New Zealand Self Drive HolidaysThe Open Road: A Guide To New Zealand Self Drive Holidays

Wanaka mountain range image gets reflected on the blue waters

1.39min read

Published 2 December 2016


New Zealand’s wide open roads, coast-hugging terrain and quiet country routes are a welcome change if you’re used to the ‘start stop’ nature of inner-city driving. Saturated with some of the world’s most diverse and dramatic landscapes, it’s no wonder New Zealand earned a place on National Geographic’s ‘Ultimate Road Trips’ list.  
Whatever the GPS tells you, you will definitely want to overestimate your travel time to stop and soak in the scenery along the way. A word to the wise: have your camera handy at all times. NZ is filled with moments to savour.
If you like taking each day as it comes and relish the flexibility to come and go as you please, why not hire a motorhome or campervan and take your hotel with you? Needless to say, Flight Centre can give you the keys to your ultimate on-road holiday – the rest is up to you!
A valid driver’s license, a good sense or direction (or the ability to read a map) and an intrepid spirit is all you need to take a self-drive holiday journey through Kiwi country.
Whether you want to cruise from Auckland to Wellington over a couple of days' trip or cross the alpine plains of the lower isle, there’s plenty of highway to be had across this vast country.

Self-drive Holidays on the North Island

Auckland may be the City of Sails, but it’s also a fantastic launch point for your driving adventures. Venture in your vehicle up to the ‘winterless north’ and beach-hop around the Bay of Islands and the Coromandel, where pods of dolphins play in the warm waters offshore.
Alternatively, head south of Auckland to the volcanic playground of Rotorua, magnificent Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park – one of the five oldest national parks in the world.

Self-drive Holidays on the South Island

See New Zealand’s European roots in English-influenced Christchurch before venturing south to Scottish Dunedin and looping around to Queenstown, the so-called Adventure Capital of the World.
There are plenty of themed drives as well, from journeys to the real Middle Earth where you can spot the real-life Lord of the Rings and Hobbit backdrops, to wanders through the four major wine regions: Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Marlborough and Central Otago.
With the freedom of your own set of wheels, you can take whichever sign-posted highway appeals to your inner explorer – the Classic Wine Trail, Thermal Explorer Highway, Pacific Coast Highway, Alpine Pacific Triangle and so many more. Happy trails, highway warriors!  
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