasman in 1642...

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