Private Guided Tours

The Ultimate New Zealand Odyssey: From Peaks to Penguins

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Embark on the Ultimate New Zealand Odyssey, an unparalleled 4-week journey that showcases the beauty of New Zealand

Embark on a New Zealand tour where you dive into the rich tapestry of Māori culture in Rotorua. Marvel at the pristine glaciers of Franz Josef. Unwind by the serene shores of Abel Tasman National Park and cruise through the majestic Doubtful Sound. Each leg of your journey, from the bustling streets of Christchurch to the captivating landscapes of Aoraki/Mount Cook, offers authentic Kiwi experiences. Tailored for the discerning traveller, this tour lets you explore New Zealand in-depth, venturing off the beaten path for a truly immersive and unforgettable adventure.

This tour can be enjoyed as a self-driven or privately guided experience. If you’re comfortable navigating New Zealand’s terrain and prefer setting your own pace, a self-driven tour is perfect. For a personalised, tailored experience with local expertise, a privately guided tour is ideal. We offer fully custom and bespoke itineraries to meet your needs and desires. Whether you want to incorporate a scenic rail journey or spend a week relaxing on a beach, we can modify this itinerary to create the New Zealand Odyssey of your dreams.

Build your own tour
The activities listed above are just a glimpse of what’s possible! We pride ourselves on creating bespoke experiences tailored to your interests and desires. If you have specific activities or destinations in mind, let us know, and we’ll craft a personalised itinerary just for you. Every journey is unique, and we’re here to make yours perfect. Dream big – your adventure is waiting to be customised!
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Franz Joseph town at sunset

Top attractions in this tour

Your 28-day road trip itinerary

28-day journey exploring key destinations across New Zealand's diverse landscapes.
DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 4
DAY 5
DAY 6
DAY 7
DAY 8
DAY 9
DAY 10
DAY 11
DAY 12
DAY 13
DAY 14
DAY 15
DAY 16
DAY 17
DAY 18
DAY 19
DAY 20
DAY 21
DAY 22
DAY 23
DAY 24
DAY 25
DAY 26
DAY 27
DAY 28
DAY 1
Christchurch Arrival

YOUR DAY

Guided: Upon arrival at Christchurch Airport, private a shuttle driver will take you to your accommodation in the city. The day and night are free to spend at your leisure and your guide will meet you tomorrow morning.

Self Drive: Upon arrival at Christchurch Airport you will collect your rental vehicle within the airport terminal. Make your way to your inner city accommodation where the day and night are free to spend at your leisure and prepare for the adventure ahead.

Full Itinerary
DAY 2
Akaroa Day Trip (Swimming with Dolphins)

YOUR DAY

178km, 3 hours driving return

Today you will take the scenic drive over Banks Peninsula to the picturesque French village of Akaroa. This was originally colonised by the French in the 1800’s and now remains the only village in New Zealand to retain its French charm with traditional villas, boutique shops and cafes lining the charming Akaroa Harbour.

This afternoon you will experience New Zealand’s true eco-tourism adventure as you cruise out into the majestic surroundings of Akaroa Harbour and naturally encounter wild Hector’s dolphins on their terms, in their place. You will swim near hector’s dolphins but Please note you cannot not touch any dolphins, this is a pure natural encounter where you must enter and respect the Hector’s dolphins environment and behaviour.

Full Itinerary
DAY 3
Christchurch to Lake Tekapo + Stargazing

YOUR DAY

228km, 3 hours driving

Christchurch is known throughout New Zealand as ‘The Garden City’. You have time this morning for a city tour. This city tour could include a visit to ‘The Sign of the Kiwi’, the most panoramic of Christchurch’s viewpoints, a stroll in the botanic gardens and drive around the bays of Christchurch taking in Lyttelton which was the gateway for many of Christchurch and the Canterbury region’s first settlers.

This afternoon you will make your journey inland and south to Lake Tekapo. Perhaps soak in the thermal pools on the lakeside (optional – extra cost) and see the famous Church of the Good Shepherd up close. Following this, you could drive to the top of Mount John to take in some of the most stunning 360 degree views New Zealand has to offer!

This evening you will enjoy a soak and stargazing tour at Tekapo Hot Springs, located on the edge of the lake. The ultimate in stellar relaxation, Tekapo Star Gazing is the only guided hot pools and star gazing experience in New Zealand. A two-hour experience, the first half of this guided indoor and/or outdoor tour introduces you to Tekapo’s amazing night skies with a unique combination of astronomy and storytelling. You will then enjoy exclusive use of a 37.5 – 38.5℃ hot pool; lie on a floating hammock and feel like you’re soaking in the stars as you explore the wonder of night skies!

Full Itinerary
DAY 4
Lake Tekapo to Aoraki/Mount Cook

YOUR DAY

105km, 1 hour 15 minutes driving

Today you Take the short drive towards Lake Pukaki and drive along it to reach Mount Cook Village, nestled in the Southern Alps near our tallest mountain. Here you can take one or several nature walks in the national park, or perhaps enjoy an adventure to Tasman Glacier, or a boat ride in Tasman Lake to the terminal face of the glacier (all activities optional – extra cost). Tonight spend the night at the base of Mount Cook with breath taking views of New Zealand’s highest peak.

Full Itinerary
DAY 5
Aoraki/Mount Cook (Glacier Explorers)

YOUR DAY

Cruise around the Tasman Glacial Lake and experience the enormity of NZ’s largest glacier. The towering ice wall is really quite incredible, with an astonishing history.

On this tour you will explore and learn about the ever-changing glacial landscape as you journey across the terminal lake. Icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the face of the glacier into the rapidly growing lake, making every day different to the next. This is a unique opportunity to truly feel small as the lateral moraines rear up almost 200m, reminding us of the scale and greatness that the glacier has reached in previous times.

With the effects of global warming and other climatic processes taking their toll on New Zealand glaciers, their retreat is imminent. Now approximately 23/23.5km long and 600m deep (at its deepest point), the Tasman Glacier is melting and calving at an exponentially increasing rate. In recent years the Tasman Glacier has changed from a ‘melting only’ to a ‘calving and melting’ terminus, resulting in a terminal lake that is rapidly increasing in size.

The rest of the day is free to explore the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and the beautiful nature walks on offer.

Full Itinerary
DAY 6
Aoraki/Mount Cook to Dunedin

YOUR DAY

320 km, 3 hours 40 Minutes driving

Today you take the drive along Lake Pukaki and back to the coast, stopping in the town of Oamaru, for its Victorian heritage precinct and steampunk artefacts.

Continue south along state highway 1 where you will spot the legendary Moeraki Boulders. These boulders are concretions that have been exposed through shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs that back the beach, some of which weigh several tonnes and are up to 3 metres in diameter.

Your final part of the drive takes you to Dunedin, “Scotland of the South.” In the evening you may wish to make a visit to the historic Speights Brewery for some sampling of one of New Zealand’s most iconic beers (optional – extra cost).

Full Itinerary
DAY 7
Dunedin

YOUR DAY

In and around Dunedin there is much to see and explore. In the morning you could see sights such as Baldwin Street, ‘The Steepest Street in the World’ with gradients reaching up to 35%! Other sights include the historic railway building, university campus buildings and the Otago Museum.

In the afternoon you will take a tour out to the penguin colony to view yellow eyed penguins, the world’s rarest.

Following this, head down the road to the albatross colony on the peninsula to view these magnificent huge birds up close. In the evening there is the option to visit to the historic Speights Brewery for a tour, some sampling of one of New Zealand’s most iconic beers and a delicious kiwi meal (optional).

Full Itinerary
DAY 8
Dunedin to Te Anau

YOUR DAY

290km, 3.5 hours driving

Today our South Island tour takes us inland to Te Anau- known as the gateway to Fiordland National Park which covers approximately 1.2 million hectares. In the afternoon there is the possibility to take one of the many short walks in the area.

This evening in Te Anau you will take a tour by boat across Lake Te Anau to the glow worm caves to view the shimmering light of thousands of luminous glow-worms in a 12,000 year old grotto.

Full Itinerary
DAY 9
Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) Day Trip

YOUR DAY

240km, 4 hours driving

Be prepared for one of the jewels of the New Zealand landscape! The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound is one of the most spectacular in the world and certainly a highlight on any New Zealand tour. En route you will see spectacular valleys, breath taking mountains and hopefully spot the cheeky Kea (New Zealand’s mountain parrot).

This morning you will experience all that the fjords have to offer with a 1.5 hour boat cruise featuring pristine waterfalls and towering mountains plunging into the Tasman Sea. Keep a look out for dolphins, seals and the Fiordland crested Penguin.

On your trip back to Te Anau there is the opportunity to enjoy several short walks in the Fiordland National Park.

Full Itinerary
DAY 10
Te Anau to Queenstown

YOUR DAY

175km, 2 hours driving

This morning you will head to Queenstown, ‘New Zealand’s adventure capital of the world’. Skirting your way around Lake Wakatipu makes for some stunning photography and you will be amazed by the Remarkables Mountain Range, one of the most famous back drops for Lord of the Rings.

The afternoon is free to spend as you wish in Queenstown, and there is plenty to see and do! Perhaps enjoy a walk around the botanic gardens on the lake, enjoy a drop of Central Otago pinot noir at a nearby winery, or sample some fresh local cuisine on offer on the lakefront.

Tonight take a trip to the top of the Skyline Gondola to see the town and surrounding mountains and Lake Wakatipu from the best vantage point. You will enjoy a scrumptious dinner atop the hill in the exclusive Stratosfare restaurant with breathtaking views over Lake Wakatipu across to The Remarkables (included activity).

Full Itinerary
DAY 11
Queenstown Free Day + Twilight Wine & Craft Beer Tour

YOUR DAY

4 Hour Winery & Craft Brewery Tour

Today is free to explore Queenstown at leisure and take part in some of the fantastic activities that this ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ has to offer. Options for the adventurous include: Skydiving, Bungy Jumping, Jet Boating, Canyon Swings, White Water Rafting, Flyboarding and Paragliding. If you feel like taking a more relaxed approach to the day, a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw 100 year old steam ship or a walk through Queenstown’s Botanic Gardens are not to be missed. Perhaps drive out to the head of Lake Wakatipu and experience the breath-taking scenery of the Glenorchy area.

This afternoon you will visit three unique locations around Queenstown and Gibbston with a minimum of 12 tastings of some of the finest drops in the region. Now, here’s the twist, if beer is more your thing then bounce from vines to hops and taste some local craft beers instead. Better yet, we depart at 3:00pm meaning you can still go out paddle-boarding or bungy jumping in the morning, or even fly in from out of town. Shared antipasto platters are also included at our final stop, a perfect starter for once you finish the tour and head into town for a meal (or more wine).

Full Itinerary
DAY 12
Queenstown to Wānaka

YOUR DAY

67 km, 1 hour and 30 minutes driving

Today you will drive over the Crown Range to the picturesque lakeside town of Wanaka.

En route you could visit Arrowtown, one of the key towns in the Central Otago Gold Rush of the 1860s. You can visit the historic Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and wander around the many boutique shops that the village has to offer. Your next stop is a visit to New Zealand’s famous Gibbston Valley underground wine cave. Look, smell and taste over 18 spectacular cool-climate wines and enjoy a scrumptious lunch.

From here drive over the Pass to Cardrona. You’ll feel alive when you ride our three-wheeled mountain carts! The most accessible gravity-fuelled activity, this is the only place in the country you can have a mountain carting experience. The afternoon is free to explore Wanaka and enjoy the scenery of this quaint resort town!

Full Itinerary
DAY 13
Wānaka (Mou Waho)

YOUR DAY

Today is a chance to explore the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka. Options include a walk up one of our favourite look out spots featuring 360 degree views of Lake Wānaka, Mount Aspiring National Park and the Clutha River, a visit to Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World, kayaking on the lake, a visit to the Warbirds and Classic cars Museum or even fishing on the lake for some brown or rainbow trout. Perhaps take on the majestic Rob Roy Glacier hike or venture Roy’s Peak if you’re feeling especially fit!

This afternoon you will visit one of Lake Wanaka’s 5 islands Mou Waho Island is the most remote and most beautiful. With its steep rocky coastline, small secluded beaches, diverse birdlife, and a hidden lake (Arethusa pool) which sits atop the island.

Full Itinerary
DAY 14
Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

YOUR DAY

285 km, 4 hours driving

You leave the world of open valleys, lakes and barren mountains to discover Westland National Park, 131,600 hectares of lush native rainforest and its multitude of waterfalls. The walking possibilities are endless today around Haast, some of which feature spectacular waterfalls and deep blue coloured pools where it is possible to see trout swimming. One of our favourite spots at The Road Trip is Ship Creek, an isolated beach featuring native Totara trees hugging rugged coastline.

This afternoon there is the possibility of a scenic flight over or a heli-hike on the stunning Franz Josef Glacier, one of the only places in the world where you can experience a Glacier surrounded by rainforest (optional – extra cost). Tonight you will have the chance to relax and unwind with a soak in the Glacier Hot Pools, each filled with pure water from the Glaciers (optional).

Full Itinerary
DAY 15
Franz Josef Glacier to Punakaiki

YOUR DAY

217 km, 2 hours and 45 minutes driving

This morning you drive north through Hokitika. We recommend a detour to check out the stunning Hokitika Gorge with its beautiful bright blue waters and surrounding native forest.

From here you pass through Greymouth (named so for the Grey River flowing through the town) where you can perhaps stop for lunch.

Early afternoon you will arrive in Punakaiki where you can explore the pancake rocks and blowholes situated right next to the village; a bizarre, rugged, rocky landscape which impresses thousands of visitors each year with its powerful forces of nature.

Full Itinerary
DAY 16
Punakaiki to Abel Tasman National Park via Nile River Glowworm Caves

YOUR DAY

300km, 3.5 hours driving

This morning you will head North along the unbelievably picturesque Coast Road towards Underworld Adventures in Charleston. Here they will kit you up for the trip of a lifetime through their glowworm caves. The journey starts with a trip on their rainforest train, a walk through the rainforest and a journey into their large limestone cave. Following this you will lie on a tube and drift under the light of thousands upon thousands of glow worms on the cave ceiling. This particular cave has more glowworms than any other cave in NZ and the experience is truly cathartic.

Continue up to the Tasman region. Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest but certainly one of its most spectacular. There is the option for walking in the national park and catching a water taxi from different pick up points. In the evening you may wish to enjoy the sunset from one of the area’s picturesque beaches (all activities mentioned are optional).

Full Itinerary
DAY 17
Abel Tasman National Park - Cruise/Walk/Kayak

YOUR DAY

Today you’ll board a cruise to Medlands Beach where you can relax, swim and explore then cruise back to Kaiteriteri to kayak in the shelter of one of of New Zealand’s most popular bays. You’ll also walk a section of the Abel Tasman Coastal Track – NZ’s most popular. this trip includes 1 hour kayaking, up to 1.5 hours walking + a 2 hour cruise. Abel Tasman is New Zealand’s smallest National Park and is famous for its golden beaches, turquoise waters, native bush and spectacular scenery. Observe Abel Tasman’s playful inhabitants – dolphins, fur seals, penguins and sea birds.

The rest of the afternoon is free to spend at leisure.

Full Itinerary
DAY 18
Abel Tasman National Park to Wellington

YOUR DAY

193 km, 3 hours driving + 3.5 hour ferry ride

From one area of stunning beauty to the next. Driving through Nelson you will head over the Whangamoa Ranges and through to Picton. Here you board a ferry to the North Island across the Cook Strait. The scenic ferry ride takes you through the Marlborough Sounds, arriving in Wellington in the early evening where you will collect your new rental car and make your way to your hotel.

Full Itinerary
DAY 19
Wellington

YOUR DAY

Today is your day to explore the Coolest Little Capital in the World! This morning you could take the Cable Car from the city up to Kelburn, where you will be able to wander the beautiful Botanical Gardens. Late morning, perhaps hop on the free shuttle to Zealandia, the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. The 225 hectare ecosanctuary is a groundbreaking conservation project that has reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife back into the area, 6 of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years. Tonight why not enjoy one of the delicious restaurants the city is famous for? Wellington is known as the cultural capital of New Zealand and due to its small size, the majority of the city can easily be covered on foot.

Full Itinerary
DAY 20
Wellington to Martinborough

YOUR DAY

85km, 1 hour 15 minutes driving

This morning you will depart wellington and head to the gorgeous Wairarapa. This region is known for its temperate climate, rolling countryside and delicious wines, and is a favourite of James Cameron (the filmmaker) who owns a large farm in the area. Perhaps stop in Greytown, voted the most beautiful small town in New Zealand on your way to the quaint village of Martinborough. This is a great chance to stroll around the town square, enjoy some great local food and tour the nearby wineries – you can even hire a bike to take a leisurely ride to visit the local vineyards!

Full Itinerary
DAY 21
Martinborough to Tongariro National Park (Ohakune)

YOUR DAY

287km, 3.5 hours driving

This morning you depart Martinborough and continue North to the beautiful Tongariro National Park.

In the afternoon you’ll arrive in the beautiful ski resort of Ohakune where you may wish to take a hike in the National Park itself. Enjoy a night at the Powderhorn Chateau where the cast of Lord of the Rings stayed for a prolonged period during filming of the trilogy! We recommend a drive up Mt Ruapehu to see Gollum’s Pool! (As well as some stunning views from high up the mountain).

Full Itinerary
DAY 22
Tongariro National Park to Rotorua

YOUR DAY

185 km, 2 hours and 30 minutes driving

Heading north today, you will reach Lake Taupō, New Zealand’s largest lake. Winding your way around the lake, you will reach the lakeside holiday town of Taupō, which offers up great dining opportunities for lunch.

Further down the road, make a stop at the mind-blowingly powerful Huka Falls and have a look, or take a spin in the Huka Falls Jet and experience the thrill from beneath (optional).

Continuing on the ‘Thermal explorer highway,’ you will arrive at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland – a Wonderland of Stunning Geothermal Activity. You will visit New Zealand’s largest thermal mud pool, sinter terraces and stunning hot and cold pools of many different colours (included activity).

You will arrive in Rotorua late afternoon where you could have a walk through the wonderful redwood forests or a look at Rotorua’s lovely Government Gardens and lakefront. Tonight perhaps enjoy a soak in the natural hot springs of Polynesian Spa (optional – extra cost).

Full Itinerary
DAY 23
Rotorua (Kahukiwi & Te Pā Tū)

YOUR DAY

This morning you will explore the untouched, sacred land of the Ngāti Pikiao tribe, in an intimate, small group three-hour 4WD experience. Guided by a local and highly knowledgeable Māori guide, you’ll explore a stunning marae, landscapes and never-before-seen views that look over Rotorua’s lake district. En route, you’ll learn the myths and legends of the Māori people, their rich history and fascinating ways of life.

This evening you will enjoy an authentic cultural experience at Te Pā Tū (formerly Tamaki Māori Village). In the summertime, Te Pā Tū offers their Summer Harvest Celebration experience, “Tū Te Rā.” Tū Te Rā is a summer celebration, aligned with the maramataka – the Māori lunar calendar. This is a time when the sun expresses optimal energy, the days are longer, and light nourishes the natural world. Tū Te Rā celebrates the abundant harvest of this season, and explores concepts, rituals, and stories of ancient Māori warfare and peace in a feast of culture and cuisine.

Full Itinerary
DAY 24
Rotorua to Whitianga via Hobbiton

YOUR DAY

250km, 3.5 hours driving

Today you will head towards the sunny Coromandel Peninsula. En route you will visit Hobbiton and The Shire’s Rest, the only remaining film set from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies, and drink at the Green Dragon Inn.

Following this, drive through lush native forest and end up in Whitianga, where the afternoon/evening is free to enjoy this beachside paradise.

Full Itinerary
DAY 25
Whitianga and Surrounds (Glass Bottom Boat)

YOUR DAY

This morning you will enjoy a glass bottom boat cruise from Whitianga. You’ll see Cathedral Cove and its fabulous white sandy beaches, iconic native New Zealand trees and incredible rock formations. Stunning volcanic coastline including sheer cliffs, towering pinnacles, blowholes and sea caves such as Orua Sea cave. Look through the glass panels to see a diverse amount of marine life including red snapper, red moki, leatherjackets and schools of demoiselles and blue mau mau. Look closely through the kelp forest to spot stingrays, crayfish and octopus. On the surface keep your eyes peeled for blue penguins, sea birds and marine mammals such as dolphins, orca and seals.

The rest of the day is free to explore the beauty of The Coromandel Peninsula. Options include bathing at The Lost Spring, a visit to New Chum’s Beach, horse-riding at a local farm or kayaking to the idyllic other worldly paradise of Whenuakura/Donut Island (all optional).

Full Itinerary
DAY 26
Whitianga to Auckland

YOUR DAY

193km, 3 hours driving

This morning you depart Whitianga and head to NZ’s largest city, Auckland. There may be time for a walk through one the region’s many Kauri Tree forests, where you will encounter the flora and fauna of New Zealand’s North Island at its best.

You follow the coast road to the town of Coromandel, where you will take a trip on ‘The Driving Creek Railway’- New Zealand’s only narrow-gauge mountain railway, with a working pottery and wild life sanctuary.

From here continue on to Auckland where you will spend the night before driving north tomorrow.

Full Itinerary
DAY 27
Waiheke Island Day Trip

YOUR DAY

This morning you will ferry out to Waiheke Island to enjoy a guided tour of the Island, stopping at a number of boutique wineries such as Casita Miro, Kennedy Point Winery and Stonyridge for wine tastings. You will finish your tour at Mudbrick Winery where you will enjoy a delicious lunch with incredible views out over the Hauraki Gulf towards Auckland City (lunch is additional cost). Return to Auckland in the late afternoon, and perhaps enjoy dinner at one of the wonderful waterfront restaurants that line the Viaduct Harbour.

Full Itinerary
DAY 28
Auckland Departure Day

YOUR DAY

Today you will transfer to Auckland Airport for your onward travel arrangements. We trust that you’ve had an excellent time in New Zealand and wish you safe travels to your next destination.

Onward flight is not included.

Full Itinerary
What’s included?
Your choice of accommodation. Silver (4 star), gold (5 star) or platinum (luxury lodge) options available
Most breakfasts, select lunches and dinners
A choice of self-drive and privately guided transport
In-depth and detailed custom travel guide
Listed activities (the list is fully customisable)
Full insurance coverage on rented vehicles
Overnight parking where necessary
Custom tour creation with one of our travel experts
What’s not included?
Return international flights
Personal travel insurance
Some lunches and dinners
Individual shopping and souvenirs
Extra, optional activities

Why book a privately guided road trip

Bespoke Itineraries
Bespoke Itineraries
Personalised tours tailored to your preferences
Authentic Kiwi Experiences
Authentic Kiwi Experiences
Genuine insights into New Zealand's culture
Flexible Bookings
Flexible Bookings
Secure and adaptable travel arrangements
Private Travel Safety
Private Travel Safety
Safe, crowd-free, intimate exploration
Local Expertise
Local Expertise
In-depth knowledge from a Kiwi-owned business
Community Support
Community Support
Contributions to local businesses and communities
Embark with me on a journey through the heart of New Zealand, a land that has shaped my own love for exploration. My mission is to craft personalised adventures that not only showcase the stunning beauty of Aotearoa but also resonate with your spirit of adventure. Let's make every moment of your holiday here memorable and fill it with experiences that echo the joy of discovery.
Alex
General Manager

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can we have a guide for only part of the tour?
Yes, we can tailor the experience to suit your preferences. You can choose to have a guide for one island and self-drive the other, or have a guide with you for the first two weeks and then continue on your own. We offer flexible options to suit your needs.
What kind of activities are included in the tour?
The tour includes a variety of activities such as cultural experiences, scenic hikes, wildlife encounters, and relaxation. We can also arrange optional activities like helicopter flights, wine tastings, and adventure sports based on your interests.
How do you handle accommodations for such a long tour?
We provide a range of accommodation options to suit your preferences and budget, from luxury lodges to comfortable hotels. We ensure a mix of experiences, including stays in vibrant cities, serene countryside, and unique locations.
Is it possible to customise the itinerary to include specific activities or destinations?
Absolutely! Our tours are fully customisable. Whether you want to include a scenic rail journey, spend a week relaxing on a beach, or explore off-the-beaten-path locations, we can modify the itinerary to create your perfect New Zealand adventure.

Real and Independent
Traveller Feedback

Read reviews on Tripadvisor
Fantastic Road Trip in the South Island
Just had 21days in NZ south island. The Road Trip crew organised everything and it was faultless! The tour was tailored to our wants and what we were into. The App was just great so we were never concerned about if we were on time or what to see on the way.Cannot recommend this crew enough! The month of May is perfect for what we wanted to do. Again thanks to the Road Trip crew for a great holiday. There is not enough room here to write about all the great things we saw and did. The Kiwis are great!
Ian S
Jun 2024
Wonderful time touring the South Island of New Zealand. Highly recommend The Road Trip Tour Company!!!
A little late in posting this review, but it was such a wonderful experience I wanted to make sure I let Alex and our guide Constance know what a great time we had. Kudos to Alex for putting together a fantastic itinerary on such short notice and to Constance for her knowledge, wit, and patience with the four of us spry 60+ year olds. She was an amazing host who loves her country and loves to share its history, she was a fantastic driver as well, she knew when we needed to get on the road and knew so many short cuts during rush hour traffic, she made us so happy we weren’t driving. As a side note, being from the States, I would highly recommend not driving, we’ve driven NZ and Australia before and having a driver is sooo much more enjoyable. We highly recommend The Road Trip!!! Thank you again Alex for making our vacation amazing!!!
AliT-SoCal
May 2024
The Road Trip is the best way to organize a great trip to New Zealand
The Road Trip team did an outstanding job organizing and scheduling our recent visit to New Zealand. There were no issues communicating with them from the States and they made it easy to schedule a video call and discuss what would best match our interests and priorities. Alex and the team then sent us a first draft itinerary to review .They had excellent suggestions and many great options. Lastly, they sent a final itinerary and an app to use throughout our trip. Communication throughout the process and the trip was easy and the app was fantastic --it had all the information we needed each day – hotel reservations, activities, meals etc. and we appreciated the many suggestions in the app for places to visit and activities so we could tailor each day to our liking. Because our trip was so successful, we’re planning to use The Road Trip to return to New Zealand in 2025. It’s by far the best way to organize a great trip to New Zealand that is tailored for you.
Janet S
May 2024
Amazing NZ vacation with The Road Trip New Zealand company.
The Road Trip New Zealand organized a 12 day road trip in the South Island for us! Alex and his team were focused on making the best arrangements to meet our goals for this trip. The team began by finding out what our interests were and then matched a road trip itinerary designed to meet our goals. The pace of activity in each day was good ( Though New Zealand is very very big and we could have spent easily a month exploring the country....or more). We will have to return! Highlights in the South Island are many including the helicopter ride to the top of Franz Josef Glacier, tramping through the rainforest, the Amisfield Winery wine pairing lunch, and our walks around Auckland to discover restaurants and see the sights. Dealing with the Road Trip New Zealand team was easy, they took the time to listen to us, pay attention to our budget and put together a great trip. Communicating with them from the other side of the world was easy and we found the team responsive to our emails. Many thanks for all your help in making this trip memorable!!
RB L
May 2024
Wonderful trip
I had a great trip with my friends. New Zealand is beautiful. This time I experienced it. The views and scenery were spectacular. I hope I can comeback to NZ again.
Tiến H
Apr 2024
Wonderful, custom made New Zealand road trip with "The Road Trip"
If you are looking for a bespoke tour of New Zealand's South Island, I would recommend going with the Road Trip. Other than for day trips, my wife and I avoid bus trip tours. We want my own agenda and dislike waiting for a large group of people to assemble and don't like being part of herd following a flag around and having to be rushed to the next place. After doing extensive research about the places we wished to visit and after looking at several companies, We decided to go with the Road Trip. We were able to talk directly with Matt about our interests and he put together a two week tour agenda. After reviewing, I added some things and changed others to get exactly the route and agenda we wanted. Chris M. was our guide and excellent driver and quickly learned what we liked and the types of things we wanted to do and see. We were able to make changes on the fly and spend as much or little time at each place as we wanted and arrive at our next lodging spot early - or later if we wanted more time someplace. When our whale-watch tour was cancelled, Chris suggested a steamboat tour and BBQ lunch as an alternative which was an excellent choice. He also knows interesting local and out of the way places to stop for views, walks, breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks, many which we likely would not have discovered on our own or at a convenient time. Chris was very personable, accommodating and polite and had a great sense of humor. He is well versed in NZ flora and fauna and can identify native birds and plants and provide a lot of info about them. He is also quite knowledgeable about Maori culture, history and lore. He is well travelled and has many interesting life experiences and stories to relate. We spent many hours in the car so I believe we got to know one another quite well. Thanks again to the Road Trip and to Matt and Chris for taking good care of us and giving us a truly memorable experience!
usclapps
Mar 2024
An amazing service! Highly recommend!
Having never been to New Zealand before we wanted to self drive and asked the Road Trip to suggest an itinerary. We spoke to Matt via Zoom and discussed our interests, time lines and budget. Within a short period of time Matt sent us a suggested itinerary. We met again via Zoom and discussed the plan. Each day we looked forward to opening the App and following the suggested route as we explored NZ. Points of interests, suggested cafes and rest stops along the route did not disappoint. All of the accommodation and activities were excellent. Wonderful to arrive in a city and look at the suggested restaurants, etc. we followed the the Road Trips suggestions most evenings for dinner and were delighted we did! On a couple of occasions, timings for activities were altered by the provider and our App was immediately updated and a email was also sent to us. We loved New Zealand, we thoroughly enjoyed The Road Trip’s staff and services. This is the way to travel!! Highly recommend! 10/10!!!
Vacationer588794
Mar 2024
Had the trip of a lifetime thanks to The Road Trip!
Highly highly HIGHLY recommend The Road Trip to plan your New Zealand adventure. Everything was planned perfectly between the hotels and the adventures. Their recommendations were spot on and we had the trip of a lifetime. There were 8 of us ranging from teens to late 60s and the adventures we had were perfect from climbing to jet boating to staying on the Milford Sound. We didn’t have any hiccups, everything was booked perfectly and made to be so easy! We just showed up and everything was good to go! We will be back one day and have The Road Trip team plan another vacation for us! Well done team and THANK YOU SO MUCH!
KCaissey
Mar 2024
Great trip planning !
Our itinerary was planned so well. There were 4 of us (2 couples) and the activities were just as we wanted which was a mixture of adventures, leisure time, variety of lodging including off the beaten path ones. They were accommodating and receptive to our wishes.
teeseeann
Feb 2024
Definitely use The Road Trip to plan your journey in New Zealand
We used The Road Trip to plan out our 18 day "Road Trip" in New Zealand and it was one of the best things that we did. We talked to them about what we wanted to see, where we wanted to go and they took care of everything. We spent 13 days in the South Island and 5 days in the North Island and it was basically "turn key" for us. We showed up at the airport in Christchurch and they took care of the car rental, all of our hotels / motels, the excursions that we wanted to go on, provided us points of interest along our drive including suggested hikes, things to do in the cities that we visited as well as restaurant recommendations. All of these I have typically done myself on other trips, but having them do it on this trip was worth every penny and made things much more enjoyable and significantly less stressful. Even after we started our journey they were very responsive to some changes that we made on the fly (because of weather). I would highly recommend them - in fact we asked if they provide these services in other countries because if they did we would definitely use them!
Jim H
Feb 2024
Use the Road Trip team for your trip to NZ
I highly recommend using The Road Trip team to plan your NZ trip. We booked our trip in March 2020 and due to the pandemic, we obviously had to cancel. The Road Trip team helped us to rebooked when NZ opened its borders without having to forfeit any of our deposit moneys. We ultimately took a self-guided tour in 2024 where the Road Trip team helped us to plan an itinerary that met our specific needs and timeline. The final itinerary was perfect and we followed it to a tee, including the GPS recommendations. All our hotel, car rental, flight and excursion confirmations were booked as outlined in our detailed itinerary. In other words, we didn't have any problems when we arrived at hotels, to pick up cars, catch flights or do excursions such as gondolas, boats, trains, helicopters, etc....They also helped us to book some excursions at the last minute. We loved all the hotels they booked. And finally our helicopter excursion was cancelled due to weather and the Road Team transferred the booking with the same helicopter company to a different city and tour so we wouldn't miss out. It was also nice knowing that the Road Trip team was there to support us during our stay. Again, I highly recommend The Road Trip team. They stuck with us for four years! I am soooooo glad we used them. You should too.
Marco C
Feb 2024
New Zealand Trip of a Lifetime
Road Trip NZ helped us plan a 15-day independent tour of New Zealand and we can't say enough good things about them. We started with some ideas of what we wanted and they provided suggestions to improve the trip plan. During planning and during the trip itself they were easy to reach and responded quickly. They coordinated a rental car for us on the North and South islands and booked all accommodations and planned activities. For each stop, we chose the "level" of hotel (platinum, gold, silver). No matter what level was selected, the accommodations were excellent for that type of stay (roadside motels to big city hotels). The included meals, and activities were all first-rate and every time we walked into someplace new, they had our information and checked us in quickly. Road Trip NZ provided an easy to use customized phone app that had all of the needed trip information: directions, places to eat, interesting stops along the way, and additional activities at each location. For directions, activities, or food, the app never steered us wrong. Highlights of the trip included a wine tour of Waiheke Island, Heli-hike on Franz Joseph Glacier, Hobbiton, Waimangu Valley, and jet boating. I highly recommend that everyone visit New Zealand and use Road Trip NZ to plan your trip of a lifetime.
Sharon G
Jan 2024
Couldn't be better ......
Responding at very short notice for a trip over the Christmas period, The Road Trip pulled together a well balanced week of sightseeing and activities. Kinloch hotel and Lana Hotel were both first class and our driver/guide, Chris Martin was a good driver, always on time and came with a great sense of humor. Very happy with our week.
globalguy
Jan 2024
December NZ road trip : Spectacular scenery and memorable experiences.
We had a wonderful road trip with my family of 4 along with my mum and uncle. We were surrounded by beautiful scenery while en route, not just at the destinations. The experiences and activities catered to the more active and sedate family members allowing each to experience NZ at their own pace . Several parts of the route were windy, and each day required 2-5 hours of driving either in parts or in a stretch. We were fortuitous to have my husband, who is experienced driving long distances abroad and in NZ to take us from place to place. Even so, the Toyota Hiace was challengeng to manoeuvre around the few hundred kilometres of steep windy bends. The weather was generally kind to us while we were there in NZ in Dec while we were there from 17-30 Dec 2023.
Jacqueline W
Jan 2024
Tasting Menu of New Zealand!
It was a most fabulous three week honeymoon in beautiful New Zealand! Our team at Road Trip (Matt and Denina) put together and booked an incredible itinerary. A true "tasting menu" of New Zealand. We decided on a self-drive option and presented Matt with a challenge (my husband's list was lengthy). After a couple of back and forths via email and a zoom call we ended up with one week on the North Island and two on the South. They booked everything; from the rental cars (Ezi Rentals - excellent), to the lodgings (all comfortable, clean, breakfast included and perfectly located), domestic airline tickets, and several things to do (kayaking, glow worm caving, etc). Except for our lunches and dinners everything was pre-paid which made it sooooo easy. Their detailed itinerary included so many suggestions for side trips, tips for the best photo opportunities, when to top off on gas and restaurant/cafes suggestions. Denina responded so quickly to our on the road requests to change times for certain activities or type of car (we wanted more trunk space). There is NO way we would have been able to enjoy this perfect "tasting menu" of New Zealand without The Road Trip. We wholeheartedly recommend using them for your trip to NZ! Thank you Road Trip team.
Jacalyn Y
Dec 2023
South Island of NZ
First time in New Zealand so hired the road trip to travel the South Island. The views were amazing as expected. The staff were very responsive and tried their best to make our trip smooth. They customized the trip to our budget and it was easy to enjoy each day following the itinerary. Please be more involved in choosing activities to get the maximum benefit
Jongdae L
Dec 2023
The Trip of a Lifetime
We had a phenomenal experience with The Road Trip. The whole team that we worked with (Alex, Shani, Denina, Matt and others who worked behind the scenes) was incredible! I tend to be a demanding customer, because I have high expectations and I'm very detail oriented. There are 6 key things I look for when selecting a travel agency and The Road Trip delivered on all of those things! LOCAL - they are a local agency, and actually have visited the places they are recommending. I don't want a travel agent who is just googling stuff - I can do that myself. I want a recommendation from an EXPERT who truly understands me and the experience I am hoping to create for my trip. The Road Trip team are EXPERTS and I knew I could fully trust that they were speaking from personal experience when they crafted all the details of our trip. I also especially love that they make the drives interesting by giving you information and cool places to stop. They specialize in road trips, obviously, but I loved that touch bc it's a LOT of work to research good hikes along a route on your own. They make it easy! LUXURY - Splurging on travel is my vice. I live for it and if I am not planning a future trip I feel sad! The Road Trip did a great job of delivering on what I was looking for while still sticking to the budget I provided. And I mean it when I say I'm demanding, especially in this regard. CUSTOM - Alex was the main person I worked with in the initial planning stages and he truly listened to what I was looking for: luxury, adventure, and a good use of our time to maximize the 2.5 weeks we had. The first itinerary he set for us showed me that he knew what I wanted and it only took us a few small tweaks here and there to land on the final. TIMELY - Gosh, they work fast! It took only 5 DAYS between the first time I spoke to Alex for an introductory call and initial discussion to landing a near final itinerary. I also loved that I was able to schedule a call to start, instead of trading emails. It's just more personal and easier to chat through what you are looking for. Also, I should mention that the whole trip was booked just 3ish months before the trip, because I made a sort of "last minute" decision that we wanted a big fun trip and we had only one window of time where we could easily get away from work for 2.5 weeks. To me, getting everything booked quickly was incredibly important and I really appreciated Alex and the team's urgency. ORGANIZED - The team uses a great tool that lays out every detail of the trip starting from the drafts to the documents provided for the actual trip. Everything was in an app and the level of detail satisfied my insanely Type-A personality that craves information. I could simply pull up the app and I knew everything in store for us that day. I did translate the details to a single page itinerary for my own purposes, but I always do that bc it ensures I am fully aware of the itinerary and all the critical times. TRUTH/TRANSPARENCY - I had asked to add Bay of Islands into the itinerary after the first couple of drafts and specifically asked to stay at specific luxury accommodation. Alex looked into it for us and then informed me that there was a promo (Pay 2 nights, get a 3rd free) that was only open to guests booking directly. It was not available to bookings via travel agency. He openly told me this and recommended we make that booking ourselves to take advantage. This shows that The Road Trip is transparent and dedicated to making sure their customers get the best possible experience. I already trusted Alex, but this made me trust him even more! CUSTOMER SERVICE - (this last one is most important to me). Everything went super smoothly on the trip, until the last 3 days when high winds (despite gorgeous sunny days) caused a couple of things to be canceled, most importantly our Fly-Cruise-Fly to Milford Sound, which I was SO looking forward to. No one to be blamed of course, not The Road Trip, or any of their vendors - sometimes it happens, weather is weather and safety is critical! However, I called the Road Trip team and spoke to Matt and asked if there was ANY WAY we could get rescheduled before we left the country and within LESS THAN AN HOUR he had managed to reschedule all our activities for the last couple of days so we could still go on ALL OF THEM. I was so impressed and SO grateful to him for making this happen for us. Not to mention, after he reorganized everything for us, he gave us his personal cell number just in case we needed to contact him urgently if anything else came up. Thankfully I didn't need to use, I certainly didn't want to bother him, BUT it made me feel like an incredibly valued customer! When I first set out to plan this trip, I contacted 5 agencies with the intent on selecting one after seeing first draft itineraries. I had spoken to Alex personally over a google chat and reviewed 3 drafts of an itinerary with him all before I even heard back from the other travel agents. I told all the rest of them that I had already found an amazing company who was delivering on the white glove customer service experience I expect from travel agents, especially for a luxury vacation. I knew pretty much right after speaking to Alex that I was going to book our trip with The Road Trip and now I've given you many reasons to do the same. You won't regret it, let them plan the trip of a lifetime for you.
Ruchie
Dec 2023
Great, fun and memorable times in New Zealand
Alex and team at the Road trip were great! Attention to details, willingness to make adjustments at the last minute, and planning our whole trip in New Zealand to be a truly enjoyable experience, were all things that we appreciate. The adventures were so fun and the people who took us on our adventures were great! Thank you for making our holiday one of the best ones..
Lisa Sofiar
Dec 2023
Even better the second time around!
We booked a 10 day South Island tour with The Road Trip and we had a wonderful time. Bruce was our guide and he was great. Very knowledgeable and accommodating. Also a great sense of humor. This is my second time booking with them for the same tour/trip but they made this experience different and unique from the last which was refreshing. I highly recommend this to anyone!
Huy N
Nov 2023
One of the best trips we have ever taken!
My spouse and I used The Road Trip to plan a self-drive tour of both islands and we had a wonderful experience. We usually plan all of our vacations ourselves, but we were overwhelmed by how to narrow down all the many fabulous things to see and do in NZ to two weeks. Plus we were confused about what activities were not recommended given the current weather and road conditions. The Road Trip created a great itinerary based on our interests, with the perfect balance of time spent sightseeing and time on the road. Their driving directions listed the highlights of each town we were to pass through, so we could decide in advance whether we wanted to stop, and they also included any scenic overlooks. The Road Trip even booked an amazing activity for us that I had not seen included in any of our guidebooks that became the highlight of our trip! They responded quickly to all of our questions and were always very friendly and helpful. We are already planning our next visit to NZ and look forward to working with them again.
Rachel B
Nov 2023