- New Zealand
- New Zealand 17 Day Fly Drive
Introducing Fly-Drive tours to the stunning islands of New Zealand. A country where snow-capped mountains, volcanic terrain and glacial lakes are surrounded by pristine coastline. New Zealand is the pinnacle of natural beauty and our carefully mapped routes guide you past the absolute highlights. With your car rental, flights, ferry and accommodation covered, it's just up to you to drive between each destination.
Depart the UK on your flight to Auckland.
Continue on your flight to Auckland.
Collect your rental car and drive to your hotel. Once there spend some time exploring New Zealand's largest city. Cosmopolitan and lively, Auckland has plenty of things to see and do. Visit Viaduct Harbour, full of super yachts and lined with bars and cafes, before heading towards Downtown and the Mission Bay Beach Promenade.
After a morning exploring Auckland, drive to volcanic Rotorua, a town famed for its Maori culture. On the way you could stop off at Matamata, where the Hobbiton set from the Lord of the Rings is located. During the drive, pass rural pastures and rolling farmland of the Waikato before the scenery turns more volcanic in nature as you reach Rotorua. Upon arrival check into your hotel.
Your day in Rotorua should start with a visit to one of the natural hot springs which are dotted throughout the surrounding area. This part of New Zealand is one of the most actively geothermic areas in the world, with geysers and other volcanic landmarks at every turn. The town is also famed for its Maori culture and you should take time time to visit the Mitai Maori Village while you are here.
Leave the city of sulphur behind and head out to Napier on New Zealand's eastern coastline. Starting with the thermal region around Rotorua you can stop at the Waimangu Volcanic Valley - one of the most visually spectacular parts of the country. Inferno crater, a steaming bright blue pool of bubbling water is simply incredible. Continue on towards Taupo stopping for an incredible view over the its giant lake, formed during a volcanic eruption nearly two thousand years ago. Later arrive at Napier and check in to your hotel for the night.
Leaving the art deco sights of Napier journey towards Wellington at the foot of the North Island. The road between Napier and Wellington will take you past picturesque countryside, wineries and some of New Zealand's richest farmland.
Wellington, capital of New Zealand, is located in a spectacular natural harbour near the North Island's southernmost point. This small city is known for its colourful timber houses and waterfront promenade. Whilst here you can ride the iconic red cable car and explore the lush botanic gardens.
Drop your car off and take the ferry to Picton. This three-hour journey between the North and South Island is meant to be one of the most scenic in the world. Upon arrival in Picton, collect your new rental car and drive to the city of Nelson for your overnight stay.
Nelson, on the shores of Tasman Bay, is a great base for exploring the South Island's northern tip. Gateway to Abel Tasman National Park, a wilderness reserve with forest trails and beaches which are home to fur seals, penguins and dolphins at the Tonga Island Marine reserve.
Leaving Nelson drive towards Punakaiki along the winding coast road, enjoying spectacular views of wild beaches and the Tasman Sea. Arrive at the small town of Punakaiki, home to the Pancake Rocks - an area of limestone coastline famed for its blowholes. Visit during high tide to be able to see the sea sprays upwards as the waves force water through the holes in the rock.
Travel down the coast of Westland National Park passing towering rainforests, lakes and rivers on the way before arriving at the vibrant Franz Josef. Franz Josef is renowned for its dramatic twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef which descend from the mountains to just 240m above sea level making them easily accessible to visitors. Book a guided tour to get a close view or alternatively get a unique perspective of this area by booking a flight over the glaciers by helicopter.
Drive south from Franz Josef past Fox Glacier and onward towards Queenstown. Drive through the towns of Haast and Makaroura, before travelling along the shores of stunning Lake Hawea and Wanaka and eventually reaching Queenstown later on this day.
Beautiful Queenstown is celebrated as the adventure capital of New Zealand. Situated at the foot of a mountain range on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this town offers a range of delights for you to enjoy. Explore the natural scenery surrounding the town or head to the waterfront for a gastronomic experience at one of the many cafes or restaurants.
Drive through the centre of the south island past snow-capped mountains and vast lakes to the romantic setting of Lake Tekapo. This small town is located on the shores of the lake which bears the same name. Spend the evening here enjoying the incredible views over the lake and mountains beyond.
Final stop on your tour of New Zealand is the city of Christchurch on the east coast. The largest city on the South Island, Christchurch is known for its English heritage. Start with a wander through the botanical gardens at Hagley park before visiting the cardboard Cathedral - built to replace the church damaged by an earthquake in 2011. Finish the afternoon by visiting one of the city's museums or grab a bite to eat in a restaurant and reminisce about the time spent on your New Zealand adventure.
Head to Christchurch airport, dropping off your car before your flight home.
British passport holders are not currently required to obtain a visa in order to travel to New Zealand. British passport holders currently need an ETA to enter New Zealand and should be obtained before you travel. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your ETA for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote Mercury Holidays. We strongly advise you to check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding required passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flights to New Zealand are with Emirates (EK), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 3. Each passenger is entitled to 30kg of hold luggage and hand luggage of 7kg not exceeding 56cm x 36cm x 23cm in size. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) and we recommend you change some currency before you leave the UK.