New Zealand Self Drive Lodges & Unique Accommodations

Special Places brings together some of this country's most exceptional luxury lodges to give a guest experience full of local flavor on your self drive New Zealand tour. On an independent tour in New Zealand, you’re in the driver’s seat. This tour can be customized to meet your needs.

Day 1 Arrive Christchurch Meet and greet service with rental car pick up at Christchurch Airport. Overnight: The Classic Villa

Famers MarketDay 2 Christchurch - Blenheim (309 km) CB The trip north takes you through Kaikoura where the unique combination of ocean and mountains offers stunning coastal alpine scenery and a host of eco-tourism activities including whale watching, dolphin swimming and seal snorkelling. Travel past surf beaches, vineyards and olive groves to Blenheim, the heart of wine growing Marlborough Overnight: The Peppertree

Day 3 Blenheim B Day at leisure. The sunny town of Blenheim is an ideal base for those who want to explore the local wine and food culture. Bike around the vineyards or take a tour. If you are feeling adventurous, a visit to Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park is highly recommended. Abel Tasman National Park is a coastal paradise you can walk through or explore by cruise boat, sailing catamaran, water taxi or sea kayak. Overnight: The Peppertree

Fiordland Walking TrackDay 4 Blenheim - Hokitika (362 km) B Travel today to the West Coast. This remote area has a ruggedly beautiful landscape of vast rainforests, gushing waterfalls and snow capped mountains. A recommended stop is at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes where the surging sea has sculptured amazing shapes out of the rocks. Overnight: Rimu Lodge

Day 5 Hokitika - Wanaka (419 km) B Head south past Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, unique relics of the last ice age, where mighty rivers of ice tumble down rock valleys. Enjoy waterfalls and river scenery as you leave the coast and climb up the river valley to Haast Pass. The road snakes through the Aspiring National Park, and the vegetation becomes more sparse as you travel inland. Lakes Hawea and Wanaka make the last part of the trip beautifully scenic on the way to the scenic lakeside town of Wanaka. Overnight: Wanaka Springs Lodge

Fine food New ZealandDay 6 Wanaka - Queenstown (113km) B Journey south over the Clutha and Cardrona Rivers and via Lake Dunstan to Cromwell. Continue through the Kawarau Gorge before arriving at New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown. An alternative route today is via the Crown Range Road which is New Zealand’s highest sealed highway. This route is shorter than the one via Cromwell however travel time may take longer due to the winding nature of the road (note this route is not recommended over winter). Overnight: Queenstown Country Lodge

Day 7 Queenstown Full day at leisure for optional sightseeing and activities. Queenstown is quite simply a place of pure inspiration. Whether you have an appetite for adventure or prefer tracking down fine wine and cuisine, the region provides the perfect mix of action and relaxation Overnight: Queenstown Country Lodge
Queenstown skydiving
Day 8 Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown (580 km) B Make your way via Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound where you will enjoy a cruise on this scenic sound. A full days journey into the heart of Milford Sound. Experience the world famous fjord, rich in dense rainforest, glacier carved valleys and beautiful waterfalls. Journey across the Southern Alps and past the stunning Mirror Lakes and Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls. At Milford Sound, board your scenic cruise to see the wonders of Mitre Peak, glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys and crash into the sea far below. Later today return to Queenstown. Overnight: Queenstown Country Lodge

Southern Alps New Zealand Day 9 Queenstown - Dunedin (286 km) B Step back in time as you travel through Central Otago, a land of pioneer history, golden orchards and tantalising Pinor Noir. Overnight: Camp Estate

Day 10 Dunedin B Day at leisure. Dunedin and Coastal Otago is often referred to as the eco-capital of New Zealand. It is a region of natural beauty overlaid with a fascinating cultural history. On Dunedin’s doorstep you will find incredible wildlife including the world’s rarest penguins and the world’s only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross. Overnight: Camp Estate

Day 11 Dunedin - Christchurch (363 km) B Travel up the North Otago Coast to Christchurch. Just south of Oamaru, it is worth a photo stop at Moerakei where huge spherical boulders are scattered along the beach. River crossings become a feature of the journey before the straight flat roads set amongst the Canterbury Plains lead you into Christchurch. Overnight: The Classic Villa

Day 12 Christchurch CB Tour concludes with the return of your rental car to Christchurch Airport depot.

Highlights: Meet and greet service
Rental car including Accident Excess Reduction and Airport/Ferry Collection Fees
11 nights unique/boutique accommodation with breakfast included
Queenstown Skyline Gondola
Milford Sound Cruise

Estimate for this trip in January 2018 in 4 star hotels will be $TBAUSD per person sharing a twin room. Prices vary by departure date, availability. Sightseeing is for descriptive purposes only and is not included in the price shown.
Which way do we go?

Call 1-800-221-2474 9AM - 5PM Mon-Fri Eastern Time or (516) 248-2042 outside USA/Canada  Although we have provided as much information as possible on our website, we are happy to answer your questions directly on the phone. Sometimes, it is just easier to speak to one of us. We are awaiting your call. Call (800) 221 - 2474 or email